When the Sun comes up. By Dave R. Otey

When the sun comes up the day is bright again. The paths are clear to see. The directions are easy to choose, the potholes and rough spots are easy to avoid. Clarity makes peace and progress possible and definite.  We have our sights set clear and wide, to change our directions to a happier life. Until the next set of clouds that form a storm that makes a darkness and a mood forlorn,

I wonder many times where the clouds come from: the ones within ourselves. What wind brings them in and how are they formed ? What sight or smell, or sound or touch, or taste can turn around our state of mind from joy to fear, from confidence to doubt, to hiding inside instead of going out ?  What pain within gives rise to pointing and yelling instead of finding the way to resolve whatever we think or know is the cause ? What makes us forget the peace and good we have to turn away into self-pity and spiritual depression ?

Hope is happy, the promise of a chance to see life get better, to feel connected to others who care and are waiting to give. Hope connects to the HOW TO, for knowledge of the steps to make, when and where. Hope points out the beliefs that must change to form the right empowering thoughts that must be focused on to provide the guiding insights that energize the desire and drive to confidently commit to the actions that are the steps from where you are to where you want to be.

Where does the rising sun of hope come from? From the right questions.  Why am I off the path of confidence and happiness ?  What needs to change ? What did I say or do that took me off the path ? What do I need to say and do to get back on the path ?  Is there anything I need to stop doing, to stop saying to myself and others to make that shift back onto the path ?  Who must I connect with to help me ?

Life is much better with good wise friends and sometimes strangers God provides along the way to help ”see” what we missed along the way and show us what we need to realign our spirits with peace and happiness.  Who are your sun rays of HOPE ?  Who are YOU a sun ray of hope for ?   Keep the lights shining every chance you get. Make every day glow for others and yourself.    End.

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WHERE AND HOW DO I FIT IN AROUND HERE ? BY DAVID REID OTEY

We have to be right about some things to feel qualified to exist. That is why frustration is so strong when we’re wrong. Belonging to life means belonging to other people. Most of that belonging is to “fit in”. We fit in with clothing style, hair style, language/lingo, body marks or lack of, tastes in food, literature, films, hang outs for social fellowship, points of view with a degree of individual differences allowed, as long as intelligent discussion can take place, AND with being recognized as “right” about ‘anything’ once in a while. It’s a praise to hear, “Well, yeah, you’re right about that.”, as a ‘just scraping by’ acceptance from a member of the group.

The ‘being right’ part is more important than the rest because it’s easy to change or excuse something about any of the other elements, but to NOT match in mental blend means one of two things: you really don’t belong in that group by nature of who you are–and therefore should get out and find the group you really do match with—OR you are labeled as the ‘joker’ card of the group—and that is a social death blow for continuous social contact because ‘invitations’ to special events will not reach the joker, thus being cut off, and that action will become common knowledge among others and will eventually lead to the ears of the joker who will then be depressed, etc. Bottom line, the joker card spot is never a permanent position for anyone. If the joker doesn’t leave by half-way intelligent free will, the group will make sure the door is closed with a subtle ‘shunning’. The subtle shunning is far worse than the “in your face” shunning. Direct insults are always better because you can yell back in their faces regardless of being wrong or right about it. At least you get the satisfaction of standing up to the ‘mean ones’. BUT subtle shunning is cruel and feels like a knife being slowly pushed in. NOT GOOD.

There is strong merit to this idea that we REALLY DO need to be right about a certain percentage of things in life, to feel that we have a right to exist at all. Belonging to people as a group is the purpose of existing, perhaps. This can explain the extreme inner spirit pain that so many feel to the point of committing suicide. They really feel that they do not belong, that they cannot be right about anything, or what they want to be right about. And maybe they do not want to belong to a different group.

Their (our) perspective of which groups are important is where the wiring might be a bit skewed, twisted, off set. We gain much of our “opinions” through conditioning of facts and fictions mixed. The conditioning comes from family and friends, each being led by traditions and beliefs from private or social cultures and the current community culture of ‘what’s cool today’ in connections to music, clothes, political viewpoint, hang outs, lingo, etc. The fact is, every group—good or bad, sane or crazy– has a following, a fan club, a history and, especially in these times, an outlet of connection and fellowship through internet, world connections for chat, hook ups, you name it, it’s all possible. SO, the pressure is on “being where you are”, fitting in where you see actual people walking around you. It doesn’t matter, in a sense, if you DO belong to some group NOT physically represented where you live. What matters most is belonging to people you can immediately touch, see eye to eye and talk personally to while looking in their eyes and feeling the energies from their presence directly. THAT’S the winning card. It’s the big gold ticket like Willy Wonka’s chocolate bar prize.

I just have to be right about all of this. 🙂 Why ? Because sanity is extremely important if you want to hang on long enough to see the proof that we all belong, we are all important and we all have someone who deeply loves us for who we are because we match their energies in some ways, some of the times and that’s all we really need to belong, to be right in the connection sense instead in the fact sense.

You already belong. The journey of life is to find where and then to recognize and accept when to change, as you grow inside toward other groups that provide what you need next for your spiritual journey. Eventually there will be some groups you always belong to. Relax and enjoy the journey and be brave and bold when you walk where you live. Be true to your sense of yourself, and if you cannot find the group that matches you, start your own. Then you will see them show up from their own hiding places because someone was brave enough to give them permission to be ok.

The end.

On A Whim. Stay Alive. By David Reid Otey

Every action makes a reaction, common knowledge for most people. And it applies not just to bouncing balls but to thoughts behind the actions we commit to. You know that every act happens for a reason , even an accident happens because someone was day dreaming or involved in some action of not attending to the moment. So, people’s actions create reactions, responses, results.

This is also one of the ways we know when someone is in trouble somehow. If you have a teenager looking depressed yet who says nothing’s wrong after you ask, you know that’s not the total truth, and we have to, we must try to interfere with that depressing or troublesome thought that occupies their minds because that thought might lead them into hurting themselves or someone else. What do you think has happened in the minds of every kid who committed suicide? Definitely not boredom. But fear of shame and embarrassment.

And REMEMBER from your own experiences that you survived, and yet which may have also affected your own personality to some negative degree in order for you to survive the more serious consequences, REMEMBER you committed to some negative action because of that disturbing thought or belief. And one way you became a prisoner of that thought that led you to make a bad choice was the fact of fear of embarrassment and shame.

THOSE TWO feelings alone are the mental TRAP that we all need a support group to free us from. Trying to go it alone, to prove we are mavericks or super men and super women, kings and queens of the mountain and all that other anti-social, anti-community crap, isolates us even more; makes us want to hide as if we’re some freak of human nature that no one has ever seen. Somehow those thoughts of tragic disillusion make us see what is NOT really real. Yeah, so we may have screwed up somehow. Maybe we stole something. Maybe we killed a neighbor’s dog on purpose instead of by accident. Maybe we broke windows, key scratched a car, flipped off a cop, or had horrible thoughts about relating to close people in obscene or extremely hurtful ways. Suddenly we have crossed a line; a moral line; a line we never believed we could ever step across, mentally or physically.

Now we wonder” what is wrong with me”. Now we think we are turning into the nightmare people from horror shows, from really nasty murder mysteries and whatever other depressing, scary, perverted negative junk we’ve been filling our minds, eyes and thoughts with for hours at a time in front of any screens. WHEN YOU FEEL THE ATTACK OF SHAME OR EMBARRASSMENT–DO NOT GIVE IN TO IT. We all know there is a limit to what is ok and what is not ok, as far as when the law becomes involved. We all NEED TO KNOW that consequences are varied,

BUT CONSEQUENCES ALSO have a very POSITIVE purpose; TO REBALANCE the spirit, soul, humanity, personality and communal connection that was TEMPORARILY separated, broken or cut. Remember that word: TEMPORARY. THAT is the word you must focus on. THAT is the word that will beat down the shame and embarrassment you will feel when others know what you have done or said. ADD THIS TO YOUR THOUGHTS: Are you the only one who ever did that thing or said those words ? NO WAY. NO ONE IS A CLUB BY THEMSELVES. IT’S NOT POSSIBLE TO BECOME SO FAMOUS. You would have to be well over 2,500 years old to claim being the founder of any specific perversion or horrible crime. MOST PEOPLE who take themselves down and out of regular social life and regular social connections are not even close to belonging to the worst clubs in the world. Not—–even—–close. Yet THEY are the ones who are lining up to commit suicide or become alcoholics or drug addicts.

The last two self-destroying avenues have a great deal of club members NOT because of horrible behaviors but because of having no direction, no purpose, no inner vision of their “could be” values in life around them or no confidence in their real values they probably do not even recognize that make others want to be around them and love them. SO–THE SOLUTION is THIS. Accept the feelings of shame and/or embarrassment because they are ALWAYS TEMPORARY feelings. They DO go away because the people who support you will apply forgiveness, grace, hugs and love, as well as their own stories. And these actions of support for you have the power to diminish, erase and dissolve the feelings of shame and embarrassment.

GIVE YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS THE CHANCE TO SAVE YOU from the horrible, life-threatening powers of shame and embarrassment. Ask for help from the right people. YOU KNOW WHO THE CONDEMNERS ARE, WHO THE FEAKS OF SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE, WHO THE “LET ME MAKE DAMNED SURE YOU FEEL LIKE COW PATTIES” PEOPLE ARE; STAY AWAY FROM THEM. Just call the one or ones you know who will not pass judgement. Just show up to their door and say, “Hey. I’ve made a real mess and I need someone to listen to me confess, hold me, forgive me and help me go through the gauntlet that I will probably have to suffer as a consequence. I really need you. Please help me with this.” Just ask. Show up. Be there. Speak the words of need. Stay there. Stand there. Fall down in tears. Whatever it takes to hold on to the value that you give from within you for other’s happiness, joy and successes. Never let go of your real self.

You’re never as bad, nasty, stupid, ignorant, hopeless nor demented as you might think. No matter what degree of human imperfections you have–and we all have them—thus the reasons for therapies, laws, all kinds of depressions medications, prime time “fix me” shows, etc–you are, more than anything, a wonderful person with talents, humor, passion for love and creation and healing. There are projects you can create or become a strong part of the team that helps the rest of the world maintain and improve the qualities of kindness, compassion, decency and human equality regardless of gender, color and any other barriers built up by the wall makers. There is always a way to turn your negative feelings, negative circumstances and negative situation around to a forgiving and community supported positive pathway. Go for the Light, not for the Dark. Go for the Smile and not the Frown. Surround yourself with the positive, healing friends. The end of one beginning is start of another beginning. Grab all the beginnings you can.

Still safe in the United States of America ? By David Reid Otey 9-2014

YES. Why ? Because we are aware more than ever that we are not untouchable. THAT fact should be encouraging and empowering since it must cause us to think more about the value of others beyond our boundaries: to consider the truth that our words and our actions are no more divine in purpose than those of anyone else no matter what we think of ourselves.  World leader?  Really ?  In what sense ?

Power of force is not a determinant in righteousness nor of stability.  What has made the United States powerfully noticeable in the positive sense over most of the world is the higher percentage of freedom our people have to make dreams come true, to become what their talents preclude them to be for their ultimate happiness and hopefully for the increased benefits of the societies they live in.

The shame of this nation in part is that its own media and government now want its own people to live in daily fear of differences. Now we are bombarded with news events of ”possible” tragedies that were avoided by the great sleuth work of super cops in various branches. I am not afraid because of those stories. I ignore the serious macabre tone of the newsperson’s voice and their serious frowning expression–both of which they hope to subliminally implant upon my own mind. What I feel instead is SAFER because those super men and women cops ARE DOING THEIR JOB LIKE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO. They give me more faith in my country caring. They give me more reason to feel safe. And what about those bombs they miss ?  Same odds as any other business–medical, teaching, road work, you name it–some days things don’t turn out like you want them to. People get hurt without being involved in what came at them. People die from others’ thoughtless and cruel actions. There is more danger from home grown gangs than there is from danger from other nations.

Our nation has done the same thing to others as we sometimes get. It is all unfair to whoever gets bombed. Innocents are expected casualties by militaries of all nations. They have to look the other way while giving speeches of genuine sympathy. They cannot say the truth of the situations, ” We are sorry for your loss but that’s the part of our job we hate yet we must continue to do until we win.”

We need to improve, encourage and expand the mindset of  joining people of the many differences instead of adding to the historical tragic mindset of more separation and division. Color and clothing and places of worship do not tell you what any person’s heart and mind is absolutely focused upon. So walk proud where you live. keep striving for your dreams. Keep volunteering and giving to your community. keep waking up thankful for where you are and for the opportunities you have here and cannot have anywhere else in the world.   The end.

Waking Up. By David Reid Otey September 2014

I love waking up. Not just every morning when I open my eyes after the long energizing nap of the night. But all those other times, too. When I wake up to the right answers that took a little more time to seek. When I wake up to fact that I can change something I thought was set in stone. When I wake up to who and what I really have in my life by taking a closer look beyond the clutter of being too busy.

I wake up through other’s thoughts when I listen to what they say without interrupting them. I wake up when I read or hear of the tragic results of someone else’s battle with depression. I wake up when an elderly man who does simple magic shows tells me he dove into it after a friend died of bone cancer without ever trying for or realizing his dream of  gold mining.

I woke up when Anthony Robbins said, ”try this”. I woke up when the voices of Jim Rohn, Mel Robbins, Brendon Burchard, Zig Ziglar, Marie Forleo, Daniel Pink, Jon Acuff, David Allen, Micheal J. Gelb, Susan Jeffers, Thom Rutledge and a team of other authors and speakers gave me the ideas and encouragement I sought.

I was shaken awake at times when my mom became ensnared by Alzheimer’s, and when my dad’s paranoid schizophrenia overtook his outlook on life and shut down the hopes of him ever playing his violin for the public in philharmonic orchestras ever again.  When an art teacher coming back to school from lunch leaned down at the wrong moment to fetch something from the floorboard of his car and ran a stop sign to enter the terminal path of an oncoming semi trailer truck, I woke up.  When my school where I work cancelled a day to have a teacher’s funeral at the school, and all of us teachers were present at the funeral and then to help seat and serve the family for their meal in the school, I woke up.

I woke up when my kids were born and I held them.  I wake up every single day I see my grand children. I wake up when I try, when I listen, when I contribute, when I hope and dream and wonder. I think that is what life is meant to be. We are born to wake up to creation, to love and joy, to peace and wonder, to the gifts we have within us that are meant to be discovered, developed and shared  for the connection and for the good of all people. I believe in God because there has to be a source of all this wonder and that source has to wake us all up for the best of anything and everything to be accomplished. What will you wake up to today ?         The end for now. 🙂

Balance for Peace By David Reid Otey– September 2014

I recently wrote a piece titled The Oil Man; A down to earth perspective. I have taken it off after I read that traders/ buyers and sellers are the people who REALLY determine the prices of gas and other needs. Although the oil companies are definitely in that batch of people. BUT the question still remains: HOW does a trader/seller determine the price rise and fall?  I guess that enough subjective reasons set in place can become an objective standard ?  I know they give all the reasons of war, weather tragedy, etc. But WHY ?  It seems to show a belief that when times are troubled people need to be gouged and taken deeper down into despair. Really ?  Or is it that profit gain must never go below 500% ?

No matter what the reason, a fact–in my objective experiences list– remains that history shows business rules all nations and empires. Government is business. Government creates boundaries for various reasons. Government taxes citizens. Government makes laws to protect both objectively and subjectively. Leaders create changes for those they rule over. The changes come from the way the leaders handle their responsibilities to the public versus their personal desires.  Sometimes a huge change is made at one swoop, and sometimes a major change is the ”seemingly sudden” result of tiny connected changes not foreseen by enough people to redirect it.The public, the citizens, all have an affecting power base, too, but not enough to stop a major shift whether that shift be an act of God or a direction of mass mindset on both sides of the power arena.

One thing for certain. The shifts happen. But if the balance of safety and happiness become extremely uneven for those who have less and less, revolts rise up. The common people who work their bodies and minds to the max, to make life better for them and their families against all sorts of odds. These people can handle only so much frustration from being shoved back down through the many tricks and excuses the leaders present. Exceed that frustration point and you have those people asking the next smart question, “Now what can I do to change the leaders minds, since they have taken down all the ladders for me to climb?” It’s happened many times before. It will happen again. Somewhere.

Circumstances create situations which become events. Events change the lay of the land. Some fall and some stay standing. Leaders are not the only ones who can create circumstances. Leaders need their foundation of the common people supporters. That foundation is the greater yet often silent power that holds up the walls and ceiling of the leaders’ security and comfort. The foundation of common people cannot be forced to maintain the loyalty and devotion leaders need to accomplish their wishes. Notice the  recent story of Arthur T. Demoulas, who was reinstated as the Market Basket leader  due to the power of the common people,: the employees and the customers. Those common people were pushed and they shoved back. Emotions were affected deeply. The common people did win. It’s an incredible story to show the truth of how power must be balanced between leaders and the people they serve. Neither side can control nor operate and manage the entire system of needs and services by themselves.

Politicians are business men and business women. Serving the needs of goods and services in their areas is their jobs. Philosophies and ideologies are great, if they are tied to the needs. But bandwagon mindset at the expense of  common people’s livelihood and well being is an act of imbalance. It doesn’t work to try building a utopian dreamland of everyone being forced to think alike. But those groups are always out there pushing against each other. Most of the time they’ve been on the streets of their communities, spending their free time expressing their views both peacefully and violently. Sometimes national protests have taken place, still with the common public planning and enabling and attending to be involved. But now there seems to me to be this type of mass group thinking among the leaders. They are spending their time protesting each other, blocking each other, and doing this all in the capitol regions and buildings.

Whatever happens in any house depends upon the condition of the leaders of that home. In my occupation as teacher, I see kids from all kinds of homes. They show the results of the leadership in their homes. It doesn’t take much to know who has the caring and loving parents  and who comes from careless, self-centered parents. On a grand scale our national leaders have become much more careless and self-centered.  DCFS is called for the homes in communities to help retrain and straighten out messed up families. Who do you call to straighten out a messed up government ? Only the public. Only the foundational power core. Lots of changes have taken place since I’ve been born. Now, at age sixty, I see the already sown seeds of the coming changes. Historically inevitable. It’s just sort of weird though, to me, because these changes are not so obvious until they break out in power. Negative power is how they usually break out, too.  It doesn’t have to be that way, or, maybe it does. The rules of relationships apply no matter how small or large or how many people are involved, even if they are total strangers.

How I adapt myself to this is: I pay attention to my home and my family and my job and my community. They are the people who will support me for what I need and when I need it, and I for them. One for a bunch and a bunch for one. 🙂 That balance begins to set up the healing process for what will eventually take place in many places.      The End

We Dance By David Reid Otey 8-2014

We dance through the good times and we dance through the bad times. We step on each others feet now and then and we kiss them to heal them, then dance again.                                                                                     It’s a winter, a summer, a spring and a fall. The names tell you all of the times we recall.                        There are slow dances, fast dances, close dances, step away dances, everything timed to the music of our minds. We listen together shifting in union, but if one’s distracted it causes confusion.                             The dance is a long one we hope, as we started at the alter of marriage ’till death leaves one waiting. We dance in the outside and inside of fortune, from bodies touch close to separation by oceans. We dance with our motions entwined in emotion, smooth on our feet or shuffled on knees. We dance looking into the eyes of our soul mates and hold them close feeling every heart beat. We dance with the dream and the promise of never departing without being forced by the nature of life. We dance on the mountains, in valleys and plains. We dance in the sunshine, in storms drenching rains. We dance when the wind blows sweet scents from the blooms. We dance when there’s pain from a loss and in gloom. We dance as we argue, we dance as we laugh. We dance in the memories of early romance. We dance limitations in time that’s forever. We dance in the finite that’s part of infinite, hoping that truth means our spirits and souls go beyond blood and bones, that we will still exist beyond names in a book, beyond pictures we took of the way that we looked when we knew we had power to change. We dance through ideas, through hopes and through dreams. We dance all the steps toward that final rest when we lay down and sleep to leave a life we can’t keep.   So, dance well, my friend. Take care of your partners. Be sure to watch out for their feelings and feet. Be sure to stay inside the rhythm of caring, of giving and sharing of catching a fall. Because these are the memories that stay with us all.

The end.