Bloody Fall

It’s the Fall, that ‘bloody’ time of year, where Death pours in so that new Life may blossom and the perpetual cycle of growth may endure.

My Teacher told me awhile back that this time of year is the “ratchety times” where what needs cleaning in your consciousness will come to the surface from the subconscious.

If Spring is for cleaning what is around us in our homes, offices, and the external spaces where we dwell, then the Fall is for tidying up what lies within.

Growing up in Hawaii, it’s easy to forget that there are four seasons.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I experienced weather in the 50s in Honolulu, where at this point, I’ve spent most of my Life.

Our weather is like a year-round Spring & Summer here but that doesn’t mean we aren’t impacted by the changes in the Seasons.

In observing myself and those around me, I can see Fall going on all around.  I need to remind myself that it’s all a part of the process of Being, Breathing, and Believing.

Long ago, I fought writing.  Over time, I’ve embraced it.  Now I know how much I need it.  Writing is my creative outlet, my vacuum, and at times my toilet.

It’s where I bring new life, tidy up, and release that which no longer serves.

I wonder at times what propelled me to where I am on the Path with the tools such as Writing as opposed to painting (which I do sporadically) or music (that I love but would never dare to call myself a musician)?

At this stage in my Life, I’ve written way more than 10,000 hours.  As much as I’ve been a Jack-of-all-trades and master of none, writing has surpassed that so-called Master by default of 10,000 hours, and yet, it’s not quite enough.

Perhaps it never shall be.  It won’t be at least until the work is done.

When the work, whatever spiritual purpose I have here in discovering and the healing that comes with it, is done, only then shall my role be written out of the script.

This stroke on the grand canvas of Creation shall have reached its conclusion.

So thank you Fall, Bloody Fall.  You’ve given me more to reflect upon, shown me both how far I’ve gone and how much more I have to grow.  I can’t say I always agree or am ecstatic, but when I am, it’s pretty bleeping cool.

And back it’s on the Journey I go…

Tear Down 2 Build Up

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Building from the Ground up in Kaka’ako

 

When those Walls we’ve built upon false beliefs crumble, it is time for rejoice, for it means that we now have the opportunity to create fresh, to manifest a new…

Foundation.

For without solid ground, we could never hope to endure Life and all its dynamically beautiful complexities. Enjoy the cycle of construction through destruction when it appears in your Path, for renewal always

follows in Nature’s Time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#FlashbackFriday – The First Time

This post was inspired by #WednesdayWishes, became #ThrowbackThursday, and now is finally get published on #FlashbackFriday.  Here’s why…

On this day in 2012, the final version of my manuscript was due!  But I actually turned in what would go on to be published as my first book, Adventures in Urban Mysticism AUM Vol. 1 : Rebirth, a few days earlier, and it would be released in November of that year.

Sigh.

If I only knew then what I now know (or don’t know or something) b/c Life’s events just keep reminding me that Death & Rebirth are constant themes in our lives as we learn more about/how to Love in the time we are given on this plane of existence.

I didn’t write that book for the money. I wrote it bc for as long as I can recall, I have felt this burning urge from within my Soul to express.

That first book was a first step.

Funny thing about firsts, though often not lasts for many of us, there is really only one first, and that’s pretty cool no matter how flawed that first may be.

Five books published in total later, each time I undertake the process, I learn a little more about #Life, #Death, & #Love.

On Sept. 21 of 2012, I uploaded the manuscript files and on that date of this here in 2014, I received my first physical royalty check.

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Writers! Tell me, do you agree that #TheStruggleIsReal!?!?

Nah, just like how Bruno Mars sang about “being a billionaire so fricking bad,” I will just visualize 6 or 7 zeroes attached to future checks, and give thanks & praise either way, any which way.

Anything is possible, back in small kid time, I never dreamed I would be an Author among all the other glorious endeavors I have experienced.  Just like #AUM was my first book and I appreciate it so much, I appreciate this check just as well.  Who knows what shall come and dreams are free…

Dreams are free

Right on, write forth I shall because the learning is #priceless!  Watch for #TheDarkMeeting and #DropTheMic coming out in the next few months!

Drop the Mic Vol. 2 – Ep. 01 – Iron Sharpens Iron

“You’re nobody till somebody kills you.”  ~  from Nobody by Rick Ross ft. French Montana

Today I was tasked with sharing online how I feel, not just the positive, silver lining bits, but how I feel in the scope of this experience as a Human+Being at this point & time…  LOL.  Here goes.

Disclaimer: I’m a Writer, you’ve been forewarned.  

Lately has been pretty tough.

A few things have happened that are beyond my control personally, which I’ll share second, and professionally, which I’ll discuss first.

At times I’ve felt helpless.

I’m in the middle of the most stressful period of time leading up to an opera for the Marketing Department of our Company, of which I am the Director.  I’d have meetings each day with the Marketing Team to see how my people are doing except our crew is one-person deep (yours truly) so Life goes on because the work must be done.

As part of my responsibilities, I have the ‘glorious’ task of overseeing the program project, which at times feels like the collective toilet that people release their own shit and frustrations into.

I get it, it makes sense, everyone needs to blow off steam.  This is just my opinion, others may see it differently.  I’m just one who hears every complaint about it, sly remark, reads the ‘wonderful’ aka pretentious emails, etc.

I’m not a Designer, things get lost in translation.  It’s a 36 page project with multiple components received from many departments.  It’s not like editing a paper.  Not to make light of copy editing.  That shit is its own type of complex.

We have identified something to alleviate challenges each time (and it really gets smoother) but some things could be done by others before it reaches this stage.  Accountability is on all of us.

Coupled with my daily duties and the main task, cracking the Da Vinci Code of selling more tickets while spending less as a Department on more productions, and well, you might say there’s a little pressure.  

It’s funny because while a critic might not like something in a production, you always hear how amazing it was. Yet, despite the work I’ve done (with the guidance and support truly of my great boss), Marketing work is seemingly never quite making colleagues or Board Members happy.  It’s really a mirror of Life, as more can always be done, but you can only get through so much with the time you have.

But eh, bring it, I’m game for the task.  Or at least Life continues to Flow me through such situations.

I grew up in Hawaii as a hapa-haole kid who looks more caucasian and I’m used to experiencing adversity and people not being pleased about something, whether in passing (stink eye) or direct (Eff you haole!) coming my way from small kid time.  

It’s okay.  It’s Life.  I’ve lived through that.  I’ll live through this and in about 3.5 weeks, everyone will be back to the all smiles, rah rah rah, whatever.  I have half a mind to say ‘Fuck You’ the next time it goes down but I’ll get down to why I can’t totally always be me in that brutal honest fashion a bit further in the read.

As I go through this, I often think of the great words of my friends here at work:

“The Elephant is eaten one bite at a time… and it’s getting smaller.”

“Everyone thinks they can do Marketing.”

“Everyone gets crazy during the Season.”

Last year was different.  It was all new, so there was more excitement. Every day is new, but it’s funny how Life can make us jaded.  I was told yesterday after sharing I try to make the best of each day, that I “sounded like an old man and in youth, we really do squander time. ”

It was a cold dose of Truth that I couldn’t help but agree with.

Get right back up, let it go, move on, move forth.  

Last week I accidentally broke a phone.  This week I’m told I made someone cry (and later told that person in the emotional state said they wouldn’t talk to me again).  It hasn’t been my most graceful couple of weeks professionally.  

I can potentially beat myself as much as anyone else.   Today I shared, “you ever think I share positive things because I have to?”

While someone might see me frustrated and at the same time I’m pouring out positive, I see how that can be a contradiction, but maybe, just maybe it helps just a little.

I believe it’s the little steps that lead us the furthest in the Journey.

I am very familiar with my Darkness, with how barren humanity can be.  I am also quite fond of the opposite.  I am so far from perfect and I am continually humbled by how perfect Nature and God work in harmony as we go through this experience.

I feel challenged at work right now, it’s rougher than before, and I can’t really say why exactly.  But I have felt that before.  My last work situation sucked.  I have worked in some pretty harsh situations in general with shitty people who cared more about (insert vice here) than they did about people.

But you know what, the assholes I’ve met along the way aren’t terrorists, they aren’t dictators, they are just people with their own issues and I know that conditions can be far worse.  I pray for myself, I pray for them because I always remind myself, we each have good Hearts.  Some of us may be far disconnected from it than others, but the Paths are each different.

I am very grateful for where I am.  For what I have been.  It’s cool.  It’s okay.

I feel overwhelmed.  I am overwhelmed probably because of a great unknown that is going on in the personal arena of my Life.

A few months ago, I noticed a swelling under my jaw that didn’t go away.  I thought it was nothing because I went to the dentist to fix a chipped tooth, or maybe because at the same time, I had the flu, so you get swelling and weirdness when those things happen.   Thing is, it never went away.

My Doctor wanted me to get a CT and one night later I woke up in the middle of the night with my heart racing for the first time ever.  Panic attack, anxiety, too much caffeine, stress, all of the above probably.

I went back to the dentist, since I noticed it after that, and he found something in my jaw x-ray, and then referred me to an oral surgeon, who didn’t see anything but wanted to see the original film.

Guess, what?  That is unresolved a month later, four months in total, after this all began.

Oh, well.  Such is Life…  You don’t always get the answers when you want them.

An interesting post oral surgeon story gave me Faith everything happens for a reason as someone in that office shared that as a child, she broke her nose and noticed something as an adult in the same area of my own swelling.  This woman learned that because of the break, when sick, or dealing with sinus issues, mucus collected there.

I laughed because this thing has gotten way smaller since I had the flu those months back.  AND, in my youth, I bashed my nose on the bottom of a pool while doing my best Professional Mexican Wrestler flying off the top roles impersonation…

I might still get the CT.  I might not because when asking my Chiro about it, he said just keep an eye, especially if it’s not bothering me. It’s not and I take a lot on Faith, so yeah, for now, I’ll keep an eye on it.  I also believe we go through what we do to prepare us for what’s next.

Which segues nicely too…

My girlfriend has an unknown health issue that we’re awaiting to find out what is going on.  In an age of billions being made in the medicine, it’s amazing how long it takes to get an appointment or go through the referrals.

Out of respect for her privacy, I won’t go into detail, but it concerns me because of what I’ve observed since we’ve noticed it and past observations of the similarities there.

It makes me wonder and reminds me of how much time we really have.  I feel healthy.  So does she.  We both externally look healthy, yet there are things going on inside that we can’t see, that’s beyond our control, and well, that’s pretty crazy to fathom.   It’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes.

I realize we have these things happen in our lives.  We also lose Loved Ones daily.  Wars and way more crazy shit goes on every day around the world.

I factor those thoughts in and while I might be pretty serious, I strive to be mindful with and of others.

I’m not always the best and cheeriest at home but in some ways, it’s the only place safe enough for me to be me, to share these feelings as they are, to be really, brutally honest, because that’s important, whether it’s a smile or a frown or something else.  

I can’t be like that at work because I get too in the moment and miss a step because I see the perfect picture and fall in the water.  I can’t be like that because I make a joke in the same fashion as the person who ends up crying does with me, and well, cry on.

It’s fucking hilarious.  I walk through Life seeing the value of mindfulness, working on it every day, of who I am, how I am, and the only place I can actually allow that is at home.  Though beautiful, I can see how that’d be frightening.

I’m super grateful for it, this person, the relationship, the hard times, the trials, because each mountain of adversity we climb together, the view taken away from that peak is so absolutely amazing and means so much, the harder it is for me to fathom taking a step without her and that scares the shit out of me.

I’ve been in love before, and when that ended, it changed my entire Life.  I was fortunate to have been laid off at the time and be able to rebuild with and through God as the foundation.

I haven’t been in love like this before, with this much else going on.  If the unknown is health related, that is what it is.  If it’s incompatibility, that is what it is too.  I don’t know that’s it’s going to be either or something else.  Doesn’t mean I won’t struggle with it.

I’ve never been here before.  In this moment.  At this point in time. Neither have any of the rest of us.  It’s important to be there and love people at their worst times.  It’s also really fucking hard.

They tell you that if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.  Well…

I get that.  It’s okay.  But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  I’m okay with the fact that it’s hard.  I know so long as I draw breath, I’ll find a way to see the meaning, to smile, however briefly, and be at peace.  But I’m as Human as the rest.  I’m as challenged as the rest.

I’m the kind of person who tries to find a way.  I don’t believe in giving up at things.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t stumble or fall.  I have many times and I get back up.  This has just been particularly challenging because of all that it’s pulling in different areas.

But that’s okay.  It’s all okay.  I’ve learned this long ago.  I believe it to this day.  But whether something is okay, it doesn’t mean what comes with it won’t be experienced by those we share a space with as we wander this Earth, see it exactly the same.  

I find peace.  I can be myself, in doses outside of home.  I haven’t learned to gracefully allow that in all areas. I believe that if you really get to know anyone, we can be both God and the Devil in Life because I am very much in touch and have experienced those depths of which we are all capable.

I don’t set out to be ‘Good’ or ‘Evil.’

I am merely seeking to be, as I am.  And that’s fucking hard to do.  I realize it’s even harder for another to allow.  Particularly if the ones we love are in pain, but as that wise saying goes: Iron sharpens iron…

It is said the Buddha will manifest as both a healer and dictator during times of war.  If that Greater Power sense is all things, so are we all expressions of Life.  

I see that.  That’s why as crazy as people can be, I know I am equally crazy.  That’s why as challenging and overwhelming things feel, I know it’s just the tide.  

Life is all things.  I get that and I think most people do but it’s a scary idea to admit.  We have a collective media sharing the Fear and I committed years back to live from and for Love.

Love can be tough as well as gentle.

I share positive messages, silver linings, maybe in excess because if I feel like I need it, and I’m a microcosm of the macrocosm of the world, the world needs it just as much, perhaps more because a great number of us have lost hope.  

I know I can be super intense and honest.  For a time, I got paid to be like that with people and speak Truth and in return saw people cry both in peace and/or storm off because interpretation of what the Universe gives us is always different.

It’s cool. It’s okay.  Life goes on.  It will go on long after we are each gone, for we physically occupy but a small piece of this vastness that is creation.

I get it.  It’s okay to die.  It’s okay for the Ego to sit back.

Doesn’t mean the rebirthing process is easy.  LOL, practice what I preach?  A principle can be understood far before it is mastered. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share it for what we share, we need just as much as the rest.

Maybe I’m “wrong” in my view.  Maybe I’m not.  Maybe someone else will kill me for my views as I’ve been told a few times.  Whatever. That’s Life.

One day, I’ll write a book: It’s Okay.  Whatever.  That’s Life.  

And that will be the whole text.  Ha.  

We must keep our heads up. No matter how beaten I get, I keep coming back and I will continue to do so for I know I’m just going with the tides of this Life.  

Top 5 Tips For Weathering A Shit Storm

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From last week Thursday to today (also Thursday), it’s been pouring a bit of some steaming piles let me tell you. It all began when something very horrible went wrong while working on a challenging project for work…

The project involved coordinating/dealing with multiple personalities aka characters, arranging a venue for a photo shoot while my contacts at said venue were on vacation, and took about 2.5 weeks to schedule. The final details came down to the eleventh hour but we pulled it off.

Little did he know…

The day of is where the shit storm starting to pick up.  I was asked to take pictures for someone on her phone during the experience.  I obliged and being really into photography (but no pro mind you), I saw some cool shots.

One particularly memorable and cool shot led me to step in a drop off of water, submerging half my body and her phone.  Top it off that there were maybe 30 or so people in the area and well…

Needless to say, the phone has not survived.  I didn’t get the greatest of vibes the last time I saw this person, understandably so.  My boss joked I was a coward for not going up and saying something.  Maybe he’s right.  Maybe it was just a joke (Disclaimer: not all jokes are created equally, see below).

I took the whole thing a little hard being the perfectionist and diligence I undertake when it comes to work.  And I felt really bad about it, but well, this is Life and these things happen.

Meanwhile, at home, the shit storm kicked up another notch.  Huge beef with my partner in crime.  She has some mysterious health issues going on that I can’t say much about because we both don’t know what the deal is yet (don’t worry, we’re going to the Doctor),  but the stress was building for her.

About a month back, my own Dentist discovered something he didn’t like in a x-ray and I had to go to an Oral Surgeon to rule out a cyst, abscess, cancer, etc. That’s actually still tbd as what drew my attention (area beneath my jaw) to the deal is as of yet, undiagnosed.

So I get the unknown is stressful.  I also see my work load is picking up as is my Lady Friend’s and well, that’s just Life.  It ain’t easy nor is is segmented as much as we’d like.  Alot of time, the shit just flies all at once.

What’s cool about she and I is that we work through things, and we’re laughing about it later, but it doesn’t mean a couple turds didn’t drop in the process on us, ya know?

So today, walk in, after a week of little droppings here and there since the big splash and I find more shit floating through my in-box.

It’s pretty busy at work mind you around here because we have a production in 3 weeks.  Literally it’s the craziest time right about now with each show.  Anyway, when a co-worker jokes with me about something in the midst of her own stress, I joke back for the first time, it ends with this crazy blow up, where she slams the door, calls someone else in tears, etc.

I’m like, “Eff…” because in the process I knew there was no point in having the conversation amidst the emotional.  I probably shouldn’t have said anything, joke or otherwise considering that it drives me batshit crazy when people joke on me and I’m stressed but I thought I’d give this whole not so serious, lighten up and go with it thing a try….

Besides it’s the dynamic (seriously, this lady is busting on me and us all the time) and I thought, why note, when in Rome since I’m trying to laugh at my stress and well, Mr. Monotone here didn’t quite deliver the punchline (though I did find it a little funny).

Tell my boss about it and you know what that buggah says:

“We all need some malasadas…”

Anyhow, Life goes on.  I’m in the shit storm and well, I cannot lament it.  I can only embrace it and realize this is where I am.  Even though it might feel like half-past forever, this too shall pass.

And honestly, it’s all okay.

With that…

The Top 5 Tips for Weathering A Shit Storm

1. We all create this experience together.

If you’re in the wrong, you’re in the wrong, and it’s cool. If you’re not in the wrong and you’re standing your ground and the other person takes it however they do, it’s cool. That’s Life.  40 years from now, you or the other person involved in a conflict won’t remember something like an accidental broken phone  or a miscommunication.

That or it will make for a great story.

2. Adopt a “Next Play” Mentality

The difference between great athletes in sports and the average  ones is that the greats have the ability to move on to the next play after a mistake or stroke of bad luck.  

Whether it’s your fault or someone else is misunderstanding you, Life happens, and we have to move on to that next play otherwise we end up on the sidelines.  

3. Take a Deep Breath

I subscribe to Brutal Compassion & Honesty.  Not everyone is like that but for those of who are (and aren’t), just take a deep breath every time something occurs.  

Besides, they say it’s good for stress.

4. You Need Stress

Not necessarily drama, no, no, no, don’t want no drama, drama! But you need a little stress here and there.  These things happen in the spiritual pursuit to teach us to be more mindful, loving, and compassionate plus it’s all a part of the balance of energies.  

If you think about, Life is seasonal after all…

5. It’s Okay For You To Flush

In the end, we all have choice to release, let go, and flush.  If work is too stressful and not worth it, find employment that you do enjoy so the stress doesn’t matter as much.  If the challenges of a relationship are in excess, leave and trust what will be, will be in the area of Love.  As shitty as the last week has been professionally and personally, I’ve had worse jobs; as rough a patch as we went through, I’ve had rougher relationships to deal with.  It’s just Life and I’m choosing to be accept it.  

As a result, I know I’m okay exactly where I am in the middle of this shitter.

Ah, and there you have it, the middle of the storm aka the calm.

Cheers!

Journeys: Bogart

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The definition of “Bogart” is brought to you by the Urban Dictionary website.  

While I’m not going to write about cannabis today, I am going to focus a bit about higher consciousness.

In an interesting conversation with a colleague from another Arts Non-Profit here in the islands, I was told that his Life changed simply because a bottle of a shampoo…

That simple gift from a friend would be the defining moment for him to something different with and chart a new course in his Life.

For this young man, he enjoyed the quality of the shampoo so much that he gave himself an ultimatum to get out there and do something that could provide himself just a bit more comfort in Life so that he could afford the shampoo.

Guess what?  By the time he finished that bottle of shampoo, he made it happen and has used that shampoo ever since (I failed to ask how many bottles it’s been).

Where my story was filled with twists, nuances, and deep, introspective spiritual mumbo jumbo (as another colleague likes to say), my friend was inspired by a $30 bottle of shampoo.

And that’s the beauty of our Journeys.

The lessons are all the same, how we learn them unique, and ultimately we can relate to the underlying feelings and energy that resound as we take our steps towards living more consciously and in alignment with what resonates from within.

Now go on, stop bogarting the Flow of you Life!

Drop the Mic – Ep. 10 – Despite All My Rage

“The world is a vampire, sent to drain

Secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames
And what do I get, for my pain?
Betrayed desires, and a piece of the game”

from Bullet with Butterfly Wings  by The Smashing Pumpkins

I can’t explain how our intuition works or consciousness for that matter.  There are some admirable hypotheses that I’ve pondered over the years and ‘theories’ abound always, but I truly believe the explanation will never be articulated in human words.  

Truth is only felt.

With business and in my position, I have to participate in the game just as much as those around me.  I truly do take the time and energy to put myself in other people’s shoes.  I choose my words wisely, work on my tone of voice, apologize when necessary and sometimes just to help ease others.  

Where I filter in my professional Life and allow the written expression to Flow unheeded when I’m creating outside of it, it’s almost opposite with a great many other people.  That right there is quite perplexing and challenging for me.  It makes me feel as though I need to be two when I’m striving for Oneness

Despite my attempts at approaching the experiences of Life with Conscious Vibes, the world can come across from time to time as a energy vampire killing that vibe.

As much as some people share a public persona that is open and collaborative, behind-the-scenes they aren’t very open or interested in collaboration if the venture is not self-serving at all.

That can be discouraging to say the least…

Roll Kendrick Lamar: Bish don’t kill my vibe… Repeat x2

In the past, I fed the beast of Rage within when encountering such experiences.  Though I do believe Anger can be powerful and has a place when used appropriately, I don’t find myself giving into Rage.

I also don’t feel stuck like a Rat in a Cage but situations do get to me. My feelings remind me of my humanity and if that’s the only reason for negative encounters and shitty people, I can live with that because in the end, always remember…

This Life is beautiful!

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The Fight

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Every day of our lives we have conflict.

There is conflict with partners, family members, friends and other Loved Ones to bosses, co-workers, and people we interface with regularly in our professions.

Why is that?

Perhaps this conflict arises because it is just a part of our Nature. Within our very cells, conflicts occur.  Is it so unreasonable to think that since conflict is a part of our make up, it will be found elsewhere?

At various times throughout this Life, I have pondered the idea of peace and well, the idea that no conflict will exist or that there are conflict free zones and spaces really doesn’t fly.

Conflict is inevitable.

Conflict gets out of hand when we fail to acknowledge its existence and respond to disagreements with open Hearts and compassion. Blah yada yada blah!

So how do we do that?

We must stop fighting ourselves.  Only through self-work and self-love will we each be able to accept the conflicts that occur on the daily.

I’m not saying you have to like conflict.  Dislike it like all you want.  I’m just proposing, Dear Reader, to consider that conflict has existed since the beginning and our views of it need to be changed.

Once the view is altered, we can start to see that the conflicts we encounter are great teachers, helping us along the conscious Journey. Then, there shall be resolution…

Release the fight. It’ll be okay.

10 Lessons I’ve Learned as an Author

The Beauty of My Mistakes in Publishing

1.Write your story

Medium tells writers to: Write your story. Isn’t that enough for it to be numero uno on my list?

Jokes aside, each of us is a unique observer of life and have the opportunity to share our unique points-of-view in a variety of ways. Every time we unconsciously act, we tell a story. Each moment we take the time to sincerely thank someone for a service, we a tell a story. All of the experiences in between both extremes of consciousness tell stories. They are important!

Write your story because without telling it, the world loses the chance to feel what your have to share.

2. Edit… Edit. Edit!

In the beginning, I didn’t think editing was important. I was in such a rush to publish and put something out there because I was desperate to share what was burning inside that it felt appropriate to push on and be done.

That being said, I wrote my first manuscript in three weeks, a 150 pg. reflection on my take on the concept of Mindfulness, mixed with humor, and life lessons, and…

I have not published it. I actually really like the piece but in the edits since, it has not quite felt right. Not only is editing important so that there aren’t typos, unintentional grammatical errors (because sometimes we can break the grammar rules to make a point), it is important because in the process of editing one can learn so much more and have a better product.

When I finally published my first book, it had gone through intense edits by myself, an Editor, I’d sought out readers, and guess what, the finished product still has typos, the same way best-selling novels do because Human Error is inevitable.

But… the piece felt right. It was my third manuscript and though what I was trying to say was said in the second manuscript, the third felt like the “vehicle” to share what needed sharing for me.

3. Accept your Worst Critic

If you can accept the old adage, “You are your own Worst Critic” and release it then you can move past the hugest obstacles in publishing.

I have judged and torn apart every piece of writing that I have ever done. In the past, it crippled me to sharing my work even though people would both compliment and critique it.

The best form of feedback is criticism from outside of that voice haunting your brain because even though it can sting, someone took the time to share/it struck a chord in them so you’re on the right track imo.

And the good stuff? Well the compliments kind of pass by quickly because of that hauting voice within but it can also feel nice.

Regardless of external stimuli and input, what’s going on inside can make or break how you feel about your work, and in the end, that is what is more important than millions of dollars, best-seller status, and adulation.

4. Honor where you have been

I cringe when I look back on some of the very early writings that I have published on my blog, in magazines, contributed to other online sites, and my first book.

Were it not for any of that, I would have not grown as a Writer, taken steps towards publishing my work, and I would have not developed further as a Human + Being.

In the end, that is most important to me in my own Journey.

5. Don’t be afraid to re-write

This is a bit different than editing. Though you can re-write elements of your work when editing, a re-write in and of itself is a different beast. When I had the central component of what I wanted to share in a published book, it took many drafts of two manuscripts, before I felt good about one for publication.

The process of re-writing is pretty cool to because one can just sense when something “feels right.” Having a good feeling about your work is cool too because you have to live with whatever it is.

6. Research Publishers

*I have submitted query letters only to receive no response. I have looked for different online publishers in “my genre” and focus area to choose one and then have a mixed experience after my money was paid to their organization in full. I have turned my nose at self-publishing to later self-publish myself and see how amazing it is. I have read article after article, magazine after magazine, blog after blog, book after book, so on, so forth, etc./i.e./wt…efff.

And you know? None of that is important. What is important is creating a budget, choosing what you’re going to go with, whether you have a contract with a publisher or choose to self-publish, and ultimately, have a plan to market and share your work.

I have published three books to date and it didn’t occur to me until after the third that perhaps I should write and share a press release. I’d seen the idea before but it took working in Marketing to teach me about Marketing that it started to click about what’s important. You could have the greatest story ever but if people don’t know it’s out…

If you need any more argument of marketing, how many crappy movies have you seen because of the hype and trailers? How many of the movies that are nominated for the Academy Award Best picture have you actually seen before you found it was nominated or it came out on DVD/Blu-Ray? Chances are many more of the former and your lucky if you’re even able to find the latter in a theatre near you before it’s nominated.

*Please note, in no way am I discounting the value of different options to release your work. Do whatever feels best for you . It is just my hope to emphasize how Marketing is more important than the vehicle in the end and that’s something I didn’t get until the bumps in the road I experienced, which were great because of how much the lumps I have experienced have taught me.

7. Be prepared to self-promote

Similar to the importance of marketing, it is also important to share what you’ve done on your own. Just because you wrote the darn thing doesn’t mean bury it in a field…

It has always been hard for me to say, I did this, I did that, yet when I write, arguably something I feel suited for and comfortable doing, I use “My” and “I” quite a bit.

Challenge for me has been overcoming being shy and not good enough. In my Journey, I’ve often confused modesty and humility with false humility. It’s one thing to not share because you don’t feel the need, it’s another to hide what you’ve created because on a core level you don’t feel good enough.

It’s okay, it’s welcome to share your work and your accomplishments. It doesn’t make you cocky, if anything, owning the confidence that comes with setting a goals and achieving them, is something that will be great for you as an individual and in your publishing voyage.

8. Love

Creating anything from start to finish is a labor of love…

In addition to moments of irritation, anger, despair, and the trials and tribulations that come along the way, there are also the a-ha moments, the great feelings of putting pen to paper or words to screen, and what you learn along the way.

I’ve heard it shared many times that life is all about Love, Love is the Be All, and Love is why we are here.

Love the process of bringing your work to life. Love the challenges you encounter because when you find a way through them, around them, above or below them, it makes the experience all the better!

9. Read. And often.

I find my greatest sparks come from two areas: experience and reading.

Now the act of reading is also an experience in and of itself but experiences are the vast elements in this Journey that help us define characters, struggles, and craft how these characters overcome such adversity. Reading helps us to see things through eyes we haven’t and recall our own experiences because of the feelings we experience when processing what we are reading.

I have enjoyed reading ever since I was a child. I remember that. I don’t remember enjoying writing because it has always been just something that I did, often, sometimes well-enough to get good grades in classes that required much of it, and yeah. But reading took me to another world back then and still has the ability to do so!

Reading also serves to take us into the mind of another Human+Being and take a tour through the words that come through them. It’s kind of like, there are mountains and trees all over, yet if you really take the time to observe and experience, though there are similar features, each differs and can be a great teacher.

I personally really love reading and I’m sure a million places say that reading makes you a better writer and though I wouldn’t doubt that, I think reading is important because it is part of appreciating the written word.

Words, I believe, are gifts. I will never meet Plato but I can read his work and “hear” his voice, I can get an idea of who he was, what he was about, and how that relates to me many years later.

That’s pretty cool if you think about it…

10. Disregard everything that I have said…

And use what works for you.

These were my 10 lessons (thus far) but that doesn’t mean they have to be yours. There may be some elements in here that are helpful and if so, chee huu (Hawaii Creole English for awesome/stoked/oh-yayer) because I enjoy giving back and assisting others, but in the end, Life is your Journey, the same way your written word is your written word.

It’s going to have more meaning for you if you’re living it yourself.

A few years ago, I experienced a great period of loss (laid off, end of relationship, Death in the family) in a two week period of time, and it kicked me in the ass to go across the country, something that I had always wanted to do. It took me two-trips from my home in Honolulu, Hawaii, but I did it and the experience of it is what was mine and mine alone and helped me to grieve, heal, and grow.

It also helped me to have more experiences, be more open, and got me around to finally having courage to publish. I’m no millionaire because of my writing, yet.

Shoot I’m not even a thousandaire or hundredaire, yet, but I don’t write because I need it to pay my bills. I write because it’s a passion and it helps me through the days and move beyond the tough times, which can be short and extreme like that period of loss, or take place over a longer period.

As much as this is a gift to share with others, it’s a gift I can enjoy as well, much like good ole life itself and that a-okay with me.

Commentary – Love, Hate, & War Machine

In my early 20s, I trained in my first Martial Art.

Raised in age filled with Kung Fu movies, Ninja Turtles, and the ever present mystique/awesomeness of Bruce Lee, it was hard not to be fascinated by Martial Arts. Throw in a dash of Pro Wrestling and Hulkamania and well, it was no wonder I was captivated by Mixed Martial Arts when I first saw it.

I can remember just starting my Muay Thai training and going to a bar one evening to watch UFC 40, Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock.  It was marketed using their nicknames “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” vs “The World’s Most Dangerous Man.”  Just writing these words, it’s almost no surprise to me that the violence that is spilling from the cage/ring/field is making its way into headlines.

All three of the teachers I trained under for Muay Thai shared the Buddhist philosophy that went with the art, their takes on it, and emphasized the responsibility that comes with martial arts.  I was at a very angry place in my Life for a variety of reasons that came with that period of my Life.  But the idea that I could “Walk the Middle Path” made sense in my Spirit, so I went with it.

I’d stop training to finish school, get caught up in work, and it was a few years before I got into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Though not as spiritually philosophical as Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu’s techniques spoke to my own spiritual beliefs.  I learned to “Flow with the Go” and that each technique built upon the previous in order to better set-up the next.  I also learned that on the mat, the same as in Life, sometimes you had to submit.

I wasn’t so angry when I trained Jiu-Jitsu, but I was very much in Pain.  I felt very disconnected and had a hard time being present.  That led to some challenging experiences when Life happened but what I learned in both Martial Arts, helped me because it related to my overall belief that one could endure and overcome anything with a solid spiritual foundation.

I’d stop training Jiu-Jitsu for a time because I didn’t want to rely on the physical for my fulfillment.  I loved Jiu-Jitsu, I still do, but I made a choice to build within.  I would eventually go back, fall in Love further with it, only to tear my calf.  I laughed at myself because I had no other choice but to accept.  Jiu-Jitsu taught me to submit, so I tapped to the position Life had me in, which at the time, felt like focus on my spiritual growth.

I’ve not gone back to Jiu-Jitsu since, I did for a time start doing some Muay Thai work in a gym, but I’m in no rush right now to train in a Martial Art.  I know when it’s time, I will move towards what I am meant to.

Which leads me to the title.  I don’t know why, but my Heart has always gone out to Jonathan Koppenhaver aka War Machine.  He was on a season of the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter with a friend from Intermediate School, Troy Mandaloniz.  I didn’t follow the season too much but caught a few of Jon’s heartfelt testimonials and it was sad.  You just got the vibe that the Dude is one hurt individual.  Knowing my own pain, I couldn’t helpd but feel compassion for the kid.

The saying, “The struggle is real,” is so applicable to War Machine.  Over the years, he’s been in and out of prison, did adult film, dated an adult film star, and fought not as much as he should because of the trouble he’s found.

He’s currently in a whole lot of trouble that’s making the rounds for very violent domestic abuse charges.

A quick search of what’s trending on Twitter about it and people are saying some really vile things about him as well as the victims of the incident.  Dog the Bounty Hunter has even joined the fray, camera crew in tow.

I find it sickening.  I don’t in any way agree with domestic violence (physical, mental, emotional, verbal, all of the above).  But what is it about us as people to throw so many stones at the suffering, at the ill.  It’s like we want to be a part of the drama.

It’s amazing to see what’s coming out of Dog’s Twitter feed.

I realize these tactics are meant to draw out the volatile character from hiding but how does that make it better?  Why are we cheering that?  

If a bull is already in a rage, do you add more?

It’s like we people just like talk out of both sides.  I’m saying we because I’m far from perfect and subject to my own hypocrisy.  That’s human but I think it’s okay to put it out there that we can be better.  Isn’t it?  Am I alone in my quest?

I don’t know what happened in the recent incident.  You have two very different views floating out there and the gruesome pictures of the first victim, Christy Mack, War Machine’s ex, are Heart wrenching as well.  I feel really bad for both of the victims and hope they heal quickly and safely.

The whole situation is unfortunate.  But I am hopeful that we can learn.

Something else, that is also getting to me, is that the same day as the news broke on this, an MMA site I read regularly, Bloody Elbow (oh the irony), showed a video ofAnthony Pettis, a fighter in the UFC, who let his girlfriend punch in the face.  I couldn’t catch it in the video, but I saw the claim that she hits harder than the contenders in his division.

That’s all good and well but I’m wondering why not much is being said about that?  Because he asked for it, it was okay?

I realize the media changes perspective on a dime and the sheep flock along but…

Factor in that last week in MMA saw the Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier hype train get violent with explicit lyrics and I can hear John McCain’s claims of human cock-fighting echo from years past.  So much has been done by many people to improve the perception of the sport.

In a period of time where the NFL Commissioner is being questioned for a short-term suspension relating to domestic violence involving Ravens Running Back, Ray Rice, we are awash with very violent acts involving people who’s livelihood is violence.  Football is violent but in the end, it’s called a game.

MMA is more violent and before it even begins, it’s called a fight.

I loved Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and have been a fan of MMA for a long time, but it’s a pretty dark hour for the sport currently.

My prayers go out to the victims and I’m praying for you to Jon/War.  I don’t doubt your Heart is good, but your actions have been out of control and I hope peace finds you at some point in this Life before anyone else, yourself included, gets hurt.