The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Tag: respect (Page 1 of 2)

Who Are My People?

I love my people.

Who are my people?  My people are the ones who I turn to for support, whom I look to for guidance, and whom I share a great many commonalities.

Crossing the Bridges 57I have found the majority of my people in the SCA.  Twenty-six years in the Society for Creative Anachronism has introduced me to a lot of people who are as into history and fantasy as I am.  My geeky tribe, frequently of fellow misfits.

Yes, I was one of those dorky/geeky kids in High School who existed either in the choir room, on or behind the stage, never amongst the popular kids.  I played no sports, my friends and I played Dungeons and Dragons.  I didn’t drink alcohol, but I consumed an ungodly amount of Mt. Dew.  My letter jacket was for letters earned in choir and theatre.

In college, when I moved halfway across the country, I made a good circle of equally geeky friends.  I also discovered the SCA, but didn’t truly dive in until I had graduated.  But when I did, I found my people.

I have previously written about the difference between persons and people.  While today I am referring to my people, they are my persons.  They are not the random world population that can often be incredibly frustrating.  My people, however, might not be your people.  By the same token, your people might not be my people.

This harkens to my favorite George Carlin routine about stuff.  Your stuff is stuff while other people’s stuff is shit, and vice versa.

Our people are like our stuff.  While we might have ever increasing circles of people, not all meet the same criteria.

Variations of my people.

There are several thoughts I have on how I categorize my people.  There are those I am closest to.  These are the people I want to spend the most time with, and whom I share the most about myself with.  We have connections on a lot of different levels, and I would move mountains for these people.

Then there are the people whom I consider friends, but am not as close to.  There is still a great deal of myself I share with these people, and I care about them as well.  Our connections are likely fewer than those I am closest to, but I would still take a great many actions for these people.

After that, there are the people whom I may not know as well, but share a commonality with me.  Some are SCAdians like me, and we have the hobby we participate in in common.  We may only be friends on social media, or we may only encounter one another at events from time to time, but we do not really know each other well.  These are still my people, overall, though while there are actions I will take for them, they are fewer.

Along the same line are the writers I know.  I am a part of several different writing communities online.  Because we all strive in the craft and arte of writing, we have something pretty amazing in common.  We share ideas and tricks and standards for our writing on a large number of different topics.  Mostly we only know each other online.  Yet these are my people, overall, and there are things I will do to be of help to them.

Why do all these people matter?

As I work on crossing the bridges between the worlds I perceive, some real, some imagined, recognizing that my people are rather numerous can be a huge source of hope.

Hope matters, particularly in the face of a lot of what is going on in the world around us.  So much negativity, so many terrible things of varying degrees, it’s really easy to lose hope.  Why bother?  Will any of it matter if any of these possible worst case scenarios before us come to pass?

Yes.  All of it matters.  Consciousness Creates Reality.  As such, if we allow ourselves to be drawn down into the negativity happening in the world, guess what we create more of?  But if we have hope, and we have our people, and we can rely on our people in different ways, we can strive to manifest better.

This is why I love my people.  You keep me going when I look at the negativity of the world, and I cannot tell you just how much I appreciate that.  You are a source of strength, and I thank you for that.

Keep this in mind whenever you start feeling like it’s pointless.  There IS still hope for a better world.  We have our people, and while we cannot directly change how anybody feels, we can effect the sensitivity, and we can work to create better.

My people are circles around me, ever increasing in distance, but still counted among my people.  Where my people and your people might overlap, we have an opportunity to change the conversation with a greater circle.  When we can see this, we can see that hope is a good thing, and we can create almost anything we can imagine.

Appreciate all your people.

Gratitude is a major source of positivity.  When we are grateful for people and things, we tend to discover more to be grateful for.  Gratitude feels good.

These bridges I want to cross may be for me alone, but I never truly cross them on my own.  That may be totally cheesy, but that doesn’t make it any less true.  Thank you for taking the journey with you.  Thank you for being my people.

As always, thank you for crossing the bridges between my worlds with me.


GOAL LOG – Week 42:

Diet:  I have not been keeping track again this week.

Exercise:  Fenced twice, one day with a bunch of walking, but that was it.  Knee injury is still lessening my exercise.

Writing:  Four blog posts, and a lot of work on the sci-fi story.

Meditation: Only two days last week, for 5 and 6 minutes.

Gratitude:  I was not tracking gratitude again.


This is the fifty-seventh entry of my personal journey, the Crossing the Bridges series.  My collectively published writing can be found here.

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How Are Our Persons Different From People?

The people who become our persons in this life can be an amazing source of Positivity.

If, like me, you find that overall people make you crazy, you understand this distinction.  What it boils down to is those who we get close to in various ways are persons, as opposed to those who are the faceless masses we refer to as people.

Positivity 192People in this sense tend to drive us nuts.  They cut you off on the road, they elect idiots to office, they disbelieve in scientific facts, etcetera.  Most of us, at least my persons, generally agree that people suck.

Trouble is, we live in a world with more than 7 billion people.  If we all have even a dozen persons, that means that we are surrounded by people.  And we tend not to think well of people.

Dehumanization has been a tactic used to divide and conquer for time immemorial.  All across human history peoples go to war, disagree about religion, possessions, social stratifications, and so on.  Look at the whole NFL protest business happening now.  The protesters are attempting to call attention to injustice and social inequality…but to dehumanize them, their detractors want you to think they are disrespecting men and women in the military.

While it is a great source of positivity to have our persons, looking at people in opposition creates more negativity.  Consciousness creates reality.  What we focus on and think about we tend to draw more of to ourselves.

When we think poorly of people in the general sense, we empower those awful things we don’t want.  We give it attention and energy, and we further expand the chasm between those we call our persons and the general people of the world.

Think better of people.

People vs personsThis is a challenge.  I often comment that people suck.  I get angry about the vast amount of greed, selfishness, foolishness and ignorance constantly brought to the forefront of our collective consciousness.  When we post memes on social media, read and watch news stories, and follow the tweets of the narcissist-in-chief, we get more deeply divided and as such, conquered.

We like, love and respect our persons.  We tend to dislike, loathe, and disrespect people.  I know that before I comment again about how much people suck, I am going to think about how disempowering that is, to both them and me.

Is it possible, if we extend the positivity we generate from our persons to people, we can make the world better?

Finding positivity is not hard, but it does require action.

Knowing that we think much better of our persons than we do people in general, we can get a sense of how we generate a lot of negativity.  When we stop saying that people suck, and let ourselves be divided and disempowered, we can work on thinking about people more like our persons.  Thus we empower them, and empower ourselves.  When we feel empowered, we often spread that feeling to others around us, and as such can build more positive feelings in the collective consciousness.  We can use the positive feelings this generates to dissolve negative feelings.  When we take away negative feelings, we open up space to let in positive feelings, and that is something we can be grateful for.  Gratitude leads to happiness.  Happiness is the ultimate positive attitude.  Positive attitude begets positive energy, and that is always a good thing.


This is the one hundred ninety-second entry of my Positivity series.  It is my hope these weekly messages might help spread positive energies for everyone.  Feel free to share, re-blog and spread the positivity.

Please take a moment to subscribe to this blog (even if you’ve done so before, and receive your bonus content.


How Do You Feel Positive?

You woke up today.  That is tremendously positive.

You have air in your lungs.  Your heart is beating.  You have thoughts in your head.  These are all filled with positive energy.

Positivity 191You are reading these words on a computer, tablet or phone.  The positivity of that is impressive.

It is very easy to forget that the positive exists in the smallest, most trivial things in our lives.  Just being alive and living every day is immeasurably positive.

I know that it can be easy to lose sight of this.  Reading the news will make almost anyone feel negative.  I know many people who are struggling with money, health, weight, relationships, work, time management, and other matters that make it hard for them to feel good about life.  It often feels as if the negativity outweighs the positivity, and that there is far more bad than good in our world.

I know it may not feel like the truth, but you and I can control this.  We get to choose, every day, if we want to let the negativity overwhelm us, or if we want to find positives in this world.

Feeling Positive IS stronger than feeling negative.

That feels like a lie.  Except, in an abundant universe, it’s the truth.  We are just so used to being inundated with negatives that it can feel like positivity is at a premium, and hard to come by.

This is why recognizing the positive in the small things that make up our everyday lives is so useful.  We are here.  We have choices each and every day.  Sure, there are times we get frustrated, and we are made to feel as though this life is pointless.  Except, I want you to know, it is not.

You are valuable.  You are important, and You matter.  This is the truest thing for you to know and recognize about your life.

We are energy at our core.  The entire universe is made up of energy.  From the smallest nanoscopic particle to galaxies across the cosmos itself, all of it boils down to energy.  Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it just changes form.  Energy in its most raw form is neutral.  We get to choose if we want to generate the negative or the positive in our lives.

Feel positiveWe get to choose if we want to live in a positive world, or a negative one.  The decision to only recognize things that make us feel bad is really, truly up to each and every one of us.  It takes very little to find positivity…if you make the effort to do so.

We should not ignore that negative things happen.  There are things which we need to actively work to better and things we can do little to nothing about.  Sometimes we are going to feel negative about the world…but it is up to us whether we feel it, or choose to sink into it and let it overwhelm our senses.

I know that I prefer to feel good rather than bad.  I think it’s worth it to seek every possible way to make this so.  How do you want to feel?

Finding positivity is not hard, but it does require action.

Knowing that there is positivity in the littles, most mundane aspects of our lives, we get to choose if we want to acknowledge it or not.  When we seek out positivity in the little things, we can overcome the seemingly vast amounts of negativity the world presents us, and as such we empower ourselves.  When we feel empowered, we often spread that feeling to others around us, and as such can build more positive feelings in the collective consciousness.  We can use the positive feelings this generates to dissolve negative feelings.  When we take away negative feelings, we open up space to let in positive feelings, and that is something we can be grateful for.  Gratitude leads to happiness.  Happiness is the ultimate positive attitude.  Positive attitude begets positive energy, and that is always a good thing.


This is the one hundred ninety-first entry of my Positivity series.  It is my hope these weekly messages might help spread positive energies for everyone.  Feel free to share, re-blog and spread the positivity.

Please take a moment to subscribe to this blog (even if you’ve done so before – new service set up!), and receive your bonus content.



Why I take Racism and the Like Personally

Though what happened in Charlottesville last weekend did not have a direct effect on me, it is still something I take personally.

Taking it personallyCrossing the Bridges is where I get the most personal, and this week in particular I need to address what I am seeing in this country.

I was born and raised Jewish.  Though I don’t practice the religion at this time, I DO culturally consider myself a Jew.  I am proud of my heritage, and it means a lot to me to be a part of the tribe.

The marchers in Charlottesville represent hate towards me for no reason other than the culture I was born into.  Full stop, that’s the simplicity of this.  And I am not the only one that their message is targeting.

My brother-in-law is black.  My niece is thus bi-racial.  I do not want to see her suffer because she is Jewish, black, and female.  The haters who marched and those who support them will not look too kindly upon her.

That’s the reality of this situation.  The so-called “alt-right”, and their allies in the KKK and neo-Nazis want to watch my family burn because we are not like them.  That is the ugly, unvarnished truth of this matter.  And I cannot help but take this personally.

Five to six million Jews were slaughtered in the Holocaust.  That is a fact.  I will not stand idly by and watch this happen again, not to anyone.  That is why I am writing these words today.

Take a stand.

The United States of America is a land of freedom.  The first amendment protects the right to free speech.   As such, these haters can march and they can protest.  They can assemble and do everything in their power to make people like me fear them.

Yet free speech applies to all of us so-called minorities, too.  We can march and we can protest.  We can assemble and do everything in our power to show these terrible people they will not make us live in fear.

The white supremacists and their allies are NOT the majority.  They are loud, they have monetary sources, and many of them are armed.  Yet the rest of us are the actual majority.  Those of us they stand against – black, Jew, Muslim, Hispanic, Indian, female, transgendered – we are the majority.

Non-violent protest has been proven effective time and again.  So we need to take our stand and unite against this angry, bitter, fearful foe.  We need to counter their protests with sit-ins, non-violent marches, peaceful rallies, and messages such as this empowering us.

We cannot just allow what is happening to continue and to snowball into something darker and more dangerous.  It is up to each and every one of us to express how we feel, and stand up for our rights.  We cannot meet their hate with hate, we need to meet it instead with honor and respect for ourselves.  We need to be empowered to tell them we will not tolerate their intolerance.

If we need to take to the streets and shout them down, together we should do this.  We need to put out more blog posts expressing ourselves and our rights to not be persecuted by these intolerant, self-righteous persons.

Come together.

All of us who are targets of these hate groups need to work together to build better.   We need to come together to show them they cannot take our nation away from us, that it belongs to us ALL, and not just their narrow belief system.  We need to stay strong, we need to work together to educate those who do not understand the danger this represents.

Today I am standing up and saying I am not afraid of you.  I will not be intimidated by your hate.  I am not alone, and my allies and I will show you that we cannot be silenced.  Let’s work together and stop these angry, fearful, intolerant people from doing more harm to our country.

It does not matter if you are male, female, black, white, brown, straight, gay, transgendered, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindi, Buddhist, atheist, Satanist, American, Canadian, Russian, insert-label-of-choice-here – this world belongs to us ALL.  The laws apply to all of us, and we cannot allow them to be usurped and twisted by loud minority groups intent on erasing us.  We have to speak up, and we have to express that we do not accept intolerance.

The blame does not fall on both sides of this argument.

Last, and certainly not least – you cannot equivocate one side with the other.  The “alt-right”, white supremacists, KKK and neo-Nazis have made it very clear that their goal is to eliminate the rest of us in whatever fashion they can do that.  They want to disempower us in every way they can, up to and including murdering us.  We who stand opposite them are not calling for their destruction, which is why one is not the same as the other.

The President is wrong about this, there is not blame on both sides when one side’s stated goal is to destroy the other.   I identify as part of the side that these people want to destroy, and I take that personally.  I will not accept this, and I know that I am not alone.

Join me.  Take a stand.  Be heard.  Let’s show them that hate is not the answer, and we will not live in fear of their intolerance.

As always, thank you for crossing the bridges with me.


GOAL LOG – Week 33:

The goal log has not yet been restarted following the Pennsic War.


This is the forty-seventh entry of my personal journey, the Crossing the Bridges series.  My collectively published writing can be found here.

Please take a moment to click the subscribe button (even if you did so before the blog was reformatted) and sign up for my newsletters!  Thank you!

An open letter to fellow Americans

Dear America,

When did we accept hatred as the standard?  When did we decide that after almost a century of progress it was perfectly ok to allow unrestrained racists, sexists, bigots, misogynists, warmongers and fearmongers to be our leaders again?  When did we decide that it was better to praise and follow the blindly faithful and ignorant rather than the logical and intelligent?

How did we get to this place where our choices for leadership from one party includes a zealot and a narcissist and the other side is a corporate shill and an idealist?

The one side became polarized over the past 30 years or so because they allowed special interests, religious fanatics and closeted bigots gain control.  And they wonder why they cannot stop this monster Dr. Frankenstein has unleashed on us?

The other side became polarized over the past 30 years or so because they allowed special interests, a lack of conviction and an unclear agenda gain control.  And they wonder why so many distrust the party leaderships’ Chosen One and prefer the idealist?

Do you want this country to return to segregation, to the failed principles of separate but equal?  Do you want the corporate bosses to be your slave masters again?  Do you really want to see those who are poor and disabled and hurting simply left to die?  Do you want to allow the greedy to destroy this planet so they can turn ludicrous profits that never trickle down to anyone else?  Do you want to live your life in fear?

This is what you have to take into consideration when it comes to the election this year.  I am not just talking about the Presidency, I am talking about ALL of those up for reelection.  Congress has become an obstructionist mouthpiece of those who pay for their elections.  Special interests and corporate hacks have taken control, and they will not stop until the rich are so rich that they can afford to leave the planet they are destroying, while the rest of us let them take everything we hold dear and wonder where it all went wrong.

Fear is not a healthy basis for a system of government.  Hate, exclusionism, greed, racism, bigotry, misogyny and sexism are all just alternate versions of fear.  Fear enslaves us to the will of others, and those who have the power continue to make it clear that they want only to garner more power.

Please stop being afraid, America.  Please stop fearing change, stop fearing the unknown, stop being afraid of anyone and anything different from you.  Please remember that our Declaration of Independence that was the blueprint for the forming of this nation says,  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

America is not a land of Christians only.  It is not a land of Whites only. America is not a land of men only.  It is not a land of rich only.  It is NOT a nation of exclusion – American was founded on the principles of inclusion.

Building walls to keep out those who are different is not American.  Creating laws that forbid marriage is not American.  Creating laws that belittle ANY citizen, black or white, man or woman, gay or straight, religious or atheist is NOT American.  We are a nation of tolerance, we are a nation of freedom, we are a nation of inclusion…and it is time that we reclaim that.

Please release the fear, America.  Isolating ourselves, registering those who hold different beliefs and limiting resources for only the wealthy is what this nation was founded to stand against.  What we choose this year will reverberate very differently from our past choices.  We can reclaim our nation from the greedy, from the special interests, from those who don’t care about us but only about themselves…or we can give them even more power, and disempower ourselves and let America truly cease to be great.

Fear is not the answer.  Fear is un-American.  Please, please examine this and consider if you want to empower the people who only take, and are giving nothing back to you but fear, death, poverty, and war.

Is being American about being afraid?  No.

Please stop being afraid, America.  For the sake of us all, for the sake of our children, do not let fear make your decision in these elections.

With Respect,

A concerned American.

Pathwalking 128

Pathwalking is more an emotional journey than a physical one.

This is the part that I find I have the hardest time with overall. I can intellectualize the philosophy and I can give deep thought and a loud voice to the concept, but the necessary emotion behind it is a challenge.

I have met many people along the way for whom emotion comes first. They can cry at the drop of a hat or they feel pretty much everything around them. The let their emotions dictate their life, and they often have problems when it comes to reason and intellect in opposition to their emotion.

Of course there are many who are the opposite, where intellect comes first. They shed no tears, they are often looked to as robots incapable of feeling anything around them. They let their intellect dictate their life, the often have problems when it comes to feeling and emotion in opposition to their intellect.

Like almost everything else in nature, there needs to be a balance struck between these two extremes. We need to be able to make use of both emotion and intellect in order to not only find, but to feel and walk the path we might choose.

My issue has always been in the emotional. I have a particular talent for shutting down my feelings, and allowing my intellect to dominate how I move myself through this life. This is particularly ironic since I am something of an empath, and I can see and feel emotions from other people more easily than I can feel them for myself.

I have stated here before that in order to manifest anything you need to not only think about it, you need to feel it. You cannot simply will something into existence, you have to put feeling behind it, you have to feel it into existence. And you cannot simply feel something into existence, either…you need to intellectualize it in order to realize with any precision what you want.

Hooky-spooky mumbo-jumbo. You cannot just think and feel things into existence. There have been numerous works written about this subject. A lot of spiritual and psychic and even intellectual guides have put this idea to paper. It is not just some abstract idea that only a truly gifted person can realize, it is right there for all of us. Pathwalking is my own take on this idea, but it is not a wholly original or unique concept. My philosophy is very open ended, offering, like the paths available, numerous approaches.

I can prove that this is real. I have experienced it for myself. When I was severely injured years ago, and the doctors told me my recovery could take years and may never be total, I did not accept that. I was told I should be walking with a limp the rest of my life, that I may never regain full use of my arm following some extreme nerve damage.

This is in no way a dig on medical science – medicine and science have made this world a far better, healthier, more complete place. But medicine alone does not do the job. Doctors were able to take the steps to repair my badly broken leg and take the pressure off the nerve bundle in my arm so I might recover.

I know that by thinking about nothing but totally healing completely, and that I would be back to normal function just like before my accident, combined with FEELING what it would be like to be whole and accepting no other possibility made it happen so swiftly and completely. I know because even the doctor was surprised by the speed and extent of my recovery. Unless today I show you the rather impressive scars, you would have no idea how damaged my body is.

I walked the path to total recovery. Despite what was believed to be possible, I KNEW, intellectually, that I could take it further. To make it happen, I FELT, emotionally, the power of being whole and healed and well again.

A decade and a half later I am walking my own path. I am sharing that process with you, and I can explain in great detail the intellectual aspect of this philosophy. However, that is insufficient. There needs to be emotion on this. There has to be feeling.

As often as I point out that positive begets positive, and that you can build better things through positivity, it is important to note this is not simply thought, this requires feeling. If you think positive thoughts you will not feel better about much of anything. See, the key is that word – FEEL. You need to also FEEL the positive thoughts, or else you are, to all intents and purposes, simply spinning your wheels.

I have chosen to walk my own path in life. I have thought through this choice…but I have not done so well with FEELING through my choices. That is my new challenge – working on not just seeing, thinking, and attempting to walk a path…I need to better FEEL the path I am on. It is time to start working on the feeling portion of these choices, so that I can once again manifest my life.

I have done it before…I can do it again. I can always do it.

So can you.

Are you feeling as well as thinking about your path?


This is the one-hundred twenty eighth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Feel free to re-blog.  Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Pathwalking 126

There are many people who suffer from self esteem issues.

It is surprising just how many people have poor self esteem. It is often masked in one of a myriad of ways, and so well hidden as to be unrecognizable. But a lack of self esteem can be soul crushing, and can easily derail you from any path you might choose.

Before you can do anything for anyone, yourself included, you have to have self-respect. This is an aspect of self esteem, without which you will find effort to do anything at all to be difficult at best.

So what is the importance of esteem, anyhow? defines it thus:

verb (used with object)

1. to regard highly or favorably; regard with respect or admiration: I esteem him for his honesty.

2. to consider as of a certain value or of a certain type; regard: I esteem it worthless.

3. Obsolete. to set a value on; appraise.


4. favorable opinion or judgment; respect or regard: to hold a person in esteem.

5. Archaic. opinion or judgment; estimation; valuation.

This makes SELF esteem about regarding yourself favorably, respectfully, knowing you are valuable. To hold a positive opinion of yourself, to see yourself as worthwhile. It is unbelievably important that you have good self esteem.

Why does my self esteem matter? Because if you do not know your own value as a person, if you do not think well of yourself, if you do not respect yourself, you will be unable to travel any path at all. How can you make a knowledgeable choice when you lack the necessary knowledge of the self to have good self esteem?

For many this is one of the hardest concepts to accept. A lot of people have low self esteem, or serious lack in self esteem. They believe in the lie that they are not worthy, are undeserving, do not have equal value to their peers.

I have spent a great deal of my life with low self esteem. I could not believe that I had the same worth as my friends, I did not believe that I deserved the happiness and the success I wanted. I could not believe that I deserved all the love and joy I desired.

I still struggle with this. There are good days and bad days. There are still times I sink low, I allow myself to be the butt of the joke, I make that humorous quip to divert attention away from the sense that I haven’t the right to want what I want for myself. I wonder if I am lacking in sanity for this whole concept, that Pathwalking is a lie I have told myself, and that I should just accept my place as a cog in the great machine of the Universe.

This is not the truth. Period. The truth is that I AM worthy, I DO deserve to gain the favor of the Universe, I AM a good and deserving person. I have every right to believe what I believe, and to choose my own path. I have value in this world in multiple ways.

I am not alone. You also deserve to have good self esteem. I can tell you I believe that you are a good and worthy and deserving person until I am blue in the face. However, until you accept and KNOW that that is true, and you hold yourself in the highest esteem, it does not matter. I cannot make you esteem yourself, that falls to you and you alone.

I can hold up the mirror, I can show you what I see – but I cannot make you look. I cannot know that you will see yourself as I see you. Yet because I have good self esteem, because of how I value myself and hold myself in good regard, it will help brighten the reflection, and provide you with more illumination.

There are those who prey upon the weak. They seek out the people with low self esteem, no sense of self, and they feed. They play on their fears, they dangle their hopes like a cat toy on a stick, within your claws but beyond your grasp. They like that you do not hold yourself in high regard, and they use that to disempower you.

If you know your worth, believe in your value and that you are deserving of respect, you will find that it is easier to see paths, and ultimately to choose them. What’s more, when you esteem yourself, you will find it far easier to see and show the same in those around you. Self esteem is a positive force, and the more positive forces we put out there, the more paths we open for everyone.

No one but you can know the state of your self esteem. But what I can tell you is that you ARE worthy, you deserve to gain the favor of the Universe, and you ARE a good and deserving person. I hope that if I can see it, so can you.

Do you hold your self in high esteem?


This is the one-hundred twenty sixth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Feel free to re-blog.  Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Positivity: Respect

There are many people deserving of respect.

Status does not matter.  Social standing is unimportant.  It is actions that command respect.  Whether it is a trauma doctor saving a dying patient, a soldier defending her country, a teacher educating children or a plumber keeping your basement dry, the service they perform is deserving of respect.

We have become somewhat jaded as a nation when it comes to this.  Discussions about bad pay and overpayment and benefits or a lack thereof cloud the importance of the people who perform these jobs.  We get so caught up in the negative news about the latest scandal or scam or what-have-you that we do not see the majority, the countless good people who deserve our respect for jobs well done.


Respect is earned.  It is not a blanket emotion given on a whim or at the drop of a hat, but it is earned.  There are many ways in which a person might earn the respect of others, some grand and some simple.  Nevertheless, those who do earn respect deserve it.

Memorial Day is intended to remember the brave who have sacrificed their time, their health and sometimes even their lives to protect freedom and the people they love.  This can be hard to give attention to with all the barbecues and sales and other commercial applications of the day.

That is not to say that there should be no barbecues and sales and commercial applications on this day – those we are remembering did what they have done to that we can enjoy these freedoms and as such we should celebrate.  This, however, should not be the only day we show them the respect they have earned.

I personally could never have been a soldier.  There are numerous examples in my life showing where I don’t do so well with authority, and giving voice where I see foolishness and stupidity.  But I have tremendous respect for those who can and do serve, and to them I say well done.


Beyond those we think of on this holiday, we should give more regular consideration to everyone who earns respect.  I can think of no one who does not appreciate being thanked for their service, whatever it may be, and to get respect it is imperative to give it.  Additionally, do not neglect that you should respect yourself.  When you can respect yourself, you can more easily respect others.  A more respectful world is a more positive world.

Finding positivity is not hard, it just requires action.  Knowing that there are many who have earned and deserve your respect, it is good to show them your appreciation in whatever way you can.  When we are more respectful of everyone, ourselves included, we are more positive.  Respect begets respect, and we can use this to create a better, happier, more positive world.  When you have more respect for yourself and you share it with others, you generate for all the world around you more Positivity.  Positive attitude begets positive energy, and that is always a good thing.


This is the seventeenth entry of my Positivity series.  It is my hope these weekly messages might help spread positive energies for everyone.  Feel free to re-blog and spread the positivity.

Pathwalking 120

Recently I read The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz and his son Don Jose Ruiz.  This is the follow up to the wildly popular book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

These two books present the idea that we come into this life open, but along the way we make “agreements” with how to live.  We relinquish control to outside influences, and we allow our belief system to be massively complicated and colored by the world we live in.

The concept of these books is to help the reader to gain control of their life, to better choose how to live it.  This is very much in line with Pathwalking.

The five agreements are as follows:

1.) Be impeccable with your word

2.) Don’t take anything personal

3.) Don’t make assumptions

4.) Always do your best.

5.) Be skeptical, but learn to listen

The basic concepts stated in the five agreements are completely inline with Pathwalking.  While the whole Toltec vision and approach may not work for everyone, these five ideas can have a profound impact on your everyday life.

For the purpose of Pathwalking, let’s look at how these would work.

Be impeccable with your word.  I translate that to mean be true to yourself.  Don’t tell tall tales, don’t speak ill of others, don’t be a liar, don’t make promises you cannot keep – be true.  It is amazing how easy it is to let your thoughts about others derail how you view the world – being impeccable with your word and watching not only how you speak, but how you THINK can make a pretty huge difference in walking your Path.

Don’t take anything personal.  This is very straightforward.  When others judge you, or treat you unfairly, or are outright mean to you, they are often projecting their own prejudices and viewpoints.  Most of the time this isn’t targeted at you in a personal manner, so you should not dwell upon it and let it affect how you go about in your life.  How many times in Pathwalking have I expressed this along the way?

Don’t make assumptions.  This is huge.  We look at the world in a certain way, we think we know how certain things work, how tab ‘a’ fits into slot ‘b’, and we assume based on our pre-existing knowledge similar situations will fit that mold.  One of the tenets of Pathwalking is choice.  We are choosing the life we want, and in the process breaking molds and norms and such frequently.  I am always on the lookout for the assumptions others make about me and my choices – but it is probably more important I not make assumptions about others, either.  Everything is unique, and even similar experiences are never perfectly the same.

Always do your best.  I think this can be readily interpreted as Yoda states, “Do or do not, there is no try.”  Don’t half-ass things, don’t give lip service to effort, do the best you can.  You will get far more satisfaction from fully living than half-way living.

Be skeptical, but learn to listen.  These ideas, whether you choose to see them as tenets, philosophies, abstract concepts, hokum or however else you view them – these ideas should not just be taken with a grain of salt.  Consider them.  Do these ideas resonate with you, or do they sit badly with your mindset and approach to life?  Listen to all the ideas, but skeptically.  Think about it, consider it, but take it with a grain of salt and don’t outright accept it.

There is a wisdom in these five ideas that is very much in line with the philosophy of Pathwalking.  The “Agreements” presented by Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz align well with my own way of seeing the universe, and how I wish to live my life and walk my own path.

I do, however, recommend reading both The Four Agreements and The Fifth Agreement.  They contain a large amount of great information, and go much deeper into these five notions that I will do here.

What tenets do you take most to heart along your path?


Please note – it is with utter respect and gratitude that I cite the works of Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz here.  The Five Agreements above are wholly theirs, and I am only presenting them here as a compliment to my own Pathwalking philosophy.  I in no way claim any credit in their creation and presentation.  Should there be any legal issues with my sharing them here and associating them with Pathwalking, I will remove this post.

Thank you, Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz.


This is the one-hundred twentieth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Pathwalking 119

Nobody wants to disappoint anyone else.

Just like all the other feelings, you cannot control whether someone is disappointed or not.  Yet we all work incredibly hard to make certain we don’t upset and disappoint the people in our lives.

Whether friends, family, coworkers or even the Powers-that-be, we are all constantly striving not to disappoint.  We change the way we approach things, we change our intentions, we shift our schedules and we sacrifice to avoid disappointment.

Not surprisingly, the person we usually disappoint is ourselves.

We have become so concerned about the impression we make on others, and working to not be a disappointment, usually the person we neglect the most is ourselves.

Disappointing ourselves is far more destructive than disappointing others.  We don’t often see it this way because we are led to believe that it is in our best interest to not disappoint the people in our lives.  We are certain that our purpose is to accommodate everyone else…so we inconvenience ourselves.

We make sacrifices.  We change our plans, change our intentions, alter our goals in order to avoid disappointing other people.

If Pathwalking is about choosing our own paths, and controlling our lives, then isn’t working not to disappoint others the opposite?

I have no doubt this seems counter-intuitive.  But you will discover that the more you disappoint yourself, the more you will wind up disappointing others.

Just like you can rely on no one but yourself to make yourself happy, and just like only you have control over how you feel; if you disappoint yourself you will likely disappoint others more.

Part of the problem we encounter is that we need other people.  There are very few of us who prefer to simply be alone.  We are social animals.  We form groups, we create families, and these are usually among others who share some of our values, goals, ideas, or general view of the Universe.  In order to keep those groups cohesive, we strive to not disappoint or be a disappointment to these people.

Welcome to a wonderful paradox.  We do not want to disappoint or be disappointed, and there are certainly times that these will require actions that oppose one another.  Choose to disappoint, or choose to be disappointed.  What do you do?

I am writing of this due to personal experience.  I am currently planning a life-event that requires a great deal of organization.  Having shared aspects of the plans with various people, I have caused disappointment in that there is disagreement about what I want to do.  Certain people believe that my choices are inappropriate, and they are causing conflict.

The question I am faced with is – disappoint myself, or disappoint others?  If I accede to the disappointment of others, I will be in turn be disappointed.  If I refuse, they will be displeased that I would not do right by them.

Who’s life is it, mine or theirs?  I can’t please everyone all the time, and no matter what course of action I choose here, someone is bound to be disappointed.  Should that someone be me?  I have to go with no.

Selfish?  I do not believe that is the case here.  This presents the line in the sand we come to in avoiding disappointment.  But if I am walking my own path, making my own choices, and accepting control of my own emotions – then why should I disappoint myself to avoid disappointing others?

If you compromise yourself, if you let others influence you when it comes to their feelings, you start down a slippery slope, and you will be constantly facing this challenge.  While in this specific instance I do not believe I am being selfish, it is very possible anyone on the outside will see that I am.

Just as I cannot live your life for you, you cannot live my life for me.  I cannot control when you feel disappointed in me, but I CAN control when I feel disappointment in myself or others.  Pathwalking is about knowing this control and accepting that choice sometimes has a price outside of ourselves.

One alternative thought on disappointment.  Given the paradoxical nature of this, sometimes disappointing others will actually show you where you will inevitably disappoint yourself.  Analyze what it is that is causing the disappointment in the outside influencer, because it is possible they are seeing something you are missing.  Follow no-one blindly, including yourself.

Shakespeare said it perfectly.  “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

How do you handle disappointment/disappointing others?


This is the one-hundred nineteenth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

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