Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Quiet Power

Franklin Roosevelt once said, "Walk softly, but carry a big stick!" I am certain some people may think this type of thinking represents weakness, but to me, it represents combining humility with strength and intelligence-a more integrated, balanced form of strength. What if the whole world operated this way, combining humility and reverence for all of life, with strength? War would be a lot less common indeed. When I think of this kind of silent power, two great men come to mind, Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi. Both were amazing individuals who understood the sacredness and reverence for all of life. They both preached and practiced nonviolence and had a tremendous amount of quiet power and strength, a giant inner power and strength that heavily influenced millions.

This quiet power I am referring to here, is closely related with non-violence. There is a Jain scripture I really appreciate, "A piece of blood-stained cloth cannot be washed with blood, we need water to do it." Gandhi also said, "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary, the evil it does is permanent" and "An eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind." There is a Indian, Sanskrit word for nonviolence (ahimsa). Ahimsa does not just mean the absence of violence, it means the greater unnameable force opposite of violence. This force is a potent force that emanates in the soul. There is much power in the soul. The same power that created and maintains this entire universe is a part of each of our souls. Power doesn't have to be so dominant, so aggressive. That type of power isn't genuine power anyway. Gandhi and Rev. King both accessed and utilized this deep, inward, soul power I am referring to. They proved that nonviolence can solve political upheaval. War is a disease, a disease that keeps re-infecting the world. Someone has to stop it. If we don't, it may be our demise. Enough is enough...

Ironically just now as I am writing this, I received an email from a friend that had a short movie clip of an elephant and a dog that are the best of friends. This is a true story from an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. At the end of the clip it said, "come on world, if these two can get past their differences, why can't the whole world?" I don't know about you, but right now, I choose for a time of great peace in the world, a peace that can only come as a result of this kind of quiet power operating inside all of us. I choose to operate from a sense of this quiet power. I choose a new world of cooperation, equality, and nonviolence. Imagine if everyone chose this kind of power! We could really transform the world!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Magic Cure

It seems these days, many people in our culture are constantly looking for the quick fix, the magic cure. You know, the wonder pill, the miracle drug, the super fast weight loss pill or diet plan, the antidepressants to cheer you up when you're feeling down, the pain pills to numb your pain. Television ads bombard us with endless advertisements of products that will cure whatever ails us, or products that will make us feel young again. As a society, we are taught to look outside of ourselves starting at a very early age. We are taught to seek this magic cure, this outward remedy somewhere out there. I believe this is a major problem and defect though.

We are always looking for the magic cure outside of ourselves, and a way to feel better outside of ourselves, while the real magic has always been and will always be within us. It's kind of like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She had the magic power all along, in her magic ruby slippers to get back to Kansas. Though, it was only through the experiences she went through on her journey, that she was able realize her real power within and only then was she was able to really believe in and utilize the power in her magic shoes. She had to go through all the experiences she went through to discover the power she was seeking, was in herself all along.

For centuries, people have searched for the fountain of youth, the holy grail, for the miracle cure all. It is as if people believe there is something out there that can transform them, make them feel young again, and make them happier. I have never really bought into all this type of thinking. I am one who doesn't believe that there is a quick fix, a miracle drug. I believe everything worth while is part of a natural, gradual process. And nature supports this theory too. If you observe the process of nature, there are no quick fixes. Everything grows, blossoms, unfolds, or ripens in its own time. A tree doesn't grow overnight. You cant hurry up the ripening of any fruit or vegetable. There is a old Chinese proverb, "Good medicine is bitter to the taste." This to me, means that anything worthwhile, or that is healthy might not be tasty or easy, though it is still worth it. Nothing comes easy in this lifetime. Everything worthwhile requires some sort of effort on our part.

And though, there is no magic cure for all of the ails in life, I believe I have found a supreme treasure of immense worth. On my journey for more peace, passion and positivity, I have found what I believe is the magic cure most people are subconsciously seeking-inner peace, and spiritual awakening. Through my intense yoga, meditation, spiritual study and prayer over the years, I have found, tapped into a great source of peace, energy, passion and what I believe is the only source of true happiness in this world. Rumi, a great persian sage once said, "The friend will become bread and spring water for you, a lamp and a helper, your favorite dessert and a glass of wine. Union with that one is grace!" I can definitely relate to this. I believe the only miracle cure if there is one, the only magic remedy so to speak, out of the cold and harshness of reality, is union with God, spiritual awakening or a closer walk with our creator...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Walking Your Path

Robert Frost wrote a poem titled The Road Less Traveled in which he stated,"Somewhere ages and ages hence, two roads diverged in a wood, and I-I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." What is your path? the one that will make all the difference for you. I was in Pre-Med for almost 3 years with a 3.9 GPA. I dropped out and started my own business, even though my family thought I was out of my mind. I did this because I knew in my soul, I was walking down the wrong path for me! And I needed to find and walk my own path and be true to myself.

Walking through life is a marvelous journey, but filled with a myriad of possibilities and choices. Sometimes you just know when a path you're on doesn't feel right for some reason, so you decide to take an alternate road that feels right for you! We all need to feel like we are on target, living authentically, walking the right path for us.

On life’s journey, you will encounter much-narrow paths blocked by boulders, forks in the road shrouded in fog, deep valleys of darkness and despair, and bright sunny days in meadows of golden poppies. It is all a part of life's journey. And through it all, the only constant is that you are you, that you have an inner voice within you and a path to walk. If you allow your inner voice to tell you which fork in the road to take, if you allow that internal compass to tell you which mountain to climb, then you will do well indeed and have a fulfilling, interesting, and enjoyable life. If you go chasing after security, or living someone else's dream, then you will find yourself suddenly awakening in a deep forest without knowing where to turn. You will find yourself lost and confused, because you have lost touch with your own personal truth. And when this happens, you must just sit down in the forest, become very still, return to yourself and find yourself again before you continue walking, or else you will simply go around in circles, becoming more desperate and alone and lost.

In her book, A Still Small Voice, Echo Bodine had this to say, "Because the road that leads to God is not an easy one, many people choose the wide road instead. It may seem easier to follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing-following what appears to be the safe road in life-but the truth is, that road doesn't encourage individuality. Instead, it promotes a deadening conformity, and it keeps you farther away from God."

Have the courage and the heart, the centeredness and audacity to follow your own path. Be who you are and love being you no matter what. Your path is your path only and no one knows better than you which path to walk. Shine your light and show the world who you are, so that people who are looking for someone exactly like you can find you. Do not allow setbacks or even major betrayals to dampen your shine and your being. You are a shining star when you are walking your path!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Live With Passion

                    "Only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to great things!"
                                                                                                                -Dennis Diderot

Life was meant to be juicy, sweet, full of flavor, bursting with excitement, passion and adventure.  It was never intended to be hum drum, dull, boring or monotonous. So why do some people live with zest, while others lead lives of quiet desperation?  The answer I believe is that we all have the choice to choose exactly how much joy and beauty we want in our lives.  And each of us has a well of passion and inspiration to draw from deep within ourselves--an unlimited reserve just waiting for us to tap into it. It's just that not everyone knows this and not everyone chooses to go after and seek this source. I think it boils down to making a choice to living a passionate life and then actually taking action to go after it or create it.
Lets face it, in life anything worthwhile requires effort!!!  Whatever it is you want, you have to work at it. And isn't it easier to just sit around, be lazy and not do anything to better yourself, your situation, etc? Of course it is...  The funny thing is, people do this and then wonder why their lives are not working.  Living with inspiration, joy and positivity is an active thing and requires much effort on your part.

Creating a life of passion requires taking action and personal responsibility. It requires spending time figuring out what you are excited and motivated about, what juices you, and then doing more of those things.  It requires following your bliss regularly. For me, it is yoga and meditation, writing (music, poetry and motivational/inspirational material). I am passionate about all of these things! They all make me come alive and dance.  While I am doing them, I feel incredibly connected to my soul and completely energized. If you want to feel more passionate, find the things you enjoy and then figure out how you can incorporate these things into your daily life. Maybe you could possibly  even build a career out of one particular thing you are passionate about? 

Here is a List of Things You Can do to Help You Start Living With More Passion Today

1. Live in the moment (slow down, learn to savor each moment, take time to contemplate the mystery and beauty of all creation)

2. Take chances/risks (put yourself out there, dare to go after the things you desire, dare to live your dreams)

3. Keep a journal (journaling helps you stay in touch with yourself and helps you to keep on focus, on target)

4. Remember to keep close to the source of all passion and inspiration (this one is huge, to feel more alive you have got to be aligned with the cosmic energy, the flow of life-spirit)

5. Exercise (exercise is proven to release endorphins which make you feel more happier and more alive)

6. Give what you have to offer (share your gifts to others, you may be surprised at the response you get when you showcase your talents and give whatever it is you have to give)

7. Do things that make you feel strong and powerful (I climb mountains, it totally makes me feel alive and powerful)

8. Cultivate happiness and optimism (you can do this by asking yourself positive questions, doing positive affirmations and using visualization)

These are just a few of the things that may help you live a happier, more fulfilled life. I choose to live with passion and you can too! It is very possible for anyone to create a passionate existence.  All you have to do is ask more from life than you currently have been and know you are worthy and deserving of receiving it. Be a hero in your own life story and Live with Passion.

***WARNING*** Failure to follow this list may result in a life filled with regret, a life of boredom and may even be detrimental to your health!

Copyright Justin Topik, Peace Passion Positivity 2014,
All rights reserved, except for use in brief quotations and reviews
which include authors name

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Staying Close to the Source

I recently wrote a song titled, I'm Flyin' Free Now. The first verse and chorus goes like this:

This is where I go, when I'm feeling low,
and I'm feeling low again.
This is where I hide when the goblins come alive
and I feel like I haven't got a friend.
This is where I run, when my life comes undone
and all the colors fade to gray.
Its a place I go inside, a place I run and hide
from everyone even me.
When I need a pick me up, I drink from your tin cup,
until this thing in my flies free,
I'm flyin' free now...

For me, this song symbolizes staying close to the source of inspiration, the source of rejuvenation, the source of vitality and fulfillment, the source of all life and creation. I go to this magic place everyday. It is my sacred place, my sacred space. I would be lost without it!!! I believe we all have an inborn need and desire to connect with and stay in tune with this source. I don't know about you, but I desire the feeling of inner contentment, inner peace and inner bliss, as much as, and sometimes even more than I desire food. Rumi a great persian poet once said, "Loving God is the only pleasure. Other delights turn bitter. What hurts the soul? To live without tasting the water of its own essence." What an amazing quote that is!

We can run, but we can't hide from our essence. The ironic thing is many people run away from what could provide them with the utmost happiness, peace and bliss. We turn away from inner peace in search of that which will never satisfy. And for what reason, laziness, fear of the unknown, fear of our own magnificence?

In the Tao te Ching, we read:

"Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the ten thousand things rise and fall,
but contemplate their return.
Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.
Not knowing the source leads to disaster."

Ultimately, the choice for serenity, peace, or chaos, disaster and disorder is up to each of us. If you want peace, all you have to do is look within, seek within, make a time and a place for peace, for communion with spirit. Peace is not far, it is right where you are... We are all like plugs and at anytime, we can plug into the outlet for more energy or to re-charge. So, why resist what can make you feel most alive? Our true power comes in staying close to this source, the source of youth, vitality, energy and passion.

I was listening to a CD by Wayne Dyer this morning and in paraphrasing, he commented that at this point in his life he now realizes that he doesn't write the books, his lectures, etc. but that it is only spirit working through him. He just allows spirit to work through him. That is true wisdom. That is knowing who you are in the large spectrum of things. What marvelous works the spirit can accomplish when we allow it to move in our lives. Staying close to the source is not a chore, but a gift from above. You can walk alone, and try to push away the urge to connect with source, or embrace it and let it transform your life. The choice is up to you...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Magnetize Your Self for Success

Whether we realize it or not, we are all magnetic. Haven't you ever heard someone say that a certain person has a magnetic personality? Well, it's true, some people do. The reason is, they have learned how to increase or supercharge their magnetic ability/energy. Essentially, we are all magnetic beings. And the things that are being pulled towards us, or being repelled by us, are predicated by our thoughts, our focus, our beliefs about life, relationships, existence and etc. I have come to realize and believe, we are all powerful co-creators with spirit. And just like magnets, our magnetism can be increased or supercharged.

This is something I practice continuously in my daily life-magnetizing myself for success. I have made a clear distinction between my positive and or negative thoughts and focus, and attracting positive or negative things. I have also learned that I have the power to elevate this level of magnetism consciously, by elevating my positive thoughts, using visualization, focusing on the good things I want to manifest in my life, by asking myself positive questions, by keeping my spiritual energy high, by keeping out all negative self talk, and by staying clear of energy drainers. I make a conscious effort to spend most of my time around positive, happy and uplifting people. Energies rub off and it is my goal to keep my magnetic energy high.

I now finally understand the whole energy/law of attraction thing and constantly practice using it. I have attracted some pretty good things in my life and am learning more and more, how to do it consciously. I don't waste too much time on trivial things. I don't believe in wasting good energy on bad things.

Now there is one more secret I'd like to share with you: THE MAGNETISM IS IN YOU... You already possess the magic! You just might not realize it. And though I don't claim to have all the answers, I have found that there are 4 main keys to increasing magnetism and magnetizing your self for success. They are:

1) Gratitude
2) Positive Attitude
3) Happiness/Joy
4) Inner Harmony/Spiritual Fulfillment

Increase these 4 things and watch your magnetic ability soar! As you work on developing more of these things within you, your magnetic ability will automatically increase and you will attract more of the things you want to attract in your life!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Take Time to Sharpen the Saw

Take time to sharpen the saw is an old metaphor for being prepared for your daily work. And being someone who loves to chop wood, I know first hand how important it is to take 5-10 minutes before I start, to sharpen my ax or saw. It can make a humongous difference and probably saves a good 30 minutes-1 hr of work on a 3 to 4 hour job.

Taking time to sharpen the saw can also be applied to the self-keeping yourself refreshed, recharged and in optimal, harmonious states. This includes, but is not limited to, exercise, sleep, healthy eating, positive thinking and care of the soul. The area I am going to focus on the most here however, is care of the soul. This is because I believe it is the first area to get neglected and is one of, if not the most important areas. In Neale Donald Walsch's amazing book Conversations With God, he says, "If I do not go within, I go without." Taking time for daily rejuvenation is both restorative and necessary for the soul. And yet, most people I know go through their daily lives without taking the time, or making the time to sharpen the saw in this area (to refresh, recharge, rejuvenate at a soul level). If the soul is not at peace, at rest, then nothing is in harmony. Harmony and peace start inward. It doesn't matter how good you eat, how much sleep or exercise you get. If your soul needs are lacking, your total health in mind, body and spirit will be lacking. The soul needs care as well.

Taking the time to go within has made all the difference in my life. I have seen a dramatic increase in my health and vitality, and my energy level over the past ten years, since I began daily yoga/meditation, combined with spiritual study. My daily routine begins at 5 am everyday with journal writing, spiritual study, yoga/meditation and prayer. And what it gives me is balance, poise, inner strength, insight, clarity, tons of energy, and passion and enthusiasm for the day. If your life is lacking these things, I encourage you to set some time aside for care of the soul. It will most certainly make your day flow more easily and smoothly. And if you want to experience total health in mind, body and spirit, take time to sharpen the saw in all these areas.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sowing Seeds of Positivity

I was very fortunate to grow up around a quite large fruit and vegetable farm. There is much to be learned from the farm life. One invaluable lesson I was taught early on is that whatever you sow, you reap. And yet planting, sowing seeds isn't as simple as just throwing seeds on the ground, or digging a hole and putting them in. You can't just sow the seeds on hard, rocky soil. You have to work and prepare the soil, by breaking up and loosening the dirt, removing the rocks and etc. Only then, when the soil is fully ready, can you plant the seeds. And the work doesn't end there. You still have to water and cultivate the weeds continuously, fertilize, etc. Then, after much patience, diligence, sweat and labor, can you reap the harvest.

Sowing seeds of positivity in our lives, follows the exact same process. Just merely planting our hopes, dreams and goals isn't going to ensure we reap the rewards of our desired goals/outcomes. Just as in sowing actual seeds, we have to follow all of the steps mentioned above. First and foremost in this process, we have to prepare the soil metaphorically speaking; meaning we have to get ourselves right at the core. We do this by developing good thinking habits, a positive attitude, a good work ethic. Also involved in this process is preparing the soul. We do this by nurturing, feeding our souls, cultivating inner peace, and spiritual wisdom. Then we must plant seeds of positivity and water them continuously with hope, belief, faith and action. And last but not least, is the weeding or cultivating part, keeping out the weeds (overcoming our own or others criticisms and negative thoughts).

It is just as easy to sow seeds of negativity as it is to sow seeds of positivity. The tricky part is and the part you gotta be mindful of is, whichever ones you sow the most, you reap. So if your focus is always on negative events, or why your life is not working, instead of on obtaining or creating the positive desired change, you will attract more of what you don't want in your life. In order to sow more positive seeds, it requires a conscious decision to monitor and take responsibility for the thoughts you allow in your consciousness, the thoughts you focus on. I promise you if you start sowing more positive seeds, you will most certainly start harvesting more positive things in your life. Our minds and souls are like gardens and all they do is grow whatever we put in. It's the law of the harvest, you reap what you sow!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Manifesting Your Hearts Desires

Visualize... visualize... visualize... I can't over-stress the importance of visualization! If you want something, you have to see it in your minds eye first. The old adage is true-seeing is believing, although, believing is also seeing. Whatever you focus on, you will most definitely experience more of. This is talked about immensely in the book The Secret. If you haven't read it, READ IT! It is a remarkable read for learning to manifest your hearts desires. Visualization works, but it is also something you have to practice. I have personally used visualization to manifest the car of my dreams, and to help launch my former clothing business. I would go into department stores and stand there and visualize my clothing lines on the shelves. And in just a few short years, I was selling to over 40 department stores in five different states. It is some powerful stuff!!!

The secret to manifesting is knowing what you want and desire first and then, focus... focus... focus... Instead of hocus pocus al-a-ma-gocus, it should be focus... focus... al-a-ma-gocus. You can truly have anything you desire, when you believe. This works because when you believe something enough, you fill up your thoughts and focus on the outcome, and visualization automatically comes into play. Neale Donald Walsch said in his book Conversations With God, "seek it no longer, call it forth!" He was referring to the God power in all of us to bring forth what we most desire to experience. This power, like the power in Aladdin's lamp, is sitting there inside of you and me right now, just waiting to be called forth.

The reason people manifest lack, poverty and unhappiness is, that is what they see in their minds eye. Your minds eye can either be your best friend, or worst enemy. Get to know it, and let it work for you. People that have achieved greatness or who live passionate, exciting, fulfilled lives, have known this power and used it for centuries. Einstein said, "imagination is the coming preview to life's attractions. " Visualization is one of the most important tools you can use in attracting the things you desire to manifest! Use it, it is a God given tool.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Trusting Your Inner Wisdom

It was Dec. 31, 2007, I woke up in the middle of the night in total horror. I lied there in awe, consumed by a nightmare about our home being completely destroyed as if some major catastrophe had just hit. In the dream, I was walking around outside of this destruction trying to put the pieces back together. The next day I was really bothered by the dream and feeling a lot of apprehension all day long. That same night, Jan. 1, 2008, I woke up for no apparent reason at 1:15 AM in the morning to find our house was completely on fire. I frantically woke up my wife at the time and 4 kids, and by the time we got out, the flames were 20 feet high as the entire house was on fire. How did I know that something was gonna happen? How does anyone know that something is gonna happen before it does? Where do these premonitions come from? The answer I believe is, we all have a built in compass, an inner voice, a direct personal link to universal wisdom. It's just that in today's world, we as a society are quite out of touch with this element. There is so much noise, so much busyness, so many distractions, that we as a society have almost forgotten how to access what I call, "inside information." Native Americans totally understood this ancient wisdom and lived in complete harmony with the spiritual element of life. They understood the inner connectedness and sacredness of all life. They didn't have so many distractions. Their goal was harmony, balance and respect for all of life, not acquiring riches, looking for the next thrill, the next distraction, the next high. Somewhere in our quest for technological advancement and entertainment, we have sacrificed our inner connectedness to spirit and we have got to find a way to get it back.

No one knows better than you what is best for you, what is your path to walk. We have got to learn to access and trust our inner wisdom again. We've got to as a society get back to a more spiritual way of living. Your inner guidance is your friend, your alli, not your enemy. If you make daily time to listen, it will unfold to you your path, your place in this world. It will help you with any challenge you may be facing. There are many traditional religions that I believe actually discourage trusting and following your inner voice. I know, I was raised in one of them. I had to actually leave behind my family religion just to learn to rely more on the spirit as my guide. Your relationship with God, spirit, whatever you call it, is between you and spirit. You don't have to go through any priest, any person, any organization to get to this source. The relationship is instilled, automatic. Sometimes learning to trust you inner wisdom requires you stepping away from others who may be telling you what to think, what to believe. I am not saying religion is a bad thing here. Anything that encourages spiritual growth and development is definitely good. I am just saying that in order to have a more personal relationship with this entity, you need to make a sacred place for you and it alone. Trusting your inner wisdom requires courage to step outside your comfort zone and devotion to learning to quiet yourself in a distracting and oftentimes noisy world. I promise you though, that as you make more time to listen to and walk with your inner wisdom, you will achieve a greater sense of inner peace and harmony and feel a closer bond to spirit.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Learning Wisdom

Life is full of obstacles, challenges, ups and downs, ins and outs. Life is like an ice cream shop, with a variety of flavors. Sometimes it is a rocky road and other times it is a colorful sherbet. And through it all, we are constantly reminded that there is a higher power, a higher order to the flow of the stream of life. And every experience, every moment can teach you much wisdom if you are receptive to the lessons that the universe is trying to unfold to you. I have learned to accept life as it comes, to have plans, yet allow for the unexpected and sometimes even to expect the unexpected. No one has it all figured out. God, the Tao, the Great Spirit, the Unnameable is mysterious and unfathomable, as is life oftentimes. No one is meant to understand it all. I believe some things are meant to be a mystery. Life happens as it happens and sometimes you've just got to roll with it. There are no guarantees in this life. True wisdom is not having it all figured out, but being in the game, being a part of the mystery, embracing the mystery and just accepting that all experiences are part of a whole circle-birth, death, passion, despair, grief, utter joy, are all natural parts of this life experience. Wisdom comes in part by realizing this whole thing, this entire experience of life is bigger than you and me. There is a divine architect, I am certain of it. We are all just a small part in the web of creation. And yet, housed within my soul, your soul is some of the same power that created and operates the universe.

Life is good, no matter how you look at it. Life is a gift and a treasure. And we are all just a part of the dance of creation. So keep on dancing, singing, doing your thing, being who you are authentically, passionately and joyfully and enjoy life to the fullest. Through all your experiences, life is trying to teach you wisdom and also remind you quite often that there is a higher wisdom than your own operating in this universe. Learning wisdom is a process and that process often involves patience, quietness, and making time daily to pray, meditate and ask guidance from the master of wisdom. Sometimes wisdom comes in acceptance of things as they are or as they appear. No one here in this lifetime is a victim. We are all on a journey, a journey that involves constant life lessons and evolution of us as spiritual beings.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happiness is Always a Choice

If you could choose your mood like you choose your clothes for the day, what mood would you choose? Is choosing your mood or state of mind really a choice anyway? A lot of people I'm certain would say no to that question, but I totally believe the answer is YES. No matter the circumstances, no matter the challenges or adversities you may be facing, no matter what the weather looks like outside, or what may be going on inside of you, you always have a choice to choose happiness or not. Bottom line is, you are in control of your focus. And that means, at any given moment, you can choose peace, happiness, positive thoughts or misery, unhappiness and negativity. I know a lot of people are saying yeah right, I mean that guy in the parking lot stole my spot, or that woman in traffic cut me off, or my boss said a harsh, mean comment to me. I had no choice but to react the way I did. But somewhere inside of you, either consciously or unconsciously, you decided how to react, or not to react at all.

All of life is a choice. I grew up in a family with a very angry and reactive father. Putting it mildly, there was a lot of abuse there! There was not a lot of love and compassion in our home, but somehow I managed to stay positive through it all, while a lot of my family to this day has continued to hold on to the hatred and anger. For me, I had an absolute moment of clarity and perspecive one day when I was about 20 or so, and I realized that I could either continue to hold on to my hurt, anger or pain, or I could DECIDE in that moment to let it all go and forgive my father. And decide is a powerful word. I made a decision to once and for all, let it go. In that moment of decision, my life was positively impacted. There is a song I am sure you have heard of. It is by June Carter Cash. It is called "Keep on the Sunny Side" The lyrics start out with:

There's a dark and a troubled side of life
There's a bright and a sunny side too
Though we meet with the darkness and strife
The sunny side we also may view

Keep on the sunny side always on the sunny side
Keep on the sunny side of life
It will help us every day it will brighten all our way
If we keep on the sunny side of life

This is a great little song with a large implication. So remember, the choice is always up to you and me. As our focus, so is our experience. It is not always easy to be positive, but it is well worth the effort. No one likes a grouch. Life is too short to be miserable and unhappy, take the challenge and as June Carter Cash's song says, keep on the sunny side!!!