50% Flying – 100% Thriving

Hi!  You know I do not usually stop to take pictures on my morning runs (mainly it’s usually too dark anyway haha), but today was an exquisite exception.  Since my Shift in consciousness six years ago, I have taken a lot more interest in birds.  I mean…they fly!  How cool is that?  I also noticed them more in the mornings and the evenings…sunrise and sunset.  It’s like a ritual.  They just all sit out there welcoming the sun and then saying goodnight.  Like loving friends.  I could not help but to stop and take this picture this morning because it looked to me to be a family.  Mom and dad and their two kids.  Just watching the sunrise and basking in its warmth on this chilly Texas morning.

They reminded me of something that really kind of gave me goosebumps a few years ago when I went to this running store called Red Coyote Running in OKC.  I finally was able to get a good analysis of my running technique, stride, foot strike et al.  They video you running on a treadmill and then run it in slow motion.  I thought it was amazing but the thing that struck me the most was that every time the next footfall comes…both feet are suspended in the air for the briefest moment.  But…that’s like half the time I am running that I am airborne?  That is so awesome.  50% of my runs (and everyone actually) I am flying just a little bit above the earth.  That is an incredible feeling when you put it into perspective.  I mean I know I can never actually take flight into the air but…I am…sort of. 

On the flip side, with roller skating, I really open my wings and soar.  I Thrive.  With my jam shuffle skate my feet are generally always on the floor but the feeling…I am up in the air.

I’m laughing at myself now because I am thinking of INFJs and how self-contradictory we can be.  How can I be part cat and yet be like a bird?  I love it.

Take care everyone.  Let’s pray for healing this world in these uncertain times!

Cats and Dogs and a Little Theory of Mind

Hi friends!  Cats or dogs?  Maybe both?  I’ll have to say I am partial to cats although I do not have one.  There are four dogs, a turtle, and a fish in our house though.  I’m taking care of my sister’s dogs while she is away for the next few days, so they are on my mind…along with cats.  You know almost every morning I run in the neighborhood and I am either being barked at or chased AND barked at.  I’m used to it.  I found it incredibly hilarious to me the other day when things took a bit of a turn.  I’m just making my way and I catch motion out of the corner of my eye.  Noiseless.  I’m not too concerned.  I look over and the dangest thing.  A cat was running with me.  Small.  Maybe a large kitten.  Not chasing me, running with me!  Made my day.  It didn’t last long, and he just stopped and stared.  I kept going and looking back every now and then watching him/her continuing to stare at me.

Now don’t get me wrong.  Dogs are great but I haven’t had the most luck with them in my early childhood years.  That tends to carry over on a subconscious level to some extent, right?  It started with Penny, my grandmother’s dachshund (named after The Beatles, Penny Lane).  Apparently, as the story goes, my grandma found Penny one day sitting on my face, as a sleeping baby, on her couch.  An attempt to smother me?  That was the “joke”, but grandma told me that Penny wasn’t happy when I came into the picture.  Eventually we did become friends and played together.  On the flipside, there was Shadow, my great aunt and uncle’s dog.  An enormous all black German shephard.  When I was seven, I made the mistake of standing in between him and another dog that he was barking at, Lady, a small beagle.  I stood there, unafraid (because I “thought” I knew him well enough), and chastised him with my finger, “No, Shadow!  No!”.  I don’t remember the attack when he mauled me and almost took off my cheek.  I DO remember being pinned down by a bunch of nurses while they tried to put in the 50+ stitches on my cheek.  Yeah that was a bad day.  Learned a lesson though!

Then there was George.  She was my second cat.  I do not remember the first as she passed away as a small kitten due to a gas leak I mentioned in a previous blog post of mine, Dreaming Reality. I got George when I was four and did not realize she was a girl until later, but in the moment, George I named her.  She became my best friend and at a time when I was still learning how to deal with the world around me.  A time when I was developing my sense of “self” so to speak.  I remember the summer of 1998, shortly after I left the Marines, I took a child psychology class and learned about The Theory of Mind.  I’d have to do some googling to really explain it, but when I reflected on my early child development years between 3-5, I was modeling the behavior of a cat.  Something that has carried over with me to this day.  I love the quiet.  Just staring out a window and watching.  Very soothing.  Downrange (Afghanistan, Iraq), when an “incident” would occur, I found myself becoming calmer.  Eerily calm in a way.  I remember looking back on events in reflection and wonder, “Why was I so calm?”  I really do not know, but I like to think that I had some help from my feline buddy from long ago to keep me grounded.  Unexcited.

I am curious for you though, my friend.  Look back in your own life when you were 3-5yrs old.  What was going on then?  Did you have something or someone in your life that had a dramatic effect on your personality that has brought you to this point in time?  Just something to reflect on, I guess!

Be well and be safe!

Despair vs Resiliency (A short story)

Who wins in a battle?  A battle against yourself?  Well, hopefully yourSelf wins as opposed to yourself.  On my morning run this morning I was reflecting on the past which I do not normally do.  You know how thoughts are, sometimes coming out of no where like objects floating through outer space.  I was reflecting on the darker side of the Law of Attraction and my own personal battle.  I’ll keep to the wavetops and make as light as possible because there are moments during this dark year that I had which are extremely personal, extremely dark and have only shared it with my two closest friends / soul sisters.  However, to the wavetops…

I went to Afghanistan and came home to find my wife of 10yrs had left me for someone else.  I didn’t even know there was another person until four months after I got home.  I just know those four months were bleak.  All the while during this time my mother is back home in Ohio fighting stage IV colorectal cancer.  My wife finally told me she wanted a divorce.  Shocked.  I was in shock.  The type of personality I am and the way I opened myself up to two becoming One reallllllllllly devasted me.  I was feeling despair.  A few months later my mom passed away.  Single mom who did the best she could raising a little boy on her own (with grandma 😊) moved on to the next stage of life.  I was literally all alone.  The impending divorce created what felt like a rift in my soul.  A despair so deep that most of the time even breathing was a struggle.  My mom’s passing was absolutely terrible.  I became virtually nothing but a being who was dwelling in their own misery.

Not long after my mom passed away, I found out that our unit was going to deploy again in the fall but to Iraq, a new place.  It was early spring at the time and when I found out I knew I had to get out.  I wasn’t fit.  My three-year obligation after commissioning was coming up in June.  I started the paperwork and got out, but…I lingered.  My wife was still in the area as a schoolteacher.  I just couldn’t find a way to leave.  The despair had me swirling around a circle in Fayetteville, NC.

Here it was in action. The Law of Attraction in the worst way that whole year. Always expecting something worse to happen and the worst happens…over and over again. Attracting more darker energy…

I became a homeless person.  I had a car and a little bit of savings.  I lived out of my car.  Gas stations and baby wipes became a way of life for hygiene.  I had a decent plan on sleeping in a safe place every night.  The apartment complex I lived in before I got out was a gated community and we had a sticker in the windshield…a sticker that was never removed.  This particular apartment complex had two others in the area that used the exact stickers.  I rotated between the three locations each night for almost four months.

I couldn’t leave, I just couldn’t.  Mentally I was stuck in a loop.  Despair.  Hope.  Maybe she’ll come back to me.  Maybe maybe maybe.

For some reason it seemed to make sense to go to bookstores and the library to hangout.  Read.  Catch cat naps.  After a couple months it started to dawn on me some of the same people I was seeing at the same locations.  Homeless vets.  Backpacks.  It was so bizarre and yet made some kind of weird sense.  I was beginning to follow the migratory patterns of a homeless vet near Fort Bragg.  I knew that eventually I would have to lose the car, grab a pack and join them.

TAP TAP TAP.  I was woken up at 6am in one of the apartment complex parking lots.  A female police officer was waking me up with her flashlight on my window.  “Sir, someone has noticed that you have been sleeping in your car an awful lot around here…”  I made up some kind of excuse about how my wife and I were having problems…not too far from the truth.  “Well you can’t sleep in your car, sir…”

Finally.  A catalyst to snap me out of it.  A break in the vicious mental loop.  Just enough to hear the Voice, “Go Home”.  It was just enough time for that Voice to create an interruption and my resolve to end this came pouring out.  This was a true test of my resiliency and whether or not I would actually Listen to the guidance being given to me.  I really wanted to give in to the despair.  To abandon my car and just become…Nothing.  A shadow.  That resiliency in my Soul brought me back.  To Fight for my Life.  To Live.  To Shine.

I Am an INFJ

I had never heard of the Myers-Briggs personality test until I went to my “majors” school (CGSC) at Fort Leavenworth in the summer of 2015.  Apparently, they like to get a little psychological snapshot assessment of the students before the school year starts.  It turned out that I was the only INFJ in my small group (15 of us per classroom).  Not the only introvert to be sure but it interested me to dive a little deeper into what this extra label I took on meant to me.

Famous INFJ’s include Oprah, Nelson Mandela and……Adam Sandler?  Interesting.  Allegedly this particular group I fell into is a very small percentage of the world, 1-2%.  Wow.  Made sense why I felt so utterly different than the majority, however, it was only two short years before this test that I found I was on more the empathic side.  Funny how INFJ’s have been called, The Mystic, The Counselor, and………Empath.  So, I was like, Ohhhhhh ok, my labels have all kind of merged together in the same group, INFJ.

There was something else about this INFJ/Empath that helped me get through all my school years, Marines, Army, virtually everything.  The Chameleon.  I suppose it’s kind of like a natural defense mechanism where I was always able to blend in so well.  Except for the past few years.  I dropped the defense and just allowed Me to come through.  When I had my Shift in consciousness, I was able to finally stand in my own strength of Who I Am without fear of repercussion of trying to “fit in” anymore.

It was humorous though when someone in our small group at CGSC found something about the Star Wars character equivalence to the 16 Myers-Briggs personality traits.  Good ole Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Counselor.  Wait, not just Obi-Wan! From Star Wars: A New Hope, we first meet him as Ben Kenobi.  Hey!  I’m Ben too!  Perfect.

Have a wonderful day, my friends, and if you are an INFJ reading this and are having problems in life then please feel free to drop me a line! Wait a minute, it doesn’t matter if you are an INFJ or not. ANYone having any problems dealing with anything and would like some outside, neutral guidance, then please feel free to drop a line 🙂