Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Most Important Thing In My World

By Jonah*

You call me J-Man, Jonah-Balona, Doghead and Bublet
Jonsey, Goof-ball, Silly Dog, Silly Boy and Puplet
No matter the name, it would be just the same
For in the end, all that matters … is that you came
I was in doggie prison for nine months before you came to call
Kiwi and Einstein didn’t exactly welcome me with open paws
But you rescued me, took me in, even though you had your own pains
And though you didn’t really like it, you would even walk me in the rain
Living the crate life wasn’t the great life, but we’d become “a dog and his girl”
You were, at last, the most important thing in my world

You’re like me: tall, with long legs, and a certain skip to your step
I’m so excited to spend time with you, I jump up towards your neck
You are my universe, I am your dog … your forever pup
You walk me every morning and night – always, no matter what
You feed me every day, and every two weeks I get a bath
It doesn't matter that I sit in the car ... I know you’re coming back 
We go everywhere: to Alabama, Northern Cal, or even just to the store
You take me on hikes with your friends – with legs both two and four
The beach, the water, Dogtopia, the big field with coyotes I can chase
And every morning and after work, I get to snuggle up to your face
In the bed we can cuddle, both of us in a ball we can curl
You have become the most important thing in my world

I know you get upset when I chase bunnies, or eat junk food off the ground
Or when I try to catch the squirrels that tend to run around
I just can't help myself … sorry … I do what I like to do
It has nothing to do with how much I admire and appreciate you
Always caring, you take me to the vet whenever I get sick
When I hurt my knee, you took me to rehab so my knee could get all fixed
When I almost passed, you did everything that anyone could do
Saying goodbye to Kiwi and Einstein – yeah, I miss them too

You love me, talk to me, cry with me, I'm always here for you
I especially like when you cook and let me sample the food
Let’s continue to be best friends – you, me and Marc
I’ll always greet you with wagging tail and an "I love you" bark
Thank you for being my Valentine, and for all those pet nicknames
For in the end … all that matters … is that you came
The story of you and me – a story of a dog and his girl
Yes indeed, you are the most important thing in my world
The most important thing in my world

* Written by Jonah for Wendy Prestera through an interview by Marc Prestera.  I just sculpted the words into a rhyme, not routinely heard by the canine ear. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Here’s to You, Dear Searcher

Inspired by the sacred space created during a "breathwork" session.

We come to this space of unconditional love
Seeking to find what is below and what is above
Opening our minds and opening our hearts
To return once again to that brand new start

It begins with surrender, and then a deep breath
A rebirth into bliss, to a life beyond death
Into the timeless, the spaceless, into the sweet will
Where thoughts cease fire, and deep waters run still

Here’s to you, dear searcher – you’ll find your way home
Where there is the one reality, where you’re never alone
We dive within ourselves, to discover that pure gold
The innocence that is our birthright, a love story to be told

So celebrate today and always, be here and now
Traveling as far as you wish, what your safety will allow
We acknowledge all you’ve done, and all there is to do
As you discover the meaning, and the truth of the real you

Here’s to you, dear searcher – planting seeds to be sown
Realizing your true nature, finding your own pathway home

For More on Breathwork - CLICK HERE

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

I Bear Witness

A friend mentioned how much she has seen in this lifetime, commenting with the phrase how she had to "bear witness."  I said, "Hey that sounds like the seed of a poem."

In my time, in this world
I have seen, I have heard
Wondrous highs, tumultuous lows
Unconditional love that only heaven knows
Then harsh and heinous, the gnashing hell
The broken dreams from a wishing well
The full spectrum rainbow, I would know all of this
In my life, I would bear witness

I bear witness
To the F grade red, tests full of error
To the towers collapse after explosions of terror
To bodies piled high in devastated lands
To drone strike murder, no blood on hidden hands
To a president’s assassination, the motorcade in Dallas
To the lion trophy catch – killing senseless and callous
To the social media frenzy, virtual arsenals of attack
To the driving accident, there writhed Lucy our dear cat

I bear witness
To past due envelopes arriving in the mail
To the aging mirror in distressing detail
To gray around temples and wrinkles around eyes
To false witness that maintains the facade and disguise
To the defeat of my football team, the sea of hands
To the collective sighs of all disheartened fans
To the hungry and cold who live outside on the street
To the children who are sold to the men they must meet
To the death of loved ones, full of grieving and crying
To the hospice where I left my mom; she was dying

Why do we do it? What can this be for?
What could exist on the other side of the door?
Who would be there, would they see all of this?
When all is said and done, I would bear witness

I bear witness
To the majestic wonder of nature’s sweet beauty
To the newborn of Monica, the cherub little cutie
To gorgeous artwork born from artisan hands
To the melody and harmony of great rock-n-roll bands
To the garden of flowers, the lavish of green
To the Stanley Cup raised by a king of a team
To the cards and prose from lover to lover
To the spiritual path we all can discover

I bear witness
To sunrises and sunsets, we’ll call it a day
To footprints on beach sand as we walk on our way
To birthday cake candles blown out with much joy
To the fun antics of the children, the girls and the boys
To the thrills of the roller coaster at the amusement park
To graduations and weddings – each one a new start
To the big winning flashing lights at a Vegas slot
To the perception of value over anything sold or bought

In my time, in this world
I have seen, I have heard
Wondrous highs, tumultuous lows
Unconditional love that only heaven knows
Truly, none of these I would ever want to miss
For in my life, I would bear witness
I would bear witness

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Your Sky

A yoga teacher recently made a remark about reaching upwards during the practice. She used the words "your sky." I thought that was quite poetic...

Not your childhood, not your choice
Not your beliefs, not your voice
Sent to school to learn as they believe
Following their directions as well as their needs
But it’s yours to take back … reclaim, recover
It’s your life to, once again, create and discover
As you lay down on grass, without a question why
You fall into the sublime and your very own sky

It’s your sky – you peer into a world of forever
It’s your sky – you float upwards upon a feather
Your sky – you’re the one who calls in rain and clouds
Your sky – you’re the one who tears it apart with doubts
Your sky – a blank canvas with infinity as a backdrop
Your sky – you alone can make the thunder and rain stop

No longer holding chains from the past, you can start anew
You can paint in all colors magenta, indigo, green and blue
You can take a stand for who you are beyond preconceived beliefs
You can recall your playful and joyful spirit that resides far underneath
This is your day, this is your time, this is the moment to fly
It’s your life, it’s your soul’s journey, it’s your sky

Your sky – no need to struggle or try
No longer the dread of barely getting by
Your sky – ascend into the realm near the rays of the sun
Your time, your life – forever in this moment begun
There is that which was never born and never will die
It’s found in your heart and soul; it’s found in your sky

Your sky

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Overcoming the Heady Stuff with Heart Stuff

My heart is not happy.

My head has taken over. And it just won't stop yacking.

Someone shut it up. It's got me going in 100 directions at once, none of which feel like the right direction.

You know that feeling of peace in your mind when you know you are on your path, doing what needs to be done, at the right pace and the right time ... all in Divine Order? Yeah, I don't got that.

Right now - the mind is splintered and having me attend to 10 different pathways of career - writing, healing work, video work, book sales, speaking, professional napper. None of these feel right as I step one step onto that path. Because of this indecision and lack of true inspiration, I find myself feeling as if I am spinning wheels even if I'm taking tons of action.

Have you been there? I don't think I've been here before, precisely in this sort of stress.

My mind is racing.

And my heart is not happy.

Head says:  bills are out of control, I'm out of control, there isn't enough time, I'm running out of time, I must hurry, I'm not good enough, someone is always better than me, I don't have what I need, I'm doomed.

Heart says: Look at the puppy, look at the garden, let's take a walk, let's have a laugh, let's call mom, let's call sister, all is well, I can relax now, all is taken care of, I am one with spirit, how could I ever take all of this so seriously?

So - given this battle of head over heart - what is one to do? Well, first off, I was guided to WRITE ABOUT IT. Get it down on paper. Express myself. Journal my experiences with this. So that led to this blog. (Hope it's helping someone else besides me.) Next comes running, exercising, moving this body of mind, so the pent-up energy can get some activity and hopefully process some of that angst through me. Finally comes meditation - where I sit still and simply watch the thoughts arise and fall, from the vantage point (one can hope) from a centered place that is the observer of my life.

Supposedly, there is this centered soul in there. An identity that is not moved by life's ups and downs. It simply observes, watches, and takes in any lessons that the silly human must endure. It holds the peace, joy and bliss that always exists behind the scenes.

And so I will do all this. Journal, blog, run, meditate and observe.

With prayer, it will help still this manic mind, soothe this savage soul, rest the weary traveler.

I want my heart back. I want the head to take a back seat and quiet its relentless ramblings. I want my heart back. I want to feel that love feeling flow from it as I bliss out knowing all is well, I am taken care of, and that I can lavish positive vibes and actions upon my loved ones. I want my heart back so I can feel my true worth and be my true self.

My head had taken over. Now it's time for my heart to speak. And to be happy again.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Why Do I Care If Others are Healthy?

The question came last Saturday morning at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach. It was at the annual HEAL Zone Resident and Youth Leaders event, which brought together community leaders from around Southern California to discuss strategies to get people to practice "healthy eating, active living."

Sounds pretty purposeful huh? Little did I know how purposeful. It took a specific question to get me there.

During part of the 
proceedings, there came the routine question about our personal reason for attending the conference. Hmmm. Why do I do so much work so that people are healthier in my community?

That made me think of how much time I spend as a volunteer to support other people. I mean on the surface, it didn't really make too much sense. Here I am, a person still looking for real-time work but giving my time and energy for the health of others.

The question made me think of some pretty quick surface answers: so my community is happier, so my community living a better life.

The question made me also think that there must be some deeper and primal reason that existed way below the surface. 

The question made me think, actually, about this one movie called "Hear My Song."

In this film, an English man travels to Ireland to locate a famous singer who had gone underground for tax purposes. The whole movie, the man was trying to find this singer so he could ask him to return to England again. During one intense climactic scene, the English man - who wasn't trusted by those who guarded the singer - was pushed towards a steep cliff and was held by his feet, dangling there head facing down. As he dangled there so close to death, the singer had a chance to finally ask his stalker: "why are you doing this?"

The answers came like the peeling of an onion, one layer at a time.

"I'm doing it for your singing career." (Bullshit.)

"I'm doing for the people!" (Bullshit.)

"I'm doing it for the woman I love. I'm doing it for Nancy." (Bingo)

In this surrender to the deeper truth, the man was brought up from his dangling predicament and thrown onto a nearby lawn, where he laid there in a blissed out state that can only come from the reflection of the deepest truth. 

 So my answers came without me having to be dangling high above the Cliffs of Moher:

"I'm doing it for the community member." (Bullshit.)

"I'm doing it for the health of the city."  (Bullshit.)

"I'm doing it for my mom." (Bingo)

For in the days when my mom was healthy, she would garden. She would love to spend time outside tending the soil, pulling the weeds, and planting some beautiful flowers. There was a time she was indeed quite athletic - playing baseball with the neighborhood kids, playing tennis with me, catching my sister's pitching. This was all before the arthritis. This was all before the brittleness. All before the fall.

Deep down, I never want anyone to be sick. It's too heartbreaking, even for an old kid like me. For the sake of my mother, in honor of her, and in the deep desire to support in others what my mother so desperately needed, I take a stand for everyone's health. It's something in which I can find purpose ... with all my heart.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

So Much That You Care – So Little That You Know

Just when you thought you were stuck. Just when you thought your inability to make a certain celebration or special event was the final say on the matter. Just when you thought there was nothing you could do.

Little do you know.

This is a story of getting out of your way so others in your life can really receive from you in a way you might not imagine possible.

Quick story: I have a pal who was invited to a recent birthday dinner gathering for my wife. Since this man works in a business that has unpredictable hours, all he could say about attending the dinner was his infamous, “I’ll do my best.”

Now, an entire article could be written about the phrase “I’ll do my best.” But we’ll just keep it at his best didn’t include showing up or even communicating after the celebration was over.

Later on, realizing that my wife does enjoy the positive attention surrounding her birthday, I let the man know that overlooking the birthday, simply throwing out a trite “I’ll do my best” and then forgoing any other communication did not offer the care I knew existed in that baby baboon heart of his. In the past, my pal had sent cool celebratory e-mails that my wife enjoyed. Knowing this, I invited him to, without obligation, do something like his fun e-mail messages if he still wanted to lighten another person’s day. In the end, he did send one of those goofy and fun birthday e-mail messages. And it did brighten the day of my wife.

Geewiz! If people only knew. If they only knew how easy it is to make another person smile. If they knew that they did not have to attend a specific event to still have presence and impact. Is it even possible to attend every event to which you are invited? No. But even so, we can all realize that showing up doesn’t have to fall on the precise date that may hold a conflict for us. There is always a way to show up, to be present, to send the care.

Wake up world. Wake up people. You may not be able to be in two places at the same time. But you can – with a bit of creativity, drive and awareness – have your love and care be in many. many places at once.