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Being The Best You

How do you accomplish being the best you? What steps, if any, do you take to live your best life? Do you feel a need to justify your existence? These are excellent questions that pop into my head as I continue to grow spiritually.

I do not believe anyone has to justify their existence. You do not need to achieve a certain position or leave a legacy. Publishing books and creating masterpieces are wonderful, but they will not be necessary to justify your time here.

Are You Being The Best You

Simply being is all the justification you need. People can spend their entire lifetime trying to rise to a level at work or creating a masterpiece yet never live. All their time, energy, and focus are given to accomplishing an endeavor, and their life passes them by. They fail to stop and enjoy the day as it is. Life becomes a series of results for them, possibly even a burden. In the end, they never reached the justification that they sought.

Being the best you is accomplished by focusing on yourself. Spend 10-30 minutes a day on yourself. Last week I wrote a post about contemplation and meditation. Take a moment to read about spending time on yourself. By doing so, you will begin to realize how special you are and how to begin seeing everything the world has to offer.

Your Great Identity

Focus your energy inward and discover your true self. Your identity is within you and is greater than you can ever imagine. Being the best you is accomplished in the moment, the now. It is the only place free from the traumas of the past and the fears of the future. In the now, that very moment in time and space, you can conquer all challenges. It is here that you defeat all fears.

Being the best you is creating your own reality. You are free to accept the events and feelings you want and to reject the ones you don’t. You have within you the gift of living the life you want to live. If you don’t like your current situation, you can change it anytime.

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https://unsplash.com/@alex_andrews

Create Yourself

Being the spiritual being that you are, you are responsible for your feelings. Whether you are a happy person or a miserable person, you created that person. We have all known people in our lives that influenced our development. For example, most parents tell their children limiting beliefs because they want to keep them safe. They don’t talk about an unlimited world mainly because it only exists in the spiritual world. Their eyes have not been opened yet.

In the spiritual world, every thought changes your reality. You are creating your future as you read this; whether you believe it or not, it is happening for everyone in the world. Collectively, we as humans create or destroy the world we live in by our thoughts and actions.

We Can Change The World

Currently, collective thought has created a world that is heading down a dangerous path. Together we can change reality for everyone by creating a world of unconditional love and kindness. The more people who believe in spending time creating better thoughts and actions, the more positive impact we will have.

Do you want to change the world? Then start being the best you.

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@fcornish

https://unsplash.com/@alex_andrews

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Contemplation And Meditation

As I think about my life over the last two years, I realize how much different I am as a person today. I am a much better human being and more at peace. I owe this improvement to contemplation and meditation. Beginning a daily habit of taking time for myself and learning about meditation is one of the best things I have done.

“I am daily making myself what I am.”

~Robert Thurman

Meditation And Contemplation Are Kindred Souls

Contemplation and meditation are different but also closely related. Contemplation means focusing your mind on a specific subject or object. For example, the beauty of a tree in autumn or a feeling you had about an event. Meditation is keeping the mind blank; being aware of your being or essence.

In a meditative state, your mind is free to accept feelings, images, and ideas; the art of observation without thought. Meditation takes much practice, and it can be difficult to master even in a lifetime. On the other hand, contemplation is easier, and you might want to start with it. They are both ways to look at ourselves and others in a relaxed spirituality. There is no time like today to get started.

Contemplation

To begin contemplation, find a place where you will not be interrupted for 10 to 30 minutes. Get comfortable and relax all your muscles. Start with focusing your thoughts on yourself. Ask yourself; who you are at this moment. Get to know yourself; what is your identity? Are you content with who you are, or do you need a change? Is there anything holding you back? The point is to remove the masks and false images you show the world, bringing out your true self.

We have all built up layers of defenses. Contemplation and meditation will help you remove these layers and get a true understanding of who you are. Spending time daily on yourself will not only help you to relax but is engaging your creative mind and connecting you to the universe.

Meditation

Meditation is more difficult, but it stops the deluge of thoughts that normally invade our minds. At first, you might only be able to stop these thoughts for a minute or two; soon, you notice one creep back in. We all have so much going on in our lives that it is hard to block unwanted thoughts for a long time. Meditation can help you achieve this.

Begin with 20 minutes of meditation. Sit or lie comfortably, and make sure you do not fall asleep. Close your eyes and begin long, slow, deep breaths. Focus your mind on your breathing. Relax all your muscles starting with the face and jaws and working down through your body. Tell yourself you are in a beautiful, peaceful place.

Let Them Float Away

As scattered thoughts in your mind, let them float away. I picture placing them in a bubble over my head and watching them float away pop and vanish. Be mindful of the moment. Listen to the sounds around you and connect to the moment. Enjoy the feelings of peace and joy. Be aware of your feelings, emotions, and thoughts that are here are with you right now; this is mindfulness.

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https://unsplash.com/@sagefriedman

Meditation frees our minds to go anywhere and gives us clarity. It can help answer a question you have or give you an idea for your next venture. These clarifying thoughts can only be reached in a relaxed meditative state and by focusing on the now.

“In us, there is a river of feelings, in which every drop of water is a different feeling, and each feeling relies on all the others for its existence. To observe it, we just sit on the bank of the river and identify each feeling as it surfaces, flows by, and disappears.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Still Learning

Contemplation and meditation are different yet share a kindred soul. They are a way to improve your health, both mentally and physically. Learning to spend time daily on me has changed me for the better. Even though I have a long way to go, I am learning and growing as each moment passes by. If you decide to try it, if nothing else, you might find that just getting into a relaxed state every day will do wonders for your body and mind.

Thank you for reading and following my blog. Let me know in the comments if you receive any benefits from contemplation and meditation. I appreciate each one of you.

Cites

Weiss, Brian L. “Chapter 11 Contemplation and Meditation.” Same Soul, Many Bodies: Discover the Healing Power of Future Lives through Progression Therapy, Free Press, New York, NY, 2005, pp. 166–179.

https://unsplash.com/@ianstauffer

https://unsplash.com/@sagefriedman

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I Am Charli And I Am Special

Let me introduce myself, I am Charli, and I am special. The best place to start is always at the beginning, so here we go. Firstly, my mother, Lindsey, took great care of me while I was growing inside her. She watched what she ate and exercised regularly. I particularly enjoyed it when she took me for walks alongside the river.

One day, a week before I was due to arrive, she took me to the doctor. I heard them talking about bringing me into the world on my due date, August 12th. Well, that just wasn’t going to work for me; after all, I am Charli, and I am special.

Special Charli

So the next day, on August 6th, I decided to wake my mommy and tell her it was time for me to come into the world. I began the process and made it known to her, in no uncertain terms, that this was happening. My mommy and daddy drove to the hospital and were admitted to the maternity ward.

When my grandparents in Florida and Alabama heard I was on my way, they rushed to their cars and started driving. People were coming from all over, just to see me. I told you I am Charli and I and special.

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Charli Elizabeth Hammond Born August 6, 2022

I couldn’t wait to meet my mommy and daddy, so I didn’t wait for the rest to arrive. At 10:28 a.m., I was born and, for the first time, saw bright lights and many people rushing around. They were all there to make sure I was taken care of.

First Touch

They gave me to my mother, and I felt her warm skin and gentle touch for the first time. My daddy, Will, cut my umbilical cord and held me. I knew at that moment that I was loved greatly. Later, I met my Alabama grandparents, Aunt Coral, and my big sister, Aubree. She thought I was the cutest thing, and I love her so. She wants to hold me all the time. I began getting hungry and had my first meal from mommy.

That evening, my grandparents and Aunt Nikki from Florida arrived. They drove 12 hours just to see me. It did make me feel special. The room was filled with love and joy. I am looking forward to my life with my new family.

I Love My Family

My daddy is a hard worker and provides for us. One day he will open his restaurant, and I will help him. My mommy is super-duper talented, and a wonderful writer and actor. She is funny and keeps me laughing. I will be just like her one day.

Now, I know you might think that I am conceited, and cocky, saying, “I am Charli, and I am special” so many times, but it is true. I am special, and so are you. We are all the same and are created by the same energy. We might look different on the outside, but our souls are the same.

Create Your Own Life

Every one of us creates our reality. If we think will have a great life, then we will. You can be anything you want. We can overcome all obstacles because we have God within us. Choose the life you want to live and go live it. We can change it at any time; we just have to change our thinking.

The most important concept to remember is that we are made from love, and we must spread that love around. I want to live in a world that is full of love, laughter, joy, and happiness. It is a world that I choose to live in. I will see the good in everything and everyone. The life that I will lead will be one of lifting everyone up and bringing everyone together. It is the only way to change the world. I will do my part, how about you?

Always remember, you are you, and you are special.

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Mr. Peaches and Unconditional Love

One of the most important skills we can learn in our time on this beautiful spinning rock is unconditional love. I believe it is our purpose while we are here. Some of the best examples of unconditional love come from animals. If you have ever had a pet, you know what I mean. Here is a story about Mr. Peaches and unconditional love.

Unconditional Love From Mr. Peaches

I learned of a wonderful story from a friend, Linda who I was introduced to by my wife. Linda learned lessons about unconditional love from a squirrel. Yes, a wild animal that lives in trees and is part of the rodent family. I always find it amazing the different ways God uses to teach us these important lessons.

Around August 2019, Linda was outside her home when she noticed a fur ball on her deck. It was a baby squirrel, about a month old and it wasn’t moving. She brought the squirrel inside and began giving it water from an eyedropper. The baby slowly began to gain strength and progressed to solid food. It particularly loved peaches, so naturally, Linda started calling him, Mr. Peaches.

The Florida Room

Mr. Peaches was raised by Linda and stayed in the Florida Room of her house. For those who have never heard of a Florida Room, it is essentially a closed-in porch on the back of the house with a roof. Mr. Peaches slept in a wicker basket and played by running around his new home.

Since squirrels like to live up high in trees, Linda’s father built Mr. Peaches a beautiful pagoda. He loved his new home. Mr. Peaches would show his appreciation and love by crawling in Linda’s lap and snuggling up to her.

TikTok Video

The Return

One morning, about eight months later, Linda came to greet Mr. Peaches but he was gone. She found a hole in the screen where he had chewed through. It saddened her to think he was gone for good. But not Mr. Peaches … No. Two days later he came scurrying around her pool and climbed on her pants leg. He was back!

They turned the hole into an entry/exit for Mr. Peaches to come and go as he pleased. Soon, Linda noticed that Mr. Peaches had built a dome-shaped structure in the pagoda out of the inside of palm trees. He had made a nest in his new home. Many days he would lie under his dome with just his head peeking out.

He Was Free

Mr. Peaches would come and go whenever the desire hit him. Some days she would find him at home and on others, he was out; growing and exploring. Like our children, animals have an instinct that it is time to branch out independently. In May 2021, Mr. Peaches left and didn’t return.

For almost two years, Mr. Peaches showed Linda and everyone who met him the true meaning of unconditional love. He was always friendly and unafraid and would approach everyone who came to Linda’s house.

Mr. Peaches Is A Children’s Book

Linda was so taken by the love shown by Mr. Peaches, that she wrote a children’s book titled, The Life of Mr. Peaches. He even had his own social media pages on Instagram and TikTok. You can find the book by clicking on the link above in the book title. Mr. Peaches is an example of how animals can be used to teach unconditional love. Maybe one day we humans will evolve and learn to love each other with the same unconditional love Mr. Peaches has.

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@halofourteen

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Enjoy Life Quote

As humans, we are meant to enjoy life. Getting the most out of our time here. We are put here to learn to love unconditionally, which cannot be accomplished if you are not enjoying everything life has to give. Below is a beautiful enjoy life quote that sums up what I’m saying.

A Wonderful Enjoy Life Quote

“Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.”

Eve Ensler

Advancement in technology has taken some of the enjoyment out of living. We become so comfortable; that we miss out on the small, ever-so-fleeting aspects the world has to offer. The more you have, the less you notice these little gems.

People with the least have a better chance to enjoy life as it was meant to be. My grandparents lived on a small farm in the country and didn’t have a lot. They didn’t have air conditioning; we enjoyed the summer breezes that came through the open windows of their house

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https://unsplash.com/@elijahjaustin

Listen To The Wind

Days were filled with being outside, sitting under a shade tree with a good book in hand. Periodically, I would stop reading, put down the book, and enjoy listening to the sounds of the wind rustling through the trees.

When it started to rain, we didn’t immediately run inside. We soaked it up, enjoying the coolness of each raindrop as it ran down our faces. The rain brought life and was always welcome. Once the sun came back out, we enjoyed the warmth of its rays. Soon, we were dry again.

Enjoy Everything

When winter came, I always enjoyed the sting of the cold on my cheeks when I ventured outdoors we played in the snow until our feet were numb; only then going indoors and propping up our feet by the fire. The smell and sounds of wood burning are something I’ll never forget. A winter’s night is special with its cool, crisp air. The sky is so clear you can see every star and planet.

Whatever day or season it is, I hope that you will turn off the weather, open the door and spend time outdoors. Focus on the sights, sounds, and smells. See how truly green the tree leaves are and how blue the sky is. Enjoy life and live it to its fullest. Open your heart to find the peace and joy that comes from experiencing the gifts of our planet.

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@neonbrand

https://unsplash.com/@elijahjaustin

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How Do You Handle Adverse Situations

How do you handle adverse situations? Let’s face it, every day is not sunshine and rainbows. I don’t care how connected or powerful you are; difficult times happen. How do you react to these trying times? Your reaction is important to your personal development.

Are you the type of person that complains about the current state in which you find yourself? I hope not. Complaining is nonacceptance of what is going on in your life. Complaining has never provided a solution to any situation. In fact, when you complain, you make yourself into a victim.

Handling Adverse Situations

Instead of complaining, accept the situation as it is, and look for anything positive that can come out of it. If possible, find ways to change the situation. I have recently read some blog posts from someone who faced a difficult circumstance and accepted it.

My friend Hamish, from hardlinesheavytimes.wordpress.com, found himself dealing with adversity a few days ago. Hamish is a wonderful and talented young man from New Zealand who traveled to the States to compete in a World Ultimate Frisbee Competition.

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https://unsplash.com/@johnkofi28

COVID-19

I am sure he put in many hours of training and sacrifice with his teammates to come and compete. Shortly after arriving and only three days before the tournament, he tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be quarantined. It had to be devastating to watch his teammates travel on without him. It is one of the worst things that can happen to an athlete.

Despite his disappointment, he has handled the situation admirably. He wrote in his blog about accepting this adversity. In his words, “It sucks. But is not insurmountable.” In addition, he changed his goal from playing in the tournament to being there for his teammates.

He has chosen to create memories rather than focus on his disappointment.

Accept It

How do you handle adverse situations? Be like Hamish and accept it. Acceptance is surrender, and there is great strength in it. By surrendering to the situation you become free internally.

Sunshine and rainbows are always out there, even in the worst thunderstorm. If you look hard enough, you will find them.

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@sonctw

https://unsplash.com/@johnkofi28

The Joys Of Driving

Ah, the joys of driving in South Florida. I believe I might have mentioned this topic in some previous posts. It is always an adventure; you never know what will happen. Will there be an overturned fuel truck that blocks both lanes of I-95 for hours? Possibly. Is somebody going to shoot at me for an unknown reason? Unlikely. How many times will I get flipped off? It’s definitely going to happen. How many times? Your guess is as good as mine.

In today’s post, I just want to implore my fellow drivers to stop the hypocrisy. Be the person you are.

A Little Tale About The Joys Of Driving

The perfect example happened to me the other day. I was driving home from the driving range after hitting a few balls. It is a short trip up the Florida Turnpike, with only two exits. At one point, I was passed by someone who was clearly not having a great day. I had to smile as he passed by with his arm up giving me the finger.

It is not clear what this person didn’t like about me or possibly my vehicle. I’m not a “bumper sticker guy” with political bumper stickers on my car. In fact, the only things on my windows are college insignias.

This Is Driving Me Crazy

As I said previously, I am never bothered by other people’s antics, especially when driving. It is just part of the joys of driving in South Florida. What did rile me up, just a bit, about this particular person, was his window sticker. It read: “Be Kind.”

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https://unsplash.com/@gwendal

I have had it up to here (tapping myself on the top of the head) with the hypocrites of the world. We don’t need anymore, we have more than enough of them in Washington DC. So here goes the instructional portion of this post.

If you are an A-hole, then be an A-hole. Embrace your A-holeness completely. Don’t half-ass it, be the best A-hole you can be. Strive to be the number 1 A-hole on the planet.

Don’t Be The Great Pretender

Stop pretending that you are a kind person who drives around with a “Be Kind” window sticker on your car. Who are you to tell others to “Be Kind.” You are an A-hole, but not even a good A-hole. You try to hide behind your sticker and hope those that don’t know you think you are kind.

If you are a kind person and be kind 24/7, not part of the time. It is a full-time job. Being an A-hole should also be a full-time job unless you are a hypocrite. Learn your identity and choose one or the other.

For all of the kind people out there, please remember, that even the full-time A-holes deserve love and it is all part of learning to love unconditionally. Here in South Florida, it is just another day of experiencing the joys of driving.

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@adamnem

https://unsplash.com/@gwendal

The Perfect Quote

Today, I want to share a God wink I received the other day. It came in the form of an email called Inspiring Quotes. Now, I receive hundreds of emails daily and do not read 99.9% of them. I hit edit, select all, and click trash. The procedure gets repeated several times a day. For whatever reason (God), I opened this email and read the perfect quote for me at this time.

The perfect quote came from the artist Vincent van Gogh and it reads:

“The man of faith, of energy, of warmth… Steps in and does something.”

It is a line from a letter that van Gogh wrote to his brother, Theo, in 1884. Van Gogh expresses the need for action.

This Was The Perfect Quote For Me That Day

When we begin anything, a painting, a book, a new goal or challenge, first we have to overcome fear and doubt and simply do. Van Gogh went on to write, “Many painters are afraid of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the truly passionate painter who dares and who has once broken the spell of ‘You Can’t.'”

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https://unsplash.com/@jeancarloemer

Earlier this month, a few young women came to me with an idea they had for a phone app. They asked me what I thought, and I told them it was a great idea. I then told them if they wanted it to come to life, they had to put action into the idea.

When You Receive Something, Act On It

All ideas come from God or the Universe, and you receive them for a reason. It is something you are meant to do. If you do not act on them, they will be given to someone else. Recently I asked them how it was going and found out they had not put action to their idea. Fear and self-doubt stopped them from acting on the idea.

Don’t let this happen to you. Step in and do something. Overcome all obstacles and Simply Do!

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@reddalec

https://unsplash.com/@jeancarloemer

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What Is Our Purpose

What is our purpose here on earth? It is a question I often ponder, never getting the concise, clear answer I am looking for. Possibly, one day it will be revealed to me in a manner I can understand.

We are all given gifts when we are born. These internal gifts help us make choices about how we are going to live our lives. We feel drawn or attracted to certain vocations. For example, I have always been drawn to providing service to others. It explains why I was attracted to the military and law enforcement.

The Big Question: What Is Our Purpose

Even though I was given the gift of service, I don’t believe it is my purpose here. I saw a lot of the darker side of life during my career. The things I experienced made me angry and judgmental. It was after I retired that I found peace.

I wrote the paragraphs above at the beginning of May. In my post last week, I wrote about experiencing resistance and how it came in the form of writer’s block. Today, the question in my mind is: Am I being pointed in another direction?

When I experience these times of resistance, I believe it means I am on the right track. It is my ego’s way of keeping me from doing something I’m supposed to do. My consciousness is telling me to write, and my ego is resisting. It is this battle that creates the void and silence in my mind. Therefore, when I can’t write, I read.

The Answer To Our Purpose

It was through reading that I not only overcame the resistance, but I believe I found the answer to my question; what is our purpose? My wife began telling me about a fascinating book she was reading, Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss M. D. She read some passages from the book and I immediately understood and connected with what she was saying.

In 1980, Dr. Weiss met a patient, Catherine, who changed his life. Catherine suffered from panic attacks, anxiety, and fear. After 18 months of psychotherapy, Catherine agreed to undergo hypnosis to uncover painful and repressed memories. While hypnotized, she began describing past lives in detail. Her symptoms began disappearing as she recounted more and more past lives.

Neither Dr. Weiss nor Catherine believed in past lives and reincarnation before she went under hypnotherapy. While reading the book, it was revealed to me not only my purpose but that everyone’s purpose on earth is to learn to love during their lifetime. We must love everyone unconditionally. Humans have yet to learn this valuable lesson.

Spiritual Beings

We are spiritual beings in the human body. Our physical bodies carry the soul and will someday die; they have an expiration date. Our soul is energy and therefore, eternal. It is made from the universe and will return after our physical body stops working.

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https://unsplash.com/@pajevictoria

I feel inspired to fulfill my purpose on earth. What am I supposed to learn here during this lifetime? All my readings say we must learn to love unconditionally, everyone and everything while we are here.

There Is Much More

I believe there is much more to this being our ultimate goal. Each of us must learn to overcome our past and the faults we acquired during those times. We must conquer our fears and anxieties, look deep inside ourselves and see what is holding us back.

Are you thinking about how friends and family will react to what you have chosen to do? Do you feel as if you need approval from outside sources? You might even crave approval from anyone.

It is exactly how I was feeling. Before I made a decision, I would picture the reaction people close to me would have to my decision. Then I made one important change; I started listening to my heart. I can feel in my heart if my choices are good and pure. If my heart tells me that my choices are good, God has approved them. That is all the approval that you or I need.

Learn To Love

God loves each one of us unconditionally and only asks that we learn to do the same. If everyone on earth learns to love unconditionally, all killing, maiming, and wars will cease. We have the power to change the world; all we have to do is start using it. Start with yourself and teach one other person the art of loving unconditionally.

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@marekpiwnicki

https://unsplash.com/@pajevictoria

Weiss, Brian L. Many Lives, Many Masters the True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both of Their Lives. Piatkus, 2020.

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Life In The Jungle

This is a post I wrote back in December about life in the jungle. I am traveling this week to go see our youngest daughter graduate from college. Therefore, I am reposting this article about focusing on what is happening around you as it is happening. Don’t get caught up with the past or the future; live now. I hope you enjoy this tiny glimpse into my life in the jungle.

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My Life In The Jungle

Life in the jungle was both boring and exciting. It all depended on what was happening and could change in an instant. Living in the now became commonplace. There wasn’t a lot of time to be thinking about the past or worry about the future.

Life inside our base camp was mostly monotonous. For example, I spent a lot of time cleaning and prepping gear, as well as reading. We looked forward to going on operations and getting into the jungle. The temperature inside the tent would quickly reach 100 degrees. I don’t remember ever being cool or dry; I was always sweating.

It Can Be Scary

One day as I was lying in my bunk reading and sweating, I was suddenly startled by the “burp” of a machine gun. I saw bullet holes appearing in the roof of the tent. I immediately rolled off my bunk onto the floor, grabbing my weapon. My teammates and I made our way outside the tent. Much to our dismay, we saw the Peruvian commander standing outside the barracks across from our tent holding an Uzi machine gun.

The weapon was seized on a mission the day before, and the commander wanted to test fire it. Not being familiar with the weapon, he did not know how to handle it. Without any warning, he pointed the weapon at the sandbag wall facing our tent and squeezed the trigger. The Uzi recoiled violently up and to the right. He lost control, and the rounds went over the wall, into our tent. We had to be living in the now because these events can happen at any time.

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Amigos

Always Waiting

Our base camp was in the Upper Huallaga Valley in Peru. This area was controlled by the Sendero Luminoso communist terrorist organization. They would protect the narco-traffickers and did not like us gringos. Occasionally, they would attack our base camp. We always had to be ready. Almost nightly, we were called by U.S. intelligence agencies warning us of a pending attack they had overheard on radio traffic. Life in the jungle was exciting on these nights.

One night I was dead asleep when I was awoken by two explosions. Thinking it was another attack, we proceeded to our defensive positions. Later we found out it was just a Peruvian police officer. He’d gone a bit crazy and attacked others inside the base camp with grenades and rifles. Luckily no one was injured.

Thinking About The Good Times

The other day as I was reminiscing about life in the jungle, I realized that most people are not aware of what is happening right now. They are too busy thinking about the past and the future. Learning to live in the now is important. Your thoughts are mostly comprised of your past and future. If something bad happened yesterday, you dwell on it for days. It can create anger that boils inside of you. If your thoughts are constantly about the future, are you wondering how things will turn out? Wondering can create anxiety and worry.

You can take control of your thoughts by focusing on what is happening right now. Look for all the good things going on around you. Concentrate on living in the now. I was lucky to learn this growing up, even though I didn’t know I was doing it. Therefore, I didn’t realize how important it was, but I do now.

Dad

My father inadvertently taught me how to live in the now. He loved the outdoors, and we spent vacations camping, hiking, and enjoying nature. Dad always taught me to stop, look around, and observe everything. Observe the plants, animals, and sky. Everything that God had created. Many people go on a hike and never look up. They don’t stop and enjoy the beauty.

In the jungle, outside of the base camp, we had to be living in the now. There was no time for the past or future. Many things can kill you including, snakes, insects, animals, and narco-traffickers. We learned to intently focus on what was going on around us; this was life in the jungle.

Situational Awareness

I had to be aware of everything around me at that precise moment. Listening for unusual sounds and looking for any movements. I had to be able to tell if anything was out of place. I had to be aware of where I was stepping and where I would put my hands. Thinking about the past or future would get me killed. I was forced to focus only on living in the now.

The lessons from the jungle serve me well today. I still have thoughts about the past and the future, but today they are controlled. As a result, because I control my thoughts, I am living in the now even when I am thinking. If I feel negative feelings creeping in, I stop and focus on what is happening now to cause those feelings. I use my five senses to immerse myself in the now.

Experience Everything

If you are experiencing anxiety, stop, open your five senses, and begin living in the now. Think about what is causing these feelings and how you can stop them. Experience everything around you as it is happening. Let your worries float away and be happy to be alive.

I won’t be posting this weekend as I enjoy time with my daughter and the rest of the family. I am immensely proud of her accomplishments. My family and I want to wish all the mothers an early Happy Mother’s Day. Celebrate your mother and make her day special.