Life is a series of turns, twists, ups and as we all know downs. The opportunity exists while on our individual paths to lift, love, learn, laugh and listen to others. This is a critical "joy" set of skills to acquire and makes all of life's experiences so very rich and worth while!
Welcome to another velvet hammer podcast. It's been a while since I've done one of these and today, the subject is near and dear to my heart. It's that life is not a straight line. It's an opportunity though, daily to embrace our journey. And I wanna talk about a couple principles that are inside of this. One of them is it's not really what you've done or do, but it's what you've experienced along the way. It's who you've connected with and how you've made a difference to others. That really matter, you know, when we talk about becoming a , a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a nurse, whatever our prof chosen profession's going to be. And we have that as an objective, tho that's an important piece to, to life is to, to know that we want to become a certain thing and drive towards that objective. But sometimes I've met people that are not yet sure what they want to be or do as I've spoken at many different places. Sometimes after I speak, people will come up and they'll say, so how do I , how do I get into what you do? How do I do what you've, what you've done. And in the rescue side specifically, and I share with them this principle that this is not a linear pro coach , it would almost be impossible to have done the things that I've been able to do, which have been a real blessing to my life. And hopefully at times a blessing to some of those that I've shared some of the experiences with, if I , I , I just couldn't have planned it , uh , because the way it worked was like this, I feel something. And then I walk through that door in faith and I see what's behind the door. And then as I enter the door, I have to pick left or right or straight or go off at a , at an angle. And these linear or oblique decisions can sometimes be very difficult, but I find them to be extremely rewarding because it's like an adventure. You just don't know what's going to be next. So when we get up in the morning and we start looking at our day, we need to ask ourselves and the heavens a question, what should I do today? And then we need to be open with our eyes, our ears, what we speak and how we feel about the things that happen throughout the day. And as that takes place, and we become pliable multiple and flexible opportunities will EV avail themselves. What's interesting about this principle, that life is not a straight line and we need to embrace the journey is that this doesn't mean life's gonna be easy. In fact, the pressures and the stresses and the difficulties will certainly appear while we're following this very flexible model of embracing the journey and see who I meet and what conversations take place and how can I lift others during the process. And what can I learn from others, becoming a sponge. In fact, the distractions of physical health , uh , the environment , uh , finances and economics, all of these things really can take a toll on that ability to be flexible. A lot of times we think that if I just had this much money, I would be able to be flexible and my experiences having made money and then having not had money, that money is not part of the equation. It is truly not relevant to this principle where life is not a straight line and embrace the journey. Money does not enable you to have joy. What enables you to find joy I think, is to squeeze out of each day, the meaningful experience. And lemme give you a couple examples. Sometimes it might not be exactly what we think and most of the time, I don't think it is. We think that perhaps today we will , uh , you know, charge up the mountain and save somebody in distress. And then my day will have been worthwhile. You know, I'm gonna simplify this because I think there's these LS that I like lifting, laughing, listening, learning, and loving. Those are the things. If we embrace those concepts, when we meet other human beings and we extend ourselves to them, those are the things that crystallize in some of the most meaningful experiences I've ever had in my life. Now I've shared a couple of these experiences before, but I wanna share this one in context of this principle , um, where we can affect lives, even when we're on a journey with that we think is really headed someplace else. We think we're on this quest to become , uh , you know, a green beret or , uh , a Bo lock belt in this, or, and I'm using metaphors that I understand , uh , some kind of a, you know, job or a specific career where in reality, the reason we're in that path is not really have much to do with that objective. If there is truly a define hand , a divine hand in the heavens, which I think there us , and if that divine hand guides us to other humans, to help them to lift love, laugh, learn, listen to them with them. Then we have the most precious parts of our journey right in front of us as we go towards our object and ultimately, you know, achieving those goals are important, but let's not forget what we really learn and experience in the process. When I went to Japan after the tsunami and the earthquake, the tsunami devastating, the Northern coast of Japan, I served up in , uh , I , I went up on my own , uh , bought a ticket on a , got on a 7 47, flew to Japan, Tokyo, all the rescue teams were being kicked out. Japanese were gonna handle the disaster. Fukushima was melting down 2, 3, 2 or three of the five reactors were already in meltdown mode. So the United States was leaving. When I got in country in Tokyo, I met a bunch of sailors who saw me in my 200 pounds of gear and said, what are you doing here? And I said, well, I'm going up north. And they're like, everyone else is leaving. Um , people were taking iodine for the radiation. Uh , it was a very interesting experience. And the reason I went is because I had a dream, won't get into that right now. But I , I had a dream about this disaster and my participation in it and saw some specific things that I've either shared in a podcast before I will in the future. The point is though I got up north after about a four or five days of negotiating. I got embedded with a non-government organization, that me to get up to Ishan Noma , and Onagawa through Sendai . Now, Isha , Noma and Ogawa were two of the hardest hit areas. Uh, during the tsunami devastated , uh , 20,000 people were in this , uh , community kind missing 4,000 were dead in Ishan Noma . And I recovered BA for the better part of a week up in that area with the Mexico recovery team. And I've said this before, I don't speak Japanese and I don't speak Spanish very much , uh , except, you know, tell you how to put your hands up , uh , in Spanish, but that's about it. But I, I do speak another language, those LS that we talked about. And I try when I'm on some of these complex missions to exercise those principles, it's not easy. Now, we're going up to Northern Japan to recover bodies that have been, you know, crushed and washed out and torn apart in a tsunami, very difficult environment. So my head is not in the let's just lift our fellow man and do good space yet with the amount , um , the major amount of downtime that seems to always be prevalent on these types of experiences. I had plenty of opportunity to meet other people. I was out in Sendai , waiting for the Mexico recovery team to come up, to grab me and take me up north with them. And , and while I was there, this American boy comes out from this apartment complex, where I was staying with this non-government organization, this NGO bunch of volunteers, they were performing massage therapy for the victims of the tsunami to help their mental health. And I was a recovery rescue guy and had all my gear and I had a week's worth of beard. It didn't look too, probably like he wanted to come up and talk to me. I would imagine, I felt like I looked like a pirate, but this American boy in his early twenties came up to me and heSpeaker 2:
Asked me a specific question. He said, what are you doing here? And I told him, and he goes, are you faith based ? I said, I am. And it turned out we had the same faith. We were both members of the same church. And he was there to try to find himself , uh , long story short. I had a very powerful but short conversation with him. And I gave him some velvet hammer love and told him he should probably go home and reconcile his life, what his life was and what happened to him is really not relevant to the story. But the principle of being in Sendai , where I was staging to go up north, that you should know Ogawa was relevant because the purpose of me going to Japan, wasn't about recovering bodies. I had been led to this moment, which repeated itself about half an hour later with another American boy who came down and had similar questions. And I told him the same thing, two in the space of one hour came to me and asked me some very poignant, specific questions and my ability to perceive them a little bit and to give them some wisdom from the gray hair, which is, you're not going to find what you're looking for in Japan. Once you're squared away, come back and do some good. They both ended up returning home. I heard from one of them about six months later, and he was joining air force para rescue . That was his goal. At least I don't know if he ever made it. So when we go on these journeys and we think we have this end in , in sight , and we think we're going for a specific purpose, it's just, like I said, earlier, we open the door, we walk through it. We then determine left right straight or take an oblique angle, 45 degrees left, or right. Or the myriad of the 180 potential , uh, degrees as we walk through the door. And then we find another door and we walk through it and we do the same thing. We then wait, we listen, we see we speak. We act with our minds focused on living the life that is filled with learning and loving and lifting and listening to other people, and then contributing our life to theirs. The greatest joys we'll ever have, I believe will come from this model. I am a work in progress and I have so far to go in my life, but this one piece is relevant to who I think I am in my core, what I want to accomplish in my life. I don't wanna miss the moment, the opportunity to affect in a positive way without being toxic or overbearing or, well , what we might even call inappropriate in , uh , being a thief of time for somebody by talking too much, but being aware, being the good ear, being a voice of positivity and honesty about the reflections that come through, the other faces that you're dealing with, we'll bring about great joy, great peace. And I believe ultimately great opportunities. You know, I remember one time talking to a great singer and she had said to me, I , I said, how do you sing so beautifully? What is the secret to singing beautifully outside of the, the , the voice talent? Because it's more than that. And she said that I put myself behind the music and let the music go to the forefront and the message. And as I've spoken to different organizations around the globe, this is the same principle that I use. So as we do this, it's not to build our ego. It's not to puff us up as we are some great do Lama running around the world, doing good. It is a personal experience. It's shared sometimes one OnOne or one on several wherein. We can help lift love, learn, listen to somebody else. I hope you have a beautiful day. And I appreciate you taking the time to listen to the velvet hammer.