I no longer thank God, for the beauty around us.

I thank Mother Nature for that. To me, Mother Nature was created by the laws of physics and science – put into place by a higher power. I’m not religious, but very spiritual. Also, science based. If science proves, without doubt, that energy can not be created or destroyed – then where did it originate from ultimately?

The creator.

I used to thank God at every beautiful sunset, smell of a fragrant flower, or fluffy cloud that captivated me. Now I smile and say “thank you Mother Nature.” Then I thank God – that gratitude keeps me humble and centered – for giving humans the ability to recognize that beauty. Ability to perceive symmetry. For the Golden Proportion that is found in almost all of nature and it giving us joy from a lobe in our brain and then down to the soul. Or does it hit the soul first, as a gift for us to connect spiritually, then registered by the brain?

Doesn’t matter to me. I feel the connection when I slow down and am open to it. For that, I am so grateful.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-neuroscience-of-beauty/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.livescience.com/37704-phi-golden-ratio.html

Here are billions of ways to find gratitude; to connect.

As the sun set and the stars began to light the sky, I thought: “I may not be able to see a billion stars…”

But then, I watched the Milky Way spill across the sky. I saw a few planets, twinkling low across the horizon. Phasing in, were thousands upon thousands of sprinkled little lights, shining brightly for unknown millions and trillions of light years, through the darkness of space.

All so we can gaze at them in ushered wonderment.

“I may not be able to see a billion stars, but looking up at this sky removes any doubt that they are out there.”

I was not alone, I was laying across a (still) warm rock with gratitude and faith.

Take a moment to connect – to people and the beauty that surrounds us. It’s a beautiful place to be.

I hate using the word “client,” because the people that have come into my life become so much more. I would say they become family.

Maybe part of that is because I have learned to slow down and connect with people. Listen to their stories and grow from them. I think part of that is because I have to understand them and connect to them to create their functional art. What I create can be very custom across several mediums and materials; I have found that there is a huge emotional component to their vision. I must feel that to see it.

But, we were at a salvage place looking at materials for the 20 foot by 25 foot wall mural that I’m preparing to build and found this table. Solid wood and just beautiful.

She haggled then down to 25 dollars and bought it for me – to see what what it would become. It’s so beautiful on so many levels. 🙂

I say this often, but when we slow down, and live in the moment, then we become open to all the beauty that exists around us.

My insatiable hunger is for more than food: staying healthy and keeping a zest for life.

I have this insatiable hunger that just doesn’t stop. On the way home, I tore into a pound of lunch meat and half my cheese. Some flamin’ hot munchies, too. Then made a 4 egg amazing breakfast sandwich. 3 cheeses, capers, onions, fire roasted tomatoes, minced garlic, and rotisserie chicken. 😋😋

Staying active helps keeps my mood level and centered. I’m loosing weight in a healthy way – slow and steady. Feel amazing. Get to eat whatever I want. 🙂

If you have been thinking of getting in shape, I don’t go to a gym. I jog across the parking lot (or fast walk), instead of looking for a spot up close. Sometimes run and ride the shopping cart, giggling like a kid. I walk a few blocks down to the next store instead of driving. I carry heavy things instead of using a dolly (safely). And when I am just standing around, I squat against a wall instead of sitting down. Getting in shape, for me, isn’t about spending a lot of time at the gym. It’s about changing a few things in my day that are manageable.

I try not to set myself up for failure anymore. 🙂

A lot of small wins boosts my ego and esteem in a healthy way and gives me the motivation to go after the bigger challenges.

Next: quit vaping and learn time management.

Desert Muse

I’ve traveled to a lot of lands, and never have I seen such beauty as the desert. In the morning light, the hues of the low rising sun send a green blaze across the terrain as the vegetation gets its spotlight and “time in the sun”. As the sun rolls across the sky, the rock in the distant mountain changes color. In the evening, shades of orange, red, blue and purple. At night, the stars light the sky and guide a lost soul, like mine.

Let go of shame, guilt, and doubt. It’s time to learn lessons and move forward.

As I stood on the top of that mountain, in the midst of the most remarkable spiritual experience of my life, I cried.

My tears washed away the guilt, shame, and self-doubt of my past as I watched the sky turn from fiery blazing red to orange then yellow.

I am not a religious person, but I have become deeply spiritually connected as I have walked through some dark forests and met rocky paths into the deepest trenches. It wasn’t until I turned my will over to God (Higher Power, Jesus, the Spirit, Mother Nature, or whatever you believe) and began showing constant gratitude for the gifts all around me, that I was able to develop a deep faith – a faith that has turned my life around for the best and a critical part of my choice to find happiness.

As I saw the sun beginning to crest the mountains, my soul told me to stop and wander into the desert.  I climbed to the top of a ridge, in the middle of nowhere, and meditate. What unfolded was an awesome adventure that drove me deeper into my growing faith and has allowed my spirit to fly free of heavy baggage.

Even after all the work I have done, towards the path of self-love and happiness, there was still a dark blight on my soul. A touch of shame, guilt, and doubt trailed with my shadow. It caused me to under value myself, doubt my worthiness, and feel insecure about my choices. Although, against the advice of friends and family, my new-found faith kept me on the path that I felt that I belonged. Yes, I fell a few times. Yes, I stumbled. I made some bad choices and took (what I believed) was the easier path to avoid the hard climb of dealing with self. But, for the most part, I was learning from these challenges and no longer fell to the bottom of the mountain. I simply brushed myself and continued from where I fell.

But, on this mountain top – after a short meditation – I looked up at the fire in the sky. I felt more connected to Mother Nature than ever – the energy of my Higher Power running through everything. I usually say the same prayer; showing gratitude for my life and asking for my friends and family to find happiness. This time, in a place of sincere deep humility,

I asked for forgiveness.

I asked for forgiveness for the times that I was lost in my bad behaviors. I asked for forgiveness for not having faith. I asked for forgiveness for trying to end my life.

What happened was a new thought – not my usual negative thought pattern – a thought floated into my mind that I didn’t need to do that. I didn’t need to ask for forgiveness for those things, as I was on the right path. I was facing my challenges and helping others through my failures. That was enough. It was time to let go of the shame and guilt and move forward.

I don’t know if that thought was from the divine Spirit or just a mix of the research and reading, I’ve done, on shame and recover that finally spun together in my brain – or both – but I laid back, watched the fire wash out of the sky as the yellow and orange washed in. I felt the warm rays of light on my face, and let the tears wash away the weight of my shame and guilt.

I felt a peace wash over me and my confidence in my abilities rise to an all time high. I no longer feel the need to hide the gifts that I’ve been given, but use them as a conduit to do good.

As I smile each morning, excited about projects on the books, I now tell myself: It’s time let go of the past. Let go of failures. It’s time to move forward, now.

Road-trip Adventure Tip: Stretch you legs often and play like a big kid while you do. 😂😂

Came across an awesome set of rock formations, while driving down the road. Looked like something I should climb.

Needed to stretch my legs, anyway. 🙂

Carefree Highway lives up to its name…

I stopped off on a dark desolate desert side road, for a 20 min nap. I set up my hammock and wrapped up in a warm blanket.

The sky was speckled with stars. Just as a shooting star blazed across the sky, and I made a wish, I slipped into a deep slumber.

My 20 minute nap turned into 6 hours. Woke up to quite a crisp (no, cold) clear morning. 🙂

Back in the road. Refreshed and ready.

For me, it’s about the journey, not the destination.

I am 10 minutes from my destination. I’m so glad that my aunt Mikki is also a believer that it’s more the journey, than the destination. 😊

This short (yet rain prolonged) trip has given me so much beauty

and insight. It would be such a shame to rush and have missed it.

Love the moment, and try and enjoy a piece of beauty in your life.

For me, in stopping to enjoy the moment, I find gratitude. Gratitude leads to humbleness and staying spiritually connected. Those lead to peace and centeredness. There are other tools in my mental tool bag, but those mentioned are daily, for me. All part of my path to happiness.

Have a wonderful day, everyone.

If you suffer (emotionally) in silence, there is a path to hope and happiness. You are not alone.

I was shooting some time lapse while bored last night (this morning) and had an idea to throw this video together. Well, I had an hour to really reflect on how alone I felt, in my push through life, before getting diagnosed and taking full steps towards managing my bipolar disorder.

I wrote this and then made the video. There is a lot more I would have liked to have done with it, and it might become a future project. But at least I got my thoughts down, before I took a nap and rested a bit. Long drive, made much longer by constant storms.

For most of my life, I was sure that happiness would never be achievable. I did not want to live and tried to end my life

I knew, from the depths of my soul, that I was different. There was something wrong with me. I was sick.

When I reached out to friends and family, I was told that everyone feels the way I do.

I watched people closely. Observed human behavior. Mimicked other’s reactions. Wore a very heavy mask of happiness.

My bipolar disorder was repeatedly destroying my life, relationships, successes, spirituality, and joy.

I didn’t know how to talk about it. How to describe my silent suffering. Physical pain of depression and out of control mania.

Today, I have made a choice to be happy. Understand my illness. Use its strengths. We can find a path to happiness.

If you are in pain, as I was… Know this:

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Even in the thick darkness, I see the light. Where my mind drifts on long dark drives through the desert.

As I pull off into the utter thick darkness of the desert, to capture the looking thunderstorms, I had a thought that swirled into a short piece. Here it is below. 🙂

On this stormy desert night, I drive through darkness that is thick like dark tar. The light of my brights seems to be swallowed by it. Traffic is sparce, at best. If not for the flash bursts of lightning behind the mountains, I would swear that I was falling through a black hole.

But, I drive forward through the night filled with faith, full of love, and charged an enthusiasm for life. The cockpit of my car is filled with the harmony of my music and the sweet crisp wind is blowing across my face.

I smile. The chill from the cool air dissipates. I believe it with all my heart and soul; as long as I am connected – mind, body, spirit, and to the people I love – that I can face any challenges ahead. From flat tire to test of virtues, I will end up where I need to be.

Having gratitude for any of Mother Nature’s creations, grounds and centers me. Especially this guy, tho. 😸😼😺

Nature has always centered me. But, it’s amazing how much peace I get when I spend time with my loving little pup (more of an old man). Knowing that I am responsible for the well being of this living creature, helps ground me. Spending time with him elevates my soul and brings me so much joy and happiness. 🙂 Helps center me, for sure.

Haven’t seen my best friend, @bolt.the.adventure.dog, much for days. Making up for it with lots of pets and loving. 😻😻😻

#pet #pets #petsofinstagram #dog #dogsofinstagram #dogstagram #love #bestfriend #peace #happy #mentalhealth #mentalillness #bipolar #recovery #recovering

Oatmeal Surprise. I add a few things that might surprise you…

I start most every day with my oatmeal surprise.

Cook some plain oatmeal, add a HUGE scoop of peanut butter, while it melts into the oatmeal, I drizzle with honey. The surprise is whatever fruit I have that is getting over ripe. Today was a Fuji apple with a bad spot and a banana that was about to go to mush.

Sprinkle a bit of Allspice and cinnamon on top, to add a little kick.

Yum!!

I try and feed my mind, body, and spirit. Last few weeks, I was on the slide. Eating fast food and getting away from healthy habits. Back on track now.

I have to feed the body good stuff, before I can feed my mind and spirit. They are all connected. I was putting junk and candy in – junk production and junk for spiritual centeredness is what I got; added to these jobs dragging out. Plus, I’ve been really active lately. Even at eating 4 to 5000 calories a day, I’m loosing weight. This should pack a bit back on. 😋😊

I find joy, even in the mundane. Staying in the moment is part of finding my way to happiness.

It’s kind of a joke (no, definitely is a joke) with people I work with: I can be very slow.

It’s true. I can be be fast; but choose to make a little less, in my choice to find a little more joy in my work. I’m okay with that and I give full disclosure to clients. Even though contractors may poke fun, they call me in for the tough and technically detailed parts that they are struggling with. They know, in the end, the job will be done right and with pride.

The reason I am able to consistently put out quality work, is largely due to one of the tools in my mental health tool-bag.

Stay in the moment.

Even in the mundane tasks, I put in effort to clear my head, feel the materials, listen to the sounds they make or some good music, let my head and soul drift, and find my place of Zen. I am at peace with self and don’t easily get frustrated. Instead, as problems arise, I am able to look at them from different angles and tackle them – one by one. Even on a long day, I get so much enjoyment from doing the job well that I don’t even notice that I’ve been working for hours.

I stand back, smile, and am grateful that I have met the challenges in front of me.

I can’t control what other people do. I can control my reaction.

Gotta watch the whole video. Ends in a positive silly me kind of way. 😂😂

This project, for many reasons, led to me loosing my mind. I let go of healthy habits and pushed too hard. I had to take a day or two away and get recentered.

I’ll post about that later, after I’ve processed a bit more.

But, I was SO CLOSE to being done. Watch and see the surprise I was left. I can’t control what others do, but I can control my reaction.

I have to remember, a lot of people show up to get a check. I make a lot of messes in my life, but try and clean them up and have pride in my work. Almost done. Few days behind. But almost done. 😉☺️

I have to recognize my strengths and use them. That came with self-love and acceptance.

There was a time, when I didn’t think I could even work again, because I allowed my bipolar disorder to run my life and systematically destroy my progress. With some hard work on mind, body, and spirit… I have found happiness and joy. Using it as a gift and grateful for the strengths I have found.

This is one of my current projects. As usual, making fun where some may net find it. 😂😂

Just a few more days of stupid hard work, and I’ll be able to get back into my usual routines.

Here is a video of my the project and some silly fun.

https://youtu.be/DF7qqztkG_A

Sometimes I feel stuck. Sometimes I literally am. Either way, one step at a time…

There are many times, I have felt completely and utterly stuck. Unable to move forward. Completely overwhelmed.

Sometimes it has been in deep depression, taken on too much responsibility, or I’ve timed myself into a corner. At times I’ve felt paralyzed by fear or jumped into a project with no planning. At all.

I’ve learned, when I get to this place, to stop. Take a breath. List out what needs to be done. Then take one first step towards my goal. The next is a little easier. Before I know, I’m feeling good and I’m back on track.

Safety first… Finally.

Some lessons come easy. Sometimes I have to be beaten into submission. 😂😂

Only took one more spirt of grout in my eye and 2 more Mand-aids to finally pull out some safety gear.

Safety first.

My large plastic full body bubble wouldn’t fit through the door. This will have to do. 😂😂

When I rush, I make mistakes. Some are simple, some require Mand-aids.

I have to slow myself down at times. I get in a flurried rush, and that’s when I make incorrect measurements, forget things, or slice my hands like roast beef at the local deli.

Yup. Two Mand-aids in the first hour. I went and took a moment for myself. Cleared my head. Quick breathing and meditation.

Centered and at peace.

Came back steady and strong. Progress rolled out much faster. No more double cuts on the tile or my hand.

Much better.

I’ll repost my Mand-aid video, later today. 😊

Only one cup of coffee a day: size of the cup is what matters. 😂😂

To live healthy, I only have one cup of coffee a day.

The size of the cup depends on how early I have to be up. Headed to a job site at 7 am. 1.5 liters should do. 😝😋😂😂

Sometimes, I just pull off the road to sit. Watch. Be grateful.

The sunset was a firey blaze of color. Planes flying across the path of the moon. The air was cool, with a breeze.

No better time to pull of and love the moment. Just stop time, amidst the free beauty of Mother Nature.

Hope you enjoy the pics and find a moment for yourself. I know it was just what I needed. ☺️

This is one of the ways that I find joy and happiness. Stay centered.

So ooey gooey, I had to eat it with a spoon. 😋😋 Forget healthy food for a night.

So, I eat healthy stuff all day every day. Almost every day. 😂😂

I was craving SOMETHING, but the watermelon, dried fruit, and whole grain chips didnt budge it.

Then I saw the pizza. But, we don’t have a working oven, as we finish the remodel. Then my buddy James says, “3 min and 30 sec in the microwave, bro. How I just did mine.” In it went. Out, it was so ooey gooey that I had to eat it with a spoon. Perfection. 😂😂

The body craves what it needs. Tonight it needed a break and some grease. Oh, and chocolate. The carrot is for Bolt. 😻😻😸😸😹😹

Definitely no carrots for me tonight.

I don’t say this much in my other posts, but now when I fail or don’t progress quickly enough in something I do… I have to remember that I am human and that it’s okay. Don’t let things slide too far or beat myself up, and get right back up and push forward again. 🙂

I would like to introduce you to Bolt “the adventure dog”

He is as silly, charasmatic, personality packed, and adventurous as his daddy.  There will be lots more to come – he has been my “ride or die” for 9 years, seen most of America by my side, saved my life twice, and has a story of his own (on it’s way).

Tears of sadness turn to pure joy – as I connect to my gratitude and spirituality, in the flash of a sunrise.

I think I was driving through Louisiana.  I was tired.  I was alone.  I was wallowing in sadness.

After a short visit with the folks, I had driven all night leaving behind my family, what was no longer my home, and my dear friend Kade.  Kade was my ‘ride or die’ whom I had shared months of spectacular adventures with, on the road.  Anyone, weary and lonely, could travel into the rabbit hole of sadness under these conditions.  I knew that I was treading on seriously dangerous territory, having bipolar disorder.  A trip down that rabbit hole, for me, means violent mood swings – a wild pendulum flinging from high to low, that has repeatedly wrecked my life and almost taken it.

I have worked through Dialectal Behavior Therapy workbook, identifying my triggers and creating an action plan to prevent a deep slide.  Action, early on, is necessary.  If I let my mood swings take hold of me, stopping it is like grabbing on the rear bumper of a car in neutral rolling down a steep hill.  I MIGHT slow it down, but I’m going to get hurt and banged up along the way.

So I pull off the highway, and search for a lake in google maps – found one.  Looks big.  “Great!” I say.  I can catch the sunrise and meditate next to the shore.  Use some tools in my tool bag to rewire my thought process and center myself.  As I meditated next to the lake, one of the most spectacular spiritual awakenings happened.  My tears of sadness that I arrived with, quickly turned to tears of joy, love, and gratitude.  I was centered, I set up my hammock and slept a bit, I continued my 1800 mile road trip that changed my life.  I’ll write more about that as we continue this journey together.

After my meditation, I was inspired to write.  I’ll include that below:

He checks in with his ‘ride or die’ as he had hundreds of times before – over the past 7 months.

A chilling shadow of sadness begins to set over him, as the new idea washes in – this is a complete solo adventure. His dear friend is on his own path, now.

He no longer has someone to keep him grounded, share mystical adventures, senseless laughter, silly jokes, breathtaking scenery, and endless adventure .

Then a smile returns. He looks up as the sky crests with yellow and orange, from the rising sun. Feels the warmth of the first rays of light. He feels the fulfilling sence that he is never alone. God, the Universe, Fate… whatever one calls it… never leaves our side. Even when we have ventured off our path, the road signs are always there to guide us back.

True as it is: there is fear in the unknown, the unknown is part of the adventure, and life is a series of adventures. But, he has faith. Faith that he is on the right path. Faith that he will be provided for. Faith that this is where he needs to be. Faith that the challenges, ahead, are for him to learn and grow and move forward.

The smile stretches across his face, the shadow of sadness is replaced with excitement. The sun continues to rise and light the way, as he sits in awe of the gifts of Mother Nature.

He is now ready to drive forward – into the unknown.

 

To see the full collection of photography, used in this feature image, please click the link below:

https://findingbeazzy.com/portfolio/shreveport-louisiana/

 

 

 

Please excuse the lack of content and construction. My site is still finding itself.

I am about to officially launch this website.  I have loads of content – but am still organizing and constructing.  Please check back to see the progress, find some joy and silliness, and learn more about mental health awarness.

Thank you for visiting.  Thank you for walking with me on my path and being part of my journey.

I eat a lot of candy – but stick to Mother Nature’s candy.

I LOVE to eat.  Have I said that before?  I have a very a sweet tooth, that is rotten to the core.

Sour Patch Kids.  Sweet Tarts.  Gummie Bears.  Life Saver’s Gummies.  Candy bars.  SKITTLES!!  One of the hardest habits to kick.  For me, that is saying a lot.

But if I must, and sometimes I do, I have switched out the processed sweets with the delectable joys that Mother Nature provides.  By far my favorite (ask my mother, I go through pounds) are dried cranberries.  A sweet and tart healthy alternative for my beloved sour skittles and sour Life Saver’s Gummie yummys.

Sure, people have said, dried fruit can still have high sugar.  But there is a difference.  According to Everyday Health, the sugars that Mother Nature provides bread down slower – preventing dangerous sugar spikes.  Processed sugars lead “to problems like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and more.”

Also, there are several added health benefits, that processed candy doesn’t provide, says Medical New Daily.  For example, cranberries can help blood pressure, can reduce inflammation (I did just break a toe),  reduce cancer risks, help stop gum disease, have fiber, several vitamins, and the list goes on…

Moderation is the key.  I have a problem here.  No secrets.  I have to create a system of checks and balances, or pre-planned self-control, in several areas of my life.  For food, I drink a glass of water when I feel hungry and this helps fill my stomach and curve my appetite.  I live in one of the hottest climates on earth – so I can always use a glass of water anyhow.  I’m a doer, not a planner.  I haven’t looked into the risks of that, but has helped me loose and keep off a lot of extra weight.

Don’t like cranberries?  No more excuses to step out of your box and try something new.  Most grocery stores have an awesome selection of organic dried self-serve bins full of delicious treats.  I love mango, banana chips, apricot – well, I haven’t met a fruit I didn’t like, yet.

You will almost never hear me tell anyone what they should do – but it’s fun to pick out a few things and always good for me to have some healthy snacks around.  I’ve even found a few fruits that I’ve never heard of and really stepped out of my box to treat myself to a little joy.

I believe that mind, body, and soul are all connected, and I need to feed my body good food before I can fee the rest.

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-and-nutrition/diet/which-sugars-are-good-you-which-ones-avoid/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269142.php

 

IMG_9408.JPG

Work interrupted: Deep breaths and just laugh. Be silly. Have fun.

I was trying to make a short clip for Mandy. 😂😂 Turned into an ordeal. 😳🙄😂😂 Love my buddy. 🙂

Melody of aromas, Sypmphony of flavor – step out of your box and play with the sences.

I love to eat.  LOVE it.

I try to take a moment extra, when making something – to add just a little extra twist to play with the senses.  Then,take a few extra moments, as I enjoy my tasty treat, to clear my mind and just ENJOY the flavors, aromas, and sensations.

Today, I stepped way out of my box and put together a beautiful melody for my mouth.

Yes, it was just a sandwich.  LOL

But to my usual honey roasted turkey – I used a creamy smoked Gouda, then added some crumbled blue cheese to bring in some bold flavor.  I added capers (never done this) for bursts of salty tartness and sun-dried fire roasted tomatoes to compliment them.  With turkey, I usually like to sprinkle in some dried cranberries – the sweet tartness is perfect with turkey and reminds me of Thanksgiving meals with my family – happy nostalgia goes well with any deli meat, really.  Then some sliced green onion for a burst of aroma and a little spinach for crunch.

Oh wow.  There were so many flavors playing together as I ate my meal, with some sweet potato and cinnamon Sun Chips.  More like a symphony under fireworks.IMG_9374

Healthy lunch; energy is great after eating.  No fries needed with this combo.

Twenty minutes later – I can still taste the flavors.  That, my friends, makes me very happy.

Fruit is a staple and a way of life.

There were times, while traveling, that I could barely afford a can of soup. But I would still find a way to get a few bananas and an apple – enjoy the sweet candy that Mother Nature provides.

Part of living healthy, for me, is feeding the body good stuff. When I don’t eat well, my energy goes up and down. I don’t think as clearly. I then turn to caffeine and energy drinks that further send my brain into a cycle of over producing chemicals to jack me up. Following with a crash.

My psychiatrist would tell at me, “you only have ONE BRAIN man. Stop tearing it up.”

So my breakfast usually starts off with some oatmeal, that gives me sustained energy. Some fruit and organic honey to sweeten it up. Only one cup of coffee to get me moving – but not enough to send my system into a tailspin that I never quite recover from.

Rare find (so I was told): the illusive Brown Pigeon

My buddy James was telling me that brown Pigeons are pretty rare. We came across one, and he and his girl are really into bird watching.  He asked to get a picture of it.
So I made loud shrieking noises while running across the parking lot holding my phone in front of me on auto fire – like I was headed into an ancient battle with a sword.
Some people nearby were a little confused, but I got the shot.

It’s okay, I don’t really embarass easily anymore.

IMG_9370

Call me Dr. Doolittle

In my usual style of silliness, I enlist total strangers to help make (not so) gentle animal noises at some large Mule Deer Elk(ish) beasts that were blocking the road.  Take a look.