Speak it and it shall be.

A few years back, I said to Sylver “You know…I’d like to move into an actual house some day.”
We did, even though at the time I said it, it seemed impossible.
I had thought it many times but had dismissed it as something that would never happen. I said it out loud and it happened.
Some time after that, Sylver said “You know…I’d like to go to Mexico.” 
Again, impossible at the time…We had just moved into a house. A bit after that we found ourselves in Playa Del Carmen Mexico.
“I’d like to start an aerial arts school”
Silly… We had no location or a way to get one. 
Two years later we are housed at the largest Gymnastics Complex in West Michigan with classes 4 nights a week.
A month or so after we started that “I’d like to do a week long run at a large county fair.”
We wound up in Iowa for a week at the National Cattle Congress.
Right after that “You know…We should find a way to get onto national TV…”
We wound up on a reality show that will be airing in May of this year.

We have said a few things out loud since then, and several of them are on their way to fruition.
All of these things seemed impossible and we had no clue on how to make them happen when we said them. Yet things fell together at just the right moments. 
Why is this? Magic? The Power of Positive thinking? Some amazing deity reaching down from the heavens to align things perfectly to make our dreams come true?
Hardly.
You ever have one of those days when every time you looked at the clock it was 1:11, 2:22 and then 3:33?
An obscure song comes to mind and then you hear it three times in the same day?
Thought of someone and then very soon afterwards get a message of some sort from them?
Your mind is very selective as to what it hilights. 
There is a 1:11, 2:22 and 3:33 occurring twice every day. Once this sequence is hilighted we tend to forget the times we looked at the clock at 1:24, 2:36 and 4:35.
When we hear an obscure song that we just thought of, we neglect to remember the 30 other obscure songs we thought of but did not hear as well as the 30 other songs we did hear but had not thought of.
We forget the other people we thought of but did not get a message from.

When we say something out loud, our subconscious starts to run programs to seek out things relevant to that statement. I mention going to Bali and all of a sudden *BAM* I see a travel advert for Bali. I had most likely seen that advert for Bali many times but now my programs are running- It jumps out. Pathways to make it happen start to appear and it becomes clear how to make it happen.
I am not saying it does not take work. It does. We worked our bums off to make the aerial school happen. It took sacrifice and hard work to get onto the TV show. What the process does is finds a way to make the impossible more attainable. It shines a light onto the path that must be taken to achieve the goal.

This is different from my previous blog about seeing what you focus on as that only deals with the present. It helps you look at your life and say “You know…This ain’t so bad.”  This is more aggressive, it helps to shape your future. It helps to pull you towards your goals. A race driver once said “You will always drive towards where you are looking.” You look towards the inside of the curve where you want to go. If you look at the wall, you are going to hit it.
Say what you want, out loud. Say it in front of people that you want to get there with. Apply the filter that will help you see the important stuff: The things you are going to need. When all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. Look at what you want and then find the tools. After that, everything seems to fall into place.

Just say it out loud.

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“Nice” Guys are horrible people

Another rant against the “Poor Me” types.
Yep…That’s me. Squishing my boot against the faces of the already downtrodden.
Hey there “Nice” guys (And girls too! I know you are out there!)! Got a thought for you…

Do you want to know why you never get the girl (or guy)?
You look at yourself and see someone who sacrifices themselves for the object of their affections. You are always there when their relationships are falling apart. You listen. You offer a shoulder to cry on. You take them out for coffee or dinner. You go help them fix their car when it breaks down at 3 am. You give them massages when they are stressed out.
You go in for a kiss and are rejected…Told that you are just friends.
Yep…You get friendzoned. Or worse.
“Why?” you cry inwardly. “After all I do for them…why don’t they care for me in that way? They should love me!!”
I mean…Look at all you do for them…You don’t ask anything in return. You just give and give and give…
Would it kill them to give you a chance?
I know at least a few people reading this are nodding their head in agreement.
Those are the people I am talking to right now.
You are NOT a “Nice” guy (Or girl…Consider that implied from now on).
You think that you do all of these nice things freely…That you demand nothing in return. That is a lie you have told so often you believe it yourself.
They do NOT owe you a chance. That is the payment you are expecting. Every time you lament “Why don’t girls go for the nice guys” you are implying that the simple act of being  nice should get you the object of your affections. Society owes you that and you are confused why it does not come back to you in spades.

Thinking that you are owed love and affection because you do nice things for someone is no different than expecting sexual favors because you bought them lobster for dinner. That’s right “nice” guys…doing nice things to gain emotional leverage over someone is not nice. It is calculating and manipulative.
And it is remarkably ineffective.
There are really only three outcomes you will get from that sort of interaction:
1- You use it on someone with extremely low self esteem or very little emotional experience. You will then develop a very unhealthy relationship based on them owing you for all you do for them. This relationship will either end when they realize how there is nothing really there or continue on into a dreadful and abusive relationship based on who owes who what. Frequently, when the relationship ends, the “Nice” guy goes into stalker mode feeling that they are still owed more than what they got. Think about that “nice” guys…Have you ever gotten broken up with and serial dialed/texted/stood outside their house insisting that you get one more chance? That you “deserve” one more chance?
You don’t.
2- The person realizes that they are being emotionally manipulated and then distances themselves from you. You feel rejected and still “owed”. If it goes well, they drift away to a comfortable distance and you have lost a friendship. If not…See stalker mode above.

3- The person you are showering your niceness on is actually kind of a bad person. They will then allow you to be as nice as you can be and take full advantage of your generosity. They will stay just flirty enough to string you on while pursuing their own romantic agenda. Most “nice” guys eventually find one of these and will puppy dog around after them for ages. At least until the object of the affections finds the partner they were looking for. This will either end with the “Nice” guy confronting the object in a last ditch effort (Possible stalker mode again) or retreating to their “Why don’t they ever go for the nice guy” mantra.

So…What is the solution?
Should you go out and start being a jerk? Never do nice things for anyone?
Of course not.
Stop being a “nice” guy and start being a good one. No one owes you anything. Ever. Just be a decent person to everyone that you can. Appreciate when someone does something nice for you. Smile at strangers. Say nice things about people even when they aren’t there. Leave a penny by the motorized ponies at Meijers. Tip your server.
Expect nothing in return.
These are attractive properties.
It is kind of like the difference between a politician holding/kissing a baby and some biker looking dude holding/kissing a baby.
One is doing it because it looks good to the public. One is doing it because babies are awesome.
Ask around on that one. See how attractive something like that can make you…If you are doing it for the right reasons.
Be selfless, be good. It will all come to you.
Promise.

And a moment of full disclosure- I’ve done it too. All the way down to serial calling and standing outside of a house in the pouring rain insisting that I deserved another chance. That she owed me that.
Yeah. Not cool at all. Kinda pathetic really. I got better.

 

How the Lytro camera added a new level to my philosophies…

I am a gadget freak. I love gadgets of all kinds. I see something new and then I read up on it…Then pin it on my Pintrest page as something I should look at getting at some point.

Recently the Lytro Camera caught my eye. Have a peek- www.lytro.com
This camera takes a picture and uses all of the light it collects…or something like that. Basically it has no focus. What that means is that you can take any picture with it, and then decide the focus when you edit it. Everything in the picture can be adjusted to be in focus. Like that person in the front of the frame? Focus on them while the rest blurs out. Like that tree in the background? Adjust the focus and it comes into perfect clarity while other things fade.

You see only what you focus on, and you can focus on anything.

Hrm… So…If I took a picture of a dog. A happy dog. A dog that was happy that it had pooped. The poop is also in the picture looking like poop. I now have two objects I can focus on. I can make the picture all about poop to the point that it is the only recognizable thing in the picture, or I can focus on the happy dog to the point that nothing else matters except “Holy cow! Look how happy that dog is! Wow! Wish I were that dog!!”

I am very used to a fixed focus camera- basic point and shoot like my cell phone. If I took a picture using my cell phone you would see an even balance of poop and dog. My cell phone camera just captures what is there, flat and simple.

We are not like a fixed focus camera. We do not see all things as equal. We give certain things weight and meaning. We get to decide what is important and what to focus on.

So many people love the poop. They focus on the poop. The frame the poop and tack it up on the wall. They make t-shirts with collages of all of the poop they have photographed and wear it around to show everyone.

When they look at the pictures other people take they try to find the poop..it must be hidden in there somewhere.

When they think about the pictures they will take in the future, they just know that everywhere they look, they will find the poop they are already familiar with.  In fact, they are sure they will find the biggest poop yet!
And amazingly enough the find the exact poop they were looking for.

Every.

Dang.

Time.

I see people on the book of faces who have the worst things happening to them all of the time. Everything they put out for the world to see is about all of the poop they seem to keep finding over and over again. They lament about how their world is just full of poopy things and they don’t see how it is going to get any better.

“Why don’t girls like me?”

“Why don’t people love me for me?”

“F*** my Life…Nobody cares…”

“Another one night stand…Why doesn’t anyone ever call me after…”

“I’m shouting really loud about my particular politics and everything is still screwed up…Just like I did yesterday…Are you people all stupid? WHY AREN’T YOU LISTENING TO ME!!!”

“I hate fat/skinny people. They are all gross! Can’t everyone see how attractive I am by comparison?”

“No one understands my poop!”

“*vague depreciating statement about life being terrible and they are going to die alone, wasted away in the friendzone while life passes them by*”

You know why no one likes you? Why people only seem to pity you and not actually like you? Why you feel like you are burdensome and no one really wants to hang out with you?

YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY POOP! ALL YOU SEE AND TALK ABOUT IS POOP! WE ARE ALL SICK OF YOUR POOP!!

Who wants to hang around with that?

I get it…I really do. Some people are genuinely depressed. It is a very real condition. This is not about them.

Some people actually have real events in their life that are earth shattering. Deaths, divorces, illnesses…This is not about them.

If you are actually one of those people above…Please get help. You deserve it. Just go. We will still love you.

This is about people who have a choice. I am one of those.

There is poop in my life. As much as anyone else. I prefer not to focus on it. I mean, I see it in the fixed focus…”Yep, there it is.” I need to see it a little so I don’t step in it.  I prefer to focus on the stuff with real meaning that will matter to me and those around me in the long run.

I am not all sunshine and lollypops. I don’t always see happy things or pretty things, just things that matter.

Like that cool camera, I can look at things in my past and change the focus. Things that were awful at the time I can adjust so I can see the bigger picture, see the things I was not focused on. It brings a whole new depth to my life.
Bottom line-You see what you focus on, both in the past and the future.

Why you wanna take pictures of poop?

 

 

Gwyd and the Ungrateful Turtle- Misadventures with Wildlife

Locally, I have a bit of a reputation as a person who knows all about weird animals. I can identify them, have a storehouse of information on them, know their temperments and how they react to human interference. I was not surprised when I got a call last Thursday to come check out something that crawled underneath a friends car. They didn’t want to back out and squish it. They had called me before for snakes, salamanders, spiders, wierd bugs, a shrew…
All of these I would capture and relocate to a place that would be safer for the animal. The area I am in has a huge migrant population and these folks are from areas where it seems that everything is poisonous. They see a snake, lizard or weird bug, they are very likely to kill it without any hesitation. It took me years to get them to stop and at least call me first so I can get the critter, do a little education and save the beasties life. When they call, I get there quick!
This was the first time they had ever called me about a turtle.
I arrive on the scene and look into the dark under the car just as it was starting to rain. There it was. A massive brute of a turtle. I could see the outline of the shell (At least 18″ long and 9″ high) and the face. It seemed to be standing up more on its legs than most turtles. It’s shell was completely off the ground and the legs were more like hooves then the webbed claws I was used to seeing on turtles of that size. From the size of it, I first thought it must be a snapping turtle of some sort, but from the hoof-like feet and the fact that it was holding itself up off of the ground, I changed my thoughts a little…Perhaps it was some sort of tortoise. It was warm enough that it could have been a sulcata tortoise that someone had released into the wild, but it was really too dark under the car to see. I grabbed a stick and waved it in front of the face to see if it would react at all. It ignored it completely.
Ok…Not a snapper.
I was just reaching under the car when one of the many gathered to watch said “I wouldn’t have called you for a turtle, but it had such a weird tail.”
“Weird tail?” I asked, pausing for a moment.
“Yeah…it has these weird spikes…”
I yanked my hand back just as the head rocketed forward.
It was indeed a snapping turtle. I had messed with these fellows before. They stay very docile until they are sure they can get you and then WHAM! You are missing fingers. I just didn’t expect to find one in the middle of a parking lot, in the dark, under a car.
There was about 2″ of clearance between the top of the shell and the bottom of the car. I told the owner that she could back up very slowly and the turtle would be ok.
She pulled back and the monster was revealed. His four inch wide beaked mouth was gaping at me as he stood his ground. I looked at him carefully, checking the carapace for cracks or wounds. There was a leech attached to it that I removed from behind while distracting it with a stick. This was a beautiful tough old turtle. The feet had looked like hooves because most of its toes had been bitten of and so it stood funny.
It was about a half mile from the nearest body of water, and there were roads between it and safety. I was going to have to transport a very surly animal quite a bit of distance.
I had someone fetch me a box. It was fairly tall with an open top. I figured I could set it down in the box, throw it in the back of my car and drive it the short distance to the lake.
I set the box on my back seat and started to pull out. I turned around to look behind me, and that is when I noticed the giant turtle head peeking out between my seats and looking at my elbow in a non friendly fashion.
Have you ever seen someone jump out of a car in a state of panic because there was a bee inside?
Yeah. It was kind of like that except that a turtle that size could bit off my elbow.
It had overturned the box and was now set on defending its new territory. The back seat of my car.
I managed to wrestle the snapping flailing turtle from my back seat and held by the sides at arms reach. It was stretching out its neck over its shoulder trying to grab my fingers and missing by centimeters. There was no other way to do this but walk to the pond, holding the turtle so tightly my knuckles were turning white. Each time it snapped at me, its whole body jerked violently and it was slowly wearing me out. The rain picked up at the point into a downpour.
I walked the 1/2 mile to the lake in the rain with a berserk snapper flailing in my hands. I got to the steep, grassy, leaf covered bank to the lake, my flat soled Vans type sneakers squishing with water.
Flat soled Sneakers on a wet grassy leaf covered bank.
Yep.
I landed on my back with a “Woomph!” sound, throwing the 20 lb turtle high into the air. I had just half a second to think “Ooh…That hurt!” before the gigantic 20 pound turtle landed on his back in the center of my stomach with a second “Woomph!”
This apparently was the turtles cue to begin break dancing as it tried to right itself. It’s rear feet flailing, its neck stretching out jaws snapping frantically for purchase…something, ANYTHING to grab on to.
I pushed the turtle one way and rolled the other. I landed in a low crouch backing away as the turtle, now having righted itself was literally charging at me, mouth agape.
I screamed and dove to the side, a frantic push with my foot sending it spinning down the bank into the lake.

He looked up at me once, and then swam off like nothing had happened.

Ungrateful little twit.

My near mugging in Atlanta -or- I am the terror that strolls in the night…

So I was recently in Atlanta Georgia for a week. As is my habit, I did not rent a car as my schedule was packed and I would not really have any opportunity to do any recreational traveling anyway. I do just fine on foot and using public transport (Atlanta’s MARTA system is top notch and can get you pretty much anywhere you need to go in the city). As a result, I wound up walking a lot in the evening to go get something to eat.

I am not a particularly timid traveler. Never have been. I have some faith in my fellow man, believing that 98% mean me no harm, and the other 2%  generally don’t see me as a target as I am just shy of 6 foot, weigh a little under 200 lbs and do not look like I am particularly flush with cash. Most folks on the street assume I am a biker.

So one evening after having a pleasant meal I was walking back to my hotel. I passed through a “questionable” area… Empty field on my right, graffiti littered warehouses to my left, a bit of trash here and there but not a soul in sight.
I was a bit distracted due to one of my core weaknesses- I was looking for critters. I may have been in the city proper, but I had seen all sorts for things we don’t get up North. Saddleback Caterpillars, Flying Squirrels… I was hoping that I might get lucky and see some other creatures as dusk was falling. The field to my right was perfect. I was walking slowly and scanning for tiny movement.
It was because of this that I did not notice someone approaching from behind. He came up suddenly between myself and the field.

An African American youth…somewhere in his late teens/early 20’s. Dressed in white shorts, a white tank top and hi-top tennis shoes. He was thin…Maybe 140 lbs at the most and around 5’9″.  Please do understand, I only mention his race as I believe it was the weapon he was depending upon for the task he had at hand. It was the only one he had,

“Hey man…You gonna give me 10 bucks?” as he fell into step beside me.

I turned my head to look at him. “Um…No. I don’t even have $10 on me…And even if I did, why would I give it to you?”

He stepped quickly in front of me, turning to look me in the eye. I stopped short, just a foot in front of him.
“To make sure you make it through this neighborhood safely…”
I did my best to assess the situation. I had seen no one else in this stretch. He was alone…I was sure of that, otherwise he would already have backup at his side. If he had any sort of weapon, I would have seen it or at least the outline of it through his clothes. He was unarmed.

I took a deep breath before looking slowly to my left, then to my right.

“I don’t see anything around here to be scared of…” Then I took a sudden step forward with an alpha male chin jut. This brought me abruptly about two inches from his nose.

I growled “Do you?”

He stumbled backwards, tripping a little over his feet. I took another step forward.

“I don’t think I’m the one who should be scared…” My voice was low, quiet and very controlled as I rolled up the sleeves of my T-shirt  still walking towards him.

He was backing away at a more rapid pace and starting to turn away. “F*** you man…Just F*** you…”
He turned fully, walking away at a fast pace. He swore at me in Spanish, half under his breath.

I laughed quietly before calling out : “Habla Espanioles, Idiota…vámonos…” as I continued walking towards him.
Two steps later he was actively running. Soon he was out of sight.
I breathed a sigh of relief.

Now…What did I learn from this? What did it remind me?

1- Even I need to be more aware of my surroundings. No matter how cool the critters are.

2- Always stay calm and assess the situation. Stay calm and you will make it out ok. Panic just makes things blurry.

3- I can still give people nightmares when I need to. It was good to be reminded of that. I forgot how good it feels.

*smirks*
Raaaawr!