Monday, November 7, 2016

Why Donald Trump Won't Win



Actually, America WAS built on fear.

Success and failure both leave clues, and so does history. History has shown this, for those who are intelligent enough to study it, it can reveal what the future will look like. 

As I write this on the eve of the American election, I am hopeful that history has taught us the tragedies and repercussions of electing a poor leader. And by no means am I saying that Hillary Clinton is the answer. But in the decades of service in politics, Clinton is well-versed in being a politician. One could argue that she is a flawed politician, and that may have significant merit. However, Clinton is a politician, who has earned her way in the political ring by putting in her time and sacrifices.

However, Donald Trump has done none of these things, and has spent no time in uniform, or politics. Yet, Trump expects to walk through the process that almost every American President has in order to become President. In fact, the arrogance it takes to actually move through the past 2 years of campaigning for President knowing this, is stunning. But Donald Trump won't win. Why, you ask?



Because a demagogue never wins.

Germany had Hitler. Toronto, Canada had it's mayor, Rob Ford. The United States had Senator, Joe McCarthy, and now, Donald Trump. But although these demagogue leaders won elections, they eventually lost. The reason being, is the path of the demagogue is one that is filled with resistance, stress, and negative energy. This eventually takes a massive toll on the individual, and can end up causing serious health issues and even death. It simply takes too much energy to expand and maintain their hate and fear driven platforms. 

So tomorrow, on November the 8th, 2016, my prediction is Hillary Clinton will win the election, and Donald Trump will be the loser. Trump won't win the election, and he and his brand will lose viability in business moving forward. In fact, one of the only things Donald Trump will teach us is to reveal exactly how divided the United States really is, and always has been. Trump just spent 2 years opening up many layers of the onion. Social media exploited it in an attempt to raise the awareness that racism, sexism, bigotry, nationalist pride and ignorance is still running rampant in 2016 in the United States of America. My prediction is, this will be the end of the Republican party as we knew it. Moving forward, the GOP will need to be a much more progressive, united party or they will pass into the history books. 

But do I think that Hillary Clinton will fix these issues? No. But I believe, that the ignorance and divides with Trump at the helm will only make the world a worse place to live. And at the end of the day, the world has had many corrupted politicians and survived. But a demagogue like Trump ruins countries forever. 

Just ask anyone who has grown up in Germany in the last 70 years...


Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Chicago Cubs, Steve Bartman and Scapegoats






Finally, the curse of the goat has been lifted! The Chicago Cubs are World Series champions for the first since since horse and cart were the mode of transportation back in 1908. That's an awfully long time in between championships, so much so that the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs don't even rank on the top 10 list of teams with lengthy championship droughts. Wow!

But just like the curse of the Bambino was lifted by the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs have endured the curse of the goat. During the Red Sox World Series in 1986, they had a scapegoat in first baseman, Bill Buckner, whose game 6 error enabled the New York Mets to win the game, before going on to win the next game and win the World Series. You can watch the game 6 clip here:



Even though the Red Sox blew the game 6 lead on a wild pitch to set up Buckner's error, or the fact that the Red Sox blew a 3 run lead in game 7 to lose the World Series, it was Buckner's error in game 6 that most bitter Red Sox fans lay blame to. From 1986 to the day the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, Bill Buckner was a hated man in Boston. After the Red Sox won the World Series to clear the curse of the Bambino, Red Sox fans came out with mantras of forgiving Bill Buckner. Yet, it should be Bill Buckner forgiving Red Sox fans, not vice versa.



Similarly in Chicago, a fan by the name of Steve Bartman became the scapegoat for the Chicago Cubs in 2003. I imagine Bartman cried harder than he had ever cried in his life when The Cubs won the World Series last night, out of pure relief. The peace of mind that Steve Bartman must have now is the stuff that magic is made of.



Imagine not even being a player, and having the entire city of Chicago hate you for what happened for being a fan foul territory going after a ball. Rather than explain it here, you can feel free to watch the clip if you don't know the story.


Bill Buckner did not cause The Red Sox to lose the World Series in 1986, yet he was blamed for it. Steve Bartman did not cause The Cubs to lose the game or NLCS against Florida, yet he was blamed for it.

And that's where I see the similarity in the shifting of energy. The projection of fear mongering and blame creates the scapegoat. Whether that's used like an unabashed demagogue like Donald Trump, or in the stories I've shared here, people seem to want someone to blame for their lot in life. It's easy to target a Buckner, or a Bartman and not look at any of the events before or after them to realize it wasn't the fatal moment people have made it out to be. In both cases, there were player errors, and game 7's that were squandered.

But if you live amongst bitter people who are looking to blame others in an attempt to not look deeper at the real cause or accountability, it looks like more of the same. When I see someone like Donald Trump running a campaign in a similar fashion by telling people who's to blame for their lot in life, rather than addressing the root cause issues, it's an easy pattern to spot.

The people who want a scapegoat do so because it's the easiest way to avoid accountability. Perhaps if we cease laying blame on unnecessary sources, we can be focused on what to do moving forward, instead of wasting energy on faulting others for the world not being the way we want it to be.

In the meantime, it's people like Bill Buckner and Steve Bartman who should be the ones to forgive others for how they've shamefully been treated. Now that both the Sox and the Cubs have won World Series, and lifted their respective curses, maybe the healing can begin.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Days That Are Gone Forever





My childhood best friend's mother passed away suddenly, 8 years ago, and I wrote this note. Her death completely changed my life in so many ways. Perhaps I was naive to think that it wouldn't, but I wasn't prepared for how my life took a right turn after a loss so great. I've re-read this blog, and decided to re-post it because I think we all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, and sometimes, we need a gentle reminder to slow down and smell the flowers.


Even though it is more than half my life ago, I can remember special times with special people. I can remember the small things that make it like a movie in my head that can be replayed time and again. Even with all the booze trying to destroy my brain cells, I can still recall some pretty funny shit. This stuff only comes in handy these days in small doses like weddings, birthdays, campfires, and of course funerals. 

There is almost never a time that we do what we should've done, looking back in retrospect. We have these things called JOBS, careers, kids, wives, husbands and they take up all the time we were used to having as a kid. The life we were used to as a kid has had to be replaced with a life of no time in order to build up our nest egg to support our new life, kids, wives ect. So we sacrifice the relationships that we once devoted ourselves to in order to make time for our new life. 
Not many people make a big deal about it, because they are generally doing the same thing themselves and they don't notice. Months turn into years and we all lose touch slowly until a funeral comes around. We say our pleasantries that day, make fake and unrealistic comments like, "we'll have to get together soon" but both people realize that this comment is a polite way of saying, "We just don't have the time anymore, but it was good to see you again" 
Just like good little North Americans do. We work and slave and sacrifice to be bigger and better. I think European and Latin American lifestyles have it right and we are wired wrong. They enjoy relationships and living life, whereas we promote work and material possessions. And of course, everyone knows about this thing called DEATH, but we all think we are smarter than it is and are always content on trying to cheat it. But guess who wins this? 

I wish that we were constantly reminding ourselves about the things in life that really matter. Friendships, amongst the most that I value in my life. Family, which supports and loves us. Jobs sustain us, but love passion, fun....These are the things that make us. I would rather be poor and love with passion, than be rich in a mansion with no one to share it with. 

Touch somebody's life today. It may not be there much longer, and live each day like this....

Monday, October 24, 2016

You're Not Who You Think You Are





Imagine you are at a costume store because Halloween is coming up. You've been invited to this massive party, and EVERYONE is going to be there wearing a costume. So, a week before, you choose your costume, and then wait for the big day. Let's call it your birthday ;)

Then the big day comes! You head to the party, and of course, nobody recognizes you. So you begin having conversations. Perhaps these conversations begin based of your respective costumes. But slowly, you begin to see that people interact with you based on your costume. You attract a certain type of tribe because they relate to you as if you ARE the costume you are wearing. Commonality breeds acceptance and comfort, right? But are you the costume that you are wearing? Well, that's absurd. It's simply a costume, an avatar, a role playing experiment for the party, right?

So what would happen the next day if you woke up from the Halloween party, and you couldn't take off the suit; you're actually stuck with the costume for the rest of your life! What if I was always destined to look like this?



Welcome to the world of being human.

You see, I'm not the costume I am wearing. The costume I'm stuck with (for this life) looks like a white guy with curly hair, blue eyes, stands about 5'8 tall, and goes by the name of Chuck Bastie. These have been some of the traits to my identity, none of which, I chose. In fact, because of these traits, I have been teased for being too short, having bad hair, and the list goes on and on. When I actually believed that I was the body I resided in, this teasing hurt my feelings. They caused me to feel badly, and bruised my ego. It caused me to feel unaccepted, and an outsider. Then came a new perspective, which changed my view of who I thought I was:

I am not the body I reside in.

Just like being the driver in a car I lease every 4 years, I am not the car I drive. I don't relate to myself as the car I lease, but rather the soul who drives it.

Souls are NOT human. They don't have gender, race, skin colour, religious beliefs, or sexuality. Just like water, a soul takes on the form it's placed in. And this time around, I was placed in a vessel which looks like what I see in the mirror. And when this body gets tired or dies, I will leave this body, and people will say, I died. But "I" will live onward. The shape of what I will look like is yet to be determined. However I believe I am not the body I used for this time on earth. That body was simply a vehicle. I understand to not get attached as if it were "me", because I am so much more than the body I reside in.



So if someone called you a name which reflected the costume you were wearing, wouldn't it be silly to react as if you were that costume? This is a manner in which I can release my identity, and not take things personally. So if anyone calls you a racist or sexist slur, you can laugh at them for believing you are what they see you as.

In fact, this is how I look at every human being. Most people actually think they are the costume they are wearing. They take things personally, and become really significant about their identity. But I think the most workable way of looking at this is to release the thought that you actually are, what you've been born as.

Imagine if everyone adapted this as their belief system. There wouldn't be any racism, sexual discrimination, or religious wars. We would all understand that we're all connected as the same particles of star dust, appearing in different roles life after life, using the experiences we encounter to develop the character we need to move on to our next grand entrance.

Now, I'm quite sure that this theory of mine isn't true. But neither is the one I was taught. And if I'm going to believe a mis-truth, I'm certainly going to choose one that works better. And the story I was taught about heaven and hell, religion and identities, is a shitty version with a horrific result. So I'm changing it. I'm changing it to view each and every person as the driver, or soul inside of the costume they are wearing, and honouring them as such. I'm not going to relate to them as to what my eyes see, but rather what their character demonstrates.

And anyone else who wants to live their lives differently is welcomed to it. I just know that my life has more acceptance for people without the limitations, and labels we put on them. I think I had it ass backwards.

Instead of treating people in this manner, I think the biggest compliment you can give someone is connecting to their soul, not to the body which drives it.












Monday, July 11, 2016

Being Racially Colour Blind




The simple fact is, the perspective of “different” scares most people.

People Love familiarity because it’s what they know. They Love it so much that people can exist inside of poor choices or circumstances, but if it’s what they know or have familiarity in, they develop coping mechanisms to exists inside of it, and continue with that circumstance as its partner. Wow, powerful stuff...

As human beings, we are all part of the same race. The human race is the most intelligent collection of living souls on this planet. Yet despite being as intelligent as we sometimes are, our fears impede us from connecting more fluidly, and easily to each other in solidarity. We need proof or evidence to create what is safe, and what is not safe. We learn to trust our senses from what we see. Yet our eyes can deceive us from perceiving what is real, and what’s an illusion. We judge and assess to make meaning of our environment, and in doing so, we deceive ourselves from what our truth is.



Rather than seeing ourselves as whole human beings, our insecurities can divide us to create distinctions and differences. We are so fearful that we are not worthy enough, we create the perception that someone or something is not what we are. Our identity kicks in like a survival mechanism, and because that something is not what we are, we make it wrong, weird or different. We defend our own identity, ideas, and beliefs as if they were absolute truth. But in truth, there are mis-truths. Yet out of almost nine billion people in the world, we are unique. There is nobody else exactly like us. So literally everybody is going to be different from us, and we can spend our entire lives seeking familiarity, and avoiding difference.

So we cling to the likened or familiar. We call them tribes, countries, race, conservative, liberal, Black, white, gay, straight, and the list goes on. We associate with these traits as if they were real and significant because we feel it’s what defines us. Yet all of these traits are ego-gratifying and irrelevant. They actually divide us, not unite us. We can be so attached to these traits that we might not accept others if they aren't. And this is the great divide.

Rather than seeing ours bodies as vehicles for the souls who drive them, we seem to confuse ourselves as if we were the vehicle, and not the driver. We put our emphasis on being the car, instead of being it's driver. We relate to people as being the car we are driving. I'm clear that I am not the car I am driving in this life. It's simply a vehicle to get my soul to where it needs to go whilst having a human experience. My vehicle is not me, and I am not my vehicle. 

So I'm not attached or significant about my skin colour, or my eye colour, or my height, or any other trait that I was born with. To a greater degree, I can control my body type, or my knowledge, or whatever I can input into my vehicle, but this still doesn't define me. Releasing the notion that I am what my body is, makes me less defensive, and less attached. I do my best listening, connecting and growth when I’m open, and not defensive.

What does defines me is my character. And my character is not a colour, or a tribe, or a gender or a sexual preference. So forgive me if I choose not to look at somebody, and assess them as their skin suit at the costume party of life. Souls wear costumes, but we are not the costume we are wearing. We are so much more than that, and I for one, will not assess another for the kind of suit they are wearing. I will assess souls for their character because anything less than that is irrelevant to me. 

So if I say I don't see colour, or race, or sexuality, I think it's a step forward for humanity, and not backwards. It means I accept you as a soul looking at you from another perspective, away from the identity of what society has called me, and divided you and I on. It means I don't define you as what your skin suits looks like, because it's simply a vehicle your soul is using to connect to me. 

Because in the end, the common link of this energy that binds us, is we are all spirit beings having a human experience.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

An Open Letter to Black Lives Matter #BLM





An Open Letter to Black Lives Matter #BLM

I want to start by saying Black Lives Matter. I want the world to accept Black people, and people of colour. My name is Chuck Bastie, and I am a white male. Acknowledging that privilege, I would like to openly talk about why Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter because Blacks are human beings. Every human being’s life matters, because we are all made up of the same energy. We all are living souls trapped inside a body we did not choose. I didn’t choose to be white, yet I understand it affords me a higher privilege in life that can be unfair to others who are not white. Some white people don’t understand the concept of privilege because they don’t take the time to understand the plight of other races.



White males have been the cause of many hundreds of years of oppression, and slavery towards others. White people can be fearful who react to their perceived fears in ways that create, and alienate others around them. Rather than including, white people have excluded other races, creating a class system which only secures a white privilege lifestyle, whilst destroying the lives and races of the world. Yet, it seems very challenging for most white people to say this. So I’m acknowledging it.
So here’s what I want to say to Black Lives Matter:

I want you to win, and progress by opening up the dialogue for why Black Lives Matter.  Yet watching you go about it can be utterly painful. I am left with many questions in my head about why you do the things you do in the name of inclusion. In many ways, Black Lives Matter is their own worst enemy. It’s like watching #BLM line up at the starting blocks of a race insistent on wearing a 10lb weight belt around themselves, and then complaining the race isn’t fair. 

The way I see it, Black people already are on the side of Black Lives Matter. Therefore, you need non-Black people’s support in order to grow the Black Lives Matter movement. Therefore, the job of #BLM is about educating white people, not attacking them for what their ancestors have created. Of course, it’s understandable that the situation is frustrating and challenging. It’s something that I will never be able to truly understand because I am white, which is not my fault, yet remains an issue in the conversation.

I think the concept which alludes #BLM is people generally don’t like to listen to other angry people because it’s bad energy. People are generally poor listeners to begin with. So most people will not hear what #BLM has to say if it sounds angry and aggressive. Ultimately, #BLM has to connect with empathy and vulnerability if you are to truly get people’s listening. Those are the only two connecting emotions that human beings use, yet Black Lives Matter aren’t using either. Instead, I see Black Lives Matter using fear generated emotions like, anger, frustration, aggression and resistance. These are exactly the same emotions used against #BLM by those who seek to suppress you, and as the saying goes, “whatever you resist, persists.”

It’s my worst fear that #BLM will use this aggressive energy to attract others with like energy. Then #BLM will become a collection of angry Black people shouting for justice in a world that doesn’t want to give it. That will create more resistance, resentment, frustration and little progress because it’s been like this for centuries. We all know the way this path leads to, and nobody wins.

I’ve been told by many Black people that  Blacks don’t like it when white people quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Yet I cannot help from sharing the very wise words that he uttered over 50 years ago in the face of greater resistance than we have now. MLK said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only Love can do that.”




Therefore the mission of the #BLM movement must be deeply rooted in Love, which is the opposite of anger and hate. Hate just creates more hate, and this world already has enough of that.  I hope that Black Lives Matter opens the conversation for all people who feel like they aren’t accepted for who they are. It seems that #BLM has the ability to open that conversation because in fact, all lives matter.

The common denominator in this thing called life is, that we are all spirit beings having a human experience. Each of us is wearing a different costume, yet we seemingly relate to each other as if that costume is real, when in fact, it’s not who we are. We are so much more than the body we exist inside of!  Until we start relating to each other as such, we will be limited by these costumes we wear, and be stuck at the party of intolerance, instead of the party of acceptance and Love. 



Friday, June 17, 2016

What Your Father Wants on Father's Day





What Fathers Want on Father's Day 
Some get us socks, or ties, or cards. But the truth is, what we want is for our spouse and kids to be happy. 
We often work a shitty job for a boss we can't stand, in order to bring home our tax dwindled dollar to make your life a little better than what we had, and we do it all for you. 
So, you may not hear us complain, or cry about it because we can't. We need to project strength and power to make the family feel secure and safe. What we've been taught is to provide and protect our family, and our happiness comes after that. We weren't taught to communicate, or say I Love you. We were taught to show you how much we Love you by doing the things which made you, our family, happy. 
So, cut your Father some slack. He's doing the very best he can with the tools he was given, and he Loves you. He may not show you that in the way that makes sense for you, but his Love is there.
So here are 100 Things This Father Wants His Daughter to Know for all you Women out there. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What Being Overweight Means







So one thing I know at age 44, is that my body does not burn calories like it did when I was 24. When I was 24, I simply could not put on any weight. I was always around 8 percent body fat, and I hovered around 140lbs, standing 5’8. 

I’m not saying this to boast. In fact, I was teased for how skinny I was. To save my soul, I could not put on fat or muscle until I turned 26. I was the skinny kid that everyone made fun of. Skinny isn't very attractive, and it can be associated with being a weakling, something every male fears growing up.

So being on the other end of the weight issue, I can empathize with people who are overweight, and the judgment they feel about it. Yet as I write this, I am about 15 lbs over weight of where I would feel confident about my body. I can tell you I've received a lot more respect from people being confident about my body when I was in really good shape, than when I was skinny.

So here are some things I consider about weight issues:



           Weight is a result, not a judgment.

Your present weight is simply a result of what your body has been processing. This includes nutrition, exercise, stress, hormones, thyroid, diseases, perspective, mental health and many more factors.
For the most part, I don’t think people judge others for being overweight. After owning a recruiting firm for 20 years, and seeing the hiring process from companies, I can tell you people judge overweight people for the lack of control people have over their bodies. Therefore, it’s the factors which contribute to weight gain which draws the judgment, not the result. The judgment is often mistaken for being overweight, which is false.

 If you wanted that ideal body, you would have that ideal body.

As with anything, if the desire is strong enough, you will find a way. For example, when I would interview a Mother, I would ask her the following question. “If you had no absolutely no money and your children needed to eat, what would you do?” You had to hear what these Women wouldn’t stop at to feed their kids. Like nothing! They would do what they needed to do to feed their kids, because their desire was higher than their circumstance. There really was no excuse in what they couldn’t come up with to make sure they were good mothers. Similarly, if they valued their own lives like their children, there would be no excuse for treating their bodies in the manner which produced their weight issue. So if you have struggled with weight issues for extended periods of time, I would suggest your way isn't going to work. If you find a coach, or another approach from your way of thinking, you will change your results.


 The weight isn’t the confronting issue, the behavioural pattern is.

The weight is a direct result of the choices your body is inputted with. Since you are in control of the choices in which you input, your behavioural patterns are a reflection of the result. Some choices are unconscious habits, and some are coping mechanisms. That being said, people do things for 2 reasons:

1) To get their desires met 
2)  To escape the pain they are in

In other words, when you discover the issues which trigger your negative behavioural patterns, your need to escape the pain you are in won’t require the coping mechanism which then creates the emotionally charged poor choices.

 Blame

Blaming is the easiest way to not confront the real issue, and it gives away all of your power as a human being. For example, it’s easy to blame others for the stress which may cause you to eat. But it’s more challenging to confront how you take stress on in the first place, how to process it effectively instead of eating your way through the problem in order to find happiness or safety. Happiness is never found at the bottom of a bag of chips, or an ice cream carton.

 Shame

Shame is the lowest resonating human emotion. One level better is humiliation. The difference being that both emotions can feel humiliated, but the difference is shame believes it was deserved. When your own belief system believes the humiliation was deserved, emotions can get caught in a downward spiral in an unrecoverable spin requiring therapy and/or counselling. An authentic belief system of worthiness is vital to avoid shame.


Where you carry your weight indicates what you need to release

The body has muscle memory. Ask any person who has lost weight, and gained it back. The weight comes back in the same place. Where you carry your weight is indicative of what you need to release in your life. When you freely release the mindset of why the body thinks it needs the extra weight, good nutrition and exercise will attack the cells in that particular part of the body to release it.  For example, for Women carrying weight on their mid section, the mindset is a lack of vulnerability. It’s a fear of being attacked. Masculine energy stores the weight in that place because the individual believes they need it so they won't be bullied. Remove the belief system, and you remove the issue.


 You want to release weight, not lose weight.

Whatever you lose, you will search for and find again. You don’t want to lose weight only to find it again. Therefore, if you release the pattern, you will release the weight, and it won’t come back. Losing weight and not releasing the patterns, means the struggle with weight issues will become overwhelming, exhausting, and never ending.

Weight has nothing to do with the weight.

Weight has everything to do with affirmations and belief systems which work for you, not against you. Shifting the view of weight, its judgments, excuses, and being defensive about it shifts your energy to positive cells working inside of you in order to combat the negative cells. If you feel good, you are likely to make good choices. Conversely, if you feel badly, you are likely to make poor choices.

Don’t kid yourself, you are NOT happier being heavier.

People who say they are happier being heavy simply don’t want to look in the hard to reach areas of their lives to do the work to be healthy. Your body is the only vessel you have on this time around to carry you through life. If you feel happy about operating the only vehicle you have in an abusive manner to the optimum operating style of that vehicle, you are being self-destructive. That behaviour won’t ensure a healthy life, and it will cause diseases and illnesses down the road. Sure you might feel happier in the moment for eating that piece of cake, but it doesn’t help you in the long run, and the coping mechanism will ensure it wins again. When the coping mechanism wins, you lose.

Be Happy.

Being authentically happy is a choice. Happy people make better choices than unhappy people. Unhappy people need to regain their energy, so they resort to their learned coping mechanisms and familiar patterns to get the results they have always gotten. Happy people create energy with other people and their surroundings, which creates a feeling of happiness and support. No need for coping mechanisms in this scenario, which makes for better choices and healthier living.



I’m quite sure there were people who stopped reading this article long ago because it was too confronting for them. That’s certainly not my intention to shame or discourage anyone in their personal battles. My intention is to use my experiences, sharing the insights I have learned in the past 20 years interviewing people, and writing books.

If you would like to speak to me more about your weight issues, or other issues holding you back, you can email me at: chuckbastie@gmail.com and I will do my very best to get back to you. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

What to do when you've been unfriended on Facebook





Ever looked on your Facebook and sometimes thought, "So and So has been really quiet lately, and I haven't seen anything from them lately."

Then you go to their profile page only to discover they have unfriended you. Hmmmmmmm. We've all had that happen, right? Here's what I do when that happens.

NOTHING.

There's really something brilliant that happens to me when I see I'm unfriended. I see my tribe of people narrowing and narrowing into a body of people I would want to be surrounded by. Most people have you in their lives for conditions, and those conditions change. If they decide to take away their "friendship" away without telling you or because of some opinion or action you've done, they weren't much of a friend anyway. At least not in my book. Hell, you can even unfollow a person on Facebook without unfriending them. But if someone wants to unfollow me or unfriend me, it's their issue to deal with, not mine.




Now to be clear, if someone reaches out and addresses the issue with me, that's a different story. But to a person who didn't like my post about Hillary Clinton, Jian Ghomeshi, Donald Trump, The World Trade Center conspiracy, or otherwise, I'm better off without having them in my stratosphere. I don't really care if you are friend or family. In fact, it's probably easier that way for the both of us.

Because I don't need anyone to agree with me. I don't need anyone to throw sunshine up my ass. If I can hear your POV, understand and accept it, then I would hope that you would be able to do the same. The problem lies that most people want to be heard and understood, but don't want to reciprocate. They listen to reply, not to understand. They react instead of understanding the other's POV, trying to convince them they are wrong. But a person convinced against their will, are of the same opinion still. So agreeing to disagree is a viable, workable option instead of arguing.

People who unfriend people on Facebook seem to be people devoid of communication skills and almost use the tool of unfriending as a weapon. If they used the unfriend button as a way of respecting their own boundaries, power to them, yet in my experience, it's rarely the case.



So every time I notice someone unfriended me, I am grateful for being surrounded by one less person who isn't supposed to be on my Journey, and I wouldn't accept it. The person who unfriended me was probably always a person I didn't want to share a path with, but I was hopeful that they were going to be who I wanted them to be, and not accept them for who they were always being.

So the unfriending was a gift after all, and not a rejection of me. After all, life's rejections, are God's protections.




Monday, May 2, 2016

Why You Should Write






The quiet of the early morning is intoxicating to me. I sit in front of my computer screen, sipping my coffee, having gratitude for breakfast, and create my day as it slowly unfolds. There is music in my ears to awaken the groggy writer within me, almost as if I summon him.

I allow my mind to meander. This creates the improvisation that becomes writing. And then the magic appears. Words appear on the screen. I write and write, without a care of the content, or fear of judgement from what it says. I simply write. Generally speaking, I have a basic template which keeps about 20% of the content I write. The trick is to keep writing until I get into a rhythm. Sometimes its an hour, sometimes it comes quickly, and sometimes it’s not there at all. However, each time I write, I improve. Improving is the goal, not the writing. Writing is simply a vehicle I utilize to improve.

I’ve found writing to be incredibly cathartic. Even though I’ve written 3 books, which may or may not sell, the real beauty was the person I got to become in the process of writing those books. Perhaps most people write for the agenda of being an author, or the dream of becoming rich and famous, or promoting their product or service. And those may be viable reasons to write. My reasons to write are simple. It makes me a better person. It empowers a voice for my soul to speak. It shares a message which includes those people it resonates with. Call it community, or tribe, there is comfort in the familiarity that you aren’t the only person going through life alone, dealing with what you think is the loneliest, most significant part of your Journey, as life goes on. 

It’s times like this I am reminded that the greatest triumphs in my life had their origins with a series of unfortunate events which aligned me to where I was supposed to be. The things that never were, were never meant to be. I can take solace in the view that my life is exactly where it’s supposed to be, and not where I think it should be. After all, life’s rejections are God’s protections…



Monday, April 11, 2016

The Legacy of Ed Snider





If you can ever measure the worth of a man, I think it is to be found in his contribution to his community. If that is how you can measure the life of a man, Ed Snider has secured a legacy for the ages.

For those people who knew him, the legacy of Ed Snider was decades in the making, and it won't end here on the day of his passing simply because he is no longer physically still with us. In his 83 years, Mr. Snider did more in his lifetime to connect community, and empower people than one could possibly comprehend.

I first reached out to Mr. Snider last summer. After hearing about his Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, I wanted to know more about the man behind the foundation name. I felt that any person dedicated to the empowerment of underprivileged people in the community deserves the acknowledgement for impacting, and shifting young lives.

In Philadelphia, Mr. Snider was royalty. I can't imagine any person having more of an impact in Philly than Ed Snider. But I live in Toronto. Certainly people know of Ed Snider in Canada, but I felt he deserved much more acknowledgement for how he has successfully crafted an empire than any NHL team would model.

So I reached out to Mr. Snider. I was invited to The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation at Trump National Golf Course in New Jersey, just across the river from Philadelphia. I journeyed over night to arrive at the golf event in the early morning hours. I was welcomed by Scott Tharp, President of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, Jim Britt, Executive VP of Snider Hockey, Zack Hill, Director of Public Relations for The Philadelphia Flyers, and Ike Richman, V.P. of Public Relations for Comcast-Spectacor.



While we were waiting for Mr. Snider to arrive, I was in the back room with 2 young Snider Youth Hockey players who were speaking at the event. One of them was understandably nervous, and working on his speech, so I asked if I could listen and help him. His story was likely similar to the other kids in South Philly. He came from a single parent household, with few choices in life. When he started with the ESYHF he was 14 years old, and after 4 years in the program, his life was exponentially different. He has the choice of going to college, of learning life skills that he learned in Mr. Snider's Foundation which taught him team work, dedication, hope, faith and community service. All of which lead to a living a more fulfilled life.

When Mr. Snider arrived, I became increasingly nervous. I got the chance to interview him about his legacy and his foundation for almost 4 minutes, which you can listen to here:






When the 2 Snider Youth Hockey athletes finally got the chance to speak in front of Mr. Snider, The Flyers and all the guests, what they said moved Mr. Snider to tears. Of over 3,000 kids that the foundation helps support in the community, these 18 young men's lives were shifted from a life in gangs or in prison, to a life of contribution. They owe that all to the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.



The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation uses hockey as the hook to teach young kids the tools in life to be successful and fulfilled. In his 83 years of accomplishment, billionaire Ed Snider only gave his name and his legacy to one thing, and this is what he felt most passionate about.

Certainly, nobody can quantify the intangibles this foundation will bring. Mr. Snider will never be able to comprehend the difference this will make in the lives of the community he created, nor the impact it will have on the future generations of young people they impact moving forward. But he knew the difference it would create in the community he Loved, which is why he created it.

The world is a little worse today with the passing of Ed Snider, yet it's in a much better set of hands because of the work that Mr. Snider created securing his legacy as a man who cared deeply about contribution and service. Please check out The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation website:

www.sniderhockey.com

Thank you Ed Snider for your contribution. You will be deeply missed, but never forgotten. Your vision and kindnesses have changed the lives of millions of people in a way you will never know.

God speed, to where you are, Ed Snider.




Monday, April 4, 2016

Martin Luther King Jr.






Recently, I watched the movie, "Selma" about the march from Selma, to Montgomery, Alabama in support of the civil rights movement in 1965.

As I watched the movie, I realized that 1965 seems a really long time ago. Much of the footage we see of that time period is in black and white. However, what made it seem longer than the 50 years which have passed since that march was the treatment of human beings who opposed equal rights for all Americans.

I noticed the people who were marching for civil rights were carrying the American flag. A flag of a country which opposed them from being equal to others, yet they carried that flag. These people marching were opposed with people not carrying the stars and stripes, but the battle flag of the Confederacy. The streets were littered with white people opposing the voting rights to Blacks already guaranteed by the same constitution, which grants the same freedoms to each and every citizen in the United States. One hundred years, an entire century after President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves forever, Blacks were still struggling to enforce their rights, and the white people who opposed them. How sad that 50 years ago, people were simply on the wrong side of history and they didn't know it. Or, if they knew it, they didn't care.

Now 50 years later, it seems completely crazy that people didn't have those same rights. We could never understand why the colour of one's skin could deny a citizen of the country to be denied their inalienable rights.

Yet, the same conversation stands for many. Gay rights, Women's rights, Native rights, and the list goes on and on. When will the citizens who elect the governments who represent them stand together and give human beings the same rights and privileges as outlined by the nation they live in?
And when will human beings grant others the same right to live their lives in the Freedom that so many people have died to defend?

As today is April 4, I thought I would bring this up. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed on this day in 1968. Dr. King stood for the equality of all human beings, in peaceful demonstrations. His courage raised awareness for the equality of all people, not just Blacks but for the entire civil rights movement. To watch the ignorance of people oppose that concept is just ludicrous to me, and yet as I write this, it probably happens to people I know, every day.

We as human beings are all one. We come in various colours, shapes, sizes, genders, sexuality, and beliefs. Yet, we are all souls born inside of a body we did not choose. We are souls having a human experience, treating one another as if we really were the costume that we were born into. But to judge a person solely on their costume, is to ignore the beauty of the soul inside of it.

To where you are, Martin Luther King Jr.




Friday, April 1, 2016

The Tickle Trunk of Life

I originally wrote this in 2009, but recently re-read it and chose to post it on my blog. I hope you enjoy it...



I remember when my grandmother passed away. I was lucky to have a really young grandmother. She was 36 when I born. I was just shy of 20 when she died, a young woman, but I was lucky enough to have lived with her for the final months of her life. This gave me an immense amount of closure with her and for months knowing that she was terminal, we were able to talk about everything in her life, her kids' lives, and although she should've been bitter about a lot of cards she was dealt, she wasn't. She was a very bitchy woman to many, but to her family, she was the nucleus of what made everyone stick together.
But what made her a great mother and grandmother was the passion that she had for her family. She was very protective of her kids and grand kids. I knew this, but never as much as after she had passed away, we were cleaning up her stuff at her house and we found her tickle trunk.

It was just like opening a time capsule to your whole life. There, she had every piece of art and drawings and stories that I had made right from kindergarten to the day that I graduated high school. And they were all nicely put away and cared for, as if they were little tiny treasures. And I guess that they were for her... What was simply pieces of paper with ink and paint on them, were now part of her collection. In going through these, I found a time line from me, the eldest grandchild right down the line to the others who were so important to her. I wished that people who didn't like my grandmother could've seen this.

I know that my grandmother had battles with her kids, but her grand kids were everything to her. And I see that now, how much grandparents have the greatest moments. How life just seems to be much more spiritual, and less of an everyday battle than it does to us parents or single people.

But I can't tell you how happy and honoured that I was that my grandmother took the time to appreciate and keep my work. I looked at one drawing that I had done in Kindergarten when we had visited the Washington DC Metro Zoo and I saw my first Giant Panda which was a gift from China to the USA. I loved that cuddly looking ball of fur. I came back to class and I drew a picture of it (badly) and then the teacher quoted my caption of what I said about the Panda.
"Here is my Panda. He is smiling because he is looking at me. I love him, and I want one of my own.- Chuckie"

Looking down at that piece of paper, I was grateful for everything my grandmother did for my family, which in turn, included me. Some of my younger cousins were too young when she died, and its sad, because they missed a beautiful woman on the inside. I missed her dearly, but never as much as I did posthumously when I found all this, which just made me feel like crawling up inside that trunk to feel closer to her.

Its funny how time goes by and you remember stuff like this randomly. All the things going on these days with the economy and the hustle and bustle of everyday life and this is the good things you remember. Talking to people on facebook, I have remembered a lot of things in the past that have been put in that tickle trunk in my head. But opening it up every once and a while makes life seem a little more manageable and certainly much more lovable.

Now, my mother has taken her mother's name and has become "Nanny" to my daughter. I can't wait to see how things happen just like this in the next 20 years. I started a Journal for Kennedy, starting from the day when we first found out she was going to be a girl. I had started that journal talking to a child that hadn't existed yet in our lives, and without a sex; without a name. When I came home after finding out the sex of our baby, I could write her name in the book and say hello for the first time. Its been almost a year since I started telling her about her story and I can't wait to give it to her on her 16th birthday. With all the things a tickle trunk should have in it.

So thanks Nanny, for loving us, and teaching us how to love so dearly...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Marie Henein is on the Wrong Side of History





Marie Henein is the defense lawyer for Jian Ghomeshi, the former CBC broadcaster, and a former band member of, Moxy Fruvous,

Henein was on The National last night with host, Peter Mansbridge to talk about how she's felt about the reaction towards her defending Ghomeshi from the sexual assaults he was charged with, and acquitted from last week.

In fact, Mansbridge used one of my posts on Facebook during the interview. My quote was, "You are on the wrong side of history, so congratulations on your legacy." You can see it here, and the reaction of Henein. My post comes at 15:44 into the video.



People might say that I could use this link as my 5 seconds of fame, that I could include myself in this hot mess for exposure for my personal gain. But that isn't why I wrote that message to Henein. I wrote that because I believe in equal rights for all human beings, period. Regardless of race, gender, sexuality, religion, or whatever divides us as humans, I believe we should all have the same rights, and freedoms to live the life of our choice.

I believe that Marie Henein  is a wonderfully talented lawyer, who used her platform and talents for the perpetuation of a masculine energy-dominated, misogynistic world we live in to suppress Women. To make matters worse, I believe Henein had a choice in the matter of defending Ghomeshi against assaulting Women. She was already a high priced defense attorney, so she really didn't need this case. However, she chose to defend Ghomeshi, and do her best to win the case. So going into the situation, Henein's intention was to defend Ghomeshi, and exonerate his sexual assault charges with a not guilty decision by discrediting the females who were allegedly sexually assaulted by Ghomeshi.

To be a female, and discredit other females who have been allegedly wronged or assaulted by a man, and then CHOOSE to defend him in that process is absolute madness! Then in this interview with Peter Mansbridge, Henein questions as to why men are not viewed as people who betray their gender, yet Women are. So let me explain this in how I see it.

I've never understood why Women trust men. Statistically speaking, men are Women's #1 predator in life. Men have suppressed Women for thousands of years out of fear. So, to say that it's a "Man's World" is fairly accurate. Men are afforded a "privilege" not afforded to females in North America, let alone anywhere else in the world.

So to draw a comparison, if I were a penguin, I know that my #1 predators are leopard seals, and sharks. It's a full time job to steer away from these predators for obvious reasons. Penguins need to stick up for each other because they are the hunted species. So imagine how difficult the situation would be for the penguin who lives in fear of being eaten and attacked by their predators, if the penguin also had to be aware of other penguins who were selling them out to the leopard seals and sharks. Marie Henein just so happens to be doing this exact thing.

That's the summary of what most Women have to deal with lawyers such as Marie Henein out there defending people like Jian Ghomeshi from assaulting Women, who they thought they liked. Not only do Women have to deal with misogyny, they also have to deal with Alpha females living in a masculine energy dominated world as predators as well. How sad...

And THAT, is the difference Marie Henein, as to why men don't get judged for beating other men. Predators or gladiators who live in that game accept that as a casualty of war for playing in that game. They realize that if you step into that ring, expect to be attacked because it's a violent world that men play in. Most females don't want to play in that game, and I don't blame them. You however, have chosen to play in that game, and that's your right. But when you question as to why other men or gender is questioned to your motives, it's because Women need your help, NOT men like Jian Ghomeshi who allegedly hit Women, and then hid behind their choice of sexual appetites. In short, you are furthering the abuse that it is acceptable for men to sexually assault Women, and that's just not acceptable in 2016.

There is a new awareness coming to us for the equality of all humans. You can be on the right side of history, or you can choose to be on the other side of it. I believe that Marie Henein just put herself on the #WrongSideof History

#wrongsideofhistory





Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Marco Muzzo Gets Sentenced to 10 Years



Marco Muzzo leaving the Courthouse
Marco Muzzo was sentenced today to ten years, less time already served, for his D.U.I. incident which killed 3 young children, and their grandfather. He was also given a driving ban for 12 years when he is released from jail.

No amount of jail time, or sentence could ever cause this situation from being tolerable. It is a sickening feeling for all involved, and unfortunately there's nothing that will undo this. That's the reality.

That being said, we will now see if Marco Muzzo walks the walk, and talks the talk. He was given his sentence. He admitted guilt as quickly as he was able to do so. He's served 6 months in jail already, and he issued a letter of apology to the Lake family. So far, Muzzo has done everything he could do to show remorse for his actions.


Marco Muzzo's letter of apology



So here is where the rubber meets the road. In the aftermath of this horrific situation, the actions of Muzzo will dictate how he will be judged. If Muzzo does his jail time, and comes out to live his life the way he lived it going into trial, the Lake children may have died in vain.

However, if Muzzo really wants to live the rest of his life atoning for his actions, he will begin public speaking to school kids about the consequences of drinking and driving. If Muzzo dedicates the rest of his life to raising awareness towards the consequences of drinking and driving, the altruism of preventing situations like this from happening again are improved. Just this weekend, York Regional Police arrested 13 people in drinking and driving cases. So the message still isn't clear. We need to use this case so the world will wake up and cease the madness of drinking and driving.

There is nothing that will ever bring the lives of the Lake children back. However, if there is a silver lining in all things, perhaps we can find something to make the world realize that drinking and driving is never an option, and that moving forward, cases like this raise more awareness as to the consequences of it.
















Monday, March 28, 2016

Marco Muzzo Sentencing, Drinking and Driving and Forgiveness



Marco Muzzo will be sentenced on March 29, 2016


Few stories in Toronto are as haunting as the horrific tale of Marco Muzzo. He was speeding, ran a stop sign, collided with a mini van, killed 3 young kids, their grandfather, and injured 2 others. Oh, and to add insult to serious injury, Muzzo happened to blow over three times the legal limit on the blood-alcohol test. This is a story of drinking and driving, and the power of forgiveness.

In a day and age when we think the message of drinking and driving has gotten through to the masses of people in today's society, something awful like this happens, and we stop to re-think. Although this is the poster child case for the consequences of drinking and driving, I want to focus my point on what I think could be an altruistic opportunity that sits right in front of us. 

Before I start, I want to mention that I can't even begin to empathize more with Jennifer Neville-Lake, and her husband Edward Lake. Their lives will forever be affected by the decision of Muzzo's poor choice. I can only imagine it's an absolute nightmare to live in each moment knowing that all of your children are no longer with you, and how horrific that would be. So I'm sending out Love and light to them for this experience they are moving through. 

Watching the Lake family give their interview after the trial was challenging, because all I could think is, "what would I do if that happened to me?"

And that's what I want to talk about here. 

Starting with Marco Muzzo, the villain in this case. It's easy to look at a person who is the son of a billionaire, see pictures of him behind the wheel of a Ferrari, see what he's done to the Lake family and hate him. That's the easy part. Yet that's not where my mind and thoughts go. 

I look at Muzzo and have a great deal of empathy for him. I can imagine how some people could read that last line and get really upset too. I can hear them now, "How can you feel sorry for a man who has single handedly destroyed an entire family, and robbed them of their 3 kids and grandfather?!" And to these people I would say this, "I can say that I have empathy for Marco Muzzo because I know that in my own life, I have made really, really poor decisions that could've happened exactly as this. Luckily for me, I just never got caught." In fact, I think we can all admit that statement in some way or another.

I can admit that in my 20's I probably drove drunk. I've fallen asleep at the wheel on long distance drives, or not been aware at the wheel, and avoided serious accidents. I could have easily killed a family like Muzzo did, and paid for it for the rest of my life. Instead, I was fortunate to escape a similar situation.

For those people who drink, you know all too well how alcohol can cause a loss of control of senses, judgment, and your worst nightmare coming true. We've all made some pretty dumb decisions because we were drinking. In fact, if you can say honestly that you haven't done things in your own life and not been caught in the impact of it, you're better than me. So I can say that I'm truly fortunate that I've escaped that experience even though I made similar choices as Muzzo.

Muzzo's letter of apology

So Muzzo now has a life long mission of being attached with the label that he killed a family of young kids and their grandfather. That's a title that never goes away. As far as I can see it, the only workable course of action that Marco Muzzo can take is to dedicate his life to is a platform to raise awareness for the consequences of drinking and drinking. He will be sentenced on March 29, and receive his term. When he is eligible for parole, he could dedicate himself to speaking to kids in schools about his story. One of the only silver linings in this story is that other mothers, fathers and families might not have to go through this experience ever again because of this. 

There is no way to reverse the circumstances in the past. So only by raising awareness to this story can it be prevented in the future. The sentence of Muzzo will not be a deterrent to others who continue to drink and drive. But educating the youth with powerful, courageous stories like this might. Will that atone for Muzzo's decisions? Nope, nothing ever will. Yet at least the Lake family can know that future families and children are spared the same fate. That would at least be a step to ensure these children did not die in vain. 

I don't think for one second that Marco Muzzo woke up that day, and wanted to do what he did. I don't think he thought in his wildest nightmares that it would ever end up like it did. He now wakes up everyday knowing the impact his poor choice cost, and he can never escape it, nor ask for a do-over. He has to live with that choice for the rest of his life as a sort of prison term. he may not be able to forgive himself moving forward, but he must! And we as a society can grant him that forgiveness, and deliver support to him. This isn't condoning what he's done, but it's freeing him and other up so the healing process can begin.

In many ways, he and the Lake family are partners in using their stories as a powerful tool in deterring drinking and driving. If they are able to forgive, starting with Muzzo himself, and by the Lake family forgiving Muzzo, they can start the healing process, and they can use the death of the Lake family children for a greater cause by preventing it from happening in the future.  

Jennifer Neville-Lake said, "Forgiveness is ... not like a piece of clothing you can put on. It's a process." 

The new chapter in their lives starts with the power of forgiveness. I hope both families find that forgiveness, and peace of mind. I hope that drinking and driving has claimed its last victim, and I hope the world sees the power of forgiveness.

Removing society's contempt for Marco Muzzo enables him to move forward and begin his Journey, and how he can move forward to make a difference in other people's lives. So I forgive you Marco Muzzo. I sincerely hope you find that peace of mind. 

Lastly, I hope the Lake family is left with wonderful memories of their children. I hope they find their peace in this challenging experience. I hope they find it in their hearts to start with forgiveness, so that their children might live again, and I wish them all the best rebuilding their lives together.