Willy Wonka for President

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“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to do it. Want to change the world, there’s nothing to it.” Those lyrics from the song Pure Imagination written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newly were running through my head this morning. I’m sure it’s a direct result of what is occurring in our nation politically and my assertion that we can choose to see good in the world rather than bad.

There is a definite divide among the human beings on our planet. Put 100 humans in a room and you’ll get 100 different opinions. But where do those opinions come from? In many cases it’s where we were reared, how we were reared, our imprinting and our psychological make-up. But is it more than that?

Despite everything that’s been said by the Americans who are following the different candidates I always look for one thing; positivity. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking everything is bad, and to lash out at people who don’t feel the way we do. But that is certainly not the formula for curing anything. What would happen if each of us actually listened to each other and we came at issues from a positive angle rather than negative?

This year I’ve chosen to listen. And surprisingly, each candidate has expressed things that I agree with. Yes, even Donald Trump has said things that rang true to me. I don’t think he’s a good choice for our presidency, but I do agree that corruption must be addressed. Honestly, when I watch him speak I have a lot of empathy for him. His insecurity is such that he needs to be liked, loved even. At his rallies when surrounded by those who worship him, his ego shines through and shouts of joy are heard when he spews his authoritarian rhetoric. But when he’s in a room with a diverse set of people, his ego is on the defensive because he isn’t being fed by followers. It’s sad to see.

No, I’m not about to say I saw this coming. But it doesn’t surprise me at all that in 2016 we have a presidential race that has be debased to the level of a reality television show. The candidates went there, the news outlets went there and the voters went there. Why did this happen now? Perhaps it’s because Americans and perhaps human beings in general don’t know what to believe in any longer.

This is what I believe in.

 I believe in equality.

Human beings of every color, sex, creed, size and sexual orientation deserve to be treated equally.

 I believe in hope.

Fear breeds despair, hate, greed, distrust, anger, worry, paranoia, envy and instigates rash decisions.

 I believe in positivity.

It isn’t weak to imagine a planet where love dominates. It isn’t weak to see human beings who are different than us as beautiful creations. It isn’t weak to know silver linings exist in the darkest clouds.

 I believe in love.

Hatred, fueled by fear, is the most detrimental human emotion. It is a cancer that erodes the very fabric of the human soul. Love of one’s self, others and the world is the only treatment to this disease of the troubled soul.

 I believe in a better world, with better people.

I will never start a revolution but I can change me. I will never attempt to attain public office but I will continue to attempt to attain internal peace. I will never make every American happy but I will be happy. I will never make everyone love me but I will make a concerted effort to love everyone I meet. My mind wants me to be hurt, offended and angered by what I see and hear the candidates do and say. But instead I’m focusing on my attention on the media outlets that repeat the sensationalized sound bites over and over. I’m also concentrating on the segment of humans who are pummeled with that rhetoric over and over. It is there the soul searching needs to begin. We human beings are all divine creations who will one day reach that point where we promote love instead of hate and a better world will emerge.

I believe in never agreeing with everyone all the time.

Diversity is the soul of civilization. I would never expect anyone to be like me. It’s true I don’t understand why some human beings feel the way they do about certain issues, but that’s the beautiful thing about the human condition. We are all born the same way, but our childhoods, our imprinting, our environments, our history are all different. That creates different views on issues we all feel passionate about. What’s important to me may not be important to you and vice versa. But what we all need do is embrace those differences and highlight the things we have in common. But we must do it with love.

 I believe in God.

This belief, this trust, this way of life is the nourishment that feeds my life’s journey. It’s not a religious commitment with laws and rules. It’s not a political tool used to sway people to live the way I do, it’s the engine that runs my soul.

I share my core beliefs because I refuse to allow the nasty, hurtful, hateful, fear-mongering political rhetoric to seep into my soul. The truth is I love each and everyone one of the human beings currently running for presidential nominations. I have tremendous empathy for each and every one of them. Each of them wants so badly to say the right thing, do the right thing and be the right thing. Because of that the democrat and republican candidates will attack each other, peddle hatred, fuel the fire of distrust and activate the id, ego and super ego of the American public. Despite all of that we will persevere if we look inward.

See good everywhere, in all things and in all people. That’s the way to change the world,”there nothing to it.”.

Have you ever w…

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Have you ever written when you have no idea what you’re going to write?  I feel compelled to write this morning but instead all I’ve been doing is reading all the things I’ve written in the past couple of years.  Compulsion.  Inspiration.  Positive thoughts.

My goodness there is way too much negativity in the world.  Even the fact that I wrote that sentence could be construed as negativity.  But noticing and feeling the drain of non-positive energy is different than dwelling on it.  Well, I think that’s true anyway.

Let me switch my thinking for a moment.  I chose to feel empathy for those who see the glass as half empty.  Isn’t that at the root of so many destructive thoughts?  Lack.  Don’t get me wrong, something inside of me still wants to help others who are down and depressed.  And I certainly have no problems ever giving my ear to listen.  But instead of judging and always trying to come up with a solution to their so-called “problems”, I should just smile and give them as much love and understanding as possible.  Right?  If someone asks my opinion, I’ll certainly give it, but I’m not longer going to give it  unsolicited.  I think that only breeds more negative emotions…like resentment.

But since this is my blog let me say this.  Life is beautiful.  Even in all it’s dysfunction beautiful people and things lie everywhere.  And we can choose to look at them if we like.  Yes, it’s so difficult sometimes.  That job we were  hoping for didn’t come through, the pipes burst in our home, our car broke down again, we lost someone we love, our marriage is breaking up, we’re having problems with our kids…my goodness, there are always great excuses for us to be down, pissed off, impatient, forlorn, introspective, and unsure of our place in this life.  But there are just as many reasons to be happy, satisfied, joyful and at peace with our lives.  We need only change our thoughts to change our lives.



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Did you ever find yourself staring at something beautiful in Nature and when you finally realize what you’ve been doing a significant amount of time has passed?  I think we all have at some point.  Perhaps you spent a vacation lazing on the white sands of a tropical beach and lost yourself in the pictures the white clouds created overhead.  Maybe you are a kitchen sink leaner and you spent some time looking at the robin sitting in your backyard while you sipped your morning coffee.  It just might be a song or two on your ipod that whisked you away from your mundane thoughts and transported you to a place of peace and tranquility.  These are the moments.  This is when we are free.

I’m reminded of a famous saying that goes something like, “cloudy water only becomes clear when we allow the sediment to settle.”  We all have this nagging mind that is always telling us to do this or do that.  It’s always reminding us of our plight, our desperate situation, and our apparent need for more security, more money and more stuff.  But the more we flail about our life seeking whatever our mind decides we need, the murkier our pool of consciousness gets.  Sometimes, no most of the time, we need to stop and let the muddy water clear before we can access the soul.

I’m fortunate, really fortunate, to earn a living staring at mountains, birds and lying on the beach enjoying the cloud safari.  Not literally of course, but I’m an actor.  And that is my inspiration.  For me, it’s being on stage that transports me to a place of peace and tranquility.  When I’m there, no other thoughts can penetrate.  Nothing else matters.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a crazy bird watcher too!  I can spend hours watching our aviary friends!  And I take the time to do just that whenever I can.  But I try desperately not to do is think too often.  Therein lies the rub for me and so many others.

Our minds don’t like having nothing to do.  When we’re happy too long and we’re living in the present moment, it always likes to remind us it’s there.  Messages of things we “should” be doing, “could” be doing, or should “not” be doing are tweeted to our consciousness quicker than we realize.  And if that doesn’t work, the mind throws us past experiences, usually negative, to deter us from trying anything new.  (“Remember the last time you did that Paul? Are you sure you want to risk that?”)  I’m sure you know the type.  The mind loves to distract us from living in the present moment.  Because after all, if it hasn’t happened already, the mind knows nothing about it!  That’s where we can come out on top!

My soul is my hero.  It’s my compass.  And the more I quietly tell my mind to stop bringing up the past as a way to deter me from living in the present moment the more my mind listens.  My soul never lied to me.  It never told me not to do something because of X, Y, or Z. It’s there, always creating, always willing to guide me in each moment.  And I connect to it by never disconnecting to it in the first place.  Emerson called it our Soul Center.  When we pay attention to those moments when we lose ourselves in anything good, it’s speaking to us.  When we act upon those moments and quiet our naysaying minds good things happen.  And the more we do that, the less our mind brings up the negative past.  Instead a wonderful thing happens, your mind starts working with your soul.  Recalling wonderful past experiences that give us joy and relevance to what is happening in the present moment.  That union I feel is true enlightenment.

Lose yourself in something beautiful today!  Say yes to something you know would give you immense joy!  And quietly tell your mind, your always loving soul is in control.