Does the moon get lonely?

Posted on 1 Comment

Traveling alone is one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had the opportunity to do. Over 25k miles across the United States in the past year…  through the backroads and big cities to see the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets from lighthouses, beaches, colorful waters, the highest mountains, and everywhere in between.


It is rare when I miss my goal of having an intentional conversation with a stranger. I pass out a few business cards every day too. I’m often surrounded by masses of people.
Yet, one thing drifts into my life many nights.


Loneliness.


Often it is comforted by the aloneness I feel from the inside. I am very lucky to have a solid and positive relationship with myself.
There are however, a few times here and there, when loneliness strikes hard.
It does make sense, I don’t really fit in anywhere with many people. I live an adventurous life but I don’t follow many cultural norms.

I often feel very boring and left out…
I don’t drink or smoke.
I rarely eat out as I still struggle with my relationship with food.
I don’t have a partner to call or friends who can come along. 


I spend my days listening to the stories of the people I meet along the way, knowing the relationship will end soon and I will be back to my own little world without much of a fanfare.


I have spent the last month without physically seeing anyone that I know. 30 days without real contact with a friend or family member. I spend 20+ hours everyday alone with only the thoughts in my head, feelings in my heart, and the feet that carry me along the way…


Tonight, as I wandered off on an Adventure, I’m sitting here watching the full moon rise over the Atlantic Ocean… no stars… no clouds… just a brisk wind carry the sound of the waves across my heart while I sit here and wonder…


Do you think the moon gets lonely?


My personal experiment of 30 days is nothing compared to what many people have had to go through the past year… a year of being forced to be alone without energetic contact, or physical touch, or emotional connection with someone close.
As the next step unfolds and the beginning of the aftershock begins to hit, I can’t help but wonder what the lasting effects are going to be of the massive isolation movement hidden behind masks and fear and reintegration into the future of society.
What I see on the road is much different than what I see on social media and the news. I wish I could say one is better or right or more predictable… but I can’t.


What I do know is that there is going to be some difficulties ahead.


All humans want love and attention communicated in a way they understand. People want to be seen, heard, and affirmed.
Here is a simple formula to give positive attention to anyone so we can work to improve the positive energy and reduce the destructive behaviors that follow when people begin to seek validation l through unhealthy means.


3 steps to Positive Attention


Seen

1. Focused Attention: Give the person you’re with your full attention.

Heard

2. Listen to Understand: Become passionately curious about them and what they’re saying (and what they’re not saying) without judgment and ridicule.

Affirmed

3. Leave a Profit: People don’t always need a response or guidance, they just need/want to verbally process what is in their head. Keep your ears open and mouth shut… it will go a long way to healing and providing a positive step in a better direction.


I encourage you to reach out to a friend or family member. Maybe you need an ear or maybe they need an smile.


Share some positivity today.

Give some kindness today.

Fill your heart with Joy today.


And no matter how lonely you are, remember the moon shines it’s brightest all alone.

Take the Detour…

Posted on Leave a comment

Detours…

We have access to the most precise technology ever imagined. We plan our day, our travel, our everything based on the little device we hold in our had. We know EXACTLY where we are going, what the weather will be, how to get there, and even what the distance and time will be from here to there. We type it in our little device and hit ‘GO’! and we are off to our destination. We don’t even have to think anymore… we just get in the plane, train, or automobile and we let the unknowns and uncertainties brush off our shoulders so we can focus on the more urgent tasks of the day.

But… then…

Have you ever been driving and missed a turn, had to slow down because of construction, or even had to stop for rush hour traffic?

How did that make you feel?

Did you get frustrated or angry?

Where you stressed or anxious?

How did you physically and verbally react the situation?

Have you ever wondered why?…

What creates the reactions you have when you are faced with something that doesn’t fit your “plan”?

Let’s look into this for just a moment.

What is your reaction?

Why do you react this way?

How would you prefer to respond to setbacks and adversities?

Have you ever sat back and thought about how much longer it actually takes when you turn on the wrong road or have to go 5-10 mph under your desired speed?

It is under 5 minutes in most cases. (Yes, I know there are ALWAYS exceptions to the circumstances.)

Is the thought of ‘losing’ 5 minutes worth losing the personal power over your thoughts, feelings, and actions for the rest of the day?

Are you really in that big of a hurry to get where you are going?

Is 5 minutes really going to make of break the rest of your life?

If it is, I have some bold news to pass along to you.

Look in the mirror, it is your fault.

If 5 minutes is going to make or break your entire day, then you have set yourself up with the thoughts, feelings, and actions which have taken you to this point. The insistent need to take care of the urgencies and emergencies you have rather than focusing on the major priorities has led you too exactly where you are.

If 5 minutes is going to make or break you, I would suggest you start with looking at where you are mentally, physically, emotionally so you can align yourself with reality… knowing where you truly are is the best step you can take to moving forward in the BEST possible direction, FOR YOU!

Start where you are… and then you can begin to work to where you want to go.

That sounds harsh Gary…. Thank you for blaming me for all my own problems… but… but… but… it is not my fault…

Yes, I understand how you feel. I felt the same way in my own life until I found out that I am the only person that has power over my thoughts, feelings, and actions. It is up to me to focus my attention on what I can control versus all the things I can’t. Then, I had to learn to listen to myself to understand what I was doing and why I was doing it. Listening to myself without judgment or ridicule allowed me to find the weak spots in my day so I knew where to focus my efforts.

Then, I had to set myself up to be better in the future… Leaving a profit in my own life. Learning to focus my energy on the KNOWNS vs the unknowns and uncertainties allowed me to live in the present. Living in the NOW is truly the only way we can live a JOYFUL and HAPPY life.

Attempting to live in the past creates the suffering of loss and depression.

Attempting to live in the future creates the suffering of worry and anxiety.

Attempting to live in the now releases the tension between the past and the present allowing more of our emotional energy to be used toward more positive thoughts, more desirable behaviors, and creating the best possible environment we can surround ourselves with to thrive.

Living our best life truly comes from being present and living in the NOW.

But Gary, how do we do that?

The best first step is to STOP!

(You are going to meditate for less than 60 seconds. This will be how to create your own “state” of NOW. Learning to STOP and TAKE A BREATH is the way for you to learn to dam the river of negativity and break the cycle of undesirable thoughts and emotions to curb the destructive behaviors that follow.)

The next best step is to close your eyes (if you are in a safe place to do so) take a HUGE BREATH IN and then a HUGE RELIEVEING BREATH OUT.

(Breath in the Sunshine… breath out the Darkness…)

Then ask 3 primary questions:

What am I feeling?

Why am I feeling this way?

How can I take the best first step forward in a more positive direction?

NOW GO!

Take that first step in the new direction! The moment you hesitate, you lost your ‘state’, and you will be heading back down the old path that led you to where you are today. Fear fills the empty space between thought and action. If you hesitate, the negative self-talk monster will show up and begin eating your courage away from you.

Don’t worry about making mistakes or how long it will take or even if you will get all the way to the end…

There is no course map.

There is no pacer.

There is no finish line.

There is no time limit.

There is only the direction of your heart, the focus of your mind, and the step you are in that will lead you everywhere you want to go… or nowhere at all.

Take the wrong turns…

Slowdown in traffic…

Accept the detours…

Live your best life by learning to make the best of today, healing from yesterday, and dreaming about tomorrow knowing by doing the best you can today, all your tomorrows will compound into more than you can ever imagine.

Always cheering for you,

Gary

My 2 new books are here!

Posted on Leave a comment

I never thought I would publish a book of poetry or behavioral therapy… Well, today is that day. “Songs of a Mountain Man” and “Corner of Sunshine and Hope” are available on Amazon NOW!

Thank you all for you support over the years and just know, these are only the first books and many many more are coming in the future!

 

Songs of a Mountain Man Book CoverSongs of a Mountain Man Book Back

Corner of Sunshine and Hope CoverCorner of Sunshine and Hope Back

“You can observe a lot by watching.”

Posted on Leave a comment

Have you ever wondered what other people are thinking?

Have you ever thought about why people act the way they do?

Have you ever thought about what your body language is saying that your words aren’t?

It doesn’t matter if you are close to the person or if they are a random stranger. If you observe long enough, they will tell you everything you need to know…. And they won’t even have to say a word.

People watching is one of my favorite activities. It doesn’t matter if it is a coffee shop, social media, an airport, or ??….. I love to observe the people I’m surrounded by. It’s interesting to watch strangers interact, but it is even more interesting to watch someone you know personally. To watch how they move their face and body. How they talk. Their tone and inflection. They will tell you everything you need to know.

Watch when someone is uncomfortable around you. How do they act? Are they standoffish? Do they move their body away from you? Do they make eye contact with you or do they keep from looking in your direction all together? Have you ever wondered why someone you talk to all the time all of a sudden won’t even stand next to you? Or they seem to avoid communicating with you all together? Maybe they have something they need to say to you and don’t know how. Or maybe they are even keeping something from you.

It’s very interesting to watch how relationships evolve as time goes on. How someone can go from a close friend to an acquaintance in what seems overnight. As we drift away from each other, we not only communicate less, but when we do, we move toward the type of communication which we find less intimate. Maybe moving from in person contact to talking over the phone, or moving from calls to texts, or texts to emails… etc. If we watch these closely, we can see how the communication drifts from one form to another until finally, the communication drifts away and we no longer contact each other on a regular basis. Never addressing what went wrong or why. Just allowing it to drift off so we don’t have to face being uncomfortable with a tough conversation.

I want to ask you…

Has this happened to you in an important relationship in the past?

Has moving away from the problem created tension in a place it is unnecessary?

Where do you think you could have done better with your communication?

What would you change? How will you do it differently moving forward?

“You can observe a lot by watching.” Yogi Berra

But we must not only sit by and watch… we have to be conscious of not only our actions (or inactions), but the actions (or inactions) of others.