Handy Hardware

Hi!  Been a while! Few weeks maybe? Not like I had any excuse not to write but well I suppose life pushed me another way.  I’ll be honest with you, I’m not a fan of breaking bones.  The feature photo is pretty much a testament to that.  No, no, no that was nine years ago.  However, recently I did take an unfortunate “intentional” spill while roller skating.  Intentional as in I had to “or else” type of a deal.  A little girl came literally out of nowhere!  I couldn’t even think, just drop, and as it had been about 30yrs since I last fell, I was not used to it and landed exactly how I shouldn’t have.  Brace my fall when I hit the ground and…ouch.  Small fracture on my right wrist with a cast for a few weeks to boot.  I remember in the moment thinking how bad it hurt but at the same time a sigh of relief that I didn’t ruin that little girl’s day.  I tried to act cool, shook it off, continued on, and on, and on until it really started throbbing.  Yes, I need to leave.  As I was unlacing, I knew right away that I had to go to the hospital.  Couldn’t move my hand.  I was like, Oh crap. So, a cast and a few weeks excusing myself from typing things.  I’ll be honest though; I was not happy about the cast.  I wanted to gnaw it off.  It even slightly depressed me. Me. ME?  I thought it was impossible, but it happened and after a week or so, I knew there was a lesson here for me. Take a step back, Ben, and then a few more steps back. Slow down.  I really did not have to be going as fast as I was when the little girl came out.  Not necessary.  I’m more about precision and finesse. I am ready to go back.

Nine years ago, I had to learn a lot of lessons.  The main thing I was learning was how to feel sorry for myself.  Lessons in pain management without prescription medication (not a fan). On the right-hand side of the photo above of my left, not so funny, humerus, is the first surgery.  A rod, two pins at the shoulder and elbow areas. I spent six months pretty much suffering in silence.  No clue that the double fracture was not even healing.  No union.  It wasn’t until my brigade surgeon asked me when my last x-ray was…I was like, oh man, ummm right after the surgery.  No follow-ups and I am generally too stubborn to go to the doctor as, “I got this”.  I didn’t.  A second surgery to install a plate with a bunch of screws, bone from my hip, and a heck of a scar.  I remember at the time that the doctor’s orders were to have the plate removed after 18 months.  By that time, I was stateside again, and when I went into orthopedics at Fort Sill, they were adamant that it was not coming out.  Period. I absolutely refused to believe that. No way.  It’s coming out.  I was having these infrequent but frequent enough for concern issues where my arm would feel like an electric shock for a split second and I my arm would just go numb.  I’m like, I need a second opinion, this is BS.  There is a screw or screws that’s rubbing against the wrong thing in my arm to make it go kablooey.  I managed to convince the doc for a second opinion where I traveled down south to Fort Sam Houston and saw a traumatologist. He was probably the most intelligent sounding doctor to this day that I have ever come across. He told me he could take it out, but he also very clearly articulated what was going on in my arm. Scar tissue. The scar tissue was rubbing the radial nerve at times. He said that with another surgery the scar tissue would more than likely be exacerbated annnnnnnnnnnd…I could potentially lose the use of my arm permanently.

As Stan Lee was fond of saying, “’nuff said”. I spent the rest of the day in kind of a numb daze. The rest of my life. Within six months after that second opinion, my Shift occurred. I began living intentionally. I had used my arm as a crutch, an excuse for so many things, and deep down inside I knew it was BS. This hardware was a part of me now.  I decided that if was a part of me then I am a part of it. It is Me. No more wallowing in self-pity. I’m a runner, a roller skater. My arms aid me in my momentum. My arms are my wings. In over six and a half years I have never had any more arm numbing experiences.

There is a profound sense of well-being when you Surrender. I am not giving up.  I Let Go and Let God.

Have a great week everyone!

A Crucial Key…For Me (Law of Attraction “Master Note”, not footnote)

Hi there!  I felt the need to highlight something that I glossed over / overlooked when I was writing my ReNewal (3) blog post.  I was on my run this morning and doing as I do, I either reflect on the past, look forward to the future, and also enjoy the moment I am in (particularly breathing, Love It).  So, I was reflecting on my 2013 “Awakening” / Shifting year and feeling the gratitude that encompasses it all.  But I remembered a Crucial Key that I just breezed right over in that aforementioned blog post.  There was something else in the background at that time and dawned on me this morning.  I wrote how I was comfortable with the idea of giving up the “dream job” being a general’s aide in order to assist my incoming boss who was panicking that I was leaving, and he would be left to fend alone.  There WAS something else.  My Soul Sister was deployed to Afghanistan beginning the summer of 2012.  It was strange being on the other end of sending letters and care packages as opposed to receiving them whilst downrange.  She was always in the forefront of my mind in wishing her well, praying for her safe return.  She was coming back at the end of July 2013 and was going to be on leave for quite a while.  She had this amazing week planned where we would meet up in Las Vegas and really paint the town.  There was one small problem with this plan though.  When I got the job as the general’s aide, I would NOT be going on the dream vacation / reunion with my sister.  I would be at a general’s beck and call.  I knew she would be incredibly disappointed and so would have I, even double so as I am on the more empathic side picking up her disappointment on top of my own.  Law of Attraction-wise…I know that deep deep down I would have wanted to see her again after being separated for more than a year rather than getting that dream job that I knew was mine.  In the blog, ReNewal (3), I got the word that I didn’t get the position, felt the relief wash over me and an eagerness to Get to Work for my new boss………and put in my leave papers to go to Las Vegas to be with my sister.  On the run this morning, I realized what my Heart truly wanted to do.  Be together again with my best friend and see her with my own eyes knowing that she was back home.  Safe and sound.  She truly was the Crucial Key to get me to my REAL dream job in San Antonio later that year.  Amazing!

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.

Retirement Reverie

Last week, my sister inquired about what I had been writing about lately and I was like, what a coincidence you should ask, I wrote about my Infinite Christmas.  She thought that was cool but suggested I write about what it’s been like retired for the past year.  Yes.  Great idea.  Thank you.

You must understand; I started my military journey in 1992 on Parris Island.  This is my THIRD time getting out and fortunately my last.  My ex-wife convinced me to leave the Marines in 1998 and go to college, get a degree etc.  I compromised with the caveat of potentially coming back into service as an officer.  It was really hard though.  I LOVED being a Marine.  I loved my job as a combat marksmanship instructor for Marine Corps Security Forces in Chesapeake, VA.  LOVED shooting competitions in the Marines.  That was all gone before I knew it and I was a college student with a bunch of “punk kids” with no discipline in their bodies.  I was depressed for over a year.  I hated being a civilian.  Eventually time has a way of marching you through and my ex-wife, over the course of the next three years, convinced me that maybe I should consider joining the Army as an officer…which literally took three years to finally sit well enough with me.  I did it.

I received a BA in History and applied for Army Officer Candidate School (OCS).  Got it.  Commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the summer of 2002.  By spring of 2003 I was at Fort Bragg and by that November I found myself in Afghanistan.  During my time there, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer.  It had already spread to her liver etc.  Unbeknownst to me, my ex-wife at the same time began living a double life with a man she met while teaching (he was a teacher as well).  It wasn’t until I came home from Afghanistan did I realize how bad things were.  Mom is dying, and wife leaving me.  I wasn’t doing to well but somehow managed to keep it together.  At least until spring of 2005 when my mom died.  I made the promotion list for captain as well around the same time.  Also, around the same time our unit found out it was going to deploy again but to Iraq this time.  Something else was coming up in the summer of 2005…my three year “obligated” service time as an OCS commissioned officer.  I couldn’t do this.  I was a train wreck.  I put in my paperwork to get out.  I did not want to.  No way.  That wasn’t the plan when I first enlisted in 1992.  I was going to serve my time and retire with honor.  I got out and was living out of my car as a homeless person for three months (that’s a heck of a story).  I did find my way back home to Ohio and in less than a year I was feeling pretty damn good.  I wanted back in.

I applied to get my commission back in September 2006 and by the beginning of August 2007…I was back to finish what I started.  I enjoyed the rest of those 10 years until I retired.  I really was going to serve longer but Trump helped make up my mind on that decision while he was sending childish tweets to a psychopath less than 200 miles away from where I was stationed in South Korea.  However, the thing is…I didn’t mind!  I was HAPPY to get out.  The process was smooth and enjoyable.  I had so many people help mentor me throughout my last year.  It was Great.  One year ago last month I was Free of my obligation.  Not just to the Nation but to mySelf.  I made a declaration in 1992 and I was going to complete what I started.  And this past year?  It really flew by!  I had some amazing adventures in Colorado, Arizona, and of course in Texas where I retired to, BUT the best part of all is that I finally felt satisfied.  I am Living my Best Life and will continue to.  My Life My Terms.

Peace, My Friends!

Infinite Christmas

Six years ago, and a few months into my Shift in Awareness, I became absorbed by the notion of infinity.  I couldn’t shake it.  I got infinity paintings and pictures, plus a very cool wooden sculpture.  These things all led up to having the infinity symbol tattooed to my upper right shoulder.  Christmas that year found me enjoying the holidays with my Soul Sisters and they ensured I had the perfect BenGi Santa hat to celebrate with.  After I returned home, and was unpacking, Santa hat fell to the floor.  I picked it up and the first thing I saw was my infinity sculpture.  Really without thinking, I went over and placed the hat on the sculpture.  Infinite Christmas, I thought.  A constant reminder to enjoy and celebrate every single day.  This Gift of Life we have on a continuous basis.

Over the next year, the sisters came to visit me every now and then and remarked about how cool it was having Infinite Christmas around me every day.  It must have really struck an elegant note with them as they had a very special pillow made for me.  A Christmas present that following year.  Little messages of what they thought made up Me.  In the center of it, and in gold letters, Infinite Christmas.  It is probably one of the Greatest Christmas presents I ever received.

I guess my message is this:  Surround yourself with things that are a Reminder of this Gift of Life.  It doesn’t have to be an Infinite Christmas.  Listen to your Heart.  It will tell you how to honor your Life.

Because I live my life like a mirror, I reflect which I am most enveloped by.  I Choose to be surrounded by beautiful and amazing things to include a Christmas without end. 

Celebrate Life Eternally, My Friends 😊

Vision

A few months ago, I was guided to participate in a local Meetup.  This Meetup’s focus was on gathering together to create a vision board.  Utilizing the Law of Attraction, the vision board we create will help focus our intentions on becoming a reality.  For myself, this gathering was more of “getting out there” and trying something new, plus meeting new like-minded (Law of Attraction) people.  I really didn’t have anything in mind of what I wanted to attract into my life aside from what I already have.  But fortunately, I was able to find just the right magazines to hone in on that.  My Vision can be summed up straight down the center of the board where: My Vision Starts Here.  Love Above All; Inside Joy (with a mirror next to it to reflect my Joy and continuously have that Joy reflected back to me); FAITH.  After I had that I was pretty much done…except it just looked so empty on the sides.  The side worked which intended to be just “window dressing” actually happened to fit in Just Right.  Exactly what I needed.

It was slightly embarrassing towards the end when we went around the table to discuss what we came up with.  Folks were looking to attract piles of money, romance, exotic vacations, beautiful homes etc, and then, me 😊.  It wasn’t really embarrassing for me, but I could Feel some uncomfortable energy coming from others.  I could Feel a little embarrassment of their (in their mind) selfish “wantings”.  After feeling that unexpected energy, I felt a need to elaborate a little more.  The feeling of internal Personal Happiness will by default, naturally Attract the things you want most out of life.  I felt a little better after that.  Lighter.  The mood got less dense and hopefully I just created some Inspiration on another’s Journey.

Peace and Blessings!

Canyon Lake Retreat – Captain Incoming Message and So Long (the conclusion)

The humor I mentioned much earlier…Well…It’s funny.  A year ago, in May (2013 as this retreat was in 2014), I was on the early morning run, somewhere between 0430-0500, running down Flower Mound Rd in Lawton, OK when all of the sudden the Voice in my head said, “STOP.”  I did.  “Turn around.”  I did.  “Look up.” I did and saw the vastness of space, and the stars and…what the…?  A star flashed brightly.  Perplexed I started to turn around, but I looked again, FLASH <again!>.  Incredible.  I was astonished but felt good, safe.  I was about to start running but had this thought.  I have some kind of star map app on my phone.  Held it up and gave the star that flashed a name.  Alderamin.  Never heard of it.  Anyway, this all doesn’t sound all that funny but a couple weeks later, about the same time of the morning, different road, the Voice said, “STOP, look up…”  I’m like, OK?  I see stars!  That’s it?  When all of the sudden over my headphones I hear, “CAPTAIN, INCOMING MESSAGE!” (Mr. Worf from Star Trek, incoming text/email sound byte).  And then what I felt/heard…Laughter.  Like someone was playing a cosmic prank on me!  Funny.  (There is a lot of them but just hitting a couple of the biggies)  A few months later at my friend/soul sister’s apartment just after the whole Beth Episode (maybe some other day) and was walking from her bathroom back to the living room (barefoot), thinking about Beth, a strange quirky smile and this indescribable FEELING and…SPLAT.  Walked right onto Sushi or Snoopy’s dog poo.  Heard the Laughter again.  There IS this playful sense of humor in the Universe which has fun with us all the time and when you are tuned in, you can laugh too 😀

So Long…

There is never goodbye.  Just till the next moment.  My Moment at Canyon Lake is moving into the next moment.  It was Quiet.  It was Fun.  I Am Here to Have Fun.  BUT.  I am also here to Help.  A kind word here and there.  Ernest advice.  An ear to Listen.  A Smile…Infinitely