Monthly Archives: April 2014

Effective immediately!!!

Sometimes you go on an innocent little errand, such as, one day this last week when I went on my lunch break to buy a birthday present for my wife. I went to the Hair of the Dog tasting room to buy a shirt that Keri mentioned she was interested in having the last time we were there. I remembered because I noted it in my phone. I have to admit I rock at everyday little ways to make someone feel special, but when it comes to special events, like birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and Valentines day, I kinda suck. Despite what people choose to believe, the truth is, knowing is half the battle and I know that in the past I have kinda sucked at special events. Therefore, my awareness has conditioned me to make adjustments that result in improvements.

I make notes in my phone. I don’t remember and I know I don’t remember, so I read my notes. My notes landed me at the Hair of the Dog tasting room the day before Keri’s birthday. I knew exactly what I was there to buy and I went directly to it. I was standing at the bar waiting for the waitress to come over and ask me how she could help me. There was a gentleman sitting at the bar eating lunch and the waitress was tending to other people, but when she walked over towards our end of the bar, I looked at the man sitting there and gestured towards the waitress. I said to him loud enough for her to hear, Doesn’t she have beautiful eyes?

He smiled at me and said, “Yes, she does and I was thinking that earlier but just hadn’t said anything.” The waitress smiled as she looked over towards us and said, “I was needing something today and that was it, Thank you.” I smiled back at her and looked at the guy sitting at the bar. He had his hand in the air inviting me to give him a high-five. So, I did and I said, “See it, call it. Am I right?” He agreed.

I went on my way after procuring the item I was there to retrieve. The words, see it, call it, really resonated with me. They kinda tumbled around in my brain the rest of the day. Later in the afternoon, I decided to implement these 4 words as a new policy for my life.

20140426-161716.jpgHow could this go wrong? The only stipulation, is it will have to be approached in a mindful manner. You can’t just call out everything you see. So, I decided, as with many things the aspect of being mindful is very important, but if you see someone who has an appealing attribute mention it. It will probably make their day. You know what happens when you make someone else’s day? It kinda makes your day too. If you come across a situation that hurts your feelings, call it out with a mindful intention. This will only contribute to your growth and expansion.

New policy, effective immediately! See it, call it with mindful intention.

Angel who?

Why are people so hard on themselves? Why do people put themselves last? Why do people get right in their own damn way of growth? I am seriously asking these questions because I am trying to figure out the answers to my own shit. I am not kidding, nor am I bragging when I tell you that I have been told a time or two what a wonderful person I am, so why don’t I feel that on the inside. I am ready to feel wonderful from the inside out. I am so fucking tired of jumping through hoops to make sure everyone else is happy. I wanna be happy. I want my wants to be first on some damn list. Who is going to put MY wants first on their list? I’m not really saying that I am a sad person on the inside, because I’m not. I really am a happy person, so what the hell am I saying? I guess I’m saying I’m confused.

I am trying to figure out who I am.

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Taking an honest look at myself.

Nobody is making me put everyone else’s wants and needs before my own, I just do it because I want everyone to be happy. Well guess what! It’s my turn. I want to be happy and I am on my way. I am not saying I wanna be a bitch and disregard everyone else. All I am saying is I want my happiness to be given equal consideration and the person that needs to hear, comprehend and live this is ME.

I’ve been told I couldn’t be a bitch if I tried. I’m just too nice and considerate of others to be a bitch, but sometimes I feel like I am just fed up and wanna slap somebody. I guess the one I should be slapping is myself for putting up with myself for allowing myself to live this way.

Well, NO MORE! It feels good to know change is on the horizon.

A lovely Spring moment

The sun is shinning and I am sitting outside in the fresh morning air sipping the perfect combination of coffee and cream. I close my eyes and take a sip. The rich warm liquid flows past my lips, as the aroma warms and awakens my nose. The flavor swirls around on my tongue and warms my belly as it slides down my throat.

I open my eyes and look up at the sky. It is my favorite time of day. Birds are chirping, as I glance across the yard. The sun warms the grass and I can see the dew evaporate into a flowing ribbon of steam as if it is dancing in a ray of sunshine.

The season is Spring and little buds are turning into flowers and leaves. I love the renewing feelings of Spring. I am grateful to see another season.

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Living on the Edge

Today somebody asked me, What’s my favorite thing to write about. I thought for a minute because I have been asking myself a similar question. I’ve been asking myself, what would I like my ultimate platform for Apozitude to be? If I were to give a presentation, what would I feel the most passion about sharing?

I have been having a little bit of difficulty with this question because I feel a great deal of passion about many things. Who will my audience be when I begin giving presentations? I love children and the pure positive energy they still have coursing through them. I love how open they are to learning new things. I asked Lexi, my favorite little 3 year old, if she wanted to meditate with me several weeks ago. Although I am not certain, she may have been introduced to meditation before, but she was totally open to it. We did 15 minutes of focused breathing exersices. She was looking at a book while we were doing it, but every single time the guided meditation instructed us to breathe in, she would look up from her book, then at me and breathe in until the guided meditation instructed us to breathe out. It was one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen. She had no questions about it, like why? or what is this good for? or any doubt about it. She just did it. It was really cool.

So, having an audience of children has a certain appeal, but I am also very passionate about equal rights, exercise, eating healthy, having a positive attitude and just plain’ol having fun. I really want to discover a platform that has the widest reach. When the question, What’s your favorite thing to write about was posed, my answer was that I most like to write about living life on purpose.

As I thought about this concept more as the day went on, I thought how do I live my life on purpose? How would I address this in Apozitude? I noticed that I started asking myself questions and I thought this is one of the things you need to do to live your life on purpose. You need to ask yourself questions and not just, what do I want for breakfast type of questions, questions that make you a little bit uncomfortable. Questions that take you to places deep within yourself to get the answers. In the end when you come up with the answer, that answer should make your chest swell with pride, cause a smile to strech across your face and make you feel like you’re on fire because THAT is your purpose!!!

What makes you live your life on purpose? What is your intention? What are you willing to make personal sacrifices for? What is it that turns you on? Ask your self questions that ONLY YOU can answer. Every single question that you have ever had has an answer right there with in you. You have to be willing to make a commitment to yourself, to slow down and sit quietly listening with the intention of receiving THE answers.

20140420-113057.jpgMy favorite thing to write about is living life on purpose. Being mindful. Living with intention. Listening with intention. Why? Because that is my purpose that is what gets me all fired up. I could stay up all night talking about intention and purpose and living life just beyond on the edge of my comfort zone.

The most wonderful parting gift Part 3 of 3

As we lived our lives those last days of Karen’s life we experienced a very broad spectrum of feelings. We spent time with each other, with Kirsten and Kelly and with their Aunt Linda. We shared laughs, love and tears.

There were some very tough decisions to be made. There were very tough emotions to get past. For me, I had lived a very separate life from Keri’s family and there was a feeling of estrangement to get beyond. When Kirsten came up to us as we entered the hospital room and hugged Keri and then me, I took that as an invitation to BE A PART of something I wanted for so long. I set down my shit and took her up on that invitation and from that point on I was all in. I said to myself, Self this is your chance. I opened my heart and let divine energy guide me.

That energy guided me to that moment when I had some alone time with Karen. That divine energy guided me to provide comfort when I could, to provide space for feelings when I felt like rushing in, to provide hugs, strength to deal with things that were beyond my realm of comfort and things that were beyond my range of “human only” reactions.

Keri and Kristin’s parents had been divorced since Keri was in college and neither one were in no position emotionally to deal with contacting their father. The very first words I ever spoke to the man were, “Hi. This is Angel and I hate for these to be the first words I speak to you, but Karen has passed away. We will be in touch with information about a ceremony”.

What this experience taught me was that there is no gap that love can not fill.

20140418-121644.jpgIn a matter of days I went from not really knowing Keri’s family at all to having a sister-in-law that I love dearly, three beautiful nieces, a kick ass brother-in-law to be, another Aunt Linda and a couple of GOOOOD lookin’ cousins with beautiful families.

I absolutely love my wife. I absolutely love my life. I love the chances we get and the rewards we are given when we live our lives on purpose and with an undeniable sense of love. None of this would’ve been possible if it weren’t for a million sets of circumstances that led all of our lives to that point in time and I just want to take this moment to say Thank you to Karen for the most wonderful parting gift.

Why is letting go so hard sometimes? Part 2 of 3

If everything happens for a reason, what was the purpose of that living hell?

To teach me to let go and I did. I am grateful for learning that lesson.

The truly sad part of all of that was for Keri and Karen, both robbed of relationships with each other. The even more tragic part of this, now, is that any hope of a chance is gone. Sadly, Karen passed away in August 2012.

Keri got the call from her sister it was time to make the trip. Keri looked at me after explaining the situation and said, I want you to go with me. Which seems like the logical thing, right? But I think the last time I went to one of Keri’s family functions prior to this was Thanksgiving 1995. I remember because her grandpa was still alive and he leaned in to me as glanced over to Keri and said, She’s a good girl. Take good care of her. I would do anything for my baby.

We walked into Karen’s hospital room and with out a beat, as if it were nothing at all Kirsten, Keri’s sister, came over to us and hugged Keri and then hugged me. She and her fiancé at the time, now husband, Kelly, rather quickly updated us on Karen’s status. It was totally and completely surreal standing there in that hospital room with Keri.

It felt so bizarre to be there in the most fragile moments of this woman’s life. I, for so many years, wanted so badly to be in the same room with her to have a chance to know her, love her and hug her and here I was standing there looking at her silently wondering why we couldn’t have shared Keri in our lives.

There was a moment when Keri and Kirsten were called out into the hall to talk to the doctor and I was left alone with Karen. I was looking at her and these words just started flowing out of my mouth, “I just want you to know that with every fiber of my being I love your daughter and I am sorry you and I never had a chance to get to know each other, but what ever it was that kept us from knowing each other, I let it go a long time ago. I want you to know peace.”

It was the weirdest thing ever having this very personal one sided conversation with this woman I barely knew. These were not my words, there was no way I could have been that poised in that given moment. I was confused and felt like what the hell am I doing here this woman wanted nothing to do with me. Why am I standing here with you right now? I really was just a little bit nervous that she might open her eyes and wonder what the hell I was doing there.

I guess everything does happen for a reason and the reason I was standing there with her all alone was to provide an opportunity for release. Who know’s what that moment provided for Karen, but my hope is that for a moment in time the essence of our beings swirled around together, smiled at each other, embraced each other and dissolved all the unknowns, the fears and resistance. All I know is I have peace in my heart and the most wonderful parting gift I have EVER been given.

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What’s the purpose? Part 1 of 3

You know how “they” always say, everything happens for a reason? and you’re taking a look at your life and you think what’s the fuckin’ purpose of this living hell?

I know you have, we all have. When you’re in the middle of something like that though it just seems like such an injustice and you ask yourself why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this bullshit?

I’m not exactly sure where this story really begins, so I’ll start from my perception of the beginning.

About 19 years ago a very intriguing woman walked into my life and I knew from the moment I laid eyes on her that we would share something special. It wasn’t really a conscious thought. It was just a knowing that I felt. It was as if time had stopped for a few moments and there was a quiet little voice, too small to even really hear, that said to me, “Take in this moment, you’ll remember it for the rest of your life”. So, I did and I remember exactly what she was wearing, how her hair was styled and where I was sitting. It was like the switch of a very warm fuzzy light was turned on inside me.

It was only a matter of months until we started dating. Before I knew it I was falling in love with her. I was nervous though that she might not be ready for those three little words. Standing and hugging each other in the kitchen of her apartment, I quietly asked her to highlight this moment in pink and green so that when I referenced it later she would know the exact moment I was talking about. To this day we still say pink and green to each other to say I love you. Keri and I will be together 19 years this coming October.

By this time you might be scratching your head and wondering how this sweet little love story leads me to ask myself, What did I do to deserve this bullshit?

Well, I’m just about to tell you. I was and still am very much in love with Keri. I was excited to begin our lives together and I wanted everyone to know how happy we were together in our new relationship. We had been to visit her mom a couple of times and the feelings of hiding what we were becoming to each other were quite uncomfortable. I felt like I couldn’t just reach out and hold the hand of the woman I loved. I couldn’t be true to myself and neither could she. I took it personal at first, like Keri was embarrassed to be with me. It was hurtful and I didn’t understand.

If she loved me so much why wouldn’t she be happy and proud to tell anyone, everyone. I grew tired of the question, so, how’s your friend? It seemed like such a slap in the face for what we were feeling for each other. Keri began to feel it too and we decided it was time to come out of the closet and let everyone know. This meant telling her mom.
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I remember that day so well. We drove up to Tulsa from Oklahoma City and I stayed the day with our friend Andrea while Keri went to her mom’s to have the “Yes, I’m gay” talk. We didn’t have cell phones then, so there were no texts updating me on the situation and I was a nervous wreck. Even as I sit here now writing about it, I can feel the knots in my stomach and the dryness in my mouth. Crazy.

Between Keri and her mom, there were years of disagreements, feelings of abandonment and disrespect, lack of acceptance, feelings like we were “throwing our relationship in her face”, and resistance that felt from our end like, What did we do to deserve this bull shit, which I’m sure was felt by her mom as well.

Granted, I never had an opportunity to get to know Keri’s mom (Karen) and what I have learned about her over the last 18 years has been through the eyes of a person that has felt completely rejected by her mother. I’ve never spoken to Karen about any of this to hear her side of the story, but I always really wanted to. I wanted desperately to be a part of the family of the woman I love so dearly. I have felt very sad over the years that I was robbed of having a “mother-in-law” and all the other family members too. It felt so unfair. I thought if Karen would just give me a chance she would love me. I was trying to make sense of it by talking it out with Keri and mulling it over.

One day Keri asked me if I could just stop because every time I tried to figure out why Karen couldn’t accept me it only reminded her that her mom wasn’t accepting her either. It was crystal clear to me in that moment that this was never about me and I dropped it. I let it go.

Everything happens for a reason. Yes, even bull shit.

I learned to let go.

Shimmering pools of butter

You never know when life is just going to say, Here you go, you delightful person you, here’s a wonderful gift. I was sitting in a coffee shop today at my very first scheduled out of the house “Committed to my dream” meeting with myself and the universe rewarded me with new friend. I am so lucky!!!! It is like the universe said, Angel, you need one more amazing person in your life, here’s an opportunity to meet David.

I was sitting at a table facing the window, so I could see what was going on outside. People were walking by with their dogs, others with their toddlers on their shoulders and one man was dropping his dogs off at a doggie daycare across the street. It was all very smile evoking. I had my headphones on to keep me focused, but I did notice that someone sat beside me. We shared pleasant acknowledgments of each other and carried on with our own business.

He was setting up his computer and getting situated, everything was going smoothly and then I noticed an intoxicating aroma. I have a soft place in my heart for breakfast. I don’t know if I have always LOVED breakfast and as a result ended up going to breakfast with my mom a lot when I was little or if going to breakfast a lot with my mom when I was little developed my love for breakfast. In either case, breakfast has a place soft place in my heart because it reminds me of special times with my mom.

Anyway, this delicious aroma turned out to be a perfectly toasted sesame bagel with little shimmering pools of butter. I took off my headphones and looked over at the man sitting next to me and said, “That is the most wonderful smell. Does it taste as good as it smells?” He said it was delicious. Next thing I know I’m walking back towards my seat with my own toasted sesame bagel with shimmering pools of butter. I said, “What can I say, aroma sells” and that was the beginning.20140420-164100.jpg

We chatted with each other, shared ideas and began to realize we had many similar beliefs. It was exciting to converse with someone new that is so like-minded. It was a pretty amazing experience. I love making connections and truly “being” in a shared space with someone. It is such a breath of fresh air to have deep intentional experiences. Thank you David. I look forward to the next time our paths cross.

Full Spectrum of feelings

Sometimes I have no idea what to write about for this blog. I sit in front of my little iPad screen and want very badly to write something touching. Something that makes a difference in someones life and sometimes I start writing a few sentences and I don’t really feel moved in particular direction. I start again, and write a couple of sentences or a paragraph and think, Damn it! Who gives a shit about this?

Well, apparently I give a shit about this, because I just keep writing. As I have said before I love writing this blog. It fills my soul with satisfaction. Knowing that people are waiting to read what I have written in hopes of getting a little lift in their day, keeps me motivated to write something meaningful.

Today I am moved to share with you the songs I heard this morning while I was eating my yummy breakfast with my wife. She made a yummy scramble, biscuits and gravy and these songs came on, all right in a row, while I was sitting across from her: Sunday Morning by Maroon 5, Your Life is Now by John Mellenkamp, Goodbye Girl covered by Rumor and Deee-Lite by Groove is in the Heart.

It is such an amazing thing to me how music can totally sweep you away and bring up feelings in you that you know are there, but the emotion in the music and the way the words are sung, just captures it so perfectly. Sunday Morning is about how nice it feels to stay in bed on a rainy Sunday and cuddle with the one you love. “Steal some covers share some skin, Clouds are shrouding us in moments unforgettable. You twist to fit the mold that I am in. Come and rest your bones with me. My fingers trace your every outline.” Love it!

I am so grateful for what I have in my life, I love to cuddle with my baby. Then, John Mellencamp’s song, Your Life is Now, came on. What an excellent reminder. “This is your time here to do what you will do. Your life is now. In this undiscovered moment, Will you lift your head above the crowd? Do you believe you’re a victim of a great compromise? ‘Cause I believe you could change your mind and change your life.” Powerful words that remind us that we have a choice. Totally empower yourself by embracing the concept that YOU HAVE A CHOICE!

Just a little reminder sung into my morning by Rumer with Goodby Girl. “Goodbye doesn’t mean forever, Let me tell you that goodbye doesn’t mean we’ll never be together again.” Honestly, there was a time that I could not listen to this song. That time was Jan. 2006. Keri and I were headed home from the airport after returning from Arizona when my dad passed away. My friend Michelle crossed my mind and the hurt that she is going through as she grieves the loss of her love. I believe when she is ready, love will find its way back into her life and it will blow her mind.

Then there’s Groove is in the Heart. If you don’t know this song and you love to dance, Look it up and get your ass on the dance floor. This song WILL BE played at our wedding reception. “We’re going to dance. We’re going to dance. We’re going to dance and have some fun. I couldn’t ask for another. Sing it Baby!!! Groove is in the heart. Watch out!” I could not help myself. I danced around my kitchen as I washed my dishes. Hands in the air, butt shakin’ this way and that, boppin’ around like I was high on life. Was I high on life? You bet I was. I love dancing!!! I felt like these songs took me on a full spectrum of feelings.

Grateful for the quite lovey moments of cuddling, knowing my life is NOW and living THIS moment to the fullest, realizing that there are always going to be times in life that are tough and very painful, but that time heals and happiness is right there when we are ready to dance, sing and celebrate life.

Life is such an amzing thing and I am so grateful to be surrounded by love.

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Hmmm,… marching for Hate or eating s’mores?

Evolve or dissolve. I wrote those three words in my notes back on January 19th and I’ve been waiting for the right time to expand upon that concept and I believe the time is right. Why do I believe the time is right? Well, I’ll tell you. Two things have happened recently that provide the perfect examples of this concept and I will share them with you now.

You may or may not be aware of a man by the name of Fred Phelps. For those of you that are not aware, Congratulations! Somehow you’ve gotten to this point in your life without being exposed to the pastor that headed the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka Kansas. A “church” that was adamantly against gay people. In fact, Westboro is known as the GOD HATES FAGS church and this slogan remains as the name of their website. The people of this church picketed gay pride parades and the funerals of soldiers.  The people of this church and the children of Fred Phelps taught their children to hate. It is so heart breaking.
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The good news, Fred Phelps passed away March 19th, 2014. The beginning of a chance for this group to dissolve their judgemental hypocritical ways. One less hater.

As for the flip side, I don’t know if you have seen the Honey Maid Graham cracker commercials or not, but as of March 10, 2014 they released a #ThisisWholesome campaign in which commercials for their snacks were depicting diversity in the family images, which included a gay couple with a baby, a single father, an interracial family and tattooed parents. I am a gay tattooed parent, so I think it is awesome.

The Honey Maid company received some negative homophobic responses to their wholesome campaign, claiming the gay couples with their children were disgusting, and they were going to boycott Honey Maid. The totally awesome thing about the responses Honey Maid got regarding their new commercials was that they also received positive comments glowing with praise. The positive comments were 10 times the number of negative comments.20140415-200005.jpg

YES!!!

Honey Maid not only did not pull the #ThisisWholesome ad campaign they took it one step further and released a video telling their story about how they responded to the positive and negative responses they received. The video was posted on Jezebel.com, so grab a tissue and click the link to see their amazing response. This is a company that has a strong plan to evolve and I support them 100%.

What else can I say? Evolve or dissolve. I’m patient and positively focused.