Out of energy. Out of time. Out of Luck?

It is almost midnight here in Wisconsin — better known lately as the frozen tundra, a place where an hour long drive to work on a sheath of ice zaps what little energy I might have.

For me the time is a relevant issue. I should be in bed, but my desire for rest is usurped by my need for some time to myself.

In one of my recent posts, The Road to Nowhere, I wrote about my belief that we have the power to create our reality. I’ve been thinking more and more about how we, mere mortals, are supposed to overcome the obstacles of exhaustion and lack of time, and somehow recreate our reality into something more positive and fulfilling.

Let’s face it — it’s a lot easier to write about changing one’s reality than actually doing it. Of course one could argue that writing about it is one of the elements in the manifestation process. But where do we fit in the time to take meaningful steps for change when we work all day, then come home to play with our kids, feed them and get them to bed? For me, when all is said and done it’s about 10 pm, and by this time of night I’m burnt out — how about you?

And yeah, there’s that thing about it already being 10 pm. The day is just about done unless you want to stay up late, which will have you feeling burnt out tomorrow. So you’ve got to decide the burnout factor. What’s your burnout tolerance? Mine is pretty high, so I’m able to get little things done at night — maybe an hour or two of productive work (and the occasional game of internet poker) before I lay down to the comfort of my bed.

This is one of the most frustrating problems I have ever faced. I often feel like I’m making no progress at all. If I look forward, it appears that nothing’s really happening. It just seems like what no matter what I do, I’m spinning my wheels and wasting what little time I have.

But if I look back into the past, I can clearly track the arc of progress I’ve made in my life. I remember going through really awful times, some of them life threatening, feeling that same “motionless” sensation. Or worse, literally sliding further and further downward into an ugly, negative place. But things did change. Although at the time there didn’t appear to be any change occurring until a new reality manifested.

The other day I was feeling exceptionally down and my 4-year old son noticed. He asked me why I was so sad. Then he told me:

“Don’t give up dad. You can’t give up. You just have to keep trying and do your best…”

And he’s right. This is the message I’d like to share with you. We’re only failures if we give up — so don’t! All we can do is our best each day, keeping in mind that which we’d like to create. It could take years, but it is possible.

If you take enough micro-steps they add up to a step. If you keep your momentum going (even if it falters at times) a step will turn into many steps. If you do your part, one day you’ll look back and see that you overcame what seems insurmountable today.

I think it’s also so important that we ask the Universe (God, Buddha, or however we refer to the power that is “bigger” than us) for help. There’s no shame in asking for help, and I have found the Universe is glad to give it.

Thank you Universe!

If you would like to read more of my thoughts about creating your own reality, please click: Anything is Possible; The Magic Quarter: Creating your own reality; and The Road to Nowhere: It’s not too late to recreate your reality.

And remember, you are not alone.

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Leap Day: The Next National Holiday?

As a dad who works a full-time job, I think leap day should be a national holiday.

I’m always looking for an excuse for a day off, and a day that shouldn’t really exist anyway seems like a perfect choice! I don’t think our jobs would mind  it’s not like we’re deducting a day of work from the year, we’re just not adding one! We full timers don’t get paid an additional 1/365th for the day, so why bother? Wouldn’t it be better to spend one of the last days of winter snug at home with our families?

Blame it on Julius Caesar, the father of leap year. It’s all his fault. Well, actually it’s the fault of his astronomer, Sosigenes, who worked out the details. Couldn’t he have made leap day on the weekend? This way we’d have Saturday, Sunday, Leap Day and then a 4 day work week!

Anyway, Happy Leap Day everybody.

And remember, you are not alone…

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The Fart

A couple of weekends ago a pretty special thing happened.

The whole family was napping, which is rare occurrence in our household. My older son Max (almost 4) woke up, came into our room and laid next to me like he always does.

I had been thinking about my blog, so I decided to share my thoughts with him. I explained that one of the biggest reasons I blog is for him and his brother. How I’m documenting my thoughts and feelings about being a dad so they will have a record of exactly what was on my mind when they were little. I went on and on about how grateful I am to be a dad, how important my boys are to me and how much I love them.

Then I asked Max, “does that sound good?” Usually Max is quick to answer a question. But instead, a peaceful silence filled the room. And then…

He farted!

His response to my heartfelt diatribe was a fart. And in that moment, I realized that in some strange way it was the perfect response. Time stood still, briefly, and everything I had just spoken about was affirmed in the honesty of a fart.

Who says gas stinks!

And remember, you are not alone…

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The Road to Nowhere: It’s not too late to recreate your reality

Those of us old enough to remember the band, The Talking Heads, know that this is the title of a fantastic song. But what about the roads we travel each day? The path that we’ve carved out for ourselves, or the one that we unwillingly walk because it’s the only one we see?

I often feel mixed emotions about my existence. On the one hand, I have a beautiful family that brings be great joy and offers me unconditional love. I am so grateful, and I feel there’s nothing more special or important than my wife and kids. On the other hand, my wife and I have been facing health issues, and like most “middle-class Americans,” finances have been tight. Although I believe (spiritually and in my heart) that there is always a solution to every situation, my thoughts often wander into feeling that there’s nowhere to turn.

The road I’m traveling feels like the drive that never ends, with no relief in sight. Or so it seems. And although I think most parents face this same dilemma, that doesn’t make it right, normal or particularly sane.

I believe that we create our own reality. I’ve written about it many times on this blog, including posts on Anything is Possible; The Magic Quarter: Creating Your Own Reality; and Positive Energy: Life Changing Energy.

How does creating, or recreating, our reality work?
For those of you who haven’t heard the concept before, it’s basically about being mindful about what you’d like to bring into your existence. Think and speak about what you would like to manifest in your life and it will come. It also involves action — doing your part — to help the manifestation occur. There are a bunch of books on the subject that will explain it to you better than I can (see a brief listing below), but that’s basically it. Think, speak, do — and eventually it will manifest.

I’d like to clarify that sometimes “doing” has nothing to do with what you’re really doing. It’s about who you are being in relation to what you’re doing that’s important. Doing will keep you busy, but it’s stagnant. Being is dynamic, and is a much more powerful way to live.

In a very direct way, how you change your child’s diaper is related to changing your life. Are you happy to do it? Or complaining because the poop stinks and you’re running late, and you didn’t get a restful night’s sleep? In life, do you take action on what needs to be done to better your existence, or do you let fatigue and lack of time (difficult reasons to overcome) stop you? It’s all about being true to who you are no matter what you are doing or where you happen to be. The more positive we are, the more positivity we attract into our lives. This is no easy feat, but if we can pull it off we become like a giant magnet, attracting our desires. The bigger the magnet, the faster we create. This is how we accomplish great things.

Otherwise, we’re on a road to nowhere.

And remember, you are not alone…

Recommended books on creating your own reality:
– Conversations with God, by Neil Donald Walsh
– Spirit Healing, by Mary Dean Atwood

Related posts:
Out of Energy, Out of Time, Out of Luck?
The Magic Quarter: Creating Your Own Reality
Anything is Possible

A tribute to Sky & Sheila…

For those of you who have read Daddy Brain before, you know I have two wonderful, healthy boys. I thank the Universe every day for them (and I thank the boys for being my sons too!)

My wife and I also have two little girls who never made it into our physical world. Sheila, our first pregnancy, was ectopic. And we never did get pregnant with Sky, but we always knew her spirit existed.

I’d like to say hi to my girls and acknowledge that I love you both very much. I think about you often, and miss you here with us. I’d also like to thank you both for watching over all of us, and protecting us. 

To all of you who have lost a child, I wish you peace.

If you have healthy children, give thanks.

If you have a child who is having trouble with their health, positive energy and strength to you.

And remember, you are not alone…

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The Magic Quarter — Creating your own reality.

Creating our own happy niche in life is kind of like placing a quarter (I’m dating myself) into a video game console at the local arcade (remember those?). Find the slot for the money and put it in. Easy right? As long as you’re close enough. Try getting it in from 10 feet away, 5 feet away, or even one inch past reaching distance. The simplicity of it evaporates and what appears is struggle. Pretty insurmountable struggle — which can be avoided if we position ourselves closely to our goal.

The question is, how do we do this? How do we plan, and line ourselves up to make that finish easy? When the short term is so distracting, tiring and time consuming, it feels near impossible to even glance in the direction of the long term. But without taking the long view, there’s no way we can get to the next destination. We’ll just stand in the middle of the video arcade, pointlessly, as overwhelming noises bombard our very essence and our life slips away.

I too search for the answer. Creating my own reality feels like such hard work, but something deeper than my thoughts tells me it’s quite simple. It’s getting past the thoughts that is the challenge. Our thoughts have formed routines that are very hard to break. And I wonder, if in some sick way, we like the routines. They’re what we know, even if it’s misery.

I think part of the problem is we want instant gratification. As Americans, words like “wait” and “patience” are not ones we like to hear. I don’t know about you, but I was never taught how to have patience, let alone how to harness its power into great accomplishments. From what I have seen, many people never really try to make big changes in their lives because the process seems too long, too difficult and TOO SLOW. We simply don’t want to wait (I was like this for years). So things stay the same and we complain. Doesn’t that sound dumb when you think about it?

Inaction will have you waiting forever, completely defeating your desire to not have to wait — stop it!

Granted, we don’t all know what we want to do with our lives. So how can we take the long view when there’s nothing to look at? How do we find the coin slot when we’re not sure where to look? Or which game we truly want to play? The answer is to look within and find our quarter first.

Without the quarter, we can’t play.

To me, the quarter represents my intention or highest purpose. The quarter is a symbol of what we’re most passionate about, what represents who we truly are in the clearest way. The game we choose is the most entertaining way to play with our quarter (act upon our intention), hopefully resulting in happiness and satisfaction.

It’s a slow dance. Take a step, see if it works. If it doesn’t, try the next step. If it does, figure out the next step on this particular path. If you’ve taken the long view, then you are always headed in the right direction, so the next step can’t be that far off. But remember, you don’t beat the game on the first level. Often, you’ve got to play each level countless times until you align your knowledge and skills to even get to the final board.

This process may take many years. So what are you waiting for? Get started today for the sake of yourself and your family!!!!

Your thoughts and comments are much appreciated.

And remember, you are not alone…

Related posts:
Out of Energy, Out of Time, Out of Luck?
The Road to Nowhere: It’s Not Too Late to Recreate Your Reality
Anything is Possible

What the blog is going on? Which presidential candidate is best for our kids?

What the blog is going on? is a weekly question or comment about what’s happening in the world, and how it could potentially affect our kids. It’s a chance for all of us to share our thoughts and learn from each other. This week’s question:

Which presidential candidate is best for our kids?

I could sure use some help with this one, as I don’t follow politics too closely. I get too upset with what I hear, as well as what I don’t hear, from politicians. All I know is what my gut tells me from the little information I’ve learned.

McCain is a Republican. He believes in keeping this war going (from what I’ve heard). So it looks like more of the same, albeit with a higher functioning brain.

Obama gives me the creeps. There’s something about him that worries me — something in his eyes. He’s a good talker but I feel like he’s lying. But then again, that could be said of a multitude of political figures.

Hillary, well she’s Hillary. She’s always seemed cold and detached to me. But she also seems smart. And I liked the way her husband ran this country, so might she have a similar mindset?

I do not mind that Obama is a black man, nor do I mind that Hillary is a woman. No matter what candidate takes hold of the White House, isn’t it time they took care of the people who live in this fine country? Especially our kids?

What do you think?

Positive Energy: Life Changing Energy

This is a mantra of sorts that I’d like to share. Something to remember, especially when we’re feeling down.

It relates to my blog titled: Anything is Possible


It seems so far away
But it’s deep inside of you
Positive energy
Life changing energy

It seems so far away
But it’s living inside you
Breathing inside you
Positive energy

When you’re feeling beaten down again
And giving up wants to be your very best friend
Remember the people who
Inspire you
And need you to
Be true to you

And remember, you are not alone…

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Anything is possible

There’s something I like to tell my boys every day: anything is possible.

As a kid I was never told this, and that’s probably why I have been compelled to teach it to my children since the day they were born. I let them know that they can accomplish anything in life as long as they believe, and do their part. And although I’m always reminding them, I sometimes I need to remind myself.

There are days when I feel totally overwhelmed and hopeless. Problems seem insurmountable with no solution in sight. But I do my best to acknowledge that this is what I’m feeling, and what I’m feeling isn’t necessarily my reality — it’s just a feeling. And although one’s feelings are important, there’s a difference.

A few years back, I felt like my wife and I would never have kids. We had two ectopic pregnancies and our doctor questioned if we would ever have a baby. I’m happy to say that now we have two beautiful, healthy boys. Ten years ago, I was afraid I’d never recover from Crohn’s disease. In fact, for a while I thought I was going to die. After some big life changes, I’m feeling much better.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m perfect or that I have all the answers. Far from it. I just refused to give up. I believed in the possibility of change. I did my part. And eventually things manifested.

John Lennon once said: “where there’s life, there’s hope.” For me, if there’s hope then there’s a belief that things can get better. Anything is possible, as long as you believe anything is possible. If you don’t, then it’s not.

There is an American Indian expression, Wakan Tanka, which in many tribes means Great Power. It is further described as “the life-giving source of everything that comes into physical existence — seemingly out of nothing. It is energy coming into form.” (From Kenneth Meadows, The Little Library of Earth Medicine)

Your thoughts possess energy. What you believe becomes your reality.

What you think affects how you act, how you feel, what you can accomplish, as well as your health. Quite suddenly, or sometimes very slowly, the power of your thoughts manifests into reality. And it can be positive or negative — it’s your choice. Although the negative seems difficult to avoid, it only seems that way because so many people around you are walking that path.

STOP. You have a choice.

Believe, and do your part.

Be positive every moment you can (or as close to positive as you can muster). And miraculous things will appear before you.

And remember, you are not alone…

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Tired of Being Exhausted

Being a parent is tiring…
…especially if you work hard to be the best dad you can be. I have heard childless people, all women, share with me how their mother “raised 5 children under the age of 8,” or “8 children under the age of 12,” etc. My first question (which I refrain from asking) is: did your parents ever hear of birth control? But it gets worse. These same women have told me they were beaten by their mothers when they were “bad,” with shirt hangers and wooden spoons no less. In some odd way it becomes a pissing contest of sorts. How many kids one mom could take care of. Then, as if it were good parenting, the different ways their wonderful mothers “cared” for all of these kids by beating the shit out of them. What’s wrong with this picture?

If you made a mistake at work, what would you do if you were reprimanded with a spanking by your boss? If he or she took you in their office, bent you over their lap, and spanked the crap out of you? (For the purposes of this blog, disregard any thoughts of your boss being incredibly hot, or any desire some of you might have to be spanked.) Would that be acceptable behavior? Or would you have that person arrested for assault?

The answer seems pretty clear. So why would anyone think it’s OK for parents to hit their kids?

This prelude leads me to the main point of this blog. Exhaustion. I am exhausted. And I feel pretty stuck in the sticky muck of it. I have a plan on how to get out: exercise, meditate, sleep — but I’m inept at getting these things done. Anybody else have this problem? My current physical and mental state makes it harder for me to make good, clear decisions. And although I would never dream of hitting my kids, I don’t always have the energy or the mental capacity to assess what they’re really saying when they’re acting out.

Parenting is a lot like poker.
And just like there are different types of poker players, there are different types of parents.

The above example of a parent who hits to have their children behave a certain way (and to prevent them from doing certain things) is like a hyper-aggressive poker player. This type of player bets, bets and bets some more, no matter what the situation — attempting to beat their opponents into submission. They lack the ability to assess a situation. They only act with aggression, no matter what is going on around them. They’re not looking to understand, they’re looking to pummel and control opponents.

Another type of player is more thoughtful. He/she sits down at the table and assesses his opponents — their tendencies, personalities, playing styles, etc. In other words, he is taking stock of what is going on around him so he can make the proper adjustments. This allows him to make the best decision (at any given moment) on the most effective way to act. But this style of playing requires a high cognitive process (not needed in the brutal aggressive style nor in the abusive parent who’s only solution is to hit until a behavior is changed).

This thoughtful style of parenting is one where we can actually gain an understanding of our children and help them, instead of instilling fear in them. I believe children who live in fear become adults who live in fear. They’re too scared to make a mistake, so they often fall way short of fulfilling their potential.

My job is to help my children reach their highest potential and be true to who they really are. But when I’m exhausted, it’s hard to make the right decisions. One’s “read” of a situation can often be way off.

Somewhere along the way, things tipped and started feeling too hard.

Maybe it’s because there’s no family around for support (we’re recent transplants to Madison, Wisconsin). Then again, there wasn’t all that much support from family when we lived close by to begin with. But there was always an option to ask for help if you really needed a break. Out here, the isolation never ends. It’s like driving on a road, and you never get to stop. There’s never any substantial regeneration. Plus, it’s rare for my wife and I to get an uninterrupted night of sleep. Our boys are 4, and 1 ½ years old, and my younger boy wakes up crying quite often these days — teething, colds, lost pacifier… I am so tired.

I start to feel sorry for myself, which makes me incredibly angry. So what if I’m tired? My kids need me! It doesn’t matter if I’m tired, or at least it shouldn’t. I feel like it is an excuse, but isn’t it a reality? I just feel so overwhelmed, so inept. In fact, as I write this it is past 12 am. So in a way, I’m perpetuating my fatigue. But this is my time, the only time I get all day long for me. I’m not complaining, it’s a fact. And I think there are many like me — looking for some self-time. Without it, we might wake up one day with nothing left of ourselves.

For me, I need to sleep, exercise and meditate. Easy right? But the mind gets in the way. It stops us from doing what is natural, easy. It rationalizes, in a most irrational way, and keeps us in patterns that we would rather break. In other words, I’m resisting. So I stay up. I play online poker instead of meditating, I never seem to make the time to exercise.

Accepting resistance is the first step in letting it go. It’s there, whether we like it or not, so accept it. Let it be there. Resisting your resistance only builds upon what is already there.

Yes, just about every waking moment is for my kids, my wife or my job. The little time I have for me doesn’t get spent on the things I need the most. Some would say I have nobody to blame but myself. But I’m doing my best.

Does anybody else have this problem? Has anybody found a way to overcome it? Your thoughts and stories are welcome.

And remember, you are not alone…

Related posts:
Equal Rights for Kids. Part 2: Don’t Hit!