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Midnight mass and me

So I am not church goer, although, there is one church in San Francisco, Glide, that will always have my heart.  The spirit works in amazing ways in that church and if you haven't been, please go.  I digress as I always do. So last night, I was invited to midnight mass by a friend.  My head was telling me to say no or not even show up, but my heart said "go".

I listened to my heart as I always do.  The church was very beautiful and very packed.  The catholics take their mass seriously :-) .  The service was what I remember Catholic mass to be, ritualistic and sometimes mundane.   I stood up, I sat down, I sang, I stood up again, I kneeled and I finally prayed.    I didn't pray with my eyes closed but rather a short prayer of "Whats my work here?"  As you know sometimes the answer comes quickly and other times we have to wait.

My first observation/answer came quick.  It was basically that all the people there were gathering in a house of love and compassion.  …

Holidays, feelings and forget it

Okay so this blog is going to be short and sweet.  I was reading back on some of my blogs and wow, some of them are mini books

Holidays

Here's the 911, the skinny the deets.  I'm not a fan.  I have shared this several years back and want to revisit it.  To me the holidays are about spending it with the ones you love.  As I have gotten older I realize that family may be a missed idea on me.  I didn't procreate and therefore the family I have is aunts and uncles and aging grandparents.  I would love to spend a Christmas with my family, but that may not happen in my life.  Any takers on wanting a family.  My swimmers are healthy :-)

Feelings

I have realized that feelings suck sometimes and the only way to combat them is to get out there and do shit.  I do this in the form of doing for others.  I am a giver.  When i stop giving, i start to ask, "whats in it for me?"  WRONG.  When you do stuff for others, don't look for a return on your investment.  Just do it.  I hav…

The Book of Awakening

There is a book that I was given by my friend called The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo.  My first girlfriend in the 7th grade actually got if for me in 2009 when I was going through a rough patch. and when I was upside down in my thoughts.  The writing on the inside always provides inspiration.

To Chad,

My dear friend and my spiritual soul mate.  You have been the Yin to my Yang and kept me going when I couldn't take another step.  May this book guide you as you have guided me.  

With love and Respect,

Shannon 2009

So tonight I picked up the book and opened to todays chapter and todays title is: Healing Ourselves

"In this world, hate never yet dispelled hate.  Only love dispels hate, This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible~Buddha

One of the most difficult things about healing from being hurt by others is how to put wounds to rest when those who have hurt us will not give air to the wound, will not admit to their part in causing the pain.  I have struggled with this deeply.  Ti…

Numb

First and foremost, this blog goes out to a good friend Val, who reads my blog religiously.  She texted me yesterday and said she was waiting for the next edition and here it is.

"So its 4:34 in the morning , the conversation got boring..."  (If you don't know, its a song by lily allen, here is the video and I know I am random and can't focus.  its not the tpain version!)

and I decided to revisit an old friend, "Numb".  This movie resonates so loudly with me.  I am going to say that this is not a dark blog, just an observation.  I can't sleep and when i can't sleep I write.  Its my creative genius coming out.  Some people shop, some people drive, some people do what they do and for me I just write.  I am driven by the heart and this can be a problem because the heart wants what the heart wants.  There is no perfect out there, there are degrees of acceptable.  If everything were perfect, we would all be walking around on cloud nine and that shit isn…

Gratitude

Giving thanks is so imperative to who we are as humans.  Love is one of the best ways to be able to give gratitude.  Dr Sue Johnson, in her book, "Hold me tight" states:
We know know that love is, in actuality, the pinnacle of evolution, the most compelling survival mechanism of the human species.  Not because it induces us to mate and reproduce.  We do manage to mate without love! But because love drives us to bond emotionally  with a precious few others who offer us safe haven from the storms of life.  Love is our bulwark, designed to proved emotional protection so we can cope with the ups and downs of experience.
This drive to emotionally attach, to find someone who we can turn and say, "Hold me tight", is wired into our genes and our bodies.  Its as basic to life, health and happiness as the drivers for food, shelter or sex.  We need emotional attachments with few irreplaceable others to be physically and mentally healthy---to survive" 
If you know this love,…

you just can't...

Make someone love you.  No matter how hard you think it, will it or ask the universe for it...It ain't happening.  Relationships run their course, one person may hang on while the other may flee.  Communication is a key component and you have to make sure your communicating at the same level.  My professor, Robert Donofrio, once sat in our "Drugs in the Human Body" class and asked us, "Do you hear me?"

Many of the students said "yes, loud and clear" and then he repeated the question, "Do you hear me?"  You see he wasn't looking for a correct answer, for I believe he was looking for individual responses.  You see the ear is complex and because of this each person hears something differently.  It could be the tone that makes each of us hear something different and how it gets processed.  Its one of the very unique characteristics of humans.  Animals of course use sound for a multitude of reasons that I don't want to get into, but much o…

The nights are the hardest

I miss lying next to her.  I miss her in her spot on my shoulder.  I miss honeybunny, big kitty and baby kitty coming up as soon as we snuggled in and making their spots on the bed.  My sleeping patterns have changed alot in the past week.  Im lucky if I get 4-5 hours of solid sleep in a night.

Everyone says it gets easier, and if i had a dollar for every time I have heard it, I would be a wealthy man.  It doesn't make it easier.  I guess going through it makes it easier, or not.   Its hard because I opened myself up totally to her.  I allowed myself to trust and trust the process and that is why I hurt so deeply at night.  I allowed myself to be open to all that it would entail.  Good or bad, i tried to put it all out there.  I guess that is another reason it hurts so much.  I trusted her in my entirety.  I trusted that in good or bad she would be there.  Maybe I was naive, but that is what love is, being naive and open.

For all its flaws and all its greatness, I miss her.  I miss …

5 days in the same shirt. A bout with Mental Illness

Im going to try as best as I can to describe the details of the last 5 days.  I am not proud of it, but I think everyone needs to hear this.  Its not pretty and its not beautiful.  Its very dark and those of you that know me may wonder how this could have ever happened.  It started thursday night and finished today at 11:30.

I had one of the worst days of my life on Thursday that I have ever experienced in a long time.  For some reason my mind got away from me and I started spiraling out of control.  My thoughts were dark and I was lonely and I was missing my mom and dad and basically going to the worst case scenario of my life.

Longer story shorter, I checked into a hotel on Thursday night with my dark thoughts.  I decided to check in there because I wasn't sure if I would be able to spend the night with the love of my life because she was going to be at her parents that night.  I was feeling distant from her and felt very alone for some reason.  I began writing and as many of yo…

Apple vs. Google, Google vs. Apple why all the fighting

So today in the Wall Street Journal, the article is  blazing about Tim Cook, CEO of apple's apology to all iOS 6, and iphone 5 users about the "not so great" mapping application.  They are now offering solutions such as other mapping applications and Google even told iphone users that they can still use maps on the iphone through the browser. Mr. Cook also suggested other mapping apps such as bing, mapquest and Waze to name a few.

This war will continue to wage over the years and consumers will have to listen to the rebuttal and allegations from both sides, much like our current election year.  This is a topic that has been overplayed and makes headlines daily.  Good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, and left vs. right.  Its about creating partisanship or loyalty to one brand or the other.  My thoughts are, lets find a compromise.

There is no doubt in my mind or anyone else's that google and apple both make fantastic products.  Experts on both sides would agree.  I have used …

its crazy how it happens

Many of you know me and know my rantings about falling in love and how I have tried it, been hurt, let down and completely discouraged.  I figured it was better to just be single than try to figure it all out.  I was tired of dealing the the headache and the drama that comes sometimes from relationships and not necessarily the relationship, but the incompatibility of two people.

I decided to go on match.com and give it a try again.  I got plenty of responses, but not alot that I was interested in.  I tend to know what I am looking for when I see it.   Call me a visual person, but I find there is an attraction that only the eyes can give off.  I look for a very specific look from the eyes and it can't be described, it is just something that you know and feel when you see it.

After a few weeks of being on the site I was ready to throw in the towel (and after investing in a 6 month membership).  I got a response from a girl who I found to be incredibly cute.  I had a hard time believ…

Asking for Help...

"Perhaps the shortest and most powerful prayer in the human language is help - Father Thomas Keating

So often in our lives, we need it but don't ask for it.  We wait for the outside world to notice the manifestation of stress and worry before we reveal that we are in need.  Sometimes its not even about asking for help, but rather admitting that we have needs and that.
When we ask for help, we break down the wall that often exists between "us and them" or between "me and the world".  Often times, just asking for help, relieves us from the need and lifts the burden from our heart.  By admitting we are human in our walk, we free our spirit just by making the request.
I learned a long time ago about the power of asking.  Whenever, I was in financial trouble, I would never ask for help because I felt it would be a sign of weakness.  So often in my walk, my father, without even asking would send me a card, a word of encouragement or often times money, without m…

Breathe

To see takes time-Georgia O'Keefe
So often we sit back, stuck in our emotions and the mire of the day that we forget, our soul purpose is to just be.  We sit around waiting for our lives to happen to us when in reality, it is happening every second.  You can no more control your life than you can control a sunrise.  You can make a plan for what you would like to have happen and work everything in accordance with that plan, but sometimes, the universe has other procedures for us in mind.

I am very guilty of this lately, I keep looking around for life to happen to me and in reality, it is happening.  Driving up to Oregon and seeing the amazing sunsets and the super tall trees and then the fog around the bend, you begin to realize that life is more than always about you. Social media can take us away from this view because we get so wrapped up in what everyone else is doing and if they "seem" to be having more fun than us, well then our life surely is boring, mundane and m…

The dark knight rises and me

So I have to say, I saw the Dark Knight rises the other day and I must say I was thoroughly impressed. Christopher Nolan, once again, proved his ability with this one. It dragged at some points but not enough to lose my attention. It had great character development and Bane...well he is amazing. Best villan ever and Nolan even did a twist which i never saw coming.

As I watched this movie I began to see myself in the role of Batman. It starts off 8 years since Batman's last appearance. He is aged and weathered (as I am). Bruce Wayne has been quiet and in the shadows for 8 years because its a peace time. In one of the intro scenes, Bruce meets the infamous catwoman, played by none other than (drool) Anne Hathaway, and instantly you sense and feel the chemistry.

Alfred, played by Michael Cane, gives several riveting speeches in the movie and one of them struck me to the core. It was, and forgive me about butchering this, but a heartfelt speech about how (alfred) wished that Bruce wo…

Reflection

So I'm about to turn 41 and its time for reflection again. What have I learned?  The same lessons I always learn. Most people learn their lesson and move on. My life seems to be a groundhog day of life lessons.

I decided to let loose in Vegas and that turned out to be a dumb idea. Me and alcohol are at constant odds about what's better, an alcohol free life or the possibility that in drinking I will relive some great moment of my 20's, well I have proved to myself and everyone close that I need to walk the clean line.

I'm cloudy now and probably will be for several days here after. Its never the hangover I dreaded, it was always the immense fog that rolled in like a blanket days after. It seems surreal. I have a hard time figuring out whose life I'm walking around in. I have a hard time figuring out what's real and what's in my head. Just another reminder that I need to maybe grow up. Not a conversation that most 40 year olds have with themselves.

My list o…

Day 2 of no caffeine an day 3 of no alcohol....

Who ever came up with the stupid idea of moderation in all things apparently never drank coffee and never imbibed.  Both of these things I enjoyed in excess.  I decided to since I have been traveling so much, that I need to make sacrifices for my health (like attempting to workout again, possibly getting on my bike before the next century).  Two of the sacrifices came down to no alcohol and no caffeine.

I must admit, the alcohol isn't hard.  I gave it up for 2 years after my DUI, but the caffeine thing is a beast.  Yesterday was the worst.  My head felt like Godzilla was stepping on it for most of the day.  I slept alot in order to avoid the headaches and cravings.  I felt like a  mini heroin user with mild sweats, headaches and the insane desire to punch most people, family excluded, in the face.

I have done the no alcohol thing before,but the caffeine is such a part of my day.  I know switch to decaf...I may have to.  There are a thousand studies that say caffeine is good for you …

Understanding loss

So this week was a big week of loss.  For those of you that don't know, we lost Junior Seau to suicide and Adam Rauch aka #MCA #BeastieBoys to cancer.  I have been feeling pretty bummed out for the past day because of the news.  Junior was a legend in the sports community and from the people I talked to, an upstanding guy.  Adam Rauch, from the Beastie Boys, well, his connection is deeper to me because I remember first hearing the Beastie Boys on the scene back in 87/88.

The thought of losing such great people saddens me.  It makes me realize my own mortality will one day be at hand. The main thing from losing both these guys though, is learning the value of time.  You see none of us know when we are going to die.  If we did, we woud be less apt to live.  As I was driving back to the hotel tonight I realized one thing, its our perception of time that matters.

We know we aren't going to be here forever.  We have to remember people that have affected us in a good way and from ther…

Perfection

Perfection seems to be a term that so many people are striving for today.  I hear all the time, Im not there, but I am close or Im getting there.  Perfection is a far off goal that so many reach for as if it is some destination.  You have to have a perfect painting or the house has to be perfect or he or she has to be perfect.  It looks and feels as if we beat ourselves up over stuff like perfection.

My most recent experience with this was putting my aunts floor in her office.  It was relatively simple and making sure you get your first cuts straight are very important, which i did.  There were a few, three to be exact, cuts that were not 100% perfect.  I was beating myself up about this and would cut another board and put it in its place only to find that cut was a little off as well.  The seams wouldn't line up exactly.  The more I worked it the more frustrated I got.  I finally got a cut that was good enough for my taste and said, "good enough"

When I awoke this morning…

Alone

By definition it means:

Adjective:


Having no one else present; on one's own.
Without others' help or participation; single-handed. Synonyms:
lone - single - lonely - lonesome - sole - solitary
Often times, like today, I feel alone.  Thoughts of my mother and father crowd my already racing mind of thoughts and I begin feeling overwhelmed.  I start to have the thoughts that I need to be somewhere else, doing something "better" with my life.  I begin to feel that I am not doing "what" I am supposed to be doing.  It could be a combination of the weather, time of year, lack of consistent exercise and too much alcohol in the system.
In truth, nothing is different from yesterday.  I am still healthy, still breathing and still here, a feat that I don't take lightly or for granted.  I had a conversation with a friend yesterday about "why bad things happen to good people".  I feel in truth, that life is just life, without a guarantee of goodness or badne…

401K you say?

The other day I had a great conversation with a co-worker about the above mentioned topic. She asked what my 401K looked like and if there were any stocks that I thought were appealing, I laughed.  She asked what I thought was so funny and I enlightened her on the fact that I don't have a 401K and I don't invest.  I don't even have a savings account (well not true, I had to open one with my business account, however the balance is the bare minimum).

She looked at me aghast and asked how could I not have one.  She also expressed concerns about my financial future. I assured her that I am okay.  I am not okay in the traditional sense of putting money away, but I am okay.  As many of you know, I am a very in the moment kind of person.  I don't invest and haven't really because I don't have regard for the future.  All I really have in this life is right now.  If I had a dollar for every time someone said, "but you should be putting away for the what-ifs", …

Human decency and all its rights

I had the opportunity to work in Miami this week for a conference that racked every single one of my nerves.  I was seriously pulled in any and every direction possible.  I don't normally rant about anything, but this one was a bear.  Human decency was definitely missing on this one.  I worked very hard and super long hours, down at 6 am done at 11:30 ish.  It was hell on my nerves to say the least.

Fast forward to the last day, I had been managing all the breakout meeting space and trying to keep a handle on the internet.  We had a few glitches here and there.  No program goes 100%. There are always hiccups and things you cant forsee such as weather, or traffic or other people.  We, as event staff, try to minimize the down time.  One of my first bosses told me, "A company doesn't pay you for what goes right, they pay you to manage the problems"  I really feel that is what we do.  We manage problems at their worst and do the best we can with them while appeasing the c…

Inspiring the Uninspired

We are not all superhuman.  I have my weaknesses too.  Today is a perfect example of that.  I had great intentions to go run and got sucked into a netflix movie called "The Revenge of the Electric car" (side note: it is an excellent movie and I highly recommend.)  This happens to me a lot.  I used to be an avid cyclist.  I loved my bike and I always felt like we were one.  I could hop on it and together we could explore old places or new.  We had a great relationship and never seemed to fight.  I would take care my bike by cleaning it and making adjustments after each ride, My bike in return would never let me down when shifting up a treacherous hill or giving me ample enough speed as I applied pressure to the pedals in a blazing fast downhill.  We would take long journeys together or just go out to see how fast we could do a particular ride.  We had an understanding and a kinship if you will.

[caption id="attachment_1770" align="aligncenter" width="3…

Movie: The Vicious Kind

Synopsis:  An older brother tries to warn a younger brother about the perils of falling in love with a girl.  In the process of warning his younger brother, Caleb, played by Adam Scott, becomes increasingly obsessed with his younger brothers new girlfriend.

Opening line by Caleb Sinclaire (played by Adam Scott):
"You know they're all whores, right? All of 'em. I'm not just talking about the little skanks that hang out around your dorm, or frat, or whatever. But actually every woman you've ever known, and every woman you'll ever meet - Mom, Grandma, Aunt Ellen. The fact that they're related to us doesn't make any difference. Cause at the end of the day, given the right set of events, they *will* fuck you over. For the sole reason that they have a vagina, and they can."
I wasn't sure if the movie would draw me in, or if I would spit it out, but as I got to watching, I found myself compelled to watch.  Its a simple premise of an estranged father t…

Grateful, not deserving.

So I recently (like today on the plane), finished reading, "All In" by Jerry Yang.  I have included the links to Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  If you haven't read this book, please take my word and have a read for yourself.  I became hooked after 5 minutes.  It is a fantastic book about losing everything and gaining it all.  It won't leave you uninspired.

[caption id="attachment_1754" align="aligncenter" width="440" caption="Jerry's Book"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1755" align="aligncenter" width="560" caption="Jerry Yang at Pocket 8's"][/caption]

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-in-jerry-yang/1100036593?ean=9781605421889&itm=2&usri=jerry+yang

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/All-Refugee-Camp-Poker-Champ/dp/160542188X/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1328844253&sr=8-7

Synopsis: Jerry Yang grew up in Laos and at a young age was forced to leave the only …

A simple man

Call me simple, call me ridiculous, call me under zealous, or call me delusional, but I am a big fan of simple.  I love things that are technical like phones and gadgets and computers, but when it comes to messages, I like simple, in your face, "I get it" kind of messages.  I understand that interpretation is is a big aspect of that ideal.  What is straight forward to me, may be incredibly dense to others, and sometimes that role is reversed in my own life, what is contritely simple to others, is ridiculously outrageous to me.

I am specifically talking about Bill Watterson.  I have always been a fan of his famous and poignant comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes.  Sometimes the message is serious, other times humorous and playful and then there are days when it is both.  I have attached today's edition that i get in my email daily.  I found this so funny as I was eating  sushi tonight that I couldn't help but laugh out-loud, much to the amusement of the couple sitting nex…

My moms memorial

This was my speech (memories) at my moms memorial.  1/21/12

I will try and get the audio up soon.


This is a favorite of mine.  I just recently rediscovered it:
HOPI PRAYER of The Soul's Graduation:
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there,
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight
On the ripened grain.
I am the gentle Autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.
I did not die.
My Spirit is still alive…

Nobody likes losing a family member, or anyone for that matter. The loss of a Mothers is  particularly hard because of the bond we develop with them.  It is said that the bond between a mother and child is stronger than any chemical bond in the universe.  I agree.

My mother was a wonderful and beautiful lady even until the day she drew her last breath.  She always had a smi…