May 2, 2017Comments are off for this post.

How To Make Happiness Come Easily.

Answer: Be present.

Recognize what you are up against. Importance. Legacy. Accumulation of power and wealth. Your character is under attack by marketers, salesman, corporations, and government. You are being sold a dangling carrot. Your life has a dollar amount attached to it. The work you do allows you to become a target for these marketing efforts. This is not a new idea- you've heard it many times. It seems to blow right past you as you put your head down and strive to level-up to the next rung of this economically driven world. I am saying it again not to add to the perpetually negative whine but because I hear a voice in the back of my own mind, and often out loud from others- "Why does it have to be so difficult? Why doesn't happiness come easily?" The answer is obvious yet I still struggle with it daily.

Happiness is only a feeling that comes with everything else. There is no happiness without sorrow and suffering. Your motivation should not be happiness alone. The elusive happiness can be felt when you decide to be present in your life and not compare yourself to the uncontrollable forces of your external world. The goals you are looking to achieve won't make you happy unless they are genuine. Money, careers, and even family won't make you happy unless your motivations are genuine. Accumulation is not a path to happiness. Sellers want you unhappy, unsatisfied, and perpetually wanting. The current world is not built on being present, it's built on yearning for something in the future- updates, new models, credit lines. It's not the devious plan of a secret society. It's economics. You are told repeatedly that you need more to feel more. You are told that happiness will come when you look a certain way, live in a specific place, surrounded by people that think highly of you. These are not wholesome community values. The part we need to reprogram in ourselves is that we don't need to achieve happiness. Happiness is a state you feel in contrast to everything else, it's not an achievement, it's a right. We all get to have happiness. We need to look past the marketing. It's not lawn chairs and palm trees, white picket fences, golden retrievers, lap bands and antidepressants.

Looking at the etymology of the word is interesting to me mostly because luck is involved:
happy (adj.)
late 14c., "lucky, favored by fortune, being in advantageous circumstances, prosperous;" of events, "turning out well," from hap (n.) "chance, fortune" + -y (2). Sense of "very glad" first recorded late 14c. Meaning "greatly pleased and content" is from 1520s. Old English had eadig (from ead "wealth, riches") and gesælig, which has become silly. Old English bliðe "happy" survives as blithe. From Greek to Irish, a great majority of the European words for "happy" at first meant "lucky." An exception is Welsh, where the word used first meant "wise."

When picking this apart we see luck, pleased and content, wealth, prosperous... but how much do you need? If it's just luck then we certainly shouldn't be in desperate search for something we have no control over- but really we have to look at the idea of happiness and what the concepts is to each of us personally. The Welsh seemed to be most in-line on an attainable happiness with "wise."

There is always another level. There is no level of success that will make you happy, there is always more. Success is not happiness. People looking up to you with envy will not feel like togetherness. Will having more than you need feel good?

I'm not saying that success is inherently negative. There are people that give back and do great things. Setting goals and working to achievement them will bring self worth. Adding works, technology, serving society often comes with great financial rewards. Having a lot, won't make you unhappy- It just won't make you more happy. We've all seen the documentaries about lotto winners and expensive purchases only temporarily giving you a "high" and how it takes more and more to get back to that level. This has been proven. What I'm saying goes one step further. Stop looking for happiness. It's false. Instead, be present. Recognize what it is that is casting darkness on your life- and take the steps to fix it. We need to take a moment to be present and focus on what is causing grief. Address the suffering and move on.

You have to choose at this moment that you have something to feel happy about, and then choose again in the next moment. Continue to embrace life for the mysterious difficult adventure that it is. Sadness will come, sorrow will come- be present in those moments as well. Choose to be present in whatever wave of emotion that is passing through you. YOU are not happy, YOU are not sad, you are just YOU in that moment. The more you focus on that present moment you will no longer identify with the feelings projected on you because that is not what you are made of.

May 26, 2015Comments are off for this post.

Fight or Flight

The brain is triggered by fear and survival- depending on the micro decisions available at that moment we make a decision to stick it out or run away. Sticking it out can be painful, it can lead to touching rock bottom and possibly having your ego handed to you on a paper plate. By fighting we are saying that we are invested in what we have and we are willing to take it all the way. By fighting we are unwilling to let go- the reward of holding ground outweighs the pain of defeat or running away. Flight is what you do when you feel you have nothing to lose. When your current situation is not worth saving. You run only when you think that the unknown has to be better than what you have. If you will have no regrets, no "what if" thoughts, then and only then you should run. Both fight and flight are addictive habits. The people that choose to fight will do it again. You will put yourself in the position to put it on the line and risk everything to hold onto what you have with the possibility of making it all even better. Those who run will run again. By running you are always looking for a better place. You run in hopes of stumbling upon greatness. If you get somewhere and it's not all that you hoped it would be- you pack up and leave again.

I choose to fight. I choose to scrape and pull and gamble what I've made to elevate. I often think romantically about packing up with the family and heading out for an adventure in search of stumbling upon perfection- but leaving all that I've worked for and even more so all that I'm working toward is too risky. The risk of looking back from somewhere new and day dreaming about what could have been keeps me here.

The mind game is that there is no right answer. I've seen people do both and the results seem to be random either way. People run and discover and find themselves with fantastic stories to tell. Others fight and dream big and build empires.

I guess that's a better description of these two types of people- are you a builder or a discoverer? Are you more excited by creating something or finding something. The more I look at it, it seems to be less of a choice and more a characteristic innate in us. So, should we go along with what feels more natural, or should fighters sometimes choose to run?

April 15, 2015Comments are off for this post.

Head In The Clouds

I’ve been a dad for a whopping 3 years now. It’s strange to become a parent when most of your friends aren’t. You see yourself changing in a way that doesn’t totally relate to the way your non-parent friends are changing (by the way there is no judgement here, I think not producing is just as important as producing). One thing I’ve noticed about myself is that I really do care more than I used to. My pre-parental angst of not giving a chips-and-salsa has transformed into looking into my kids’ eyes and seeing down the tunnel to their future.

The struggle to swim through the thick, gooey, media filled day to something real. My head is full of other people’s thoughts and ideas of stuff that makes no difference in my day. My contribution to this world is consistently tainted by advertising via social media and campaigns loosely hidden by an aesthetic of "good design" and commercialized "art." The music blasting through the window of the car next to mine is a hyper sexualized drug ad packaged in a designer bag.

Abusive advertising ticks me off- that goes for entertainment/media as well. Perpetuating hate and violence and abuse is boring. It’s easy to see through the marketing plan of appealing to the rebellious nature of pre-teen, teen, young adults - 30’s and even “old guys" trying to stay relevant in this young world. We should be smarter than that.

We are being trained. Whether its on purpose or just dumb coincidence- we are being trained. Trained to think alike. We have chained ourselves together in the guise of “staying connected.” I hardly know anybody anymore. Our pictures speak thousands of words- words we quickly swipe through. We don’t talk anymore, we comment. We don’t communicate any more, we connect. We don’t have relationships, we change our status. We don’t develop friendships, we get friended. Soon this training will be complete and we will all watch and believe the same things- we’ll all read the same 140 character news stories and take them as fact without checking.

You are probably saying to yourself, “not me!” and you could very well be right, for now. What about our kids though? What will it feel like to know your daughter or son is logging-in and signing-up and consuming the same shart circling through his little network gone viral because of whatever point some bonehead is trying to make? We need to do our best to teach about credible sources, not believing everything you see and hear, and forming opinions based on who you are as a person. By the way, a 20 question quiz cannot define your soul and tell you who you are. We need real tangible adventures. We need quiet. We need more than Emerson, and Thoreau (although that would be a good start). What happened to reflection and putting the puzzle pieces of our existence together? We need to focus on the physical world, get our heads out of The Tech Cloud, and look back up into the real clouds.

I will not compare any generation to another, I will not blame anybody. This is not a problem that will be fixed. This is what a real-time world shift looks like. I’m not proposing that any of us make a stand or try to change anything. I don’t think anything can be changed anyway on the large scale.

What I am saying to my “friends" is this:

Don’t be swallowed up whole. Take a moment to break away. Be aware that whatever social media is the thing right now will not last forever, but the content you share and upload will be. Know that you are being targeted by advertising constantly. Find a way to be yourself and feel good about what you are doing without having to “share” it with anyone but yourself and the other people there with you.

Most importantly, be with your kids. Teach them what it is to be grounded by being grounded. There is a time and place for technology and social media- but it's not all the time in every place. Sometimes it's okay to turn it off.

May 9, 2014Comments are off for this post.

The Frequency.

A few years ago we made the decision to change the name of our company. It wasn't an easy choice, the old name was part of our family and gave us a sense of identity for many years- but we had out grown it and we were working on living our lives in a fresh way. We are truly work-a-holics and as petty as it may sound, identifying with a new name that represented our current journey just struck a chord.

We came across VERY HIGH FREQUENCY [VHF] originally as a name for a blog project we were working on. Our goal was to discover through personal experience what it would take to operate at a higher level, to live in a happier more meaningful way, and to see if this way of being could be obvious or tangible enough for others to see on us. We have all met people that seemed to know something that most people didn't and emanate a glow of content- it was our mission to get to the bottom of it. This was obviously a bold task.

We didn't start the project as imagined- we instead held the name close, pondered the possibilities of doing more, being greater, having more fun, and smiling more often. We meditated on the subject for about a year. By consistently striving to live in this fashion things did start to feel different, which is why we ended up ditching the old name and began using VHF as our company.

"Yeah, so what." You are probably asking yourself.

This choice was the beginning of the Best and Worst year of my life.

The name switch itself didn't change anything necessarily, but it is a marker for what was to come.

2012 was hyped in the circles of idiots as "the end of the world," and for others it was a point of a paradigm shift in our culture. I can't say if that is true or not, but my old way of life was deleted forever during that year.

The Best- I was given the gift of my beautiful baby girl. The timing was a surprise we weren't prepared for. It was downright frightening at some points, followed by this euphoric rush of LIFE. It was truly the Frequency I'd been searching to find. I can't imagine not knowing the feeling of being a father.

The Worst- In February I found out my mother had cancer. In June she passed away. For those of you who have not experienced this sort of loss, It feels exactly like the wind is knocked out of you. It burns in the pit of your stomach. And to top it off seeing my family hurt as bad as I was only made it ache more. It's miserable.

Life and Death. My child growing inside my wife's womb and disease taking over my mother. The polarity of what we see and experience while we are here is almost impossible to bare. If it weren't for my daughter and wife I don't know what I would have done to cope.

But life triumphs. My 3 month old girl was able to protect me, her fully grown father. Her comfort and the distraction of those sleepless nights kept me warm.

My life was forever changed. I am now living on a higher frequency. The understanding I've gained is tremendous. I grew up. It's so complicated and so simple at the same time, we can't understand everything, but we are not supposed to. We are just supposed to BE.

-JDW

December 2, 2013Comments are off for this post.

Ijia’s Meditation.

The greatest present I've ever received with the exception of my family and a few bicycles, are the lessons I grew up with from my mom. She was able to instill meditational practice in me at an early age, and with this I learned that there is more than what we see, hear, taste, smell, touch. I'm so thankful that I am her son, and that I was able to learn from her. Birthdays can be bittersweet since she passed away, but she left me with so much.

The following is an excerpt from her book Siddhartha and Mary which we've finished editing and will be in print very soon.  Just weeks before she left us her wish was for us to make sure it was finished and went into print. I thought I'd give you all a sneak peak and share some of what i've learned from her. This is from a chapter called "Ijia's Meditation."  enjoy.

"...You’re just going to meditate with me here now. Try it my way for a minute.

You know when you’re in love, and that feeling of anticipation that you feel before you see someone you love and who loves you completely and is as happy to see you as you are to see them, or even happier? It’s that feeling. That’s the way I approach it: I’m meeting my beloved. Just that feeling puts you in that posture.

Rolling the tongue back to ingest prana is a very old technique and my teacher called it nectar. The reason is that when you do that and you open your throat the right way for the ingestion of that life force, what’s happening is that that life force actually has a taste. There’s a taste that is associated with it. It’s sweet and it’s sort of like sucking on honeysuckle. It tastes a little like that.

When you roll your tongue back, it naturally curls and there’s a place that’s almost comfortable for it to sit. There’s not much longevity when you first begin because your tongue isn’t used to doing that. Over time your tongue actually stretches and you develop the muscle to be able to hold that position all the time if you want to. When your tongue gets tired of being rolled back, just release it and let it rest for a few minutes. Breathe in through your nose. When you do that kind of breath, you want to hear it. It’s a soft sound.

You can place your focus on your third eye, between your eyebrows. If that’s not it for you, you can open your eyes, but just keep them unfocused. Either way, the eyes are soft. Underneath the layers of mind and matter, just watch those layers lift and fold back one after another. It might be in a feeling or it could be a visual. It could be a thought or a picture. Just let it roll back, like a veil or curtains or pages. Just let them fall off or roll away because there’s something behind those veils and those pages. It’s that One who you seek. It’s that One

who’s there and waiting for you and who is meeting you.

As each veil, each page turns, feel your heart center opening. Taste that sweetness in the back of your throat. See in your mind’s eye the light playing. Finally there is a moment that’s subtle where something opens up just behind your breast bone. Just let it be open.

Something reaches you. Let yourself be embraced by it. Let yourself be reached. Breathe. Listen to your breath. The in-breath is you. The out-breath is Him. The out-breath is your Father. The in-breath is you. The in-breath is your Father. The out-breath is you. Keep rolling away those pages, those veils.

Enjoy it. Don’t concentrate so hard. Let yourself go. Pretend you’re on a date.

Open your eyes and look around. Bring that feeling here. Close your eyes, go back in. Let the pages roll back, let the veils fall. Taste that sweetness.

Don’t be afraid to put your fingers in your ears and listen to the music in there. Don’t be afraid to rock your body. Don’t be afraid to open your eyes again. Don’t be afraid to open your eyes and stand up and go walk and come back and sit down.

Keep letting those veils fall away. Keep tasting that nectar and listening to that music inside whether your eyes are open or closed. Integrate it with the baby crying, the noise of the fan and the flies buzzing. It’s all the same thing.

There are days when that reaching out gives you instant results and you just feel blasted, blissed out and turned on. Sometimes you show up with everything you have, you’re anticipating, and it’s really quiet and subtle. For me it’s never the same twice, but I guarantee results by just showing up.

Something inside starts to unlock that place that’s so precious, so sweet and so true. It becomes more easily accessible. Then the trick is really learning to remember to access, learning to remember that it’s the medicine that heals.

A friend of mine has all these beautiful things from her grandmother. There are vases and things that were made out of silver. She has an entire set of sterling silverware and they were never used. I think we all have stuff like that that is so precious to us that we keep it put away in a deep part of the closet, in an earthquake proof zone or under lock

and key. It never gets used, it never gets seen, and it’s never enjoyed. It never gets chipped. It’s always perfect—somewhere. Then we forget that we have it. We forget to pull it out.

We tend to save access to that precious part of ourselves for special occasions or just the right moment. In the meanwhile it’s not getting used at all and pretty soon we just forget we have it, or that it’s even there. Because when is it a special enough occasion for something that’s that precious to you? Pretty soon, never. But if you bring it out every day, then this is the special occasion, right now, today, today, today. It does get battered around, it does get worn, it does get chipped. But it takes on a different kind of beauty and luster that’s real. It’s lived in the world. That gift and that relationship need to be lived in the world and messed up a little bit. Be here in the world with that gift and share it. You can’t ruin it.

My favorite stuffed animals and dolls as a kid all had war wounds. Because the tongue of my stuffed tiger had to be sewn back on in an emergency situation, he became that much more precious and real. He lived in the world.

The bottom line is that there’s no good time, there’s no perfect moment and they are all perfect moments. It’s not pretty in some picturesque way and that makes it beautiful. There are babies crying, distractions and flies, but that’s all part of what makes it beautiful."

- IJIA WOOLF

September 6, 2013Comments are off for this post.

Black Skies.

The colors in today's sky consists of dark purples, grays, and blues. Beautiful, but from where you're standing they all look black to you. Your perspective sees the blurred lines melt together you fool. Missing out on the sunset there's no light left to use. You'd better widen the eyes or close them and pray. There's no hope in your washed out disassociation today. It only perpetuates and breeds more pain. The rich colorful heavens between day and night, try imagining unfolding wings to take flight.

September 3, 2013Comments are off for this post.

In Between.

There has been a theme recently. A theme in our lives of escalating obstacles and feelings of impending doom. Obstacles out of our control. Feelings that bubble up from the depths of our stomachs and screech out of control. Turns in the script that make us question the stability of our existence.

It's up to us to unfold the drama and look underneath it all to stop looking at every twist and crease of the future and past and focus on the magic high-speed moment that is exactly the present. The time that is in between the blinks and heart beats to where silence and still is in existence. It's only human for us to evaluate the angles but there is no hope in pondering. Only in savoring the immeasurable moment between may we find the peace needed to strive to continue.

Consequences and Options are the root of what destroys us, what makes a sane person sputter words with no meaning and count cracks in the sidewalk in short mumbles of a language conceived as psychotic babbling. This is what we try to avoid.

My mother once taught me to silence the chaos. It seems terribly 'this worldly' for such a zen concept but it works. Try this, it's meditation for dummies. The idea is to not think. To have absence of passing thought. --

Close your eyes, be silent. Every time a passing thought comes into your view... Wipe it away like a windshield wiper on the car window. Each thought is a raindrop and when it pops into your head the wipers push it away and clear your view. It's inhuman not to have thoughts... Don't dwell on them. Simply let them be wiped away. Do this for as long as it takes.

August 16, 2013No Comments

Continuing.

Completing something is the fun satisfying part, not much explanation needed. Beginning a project is exciting. Continuing something in the works is grueling.

There is a fine line between "beginning" and "continuing." Continuing will test your patience. You will at times question all that you've done to get to the point of where you are, you may even ponder throwing it all away just to be relieved of the burden. Continuing is the difference between having something and nothing. Time wasted vs invested. This is reference to the project you DON'T have to do. The thing you feel you need to do but never really start. Which brings me back to the difference between beginning and continuing. You probably aren't continuing yet, but you are about to be.

You probably haven't continued because you know how difficult it's going to be. Maybe you have started 100's of times. Little notes, you've purchased books, scribbled ideas, you've made sketches and had long winded conversations with friends. You've been excited about creating something, but when it comes down to continuing you are stuck in the rut of starting over and over again.

Most people end up being that person that talks to their friends and family about the great idea they never finished- a missed opportunity- the infant ghost of a legacy that never was.

I refuse to be like "most people" and fall in the category of never completing. Instead I choose to Continue.

 

July 16, 2013Comments are off for this post.

Level Up.

Life challenges increase in difficulty, and this is how it should be. We get accustomed to everything being a certain way and then like the switch on a train's track- Smash -our momentum is jostled, and we are pushed to understand something new unfolding. It's easy to be uptight and treat the uncertainty as an enemy, but it will do you no good, instead- try to see it coming as it's inevitable for most of us and welcome this as it may just be what life is all about. There are people that don't/won't experience as much turbulence as we do, but watch them closely- they look miserable. It's boring, unchallenging... It takes no courage. I would pity them but I don't have time to care as I face the challenges before me. Reflect and move on. Level Up.

June 24, 2013Comments are off for this post.

Pressure.

It's a lot of pressure being born into so much opportunity.

There should be no mistaking that we have absolutely no justifiable reason to complain. All of us born in countries where we are encouraged to learn and venture in whatever direction we may have a calling in are clearly in a great spot- but now I'll go ahead and complain.

Being told your entire childhood that you can do whatever you set your mind to is a set up for disappointment. Even those of us who eventually do what we dreamed of rarely find it as interesting as we thought it would be. And now after putting more than a quarter of your life toward that goal and hurling you and your family into debt to make the dream happen... What do you have to show? Experience. Isn't that what life is all about? I venture to say- "maybe?"

But wouldn't being born into a trade in a land that was all you ever knew with your tight knit community and simpler ways of living be more fulfilling in the long run?

Us privileged ones spend all our time getting educated and exploring what we want to do with ourselves only in hopes of then making money and finding the person to be in love with and then working really really hard so that we can then take some vacations and perhaps find a community that we feel at home with to raise our kids and grow old and work and grind and vacation from and work and work and work. At some point if we are lucky maybe we can accumulate enough to set aside a legacy so that maybe our kids and grand kids don't have to struggle as hard, but more realistically they'll just take it for granted and fight over it.

So what is the answer? Is it that more simple way of life mentioned before? No, not really. I'm sorry to break it to you but that green patch of grass is hardly as picturesque as it sounds. It barely exists anymore. The World shrunk. People have tried to recreate it, but I believe most of those have collapsed as cults.

The Answer (for me): understand my surroundings. Use my hands. Work smart. Make a difference. We were all born on this planet in different circumstances and its my job to find the best Quality life I can. For some of us that could be accumulating education, for others building a city, for others it's just Being.

It really is a lot of pressure, the pressure of having so much potential and opportunity and using none of it. Because whatever the answer is here, the one thing we don't want to be is that person that could of had it all but instead squandered it.

June 4, 2013Comments are off for this post.

Service.

Be someone's muse. Be that person that lifts someone up. Bring success to the people you believe in. If you see how you can help, then help. Give. Learn how to critique positively. Engage artful conversation. Nurture talent. Inspire. Inspire. Inspire. The difference you can make to positively change the people in your life and who you come in contact with can in fact change the world around US. It won't come back to you in full. You will give more than you receive. Try not to keep count. Expecting a direct return is not the point. This will often times go unseen and uncredited. Think of this as an act of service.

May 28, 2013Comments are off for this post.

Endure.

Endure - to suffer patiently.

It's not just you. You aren't the only one. Someone has it worse. Someone who looks like he has it better could actually have it worse and someone who looks like he has it worse could very well have it better than you think.

The world is a tough place right now. People are starving, people are suffering, people are sick and obese and addicted and depressed and killing and hurting and fighting for every imaginable combination of reasons.

Yet you are here. You are experiencing an era that allows you to see all of it at once. For better or worse you have a more globally broad perspective of the entire human population than any civilization who has ever lived on this earth. It's true that the mangled media contrives stories and agenda is pushed but through the lies the truth still boils out and You were born at this time to see it.

I'm in awe of how much we can endure. We can see so much negative and still manage to see good and perpetuate values that make us people a species with meaning. Family, Love, Freedom, Individuality, Greatness. We strive to enjoy what is here to be enjoyed and when it's tough we take pride in the simple. We embrace what is there to be embraced.

As a member of the so called civilized western world I sometimes momentarily forget just how sweet it really is- and that is okay. It's okay to feel angry or frustrated and even envious as long as it gets dismissed after its felt and you let it go. Don't hold onto that negativity. It's selfish and self destructive. Don't get hung up it's unhealthy. Dismiss. Exhale. Move on and appreciate all that is here. Meditate.

Sometimes it's just that way. You work hard, love your family. Be patient. Give back.

May 28, 2013Comments are off for this post.

Naming Blip.

Coming up with names for products and companies can be an unexpectedly tedious tasks. It can take more thought and forced inspiration than even naming your own child (you don't have to worry about some stranger having a similar name, and at least with children you are working with a somewhat limited pool). With a company it should feel relevant and not too out of the box while still being creative and be marketable in the genre. You often have way too many cooks in the kitchen and working with a panel of opinions can be time consuming- choosing a name for your own venture can seem like a life and death situation.

Some basic advice. Research, always be writing down interesting ideas, make lists, don't fall victim to a thesaurus, go out and see something or do something that has nothing to do with the project, don't ask for too many people's ideas, try to avoid putting all your eggs in the crowd sourcing basket, meditate, listen to music, read a book, and don't get stuck on domain names. Remember that the perfect name can come from anywhere. Once it's right you still won't feel 100% on it until you see it in action and live with it for awhile. After the name is in use it will be just fine and you probably won't look back.

May 20, 2013Comments are off for this post.

My Beautiful Life.

My Beautiful Life is no accident.

•Design•

Blueprints.
Control.
Measure.
Craft.

•Lifestyle•

Meditate.
Envision.
Adventure.
Direct.
Discover.

radiance/brilliance/excitement

•Together•

Family.
Wife.
Baby.
Love.
Unite

•Indulgence•

Be indulgent and give indulgence to others.

In Joy.
I Am.
Enjoy.

•Produce•

Make.
Build.
Sweat.

•Grow•

Friends
Wealth
Whole
Health

-

More or Less to Taste.

May 15, 2013Comments are off for this post.

10 Seconds.

I've been thinking about my mom a lot this week. She was absolutely amazing, and if you knew her you know that. It's fascinating that events that mean so much to people have almost zero affect on other people who haven't experienced something similar first hand.

It's not surprising that we don't feel anything unless we have a personal connection- after all if we did and we read the news our hearts would probably combust. Once you lose somebody so close to you it changes the way you think about tragedy and people going through something difficult.

A close friend in our circle is going through one of these times with her dad right now, its uncertain if he will live and I noticed how much different I felt hearing about something like this now after everything with my mom last year- The strongest sense of empathy I've had thus far.

I was reminded today of something my mom wrote.

10 S E C O N D S

"Don’t we know that beyond loving the people we love, as actively as we can and giving of ourselves and our time to those people and the world if we are able - that the rest is either pretty meaningless or just the details of getting the aforementioned accomplished? Why does it often take a serious illness or some sort of near miss or miss to help us remember and change our lives to reflect what we know is true? Shouldn’t we just be hardwired that way? Why aren’t we?

After a lifetime of trial and error –of making good choices and plenty of really crummy ones - and after all the years of deliberating over life-path choices – it actually took less than 10 seconds for me to know what really mattered to me and what I wanted with life when I was diagnosed. In those 10 seconds all the other stuff I had been carrying around as either what I should aspire to, become, work hard for, hold as worry or fear, anger or old resentments became so very small – or meaningless.

Suddenly my personal bucket list became very clear. 51 years of wondering what I wanted to be when I grew up dissolved and I was left with this rather short list:

1.Actively Love my Loved Ones. It’s pretty much the whole reason I’m here at all. To articulate the love I feel within me.

2.Plant trees and Gardens. Appreciate this Earth.

3.Make Art, Beautiful Food and Write.

4.Give.

It seems like a very short list, I know –but consider how really time consuming appreciating the Earth is. All that appreciating going on and loving people can also be very inspiring. I foresee many paintings and Mosaics in my future… I’ll get hungry which will lead to a great deal of daily cooking and eating…. You get the idea. I’m going to have to live to at least 90 to get through my list at all!...

...

I want to watch my granddaughter whom I call Owl, and all those grandkids that I just know are on their way soon grow and play and give their parents the run for their money they gave me. I have plans to be the grama that says yes! more often than no –and provides books, a garden to play in and eat out of, tea -parties and space for fort-making. I want to be the grama that lets the kids get dirty and then squirts them off with the hose and sends them on their way. I want to be in a giant puppy pile of grandkids. I want to make trouble and fun so their parents about 1/2 regret bringing them to see me except that we all had such a good time."

May 13, 2013Comments are off for this post.

Cadence.

I'm not sure if there is a term for this, maybe one of my language enthusiasts can help me out later, but there should be a way to take a word and look at all of its meanings and use them all in conjunction to give that word a new meaning. If I worked for a dictionary company and I was asked to start my first assignment on a word, I would choose CADENCE.

Here is the quick reference from Merriam-Webster:

1 a : a rhythmic sequence or flow of sounds in language b : the beat, time, or measure of rhythmical motion or activity 2 a : a falling inflection of the voice b : a concluding and usually falling strain ; specifically : a musical chord sequence moving to a harmonic close or point of rest and giving the sense of harmonic completion 3 : the modulated and rhythmic recurrence of a sound especially in nature.

I choose to take all of these concepts and sort of meld them together.

Done.

The cadence of your day to day says a lot about who you are as a person. It's the rhythm, the flow, the bounce or lack there of in your step, the pep or lethargy in the way you move.

The mental marching powder innate in you.

The events experienced change the sequence of your day. It may feel like a melodic adventure with harmonic resolution or it may feel like a military march set to the beat of a drum grinding away at you for hours. It may feel like one event just flows to the next in perfect mathematical calculation or it may feel choppy and lack direction.

Today's Cadence. You wake up this morning, put on the headphones and ride your bike 20 miles while listening to the Beatles. The sun is shining and the smells are jasmine and fresh cut grass. Work doesn't feel like work because you create something meaningful. You feel challenged. Everything is in accord.

The family is happy. My wife and I laughed together. My daughter gave me a kiss. I wrote something inspirational. We ate healthy and slept well.

Cadence.

May 11, 2013Comments are off for this post.

Escaping The City.

Sometimes living in Los Angeles makes me paranoid. We don't have any basic human staples here without importing or by way of aqueduct or pipeline so if/when the predictions of high ranking whistle blowers and conspiracy theorists come true and our infrastructure slowly gets pinched off leaving us to fend for ourselves or walk out of the city we'll probably suffer a bit.

This is why I sometimes fantasize about escaping from the city now. I don't fantasize of any place specific because if I knew of a place that fit my fantasies I would already be there.

Here is the problem: I like it here.

In my fantasies we would live off the land or trade with neighbors. We would focus on building interesting useful structures and farming equipment, there would be fires and music and feasts. Our families and friendships would be tight knit. I can visualize the end product of what we would build and I can almost get the satisfaction of what being connected to nature actually feels like before...

It comes crashing down by a few realizations.
1. Most towns are filled with garbage. The limited options are filled with Taco Bell and kids acting like the pop culture they see on the Internet. The world got too small. The magic that was once a sheltered small town is erased. In beautiful places that are filled with trees and lush landscapes the town goers are still head deep in their computers. We all now share the same information which just destroyed the beauty in embracing ones own culture. Everybody seems to just adapt to what they are told they need. *Actually bringing it back a little, this is a big reason why I like LA. Here, at least I have an inside picture on where the garbage comes from so that it can be ignored.

2. My fantasy of this out of city, living off the land scenario won't exist until everything crashes, and even after that it will take time to be at peace with it. We've climbed so high as a society that the fall is going to hit hard.

So there's the rub. It's nothing more than a fantasy. The only solution I've come to is that I need to secure some land not too far, but just far enough. We need to start chipping away at making it livable. We need to store essentials there. Hopefully it will become nothing more than a great place for the family to escape to for enjoying life together in nature. Build, plant, eat, look at the stars and pretend that our digital world as we know it now, is behind us. Have faith.

May 8, 2013Comments are off for this post.

Coveting Ideas.

For years I've been coveting my ideas. Like many people in the creative field I've thought these were sacred. I think I sign at least two NDAs a week from other people or companies that think they have the next BIG idea, so I'm not the only one. Recently I've made the decision to stop thinking in this fashion. In all reality not all these ideas are great, and most the time they are just a jumping off point to a much more focused idea or a spark that ignites something completely different. In many cases you do nothing with them and it boils down to nothing more than wasted forgotten potential.

If you do happen to think you have spontaneously come up with something remarkable, you probably aren't the only one thinking it- it's an idea, a thought circulating in the collective conscious waiting to be plucked and accomplished. The execution of this idea can be designed and produced in more ways than there are people working on them.

Even while writing this blip, I did a quick search on 'coveting ideas' and found at least two articles with similar views on the subject. So there you go.

Now that I got that preamble out of the way- I'd like you to sign this NDA giving me some false security that you won't take my idea that I'm working on to use these half baked ideas for something really "BIG".

Thanks,
JDW