The Colors, The Times, of Your Life – Will You Remember?

Originally posted on Random Thoughts of a Money Muse:

We were free. Moving quick in a white hot breeze. 1977. When the world flew by in lime green.

Slit through a black bowel of public housing. Deep in the middle of the aged carnival colors of blueviolet, aquamarine and bisque. Coney Island. A narrow way forged between the metropolis, slick brown with rot. The summer New York heat penetrated, bounced from dead, white alley cats forming a yellow haze floating neon pungent sluggish slow in still heat. Bright orange, with a burst of unhealthy steel-gray around the edges, like a healthy pink hue that hesitantly abandoned its soul, was there too. Cats and garbage rotted just that way in July. In 1977. In Coney Island. I remember.

The odor scorched the outer part of our pink nostrils until they flared red. But we didn’t care because this moment was designed to be fleeting. The clear blue of escape from…

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The Tolle of the Governor: 6 Steps to Rebirth.

Originally posted on Random Thoughts of a Money Muse:

“Been on the road a couple of months.”

“By yourself?”

“Yea.”

“Where did you live before that?”

“I was in a town.”

“Were the monsters there?”

“No.”

“It was safe. Full of good people.”

“What happened?”

“He just – lost it.”

“Who?”

“Man in charge.”

“I barely made it out alive.”

Brian Heriot aka “The Governor – Philip Blake.”

governor beard

As you rip from the past, forge a path to the present, there’s a good chance the man in charge will unravel.

Actually, it’s guaranteed.

There will be.

A tumble, a spiral down, to discover who you really are inside.

And burn out what’s haunting your sleep.

Because fire cleanses.

Extinguished fires leave imprints.

Black stains scar foundations.

governor burn three

I’ve learned to fear and respect fire of the mind. 

You won’t notice change; at the surface you’ve built high fences. However, underneath, today’s thoughts are directing steps to a place you must…

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Have Kids? 4 Ways to Save Money: 4 Ways Dave Ramsey gets it Wrong.

Originally posted on Random Thoughts of a Money Muse:

“Money is more than money, sometimes it’s memory.”

I’ll never forget the March day in 1973 when the birthday gift from my parents – a new lime-green Schwinn 10-speed with a prism-like banana seat (complete with black double-stripe down the middle) was stolen from outside the Brooklyn neighborhood toy store – Cheap Charlie’s.

green schwinn

I believed I did all the right things to ensure my prized possession was secured tightly to a small tree.  It was in my line of sight; no matter where I was, even checking out stacks of Hasbro Colorforms’ boxes at the back of my favorite five and dime, I could glance out the large plate glass windows and observe some part of the bike’s beautiful, clean lines.

Padlock checked twice. Pulled on the lock again, just to be sure I wasn’t fooling myself that the bike was secure.

It wasn’t enough to keep this new birthday…

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The Life In The Mirror. 3 Ways to Save It.

Richard Rosso:

I bolted. Ran out the door. Down three flights of stairs. 3am. Screaming. For a Brooklyn street it was eerie quiet. Dark. Street lights out. A desperate sprint. In pajamas. To the only pay phone close by. Would it be working? It had to be the most vandalized pay phone in the city. Odds weren’t good.

Directly across the avenue from Harold’s Pharmacy.

Originally posted on Random Thoughts of a Money Muse:

I bolted. Ran out the door. Down three flights of stairs. 3am. Screaming. For a Brooklyn street it was eerie quiet. Dark. Street lights out. A desperate sprint. In pajamas. To the only pay phone close by. Would it be working? It had to be the most vandalized pay phone in the city.Odds weren’t good.

Directly across the avenue from Harold’s Pharmacy.

Neon beacon in the night. Still around.

It was a shabby three-room apartment in a pre-WWII three-story walk up.  But it was shelter. That’s all I cared about. It was my world for a time and to me it felt big when things were good and amazingly small and cloying when things were bad.

Lately it felt as if I was living on a pin and the head was about to run out of room.   For an old building, the steam heat worked amazingly well. New York cold was occasionally harsh, so I was grateful. Turn the valve for…

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When Fear Turns to Strength – 4 Ways to Stand for What you Believe.

Richard Rosso:

There’s a switch inside your brain. Maybe deeper than that. A beacon, a light, buried under the ice. Takes a lot to turn it on – the switch to warmth comes from faith and fight. A passion for what you believe, because you know it’s the right thing. For others.

Originally posted on Random Thoughts of a Money Muse:

“She may never come out of this Richard, but she may. You never know.”

Some doctor at Coney Island Hospital blurted these meaningless words at me. Advised me how this time around, this attempt to take her life was most likely, going to be successful. Or not.

Mom really did it this time, that I did realize. Now in a coma. I saved her. Just in time. At least I thought I did. Obviously, to the doc anyway, my “just in time,” was not timely enough. Or was it? I couldn’t tell from his words.

And I was scared. She was hooked to a respirator. Last time she tried to take her own life, mom was home the next day, following a stomach pumping. This felt different. Or didn’t.

It looked bad. And at ten years old I was scared. Shaken. Perhaps this doctor was right. Or not. The system…

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The First Meeting with a Financial Adviser – 5 Signs to Cut and Run.

Originally posted on Random Thoughts of a Money Muse:

It’s frustrating, time consuming and intimidating to find the perfect financial professional.

It’s the first meeting (finally).

What signs should raise the hairs on the back of your neck?

hair back of nneck

First hair: Products are discussed. How can an adviser discuss products when they have no idea of your situation? The initial meeting is one of inquiry and discovery, not solution or product. It’s fine if you have a product-based question, other than that? No.

Second hair: Too talky. You are seeking an inquisitive, active listener. Not a talker. You should be doing most of the jaw boning, not your prospective adviser.

Third hair: Not enough questions. A good adviser is like Columbo in less-wrinkled clothing. Keep a detective’s eye out for open-ended questions which allow you to tell your story and share concerns.

columbo one Heck, if it’s a good adviser, forgive a messy tie.

Fourth hair: Limited eye contact

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The Tolle of the Governor: 6 Steps to Rebirth.

“Been on the road a couple of months.”

“By yourself?”

“Yea.”

“Where did you live before that?”

“I was in a town.”

“Were the monsters there?”

“No.”

“It was safe. Full of good people.”

“What happened?”

“He just – lost it.”

“Who?”

“Man in charge.”

“I barely made it out alive.”

Brian Heriot aka “The Governor – Philip Blake.”

governor beard

As you rip from the past, forge a path to the present, there’s a good chance the man in charge will unravel.

Actually, it’s guaranteed.

There will be.

A tumble, a spiral down, to discover who you really are inside.

And burn out what’s haunting your sleep.

Because fire cleanses.

Extinguished fires leave imprints.

Black stains scar foundations.

governor burn three

I’ve learned to fear and respect fire of the mind. 

You won’t notice change; at the surface you’ve built high fences. However, underneath, today’s thoughts are directing steps to a place you must go.

Actions will eventually get you where you need to be.

First you’ll stagger.

Over time, your gait will firm.

Deeper strides begin.

You don’t look back any longer.

Perhaps you’ll change your name to a person who was loved once.

brian heriot

Take on a new identity.

Not an issue. Whatever it takes. You do it.

Because a free mind can’t be shackled.

And ego is loosening the grip.

Yep: To gain a second chance at life you must die first. A piece of you must pass. In the worst case, an organ will be sacrificed. An element of your sanity, or stamina go to black.

You’ll fight until exhaustion.

Thrash.

Until death overtakes you.

You understand (finally).

There’s no other choice.

If you want to survive.

An enriched life dwells in acceptance, not resistance.

“Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die” — and find that there is no death.”
Eckhart Tolle

When my father was in the care of hospice and dying one cancerous internal a minute, I wanted to accelerate the process somehow. I thought of insidious ways to fast-track his departure. There was red behind my eyes. I couldn’t understand why he needed to suffer.

I didn’t want to understand then how we all must suffer.

To climb to higher places.

Grow.

I was mad at dad for leaving. I hated how I held his hand for ten hours and for five of them it felt like gripping flesh ice.

He always did the opposite of what I thought he should.

As the man in charge he drank too much, womanized too much, worked too much.

Holy shit.

As the man in charge you do it, too.

Rain blood on the closest ones.

Splatter some on yourself.

And it never.

Washes off.

The man in charge forced rules you lost interest in a long time ago but still followed; you couldn’t understand why you carried them with you for so many decades.

Maybe the space felt comfortable even though it worked against your spirit.

It’s the clash. A battle. Between past and present. Ongoing.

And in acceptance you admit.

Finally.

You were indeed, the man in charge.

Suckered, duped, stupid, evil, resentful.

All you.

Good or bad. That was you for a time. A system-based creation from endless approval of others and false control – courtesy of ego.

Because you couldn’t control outcomes. You couldn’t accept the rejection, the change, the spin of the earth, until damage was done -

It’s not fight or die.

It’s fight, THEN die.

Your inner self, perhaps who you were as a child, was a pale light in the distance that eventually got snuffed out.

Realize..

You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.”
Eckhart Tolle

And a new man in charge emerges.

Out of the shatter.

Wakes up reborn.

Carrying new rules.

Stripped of ego.

Steeped in humanity; seeded from insanity.

New choices.

A higher self.

Rebirth.

And so it was for Philip Blake.

And so it can be for you.

Random Thoughts:

1). Be re-vulnerable. Look – I created a word. Crash through the high walls. Allow vulnerability to live again. You’ll need to practice. High fences just don’t fall. You’ll need to consciously drive through them every day. I’ve learned to be open to and aware of those around me. I’m more charitable. I direct my anger toward evil entities. I drop people who suck my energy. I hug my daughter from somewhere beyond my heart.

vulnerable governor

2). Become re-acceptable. Of yourself. Who you were before you lived for the approval of others who held the power, but little substance. Through nurturing your own self-acceptance, you will become accepted by others. At least the “right others.” As Srini Rao writes and teaches in his best selling new book – The Art of Being Unmistakable: A Collection of Essays About Making a Dent in The Universe -

Accolades, awards, recognition and validation may never come. In addition, ironically, when you finally stop giving a shit about them, they seem to come in abundance. Be your own gatekeeper, tastemaker, and connoisseur of what matters. Do not choose yourself so the gatekeepers will choose you.

3). Seek re-energy. Living in the past saps energy. The present creates passion, excitement. It’s full of oxygen. Focus on a present moment. No matter how small. Step into it. You’re not your parents, your co-workers. The past does not define who you are right now at this moment.

“Awareness is the power that is concealed within the present moment. … The ultimate purpose of human existence, which is to say, your purpose, is to bring that power into this world.”
Eckhart Tolle

4). Relish replenishment. Sure, investing is sexy. Financial media touts sexy all the time. Sell Apple, buy Tesla. Nothing sexy happens without the boring act of saving money, replenishing financial coffers. In the new year, increase your savings rate by 1 percent. Haven’t started? That’s the past. This is the present. Begin an auto-savings plan today. Now. Direct at the minimum, 1 percent of your take home pay into a savings account.

5). Cherish those who re-new. Who are the people who renew and revive you? You need more of them. You need to appreciate and fight for those who renew your spirit. Those you love. No matter the disagreements. If I love someone I tell them. Why hold back? Life is too short (especially in a zombie apocalypse).

family

6). Know when to re-unleash hell. It’s inevitable. Sometimes you will need to fight the enemy. You also need to know if you’re the enemy. Focus energies on what’s required to overcome obstacles. Roll a tank over your ego. Occasionally, that’s a challenge for The Governor.

Although he does try.

He’s got some work to do.

Noted.

governor tank

Look up.

A pale light glows brighter.

Dark clouds fade.

Self-redemption is yours for the taking.

Accept the past. You can’t change it.

It’s a prison.

Accept the present. It’s yours to take.

Now.

Step.

“Your outer journey may contain a million steps; your inner journey only has one: the step you are taking right now.”
Eckhart Tolle