Monday, September 4, 2017

Replacing Spiritual Materialism With Contentment Of Spirit

On 9/3/17 Kev writes, I type...

Something very beautiful happened yesterday. I guess you could say I had an important realization...

 My day had started with emotional upheaval that I would later realize was caused by my own thinking. I had allowed myself to become consumed by my own insecurities, and in doing so I brought turmoil to a relationship I hold very dear to my heart. I'm starting to understand that when we try to fill ourselves up with the things that lie outside ourselves in order to find happiness, those same things mostly end up becoming what brings us pain. Spiritual materialism is really what addiction is all about...we become addicted to finding happiness, pleasure, love, etc., when we can't seem to find it within ourselves. It's only if you truly can love yourself,  that you can truly trust in the love you have for another.
If you really think about it-everything inside the physical world is temporary yet we try so hard to hold onto what can't be held onto. The moment is what truly counts..
I lost complete control over my emotions yesterday, and as the day progressed, the situation seemed to get worse...my mind became more chaotic..
I could not find any stillness in any moment and I found myself taking steps backward into the negative thought process I know all too well. Something happened though, I realized after getting off the phone that I was not getting anywhere by allowing myself to be completely consumed by what I could not control..that the only thing that was going to bring me true peace in this situation was myself, by replacing my spiritual materialism with contentment for my own spirit.
I was completely crazy at one point..but I've learned to use the tools that I know work for me,and one of those is to know to reach out to someone when I need help. I'm in prison but there are men in here that can help me with my emotional distress, because like all human beings and like this blog is intended to do, we are all able to reflect into one another. I now understand that I don't have to feel like I'm the only one that is going through something. I sought out someone who is in recovery like I am, and  I also really ended up finding help in the people I asked to help direct me towards that person.
After speaking with someone, I decided to go work out. That helped with the anger but when I was done I found myself still spinning inside so I talked again with that same person and he told me, " why don't you just meditate because what you really need to do is clear your mind of all that temporary stuff."  I thought those words were so wise, and so I meditated. I was actually able to sit still in that state the longest I've been able to since attempting to practice on a daily basis. It helped me see just how caught up my mind was..I can't count the times I had to stop and start counting my breaths over again , but it was the best lesson I've had yet because I was finally able to let go for once.
As far as the relationship that I hold dear to my heart...I realize this- love can't be something I use to fill some type of physical need for happiness. That has to come from within. I have to just enjoy what I do have within that love and cherish it. I don't know what may come of this situation, but I can show respect and how I value the relationship by giving it space to breathe. All I can hope for is that by creating some space through respect and self control that I'll be able to guide that love back to its proper place in my life. One of the greatest things I am able to understand today is that sometimes we have to learn how to hurt in order to love stronger. We become better human beings by doing so.
So, today, I choose to replace spiritual materialism with contentment of spirit and understand true happiness will inevitably start from there...

Today's Positive Affirmation: "Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men , is he who would conquer just one- himself." - Buddha

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Diagram Of A Fall

On 8/1/17 Kev writes and I type..

Have you ever had a glass slip from the dinner table, and you just watch it shatter on the floor right before your eyes? You just watch it and do nothing to stop it. I've witnessed my own mind do the exact thing on a daily basis. What if you could learn to catch that glass before it hits the floor? What if you could be in tune with your thoughts and catch yourself before things shatter in your life? This is really what learning to live in the moment is all about...being able to have a clear understanding of our minds gives us a greater insight into ourselves. When we learn to understand the delusions that exist inside of us...we begin to realize what drives our anger, pain and ultimately our suffering.
We may not have total control of the outside forces or the perceptions of others, but one thing we do have control over is our own minds..we all have the ability to control the way we allow our minds to react to those outside forces.
When we are able to leave our perception of self, and be content with who we are, we begin to transcend the boundaries that oftentimes hold us back from enjoying life to it's fullest. 
Define your existence through concentrating on each moment, and learning to accept them each for what they are. Each breath that we take holds the essence of who we are inside, learning the inner working of our soul brings us closer to our spiritual nature and allows us the chance to reach a higher state of existence. When we leave our preconceived notions of self behind us, we not only learn how to catch that glass falling from the table-we learn how to set the table for a feast worth having..a feast called life...

Today's Positive Affirmation: I leave selfishness behind by first learning to accept myself, and is doing so I learn to accept others, and truly love them for who they are......

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Falling Towards The Sky

On 7/26/17 Kev writes, I type:

Someone told me recently that-"we can only grow from the ground up, and that we can't grow down..If that were the case we would all be spiritual masters and there would be no reason for us to be human." 
I couldn't have said it better myself. 
I was living in the shade for so long before now that I could never allow myself to grow...Sometimes we have to cut down the things that block us from the sun, and allow light to finally shine into our lives. In order to truly grow we have to be willing to pick the weeds from our souls...Our gardens can become overgrown with the burdens we face daily in our lives, and it's up to us to clear the way...
Standing on the horizon lines of endless possibility- I feel like I'm falling towards the sky, and there's no telling where I could go, or where my happiness will take me...There is no real destination only limitless potential in all of us...When we begin to live in the moment- we truly begin living life, and in doing so our actions change the world around us. When we can exist in the present without fear, we open up the possibility of an even greater state of realization and existence that transcends even death..I've been learning that sometimes falling is really growing...I've learned to catch my breath, and in return regain balance in my life...Resentment, fear, anger and pain can be like being held under water...We can choose to swim or drown in our own personal sorrow, but when we learn to breathe...we no longer end up needing to run from who we are. We exist.., and we create the boundaries and limits by which we create the world around us...

Today's Positive Affirmation: By living in the present moment all possibilities become reality, and I become the master of my own happiness...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Life Support

On 7/8/17 Kev writes, I type:

We all need assurance in our lives. When you were a child, there was no greater sense of worth that you could feel that would take the place of having the support of those around you. Even when they did not fully agree with certain choices you made, but were able to find comfort in the fact that you were happy...it made you feel more confident in the way you carried yourself and lived your life. It is important for us to first be able to support our own decisions...we must be able to wholeheartedly believe in what we want for ourselves, and understand that no matter what the rest of the world might think...we ourselves can accept what we are choosing to do in our life.
Family to be is not just defined by immediate blood-related family. Family to me is defined by the people in our lives who offer the positive support that helps guide us towards a better existence. They are there to hold you accountable for your actions, but never there to try and control the person you aim to be..their support should be guided by love. No one should ever want to pull the plug on your life support if you are truly fighting for something, or believe that what you're doing is good for your own life.
I will always be here to offer those I love unconditional support by being there for them through any situation..but I will never offer support to someone I love if I believe that what they are doing will be a negative force in helping them achieve the best life possible for themselves..we all need the right life support to keep breathing that next breath, and to keep putting one foot in front of the other even when the world fights against us...

Today's Positive Affirmation: I will continue to fight for those who fight for me, and give my heart to those who truly know what it means to love and be loved bck.


The Yin and Yang of Selfishness and Selflessness

On 7/7/17 Kev writes, I type:

I believe it's necessary for there to be a balance of selfishness and selflessness in our lives. It is vital for me to be selfish about my own personal recovery because unless I am able to be the best person I can be, I will be useless to those around me. This type of selfishness allows me to be a more selfless person in the long run...when I'm able to feel true contentment within myself, I'm able to better understand how I can be of use to others in a positive light.
In active addiction my selfishness was one of my greatest burdens not only on my family and loved ones but on myself as well. I was completely self-involved with a negative force that left me spiritually bankrupt, and caused me to lose sight of what it truly is to live. If you really think about life..everything we achieve and do positive in our lives really provides some type of service or inspiration for others. By being selfish about a process that allows me to change for the better...I become a more selfless individual dedicated towards the betterment of my fellow man. It becomes truly about learning how to find the balance between the positives and negatives in our lives..There's a yin and yang between selfishness and selflessness, If you were able to change the negative perceptions of the world with your words, art, intellect , talent, etc., would you not be selfish about being the best you could possible be at what it is you do? The greater understanding that you have of yourself, the greater you benefit the person next to you by gaining a greater understanding of how you are able to use your own experience, strength and hope to do so....If you are selfless for selfish reason you end up contradicting the entire meaning of being selfless.
Selflessness is defined through actions that benefit others with no intended benefit for yourself . When we find balance within ourselves, and become vital parts of our community.. we end up becoming the cogs in the gears of positive progress. I'll continue to say that human nature will always be about learning to live for each other by first learning to live with ourselves.

Today's Positive Affirmation: I will find balance within myself in order to bring balance to those around me.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Choose YOU

On 7/4/17, Kev writes and I type...

I used to ignore the man I was choosing to be, and also ignored the man I was losing...
When you drift from yourself, it gets hard to find your way back to shore. I can remember feeling like I never knew who I was or who I was supposed to be anymore..I felt like a walking contradiction....I was becoming the guy who could swat down a fly while at the same time say I would never hurt a fly. My heart had a hole I could never seem to feel...
I wanted to reset my mind. I wanted to be a different human being because I didn't know me. I felt like I was screaming inside , but no one could hear me..I didn't understand back then what it was to truly be alive...I was so caught up in trying to find someone to love, but yet I couldn't seem to choose to love myself...
It's crazy to think how I was back then and where I am now as a person. That hole I could never seem to fill was created through my own distorted perception of self...we define ourselves through the way we view ourselves. The mirror we use to do that is only a burden when we allow the outside to define who we are inside. When we learn to look past what we think the rest of the world sees as us, we will always be beautiful...
It does not matter if the rest of the world thinks you're perfect when you learn to choose YOU. What I know today is that we are all created from the same fabric, Some of us are more rough around the edges than others are...some of us have scars or imperfections, but underneath we are all the same. We laugh, we cry, we live , we die. When we truly learn to love ourselves, we end up learning how to truly live by starting to live for others...Choose YOU...

Today's Positive Affirmation: I choose to see the beauty in every person by first recognizing the beauty in myself...

Rubber Bands

On 6/25/17 Kev writes, I type...

We will always face challenges to get us where we want to be in our lives. Sometimes, the harder we push against our opposition creates even great resistance. We must always be persistent with our ambition...every challenge is like a rubber band..Our persistence will be the force that allows us to break free from its resistance. We can't allow ourselves to be defeated by opposition and must realize everything cannot happen all at once.
Persistence creates cracks in resistance. A cracked rubber band is weak and eventually breaks. It takes time, however. Nothing worth having will ever come easy. We have to fight for it and just as in a fight, what we are fighting against will always push back. It's in those moments that we cannot give up..standing your ground in the face of adversity is true strength..eventually every rubber band will break...
Our relentless determination becomes the weapon we use to defeat our challenges in life...push against the resistance that holds you back from what you want in life and don't allow your self to be pulled back into a state of defeat.
There are times the greatest resistance we face in our lives is the resistance we create for ourselves through our negative actions and thoughts...Our inability to accept ourselves can make us spiritually bankrupt and hold us down from becoming the best person we can be. When we learn to accept ourselves, we make it easier to accept life and we gain a greater understanding of our true purpose.
The toughest resistance we face is the resistance from within. When we learn to break free from the chains that hold us inside through personal acceptance , we no longer allow ourselves to be defined by outside perceptions. Our progress will then be determined through our persistent effort to change.
Success is a limitless horizon and the only thing blocking the light in our path is merely our own shadow...

Today's Positive Affirmation: The only resistance that is acceptable is the resistance to never give up!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Monsters

On 6/15/17 Kev writes and I type:

The monsters we carry inside are the most deadly monsters that exist. They feed off negativity and if left to their own devices-begin to consume the true people we know ourselves to be. They try to eat us alive from the inside out, and attempt to fill our souls with lies...
The resentments that we can't let go of become these monsters that live inside...They grow teeth, and devour our hearts. When we can't let go of our resentments we end up falling into the bellies of our own beasts. I know this from firsthand experience.  I had to learn how to be able to let go of all the extra baggage that I allowed myself to carry around. I had to learn to live life on life's terms.
I keep a shield on my heart today, and attempt to live my life with completely pure intentions. By letting go of our spiritual wreckage we end up clearing a path to a better way of life...

Today's Positive Affirmation: I learn to walk with my shadows next to me in order to see where I need to never let myself stray...

See Through My Eyes, And Take What you Need

On 5/27/17 Kev writes and I type:

I remember standing in the booking area of the Mahoning County jail almost two years ago. I was filthy, bloody and literally a bag of bones...I was disconnected from everything. For the second time in three years I had found my way to a place I thought i would never see again..
I remember a deputy standing behind me spraying me with some type of cleaner..I can only imagine how I must have smelled that day. I had been holed up in a vacant house that one of my drug dealers owned. Needless to say..there was no running water inside.
I told the deputy checking me in that I wished I was dead...I was promptly placed on suicide watch and put in a medical cell. I can remember every second of those first four days...
I look back now and even though I am still incarcerated..It's still hard to fathom who I was two years ago. Most people would cringe at the idea of sharing any of that being a part of their life but I've learned to accept my past , and I understand that I'm able to help addicts through sharing these sometimes negative experiences. If I can help another human being see clearly where they are heading on their self-destructive path and help them gain courage through my experience to find a better existence..all my suffering will be for a greater good in the end. If we can learn to be open and honest with ourselves, we gain the strength to move forward and in so doing we truly learn to live our lives through sharing them for the benefit of others...
This is my true purpose. See through my eyes, and take what you need...

Today's positive affirmation: I will have no fears and no walls hiding who I truly am...

Saturday, June 10, 2017

I Would Rather Be Naked Than invisible

On 5/26/17 Kev Writes, I Type:

Most of us spend our entire lives trying to run from who we truly are...we need to realize that the only opinion that matters is the one we have of ourselves.  Pointing fingers can feel like swords, but when we are able to accept who we truly are inside-we arm ourselves with a shield that is impervious against outside judgement.
I know what it feels like to be judged by people...as a recovering addict you end up dealing with the stigma associated with that label. On top of being a recovering addict, I also face the stigma with being labeled a convicted felon. What I understand now is that a label is only able to control us when we choose to believe that label defines us....If we end up believing in what others want us to think of ourselves, we end up trying to hide who we truly know ourselves to be...
Don't be afraid to show your scars. Vulnerability is really a beautiful thing. It allows people to relate with you. We should not fear being judged for what mistakes we have made in out lives. We should be able to understand that in order to overcome these setbacks, we must first be able to embrace them.
The rest of the world will appreciate someone who is able to grow from their mistakes more than the person who chooses to wallow in their own self-destruction.
I would rather be naked than invisible...I accept where I've been, and I realize that without those moments I may never have ended up discovering who I truly am inside.
So, here I am. You can choose to take me or leave me, just know that in the end I am completely OK with either/or. Don't be afraid of who you truly are. Our ability to share ourselves with the rest of humanity will always be our greatest weapon in changing the course of history...
Be proud not only your accomplishments...be proud of your failures as well because without them you would not be the person you are today...

Today's positive affirmation: I will not be afraid to shine, because I know that all light shines brighter in a little darkness!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Will To Truly Live

On 5/17/17, Kev writes and I type:

Have you ever wanted to accomplish something so badly that you would do anything to make it happen? I truly believe that most of our wildest dreams are only impossible when we stop believing that they are...We make our own heaven or hell right here on earth...The possibilities of what we can achieve only has limits when we make a conscious decision to draw a line.
Our consciousness connects us to a hallway of infinite doors...We hold the keys to each entrance. That thing you want most in life becomes possible when you truly decide to make it possible. I believe we all have the power to will the life we want to live into existence. If you really think about it, our minds hold the answers to everything we truly want. We know what to do but the hardest part is to place one foot in front of the other to reach that destination. The extent of our belief in what we can achieve will define the overall existence we make for ourselves..
If you want something in life, then truly believe and  love it. Love is about being able to give yourself to that one person , thing or idea. With real love we are able to create anything...with love we are able to will an entire world into existence....True love is how Jesus Christ was able to perform miracles..With a love for all things we begin to understand that anything is possible. That love must first come from within, because we can't give something back if we first do not have it within ourselves.
Don't turn your back on your hopes and dreams. Love them and nurture them with all that you are..Believe in that love and you will begin to watch those dreams become a tangible reality. Don't be afraid of the path it takes to get you where you want..put one foot in front of the other and let love be your guide..even when things may seem impossible and when at times you see no end in sight, realize that love will conquer all, and that as long as your heart still beats...you will always have the will to truly live...

Today's Positive Affirmation: I will define my existence through a love for all life.

"Where there's life there's hope" - Terrence

#Victory Favors The Brave

On 5/11/17 Kev writes, I type:

What does it mean to be truly brave? I feel like our victories in life can be determined by how brave we are in the face of our greatest adversity. The success we achieve throughout the course of our lives is accomplished through having  the courage to be who we truly are...Victory favors the brave, because only those who are dauntless have the strength to fight for what they want. We get nowhere by succumbing to defeat or by giving up before the miracle happens...Sometimes, in the darkest moments of our lives -by being brave- we can find that one light that guides us towards the happiest moment we may ever find....
There's a famous quote that says "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Standing on that ledge called change can be a scary place to find yourself. Change itself goes against our very nature as human beings..., but having the courage to take that leap of faith can sometimes be the deciding factor between victory and failure...Face yourself in order to find yourself, and your whole world will change. Bravery is about being able to fight for what you know is right...Sometimes the only difference between winning a battle is being able to know how to lose first in order to find the strength to win the war..Victory favors the brave and the brave use their hearts as weapons, not their hands . With love we win all wars, with unconditional love, we arrest the possibility of war and find victory over hate..Bravery is LOVE and victory favors the brave.

Today's Positive Affirmation: I have the courage to not only face myself, but the courage to change the world with love, because I know victory favors the brave!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Damage Control

On 5/2/17 Kev writes, I type:

I believe we are all damaged in some way, shape or form-no matter how big or how small that scar may be. Suffering is a major part of life, and our very existence depends on our reactions towards the adversity we face. We cannot let the dents and bruises upon our spirit become a fatal malady that holds us back from living our lives to the fullest. Part of being alive is about learning how to stand back up when we fall down hard. If we choose the live life in resentment,,we may never escape those moments that attempt to hold us down.
When we get into a minor fender bender, we accept the situation, confront the other person, trade insurance information and attempt to find the best way to repair our damage. I feel this is very similar to how life works. We face experiences that may test our daily life.. we can either choose to accept each situation as it comes, and learn from that experience or we can allow ourselves to remain trapped in that one moment. When we allow our world to be dictated by the very things that destroy us from the inside, we end up not only hurting ourselves continuously but we end up hurting those that are close to us.
I've had to learn to accept myself in order to let go of my past. I've found that through practicing maintenance or as I like to call it "damage control" on a daily basis, I'm able to live life on life's terms and gain a more sincere insight into myself.  My heart, mind and soul are no longer trapped in separate cages and I've been able to find a new sense of freedom and growth through my own self examination. I'm able to accept myself and in return accept others for who they are...

Today's Positive Affirmation: "Love? What is it? Most natural painkiller there is. LOVE." ..William S Burroughs

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Transplanting A New Way OF Life

On 4/27/17 Kev writes, I type:

We all feed off each other..One of the most amazing things I see happen in recovery based meetings is the new way of life that is found through the shared experiences of one addict helping another...When I thoroughly worked the twelve steps with a sponsor... I have learned by living the steps on a daily basis that I would be able to transplant the new way of life that I had found into the next person struggling. The death of our old habits can offer life to the next person in need... gaining the understanding that we are no better or worse than the person next to us - will help us to become an asset for each other.. We can always learn from one another. Even when someone displays a negative thinking pattern or chooses to live their life in a destructive way..we can still learn from watching their experiences and using them to gain a greater insight into what we must do in our own lives to eliminate that same scenario from happening to us...Our shared experiences are what makes this crazy world go round...we don't have to agree on the choices people make, but we can use what we learn not only from our own negative choices, but from the negative choices of others to better our lives and in return help better the lives of others who are in similar situations....
When a surgeon transplants a new heart....he would never choose to transplant a defective organ into someone in need of a healthy replacement. This same concept holds true to life in general. In order to convey the right message we have to first practice what we preach. Plus, how could we convey an experience we have not yet lived? By demonstrating the benefit of being a good person, we in turn create an image that others can learn from...we plant the seeds of a new life much the same way a surgeon transplants a healthy organ into a person needing that new organ. We can transplant a new way of life and give the world a better heart and a better beat to follow...

Today's Positive Affirmation: I will be the healthy example that breathes new life into those in need..

Taking The High Road

On 4/23/17 Kev writes, I type:

On of the biggest things I've learned to practice on a daily basis is the concept of acceptance.I feel like most people in today's world struggle with this concept, and in return it becomes the reason why we are constantly at war with one another. All the hate, aggression and violence usually seems to stem from our inability to accept each other's differences..in return no common ground is found.and nothing seems to change. We end up spending more time tearing each other down instead of working together to make our world a better place. Until people are able to look past blatant ignorance and realize that no matter what our cultural differences may be , no matter what the color of our skin may be, no matter what our spiritual preferences may be and no matter what gender we end up choosing to love.  we are all human beings,,,
I'm not saying that we have to surrender our own opinions. or that we stand down in the face of oppression; what I'm saying is that when we end up leaving our minds closed to the possible things we can learn from one another...we end up losing ourselves in the process. I've learned that sometimes to win the fight we must be able to take the high road..That road is found through acceptance.
You can't reason with rage, you can't reason with hate..So, instead of choosing to give into what rage and hate creates which is violence, we show our strength through acceptance. Love is the only thing that is truly able to defeat hate.  rage and violence. By being  the best human beings we can be, and keeping an open mind,...we become able to gain greater understanding for the capacity and power of love. Love is the cornerstone of peace, and through peace we can begin to learn how to exist together.
Let our shared experiences become the driving force that leads us through the darkness and into a brighter world. My journey us defined by progress rather than perfection..I choose to live each day with an understanding for all those who enter my life, even when our minds may clash. I try to learn from each person I meet. I don't understand all the mysteries that this world holds, but one thing I do understand is that love conquers all....

Today's Positive Affirmation: I choose to understand that my journey may be different than the person standing next to me. but I know there will always be a lesson to be learned from each person that I meet,,,We build a temple within ourselves, and lay each stone with love.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Rise

On 4/16/17 Kev writes, I type.....

Sometimes the pain we endure throughout our lives can leave us feeling completely defeated...pain makes us feel loneliness even when we are surrounded by the ones who truly love us..pain makes us hate the world around us..pain makes it hard to live life on life's terms. The trials and tribulations of our lives are merely an aberration. They are moments that pass like changing seasons but when we allow our heart, mind and soul to become trapped in separate cages...we become fractured versions of ourselves floating is a state of suspended hopelessness. We must not allow our spiritual wreckage to become a wasteland of crowded distortions defined by our inability to accept life on life's terms.
We spend so much time fighting to acquire control over what is mostly uncontrollable...Life. We will never be able to control the force that drives the rain through the leaves, or ever truly know what comes after we close our eyes for good until we meet death. Life is the gift we are given, and the time between our birth and that last breath is a blank canvas waiting to be painted...When we decide that we are unable to lift that brush any longer, and we stop creating beautiful moments..we cease to live life and our picture remains unfinished. So, when that moment comes when we truly do meet death, we end up leaving the ones who love us wondering what we could have become...our half-finished picture hangs in their minds...
I'm not asking you to ignore the pain life brings...I'm only asking you to not allow that pain to defeat you. Learn to understand that even in death nothing will truly die...We rise from the ashes through the memories we leave behind, because not even the illusion of time can contain the essence of our existence...

Today's Positive Affirmation: The greatest love is defined through the compassion and understanding of those who have yet to understand...

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Morals Of A Raver Kid

On 4/15/17 Kev writes, I type

When I was in college I used to attend electronic dance parties known as raves....
Looking back I realize that most of my participation at those raves were defined by excessive drug use and one night stands, but like every moment in life I am still able to find a significant meaning now even through the haze of that past party scene...
I remember meeting a group of kids that I began to see at most of those events...they loved the music scene and even had a set of principles that they proclaimed to live by. They said that the scene itself represented what they referred to as PLUR..Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. Back then I really didn't understand what they were getting at, or maybe most likely I just thought they were just some crazy party kids, but now I feel like I have an understanding of what it is they felt...
They found peace through the acceptance of one another . They found love through their music. They found unity inside the crowd, and they could respect each other's differences...
I can remember the connection I felt inside those crowds... I guess that's what music is supposed to do, create connections where sometimes it feels like there can be no connection.These kids were able to do something that most of us can't seem to do, and that was be able to look past each other's differences, love one another for who they were, and enjoy life together..even if it was just for those music-filled nights.
I find this realization to be pretty profound...it seems like in today's world we move further and further away from those types of connections..it seems as if we become more disconnected than connected even though technology would have you think otherwise...
Life is like a dance, but we always seem to try and make it more like a fight.Those kids learned to treat life like a dance and I think we could all learn from the morals of those raver kids...

Today's Positive Affirmation: If life is a dance..I choose not to leave others stranded on the sideline...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Unwrapping Our Gifts

On 4/11/17 Kev writes I type...

I believe that every single human being on the face of this planet has something beautiful inside to offer the rest of the world. We all have special gifts. I feel like most of us spend our lives searching in the wrong places for what we already have inside. It's true that our experiences mold us into who we are, but I also believe that each of us have a special gift or talent that is already stitched into the fabric of who we are. Sometimes we have to pull the layers back until we are able to get close to the prize that's inside , and once we find it we have to hold onto it, nurture it and share it with the rest of the world.
The greatest artists and writers didn't just create their amazing work to sit unnoticed, they offered up pieces of themselves to help benefit the rest of the world. Some gifts involve sacrifice...a doctor who trains his hands and mind to save lives, while a police officer puts his own life on the line to benefit his community. We should all be soldiers fighting for each other instead of always fighting against one another.
Sometimes those experiences that test us the most in our life end up leading to a better understanding of what our gifts have to offer the rest of humanity. As we peel back the layers of our inner being we become closer to who we truly are. The real gift is about being able to find our individuality, and having the courage to share it with the rest of the world.
I've always been a creative person .. I realize that after all I have gone through that my true calling for my gift will be the ability to help create a better world for those around me. I have hope that people will start looking more inside themselves for something special rather than always relying on something on the outside to make them feel complete..When we allow our true hearts to shine through the way we choose to express ourselves, we help create a world with less darkness...we give the gift of hope.

Today's positive affirmation: I will allow the way I choose to live my life to reflect a gift of happiness for the rest of the world to share in..

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Roots

On 3/29/2017 Kev writes, I type..


We must never forget where it is we came from. In the garden of our existence, our roots create the blossom of who we become and sometimes who we strive to be.  We must always be vigilant of the negative forces that surround us...if left unchecked, they can warp the perception we have of ourselves and stain the beauty of who we truly are. We should never allow our garden to become infested with unnecessary weeds.  We change the world around us by first changing ourselves into the proper examples of that change... We can become the flowers that grow between the cracks in the pavement. By becoming the right examples we create the roots for the world around us to grow from. I see true hope in those who choose to lead by example, and the people who truly grow from their experiences, but never forget where they came from.  The way we choose to nourish the roots of who we are will dictate the people we end up becoming....


Today's positive affirmation: I will never forget where I came from, but I will never let my past keep me from a brighter future...

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Footprints In Cement

On 3/26/17 Kev writes, I type...

We are always looking for a way to be noticed in the world around us, for that way to leave our mark. Have you ever noticed that when a construction company pours a new concrete sidewalk, how people can't help putting their name , their hand prints or their footprints in the new cement before it hardens up? We long to be noticed by one another in any way that we can.
We can be noticed the best by each other by learning to become the best human beings we can, leaving our mark by being examples worth following. All species long to leave a legacy behind. We reproduce to prolong our existence, and try to leave a world worth living in for the future of our kind. How can we leave a better world for the next generation when most of us seem to be more caught up with our own selfish needs? The best footprints we can leave in the cement are the ones worth walking in..Our legacy should be for each other.
Life should not be about just fulfilling our own desires. Life should be about keeping life alive if that makes any sense to anyone besides me....
The concept of suffering is one we all face together. By working together instead of against each other we build a better chance of defeating that suffering. When we learn form our own personal experiences and then choose to use what we've learned to help the next person going through what we have already experienced, to me that is one of the greatest gifts we can give to one another...
We defeat suffering by learning from it and by becoming the best human beings through the process. Sometimes it's hard to get our of our own way before our hearts harden and turn to stone..Each day is like stepping in fresh cement...will your footprints be worth walking in? They can be if we try each day to represent something positive through acceptance and kindness.

Today's Positive Affirmation: I will leave footprints worth following, and make a life worth living for others.

The Chase

On 3/23/17 Kev writes, I type...

The roadways to our success lie in the palm of our hands. We have the power to create the life we want for ourselves...our dreams are only imagined ideas until we begin to take action...Our actions and the way we choose to live our lives on a daily basis are the outward expression of how we feel inside. The way we conduct ourselves in society usually represents how we feel about ourselves..I know this to be true from personal experience...
I used to believe that my drug use was my only real problem...I thought that if I just stopped using everything else would be perfect, but what I did not realize was that my drug use was just a symptom of the real problem..Me. Every single time I allowed myself to use drugs was a demonstration of how I truly felt about who I was....I did not know myself anymore... I was never able to find happiness within myself, and I used toxic relationships and drugs as a way to fill the void I had created inside. It was not until I became incarcerated for the second time in five years that I came to realize a different truth.
That truth was that I needed to accept myself and learn to live my life one moment at a time.. If I allowed myself to be stuck in the past or get too caught up in the future...I would never truly learn to live. We chase tomorrow , but forget that the tomorrow we chase is only possible if we take care of today. Human nature is about learning to live for each other by first learning to live with ourselves...

Today's positive affirmation: I will live in each moment with acceptance and the determination to succeed.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Ledge

On 3/19/17 Kev writes, I type....

There are moments in our lives that truly define us. Life is about having the right leverage at the right time. Most of our lives are spent trying to gain that leverage in preparation for that one moment. Some people spend their entire lives without truly living because they become so consumed by that moment that they have planned for inside their minds.
We love feeling that we have control of everything when in fact we are not in control of really much to begin with. We can plan and work for something , but when it doesn't go our way we fall apart. Our inner ego is such a powerful force. It can be our driving force to accomplish miraculous things or it can be the thing that destroys us from the inside out...
Life is unpredictable and the only thing we truly have control of is our reaction to it. When we try to control life itself, it tends to pull us apart. We allow our perceptions of ourselves to take on a life of their own.We end up losing the true identity of who we are with who we think we should be according to the rest of the world around us...Left to it's own devices our own self is capable of running wild . We can all end up standing on the ledge of existence face to face with ourselves holding onto our inner ego . It will attempt to pull us off , but if we find the strength to let go and stand our ground we will be able to see new horizons. Not allowing ourselves to be controlled by what's inside will bring about new purpose in our lives .,,
The fear of the unknown can be a very scary thing. We can face life by living within each moment. If you are facing fear, anxiety and worry within your life....Push it off that ledge..Live in each moment. That's the terms we sign with life...

Today's positive affirmation: I will attempt to live life on life's terms each day and in every moment.

The Journey Is Happiness

On 3/16/17 Kev writes, I type....

Most of us spend our entire lives trying to find happiness. We see happiness as some type of destination, or a fixed point in time where all of our fears, anxieties, and problems dissipate. I've come to find out that it's not the destination but the journey getting there that makes me truly happy.
I've made plenty of mistakes, but I believe that this particular journey has allowed me to truly find myself as a man. I don't think I have ever been able to know myself like I do right now in my life. My journey has been about learning to accept myself.
There can be so much unnecessary space filled inside our minds by things we don't need..sometimes we just have to take out the trash. By clearing the wreckage inside myself I've gathered the strength to build a better me.
Our journey should never be about finding something to make us happy , our journey should be about happiness itself. What should truly make us happy is being ourselves. I feel the world around us is always trying to mold us into what it wants us to be and who it thinks we should be. I think it's more interesting when we can learn to follow what's inside of us, rather than what around us. The journey to happiness is happiness itself.
We can find more smiles in our mirror by learning to accept who we are. Make your journey worthwhile every day by just being you. We must realize after all that we only have this day. Tomorrow is never guaranteed and nothing stays the same.
Find your happiness in each moment, minute and second. Let your heart guide you to your smile and you will always be truly and utterly happy.

Today's positive affirmation: I will let my heart let me guide me to my smile.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Keys Inside Our Heart

On 3/10/17 Kev writes, I type...


One decision is capable of changing the world. When we make negative decisions in our lives, we degrade the value of our existence and is so doing degrade the value of the world around us.  Life is a massive lake and the residual effect of our actions and decisions become the ripples that change the current. Our decisions are stones cast in that lake. When we make the right decision we are like the stone that skips across the water. When we continue to make negative decisions, we are the stone that sinks and we continue to fill that lake until there is no more water left. 
Recently I was helping inmates in a recovery based class called  "Breaking The Cycle". I was using a diagram that a councilor had used to teach me about the cost of negative actions. I gave the men in the class a scenario where they are about to commit a crime. I attempted to make them understand they have two choices..."Do I or Don't I..
I then asked what the cost is for them to choose to make the right decision and then asked them what the opposite effect would be if they chose to cross that negative threshold. Most of us have never been able to realize just how much our compulsive actions can negatively effect the world around us. Sometimes our blind pride can lead us straight into the depths of hell.
I have realized that I had to replace my negative thinking in order to make the right decisions. The Roman philosopher Lucretius once said " Fear is the root of all evil." I now understand that the cost of not changing was greater than choosing to try. Change is our greatest fear. We must be willing to replace the darkness with light.
It's hard to believe in miracles...you have to make them. If you want change you have to fight for it, not against it.
Each of us have so much to offer the world. Don't let your voice be the sinking stone! We all have keys inside our hearts, although they may be buried and covered in the debris of our bad decisions. It's time to chisel off that rust . Find those keys , and unlock the doors to a better life!


Today's positive affirmation: The fear of changing is more destructive than change itself..

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Arresting Failure

On 3/11/17 Kev writes, I type...


We can never change the future by being stuck in the past. Resentment and guilt can be our greatest enemies and  I watch men fall victim to these traps on a daily basis. I think a majority of the men in here see the department of rehabilitation and  corrections as a failure. They believe the system has given up on them. What I see on a daily basis inside these walls certainly supports their argument. How do we expect to change something that is broken by ignoring it? In order for us to break the cycle of failure we must create a new wheel. I realize that true change starts within me. What most of these men don't understand is that you cannot wait on the "system" or someone else to change what has to be changed from within. Arresting failure takes the courage to be able to accept your failures and to not let the rest of your life be defined by those failures.
If you want anything to change, you must first change yourself. If you continue to allow yourself to be a statistic, you will never see things around you change. We have to fight for something instead of always fighting against everything. When we can learn from our failures we will end up finding a new direction.
I feel like I am repeating things I have written to you all before. I just feel like nothing will change unless we are able to find the change we wish for inside ourselves.
We must learn to arrest failure from acceptance from within for only then will we find the progress we seek around us. To truly fix what is broken, we must become the tools for success. Every day, I try to lead by example to show those around me that until you fix yourself, nothing else around you can be fixed. I feel it's more courageous to admit your faults than to pass the blame to someone or something else. I am at a very special place in my life. I have an understanding of myself today and I take each day as it comes. I do not let speed bumps become mountains. I give myself a chance to mess up but I strive for progress rather than perfection , and by doing that I am able to find peace. When we can lay our heads down at night and know we have given our best, to me that is what living is all about.
I plan to leave this place the person I was always supposed to be. I want to be a vital part of the solution and not the problem. I want to be an example and a catalyst for others to not only find hope from but also for them to find the guidance they need to not end up in a place like this...
How can YOU arrest failure?


Today's Positive Affirmation: I will be the example for all others to find guidance, and be a light that shines in the darkness...

Measuring Sticks

On 3/4/17 Kev writes, I type:


How do you measure success? Most people believe success is measured by decimal points and dollar signs. Success is not measured by the numeric value of your bank account or by the outside appearance of material assets you have obtained. Success is a much more spiritual and internal concept that most of us have a hard time grasping. Some of us spend an entire lifetime searching for "our" version of success. What we end up doing is spending that time chasing happiness instead of ever truly finding it. Sometimes, the happiness we end up chasing becomes a trap, sometimes it ends up becoming a prison.
I used to measure my version of success through how I was perceived by other people because I was never able to truly understand and accept myself. I think most young people in today's world can relate to this. When we rely on perceptions of others to define who we are, we lose our true identity. When we learn to accept ourselves from within happiness will reveal itself in the form of our actions and decisions. I've found my own negative choices and the consequences of those choices are merely the outward expression of my own internal discontent.
Being able to find contentment within myself has allowed me to redirect my focus, and has been able to show me what happiness means to me. Through this newfound happiness I've experienced true change and through that change I am able to help change others. I measure success by what I've overcome. When we make one mistake, we must learn two lessons that will push us further forward. If we succumb to our mistakes instead of trying to learn those lessons, we only push ourselves back further from where we want to be. In the evolution of self our greatest achievement is progress not perfection.
We are each born into a prison. That prison is ourselves. Don't let your internal perception become an outward expression defined by destruction. I want each of you to look in the mirror and smile. Realize this: Life, your life, is greater than all the wars we wage. It burns brighter than any star. We are precious, fragile but brilliant beings. Do not strive to be perfect because in return you will never truly live. Strive to be human, find contentment within yourself and project your light through an expression of happiness. You can be your own success story, measured by your happiness.


Today's Positive Affirmation: I am an outward expression of internal happiness....

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Little Lights

On 2/27/17 Kev writes, I type..


There is so much darkness in the world that sometimes it becomes hard to find your way. Most of us look for comfort in all the wrong places. We must only look within ourselves to find that little light of hope. Each time I write a new post, I leave you all a new positive affirmation.
It's so important...I used to have the most negative self talks towards myself, but now each day I try to encourage and motivate myself through positive affirmations.
If we constantly tell ourselves over and over again that we cannot achieve something, that we are not good enough...we end up becoming the way we talk. That negative voice takes over.
We must be able to encourage ourselves and motivate the good that lies within each of us. The more you believe in who you want to be and where you want to go in life....the closer you get to that goal and the quicker you begin to reach your dreams. I don't allow outside voices to dictate who I am, or allow them to tell me where I am going in life. I don't take no for an answer in regards to the dreams I am most ambitious about . Having a healthy confidence in yourself is way different from selfish pride built from fear or anxiety.
Each morning try to stand in front of your mirror and tell yourself face to face something good about who you are and where you are going.


Today's positive affirmation: I create my own destiny through the inner strength I find within...

A Price Too High To Pay

On 2/25/17 Kev writes and I type....


The decisions we make in this life all come at a cost...I know first hand what my negative decisions in life have cost me. When we don't think before we act, or we act out of pure self-seeking behavior we end up costing ourselves more pain instead of the pleasure we attempt to seek.
I think people fail to realize that you don't have to be famous to make an impact visually. We make an impact on the rest of the world through the way we choose to live our lives . Our personal decisions are the subtle imprints we leave in life. When we die it will be the moments we have shared with one another that will determine what legacy we leave to be followed. If the world is a stage, what will be remembered about your "performance"?
My heart is no longer content in just letting life pass me by. I am able to part my lips today without fear and smile. Happiness comes to me the most at the end of each day when I lay my head to rest, knowing that I made the right decisions throughout the day.
The little things we choose to do right each day matter. They not only benefit our own well-being, they also benefit those around you.
Life is not a gentle ride...There are speed bumps. It is what we choose to do when we hit those bumps that matter the most. I used to run to drugs and alcohol to solve everything I did not want to face head on in this life...In the end the cost became to high for me to pay, and those same speed bumps became mountains.
Today, I choose not only to climb those mountains..I choose to create a path that offers guidance for others like myself to follow.
We must realize that we all have something that others can learn from..our actions become the blueprint for those around us to follow and build a better world from. In reality we are all teachers of our own truth, and we are all parts of a very similar machine. take time each day to decide just what mark you leave on the world around you.


Today's positive affirmation: Self-destruction is too high a price to pay. I will never take being alive for granted!





Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Fault With Fame

On 2/21/17 Kev writes I type....

I was watching a talk show this afternoon that usually portrays a positive family oriented message, and was disappointed by the musical performance that was chosen for today's episode.
The host introduced a rap group that performed a song with lyrics specifically written to glorify selling drugs and violence. There were numerous times during the song where the lyrics clearly displayed these subjects in a positive manner. I was highly upset by this display. After this specific performance the next guest that was brought out was a young child. What message did we send in this instance when we blatantly overlook the previous message that was just displayed? Why does our popular culture continuously work to lower our moral standards and constantly stereotype specific groups in a negative fashion?
When we choose to portray ourselves in a negative fashion, we only work to hold back positive progress in our world. When a child grows up in an inner city community and is continuously subjected to music that portrays his culture and community in a way that only displays negative attributes and criminal lifestyle choices, that child becomes conditioned into believing that he or she is only entitled to live in this negative pattern due to his or her socioeconomic condition or because of his or her specific race. In return, these specific setbacks that they long to escape from only become more permanent when we choose not to change the message.
When will people start to have the guts to stand up for what they know is right? Show our children, our world,  a better way to live by not accepting the negative messages we have become accustomed to.
I just believe that if we truly want anything to change..we must first start becoming that change. This starts with ourselves. We must chose to show the world a different way to live by having the courage to portray a different message. Until we are able to show all people no matter what community they live in... no matter what color their skin is,,, no matter what difference...that we all have the same opportunity,  because we are all the same..We are all human...nothing will change.
I want you all to interact to this post by finding a positive person in pop culture or the media, and place an example of how they are using their fame in a way that benefits our world.
Place your findings in the comment section of this post and help create a mirror for a different message to be reflected.

Today's positive affirmation: I will represent a message worth hearing for all to benefit from.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Lighthouse

2/19/17 Kev writes I type.....


The world can be a very dark and unpredictable place. At times, we all need a light to guide us back to safety the same way a sailor uses a lighthouse to guide him or her back to shore.  Sometimes we get caught drifting towards nowhere and lose sight of our destination...we search for that beacon of hope to help guide us where we need to be. When you begin to accept that light inside yourself...you become an illuminated example of positivity. When we shine we also shine for others. I notice the more content I become with myself... the more happiness I have and it's that same happiness that shines for others to see and find comfort in.  I can't count the number of times in these past months where another inmate has chosen to confide their problems to me in the hope that I will be able to offer them guidance. I never try to preach to someone who is struggling, I only attempt to offer my own experience, strength and hope. I try to offer them suggestions that could lead them to that same light they sense in me. In those moments it is another clear example of how we are all mirrors reflecting into each other.
If you are filled with negativity and a discontent within yourself, you end up becoming the wave that pulls the rest of the world around you into discontent. When we become lost in our own selfish battle to satisfy ourselves, we turn off that light that shines inside us that can help others find their way to serenity. We all look to one another for some form of guidance. In my recovery I have discovered that I cannot offer something to someone else that I do not yet have within myself...
I had to find that way to the light house within me in order to shine for others. We feed off the energy we sense in others. It is evident in history just how powerful self confidence can be with regard to persuading those around us. Even the most negative and horrible human beings have had the ability to lead millions into false ideas and beliefs. They used their self confidence to help control those around them in order to satisfy their own selfish desires.  Their beacon was a false light. We must be grounded in selfless intentions when we work to help others. Today, I would never try to take advantage of another human being's weakness in order to satisfy myself. I now strive to be an example of how happiness, hard work and self acceptance can bring so much into your life. When others can sense that happiness inside you that they are searching for inside themselves, they can find direction. It is our duty to become that lighthouse of guidance they can use to find that contentment. It starts with us first. Become the open arms that help pull those lost at sea to shore..Every day try to lead by example by committing yourself to what you know is right, even if the rest of the world seems to be against you. Do not allow the misery that corrupts our path dictate what you know to be as your personal truth. Let your light shine for others to follow!
I ask you all to do something each day to help lead those who are lost inside back to happiness. Respect yourself by respecting others and you will end up not only guiding yourself to peace, you will end up guiding others towards a new sense of happiness and hope.
Use the comment space on this page to be a lighthouse for someone you know or love...


Today's positive affirmation: I will become the beacon of happiness that others can find their smile in.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Vessels

2/17/17 Kev writes, I type...

It gets really hard to find true moments of peace behind these walls. My favorite time of day in here comes late at night mostly. When everyone is sleeping there is silence...there is peace...I am able to focus my thoughts and listen to that voice inside me that gives me clear guidance.
 The conversations we have with ourselves tend to be the conversations we share with God. After all, we are the vessels He lives through. We all have different conceptions of God but the truth is all human beings want to believe in something greater than themselves. Our relationship with that life force is what gives us purpose. We shine the brightest when we represent how close we are to that spiritual being that lives through us all....we become empty vessels when we choose to turn from what we feel inside us. 
I may be in this physical prison right now. but believe it or not, this is the most free I've ever felt in my life.  I have been able to find true happiness in so many little things lately. I choose to feed my relationship with the God of my understanding by appreciating what I have and through being in service to others.
Sometimes we have to learn to distance ourselves from those outside forces that corrupt our happiness. Just because there is a storm raging outside does not mean we have to stand in it. When we make ourselves stronger...We become a shelter for others to find safety through...

Today's positive affirmation:  I will only choose to stand in the light of understanding.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Taking Bullets From The Gun

On 2/15/17 Kev writes, I type...


We all have people, places and things in our lives that trigger negative thinking patterns and behaviors.  We cannot change everything around us, but we can learn to maintain our own personal serenity...When we allow outside forces to affect our well being, we are feeding ammunition to a gun of negativity that will ultimately lead to our own self- destruction.  When we wallow in our own self-destruction we are incapable of being of service to those around us, and most importantly to those who love us. We must realize that we cannot change the things that trigger us, but we must learn to change how we react to those things...


It is our own mind that becomes the most deadly weapon we use against ourselves. When we learn to conquer our triggers...We will begin to unload the bullets from that weapon.


Today's positive affirmation: I will arm myself with a positive mindset in order to conquer my fears.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Evasive Action

On 2/12/17 Kev writes, I type...


We must learn to evade fear by fighting back with hope. We have nothing to fear but ourselves..If we become examples of positivity, we avoid the pitfalls of negative outcomes in our lives. I truly believe we were created not to harm each other because in doing so we harm our species as a whole. Fear leads to ignorance and it is that same ignorance that destroys the true connection we are meant to share with one another. The truth is.. we are built to love. Some of us have never been shown what real love truly means. True love is not found through our own selfish satisfactions, but is found through the selfless expression we share with each other. Being able to accept all life as the same precious force that drives and connects us all is the very thing that will lead us to understand love and help evade hate.
We evade death by accepting that life, all life, is the most beautiful thing that exists. We are all connected....every flower will bloom, every flower will die but if we do not nourish the very soil we sow our seeds in we will perish.
Each day when I wake up , I remind myself of all the things I am grateful for...I remember where I have been and use that reminder as a guide for personal growth. Life is not perfection, life is progress. When we are able to take the right steps forward we are able to leave a path in which future generations can follow and learn from.
Think of your selves as a business. If we make healthy investments we will reap healthy returns but if we make negative investments not only do we destroy the future for ourselves, we destroy the future for each other. It is true that change happens through trial and error and we must learn those errors in order to change. If we sit in our indecisions, we end up closing the door on life. Sometimes we have to keep walking through that door in order to get where we truly need to be. Redirect yourself when you find life becoming the thing that holds you back from living...


Today's positive affirmation: I will accept all life for the benefit of life..

Friday, February 10, 2017

Invisible Beauty

On 2/9/17 Kev writes and I type...

Sometimes the most beautiful things cannot be seen, they have to be felt.
Place your hand over your heart....do you feel that beat? That timeless melody that carries our soul..that voice that teaches us to love...
Sometimes you have to close your eyes to see what you can't when they are open....just listen to that song that plays within you,There is no song sweeter than the one we sing with our soul.
We are all instruments in a much bigger symphony...what way will you sing your song?
This life is a blank canvas just waiting for a masterpiece to be painted...
True beauty....
Is a soldier that carries a wounded friend from the battlefield, A doctor saving lives. A mother giving birth. True beauty is a moment where life becomes real, and love becomes seen.
I once watched a news clip where a man was trapped in flooding water.....bystanders locked arms in a chain that reached into the river and saved that drowning man. When those arms locked together with selfless purpose...you could feel that invisible moment where separate lives came together for the benefit of one another...that was beauty.
When multiple instruments play together, a song becomes more beautiful. When we lay down our personal satisfaction to satisfy humanity..our whole world becomes more beautiful.
Life will always come and go like the swaying of the tide, but the sun will always be the mainstay.What we leave in the light before darkness comes will dictate the future of days to come...
What song will you leave inside the breeze?
There is invisible beauty inside us all,,we must reach down and share it with one another...we must learn to play our song.

Today's positive affirmation: I will be an instrument of love, and a song worth hearing.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pain As A Platform

On 2/7/17 Kev writes and I type:


It only takes a small glimmer of light to spread like wildfire. The more light that spreads in the face of darkness the easier it will be to find a brighter future.
I once listened to a preacher speak about using our pain as a platform..We must begin to learn from our past experiences ad use that pain as a catalyst for progress. The resentments we hold against each other will only work to pull us apart. Integrity is a stronger binding agent than hate...We must learn to accept each other an d ourselves in order to move forward. We were all created I the same image and must be able to accept each other's differences. The point is that we are all of on conscious. We are all connected because we are all..Human. We must stand together in order to serve our greatest concern and that is the survival of our humanity. The pain of being human is our greatest platform to stand on. We all relate to one another in some way or other, and we must be able to realize that standing together instead of standing apart is key.
Whatever type of pain you have experienced in your life..you must remember that someone else has shared that same pain. If we begin to share our experiences with each other..we can begin to use that pain to create hope. Our connection to each other is one of our greatest strengths.
One of the best concepts I've been able to experience through recovery is found in the shard experience of one addict helping another. This same concept can be used to help more than just addict to find a better way of life. We learn from each other but until we are able to accept each other, we learn nothing.
I'm asking all of you to give each other a chance. Realize that no matter how different in appearance we may seem that we have one thing in common...We are human! Show you care by showing you are the same...Share your triumph over the struggles in your life with the next person and use your pain as a platform


Today's positive affirmation: I will share my experience, strength ad hope with the next person.

An Equal Yoke

On 2/3/17 Kevin writes:






We are all connected and bound together through our actions and experiences in life...presentation is everything. We must be willing to become a equal yoke that represents a worthwhile existence. Alone we are only able to be single pieces of fabric..  When we become a combined effort and place our strength in righteous cause we become a foundation that young minds can stand on, build from and make a better future.
Imagine the human race depicted as a massive body of water. We ebb and flow together through time. The more we resist the currents of our inevitable connections, the more we end up becoming a sea of uncertainty and chaos. We must be able to embrace each other's flaws and imperfections. We are life cycles that affect the next spin, and until we are able to lay down our ignorance and embrace our fellow man we will continue to crash like waves against a disappearing shore.
What will you stand for? What will you represent? Let us be the tides that turn..changing the course of expected history one wave at a time.
We must not hold unreal expectation for one another. Where you are in your life whether it be spiritual, mental or emotional does not mean the next man is in the same place. We must be able to respect our cultural differences, and learn from each other. Trying to understand what drives another man's actions brings us greater insights within ourselves. We strive for progress but must realize that there will always be room for us to grow.
Have integrity...be responsible for planting seeds that are worth growing.
I hope together we can grow, blossom and spread a meaningful existence for our children and most importantly for ourselves because the true change begins with our own actions. We must portray the image we want to be painted...and we are all an equal yoke.


Today's positive affirmation: I have the willingness and understanding to accept my fellow man and continuously strive to be a positive example.

Walking With Our Shadows

I missed this post from Kevin early on and wanted to get it on here.


On 1/23/17 Kevin writes, I type:


Don't ever be afraid to peel off your darkness and leave it by your side. We all have to be able to walk with our shadows. Realize that one thing can never define you unless you allow it to. Life is mostly a complex string of events defined by our reaction to them. You can either let a moment hold you hostage or you can use it to push forward. Life is going to come at you regardless, and we can't always duck or dodge what is in front of us. We must realize that the more we stray from our path to run from something we have fear of facing...the more lost we end up. True strength comes from standing your ground in times of adversity.
I've made my mistakes in life, but I've learned I must never let it define my future self. My past mistakes are the shadows I keep beside me. I allow them to be a healthy reminder of where I have been, Let tomorrow worry about tomorrow and learn to be content within the moment. I feel like throughout each day its important to refocus our minds. We are beautiful machines...but like every machine we all require maintenance. Daily maintenance is an important part of our lives. When we hold onto a moment for too long we can become consumed by it. Daily maintenance is about keeping vigilance over your thoughts and emotions, and is about being able to let go and live on. I believe that true happiness comes from being able to have acceptance. Not just being able to accept you own self for the beautiful person you are, but being able to accept others for how they are and where they are in life. When we learn to keep our side of the street clean, we become examples for our neighbors. We feed off each other.. misery loves company. We must understand that a light will always shine brighter in the dark. When we learn to walk with our own shadows, we learn to shine for others.


Today's positive affirmation: I am the lighter in the darkness providing warmth for my fellow man.


Read! Comment! Reflect happiness, hope and strength. Become a mirror of acceptance.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

#Commit

2/1/17 Kev writes.....


We spend our whole lives searching for a true meaning to life...The cycle of suffering continuously spins throughout our daily lives. We fear losing control so much, but don't seem to realize that most of the time....We are NOT in control. We search for happiness but fail to realize that happiness is not found...Happiness is contentment...it comes from within, and is something that cannot be purchased or gained outwardly.
The true meaning of life for me is about being able to break that cycle of suffering. So, just how do we equip ourselves for this epic battle?
Being incarcerated has been able to show me the true ugliness of human suffering..The greatest suffering comes from within the human soul. I watch men destroy each other on a daily basis for the sole purpose of self-satisfaction. Not only do I watch inmates act in this way..I see the people that work here treat one another in the same awful manner.  I see the insecurities, pride and resentments found in each individual work to not only tear themselves apart from the inside, but I see them become the walls that block us from progress.
I don't try to distance myself from the men in here....I strive to be a healthy example that they can not only relate to, but also be able to find hope and strength from. I've committed myself to being a reflection that demonstrates what true change takes and what change means. Most of these men have become so bogged down by the guilt of their actions that they end up succumbing to the image they believe the rest of the world will see them as. When we give up on life..We not only give up on our own life but we kill what benefit we could have been for the betterment of other's lives. This is the cycle of suffering that keeps our species in a steady decline. This type of suffering is what keeps these men constantly trapped in the justice system.
We must commit ourselves towards becoming the change we wish to see. In order to stop the things that destroy our communities...We must first become the examples our children can follow.
Our response to the events that shape our lives dictate the landscape to those around us.


What will you commit to? I leave this question for you all to reflect on, and for you to reflect back. Post a picture that demonstrates your commitment towards positive change in the world. Hold a door for someone, give a compliment to someone, do something positive and share it here! #COMMIT


Today's Positive Affirmation: I will be the strength others can find hope in.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Whispers In The Wind

On 1/29/17 Kev writes:


Most of us move so fast through life and never stop to listen to the wind...Sometimes that voice we have been searching for is a whisper in the wind....
Learning to find serenity and live life on life's terms has become an essential part of my recovery process. Being incarcerated has taught me about the meaning of true patience....
Most spiritual principles coincide with one another...patience breeds acceptance which then in turn breeds serenity. I have learned that true compassion is about being able to care about the next man's suffering. I think in our society we tend to focus on the negative traits in people, but fail to try to understand just how those negative traits came about. Unfortunately we cannot make everyone happy, but we can share happiness and inject hope into our society....sharing core values and reflecting positive traits is a demonstration of unconditional love and is allows us to show that by caring for our neighbor's well-being we not only create better communities but a better world.
We must not be clouded by cultural divide, but be united by one undeniable fact and that is that we are all the same. Our collective conscious is the life force we must use to produce change.
I feel most of us have a hard time believing in something greater than ourselves...if this is the case for any of you out there reading this, try believing in each other!
Together we are a force greater than ourselves! Let us all be whispers in the wind and carry the seeds of hope!


Read, comment! Reflect hope, love and strength!


Today's positive affirmation: Together we are the force that drives the rain through the leaves, and life to new seeds.



Friday, January 27, 2017

Prisons

On 1/26/17 Kevin writes, I type......




Honesty has become one of the most important core values in my new way of life. Living by a code of honesty allows us to gain a true understanding of ourselves. Honesty breeds acceptance. As I've told you all before, I am a grateful recovering addict. I am currently writing this from Noble Correctional Institution. I have been incarcerated close to two years now and I am in the process of serving a five year sentence. I am blessed to be where I am today. I allowed my addiction to heroin to take me to some very dark places and if I had not been arrested when I had, I would most likely be dead.
Since I've been incarcerated, I've decided to dedicate myself to a new way of life through a twelve step recovery program. I use daily maintenance as a way to hold my emotions, thinking and actions accountable. I work the steps with an outside sponsor and I dedicate myself to helping others. I am working towards starting a recovery-based business, and using this blog to reach out to those in need of help. I am attempting to build a recovery network that will hopefully become a part of a greater movement in the near future. My greatest ambition and drive is to become a part of the solution in regards to the many social issues we face in our society. I refuse to become a statistic, and understand the keys to freedom come from within.
I was already inside an emotional, mental and spiritual prison before reaching the confines of an actual physical prison. Our hearts and minds can become the most dangerous prisons we ever have to face. They are able to hold us back from our true potential and leave us in a stagnant state of existence. As I said above, the  keys to freedom lie within ourselves. We must be able to face our own reflection and honestly accept our shortcomings. Being able to let go of my past transgressions has allowed me to accept myself. I practice personal accountability through a rigorous routine of self- assessment and daily meditation.  I share my positive experiences with others in order to gain a greater insight within myself. I facilitate positive programming for other inmates like myself and chair my own twelve step meetings to give back what I've gained through my own process. This type of service work is beneficial not only for those I share it with but also towards my own personal growth. I think sometimes that we feel one person does not have  the ability to change the whole world but that is not the case. One person's actions are able to cause a ripple effect....What waves can you make?
If we are able to share one positive thing to the next man on a daily basis we can change the overall landscape in our society and world. My mission is to be a catalyst for others to want to change the world around them. We must be able to surrender our pride to be a benefit to others. It starts with one person helping the next and causes a chain reaction that will end up affecting millions. When we stand together undivided-we become stronger together.
When you read my posts not only do I want you to provide positive commentary...I want you to share your own experience with the next person by being the creative, innovative beautiful people I know you all can be. Don't just use words to reflect the way you share this blog..be creative and ambitious! We need to have the courage to speak out in a positive manner...Realize that negativity and violence provides no solution for the problems we face in this world. Our greatest hope lies in developing a deep connection with one another on a social level. I will continue to stress the fact that community based problems need community based solutions. We must create a community that shares hope, strength and positivity.
I am excited to see the reaction we are able to create together. We do this by sharing our experience to the next person struggling. If we are able to reach just one person each..that one person will have the chance to reach the next person. Help me to create a movement that will benefit our world in a positive manner. We are the MIRRORS reflecting hope! You are accepted no matter what! As we surrender our fear, anger and pride....we begin to accept each other. Our hearts, minds and hands connect to a world worth living in. We can share a better future by becoming a better people.


Today's positive affirmation: Let my reflection be an image of hope for all those who suffer in this world.

Undivided Attention

1/24/17...Kevin writes:


I see hope in the flowers blooming between the cracks in the pavement. Our young people are the seeds of our species. They need our UNDIVIDED attention. The only way to break the cycle of our past mistakes is by creating a new wheel. When we look into our children's eyes, we should always desire the best parts of us to be what is reflected. Our children experience our experiences, failures and successes. They emulate our very being. As a society we tend to forget that it takes more than good parents to raise a child, it takes a good community. I believe that we have clouded our conception of acceptable value systems. We have created a generation of entitled, selfish, vain children. We allow outside forces to influence and corrupt our children through media and pop culture propaganda. We are at war with ourselves.
In an age of connection, why do we feel so disconnected? Love is the ultimate weapon. We must love ourselves first to be able to love one another. True love starts with acceptance. When will we be able to surrender our individual pride for the common welfare of our species? We use violence in our streets to try and promote change. We must demonstrate hope and understanding in order to motivate the masses towards a more positive path. We are divided through our own ignorance and inability to accept ourselves. Until we realize we are not more unique the man or woman standing next to us we will continue to be at war with one another.
We are living in an age where we can share every experience in an instant but we fail to tap into the positive possibilities of tv, radio and social media. We must come together and share hope with each other. Today, I ask you to spread a message of acceptance. Spread a message of hope and do your best to be a positive example to a child. I was once told in a recovery group to write a letter to my ten year old self. What would you say to your younger selves?
I will keep this post short and look forward to share and read your comments. Share and be a relentless force of hope!


Today's positive affirmation: I will no longer be bound by the chains of pride.

Monday, January 23, 2017

We Are All Mirrors Facing Mirrors

We are all reflections of the world around us. We all have the capacity to be beautiful and we all have the capacity to be ugly. When we lose our focus on the bigger reflection that surrounds us and instead become centered around our own vain intentions... We become a trapped reflection. Our inability to accept ourselves becomes the obstacle that holds us back from our true potential. It can make us a slave to selfishness...As human beings we share a profound connection to one another. Many of us don't realize the impact we are able to leave on a life. Even if you don't have a child of your own that looks up to you for guidance, we all have "children" watching...Next time you find yourself in a public place...Try and be aware of just how many eyes are constantly watching you.
Have you ever listened to a song that was able to change your whole attitude, or been inspired so much by something you've seen that it changes your emotions or outlook? Those types of situations are the tangible evidence of the complex connection we share with one another. If we could just begin to look past our own reflection and find contentment within ourselves, we would have the chance to start changing the larger reflection that surrounds us. We would be able realize that we gain nothing through our own selfish devices...It is the legacy we create for each other that defines our existence.
This starts with our own self acceptance.Communication is a beautiful thing...but we have to be able to communicate with ourselves first. However, we have to beware. We can allow our minds to become the mouth of our greatest enemy, the mouth of our greatest critic and a friend that leads us down the wrong path. This can lead our hearts to be filled with doubt, hate or fear. Or...we can instead start allowing our minds to become the contagious anthems of an infectious change and thus our hearts become the true proof of working beauty.
As a recovering addict I know firsthand what fear and self doubt are capable of...for me to truly begin to live the life I was supposed to be living I had to find contentment within myself ...I had to face my mirror and no longer be blinded by the scars and flaws I see reflected on the outside...I looked inside to find courage to see the beautiful person inside that I kept hidden for so long.
I believe as human beings no matter what race, cultural background, sexual orientation, etc., we all have experiences in life that are relatable and significant. I've been where you've been. Maybe not in the same sense but from one human being to another...we all face the condition of suffering throughout our lives. Learning to live with who you are is being able to understand that there is no excuse but to be the best person you can be. We are all mirrors facing mirrors and our actions and lives reflect in to one another for better or for worse.  Let us not be trapped reflections but share ourselves to help bring hope and happiness to the next person.
I am responsible for the change I wish to see in my own reflection and in the larger reflection that is the world. Each morning I face my mirror and give myself strength by accepting who I am. If you are lost inside your mirror and feel as if no one understands what you are going through, I invite you to come share your reflection in a mirror of acceptance. I wish for this blog to be a place where anyone can come find hope and share their life experiences to benefit the next reader...to let move beyond the frame of our trapped reflections and join in the bigger reflection that is life.
Change starts with action. Read! Comment! Reflect hope, happiness and strength! Become the mirrors for a better world to be reflected in.
Today's positive affirmation: We are never defined by the amount of time we fall, we are defined by the amount of times we choose to stand back up. My darkness is the shadow reminding me of a new sun that rises. I am the light that fills all voids and gives a voice to silent struggle.

READ, COMMENT ! REFLECT HOPE, HAPPINESS AND STRENGTH! BECOME A MIRROR OF ACCEPTANCE!