Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Choose your own adventure

      Some days are like swimming with sharks. Fortunately, I dig sharks.
   To answer a question posed by a friend, no, I'm not sticking my tongue out at the shark; it's a poorly-drawn regulator.
   And to quote my friend Abby, "If you ask the shark to join you on the hunt for lost treasure turn to page 21." Clearly Abby has played this game before.
   So I replied, "The shark joins you and you discover that the treasure is guarded by a supergiant squid. If you swim away as fast as you can, turn to page 42. If you think squid sushi is delicious, turn to page 57."

Dreaming of Scuba

   When the going gets tough, the tough dream of retreating underwater for an hour at a time with their closest fishy friends! And that our could become 2 to 3 hours if I get rebreather certified.
   Drawn with my favorite whale pen from my buddy, Tim. Pretty rough, but that's what you get when you're drawing in a meeting with no reference. ;)

Monday, February 23, 2015

True Story: Face-Huggers

   Indeed, we ARE all this cat with an octopus on its face! I should have known better than to laugh at this video that a friend shared with me: a cat with an octopus face-hugger. How could I have been so foolish?? Karma paid me back. Little did I know that my new mint-scented shampoo is akin to catnip... Kismet pounced on my head as soon as I got out of the shower and wrapped her mitts tightly around my face, biting my scalp to subdue me, and then licking my hair once she scared me into submission.
   Much like that video, I have a very weird cat.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Inspiration: Embracing the Chaos

   I couldn't love this more: 12 Reasons to Embrace the Chaos Next Year! By Bob Migliani.

1. Accepting the chaos of life is better than trying to fight it
Life has always been in unpredictable and full of uncertainty. We just didn't realize it. Accept it. Don't fight it. Accepting the reality of our world today is the most important way to learn to live in it. Let go of your ego. Let go of trying to force order and perfection to an imperfect life full of ups and downs and uncertainty. Often, stress, anxiety and tension occurs when you fight hard to change something you cannot change. You can't control the chaos. You can only change you... your thoughts and your actions. And that's really good news... to focus on what you CAN control... you!

2. You cannot predict the future
Uncertainty about how things will turn out tomorrow holds a lot of us back from pursuing our life ambitions, relationships or business ideas. We waste so much time trying to make sure the path we take is the "right one," when the reality is that there is no right path... just the one you're on! No one knows what's going to happen tomorrow. That's a good thing in some respects because the walls around us are malleable and move constantly. You and I have just as good a shot as anyone at success and happiness. Stop trying to figure out the future and CREATE moments by working towards your purpose in the here and now. This moment right now is the only one you can be certain of.

3. You will feel better doing than not doing
Taking a step forward in any direction makes you feel like you have some level of control of your life. When you take action, you stop over thinking and get less anxious because in some sense, you are creating your own future in the here and now. You get a rush when you're consumed with activity geared towards pursuing a goal, irrespective of how tough the goal. You feel like you're in charge again because you are... of your thoughts and your actions. The positive energy generated by movement of hands and body in forward motion towards the pursuit of a higher purpose, a life-long trip, a business goal or to raise a child, is often what keeps us energetic, youthful and feel alive.

4. One thing always leads to another
Like a stone thrown into a pond of water, somehow one tiny little step forward puts in motion other pieces, rippling away, leading you to places, people and opportunities that you can never have imagined. You didn't get to where you are right now by your perfectly laid out plans years ago. So many of us arrived where we are through the zig zag motion of life, through stepping stones that were laid out all over the place. Some of the greatest things in your life right now, came to you by chance, randomness and luck.

5. You will become a better person... faster, stronger, leaner and sharper
The mind is a muscle and like any muscle sometimes the mind needs resistance and tension to grow and develop as much as it needs nourishment and positive energy. Use the chaos of life to learn and develop. Adversity forces you to dig down deep inside to make you rediscover your inner strength or to fire synapsis in your brain that create new learnings. Moving forward in uncertainty forces the potential energy that is already within you to come out.

6. You are resilient and know how to adapt
You don't know what real strength lies within unless you're put in a situation that forces you to bring it out. You have an innate ability deep within to adapt and improvise to our new environment. You can handle it because your DNA has gone through a history of difficult times and has progressed ever since. As human beings, we have this awesome ability to persevere in really difficult times with nothing more than what you've been given: an able body and a strong mind. The resiliency inside all of is dormant but kicks in when you move forward in life.

7. You are meant for bigger things
Within each of us lies a potential for great things. Think about the possibility of becoming who you really want to become... a better parent, a more successful business person who creates jobs for many, a better spouse or partner or simply contribute more to society. This great person will never be realized unless you take steps to move forward in life and do something different... to accept the chaos and move forward anyway. All of us are meant to create positive impact to all those around us, in our own unique way.

8. Chaos forces us to clarify what's really important... and what's not
When you embrace the chaos and move forward in life, you get crystal clear as to what makes you more fulfilled, more satisfied and ultimately, more happy. Self discovery and self realizations happen during moments of confusion, clutter and consistent complexity when you're feeling lost, headed for trouble. That's when your mind gets really clear as to what's the most important thing you want out of life. Because the mind cannot focus on all of those things, your mind suddenly awakens and hones in. For some of us, a big challenge or adversity that seems insurmountable at the time, jolts us to recognize what we really want. And for some people, it becomes less about the money... and more about the relationships, the family, the kids and good health.

9. It will make you grateful
Humility is a wonderful thing and for some of us, it only comes when you're forced to deal with something life changing. Life is so unpredictable, fast and really, really short. When you accept the ups and downs and the uncertainty of life, you begin to be grateful for what you have not on what you don't. The joy and happiness that comes from appreciating what you have adds fuel to the fire already burning inside to achieve your life long goals. You'll only realize how great of a life you have when your wake up and see the realities of our existence. Being grateful makes you so much happier in the smallest things.

10. Chaos can be transformative
Sometimes difficult, unpredictable and terrible experiences awaken us to the realities of our existence often encouraging us to get on with work we have been waiting to do. Whether we like it or not, it forces us to make difficult choices and take bold steps forward in life. And we might have to go through these difficult times in order to truly transform into the kind of person we want to become. Once you actually embrace uncertainty and go ahead with a life goal or a relationship, you begin to change, discovering new things about yourself. You begin to value different things in life... to have deeper, more richer conversations with friends, colleagues and family. To find real meaning and joy in the smallest things. Like a caterpillar, you transform into a butterfly.

11. Things have a way of working out in the end
People say, "things have a way of working out in the end" because it is often so true. Perhaps not always but there's a reason why it is a commonly used phrase. For me, in a strange way, you have to have some level of faith perhaps a belief that what accidents happen in life are there to teach us something. To shape our life, to shape our core beliefs, to make us who we are. When you're in the thick of uncertainty and chaos at work or in your personal life, it's hard to see but think of all the times in your past, when you thought it was really, really bad... and maybe it really was... but often it isn't as bad as we think and things work out.

12. Going with the flow is a lot of fun
I used to be this type A, order loving, always hyper-stressed guy. Still am... sort of. By learning to take action, let go and see what happens, I've had a lot less stress and a lot more fun. Life is good... sure it's hard... but it's still good and can be so much more fun if you go with the flow. Some of most fun I have ever had occurred when I was working hard on creating a new business with my wife, while performing at a high level in my corporate career. Moments came up where I realized that wow... this is so cool. It was a lot better than sitting around in anxiety and stress waiting for the shoe to drop. Ten years from now, you may remember the difficult times but you'll have more significant memories of the times where you joined in, moved forward, embraced spontaneity and said, why not!

Song of the Sea

   Beyond excited to see Song of the Sea from Cartoon Saloon and director Tomm Moore. If it's half as good as The Secret of Kells, it will be amazing... and due to the subject, I'm thinking I'll enjoy this one even more. (Me and the sea just go together.) It was a shame that this film didn't snag an Annie—I love studios that continue to produce groundbreaking, hand-drawn animation that showcases artistry ahead of technology. 
Interview with the director, who's as charming as his film. 

Go time

   Love cooking on Sunday mornings. Got this day started right with a bacon, egg, and basil bagel.
   I have my work mapped out for myself and know that soon I will look back on today as the turning point—the beginning of a new, incredible adventure. I am finally more excited about moving forward than taking the safe route. Time to go into beast mode. I have confidence, because any day that starts with bacon must be good. :)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Underwater stormtrooper!

   Hollis rebreather event at the shop today. Significantly extending your dive time? Yes, please! This was my first time testing out a rebreather of any sort, and it was a semi closed unit with Nitrox.
   I can't be the only one thinking of this:
   My buddy Scott supervised me, you know, to make sure I didn't like, die and stuff.
   I spent the rest of the day diving Amy's backplate and harness, with atomic regulators. Thanks to my buddies Chuck and Renée, I have never owned my own BC and reg--I have been borrowing theirs for nearly 2 years. Now that I am in IDC, it's getting to the point where the issue will be forced. And frankly, it will be better to have my own gear anyway. Just have to get over the price tag, because I know it is worth investing in the best gear.
   And somehow, as is often the case, I got talked into sticking around and working my tail off. I taught a Discover SCUBA for four boys around 10 years old, and a couple in their late 20s. In truth, it was easy, because all of them took to it without issue.
   After a few spins around the deep end with the four boys, I retreated to watch them from the ledge, having been kicked in the head about 4000 times. They were doing backflips, front flips, and practically WWF wrestling underwater. It was a great, teachable moment: I ended the session with 2100 psi, when the boys were down under 500.
There is such joy in bringing new divers into our sport!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Prying eyes

   Can you tell there is dinner on my lap? And I mean MY dinner!!
   Additionally, rain = wiping dog feet with towel = dog wearing towel = other dog going insane. http://instagram.com/p/zWB8scl9CT/
   Something about temporarily blinding them by throwing a towel over either of them turns them into crazed lunatics. Who needs entertainment when you have Shibas?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Yin & Yang

   Today a friend inspired me to create the patron saint of boring meetings: Narcoleptopus!
   And from a snoozefest at work, I transitioned to a highly challenging and inspirational yoga class led by Emily tonight. (Usually Brian leads on Wednesdays, but he is out of town.) One of the coolest parts in the class was the room full of women collectively chanting to end the practice. Somehow we all harmonized perfectly, and the sound gave me goosebumps. I left feeling relaxed, energized, and at peace—inspired by Emily's courageously calm energy, and thankful to everyone for a powerful connection.
   Now if I could just figure out how to incorporate moments like this into my workday…

Monday, February 16, 2015

Quotes: Perspective

As seen at my vet's office. Love this!
   I'm not sure that I have this perspective, however, because I have a cat who worships me, and a dog who ignores me!
   And on the subject of perspective, as I was donning my new-ish Nike shirt (thank you Kristin & Scott!) the other day, the hem flipped up and I noticed this:
   What a fun detail—something only the wearer is likely to see, and even then, not immediately—I wore it a few times before I saw it. A mantra that silently urges you to kick @**.  I love it!

The bus and the base

   Monday is starting off right! 2" of fresh powder means I finally get to wear my cute snow bunny boots with the sparkle treads. (And Breck got 7" of snow tonight.... Which is great because we know it's all about that base!)
   The bus pulled up right to me, Louis opened the door and with a huge smile said, "Limousine service for Jen!" This is the first time I've been on an empty bus, in nearly two years of riding. The perfect chance for me to give Louis the little thank you gift I put together for him... A card and big bag of chocolate and snacks! He couldn't have been more surprised. Made me so happy to make the small gesture. :)
   #whereiseverybody #itsonly2inchesofsnowpeople
   'Bout d@mn time winter showed up around here, right, Doge?!