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 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!