Blog Post # 225 – Who is Responsible?

Who is responsible?

Who is responsible for my happiness?

I am.

Not my spouse, not my child, not my boss, not my friend.

I am responsible for my own happiness.

Who is responsible for my freedom?

I am.

Only I can free myself from the bad circumstances that bind me.

I am responsible for my own freedom.

Who is responsible for my body?

I am.

I alone choose what food goes into my body and whether or not I exercise.

I am responsible for my body.

Who is responsible for my centeredness?

I am.

The only person who can make time for me to get focused and present is me.

I am responsible for my centeredness.

Who is responsible for my success?

I am.

No one else can bring me success, no matter how hard they try.

I am responsible for my success.
Who is responsible for my life?

I am.

The world owes me nothing and offers no guarantees.

I am responsible for my life.

The question then is when will I take responsibility?

Stop blaming others.

Look inside to the person that I truly am.

My happiness.

My freedom.

My body.

My centeredness.

My success.

My life.

They are each my responsibility and my responsibility alone.

Blog Post # 224 – A Tiny Step

When we get stuck, it may be helpful to ask ourselves this question –

“What is the least amount that I can do today to move forward on this issue?”

A tiny step.

A pattern interrupt.

A break.

Resistance can be hard to recognize.

The unwillingness takes over.

We struggle to understand why we resist that which is good for us.

But maybe we are asking the wrong question.

Maybe, instead of asking why this is happening, we may ask how do I get out of this?

For me, making a little change today can help set me up for a slightly bigger change tomorrow.

To not try and make the change all at once.

Just a step or two towards where I want to be.

Resistance can be like a block of ice.

We can see where we want to be, but it seems far away.


Our small step today is the first break in the ice.

A crack in the wall.

And gets us on our way to a better tomorrow.

Blog Post # 223 – Inside Us

Inside us.

Everything that we need is inside us.

We don’t need a guru.

Don’t need a new self-improvement course.

The answer is internal.

Digging deeper.

Listening more.

Being still.

Opportunities abound, but what we need is focus.

An intuitive search for clarity.

Our solutions rest inside us.

We have studied enough.

The right answer will come to us.

If we center.

Let it come to the surface.

For if we do not center.

If we keep looking outside of ourselves for our own clarity.

We will be like Odysseus searching for a path back home.

Yet our focus will be in the wrong direction.

We must look inward and listen to our unfiltered intuition.

The whole world is waiting.

Inside us.

Blog Post # 222 – For Real

We say we work hard.

But do we really?

We claim to be grateful for this life we have.

But are we really?

We tell ourselves that we like to help others.

But when was the last time that we actually did?

There is the life we think we have.

And the life we really have.

The person we see ourselves as.

And the person that we really are.

Our job, of course, is to unify the person we want to be with the person that we actually are.

To be grateful, truly grateful, for the simple gift of being alive.

Of still drawing a breath.

Of still being mobile.

Of still contributing to the world around us.

And to use that gratitude to push ourselves to be the best person that we can be.

To (re)start down that path today.

Unity of the projected self and the actual self.

No one else can do it for us.

No book can instruct us how to do it.

We have to find it in ourselves to stretch, strive and struggle past our obstacles.

To our greatest selves.

For real.

Blog Post # 221 – Ancient Hatred

My eldest son has been studying Mesopotamia in history class.

The area where civilization began.

We quizzed Ismail off flash cards that he prepared this weekend.

Many of the questions were about military leaders and big battles that occurred three thousand years ago in and around modern-day Iraq.

Yesterday, I spent the day at the immigration office with two of my clients who are seeking asylum in the U.S.

They each fear returning to Iraq due to the sectarian violence.

Killing. Kidnapping. Ransom. Torture.

Religion. Race. Tribes. Ancient grievances.

I spent 7 hours with an asylum officer and my clients listening to a litany thing of horrible things that we humans do to each other.

When I got in the car, the NPR host was interviewing a woman who worked for Amnesty International studying the religious violence in Iraq as the Shia-backed Iraqi army retook Fallujah.

A new assault on Mosul began this week.

It occurred to me that we, as humans, have been fighting with each other since time began.

Hating each other. Killing each other. Justifying all of it in the name of fairness, religion or whatever other rationalization that we can come up with.

Ancient hatreds.

It really, really saddened me.

It is quite a thing to hear an immigration officer ask the beautiful 14 year old twin boys of one of my clients whether they had ever made a bomb, hurt anyone or kill anyone.

Luckily, American law provides that if my clients establish a credible fear of being persecuted if they return to Iraq, they will be allowed to stay.

One small step towards peace.

Saving lives and shielding our clients from hate.

The fact is, we cannot save everyone.

But if we can change the trajectory of the lives of even a few, all of the hard work is entirely worth it.

God bless them. God bless us. Peace.

Blog Post # 220 – Be Still

Be still.

Emphasis on be.

Be still and the answers will come.

Be still my monkey brain.

Be still my beating heart.

Be still.




Be still.

Be gone chatter.

Be gone distractions.

Be gone churning mind.

Be still.

The answers are there.

They are right there.

If we can only be still.

The distractions fight our stillness.

The noise tries to drown out the quiet.

We must be still.

Dig deeper.

Focus harder.

And be still.

Find a moment or two today to be still.

All of the distractions will be there waiting for us when we return from the stillness.

Until we are still once more.

Be still.

Blog Post # 219 – Without Us

We tell ourselves that they will not be able to manage, without us.

That things will not get done, without us.

Indeed, the world might stop, without us.

We use this mindset to drive us.

To motivate us, to keep us going.

Without us, the world is basically screwed.

At least that’s what we secretly think.

But the reality is that the world was here long before us.

And it will hopefully be around a whole lot longer after us.

Without us, the world will keep spinning.

Without us, life will go on.

Without us, our loved ones will be okay.

We need to let go of this delusion that the world will stop when we pass on.

It is simply vanity. And maybe a little fear thrown in.

Abandoning the mindset of our essentialness to the world frees us to simply live.

To live in the moment and realize that while we can and do contribute to the world in a meaningful way, we are not the center of the universe.

We are certainly unique and have our own abilities, but the world does not revolve around us.

The world will be just fine.

Humanity will survive.

Without us.

Blog Post # 218 – To Sleep


We don’t sleep enough.

We don’t get enough quality sleep.

A chronic lack of sleep can result in serious health problems.

We do too much.

We run around too much.

We don’t rest.

We fiddle with our devices right before bed, depriving us of sleep.

Our bodies are denied the ability to recharge.

We try and make up for this with caffeine, caffeine and more caffeine.

Coffee, soda and energy drinks are multi-million dollar businesses.

The thing is that we need more sleep so that we can be more awake.

More alive.

More present.

If our bodies are constantly seeking more sleep and rest and we repeatedly deny the sleep, it will catch up to us eventually.

For today, let us get the sleep and rest that we need.

Let us take breaks and give our body the ability to recharge.


Blog Post # 217 – Nothing Left


Nothing left.

Nothing left to give.

Nothing left to give to you.

No more ideas.

No more effort.

No more striving.

I give up.

I am done.

I check out.

I quit.

These words sound terrible.


Left for dead.

And they are false.

We always have more.

More left.

More to give.

More to give to those we love.

More ideas.

More effort.

More striving.

We can’t be beat.

We won’t be beat.

We will rise.

We will stand.

And we will keep going.

Because our destiny is bigger than this.

We were not put here to fail.

To quit.

To abandon ship.

Lo, we are here to soar.

And today we will.

Blog Post # 216 – Crimes and Misdemeanors

One of my favorite movies is Crimes and Misdemeanors, directed by Woody Allen.

Allen plays somewhat of a loser with impure thoughts.

Martin Landau plays a married man who is trying to end an affair with a woman who refuses to let him go (who could live without Martin Landau, right?).

Landau considers whether to have a hit man get rid of the woman.

His are the crimes, Allen’s dabbling in impurity the misdemeanors.

Both characters are connected to the moral center of the film, a man who is losing his eyesight played by Sam Waterston.

I often think of this movie and of our collective “sins.”

Some are crimes. Real crimes.

Most are just misdemeanors. Not so serious, but still an offense.

Allen’s movie, I think, makes the point that there are a whole lot more similarities between those of us committing crimes and those perpetrating misdemeanors.

We like to minimize our own culpability and to maximize the offense of others.

Not much compassion walking around these days.

The women and men sitting in prison are all someone’s son or daughter.

Many are married and a parent to someone.

We like to think that we are oh so very different than criminals.

But I am continually amazed at how we treat each other.

How we talk to each other.

All too often, the things we say are unkind, hurtful and damaging.

Not to mention our actions.

When did we become so angry? So jaded?

This environment of negativity is potent and very, very real.

Makes me sad.

For today, let us end our misdemeanors.

Let us bring peace to this world. Even if it is just in our own little sphere.

Anything else would be criminal.