Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Loss of Innocence ... and the Pop-Tarts

We all have those moments. Those heartbreaking times when innocence is all but lost.
  • Those first moments when mom and dad somehow stopped being two perfect people. 
  • The times when the belief in Santa Claus became something for kids.    
  • The loss of that first family cat or dog.  
  • The curtain being moved aside to reveal the small man wizard, in so many different ways.
  • The heartbreak of the first girlfriend or boyfriend ... and their untimely farewell.
  • The first lawsuit when you knew you did nothing wrong. 
And for me ... the stolen Pop-Tarts.

Man, those Pop-Tarts. I know there were a bunch of kinds, such as blueberry and strawberry, but I loved the chocolate fudge Pop-Tarts. Remember those? I didn't even need them toasted, just thrown into my lunch bag so I could enjoy those treats at lunchtime. The way to eat them, for me, was to pick at the outer crust and then start in on the fudge interior. I didn't care about the 7 essential vitamins. I just wanted the chocolate, and the snack.

That's why the one day in second grade was so disheartening. I had brought my lunch bag to school as I had done for the entire year. Sandwich and chips in there, courtesy of mom. And the big treat was the Pop-Tart. And as always before class, in the early morning, all the kids put their lunch bags down at the side wall near the entrance to the classroom. I recall this one day, Rusty was asking me if I had brought a Pop-Tart or not. I didn't know why he was so interested in that.

After running around on the playground for a bit before class started, I went to my lunch bag. I picked it up. And it appeared lighter. I looked inside, and my chocolate Pop-Tart was gone. I was crushed. Who would take my Pop-Tart? How could this happen? I questioned Rusty in one of those weird ways where you try to have them admit to something but you don't know how. Looking back, why the hell is an 8-year-old having to do such maneuvering and positioning? How sad is that? 

Loss is sad.
Having something taken from you is heartbreaking.
Life can hurt.  
In the late 1970's Bruce Springsteen sung of broken dreams and the loss of innocence, as his unbridled joy of recording and performing was thwarted through a lawsuit brought by his previous manager Mike Appel. His song "The Promise" pointed to such brokenness.

The promise is broken, you go on living
It steals something from down in your soul
When the truth is spoken, it don't make no difference
Something in your heart goes cold

Now, no doubt, I make the story lighthearted with the tale of a Pop-Tart. But it doesn't matter when it happens. Or how it happens. Or even why. It just happens. Life comes along, with its deadbeat dudes and gals, who don't know any better. And they want to steal something from you. And whether it's a dream of Santa, a home, a job, a spouse or a simple childhood treat, the key to dealing with loss is to not let it steal your joy, your enthusiasm or your innocence.

For after all the curtains are pulled aside, to reveal every crazy and fake Wizard of Oz, we will stand in truth knowing we can never truly lose the love, the light and the innocence that is our birthright. And who knows? Maybe after that awakening, we can be treated to have returned to us those things that truly matter to us in the end.

Such as, yes you know it ...

James Anthony Ellis is a writer living in San Diego. He can be reached at www.LegacyProductions.org. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Emily and I Loving the Devil

Memories pop in at the most interesting times. And often they come in for a reason.

Today it's the memory of an 8-year-old niece Emily and her Uncle Jim, me, driving in my car somewhere, from here to there, and the short conversation that could be had between two relatives interested in reaching something meaningful. It was 1990.

Now some backstory...

My life SUCKS lately. It's 2017, and I have been through the ringer, full of anxiety in a life where people appear to enjoy the idea of leveraging some sort of advantage in order to feel better than and more powerful than others. The capitalistic dream right? Or is it a nightmare? In either case, I've been down when experiencing either side of the coin - believing I have power because I have the leverage over another or completely upset believing another has leverage over me.

What can I do to get free of this vicious cycle?

Perhaps it's that very question that led me to the memory of a story that took place some 27 years ago.

For there we were - me and Emily out on the road. Me making some lighthearted chat and her playing along. In those days, I was deeply engaged in the process of healing, actively removing inner blocks and unresolved emotions in order to find the light and the love within. So it wasn't too far of a stretch for me to play this game with Emily...
  • Jim: Hey - let's play a game and see how many people we can think of to love.
  • Emily: What do you mean? How would we play it?
  • Jim: Every person we see as we drive, we can say we love them, even if we don't know them.
  • Emily: What? 
  • Jim: Here, let's start. I see those two people walking. Love two! There are three people in that other car. Love three!
  • Emily: Oh. Another walker. Love one!!!
  • Jim:  Love four.
  • Emily:  Love three!
  • Jim: Love two!
  • Emily: Hey, I saw them first.

The game went on a bit, as we competed to see who could love more people and get to them before the other one. At some point, I said it was possible to love everyone in the world. This sort of confused the young one.

"What about the devil? Do you love the devil?"

Hmmm, that was a good question. What popped in my mind at the time came tumbling out. "Well, someone has to. He might need it more than anyone else."

Again confusion. But that was OK. It was just a game. Kinda like life is just a game. Can we come to realize that it is a game? Can we see that we have full power to send an unlimited amount of love, from a source that becomes more illumined the more we tap into it?

With such a belief, a standpoint that we can give without worry of return, there is no room for a passive bystander, no place for victim, no us and them, no leverage, no control - just our powerful choice to act upon a heart open and willing to love. Why not? What else can an innocent being do, one that lives beyond right and wrong, and one who mainly knows a divine instinct to give from the very essence of who they are?

Leverage over another? No thanks. That would be somewhat, shall we say, evil? Love the devil? Sure, it can only help. Rekindle the memory of a story of two relatives on a fun drive focusing on the love we can share with everyone?

In this day and age ... a must.

James Anthony Ellis is an award-winning writer living in San Diego. He can be loved - er reached - at www.LegacyProductions.org. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Quick - Love those you Love RIGHT NOW

Hey you.

Yeah you. I'm talking to you. Since, you know what? You ended up at this page. It's no freaking coincidence. This is not by happenstance. You were meant to read this. I was meant to write it.

Writing it in mere seconds. So you - yeah you - could read it.

And here is what you are supposed to do IMMEDIATELY. Well, immediately after you take the mere seconds in reading this piece.

You ... are ... to ... go love those you love... right now.

Yup. No delay. Think of them. Think of her. Think of him. Consider your mother, or father, or sister or brother ... or any other form of human being that resides within your lovely state of mind and sphere of influence.

After considering them, do one or more of the following:
  • Call them with a message of uplift and acknowledgment.
  • E-mail them with some sentiments of gratitude.
  • Text a comment of love and light, using the words you both share in mutual understanding. 
  • Facebook a private (or public if that works) post that glimmers in the care and love you feel deeply within your heart.
  • Bounce a basketball outside their home until they get the message that you want them to come outside and shoot a few hoops.
  • Something completely customized according to your own creativity ... and heart.
This is all about your heart and that which resides within.

Doesn't matter the number of people you cherish; make it one for now. Allow that heart of yours in this moment to be free and shine upon those you love. It doesn't have to look a certain way. However, the mere act of sharing your heart with another will do the trick of OPENING THAT heart. And that will not only serve those showered with the love, but also serve you as well.

No secret. Nothing new here. Except for this part: that you take action - real action, simple action, with the idea that pops into your mind. And that you take such action RIGHT NOW. Immediately. Stop thinking, stop reading.

Act now. Love now. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Dodo, Love and the Cabbage Patch Doll

Back in 1984, my then 2-year-old niece Emily was very excited about Christmas, as most 2-year-olds are. Staying at her grandma's house with much of the family, she made sure to try and stay awake as long as possible. She also got up perhaps before everyone else, barely allowing Santa enough time to scoot out of the living room. As soon as she entered the room, you could hear her announce with a loud voice, "He came!" Under the tree were an array of gifts for the young one. Her eyes lit up as she opened them all.

Now, whereas all the gifts were important to her at this time, there are two specific gifts I bring to your attention here today. And for a wonderful reason.
  • A Cabbage Patch Doll - This was the popular doll of this time, part of the Cabbage Patch Kids collection, involving the folklore of the creator named Xavier Roberts, whoever the heck he was. The gift of this doll came, I believe, directly from Santa.
  • A Special Doll - This one, fashioned after the popular doll of the day, was actually made from scratch by Emily's mom, my sister Mary Lynn. She spent days on this doll, doing her best to make it similar to one of the Cabbage Patch forms. She did her best since, if I'm not mistaken, the actual dolls were quite expensive, out of the price range of Mary Lynn this holiday season.
The Famous Dodo

So this Christmas morning in 1984, Emily was to first open the special doll that Mary Lynn made. She embraced it, enjoyed it, celebrated it. Well, up until she opened the next gift ... the actual highly-priced, professionally produced Cabbage Patch Doll. All of the sudden this newer doll - which had its own distinguished name - took its rightful place in the arms of the child. And what happened to that other special doll? Well sure, it found its way face down on the ground. When Mary Lynn, probably a bit distraught over her overlooked gift, asked about the first doll, Emily announced in a very clear tone, "That one is Dodo."

Though Mary Lynn has quite a good sense of humor and could find the levity of a 4-year-old naming her gift after an 18th Century extinct bird, it had to hurt just a little bit.

Over the years, we have all had smiles about the story. Over the years, the story has been kept alive. And over the years, the perspective on the story has shifted, from one of humor and silliness to one of warmth and beauty. For me anyway.

Emily with her own kids.
And the reason is because of a conversation I had with Emily about a year ago. Somehow, the conversation turned to the days of the 1980s, living in Huntington Beach and of course ... Dodo. "I still have Dodo! I have saved it," she said. Oh really? And what of the other high-priced Cabbage Patch Doll that Santa brought? Not sure where that one ever went off to.

It's a beautiful world, isn't it? It's the ultimate choice of a child, the choice of the wise, the choice of the heart. Not for the store-bought product that shimmers and shines in the fashion and fad of public opinion, but rather for the home-made gift created by the hands of a loving mother.

It is a beautiful world, one that knows of love over gold, quality over quantity, heart over head, and nothing - no nothing - over "Dodo," a wonderful and delightful doll who will live on as long as there are gifts given directly from love.    

James Anthony Ellis is a writer and producer who has saved his own Dodo's over the years. He can be reached at www.LegacyProductions.org.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Who Will Win The Battle Over Your Mind?

So many ways the media points you in a direction away from what is true and what is sane. This prose endeavors to return to you what belongs to you.


There is a battle you may not see
A battle for silent slavery
One opened and one closed door
The great Armageddon tug of war
The pull of hatred, the pull of love
To determine finally, what you’re made of

They want you; they need you
To question everything that you do
To turn from inner guidance proof
To buy the vile and distorted truth
To side with dark shadows of fright and fear
Hoping your hope will disappear
Cut into brown, red, white and black
Painting a future, preparing for attack
There is a battle you may not see
Cashing in on your slavery

Media mayhem makes you nuts
Mental bruises, bleeding and cuts
Lost are the sacred and the sanctity
You scream in your search for sanity
News forecasts are drizzly and dreary
You collapse in a crush, down and weary
There is a battle for your mind
They need you deaf, dumb and blind

But even in darkest night of the soul
There is something they can’t control
You have your choice; you have your will
That lingering voice … small and still
It never left; it was there at the start
The very first breath, the first beat of your heart
When children ran on simple playground
The smiles and giggles on merry go round
Before grades, punishment and lessons in hate
Before we found reason to hesitate
Learned over time, the dissonant note
Off rhythm and rhyme, a hole in this boat
Though deep inside we know what is real
It goes against what they’ve taught us to feel

So we do away with “they” – we take us back
And return the limited view of lack
For, there is no red, white, blue or black
We end the tug of war and endless attack
We’re left with a lingering ally and friend
One who never has to retreat or defend
It’s all right here, in me and you
We need not question what we do
We need not wonder who we are
The inner message now not too far
We can curtail this mind control today
The media blasts no longer hold sway
We can escape the invisible slavery
In bypassing the battle we can now finally see…

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Freedom - You Don't Know What You Got Until You Lose It

So what are we talking about here when we look towards our "freedom?"

For five years, my wife an I have spoken with various guests on our radio show "Freedom For All" (blogtalkradio.com/freedomforall) with each guest giving us his or her viewpoint on this multidimensional topic. Healers, political pundits, meditaters, social activists, authors, actors and even one free-spirited kid - they all had their various takes on "freedom."

What I am left with after all these encounters with the topic is that freedom doesn't really have a true definition. Without an opposing force upon this reality, there is no such thing as freedom. You must have oppression, slavery, force, attack, sickness before you come close to knowing the definition of freedom.

You don't know you are free until something comes along to take that way-of-being from you. Freedom is our natural state, and it's merely the limitation, stifling, censoring or enslaving that reveals what we have always held deep in our soul.

Freedom goes beyond our having a "choice" on matters. It's an identity that goes unnoticed until something unnatural comes along to compromise us.

For a nation that espoused freedom as a foundation, the declaration included the line about mankind being "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." These rights and freedoms are not granted by men or kings or cops or any society laws. The overriding principle for humanity? Basic human rights that have existed as time began in the realm of what has been termed "natural law."

We are born free. And it's all we'll ever have. We have freedom within each one of us. We don't need to establish it. It is already there ... as an identity. We must merely watch for those elements in society - control, abuse, manipulation - that would attempt to suppress that which already exists.

May we be aware enough to recognize those alien forces, strong enough to turn from them, and wise enough to realize our true nature ... that can never truly be destroyed.

James Anthony Ellis is a writer and producer living in San Diego, pulling for the freedom for us all. He can be reached at www.LegacyProductions.org.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

162 - I Thought I Could Do It!

Hennessy catching some zzz's with a plump Ellis.

Yup, 162.  That's what I said.

Who knew it could happen? I guess I could. For it was a very strong intention. And it happened.

At one point in my life, I was pretty darn fat. Not fat fat, like out of control fat. But the sort of fat that comes from being married to a a very awesome Italian who loves to cook.

Now I'm not blaming my wife for my outrageous form. It was my idea to ask about "seconds" and then make sure there were NO freaking leftovers in the home. I loved the cooking, and I wanted to partake in this awesome food. I wasn't exactly svelte before getting together, but I sure let myself go after we met and married.

All on me.

And yes, I mean ALL ON ME. At 5'7" I was weighing close to 190 pounds. That creates a situation where pants don't fit, a belly is ballooning and the naps on the carpet with my dog come fast and hard. Also, as shown in the above picture, the midsection wouldn't even deflate! You know that phenomenon when your stomach appears smaller when you lay on your back, how all the guts fall towards the ground? Well, it wasn't happening in my condition. My packed gut would only allow for the appearance of Mount Ellis.

But then came 162. It wasn't just a number. It wasn't even just an intention. It was a thought-form that grew more and more powerful as time went on. You see, I put it in my mind that the goal of weighing 162 would be a cool goal. I told my wife about it, and best of all I challenged my dad to a race to that number.


My dad, who also was packing on some poundage, had playfully joined me on the race to 162. Every time I mentioned my weight, I would bring up the number 162.

Here is where the magic happens, if you are open to it. When you continually place a number in your head and hold some emotion and drive around it, then that reality has more and more of a chance at becoming real.

And over time, it did become real. I did change. It wasn't through dieting or focusing on the scale. It was simply through the constant energy of "162." Though life experiences came along to help me towards that goal - some dental work, curtailing the gluten intake (which helped create those impromptu naps with Hennessy) - the real life-changer was the intention and the holding of 162 in my head.

Whereas before I would look down at the scale and see it hovering just over 180, now I look down at the scale and often see 162. I am hovering over 162. Yup, 162!

So glad to be skinnier. So glad to be lighter. So glad to still be able to partake in some great Italian cooking. And so glad that a Universal Law can be in place where our own intent, focus and attention can create what we really want in life.

James Anthony Ellis is a writer and producer living in San Diego. He and Hennessy can be reached at www.LegacyProductions.org.