Tag Archives: Peaceful

Boris, Natasha– you un-rock

I needed to warn you about my last post. You see, apparently when you acknowledge the swirling spectors around you, it is the same as welcoming them in. Let me tell you how I discovered this. I decided to go on a bike ride after that post. I love to ride and consider it a meditation. I delight in the fatigue of my muscles, the pounding of my heart and the quickening of my breathing. I loaded up my bike and headed to the trailhead.  I am listening to a CD describing Buddhist meditation and mindfulness. The author spoke of recognizing your breathing. I had already been thinking how breath and spirit come from the same word, Ruah, which means wind. I thought of the swirling wind around me and saw it as breath. The exercise was to breath in naming a loved one and breath out asking for peace for them. I started with the name foremost on my mind, my ex girlfriend. I went through names, acknowledging them, their peace, and my own emotion.

Do you remember the Rocky and Bullwinkle show? In with the bad air, out with the good? Natasha and Boris didn’t really have it backwards as the voice over suggested. The opposite is obviously the goal, but it doesn’t always happen like that. The deep breath we take at pivotal moments in our life can cause two different reactions. It can suck in the distasteful and painful or it can begin the healing. The spirit of memory isn’t good or bad, it is how we react.

As I rode my bike, I pedaled as hard as I could. It is very hot here today. I was tired and sweaty. I am also afraid of snakes and had my attention on the brush, hoping I wouldn’t get bit. That isn’t completely true, I spent some time thinking about what I would do if I got bit. I imagined telling those in my life that I loved them. I imagined the hospital. I even imagined that the shock of me being near death would awaken the love from my daughters and ex-girlfriend. Part of me wanted it to happen just so I could be reunited with them. As you can tell, my mind wonders quite a bit when I ride. My breath quickened, heart pounded, and body sweat. I imagined the wind moving in and through me. I have been consumed with memories and regrets as of late. I am practicing acknowledging them and letting them go. I think that sometimes we let the ghosts in and then try and wrestle them or forcibly kick them out. It remind me of an internal greased pig capture. You cant hold on to it and it just runs faster as you chase it. When you are exhausted, you have spent all your energy and time and resources chasing the uncaptureable. I was imagining breathing in the spector and then letting it flow out. The problem in my ever-wondering mind, was that I thought since I was going so fast, breathing so hard, that I was catching up with my expelled breath. Self torment seems to be a hobby of mine.

I breath in and breath out. I try not to label the memories as good or bad. They just are. I let them in and let them out. Sometimes I imagine that I am Boris and Natasha, self sabotaging my breathing. I remind myself to just breath. I opened myself to the wind, and the wind infused. Not sure I was prepared for this. Breath  Sure hope this works.


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Posted by on June 26, 2015 in journey


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are you dead, or just sleeping

Its a Dead Mans Party…who could ask for more?

I have been all worked up about the small groups I go to. It seems to me that the job is to share experience, strength and hope. You tell about who you were, what happened and what you are like now. Its really simple. However, I have been going to groups that allow for more of a group counseling approach. I have heard stories about brothers diabetic feet, some 2nd cousin who might or might not have a problem with porn. I have heard more at an hour meeting than I heard all day at work with psychiatric patients. I am a little annoyed.

Its a Dead Mans Party

IT came to me today. The group dynamic lends itself for being a dead mans party. The whole idea of trying to be authentic with your journey beckons to be melo-dramatic. It becomes a competition on who has it the worst. The one upmanship of being downtrodden. It is the idea of stripping away life and allowing for the rebirth. In order to be reborn, you have to die first. You die to who you were. You have the option of being resurrected or resuscitated. You can be fully dead and move onto your new self…resurrected. Or you can hold onto the past and resume how you were-resuscitated back into the same old stale life. You get to live like a zombie. You get to join the dead mans party. You get to leave your body and soul at the door. You are without substance.

Its a Dead Mans Party.

I also had another idea of the dead mans party with relationships. I am scared to death of being in love. I lived my former life behind a mask. I hid from authenticity. I manipulated. I lied. I would tell long stories about how miserable I was, and how I needed someone, to put them in a hero role. I could then be the victim. It manipulated relationship into a duty. I have changed. I see now the only way to resurrection is absolute vulnerability. The concern for me is that vulnerability seems like leaving your body and soul at the door. I feel exposed and transparent. It hurts, like an open wound. If I stay in the mode of fear, I join the dead mans party. I can allow myself to shed the corporeal. I can shed the past. The vulnerability doesn’t have to hurt this bad. It takes practice to be exposed and still live. I want to live. I want to love. Do not resuscitate. I want resurrection.

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Posted by on May 29, 2015 in journey, life, Uncategorized


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walk about

I have gone walkabout. Yes, I am quoting, “Crocodile Dundy”. I am a product of the 80’s. I ponder the question, “What IS so funny about peace, love, and understanding?” I secretly hope that a mullet will once again be in fashion, and I can break out my white sports jacket and hang out with a guy named, Crockett. I am not embarrassed to say that I have put a message in a bottle. It was only this year that I figured out that Sting might have been a Sage and the message in a bottle is internet dating. Everyone does it, and everyone who still does it is still lonely. I ponder keeping my knit ties, just in case. I think “Every girls crazy about a sharp dressed man,” and wished I wanted to dress nicer.

Back to the topic. I have gone walkabout. I was in a mope. I couldn’t see any of the positive surrounding me. I was melancholy about the past and my obvious failures. I had morphed into becoming the failures rather than having them. It had become apparent to me that I was destined to living life as “The Dude,” and my soul purpose was to have my rug not peed on. Beck sang in my head, “I am a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me.” I had lost my smile, my joy, my love. I hadn’t lost it, I gave it away.

I had a few experiences, recently, that bitch slapped me awake. I had a patient complaint filed. Sounds odd, but it was sort of a nuisance complaint. Complaining about a doctor giving you medication and when you filled it, took it, and 3 days later had an unrelated side effect, isn’t all that sound. Still it bothered me. I like being a doctor, just not being punished for being a doctor. Our current system punishes medical people for trying to help. Nasty system. Then, I had more than one person tell me to choose my path. I just needed to decide where I wanted to be headed, they proclaimed. Novel concept, choose to be happy or growing. Then finally, my ex girlfriend told me to leave her alone. I miss her and love her, always will. However, her setting a boundary made me aware that I had slipped back into the idea that it is all about me. I could only see my side of things and had gotten so lost in the darkness, I had forgotten to enjoy the light. I had to let it, and her, go.

So I went walkabout. I decided to just disappear for awhile. I got books on tape and got in my little car and headed out. I decided to visit a friend from high school. We were glued to each other for years and years. I drove down from Idaho to California. My overnight stop was going to be Las Vegas. I had visions of the Rat Pack and figured the people would be the same as 25 years ago when I had last been there. They would scream my name, a la Norm from Cheers. I would have some funny quip and then win so big at the 2 dollar black jack table, I would get comped a room. Umm, not so much. I stopped and watched the slobbering drunks try and stay perched on the bar stools, smelt the cigarettes and alcohol, and recoiled. I hopped in the car and head on down the road. I stopped in Baker, California. I was pretty tired and pulled into the first hotel I saw. It seemed safe, and the rooms were cheap. I was handed the key to room #7. Yep, the key. I pulled in and opened the door. I was transported to the Caribbean, and not in a good way. There was a bed, an 80’s TV, with a cable line attached that draped over a bare wall. The tile floor was clean, but dingy. There was a bed and a chair, that in 1983 must have been brand new and very nice. There was that round table that you had in your first apartment next to the bathroom. The bathroom had a bare bulb and pink tile. There was a mirror that I could see my chin in if I stood on tiptoes. It was the lap of luxury. I laid down on the most uncomfortable mattress I have ever been on. I wondered if the bedbugs would carry me off the bed in the night. I giggled for 30 minutes as I fell asleep.

I got up in the morning, luckily unbitten by the bedbugs and rats that haunted my dreams. I headed down the road and stopped at a 50’s diner in the middle of nowhere. It was great. Campy as all get out, but great.

I watched my friend with his new wife and their baby. We hung out and did nothing. We talked. We just were. Today we will go to a beach, strolling around A town in California. I will go and meditate on a beach North of here for a few days tomorrow. I am not bad, or lost, or “less than.” I just am. I am the guy who giggles at cheesy hotels. I am the guy who rejoices in the campy. I am peaceful and loving. I am the guy who grows and learns. I am the guy who can weather the storms. I am me.newport

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Posted by on May 24, 2015 in journey, Uncategorized


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C, B, and P

I thought about drinking today. IT has been a long time since that happened. It was insidious.

I have been lost in the past recently. I have been thinking about who I was. I have made some tragic mistakes and some dramatic changes. The past holds me sometimes. I recall moments of time that I was comfortable and safe. I think about things I could have done differently to hold on to those moments. I lie to myself and tell myself that fleeting moments can be permanent. I imagine I can change the past by wishing, dreaming, or re-battling old arguments. I got lost in the past. I questioned my decision to leave Colorado. I questioned leaving New Mexico and feeling love blossom. I longed for that feeling.

I was worried about the future. How will I do in the new job, in the new state? How will I make it alone and isolated from friends, family, and loves? I am uncertain about decision I need to make. I am unsure of who I am and how I will be. I was scared.

“If you have one foot in the future and one in the past, you are pissing on today.” AA wisdom.

AS my mind stretched, I lost track of the present. I forgot to live in the moment. I forgot to delight in the ordinary. I forgot to make decision based on the now, the present, the me, the moment. As soon as I did, I left the gate open. Cunning, Baffling, and Powerful snuck over the fence. They surrounded me, laughing and taunting. Shame pulled the strings and the puppets fed my soul to their master. As He chewed, I thought of drinking. I was unaware of the threat. As I felt the pain and the misery, I woke. My soul screamed and I woke up. I paused and went to be around other people sharing their story. I woke up to the present. I asked God to show up and He always does.

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Posted by on January 1, 2015 in journey


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hold my hand

Pastor: This is a place you are safe.
Sinner: No, it isn’t.

Pastor: This is a place to come to feel comforted.
Sinner: No it isn’t.

Pastor: We forgive as we are forgiven.
Sinner: No you don’t.

Pastor: We welcome you as you are.
Sinner: No, you don’t.

Pastor: We will accept you.
Sinner: I want to believe it. I haven’t seen it.

Pastor: You are cleansed. (sprinkling water on kneeling sinner)
Sinner: Yes, I am

Sinner: Are you my family, my friends?
Pastor: Sometimes

AA member: We are.
Buddhist: We are.
Gang member: We can be.
Porn star: for a price
Alcohol: for your liver
Money: for your heart
Drugs: for your brain
Satan: for your soul

A hand reaches over the crowd. A tear stained face whispers above the din of noise and grasps mine. “I will.”
I see in his face the love of a murderer, a sinner, an adulterer, a thief, a beggar, a stutterer. I felt at home. I held the hand.

“Im not a superhero, I will let you down. I cant seem to run fast. I feel weak and unable. I am not worthy.”

I held the hand and we walked. I felt blood from his wrist run down my arm. I smelled the vinegar.

“You are my superhero.” I believed him.
“I will welcome you.” “I know”
“I am your family and friends.” “I know”
“I will accept you as you are.” “I know”

I saw the faces of his loved ones: the list of people who fell short. I knew that if I wanted to be them I would instantly be among them. I also looked back at the others and knew as soon as I longed to not be them, I would be them. I held the hand.

“I don’t ever want to let go.” I thought
“I don’t either, I never have and never will.” Jesus said

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Posted by on July 20, 2014 in faith, journey, life


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sand, cactus, and a southern bluebird

Had a lot on my mind, recently. I seem to enjoy the tumult in my life as I continue to add to it. I wonder if I get some solace out of creating a chaos and then repairing it. There is a line in the old “Get Smart” TV series where the leader of chaos tells Smart he needs Kaos because it suits him. I cant remember what Smart says in response. I wonder if I need a shoe phone.

I do enjoy keeping busy and it helps me to figure out things in the subconscious rather than over perseverating on them. (P.s. if you are one of the people that nodded in agreement, apparently that really bugs some people.) When things get overwhelming, I go for a bike ride and things magically get organized again.

When the clock struck Recently o’clock, I went for a ride. I put in my head phones and wondered if God would speak to me through the song selection again. I don’t really think God is scrolling through my playlist, but sometimes the lineup in the shuffle mode is reflective of inspiration. (Maybe I just have good taste in music). I got on my 29er and began the ride to the trailhead. An aside here, 29 inch wheels are pretty dang nifty, but it means your hips are near 35ish inches off the ground, with clearance and saddle height. Again, pretty nifty, well unless your inseam is 31. I rode to the trail head and began the undulations of a pretty glorious ride. I rounded a pretty sandy corner and my back tire slid out. I never used to be so concerned, but Albuquerque has seen fit to be arid enough to let cacti flourish. I had been anticipating this scenario as my bike tire is a tire only by strict definition. It is round and made of rubber material. However, the days of knobbies on that tire were long gone. I came to rest inches from the cactus. I cant swear to it, but I think I heard the cactus chuckle.

I just lay there a moment and heard a voice from under a nearby tree. Instantly, I thought of Mark Twain. It was a southern voice, almost singsong. It was mellow and playful. You felt like you could lean on the voice as it was sturdy and trustworthy. Occasionally, it stammered and broke the spell, sounding like Foghorn Leghorn. The voice said, “Albeit that sand looks more comfy than the cactus, Son, my suggestion to you is to get back up.” I smirked at the word suggestion. “Seems to me that you are mocking my lingo, Sir.” “Not at all, I have had the opportunity to be conditioned to smirk when anyone makes a suggestion. You see, it is suggested you wear a parachute when you jump from a plane.” The laugh was neither forced or dishonest. It was hearty and smooth. The kind of laugh that seems to give you a hug. I looked over at the voice under the tree, anxious to see the person who could hug my with a chuckle. I expected to see Colonel Sanders, sipping a mint julup. I saw a bluebird. There was no minty beverage nearby.

“You are a bluebird”, I exclaimed.
“And you are still in the sand, avoiding a cactus.” he retorted
“I have never seen a bluebird in New Mexico.”
“I am on vacation.”

I picked myself up and dusted away the dirt. I glanced at the cactus and smirked once again. I led my bike over to the shade and sat with the bluebird. We talked about life in general. Nothing specific, just about casual things. He asked me what I was doing in the sand and I went on to tell him about my tire. He said, “Boy, I don’t mean the physical sand, I am talking, I said, I am talking about the metaphorical sand.” He continued, “As I see it, you were running from chaos and chatter in your head and life. You came to a turn in your life and didn’t have the equipment or talent to remain upright.” “Correct, so far, go on.” “Well, my dusty friend, you hit the dirt, but avoided a prickly situation. The funny thing is that you were attracted to the prickle and directed your energy to it. It called to you and all you could do was slide right at it. It chuckled…”
“I knew I heard it chuckle.”
“I am talking about your life situation, not a plant, plants don’t talk.” “Your life situation chuckled as you approached and then rechuckled at you in the dirt.”
“I can see that, but I don’t know how you can.”
“Irrelevant. I find it most interesting that you chose to lie there for a spell.”
“Catching my breath.”
“Interesting, it is getting late, do you mind giving me a ride back to town?” With that, he hopped on my shoulder.

Its a fact. Its actual. Everything is satisfactual.

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Posted by on June 8, 2014 in journey, life


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I would like more words

I had a professor at KU write intimate body parts on the chalkboard (yes chalkboard, I am that old.) The job of the class was to yell out all the other names for that body part that we could think of. We were timid at first. Then it got on a roll. The point was that many different words allows for contextual speech. I am not sure I bought it then, nor now. However, it was fun to hear the names. My favorite will always be, “the little man in the boat.”

The Eskimos have almost 100 words for snow. The Greeks had 5 words for love. When my kids were babies, I had several different words and utterances for poop.

How come the English language settles for one word for love? How do you know if your definition is the same? How do you know if it is puppy love, lust, unconditional love, love for the moment (or 15), love and passion, love without passion, friendship, family, as a sibling, akin to how you feel about almond butter? When you both say it, how do you know you are saying the same thing?

You don’t. Well unless you are someone who asks your partner what they mean when they say it. Hint: it kills the romance to ask that. Bigger question, can different definitions survive? If I love with passion and my partner loves me like almond butter, will it work?

I want more words. That way when you are on the dating scene, then you can ask what is the goal. “Hello, I love you, wont you tell me your name.” Followed by “Define what you are looking for in love, what does it mean to you?” And then periodical inventories could be exchanged. “Well I am at a 5 on the love and passion, a 2 on unconditional love, and a 4 on friendship. The good news is I know longer see you as my brother. My long term goals of beefing up my unconditional love, while shunning almond butter love is in full force and I anticipate consummation in 3.5 months. Shall we schedule our next meeting soon thereafter?”

oh got to go, I think it is snowing, I love the snow….like almond butter.

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Posted by on May 5, 2014 in journey


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Fall rides

I needed to find you, to ask you questions. I tried, but the noise of life stifled your response. I prepared for my bike ride, thinking of you. I slipped when using my tools and was bleeding from my fingers. I was frustrated, I was in discomfort. I didn’t seem fair.
I finally got underway. I rode the 5 miles on pavement to get to the trail. The air was cold. I pedalled steadily. My knees turned red, my breathing quickened. I was losing my mind in the ride. Despite my bandages, my fingers bled through my gloves. I am only with me. I had glimpses of you. I could see you wanting to hide, but I caught the glances and the longing. I cried some. The sunglasses hid my tears. Any passerby would think I was tearing up from the cold, I figured.
I arrived at the dirt. 20 miles of dirt to meditate. 20 miles to be free. 20 miles. I thought I saw you up ahead. I surged to catch you. I chased you, caught you, even passed you.  I methodically considered you. I thought about what holds you down. I considered your self-imposed condition. I dreamed your dream. My legs cramped. My heart beat. My breathing rapid. I felt your pain. I see you. The more I rode, the more I wanted to be with you. The faster I went, the sooner I wanted to melt into your heart and mind. The miles went quickly. I came, I saw, I conquered. I was ready to let you know, you are what I am going to fight for. You are worthy, and beautiful, and special, and free.
I rode home the 5 miles. I pedaled smoothly and steadily. I cried. I had come to find myself. I had found myself. I miss me. I need me. I want me. I love me. I do like a good ride.


Posted by on January 5, 2014 in journey, life


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Play that funky music.

Play that funky music, White Boy!

I have been here before. I have felt this feeling before. I have tasted it, smelt it, seen it all before. Its not a good feeling to be here again.
“You need to learn to trust.” I have heard multiple times lately.
“I need to trust more.” I told my counselor.
“I am learning to trust.” I told friends.
“Why can’t I trust?” I whisper to myself.
“Why don’t you trust?” my counselor asked.
“Shoot.” I whispered.

Trust is hard for me. I don’t know if it is that I don’t feel worthy of the adoration of God or the partnership of others. I don’t know if it is that I have let expectations soar and watched them crash. I don’t know if it is just fear of not being in control. I don’t know if it is just genetic. Whatever it is, I timidly trust and lean into something slowly, testing it, before jumping in.

When Peter and the disciples were on the crashing waves and Jesus walks on water out to them, he asks Jesus to prove it is Him. Before I go on, you are in the middle of a gigantic lake and something or someone walks up to you. Is your first thought that it must be Jesus? I’d have been thinking zombie waaaay before I was thinking Jesus. It seems to me that Peter was going through the stages of growth in Faith. He asked Jesus to call out to him. That is belief. It is the understanding that there really is something other than you on the crashing waves. It is the first step. The world is crashing around, people are in various conditions of panic all around you. You feel sick, jostled, harranged, frustrated, scared, and you ask the simple question, “Are you there God?”

Jesus answers and calls Peter out of the boat. That is trust. He throws his leg over and steps out of the boat. The story doesn’t say he tests the water with his big toe. IT doesn’t say he slowly lowers himself over the edge of the boat and holds on until his footing feels secure. He doesn’t dare Andrew to do it instead. He steps out. That’s trust that it is God and He won’t lead you astray.

He starts to walk toward Jesus and sinks to his knees. He cries out for Jesus to save Him. Jesus does, immediately. Now that’s Faith. Cry out to Jesus when you need help. It doesn’t say he whined, “Why me?” It doesn’t say he cursed Jesus for his wet knees or for making him step out of the boat in the first place. (I personally would have cursed a few times.) It says he asked for help and was immediately accompanied by Jesus. And then Jesus climbs into the boat with Peter. He is with him in the turmoil of the world. He is beside him with the chaotic disciples. Then he calms the waves.

My funky music is the continued struggle to trust. I really do want to trust myself, others, and God. I have examples of each that would say trustworthy. I have been saved from a seemingly helpless state of mind and body. I have confronted and walked through some incredibly trying times. I have been loved, supported, and held accountable by glorious people. Still, I play the same old song.

I was reminded of the scene in Indiana Jones. Indiana’s father is dying and he has to get the grail. He approaches a cavern and a deep chasm. He has to get to the other side. He is told the bridge is there, but isn’t so sure. He hears the whisper of his father, urging him forward. He trusts. He steps out onto the invisible bridge. IT was pointed out that taking a little step is very scary. Sometimes it requires the right motivation.

I have replayed that thought in my mind over and over again. I started thinking about how I asked for help in regards to helping my daughters through our divorce. I started thinking about trusting the counselors to stay slow instead of rushing in headlong. I started thinking about taking the bus driving job while I was pursuing restarting or recreating a career. I thought of feeling like I could like myself again. I thought about being shown people I could trust and shown people I had trusted in error. I started to think about seeing myself deliberately living into life and not just giving up. I heard my daughters internal voices, urging me forward. I knew that to not take the next step would kill part of them. And I took that step.

Play it again, maybe it will mean something different this time.

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Posted by on October 16, 2013 in faith, journey, life


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as you love yourself

I am going to date. I am going to date myself. I have decided that I need to start nurturing a relationship with myself. I want to cherish myself, honor myself, look for the good in, be amused by the oddities, forgiving of mistakes. I want to learn and revel in myself as a new love. Now all tht sounds great but the logistics kinda baffle me.

I went to a bar in a trench coat and wearing only underwear….long story short, the policeman understood.

I met myself at a coffee shop to meet and greet. After drinking two espressos, I was talking so fast, I couldn’t understand myself. I didn’t give me my number.

I tried to take me to a movie, but Paul Reubans was there, so I left.

Truthfully, what I have decided to do is to change my inner monologue. I don’t know anyone who has a positive inner voice, but mine can be very nasty. I have taken to telling it to shut up, but it just keeps coming back. The way I am combatting that is reflexive speech, Every time I hear that voice telling me I am not good enough, not worthy, or any number of other negative droning speech, I will respond with vocalizing something positive about myself. I realize I am going to look like Stuart Smalley having a nice little seizure.


Posted by on October 4, 2013 in journey


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