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Exploring Life's Options with Chuck on 2011-04-18T13:20:52.973-07:00

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Exploring Life's Options with Chuck on 2011-01-11T14:21:15.571-08:00

The shootings in Tuscon, Arizona

May I begin this post with a Hello....followed by an apology for not posting for far too long!

A few months ago I posted on my Facebook wall asking for input as to WHAT topics of discussion were of the most interest. Wow! I received many, many replies and I am ready to begin tackling them, one by one - along with any additional ones you choose to share with me as well.

The first topic of discussion is one that is on MY mind:
The shootings in Tuscon, Arizona!

Before I begin with my thoughts on the above, let me just say that my heart goes out to everyone involved with the shootings, their families, friends, associates and those who's job it is to attend to those killed or injured as well as the investigation, clean up, litigation and anything else that may be involved. Much of what is involved is gruesome and puts a drain on the goodness and very fabric of all life.

Over the past few days, since the shooting, I have seen so many things and heard so many things on the TV, on Facebook and in the local Newspapers. I have seen and heard some horrific, unimaginable images/descriptions as they relate to the events that took place that day. I have also seen and heard some tender, awe-inspiring, hope-giving, miraculous images/descriptions. THEN, I have seen and heard the people of our great nation carry on about who is to blame and why this person or that person is or isn't to blame seemingly endlessly with everyone screaming louder than the last person, trying to drown out anyone/everyone else who has their opinion about that terrible event. All of this while families have had their lives torn apart, lives lost, horrific injuries have been sustained and the very heart of our country has been attacked and injured.

I have seen people on television and on Facebook say things like:

"if you like Sarah Palin or have any positive thoughts of her, delete me from your friend list!"
"it is the Republicans and their right-wing trash talk"
"it is the Democrats and their left-wing whackadoodle talk"
"it is because of Rush Limbaugh and his conservative ramblings"

REALLY?

Is it REALLY that important to affix blame on someone or some group, today? Right at this moment? In the midst of all the pain, anguish, confusion, injury and death - all the negative energy swirling around the entire nation and we want to ADD to it by trying to be the first one who determines guilt and blame?

First off, the authorities have just begun digging into the situation and have yet to come up with a determination as to why the accused young man did what he did. What does that mean? It means WE HAVE NO IDEA WHY IT HAPPENED, AS OF YET.

Secondly, there is a seemingly endless list of people or organizations that could have contributed to the cause of the accused young man's despicable actions.

Yes, the actions of the accused young man are vile and conjure up every negative emotion and every kind of fear, anger and rage imaginable - that is UNDERSTANDABLE!

But - if you would, for a moment, allow your mind to form positive images of this situation and focus upon them. Positive? How can there be anything positive coming from something so horrendous? Well, let's take a look:

*What a blessing more people weren't injured
*What a blessing more people weren't killed
*What a blessing there were heroes amongst the crowd to step in and protect some and save others - such as the young man who possibly saved the Congresswoman's life by his actions
*What a blessing for the ginormous outpouring of love and support for all involved
*What an opportunity to galvanize the entire country into a country that wants to and is committed to change - Change? Yes! - changes in how we talk to each other and treat each other, whether it is you and I speaking on the street; a policeman with a suspect; media reporting the news in a truthful 'non-spun' manner that provides accurate news accounts and is not presented only as a means to gain ratings points and/or stir public opinion; our elected officials speaking to one another AND to the public; all of our leaders (business, entertainment, political) speaking and treating each other with integrity, honesty, equality, dignity and respect.
*Rather than focusing on blame, imagine on working WITH each other to brainstorm; to come up with ideas - ways to prevent such things from ever happening again. Ways to bring people together with a positive, forward moving approach to improvement.

This situation can be an opportunity to make America stronger and more united OR it can be a continuation of the status quo. We can make things better or we can continue down the road to ruin. We can find common ground for common goals or we can keep playing politics, spin games and spewing half truths, innuendos, blame, bigotry and hatred until there is nothing left to care about - other than trying to survive as neighbor sets about destroying neighbor.

There is a great deal of fear and anger in our country and a great deal of pain - indeed. I submit to you, however that the pain we are feeling comes from living in the past! I further submit to you that the fear we are feeling arises from the "what if's" of the future! I finally submit to you that we are given only one guarantee in life and that guarantee is this very moment - that we are in right NOW! The past and the future do not exist, other than in the images we choose to view from within the experiences locked away, like movies, deep within the cells of our brains. What am I saying to you here? That we don't have to watch those 'movies' about pain and/or fear if we don't want to. WE HAVE A CHOICE!

Consider this for a moment: Be educated by/learn from the past - Be inspired towards the future - LIVE today, in the "now", in this moment. As we focus upon what IS, the moments of the "now" get longer and longer until eventually we exist only in the "now" and are able to live life as it is ----- not as it was or as it might be!

So, what am I saying and what does it have to do with the horrific event from above? We have the choice to acknowledge the tragic event and all that is a part of it. We then have the choice to transmute the horrific and negative images of it into opportunities to learn and to improve and to be grateful and to move forward in faith, with the possibility of healing for everyone involved.

I offer you strength, courage and love; to consider what I've shared with the hope of something shining forth that can help ALL life - to improve and grow stronger, together - as one.

What do YOU think?


Exploring Life's Options With Chuck / Chat with Chuck chuck@chatwithchuck.net www.chatwithchuck.net


Exploring Life's Options with Chuck on 2009-11-12T10:22:44.489-08:00

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Exploring Life's Options with Chuck on 2009-08-23T12:44:24.125-07:00

A few comments about the new Brad Pitt/Quentin Tarantino movie - Inglorious Bastards

A few comments about today's opening of the Brad Pitt/Quentin Tarantino movie,
INGLORIOUS BASTARDS

Hello, my friends!

I know it's been awhile since last I blogged but I had been so busy that I had decided to put off getting into a regular sort of a schedule. However, after tonight, I felt compelled to sit down and share my thoughts with you and perhaps this will begin a more regular schedule for us all!


As a rule, my wife and I like to go to the movies on Friday nights. We refer to it as 'movie night' and we (mostly me) look forward to it as the official end of the work week. This evening was no different than any other in that my wife arrived home, we fed the dog, then hoped into the car and headed to the local theater where we met my daughter. Over the past many weeks we had seen previews of the 'coming attractions' and we (me again) were pretty excited about tonight as we were going to the opening night of "Inglorious Bastards" which is the WWII movie starring Brad Pitt. The previews portrayed it as what we all assumed was going to be a somewhat funny movie about a group of U.S. soldiers who were part of a specialized unit that battled the Nazis in occupied France. The previews showed funny scenes as well as a few partial scenes that appeared they could be gory. However, judging by the clips shown during previous week's previews it seemed like it was going to be of a humorous nature.

Let me preface this by acknowledging being aware that Quentin Tarantino is known for rather odd movies and of a gruesome nature but having seen the movie previews I had expected some needless violence but we still believed it was going to be mostly a rather funny movie.

I don't consider myself a prude, well at least not until tonight. I could have handled the cursing and I could have handled some violence and even some gore. However, when they began showing brains being beat out by U.S. soldiers who seemed not only to enjoy it but to thrive on it along with maniacal looks on their faces. Watching repeated, detailed, close up views of German soldiers being beaten with a baseball bat over and over again, then being stabbed and finally having their hair scalped from their heads, taken as trophies, was simply grotesque. Extended viewing of people being shot so many times that their faces fragmented and virtually dissolved was quite unsettling as well. These are but a few of the examples of what turned a possibly decent movie into nothing more than a 'B' type horror movie.

Putting all of that aside, however, was how the movie made us feel. I looked over at my wife several times and saw her eyes opened wide in horror and disbelief. We both learned to turn away when we expected something disgusting but still got caught countless times. By the end of the movie my wife almost sprinted out of the theater and it was quite obvious she was deeply shaken and as for myself, I could tell my body was incredibly tensed and I felt quite unsettled, especially my stomach. Those were the obvious and probably natural results from such a movie. However, as we got into our car and began driving home, we were discussing it all and the results of our conversation were quite profound.

Our ride home uncovered our true feelings relative to the movie and everything about it. My wife and I are both professional, certified life coaches and as such we tend to look at things from a different perspective than we once would have, prior to our training. Sure, the gore and violence and horror that we viewed on the screen was way past too much. However, what distressed us most of all was the toll the movie had taken upon our overall energy. There are seven levels of energy within us with the two lowest levels being negative in nature (victim and confrontation). From there the levels begin to take on a positive nature with the highest level being one of no judgment and for our purposes here today, we'll just say it's almost 'God like'.

During our discussion, we both came to the conclusion that there were no positive energies associated with this movie. In fact, we both came away feeling that our positive energy had taken a severe blow and was tremendously depleted from when we entered the theater. How could that be? Perhaps it was because: one part of the movie was nothing more than Nazis celebrating their carnage of U.S. soldiers; another part showed those same soldiers celebrating the carnage of the Jewish people as a whole along with racist beliefs/comments towards those of color; another part was nothing more than a team of U.S. soldiers, portrayed as murderers and sociopaths, whose sole purpose was to hunt down Nazis, kill them with baseball bats, knives, or by dismemberment, disembowelment or whatever else they could come up with, then bring back their scalps as souvenirs; finally, the overall movie seemed to be told and presented from the perspective of what Mr. Tarantino must have believed was that of the Jewish people which, as presented, was nothing more than a story of hatred and vengeance. The only energy present in that entire room was that of being a victim and that of confrontation - both negative in nature and in no way lifting anyone up or providing for any value other than to shower negative energy and disturbing images upon everyone in the theater.

There will be a great number who say, "who cares, it's a movie and (depending on your perspective) they got what they deserved!" Well, in a world already sagging deeply from the weight of generally difficult times such as but not limited to wars, famines, financial crisis and natural disasters, pains and countless other maladies - the last thing we need is something to suck everyone deeper into negativity and 'darkness.'

If I may, what good does a movie such as this bring about? Did it provide for a relaxing night out with the family? Did it provide positive portrayals of the Nazis, the Jewish people or the U.S. soldiers? Did it leave us awash is feelings of friendship, love or community?

I left that movie theater feeling 'wound up', my stomach in knots and a tad upset. My mind had been bombarded with dozens of vile and gruesome acts of violence and pure disregard for human life - regardless of country, race, creed, etc... I am so grateful that my wife and I were able to take all of these feelings and look at them....shine light on them...then acknowledge them so as to release them to pass through us without sticking. Basically, what that means is that we were able to work through the feelings and allow them to leave us.

My concern, however, is for the thousands upon thousands of people who will see this movie, many of which are expecting a somewhat humor filled Brad Pitt movie only to be scarred by what they view throughout the film. The images that will be seared into their minds may have lasting effects on many of them and at the very least will decrease most people's energy even lower into the negative/catabolic levels than it already was before they saw the movie. WWII is history that most of us are aware of and with so many wars going on around the world, it's closer to the surface than probably any of us would care to admit. Issues of rights, of race, culture, religion continue each and every day. Having said that, seeing the Nazis being portrayed as they were did nothing more than INFLAME memories of thousands, if not millions of people around the world. Portraying the Jewish people as they did only further stereotyped them as victims and now as a hateful, vengeful people and I don't believe that to be reality. Finally, as an American, I was offended and ultimately embarrassed by the portrayal of U.S. soldiers being involved in the actions as they were portrayed. I pray such activities were not perpetrated and are never perpetrated by ANY of our soldiers and if there is, indeed, any truth to the portrayal in this movie, there is simply no difference between their actions and those of the men they hunted and destroyed.

I don't believe I've ever written anything like this before and I write it not as a victim nor as someone in a confrontational state of mind. I write this as a human being who cares about each and every other human being on the face of this earth. Regardless of color, regardless of religion, regardless of sexual orientation, regardless of anything other than the fact that we are all here together. I write this as a soul who sees each and every other person he comes into contact with not as tall/short, fat/thin, sexy/ugly, black/white/yellow or any combination but rather as a brother or sister soul....all made from the same ONE energy of He who created everything that ever was, is and will be.

I guess the final comment I'd like to make is more to the point of this 'novel' in that how are we, as a species, ever going to move forward.....if we can't ever get ourselves out of the pain and anger of the past? How are we ever going to be able to experience joy when we can't get past judging others and even ourselves? I just spoke of joy and judgment. Joy is as a seed within us all and as we reduce or eliminate judgment from within and replace it with love, peace, mercy, grace and forgiveness, it is to the seed of joy like water and nutrients which enable it to grow. As it grows, we are able to experience Joy in ways we've never even imagined for as we grow, so grows joy.

I guess what I'm trying to say is be careful what you allow inside, whether it be through your eyes or your ears. You've probably heard the old saying "you are what you eat" ? Well, what you allow inside and into your unconsciousness will effect your thoughts and actions and will very well manifest either in your body or in your environment. So, what do you think sitting in a movie theater soaking up a couple hours of blood, gore, racism, intolerance, hatred, and murder; all the while dredging up painful, disturbing atrocities from 60 years ago will do to you? Yep, that's right.... you'll carry that stuff around inside of you, not even knowing how much it effected you while you're being short tempered with someone, aggressive with someone who ticked you off, aching to get even with someone you feel wronged you..... feeling depressed for some unknown reason, no idea why you find yourself feeling powerless or perhaps feeling you're entitled to something.

I'm not saying you shouldn't go to the movies, not at all. I'm simply suggesting that you consider what you allow inside of you AND your children. You wouldn't eat or allow your children to eat raw sewage or poison or anything else that you know might be harmful - this really isn't any different other than one causes damage to your body while the other causes damage to your soul - the very energy of your existence.

I thank you for taking the time to read through this lengthy blog. I would have made it shorter if I could have but when it comes to caring about you and your well being, how ever many words it takes is the exact amount to be written.

May you have a blessed day and until we meet next.... I love you.











Exploring Life's Options with Chuck on 2009-08-23T12:45:21.976-07:00

special note from a friend.....passing it along to YOU!

This note was just sent to me and it gave me joy; so much that I wanted to share it with you because YOU also give me joy.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making
my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful but then again, some of life is just as well forgotten and I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? It is, however the broken hearts that give us strength, understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, in response to the oft-asked question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be and I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

MAY OUR FRIENDSHIP NEVER COME APART ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART!

MAY YOU ALWAYS HAVE A RAINBOW OF SMILES ON YOUR FACE AND IN YOUR HEART FOREVER AND EVER! FRIENDS FOREVER!

Wow, what sweet thoughts - I just had to share it with you!

www.ChatwithChuck.net

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