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Five Life Principles I’ve Revisited, Thanks To Rockband


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Hi folks. I’m Chris.

And for about 12 years, playing drums has been a significant part of my life.

I played throughout middle and high school and went on to play drums in the Marine Band for several years. My parents paid so that I could attend private lessons (thank you momma and dad) while in high school.

In lieu of living in apartment, I’ve had to come to settle with playing drums in a video game to whet my percussive appetite.

When I sat down to play “Critical Acclaim” by Avenged Sevenfold the other day, I just sucked. Trying to look for a teachable moment, I came up with these five things that I can relate to my life on a daily basis.

1.   Recalibrate

Sometimes my drums are “off” when I play.

Really. They are.

They don’t play when I hit them, or more accurately, they have a lag.

Sometimes my SMART TV or some quirky electronic bug seems to decide on an incorrect default for my drums. This can result in a delay between when I hit the pad and when the sound is heard.

This results in “missed” notes.

This results in my score going down.

Which results in me failing out of a song.

Through a process of troubleshooting, I usually find that I need to recalibrate my drums to my TV. This little factor has a HUGE impact on how well I perform for the stadium of overzealous fans crammed into my beach bungalow’s living room.

In life, I sometimes get off track. My actions don’t align with my beliefs. Sometimes my words can come out all jacked up, potentially ruining someone’s day. My temper flares. My mood swings. My irritability soars. I get overstimulated and need to take a step back.

It’s at times like this that I need to take time to get my recalibration on, baby.

I need to realign my thoughts, actions, and words with my core beliefs.

I need to reorient my moral compass and get my rudder straight.

Sometimes we all get off track.

Better get yo’self back on track.

Better get yo’self some recalibration.

2.   Practice

I wish I could play all the songs on Expert and get five stars. The fans deserve it.

Unfortunately, I have a long ways to go.

Fortunately, Rockband has a practice mode.

After I humbled myself the other day to Critical Acclaim, I switched over to Practice Mode and played the song a few times at different speeds. I had to break sections down that were killing me. I had to divide and conquer.

Now I can play the song on Expert.

After playing it about 20 times in the past two days, I finally achieved five stars on “Hard”.

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Just to be sure it wasn’t a fluke, I played it again to be positive I could get five stars on the same difficulty level.

Practice paid off.

When I took private lessons, I didn’t like to practice. In fact, a lot of the time I would practice the 30 minutes prior to my lesson, or even in the car on the way to my lesson!

Outside of Rockband, I can at times, suck at communicating with my girlfriend. – I fail “our song”. If you ask her, she knows the hours where I have a metabolic dip that happens to be exacerbated by my sleep apea – times where I’m about as worthless at communicating as a hibernating grizzly.

Being an introvert also puts me at a level where I feel socially inept when it comes to talking to others.

I’m also a “stonewaller” – I reach a point in our arguments where I just withdraw and don’t respond or even talk at all. My exasperation and patience has jumped out the window.

I’ve been holding myself accountable to make these practice areas in our relationship. Meaning, when I’m in a good mood, I’ll try to initiate conversations more. Or when I’m irritable, trying to push myself to say, “listen babe, I want to talk about this, but am just too tired. Can we hit this again in a couple hours or at another time?”

A lot of the time I’m not able to do it and so I have to start all over from the beginning of our song.

We all have things in our life that we have to practice at whether we are already good at what we do, or pushing to be better at something.

There’s things at which we all fail.

Better get yo’self better atcho song.

Better get yo’self some practice time.

3.   Overdoing It

When you’re playing Rockband, you have to play what is on screen, NOT what you think the song sounds like.

You need to play what you see, not what you think.

You may have the drum chart to Your Betrayal, or Diary of Jane memorized, but that ain’t what’s on screen if you’re playing on Easy.

A lot of times I’ll throw in a bass drum kick with a cymbal smash because that’s how I learned to play drums and that’s the way the song sounds. But that’s not was the screen is showing.

Sometimes in my relationships, I assume things. I think about something too hard. I incorrectly interpret the tone of a text or read into something that was never intended to mean how I took it.

I need to step back and take things slower. I need to relax a little and take things a little more lightly. I need to be slower in my responses and give them time to cook so I don’t hasten out a response of anger and resentment.

We all have an area in which we overdo it.

 Better get yo’self to chill out.

Better get yo’self to slow down and simplify.

4.   Baby Steps

Compared to a teenager, it took me an insane amount of time to get to the level in that song that I did. I had to start on Medium then work myself up to Hard. Then I had to work myself up from three starts to five stars.

I didn’t just sit down and play and BAM! I’m at my goal. I had to take things level by level. I had to use baby steps.

We all want things too quickly don’t we?

We all have a sense of video game satisfaction and entitlement where we may want to get to the end sooner rather than later. Where we try to find an easy way around. Where we want to punch in a cheat code instead of unlocking the puzzles in the game.

We all want to skip the trials and journeys.

 Better give yo’self some time to git to that goal.

Better get yo’self to take it one step at a time.

5.   Time Signature

Probably THE MOST challenging thing for me when playing Rockband is that there is no time signature.

Time signatures to the musician are what signs and lines on the road are for the driver. They tell you how much each thing is worth on the sheet of music. Without it, it’s…well, it’s Rockband.

Rockband has a minimal amount of guidance and sometimes I have to guess at where the notes are to be played. I understand why this is, it just makes things harder for the musician in me.

My life is like that. I have several guides that I need in my life to keep me between the lines on the road of life –

♦  The Bible – this is kind of my oil in the engine and user guide. When I do devotions in the morning and take time to read my Bible, Jesus Calling, and In Touch, I’m filled with peace and hope for the day. Life still happens, but when I have a driver cut in front of me, or given a situation in which I have the opportunity to exercise patience and kindness rather than the opposite, I’m able to come back to what I’ve read earlier that day at my kitchen table. The Bible is my anchor point, magnetic north, and grounding point. It’s also the lines, the speed limit and other signs that keep me grounded and directed in life, helping me stay on the road while I travel.

♦  My friends and family – These are my sounding boards as well as how I receive feedback to my “performance”. If I have ideas that aren’t so great or am about to make a bad decision, these people help me see that. They may give me alternatives or sound advice. They may advise against what I am about to do or support me with reasons why they think I should make a certain decision. They let me know if I’ve earned a 1-star performance or a 5-star performance and what I need to do to move up to the top 5% on the leaderboard.

♦  My conscience/the Holy Spirit – Sometimes I want to respond to my ex-wife’s email and texts with anger and vengeance. Sometimes I get irritable with my girlfriend. I always have a choice on how I respond. When I respond negatively, I get a little pinging in my brain telling me that’s not how I should be doing things – that’s the Holy Spirit. You may call it your conscience but whatever it is, we each get that little morale alarm advising against what we’re about to do, or a little victory bell of confirmation letting us know that we did the right thing.

I screw it up a lot, but I can’t blame it on not having a “time signature”.

We all have a time signature that gives us structure to our lives.

 Better find out what drives yo’ life.

Better get yo’self familiar with yo’ time signature.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, friend. What are your thoughts? I’d love to talk with you in the Comments section.  

 

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The Wall | [POETRY]


Image of a wall with poetry by the author.

The Wall

A little brick of hate was laid, down into the dirt.

Along with words of callousness, and spite, and wrath, and hurt.

A wall was built that housed mistrust, by someone I loved dear.

It grew in strength, brick by brick, each year it grew in fear.

All I could do was sit and cry, and beg that it’d come down.

But each day mortar, stone, and hate, solidified it with the ground.

I saw the light begin to fade, as it closed against the sky.

I hung my head in deep despair, in hopelessness I cried.

Then one day a dove appeared, against the blackened grey.

It chipped the joints, and broke the bricks, and toppled them away.

It pecked, and chipped, and split the wall, stone by simple stone.

For love and peace had reached a soul, that never the soul had known.

And now a garden there exists, in place of deep despair.

No brokenness, no sadness, no signs of disrepair.

For what was once a wall they made, was used to shut me out.

Love had now transformed through healing, and brought the rampart down.

 

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I Tried To Do What Was Right


Image showing child and two parents arguing.

The fracture of visitation

Visitation.

That word says it all for me.

It’s usually a battle. And I never look forward to it.

I’m ashamed that I feel myself withdraw from my daughter because the torture I go through with her mother over the issue.

It’s NOT right.

I know this.

I am a poor dad for doing so.

“I’m human”, I plead to the masses ready to lead me to the desert of retribution outside the city gates for crucifixion.

“It hurts too much.”

“It’s too much to take.”

And my resolve collapses.

Shame on me.


This week I made a small stride…

“D”(aughter) went to Florida with her mom for 10 days.

She was to return today to spend 10 days with me.

She called last night to ask if she could stay in Florida for another four days.

I told her “yes” and to enjoy herself.

Some Lessons I Learned-

1.   Humility. In the grand scheme of things, “D” is the Lord’s child, not mine. I am merely His earthly representative to guide His child on her earthly journey. This has helped make these valleys of mine, “easier” to traverse. It helps me put things in perspective.

I had to let go of my pride and focus not on what would hurt me, but what would glorify Him. 

This. Can. Be. A. Tough. Lesson.

2.   Selflessness. I had to put someone else’s desires above my own egocentric wants. Was it the right decision? Did it answer the question “What Would Jesus Do”? I have faith that it did.

3.   Anger.  I was able to harness my anger and resentment towards “D’s” mother. This is a struggle I have, thanks to my anger-based personality. Last night, I won in the gladiatorial arena.

4.   Spirit Strength. It was not my inner strength and resolve that enabled me to take the high road. I don’t have that strength.

I am a person of retribution and vengeance.

I have cruel intentions.

I am a person that crumbles to getting even rather than understanding.

Totally opposite of what Christianity teaches, right? Yes, you are correct.

That’s why this situation wasn’t resolved because of my intestinal fortitude. The only reason I was able to traverse this river of Styx was through the Holy Spirit’s power.

Thank you for reading this post, my friend. What are your thoughts and suggestions in this situation? Maybe we could be support buddies 🙂

 

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Perseverance | [QUOTE]


Image showing lady throwing ashes into the sea with quote saying,

Spreading his ashes.

About a month ago, my girlfriend spread the ashes of a dear childhood friend into the sea…

Shortly after that we got into an argument…

Hours after that she left the above quote on my desk…

…I am blessed by her continued thoughtfulness and selflessness.

“The force of the waves

is in their perseverance.”

– Gila Guri

 

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Sunday Thoughts. [QUOTE]


I like quips and quotes.

…those little one-liners that speak volumes in my life.

I heard this one on K-Love and it struck me to the core.

I wanted to share it with my friends, in the hopes that someone feels moved in some way, and in their own life.

X Chris

Quote saying, "Satan knows our name and calls us by our sin. Jesus knows our sin and calls us by our name."

 

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I Typed A Letter [POETRY]


poetry_I wrote a letter_001a

I sat down and typed a letter.

To a friend who’d gone away.

To remind him that he’s special.

To say I’m here to stay.

I know your life is full of strife.

And this you’ll know is true.

That where e’er your travels lead.

I’ll be standing there with you.

-Surviving the Specter

 

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Hopefulness [POETRY]


Really felt someone needed to hear this today. Thank you for passing it on. X

Poem entitled, Hopefulness.

A little thought of hopefulness

Went out for you today.

I see you’ve grown discouraged.

I’ve seen you’ve been away.

I miss you and I wonder.

If you really are okay.

And that I want to see you.

Perhaps we’ll talk today?

Maybe in a little while.

I can hear your voice.

To tell you that I love you friend.

Amidst the strife and noise.

I miss you and I wonder.

If you really are okay.

And that I want to see you.

Perhaps we’ll talk today.

 

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Three Things I’ve Learned from My Trials [LIST]


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1.   To discover the lesson. There is always “the lesson”. Sometimes it will hit us on the back of the head like a slap from our mammy when she heard us cussin’. Other times, not so much. Other times it will take time. Lately I’ve tried to have patience to look for the ultimate lesson through my suffereing. In my eyes, the Lord is either trying to perfect me, or correct me in some way. It’s my job to figure out which.

2.   To learn to empathize. Suffering has taught me empathy. It has taught me to think of others once I have come through my own valley. Maybe that is the lesson I have been taught to learn? Either way, my suffering has made me aware of being more understanding and empathetic towards the people around me, and what they may be dealing with at that time.

3.   To learn to be humble. My trials have taught me humility.

  • The openness to accepting help from others – we can always give it, but it’s so, so much harder to accept it, isn’t it?
  • The humbleness to realize it isn’t all about me and that even in my suffering, I can extend love to someone else. I’m still working on this part.
  • The grace to accept my imperfection. “I am perfectly imperfect, and that’s perfectly okay.”

This is certainly not an exhaustive list but they did flash through my mind today. What things have you learned through your trials and suffering? I’d love for you to share them with us.

Thank you for taking your time to read, comment, reblog where you feel moved.

 

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Rules for Life – Goals [QUOTE]


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Understanding Codependence [QUOTE]



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What Is The Most Important Thing You Need To Make A Necessary Ending? [BOOK REVIEW]



Necessary-Endings

I recently wrote a post about a concept Dr. Henry Cloud discusses – necessary endings. His book Necessary Endings, was SO influential that I decided to make one of THE MOST pivotal decisions of my life. Two chapters in particular (5 and 6) clinched things for me and when I read them, the film came off my eyes and the answers became crystal clear.

I want to share these two chapters with you over the next few days.

For the rest of this post I’d like to take you through chapter 5, and reveal THE MOST important thing you need to have in order to make a necessary ending. I plan on doing the same for chapter 6 in a few more days.

I am really looking forward to having a dialogue in the Comments section of each post so if you’re game and want to join along, GO GET THE BOOK ALREADY! http://www.amazon.com/Necessary-Endings-Employees-Businesses-Relationships/dp/0061777129. I hope you enjoy hearing about his book as much as I enjoyed reading it. This is going to be a lengthier post so grab some coffee, or tea (with milk or lemon if you’re across the pond), find a comfy spot to read, and enjoy!

What Brought Me To My Necessary Ending?

The pivotal decision I made was to end my marriage. A little history (and herstory) is needed for background, and to put things in perspective… Read the rest of this entry »

 

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“Lion’s Den”, Eve 6 [Video, Lyrics]



A chorus of hope perhaps? We can make as many fresh starts as we need to.

“Lion’s Den”

High IQ
Loaded dad
Private schools
Brand new jag
The future is so bright, you’re wearing shades inside
You feel lost
Don’t know why
Hallmark ads make you cry
All these expectations crowd your mind at night
Now you’re looking to the world to save you
Feeling terminally unique
Brother I can hardly blame you for falling asleep

Tear up your certificates
And throw them to the sea
Let’s reclaim our innocence
And live in harmony
We can leave the past behind
And make a brand new start
Walk out of this lion’s den
Before we’re torn apart

Pretty face
Long brown hair
Slender waist
How they stare
A ring around your finger and a pain inside
You feel lost
Don’t know where
he goes at night
But he’s not there
You stay up and remind yourself that life’s not fair
Cause you thought he was the one who could save you
But he’s really nothing like you’re dad
Sister I can hardly blame you for being mad

Tear up your certificates
And throw them to the sea
Let’s reclaim our innocence
And live in harmony
We can leave the past behind
And make a brand new start
Walk out of this lion’s den
Before we’re torn apart

The sun goes down around us
We smile and nod but we walk alone
We lie here waiting for the ancient fear to loosen its hold

Tear up your certificates
And throw them to the sea
Let’s reclaim our innocence
And live in harmony
We can leave the past behind
And make a brand new start
Walk out of this lion’s den
Before we’re torn apart
Before we’re torn apart
Before we’re torn apart


 

Remember this when you feel like a failure. [Image]



perfectly_imperfect_001


 

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“Better Days”, Saliva



Another positive message for all of us warriors!

“Forgive yourself
Break the chain and separate
Let it go I’ve had enough
Rise above”

“Better Days”

Take a lesson in pain

From the man who’s seen both sides
I make the best of worst
And it hurts but it gets me by
We’re all alone on this road we travel
And everyday is like an uphill battle
Take a lesson from the man who’s seen it all

Forgive yourself
Break the chain and separate
Let it go I’ve had enough
Rise above

I can’t change what I’ve done
So leave the past where it lays
I’ll get through this
I’ve clinched my fist and I’ll find another way
You know you can’t win them all
You got to play through the rain
You can’t just grasp at every strum
You got to reach for better days

Done time and mind
Tried to hide it all inside
Did the best that could
Even when I couldn’t get it right
No one sees the scars when it’s over
I turn the page of the rage so there’s closure
Take a lesson from the man who’s seen it all

Forgive yourself
Break the chain and separate
Let it go I’ve had enough
Rise above

I can’t change what I’ve done
So leave the past where it lays
I’ll get through this
I’ve clinched my fist and I’ll find another way
You know you can’t win them all
You got to play through the rain
You can’t just grasp at every strum
You got to reach for better days

Forgive yourself
Break the chains and separate

I can’t change what I’ve done
So leave the past where it lays
I’ll get through this
I’ve clinched my fist and I’ll find another way
You know you can’t win them all
You got to play through the rain
You can’t just grasp at every strum
You got to reach for better days


 

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Sustainment [Quote]


quotes_001

 

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Positivity

Positivity

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Rules for Life – Compliments

Rules for Life – Compliments

Rules_for_Life_compliments

 

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Rules for Life – Mistakes [Quote]

Rules for Life – Mistakes [Quote]

Rules for Life - Mistakes

 

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Rules for Life – Actions


actions_speak_louder_than_words_001

 

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Rules for Life – Love

Rules for Life – Love

Rules for Life - Love

 

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Rules for Life – Grace

Rules for Life – Grace

Rules for Life - Grace

 

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Rules for Life – Fresh Starts


Rule_for_Life_fresh starts

 

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Rules for Life – Reacting

Rules for Life – Reacting

Rules_for_Life_reacting

 

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Rules for Life – Trust


Rule_for_Life_Trust

 

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Manliness.


today I will be a better man

SOURCE: http://www.primermagazine.com/2012/live/today-i-will-be-a-man-one-reddit-users-manifesto-for-being-a-better-man

 

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Rules for Life – Friendship

Rules for Life – Friendship

be_a_friend_to_get_a_friend

 

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Rules for life – Encouragement

Rules for life – Encouragement

encourage

 

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Gallery

I am perfectly imperfect…

I am perfectly imperfect…

perfectly_imperfect

 
 

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Image

Remember this…

Remember this…

Hope

 

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Image

Thoughts on important relationships.

Thoughts on important relationships.

I do honestly believe…

Befi_time

SOURCE: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABefi_time.jpg

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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