Canyon Lake Retreat – The Body


Here it is.  My getaway four-day weekend at Canyon Lake while I was stationed in San Antonio almost five years ago now.  I had this journal, The Wave, that I had gotten months prior but only used to capture either strange dreams or odd events that transpired around me.  Finally, I had a chance to put it to some real good use.  A Retreat for Me and to allow words just flow into me without much thought.  Reflect on my feelings of the past year in a variety of topics that came to me when they came to me.  It’s pretty private and I had never intended to share, BUT after this week everything has shifted into a new gear.  Fourteen sections beginning with today’s section.

The Body

The Mind

Spirit

The Deep Faith

Harmony

Getting Away

A Heading into Eternity

Love

Forever Now – Time

The Smile

The Human

The Heart Grows Fonder

Captain, Incoming Message

So Long

A Story (with Brevity in Mind)

4-5-14

There is no beginning and no end.  Hell of a way to start a story.  It’s just a Way.  My Way.  I didn’t intend to write anything.  You know how that “Voice” goes though.  If you surrendered, then you Always Listen.

The Body

The body is Amazing.  Trillions of components (actually infinite) all making the whole.  It’s the vehicle that makes this physical dimension possible.  The body is the key to developing the other aspects of Self. (Spirit/Mind)  There are these tremendously appropriate sayings we’ve always heard.  You are what you eat.  Garbage in Garbage out.  So true.  I like to think of it as Respect.  Do you respect yourSelf.  Do you?  How can the body even begin to have a chance being in a State of Joy.  A statement.  Not questioning.  Each and every cell, every atom needs nourishment of substance in order to Thrive.  This was the Beginning (but not really) for me.  It can start anywhere.  Mind/Body/Spirit.  The goal of which is Harmony.  All working together separately and as One.  A plan needs to be established for the daily sustenance which enriches the Body.  What is, where is this Plan?  It is communicated through the Spirit and Intellect.  It develops and Grows, and…It is for You.  The important thing is to BEGIN to lay a FOUNDATION.  Make it SOLID.  Continue to Build.  Never stop going Up.

Final Renewal

Continuing in my second command in San Antonio, I received word that I made the list for major (something I definitely wanted).  Also, a few months later, I found out that I was selected to be a resident at the Command General Staff College (CGSC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (also known as ILE, Intermediate Level Education for “majors”).  That was superb news.  They only take about 50% of the promotables to attend there on the campus.  The other half would have to take the online courses AND do their day job.  I knew what I wanted way before that time came up and focused on being a resident.  Living a higher vibrational frequency allowed me to manifest that goal easily.  When I finally arrived there in July 2015, something dawned on me.  I do not like school!  Never have.  It wasn’t until my shift in consciousness year of 2013 that I found I was more of a natural empath.  Looking back on my life, especially adolescence, teen years spent in school made so much sense.  I never felt like ME.  I was too much of everyone else.  I was the chameleon in school.  Fit in everywhere with everyone yet belonged no where to anyone.  That’s a rabbit hole I won’t go down right now.  The point being is that I was going to be stuck for one year in “class” again with 15 of my peers.  I never missed one day, unlike my childhood, however, it was very taxing on me.  I really had to keep myself centered and grounded.  Every morning before class I sat in my car for 5-10min and focused on a grounding meditation.  The year passed by and I survived.  Nothing substantial of note this year aside from kind of closing down my normal shining light which read, OPEN FOR BUSINESS.  The thing that made me chuckle though when I first arrived at the campus was the huge statue/sculpture out front of the main building.  A giant magic lamp, like as in Aladdin.  I thought to the Universe, “You’re wish is my command…”

I was afforded an opportunity to pick where to go next.  Well.  Sort of.  Two choices.  I could go to Kuwait or I could go to South Korea.  I did not hesitate to pick South Korea as I already had done the desert deal a couple times before (involuntarily).  I was going to be a part of the Transformation Cell at Camp Humphreys for the garrison there.  July 2016 through July 2017.  Eventually that morphed into me working for the Department of Plans, Training, Mobilization, and Security, also known as DPTMS.  DPTMS is a kind of like Operations for a garrison but to a greater extent.  A year passed there with again nothing significant, aside from a psychopath detonating a nuclear weapon 300 miles away.  Plus, I was not to keen on the idea of my President sending out scathing insults to the North Korean leader via Twitter.  That was kind of nuts.  It also helped cement the idea that when I came back home, I would make plans to retire.

I was so fortunate to have a branch, Field Artillery, that was willing to work with me on my retirement to such an extent that they gave me the opportunity to pick where I wanted to go.  I had one condition though.  I could not “NOT” retire.  I told him I was planning on retiring on Texas and he suggested Fort Hood.  He read my mind.  Exactly where I wanted to retire and had a considerable reputation on helping pave the road for future retirees.  They also ensured I was able to get another specialty job…DPTMS once again.  So fortunate, so blessed to work with the individuals there.  Most of whom were retired military and were now DACs (Department of the Army Civilians).  I received so much guidance and advice that there was no way my retirement path would not go exactly how I wanted it to.  It did.  And then some.  I had mentioned to some of them that I always felt a little bittersweet about being promoted to major.  I was no longer Captain America!  There was no such thing as Major America!  I was wrong.  Apparently, there is now with a giant framed picture they gave me.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Blown away with gratitude. 

My official retirement date occurred 1 August but with the leave time that I had accrued, I was out of the Army by mid-June.  The year of July 2017 through June 2018 I continued what I had started in 2013.  Starting every morning with Gratitude, prayer, affirmations, followed by meditation.  By holding myself in a continuous state of Positivity, I was able to ensure that I would retire with grace and ease.

Eight months later (where did the time go?), I find myself on Day 4 (today, 23 Feb 19) of my Hay House Mystical Connections Summit, and…and…well, hmmm, I guess you could say I am On Fire.  From past lives, to creating your dream life, to connect with your guides, tuning in to your guardian angel, to enhancing intuition……..On Fire.  I have looked at, delved into, skimmed but never really really conducted a Deep Dive in what will be about 28 topics when I am through.  In doing so, today, I can say, “Breakthrough”.  Mainly with my mind and meditation.  I changed the way I meditated 2/3s of the way through my morning meditation and, well it’s hard to explain, but “Ka-Blam”.  Afterwards, it reminded me of when I was a child.  Terrified of the water, couldn’t swim, but one day, around age 10, I started to doggy paddle somehow.  It was exciting. My mom signed me up for swim lessons and I was hooked.  Swimming became easy.  Effortless.  Now I feel like, Wow.  It’s like I am actually exercising my brain in a focused controlled state.  It’s incredible.  In the past, I would normally close my eyes focus on breathing, try and stay as blank as possible OR mantras of Oms or my favorite, the 7min Chakra Tune-up on YouTube.  This is different now.  Like I walked through a new door of Light. 

Anyway, apologies, as this went on longer than I would have liked.  However, during my sessions though, I was guided to eventually share a collection of thoughts I captured on a four day retreat I took back in April 2014 at Canyon Lake in Texas.  I just “got away” from it all.  Just over a year after my Shift, I needed time to reflect on that past year and capture my thoughts down in a journal out in nature.  Those thoughts brought to you via a WordPress site in the near future.

Renewal (5)

I’m there. I’m in San Antonio and in my second command for get this: Pre-Basic Training Soldiers at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center at Lackland Air Force Base. These kids have not been to basic training yet. Not until they enhance their English speaking skills at this school that is primarily for foreign military officers and senior noncommissioned officers before they train at US military training schools (kind of like a foreign exchange program in the military). This specific command was not something that Fort Sill generally has any control over. The brigade commander at Fort Sill has “some” oversight in an administrative capacity, but the positions for the company commander, company First Sergeant, and XO (generally a 1ST LT) are filled by Headquarters Department of the Army.  However, the leadership was in trouble down there and the basic training brigade commander wanted to put a by-name recommendation in to have one of his people there. Me. And there I was. As quickly as I had ended up on staff at Fort Sill coming out of battery command, was very similar to how quickly I ended up out of that staff job and into command once again. Back again working with Drill Sergeants. Yes! Anyway, one weekend a month after I had arrived, I decided to watch this YouTube video interview/documentary on Abraham Hicks (Jerry and Esther Hicks). Somewhere about 30min into the interview they start talking about how they had packed up and moved to San Antonio…I was like, No Way. I hit pause and did a quick google search. Found their website and I was like, you know they always go around the country and do these Law of Attraction seminar workshops…what are the odds that they would ever do that in San Antonio? Odds are GREAT. There was one coming up in three months. I felt like something was coming over me. I started going on autopilot. Rapid instructions were flooding my mind. Do this, do that, do this……I immediately purchased a ticket to the event, next I found out it was being held at some convention room at some hotel. I went to my expedia, found the hotel, and booked a room there for one night, the night before the event. I was backwards planning how everything was going to happen. I would get there early Friday, have a nice dinner, go to bed early and wake up to go to the hotel fitness room. Run 3mi and do some light lifting. Shower, fuel the body, check out of hotel, and head to the convention room. Anyway, I came out of the trance or whatever I was in. Felt a little bit flushed and then a “what the hell did I just do?” feeling came over me. I was like, what the heck man! You LIVE in San Antonio why would you bother getting a hotel for a place that is no doubt just down the road! So here I am laughing at myself and go on google maps. I find the hotel and see it is in northern San Antonio where I am more on the west side…18mi away. I’m like, huh, looks like that is the fancy pants part of SA. I start to zoom in on the area and then as I start zooming closer and the area is beginning to enlarge, I’m like…Holy Crap Batman. La Cantera??? It came back to me. Impossible. The very same hotel that Carrie and I stayed in 10yrs earlier.  Now, full circle, and stationed in SA…just how I imagined at this very same hotel. If there was any doubt about the Law of Attraction in my mind it completely dissipated in that moment. Amazing.

Renewal (3)

Something big came down the pipe in late April 2013 from our higher headquarters. A tasking to provide a name for the Commanding General’s Aide-de-Camp.  This type of tasking would normally be sent down to all the battalions, they would all provide a candidate, and the brigade commander would decide who he would select. I decided I wanted to bypass all that.  I WANTED IT. I read through the job description and I was like, Yes, and Yes, and oh Yes absolutely.  This job is MINE. No doubt. The brigade commander was on board and so I became the nominee for the general’s aide for our brigade. A month and a half later I had everyone in my unit convinced that I was going to be selected.  No doubt whatsoever. By mid-June I had a new boss, a new brigade operations officer or S3 (a major). Coincidentally, I happened to know him pretty well.  He was my battalion executive officer (XO) when I was a battery commander. Kind of a spazz when things seem a little overwhelming, which is what happened to him when he took the job. There was basically no transition time between my outgoing and incoming bosses, but he had me…or did he? As I had the entire brigade convinced that I was going to be the next aide, him included, how can I assist him in the craziness of our current state of brigade operations? The biggest being the preparation/execution of the brigade’s biggest yearly event, Holiday Block Leave. This event is where we send up to 5,000 basic training Soldiers home for the holidays.  Kind of crazy and not something I was in agreement with but hey what can you do except execute.  Holiday Block Leave was mainly my baby and under my purview and with me leaving there was no subject matter expert to take my place (yet). The world was kind of falling in on him, it didn’t take an empath to see that. So here’s something that came to me: A deal with the Universe. I proclaimed that I would be absolutely fine if I didn’t get the general’s aide job, and then I would be there for MAJ Harrison and he wouldn’t have to worry anymore. Let Go. Surrender. About another week went by and I had my interview finally with Major General MacDonald. It went GREAT. We really hit it off, and the small world of it all was he at one time, commanded the same battalion I served in at Fort Bragg, 3/321. I was feeling really good about the interview but never lost perspective on the deal I had made. There was still one more interviewee to go and after another week, the general’s current aide called me……I knew it as soon as I heard his voice.  Didn’t get it.  I felt such a tremendous release/relief and thanked him. Now I could get back to WORK. So as it goes, my brigade commander was waiting for the decision to be announced before I had my senior rater counseling with him for my evaluation report. In that counseling session I was a bit taken aback when I was reading his comments…#1 captain out of 37 captains that he senior rated…?  What the…??? Then I’ll never forget this. He leans back in his chair, hands behind his head and whimsically says, “So what do you think about San Antonio?”  Say whaaaaaaaaaaat??? “Ben, how would you like a second command…in San Antonio?” Yes, sir.  YES, SIR, ABSOLUTELY.

ReNewal (2)

Things really started to shift in perspective for me. I thought about the Operations Orders I would write that would affect up to 5,000 Soldiers in basic training, plus all of the cadre / Drill Sergeants instructing them. How hard would it be to write an order for My Life and expect me to execute it? Not hard at all the Voice informed me. Not hard at all. Within five months I had lost 50lbs, ran my first marathon in seven years, became the most positive individual my brigade has ever seen, and became the brigade commanders #1 captain out of 37 captains he senior rated (although I had no idea at the time). AND. Made the discovery of Synchronicity. An idea/concept that I never realized how powerful it was until I changed the Universe around me.

But back around mid-February 2013 I started to expand my Law of Attraction horizons by going to The Secret’s website.  It was there that I discovered their “tools” and one of those tools was a little slideshow set to music displaying The Optimist Creed by Christian D. Larson. Blew. My. Mind. I was like, “Yes. Yes yes yes yes. This is something I need to make a part of my EVERY DAY living.” And it became my mantra, morning, noon, and night.  The New Me. In May 2013, I had three strange encounters from three completely different individuals within a week. Each one of these folks I had not seen in varying time periods.  I had not seen my massage therapist in a month and a half. I had not seen my boss’ wife in three months, and had not seen one of my former Drill Sergeant’s wife in about a year. It started with my massage therapist. I’m on the table and she says, “Wow that’s strange. How tall are you?”, and I tell her, six-two, and she is like, “You seem to be…longer…” I’m thinking, “Longer? That’s an interesting choice of words!” My next encounter was bumping into one of my former Drill Sergeants and his wife at the mall. His wife was like, “Did you lose weight? You look a lot longer…”  We spoke for a few minutes longer and then continued on, but left me with that strange feeling of being longer. The last engagement was with my boss’ wife while at work. She came in to bring him lunch and enjoy lunch with him. I hadn’t seen her since I first met her three months earlier.  I threw out a, “Hey, ma’am, long time no see…” and she threw me a, “Well you’re looking longer…….”  And I’m like, in my mind, “W T F is up?”  How is it that three complete strangers to each other come up with the same descriptive word for me?  I think the closest I came to figuring this out was that my vibrational frequency had changed so much that it (subliminally) produced that elongated “thought” into their minds.  I don’t know though.  Those were the only ones and only during that very small window of time that it happened. Strange!

ReNewal (1)

It has been almost six years since I have begun to live my life more experientially. Living with purpose. Living to live more. What a fantastic journey it has been. Every moment leading to the next until I am always Here in this Moment. I felt guided for a change of venue in my life and to look at the past as I push onward into the future. I’d like to talk about synchronicity and peeling back the layers of Self to a truer identity that dwells beneath it all. That which is behind all of us; that Higher Self, our Soul, whatever label you want to put onto that energy. It’s there guiding us if we are willing to listen with an open heart.

In 2011, I came back from a three-year tour in Germany (minus one in Iraq during that time), but it wasn’t just me coming back. I had an inconvenient friend as well. A titanium plate and eight screws in my left, not so funny, humerus. Being on a limited duty status for a while will tend to let yourself “go”. Physically/mentally whatnot. I did make a discovery though while back home…Netflix, and on there I found, The Secret; which as everyone knows is the Law of Attraction. Really put my life into perspective! I was looking at my life in a new light now and for the better part of a year, every night, I would fall asleep to The Secret, and if I woke up in the middle of the night I would put it back on. I can recall the point virtually where I would fall asleep shortly thereafter when Mike Dooley would say, “Thoughts…become…things…”, as he would enunciate this by using his fingers to drive the point home. Towards the end of 2012 I really thought I had a handle on the Law of Attraction and what it meant to me. I had no clue. I was in command at the time (battery commander for basic training at Fort Sill) and was selected to interview for a second command. I was All In for that. Instead I had no idea that the brigade commander secretly had another plan for me. Brigade Operations. He really needed help there on staff, so instead of getting my second command, I am back to the grindstone again.

I mean it was fine though. Gainfully employed, plus there is kind of a relief you get coming out of a command position where the weight of the world is lifted a bit. The weight of responsibility. I’m working on staff in operations for a couple months when one day my boss (an Army major) says to me, ”Ben, it’s just me and you up here!”, even though we had a few civilians and Soldiers, he didn’t feel confident in their skill sets. This is where I started to make a shift in my mental dynamics. To become Better for “him”. He needed me to be more and so I completely cut out drinking. I didn’t drink every day, but probably too much on the weekends that really had me off balance for the first part of the week. I needed to be better than that. This was in December 2012 and already had some thoughts about the upcoming year. Like eating more organic and starting to get back to a regular fitness regimen. Well January 2013 came and I started to do exactly that. After one week of it, my new First Sergeant came to my office to inform me that since I was no longer on a temporary profile for my arm (I had made it a permanent profile) that I was eligible for a PT test. I was like, hmmmm great, I just started a new routine and I have an Army Physical Fitness Test in two weeks. I passed. Bare minimum. The problem laid in the next phase of that morning…the weigh-in. Turns out that I was 20lbs over my max weight in the Army for my height and age. So when you are over, they tape you. It’s a fairly humiliating experience where you go into the First Sergeants (1SG) office and remove your shirt while another noncommissioned officer starts the measurements and 1SG writes them down. In my mind, I was……MORTIFIED. A captain in the Army. Gut hanging out, listening to measurements, and inside my mind I am just screaming out loud to absolutely no one/no thing and yet……I was.  All of the sudden in those brief seconds as this was all taking place, I felt this stillness, this calm wash over me, and I heard this Voice say, “Are you ready to listen to me now?”, and it was in that moment when I mentally said, “Yes”, that I surrendered to my SELF. My Higher-Self. Right after that YES I started to receive instructions. You need to become a vegetarian. I’m like, “Yes, absolutely, I’m all yours.”  To the 1SG, as I was walking out, I said, “Can I come and see you in one month for a weigh-in?” He told me I sure could, and in one month I was one pound under my max weight. Otherwise I would have been flagged for being overweight and not looking so good for me and the home team for future promotion (or EMPLOYMENT). So it went, I received instructions and then I implemented them.  Meditate. Pray. Recite positive affirmations Out Loud, not just read them silently to the space and void that is in your mind, but sending out a verbal vibrational frequency that is felt from the words you say and received back with the ears you hear with. 

A long and short message to this point in time takes me back to Dec 2012 when I was incorrectly trying to be “better” for someone else, my boss. The lesson to me was that I needed to become a better version of Me. The Shift had begun.

Spiral Staircases

It came to me this morning.  This beautiful image of a never-ending spiral staircase.  My energy continues up step by step.  I keep changing as I climb and am looking forward to these next steps as they quickly approach yet seemingly an eternity stretches as my foot moves.  There is no rush.

I have been climbing for a while.  We all have.  I went from an enlisted Marine, to Army officer (retired), to a Guest Services Topgolf associate, to……..Spider-Man Cowboy.  OR basically, whoever I want to be.  Everything I have envisioned and held onto became my reality and my reality now is that I reached a point where I can literally do whatever I want and be unconcerned about finances.  EXACTLY how I envisioned.  The question now is, “Who do I become?”.  I started a meetup for people who want to gather together and learn how to roller skate.  I feel like this is more a warmup, a precursor to a New Phase.

My inner guidance system, the Voice in my head, is telling me to write again.  To share and to most of all…Help.

My earliest years I remember helping were at the Jo-Ann Fabric’s store in sleepy Warren, Ohio.  I was not there by choice haha.  My mom, the seamstress and home economics teacher, would always bring me.  I put myself to work there by opening the front entrance door for all the ladies coming and going.  So from an early age I had good practice.

Apparently, I need to come back to Live in the Light and continue Living in the Light and write.  Previously I had been focused on posting about high vibrational living, life of an empath, The Shift etc etc.  I never wrote about, “How I got there”.  How I used the Law of Attraction to manifest.  How I realized that the Law of Attraction was a stepping stone to something much much bigger.  Infinitely bigger you might say.

And so we begin…a series of monthly entries that led me from Oklahoma, to Texas, to Kansas, to South Korea, and back to Texas…….Present Day.

Be safe my friends!