9. Family

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” – Desmond Tutu

Yesterday afternoon my family and I had to come together to make some tough decisions in regards to my grandfather’s living situation. It has been amazing, and it was amazing to see my family come together for my grandmother yesterday, and over the past few weeks. I can be mentally critical of my family at times, but yesterday I was reminded of how blessed I am.

I recognize that not everyone has a great biological family, but what I have also learned in my life is I am able to create a group of people around me that are just as close as “family.” It is important for each and every one of us to look for the blessings that our biological family has given us. We should also approach those that are like family, and let them know how much we appreciate them.

Affirmation: The world is full of potential brothers and sisters. I embrace you as my relative, and I extend my love to you.

Call To Action: Who is a part of your life that you have not told them you care and love them. Please share stories with us about how you embrace your biological family, or people that are just like family in your life.

8. Freedom from Fear


“Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.” – Unknown

30 years of my life was robbed by irrational, uncontrolled fear. Even after removing binge drinking from my life I was still in the shackles of fear. Not the fake fear that you see in movies or you hear from children, but the kind of fear that ripped the joy and life out of my soul. Thankfully,  I have been blessed with a spiritual awaking that has shown me fear is not to be avoided but reviewed and dissembled as a bomb squad does the most treacherous of deadly devices.

This may sound dramatic but to me it was all too realistic. An all too pathetic dilemma was deciding what movie to watch on a Friday night. “What if I don’t like the movie after I start it ?” “There is no way I could enjoy this, why waste 2 hours watching this?” Yes, after extended periods of flipping channels and these type of irrational conversations I would waste hours. Not to mention I would see no movie (which I may have enjoyed) and caused myself an abusive mental work out. In dating situations or out with the guys I would always seem cool and confident when truthfully I was dying inside constantly trying to make everyone like me and be the guy I thought I needed to be to “fit in”.

What has changed in my life to grant me this “Spiritual awaking”? I have experienced over 2 years 9 months of continuous sobriety and I worked with others who have the calm and piece of mind that I wish to enjoy. I also studied other people and I realized we all have our internal issues. We all are great at somethings and have room for improvement in other areas.

Affirmation: I will no longer let fear stand in my way of enjoying what fate has in store for me.

Call to Action: In your life don’t be too fearful to make a new contact. Hold the door and say good morning (with respectful eye contact) to a stranger. Buy the person behind you their morning coffee. Leave a note for a loved one to say how meaningful they are to you. Please share your experiences with the CYLF community.

Share the Love


“Love is all you need”

-The Beatles

I remember when I was in the first grade and the teacher gave out construction paper, scissors, glue, and crayons then spent a half of the day making Valentines for classmates. I  made them for all of the girls and even some of my guy friends. She told us to write something nice. Maybe if you were brave you even asked one of the girls to be your Valentine, but all of the rest just said “I think your sweet,” “Happy Valentines day,” or “your cool.” It was a day of friendship and compliments. None of us felt sorry for ourselves. None of the first graders went into the day with a Valentine but we all came home with cut out hearts folded over with little notes in them. Maybe we even held someone’s hand that day.

Valentines Day has had many meanings over the years for me. The best Valentines are the ones that I share my love, my friendship, and get into the spirit of things. You don’t have to have a Valentine to share you love with a friend. I’m sure there is probably some app or email program that sends out electronic valentines, or bring it back to the first grade cut out some construction paper hearts and give them out to people you come in contact with today, regardless if you are romantic with them. Let’s get into the spirit and share the love this year.

Affirmation: I can be the person to bring joy to those around me.

Call to Action: Don’t just get caught up in just the romantic part of Valentines Day. Share the love with friends, family, and coworkers. Make construction paper hearts, send out emails, texts, or just call some people and let them know that they are important to you.Image

6. Showing Up

“Most of life is showing up. You do the best you can, which varies from day to day.” – Regina Brett

Yesterday I had an amazing chance to show up in other peoples’ lives. I woke up to a call from a man who has a drinking problem. He has been able to stay sober for sometime, but for some reason he purchased a couple bottles of alcohol and was going to drink them. Deep down he did not want to drink, luckily I was able to invite him over to my house, we poured the alcohol down the sink and ate breakfast.

30 minutes after he and I went our separate ways.  My grandmother called, she was very worried about my grandfather because his leg was swollen and he was very short of breath. I was able to take my grandparents to the ER, once my grandfather was admitted to the hospital I stayed the night with him.

Just a few days prior to this unfolding in my life, I was focusing on “my life” and “my needs” and where I needed more things in my life. This day was a reminder of how grateful I am for the life I am able to enjoy today. I am able to show up for others at a drop of a hat. When I went to bed the night before, the way I envisioned my day was much different than how it unfolded. Thank You Life!

Affirmation: I show up for life just the way it unfolds. My life plays out perfectly on a Universal level.

Call to Action: Who is someone that you have shown up for recently. If you can not think of anyone, think of someone you can show up for today. Please share your experience with the CYLF community.