Wednesday, August 21, 2019

I'm sorry

This is probably the hardest blog I've ever written... So let me find my life jacket real quick before diving in (spotify - pearl jam playlist - shuffle)
I'm lying... I didn't hit shuffle.  I chose Long Road... I think I've heard this song around 73 times over the past 5 days.

Why?  Because I have an issue... maybe, this guy above is partially responsible for it.  Or maybe he came in in a pivotal point letting me know its ok to dive deep into pain.


I've always been very, very bad w funerals.  To the point where I've skipped ones I should've attended.  I regret that very much.
It takes a lot of energy to not cry.  I avoid it (in front of people) as often as possible.  It probably looks awkward.
So, I've never understood what to say or how to say it.  I mean really, whats to really say?
I had a friend who lost a child earlier this year... what words were there for me to say?  The pain is the pain, no words can change that.  No words can make it better or less painful.  No ones coming back w magical words.   Everyone says "I'm sorry for your loss," and I didn't get that.   I just didn't understand the phrase.  I wasn't cold, the words just didn't make actual sense to me.

I was sitting in the airport with someone who I shared some time with recently at a funeral out of state.
I told a story:

  • I used to see some shrinks... mostly for conversation, honestly... mostly little hippy, holistic women.  Aside from a doozy, (I just lol'd at that), I'm ok.  But I'd honestly tour around and have conversations with shrinks and therapy based ideas, diving into mental exercises and such.  Probably 80% useless crap.  But I had one conversation that stuck a bit.  We were talking about death, suicide and pain and the woman told me "When we lose someone we love, when they leave this world, they take with them a piece of our heart... thats the pain.  And then we have a space for them, and depending on the loss and circumstances, it can create a hole.
So this morning I'm cleaning up a mess from my disastrous dogs, and cried.  
I had these GD songs running through my head... and I thought "I'm so sorry," and it finally made sense.  

I'm sorry that anyone has to walk on w that pain in their heart.  I'm so sorry.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Follow Up

After the last one, I was holding out for the opposite energy to come round and bounce back with something more uplifting.

But nothing bounced back.

And in thinking today, the words to offset the 2/22 post about depression, isnt exactly about being uplifting or some magical approach or "10 Rules to a Happy Life."
The offset is a handle on our shared reality and the moments within that motivate thinking, drive us through expectations, shared experiences and our own personal development. 
How we Level Up could be the path to happiness, despite or in spite of, the pain and darkness.

Maybe the light in the distance, the hope, is all there really is...
and it might not be real, but the chase could be everything.

(you can stop asking if i'm ok... this is not a season)

Below will get random.  I have some ideas, some thoughts, it will be scattered and they might linger unfinished.  You can play with them as you like.
But this might be my collection of thoughts that help me maintain some type of course.  This might be the thing I hold onto for some type of footing within the chaos.

I wrote that the opposite of far left should not be far right.  If it were that simple, finding balance would be easy.  The balance is the search for middle, to counter left and right and remain unaffected down the center of the storm.
This thoughts are a piece of how I aim for center.

We do not have the same starting space.
We do not have the same skill set.
We do not have the same support systems.
Our genetics are not the same, our upbringing is not the same, our "hard-wiring," is not the same. 
We are unique, we are different, but we do share a common reality.   This "reality," is the here and now we can all come to an agreement with, this is needed and accepted.
I needed to say that to lay the framing moving forward.


Stop comparing yourself to the person left and right.  You are you, they are them.  If you need the barometer, look above again.  You are not the same.  Your starting line, your education, your brain, everything is different.
So stop comparing.  All you do is build a false ego to believe you are above, or a sad sense of low self worth in thinking you are below.  Neither are true.
The sooner you can find ways to wash the ego away, the sooner you find common ground and begin to feel safe and "ok," here.
I've written and discussed ego many times.  If you would like to discuss, text me at 440-983-7783 or listen to the podcast where this is discussed.


Your Life should be filled with hard things to overcome.  I believe this deeply.  As painful as it can be, as near death as it can feel, it is needed.  Without it, you may never know who you really are.
Start slow, you may not know how hard it can get or how much you can handle.  Diving in might be too much too fast, so be mindful of set and setting.  I don't recommend going after 4 incredibly hard things at once.  Energy will be spread too thin.  Lock onto one target, knock it down, then get another.  You'll find momentum in this.  If the targets come too easy, rethink what it is you're going for or that the path is true.  There is no real value in chasing a goal you've already achieved, but also understand that every situation is different with its own set of variables.  There is always something to learn.
Whatever it is you're tracking, make it worth the chase.  Stretch for it.  Make sure its outside of your current range.


Seek failure.  The Ego will work to protect you from failure, even perceived failure and blind you from the harsh reality of your own short comings.  Ignore this voice and "sit," in the failure like a bath.  You may never have a more powerful teacher than that of your own shortcomings staring back you.
If its a good one, you will see yourself in the mirror of failure... exhausted, bloody, nothing left to give, begging for help.  There will be none, or at least none externally.
This is when you have to smile at the pain and say thank you.
Thank you for installing a new tool, a new gear, I didnt know I had.  thank you.


Find work and do it well.  Yes it matters what it is, ideally it should suit your strengths or general enjoyment, but this can also be counterintuitive. Without overthinking it, just work hard.  Find work that matters, whatever that may mean. 


Never stop exploring your own self conscious.  I heard Graham Hancock say that without the freedom to explore your self conscious, you have nothing, you are not free.  Think deeply about how important this is in this particular day and age.  All the above, are tools to know yourself.  Paths that can highlight your true nature, your deep self, which can sound taboo in certain sets, but I believe this is our true purpose for this life.
This existence is a tool, as are we.


How can you ever know what you are here to do if you have no clue who you are?
Until I coached and dove deep into coaching, I had not idea what I could do.
How many other things out there haven't we done?  Where is your itch to scratch?  Whats that thing you've been yearning to do, yet you continue to put off for the right time?  maybe you set the dream aside for fear of judgment or maybe you cant make the sacrifice needed to make it happen.

This is how we beat depression.  By overcoming.  By diving deep into pools with no safety equipment, knowing full well there will be danger.  We dive in and we find out if were here to sink or swim.
And when we're successful, and we will be successful, we share and teach.  We help others light a path.  We pick people up.  We see those that started on paths much less fortunate than ours and we offer guidance and assistance.  We will see those with different skill sets and learn how we can compliment each other.


Pay attention to recent laws that have been passed out west.  There is info there you should google.
be smart, be safe, ask questions to the things you do not know.


Peace, love and empathy.
I am always available until I am not. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

this is a post about depression

understand that i'm going to write things you may not agree with, some of them might make you uncomfortable and it may change your opinion of me.
that is all acceptable and ironic to me and you will understand why as i paint this picture.
also know, this is a topic that i've written about many times, all disguised inside stories, links and posts.
but the truth of this is important and timely.  people have talked about this with me and i never hide, i never dismiss it or downplay it, this is something that must felt, witnessed and in a way, accepted.

 - - - - - - - - - -

this is the truth, through the vision i have found over my time here... we may disagree, and thats ok, you have your belief and truth, i have mine.  when people tell me their truth, feelings and beliefs, i accept them as is, through their vision of their own unique experience.  i could never judge that. i hope through sharing, we can all influence each other to see multiple points of view and motivate growth, evolution and positive change in our culture and society.
your reality is yours, shape it how you choose.  i pray we find common ground together.

 - - - - - - - - - -

the left to right, up to down of the screen will effect this.
these thoughts are circular, overlapping, weaving and change colors.
one line cant be taken as one line, they balance and lean on each other.

 - - - - - - - - - -

i dont want to die.  we should clear that up before i also say, i dont enjoy this world.
the irony is, about 20 feet to my left, my two oldest daughters are rehearsing, i think for fun, a musical.  you would think they, along with a wife, new born baby, great job and co-workers, a wonderful coaching career, and a couple friends would keep from saying "i dont enjoy this world," but it doesnt.
its a deep, uneasy feeling that i've had my entire life and cannot find a pattern or vision to shake it.


before i answer that, i know i'm not alone.

a few years ago, on the anniversary of Kurt Cobain's and Layne Staley's deaths, I wrote "trap door in the sun."  it was semi-vague, general, and i wrote about the fog of depression with a few examples, enough where people knew i was not writing to write.  the days that followed the post, several friends contacted, not to ask "can i help you?" or "are you ok?" but "thank you."
the "are you ok?" was a concern upon posting and is usually why i sensor myself.
the "thank you," was bitter-sweet because I didnt realize how many people in my "friends list," felt the way i did.

but why?

 - - - - - - - - - -

we live in a very strange world, getting more strange every few months.  everyday really, but it moves so slow, we dont feel it until their is a shift and we go "whoah, when did this happen?"  it's been happening all around us, you just didnt feel it.

we have these tools at every turn.
technology, money/credit, jewels, clothes, cars, homes, etc.  a wonderful set of dishes, a new set of couches, that great new coffee table you always wanted, shit everywhere.  we collect things.  we work and trade time to accumulate a bank acct that we swap a certain value of numbers for more things to stack in our homes.  these things will never really do anything for us of real value.  they will serve to mask pain, discomfort and hide us from our truth.
the truth that a great many of us have invested our entire lives to a game.  a finite game where there are no winners or losers, and no one survives. 

on a level, that reads very dark.  you can probably see why i started how i did by writing what i did in the top 2 sections.

let me ask a few questions and you can decide a few things for yourself:
How many people do you know in debt?
How many people do you know that do not enjoy their jobs?
How many people seem genuinely unhappy?
How many people do you know with drug or alcohol addictions?
Low self esteem?
In poor relationships?
Out of shape, bad health?
How many people do you know on anti-depressants?

How many people pass you and smile?  How many stare at the ground?
How many xmas cards do you send and receive?
How many friends do you scan passed on social media and think "idgaf," at their posts?
How many people do you love?  Love you?

 - - - - - - - - - - -

according to cnn, the most prescribed drug is anti-depressants

what could be attributed to his climb?  we have more tools and information than ever.  we have apps to help us meditate, we have trainers and doctors and gyms and spas and self help books and Dr Phil!  (is he still around?) 
...but americans are going in and getting meds for depression more frequently and at  a faster rate than ever.

do you know what other area is growing as fast as these meds?

technology has isolated us.
we have relationships on phones with thumbs, and not in flesh.  you barely need verbal, social skills.
we have friend lists of 100, 300, 800 people,  who do not say hi when they see you.
we email and text, we dont talk.
we highlight a fake persona on social media, a vision we want, we wish, was reality.

we have gone fucking crazy.  absolutely crazy.
this is not what we were designed for.
in our push to advance and grow and achieve, we have lost our truth, ourselves, our human connection, our heart.   without human connection, we will all continue to fade into darkness.  you can mask it all you like with a busy schedule and running the kids and your "thing," you do, but without touch, without laughter, without self reflection, without time, you will fade.

 - - - - - - - - - -

we need to go backwards.  we need to set these things tools down, these phones, and engage.
we are receivers and transmitters and all senses need to be activated.
our eyes, ears, mouth, nose, our skin... we need to feel alive.  we have to breathe hard, we have to strain our bodies, we have to face challenges and work together.

i heard jim carrey say that "depression is your self telling yourself, that you do want to play this character anymore."  i felt and feel that very deeply.  i know when i can walk into a room with a person and have truth and love with me, i know when i walk into a room that will demand a character.  too many of those character rooms and i will fade away.

 - - - - - - - - - -


 - - - - - - - - - -

we have to use the tools, within balance.
there are times the characters are needed, find balance.  for every moment a character is required, find 3x that a mount of truth and love.  and truth and love may even be within the character, but if its still a character, you will drain yourself.
are you playing a character?
would you know if you were?
do you know how to find out?

 - - - - - - - - - -

you may have seen quotes or memes or whatever, wherever about "awake," or "woke," right?  usually a funny hippie thing or something with Neo from the Matrix maybe.  this vision is about the recognition of the character, the avatar, the ego that ive referenced many times.
my definition of ego has been consistent, a mask or series of masks.  we can wear one for any occasion or none.  some have value and use, some are destructive.  are you wearing one?

"the killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on, he took a face from the ancient gallery and he walked on down the hallway."  this is what Morrison was talking about.

"Let the ocean swell, dissolve away my mask."  same here.

it has been written time and time again, in music, poetry, movies.  references to these masks, faces and egos.
burn them away and become your truth.

we do so much to hide the pain, to bury the pain.  to mask over the mask... but all we have to do is burn them away.




 - - - - - - - - -  -

i saw a shrink years ago... she didnt think i was very crazy, which now makes me wonder if she was qualified?  anyway, she said "theres nothing wrong with you, you just havent found your tribe."

then i saw another and she set these headphones on me and sent me spelunking in the caves of my subconscious.... down there was a file cabinet and when i saw it, the music started... i reached for it and she warned, "only open it if you're serious and ready..."

then i saw another one who asked my name and "how long have you been suicidal?" within 5 minutes.
i didnt and dont mind the conversation or topic.  you would all break my heart, but this isnt the same.

none of these were even set appointment, just conversations.

 - - - - - - - - - - - -

no, i have zero fear of death...  catch me at a certain hour and i might talk about seeing the other side.  but having "lost," my mom a little while ago and feeling this hole, i wouldn't and couldn't pass it to someone else.  so theres that.  did that sound too casual?  ..if you got it.

and this my battle... the pull vs the push.  its not fun.
but as much as the darkness weighs on the back of my neck, when it does shine, its blinding... its overwhelming.  im much more emotional now.  i cry at greatness and beauty and innocence.  i see a kid do something "kid," or unique and i live through that energy.
i see a genuine smile and i feel it in my soul.
ive been witness to magnificent breakthroughs in the gyms, on the fields, in the offices... and they all get me.  i pause and witness.
"we just had a moment we will remember"

i have no normal moments, no normal days.  everything carries weight w ability to tip the scale one way or the other... and i play to stand centered.
this is my yoga.
i balance right between it.

 - - - - - - - - - - - - -

i think you know this when we talk... its ok, it wont be a thing.  it makes it all better... it means more now.  think about it.

 - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Simon talks about infinite games vs finite games.
finite games have a set of rules, a clock, we agree we play til x.
an infinite game is played to survive... it only ends when a player is done playing.  they quit or cant afford to continue.

given the theme here, you probably thought i was leaning "infinte game," but no.. the key word was "clock."  knowing the clock adds value to everything.  when we know time is limited, it means more.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

without music, without knowing how to workout, without the girls, without the people ive found to help send me down the path that lead to answers to not feel so alone... i wouldnt be here.  thats alright... we cant choke this shit down and keep saying "im alright," and lie.  we're not alright.  alot of us are flat out, fucked up.  fine.  sit w me.  we'll have a fucked up little bench.  then a few more people will go "hey, i'm uhh, you know, i'm like..." and ill go "yeah yea, i get it..." and i'll slide down to make room for you.  and we'll need more benches.
and then we'll actually talk to each other again.
(this song was playing as i wrote that last paragraph)

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

peace, love and empathy

Saturday, February 2, 2019

State of Love and Trust

Amy saw the title and hit, so that means one person is here so I'll sit with you...


2 seasons ago, thing started off rocky.  We all had high hopes, but for one reason or another, it just wasn't coming together how we imagined.
1-4 through 5.
After loss #4 we met and had a conversation.  What happened within the following 72 hours, I dont know (but I hope to one day).
Whatever it was, it worked.  Because from that point, we went 5-0 and became the first team in school history to make the playoffs.  Can we say the O improved and did some nice things?  Absolutely  Can we say we had one badass mofo group off 11+ hitting the field for us on D?  Yup. 
But for me, and this is the ole romantic, thats not how it happened...

After the season, and I dont remember how long it took me to think of this, but I messaged a few of the guys and shared a thought as to how or why it happened. 
Love & Trust
Coaches always, allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaays want to sit around fondle each other over x's and o's, blha blah blah, so there.
News flash:  its all the same shit prettied up in different outfits. 
Thats not where great teams win.  If it was all x's and o's and goofy ass speeches, you'd see better football games. 
They won because of love and trust, for and with each other. 


A friend and former boss text me asking how life was going, random chit chat.  We talk about work, life, kids, all of it.  I always appreciate when he reaches out, I think he knows I need it.  Somehow we got onto a topic of team work and culture.  I was in an odd mood and vented a little... I wrote "You know I operate in a weird zone... money has never motivated me.  Being good to people does it." and then went into how greatness for each other creates more greatness for each other.  It's logical.  it works.  Theres actual science and studies in this, this isnt my bullshit.  I know people like to say Im always on some woo woo shit but theres a reason they dismiss it... because its true and it badly rocks their sad, sinking boat they built on ideas of fear and intimidation.  I said "relationships... thats how you win on the field of everything."   It is. 
It doesn't matter where I am, what sport, what company, what human is sitting with me, we will always find a way.  Why? 
Love & Trust. 
Same as above, so below.  All companies believe in what they do, all teams believe in who they are, but without love & trust, you will be average.  I've seen it too much to know its value.  It is golden yet you cannot weigh it. 
Without love & trust, you will be average.  You will never achieve the goals, you will see people come and go, the game will pass you by and you'll blame everything. 


But it's on US.  You are not a passenger, you are a participant.  So tag yourself in and get involved. 
Somehow, someway, you are in a community and you lead.  You may not see it at the moment, but it is true.  If you have kids, you are a leader.  If you go out into public, you are a leader.  If you engage with any other human, you are a leader.  Its that literal and I believe it deeply. 
This may seem petty or silly, but this is what I do...
I do my grocery shopping every Sunday and I do 2 things, 100% of the time. 
1) I always go to a live cashier and 2) I help the cart guys bring carts in and/or organize for them.

why?   No one sees me.  I've been doing this months, maybe years i dont know and ive never said it til now.  Why do I do it?

Cashier for multiple reasons... #1 fuck the self check outs.  People lose jobs because of self check outs, i'll never use one.  I literally walked out one day because there were no actual cashiers, just self check outs.  I walked, saw that, left.  Another reason and I have done this my entire life... I want them to remember me.  Not because of ME, but because of my energy.  I selfishly love when I see them in a shitty mood... love it.  Because its my crazy little game of "flip this mood," and I make sure when I leave them, they feel better about things.  Then what happens?  They feel better and better for the next person in line that I'll never even meet... think about that.

You will come in contact with a person, a real live person and have the opportunity to effect their day to the point where they help other people enjoy their day more.  Thats real.  Thats how crazy and deep this goes for me.  And its not an act.  I just love it.  I LOVE doing it.  And I do it everywhere.  Because we re all connected... I just showed one way and they're everywhere.  Thats just a grocery store, think about home, school ,the work place... its endless.  You literally have endless opportunities to help people every single day.  I have a new position at work, wish you could ask one of the welders what my first question was... any guesses? 
 "How can I help you?" 

Because I love people... because I haven't lost all my faith, not yet.  I know I've written some dark shit and some people thought, "o fuck, he gone," but no, I told you, I needed the dark corner to rest up for this next round.
 I found gem down there and I want to show you...

Oh ya, the cart guys... I do that because that job sucks and I want to help it not suck so much.  I walk carts back, straighten that rack and all of it.  Think of how many assholes just throw the carts in there, giving zero shits about the people that have to manage their mess.  They think "not my job," and pass it off to someone else.  Dont be that person. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Carry On

We can sit back in the chair every now and then and take an inventory of sorts.  We can sit back, look around at our atmosphere, the life we're currently operating, what we've done, who we're with, who we have become, on and on.  We can become a witness to ourselves, separating ourselves from ourselves, to objectively analyze and ask the big questions... 
What are we really doing?
Where are we going?
What is this for?

I do not care to live a life based on bills and money, schedules and other unimportant items that humans have created value around to give meaning to time, society and their lives.  WE live lives near each other, could be sitting right next to me, but my brain operates elsewhere, targeting things of the abstract.  
Side note: This is why I've become very poor in social settings and random chit chat.  I can play the character for the moment, but it drains me and I have to find space and time to re-energize for thoughts that truly matter.   Please trust to read that as ego-less as possible, I know it is strange for most.   But this is also what helps me work to become a great trainer and coach, see below... 

What is important to me is optimization.  This is the space we share.  See, I do not really care to touch that ground and engage in random words unless there is a deeper, rewarding, finish.  I want to be changed and engage change, alter outcomes, strive for improvement big and small.  I want to grow and learn from you.  This is the exchange I value, not time for money.  

Over the last 20 months, I lost someone and gained everyone. 
And it happens everyday.  I lose and I find... 
Within that light I found corners of darkness to rest and recover.  To sit back in the chair and sit still, to reflect and take the inventory or my energy.  

I work to live by two opposing thoughts, a yin and yang of sorts, my own inner Tao that helps make sense of this world for me... 

1)  Life has its own hardness to overcome, one that we are not accustomed to anymore because has actually gotten very easy.  So easy in fact, we create situations in our heads to create a conflict where we can become "Heros."  
My advice to combat this:  Do hard shit every day of your life.   
The cubicle may present its own challenge, but your ass wasnt designed for cubicles.  Pack the running shoes and whatever gear you need for wherever you live and hit a trail.  
..... now, you just read that and thought "I live in northeast Ohio, its 30 degrees out, just rained yesterday," on and on.  Yes.   Which is why you should do it.  If you're interested in joining me, I'll be at Reeves Rd park tomorrow afternoon and I dont need to look at the weather, it doesn't matter.  
I understand trails may suck everyday and shoes get wet... so go workout.  
Stress your body,
Breathe deeply,
Question your own heart.
Wonder how tough you are.  

Watch how the glasses clear up when you lock into a zone... deadlines fade, stress seams insignificant, bills are just paper...

2) the flip side... dont take everything so serious.
Remember the brain we had when we were 4 and a pillow could have a name?  Our toy cars had personalities back yard jungle gyms doubled as forts.  There is a scene in Garden State where the two main characters are sitting on a bed and the woman says something to the effect of "do a silly dance," or make a funny sound, I dont remember exactly, but she pushed the boy to do something unique and silly.  Do that.  
Be immature.  Laugh when the dog farts.  Laugh at yourself when you do something silly.  Kick your friends foot.  Make up a voice for the baby and have her talk shit to the dogs.  
Start a blog.
A podcast.
Try to make motivational t-shirts
Read more
Play random games with kids
Study philosophy
Challenge all the things you think you already know and learn them all over again... what if you find out the person you were 15 minutes ago was wrong?
Because you do have freedom to change at any minute... be aware. 
Be the student.
Work w kids
Do things that keep you grounded in youthful energy and never, ever give a fuck when anyone thinks of you.  

People get so serious in situations where mindful decision making handles everything, yet emotions and egos run a muck... and I sit and think "look at these crazy ass monkeys... They would all be much happier if they would climb a few trees and throw poop at their buddy."

Santa asked me what I wanted for xmas.  I whispered "time."
24 hours isnt enough
7 days isnt enough

We are moving forward, please look to lock in on what is important in your heart and in your life.  

This Is Blue Chip