Growing pains...

I remember growing up how badly my legs would ache at times.  From my sophomore year in high school to my senior year, I grew 4".  It felt as though I was being stretched nightly and the ache is something I still remember to this day.

The parrallels to the past years have been amanzingly similar.  For the longest time, I really thought my life changed when Blake died.  If I were to be truthful, it all changed when my first divorce took place. 

The tragedy was my first true experience of inner crisis.  Broken, regret, scattered, anger, hopeless, frustrated, the list of emotions, actions and reactions to what I was feeling could go on and on.  It was my first experience of trying to pick up my sticks.(I will blog on dropping the sticks another day)

The crisis that followed my divorce was the first real experience of looking within and openly sharing what I was thinking.  Then, much like now, I took on the renovation of a very old home.  As I did the renovation, I began feeling the growing pains, only these pains were from within my heart and mind.

Many times during the reonvation of the home I'm doing at West 17th, I've stood back and had flashbacks of across the street doing the Elm Street house. (For those of you who don't know, I'm a renovator of anything.  I rebuild homes and through this work, I see how I've restored my life.  I've come full circle, now restoring a home built in 1909 and it sits directly across the street from the historical home I restored when my son died)

The difference between Elm and West 17th is that I've had many growing pains.  The death of my son, a second divorce, the emptiness that transpired.  I've felt crisis like never before, yet I'm here today living a life in the moment and filled with treasure.  Honestly, as I sit and write this morning my eyes are filled with tears at how I've grown.  

The tears are a mixture of saddness and happiness, I'm still growing and will forever grow within.  It's when I began seeing the single blade of grass within the meadow did I understand that my strength comes from within.  It's not always a rock, sometimes the pressure is overwhelming.  

Yet here I am, in this moment.  Blessed beyond measure, in my weaknesses and strengths, a rebuilder of lives.  It's good to be home within.  I traveled 33,000 miles to this place, within.



Grabbing crisis by the horns...

Yesterday I was at my office at the university working on a few things for the fall semester and received the email notifying me that I had been selected to be a part of the TigerLeaders class for the coming year. I honestly had to read the email a couple times as I couldn't believe what I was reading.

Being selected to participate in this for me sums up why I'm doing what I'm doing and for others on campus to see and recognize my efforts is extremely rewarding. I am a leader of my own passion. I am the guy who is willing to dance on the hill shirtless, regardless of who comes to dance with me.

At the end of July, I will be speaking at a conference in Sacramento and have been tossing around a few ideas as to the direction of my talk. When I really think about it, the topic is simple. It's about taking crisis by the horns and saying NO. 

It's about the willingness to walk away from everything external with the slimmest glimmer of hope that I could get everything. Saying NO was not easy, as I wanted to give up. It was just too much. Little did I realize the heaven on earth that lay waiting for me to see.

Being open to the very idea that I am who I am and my past is not something to control me, but to guide me. Each experience, every mile, the single tear has led me here. To a moment in time that's taking place because I made a decision, to live within and believe in myself.

If you've never danced on a hill shirtless, I suggest you give it a try. When the crowd gathers and begins to dance, step away and smile because you made it happen. Be safe and well, but most importantly, be yourself. 

It all changed.

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