I STAND

Inspiring transformation will ignite discomforts.

With the praise will come the critique, especially from those who
will not offer a solution,
are engaged in the oldest of traditions, and
believe their rituals are the only way.

Reality is that outside of a small number of men,
we get no hatred,
no vitriol emails, and
few to no trolling comments online.

This discovery does not make me better than those few men who speak their disagreements.
This discovery simply opens the door to help me consider WHY and WHERE they come from,
… to consider how to engage that particular person;
… to do so without losing my own voice and being; and
… through authenticity that is filled with love, compassion, and respect for all.

Why do the “few” who speak out with disagreement matter to me?
Because I choose to believe they matter.
I ask people to treat each person as someone who deserves
the basic dignity and respect of a fellow human being.

“Each person” means those who agree and those who disagree with me.

Regardless of how you view me or my words, I stand for YOU.
Your words may stagger me.
I will stand for you.
I will work harder to find a way to engage you, to connect with you,
and to hear you.

While standing for you, I will stand for all, including myself.

Sometimes I will fail. I will catch myself reacting with
an energy that does not lead with love and compassion.
I will acknowledge that moment and commit to finding a better way
going forward.

For each day the journey to stand for dignity and respect starts anew.

Starting with patience, understanding, and passion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

i-stand-for

Your Online Voice

Do you ever find yourself holding back?

You see something on Facebook you want to share and think,
But if I do, Person A is going to be disappointed in me.

Voice

What do most of us do next? Is our choice impacted by who Person A is? A boss, a friend, a parent.

Is it possible your boss, family member, or close friend will be disappointed in your post?
Yes.

And so sometimes . . . I didn’t post the comment or image. Fear would hold me captive. I’d make up a story of disappointment that I didn’t even know was true – to stop me from sharing the post or making the comment.
I still posted a lot of comments, stories, videos, and/or images – just not the ones I thought could be “too” controversial – even when I may have believed in the message being shared. I feared judgement and/or disappointment.

Have you ever done this? You really liked a post and strongly believed in it. And you didn’t share it?

Then the irony struck me.

In my work with The DATE SAFE Project, I sometimes get brought in specifically to have conversations many people can be uncomfortable engaging in.
And I do not hold back.
Sometimes might an audience member disagree with me? Yes.
And while I engage that person with respect, I do not hold back.
Why?
Because I believe in what I am saying in that moment and in the value of the message we are discussing.

To be authentic means to be our truest voice in every aspect of our lives – to face any fears of judgement and choose to move forward being honest with ourselves. For me, the key has always been to do so with respect.

“With respect” does not mean I will say and/or share in a way that never bothers another person. While I do my best to be aware of the potential consequences of my words (to do no harm), I cannot know how everyone will interpret my words at all times.
For me, “with respect” means doing my best to lead conversations with love and compassion for all.

Whether it be on social media (Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, etc..) or in-person, may each of us speak openly and be true to what we know, feel, and believe in. May we always do our best to share our voice with respect – with love and compassion for all. And to do so freely.

Your voice matters. Honor it!

P.S. Are you thinking, “Mike, what about the people who engage me online and do not do so with respect, love or compassion for all?” Unfollow the person. You have the right to choose who’s newsfeed you look at. Surround yourself with the people you want to surround yourself with.

Share your voice and thoughts below in the COMMENTS section.

Why I Cry

I cry.
Why?
Beautiful eye with tear. Tattoo style illustration.Because . . .
I choose to feel deeply and fully.
I feel compassion.
I feel energy.
I feel pain.
I feel connection.
I feel hurt.
I feel inspiration.
I feel sadness.
I feel empathy.
I feel LOVE.
I feel joy.
I FEEL.
and oh how wonderful it is to feel.
. . . and some moments hurt.

 

To download this poem for yourself and/or to share, click here.

Brittany Gibbons Makes Me Laugh Out Loud (and think)!

Looking for an insightful and funny (laugh out loud) book filled with honesty? Get Brittany Gibbon’s book Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It today (click here to order).

BrittanyGibbonsFatgirlWalkingI found myself laughing out loud in airports, on the front porch of our house, on the top deck of a river cruise – pretty much everywhere I had Brittany’s book in my hands. Her writing is honest throughout. Through her descriptive writing, Brittany has a gift of bringing you inside her mind. Her wording is so detailed that you feel like you are back-in-time with her.

Inside of all that humor, Brittany shares poignant lessons exposing elements of our society that too often people shy away from discussing. As the subtitle of her book says, she addresses sex, food, love, and body image (plus parenting, marriage, and much more) – from childhood to adulthood. Brittany’s skillful words have a magical way of connecting to you, the reader and your life. I found myself thinking,  “I’ve thought that before.”

In the speaking industry, a concept that is often stressed is “authenticity.” Brittany’s writing is an ideal example of being authentic. Without having an intense social media strategy, she drew hundreds of thousands of readers to her blog. Why? Because people were looking for an authentic voice and she provided it (and continues to today).

You’ll find that same captivating voice in her book. Treat yourself to the hilarious and powerful Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It today (click here to order).

P.S. You can read her blog at www.BrittanyHerself.com

To Celebrate

celebrateAre you like me on your birthday? Do you ever wonder if you might be getting surprised? When I was 30 years old, Karen did just that. She surprised me with a huge party of family and friends. There was music, a DJ, lots of food, and being surrounded by loving family and friends. I remember thinking, “Wow! This is Awesome!

Yesterday, Karen and I discussed whether we should get friends together to go out and celebrate my birthday (we wouldn’t be able to celebrate tonight because of an event already scheduled). As the day moved on, we heard a group was getting together and going out. They are lots of fun to hang out with. Do we join them or do we do our own thing?

We decided to celebrate by the two of us going out to dinner and then to see standup comedy. Time together – to share, to laugh, to look into each other’s eyes at the dinner table and exchange no words – the moments where you don’t have to talk. You can just sit quietly looking into each other’s eyes and feeling the appreciation for mutual love, attraction, and gratitude. Those minutes or sometimes seconds of being in the moment.

Following dinner was a nice walk in the surrounding neighborhood and then the comedy show. Laughing is sooo much fun! Watching Karen laugh is the best. Her smile rocks.

Today includes going out for a fun meal with Karen and the two youngest boys to their favorite restaurant. Eating at their favorite restaurant always leads to smiles. The two older boys are away at college and so talking to them on the phone brings smiles. Smiles make for a wonderful birthday.

While incredibly grateful for the memories of my 30th Birthday party, the party is not what I remember most today. When technology did not make it easy to do so, Karen produced and gave me a 30th Birthday CD as my gift. The CD was filled with over 30 people throughout my life leaving messages for me. In those recordings were shared life memories, insights, friendship, and love. To this day, sometimes when I’m listening to music on my iPhone, one of the tracks from that CD begins playing. Soon, I find myself wanting to listen to more of the messages on the CD.

The party was never the celebration. No party is. The celebration was and continues to be the LOVE shared.

A birthday is a great time to reflect. On this day 45 years ago, my Mom endured through the pain of childbirth as only Moms can understand – to bring me into this world . . . to experience love each and every day and to live as fully as possible.

To each of you who have come into my life since that day in 1970, THANK YOU for being you and for the love you continue to share.

YOU are what I celebrate today.

Live Your Truth by Kamal Ravikant

Upon finishing reading Kamal Ravikant’s first book, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, I found myself being gravitated toward his style. I’ve always loved easy, quick reads that get you thinking. Maybe that is intellectual laziness on my part or a magnetism toward simplicity.

Kamal’s 2nd book is titled Live Your Truth, a theme I’ve believed in for a few decades. Once again, Kamal did not disappoint. He takes you on quick journeys with many chapters only being a page to three pages in length. Many people will read this book in under 2 hours.

For those of you noticing, I am referring to Kamal Ravikant by his first name. The choice is intentional. Thinking of an author by the author’s first name makes the person more real. I would hope the same for the readers of my books and blog – that they would say, “Mike’s book” instead of “Domitrz’s book” (which seems cold and distant).

Kamal does a great job of pointing out there is no one way to discover your truth – that journey is yours to figure out. A book that was wonderful at helping me discover my truth was Unique Ability: Creating the Life You Want by Catherine Nomura and Julia Waller (click here to learn more).

If you love to have simple concepts and thoughts that challenge you to look inward, Live Your Truth could be an ideal fit for you. Kamal is great at sharing from his heart, his soul, and his own personal experiences of discovery.

He writes with words and language that inspires me to want to spend a week at the Monastery outside Big Sur to write my next book.

LiveYourTruthKey discoveries and/or lessons from this book for me were:

  • Resist Nothing. Go with the Flow. If life is a river and you try to fight the current, life will be an ongoing struggle for you. If you learn to go with the flow and be present in the moment, you will move down the river and onto the next moment of life – never getting stuck trying to go backward.
  • EFFORT is what matters and reflects who I am – not outcomes and results. Lots of outside forces can impact outcomes and results. The one aspect you have the most say in is your effort. If you give fully of yourself, you will always be growing and learning through every outcome and/or result. Thus, you will be living life fully and growing. That fulfillment lasts longer and is much more consistent than the high from an outcome or result.
  • Go ALL IN and Share with the World. You’ve only got one life. Why keep everything to yourself?
  • Forgiveness first lies in forgiving yourself. The person you are angry with, disappointed in, or hurt by is human, “Fallible, full of mistakes, trying to make his way through the world like the rest of us, afraid. Human.” Just like ourselves.

I especially enjoyed when Kamal tells the story of a lesson comedian Louis CK learned from legendary comedian George Carlin. Of course I’ll leave that for you to read yourself.

Treat yourself to this wonderful book of self-discovery and sharing by Kamal Ravikant. If you’ve read the book, please let me know your thoughts of what you discovered.

If you are a member of KindleUnlimited through Amazon, you can download and read this book for FREE!! Click here to download the book from Amazon today.

KindleUnlimited is an amazing program offered by Amazon that provides you thousands of books to choose from each month $9.99 a month. You don’t pay anything for the individual titles you want to read – just the $9.99 a month.

“Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It” by Kamal Ravikant

After completing The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly yesterday (will be blogging about in the coming days), I went into my Kindle to start on my next reading journey. A title was in my Kindle that I didn’t recognize: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant.

I don’t remember downloading this book – ever. Neither does Karen. Hmmmm. The title sounds interesting. I ask myself, “Why don’t I open it, start reading, and see if it captures me? I have 20 minutes.”

Well that 20 minutes was all I needed to know I wanted to read this simple, quick, and powerful book. I would resume reading at the airport and finish the book on my 2nd flight (slept on the 1st flight). This is a book some people will easily finish in under 2 hours.

The author, Kamal Ravikant, shares lessons and insights that are succinct with the importance of loving yourself.

  1. Love Yourself
  2. Follow a few simple systems to following through with that commitment
  3. Ask yourself a couple questions that could more easily take you down the path you want to experience.

loveYourselfWhile I’ve always believed in loving yourself and the importance of doing so, Ravikant helped me realize a few ways I was failing to actually live with love for myself and provided me solutions for reprogramming my thoughts do live with love for myself.

During times others or yourself are bringing negativity and/or stress into your life, the book shares the importance of asking yourself the following question, “If I loved myself truly and deeply, would I let myself experience this?”

During moments of making choices, help yourself with the question, “If I loved myself truly and deeply, what would I do?”

I applied the question “If I loved myself truly and deeply, what would I do?” to redirecting my food choices at the airport to be congruent with my wellness outlook and goals.

One area of the book reminded of an important aspect the Landmark Forum reveals – that we are “Meaning-Making-Machines.” The phrase “Meaning-Making-Machines” explains how we, as human beings, make up meanings to everything. We are wired to do so. In doing so, many of us add a ton of unnecessary drama, excuses, and negative energy to our lives. Instead, be sure to realize “what actually happened” verses the meaning you attached to it.

An example a person could have is, “My friend wasn’t talking to me today. He must be mad at me.” What actually happened was “My friend was quiet” – nothing more. nothing less.

A key to being able to recognize the “Nothing more. Nothing Less” moments throughout each day is to believe in yourself. To be able to believe in yourself, you must first love yourself. That is not “like yourself” – that is “love yourself.”

The importance of doing so is shared in Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It. Treat yourself to the cool techniques for learning how to truly and deeply love yourself by purchasing and/or download this book today.

If you are a member of KindleUnlimited through Amazon, you can download and read this book for FREE!! Click here to download the book from Amazon today.

Remember at the beginning of this blog post when I shared that I didn’t remember downloading the book. When I realized it was part of KindleUnlimited, I remembered that I probably downloaded it along with several others in the free reading program – titles that caught my attention and I’m glad this one did.

**Why the image of the book cover is not included in this post:
Upon giving this book a “5 Star” review on Kindle, I noticed the cover of the book for the first time. With the issue of mental health, suicide, and gun violence at the forefront of conversations in our country, I made a choice to not include the image.

Honor – Instead of IMPROVE – Your Body

9ways-improveHave you ever noticed how much messaging we see about “Improving” our bodies – making them thinner, stronger, and/or more defined?

exercise-to-improve

The problem with focusing on “Improving” our bodies is that we are always looking at being something “better” than we are today. Doing so leaves our brains struggling to be happy with our current body. After all, it constantly needs “Improvement” according to such a focus.

At the same time, we see messaging about “LOVING” our bodies. Talk about mixed messaging, right? Ugh!

What is another option instead of focusing on “Improving” our bodies?

HONOR your body! When you look at your body, LOVE what you see RIGHT NOW.

Each day, eat, drink, and exercise to HONOR all you are meant to be right now.

WHY today matters most:

You can’t change the past. Its in your past where it is meant to be.

You can’t jump into your future and suddenly have new results today.

You can LOVE your body today and HONOR your body by treating it with RESPECT.

When you look in the mirror today, SMILE and honor all you are today.

Ways to Honor Your Body:

  1. Cardio Exercise
  2. Strength Training
  3. Yoga and/or Stretching
  4. Eating to Energize Your Body
  5. Meditation, Prayer, and/or Focus Time
  6. SLEEP
  7. Treasuring Your Body

How do you HONOR your body each day?