A Theory of Relativity

Relationships are HARD!! Especially relationships with PEOPLE! Ugh!

I have a hard enough time with my relationships with inanimate objects like the clutter of my desk, the food I heap on my plate or the piles of leaves on the lawn. These material things in my life can be out of balance, and my relationship with them a struggle. In all of these examples, I have almost total control and fail to tame their chaos.

When it comes to people?? Well, let’s just say I don’t do quite as good of a job, as I do with eating junk food constantly! Once I bought a book called, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand. I showed it to my bosses at the time… I told them I bought it because of them. HA! That’s a true story!

Anyways… I have a widely varied mix of relationships with people, and I haven’t done my best to caretake them. I have strained relationships, and distant ones. There are awkward, tense, embarrassing and regretful relationships in my personal catalog. I have done the damage to them in many cases and been the catalyst for personal problems of all types. At certain points in my life, I was so full of inner-turmoil that I would instantly transfer it to anyone near me like an electric shock!

Luckily, not every relationship I have with another human being is like that. There are people that I sit in admiration of. There are persons that I honor and believe in. I am in contact and connection with others that I truly deeply love and always want the best for them. There are people that I serve, and want to invest my time and energy to assist as much as I can. So I guess I’m not 100% rotten J

My favorite moments though, happen when the culmination of relationship and opportunity equate to marvelous serendipities that prove the Hand of God. You’ve experienced these instances I’m sure, when something amazing happens in the real material world that is important and far reaching and only because of your relationship with someone else. I can think of a few of these times in my life, and they are soul-satisfying.

God wants his flock to be in a healthy loving and supportive relationship with one another. There ways we can easily assist each other by just cultivating and keeping alive our special relationships. I have so much to work on in this area, and at the same time I’m so blessed by people around me all time.

This post today isn’t designed to show how I stand apart from anyone else. It’s just here to remind us that we all are connected, deeply and these ties that bind are actually the most important ‘things’ in our lives. In this season of material focus and consumer frenzy take a moment to reflect that your most valuable possessions aren’t possessions at all.

Thanks for being here, with all of us, just exactly as you are, right now. You are Divinely Valuable and I Love You.

Sincerely,

Aaron Nichols

A short thought of Thanks

I have my priorities screwed up most of the time. I’m focused on the unimportant and not urgent, instead of the opposite. I’m behind the eight ball, in a game that I haven’t gotten around to starting yet. I overall rarely use discipline to keenly discern the highest priorities for long term big picture payoff.

But this week, this Thanksgiving holiday week, I’ve been content with that.

Turkey day snuck up on us fast this year, and I threw together our plans at the last minute. I didn’t do a lot to make the most of it and multitask it to the max.

Thursday was a great day, just as hectic and overindulgent as it was. It wasn’t perfect and that was 100% fine by me. I still am recovering in some ways, and happy about that too.

It’s all okay, because I have SO MUCH to be Thankful for. I did notice the tiny moments that I caught a kind word from my wife. I got to watch our silly daughter play with her rambunctious cousins. I appreciated the amazing meals prepared with love. I saw family gather, and share. In one fine moment after another, peace was passed around the rooms in so many ways.

There is a ton of things I didn’t do and I could have done better and could have prepared more for. Oh well, this is real life, and this is just about as good as it can get.

I thank God for the many blessings in our world and may you feel them yourself just as I have this Thanksgiving.

Until next week my friends, Take Care and Give Thanks!

Sincerely,

Aaron Nichols

On a dark desert highway

If I need to escape into a daydream and flip through my mental memory rolodex, I instantly transport to an empty and undulating desert highway. The late evening summer sun is finally settling behind a far-off mountain range. Every color in view is another shade of reddish brown. It’s been hours since civilization, and my speedometer is reading around 80mph.

I have no radio signal, but for some reason my phone is able to stream a Royals game. The slow pace and the uneventfulness of several scoreless innings are well-matched to the static landscape all around. Nothing out here is moving but me and I can barely notice that either.

This is southeastern California, there is no sparkly beach or buildings or congested population. This is no-man’s land.

It was already late afternoon when I finally picked this route to Lake Havasu. I was worn out with the traffic leaving San Diego; it took awhile to decide which way to escape that mob. I probably should have stopped earlier at Joshua Tree, but I was so detached and oblivious from our week of vacationing, that I missed it altogether…

Nope, out here, there is no National Park. It’s not pretty enough for that. This is just barren desert.

Eighty miles per hour may seem fast for a narrow two-lane. Without even a chance of seeing a patrol car, I could have easily added another ten. I kept it somewhat reasonable though, since every couple miles, the road dropped out from under me for a hundred feet at a time. Calling them ‘dips’ doesn’t give these cutouts much credit. I think these reverse bridges are designed to let water cross the road, in the slim chance that rain ever finds this place. This strip of asphalt is one long sandy roller coaster.

I wasn’t quite lonely out there. I was so far removed from the real world that Roxy lying silently in the back was companionship enough.

Two hours back, there was a four-way crossing. A sandblasted brick box used to be a service station. I slowed down as I got near. There were two relics resembling gas pumps. Both were occupied. One with a large red-caked old Winnebago and at the other a frustrated soccer mom stood by her SUV. I passed on through, with a foolish confidence. My gauge read just over half. Surely enough to make it one of the other towns on this map…

I came upon them, every 40 miles or so. Back in history there was an established town there. At least I would guess that’s why the map showed a name. They were now nothing but tumbleweeds and rock. My journeying wasn’t limitless, the tank only holds so much. This road is much longer than I had thought it to be. The fuel stops I hoped where there; weren’t. I motored forward into the young desert night, not knowing when I might run out and then how soon help might arrive.

This is the sort of place that isn’t on the way to anywhere. Most people wouldn’t have a reason to be this far out in the desert. I knew I would need to be on-guard if stranded here… Finally, after a couple long hours watching the needle of my gauge dropping, I drove up to a general store. There were gas pumps with electricity. A 4×4 highway patrolman sat across the road. But sadly the place was locked up, and pumps on the fritz. Dang, I had to pee…

Nothing to do, but head back out there, now with less than a quarter tank, I still had miles to go. My nervousness was on constant increase on that last stretch heading into Arizona. The pastel pinks and purples of the clear sky darkened into navy then midnight blue. In the distance I finally saw tiny spots of yellow, it was Parker, a real city perched alongside the Colorado River.

I don’t think I had but a few fumes left, when I pulled into the Terrible’s Quick Stop and let Roxy out the back. I was hungry from a long day on the road. I still had to find a place to camp for the night. I narrowly avoided being stuck in that desert. It was real relief to hear fuel gushing through the hose.

I drove around 3800 miles on that trip from Princeton, KS to San Diego and back. That late evening blast across the sandy moonscape of California was maybe my favorite of the trip. It was a bookended moment in time that etched itself into memory. I was enchanted with the area. I was maybe in actual danger. I drove along a razor’s edge at 80mph and damn, it was fun.

My life here at home is pretty pedestrian in comparison to that night. I have routines and awesome moments with my girls and I’m glad that I don’t fear for our safety here. I wouldn’t want a Mad Max existence, barreling around constantly in battle for survival. On that night though, I began to question the boundaries of my safety net. I powered myself right into that problem, and luckily coasted on out.

Memories are hard to make, when everything is perfect. Those times when it all goes right, can be somehow forgettable. Like I said back on the first line of this story, when I daydream, I find myself way out there, so far from home and uneasy in my seat. That was an experience of real adventure and the impression upon the mind is vivid.

Scarcity can be so satisfying in hindsight. I did make it through; there was no disaster at all. I probably had a mile or two to spare even. I entertained more fear than necessary. It was special though, that drive across nowhere.

Without surprises, those other segments of the trip were curiously forgettable. All those well-fueled and carefully planned miles I navigated fade into the mundane. I guess it’s ironic, to think I spend a lot of my energy planning to avoid life’s problems…

I guess the moral of this one, is to appreciate the unrest, the lack and the will to drive where others don’t. These might just be the only memories to cherish someday. The ‘normal’ ones could blow away like the dust, in the wind.

Until next week my friends, take yourself out there, where no one else will go, and enjoy every minute of it.

Sincerely,

Aaron Nichols

You Gotta Fight for Your RIGHT!!! Right??

I hate to admit that there few things I want in life more than this. It’s embarrassing and probably immature, but true. This one thing seems to trump (ha!) most other personal values and I’m ready at any time to fight for it. I relish the moments it happens and regret whenever it doesn’t. Sometimes all I’m doing all day long and probably in my dreams too, is yearning and aching To Be RIGHT!

Being Right is My FAVORITE!!!

It’s sad but true, it seems that I can’t help it, and I’ve just always been that way. WHOO HOO, I LUV TO BE RIGHT! Hitting the lottery for me, would be that I could spout irrefutably undeniably and authoritatively with absolute faultless correctness whenever I spoke! How AWESOME would that be!!

Yeah!

Well…

Um…

Actually, wanting to be right, as much as I love it, isn’t always helpful even though I want it to be.

I must not be the only person in the world like this, because as our recent social media opinion-s’plosion shows, it’s not uncommon to see folks spreading their own righteous assessments around like manure. In fact this blog here, is my personal field to fill with my own bull-stuff every week!

I do think however, there is a reason you are reading my words online, or someone else’s FB posts, or listening to a podcast, or clicking on a video or even tuning into a cable news channel. I believe that if you are engaged and listening, that you somewhat agree or relate to the content. At the very least, you can stretch to understand their presented point-of-view somewhat. Enjoying media that is congruent with your own preconceived ideas, can reaffirm ones’ inherent correctness about world and life issues. My writing may help you confirm your own handle on life’s truths.

Now, I know that some of you are mature enough to watch or read the articles of your opposition. If you are like me, you even seek them out. I have several podcasts that I religiously follow, and one happens to be from an atheist. His words are slowly delivered with a greatly varied vocabulary, and he sounds extraordinarily intelligent. Yet! I do listen to his hour of oration, merely to hear for myself, how right I AM, and how wrong HE IS. His obviously misguided attempts to replace the perfection of God’s lushly created universe, with random chance mutations of stardust and lightning strikes is bafflingly enlightening!

Again I find myself in search of affirmation, more than transformation of my own limited and admittedly wee small-mindedness.

I won’t apologize a bit, for wanting to strengthen and develop the inner stance and core belief structure that I want to use as my life’s navigation compass. A sailboat needs a rudder. A mission requires a map. ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up someplace else!’ You see my point, right.

But, we come to a real impass and problem, when I have decided that I completely know all that is right, and that YOU are incorrect about EVERYTHING. If I am conservative and you are liberal, we have nothing positive to discuss. If I live sober and you enjoy booze, forget it, you’ve lost me at ‘Beer-Thirty!’ If I deeply appreciate the profound rebirth of my life through Christ, and you think the Bible is an old tired book of fairytales, then excuse me, but we will end the conversation there!

How can I continue to swim and splash and wallow in my own personal correctness, if I am to interact with any entity that doesn’t agree with me already! It’s almost impossible’!

Although I truly enjoy being right, when I am, (which is like almost always :)) I know deep within that it’s fear and weakness and low-level egotistical nonsense that requires I only always be right in my own mind. It proves in fact, that I must not have concrete 100% bulletproof belief, or else it could easily withstand an opposing opinion at any time.

Assertive compassionate self confidence with a reserved humility is how deep-rooted well-being dresses. An established inner stance can play and interact with the world around it, without lashing out at everything that moves in an opposite current.

With this being election week, and our country in surprised shock at itself, the boxing ring bell is dinging; ‘Insecurity!’ ‘Insecurity!’

If we all really had it figured out, and we were so right about all our opinions, there wouldn’t be much to say at all. We would simply and intentionally live out our personal values to the fullest possible extent. It wouldn’t even take words to do that. We would do, instead of talking about doing. We wouldn’t try to explain our side; we would powerfully be the change we want to see in the world, enough that others would really want to follow our lead.

That’s too hard though, too big a task, waaaaay to much work for me, when I have a daughter to diaper and a business to get running in a few hours from now. Instead let me snort and spout off a few more words. That’ll do pig. That’ll do… This way, I can set my mind at ease in my own airtight case of self-righteousness and sleep easy knowing I have said what could be said, and that’s that. I’ve done my part!

Surely, I get to be right again about all this now… right?

Until next week, take care my friends. I truly appreciate You, even if you don’t 1000% agree with me.

Sincerely,

Aaron Nichols

The End Times? The Good Times? Time after Time?

Do you get the feeling that we’re careening down the slippery slope headed directly on a collision course with some kind of disaster?!?!

It sure does seem that way, when you think about the impending election, and the hysteria surrounding it. There is a LOT of speculation afoot. The collective consciousness is close to full-term-pregnant with social revolution on both sides of the isle.

I for one, am on overload with the intake of political information, and I don’t even watch the news.

Just with social media, YouTube videos and the podcasts I listen to, the screeching static is deafening…

But I wondered recently about what to do in the meantime… You know, before we hit the inevitable World War III that will arrive with the election of either candidate.

There is the meantime you know.

Luckily, I haven’t completely forgotten about the meantime.

In the meantime, I can do a lot of things instead of agonize over the unwritten future.

I can enjoy my life, just as it, exactly in this moment, precisely as all things are, because that is the only way they are actually occurring. Not as my inner fantasies wish they would be… but that is the only true always.

Just now, in the meantime, I can enjoy little moments of cute faces while feeding my daughter her oatmeal for breakfast. I can still show up for work, just like I always do. I can appreciate the immense blessing of my sleeping wife, as I come home waay to late from work.

There is ton of stuff to do in the meantime.

Can you believe that today, I was able to eat lunch at home, and even fall deeply asleep on my couch for 30 minutes… It was a NAP! Hooray! It happened in the meantime.

I’m probably just an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand, praying that this storm will soon pass. Naïve on every level and so uninformed!

Yeah on a certain level that’s true, yet something I found out  despite the crazy politico mayhem is that I still need to change a dirty diaper. I also need to design a tee shirt for basketball season. I do have a schedule of staff to coordinate and there are raw potatoes in a box that need washed and wrapped in foil, then put in the oven…

CAN YOU BELIVE THAT!! NO WAY!!

Real life is still somehow going on.

In certain ways, if I look back at all the major newsworthy events, that I have luckily not been personally involved with (which is like almost all of them), real life has continued on, in some way shape or form.

I don’t know what you are doing in the meantime, while WW3 is most certainly approaching, but I do hope you take small regular everyday moments and savor them deeply. We are blessed, we are God’s beloved children, and In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Period.

If there is a next week that happens, I’ll see you then.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep doing what must be done, and enjoying it when I can. 🙂

God Bless You and God Bless the U.S.A.

Sincerely,

Aaron Nichols

 

NOT your Typical Teenagers!

I can’t help but enjoy the moment and relish in sheer amazement at a job well done by our awesome staff of TEENAGERS and young adults at the restaurant… AFTER THE FACT that is…

I can’t stop myself from wanting to mentally watch the replay of our team coming together. They became a well-oiled machine and handled an absolute RUSH of hungry guests. It’s so fun to think about now… AFTER THE FACT that is…

It’s so satisfying and soothing to know that the heat of that battle has cooled. The challenge was met and conquered. The fight against the clock was furious but now it’s over, until next time…

It reminds me of my ski trips from many years ago. I never became a real pro, but after some practice, I did swoosh and slice down a couple steep runs. At the bottom I would turn around and look back up the hill. Looking up (instead of down) at that great slope, I wondered how on earth I had safely descended, with all my gear still attached, and in one piece. What a thrill!

Umm, yeah. So my point is that the exhilaration of victory, for me, comes directly AFTER the win…

And so that begs the question… What about the other side of this coin. How do I approach and begin into and commence these adventures? Am I so positively Polly-Anna and proud as I stare down an entire dining room of newly arrived guests? When I see that all of our tables have filled at once, and all l the menus have been passed out simultaneously, am I such a prancing peacock? Back on that ski mountain, at the top of those steep drops, was I a giddy schoolgirl, full of glee ready to rock and roll right down??

HECK NO!!!!

It would be an absolute lie and a pretty uninteresting story, if I were to exclaim that I am just some bouncing ball of bright-eyed buoyancy all the time. I can’t claim that I have even an ounce of optimism when up against a big challenge. In fact, it’s the opposite. I am maybe the worlds’ most gifted observer and foreseer of fatalistic flaws and future flub-ups!

Tonight in fact, just as the door to our dining room framed a constant stream of new faces, my mind offered up visions of pure catastrophe. I headed to the kitchen yelling aloud warnings and foreboding tales of woes to come. I wasn’t cheerleading and starting some rah-rah chant about ‘We can do it, Yes we can!” In fact, it was the opposite!

I was seeing complete meltdown imminent and barking threats right and left! Fear, tension, anxiety and instant depression banged out the too-quick rhythm of my heartbeats. Optimism?? Ha! More like the opposite. I saw all possibilities headed toward failure without a small miracle!

So there… These action-packed moments in my life, look quite different from either side of the timeline. In front of them, the inner roar of perturbation is deafening. Afterward, the velvety calm is so soothing and serene, it’s a reward all unto itself.

How do we get from there to here? How does it actually occur that the challenge is accomplished and measured as success? What can be done to create repetitious cycles of triumph instead of defeat???

Heck if I know. I haven’t begun to grasp anything reliably mechanical about winning in these situations. I can’t give any advice at all on the real reasons it all comes together. It’s so unpredictable. The variables are in constant flux. It’s probably a small miracle, and definitely nothing I can claim as my own personal achievement.

Tonight our team was magnificent. Our internal chemistry experiment yielded near perfect results. It was absolute chaos and disarray and yet I couldn’t be prouder to work shoulder-to-shoulder with our crew of young people. Their focus and execution was fantastic. At one point, when a question was yelled by one person to my left, it was instantly answered with enthusiasm by multiple voices to my right. Wow!

Way to go Team Iron. Job well done!

Until next week, find a moment to enjoy the ride. Whatever part of it you may be on at the time.

Sincerely,

Aaron Nichols

 

The Curious and Quirky are Welcome HERE. A tribute to Mr. Hazell

His name is Alva, and the only Alva I’ve ever met. I think he was a school teacher, but he did brain surgery on the side. I looked him up the other day on Facebook and in probably 25 years he hasn’t changed a bit. He’s doing video production (quirky) and art projects (awesome) near Lebanon, Mo, probably among a lot of other things.

He operated on my skull when I was a teenager, while I was at a summer camp called DLA (Drury Leadership Academy). It took place in a classroom at Drury College, in Springfield, Mo, while we all sat around in a circle on the floor. I made sure each year that I signed up for whatever class he was hosting, it didn’t matter the name or the subject.

He is one of those people who can guide a young mind on incredible journeys of discovery. He woke up the rarely challenged spirit of invention and creativity in children. Most people are content to let kids be kids, but he seemed to want us to see possibilities beyond just ‘kiddery’.

I remember crafting new contraptions out of a box of discarded parts and batteries. I ‘invented’ a device for installing into bathtubs. It gave a signal when the preset water level was reached and warned if the temperature was too hot. I was probably 13 or 14. It took just a couple days. We only used  random Radio Shack junk, And it worked!… kinda.

He gave kids the confidence that they could accomplish ANYTHING. Wow! Mindblower for me!

Another time he sliced open my noggin’ and operated on it, was an exercise I’ll call Song Dissection. He took popular radio songs (which we thought was so cool!) and played them in short clips. REM had a song called Losing My Religion. He’d play – “ I thought that I heard you laughing” then we’d talk about it for a bit. Next was “I thought that I heard you sing” then “I think I thought I saw you try”.

Basically we broke down the songs, line by line. He wanted us not to just hear the music but to listen, to look closer and even comprehend the meaning behind the words. This was the first time I can remember someone encouraging me to pull back the curtain, to question the questions themselves and to not take everything just at face value.

His version of brain surgery must’ve been powerful. I’ve remembered those moments in his class often in my life. I’m sure he didn’t care if knew the real meaning of those REM songs back in the early nineties. I do think though, that he’d be glad that his operations ignited deep mental curiosities that are still burning in me today.

How much do we just intake information from the ever expanding explosion of media around us? How often do we question and probe with in-depth examination the concepts, the catch-phrases and the content pouring into our minds through TV, Radio and Internet?

I think Alva, excuse me, Mr. Hazell, would be glad to know that we don’t just constantly set our minds on cruise control. If I had that capability as a youngster, I think he helped to carve it out and toss it away. Thank God, and for that surgery, and thank Mr. Alva Hazell for making it FUN!!

Until next week my friends… Question EVERYTHING!!

Sincerely,

Aaron Nichols

It’s a Coast-To-Coast Hissy Fit!

The country is crying right now. The wailing is shrill and coming from every direction. It seems as this election draws nearer the volume is doubling by the day. It’s loud and we can hardly hear ourselves think among all the noise. I believe though, the fact that our country is crying, is a good thing.

Just this morning, my little ‘turkey-monkey’ daughter was playing around the house and had waddled off to another room. It wasn’t long before I heard a banging crash sound. I wasn’t able right then to rush to get her. I was really wanting and hoping and so relieved to hear her cry. Her howling told me exactly what I wanted to know.

When I was young and watching our antenna TV, I remember the commercials that repeated tragic video clips of starving African toddlers. The spokesman quoted that we could adopt one of these children for just pennies a day. I remember seeing some of those kids bawling and letting loose their voices, in response to their hunger. I was more impacted though, by the sincere gaze of one small boy, who was quiet and just let the flies crawl around on his face. He wasn’t swatting them or yelling for his mother. It seemed as though, he might have given up hope…

The crying of a child indicates pain. The wailing is fear, discomfort, annoyance and a loud ear-piercing request for help! A cry tells Mom or Dad lots of important information. From the pitch and cadence, most parents know exactly what the issue is, that will soothe the fit-throwing baby.

A cry is language, in the most primitive form. A cry is positive because it announces that major bodily systems are functioning properly. The senses are working, the lungs are healthy and the kiddo wants some relief, right now!

The point of a cry, is not to simply practice the art of it. The reason we cry, is that we want things to improve. It’s an action meaning ‘we want change!’. It says that we are healthy enough to recognize the wrongings around us. It means we have hope yet, we haven’t given up, and we are trying the things we know to try.

Lots of people are more than concerned about our country and its future. I have children myself that will be living into the world that seems so incendiary right now. The good thing is that our great American citizens are raising their voices. They are saying, ‘This isn’t right’, and for all their attacking each other back and forth, it’s still a positive sign.

Beware the time when the collective voices begin to hush one-by-one. Be watchful if suddenly, there isn’t any more sound of resistance. Gather close your loved ones, if you notice that our country has gone mute, through censorship or forced restraint. If those words are too ominous, at least keep vigilant that Hope herself is tended to and nursed lovingly. If she passes away, I think we have far more to fear than either one of the next POTUS candidates.

Cry loudly my friends, but don’t stop there. Do your own part, to affect the things within your personal power, to make America Great Again. Don’t be fooled that the few on TV have much of anything to do with it.

Until next week, Take Care of Yourselves and may God Bless the U.S.A.

Sincerely,

Aaron Nichols

 

 

Do you believe in Baby Magic??

Our baby has a magic face. Maybe your babies’ faces are too. Do you think it’s possible that every face, on every baby is supernatural?

I’ve been wondering if that could be true.

We have a baby who has one complete set of facial features, like most do. It consists of two eyes, a nose, some cheeks and mouth with tiny teeth coming in. I think it’s a cute one, but that’s nothing notable, I’m her Dad, of course I do!

Other people though, seem to have vastly varying opinions when they comment on our daughter’s appearance. People like to point out, what family resemblances they see in her little mug. Listening to the array of names that are mentioned, it makes me wonder if we are all looking at the same kid!

Is it possible that somehow she’s transforming and conjuring up completely different countenances for every person she sees?? HA! Don’t Think So!

Here is a list of just the remarks I can remember, and I am surely leaving some out!
“Oh, how cute, She looks so much like:
A Roecker Kid
A Nichols Kid
Her Mommy, Lindsay
Her Daddy, Me
Her Grandma, Linda
Her Aunt Alexis
Her Cousin Robbi
Her Dad’s cousin Megan
Her Dad’s Aunt Melissa
and even Her Mom’s Grandpa Al!

(it’s late right now, after a loooong day, I am surely leaving out a bunch of them)

Anyway, there are tons of different faces that our baby’s face seems to be a copy of. Interesting isn’t it? How can any one of these opinions be true, and still allow the others to have merit? Is her face so generic that it can look like anyone else’s? Is it somehow a perfectly designed face-puzzle that uses genetic pieces from each family in perfect alignments to look like all these other people? Or is it actually just magic??

Hmmm…

Situations like these birth questions in my mind that completely intrigue me. So here is my insight that I’ve come up with so far…

The face of the baby is a fresh image upon our realm of existence. It’s new and therefore hasn’t had time and repetitious enough viewage to have staked an exact claim of identity for itself. It is also constantly changing and growing and yes, full of two family forests worth of DNA.

But ‘who’ the baby looks like, has so much more to do with the observer, than the lil’ tike themselves. It seems to me that there are images in the minds of the onlooker, that are being searched out of their mental catalog and are undergoing a matching process. The more the observer is familiar with a certain family member’s facial features, the more likely they are to relate the new child to them.

We tend to see things that we have already seen. We tend to observe things as a pattern of our past observances. We can powerfully overlay characteristics of which we are accustomed, onto an almost blank canvas of possibility…

Hmmm… did I stray too far there to follow??

I wonder if a new day in front of us, is just like the face of that dear little lovably bright-eyed child we see. I wonder if situations we encounter in our lives work the same way too. I wonder if the nature of life itself, has a construct embedded, in which we project outwardly onto the physical plane, the patterns and images we catalog internally in the ether of the mind.

The vast array of observers of my baby’s face, have actually created a montage of memories that correspond to Their individual consciousnesses. They’ve magically made something out of almost nothing. To a stranger, they may say, ‘Hey, nice baby ya’ got there,’ but they probably wouldn’t attach remembered emotions to that viewing. And all the time, it’s the same one JoJo face.

As much as I hate to admit it, I can look at the infant of a day born right in my lap first thing in the morning, and begin to design it instantly. I can say ‘Oh it looks like all these days I’ve had before!’ ‘Oh, it looks like another crazy day at work.’ ‘Oh great, it reminds me exactly like that one bad day, and I can’t wait to get it over with!’ I can expertly recall memories and project them into the immediateness of the Now, even when I don’t like the way they look.

I might want to be careful with that. I might want to start looking less at the way, I know they have looked in the past, and more about new possibilities that I haven’t even begun to imagine yet!

I mean really, how do we know exactly who Joella looks like. We only have us old people to compare her to. It could turn out that she looks identical to her new delicate baby sister, or her bouncing baby brother. She could match them better than everyone else! And it would stand to reason that she would.

For that though, we’ll have to wait until early May of 2017. Who knows, maybe by then, this Daddy will have learned to project more positively and prosperously into the blank canvas of our families’ future, than ever before. Let’s hope for our sake, that we all do 🙂

Until next week

See the powerfully creative self that you are and always have been, beautifully.

God Bless –

Aaron Nichols

Where I Went Wrong with Sobriety

Ha! I couldn’t have made a sillier or more massive mistake! I only purposely rerouted my lifepath based on complete falsity! This weekend will mark 5 long years since I last felt the sting of hangover or the snazzy exhileration of a red-wine buzzzzzzz…. But truly, I screwed up with this sobriety thing!

I think I have mentioned here on this blog, the events that led me to cease habitually drinking alcohol way back when I was only 32. Although I do share extensively my inner feelings and probably too personal information, I have already typed about it enough… right?

I don’t want to waste more of your precious time going over the same ol’ stuff, but there is a Big, and I mean BIG misstep that I’ve made with regards to giving up drinking, and I might as well post it here for the world to laugh and mock at! I mean there are around 20 of you die-hard blog readers here who might get a kick out of it, who knows 🙂

Anyway, I remember that loooong Saturday morning and excruciating afternoon of October 1st 2011. It was my last hangover,  and it seemed like just yesterday.

Waking up late in the morning, maybe like 11:00, I was physically and emotionally drained. I had a few too many drinks, several laughs and  one real good conversation the night before,  but something was wrongly different with me that day. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had just sadly repeated myself again for the umpteenth time. I once again, set out to just have fun with friends and ended up blackout drunk.

It didnt’ help that I was in between jobs at that time. I was claiming to be starting a couple different businesses. I clung to day-dreams while I sat and waited for some magic to happen. I wasn’t moving forward in nearly the ways I wanted to be, and ultimately wasn’t willing to really work for. I felt like a failure as a person, and that Saturday afternoon, wadded up on the couch in a heap, I probably looked like one too…

My twisted and recovering mind was stuck on a looped repeat of how awful of a human being I was. Everything about that day was dark and sick and bloodshot…

Until…

Until a fresh thought surprisingly cut through the thick puke-green fog in my mind.

“God can only use me if I’m Sober”

That sentence threw open the blinds, blasting away the darkness of  my mind, body and soul, washing me in 4 o clock afternoon sunlight. The tone was vibrant and unapologetic. The delivery came without a finger shaking loosely pointed right betwixt my eyes. In fact, there was no judgement toward me at all.  It came across, simply, boldly and matter of fact. It was just perfect wording and a perfect message to make me question if this might be my moment to drop away this crutch I’d used so long…

And…

It must’ve worked.

And…

It had to be divine intervention.

And…

IT WAS A COMPLETE CROCK!! ABSOLUTE RUBBISH!! NOT TRUE AT ALL!!!!!!!!

REALLY!!!

This is the big mistake that I’ve been leading you along to hear. This major flashing signpost in my life, that I used to make a complete U-Turn and quit drinking over, was FICTION!!!

I may have written that sentence here before. You may have seen the silly-ness in it before I did. You may already know what I’m about to explain next, but anyway!

‘God can only use me… If I’m Sober?’

What a joke!

  • God needs me to get sober, in order to be somehow allowed to use me? Heck NO!
  • Since I hadn’t been sober in a long time, then God had never used me? Heck NO!
  • If I got sober, then automatically that would require God to enlist me on some Godly mission? Heck NO!

Ha!

I think the sentiment that God did provide me that day, was that I would be more comfortable and self confident and relaxed with myself, (eventually) if I let go of this drinking habit that had become an ugly Halloween mask, I called my persona. God knew that I would insinuate within this message, that God would use me more for Good, than for Bad, if I was sober instead of inebriated. God sent the message I really needed, just as I needed to hear it, at the exact right moment, just for me…

But it really doesn’t hold water now…

God is always using us. There is no way that we aren’t always part of the bigger choreography of creation. Everything we are doing, or not doing or pretending and procrastinating upon is part of God’s plan. I am sure that every drunken night I ever spent in my life, God was using me for something.

There is no limit on God, and we’ll never see all the extended ripples and effects of our lives, but they do occur. I was an absolute poster-boy perfect example of  the tragedies that alcohol can create, for so many people to see. Back then I was constantly on display, being used by God, to show why they call it being wasted and trashed.

God didn’t need me to be sober. I needed me to be sober. I was the one using God, as my excuse to try it. I’m lucky so far that God doesn’t seem to mind that too much.

It’s pretty clear that specific things have improved for me since I decided to give this sobriety thing a shot. Although the struggles never seem to cease, I don’t have to wake up hungover wondering what I did last night to compound or extend them out further into my future. I am no saint, and never will be, but releasing the regular and repetitive action of drinking to fix my problems, is a start.

I have been asked if it will last forever. I truly don’t know, or even try to think about that. Like waaay back when I first started, I just try to do today, without it.

It’s possible that I’m becoming more comfortable with myself as a sober being. I didn’t always see the falsities in this one sentence that changed my life. It’s good though, to keep learning new ways to look at things. It’s reassuring that the longer I stay on this path the better it gets. I like feeling that upward spiral circling back around to the places we already have been, but on a slightly different trajectory, a better one. 🙂

Until next week, be well my friends, Do for you, what You need You do to, in love.

And if you would like any reassurance, God and I do, Love You.

Sincerely,

Aaron Nichols