JEEP LIFE AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS
I have seen a lot in the past 25 years or so. I've watched people rise up and collectively accomplish things that seemed to be impossible and I've witnessed the worst of the the worst sink to the lowest levels of humanity to engage in behaviors that are incomprehensible. From the best of the best to the worst of the worst I am always amazed at the complicated world mankind has created for ourselves. Our politics are corrupt propaganda driven agendas from all sides, our lines between right and wrong are becoming thinner than ever, and for reasons I cannot wrap my head around, the smarter and more advanced we become seems to push us further and further towards greed, selfishness and evil. WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON HERE?
Life doesn't have to be so complicated though. We don't have to fight, we don't have to hate and we most certainly don't have to be manipulated by groups like the "free press", corporate America and our wonderful leaders that line their pockets on the backs of the folks that they are suppose to be looking out for.
When was the last time you were shocked after hearing a story of a lion attacking someone in the jungle or a shark taking a juicy bite out of a swimmer off the California coast line? Most likely, you probably thought how tragic that scenario was right before you told yourself...what the heck were those people thinking?? Yeah...exactly...you're right! A lion is a lion and a shark is a shark. The are only doing what they do. It's up to us to safeguard ourselves from that kind of thing, right?
So why are we so shocked when a "friend" says something bad about us behind our backs? Why are we baffled when we see corruption in politics, sexual harassment in an industry that glorifies sex and violence and greed in a world that only exists to make money?? It doesn't make sense. We know what we are capable of thinking, saying and doing, that means we know what someone else is capable of thinking, saying and doing. Remember, it's up to us to safeguard ourselves from that kind of thing, right?
As much as the world around us says we are not...WE ARE responsible for ourselves. We are responsible for our own actions, we are responsible our lifestyles, we are responsible for what we bring into our relationships, all of it. We are responsible for all of it and believe it or not...that's good news!
Look, life without us overcomplicating everything is actually pretty easy to get. If we go through life loving God, loving each other and modeling things like selflessness, forgiveness and generosity in our own behaviors, this world would be fantastic!
You know why I love nature and being in nature so much? It separates me from the "civilized" world created by us and I get back to basics. I get to experience first hand how real these cool little catch phrases like less is more, silence speaks louder than noice and simplicity brings fulfillment really are.
You want to be happy? Try this...be kind, work for what you get, appreciate the people in your life, understand that a lion will always do what a lion does and above all....keep things simple!
A couple days ago, around 9:00 am I was walking into the grocery store to grab a few bucks from the ATM there. As I was heading in a man pasted by me on his way out. I'd say he was about 5'9, 5'10 ish, still in a work uniform of some type and looked somewhere in his late 50's. What stood out to me most though were the two bottles of liquor he was holding in his arms.
I could tell this guy wasn't picking those up for a holiday party later that night, and the energy this guy put out there was that of a guy that was just tired. As we continued to go about our mornings I couldn't stop myself from being effected by the perfect stranger I just encountered. All the statistics of the holiday season flooded through my head. The folks that are lost and lonely, the ones struggling with addictions they can't escape regardless of how hard they try, the ones broken hearted who just seem tired of an empty life without purpose and I couldn't help to think at some point in all of our lives...we've been there.
Maybe it's the time a year, maybe it was something bigger, but I couldn't help but to think if this guy only knew what I did...he could be free. I hustled at the ATM to get back out there and see if I could find the man and yup, there he was slowly making his way to his car parked at the far end of the parking lot. I hurried to catch up and I know this may sound crazy, but I was headed out to shoot some content and I knew that being out there, if only for a day, it could change this man's life forever.
I caught up to the guy and as crazy as this seems...I invited him to come along. I knew it was a long shot and that if this guy had any common sense the right answer is OF COURSE I WILL NOT GO WITH A PERFECT STRANGER OUT TO THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT ARE YOU CRAZY?? but hey, I said it was a long shot. Ok, ok, I knew the guy wasn't going to go, but maybe a crazy man's invite will at least open his mind up to a message before he went on about his day.
I continued to tell the man about the things I learn about myself when I stand silently and small in this great big world. How when I take a few moments and quietly soak in the beautiful landscape that sits just outside of the craziness we create, I find perspective. I see that I'm a very small piece of a very large puzzle and I know it seems odd, but that humbling brings a peace to my world. It lessens the weight on my shoulders, and that reality allows me to live right now in this very moment much more easily. The freedom I find allows me to leave the past in the past, keep the future in the future and moment by moment take the time to make the best of right now, even if that's having a conversation in a grocery store parking lot with some weirdo that just so happens to drive a REALLY sexy Jeep.
I cannot help but to find the Creator when I head out into creation and that companionship takes away my loneliness if I let it. It helps bring a purpose bigger than myself to my life and it deafens the chaos that sometimes rages in my head. If nothing else, this Christmas season find time to go explore. Explore what's out there, and explore what's in you. Remember, we only have the moment we are living right now guaranteed, so live it to the fullest!
Let me start with this...IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THE MOTHER STANDS FOR AND IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW SHE USES THIS TRAGEDY. I ONLY HOPE FOLKS SEE PAST THE MOTHER OR WHATEVER IS OUTSIDE OF THIS INCIDENT AND FOCUS ON THE IDEA THAT BULLYING IS NOT OK AND THIS IS A REAL KID, WITH A REAL STORY! That said...I’m definitely not donating to a godundme page and can“t possibly recommend it for anyone else.
This story has ripped through social media and found residence with fellow anti-bullying advocates...LIKE MYSELF! It disgusts me on so many levels that kids can be so cruel and go unnoticed doing it. The parents of the bullies, especially need to open their eyes up to what their children are doing and PROACTIVELY do something about it. THIS IS NOT JUST KIDS BEING KIDS STUFF. Bullying has found a home everywhere and until WE as a community stand up against it, nothing will change.
When I first saw this popping up on my social media feeds, I couldn't even watch it because it honestly breaks my heart to see. Then, this morning I saw it again. This time, I decided to watch it and do something to draw attention to it in hopes that one day a difference will be made. Just as I knew it would, it broke my heart. I cried with Keaton, I felt anger along side of Keaton, and I also, like Keaton cannot understand how even at a child's age and understanding they can be so cruel. I know first hand the ultimate feeling of being lost and alone and trust me...you should be as enraged as I am that Keaton and others have to endure this kind of treatment all while feeling "not normal" and alone.
Honestly, I am so fired up right now I can only imagine what Keaton's parents are feeling. I know as my child grew up, you definitely did not want to be the parents of a child that would have bullied him. My heart goes out to Keaton, bully victims and their families and so will my actions.
Keaton has such a kind heart and is also one of many impacted by bullying EVERYDAY in our country. If anyone can forward me his contact information, I would be honored to rally some fellow Jeepers around Keaton and take me out on the trails for some fun along with showing him a part of humanity that excepts, shows kindness and loves everyone that is the same or different than we may be.
If you are a victim of bullying, or know someone who is, unite and speak out. Lets make so much noise about this horrific pandemic that it can no longer be looked away from!
(I apologize for any mistakes in this one, I am pretty fired up)
The world is a big, big place. There's an unlimited amount of exploring to do, you just just have to go do it. From the ocean's shore to the peak of every mountain top there's something to see and some way to use that experience to understand ourselves more than before. At the heart of mankind lies a cry for adventure.
This weekend was a lot of fun. I, like most of the world went to a friends house and watched an unbelievably entertaining boxing match between boxing and MMA’s biggest stars. It was crazy to see the amount of people that are so passionate about these two guys fighting each other. The weeks leading to the fight was nuts. The press conferences, the crazy things said, all coming down to this one fight. Everyone at my party was pumped. Everyone I knew was watching the fight and social media was flooded with craziness about this event.
When the dust settled there were two professional competitors standing there. Exchanging compliments, hugging with a grin from ear to ear as one just made over 100 million and the other over 300 million dollars doing what they love to do. That's when I thought…why is it that we put so much of our energy, passion, emotion, and money into chasing another persons dream? I'm not talking about a fan of the sport enjoying the fight, I'm talking about the fanatic. The person that will get angry at another person form routing for the other guy. The folks that live for a person, event or team more than they live for chasing their own dreams.
I guess because it's easier. It's easier to live through other people's moments rather than putting in the hard work to live a life of our own fulfillment. There's no discipline needed to live through someone else. There's no insecurity to deal with, no uphill climb. There's only an emotional high or low that will fulfill and fade moments after the event ends.
What if we put our own work in to find greatness? What if we sacrifice immediate gratification at times for a bigger vision? True fulfillment will only come when we battle through our insecurities to better ourselves. True, lasting happiness comes from a constant, proactive giving of ourselves for a bigger good, a bigger purpose. We need to change our perspective and learn that greatness is found in the training not the race, and certainly not the finish line. Commit to yourself a life of doing new things, seeing new things and giving more of yourself to your relationships. You will find that when the dust settles, we will often find that our dream is found in who we are not what we do.
Today let's be different. Let's be better. Let’s all roll up our sleeves and get to work on chasing our own dream.
Look, if you love to get outdoors and spend time in nature, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. It doesn't even matter where you go or what you do there, it just matters that you go. Why? Because there's something about it. Something about being away from the craziness of our day in and day out lives. The friends, the fun, the adventure we experience is so pure, it's so real. It brings us back to the people we are meant to be. Kind, loving, at peace and above all else...thankful.