A Poem: “Freedom Isn’t Free” [Guest Post]

I’m delighted to share this poem from a like-minded human, a believer in God, a light in the darkness. She’s been through that darkness herself, she knows. 

Sincere and massive thanks to Anita Grace Brown for allowing me to share this poem on this blog. 

resist the urge to scream

So. hard. to. be. thankful. for. these. dark. days

telling all
in confident terms

all is well

freedom’s at hand!

back inside

there’s no escape

a vice-like grip

on heart and mind…

soul like a specter

slipping through

bony, superhuman restraint


resist the urge

resist the urge to scream

focus on the blue sky

thy kingdom come…

in the luminous darkness

i remain

See the original post here:


Anita’s website: http://www.smilingheartyoga.org/#home

Find Anita on twitter via: @namasteanita


One can be good or otherwise, depending on how you look at it.

One can be great if you’re in a competition and that’s what you end up:  Number One.

It can be not so good if you really really want more than “one” of something.  Like cookies. Or a beer.  Or a kiss.  Or a little more sleep.

I was thinking about this idea of “one” early this morning, as I thought about the work week underway, and the other things on my list to get done.

I gotta get more than one thing done each day for sure. But I need to remember, I can only do one thing at a time. Common theme: make a list, prioritize, then start the work.

Remember that old phrase, “Even a thousand mile journey can only be made one step at a time.” 

And as I accomplish tasks at work, I remember I have lots going on outside my day-job:  three little kids, a spouse, a home, two aging parents I’m responsible for, and lots of little things I want to do, feel compelled to do. These other things often end up being pushed back, sidelined, delayed.

The key point for all these “other things” is to get “one” thing done everyday. Even if it’s only ONE thing I accomplish extra per day, that’s seven things in a week.

That’s progress. One by ONE. And that’s GOOD.




Freedom isn’t Free

When we talk about personal freedom — or that as a nation — it’s important to remember that freedom only comes with effort, vigilance, and fortitude. 

Whether it’s liberty we enjoy in the United States and celebrate this week, or freedom from worry and personal struggles, they both require work. Everyday. It doesn’t just happen.

I (for one) forget this simple fact from time to time, especially with respect to my own challenges in daily life. Remember you have to fight for your freedom everyday. It’s up to you. Protect your self, your family, your dreams and goals.

Same with our country: if we want things to change, to be different, hopefully better, we have to fight. Hard. And protect what we believe in, what we hold most dear.

Freedom isn’t free. But it’s worth fighting for. 

Motion is Lotion

“Get UP!” That’s been my mantra the last several years.

I’d been a runner off and on since I was a kid, up until five years ago. Ran mostly for conditioning when I was young, then for health and weight management in adulthood.

I even ran a handful of half marathons and some trail runs too.  Was running pretty quick for me, feeling healthy, all good.  Then after our first kid was born, time constraints and age-related aches and pains forced me to change gears.  Not much running.

Two more kids tightened things up even more. I had to shift gears. Running went by the wayside.  I had to figure out how to integrate activity more throughout the day.  Exercise went from an hour run to sprinkling more activity continuously into my daily routine.

Stretching, counting steps, abbreviated kettle bell workouts in the garage after the early morning dog walks, three minute walk breaks throughout the work day: all these factor into more motion.   And as the saying goes, “motion is lotion.”

I got a step (and sleep )tracker a couple years back.  The UP Move by Jawbone was my choice.  One of the cheaper models, but still did what I wanted it to do.  I could now tell how much activity I was actually getting each day.  I make an effort now towards hitting a given Step Target most every day.  Even if it’s not completely accurate, there’s no doubt I increase my activity level to get to a higher number.   I’m able to dial in my efforts to get better, consistent sleep too.

More energy, more steps.  Steps translate to a higher level of mobility.  Better mobility means more activity, which gives me a path to find and maintain a better attitude, better health, better me.  And that’s all good for me.   Try it.  Get up and get moving.  Might be good for you too.

Sublime? Redux. 

A while back I wrote a piece entitled “Sublime Sunday”. The basic idea was, find the joy and the peace in the subtle, in the mundane. I talked about laundry and hot coffee and being happy in the moment.

Taking that approach a bit further now, let’s diversify the application of this simple idea to now include coping, dealing with struggle. Here’s the concept in that context. 

Every day pretty much, each of us probably faces some difficulty. It’s in these moments that we should pause, take a step back, and realize there is a bigger picture to consider. Especially when there is a lot of emotion involved, finding a bit of space to think clearly and decide the best course of action is critical. 

What happens when we follow this path? We check our ego, check our anxiety and even our fear, and rise to a higher plane, to manage the situation.

Start with five deep breaths and enter that space in your mind the next time you’re struggling. You might be surprised at the results. 


THANKFUL: Especially on this day, count everything you are grateful for. Its a great way to live everyday. Here’s a start: Hot water, a dry towel, a place to take shelter, clean clothes, hot coffee…
…music, my fun sock collection, my hats, my parents living so close by, the internet…

…pocket notes, good weather, new found joys, three healthy kids, the old truck, beer, Susan…

…my brother living down the street, good peeps that share the love, old songs, new friends, staying on touch with family and friends thru the wonder of social media, a fresh perspective, tasty snacks like corn chips, rolling over for another hour’s sleep on a holiday weekend, and so, much, more…like this post shared by a friend:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.