Write Your Own Eulogy And Live That Life

Photo by Michael Competielle

We only have one chance at life. Our time is often wasted with unfulfilling mundane tasks and toxic people. Freeing yourself to live your life to the fullest should be your single most concern.

Over the years I have written a few eulogies. One was incredibly detailed and vibrant as I was able to emphasize the amazing life my friend had lived, however, another eulogy that I wrote was sad and incomplete as I struggled to find where this person’s life goals had been fulfilled.

“He was a great father, son and a harder worker.”

Utter horseshit and if anyway says anything like that at my funeral you have my permission to stab them in the eyeball with your car keys (assuming they still have car keys when I croak, or even cars, or even people for that matter).

My Eulogy

Every day I awaken with the thought “If today is my last, will I have regrets?” The answer is “hell yes” as I’m certain most people would agree. However, it isn’t because I regret the past. The past already happened so I give it the great “bon voyage and fuck off.” We can’t change that shit. What we do control are our present and our future.

I’ve been a son, grandson, father, brother, teacher, student and blah blah fucking blah. Just to be clear nobody cares not even me. What we do care about is the quality of those situations and how we interacted with each person.

An amazing friend once told me of an old proverb “the best day to plant a tree is 20 years ago, or today.” And therefore I daily plant the trees which will grow and nurture my future for as many years as I have left.

My eulogy will list my accomplishments as I work daily to reach them. Writer, philosopher, artist, filmmaker, craftsman, yogi, guru, photographer, pornstar. (I always squeeze that one in as a guy can dream). None of which I’m not working on in some capacity to enrich my life and enlighten everyone I come into contact with.

So my mental eulogy mentions all of these qualities and my backlog of works will be the proof. I will have written books, made more films, written more poetry and become a yogi. How did I get there? I started 20 years ago…or today.

You are reading article number 78 of 100. You are looking at one of over 50k pictures I have guesstimated I’ve taken. Is it my best article or best photo? If I die today it most certainly will be. Is there room for improvement? 100 percent and that’s what I work on daily.

You Are Writing Your Eulogy Everyday

I make it an important part of my day to randomly stop and ask colleagues, friends, coworkers, and family the most important question of them all. The only thing that actually matters. “How do you feel?” It floors most people and the first time or two you often get lame answers. “Fine”. How about fine isn’t fucking good enough. Ask me how I’m doing. Anyone that knows me knows that “I’m living the dream”. Am I? You bet your ass I am. Why you ask.

Because I work daily on my own personal development and goals. I’m going to get to where I need to be because I’ve designed my destiny. Do I have specific plans? Nope. I don’t generally do the same things twice. If I do I modify the sequence and mix it up. I don’t make concrete plans, I don’t follow rules and I read directions backward. Why? Because I like to see what direction the path takes me.

My eye is on the prize as I’m working diligently to learn, develop, create and just breathe. Life is what we make it. Shit is going to happen however if you are on a specific course, you can modify and adjust as your goals have already been set.

If it all ends today, so be it. It’s out of my control, however, when you hear my eulogy there won’t be a question that I was everything I had hoped to be. Possibly just a little sapling in the shadows of the future me that never will have the chance to materialize, but I’ll be damned if I don’t daily fertilizer myself with the beliefs I’ll get there. Some how..some day.

If it all ends today I’ll see the rest of you rebels in hell. Man will I have some stories to tell you. And if we live on realize we are still headed to the same place but my backlog of stories will continue to be mounting.

Today is the best day of my life and today I’m Living the Dream.

Michael Competielle

Stop Asking The Wrong Questions Trying To Get The Right Answers

Photo by Michael Competielle

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them 

Albert Einstein

The quest for knowledge and finding solutions to problems is a lifelong endeavor. We start off young and ignorant to the outside world as we begin to experience life and its many obstacles. As a child, we often would ask the question “why?” With anticipation the answers to the question are simple. 

As we become older it is assumed that we become wiser. We believe it is through education and experiences however some people we recognize truly excel. They have all of the answers and have risen to the top, riding that wave of life. 

Why is it these certain people always have the answers and seem to be fulfilled while you feel hollow and empty? What makes a brilliant mind? I’d say a great thinker.

On determining the proper question If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes. 

Albert Einstein

Questioning The Question

We all have those people in our lives, you know the people with a hundred questions that never listen to your answer. They just barrel on with more questions not only ignoring your response but answering their own questions with premeditated answers. You’ll see a smile on their face as they walk away feeling contentment. 

As they feel complete and resolved you feel confounded in how little time people spend thinking and more importantly articulating well thought out questions. 

“You can increase your problem-solving skills by honing your question-asking ability.” — Michael J. Gelb

Confucius, Plato, Einstein, Aristotle, Lao Tzu, and Pythagoras were all known to be great thinkers. And all great thinkers ask brilliant questions. 

So why do so many people struggle with asking the right questions? Because they want to hear the answer they already believe

Great Minds Think Like 

Insecure people spend most of their lives attempting to find security. They will surround themselves around the safety net of like-minded people while having conversations that corroborate their insecurities. They’ll feel better asking baited questions which are reciprocated with shallow reassuring answers. 

The questions aren’t really questions as they are just statements of misdirection. As we stand in front of our peers and repeat to questions while awaiting comforting encouragement, we never really receive valid answers. 

Asking questions we already know the answer to does not help in our self-development. Asking for answers to questions we can’t answer ourselves is the first step to enlightenment. 

Answering Our Own Questions

If you have to ask superfluous questions you’ve already lost. Honest assessment and communication within yourself are a perfect opportunity for obtaining truthful answers. Asking someone else “Am I fat?” When you damn well know you are while awaiting the kind emotionally intelligent answer “You? No way, you look amazing” has manipulated the answer you want to hear even though you actually know the answer is false. 

Why bother asking the question? Does the artificial dopamine rush from a manipulative lie actually make you feel better? Nope. You know you are overweight and out of shape. So how to get to the right answers? Ask the right questions. Simple right?

What Are The Right Questions

Okay, you recognize you’re out of shape. Diets and exercise cause you anxiety. As you make a mental list of options you know won’t work you triangulate onto a possible solution you believe could work. Now reask your question. 

“I’m overweight and out of shape. I was thinking of taking a yoga class and try a new juicing diet. What do you think?”

Honest questions yield honest answers and you are well on your way there. Every day I ask myself questions and attempt to give myself honest answers. When I hit a question I can’t answer or I need to expand on a theory I’ll formulate a well-articulated question that can easily be answered with little objectivity. 

Asking Why

When we are in touch with our thoughts and processed the information to a point where we feel we fully understand things the most valuable question is that of the child. Why?

Why do I have to go to work? Why am I maintaining this toxic relationship? Why am I wasting my time making others happy? Why do I not get satisfaction from (insert statement here.)

As I’m designing my future my time is spent accessing current situations and asking “Why?” When the answer is clear and concise I continue to follow the existing path. However, when the answer is met with murky waters and frustration, I move far away from those scenarios. My life has aligned with a clearer path to fulfillment as my questions are easily answered with two words.

Why?…. For Me….

Understand By Supporting Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, And Free Expression

Photo By Michael Competielle

Some days I just need to check in with myself. I pride myself on ignoring the evening news and hardly ever reading my daily New York Times subscription of curated articles. The news depresses me as I feel helpless within this modern society. However, there are areas where I feel I can learn to understand and make a positive impact.

For all of my life, I’ve been friendly with various types of people and love to lend a non-judgemental ear in an attempt to understand perspectives. Gender, sexual preference, race are not distinguishing factors to characterize who we are because what we are is human.

Humans are an imperfect species as we have tortured and killed each other, and isolated those we chose to spare. Our success as a species and lack of empathy has isolated nations and ravaged neighborhoods.

Our breeding of hate and separation has been passed down through the generations until it has become the poison of our thoughts and toxins to our tongues. Closing our eyes and ears to the ignorant is not an excuse as not speaking up only condones the hate.

Photo by Michael Competielle of Fierce Pussy Artwork

The Hate That We Breed

Generations have stood silent as horrible atrocities have been bestowed on people for being different. But why? What do we fear and why do we hate?

Over the years I’ve learned as I’ve questioned and I’ve accepted as I become enlightened. Who am I too chose what is right or wrong is based on another religion, skin or non-binary gender identity.

Many of my best friends and biggest inspirations have crossed gender barriers as they have attempted to obtain knowledge and acceptance. If we as people decided to love and accept with an open mind and let people be whomever they want to be this world would be an amazing place.

The Choice Is Yours

Photo by Michael Competielle

Understanding and being in touch with our own emotions and feelings is a unique power we possess as humans. As we raise our families and teach each other to love and respect others as we expect ourselves to be loved. How lucky are the ones that are born and die knowing our identities and living every day in our own unique ways?

Some people aren’t so lucky as many are born just not feeling quite right. They question their identity and seek answers to questions many refuse to speak of. We owe ourselves the right to decide where we feel comfortable and complete. We owe each other this right to choose without judgment.

Photo by Michael Competielle

I’m a middle-class white American straight male. It’s doubtful anyone has it better than me. I’ve got the world by the balls and can essentially do as I please. It’s with the power that I was born with that I’ve made the decision to educate myself and share my knowledge. To question the status quo and be supportive of our brothers, sisters, gender-neutral, non-binary and gender-fluid friends.

Hate is a learned response and through education that teaches truth and understanding, we can stop the hate. With compassion by listening, we can learn to understand the perspective that will change the fabric of our future. Collectively we will remain as one and ensure that future generations have the ability to modify their lifestyles as they see fit.

By taking away gender distinctions we can move forth in a positive and proactive uniformity. Open your mind and be mindful of the complexities of others and be supportive of their decision to find themselves. Our identities are best defined based on how we perceive ourselves in this world without judgment and impunity.

How I Regain Control From My Anxiety In 5 Minutes

Photo by Michael Competielle

Monday mornings, the bane of my existence. Where I awaken from the comfort and calmness of my weekend to the racing thoughts of my responsibilities. My breathing is short like a staccato violin and life’s complexities race towards me as I stand still at the intersection of my mind. 

Scheduling conflicts, upcoming holidays, year-end deadlines and changing weather conditions awaken me as I feel the rush of cortisol pollute my body. The pressures of being in charge and responsible I need to maintain control even though I feel a cloud of thick dense fog over my concentration. 

Regaining Control

As I recognize these are my last few minutes of rest before a long hard day I know I must regain control of my mind. As I’m quietly still lying in bed it’s the perfect scenario for mindful meditation. 

The room is dark and nearly silent. The sounds of my dogs breathing in the forefront, soothing and rhythmic while in the distance, I hear the sounds of the highway traffic beginning to build up.

As I lay flat on my back and stretched out like a mummy with my hands to my side I begin to regain control of my breath. With every ounce of concentration and focus, I take in my first calculated intake of breath. As I feel the air come in I imagine it flowing down into my lungs and begin to fill them like the expansion of a hot air balloon.

I hold the air in my lungs for a few seconds as I begin to feel the effects in my extremities. I begin to exhale with complete control like opening a bottle of champagne without explosive popping.

My next breath is again focused and purposeful as I’m feeling the flow expand my chest. Slowly my mind begins to again take charge of my thoughts as each anxious thought fades away like the ripples in calming waters.

Photo by Michael Competielle

The focus on my breathing becomes consistent and autonomous as each trouble vaporizes and my body is calmly rested. Deeper in I breathe with the same timing but increased intensity as my anxieties seem ever so small and distant.

My body begins to feel rested and energized as I keep breathing and open my eyes slowly. I’m still physically in the same place however my mind and my spirit are in control as I begin to float through my day. Calmed, mindful and in control.

How I Increased Productivity By Multitasking With Mindless Activities While I’m Mindfully Focusing

Photo by Michael Competielle

Every morning I do essentially the same mindless routine while I’m reading and catching up on my life. The routine is pretty simple and regimented so I can maximize my personal time. If I plan ahead properly I have an entire 1/2 hour of focused mindful reading and thinking.

Many people feel that we can all multitask however studies show our productivity and concentration struggle as we attempt to do too many things at the same time. With the notable reduction in productivity and focus, what we believe is multitasking, in reality, are rapid shiftings of our tasks while we lose concentration and focus.

By creating a daily mindless routine regiment, my muscle memory has taken over many of my morning tasks. My mind can focus fully on reading or focused thinking while I’m making breakfast or washing dishes because I’ve fallen into a groove.

Mindless Focus

Having crafted a pattern of simple tasks, my processes seem to function absent of thought. I’ve visualized myself as a kitchen virtuoso since my routine is similar to a master musician that can perform perfectly while engaged in a detailed conversation.

As I distance myself mentally from my morning routine, my mind shifts to my planned mindful focus. I can read a short article or listen to a podcast with full and complete immersion. Each word I read or hear is processed into long term memory as I lose myself in the exercise.

How I Know It’s Working

The proof is in the pudding they say. Well in my case the proof is in the cleaned kitchen, breakfast made, vitamins taken, lattes frothed as I’ll evaluate all I have done within that short period of time.

If I made any mistakes in my process such as forgetting to turn on the toaster or making the espresso incorrectly, I’d agree that my multitasking technique doesn’t work and therefore I could possibly be focusing on my mindful activities. However, what actually is happening is completely the opposite. My productivity has increased while my focus and retention have become more present and purposeful.

Having my mornings to easily accomplish my chores and desires early has begun to set the tone for the day. I’ve become more focused, fulfilled and present. My completed task list grows while life’s mundane daily routine has become a mindless passive routine.

Mindful Excercise

You can multitask simply if you focusing your mind away from what can become mindless. Dishes, folding wash, raking leaves are all activities that you can remove focus from while you redirect your mind into meditative mindful exercises.

As I’ve retrained my mind to stay focused on mindful activities my productivity has increased and my presence is in the now.


Our Conversations, We Are Speaking But No One Is Listening

Photo by Michael Competielle

The power of human beings is our ability to communicate our thoughts and emotions with clarity and detail. The issue is, however, most people haven’t anything to really say or understand what we are actually saying. Assemblages of words that make up sentences that lead to paragraphs that speak volumes of nothingness. We vocalize our emotions based on superfluous fragments, the sum of which is zero.

Focused Listening

The key to being a great communicator is to become a great listener. If we mindfully listen to the words that are shared with us we can extract the details of how a person feels and that is where great communication is born.

Think of yourselves as the editor and the therapist as our “patient” shares with us their deepest emotions. We process each individual word and determine which words we can cutout. As we mentally abridge the story it allows us to exercise our abilities to perform Mindful Listening and deepen our connection to the story.

As the words become statements that hopefully become full-fledged thoughts we can begin to paint a mental picture of the storyteller’s feelings.

If you silently listen without retort or introjection you will begin to fill in the blanks of what story you are actually being told. When the storyteller finishes it allows us time to breathe and help the storyteller feel comfort in your understanding of the narrative. It’s at this moment when you are able to express your analysis.

Positive Response

With complete sincerity, you should begin to respond with “what I hear you saying is” as you explain back to them what it is you heard them say. A positive response notating what content you have been shared can allow for a deeper and more meaningful dialog.

We often don’t hear what we are saying or even understand the meaning behind what it is we are saying. As we hear back what another person feels they heard you say, we can begin to rebuild the content into a baseline.

Once we are reconnected to the repeated narrative we can begin to access the basis of how are statements come across to an outsider. Many times hearing back the regurgitation of our words leaves us unsettled and exposed. It’s at that moment when the listener can make the largest impact.

What it all means

Most often our conversations stem from the expression of feelings that have developed inside our reptilian brain. This portion of our brains is responsible for carnal knowledge of basic functions essential for life. Our reptilian brain handles our primal instincts inclusive of our fight or flight emotion.

Our primal mind is incapable of reasoning or thought processing and so, therefore, we often aren’t making processed statements when our narrative comes from our lizard mind.

With a kind response we should ask the storyteller “but how did it make you feel?” This one usually floors a storyteller as it’s an uncommon question that will develop the deepest impact.

It’s during that exacting moment we hope to have moved the conversation into the frontal lobe of our brains where emotional expression, judgment, and problem-solving takes place. With our focus inside this controlled environment of our minds, we have moved away from fight or flight into deciphering the content.

When you give this segment of your brain the ability to process and decipher what we have heard repeated back to us, we can then look deeper within ourselves to find the clues on why we may have been triggered.

When we care to listen and allow a story to unwind, it’s the responses we receive back that opens our mind to the ability to figure it all out. Learn to listen and listening to the process is the most powerful of our human minds. Nurture the process and sharing how you feel makes the largest advancements in self-development.

A Filmmakers Tale Of Documenting The Death Of A Friend

Photo by Michael Competielle

The diagnosis of a debilitating disease changes one’s life. Time will freeze as you struggle to remain present while you reminisce on the past and pray for the future. Our internal clocks tick until time runs out and our story ends.

Driving home one evening I saw police cars at my friend Tom’s house. I feared the worst yet hoped for the best as I walked up to an officer at the open garage door. The prognosis was Tom was still alive yet barely. His plans to fade off into the afterlife was almost complete.

Calm and complacent I was satisfied with our time together as Tom was preparing for the afterlife. Actually he was already well prepared and had everything in perfect order.

One afternoon I was scouring Craigslist for film gigs when I came across an ad for a documentarian needed in my town. As I already had what I believed to be the essential qualifications and equipment for the job, I responded to the ad.

I received a response from Andy, a close and personal friend of a local artist named Tom. Tom had been plagued by years of health issues and as of late he felt he was deteriorating.

Because of Tom’s ailments, he imprisoned himself to his home. 

So the project seemed relatively straight forward, bring film gear for an hour once a month and film Tom in a basic documentary style. Tom’s friend Andy would be the interviewer and attempt to keep Tom on task as we worked through the interview.

Tom’s home was your typical split level suburban tract home. Once inside we made formal introductions and headed upstairs. 

Tom was a medium-sized aging gentleman in a thin fit shape. Over the past few years, he had been struggling with Parkinson’s disease and so, therefore, his movements were calculated yet lacked full control. It was immediately apparent the disease had affected his motor skills. 

Tom offered us tea and pizza he had purchased specifically for us. While he was in the kitchen prepping I set up the film equipment in the dining room. It was hard to miss that the walls were filled with the most stunning artwork I had ever witnessed. Finely detailed oil paintings, some still life, and others were a bit more abstract and magical. 

Tom sat down and began the interview explaining what he called his first incarnation as an oil painter. He explained his attention to details from having been a scientist for many years prior to developing a rare unrecognized Brain Allergy. 

His environment was slowly killing him as his body recognized chemicals as neurotoxins and they would attack his central nervous system. Most doctors don’t believe the disease exists and feel it’s a psychological disorder and therefore Tom had to prove the disease was real and debilitating. 

With the only actual research done on the disorder back in the 1960s, he had to find his own path. Tom found a specialist that was able to obtain him medical disability from having to go to work however it began Tom’s new life of a recluse. Imprisoned in his home away from the poisons he couldn’t be around.

Molds, perfumes, chemicals all exacerbated his condition. Tom had to remove all of these items from his home. The off-gassing of plastics we call the “new car smell” forced Tom to have to ride a bicycle around town. His trips would be purposeful as he had to stay away from environmental toxins. 

The hardest part of his disease was his reaction to the paints and thinners he had grown to love. He could no longer paint and therefore fell into a void of depression. 

He pushed on and found alternative means to express his creative side. He restored old baseball cards to offset his disability income and a few years later found his second incarnation working in water-soluble inks. 

Tom surrounded himself amongst his art, each piece framed and carefully hung. As he was aging he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s that hit him with a new grouping of medical issues. 

Not to be beaten Tom religiously exercised and even during one recording session did 100 push-ups for Andy and me to prove his abilities. 

As we interviewed Tom religiously once a month over the course of a few years we learned of his loves and loses. He struggles to overcome his ailments and attempt to have a normal life. Every day was a struggle yet he remained sharp and in control. 

His knowledge of politics, science, futurism, and art was second to none. His compassion and empathy for the world was often the motivation behind his works. 

Tom was confident that his artworks were very good despite having been seen by few. The fact that he was an outsider artist he felt that he needed to help along with the narrative of his works by documenting his process and how he had gotten there.

One evening Tom explained he had an end game. He recognized that his diseases once he could no longer maintain control would kill him. A hospital or nursing facility that firmly didn’t recognize his Brain Allergy would send his body into an autoimmune rage. 

That’s when we were introduced to Compassion and Choices and Tom’s plan to facilitate his own demise once the time came. Andy and I discussed the information we had just been entrusted with. We followed up with his family and were ensured though they weren’t pleased with his plans, they respected his position. 

Hours were spent discussing love, life, the environment and how Tom tried to prove his theories within his paintings. He never felt as though he succeeded yet I am certain the answers an artist seeks never are.

At Tom’s memorial service, I wrote a segment of his eulogy. To this day I struggle with how to tell his story that highlights his brilliance. The day will come where the story will unfold inside my mind and I’ll complete my promise to my dear friend, that his legacy and art shall be loved and he will forever live on. 

RIP my dear friend Tom

How My Writing Is My Journal and Journaling Is My Meditation

Photo by Michael Competielle

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” Buddha

It isn’t uncommon for me to awaken early, my mind alert and racing. I’ll think about situations I can hardly control as I’ll attempt to find a solution. Next thing I know I’m grabbing my iPhone and mindlessly scrolling through social media posts. My mind will then wander deeper into a rabbit hole. My time wasted. Nothing is resolved and I remain sleepless.

Once I began practicing meditation, on those sleepless mornings, I would focus on my breath. My mind would calm as I would fall back into a deep restful sleep. The gain was I would awaken refreshed and stressfree.

Enter the Journal

At my bedside, I kept a Moleskin journal and a pen. I was hopeful that when I would awaken I could begin to perform some mindful journaling until I fell back asleep.

The concept indeed could work however the issue I had was writing in the darkness of the night. Certain there must be a simple solution I decided on writing into my iPad.

Fully charged and in night mode, my iPad is on my end table. Now when I awaken I can immediately begin to journal while in the headspace of my anxieties.

Words begin to flow from the innards of my psyche. My focus is always on how I feel at that exacting moment that I ensure I’m articulating with honestly and focus.

Each of my latest journal entries has become my Medium articles. Journaling my articles and channeling my philosophies has expanded my mind and thought process. When I revisit my entries I’ve recognized loopholes in my thoughts have been filled as my journaling technique continues.

Journal About How You Feel

Yesterday I was told by a friend I “mindfucked her” as I explained my theories on recognizing how situations and environments make you feel. She and her fiancee wake up very early and together head to the gym. From there they together head to their jointly owned business and spend the day working hard. They have been very successful in spite of having limited free time.

As we discussed further my journaling exercises and the Power Of How You Feel she recognized she has been feeling better than 10 years prior and that their lives were fulfilled and purposeful.

Writing articles daily as journal entries as I focus on how I feel begs to ask the question Why? Why do I feel focused, calm and in touch with my feelings? Honest writing that just in the clearest form.

I’ve learned to recognize truths and can read through people’s insecurities and lies. I can practice empathy and mindfulness as my intentions can remain honest and pure. The truths of how I feel, expressed in writing and shared with the world.

Like A Fish Out Of Water, I Don’t Belong Anywhere

Photo By Michael Competielle

Stepping outside I’ll immediately struggle with the decision whether I go left, right, or straight. “Fuck it let’s go right” I’ll say to the only one that really listens and head left, my instincts of being ambidextrous have determined when in doubt go left.

Instincts guide my decisions as I walk aimlessly through life looking for experiences and enlightenment. Situations will present themselves in a natural unadulterated fashion as I attempt to focus on the present and go with the flow.

When I walk into a store, tradeshow or museum and I’m challenged to make a decision, I always go left as that just feels right. Going right feels foreign and obscene like most people that I’ve met, boring and following a plan. I’m always focusing on being somewhat thorough in a speed reading sort of way until the connection is made with an object, a person or a notion.

Walking through an Ikea once I noticed that the store was designed properly with projected arrows on the floors guiding the pedestrian traffic in a natural flow from left to right like I read and how I wander through life like a whimsical fish.

On another occasion, in another Ikea the store’s directional arrows were placed backward guiding the herd from right to left. Unorthodox and teetering on blasphemy, I debated on the notion to leave my group and fix the store by reversing all of the store’s arrows and signage yet the concept of human traffic when I’m trying to create order is daunting. The mindless zombies certainly would be lost forever in the catacombs of chic furniture, destinations no longer known.

How adaptable is a fish out of water? We can survive. Our way of breathing will change as our skin will dry out yet we will adjust and endure the challenges of a foreign environment. We become like sea urchins, calloused and hardened.

When I ultimately get my way and get back into the water, I will swim upstream like salmon, in an attempt to spawn new ideas and adventures.

I live in fear of doing the same thing twice as I find comfort in my inconsistencies. My plans for today only spoiled by my mood and inabilities to stick to the plan. Winds and water flow will guide me off course. My surroundings uncharted and anew.

How will I feel connected and complacent? I never will, however, the journey is my destination, no matter how foreign or unplanned.

The Changing Of The Season Affects My Mood

Photo by Michael Competielle

The changing of the season from summer to fall is the perfect time for forest walks and fall foliage drives. As the leaves change colors from green to vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges and the temperatures are still marginally warm and bearable.

Yet something is lurking in the shadows of fall. A cold and evil darkness is beginning to set in. As the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder, the seasons change to winter will bring on a sense of sadness.

The winter days sun is hardly reminiscent of the sun of the warmer seasons. Brightly shining with a warmth that fuels our souls and tones our flesh. Our bodies are energized on the long journey of a summer day. 

The darkening of fall will lead to the dead of winter. A season lacking in birdsong, vibrancy and light. Annually I begin to sadden as I will feel imprisoned to the indoors to avoid the harshness of winters chill.

As of late, I’ve learned to overcome the sadness of dark frigid days by keeping my mind in check. I’ve learned to stack the decks against the disconnect from the great outdoors. By using my mind to fuel my soul, and adjusting my activity and motivation the changing of the season to winter has become pleasant. 

Dressing warmly I’ll trudge outside to embrace the difference in the sounds of winter. The lack of leaves and ground brush changes the pitch and character of common sounds. 

The feeling of the cold winters air has a bite that reminds me that I have a fire inside. An internal light that needs to be fueled and nurtured. The glowing embers of energy that I need to keep stoking to maintain my sanity. 

Embracing the days and fortifying my passion to learn and experience, I’ve learned to love each day and fill it with love and life. The sadness of the cold and dark is overshadowed by the fire in my heart and power of my mind. 

With controlled breath and pure thoughts I realign my mind to fulfillment. This day may not be that picturesque scene we would love to paint yet it is the perfect opportunity to reconnect my mind to my soul. 

With breathing and focus the changing of the season can be enjoyed. With pure thoughts and an open mind, we can embrace this time for learning and expression. 

Looking back we see where we were, and looking forward may be too far away. So by nurturing this thought in this moment for the fire shall rage to overcome the sadness of the cold and dark days ahead.