Hot Buttons

The other day I got to catch the end of one of the Ice Age movies, I think it was the second one.  There was a bit where the characters were trying to get somewhere and the path was blocked by a field of randomly erupting geysers.  Something that anyone who is in a relationship can relate to and we all are in some type of relationship.

We all have them and we all hit them.  The dreaded (dum, dum DUM!) hot buttons.  This is what I call the things that others do, say or that we perceive that they have done or said that set us off.  The simple fact of the matter is, we all wear our hot buttons like we were working at TGIFridays and it was our flair.  For some, we seem to go through life reeling from one hot button inspired altercation to another.  We tell ourselves that we are victims and have a great story about how each person who hit our buttons is an evil doer.  Here is a good time for me to confess something, I’m not really a fan of the victim mentality.  To be honest, I spent the better part of my life under that mantel, and it didn’t get me very far.

Eleanor Roosevelt is known to have said that others cannot make us feel badly about ourselves without our permission (paraphrased), and the same is true of hitting our hot buttons.  We give the power to each and every one of buttons, diverting our energy that could be doing so many other things.  Here are some things to keep in mind when someone hits a hot button.


Stop whatever it is that you are doing as soon as you feel that a hot button has been hit.  You know what this feels like, anger, fear, irritation and other ugly monsters rush to the brain and wreak havoc.  The end result is usually your acting in a completely irrational manner.  Temporary insanity may get you off for murder, but it won’t get you off for saying or doing hurtful things to your relational partner.  It is better to stop what you are doing for a second, few moments or few hours then to say or do something that will hurt and cause regret later.


Once you have stopped, scan your body and energy centers.  Both are going to be road maps to the origin of the energy source for the hot button.  The potential sources are endless.  Each interaction that we have had, each moment, each second is a potential suspect.  Some sources are tricky.  They will throw shadows, red hearings in your path I distract you from the true source.  Keep pushing inward and into your past until you hit the one.  You will know when you have.  You may want to have someone who you know/trust who can help with this. Often, someone else is able to push us deeper into the past then we are willing to go on our own.


Once you have found the one (for this particular interaction) then it is time to heal and secure it.  I use the word secure because I have found that, more often than not, the power source is based on fear, and fears manifest insecurities.  The fears and insecurities may be based on a lie that we were told or inferred from an interaction.  For example, much of my life I carried the lie that the fights and eventual divorce of my parents was my fault.  I was 18 months old at the time, so clearly this was not the case. Yet, from this I lived with the insecurity that every conflict was my fault and my responsibility to repair.  I now live in the security of knowing differently.


The final step is to share the information with your relational partner.  G and I do this when one of us feels the other hit one of our hot buttons.  If we know the reason for the hot button, we even discuss this.  By doing so, we give ourselves the chance to process what caused the hot button in the first place.  We also let our relational partner know that doing or saying that particular thing creates negative reactions.  Finally, it deepens the relationship as each is sharing with the other.

We all have hot buttons.  It is inevitable that those around us are going to hit them at some point or another.  The choice, then, is ours.  We can remain victims to the pain cause by the hot buttons or take the power from them and grow ourselves and our relationships.  As with many things, when you start the process it will seem cumbersome and strange.  Yet, the more you do it, the better you will feel and the easier it will become.

Email:  If you would like to contact me concerning this blog, please email

Next topic: Dirt Part Two: Digging Deeper

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Before I launch into the post, let me acknowledge my absence and apologize for it.  It has been one of those cases of my allowing life to grab the wheel and wreak havoc on my schedule and psyche.  It wasn’t helped by the algebra class I was taking!  Now, though, I am taking back my power, but I’m still in an algebra class that is beyond me…wish me luck!



There is great advantage in talking with and (more importantly) listening to someone who does not have the same views as we do.  The caveat being that the discussion needs to be respectful.  Recently I found myself in such a conversation where I was asked a question that stuck with me.  As you know, I believe that we are extensions of Devine or Universal energy, here to expand knowledge and experience joy.  The question posed was a simple one: wouldn’t the Devine already know everything?  Touché.  After considering this, I have come to the opinion that there is a vast difference between knowing and Knowing.  You can read about walking the streets of Venice and get a good idea of its charm.  Yet, taking a trip and getting lost in the sinking city gives you the experience from which you will Know the charm of the city.  And our purpose is to Know.  To Know joy, to Know peace, to Know our motivation for being here, to Know ourselves.  For each of us, the path will be different, but the feelings are the same.

Motivation is the engine that moves are automobiles.  It is the people hid inside the dragon in a Chinese New Year parade.  It is that which moves us.  That which brings us joy.  I think that for most of us, we don’t process what it is that motives us.  We are content to live life as defined by the agreements that we have with those around us: our family, our friends, society as a whole.  Yet, what happens when our engine doesn’t jive with the common agreements?

In the past few months, G and I have had dinner with a number of friends, one of whom is an amazing example of Knowing their motivation for being here.  This friend has a degree and could have a career that could be quite lucrative.  They actually worked for a while in this career.  Now, they have a job that pays much less, but the sheer joy they have each day is astounding.  At a young age, they have found their engine.  It is unfortunate to say, but this person has faced criticism for the way they live their life.  They are outside of the common agreement, but completely inside their Source.  I have met few who were more in alignment with Who-They-Really-Are, me included.  They discovered their motivation for being here and through living within that Knowledge; the Devine within them gets to Know joy.

I am happy to report that I am on my equivalent path to a place of Knowing my motivation; this blog, my meditations, the interactions that the Universe brings me and even the algebra classes are all a part of the journey.  We are all perfectly equipped for where we are, we can still examine our lives and start to make adjustments to move us to the path of Knowing peace, Knowing joy and Knowing ourselves.  We can tap into our motivation and live lives of complete joy outside of the agreements with this world, but completely in agreement with the Devine within.

Email:  If you would like to contact me concerning this blog, please email

Next topic: Taking the hot from your hot buttons.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2 Seconds of Kindness

2 seconds is not a lot of time.  According to the musical Rent, there are 525,600 minutes in a year and the average American lives 78.1 years.  Using my math skills (translation: Excel), that means we have 102,623,400 seconds in the average lifetime.  I would say what percentage of our lifetime the 2 seconds is, but even Excel got confused on that one…  In my Positive Psychology class that I am taking, I read about researchers who interviewed German citizens who rescued holocaust victims.  In one case, the rescuer intervened when they answered the door to see a person who had escaped from the camp asking for help.  This was not a decision that the person had time to labor over, it was a now decision that had to be made; a 2-second decision.  I wonder how many people would be able to make that same decision.  Fortunately, most of us will never be on either side of that door, but we can still face that same decision.

I was on the metro a few weeks ago and across from me sat a woman who had an amazing vibe.  As I sat listening to my music, reading I could feel the positive energy that she was emitting.  This is rare on public transportation so I watched her a bit.  At one point, she turned to a fellow passenger and complimented them on their cloths.  This simple act brightened the other’s day and spurned a conversation that lasted a few moments.  Beyond that, it spurned a connection between two souls that, while fleeting, was a spark of goodwill sent to reverberate through the Universe.  I have seen the other side of this as well, those moments when one party makes another angry and there are words exchanged, or one shuts down or worse case, violence.  In both cases, it is that 2-scond decision that makes all the difference.

In my spare time, I am reading Spiritual Partnership: The Journey to Authentic Power by Gary Zukav.  One concept he discusses is that our lives are a basketball court and we are the coach.  The thing is, we can only have one player on the court at a time and we get to choose who that player is (note that in this case, no decision is a decision).  Sometimes Anger, Fear or Pain is out there, other times it is Love, Gratitude or Confidence.  When the rescuer opened their door to see a starved person, they chose to have Compassion as their player.  When the woman on the metro saw someone wearing something that she liked, she chose to have Appreciation as her player.  We all face those choices every moment of every day.  So the next time you are faced with a 2-second decision, who is going to be playing for you?


Email:  If you would like to contact me concerning this blog, please email


Next topic:  Motivation


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Focus On the Nose

So a few weeks ago my co-creator went on a job interview.  He wasn’t actively looking, but during the course of the process, he kind of got excited about the possibility of the new job.  It would be doing things he had done before, but with new challenges.  It would also be a chance to work with someone who he had worked with before, who he respects and enjoys working with.  The other day, he started to text me while at work asking of he should call the hiring manager to see if they had made their choice.  This was not the first of the texts that G had sent me on this topic.  My response was to ask him what was on his nose.

So why the nose?  Simple.  There is no better way to focus on this moment, the right now, than focusing on your nose.  It isn’t in the future making plans and it certainly isn’t in the past licking its wounds.  It is commonly accepted that the only thing we ever have is this moment in time.  For me, this moment involves the thoughts and musings that are required to write this post.  For you, it depends on where you are.  It may involve your laptop and coffee on a Saturday morning.  Or it may be your lunch at your desk on a Monday afternoon.  Regardless of the what, one fact the remains—this moment is all that we have.

None of us has a time machine; at least I don’t think that none of us does.  If you have one, please use it to send me an email before I post this to correct me…. Okay, no emails.  So we can’t go back in time, what does this mean?  What happened simply happened.  We can’t change it now.  The one thing we can do, however, is change the meaning that we have ascribed to the events.  If the meaning isn’t serving your higher good, then how can you change it?

Wouldn’t life be great if we knew what was coming? In two weeks, I am going to get a promotion, but a year after my car is going to need have work done.  It would make it so much easier to plan!  But alas, we don’t know what is to come (and yet, still no time machines to help).  So when we think of the future, either in dreaming about the ideal or worrying about the worst case scenario, we are projecting into the unknown what we think will happen.

So the past happened and the only thing we can do is change our definition of it.  The future is yet to come and to be honest, may never get here, and the only thing we can do is act on our projections of what may come.  What we have is a shared moment with our nose, now.  So, let’s all remember that we are perfectly equipped to be who we are, where we are and focus on the gift of Now.  Maybe even share it with someone you care about!

Email:  If you would like to contact me concerning this blog, please email

Next topic:  2 Seconds of Kindness

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bonus Post – Gratitude


Okay, so here you get a surprise blog post that even I didn’t know was coming, yet here it is.  It is going to be a little personal than past posts, too.  Since the transition that I went through a few years ago, I have tried to be independent.  I think it stems from the fact that for so many years I relied on some people who, in the end, found it better to take care of.  Another part of it is residual from the idea that I have to be strong and “together” for others.  So, that is me…the independent, strong, “together” guy who is learning that he isn’t really any of that, and that is perfectly okay!

It seems that sometimes the way life teaches us things is to put us into a situation where the only way out is to learn the lesson.  That has been this week.  There have been a series of events (details are not important) that have made me realize a few things.  One, while I am independent in some aspects, I am certainly not in others.  Yes, I can make my own choices, speak my own mind and live my own life.  Yet, no matter how I do any of that, there will always going to be people around me who are affected by me.  Two, in the same way I enjoy helping others, I think that those around me feel the same about helping me.  Finally, who I am has changed dramatically.  An extension of that change is the fact that the people from the past who were so good at taking care of themselves are gone.  The void has been beautifully filled with people who truly care for who I am and Who-I-Really-Am.  To them, it seems, it doesn’t matter that my feet are made of clay.  I think they find the humanity of it even more endearing.

Universe, lesson learned!  I feel such amazing gratitude for those You have brought to me who on a daily basis share their Light with me.  I am honored to have all of them in my life, and, in my own words, I am perfectly equipped (even through those around me) for where I am and that I am in this time and place to experience peace and joy.  Today, I show my love and gratitude for all who have touched me so deeply, especially my co-creator.  I hope that you will take a moment and do the same for those in your world.


Email:  If you would like to contact me concerning this blog, please email


Next topic:  (Still) Focus On The Nose

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coffee Without the Cream

I am a writer.  I’m not sure if those in my life have quite realized it, but they should be warned: their interactions with me very well may end up in a work of some form or another.  This is such a case.  There are some who are in my life who I have spent a lot of time “counseling” on various issues.  I love doing it.  It’s what I want to do once I have completed my schooling.  I find the act of helping someone to look at their situation in a new way, perhaps a “better” way, to be very rewarding.  I will admit that my motives are not purely altruistic; I often listen to my own words (as I am saying/writing them) and realize that they pertain to a situation in my life as well.

I have been talking with a “client” (not really a client, but it makes it easier for my purpose here) about their place in their journey.  This client feels stuck where they are.  They know where they want to go, but there are things that the Universe needs to bring them prior to getting there.  As I write this, two analogies come to mind.  The first is from my all-time favorite book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.  If you have not read this book I strongly recommend it.  I first read it about 6 or 7 years ago and I have re-read it once or twice a year since and with each reading, I get something new.  For those who have not read it, it is an allegory about a boy in Spain who discovers that there is a treasure waiting for him in Egypt.  The course of the book is his journey to find it.  As a part of the journey, the boy spends some time in a kind of holding pattern, the same as the client.  The other comparison that could be made is that the client is standing on the side of a large river.  They can see the other side and they know that their journey is taking them there, but they are not sure how to make the crossing.  Will they have to build a bridge or will the Universe give them a miracle and part the waters like the Red Sea?

In one of our conversations, I asked what it was about their lives that made or would make them happy.  An interesting thing happened, they started talking about a new job, maybe a new place to live and other changes that they wanted.  As I listened, a thought came to me; they were talking about the cream in their coffee.  Now bear with me for a minute as I explain this.  I drink coffee.  The thing is, I don’t always like the taste of the actual coffee itself.  At times, I find it bitter and at others it’s just “ug!”  So how do I get around this?  Simple: I add sweetener and cream or flavored cream to the coffee.  It masks the taste and I can get the caffeine I “need” which is what the client was doing.  They didn’t like the taste of their life, so they were looking for ways to mask it by adding things, external things, to it.  When I add stuff to the coffee, it doesn’t really change the properties of the coffee.  When you try to use external things to fix your dissatisfaction with where you are, you are doing the same.

So how do you learn to like the coffee?  The solution sounds simple, but is not so simple to do—one must become in alignment with Who-They-Really-Are.  For me, this comes through meditation and introspection.  It comes though gaining a deeper understanding of my journey to this point and the fears and hurts that I have carried with me so I can recognize when I am allowing them to control me yet again.  For others, it may be through different spiritual or religious paths.  Whichever path, the destination is the same: a knowledge that you are Love, that you are perfectly equipped for where you are and that you are in this time and place to experience peace and joy.  It is my hope that we all can take the time to learn to love the coffee, our path, our journey.


Email:  If you would like to contact me concerning this blog, please email


Next topic:  Focus On The Nose

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art of Allowing

I am a Sagittarius.  A fire sign and while I enjoy losing myself staring into a campfire as much as the next person, I think I should be a water sign.  I say this for a few reasons.  First, my ideal home is a cabin in the woods with a small river running by it, preferably by the bedroom so the window could be kept open (could there be a better way to fall asleep?), or better yet just give me Falling Waters.  Another reason I should be a water sign is when I need to do a deep reset of my psyche, I find a steam in the woods to sit by as I contemplate life and the issues that brought me there.  I find being there gives me clarity, washes negativity downstream, and can anything more fun than playing Pooh Sticks?  Finally, as a part of one of the most effective life-sessions I have had, my mentor took me to a stream on her property to do an exercise that was exactly what my soul needed.  It involved putting my hands into the water and releasing that which I had been carrying that was toxic while allowing clear energy to flow into me.  As I was doing this, I could feel my spirit flowing downstream with the water.  For being a fire sign, I am drawn to water.

In my mind, water is the perfect example of the Art of Allowing.  As water comes against a rock or other obstacle, it doesn’t continually slam against it, hoping that it will destroy or move the rock.  It simply notes that the rock is there and finds a way of flowing past it.  If water does get stopped by an object, the water becomes stagnate and filled with detritus.  When it finds ways to flow forward, it remains clear and powerful.

In the Law of Attraction, the Art of Allowing is our creating space for the Universe to bring to us that which we are vibrationally sending for.  I think Allowing goes beyond this and into our inter/inner-personal relationships.  Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Most of us have heard this but have failed to get the second half of that instruction.  This is the inner-personal part.  We are each an extension of the Divine.  We have chosen this time, place and life to learn, grow and expand the Light of the Universe.  We are perfectly equipped for who we are, where we are and what we are experiencing.  Sounds simple, but when the world seems to be falling apart, it isn’t so easily believed.  At least it wasn’t for me when my mentor said it to me when my world changed.  On the other side, I can emphatically say it is true.  I was, I am and I always will be precisely where I am meant to be, doing precisely what I am meant to do.  Understanding this, I can then Allow myself to be and the more I do this, the more joy there is in my experience of life because I am not trying to force what I think should be and I can enjoy what is.

When I am talking with people about their situations, I find that I often repeat myself as what I say to one applies to others.  The inter-personal Art of Allowing is one such instance.  We humans like to think that we have control of things, and often, we count other people as things.  I am amazed at the number of people who find themselves in a relationship (spousal, friendship, family, co-worker, the person in line with you at the store) in which they try to change the other.  In my case, I was the one that someone was trying to change (not the case with any of my current relationships).  Oprah has a column in which she discusses what she knows for certain; this is what I know for certain, expecting someone else to change is like asking a tile floor to be antique hardwood.  You can expect it all day, but it just isn’t going to happen.  The simple fact of the matter is we have control over one thing in our life: our reactions.  The greatest gift that we can give (to ourselves and to others) is the simple gift of Allowing us/them to be who they are.  Now I would like to add a caveat to this: there are cases in which one needs to understand that, while they have no power to change another, they do need to extract themselves from the influence of the other.  Namely, cases of abuse, be it physical or mental.

The other day, as I was meditating I had a vision of myself floating in a river.  It was relaxing; there was no effort on my part.  As I lay back, the world simply came to me and it was a world of peace and beauty.  I knew that I could struggle against the stream, but that would just create drama and exhaust me.  I could also try to swim upstream, but why?  Hadn’t I already seen what was up there?  No, the best thing was (is) to simply lay back, relax, be in the Now and allow the Universe to continue to bring to me that which the Divine within me knows will bring me peace and joy.  Simply stated, the Art of Allowing…

Email:  If you would like to contact me concerning this blog, please email

Next topic:  Coffee, Without the Cream

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments