Break

I was so close to allow myself to just slam the door.  I really need a break from computers and tech.  I was actually going to just close this wordpress door in 2020 but I really need to do so much earlier. 

I am a huge fan of the Universe.  I love life.  I also love my country.  I never delved into the actual WHY I retired from the Army.

Trump.

I just couldn’t believe it.  Here I am in South Korea in 2017 and my Commander in Chief is literally “childishly” insulting the leader of North Korea.  Little Rocket Man?  Who says that?  I am 300mi away from someone conducting underground NUCLEAR tests that we are feeling down south.  Earthquakes that have never been felt that far south and here I am in my little slice of heaven shaking in a building (5th floor) that I am expecting to collapse in any moment.

I’ll never talk about the crap I, or my comrades in arms, experienced in Afghanistan and Iraq, but this? 

I knew I couldn’t serve a selfish child.  I had to get out, and damn proud I did.  I could never serve a President who obviously did not respect me.  It’s funny how life is.  I genuinely would still be serving my country with honor if I had someone I even remotely respected. 

I am so glad I saw the writing on the wall when I did.  I’m not a talented psychic like some people are, but I can feel possible futures.  Here I am seeing it played out like some karmic cosmic Greek tragedy.

I was so embarrassed living in South Korea.  I draped my country’s shame around me like a blanket and was like, “Yup, we are truly a-holes now.”

And now?  It was so inevitable and extremely surprised it took this long to impeach an incredibly horrible human being.  Paying off porn stars to “not talk”?  WHAT?  The worst things coming out of a human being’s mouth and people dismiss it?  “That’s Trump” and continue on with life.  Our country.  My country?

I have been so humbled and honored that anyone would even read one word I write, and most are from around the world.  And.  I am so sorry.  I am apologizing for all Americans.  This is not what we signed up for when we were born in this country.  I am so embarrassed.

I need time to get past this.  Focus on training.  I really wish you all the best in 2020.  I have been waiting for this year for 50yrs (literally haha).  Hindsight and all that lol. 

Oh, and if you feel alone or lonely, just close your eyes, talk out loud to your guardian angels.  They are just waiting for you to ask for help.

Blessings

“Almost 50” Ben :D, Skate Jamm master and Marathon Runner 😉

aka BenJammin

PS: on behalf of my sisters and Sushi, Snoopy, Stewie, and Sofie, I wish you all safe holidays, journeys, and to the Bright Future ahead

Speed Bump Irony

How in the heck can a speed bump ever be ironic?  I’m just baffled and laughing at myself.

Yesterday morning, the cool and slightly interesting thing that I noticed while heading back home on my run was this one particular moment that I was able to witness.  Two cars both going in opposite directions.  Yet somehow they both manage to hit this speed bump at the exact same time.  What was fascinating was that the one car on their way out of the community did not even pause a beat when they hit the speed bump.  Literally just flew right over it.  The other car was incredibly slow and cautious and rightfully so!  It’s a pretty decent bump!  They were driving a sedan and the other speedy person was in some type of sport utility vehicle.

After I witnessed that moment, the gears were turning in my mind.  One of those metaphor moments where some people do not let anything impede their progress while others take things maybe a little too hesitantly.  I had this whole conversation with myself about it for the next 10 minutes or so.  After I got home though, I thought, naw, who needs to hear about the speed bumps that life throws at you.  At least that is until this morning.

I have a marathon coming up in January (a week after I turn 50, yeehaw!) and so I’ve been expanding my run route in my community to roads that I do not normally run on.  Saturday is the long run day, so I was going to do what I did last weekend but add a little more.  No biggie.  So, I am running this morning, haven’t even hit one mile yet and heading down this “new” road which I just expanded on last weekend.  Very dark, streetlamps are out.  Suddenly…BAM!  Foot hits something and I start to stumble forward and I am like, You have got to be kidding me!!!  I just tripped over this exact speed bump one week ago and told myself, in that moment, not gonna happen next week!  But I did!  I couldn’t help myself but to laugh.  ESPECIALLY after my whole speed bump viewing scenario the morning before on a different street!  How ironic.

I know I’m going to let this simmer in the back of my mind for the rest of the day as far as the message to myself.  What is the universe trying to tell me? 

Sometimes you must be cautious, sometimes you need to plow right through no matter the obstacle, and sometimes you just get tripped up no matter what. OR maybe that is a road that I never should go down ever again.

Hmmm.  You hit a bump in the road of life that comes at you unexpectedly and almost miserably fall.  The next time you willingly go down that same road again and the exact thing happens to you.  Maybe you are looking to fall…Don’t. 

I dunno.  They are just speed bumps.  Probably thinking too deeply again haha. On another slightly humorous note…there are no Speed Bump Ahead signs in my community.

Be safe, be well, take care!  

Giving Thanks

I am a huge fan of Life.  I love living it.  Almost seven years ago I made the decision to begin living with purpose as opposed to just “living”/existing.  I remember early on in 2013 when I discovered Dr. Wayne Dyer something that he did daily that really struck a chord with me.  The very first thing he did was to say Thank You three times as soon as his feet touched the floor as he was getting out of bed.  Starting the day off with gratitude.  That was something I decided to add to the beginning of my laundry list of morning affirmations and prayers.

Thanksgiving comes once a year and is an amazing time to connect with family and loved ones but Giving Thanks daily is something that should not be overlooked.  For me, it is incredibly important to express my gratitude, my thanks for this amazing abundant life I am living in.  Sometimes while walking around the house I pause and then it hits me.  This wave of gratitude.  It hitches my breath.  It’s like an incredible dream that I am fully immersed in.  Yesterday morning, after my run, I was walking around outside the house in cooldown and got to the backyard.  Looked towards the sunrise and I lost my breath once again.  I am not a very good photographer, but I could not help but capture that moment of pure joy.

I am so grateful for this community of WordPress in which we can connect.  Thank you for taking the time to stop by and thank you so much for the messages in which you spread as well.  I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!  May you and yours be filled with joy and harmony during this special time.  Let’s continue to positively raise the frequency of our world and Shine our Light.

Thank you

Thank You

Thank YOU

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!

My Mom

Recently, I had the honor and blessing to be a guest blogger for The Godly Chic Diaries ( https://gcdiaries.wordpress.com/2019/08/16/to-jean-love-your-son/ ).  I am so grateful to June for giving me that tremendous opportunity!

My mom had been on my mind and that is who I needed to write about.  I still do.  I wrote about her last moments here on earth and my time that I was fortunately able to spend with her before she moved on.  I wouldn’t be here to write anything at all if she had made different choices in life.  I am so happy she chose to have me, and I believe in my heart that I know she made the right choice as well.

Jean wanted to be a schoolteacher and Ashland College (now Ashland University) is where that dream would come true.  Along with college came meeting boys and for her it was Patrick.  They eventually became intimate and with intimacy came the news that she was pregnant. As far as I knew for years afterward was the story that Pat just cut his ties with her and that was that.  She wanted to have me even though she wasn’t married and back in 1969 that was pretty taboo.  Especially for a family like mine that gets embarrassed over small family dramas.  There were some quick solutions though.  One was to drop out of college.  Another was to move into a small cottage out in the country when she began to show.  The cottage was on a farm down the road from my great aunt and uncle who were good friends of the farmer and his wife.  Next, and shaking my head now writing this at the absurdity, was where I was born.  Luckily for the family, we lived very close to the Pennsylvania border.  They got Jean set up with Sharon General hospital and that is where I was born.  Want to know why?  The local paper would not show my birth record…it would be in another state.  Weird but that was the mentality back then.  It’s like all the sudden Jean disappears and then several months later reappears with a bundle of joy.  You know what?  So what.  She would have gone through all of that again if she had to.

She went back to college after a couple years and took me with her.  There were a couple very cheap babysitters that she could rely on for support while in class.  She finished college and achieved her goal as a single mom.  She was now a schoolteacher and secured a Home Economics teaching position at an inner-city school in Youngstown, OH.  Primarily she was teaching sewing for her first several years which was a humorous detriment to myself.  Detriment at the time and humorous now.  She made a LOT of my clothes.  Don’t get me wrong though, that woman could sew with the best of them.  I believe I drew a line in the sand back in the 80s when I wanted a pair of Jordache jeans like all the other kids and she made me her own version.  It didn’t not go over well with the other kids.  I was called Generic Jordache.  I was mortified BUT as she saw how distressed I was…got me a really cool pair of Jordache jeans. 

I believe I was 10 or 11 years old when I made a discovery in the basement.  An old box with knickknacks and things and some old letters?  From Patrick.  Wow.  No emails back in the late 60s and Pat had a way with words.  Every letter had a different greeting, Dear Sweetie Pie,  Dear My Darling Doll etc, you get the idea.  They were all pretty rated G and full of lovey dovey talk.  I was very intrigued though and could read very well with, thanks to my mom, and extraordinary vocabulary for my age.  There were a lot of letters to read through.  This is the closest I have come to knowing my biological father and my mom’s relationship with him.  I got to the last letter in the stack.  It was a different tone right off the bat because it started off, Dear Jean…that’s strange.  I felt hollow at the end of it.  Numb even.  Even to this day probably the most soul ripping words I had or ever will read.  I will just give the wavetops.  He wanted her to get an abortion.  He had his whole future ahead of him etc.  I took that letter to the backyard and burned it.  My life was never the same since.  My relationship with my mother took on a whole other meaning.  She chose me.  Me.  She had the courage to live in her own truth and integrity.

For several years I was also a bit insecure though as well.  I thought of myself as a mistake.  An error that God made.  Oops.  I always felt so different than everyone else and WAS so different than everyone else that I always attributed it to my being that mistake.  The funny thing is…God doesn’t make mistakes.  I was born for a reason and I am here for a reason.  I will continue to shine my light until my last breath.  My mom brought me into this world.  She took care of me, she nurtured me, and I honor her here and now and Always.  I love you, Mom.

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.

Body Changes

I decided to pull a card today from the Butterfly Oracle Cards for Life Changes by Doreen Virtue.  I wanted to write something at least once a week and the Wednesday mid-week scene seemed the best time.  I just was a bit unsure though.  I have a lot to talk about but some of these things just do not feel right, right now.  Hence the card pulling and see what I Feel from that.  Body Changes.  Well that’s interesting.  Definitely a lot has transpired there in the last 25yrs or so.  The funny/amazing thing is that now that I am closing in on 50 in six months, I feel better than I did at age 20.  Seriously, it’s fascinating.  I remember in my 20s I would develop injuries/pain in my ankles and shins back in my Marine Corps days.  In my 30s, I was having issues with my knees on a regular basis.  By late 30s/early 40s it was my lower back on top of all of that.  I was breaking down as the years wore on.  But……….

By age 43 I changed what I ate (became a vegetarian) and developed my holistic mind/body/spirit regimen.  Six years later, as I reflect on the time that has gone by…I feel Great.  So much so that I signed up for my next marathon, albeit not until Jan 2020 (and will be approx. a week after I turn 50).  The body mind spirit connection is so incredible and you hear these truly inspiring stories out there about older individuals completing the most monumental achievements.  I think the one that sticks out the most is a 94yr old lady who was a two-time cancer survivor who became the oldest woman to complete a half-marathon (San Diego Rock-n-Roll 2017), BUT it wasn’t two years earlier that she became the oldest woman to complete a full marathon at 92.  Amazing.

The human body is an incredible machine if you treat it with the utmost respect that it deserves………it’s You.

Have a wonderful week, my friends!

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 😊