Pillars of my Life

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. -Henry David Thoreau

When everything has been burnt to the ground you find out who you are. You find out what you are capable of. When you find yourself buried in the ashes of what was only two options are available.

Stay in the burnt remains. Let them cover you, eventually smothering you, blinding you to all that is. You are stuck in the past. Your feet cemented in pain. Here you will stay. And here you will die. Death in this instance is no longer living life. Death befalls us all, some experience it while still alive.

Or you look at your feet, cemented in pain. You look at the burnt ashes of what was to see what truly remains. The beauty of life. Slowly, sometimes with great pain, you chip away at the pain, you feel the blood come back to your feet. You feel the first bit of freedom as you wiggle your toes.

And then, one day, you break free. You make the choice to let go of what was and embrace what is. The moment you do this is the moment you are transformed. You are no longer the person you were before everything burnt to the ground.

Whatever was burnt was what needed to be burned. To be cast away from your life. What remains can never be taken from you without your consent.

Adversity has a common thread for all of us. But what remains is different. We all experience adversity differently. What remained for me was what I lost but was never truly gone.

These are my pillars. These are the primary colors of my life.

Love. Freedom. Choice. Trust. Joy.

Without these, I cannot paint the masterpiece I want to paint. With them, I can paint anything I want. These colors make up the full spectrum of all the colors in the universe.

I lost these and my life was empty. I have found them, and in turn, myself. It is with these colors that I stand before my blank canvas. Brush in hand I can paint anything I want.

Adversity stretches the boundaries of who we are.

The expansion is painful. It stretches what we know to be true. It breaks preconceived notions about ourselves. In that breaking is pain. Pain at what we thought we knew. Freedom when we see what is true.

Some say when you come out of adversity you are forever changed. I agree. But we can choose to go back. What we choose to go back to, will never be the same. You cannot stand in the same river twice. But some try. And within that effort will lie suffering.

Anything that expands can contract. Physics. Plain and simple.

Allowing this contraction to occur is allowing fear to speak with a louder voice than freedom. All the noise, all the chatter. And fear is the voice that rises above.

How do we stop this? We push forward. We let go of the pain of the past, but hold on dearly to the lessons we learned. We know, we understand that within our new boundaries we will face pain. But we know we can meet the challenge. We learn to hunger for it.

But it is a practice. It must be nurtured. Cultivated.

I’ve seen the other side. And I want more. Why would I want to go back to what was?

Love. Freedom. Choice. Trust. Joy.

All their own pillar. Each capable of standing on its own. But when together, when all cylinders are firing, unstoppable.

They intertwine, they have synergy. And the energy that results is powerful. Free. Intense.

It is up to me to continue to harness this energy. Accept the gift life has given me.


Not later.


Keep the magic alive.

Writing for the One You Love

Note: I wrote this quickly and sent it to the woman I love. She liked it as is. Normally I stress over each sentence, editing and fixing. Trying to make it just right. Not this time. This is essentially what I sent to her, now being shared with you.

Hemingway said, “write for the one you love”.

It’s true.

He also said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Also true.

One of them is easier, not easy, but easier. The heart can take care of that. This makes the second part easier. And frightening. When you write with love, when you are connected to the most beautiful energy this life has to give us, it’s easier to bleed on the pages. And scary as hell to share.

I wrote something recently, A Wish for You, that was not only written for the one I love, but about the one I love.

The concept was easy. An experience I want her to have. The words flowed. It was an example of why I love to write. Laser focus over each sentence. What I was writing was a bit of a challenge for me, outside of what I would consider my writing comfort zone. And I loved it.

I would write it in my spare time, I would think about it when I was not writing it. My mind letting go of the crap and minutiae that so often clogs it. Focused on this piece. Focused on her.

This is the beauty of writing for me. I get this feeling when I write and when I come up with an idea for an invention, an app, anything that is new to my brain and releases a wave of energy. My synapses firing in rapid succession, and precision.

Maybe the ideas aren’t good. Doesn’t matter. That feeling of being in a flow state, unleashing the mind to do what I think it was meant to do.

The mind was not meant to fret over the past, have anxiety over the future. The mind was not made to focus on insecurities, fear, jealousy. The mind was created to create. Whatever it may be for each individual.

When I am in a state of flow I feel no insecurity, I feel no fear, no jealousy. No demons from the past or anxiety of the unknown future. Only that moment.

The mind becomes a frictionless machine, unencumbered by that which slows us down. So often not even realizing it’s slowing us down. Getting angry over what a politician said, involving ourselves in the lives of celebrities, and other people we don’t know.

A conversation with a coworker, family or friends that didn’t go as planned. Planning a conversation that we have no way of knowing what the other will say. Thinking of every rebuttal we can, but not realizing we are applying our perspective to another’s. So often shocked when the person says something we didn’t even think of.

Not understanding the opportunity this represents. We cannot control others, only ourselves. There are countless ways to view one thing.

A piece of sand is dirt to one, to another, it is a something that is billions of years old, and written within it is the language of the universe.

Wasted time. Wasted energy. And we don’t even know. Anger can feel good, it can make us feel alive. In turn, this appeases what we think is our need to be involved.

I realize when I am in a state of flow. Right now, for example, there is none of the crap that holds me back. A demonstration of how little importance those demons have. How easily they can fall away.

But always, for me at least, and I’m guessing I’m not alone:

The voice of doubt springs in.

Always seems too. What is that? Ego. The ego is afraid to be judged, fears being vulnerable. The ego has a noble goal, to protect us. It just goes about it the wrong way. In trying to protect us from some uncomfortableness, it also blocks the good.

The ego cannot see what is on the other side of the barrier. The ego is nearsighted. It’s seeing what is right in front of it. And so often what is right in front is too big, too daunting to even attempt going around.

So often we may know what’s on the other side, or the ego makes up what it thinks is on the other side. And then tells us we are not worthy of it. Who are we to go after it. Undeserving, not enough.

That’s where the process can get difficult, the voice of doubt doing what it does so well.

The voice of doubt and fear speaking a little louder by writing for and about the one I love. The ego injecting fear into the most important piece of the puzzle. Sharing. Hitting publish, hitting send. Fear of rejection, fear of being seen, of being vulnerable.

But when the love is pure, fear gets extinguished. Hit publish, hit send. Share it with her, share with everyone.

There is magic there, there is beauty there. Walking through to the other side is what love is about.