So much to write. . .

. . . so little time.

 

I sit here every week and stare at a blank page, then I smile to myself and say, “Well, I could have been a rocket scientist.” This would have entailed doing amazing things at the drop of a hat, working with formulas written in Greek, and changing the explosive principles of combustible fuels. As it turns out, I am a learner, skilled in many trades, master of none. I can do things that make me smile, and I can smile at the things I do. And I find now that I am happiest when I sit here every week and stare at a blank page.

 

“We are all a work in progress,” says my friend Beth. Each of us is a blank page ready to be influenced by what we hear or read, stimulated by what we see or smell, and capable of expressing every emotion known to man. So to sit for a moment each week and see a clean, crisp, blank page in front of me is kind of refreshing. It is, I suppose, like looking in a mirror and seeing an expressionless reflection. As I reach for the keyboard, I must provide the reflection—what I did, how I felt, how I reacted to things.

 

Then I write. That’s what writers do (thanks Carrie). But we don’t all write the same way. Our blank pages are all different. Some are filled with adventure, some with lessons. Others create fictional characters, extensions perhaps of themselves. I write about BawB, a person I know very well, a person whom I am happy to be. I am my own character, the star of my own book. I am the reason for the blank pages and the creator of the words that fill them. “I am what I am ” Thanks Popeye.

 

It’s funny how the blank page fills so quickly with thoughts, and how our lives fill so quickly with memories. As I mentioned last week, the minutes that fill our lives should be filled with happiness. When we think back about where we have been, we should be able to fill in the blanks, the moments we cant remember, with a smile. You should be able to wake each day with a title page that says, “Today I choose to be happy, and my adventure continues.”

 

The words that fill your head to describe how you are feeling at any given moment can be edited by you, the author of your life. Fill your pages with positive words, aspirations, dreams, and goals; fill your life with wonder, then wonder how life will turn out.

 

Turn each page when you’re finished reading, but don’t forget what you’ve read;

For your story of life was written by you, and it should make you smile instead.

 

🙂

 

BawB

http://www.bawbsravenfeathers.net

 

There is always a light. . .

 

. . . if you can find the tunnel.

 

I have so often said that life can change in just one minute so mind the minutes in your life. We really have no insight into our futures, and our pasts are far enough behind us that they are now memories, so we are supposed live in the moment.

 

To actually live in the moment, however, we need to understand what the moment means; is it simply sixty seconds of life, or is the big picture contained in these sixty seconds? Is the moment more like a day or a week? Is it what affects only your life, or does the moment affect us globally? Close your eyes for just a minute if you can, then think of the seconds ticking by—count them if you’d like, in your head. I bet you can’t keep your eyes closed for exactly a minute. We have no solid concept of time, so how can we live in such a short piece of it, how do we live for the moment?

 

“Live FOR a minute” would be a better way of saying this, I think. Take that one minute to breathe, to focus, and to look for the proverbial tunnel, the one that shares with you a light at the end—a light of hope, for a moment, a way to see past a minuscule glitch in your life. The tunnel is your journey, the light is your life, for that instant. Then, live for the moments that follow. Each moment that passes a memory is created.

 

I have lived for many moments, and I will continue to live for many more. I will create many new memories with each one that passes. My journey takes me through lots of adventures and I have discovered many tunnels. I have found that the world always seems brighter when you reach that light at the end of those tunnels.

 

I believe we need to see life for the wonderful moments that are in it and I believe in us as human beings; I believe that there is hope for the human race, despite the pages created on social media that refute this. I have seen people take a moment to reach out to others, I have seen moments of kindness and support and I have seen moments of sadness and despair replaced by moments of hope. I have seen what a moment filled with a smile can do.

 

Live your life with no regrets, make sure your efforts are true

Believe in what a moment could hold because it’s held for you.

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WI:)ND

 

BawB

 

http://www.bawbsravenfeathers.net

 

Walk from today into yesterday. . .

. . . and see what tomorrow could bring.

I had the pleasure recently of reminiscing with a wonderful old friend. I use “old” to refer to the friendship’s length of time, not my friend’s age. We met nearly forty years ago at the Alberta College of Art and Design, one of my first places of employment that didn’t involve a gas pump. Even back then I was somewhat introverted I guess. I kept pretty much to myself and was thrilled to land a job as a night-shift caretaker, with my very own broom and everything.

It proved to be more than a job; it was the start of a very long and wonderful adventure. I had the pleasure of meeting a group of people that had no boundaries, no walls, and no boxes—that had only smiles and ideas and spectacular insight into design and art. These people stood apart from society, and they were happy being themselves. They welcomed me, a blue-collar worker pushing a broom. I was accepted into a world with which I was sort of familiar on a personal level; I dabbled a bit in art, but my poems and charcoal pictures lay hidden under my bed.

My adventure continues today. I am still being accepted into other worlds, those of writers, readers, psychics, and shaman, old and young, learned and learning, those taught and those teaching. My adventure will never end as I am having so much fun just being me, but it’s not all about being me. It’s also about being able to remember the people in my life who had such a positive effect on me—people that I remember with a smile, people who smile when they see my name on a book because they were there to plant the seed of believing.

I believe in me, I believe in what I have done and in what I am going to do, I believe that all of my friends have helped me become the man I am, and I believe the friends I have yet to meet will help me stay the way I am. I cherish the memories of yesterday, the smiles, the words, the hugs, the hellos, and the goodbyes. I appreciate the lessons I have learned—yes, even the hard ones, as they were the most important and have been chiseled in granite (they are there to stay) in my memory. Can I look back today and be proud of who I am? Why yes, yes I can! Am I successful? Well, I ask, by whose definition? I have my health, my friends, and my desire to continue to learn, to write, and to share, so yes to that question. I am as successful as I could have ever imagined.

A smile in the wind WIJND to all my friends who helped to pave the way

To where I now stand, being proud to be me, and the man I am today.

🙂

BawB

 

Is it still a dream. . .

 

. . . if your eyes are wide open?

 

Once in a while we are blessed with things in our lives that are extraordinary to say the least, things that outshine all the little things we’ve done so far. I have been writing for many years—I wrote letters to my mom for homework, created short stories to keep busy, and then with the creation of Facebook and other social media, I began sharing my inspirational poetry with the world.

 

After years of nudging, prodding, and pushing by those in my life who enjoyed what I wrote, I pursued publication. There are so many different avenues one can take in the industry, but after much deliberation (with myself) I chose to self-publish, and with the help of Rachel Small of Faultless Finish Editing and Susan Toy of Island Cat Editions, I put my little book together with the hopes of sharing it with the world not connected to social media (one does exist).

 

BawB’s Raven Feathers was introduced to the world as a small dust-jacketed hardcover book because I like the romance behind hardcover editions—there’s just something about a hardcover book that remains, well, real I guess.  When I received the first five hundred copies at my door, I was immediately transformed into a promoter, distributor, and salesman for my little book.

 

To keep this long story short (I’m trying not to write another book here), that one extraordinary thing that happened in my life, no, wait, the three extraordinary things that happened are as follows: I wrote a book, I sold over three hundred copies without leaving the city, and I was picked up by Greg Ioannou of Iguana Books. Now, my little book is officially available through Iguana Books, Amazon (ebook and print) Chapters/Indigo, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Sony, Kobo, and Kindle. And of course, the hardcover version will always be available through my website and at the wonderful stores around town that support me: Our Angels Center for Wellbeing, New Age Books & Crystals, Soulfood Books Etc, The Divine Mine, The Bullet Cappuccino Bar, Pages Books, Shelf Life Books and the U of C Bookstore, as well as All Things Beautiful Books & Gifts in Invermere, BC.

 

Yes, my little book is now being shared with the world, my dream is now a reality, and my eyes are wide open. I am absolutely thrilled with my life, my adventure, and the future that awaits. And my dream continues, as volume II will be at the presses soon and there are many more volumes to follow.

 

None of this tho’ could ever be without first believing, in me, in you, and in the power we all share to shape our destiny by just thinking positive thoughts and sharing our smiles.

🙂

BawB

 

http://www.bawbsravenfeathers.net

Pressure isn’t pressure. . .

 

. . . until you’re under it.

 

It was finally nice outside last week, so I eagerly got started on the spring yard chores. I also took the camper in for service and went for a ride on the glide. But, these things took time. The time I usually allot for writing was used up by early morning walks outside, then chores. As a result, I would miss my writing “window.”  Seriously, I get it, writers write, but they also have to live like everybody else, and I wait patiently all winter to get out and enjoy the spring and summer months.

 

My passion involves pavement, a destination, and adventure. Yes, these things can be achieved in the winter months, but it’s a little tougher riding a motorcycle with snow tires. Plus, the camper needs water to provide me with life’s necessities, and, alas, water loses its liquid state at 0 degrees Celsius. Interestingly enough, all of my mates also share the same passions, so suffice it to say the kitchen table solve-the-world’s-problems sessions are now few and far between, as we are all out somewhere doing something in the great outdoors.

 

What does this mean to the world, you ask? Well, I am now feeling pressure. Yes, I have been walking away from the keyboard and saying “maybe tomorrow.” But how can I truly walk away now? Those of you who have just found me are now learning about me, and those who know me are happy to read what I write to fill the void of a couple of minutes every Monday morning.

 

Now I find it necessary to ask all of you, my fellow writers and bloggers, how difficult do you find the task of sitting down in these early weeks of spring? Are you dedicated, and if so, how do you work through the call of the wind? Would I be shunned or chastised by the blogging community if I were to post every two weeks, or three? What happens to those who blog on an every-now-and-then basis? Do they have followers? Do their followers stay? Do we write for ourselves or for everybody else?

 

I worry because I have become dedicated, not to anyone in particular but to myself. This is something I have chosen to do, and I enjoy it, but I also enjoy other passions. I just gotta ride when I can. I need to feel the wind.

 

Don’t give up, don’t quit on yourself, be true to what you do.

Whenever you feel an urge to live, then do what’s best for you.

 

🙂

 

BawB

 

Who you really are inside. . .

 

. . . is who the world wants to see.

 

Every now and then, if we are lucky, epiphany moments will happen. Mine happened during an online chat with my marketing guru Beth, from Author Connections. Before getting in touch with Beth, I had been pleased with how my book was doing out there in my very small world (I had distributed to local new age/spiritual stores in Calgary only) but I knew I could do better with help. My help came in the form of this very talented professional. In order to fine tune my marketing plan though, she first needed to know more about me.

 

And so I introduced her to a version of me that I thought would be appropriate for promoting my little book. However, Beth is not only the best in her field when it comes to marketing, she is also a very intuitive people person, and she was soon curious about the BoB that remained hidden behind my carefully built wall.

 

She sent me a message telling me, in her own fashion, that she was aware of the BoB I wasn’t letting out due to my cautious approach to the writing world.

 

“If reality is scary, it is worth the price of a little fear,” she wrote.

 

I wondered now how much she knew about me, could she know I was hiding things about me.

 

“If you were buttoned up and drove a Ford Focus and kept pens in your shirt pocket, I might not have given it much thought, but it’s the blend of tough guy and poetry author that gives you depth and makes you interesting. “

 

Is my wall crumbling? I thought. Did my alter ego make his way to the front of my life? 

 

“I knew the hood was in there somewhere. The bike and ink, not one mention of a father despite frequent mentions of mom, years roaming and drifting—a man gets up to no good sooner or later. Otherwise how could it be fun?”

 

As I continued to read Beth’s email, I started to realize she had me pegged. Yes I was a bit of a rebel, I shot some pool during school, rode because I wanted to, and did some things that taught me lessons, the hard lessons, that make a difference in a lifetime. My Dad tried his best to show me a path of responsibility and how to conform to society’s needs, and because of his strength and old-school beliefs, I believe I became stronger in the belief of myself and what I wanted out of life.

 

“Chances are the sweet boy was in there all along, even through the angry young years, but not fully tapped until you were old enough and man enough to let him out, to make him the star. THAT is the story. You encourage people to be who they are because you are finally who you are.”

 

This insight into BoB was perfectly stated by an amazing person who lives in New York. We haven’t met yet—she was only using her skills as a people person to get to know me, and she did very well at that.

 

When I talked about the email conversation I had with Beth to my friend Jordy, with whom I share and fix all the world’s problems over a coffee on Saturday mornings, he said, “Bob, the people you know know you well, the people you will meet will only know the person you let them see, and the people you haven’t met yet want to know more about you.”

 

I can now share with you this wonderful life experience: don’t ever be afraid of who you are. Believe in you. Your past is behind you—learn from it. Your future waits. Make changes, take chances, choose to be who you want to be, then live in today with a smile and share your self with whomever should ask, as these people only ask to learn more about you. You can’t hide yourself from you.

 

Take a step into tomorrow’s adventure with both eyes open wide.

Down the road you’ll appreciate the you who lives inside.

 

🙂

 

BawB

 

What you believe. . .

 

. . . is fine with you.

 

What do you believe? Do you find it hard some days to believe in anything? I sit down once a week and share with you my thoughts to inspire you to think about life, your life, and to believe in who you are. I know that believing in yourself is not always easy, in a world where some beliefs are often shaped and molded by rituals and stories.

 

When I sat down to write last week, all I could think of was Easter and what it means. I try so very hard each week to share my perspectives on things but not force anyone to think a certain way. I accept and am happy with the fact that some of you may have different opinions. So I am choosing to stay neutral and say nothing about Easter, to avoid controversy.

 

I can ask, however, are we losing the meanings of things over time? Holidays, traditions, celebrations? Will children generations from now know what we celebrated and why, or will the future hold an entirely different past to celebrate? What do you believe? And more importantly, why? As I wrote this I started to wonder more about life and what it means, it is easy for me to believe in myself, but can you say the same?

 

When you look in the mirror each day, do you believe in you? Do you trust your instincts, your skills, and your abilities? Do you believe that if you truly want something to happen, it will? This is the energy that should be nurtured and shared, attached to your biggest smile.

 

Believing should be more than a motion we go through to satisfy a momentary idea, it should come from the heart and the soul, it should, whatever we choose to believe in, give us strength, and it should help to guide us down what ever path we choose to walk.

 

We need to simply believe, in whatever we choose, but in my opinion, to believe in anything else, you need to believe in yourself first. You have a light in your soul that shines brightly. You have an essence, you have energy. You are unique in the universe, so find strength in this. Do something no one else has done, or admire that which others do, but at the end of every day, believe in life, believe in you.

 

A stone to some is just a stone, it does nothing that they can see

But I choose to enjoy the ripples it makes when tossed into water by me.

 

🙂

BawB

 

Believe in simply being you. . .

 

. . . and everything that you can do.

 

I had the wonderful opportunity to be a guest at Carrie Mumford’s writers meeting last week and it was, to say the least, a very rewarding evening. I must be honest here and inform you that I was a little apprehensive about making an appearance, as I am not a public speaker by any means. Public speaking is a talent that takes time to master, so to say I was nervous is an understatement.

 

What a terrible waste of nervousness. I have never felt more comfortable in any similar situation that I can remember. I had the pleasure of meeting some writers, people just like me who have a passion for sharing what’s on their mind, people who are just as humble and just as nervous out there in the world. We chatted for most of the evening about me, and yes I felt a little guilty, but I was the guest at the meeting, and that’s what guests are supposed to do—talk.

 

It was fun because I could be myself. I could be real and comfortable, and I could answer the other writers’ questions because they were mostly about me. I had fun trying to condense my life into a two-hour window, and as it turns out, my life is has been somewhat more adventurous than normal. I really enjoyed sharing snippets of BawB the author, and small 3-D, Technicolor clips of BoB the everyday guy, and yes, I say that with a smile.

 

I have had fun in this lifetime. I have met some incredible people, and I continue to meet more. I have been everywhere I have wanted to go, and there are still places I want to see. I have been alone for the better part of this life, but I have never been lonely. And I find now, after half a century of being, breathing, and believing, that my life is still just beginning. I can chat with people about people; I can share my energy in a conversation and feel relaxed when talking about life; I can point out to others that they are unique and wonderful individuals and that they can achieve anything they set their minds to if they believe in themselves.

 

I am confident of this because it became my reality. I believed I was good enough, I believed what I was writing was good enough, and I found a team of wonderful souls who believed in me. Writers write, so have fun with it. Share your words, use your minds, expect nothing and appreciate everything, and don’t ever stop believing in you.

 

If just one cloud has no lining at all, there is no cause for concern.

That’s the cloud with a lesson attached and its going to help you learn.

 

🙂

BawB

Can you hear the wind sing. . .

 

. . . the new song of spring?

 

Does the thought of spring do anything for you? Can you feel a change occurring within you? It’s really quite amazing I think, the fact that humans have evolved into such a dominant, thinking species. We have excelled in the last few decades at miniaturizing and improving our electronic devices; our communication equipment can now tell us in less than a heartbeat what the weather is going to be next week. Yet, we are still so much like our animal friends that we feel and react to the coming of spring.

 

I start my spring on March 1. I always have. It’s around this date that I can “feel” the changes in the sun—it seems warmer, stays out longer, and refreshes the day with more vigor. The wind goes through changes as well; it dances differently, it carries warmth with a song of change and starts to whistle tunes of enjoyment. Coats on our neighborhood four-footed outdoor denizens start to change, birds flutter about looking for somewhere to nest, and motorcycles start to appear on the streets.

 

Cars and bikes display a winter’s worth of changes, modifications, and polishing the very first day the streets are officially dry. We watch the news for the updated weather forecast and will alter our go/no-go temperatures by five degrees if it means getting out there for that first ride. Of course there are the winter folk who feel spring in the air as well. They entertain sad thoughts of the need to once again store the machines that brought them smiles, and they reflect on all the fun they had over the course of the winter months.

 

Spring changes us emotionally as well. I swear that most of us go into a rest mode during the winter. We still exist, we work, we live, we share our smiles, but during the first few weeks of spring, we, like the flowers and the trees, start to bud. Color comes back to our cheeks, we walk with a bounce in our step, and even the morning rush is less stressful because we feel a calm inside us.

 

I am finding it easier to sit in the office with my morning coffee and write my thoughts and share my daily inspiration on Facebook. It almost feels to me as if the day has become more welcoming. Even my dog, Levi, has a smile. He’s started shedding his winter coat and takes a little longer every morning to do his outside run.

 

Best of all, soon I will be out there on the streets with my freshly polished and modified motorcycle feeling the wind in my face and the freedom in my soul.

 

Feel the spring wind as it covers the ground.

It shares with you the warmth it’s found.

 

🙂

BawB

Stress by any other name. . .

 

. . . is still avoidable.

I am a calm person by nature. There isn’t much that gets me riled up, at least in my day-to-day life. Don’t get me wrong, I could go off on a tangent with the best of them, but I choose to see the simplicity in things. While in my shop this week working on the bikes, getting them ready for spring and making some modifications, I found myself getting quite frustrated rewiring the controls on the Sportster. It should have been easy enough, I’ve rewired bikes before, but this machine did everything in its power to raise my stress levels.

I know what you’re thinking: machines don’t have power. But they do. We give them names, we look after them, we wash and feed them, we groom them, and we adorn them to make them look more appealing. Yes, machines have power over us, and as some of you will attest to, they have personalities. I swear I could hear laughter coming from this motorcycle as I manipulated a paperclip into a tiny little hole to release a lock that held a connector pin in place. But I maintained my composure, talked to the connector  in a calm, rational tone :), I worked through the building stress levels by breathing and keeping it simple,  the tiny lock reluctantly released its hold. All calm was restored in the shop.

This same mind over matter syndrome took place again in my office for three days in a row. Normally, every morning I wake up, let my little dog out, put the coffee on, and then sit down to do some writing—my morning brain workout so to speak. Well, for those three days, likely due to the time I was spending with the bikes, I had nothing. Not a word came to mind. I sat for about an hour each morning and drifted in and out of peaceful calm looking for, well, words.  There were none, and yes, I got frustrated, stressed out in fact, because I am a writer. Writers write, and I had nothing.

I took a moment to breathe, to find my calm and to realize that being stressed about not writing was making not being able to write even worse. After only a few moments of realizing I was not moving forward, I stepped back, took a breath and relaxed, I simply thought about not thinking for a moment, and the words began to flow. All calm was restored in the office .

It is so easy to let go of calm. We give in to our instinctive fears, we worry, we compete, and we pressure ourselves to meet unreachable goals and deadlines. We forget to breathe. Let me remind you today to find a place to store your calm— somewhere in your mind that is easily accessible, somewhere you can go to breathe. Go there often, and enjoy being you. Always.

Smile . . . Breathe . . . Believe.

🙂

BawB