Drop the Mic – Ep. 10 – Despite All My Rage

“The world is a vampire, sent to drain

Secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames
And what do I get, for my pain?
Betrayed desires, and a piece of the game”

from Bullet with Butterfly Wings  by The Smashing Pumpkins

I can’t explain how our intuition works or consciousness for that matter.  There are some admirable hypotheses that I’ve pondered over the years and ‘theories’ abound always, but I truly believe the explanation will never be articulated in human words.  

Truth is only felt.

With business and in my position, I have to participate in the game just as much as those around me.  I truly do take the time and energy to put myself in other people’s shoes.  I choose my words wisely, work on my tone of voice, apologize when necessary and sometimes just to help ease others.  

Where I filter in my professional Life and allow the written expression to Flow unheeded when I’m creating outside of it, it’s almost opposite with a great many other people.  That right there is quite perplexing and challenging for me.  It makes me feel as though I need to be two when I’m striving for Oneness

Despite my attempts at approaching the experiences of Life with Conscious Vibes, the world can come across from time to time as a energy vampire killing that vibe.

As much as some people share a public persona that is open and collaborative, behind-the-scenes they aren’t very open or interested in collaboration if the venture is not self-serving at all.

That can be discouraging to say the least…

Roll Kendrick Lamar: Bish don’t kill my vibe… Repeat x2

In the past, I fed the beast of Rage within when encountering such experiences.  Though I do believe Anger can be powerful and has a place when used appropriately, I don’t find myself giving into Rage.

I also don’t feel stuck like a Rat in a Cage but situations do get to me. My feelings remind me of my humanity and if that’s the only reason for negative encounters and shitty people, I can live with that because in the end, always remember…

This Life is beautiful!


The Fight



Every day of our lives we have conflict.

There is conflict with partners, family members, friends and other Loved Ones to bosses, co-workers, and people we interface with regularly in our professions.

Why is that?

Perhaps this conflict arises because it is just a part of our Nature. Within our very cells, conflicts occur.  Is it so unreasonable to think that since conflict is a part of our make up, it will be found elsewhere?

At various times throughout this Life, I have pondered the idea of peace and well, the idea that no conflict will exist or that there are conflict free zones and spaces really doesn’t fly.

Conflict is inevitable.

Conflict gets out of hand when we fail to acknowledge its existence and respond to disagreements with open Hearts and compassion. Blah yada yada blah!

So how do we do that?

We must stop fighting ourselves.  Only through self-work and self-love will we each be able to accept the conflicts that occur on the daily.

I’m not saying you have to like conflict.  Dislike it like all you want.  I’m just proposing, Dear Reader, to consider that conflict has existed since the beginning and our views of it need to be changed.

Once the view is altered, we can start to see that the conflicts we encounter are great teachers, helping us along the conscious Journey. Then, there shall be resolution…

Release the fight. It’ll be okay.

10 Lessons I’ve Learned as an Author

The Beauty of My Mistakes in Publishing

1.Write your story

Medium tells writers to: Write your story. Isn’t that enough for it to be numero uno on my list?

Jokes aside, each of us is a unique observer of life and have the opportunity to share our unique points-of-view in a variety of ways. Every time we unconsciously act, we tell a story. Each moment we take the time to sincerely thank someone for a service, we a tell a story. All of the experiences in between both extremes of consciousness tell stories. They are important!

Write your story because without telling it, the world loses the chance to feel what your have to share.

2. Edit… Edit. Edit!

In the beginning, I didn’t think editing was important. I was in such a rush to publish and put something out there because I was desperate to share what was burning inside that it felt appropriate to push on and be done.

That being said, I wrote my first manuscript in three weeks, a 150 pg. reflection on my take on the concept of Mindfulness, mixed with humor, and life lessons, and…

I have not published it. I actually really like the piece but in the edits since, it has not quite felt right. Not only is editing important so that there aren’t typos, unintentional grammatical errors (because sometimes we can break the grammar rules to make a point), it is important because in the process of editing one can learn so much more and have a better product.

When I finally published my first book, it had gone through intense edits by myself, an Editor, I’d sought out readers, and guess what, the finished product still has typos, the same way best-selling novels do because Human Error is inevitable.

But… the piece felt right. It was my third manuscript and though what I was trying to say was said in the second manuscript, the third felt like the “vehicle” to share what needed sharing for me.

3. Accept your Worst Critic

If you can accept the old adage, “You are your own Worst Critic” and release it then you can move past the hugest obstacles in publishing.

I have judged and torn apart every piece of writing that I have ever done. In the past, it crippled me to sharing my work even though people would both compliment and critique it.

The best form of feedback is criticism from outside of that voice haunting your brain because even though it can sting, someone took the time to share/it struck a chord in them so you’re on the right track imo.

And the good stuff? Well the compliments kind of pass by quickly because of that hauting voice within but it can also feel nice.

Regardless of external stimuli and input, what’s going on inside can make or break how you feel about your work, and in the end, that is what is more important than millions of dollars, best-seller status, and adulation.

4. Honor where you have been

I cringe when I look back on some of the very early writings that I have published on my blog, in magazines, contributed to other online sites, and my first book.

Were it not for any of that, I would have not grown as a Writer, taken steps towards publishing my work, and I would have not developed further as a Human + Being.

In the end, that is most important to me in my own Journey.

5. Don’t be afraid to re-write

This is a bit different than editing. Though you can re-write elements of your work when editing, a re-write in and of itself is a different beast. When I had the central component of what I wanted to share in a published book, it took many drafts of two manuscripts, before I felt good about one for publication.

The process of re-writing is pretty cool to because one can just sense when something “feels right.” Having a good feeling about your work is cool too because you have to live with whatever it is.

6. Research Publishers

*I have submitted query letters only to receive no response. I have looked for different online publishers in “my genre” and focus area to choose one and then have a mixed experience after my money was paid to their organization in full. I have turned my nose at self-publishing to later self-publish myself and see how amazing it is. I have read article after article, magazine after magazine, blog after blog, book after book, so on, so forth, etc./i.e./wt…efff.

And you know? None of that is important. What is important is creating a budget, choosing what you’re going to go with, whether you have a contract with a publisher or choose to self-publish, and ultimately, have a plan to market and share your work.

I have published three books to date and it didn’t occur to me until after the third that perhaps I should write and share a press release. I’d seen the idea before but it took working in Marketing to teach me about Marketing that it started to click about what’s important. You could have the greatest story ever but if people don’t know it’s out…

If you need any more argument of marketing, how many crappy movies have you seen because of the hype and trailers? How many of the movies that are nominated for the Academy Award Best picture have you actually seen before you found it was nominated or it came out on DVD/Blu-Ray? Chances are many more of the former and your lucky if you’re even able to find the latter in a theatre near you before it’s nominated.

*Please note, in no way am I discounting the value of different options to release your work. Do whatever feels best for you . It is just my hope to emphasize how Marketing is more important than the vehicle in the end and that’s something I didn’t get until the bumps in the road I experienced, which were great because of how much the lumps I have experienced have taught me.

7. Be prepared to self-promote

Similar to the importance of marketing, it is also important to share what you’ve done on your own. Just because you wrote the darn thing doesn’t mean bury it in a field…

It has always been hard for me to say, I did this, I did that, yet when I write, arguably something I feel suited for and comfortable doing, I use “My” and “I” quite a bit.

Challenge for me has been overcoming being shy and not good enough. In my Journey, I’ve often confused modesty and humility with false humility. It’s one thing to not share because you don’t feel the need, it’s another to hide what you’ve created because on a core level you don’t feel good enough.

It’s okay, it’s welcome to share your work and your accomplishments. It doesn’t make you cocky, if anything, owning the confidence that comes with setting a goals and achieving them, is something that will be great for you as an individual and in your publishing voyage.

8. Love

Creating anything from start to finish is a labor of love…

In addition to moments of irritation, anger, despair, and the trials and tribulations that come along the way, there are also the a-ha moments, the great feelings of putting pen to paper or words to screen, and what you learn along the way.

I’ve heard it shared many times that life is all about Love, Love is the Be All, and Love is why we are here.

Love the process of bringing your work to life. Love the challenges you encounter because when you find a way through them, around them, above or below them, it makes the experience all the better!

9. Read. And often.

I find my greatest sparks come from two areas: experience and reading.

Now the act of reading is also an experience in and of itself but experiences are the vast elements in this Journey that help us define characters, struggles, and craft how these characters overcome such adversity. Reading helps us to see things through eyes we haven’t and recall our own experiences because of the feelings we experience when processing what we are reading.

I have enjoyed reading ever since I was a child. I remember that. I don’t remember enjoying writing because it has always been just something that I did, often, sometimes well-enough to get good grades in classes that required much of it, and yeah. But reading took me to another world back then and still has the ability to do so!

Reading also serves to take us into the mind of another Human+Being and take a tour through the words that come through them. It’s kind of like, there are mountains and trees all over, yet if you really take the time to observe and experience, though there are similar features, each differs and can be a great teacher.

I personally really love reading and I’m sure a million places say that reading makes you a better writer and though I wouldn’t doubt that, I think reading is important because it is part of appreciating the written word.

Words, I believe, are gifts. I will never meet Plato but I can read his work and “hear” his voice, I can get an idea of who he was, what he was about, and how that relates to me many years later.

That’s pretty cool if you think about it…

10. Disregard everything that I have said…

And use what works for you.

These were my 10 lessons (thus far) but that doesn’t mean they have to be yours. There may be some elements in here that are helpful and if so, chee huu (Hawaii Creole English for awesome/stoked/oh-yayer) because I enjoy giving back and assisting others, but in the end, Life is your Journey, the same way your written word is your written word.

It’s going to have more meaning for you if you’re living it yourself.

A few years ago, I experienced a great period of loss (laid off, end of relationship, Death in the family) in a two week period of time, and it kicked me in the ass to go across the country, something that I had always wanted to do. It took me two-trips from my home in Honolulu, Hawaii, but I did it and the experience of it is what was mine and mine alone and helped me to grieve, heal, and grow.

It also helped me to have more experiences, be more open, and got me around to finally having courage to publish. I’m no millionaire because of my writing, yet.

Shoot I’m not even a thousandaire or hundredaire, yet, but I don’t write because I need it to pay my bills. I write because it’s a passion and it helps me through the days and move beyond the tough times, which can be short and extreme like that period of loss, or take place over a longer period.

As much as this is a gift to share with others, it’s a gift I can enjoy as well, much like good ole life itself and that a-okay with me.

Commentary – Love, Hate, & War Machine

In my early 20s, I trained in my first Martial Art.

Raised in age filled with Kung Fu movies, Ninja Turtles, and the ever present mystique/awesomeness of Bruce Lee, it was hard not to be fascinated by Martial Arts. Throw in a dash of Pro Wrestling and Hulkamania and well, it was no wonder I was captivated by Mixed Martial Arts when I first saw it.

I can remember just starting my Muay Thai training and going to a bar one evening to watch UFC 40, Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock.  It was marketed using their nicknames “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” vs “The World’s Most Dangerous Man.”  Just writing these words, it’s almost no surprise to me that the violence that is spilling from the cage/ring/field is making its way into headlines.

All three of the teachers I trained under for Muay Thai shared the Buddhist philosophy that went with the art, their takes on it, and emphasized the responsibility that comes with martial arts.  I was at a very angry place in my Life for a variety of reasons that came with that period of my Life.  But the idea that I could “Walk the Middle Path” made sense in my Spirit, so I went with it.

I’d stop training to finish school, get caught up in work, and it was a few years before I got into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Though not as spiritually philosophical as Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu’s techniques spoke to my own spiritual beliefs.  I learned to “Flow with the Go” and that each technique built upon the previous in order to better set-up the next.  I also learned that on the mat, the same as in Life, sometimes you had to submit.

I wasn’t so angry when I trained Jiu-Jitsu, but I was very much in Pain.  I felt very disconnected and had a hard time being present.  That led to some challenging experiences when Life happened but what I learned in both Martial Arts, helped me because it related to my overall belief that one could endure and overcome anything with a solid spiritual foundation.

I’d stop training Jiu-Jitsu for a time because I didn’t want to rely on the physical for my fulfillment.  I loved Jiu-Jitsu, I still do, but I made a choice to build within.  I would eventually go back, fall in Love further with it, only to tear my calf.  I laughed at myself because I had no other choice but to accept.  Jiu-Jitsu taught me to submit, so I tapped to the position Life had me in, which at the time, felt like focus on my spiritual growth.

I’ve not gone back to Jiu-Jitsu since, I did for a time start doing some Muay Thai work in a gym, but I’m in no rush right now to train in a Martial Art.  I know when it’s time, I will move towards what I am meant to.

Which leads me to the title.  I don’t know why, but my Heart has always gone out to Jonathan Koppenhaver aka War Machine.  He was on a season of the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter with a friend from Intermediate School, Troy Mandaloniz.  I didn’t follow the season too much but caught a few of Jon’s heartfelt testimonials and it was sad.  You just got the vibe that the Dude is one hurt individual.  Knowing my own pain, I couldn’t helpd but feel compassion for the kid.

The saying, “The struggle is real,” is so applicable to War Machine.  Over the years, he’s been in and out of prison, did adult film, dated an adult film star, and fought not as much as he should because of the trouble he’s found.

He’s currently in a whole lot of trouble that’s making the rounds for very violent domestic abuse charges.

A quick search of what’s trending on Twitter about it and people are saying some really vile things about him as well as the victims of the incident.  Dog the Bounty Hunter has even joined the fray, camera crew in tow.

I find it sickening.  I don’t in any way agree with domestic violence (physical, mental, emotional, verbal, all of the above).  But what is it about us as people to throw so many stones at the suffering, at the ill.  It’s like we want to be a part of the drama.

It’s amazing to see what’s coming out of Dog’s Twitter feed.

I realize these tactics are meant to draw out the volatile character from hiding but how does that make it better?  Why are we cheering that?  

If a bull is already in a rage, do you add more?

It’s like we people just like talk out of both sides.  I’m saying we because I’m far from perfect and subject to my own hypocrisy.  That’s human but I think it’s okay to put it out there that we can be better.  Isn’t it?  Am I alone in my quest?

I don’t know what happened in the recent incident.  You have two very different views floating out there and the gruesome pictures of the first victim, Christy Mack, War Machine’s ex, are Heart wrenching as well.  I feel really bad for both of the victims and hope they heal quickly and safely.

The whole situation is unfortunate.  But I am hopeful that we can learn.

Something else, that is also getting to me, is that the same day as the news broke on this, an MMA site I read regularly, Bloody Elbow (oh the irony), showed a video ofAnthony Pettis, a fighter in the UFC, who let his girlfriend punch in the face.  I couldn’t catch it in the video, but I saw the claim that she hits harder than the contenders in his division.

That’s all good and well but I’m wondering why not much is being said about that?  Because he asked for it, it was okay?

I realize the media changes perspective on a dime and the sheep flock along but…

Factor in that last week in MMA saw the Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier hype train get violent with explicit lyrics and I can hear John McCain’s claims of human cock-fighting echo from years past.  So much has been done by many people to improve the perception of the sport.

In a period of time where the NFL Commissioner is being questioned for a short-term suspension relating to domestic violence involving Ravens Running Back, Ray Rice, we are awash with very violent acts involving people who’s livelihood is violence.  Football is violent but in the end, it’s called a game.

MMA is more violent and before it even begins, it’s called a fight.

I loved Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and have been a fan of MMA for a long time, but it’s a pretty dark hour for the sport currently.

My prayers go out to the victims and I’m praying for you to Jon/War.  I don’t doubt your Heart is good, but your actions have been out of control and I hope peace finds you at some point in this Life before anyone else, yourself included, gets hurt.


On the Path – Spiritual Q&A with J

New feature.  Over the years, I have been asked a great many questions, in addition to asking many of my own. This section will be used to share answers to those questions.  Enjoy.

Is one begin selfish, if one wants to move ahead and leave people or loved ones behind to find one’s destiny?

In response to thisquestion, I shall answer your question with another question…

What if you viewed it as though you are walking your own Path, which only you can do?

That frees you up to focus on walking your own Path and leaves behind the concern that you are leaving others behind because each of us has our own Journey, and it isn’t our place to judge where another person is at in their own Journey.

It is very Human to have feelings about/for others and their lives, but in the end, you’ll do yourself a great favor and extend love to others by not worrying about what they are doing in/with their lives.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if others gave you that freedom? Not everyone is going to do it, but you can be the model and live like only you can!