A Salmon Day

July 29th, 2013

What kind of day are you having? Is it a day of upsets, catch ups and overload? Is it a day of “there must be a better way”? Well, you are right and this is your lucky day!

First of all, it’s a lucky day because you are alive and if you are alive you can change things and if you can change things they can start getting better. Secondly, this day isn’t over yet. That means you can still pull this off. This day might have been going into the books as a bad day or a just get through it day but right now you can change it into a day that turned around and actually turned out very good. Ready?

If you decide that you actually have the power to make this a better day (you do), for the next hour you are going to feel like a salmon going up and over the falls. All the really great reasons for this not being a good day that you were comfortably flowing along with are now going to be rushing at you when you turn around. All the people you got to agree with you this morning are going to be trying to turn you back around to flow with them. Don’t do it!

Start by picking two things that you are grateful for right now. Just two. Only two! Think about them. Visualize them. Uh-oh, what’s happening? You’re smiling a little bit. There’s kind of a good feeling bubbling through your body like little club soda bubbles. It feels kinda good. Oh wow, the smile is responding by getting a little bigger. Well what do you know, there’s suddenly a better feeling in your belly, in your heart, in your eyes, on your face. Hey, maybe it’s not such a bad day after all. You know what would make it even better? You staying fixated on what’s right on not on what’s wrong. Wow, that salmon made it! Amazing!

Have a great day. There’s still time.

(c)2013 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride



July 22nd, 2013

How do you get to feeling good when you are feeling bad? There are all kinds of people, germs, accidents and genetics that have a different agenda than making you happy. Sure, there are flowers and rainbows and wonderful songs and books and people but you can’t just tote them around in a backpack like some kind of happiness insurance.

We speak of the practice of music or medicine or meditation in order to become a good musician, doctor or meditator but what does it take to be feeling good? Practice!!

We love happiness. We revel in happiness when it appears. We pursue happiness as if it was the last bowl of ice cream on the planet. And we wait and we wait some more for it to show up again. Do we wait for education to show up? Do we wait for muscles to show up? No, we work at them. We practice. How do we practice feeling good?

First and most importantly, we start right now wherever we are and however we feel. Secondly, we commit to achieving a better feeling regardless of the stubborn voice in our head that tells us not to change course. And then we smile a small smile. A sincere, small smile. A smile that says we chart our own course. And then we smile a little bit bigger smile. And suddenly we feel the tiny flow of well being start up again. And then we tell ourselves that whatever is going on, IT’S OKAY. We don’t have to like it and we may want to change it as fast as we can but regardless, IT’S OKAY. We can handle it and we can handle it with the mood of our choosing. That’s incredibly powerful! That’s incredibly doable! That’s incredible you!

(c)2013 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


The Mirror

July 15th, 2013

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see hands that delicately held a child or a puppy or a kitten? Do you see arms that hugged someone and didn’t want to let go? Do you see scars that have a story of battles won and lost, accidents and misjudgments healed? Do you see eyes looking back at you wondering where the years have gone? Do you see lips that are smiling back at you? Do you see promise and possibilities?

When we look at ourselves in the mirror we don’t see ourselves objectively we see ourselves as we have been thinking. If we have been thinking that we look pretty good, the mirror will confirm that. If we think we could lose a few pounds or need some more muscle, the mirror will agree. If we have been thinking that we are too anything , too short, too tall, too pale, too fat, too skinny, etc., the mirror will not disagree.

We look in the mirror to confirm what we have been thinking and we are seldom surprised by what we see. There is no ideal reflection. There is just a confirmation of our thoughts. Two people, each weighing four hundred pounds, look in the mirror. One gets completely depressed because he’s four hundred pounds and one gets blissfully overjoyed because she used to weigh six hundred pounds. The mirror showed four hundred pounds to each of them.

The mirror and your world will always be a reflection of what you are thinking. Next time you look in the mirror, desire to see someone wonderful, someone who cares and loves. Try to see someone that knows pain and hurt but doesn’t live there. If you look closely, you’ll see a person looking back at you who wants nothing more than for you to love them and to believe in them. Start thinking more positively about yourself. Start doing the right thing. Start seeing the good in your life. Start focusing on your strengths and kindnesses. Start thinking about all of the things you have done right. Start being a little kinder with your thoughts of you. The mirror will love you for it.

(c)2013 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride



July 8th, 2013

“I told you that!” “No, you didn’t!” “Yes, I did!” “No, you didn’t!” “Yes, I did!”
We are told that communication is about both speaking and listening and a good case can be made for refining our ability to do both very well. But there is another part of communication that is rarely mentioned.

When you speak, is any body listening? Oh sure, there is someone right in front of you and you are speaking to them and it is easy to assume that because you are talking to them they are listening to you. You may be wrong.

Sometimes the voice in the listener’s mind is louder and more demanding than yours. Sometimes they are hearing you but not listening to you. Rather they are listening to their own mind’s chatter. So how do you know if they are really listening? YOU have to be totally present and totally focused every time you speak to someone.

Many times, the more we think we know someone, the more off handed and casual we speak to them even when we are being serious, unrealistically expecting them to hear and record every word we say. BUT if you cannot be present and focused on what you are saying don’t expect them to be present and focused on what they are hearing.

If you are going to give praise, support, love or if you are going to talk about what you are feeling be present be focused. Look for signs that your words are touching the other person. Look for a hunger in their eyes for your next word. Create that with your presence. Nothing is sadder than an “I love you” or an “I feel hurt” that was spoken but never heard. If the words you are speaking matter to you, be present, be focused, be heard.

(c)2013 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


Identified and Labeled

July 1st, 2013

When we categorize someone as a woman or a man, it isn’t just an observation like whether it is day or night. It is a judgement. Certain roles and rules suddenly apply to that person. Are they too masculine or too feminine? Identified and labeled! Are they not masculine enough? Are they not feminine enough? Identified and labeled! Are their pecs, breasts, muscles and genitals worthy of pursuit! Identified and labeled! Do they seem to have a large bitch or jerk propensity! Identified and labeled!

After all these and a dozen more tabulations are made, we decide whether or not we will engage the person and whether or not they can be an asset to us. And then, we sit and we endlessly ponder why more people can’t be friendly and open just like us. The fact is that after all of our tabulations, we actually believe that we know the person because we have labeled them so deftly as if they were a South American butterfly that we had killed and mounted and identified and labeled.

All men and all women are so much more than we can see. They are so much more than their gender, bodies, financial and educational level. They are dreaming, feeling, upset, scared, unsure, anxious, complex beings powered by a spirit that they are trying to connect with to find the instructions on what to do next just like you and I. Give them a break. Hold your gossip, give a little praise, forget the well timed snide remark or look and forgive them. Make their life a little easier and not harder. Everybody is having a day just like you have had. You know what it felt like. If someone had been kind to you on one of those days, it would have meant more than gold to you. You have that power. Go ahead, give them a break and a kind word. You’ll both be better for it and the world will get a little brighter.

(c)2013 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride