The Devaluation of America

I’m on a flight from Mexico, studying my book on Hawaiian Adventurer Shamanism and I’m truly grateful for where I am in the life.  

I finally have a full appreciation for how lucky I am to have the family and friends that I share this life with. For without them, life wouldn’t be life.

But then, as I fill out my Mexican Customs Declaration form and enter my nationality “USA,” I am immediately shaken from my bliss with disappointment.

I am disappointed in my country.

After years of service and loyalty, I fear we have lost our way.

Our President represents our confusion. 

We’ve been dealing with so much change as a nation and a culture as we’ve grown from our humble beginnings to where we are today.

America has always been the greatest country in the world.  But I fear America may become a has-been if we don’t make a change.

But in the last few years our nation has been crashing – literally and figuratively.

Our beloved Navy had four accidents resulting in the loss of life and the removal of the Admiral in charge.

I’m pretty sure rule number one in the Navy is don’t crash your ship.   

When I see Nazis marching in the streets and teenagers dying from opioids in every community, then I fear our ship, USA, is crashing.

Luckily, I’ve lost my way before and I know how to find focus.

And focus – being present – is the key to not crashing.

First, ask ourselves what is truly important?

If the answer doesn’t include love and gratitude, then rethink your answer.

Second, ask ourselves what it means to be free?

If that answer doesn’t include love and respect for others, again, rethink your answer.

Third, ask ourselves what it means to be tolerant?

This answer involves a world without hate and violence against any other race, sex, nationality.

America is supposed to be a role model.  A place where ANYONE can be free.

It’s true – our skin is different today than 100 years ago.  Tanned and strengthened by the immigrants that built this country.  Our strength should lie in the diversity of our community.

Let’s remember what made us great.  

The Devaluation of America

Nazis in America

There was a time when seeing this headline anywhere in the United States would have implied an invasion.

It would have been no different than the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor or when the towers fell on 9/11.

But yesterday I saw chilling images from Charlottesville.  They were the view of the riots from inside the city’s oldest Synagogue.   

During the protest, the congregants were trapped while outside Nazis armed with AR-15s pointed them toward the front doors.  

These Charlottesville based American Jewish citizens, were threatened on US soil.  

To me, this represents an act of war.

And thus, I call for a National Ban on the Nazi flag and all similar memorablia as it represents a symbol of hate, violence, racism and the belief in genocide.

Second, I call on the American people to unite in Amending the Constitution of the United States to more clearly address that affiliation with any group focused on hate, violence, racism and genocide will result in the forefiture of certain constitutional rights such as the right to bear arms, the right to freedom of speech and the right to assemble.

This is the only option.

I will not stand by and allow the destruction of America.  

I will not allow racism and discrimination to exist.

The Constitution by design ia supposed to ensure the safety of all citizens and the survival of the country.

Today, black people fear the police, immigrants fear ICE, and Muslims fear Nazis.

The time for permanent change is now.

I call on everyone to do your part in making a better, safer, world.

Nazis in America

Who are we?

As I reflect on this past week, I’m compelled to share some thoughts.

First and foremost, a huge thank you for all the word of encouragement, phone calls and stories which people have shared around my post “100 Days.” I’ve learned that everybody loves drinking, myself included, but that A LOT of people wish they could drink less.  Our current social structure puts alcohol front and center – happy hours, summer Rose, concert and sporting events, etc – so it’s extremely difficult not to consume booze. Unfortunately, the older we get, our bodies change and the physical consequences on the body become more pronounced. However, from all the people that shared stories of their lifestyle without alcohol – 100% said they would never go back. I admit a cold beer on the Playa or sunrise Champagne will always be a delicious experience but for now I’m focusing my energies on family and work.

Second, a huge thank you to all the entrepreneurs and co-workers that have made it a point to emphasize how clear and focused my thinking and advice has been. When you start to see lifestyle changes positively impacting other really smart people – it’s super rewarding.

Third, I’d like to acknowledge the power of manifestation. Through clarity of thought from yoga, meditation and purity of diet, I’ve realized the power to manifest the life I want to live.   Quite simply, visualize what you want to accomplish and make it become a reality.

Fourth, I am overwhelmed with a burning desire to become a catalyst for change.  As the news of our President threatening North Korea is followed by images of a Neo-Nazi / KKK rally, I realize we need to make a choice. We need to redefine America. We need to decide who and what we want to be at this critical point in our history.

While this great country was built on the promise of freedom, the foundations of this promise were flawed. As Condoleezza Rice said, our country was born with a birth defect and that birth defect is slavery. And it almost caused our demise in the Civil War, it caused turmoil during the Civil Rights movement, and continues with a constant struggle for survival in our underserved communities.

Now, we need to remember that our freedom has been won by the brave men and women who have fought and died for freedom. The early revolutionaries, the Underground Railroad, and above all our military who fearlessly put themselves in harms way generation after generation.  As someone who served and swore an oath to defend our constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, I think it’s time to draw a line in the sand.  Because freedom can not co-exist with hate and violence.

When I was in High School, I remember fighting to protect a gay classmate. When I was in college, I remember fighting to protect a black classmate. Ironically at that point in my life, I was probably a bit homophobic, surrounded by racism with its fair share of misogyny.  It was acceptable programming of the time.

Well – it’s not acceptable anymore.

It’s time to reprogram what is acceptable.

So if you were raised a racist, misogynist or homophobe you are due for an update.

You know when your cell phone or Apple TV stops working because you haven’t installed the most recent software update – well, our country is about to stop working.  We have some critical failures that we need to fix.  The good news is that we should be able to make this a software update.  If we need to eliminate the hardware with the faulty programming – then we find ourselves in the second Civil War.

It should not be your right to assemble and have freedom of speech, if that freedom is fueled by hate and violence.

Negativity creates negative outcomes. Hence, someone driving through a crowd of hateful demonstrators in Charlottesville.

I remember as a young Army officer, getting dispatched to some civil unrest where they briefed us that our job was to defend the protestors burning the flag. It seemed odd to me that I needed to let people burn the symbol of freedom. I had learned through military history that it was our duty to make sure the flag never fell.  In fact, military rumor has it that in the ball atop of every military base flagpole, there is a razor blade to cut off the stars, a match to burn the starless flag and a bullet to take your own life instead of surrending.

So I think we can uses the same three things to change our country.   A razor blade, to cut out the hate and violence from racism, homophobic behavior and misogyny.   A match, to light a fire to mark a new beginning – where we can cast our past and chart our future.  And a bullet, because if hatred and violence will not go willingly, then we will meet it head on.

More than one wise teacher said, before you can bring peace to the world, you need to find peace within.

I have found my internal peace, so watch out world, here I come…

Here is this post in my own voice:

 

Who are we?

100 Days

Today marks 100 days since I had my last drink of alcohol.

And I feel great!

Obviously, drinking is a huge part of our culture.   We drink while we watch sports, eat a nice meal or head out for happy hour after a hard day of work.

But over the last 10 years, as I’ve grown a bit older and clinging to the edge of my athletic years, I’ve taken a few breaks from drinking and it always had a positive effect.

This includes weight loss, better sleep, less moodiness and a much, much happier wife.  And as the saying goes, happy wife happy life.

This doesn’t mean I don’t miss a delicious glass of wine especially with a beautiful meal, but it’s about a lifestyle change.   One that will result in a much healthier and thus enjoyable journey as I get older.

I continue to meditate and practice yoga – both which reinforce how good I feel without the booze.

And my spiritual evolution continues with more clarity.

It’s not for everyone, but it’s working for me.

Much love

100 Days

10 Habits That Have Changed My Life For The Better

  1. Morning Meditation
  2. Yoga
  3. Reading
  4. Daily Breathing exercises
  5. Tongue scraping and Daily Swish
  6. Avoiding alcohol and/or drugs
  7. Eliminating chemicals, refined sugar and gluten.
  8. Following an Organic Diet 
  9. Acupuncture
  10. Saying “I love you” to Angie, Scout, Elvis and everyone else in my genetic and spiritual family every day – now and forever.
10 Habits That Have Changed My Life For The Better

Live the life you want

I recently read a story about Steve Jobs and his final days.

Essentially, on his death bed, Jobs realized the “non-stop pursuit of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me.” He continued that “God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth”

As I am now in my 40s, I’m spending more and more time contemplating how I live from this point forward.

I’ve made some great choices and I’ve made some that were not so great.

Now, as I reflecting on my collective experience, I realize I have the choice of how I live my life.

I know my kids will only have one childhood and I will be an integral part of it.

But how I decided to spend time with the people outside of my family, is where the real opportunity lies to proactively live the life I want.

To pursue entrepreneurs and companies doing cool, innovative things with purpose.

To continue to express the need for humanity to provide food, water, shelter and security to every living person.

To meditate and be present in everything and every relationship I pursue.

Love can travel a thousand miles. 

Life has no limit. 

Go where you want to go. 

Reach the height you want to reach.

 It is all in your heart and in your hands.

– Steve Jobs


Live the life you want

Gratitude

I find myself in one of the most grounded, healthy and happy places I think I’ve ever been.

While the constant ups and downs of life still continue, I have found an internal compass magnetized by gratitude and pointing me in the direction of happiness.

This has not been an easy or short path.

It has not been without obstacles especially those self-imposed.

But as of now, I am in tune.

Much love.

Gratitude