Because they cross the bridge. . .

. . . doesn’t mean they leave your heart.

I lost a brother recently, not one of blood but one of soul, we grew up across the street from each other in the 60’s when bonds were cast in stone and the closeness shared then was something that could never be severed. We stayed close for 40 years, inseparable at times, and then we each found a path to follow that separated us physically but never mentally. I thought about him often and wondered how he was doing, I would send him a smile in the wind and I was always comfortable knowing he got it, and he would send one right back.

Now I sit with a heavy heart, knowing his smiles will still come to me, but it’s different. I write every day about being positive, finding balance and happiness, how to look in the mirror and appreciate what you have and who you are, but I fall under the realm of perfectly normal when I can no longer look forward to physically seeing someone, I am sad, not in a negative way but in a selfish way. He is walking this part of his journey on his own and I will listen for the sound of his footsteps and his laughter… the sounds will never come.

The positive light that surrounds and shines through this negative cloud in my sky is that I am going to have a lot of friends waiting for me when I cross, and they better have my bike shined up when I get there 🙂 Vaya Con Dios my Brother.

On the book/brighter side of things, Vol V is in final edit stages and headed for design soon, I am thrilled with the flow on this one, Rachel has been awesome as usual and I am looking forward with a new excitement to see the box set of all five volumes together. My designer Fiona has mentioned she has not yet worked with a slipcover so she is thrilled to have the chance to put one together for me. The decisions I am making at this stage are purely my own, I plan on having some extra slip covers made for those who have followed me and purchased all the volumes separately, I just think it would be nice for them to have one as well, the box sets will be on the shelves for Christmas.

It’s funny but as I spoke above about feeling sad in a selfish way, I also feel sad in a positive way that this series of smiles is coming to a close, the last volume, it has been so remarkable these last two years, I can’t believe I got five volumes done. And now what? You ask, well I am putting together a coffee table book, then a children’s book, then if the world wants more word hugs and smiles to share I will continue with Vol VI through X of BawB’s Raven Feathers… my dream is not over yet, in fact it has only just begun.

Keep it real, whatever “it” is, don’t ever let go of your dreams

believe in you and being true, to life however it seems.

WI:)ND

BawB

 

http://www.bawbsravenfeathers.net

10560564_10152568808066278_644468260111492910_o

BawB’s Raven Feathers Vol I

BawB’s Raven Feathers Vol II

BawB’s Raven Feathers Vol III

Because I can write. . .

 

. . .does not mean I’m a writer.

 

It does mean I enjoy sharing my thoughts and my feelings, and similarly because I can speak certainly does not make me a speaker. In fact to be quite honest If I had any idea two years ago that becoming a writer and having the good fortune to publish my work would in turn ensue the underlying responsibility to now become a public speaker I would have chosen to stay silent and happy.

 

But enough of my silly quirks and unwarranted fears, I have done what many others have done, and what many others will continue to do, I have shared my thoughts and my feelings and now I must share myself with the world. In a good way of course, the world wants to know more about me, about BawB. Why the books? Why poetry? Where did it come from and where is it going? Not just the typical questions however, but also who is this BawB guy? Where did he come from? What makes him different?

 

Of course to convey this information, to answer the questions I need to talk, to people, lots of people in the same room… sighhhhhh… I need to read my own books. I need to believe in myself and reach inside for the confidence I tell everyone else to find inside them. Yes I am real and I do have the very same real issues as the rest of the world. When I am stressed I focus on why I should smile, when I am afraid I breathe in the fresh air of the moment to help me remember fear is a feeling of the moment not a way of life.

 

I attended an event at Shelf Life Books in Calgary, celebrating my recent award from http://www.indiebookawards.com. Along with three other local authors; Naomi K Lewis, Rona Altros and Patricia Klinck, we were all requested to speak. We needed to celebrate what we did and share our thoughts and feelings with the room full of people. What made me feel better in that moment was, I was not alone. In fact, a lot of people have trouble speaking in public. It is not something we are all comfortable with but it is something we can do if we believe in ourselves and feel the energy of the people in the room, because they came to hear us share our words.

 

Being a writer certainly doesn’t make me a speaker, but I will get better at speaking about what I can write.

 

WI:)ND

 

BawB

Bawbs Quotes (7)

While you are waiting for dreams to happen. . .

 

. . .you may miss the ones that are happening.

 

Today is a milestone for me, a day in which I can honestly say I have accomplished something I never dreamed I could do. Today I am writing my 100th blog page, yes I have sat and shared my thoughts with the universe (and anyone else that reads them) on 100 pages of text, each page filled with words, each page about nothing that meant much to the world but every page about something which meant the world to me.

 

I keep saying I am not a writer, and yet I write, I keep wondering what makes a good writer and I keep writing while I continue to wonder. It never occurred to me that I would be able to sit and compose a page about my life, nor did I think that the world was a place where people just like me enjoyed sharing their thoughts about their life. Two years ago was asked to start writing things on a blog page, “share with the world” they said, share with others that understand what you are writing. I found a very small part of a very big world, I found WordPress.com, a place where I could relax about not being a writer and I could learn from many others who were also relaxed about not writing.

 

It’s not just about the blogging however, it is about the dreams I/we share about writing books, the dreams that might one day come true, well, while I still may be dreaming of becoming a writer, what I have written is being read. BawB’s Raven Feathers is now an award-winning book being seen by readers who enjoy what I write, they enjoy the energy I share and they enjoy the design of the covers on my books. While I happily plunk away on the keyboard writing these pages and sharing my thoughts and my smiles, others are reading them and are now starting to share their reviews:

 

“Although I’ve never heard the author speak, I could hear what I imagined to be his voice in my mind while reading these words of wisdom. Turning the last page, I felt as though I had just finished sharing a moment with a friend.”…Libby.

 

This review is itself another Milestone in my life, it is the start of a new path, the path of a writer, the path of an adventure I never dreamed could take place, a dream I might have missed while I was waiting for dreams to happen.

 

I am a writer, a creator of questions a teller of tales, I have soared with the ravens and sung with the whales. I am a writer because I choose to agree that life has its moments and I share what I see.

 

WI:)ND

BawB

 

http://www.bawbsravenfeathers.net

 

A circle is a circle. . .

 

. . when ends of a line are connected.

 

I am not sure how to start this post, or what to call it. I am purging to the universe, starting a new year with a clean conscience.  Every morning I write inspiring things, motivational things, spiritual things. Every morning I sit at my computer with a smile. And every morning I’ve started my day bearing what I think may be a grudge.

 

grudge (ɡrʌdʒ)

n

  1. 1.     a persistent feeling of resentment, esp one due to some cause, such as an insult or injury

 

I write about believing and being, about breathing and smiling and releasing stress. And yet I’ve been weighed down by a feeling I can’t “let go” of.  So today I write to the universe with hopes of releasing the burden of hurt. I was hurt by words and actions that were not in my control but that could have been controlled by others.

 

“Let it go,” “forgive and forget,” “move forward to the future and leave the past behind”—I can’t. Instead, I will use these uncomfortable feelings in my heart to better myself. I will share my positive energy through experience, not just through words that look good on paper.  Life is full of energy, positive AND negative, and I believe it is necessary to embrace both. Light needs darkness, yin needs yang, positive needs negative.

 

The more I write, the more the universe listens. I believe in myself, in who I am. I believe in taking the path that leads me to growth. I believe now that my grudge has been lifted, but I will still be the man I am. I will continue to be hurt by the actions of others because I am human with a soul, and I am allowed to feel. I choose not to forget what has transpired because it keeps me strong, but I forgive myself for feeling because I am human. I will let go of the negative energy that surrounds the hurt, but I will remember the lesson I have learned about life, that is, sometimes you can forgive the action but you will never forget the reaction.

 

My series of books contain heartfelt inspiration pertaining to topics such as choice, challenges, balance, and strength. I face many of the issues I write about, but I continue to smile. I choose to share my positive energy with the world, and so can you.

 

Walk your path because you can, feel the joy of being you,

Do the things that make you happy, share a smile that is true.

 

🙂

 

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.

559347_10151312988767085_1761992756_n

 

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

 

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

 

Yesterday is a memory. . .

 

. . . tomorrow’s on its way.

 

How far ahead do you plan? Do your plans carry certain expectations? What if something goes wrong? If a glitch appears in your plans, are you disappointed? Or, are you capable of living in the moment and altering plans without so much as furrowing your brow? Life really is difficult sometimes, so it’s important to find balance by controlling your stress levels and increasing your fun times, even while enduring unforeseen circumstance.

 

They say “live in the moment,” but what does this mean, exactly? If you live in the moment can you still make plans? Yes. Living in the moment means breathing without worrying about your next breath. It means going ahead and making your plans but finding the balance required to understand and appreciate changes. Things are going to happen—let them, then change your plans in the moment.

 

Life should flow from one moment to the next. One day, one week, should flow to the next. Plans can be made, and then you can flow until the day and time the plans were made for. But try not to wait for that day, as the unwritten laws of physics state: “The object waited for becomes the object furthest away from the moment you are living in.” You’re right, I just made that law up, but this is always what happens when you wait for something, so it should be a law. Instead of waiting, try to have fun with the balance between excitement and nonchalance Too much anticipation can lead to disappointment if “things happen.”

 

Live your life today and stop worrying about what’s to come. Your life is going to happen, and it will be what you make of it, so make it happy and fulfilling. Use your moments to share a smile, enjoy the little things, and plan for the big things. Spend time both making memories and enjoying them as they happen. Don’t rush tomorrow—it will come, and with it will come 1440 new minutes to live in.

 

Mother Nature goes out of her way to give you things to see and listen to. She even knows that smells can trigger memories. So out of all the moments of your life, take at least one or two a day to appreciate the beauty of it. In between the plans you’ve made.

 

When you smile at beauty a memory is made, like a camera’s clicking shutter.

If it’s butterfly you’re smiling at, then take the time to hear her wings flutter.

 

🙂

 

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

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