“It’s supposed to be fun…”

2014-07-15 12.47.14“It’s supposed to be fun”

As kids, during sporting events, we can all recall hearing this. Remember? After losses, coaches and parents would always remind us this: “it’s just a game, it’s supposed to be fun!”

The sad reality is, I look around at the kids now and it doesn’t look like one OUNCE of fun. I see 7, 8, and 9 year olds having the pressures of grown men bestowed upon their small-framed shoulders. Their underdeveloped bodies and minds are just learning of this world and already it’s forcefully instilled in them, it’s PRESSURE and losing is UNACCEPTABLE. If your not the best or do not win, you are insignificant here on planet earth….

Parents and coaches seem to lose sight of the sole purpose of athletics; learning teamwork and building a strong work ethic.

From what I can see from 5 years of being a speed and strength trainer is this:

*Parents MAKING their kids play.

*Athletics being more important to the parent than the kid.

*Parents spending unreasonable amounts of money for the best training, the best gear, and the most elite tournaments, not to mention travel costs (gas, food, hotel, etc) to give their kid exposure. (Exposure? They just learned to tie their damn shoes!)

*Kids trying to have fun but being robbed of that by people who probably didn’t amount to what THEY wanted to athletically. Yeah, you got that right…..Vicariously living through children. Pathetic. Inexcusable.

It makes me want to grab these parents up by their shirt collars and teach them a lesson. But that wouldn’t teach them or the kids ANYTHING. So, I refrain. I watch. I try to be the calm, peaceful force amongst poor mannered, temperamental, and embarrassing grown men and women that put so much energy and stock into their child’s athletic “career.”

Let’s get rigorously honest. How many professional athletes are there? 18,000 in the USA is the approximation. That seems like a lot. It’s not. At all. It’s estimated that there are 4 million athletes JUST in the USA. 18,000 out of 4 million. So, even if you want it REAL bad for your kid, the chances and percentages that stare you in the face don’t lie.

Would I ever discourage a kid from pushing himself and putting everything he has into becoming the best he can be? Absolutely not. Athletics teach individuals how much they can endure, how hard work does pay off, and how being a teammate sometimes means not being the shining star. Do I agree every kid deserves a trophy every single time? No. Learning how to lose is vital to human development.

Life lessons. Yes. Many, many invaluable life lessons can be learned from athletics.

But the one gleaming reality I see is that kids are no longer allowed to be kids. What happened to capture the flag? Catching fireflies?  Racing homemade boats in the creek? Freeze tag? Pick up wiffle ball, backyard football, and playground basketball? Why is it all so SERIOUS?  Why is so much emphasis placed on forcing these boys and girls to be men and women far before they’re ready?

I ask you to please, let your kid be a kid. Life is short and time really does fly. Pressure and obligation is waiting for all of us but for 10 years of life, it should be carefree and FUN.

“It’s supposed to be fun!” Adults, coaches, parents, this message is to YOU. I hope this hits a direct shot to the CENTER OF YOUR HEART. I hope you consider that every person only gets ONE childhood. HOW DARE YOU TAKE THAT AWAY……#BzBe13

Strength and blessings.



2014-07-12 22.23.57“200 pounds. Ripped. Tattooed. Bench 405, squat 585, deadlift 600. Furocious. Feared. Physically dominant over anyone I encounter…”

This was the expectations. This was the motive. If any of these numbers slipped, I was no longer good enough. I was no longer significant. I might as well end my life.

IMAGE. A detrimental and often disillusioned perception of ourselves in comparison to others. The mirror became my DEEPEST enemy. How do we get to the point where we set that internal bar or standard so high that anything less is gravely unacceptable? How did our exterior all of a sudden begin to define our entire existence? How can these numbers be maintained? How can a person even have any quality in their life compulsively attempting to maintain and battle this urge to be physically superior to all?

The answer is, when a person’s heart and soul are shattered, physical appearance seems to be the only real CONTROL left so once this realization is born, things can spin wildly out of control…QUICKLY. People can hate you, fire you,  break up with you but they cannot stop you from being a physical specimen. The problem is, to answer the next 2 questions is that, these numbers cannot be maintained for a lifetime and there is an extremely low quality of living scrambling to hold onto what we’ve concluded is the “best version of us.”

We grow up and are told we can be anything, do anything we put our brain, heart, and mind to. This is true, TO AN EXTENT. Studies show, some of the most exceptional physical specimens are the most DEEPLY afflicted individuals mentally and emotionally. How do I know? Because I lived it. I STILL live it, every day. I’ve won major weight lifting competitions and have one of the top deadlifts in the state of Pennsylvania but I still found myself…..EMPTY…wanting, needing, CRAVING more. When my addiction was at its worst, so was my body dysmorphic disorder. An obsessive compulsive thought process mixed with an insanely impulsive attitude is a combination of character defects that can strip you of everything you were meant to be spiritually, mentally, professionally, and emotionally. Beware….

I see it every day. Pictures, posts, and videos of lifting, training, and eating habits. Plates of food and advice. When called conceited or self-absorbed the quick lash back defense response is, “I’m inspiring others.” This may be the case for some, but not all…search your soul, question your intentions…

I get agitated and my ego puffs up like a hot air balloon some mornings when I see people self-glorifying but then I realize, that might be what THEY need to stay motivated. They may NEED affirmation from others. I did and STILL DO sometimes but I’ve concluded, it doesn’t matter how many people tell you that you’re great, YOU have to be at PEACE with YOURSELF in EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE to be truly “healthy.”

If we’re completely consumed with our own image, what is happening to our heart and soul? Something always suffers when we neglect certain parts of ourselves. The same goes for people who are all about spiritually or their career. Their health tends to slip. How do we become well-rounded then?

The answer is within YOU. It’s not for me to tell you. I just know my own experience. I know that when I get too obsessed over physical appearance, I become an emotionally and mentally ugly human being that no longer serves others. Exercising is beneficial. Yes. I’ve been a trainer for 5 years and promote exercise and healthy habits. The problem lies when that becomes someone’s center….when the mirror and scale becomes….their GOD.

Those numbers I spoke of at the beginning of this article. 200, 405, 585, 600. Yes, they were very real for me. I hit and even exceeded most of them, at one point. I still could. But in reality, I’m 30 years old. I’m trying to better my life professionally and spiritually. I’m 193lbs, I bench 355, I squat 475, and deadlift 600. You see, those numbers have decreased… I’ve fallen short of my unreasonable expectations. I still have days where I punish myself in the gym because of the unhealthy cyclical pattern of thinking that leads to me looking in the mirror saying, “You’re  failing.” The notion that I’m a pathetic failure….the torture, the isolation, the self-punishing behavior of not feeling good enough for my family, my friends….anyone. Not even MYSELF.

When I take a closer look I see that I’m not failing. I’m growing up. I’m realizing that life has more dimensions and branches to make the tree healthy. If one branch is strong and the others are weak, it’s imbalanced and will tip over…

So, anyone on a lifting or fitness journey, UNDERSTAND one thing. It can be as detrimental as heroin, cocaine, crack, acid, alcohol, and opiates. It can absolutely become a drug. Drugs kill. So, although it’s a huge oxymoron, working out can be very much UNHEALTHY for certain human beings. It can take your soul. Don’t let it do that. Take a day off. Keep your workouts to yourself. Realize that power, strength, and beauty fade. Be beautiful in the way that can NEVER BE taken away…….INSIDE.#BzBe13

Strength and blessings.

Senseless Acts of Violence

2014-07-09 21.20.11OCTOBER 2008-
“5 guys around me, growling, kicking, punching, swearing….. relentlessly. I desperately wish they’d stop. I’m bleeding….bad. “Am I going to die?” I don’t know how severe it is because adrenaline is blocking the pain. The shock. The ringing in my ears. The monsterous noises from my attackers echo and mesh together like something from a nightmare. A nightmare that, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to wake up from. I’m forced to keep fighting, to keep breathing. I keep wiping the blood out of my eyes to attempt to see where the next punch or kick is coming from. It’s pouring and now my once white t-shirt is….red. One wrong shot to the head and I know my life could end so I protect my head with all my beaten might. I repeat to myself with tears in my eyes, in desperation, “Survive Shawn, just survive.” Finally, the police arrive. Thank God. All the bystanders watched in awe of the scene taking place before them. 3 cuts (one being deep enough that resulted in 8 staples) and 3 broken ribs later, I climb to my feet and am in another world. “What just happened? Am I going to live? …..”

If I would have known this was going to be the outcome, I never would have went to visit my friends at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I would have stayed home and spared myself the near death experience. The problem is, there is no way to predict something like that. From a fun night of laughs and drinks to being alone, fighting to stay conscious, and frantically defending my life. Not one person stepped up to help me. Not one heroic act of kindness in the crowd of a hundred college students.

The whole night shifted in a matter of 30 seconds. That’s all it took to cause pain that I still feel today. 1 second would have been all it took to end my life. 6 inches is all that stood between a moderate head injury and a life threatening shot to the temple. When I was helpless and scrambling to get to my feet, waving off the violence to flag that I’ve admitted defeat, a girl stomped on my head with a stiletto heel. I remember the sharp pain, scattering through every nerve of my body. I vividly replay the scene when I touch the scar on the back of my head. This was approximately my 6th head injury. I didn’t need another one but there it was, the darkness, the depression, the suicidal demon in my head laughing, which led to an almost fatal level of addiction. If you never had a head injury, the aftermath is torturous. I was lucky, though….

I could have prosecuted my attackers to the full extent of the law. Instead, I let them go. Now I regret that after what I would learn in the future……

A year later, I came across a page on Facebook in which I follow called, “Ryan’s Rally.” Ryan had a similar altercation except the outcome was different. He has been in a coma since November 9th, 2009. He was circled and brutally beaten by Jonathon May and Austin Vantrease (who have been unjustifiably recently released from prison). He was kicked in the head and life for him and his family, forever changed that day. I know the fear that gripped him in his final conscious moments. I know the evil he saw in his attackers’ eyes. He can’t speak about it so I try to do so,  for him. The Diviney’s faith and determination to raise awareness is second to none. Frequently, I visit “Ryan’s Rally” and read articles and drop a line of support for this resilient family who I hold dear and close to my heart. They depict the word family. They optimize faith and unity. If you’re not following, stop what you’re doing and go “like” their page. They need our support and most importantly, they DESERVE our support.

This can happen to YOU. This can happen to your son, your daughter, your grandchild, your cousin, your best friend, etc. The negligence and violence are increasing while the acknowledgement of the value of each human life is declining in our world and it is truly petrifying. The insensitivity is repulsive. The ruthlessness and viciousness inside hearts and minds is growing at an uncontrollable rate. Open your eyes and hearts. Look at Ryan. Take a moment and browse through old pictures and witness the life in his eyes. That life was taken away by the hands and feet of others. By an undeniable maliscious and SENSELESS act of violence. I don’t know what the reason was for the altercation was but I know one thing, he did NOT deserve the outcome. I devoutly pray that he comes out of the coma. I hope anyone reading this or the words on “Ryan’s Rally” page realize, DEEPLY, the evil that is breeding in our world. Be aware. When you grow up and the world seems like a movie with you as the main character, you never envision this as a chapter, let alone the ending to your film.

I appreciate that Ken Diviney agreed to let me share this. To the Diviney’s, I say to you, keep that hope, love, and faith. Miracles happen every day. I’ve seen them. And to Ryan, you’re a true warrior and I’ll never in my life, forget your story. #BzBe13

Strength and blessings




You hear that word thrown around as loosely as the word ‘Hello.’ It is commonly supplemented with statements like, ‘Kill yourself’, ‘You’re pathetic’, ‘You’re lame’, ‘You’re an embarrassment’, ‘You’re a joke’, and the list unfortunately and brutally goes on…….

I have heard each of these comments, plus many more. This isn’t about me, though. It’s directed at anyone reading this to possibly fill that aching in their heart and HOPEFULLY make the aggressors out there think twice before spilling violent criticism. And for those who have experienced this to feel strength that I have overcome… and……SO. WILL. YOU.

Can you find it in your hearts to look deeper at each individual instead of lashing out due to preconceived notions and stereotypes?

I can’t even stomach the thought of saying any of these things ABOUT anyone, much less to their face. Everyone is born with a chance. Most people live in hope that they will obtain significance, importance, and purpose of some kind on their journey through life. These insults wear down even the STRONGEST person. These remarks can push a healthy person to SICKNESS and a sick person to their GRAVE. My question is, how can you not see each person as someone who is a beloved son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandchild, etc? Someone who is loved and loves in return? Why can’t it be known that this kind of treatment is morally UNACCEPTABLE. I may never find these answers….. but that won’t stop me from laying the question and truth in front of your face right now.

I read something where a man was trying to exercise to save his life. He was critically out of shape. The doctors strongly suggested he work out or plan for death. This gut wrenching story stayed with me for an entire day, bringing me extreme sadness. The man was determined to live! He was on a strict diet and workout regimen and sticking to it! He lost 90 lbs!! AWESOME!

Then,  he received an anonymous letter in his mailbox that told him to ‘stop jogging his fat all over the neighborhood. My kids don’t need to see that.’

REALLY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? How DARE that person who wrote those cruel words. I hope they understand the capacity of which they injured this person. I hope they realize that that man may now cry himself to sleep and rather DIE than risk any more embarrassment. He may indeed, never exercise again….

What I’m saying is, there are no losers. There are people who work long, grueling hours for low wages. There are people who work 2, 3, even 4 jobs just to pay bills. Those are not losers. Those people are in fact fighters…. survivors. Those people STILL, in the face of exhaustion and pain, forge on with that one final spec of hope inside their hearts that maybe, just maybe, one day, they will be rewarded. It will pay off…

On the contrary, there are people that have laid all their chips on the table so many times that they have no chips left to stack. There are people who have given up and accepted their fate. There are people that received enough of those insults for a period of time that they have been stripped of any confidence that was once available. Was your comment the one that made them throw in the towel? Was your insensitivity enough to make them lose all desire to live? Yes, we each have THAT kind of power.

So, who are you?  Are you someone who’s killing people or are you someone who’s breathing life and hope into others? I have cried, put holes in walls, and felt so embarrassed that I wanted my life to be over immediately. I have been up against walls my whole life and criticized for my passion and purpose. Did that stop me? You’re reading this so you know the answer. NO, it didn’t. Am I stronger than others to be able to withstand extreme negativity and ridicule? NO. I simply made the decision to make people feel the opposite of what those insults made me feel like. I’ve set out on a journey to not only better my life but to empower others. I’d be lying if I said some of the comments didn’t almost kill me. I thought about ending it…seriously. That would take the gripping pain away. THAT.. would silence the hate…That is the answer…

I was a man who had so much self hatred that I broke countless mirrors at the sight of my face. When interacting with others, I expected to be laughed at. I looked down when I talked to people. I absolutely felt inferior to everyone, at one time. Well, NOT ANYMORE…

You may not agree with everyone’s behaviors or views but that leaves you no right to mutter the words ‘loser’ about anyone. They have every right to a good life as you do. They know something you don’t and if you stand over them in judgement and superiority, you’ll never learn something that might be life changing that they could have possibly passed onto YOU.

In conclusion, Words can kill. I’ve seen it many times. It almost happened to me. You almost never read this post. It’s that serious…..” #BzBe13

Strength and blessings.

“Don’t let the Devil take your joy away”


“Don’t let the Devil take your joy away,”said a man to me today.

Let me set the stage for what led me to this invaluable piece of advice I was offered. Whether you believe in God, a tree, the sun, the moon, the universe, or nothing, still continue reading because the devil can be anything that brings you down….even ones who say they love you.

I woke up in a compulsive and frantic mood. I wondered why I do anything that I do. I questioned why I even write these words. I bullied myself into thinking that not ONE thing I do will matter when I die.

I started off my Sunday as I usually do; lifting weights. I spent an hour and 15 minutes obsessing over my finances and how I was going to pay this bill, that bill, put gas in my car, and eat. I pushed the weights and put myself through Hell because I was deeply dissatisfied with the slow pace of my progress. So, as usual, I took it out on myself physically. I wasn’t dissatisfied with my improvement and results in the weight room, I was whole heartedly disappointed in my successes in life, in general.

I completed my workout and proceeded home. I read a couple blogs of others and was humbled that there are many talented writers in the world. I’m not special. Maybe I’m not even unique. It discouraged me. Then, a friend who suffered a traumatic life event asked me to go on an adventure. So, without hesitation, I agreed. Besides, what else was I going to do but eventually drown myself in self pity and sorrow? “Step out of yourself to receive a message or learn a lesson.” I speak those words to others so I had to take my own advice and imply it. I’ll be a lot of things in this lifetime but one thing I never want to be is a hypocrit. So, I got in the car with an open heart.

As we were riding out into the middle of nowhere, I began to realize that nature is medicine for the broken hearted and damaged souls. We saw a rainbow over a field, randomly. There was no prior storm. There was none of the typical ingredients necessary in the recipe for a rainbow. But there it was. I began feeling different. I began experiencing joy. After some wrong turns and misled directions, I said,”we will find the way, God always helps me with directions.” Immediately after I said that, a random biker comes through a beaten path and tells us that the falls are a mile or so that way.(pointing where he came from) We smiled with excitement and continued on.

Next, we found our way to the water fall that we were searching for! The problem was, we were on top of it. The only way down seemed to be to jump off the fall. Luckily, I was talked out of that because we didn’t know the depth of the water. (Later finding out that I would have more than likely been seriously injured if I had been impatient and jumped) We walked around and found a way down to the waterfall but it was STEEP, like dangerously steep. We cautiously and carefully proceeded. Rocks, mud, moss, branches, jaggers, and just the extreme degree of decline was all standing in our way screaming,”danger.” We both knew that if we put the fear behind us, something awesome was awaiting and boy were we right.

Finally, we got to the beautiful water fall! There’s no money or entertainment in the world more beautiful than what is freely given to us by nature. We swam around in the freezing water and felt accomplished that we braved the difficult terrain and obstacles that tried to stop us from nature’s masterpiece.

Then, we met a man. He requested that I do not use his name in this blog but said I can use his nickname. “Kiski Planter.” He talked with us for a while and it seemed like everything difficult has led us to hear this man’s words. He spoke a humble but confident truth that was meant for us SPECIFICALLY to hear, at that moment. It was a privilege and honor to meet a man with such a faith and spirit. We walked a mile or so back to the car with him and before we departed he said,”don’t let the Devil take away your joy.” That is STILL echoing through my mind, heart, and soul.

Whatever it may be. An unhealthy relationship, a drug, a drink, a job, other people’s opinions, etc, etc, etc. Don’t let ANYTHING take your joy away. It’s YOURS. If you let go and keep climbing through Hell and high water, eventually, undeniably, you too will make it to your waterfall…. your inner peace. Keep on walking an honest, compassionate, and spiritual path and there is no limit to the beauty that will be revealed to you in your future. Strength and blessings.”#BzBe13

Is THIS Freedom?


“Friends and family, picnics, boats with proud owners, celebrating through the rivers. Fireworks crackle and boom loud enough to make the heart skip a beat. Swimming. Laughing. Loud, upbeat Music. Food. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! Then, over time, the energy shifts. The whole attitude changes. Drunk driving, fights, accidents, arrests, and overdoses. That transition is occurring as I write these words. FREEDOM. A powerful word. Yes. A true honor and privilege not available to all individuals on this green earth. So, I humbly ask each of you to search your hearts. Think about what “freedom” means to you…..

….Got it? Write it down. Later, after you finish reading this, reflect on that.

So, I was on a boat on the Monogohala River today and everyone around me was enjoying what they felt was their definition of freedom. Me, however, I did a lot of watching and reflecting. I did not watch to judge. I watched to analyze. I came to conclusions galore but only some of you will understand. Those of you that DO will empathize, deeply. It’s all a matter of interpretation and perspective.  Initially, when I boarded the boat with friends, although I’m 3.5 years in recovery, I entertained a detailed fantasy and recollected the feeling of that alcohol traveling down my throat and into my stomach. The slight burn. The repetition. The adrenaline. Glorious. So magically spectacular. The substance being snorted up my nose, circulating so beautifully through my veins. Again, starting off burning, ending in electrifying results. Then, my little glorified journey down memory lane was ABRUPTLY intercepted. “More isn’t enough.” I said to myself. At that moment, I laid in the water on my back, looking up at the sky and trees, feeling the warm sunshine on me, and I smiled. A real, true smile. A moment of clarity. A moment of life better than any I ever experienced high and drunk. The movie reel is always the same with holidays. The book isn’t even worth reading anymore.

I am home now. Currently, I lay on my couch and pet my dog. The booming of fireworks and laughter is replaced with sirens and drunk yelling. Freedom? God bless America. Many say that but few realize that America is in real jeopardy. Brave soldiers fought wars so that people can get obliterated, arrested, and injured? THAT is the reality. THAT is the direction of the human race, not just here in the USA, but in every nation. I am honored to live in this country. I am blessed to be a predecessor of such courageous warriors who fought and some even lost their lives for me to have the ability to freely speak as I am now. What I’m saying is, why is it so accepting to celebrate in such a selfish way? Why is it so socially acceptable to get violently intoxicated? Why is it promoted? Why is it expected, embraced, applauded? What have YOU done for your country? For humanity? Of course, a piece of me wishes freedom had the same meaning it did to me 3.5 years ago. So carefree. So self-serving. But, thankfully, that has all luckily changed.

I am a man. I am a citizen of the incredible country called the United States of America. I am an addict. I am an alcoholic. I am a sinner. I am a son, brother, nephew, cousin, uncle, Godfather, and grandson. I am a speed and strength trainer. I am a weight lifter. I am a musician. I am many things but one thing I am mostly is… grateful. Life has changed and I passionately announce, it’s changed for the better. Anyone out there reluctant to change and battling aggressively with the seemingly undying urge to maintain the common, popular “freedom”, let me tell you this. I have never been more free than I am at THIS moment. You are never truly free until you know yourself, admit your faults, and work on them. You may be feeling cursed and chained but although it may look as though others partaking in popular behavior are having fun and that they are free, in actuality, they are chained souls struggling to achieve normalcy and peace. I drove home from my 4th of July festivities and watched the sun set. The colors never looked so amazingly vibrant in all my life as they did tonight.

In conclusion, remember, freedom may not be what you think it is. It’s definitely not what you thought it was. It may not be popular. It may not be supported. It may not be welcomed but if you continue on a spiritual and personal journey, you will see, every joy, beauty, and that feeling of acceptance and peace are naturally given without drugs and alcohol distorting your reality, Yes, my friends…. that is free.”#BzBe13

Victim or Hero?


Hi! Are you a demoralized victim or a tragic hero? Ask yourself. Do you perseverate and obsess over the past or do you embrace the present moment and opportunity to do better? Some people use their mistakes to anchor them and as an excuse to not even attempt to be great in fear that they will somehow end up embarrassed or made a fool. Well, let me tell you. After you go through adversity and disappointment, you can surely play off of that the rest of your life.  You can use that to receive pity and hand outs. You can take miniscule chances, walk cautious, and every time you fail a half-assed effort, it’ll get easier and easier to accept yourself as a loser and attach yourself/define your character as your past mishaps and failures. I did this for many years. Everyone saw the wound. I used it as a bilboard shouting to the world,”I’m a misfit. I am broken. I am not worthy and undeserving of success. I surrender. Feel sorry for me.” Then, a shift occurred. You know when a storm passes and the sun comes out? Yeah, it was like that. After a 5 year storm, I finally let the sun shine through. I transitioned from the demoralized victim to the tragic hero. I wasn’t supposed to succeed. Many told me I never would. With almost every piece of my being, I believed them. But one day I woke up and admitted that, yes, what I went through was Hell but it’s up to me to choose if I want to stay there or use it as a catapult to a new level of thinking and being. Use it as gasoline to make the fire in my heart bigger or use it as 20 gallons of water to put it out completely. I got tired of being the victim. I got exhausted with defending my lack of ambition and making excuses. Look in the mirror. That person you see is ready. That person is healing or maybe even healed contrary to what your self sabotaging brain tells you. Say to yourself,”I will not let my past ruin my present and future ANYMORE!” Limitations are really self-made illusions. What I mean is, they are not real. They are as fabricated as the “boogie man” from your childhood. There is limitless opportunity to change. There is ample avenues you can travel to not only improve your current situation but to better your overall quality of life. I’ll end this piece with a quote. It is something I wrote when I decided to turn the page and be confident in the new me. “I shut the door to my past but I’m not going to lock it. Because I need to peek to be reminded what it costed…all my losses.” Be proud of where you came from but don’t stay put. You can do better. You deserve the world. Go get it relentlessly and fearlessly. Strength and blessings. #BzBe13

Purpose (-less or -ful) ???

Screenshot_2014-07-01-11-27-35“When we wake up, IMMEDIATELY an attitude is born. For example, when I woke up, I was slightly overwhelmed and irritated with my monotonous agenda and realizing that all the changes I desire require tedious attention and action to be brought to life. The word PURPOSE came to mind. I admitted to myself that while driving many mornings to work, I feel purpose-LESS. I’m sure many of you experience that sick feeling when your alarm goes off, knowing that you have to spend another day acting as though the monotony of your job, your relationship, and your life is everything you ever dreamed of. Then, FLASHES of past decisions that led you to the present moment flicker from your subconscious to your conscious brain and bounce like 1,000 rubber balls from left to right, up and down…. everywhere. Soon after that, REGRET sets in. Instead of acknowledging YOUR part in why you’re in your current situation, your brain uses a defense mechanism that switches the regret and pressure (you briefly put on yourself) to finding SOMEONE or SOMETHING to blame. “Hell yeah, now the ball is rolling. Wonderful. Damn it. Not again….” Discomfort shifts to memories which drops to regret and ends up funneling down to the (seemingly) most painless of all the storms; RESENTMENT. Just another day in paradise, right? This morning at 5:45am, I was playing the blame game. I was deep in that terrible pattern of thinking, quickly approaching complete defeat. I got in my car and everything seemed pointless. As I started to drive, I glared through the windshield like a viking going out into the battlefield for nothing short of a violent vengeance. I drove past a person walking. I recognized this person. I’ve seen him walking before, many times. He lived near me and we’ve shared a few conversations in the past, in crossing, at the gas station. WHAM!…..I had a shot of compassion shoot through the self-defeating war and furocious disposition that I caused by letting MY brain take over. I sped past him(because I would be late for work if I let my heart get involved) but before I knew it, I’m pulled off the side of the road. As I watch him approach in my rear view mirror, I see he is dressed professionally and seemed to be on a mission to better his life. I ask him where he’s headed. He said,”a job interview.” I offered him a ride and he smiled and accepted. It turns out, it was only a couple minutes out of my way and it was THAT unexpected conversation that I needed at that moment to open my vision back up. We talked a lot about anger and the area we live and the opportunity… or lack there of. He explained his aggression towards people and I admitted to my faults but then abruptly flipped it into a POSITIVE by telling him that we can’t let negative emotion drive us because it’s not hurting anyone but OURSELVES. He thanked me and I wished him luck. We went our separate ways. Although I don’t know him well, I really hope he gets that job………

So, wow. That was my first reaction as I drove off. That quick interaction changed my whole attitude and day. What I’m saying is, I stepped outside of my own misery and discomfort to help someone else and that made the purposeless feeling do a 180 turn to PURPOSEFUL. Let your heart get in the way. LISTEN to it. If you follow your brain all the time, you will become a bitter, self-serving robot existing to either beat up others’ characters but, most commonly, you’ll just destroy your own. The brain wants GREED, OBSESSION over things, misery, addiction, and self-destruction. What the heart wants is SIMPLE. The heart craves love, peace, PURPOSE, and meaning. I will hold onto that moment for the rest of the day and beyond. That moment gracefully broke the avalanche of regret and resentment. Today, do ONE kind gesture for someone else. Expect NOTHING in return. See how it makes you feel. I am confident you’ll see that, after that moment, you felt great purpose on this earth and your own personal problems faded into the background for a moment, maybe even longer……… Have a great day and remember, your day can change as fast as you can erase the end of the word purposeless and replace it with purposeful. Strength and blessings.” #BzBe13

Welcome to my Official Blog Web Site! #BzBe13

IMG_20140527_000426  First off, Hello! I hope all of you that have been following and supporting my posts had an easy time getting to this page. I have, after long consideration on how to make a deeper, wider impact on individuals, decided to create a page/website. A page away from facebook. See it as a daily vacation. I figured, instead of continuing to get mixed among the social media roller coaster of negativity, hate, and arguing, I’d speak to you all directly, here. Comments are always welcome but PLEASE use your heart when writing a post because there are many sensitive, broken souls going through Hell that need uplifting, not bashing. Thanks. So, I imagine if you have found your way to this page, you’re wondering,”What is he up to now?” Well, first off, let me explain the name of this website because, in my obsessively creative brain, I tormented myself with many different ideas for the better part of 4 hours. Finally, one word hit me, blocking out the sounds and sights of the earth for a brief moment; Valiance. Yes, VALIANCE. So you ask yourself,”Where exactly is he going with this and what the Hell does that mean?” Okay, stay with me, my friends. By definition, Valiance means having a valiant nature or quality; valor; bravery; courage. It all made sense when that ONE powerful word instantaneously electrified my brain and my heart. Everyone I speak to on a daily basis are courageous, brave, and contain a level of valor. Yes, every one of you! Everyone that reads, comments, and supports me have a resilient nature of being and, in most times, have experienced adversity to some degree. Right there in my mother’s swimming pool at about 5:00 pm on sunday, the idea was born. The Daily Valiance. It sent warm, positive chills down my spine. Now, I have to give life to it because an idea can not run on its own. An idea needs an engine. An idea needs a set of strong, passionate legs. I will be the engine. I am honored to be the messenger and work horse. My hopes are that you all will be some engines and work horses, as well. I’m not here to feed bull shit. This is all real life. I genuinely care about others. If you are reading this right now, there’s a reason for that. Find out that reason…… That, my friends, is how a thought becomes an idea and, hopefully in time, becomes a tool to help individuals everywhere because I deeply and truly believe that every single one of you are worth it. You are all deserving of all the beautiful things, available to all of us, in this life. And, in my opinion, we are ALL striving daily for peace and no money in the world can buy that. Self knowledge, self love, awareness, compassion, honesty, perseverance, are just some of the ( off the top of my head) necessary characteristics required to obtain and achieve peace and happiness. Without even one of those, the structure crumbles, to the ground, appearing irreparable,  You are NEVER irreparable, though. You just have to find what materials were missing to construct that building better the next time. Your walls might collapse one thousand times in your lifetime. Build the damn thing 1,001 times. One more time, one more day, one more dream, one more healing from a heartbreak, one more recovery, one more…….. You are always capable of ONE more! If you don’t know me, let me introduce myself. I’m Shawn. This site is not ‘all about ME’. Yes, I will be sharing very personal experiences with brutal honesty and depth that I’ve become notorious for, with truth that I have become loved and hated for. But most importantly, with a compassion and empathy that people can respect me for. Let’s get to it….and as I always say and MEAN, Strength and Blessings to each and every one of you on this day and night. Can you read between the black and white lines? Can you see the blood? The pain? The years and years of disappointment, ridicule, and tragedy? The hope, the faith, the driven purpose? If you answer no, this page may not be for you but I strongly suggest and, with open arms, welcome you to continue reading anyways because you might know someone that it could benefit. Please let them know. For those of you who answered yes, I am prepared to take you through a self-exploratory and, at times, gut-wrenching and difficult journey that will possibly help you identify with the person you see in the mirror every morning. I will not focus on the negativity that I have personally been subjected to through opening up my book of life to the world. That all comes with the territory of acknowledging a spiritual responsibility to others. I will continue on the path that I’ve been walking and writing from my heart and soul. STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING PLEASE. Ask yourself, right now. If you were presented with the option to either earn 1 million dollars or the opportunity to touch 1 million lives, what would you choose? The answer to that question  is personal to you and if you want to share, feel free to comment. If not, internalize and reflect on it because I feel strongly that this is a question that, if answered honestly, can explain who you are and what your driving force in life is. This very answer can be the key to unlock doors you have neglected for far too long. Tonight, think about that, DEEPLY.   As I conclude my day, I am excited to share this brand new page with all of my friends, supporters, and strangers. I’ve found, strangers can, over time, become friends and even the loves of your life. I will not be posting to facebook as much but I encourage all of you to share this website and become a follower of it. Join me on this journey, I’d love to hear from each and every one of you at some point. Mondays, disappointment, addiction, death and rejection are awful but together, we can support each other through life’s beautiful, terrifying, and definitely fulfilling journey. Love……And one more time….Welcome to The Daily Valiance! #BzBe13