“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

(Repost from January 27, 2012) I am constantly inspired when I witness acts of courage.  Whether I witness them in myself, in other people, or when my friends tell me about their own conquests of fear.  Courage is an amazing and strong word.  I find most of my insecurities in life are minute in the grand scheme of things.  I don’t think I am alone in having those limiting thoughts or feelings.  Not a day goes by that I talk to someone and they mention an insecurity or area of self doubt that can be quashed with a little bit of courage.

I went hiking this week with a friend; at some point this hike turned into a legitimate climb.  About halfway up I said to my friend “Have I told you that I am afraid of heights? … well, I am.” He chuckled, kept climbing, and I followed.  We reached the first major crest and he pointed to the top, “Just a little further.” I started making excuses why I needed to go back. He coaxed, “We’re almost there,” and started climbing again. I reached up, grabbed another hand-hold, found a footing and reminded myself, “this is why you go to the gym.

Trust your strength.”  I pulled myself up and pushed off with my leg. I felt my muscles engage and my confidence returned. “You can do this,” I coached myself.  My friend’s truth soon became a reality and we were at the top; it seemed like the top of the world in that moment.

We told some jokes and took some photos.  When I looked down the wall we had just climbed that feeling of fear and self- doubt returned.  My little victory seemed to be veiled once again but that soon faded thanks to the faith that I strengthened in myself on the way up, my past accomplishment of completing the climb, and my inspiration from my friend’s courage.  What was left was peace of mind on my decent; thank you life!

Affirmation:  I walk through this day with courage, knowing that my actions can inspire others.

Call to Action:  Find a fear you can face, FACE IT!  Scale your own mountain or mole hill today, do it with courage, lean on your gifts and trust in your abilities, you are an inspiration already. Share it here and with your fellows, allow your courage to inspire others.  Thanks again for changing your life with us.

Copyright © 2011-2021, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.


“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” -Oprah Winfrey

(Repost from January 20, 2012) In the world today it seems that the pace of life has gotten so fast and from time to time people forget to celebrate even their biggest accomplishments let alone their little victories. Over the past week upon greeting several people and asking how they were doing I was offered a few responses with high regularity; “same sh*t different day,” “another day another dollar,” “same old same old.” Is that what this life is? The same old thing, didn’t the sun rise today? Haven’t I been able to take this beautiful breath? Didn’t someone in my life make me smile? These little things are all reasons to celebrate NOW! If I wait around for holidays, anniversaries and birthdays to celebrate I am missing out on the joy provided by all of the little wins that I have. As I celebrate those little wins, the joy of celebration becomes a working part of my being. I think today I will create my own special “touchdown” dance and fearlessly perform it with all of my little victories so that when my big wins come through I can look like a real pro. Celebration is what I think life is really about. Thank you life, let’s dance.

Affirmation: I celebrate all of my achievements, large and small. My cheerful spirit propels me towards larger achievements and greater celebrations.

Call to Action: Why not celebrate all the little things all day. At the end of the day the little celebrations will accumulate and expand into a great Friday full of change. What did you celebrate today? Help us to celebrate like you did and share some of those below?

Copyright © 2011-2021, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.


“Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” – Edward de Bono

I need your creation, we need your creation, the world needs your creation. This week as I have been wrestling with what to write for CYLF I have been reminded of the importance of creativity and different outlooks. My belief stands that for the world to continue to grow and thrive, and for civilization to continue to evolve we need to allow ideas to have a place to breathe; especially those ideas I don’t agree with. I challenge myself to listen to ideas I think are “wrong”, and try to stay skeptical of the ideas I think are “right”.

Creation is a manifestation of our ideas. A creation and idea are not in a vacuum, they grow from previous ideas and we are inspired by that which has already been created. If you are reading this, you have access to clean water, you know where your next meal is coming from, and where you will be sleeping tonight, you have an amazing opportunity to create. What is your pattern that is keeping you from this? Can you break it for 24 hours and try to look at things differently?

Affirmation: This moment I see challenges with new eyes. I easily and effortlessly allow creative ideas to flow through me and into the world. Creation is how I love myself, my neighbor, and my enemy.

Call To Action: I’m throwing 3 your way, pick one, two or all three that call to you. Find a way to look at something familiar in a new way. Ask someone that sees the world differently than you about an idea that has been perplexing you this year. Create something in the next 7 days that you have never created before.


“True happiness… is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” – Helen Keller

A mentor of mine put Ikigai (pronounced: ee-kee-gah-ee) on my radar a few weeks ago, and it has been on my mind. Anyone that knows me, is familiar with the fact that I spend time thinking and looking for “my purpose in life.” The idea of Ikigai is to help you discover your life’s calling by looking at four areas, and how they overlap. Passion, vocation, profession, and mission, are the areas to look at and when you find where the 4 overlap this is what the Japanese refer to as Ikigai.

Last week’s post was a great reminder of how I can be distracted or fall into routines that don’t feed my mind, body, and soul. This week I am going to answer the four questions that help find this thing we call purpose: What Do I Love? What Am I Good At? What Does The World Need? What Can I Get Paid For?

Today I am in discernment mode. What mode are you in? Have you found your purpose for today, are you asking the questions, or are you on cruise control? No judgement; we are all on a different path, but for me I have shifted from cruise control to asking the questions. I am ready for what is next; THANK YOU LIFE!

Affirmation: In this moment I am here for a reason. I am here for a purpose. I am here for Life!

Call to Action: Which questions are you asking yourself? Feel free to once again take pen to paper and answer these questions. If you feel called, share the questions with us in the comments.


“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… including you.” – Anne Lamott

Over the last year we have obviously been faced with unprecedented changes in the way in which we act and react to the world around us. Seemingly we have been graced with a ton more time to do with as we would please. I have found that in years past I had hope for this extra time so that I could better invest it into endeavors of personal growth. Admittedly it seems that I have filled many of these extra hours in the week with things that have not added to the positive movement that I crave.

That’s why we’re here. I need to remember what I have forgotten, unplug and reset. If I have gotten off the path, I don’t have to be critical of the extra steps, I can be grateful to recognize it, take a moment and step back on. This can be true in a day, year or a lifetime.

Today I needed to pause, unplug and reset. The results were peace, presence and a clear vision of what my next simple move was to be. I will probably forget this again in short order so I am sharing it with you so we can remind each other to unplug and catch this moment. This one, right here…it’s really quite amazing and we almost missed it.

Affirmation: <A Deep Breath> Right here and now everything is in divine right order. I am blessed beyond measure in this moment.

Call to Action: Set some space to unplug, even if it must be put on your schedule. Make it important and share the gift with someone else. Think of who could help you stay accountable to being here, now!

Persevere with Patience

“Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance.” – Abigail Adams

I think the above quote could also read “Great successes may be achieved by patience and perseverance.” If I were to summarize my decision making process during the first 30 years of my life, it would be described as hastily. I don’t say this with regret, I say this in hopes that I have learned from my past and can transfer a bit of wisdom.

During the last 18 months I started growing avocado trees and paid off my personal debt. The trees introduced patience in trusting mother nature as I care for and water the plants. I have attempted to pay off debt for over 12 years, and only recently made a plan and stuck to that plan until I finally hit $0. As I get older leaning into these two principles, miracles can happen.

Meditation helps me tap into the inner guidance of the Universe, when I rely on the Light that guides me, it lets me know exactly where my energy should go.

Affirmation: I tap into my inner GPS, and patiently follow the path I am called down.

Call to Action: Let’s take pen to paper and list 3 areas of life we need to introduce patience to, 3 things we are currently persevering through, and 3 things we’ve given up on that might serve us to reintroduce in our lives.


“Start over, my darling. Be brave enough to find the life you want and courageous enough to chase it. Then start over and love yourself the way you were always meant to.”
-Madalyn Beck

Over the past several years we have talked about writing again and sharing, but there was always reason to put it off. After a while this effort seemed like a journey from times past that would just stay there. Over the last year the call to write, intend and share has continued to grow which brings us back together today. It seems like restarting or taking action can seem like an insurmountable obstacle, the mind can attack the motives, predetermine the outcome and cause stagnation before an effort has ever started. Today’s quote may seem dramatic but it is true that even the smallest of endeavors require a bit of bravery to get moving. 

This is a restart for us as a community which in our eyes seems timely for most communities that we are connected to.  A new year is upon us, the world is changing yet each of us still sit here and have to navigate through this journey no matter what the world looks like. It seems that it takes bravery, honesty and action.

The bravery is needed to fight through the parts of ourselves that are all too geared for sabotage. Is there something that you are unwilling to pick back up, have given up on or just quit?  This is where self honesty comes in.  All too often our endeavors are cast aside and we label them as losses, failures or not worth our efforts, all the while placing blame on some outside force why these things no longer are part of our experience.  Then the action of course is just taking the first step.

We intend to write again with the hope of using this as a chance to express the things that we need to affirm in our lives. We pray that our efforts will inspire others to take some time and join us in creating the lives that we are meant to have.  Glad you’re back.  

Affirmation: This moment is the beginning of all of the good that lays in front of me. It is the harvest of the seeds I have planted in the past.  

Call to Action: Pause, reset, restart.  You are back on the path, get your bearings, make a plan, bless the past and take your next step towards the new and beautiful journey that is just beginning. 

Day 1 of 40 Days of Gratitude (35 Days Actually)

Good Day Everyone! We are back with another round of gratitude leading up to Thanksgiving. It was going to be 40 days, but it snuck up on us and that leaves us starting on a Friday (which we always love) and gives us 35 days. It seems appropriate to start the first day with a definition, etymology, and gratitude list.

Definition – The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Etymology – mid-15c., “good will,” from Middle French gratitude (15c.) or directly from Medieval Latin gratitudinem (nominative gratitudo) “thankfulness,” from Latin gratus “thankful, pleasing” (from suffixed form of PIE root *gwere- (2) “to favor”). Meaning “thankfulness” is from 1560s.

  1. I am grateful to spend the day with my grandmother.
  2. I am grateful for Fleetwood.
  3. I am grateful for a warm place to sleep and wake up to.
  4. I am grateful for people that have helped me in my life.
  5. I am grateful for technology.

Day 40 – Thanksgiving

Below are gratitude lists from everyone that contributed over the last 40 days. Please enjoy and share your gratitude lists in the comments.

This has been a year of many transitions. And though some of them have been heartbreaking in the moment – I have to say that I am grateful for these changes. These changes have allowed me to grow spiritually and emotionally. These changes have pushed me to “show up” in authentic loving support of family. And most importantly these changes have allowed me to learn to receive kindness and compassion in return. I am grateful for kindness and compassion.
Thank you CYLF crew for allowing me to participate in 40 Days of Gratitude.

As 2016 comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on this year – the highs and lows, the emotional rollercoaster that it’s been. I am thankful for new friends who have surrounded me with love, understanding, kindness and laughter. For old friends who have reached out to me, given me advice, and fortified me when I needed it most. For the roof over my head and the long, winding, stressful journey that brought me here. I am grateful for my hospice patients who have taught me how to live a full life and how to die with grace and dignity. And for the homeless that I am privileged to feed, as they constantly teach me humility. I am thankful for my mentors who provide valued career advice and for my parents, biological and not, who provide the life advice I desperately need. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned, for the great people who have come into my life, and for the acorn. I am so appreciative of the opportunity to express myself on this platform and share this brief message of Thanksgiving with you, the CYLF community.
Love and Peace,

With a bleeding heart, I give thanks
For all the joy, destruction and rebirth of the last year
For the warm, meditative sands of Waikiki
For the barren, magical vistas of Iceland
For the goodbyes of well-known hallways, offices and faces
For the pain of a jet black lotus, forever inked
For the tears I couldn’t stop shedding over Philly, my home of 7 years
For the indescribable, overwhelming love when my friends yelled, surprise
For the late nights lost in dance
For the words shared in backyards, backstreets and beds
For the peace found in books, forests and candles
For the laughter my dog rips out of me when I don’t want to smile
For the long drive through America’s fields, mountains, deserts and canyons
For the friends that are my family and the family that are my friends
For the songs that made me shiver
For the strangeness of Shanghai and watching it’s sunset
For the moments when everything you know fails you and you fall on your face
For the call to action to be braver than you knew possible
For the capacity for compassion, that has always been my sword and shield
For the ones that have been awoken and the ones still asleep
With a bleeding heart, I give thanks
For all the joy, destruction and rebirth of the last year
I hope that I never stop listening, learning and growing
In love, with love, for love.

Today I’m grateful for my life.
I’m grateful for being able to wake up healthy and happy.
I’m grateful for my ability to work and to rise up in my industry.
I’m grateful for the future and the idea that I can handle good or bad whatever comes my way.
I’m grateful for my friends who know better and call me on my shit, or call me when they know I need it.
I’m grateful for my wife and all that she does for us.
I’m grateful for my kids.
I’m grateful that every day is different.
I’m grateful for cinema, music and art. Creating it and experiencing it.
I’m grateful that I was invited to be a part of this and got the chance to look at the blessings in my life!

My gratitude has been laid out on this site for the last 40 days. I am grateful to be in the habit of writing again. I am grateful for everyone in my life today. With the end of 2016 coming to an end, I am especially grateful to be walking through the end of grief.

Day 39…

Day 39

The culmination of our season is almost here. This is usually when things are the craziest so lets pause and look back on how far we have come. Let us not miss the moment by being hung up in the race.

In this moment I pause to reflect on what I have done.

Gratitude List