HAPPINESS IS A JOURNEY

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MemjoPRKt70

 

I absolutely love this quote! As I navigate this journey called life, there are so many reminders that have aided me in choosing happiness. Loss can create a clarity that is unmatched! I’ve been in situations that have created stress, hurt, despair, anxiety, and pain! However throughout all of it, I was able to rediscover happiness.

Happiness is one of the most contagious and powerful tools we possess. It can literally change lives and create memories that fuel the soul!  Learn to choose HAPPINESS above all else!

be encouraged. be resilient. be inspired. be happy.

~b

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APPRECIATE THE SMALL THINGS…

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lxcprzU628

I so relate to this because I experienced a huge shift in my reality that showed this to me in 2008. I was working as a Store manager for a retail chain. I went into the experience as a back up plan for two investments that didn’t workout the way I hoped they would. I believed this new position as manager was going to be a HUGE GROWTH opportunity for me financially.

As I spent more time at this particular store I discovered that one of my managers hoped to assume my role as Store manager since he had been performing in that role for a couple weeks before I was hired. Needless to say, he wasn’t on the same page as me for the duration of my employment. To add fuel to the flames, my boss, the district manager questioned my integrity because of the untrue and slanderous things he would say about me. It was truly the WORST job I ever had, hands down!

I quit nine months after I started and I had several epiphanies as a result! I remembered that the personal investment I made (time, money, weight loss, high stress) was merely to generate more money for myself after having lost tens of thousands of dollars as a result of my poor business decisions. In my mind having that money equated to greater happiness, so replacing that money, the money I lost, was of the utmost importance!

However, I realized the amount of money was NOT AS IMPORTANT as I believed it to be. I decided that the I had given so much of myself to this job, that I needed to replenish myself. So I decided to do the things that made me feel most happy! (Working out, swimming, travel, spending time with my friends, going to the library, watching movies.) This summer of 2008, although I ended up not working for three months (by choice) it was one of the BEST SUMMERS of my ENTIRE LIFE! I gained self clarity and perspective which has helped me to define career objectives today!

I am still an INCREDIBLY ambitious person, who strives to achieve many things in life, and create countless opportunities for others, but these objectives should NOT be your  end all, be all! So while you grind, sweat, stress, and shed a couple of tears on not having some of the “things” you strive for, remember to keep perspective and appreciate the small things because in the end they ARE the BIG THINGS!

 

be resilient. be fearless. be amazing. be present. 

b~

 

SKY IS THE LIMIT…BE AMAZING!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNRsSLl2K50

This week as I reflect on lessons learned, and things I know for sure, being myself is always the BEST course of action!

I am reminded of an interview that Ellen DeGeneres gave some years ago (I still can’t remember who interviewed her (lol), but I do remember what she said.) She said that living a life that was not authentic, being closeted, made her focus her energies on that secret. She always worried as she became a more known person that her “secret” would derail her. Well for a moment in time (late 1990’s and early 2000’s) her career did experience an unexpected decline. However, in that time she did a great deal of soul searching  gaining clarity and perspective her where she decided that being her authentic self was the only way she would live her life. Now, she is embraced by millions of people! I have the GREATEST ADMIRATION and RESPECT for her!

As I examine my own life, I NOW understand that being my authentic self, our authentic selves is who we should always be! NEVER FORGET THAT!

There are too many examples in my own life to recount in this blog post, but I will name the ones most poignant to me. I LOVED school, and can remember being in the 4th grade where I wanted to regularly answer the questions asked by my teacher because I loved to show her that I was learning and I liked being labeled as smart! (Nerds unite…lol.) I can remember certain kids alluding to my being “gay” because I would always raise my hand to answer the questions asked and I began to purposely diminish my “shine” to disassociate myself from that label. (I was emotionally immobilized.) I can remember, as a young college student, contemplating suicide because people (friends and fellow classmates) “heard” that I might be gay and I feared what would result. I kept wanting to be honest with not only my friends but my family, but I decided to continue not living truthfully in order to “fit in” and be accepted.

However, in my 20’s and now 30’s, I made conscious decisions to move closer to authenticity, and decided to live openly gay. Now it’s not to say that every person has continued to remain friends after finding out, or that everyone I meet accepts my sexuality, but I no longer focus my own thoughts or energies on living a lie. I have many FANTASTIC examples of people who have embraced, befriended, and supported me living my life as an openly gay man. For every 1 friend/family I may have lost, they have replaced by 10. My own career has expanded because I have allowed myself to focus on excellence, NOT covering up my sexuality, which has enabled me to see what amazing things can happen when you are simply yourself!

So don’t be ordinary, be the AMAZING person you were meant to be!

be encouraged. be resilient. be supportive. be amazing. just be.

~b

THERE IS ANOTHER WAY…

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMGxGhfPR1Y

Never Give Up! This is one of my all time favorite mantras. I’ve encountered many situations in my life where never giving up has created more opportunities!

One of the most significant examples of this is my life now. Although I don’t like discussing my present career objectives, it is pertinent.

I can remember ONE of my dreams as a kid, around the age of 7 or 8, wanting to be on an actor on a Nickelodeon show called You Can’t Do That On Television. Although, I was living in the midwest and had no connection to entertainment, I had this incredible desire to be on television.

As I type this blog I am reminded of the times that I would act out commercials, or recite lines from television shows! (I’m smiling from ear to ear, so cheesy.)

I was given the opportunity to be in a film, (Light It Up) back in 1998, that reignited my entertainment desires, but only for a brief moment.

I revisited the dream of entertainment, when a friend and I decided to create/write content together in 2006. However, attempting to step into the world of television and film proved to “confusing” so I slowly lost motivation.

After I suffered the loss of a very close friend due to illness in 2008, my pursuit of entertainment was reignited. As strange as it may read, I wanted to turn that loss into something positive, to spread a message of information and hope, and I came to the conclusion that the medium of television or its’ derivates would be the way to do so. So since 2009 I have been pursuing/living one of my dreams of working in entertainment. (Wow, seven years!)

Once I had a clear focus on my objectives, embraced my truth, and sought to find a way,  I was able to witness opportunities present themselves to me. I’ve also committed to working continuously at my pursuit. Although it hasn’t been easy, I am thankful that I did not entertain the option to give up!

No matter what you may encounter in life, know that there are options if you look for them. This I KNOW FOR SURE!  So please do us all a favor and NEVER GIVE UP!

be encouraged. be inspired. be resilient. be amazing. just be.

~b

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oVEVPjwZ28

 

Allow COURAGE to be your foundation!

I can remember about 10 years ago, while living in the Midwest (Saint Louis, Missouri), grabbing a bite to eat with a close friend at a fast food restaurant. What I remember is my friend and I being silly with one another and simply having a fun time. The fast food employee, at some point while we are waiting for our order, proceeds to ask us (in an assumptive tone) “is y’all gay?

Now, (according to my own history) I would have normally been consumed with fear, anxiety, and overt denial. There were several other employees standing around listening and watching this unfold, not to mention customers.

However, in that moment something inside of me, that I refer to as  courage, somehow unexpectedly wiped away all hesitation and fear and I was able to say aloud that I was gay and that my friend was not.(Which he was…lol.)

I will FOREVER  remember that experience because it served as an important milestone. The majority of my life, I lived with shame, at time varying levels of guilt, and moments of inadequacy because of my sexuality. However, that encounter was the first time in my life I had the COURAGE to stand in my truth and not be concerned with her or anyone else’s judgment!

What I knew without any equivocation, that within my very cellular matrix, lies courage.

be encouraged. be inspired. be resilient. be amazing. just be.

~b

Listening can lead to Learning..

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I was in deep thought the last several weeks about the state of our nation. (i.e. Caitlyn Jenner, SCOTUS decision, ERA committee, Confederate Flag controversy.) For all of the progression that has transpired over the past month that should be acknowledged and celebrated have been met with mass ridicule, resentment, and resistance. 

What I have interpreted from many individuals who look at these events with contempt, have created their own narratives surrounding these events instead of listening. 

There are many things in life that I have not yet experienced; sadly but also thankfully. Having said that, there are also many things that I may never understand. I’m okay knowing this! (Actually I wish I could know everything..lol.) I believe for all man/womankind there will be things that we may never understand as an absolute truth! In that same vain, putting our own narratives on someone else’s experiences can invalidate not only the individual but the very experience they attempt to share! 

Caitlyn Jenner is deserving of respect, equal rights, and dignity as is the LGBTQ community. Women should be treated fairly and equally, no question! The Confederacy (and its’ symbol being the Confederate flag) aimed at continuing the institution of slavery and all the massive revenues it generated. Individuals who are pro removal of the flag would prefer not having it serve as a reminder. 

I think history has shown us that when we attempt to stifle any group and limit or deny their rights to freely live, that a revolution surely ensues. (i.e. the crusades, slavery, women’s suffrage, gay marriage.) Remember, those who forget and do not take heed to the lessons of our past are often doomed to repeat them!

BE OPEN TO CHANGE

Last week I was had a conversation with an Uber driver who was very self-aware, in my opinion. He shared a few stories about his life while we traveled to my destination. I was fascinated by how content he was with his life after having gone through a bitter divorce, the loss of two homes, and a huge decrease in his finances. His reasoning behind his state of being was that he sees life as a continuum of change. That was such a timely message!  I was then reminded of a time when I fell into what I define as a “minor” state of depression. This lasted for close to a year and was a result of losing the majority of my savings due to some poor business decisions I made. After almost a year and a half of being down, I saw an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show called LifeClass. There was a lady who called in to share her concern, anxiety, and frustration regarding a massive decline in her business.  This decline brought she and her husband to the verge of losing the business and the majority of their savings . She couldn’t emotionally move past this moment.  One the LifeClass “coaches” shared something with her that almost instantly not only lifted my spirits but enabled me to emotionally shift from feeling depressed. He said that she shouldn’t be resistant to the changes that transpired  regarding her business! He also told her the feelings of doubt, anxiety, frustration, and despair arise when do not embrace change but are resistant to it! Oprah intervened and said that perhaps there was a greater lesson to be learned within the circumstances that she and her husband faced.  Living in Los Angeles after almost four years, pursuing one of my GRANDEST dreams, has at various moments caused me to forget this HUGE lesson. Our vision towards achieving our goals, may vary GREATLY to the actual journey we experience. We must be OPEN TO CHANGE, and reassure ourselves that if we remain focused and diligent we will reach our goals!  One of the things I know FOR SURE!  BE INSPIRED!

INVEST IN YOURSELF: TRY SOMETHING NEW

This morning I thought about happiness. What is my criteria for happiness? What future accomplishments do I believe will impact my future happiness? I then realized that I have to truly be grateful for the happy moments in my life that at times do not create an overwhelming feeling of happiness. A wise woman once told me that if we place expectations on certain things, we may find ourselves being disappointed. I want to stop obsessing and daydreaming about what may hold the key to my future happiness and enjoy the NOW!  I will do my best to acknowledge some component in my life worth celebrating daily. I believe this can shift feelings of deficit to feelings of abundance, thereby positively impacting other facets of our emotional well being!

I believe happiness is created by a culmination of favorable experiences and emotions. I think that by stepping outside of my comfort zone to actively learn new things, will create a new element of happiness and joy that I have not experienced. 

So even if you simply take a new route to work, read a feel good news story, practice meditation, call your close friend/ relative, or maybe even reading this very blog, we may all want to find a way to experience happiness everyday. 

Happiness does beget more happiness! 

HAVE A FANTASTIC DAY! 

RE-IGNITING THE FLAME….

I’m grateful to have found stability in part-time employment, but I found myself not being fully devoted to my vision/goal. So here I am FULLY committed and focused! Stay tuned to see what unfolds…

What dreams have you devoted yourselves to without any “guarantee” of success?