Fresh Start

September 2009 to March 2010-76

Welcome 2018

Screech! I hope this isn’t a sound you hear this year, with the exception of driving of course. You want to hear a healthy screech when you slam on the brakes to avoid hitting a pet, or a child, or three adolescent lynxes running across the road. Oh, and maybe an adult human, I guess you might want to brake for an adult  human too. Unless you’re an asshole, and then all bets are off. What I am trying to say in a rambling sort of way is stop hitting the brake pedal on your dreams. Ignore the hesitation within yourself. Smash the desire to toss those bright and shiny dreams in the garbage just because they might be hard to accomplish.

Seriously though, this is your fresh start. Begin. Make your wishes a priority. Do you want to travel? Maybe you can’t do it today, but you can start by planning for it today. Is it the cost of travelling which is stopping you? Begin by budgeting your money, read blogs and articles on how to save money, buy stuff at a second hand store, shop the deals in a grocery flyer, and cook your own meals. There are infinite ways to tighten ye ole purse strings.

Maybe this year is the year to lose the extra jiggle on your middle? It’s probably the number one New Years promise (lie). And do you know why people fail? It’s because they cut out everything they enjoy doing and eating on January 1 and replace it with gut wrenching gym programs, and tasteless food you need to chew for an hour before swallowing. The reason people can’t make it past week three of the program is because they are pure misery and still have the jiggle. Not only that, but they are feeling unsupported because their significant other is MIA. What they don’t realize is their significant other is probably hiding in the closet or under the couch. They are avoiding the swoosh of the fun Dracula which sweeps in when you enter the room. Please, for the happiness of those people around you, go slowly into the big life changes. The only thing shock starts are good for, are for jolting your heart when it stops beating. Begin your get fit program with a fifteen minute work out and build up to an hour. Change your diet a little at a time. Wean yourself slowly off the sugars, fats, and breads and gently incorporate healthier food choices. Have one food cheat day, and one exercise free day once a week. Be nice to yourself, changing your body takes time, tiny steps evolve into going the distance with less discomfort. And lets be honest, most people don’t enjoy discomfort.

Maybe this year you are dreaming of a gershnoskel upgrade? Maybe you have one of those snot collectors which have begun to look a little lumpy in a mushroomy sort of way, or it sweeps everything off a shelf when you turn around. If it bothers you fix it. There are people who are trained to deal with the genetic whoopsies in our personal form. Maybe this is the year of the nose job?

As you endeavour to change yourself this year don’t forget you have the ability to change the world as well. Recycle, buy local when you can, and if you can’t purchase something you need locally then please consider what type of country you are supporting with your money. Continuing to purchase “Made in China” products supports human rights violations, suppression of human expression, and death sentences for those people who dare to challenge the injustices in their country. I am so grateful to live in a country where I am free.

Whatever you choose for yourself in 2018, I wish you the most honest effort. I wish you foot off the brakes oodles of dedication. I wish you the simplicity of kindness towards yourself and then towards others. It is an important practice as you’ll soon discover travelling to your dream destination. On the plane they will inform you it is necessary to put on your own oxygen mask first before you are able to help others. This is often the case in life. Your dreams are personal. If you are focused — Anything is possible. All you have to do is to commit.

Have a blow your mind, bloody amazing New Year!

Your Christmas Wake Up Call

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I slapped her hard across the face.

The sound echoed with a satisfying smack.

I wanted to see the fog lift from her, to see her sunlit eyes glisten with awareness once more.

Her eyes watered,

I don’t know exactly what I was hoping for— I did it out of desperation.

Maybe it was clarity?

I needed to see a realization that she understood without participation we are all doomed to die.

Not just one, but all— all the picture perfect babies with their soft sweet features, each shielded by their own skin of different shades of color.

Born into our arms of care.

Doomed to die,

All the children, our most beloved representation of affection and celebration of life.

All of our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, grandmas and grandpas.

We, as supposed civilized beings sit busily clicking on our computers and phones consumed by consumerism, ignoring the Earths signs of distress.

Who can see that the complete and utter extinction of a species has begun?

Click, buy a second TV, click purchase another piece of clothing, click, click, click,

The sounds of humans eating up the Earth

People— complex organisms torn between love and hate, creation and destruction, greed and generosity, sickness and health, fear and security, war and peace, joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain,

An unwittingly apathetic mortal too self focused to see the unraveling.

I’m not sorry I slapped you,

Give your head a shake, wake up.

We cannot afford to pretend anymore.

Just because we had yesterday and today doesn’t mean we automatically get tomorrow,

Our lives are far from a Hallmark movie,

We need to think beyond the sparkle and shine of our lives, and really understand who we are supporting with our existence.

To whom does our money go?

And what are we supporting with that buying choice?

If we don’t change the way we purchase and consume, soon—

Click, click, click,

Sorry kids

We are close to our expiration date.

I’m usually such a jolly elf, but there comes a time for serious action, and that time is now. Please read, How Humans Are Driving The Sixth Mass Extinction.

Best Road Ever

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Right or Left?

Fasten your seatbelts and take a moment to tumble into this line from Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken’,

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—“

In the past I have finished this sentence by cavorting along the path of life tossing confetti into the air and watching it fall around me. I confess to chasing small forest creatures into the bush and losing my way. Today I realize I am at a fork in my road. And I really hope I don’t fork this up. This year I decided to forgo flitting down the trail and becoming distracted by things such as the light filtering through the trees. I decided I am picking my path with purpose. No more darting off into the trees to chase squirrels for me. I think I may have been a Canadian cur in a previous life.

How about you? Do you have insight as to why you choose the road you’re currently on? Do you stay focused on your route ahead? Do you believe the choices before you are vast and open? I hope you can recognize your potential and brilliance.

You are unlimited.

Continue moving forward, one foot in front of the other, pause to catch your breath, do a little cha cha cha, and keep going. A sure fire strategy to fulfilling your aspirations is to keep travelling. Maybe there will be more forks in your road? No worries take a break consider your options and go. Refuse to halt your progress, balk at becoming a stagnant pool of decomposing sludge. Sometimes fear will whisper in your ear, “Stop, you’re making a fool of yourself. The only thing ahead of you is ridicule and failure. Don’t listen, return your focus to your goals. Move! Dance along the road of existence with a smile on your face. You know where you are going. Simply wrap yourself in the clothing of possibility for the journey. As you continue forward, you will soon find the momentum of your decision will carry you into your future with ease.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—”

Purchase With Your Heart

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It’s stunning; a human being has such a grand capacity to love, and yet a grand capacity to turn a blind eye when it’s uncomfortable. Human organ trafficking in China is one of those things. Despite all of our world’s brilliant technological advances it has done little to foster love and respect for our fellow mankind. In China, it seems supplying organs for a price is a convenient way to get rid of troublemakers and make a quick buck on the side. Maybe it sounds like I’m taking this lightly, but believe me I am physically ill and emotionally beside myself with disgust and sadness. How can this happen?

When this issue first came to light years ago, China denied it happened, and then when an overwhelming amount of facts supporting the claims surfaced they admitted it does happen, and then China quickly promised it would be handled. Recently more evidence has come to light that nothing has changed. The answers from China flow from yes to no depending on the amount of corroboration that exists to prove the organ transplants from unwilling donors continue. For all intensive purposes, bloody money isn’t something the Chinese government would voluntarily announce to the world. They are a savvy business people. They have their fingers in the business pies of most every country in the world.

When I first read the article The Reality Of Organ Harvesting in China , I felt nauseated. How can slaughtering people for their organs go on in this day and age? Most of the organs are harvested from prisoners of conscience, the Falun Gong , Tibetan, Uyghur, and select House Christians. Can you imagine being slaughtered for body parts simply because you hold different religious and political views than your government? I’d be dead by now. This sounds like something out of a science fiction horror novel. Yet it is happening.

Maybe you’re asking yourself, but what can we do? Well, I finally decided to stop buying products made in China. I’d seen the boycott China logo elsewhere, and I had already been humming and hawing about no longer purchasing from China due to their low quality items with the big ticket pollution tag. Did you know China tops WHO list for deadly outdoor air pollution, and 70% of their own companies break their own environmental standards. It’s not a place I want to support, but I’ll tell you, it’s tough not to buy from China. They have their fingerprint on almost everything. However, I will persist and find alternatives, learning of the forced organ donations is enough of an incentive for me to give China the middle finger. You get no more money from me— Sorry kids no more toys for you.

Let your dollars speak for you, pay for quality, pay to ensure people are treated with respect, and pay for the knowledge that factories are up to environmental standards regarding industrial waste and emissions. Don’t you want to know your product came from a country that had the Earths and peoples best interests at heart? We cannot regulate factories owned by another country halfway across the world but we can at home.

At this point I ask — Where are all these wealthy people who were protesting North American pollution? Why don’t they put their money where their mouth is and invest in caring for people with positive, well-paid work environments, and Earth friendly factories instead of protesting? You have the financial means to really make a difference. You will never be remembered by the amount of money you have— You will be remembered by what you did. Go make a difference, and then you can have verbal diarrhea about dirty polluting North American companies.

North Americans are magnificently practiced at having dramatic rant and raves about injustice. Now is a great time to put your money where your mouth is, and I’m not asking you to give it away. I am simply asking you to consider where your money is going. Is it going to a country which abuses it’s people, or empowers people? We can be the difference. Just think, one voice is a whisper, but many are a scream. Our voice is our purchasing power—Boycott made in China.

Consider Your Inner Monster

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We all unwittingly become Frankenstein. Certainly not on the outside, although I do sport a fair amount of stitching scars myself, but what I’m writing about is the invisible stitching which ties our philosophies and opinions together.  Consider the fact that many of our attitudes and beliefs are imprinted upon us as tiny people. Ruminate on the idea that as we age we gather ideologies and preferences imparted to us through school, friends, social media, news, coworkers, and partners. This large list of inputs will either strengthen or loosen the stitches that bind together our core beliefs. Some opinions will disappear by snipping hindering binding and then new mind-sets will fill in the open space. We are a patchwork of ideas, beliefs, passions, and drives formulated by our upbringing, schooling, religion, news, and our own observations of life. Sometimes we desire change in our lives and most often it involves self evaluation.

So I ask you, does your inner Frankenstein shine? Does it enable you to see yourself and others in a positive light? Do you feel a lightness of being in your life? Does your gorgeous mess of scars contribute to peace and cooperative living? Does it include the belief of sharing? Is it inclusive or exclusive?

Pause for a second. I realize this is an abundance of consideration. At this point I will not offer you a refreshment for your dedicated deliberations, but I will offer you a refreshing joke. I met an old fellow the other day, he gazed at me through a mess of wrinkles and shaggy brows imparting his gem of knowledge, he said, “Back in my day a selfie is what you did when your wife didn’t put out.”

Back to our stitching.

None of us are angels, often it proves valuable to contemplate our darkness. Do you find pieces of your inner monster is patched together with defensive and explosive states of being which results in blaming outside circumstances for your troubles? Are you continually watching for the next bit of rottenness to come your way? Do you judge people by the way they look and condemn someone who isn’t exactly like you? Have you been hurt in the past and sealed yourself up so tightly you have nothing to give to anyone else? Are you a darkening presence that shadows the path of others with antagonistic and negative comments?

The only answer that matters is how do your beliefs make you feel?

The truth is— We all contain some aspect of the Frankenstein described above. We are all sewn together with various patches of virtuousness and unscrupulousness. Some Frankenstein’s shed more light into the world and some bring us into the dark. We all have a choice on which parts of us we select to come forth. We ultimately determine what we display when we greet others in our castles. Do you bring flames of hope— Or pitchforks of despair? How do you want to be remembered when your power goes out?

Have Your Best Christmas Ever

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How are your Christmas preparations coming along? Between shopping and social obligations, a satisfying Christmas for the introvert can quickly deflate into a limp nob of disappointment during the orgy of holiday festivities. Let me ask you? Are you beginning to feel like you are fishing a dead pond for the energy to ignore the repetitive casting of Christmas consumerism? Are you one breath away from taking a punch at the next person, or advertisement that aggressively tosses you a sales pitch for yet another item you don’t really need? I’ll tell you what? The whole idea of dealing with the Christmas mobs at the mall only puts me in a festive mood for a brawl. Oh wait, a brawl is for the extrovert. The large box in the corner with flaps still on the top so I can hide in darkness is much more to my liking, toss in a cinnamon tea, and a book with a reading lamp, and I’m jimjam jolly. A word to the wise— If you’re an introvert, support your inner tendencies by shopping on-line.

The Christmas frivolities are a whole different story. Social gatherings with people I hardly know is a dead man walking way to shoot my introverted inclinations into overdrive. Why are there so many social gatherings throughout the holiday season? Can’t we spread them out over the year? Attending gatherings with no curtains to hide behind, and no empty boxes to jump into is a clearcut trail to exceeding my alcohol limit. From then on things are certain to go badly. It generally results in dancing like no one is watching— never pretty. Or it creates an opportunity for a bonding episode with the bosses wife, becoming in my mind at least #besties forever. Both regrettable actions promptly concluded with a bile driving night sleeping on a merry-go-round bed. This year I’m thinking of trying that multipurpose medical shrub with the buds instead of alcohol. What do they call it? Oh yeah, Lucifer’s lettuce, anxiety relief for some, salvation for introverts forced to socialize in large crowds. What do you want for Christmas? A bag of Cheech n Chong weed please and thanks, enough to get me through the holidays including New Years.

Seriously though, why are you celebrating Christmas this year? Are you religious? Or are you like myself and has it become more of a tradition? I know, horrors! I shouldn’t practice Christmas if I am not religious. Right? Wrong, thankfully I live in a free country and I can practice what I like as long as it doesn’t involve keeping anyone captive. Except for my audience— I have a deep dark desire to keep you.

So although I may not put a baby in the manger, I do enthusiastically admit to believing in good will toward mankind, peace on Earth, and condoms for all who need them. I also wish everyone the open heartedness to appreciate both the wondrous people, and not so wondrous people in their lives, because I believe everyone has value. (Sorry Trudeau. I may have given you the impression in the past that I wish you ill, but I don’t I just wish you would attempt another line of work.) I am on my knees hopeful that everyone finds gratitude for our Earth this year. It is the soul reason we have a body; we would not exist without the nutrients and air our Earth provides for our very existence.

This holiday season I wish all of you, the bliss of brisk walks along glistening winter trails, magical snowfalls, and rosy cheeks. I hope you can marvel at the sound of children’s giggles, and are in the vicinity to adore their sparkling eyes of wonder as they sit under the glowing Christmas tree. And may you all, even us introverts, delight in the comfort of companionship, as well as quiet reflective moments to appreciate all we are, and all we have been blessed with throughout the year.