It was late at night and I was meeting an acquaintance. This was just after I got out of college in the early '60s. I think he wanted to impress me that he was cool and as usual, I played his recipient for verification.
It was a hopeless situation. I was not cool nor anyone who could be used to say, "Yes, Jack is cool." So, that was understood by me, if not by Jack. He led me to the cellar of a building next to a complex intersection on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. We had to go down a dark stairwell and I was suspicious of his constant convoluted approach to life.
Anyway, there I was, again, wondering why ....... again. The cellar was full of very cool. . .what can I say, ahhhh Beatniks. The center of the gathering, which turned out to be an art class, was Vito. Vito was a skinny older man with with eyebrows that went every other direction, sort of like mine are now.
I came to car ownership late. I used to ride my, not so common, Olmo, an Italian road racing bicycle. I even rode from Pasadena to Bakersfield and back because I was so entranced with a young lady's - - - -ah, well her stuff.
I made that ride with another insane friend in early July 1959, the day after my birthday. It was after completing my first year of college. Oh, this is getting into a story.
OK, my first car was given to me by my uncle after I got out of the Army. It was a 195??? Opal. I soon found out that Buick bought the company the year it was built. It's fame was that it was made of parts from the US and Germany. Guys might imagine what fun it is to work on cars that are made of both metric and US nuts and bolts. That was fun. Also, my uncle was a tinkerer. He made one of the first propane conversions to a Chevy pickup with help from an article he found in Popular Mechanics magazine. More stories here to bypass. Before he gave me the Opal, he converted it back to sanity for me (sort of). He did a lot of desert driving so I think he had increased the engine oil capacity to about 150 gallons.
The Opal's paint was light flat oxidized, blue and later spotted with a kind of Leprosy white. The spotted white came from parking it in the last spot available to me at our family home—under a sycamore tree, a favorite of the neighborhood birds, hence it's name: "Toilet."
Toilet's rear view mirror was mounted on the top of the dash and from that mirror hung an old tie. The tie also supported a kind of a mock critter which was about the size of a tennis ball, covered with fur. it also had feet that looked like a part of a Shmoo. Remember Shmoos?
I received a beautiful email from Nancy Senior about her gratitude for 2013. I love Nancy's sense of humor blended with inspirational, thought-provoking goodness. It started me thinking. I have a tendency to be a bit acerbic at times and I have been known to rant about things I feel are important. What is so easy to push into the background are the good things, large and small.
Nancy mentions a Gratitude Jar. I'm not sure if she meant this literally or figuratively, but I am going to take it literally. Today, I am putting a large jar on my kitchen counter labeled, "Gratitude." I'll leave a sticky-note pad and pencil on top. Every time something happens that I feel good about, grateful for, or inspired by happens, or a miracle comes into my life, I will note it, date it, and put it into the jar. At the end of the year, I will look at and, probably write about them.
I think I might also have a Gripes and Rants jar. I will put into it all the disgruntlements, not-for-polite-society rants about the way things are. I might also put in my hurts, griefs, and sadness.
If I had done this in 2012, I know I would have written a tome about my feelings when my mother died and my favorite kitten died. But those are double-edged issues. Both sadness, grief, guilt, and anger coupled with relief, gratitude, and other mixed emotions.
As I write this my Tech-head self is suggesting virtual jars on my computer. "You know you won't actually take the time to write with a pencil, in long hand. What are you thinking? Use the computer. Who ARE you anyway? Have I taught you nothing?"
Tech-head has a point. I am more likely to keep it up for 12 long months if I can type it instead of write it.
Then again, the Get Real part of myself is yelling in my head, "Don't listen to Tech-head. She is just lazy. The act of writing it out with your fingers wrapped around an actual pencil will make it more real, more valued. Be a woman. Write it out and see the jars filling up. Much more satisfying."
My head parts are fighting. I think I will have an actual jar but type out the entries and print them. Then I can cut them apart and place them into the appropriate jars. "Okay Tech-Head and Get Real? Will that do?"
So the first thing going into my jar is Nancy Senior for her email that inspired me. Thanks, Nancy.
Happy 2013 to Everyone.
Luke Broad -
Do you believe that life is a series of random events? Do you believe that some people are just ‘lucky’ to have a joyful, satisfying lifestyle whilst others are just ‘unlucky’ to have a hard, stressful lifestyle? What is your willingness to learn? What is your willingness to change your current belief system and adopt a new outlook on life?
Many people consider stress and hardship as normal because they repeatedly affirm to themselves “That’s life”. On a mass scale, normal is something that is believed to be true by the majority of people. But normal is not always right! It was once normal for black people to have fewer rights than white people. It was once normal for women to have fewer rights than men. It was once normal for women to stay at home to cook and clean for the man. And in some cultures, it is normal for men to marry young girls against their will. These are just a few examples of how ‘normal’ can be wrong!
If you are driving a car and you come to a parked vehicle, most people will indicate to go around it. However, the official law is that you do not indicate around a parked car, but most people do so because they are following the actions of those in front of them. So if ten people drove around a parked car and nine of them indicated and one did not, the nine people who indicated would have been perceived as correct because they outnumbered the one. But the person who did not indicate is actually the correct one. Similarly, we tend to follow the beliefs and actions of those people who we are around the most. So if we are surrounded by people with limiting beliefs and a negative outlook on life, we will also have limiting beliefs and a negative outlook on life. That is until we become aware of our negative habits and are willing to change.
Luke Broad -
In 2007 I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease - an inner ear disorder that causes violent attacks of tinnitus, which is so loud that I was virtually deaf in the affected ear. The tinnitus then causes dizziness, which results in vomiting. Attacks are unpredictable and can come at any time anywhere. The specialists told me that there was no cure and that the illness could result in permanent deafness in the affected ear. All they could do was prescribe me the strongest medication possible that supposedly helped to reduce the frequency of the attacks. This illness dominated my life for two years. During this period, I was backpacking and my enjoyment would often be interrupted by violent attacks of this illness. Attacks became so frequent that I had to return home. When I arrived home, I was bedridden for a number of weeks with one attack after another.
When I first began learning about the Law of Attraction, two years earlier, I was depressed and living undesirable circumstances. I felt trapped by my contract in the British Armed Forces, so much so that I developed a desire to commit suicide. If I had not come across the Law of Attraction, I would probably not be here today. I began imagining myself on the beach in Australia and I trained my mind into a state of belief and positive expectation. Just three months later, I was on a beach in Australia and I was a qualified fitness instructor!
So, two years later, when I reached the point where I was bedridden for a number of weeks because of my illness, I decided to change my mindset regarding my illness. I threw my medication in the bin and I began visualizing myself back in Australia, in a bar with my friends sipping champagne. I visualized myself as healthy and I imagined myself telling a family member the story of how I used my mind to heal myself. I believed in my vision and I imagined it with conviction and clarity. I trained my belief and expectation and I began feeling optimistic, excited and eager, even whilst I was bedridden with dizziness and vomiting. One month later, my attacks stopped. Three and a half months later, I was back in Australia, in a bar with my friends sipping champagne!
(Excerpted from Let Go and Live in the Now, Red Wheel/Weiser, 2004: 2600 words)
Just as a storm in the atmosphere of the earth is born of conflicting fronts of different temperatures colliding with one another, so too must there be conflicting forces within us in order to form a mental or emotional storm. Our task is to become conscious of these unseen forces that dwell in the unenlightened parts of us. As we grow to realize that no disturbance can remain within us without our granting it the force it needs to sustain its fury, we realize that we have at our disposal two great powers. We are empowered to dismiss storms when they appear in our psychic system and, with time and practice, we can learn to dismiss these disturbances before they begin!
What are these invisible conflicting forces at work within us that cause so much foul weather? We uncover the first of these unconscious forces by recognizing that the storms in our lives all share a common cause. Each storm, large or small, centers on something that happens to us that we don’t want to be happening for whatever reasons. A few quick examples prove this insight, but best success is assured if you will fill in the blanks from your own experience.
As a cardiologist for over a quarter century, I dealt with life and death circumstances on a daily basis. I came to fully appreciate how precious and tenuous life can be; it can change in an instant. On June 30th of 2009 such a dramatic shift occurred in our family when our son, Tyler, was involved in an automobile accident sustaining a severe spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed.
As John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” In a Nano-second, our entire family was thrust into the midst of one of the fiercest storms imaginable.
Why do disruptive, terrible things like this happen? Why must there be such anguish? Does it serve any purpose?” These were questions that had answers . . . but it would take quite some time for me to sift through the quagmire in order to uncover them.
There were three things that helped me navigate the storm:
John tightened his grip on the control bar and said, "Are you still pissed at me for all the shit I did to you when we were kids?" I just mumbled, "Time to find out."
Well, back then, when we were kids, John had been a bully but I did not put that together then. His main mode of operation was baiting and intimidation.
My first memory of his strange sense of brotherly love was when I was 3 or 4 years old. He was 2 years older than me and liked to play house with his playmate friend. I had to play the part of their baby.
OK, so John can complain about my having an overactive imagination but I remember floating in the bowl of water, crushed oleander leaves, which he says was really grass. It was supposed to be my dinner and refusal to fall for that meant that I had to be punished. There was a barn behind our house that had the biggest bench vice that I have ever seen, but then I was only 3 or 4 years old. Anyway, my head went between the jaws and I was not going to knuckle under - - - until I felt the jaws touch both sides of my head.
Author of 101 Relationship Myths – How to Stop Them from Sabotaging Your Happiness
Just days before the release of the book, my annoying alter ego woke me up in the middle of the night saying …
Oh my God, Tim, what have you done!
I just read one of the first chapters in your new book “101 Relationship Myths – How to Stop Them from Sabotaging Your Happiness”.
Well, quite frankly, I’m shocked. The title of the chapter is “Stay away from women in their 30s”!
Last month I turned 42. Just like every year of my life, I had been looking forward to my birthday with giddy anticipation. I just LOVE getting older, there's absolutely nothing I don't adore about it.
Invariably, people gave me surprised stares when I replied to the inevitable: “Oh, is it your birthday?” with an excited: “Yes it is, I'm 42 today!” I suppose it's not the usual thing to do, stating one's age as a woman of the so-called “certain” age. People just omit the number altogether or famously “turn 29” over and over again every year.