You’re LATE…for God’s SAKE!!!

There are few times in life when I am late.  Sometimes I get stuck in traffic, or sleep in.  Sometime’s my car won’t start, and sometimes I’m just in such a disorganized fluster that I cannot even find my head (it seems).  But there are some things in life for which I would never want to be late.  

I have recently started going back to church.  My reasons are long and complicated, but I feel like I’m doing the right thing by submitting myself to the Higher powers that be.  Noone knows for sure about God, and what this life (and what comes after!) is all about.  That is why I, personally, have sought out divine direction in some way or another – to help understand it all.  But one situation which I would NOT wanna’ be late, is attending church.  Whatever your denomination or beliefs, you’d think this is one time you’d wanna’ be on time, right?  I have seen the same individuals coming to church 10, 15, even 20 minutes late.  The mass is only 40 minutes.  I have also seen many come after the Holy Communion (the purpose of it all!), and leave before the final hymn is complete.  Now, I know there is no rule book on church etiquette, but most adults have an idea of what GOD means in their lives.  I’m certain they know the importance of the Sabbath day.  Many of these late people get all dressed up, too, so they know the importance of mass.  Which begs the question:  Who are you gettin’ all dolled-up for anyway?  It’s like court.  Most wouldn’t miss court, or show up 25 minutes late, right?  So why do people do it with God? 

I think the main reason is priorities.  Although many claim to be God-based and God-fearing, many just don’t care enough.  God doesn’t seem to take notes on punctuality, or commitment, and accepts everyone into His house, right?  Personally, I would want God, as well as my fellow parishioners to see how faithful and devoted I am to Jesus Christ.  I wouldn’t wanna’ be known as the late family, that leaves early.  It’s like, why do you even bother coming??  But I am not God, and I am not a judge.  I’m just expressing my divine opinion.   I suppose making an appearance is somewhat important, too.  But to me, it’s just not the way life works.  Whether it be your love life, career, health, or spiritual life, we don’t just jump in when we want, take what we need, then go back home.  Life just isn’t like that, and I definitely don’t think Spirituality and Faith are like that.  

Bunged-up at the Finish Line…

I’ve been having issues with my eating.  My diet hasn’t been that good.  I’ve felt bloated and crampy for months.  I go many days without performing a “number 2.”  Does this sound familiar?  While I have come to accept that I am currently, “severely constipated,” I’m relieved to know that I am not alone.  Apparently many adults suffer from this uncomfortable condition, too.  

Eating, digesting, and poopin’ are things that I have taken for granted for much of my life.  For the most part, it just happens naturally.  You eat, you digest, and you rid yourself of the waste.  Sounds simple, huh?  Sure it is…until you hit your 30’s!  I have had digestive issues for about 5 years now.  Although I had attributed much of it to poor diet and lack of exercise, I’m beginning to wonder if there’s more to it.  I don’t know much about IBS, or “Leaky gut” syndrome, but they seem to describe what I’m going through.  I have now gone over 10 days (a record for me!) without recording a dump of any significance.  I can fart, but that’s about it.  I get so excited when I feel a fart coming on, thinking this is the push I need to get this garbage out of me!  But nothing.  I will sit on the toilet, rocking, pokin’ my tummy, positive imagery (believe it or not!) and deep breathing.  Still nothing.  I have experienced relief from stool softeners in the past, but not this time.  Yesterday, I even tried a suppository for the first time ever.  It was a very…….interesting, experience.  I even went to my doctor, and she gave me some Restorolax.  Still nothing.  

Now, I have gone for many years now without any sort of regular, physical activity.  I used to exercise a couple of times per week, and played baseball in the summer.  But since my 30’s, I’ve done very little.  Just a whole lotta’ working, stressing, and trying to keep up with the rat race.  So I’m saying, again, that this is the year I gotta’ make changes.  I know I am not overweight by any means, but I know I am far from healthy.  I have zero worries about dying – whether it be from cancer, something rupturing, or failure of some type – but I want to take the preventative measures I can.

Poop, and bowel movements are not something we normally talk about.  In fact, I have received many rude comments when I start talking ’bout this sorta’ sh*t.  So many people just don’t want to talk about this dirty, shameful reality that comes from all of us – and I believe this is part of the problem.  How can we educate,  if we’re too grossed out to even talk about it?  For me, the fact that colon cancer is one of the leading causes of death among middle-aged men is astonishing, and scary!   How can I know the figures and not want to make changes?  So many (men) don’t like going to the doctor when there’s a concern, but I think if you’re over 30 – any concern is a valid one.  I wish everyone a healthy, “regular” 2017.    

Imagine Being IGNORED at your Birthday EVERY year?

It’s often described as the most wonderful time of the year.  We all know what Christmas is, too.  Yet few still hang on to the true meaning of this Holy day.  It’s Jesus’ birthday, December 25th.  Every year on this date, it’s his birthday!  But does anyone really care, anymore?  

I was raised, like most, to believe Christmas is about Family, Food, Gifts, Laughter, Music, and a little hint of Holiness (which usually gets buried under it all!).  The “true” meaning of this holiday is a Holy one, yet so many don’t have time for that kinda’ crazy talk.  From around early November, we begin to STRESS about the holidays.  The hustle-and-bustle of it all; the errands, the planning, the food, the guests, the gifts, the friggin’ traffic, the credit cards, the fake smiles, and the Christmas tree.  As a kid, it’s such a joyous time of the year, almost like a fairy tale.  But as an adult, it’s a bunch of cellophane-wrapped bull.  Adults are responsible too, for passing on the idea that Christmas is about gifts.  I know gift-giving is a part of what Christmas stands for, but we have made this holiday centre AROUND gift-giving and receiving.  We all tell our kids, “Oh, it’s a time of year where you should be grateful, considerate, and happy to be around family.”  Bull.  It SHOULD be about that.  Unfortunately, it’s more about greed, competition, and proving love through material things.  

I see all of the crammed malls, the stressful last-minute shoppers, *ahem* and the sense of panic and despair in the bitterly cold air.  I know few will actually be truly happy this time of year, and many will be glad when it’s all over.  I think Christmas would be much better if we actually appreciated what it was meant to be about.  It’s not a holiday about giving, or receiving.  I believe it to be about being happy, holy, and in the spirit of Christ.  Many people simply don’t have the time to think about Jesus on Christmas, and will merely go about their selfish ways.  Less people are going to Christmas mass, as there’s no time (gotta’ watch the kids open their gifts; gotta’ get brunch goin’; gotta’ clean the house; gotta’ baste the bird; gotta’ post pics to facebook; gotta’ gotta’ gotta’!)  We’re so busy and preoccupied that we’ve forgotten the purpose of it all!  

You’d never throw a birthday part for your kid, then ignore him the entire day, would you?  So please, amidst the man-made chaos of it all, try to be Holy this time of year.  Try to be humble, be generous to others, and give gifts that are intangible.  

Wishing you and yours a very Merry, Holy Holiday season!  

Physical OVER 50…

Many of us wish to improve ourselves physically.  This is especially true for those whom are at the mid-point in their lives.  *raises hand*  My goals for the past 15 years has been do just this:  ditch my bad habits, align my positive thoughts, and get my body moving again!  But is it safe to workout if you’re over 50 or 60?  

My Dad is in his latter 70’s, and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease about 3 years ago.  He has always loved going to the gym, but his doctor recently told him he has to take it easy.  Due to his heart condition, Dad was told not to go anymore, in fact.  He has had two strokes, and was told that his heart just can’t take the rigorous workouts.  With the recent passing of Alan Thicke, and my Dad’s diagnosis, it has got me thinking:  Should I really start working out at 36?  

I know many my age, and older, whom are in great shape.  Many go to gyms, have 6-packs, and are always smiling.  To be honest, I’m scared to start working out my heart!  I have had crippling chest paints in the past.  Many times I’d thought:  “Oh Damn…he’s (the reaper) here…this is it…hold…on!!!”  Then I’d BURRRRP and the discomfort would subside.  The ECG tests I had done confirmed that nothing was abnormal.  I’m not scared at all to pass, as I have been prepared for many years.  However, I don’t want to die doing a good thing for my friggin’ body!  If I’m giving my body and heart a healthy, blood-pumping workout, I expect to see benefits.  I don’t wanna’ feel that God-awful tightness in my chest, dropping to one knee, and throwing out a distress signal with the hopes that someone might notice.  It’s just not fair.  Many people in their 70’s and 80’s are over-weight, smokers, and eat fatty-ass foods (many are really unhappy and bitchy, too!).  But they’re alive!  How???  

Although I didn’t know him personally, Alan Thicke seemed like a really nice, positive, worry-free guy!  He was probably healthy as a youngster, took a 20-year break from exercise, and then just dropped from light, physical activity.  He was playing hockey with his son, so I’m sure he was very happy for that moment (not to mention his HUGELY successful career!).  Even if we’ve taken a break from fitness, gettin’ that heart pumpin’ again should be beneficial, right??  Now I’m scared to make the changes that I had planned for myself in 2017.  Seriously, I’m not making excuses this time, but maybe I should just keep this body and my bad habits, because I am happy, and alive!  I’ve heard of many people suffering this same fate, too.  “They died in their prime!”  What the hek is that??  Thicke seemed like a very positive person, like me.  But maybe it’s not going to make a difference?  

Gregg Braden is an American Scientist whom I have followed for a number of years (that number is about 5).  He is such a great speaker, and really knows his stuff!  He explains how our heart is our first organ produced after conception.  He also explained how the human heart is a hundred times stronger electrically, and 5000 times stronger magnetically, than the brain.  Amazing!  Most assume this biological machine of mystery just pumps blood throughout the body – but it does much, much more…apparently.    

How do we know if we’re straining our precious heart – physically or emotionally?  I do love so many things about life, and I’m always trying to think positive and hopeful thoughts.  I know our thoughts affect much of our physiology, but I know there’s still that chance that the hammer of fate could come crashing down on us when we least expect it (ie. playing hockey with your child).  So, instead desiring to get my physical body into great shape, I’m going to instead focus on just being happy and worry-free.  I know I, like many, need to remove as much stress as possible; it has been my nemesis for most of my life.  I understand a little stress is good for us, but I know I overdo (over-think!) it.  Ultimately, I know I’m the one responsible for my tangled, worrisome thoughts.  I don’t think I’m responsible for all of the stressful situations in my life, but I am the one that forms the opinions, and accepts the beliefs.  So, while I now have this fear of doing any sort of cardio, I do still hope to make big changes in 2017.  I just don’t wanna’ DIE trying.  May God bless all eyes that come across this.  

Who will you BE when you’re GONE?

Recently, I came across a video on Youtube by the amazing motivational speaker, Les Brown.  The one powerful line that stood out to me was:  “Many people will leave this earth without a trace that they were ever here.”  This motivated, yet also scared me, and I know it’s true for about 99.4% of the population, too (estimate). 

We are born, we live, and then our physical bodies will rest.  But what mark did we leave?  Sure, you may have your name scratched on a tree somewhere , or mischievously drawn your initials on a freshly-poured sidewalk.  But is that your only mark left for humanity?  The only proof that you ever existed!?  Personally, I have many things I want to be known for.  In 100 years, I know people will still be talking about Mother Teresa – and I think I’m a lot more creative than her.  *insert one Hail Mary here*  But she was known for her cause – her determination to help people in need, backed by her strong faith.  She was, indeed, such an amazing woman!  

I think we all should be known for SOMETHING (good), and have a legacy that will live on beyond our years.  But it simply doesn’t matter to so many, and I find this mind-boggling!  I know there’s no rule in life that  states that you have to have BIG goals, and that you CANNOT simply just exist!  Most of us, thankfully, want to have an impact on others, and contribute to the goodness of mankind in some way.  I think many are so hopeless, that they are even willing to do horrible things to get some damn recognition.  Some blow up buildings, and others become serial killers.  Why not BUILD buildings instead, or volunteer with non-profit organizations?  Sure, more work is required, but you would leave a better impression.

We only live once in this physical state.  Whether you like it or not, some people will talk about you after your pass (even if only for a few years).  But then what?  Poof.  Your memory will slowly fade away.  I strongly urge everyone to find your THING – and let the world know about it!  In this day and age, it’s very easy to make yourself known to the world.  Write a book…write a poem…do a painting of your LIFE…write and sing a song…volunteer…start a Youtube channel – hek, anything!  

For many years, I have noticed the b.s. patterns of so many (including myself!):  We wake, we work, we sleep.  You work over-time , leaving you with less time for yourself.  Yay, Monday’s here now!  Now you get to do it all again!  So many people don’t believe there could possibly be anything else because they’ve never known anything else.  If you’re content and happy with the way things are, and you don’t mind working ’til you’re in your latter 60’s, then that’s fine.  You were a hard worker, and hopefully people will appreciate that.  At my work, I have seen three individuals die (I didn’t actually witness it).  Two men in their 50’s had heart attacks, and a woman in her 40’s died suddenly from a brain tumour.  I worked with this lady two days before!!  This scared me, not only ‘cuz of the tumour, but because this could be me if I don’t change – rottin’ away in a factory with all of this lost potential.  

The one thing that I have always said is that I don’t want to go down with any ideas in my head.  I have thoughts for a reason, and want to share them with people, to inspire and just promote a better world.  So many simply don’t care about what happens after they die.  That is not the case with me.  I would love to one day be mentioned with the likes of Napoleon Hill, Gandhi, or the blessed Mother Teresa.  While they say first impressions are everything, I believe the final impressions which you have left to be, in fact, EVERYTHING!

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  Get out there and make a positive difference in this amazing, uncertain game of life!   =)   Peace be with you!

Rights of Publicity, Copyright, and Someone else’s Likeness

This has been one of the hurdles to my creations – the fear of getting into trouble using someone else’s “likeness.”  While I like to think of myself as an original artist, I do also like to create what’s familiar in our culture.  However, I wish not to get into any legal troubles in doing so.  

I like to draw a lot.  While I like to create many unrecognizable pieces, I also like to make things that people can connect with.  I have always liked drawing famous people – from Big Bird, to Bart Simpson, to O.J. Simpson.  It’s just neat when someone recognizes your artwork, and your ability to distinguish features.

But when I heard you can get SUED for using someone’s likeness, I was a bit scared.  While I think I might get a chuckle about Big Bird showing up at my door, serving me court papers (for copyright violations), I would be a bit more scared if it were a legal representative of Jay Leno, or Oprah.  Would they really sue lil’ ol’ ME???  Damn straight they would, son!

So, after doing some research and talking to lawyers, I have come to the conclusion that I’m good to go.  I simply cannot draw famous people and SELL their likeness.  Heaven forbid I would offend some millionaire by making a few bucks off of them.  But I do see artists often, selling drawings and paintings of famous people.  So, maybe celebrities won’t care?  I wonder how the satirical, political cartoons get away with it?  Or Family Guy?   (ie. Tony Robbins biting Peter’s head!)  

People always say that you gotta’ jump if you’re to be successful.  You have to take risks and measures that make you uncomfortable if you’re to reach your goals.  Ok – that’s what I’ll do then.  To any celebrity that comes across an image of yourself on my blog, just ask me to remove it.  I just may.  

ANTI-ProCRASTINATOR…starting NOW!

This is the first post I have done in months.  Sad, I know.  I guess I am seeing how, like so many others, I’ve fallen into the b.s. trap of life, excuses, and feeling a bit hopeless.  Ok, very hopeless, in fact.  But rather than throwin’ in the towel on these dreams of mine, I’ve got a little bit o’ fight left in me.  I know with working a “regular” job, there isn’t much time EXCUSE! left to come home and have the energy EXCUSE! and passion EXCUSE! to just…be happy and reach for some stars now!  After work (11:30pm), I’m tired  EXCUSE! and just want to relax with a food, movie, maybe a beverage, and then get some sleep.  

Around 2009, I had such excitement and joy about starting my own line of hand-made greeting cards.  The reality was that it was too hard competing EXCUSE! with the Hallmark’s and other big dogs, so I just gave up.  I literally threw out all of my binders, and all of the planning I had done towards that dream.  I went back to work as a welder, and never pursued anything creative for a few years.  About 6 years later, I had another burst of excitement about blogging!  Forget the greeting cards – blogging was my thing, it’s what I loved doing even more than the cards!  Hesitant to commit to my blog at first, I received much positive encouragement from people, and thought I would give it a shot.  I had that initial, 4-6 week burst of excitement (like when you get a new car, spouse, or pet), but then I got hit by the b.s. storm.  I am not blaming anyone but myself, as I truly believe that I am the maker of my destiny (for the most part).    

Since my last blog post, I have NOT been just working at my other job as a welder.  I have still been doing daily planning, peckin’ away at my goals as best as I can, figuring out how I’m going to magically piece together all of my chicken-scratched notes and rough sketches – the blueprints of my destiny.   I watch “Personal Development” videos everyday, hoping the answer I’m seeking will just jump out at me!  I scribble notes while watching every Tony Robbins video, yet still feel a bit ‘stuck’.  I kinda’ feel like even if I got to have lunch with Tony friggin’ Robbins, I’d still be in this pickle.

I met a fellow blogger last year, whom recently contacted me to see how I was doing.  It was so refreshing to know that someone cared about my dreams, still, and this gave me hope!  It’s probably the only reason I’m writing here right now, actually.  But she did, indeed, put me on the spot (and it made me a bit uneasy, to be honest!).  When she asked me when I would be blogging again, I said “very soon!”  She said, “Good…because I’m very big on  ACCOUNTABILITY!”  I remember doing a double-gulp in my throat.  She was pressuring me…but I needed it!   

So here I am…resurfacing with more enthusiasm than before!  I am soon going to make a video (something that has proven to be quite difficult for reasons many may not understand).  I know I have to overcome my ego in order to reach the success I dream about.  I was also inspired to see that my 8 year old daughter (the absolute LOVE OF MY LIFE!!) has a Youtube Channel!  My little angel – who always says “I’m too shy, Daddy!” –  has videos on Youtube!  Now, I will do a separate post about my concerns about her mom letting her have an online presence at this age (like, OMFGWTH!??), but I don’t wanna’ shift my mood right now.  lol  But my daughter showed me I can just be myself, I don’t have to go rent a nice suit, or worry about my hair, or tone, or the lighting, or the fact that I’m using my old cell phone as my means of connecting to the world.  I don’t need a fancy microphone, or be a video editing expert.  I know that most of what I need to be successful is already in my head!  

I have been a procrastinator for much of my life.  For me, it’s always been a comforter, and also a defense mechanism; I can do it later; it’s not life-threatening so it can wait; I’ll just start tomorrow.  If it can be put off, it will be (for so many).  I never procrastinate a bathroom break when I gotta’ pee; I never procrastinate eating when I’m hungry; I never procrastinate driving when I need to get to point B; I never procrastinate when I need to take a shower; I never procrastinate when I have to pick up my daughter at a set time.  So why, oh bloody WHY, do I procrastinate on the things (my dreams!) that are going to make my future and ultimately allow me to feel like I’ve reached my purpose in life??  If I, personally, had to answer this, I would say I do it (or don’t do it!) because of FEAR.  I have tried getting my head around this, and am making some progress.  It was once said by someone that “Nothing changes if nothing changes.”  This hits home with me, as I know I’ve gotta’ start D O I N G things, if I expect change.  Another notable quote is from John Lennon.  It reads:  “Only you can wake you up.”  I don’t know what HE meant by it, but it certainly hit home with me.  

Special thanks to Viv from My Soul Journey!  Thank you for not giving up!  🙂

Blaise