Sunday, December 4, 2016

Editing Life

Editing Life

I found myself sitting at the computer the other day editing photos.
During the session I rotated photos that were not upright, I color corrected the dull ones and deleted any that I didn’t want to keep. There were some that I cropped to eliminate unwanted people or background. I put them into categories so that I could find and watch them in a slide show later. When I was satisfied I closed the program and went on to other things.
Not long after I finished, my mind began to form an idea, I began to see a comparison with my photo session and how I have edited the things in my life.
We all do.
Its the way humans are able to find form and reason with the experiences that we have each day.
Selective memory is what I call it.
When I am focused on doing the best I can, I decide on what I want to experience at the beginning of each day then review at the end of the day how well I did.
There are always variables to consider and the unexpected events that seem to surprise me but all in all I find each day fulfilling.
OK, there are those times that things don’t go as expected and I end up in a whole different direction with unexpected results. 
When those kind of things happen, I edit.
I mean, don’t you?
Selective Memory, it is a convenient way to forget the not so good experiences and focus on the good stuff.
Come on, admit it.
We all do it.
I do.
We take the programs of life and erase the bad stuff, color correct the dull scenes, crop out the people, experiences or events that have made our life so miserable and highlight the good stuff.
Sometimes that is the best approach, but just as likely, it may be a good thing to remember the bad shots so we don’t make the same mistakes again.
If I were to completely wipe all unpleasant memories I would have lost a mountain of learning experiences and the life lessons would be lost.
No, I don’t think I will wipe all memories, but some selective editing is probably a good thing in all our lives and along with that photo editing we should add a prospective and dialogue to help us should we have a similar experience show up again.
Life lessons … they are important to pay attention to.
Without a perspective on how actions affect our lives we could repeat things over and over, a kind of Groundhog day.
When I see the same experience in my life again, I eventually get around to asking myself, what is it that I have missed?
Did I not learn the lesson of that life event?
It is always easier to see others and their challenges than it is to see our own.
Often the hardest thing to do is to admit our own mistakes.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. 
Don’t be so quick to judge yourself wrongly.
Allow the experience to be processed by your inner soul and allow the lesson to be merged into your life stream.
Editing photos or life comes with the road of life. 
Before we act, it would be wisdom to see how each has added to the rich fullness of our everyday experience. It is entirely up to us how we color, crop, enhance or eliminate entirely the experience.
But the very act of deleting unpleasant parts of our life can cheat us of the richness of life here on planet Earth.
After all, what would life be with only the good stuff? 
We wouldn’t have a comparison to learn from.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

You get to choose the kind of life you have

What is it that makes you happy?

Sitting at the kitchen table this morning I am reflecting on what makes me happy.
I have most of my ducks in a row and the most pressing thing on my plate today is whether to have my second cup of coffee now or later.
What is it that makes me happy?
What is it that makes you happy?
I tried following the sparkly bobble that society said would make me happy, you know … the big house, the new car, the top position in the company, the church, or the community. 
But guess what?
None of that worked for me.
The carrot trick was a lie, and is for all of us.
The only thing that can make me happy is …. well, me!
No one else can make that happen for us.
Not your companion, your children, not your work place or your church or community.
About the time I turned 40, I had had it with main stream society. 
Their lies had taken its toll on me and I no longer believed their justifications and reasons of why I had to stay in their system.
Most parents are parroting their parents and mostly in ignorance pass on to their kids the same broken lies and myths that they were told.
As children we get to learn the sad truths that there is no Santa Claus, no Easter bunny, no Sand man, no Tooth fairy, and so on and so on.
And at a point in life, I began to question everything. That is where I began my trip down the rabbit hole and wholly cow, we have been lied to by every entity, leader, and teacher. We find out our heroes were made up stories, or at best, greatly exaggerated tales. 
Governments are responsible for creating war machines to suck money down a black hole. Religions are no better than corporations for profit with us paying the bill and then feeling guilty for not paying more. Schools are prisons for our children where original thoughts are smothered and children programed to follow the same broken system and carrot trick. Teachers are wardens and mostly concerned with being able to mark the appropriate box with an X.
So … here I sit contemplating whether to have my second cup of coffee.
What make me happy?
I do! 
When I began to delete the friends, teachers, and leaders that propagate the lies, and distance myself from neighbors and family that promote the old ways, my life became calm and my vision began to clear. 
When I finally figured this out, it all became crystal clear that I have two choices each day …
Whether to be happy or not?
Not all days are happy, sometimes I get caught in the webs that are left and forget the great lesson of life.
But sooner or later my heart lets me know that I must find that inner peace within and walk my path and walk my talk.
Life is what we make of it, not what others do or say.
I get to choose what kind of life I have!
And you get to choose the kind of life you have.
I think I’ll have that second cup of coffee now …
What will you do?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

I woke this morning, or did I?

I woke this morning or did I?

When I woke today I felt as if I had been on a long journey. My equilibrium was off, my eyes were unfocused and I felt like I wasn’t quite all here.
It’s not the first time this has happened nor probably the last. About once or twice a month I feel like this when I wake.
It is kind of like taking a strong narcotic, prescription of course. The kind that comes with a warning, do not drive or operate heavy machinery.
I know what it is …
I am on a journey traveling through time and space.
This earth is just one of the many places I inhabit.
It may seem strange to some who are still looking at the world out of a box, but it is absolute truth to me.
I began this journey long before I was born to this earth, to these parents, to this time, and to this mission.
We are all here on this earth by direct choice and knew fully what the possibilities might be.
There are events happening on this little planet that are affecting the whole of the multiverse. 
My little part is to hold an energy space for this moment in time and space.
My essence has been felt in many times and places and it requires me to leave my body and check in as needed.
There is a momentous event about to take place and it requires the attention of many light workers. I suspect this is the reason that I am left with only a partial soul at times, here.
I am not the only one who feels the shift and changing times. There are literally tens of thousands who are participating in these “ off world “ conferences.
The part that I don’t like is that I very rarely get to remember what took place. It is over a period of time that I eventually get the pieces and it begins to make sense.
My wife is a bit concerned as I shared with her my feelings, she wants to make sure that I don’t exit prematurely and leave her alone. 
I can relate to that.
My previous wife had to leave early on an emergency exit. Her light was needed on a more permanent basis in the multiverse. I was not a happy camper being left behind.
I tried to reassure my wife that if it is my choice, I will be here for a long time to come.
However, that choice is not always possible.
Besides, I have too much to do.
Moving another household to my pioneer home, finding space for the important stuff, making new space, getting rid of unnecessary things and doing all the honey-do’s is definitely going to take more time.
My heart aches for my home in the stars.
I will have to settle for a few out of body experiences to hold me over. 
This I know, what ever is happening and is about to happen will be a monumental change for all of us. 
We need to clear our browsers, get rid of all the cookies that slow us down and open a clear channel for the information that is about to be downloaded.
In the meantime, I will sit in my cowboy hot tub, ( a metal watering trough with a propane burner ) and contemplate the meaning of life. 
The problem with that is, as soon as I think I have it figured out, it changes.
Well, the solution to that is to keep an open mind and not get stuck in all the sticky stuff that life has to offer.
If I can remember to laugh at myself, forgive others and keep a positive attitude about life, I think I will survive.

Namaste, I will look for you next time I am “out.”

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Religion betrayed me

Religion betrayed me
You asked me why I won’t come back and join you in church?
My answer is, Religion betrayed me.
How do you mean?
I was taught from childhood to follow my leaders. 
I was told that I would never be led astray from the truth. 
I was told that even if I was told to do something and it was wrong I would be blessed by doing it.
I believed in my religion.
I promoted my religion.
I lived my religion.
I was told that the most sacred place in this world was the temple of the most high, I was promised great blessings if I followed the teachings of the church.
When I turned 19, I was allowed into the most sacred place on this earth, the Mormon temple.
I walked into the Temple in Salt Lake City, the icon for the most holy place on earth.
There I was ritually washed and anointed to become a God. 
I was taught a special way to pray called the true order of prayer.
I was told that I was to liken myself as if I were Adam.
I participated in a prayer circle and told this was the proper way to pray.
I searched the scriptures of the church and found a template to build my own altar.
This I did, and began to pray as I was taught.
I experienced an awakening and communed with the heavens.
I was at peace.
A movement began, instituted by the highest leaders of the Mormon church.
It was called a witch hunt by Salt Lake media.
Hundreds of people were called to stand before their local leaders and justify their beliefs.
I was called to stand before 15 men.
I was was told that I must stop praying in the manner I was taught in the Mormon temple.
I was told that if I did not comply I would be disciplined.
I declined to follow these 15 men who represented the  Mormon church.
Two days later, two men dressed in suits came to my door and presented me with a letter that stated I had been formally been excommunicated for apostasy.
The definition of apostasy from ads.org is, “When individuals or groups of people turn away from the principles of the gospel, they are in a state of apostasy.”
I followed the teachings taught by the church in the Temple.
Betrayal is defined by Wikipedia as, “Betrayal is the breaking or violation of a presumptive contract, trust, or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship amongst individuals, between organizations or between individuals and organizations.”
I no longer subscribe to religion.
I commune with the heavens in my own way now.
I have found true peace.
It is true that I was betrayed by religion, but that experience has brought me to a place that was not possible before.

When others seek to draw me back into their world I smile and say, I have found God and he/she does not require a membership in any organization or religion to commune with the heavens.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

If you build it, they will come

If you build it, they will come.

There are those who would think that because our town of Escalante is small that it is dead. 
Not so.
Some of the old timers have lost their traditional jobs and are angry because of changing times.
I would say that there have been many over the years that have had to change and adapt to new ways, not only to survive but thrive.
The latest projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS), the following occupations are expected to massively decline in number and percentage of workers between 2010 and 2020.
The following jobs are slated to decline:
1. Farmers, Ranchers, and other Agricultural Managers.
2. Postal Service Mail Sorters, Carriers and Clerks*
3. Sewing Machine Operators
4. Switchboard Operators
5. Fast Food Cooks
6. Agricultural Workers
7. Data Entry Keyers
8. Word Processors and Typists
9. Door-to-Door Sales Workers and News and Street Vendors
10. Food Service Managers
11. Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assemblers
12. File Clerks
13. Prepress Technicians and Workers
14. Computer Operators
15. Postmasters and Mail Superintendents
16. Office Machine Operators
17. Pressers, Textile, Garment, and Related Materials
18. Florists
19. Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers
20. Loan Interviewers and Clerks
So … which ones affect you?
It isn’t just the small town communities that are going through major changes.
Over the past few years I have asked those who are new to the area what it is that brought them here to this out of the way place.
And that is the answer that they give me.
This place is out of the way, out of the mainstream, unspoiled, the pristine natural beauty, the spirit of the desert, and the feeling of seeing the night sky unspoiled by city lights.
The problems created by modern societies have caused city dwellers to look for the simple beauties in life and nature.
If you build it, they will come.
The word is out, Escalante is a great place to be.
We have what the tourists are looking for. 
The tourists are not going to go away, it fact they are coming here by the thousands … every day.
Escalante is going to grow up, whether we like it or not. 
It makes sense to take the opportunities offered by the tourists and make venues available for them to spend their dollars.
Forward thinking people and those with vision can see a new industry here and those who cater to the visitors will have their cake and eat it too.
Careful planning and positive thinking by the locals will go a long way in making this transition easy.
There will always be those who like chicken little, see the sky is falling, the glass half empty, doom and gloom.
I join with all the positive thinkers and doers and see great things ahead for Escalante.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Estate Sale

Estate Sale

Today as I was driving back from the grocery store I saw a small sign posted on the side of the road, it said “Estate Sale” and had an arrow pointing up the side street.
I followed that sign for several miles wondering if that sign meant today.
I arrived and found I was one of 25 others who had seen the same sign. The house was in the ritzy neighborhood of Hillcrest. 
After securing a parking place on the small street I entered the house. It was crowded with other curious people who were busy inspecting all the items.
The first room was jewelry, gobs and gobs of dazzle and glass.
The second room was kitchen stuff, there were all the recipe books of a lifetime and all the cookware, linens, and dishes.
Another room was dedicated to shoes, hundreds of shoes of all colors, some for specific holidays and seasons.
Three floors of rooms, all filled with stuff collected from a lifetime.
It felt empty to me, a life on a hill overlooking the little people far below. 
Each room was a window into the life of this person.
At the end of a lifetime, this is what was left.
Strangers looking for a bargain.
Each room was showcasing a life time of collecting. 
It wasn’t a small amount either. 
This person had way too much money and time and found comfort in surrounding themselves with stuff.
I wondered, what will my life reflect when I leave this earth? Will people pity me? Feel sorry for me? 
I would hope that my collections of stuff will show that I lived a life filled with adventure, happiness, travel, and someone who made a difference in this life.
My daily walks through the cemetery show what most people leave as a legacy to this life. A stone with a name, a birth and death date and maybe an epithet that reflected what they became or did.
Hmm.
Is it time to change a few things in my current life?
Probably.
My collection of stuff needs to be seriously downsized. 
I need to follow my own rule, if I haven’t used it in a year I need to consider passing it on. If I haven’t used it in a couple of years I definitely need to let it go.
Oh there are always exceptions to the rule and I guess that is what someone someday will be rifling though to find their bargain.

My desire and hope would be that when my stuff is laid out that it reflects a life well lived with minimal stuff.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Unfriended

Unfriended

I was unfriended a few days ago, not in the usual sense of Facebook. This was a face to face unfriend. It was uncomfortable and disappointing.
I met this person a few years back in my hometown. We had an instant connection and over the next few years we shared a common ideas of making the world a better place.
Time and distance, miscommunication and unresolved differences made the outcome of un-friending a natural course of our relationship.
I have become an outspoken crusader of toxic materials that are daily added to our air, water, food, news, medicine, and sense of living.
That course of living has cost me more than one friend. 
Many are so polarized in their way of thinking that they are unwilling and unable to see any other kind of perspective than what they can see from their “box.”
The chemicals that have been toxifying our minds and bodies have shut down our ability to “see.”
In the conversation that developed I hit on many points of contention.
My contention was that I had done the research, studying the web for information that would help me to understand better.
My “un-friend” had not done the research. The information shared was one of bias, discrimination, and lack of charity. Because a majority of others who hovered around my “un-friend” agreed, they were right and I was wrong.
A line from the movie Matrix fits this story well …
‘You have to understand. Most people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured and so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.’
It is easy to unfriend someone on Facebook, you simply click, and they are gone from your life.
It is another thing to unfriend someone in real life or have someone unfriend you. It is uncomfortable, challenging, and downright hard.
But it is something that everyone of us has to do from time to time to hang on to sense of who we are.
It is always best to divest ourselves of these toxic people even if they are the majority and we are the one.

Escalante/Mayberry USA

I was living in Hawaii in 2009 when I received a call and invitation to return to Escalante as caretaker. 
I was caretaker of a Hawaiian coffee farm at the time located in Kona Hawaii, famous for its Island coffee, and though the beauty of the islands tugged at my heart, I heeded the invitation.
From the first moment I first entered the Escalante valley I could feel a strong connection to this special place.
First called Potato Valley, Escalante was settled by early pioneers looking for a place to build a new life. Tall grass tickled the bellies of their horses, wild potatoes grew abundantly, deer, elk, and wild life lived in the mountains and valleys of this special land. 
But, there was more here. A special feeling of peace and security gave the early people a hope that their dreams would be fulfilled.
The first families laid out a town grid and drew lots for locations in the valley. Water was a concern and soon irrigation was flowing though the valley to sustain gardens and fields.
Our home built around 1879, was one of the first adobe homes built in Escalante. It quickly became a place for people to share stories and enjoy in music and dance. It is home to 6 generations of our ancestors who have lived and thrived in this small community.
Escalante has stayed relatively small over the years and a current population of 850 people has created a home town, Mayberry kind of feeling. Instead of Andy Taylor as sheriff, we now have Jerry Taylor as Mayor.
The library is across the street, the telephone and city office are within shouting distance. There is the old church across the street, built by my grandfather, now converted into the senior citizens center where lunch is served to any who wants or needs it.  The Share and Care food bank is spitting distance and provides for those who need a little extra to get by each month. The local thrift store provides for locals and tourists alike. The post office and grocery store are walking distance from just about anywhere in town. 
People of vision are moving to Escalante and forward thinking people can see the economic opportunities that are available here.
Each day during tourist season there are thousands of people who pass through. 
Many tourists see the beauty here, but a few special ones, see and feel the invitation to come here and settle.
Each of us is looking for the perfect place to live and raise a family, some of us are lucky enough to find it in Escalante.
A smaller community has created a place where everyone knows your name, where you live, and what you have growing in your garden. A general sharing of values, garden vegetables, and well being is what makes this place strong.
Smaller classroom size and a sensitivity to changing family structure has allowed the school system here to adapt to the needs of the students. Extra time is allotted to split family children to be with non custodial parents. Make up work is customized and on line courses are offered as part of the school curriculum. The teachers not only know the children by name, but where they live, their family makeup and special needs that might need to be addressed. 
Escalante Elementary was named highest preforming elementary school in the state in 2012, 
Because classes are small the teachers can work one on one with the students or in small group settings where learning is maximized because the needs of the kids come first. 
Special needs are met with skilled teachers who are vested in the school and community.
The Escalante area was set aside as a national monument by President Clinton in 1996. He recognized the unique beauty and opportunities offered by this area and designated the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Escalante was also recently designated a national historic district.
Around noon each day the locals head to the post office where everyone has a post box. Gossip and local news are discussed and a general feeling of community is felt by all.
The air is clean, the sky is clear, the stars are bright, and traffic is slight. 
People from all around the globe come to Escalante to experience the natural beauty and pristine wilderness. 
Slick rock, slot canyons, mountain lake fishing, and big game hunting make Escalante a natural for those who want to visit or stay and raise a family.
The Petrified Forest state park with fishing, boating, and hiking are a short distance from town. Dinosaur bones, and tracks are located near by. Remains of the Anasazi indians are abundant in the valley and can be seen from Highway 12.
Highway 12, a National Scenic Byway, is one of only 27 roads in the United States that has earned this lofty recognition. 
Highway 12 in Utah is also often listed as one of the top 10 scenic drives in the United States
Next door Boulder Utah was the last place to receive regular mail delivery in the United States. That is no longer the case for this rural haven. World travelers, USPS, Fedex, UPS and fast internet connect Escalante with the world. 
A new community health care center and hardware store provided locals with all they need. 
The Lyons club, horse clubs, local church, and private citizens provide ample activities.
Schools provide basketball, track, long distance running, baseball, theater, wood and metal shop, and special educators for special needs children.
There is a reason this place was set aside as a monument, the first settlers felt the peace and tranquility here, the people who visit this area today are awed by the simple beauty and magnificent magistracy of nature. 
The nation we live in wanted to preserve this place as a national monument so that all could experience this same feeling. 
For those of us who are lucky enough to live here, we know how special it is. We would like to keep that little secret to ourselves, but the cat is out of the bag. 
Escalante is the best place to live and raise a family of well centered, community involved, and well balanced children. A legacy that Escalante has already proven.

Visitors often stop by our home in Escalante, it is an showplace where people feel welcome. We share stories, coffee, and send them on their way with a warm feeling, a few garden vegetables and if the chickens are feeling generous, a few free range organic eggs.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Toxic environments

Do you work or live in a toxic environment? 
During the 18 months that I worked at the Escalante Home Center, I was exposed to a toxic atmosphere inside the store. 
Each Wednesday we would receive new orders for the week from the DoitBest corporation. 
There was always a smell of plastics and chemicals from the products and packaging of each week's order.
Death row was always the most offensive. Death row was the name I gave the isle where the yard poisons, rat killer and other noxious poisons were located. It was near the entrance and registers where I worked. 
The store contained hundreds of fluorescent lights which gave off continuous amounts of mercury vapor. 
I brought these concerns to managements attention and suggested a exhaust system which would clear the air of the toxic smells. 
It was ignored. 
Being extra sensitive to pesticides, food additives, and environmental pollution, I was concerned for my own health and that of the customers. 
I know customers who were no longer able to shop at that store because of the toxic nature of the air. 
A change in my Life created the incentive for me to leave my employment.
I am the Canary in the coal mine.
I admit that I am more sensitive than others to toxins and poisons. Nonetheless, The danger remains. 
Whether or not people want to admit it, the danger is ever present. What kind of living and work environment do you live in? 
Do you have fluorescent lights in your home? 
How about the smell coming from the new carpet or the new furniture? 
How about that smell from the new paint or that new car smell? 
Do you have one of those smelly trees hanging from the interior of your car? 
Do you have an air freshener in the bathroom? 
What do you think is making that smell? 
CHEMICALS!
They are all TOXIC!
Many are probable carcinogens.
We live in a toxic environment whether we want to admit it or not.
These are but a few examples of toxins that we are exposed to each day. 
If you live in the city and work for a corporate entity and are relegated to a cubicle or office space, you are being poisoned. If your neighbor is spraying his lawn with toxic poisons, you are being poisoned. If the farmer is planting Bt Corn or spraying his crops with bug killer, you are being poisoned.
What are you going to do? 
Sadly, there are some who are still ignorant! 
It is up to all of us to educate the ignorant and come up with solutions that will create a healthy and viable environment for the future. 
The planet is dying.
People are dying.
Hospitals are being built at an accelerated rate to treat all the sick people. 
Our food is being poisoned intentionally by corporate entities like Monsanto and others who are making Billions on our sickness. 
Hospitals are big business and Billions are spent on treatments that are mostly ineffective and temporary. 
The solution begins with me and you. 
Clean air, clean water and good old fashioned home grown organic food is the best choice. 
If you can’t grow your own, learn how. 
Take out that grass and plant a garden. 
If you can’t do that, plant in containers on the patio or flower beds.
Start with your own home, your own immediate space. 
Clean out your cupboards.
Clean out your garden sheds.
Take those toxins to a hazardous waste disposal. 
Replace those toxic fluorescent lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED's. Get rid of all those candles that smell so nice but are likely emitting poisonous fumes. 
Start reading labels. If you can't pronounce it, it's probably dangerous to your health. 
I purchased a food dictionary explaining many of the long confusing names that describe our food to help me.
I am a label reader. 
I know others who are label readers. 
If you aren’t reading labels, you are likely poisoning you and your family.
Luckily, I have a built-in sensor. 
Whenever I eat, drink, or I am in a toxic environment, my sensor gives me a headache. 
It is a painful reminder that I have overlooked something in my space. Some of these headaches last 24 hours and are on the migraine scale of pain. 
I am much more careful after each of these warnings from my internal sensor. 
This little story of my encounters is your warning.
I am the canary in the Coal mine.
IT IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH!
Your LIFE!

Your DEATH!