Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Give A Kidney...Have a Month of Hell

It has been two months since my last post, and I am really bad at not following the 'blogger' bible of keeping up to date on postings...sorry.

I did donate my kidney on Feb 11th to a stranger.  After the donation, I meet the recipients family and then a day later the recipient.  While the experience was amazing and painful, and clearly not for everyone, I would encourage more people to donate when they are able to do so.  Once I recovered and got back into my normal routine, the glow of the moment had passed.  Yet, even now, I can see my scar and know that what I did made a lasting impression on the world.  Yes, I did say the world.

Just as with every day life, each thing we do causes the usual ripple effect, both positive and negative.  In this case, while I helped a person live a longer and hopefully happier life, what I did was just not for him, but for the world.  That single act, did cause a ripple effect, and I sincerely believe that since it was given out of true love for a fellow human being, that the positive energy would continue through his life and the life of his family and beyond each other.  Is that optimistic, God I hope so!

While one would think that raking up of such good karma, I would have a decent if not a great year.  Well, as with my soap box life, that is not always the case.  At the end of March I was in a car accident, and thankfully no one was injured, but my car was totaled.  Then a week later my bike was stolen.  A week later my PC crashed and I was down for a week unable to properly do business.  Then the finale blow I found out someone had stolen my ID.  Ah, what a month it was.  But even with all of this frustration, I was also reminded that I have to be very clear in what I ask for from God and the Universe.

The six months prior to the car being totaled, I kept saying that I needed to replace the car as the repairs (new breaks, transmission, etc.) would cost more then the car was worth.  So the Universe answered and removed the car from me.  I should have been a bit more clear in asking that the funds be in place first so I could afford to replace the car immediately and with little to no problems. 

The bike reminding me how valueless personal possessions really are and by riding the public bus system, it reinforced the need for replacing the car quickly if I was to be able to maintain my business and goals. Thus, it pushed me harder to make things happen in a better more profitable way.

The PC was an interesting item, for it crashed just at a time when I was suppose to be in Houston for a week long event.  Between it being down and horrible rain storms that literally cancelled bus trips to Houston, I had no choice but to stay home, and that worked out better for me in the long run.  Again, the trip to Houston was not something I was wanting to do and had issues with all year, so the Universe gave me an out and I took it.

Finally, the Stolen ID...well, they can have it...lol  So far only one item has been reported from that theft and it relates to a Sprint account and a gold iPhone.  At this point in time, there is little to no damage on my credit report as I can easily clear that item and I am prepared for any additional items that may appear.  I believe that once they realized I had poor credit after this past year, they were not able to open any additional accounts in my name.  And now, with this fraud showing up, they will have a harder time to open any more accounts.

So while it has been an interesting few months full of frustration and life, I have also become more at peace with it.  The situations remind me to 'chill out' and relax.  Life does happen, and life does go on.  Nothing is ever so bad that one should take their life, nor take another's life.  What is the overall lesson I am to learn from my past, who knows.  I can only hope that it keeps me on the path I have chosen of prosperity by giving help to others through the Non-profits I have created and that my simple act of kindness outshines the negative aspect of things in the world and helps people to grow stronger, better and more loving.

Life goes on...I go on

Sunday, February 7, 2016

I'm Donating a Body Part

On February 11, 2016 I will be having surgery in order to donate a Kidney.  This is something that I have thought about doing in some way over the past few years.  It didn’t matter if it was a Kidney, bone marrow, or any other body part that I could give while alive.  I am listed as a donor upon my death as well.

When I started this process, I was not expecting to go through as much as I have.  In some ways I am disappointed in the process as they claim to want to make it convent for the donor, I find it not to be 100% accurate.

I knew that there would be down time due to the surgery but the additional time and energy involved was much more then I was lead to believe or expected.  I do not have insurance, or vacation time, so every hour I spend on this adventure, I have lost income.  When there are delays made by the hospital team, it cost me money.  It is this aspect that I am not thrilled with, and to be clear I am not asking for money from the hospital or any organization to help offset my losses.  I do however, expect for the system to be more respectful of the donor and their time.

Here is a perfect example of why I am frustrated.  When I began the process I was clear that the surgery had to be done by a certain time frame, the first week of February, which would allow me ample time to heal and be ready for events and programs that I had scheduled starting in March.  Yet, the hospital team failed to share one piece of information within their group that resulted in a one-week delay.  This delay then offset every person involved with supporting me through my recovery.  This delay put the surgery right on top of a holiday weekend, where many of my supporters had already had plans made, thus they were no longer available to assist me.

On the outset, that would appear to be a non-issue, simply delay the surgery, but the next two weeks where already booked and that delay would further cost me to lose money.  The next available time frame I could do the surgery and allow for healing was not until the end of June or early July.  That’s a five-month delay which could result in the death of the recipient.  That’s not acceptable!

The hospital staff should have followed protocol, or at least go the extra mile to make sure that everything was done on time and they worked with me, the donor to make sure that time schedules were done and simply not dis-respect my effort and do as they choose and schedule things on their time frame.  If this was a business I was dealing with, I would have fired them.  Their actions were, as I feel completely disrespectful to me.  The example I gave was just one of a couple of items that they did which added to loss of income and delays.  I wonder at times if they have become immune to the lifesaving surgeries they are doing and treat this more as a business then a lifesaving procedure.

Regardless of the delays and me having to hire help to offset my inability to work properly, I would not stop this procedure, or delay it.  We are dealing with people’s lives, and too many people die because there is no donor to help them.  I do not want to be one of those people who could help, but chose not to because a corporation failed at its job.

My reasons for giving are simple; I have been blessed on many occasions over the years in many ways.  It is because of being blessed is why I want to give back when I could.  I am healthy at 55 years of age, and my time on earth continues to count down, so now is the perfect time to give back and help someone else in need.  It is a small thing to do, and even more why I feel respect should be given through the process.

Now with that said, I want to share with you that not even knowing who the recipient is, I know this is a valid and right thing to do.  But, I will share with you some information so that you can be prepared for what to expect if and when you choose to donate a body part.

Blood Testing:  There was times I felt like I lost weight due to the amount of blood they took for testing.  Before the pre-op, I have given over 40 vials of blood over a six-week period.  The most at one time was 14 vials.  This is critical for many reasons.  Of course the most important is to make sure you are healthy enough to donate.  The second is to make sure that your blood works well with the recipient’s.  The rest of the blood is just follow up as needed.

Time: In my case the surgery team is located in San Antonio and I am in Austin, TX.  Roughly a two-hour drive which does not lend well to recovery, pre-op time and any additional testing as needed.  The blood tests were mostly done in Austin at a lab, so that was convent overall.  The down time to go to San Antonio for the final round of approval before getting cleared for surgery was an all-day event.  The pre-op procedure so far appears to be an all-day event.  

Surgery:  More to come on the blog for this item.

Stay Tuned

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fight Song


While I am dedicating this posting to my Aunt, what I write is valid for everyone of us. 

There is a song that is getting a lot of air play at this time known as "Fight Song", there are several performers singing it right now, but Rachel Platten is getting the most air time.  The song is simple, it's about choosing to be true to yourself, fighting for who you are and what you believe in.  No matter how bad it may appear.

Staying true to yourself and claiming your beauty, wisdom, strength and your spiritual gift is what separates you from those who don't.  To many people choose to give up on work, projects, and way too many give up on their life feeling it is not worth it to go on. 

Wither you are experiencing health issues, as my Aunt is currently doing with Breast Cancer, or even myself with homelessness, how you choose to handle it is what makes you special. 

I have learned over my life that God (Spiritual entity of your choice) does send you messages of hope and love.  It may not come in the way you may want to see or hear it, but he/she does, as is the case in this song.  But this is one of thousands of songs that can help people to be motivated, to hang on a little longer and to know that LOVE does exist for each and everyone of us. 

People are not living YOUR LIFE!  Don't let them tell you what to do and how to do it!  You can hear everything that is said to you, and you can choose to take what you want from it, but ultimately, this is YOUR LIFE!  Live it as gloriously as you choose to do so.  If you live a positive affirming life, you will touch people's lives that you never know of.  Living a positive affirming life sends ripples throughout the world.  To give up on life, to give up on your dreams not only hurts you, but those around you. 

This is Your Life, sing it with glory and praise, even if it is only YOU who hears it.  Trust me, the ripple effect will be beyond your wildest dreams.

Here is a link to the song on YouTube with the lyrics:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQhGnNEFtPk


Life goes on...I go on

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

When it Rains it Pours

It seems that the weather and I have something in common these past few weeks, it wont stop pouring!  Ok that's a bit dramatic, well almost.

Over the past few months, I have been working hard on my non profit to make sure we continue to grow and in so doing, have had a lot of bills to contend with.  Sadly, the results of our growth has not turned into profit or a steady revenue stream.  This lack of funds, has now made it very difficult for me to pay the organizations bills, and mine.

Add in the fact that I am still homeless, which contributes to other issues, that being the one most annoying of them all...BED BUGS!  Ugh, I thought I was over them from last year.  By the end of summer last year, they were gone and I enjoyed the winter and spring bug free.  Now they are back and biting as much as before.  Don't let "Orange is the new Black" show convince you that they don't bite.  Bed Bugs live off of your blood, so they DO bite and it does hurt.  Especially when they gang up on you in one area, like your feet or hands.  Between the bite and the itching, it makes it hard to sleep at nights.  I have had to resort to sleeping aids to help me get through the night.  And yes, I do wake up, turn on my iPhone flashlight and search out those buggers and squish them dead when they wake me up.  My sheets are polka dots of blood resulting from their deaths.  And yes, I do spray to kill them, but the only way to really kill them is through high heat.  You would think that a storage unit getting as high as 90-100 degrees would kill them, God knows it is uncomfortable for me.

On my way home from an event recently, my car's fuel pump decided to stop working, leaving me stranded 30 miles from home.  Without the car, I had to cancel several appointments for work, and for pleasure.  Now I have to come up with the $700 to fix it.

When the car died is when I found out my insurance had been cancelled on the car, due to lack of payment.  Another item, that needs attention, along with my over drawn credit card, loans, storage fees and the phone bill...all currently past due.  $2,300 worth of bills all due right now!

So, for the past couple of weeks, we have had record amounts of rain to match my record amount of frustration....when it rains it pours!

But, with all of that said, I can do one of two things...wallow in this momentary grief or step up and do my best to have faith in knowing that it will all work it self out quickly and somewhat effortlessly.  I am choosing to believe in faith. 

Let's face it, I've been homeless for four years now, and while I am not thrilled about being homeless, I could be in worst shape.  Things continue to improve for me and that is the key issue.  While I suffer these momentary set backs, they are just that...momentary.  They are not major set backs that cause me to loose everything that has come my way.  I am working, I do have a car, I am doing what I love doing...helping people.  Thus, I am grateful or what I DO HAVE! 

And yes, I do bitch at times about the frustration of a set back, or the feeling of lack, but event then, I remind myself it could be worst.  And yes, I would love for Ellen or some other TV show to surprise me and help me get a home, or for the non-profit to get a huge gift that would make some major improvements for us, but until that time, I must always remain faithful that there is a reason for what I am going through, and that it will be of great value for myself and for others down the road.

I continue to work hard and build a future for myself and for others that has a greater impact on the world.  That is what is important, continue improvement of one self and the value they add to the world in a positive way.

Life goes on...I go on

Friday, May 8, 2015

When Do You Live?

I poised this question first to a friend of mine who didn’t answer the question, as they were trying to figure out what exactly I wanted to know.  So, the next best thing to do is pose the question to myself.  When DO I Live?

From a realistic everyday point of view, I live every second of every day.  But the truth for me is that I exist for every second of every day and rarely to I actually LIVE!  Even in my homeless state, I still have responsibilities that require me to earn a living and for bills to be paid.  Therefore, like most people I have a ‘real’ job that pays my bills, even if the income is very limited and not enough to really live properly.  So when I go to that job and work, I am not working to live, I am working to exist.  To live a life that society has determined is required to be ‘normal’ and to have what the ‘average’ person has.

When I actually LIVE is when I am helping others.  Yes, I am blessed to have a day job that allows me the flexability to take time off to do what I LIVE for.  I just want the two options to combine so I can do what I Love doing and Live to do.  Thus, for those times that I actually get to LIVE, they are rare and far between, so I cherish them even more.

The times that I get to do what I want, which may be as simple as walking on the trails of a city lake, or bike riding, or even chilling out by myself, those times are also moments where I can Live.  These moments are my ‘down’ time, my time to clear my mind to allow me to be open to the Universal thought which in turns gives me opportunities to create and do the things that allow me to help others.  Therefore, even those down times lead me to do what I Love to do and what I Live for.

When you are wrapped up in your busy world, do you find time to actually ‘live’?

Life goes on…I go on

Monday, December 22, 2014

How Music Helped Me

During the past three years, and in fact most of my life, there has always been a small amount of items that I find to help me through a rough time.  One item that I tend to have forgotten way too much, is the belief in something greater than myself.  Usually when I forget about IT, IT seems to slap me in the face in some way to remind me.  No, I’m not saying that IT can be vengeful, hurtful or anything of that nature.  What I am saying is that when we go off in a deep dark space, we have forgotten what IT is and how IT relates to us. 

That IT can be a thousand different things; God, Yahweh, Inner Peace, etc.  IT is what you believe is greater than you are.  It is where you find your strength, your faith, your understanding of the world around you.  To me IT is LOVE!  Not a physical love, or solely an emotional love, but a LOVE that grips you and makes you to want to be better then you are.  LOVE is knowing that you have to do something in a Positive way to help change lives, to help improve the world for Everyone.

When one is centered in LOVE or IT, they show love towards everyone and everything.  They act in a way that is unselfish, that is given freely, that is positive.  It is when we are not centered that our love becomes tainted and negative.  That’s when people are injured physically, emotionally, and when people die.  When we are not centered, it is when we act from our selfishness and do things that we want and not what is best for humanity.

During those times that I am off centered, I usually can be brought back to by my surroundings and in many cases, those surroundings has music playing.  I am a man who loves to hear an upbeat song, a song that reminds me that LOVE is greater than I am.  And during these past three years, there have been many songs from my past, and in my present that remind me of how off centered I can be.

Music, has always been there to help me through my path, my trials and tribulations.  But, I know there are songs that can be negative, and have no positive value to the world at hand.  People express themselves in a variety of ways, for the place and time that they find themselves.  I do the same by choosing songs that are about LOVE.  It is at those times that I can find my way back to being centered, and at peace.  And yes, I will admit, it may take days or months of listening to a lot of songs to get myself back to where I should be.  But, oh it is so worth it.

Over the past few years, even right before I became homeless, I had started to work on a concept of a Spiritual Musical using songs that have a dance beat.  There is nothing more enjoyable than sharing joy through dance.  To dance to a song that is uplifting and inspiring is to me a way of sharing the LOVE, to show ones desire to be in the moment and to show joy.

Thus, I have been compiling a collection of songs that I believe will tell of a story of loss, understanding and finding of ones centeredness with LOVE.  Will it ever be made, I sincerely hope it will be. I have even thought of the staging, who would work with me to meld the music together and a fun and joyful beat.  But, if it is not to be made, I at least can enjoy listening to the music and daydreaming of what it can mean to millions of others that are off centered and just need a reason to remember who they are and to celebrate that joy.

As part of this concept, I had created the Freedom Dance event.  Sadly, finances kept me from doing it more than one year.  On July 4th, 2013 I held the only event in Austin TX.  I had worked towards a second event and found a great dance song that I know would touch many people in different ways.  I still hope to make these events happen down the road once I have more money to spend on creating it.  Until then, I know that IT will share the concept with others who will create something similar to what I created.  Joy and Love should always be shared, especially during the dark times of one’s life.

Let music guide you to your peace and joy.

Life goes on…I go on

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What is Your Motivation to keep Going?

What is Your Motivation to keep Going?

This question was recently asked of me by my Aunt.  She has followed my struggles over the past few years, and knows in more detail of my ups and downs, then I have put on this blog.  I was at first taken back by the question, but I guess I should help explain why she asked the question in the first place.

My aunt, like many people today, is going through a rough time of her own.  In fact, for the past five years she and her husband have been struggling to get out of bankruptcy, refinance their home and to keep their business alive.  They live in California, so that may help explain why she is having a rough time.

She has commented to me a few times that she sees me as an inspiration for her, which for me is a bit bizarre for me to understand.  She’s a few years older than I am, and so I can’t see why a younger man, who has not lived a very successful life could be an inspiration.  But as I have been thinking back over the past few years, I have done my best to keep living.  And that is the key, and why I believe she sees me as an inspiration.

My family never had money, we were always just above the poverty line, well most of the time we were.  My mom had worked hard to earn a living and support my sister and I.  Not an easy task for anyone to do.  She never had the opportunity for college, so like myself, we could not advance through company structure as one with a college degree can do.  No matter how smart she was, and she was very smart in her industry teaching her male bosses how to get things done properly, she never really earned enough, nor was given the opportunity to advance.  While I’m no genius, I do have the knack for learning things that I want to learn, and excelling in my own way.  But again, one of my perceived short comings is no college degree.

Even so, I have seen people worst off then myself, even now as I am homeless.  I see others on the street barely surviving.  I see people who have good jobs totally losing it when something bad happens to them.  I watch the news and read about people who commit suicide because they believe their life is not worth living for.  And yes, I too had those thoughts at times.  I mean, who wouldn’t.    You lose all physical belongings, a place that was considered a home, your income and faced with little to no help or the possibility for help.  Why continue to live?

That’s the thing, while you may have lost everything, you haven’t really lost it all.  Just look around and you will see people in worst shape then you are.  The homeless, the uneducated, the ones that seem to be kept down by others, and so much more.  In addition, there is one thing that NO ONE can take from you that really does make a difference; Your Spirit, Your Soul!  Until that is taken away from you, then life is worth living for.  Even if it seems like you are in hell. 

While this is cliché to say, ‘from the ashes rises the Phoneix’, ‘God only gives you what you can handle’, ‘from this, you will become stronger,’ and so many other sayings.  It’s true!  But it all depends on YOU!  Do you want to become stronger, better, wiser?  Do you want to survive?  Do you want your life to mater?  Even if your answer is a small squeaky yes, it’s worth trying.

So while I continue to look around and see people who are in worst shape then I am, I am grateful to be where I am, and to know that I am moving forward.  There are times that something happens to me that makes me feel as if I have gone backwards, but even in those times, it is only temporary.  I am 54 as I write this, and I do not believe my life is over.  I do not believe that I do not still have something of value to give to this world to help make it better.  I REFUSE to believe that I am done!

For that reason, Life goes on...I go on