This is a self improvement blog that is written by life coach Andrew Carlson. He mentors people in the Friends in Film program along with other people searching to find themselves. Make sure to subscribe for new posts, giveaways, and more!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

When Shit Hits The Fan - Throw Up A Lasso & Enjoy The Ride!

Over the past few months, I've had my fair share of trials and triumphs. The trials have definitely overpowered the triumphs and it has taken a toll on my happiness. Well, it was until I started reading a book called "The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself". I'm only on chapter five but it's opened my eyes to a new way of living. So when the shit hits the fan, I want you to try 5 things to step outside of yourself. 

1. Close your eyes and take a deep breath.

Deep breathing has the ability to create a tranquil state of being, cultivating a positive connection between the mind and body. When you have a positive connection between the mind & body, only then will you be able to look at things in a positive light. 

Stress and anxiety stimulate a nervous system called your Parasympathetic Nervous System, which causes spikes in cortisol & adrenaline. When stress & anxiety are prolonged, these neurotransmitters remain elevated, which can damage the body! Deep breathing slows the heart rate, expands the lungs and relaxes the muscles, signaling to the body that the time of fight or flight-triggering by the sympathetic nervous system - is over.
It's also important that if you want to lose weight, to de-stress your life. When the body is stressed, it will want to burn glycogen instead of fat, but when exercise causes deep breathing, the relaxation response is triggered that encourages the body to burn fat! 

It's VITAL to stop, close your eyes, take deep breaths, and step outside the situation.

2. Go on a walk.

Don't stop walking until you have cleared your mind! Walking is not only a way to de-stress, but it's also a good way to stay in shape! There is research reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that states walking 30 minutes a day boosted the moods in depressed patients faster than antidepressants! How can that be? Walking releases natural painkilling endorphins to the body - one of the emotional benefits of exercise. Studies done at CSU Long Beach showed that the more steps people take during the day, the better their moods were. 

[It also serves as meditation. Here's a video tutorial of how to start walking mediation by my dear friend Erica: and make sure to check out her blog at She's ben on a journey to lose weight and she's done an AMAZING job! Go check out her journey!]

3. Stop the inner chatter.

Have you ever tried to go to sleep but your mind is racing thousands of miles an hour rambling about nonsense? Everything that is on your mind that you are stressed about, anxious about, sad about, happy about; it all runs through your head while you lie awake screaming inside to shut up. The funny thing is, it never will until you realize who that voice actually is. It's your insecurity. 

How can we turn down or off our inner voice? I like to use a power phrase when things seem to not work in my favor. I like to say "I choose." Like it or not, life is not happening TO you - it's happening WITH you. We will never be without problems but we can choose how we respond to them. The bottom line? You call the shots. Reminding yourself of that can make it easier to choose happiness.

4. RELAX. 

Now that you have quieted your inner voice, RELAX! Take a trip to a comedy club, watch a romantic comedy or a comedy film, call a friend you haven't talked to in ages and catch up, go shopping, do anything that relaxes you!

5. Think through the event that happened.

All you have to do is take a step back when shit hits the fan. Let's say that you lost your job. There's rent to pay, food to buy, new clothing lines that are coming out with the PERFECT style, and everything seems to be falling apart around you. What should you do? Stop, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, go on a walk if you need to clear your mind, and list 10 things you are grateful to have RIGHT NOW in your life. The sun could be shining. You still have all of your senses! You still have a roof over your head. There are clothes in your closet. CLEAN running water. etc! 

After making the list, then you can think clearly. It's time to change the way you react to things. Life is going to be full of experiences, the important part is how you react to them. There's always 2 sides to a story. It's what story you are choosing to believe.  

What good can come out of losing your job? Let me tell you. You find other things to focus your energy on. I thought my world was going to end because I was working in the film industry and I lost my job. I was doing freelance work until I was deemed disabled and unfit to do production assistant/coordinator work. I was very upset since it's such a competitive field but I did everything I listed here and say opportunity. I'm now focusing my energy on my writing! I have been employed by a website to blog 4-8 stories a day! On top of that, I have started 2 blogs that I update religiously. I can work anywhere, I can travel in the near future without worrying about saving up for the period of missed work/missed wages, and I can make my own schedule! 

I tied a lasso to the fan and I'm on the ride right now. Life isn't about HOW to get from point A to point B. It's about the journey that we are on. Your dreams will come true. I can tell you that for a fact. I just can't tell you HOW it's going to manifest. That's for The Universe to figure out with you. I never would have thought I was good enough to get paid to write, but I am!

Want to know my overall dream? To get paid to work where ever I wanted to and have time to travel. That was my dream. Of course I want to produce films as well but I focused on working from home since I was out of work. It manifested and I'm on top of the world. It all works out in the end. If it doesn't, it's clearly not the end.

Go chase your dreams. Enjoy your journey. Believe.

Light, Love, and Blessings!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dealing With Change (Keeping Faith)

Today is Wednesday; December 5th, 2012. It's my first full day out of the hospital. I have been put on beta blockers, a Medtronic Reveal XT Insertable Cardiac Monitor has been installed in my chest, and I'm emotionally drained. It all started with a routine check up at Cedars-Sinai when they suggested I wear an event monitor in October. They caught signs of a fatal heart rhythm (Ventricular Tachycardia) and informed me that I was going to have to have the same surgery (an ablation) I had at 16 years old.

Fast forward to Monday the 3rd. It was a routine surgery where I thought that all was going to be alright and I was going to be able to go back to work come the beginning of the new year. That evening, I had a friend come visit me as well as my mentor and her husband. While my mentor was there, my heart decided to go into all sorts of weird rhythms. (They had decided not to implant a monitor inside my chest after the ablation because they couldn't induce VT.) Since VT was a rhythm they caught twice, both 12 seconds long, they thought it would be better to implant the device in my chest.

They had to squeeze my operation in on the 4th for this loop monitor and I was rushed out of the hospital. I thought it was strange because there was no discharge paperwork, we had to go back to Cedars to have the doctor call into the pharmacy, and then figure out why they didn't order a generic brand of Vicodin like they said they were going to. So my discharge experience wasn't the greatest. They just gave my girlfriend the Medtronic box that the monitor came in but that's all the information we got. So Cedars really dropped the ball there but both incisions are very clean and the staff was superb.

The medication is making me a little tired but I'm sick of laying around on a bed so I'm out and about today. I was at the park with M just talking about life. I have slight groin pain since that's the incision areas where they went through for the ablation. The chest pain I have is unlike anything I've felt before. I know it will pass but every time I laugh, cough, sneeze, etc. I cringe from pain. In a week I will be fine and the incision will turn into a scar. I have to carry around the recording device with me at all times in case I need to record an episode. It's a major change to my life.

This blog isn't about me. The intention of this blog is about change. It's about holding onto faith that everything will work out in the end and everything will be beautiful. If it's not, then it's not the end. Most people do not like change. They get worried about starting a new job because it's different. They worry about moving (especially to a different state/city) because it's different. Most break ups are postponed because people have to deal with change. As humans, we don't deal well with change because we are used to a certain routine and if something messes that up, we get scared. It's change.

[I had to cut caffeine out of my life 5 months ago to see if caffeine was affecting my heart rhythms. It wasn't but it's a health choice I decided to make anyway. On occasion I will have a real coffee instead of decaf but I feel instantly better in the mornings when I don't need caffeine.]

I thought I was going to pull through without having anything implanted since I woke up and the doctor seemed sure I didn't need a loop monitor or a defibrillator. Turns out things can change at the flip of a coin and that's scary. Life happens. Things change. That doesn't mean that life is hard. I could have been in the mindset that "life sucks" or "why is this happening to me" and trust me, that's where I wanted to resort to. But I am finding this to be more of a blessing than a curse. There are always two sides to a coin. Two sides to a story. Two sides to how to react to something.

I am truly blessed that there is this kind of technology out there to keep me healthy. I am now part robot (Sorry ladies, I'm already spoken for but being part robot is sexy. I'm just glad I didn't end up getting the Austrian accent that happened in The Terminator. My accent is more of an "Oh sure, you betcha" kind of mess.) I am filled with so much gratitude that my surgery was successful. That the incisions are clean and small. That I'm able to still be alive without being in pain. The only downside is that I had my license suspended and deemed ineligible to work. The upside to that is I'm going to be able to focus on my writing, websites, and other ventures I want to focus on. The doctor predicts I won't be able to go back to doing production assistant work until summer of 2013 at the EARLIEST.

All I'm telling you is that I want you to keep the faith during times of struggle. It may seem like the darkness is consuming your life and that everything is going wrong. As long as you continue to press on towards your dreams, life has a funny way of working everything out for you. You can't just say you are keeping the faith, you have to truly believe that everything will work out. Blind faith to be exact. I've held onto the faith since I was 18 years old. That got me positions in Florida, New Orleans, Los Angeles, etc. I didn't know where I was going to stay in any of the places but it always worked out and I was always able to thrive in those areas.

Change is scary. Change isn't always fun. But always remember that there is always a shed of light beaming down as long as you believe. You may not be able to see it but as long as you keep searching, it will be there. The Universe always provides for those who believe. If you only walk on the sunny days, you'll never get to your destination.

Light, Love, and Blessings!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Life Is Short: 20 Seconds of Courage

So as you all know, I had a heart surgery coming up. Today is that day and I feel content with whatever outcome I wake up to find. There are three different outcomes that are happening. Either option, I'm going to have to have some kind of monitoring device implanted into my chest (3 year event monitor or a defibrillator). Of course if I need to get an ICD implanted it wouldn't be today. I will be more relieved if I have something implanted in my chest when I wake up because that means I'm golden for 3 more years. I despise surgeries and I definitely am not too fond of this one because it's the same procedure I had in 2007 but I had my parents there by my side. Luckily, I have my wonderful girlfriend and my mentor who will be there through it all since my parents can't be in California.

So this surgery got me thinking about my life. Where I have been, how far I have come, and where I still want to be. I think we get so caught up in this world and the "now" consumes us. At least the now we think of. I'm not talking about the "now" that I should be focusing on. Right now, I'm laying in bed next to the love of my life while she's sleeping since we have to wake up in 5 hours to go to the hospital. We have Christmas colored lights strung along the ceiling while our cat Bella lays on my feet. There's nothing else I'd rather be doing.

The "now" I'm referring to is the day to day life we live. Where stress builds up, the money issues are still here, my heart feels like it's going to jump out of my chest. These are just to name a few but it becomes a draining thing to have running around in your mind day after day. I couldn't find a "day" job since I didn't know what this surgery would bring and what restrictions I would have. Anyway.

We don't take enough time to look back at the accomplishments we have achieved. We need to take 10-20 seconds at the end of the week and look at what we've accomplished. I need to remind myself of that a lot more than I do. Going into surgery tomorrow not knowing if I'm going to wake up is a scary thing. We don't ever know if we are going to wake up to a new day but we are always hoping we will. Most expect to wake up day after day after day. Maybe it's intensified because someone is putting me to sleep with chemicals but I know that I'll be okay. I'll wake up and will discuss what the next steps are going to be (if there needs to be any).

Just in case you need a reminder: Look back at where you came from. Look back at how much you've changed since high school, since college, since your 20's, 30's, etc! We, as humans, are always going to be changing. Especially if we take the time to focus on ourselves and change ourselves for the better. Read a self improvement book, take a class, read positive stories, etc. Find out what your passion is if you aren't doing something you are passionate about!

While I was watching the movie, "We Bought A Zoo", there was some very good advice that I want to pass onto you. In life, there are going to be trials the closer you get to achieving something amazing. People are going to voice their opinions if you tell others what you want to do but you have to listen to yourself. So what if the success rate of your chosen profession is only 1%. Do it. So many actors move out to LA daily to chase after a dream. Most will give up when it gets hard but that's why you have to do something you're passionate about. That will be your fuel for when the going gets tough.

Want to know the greatest part? All you need every day is 20 seconds of courage. That's ALL you need during a tough decision. I promise you, your life will change for the better in those 20 seconds. Need an example? I'll give you multiple examples of how 20 seconds of courage changed my life. In 2010, it only took 20 seconds to book a plane ticket to Los Angeles. I ended up on that plane. It also took a whole month before I had to make the decision to go back home to Minnesota but it changed my life forever. I KNEW that's where I wanted to be in a decision that only took 20 seconds. It only took 20 seconds to call my buddy up to see how he was doing and after a 30 minute phone call, we made the decision to move to New Orleans. I THRIVED in New Orleans and so did he! Want one more? It only took 20 seconds to kiss M that changed my life forever. I now live with her in a beautiful apartment in Pasadena, CA. (It took 20 seconds because I was TERRIFIED that someone so beautiful and warm could ever look my way.) But I did it and my life was forever changed.

20 seconds. That's all you need. Working at a job that sucks the life out of you? No, I'm not telling you to quit it but start doing something you are passionate about on the side! Love cooking? Make a cook book or start a cooking blog! Take photos of the meals you prepare for yourself, for your family, or even your roommates. The easiest thing you could do is start a blog or write a book. That will keep your mind occupied with things you love. You can blog about anything which is why I write motivational/inspirational blogs. I do it because I love to do it and I'm going to continuously do it whether people read it or not because I'm passionate about it. I'm going to write about my travels when I get the opportunity to travel because I want to share my experiences with the world!

Life is short. It's not meant to be lived on the sidelines wondering "what if...". I'll be honest, I find myself complaining about where I am because I have crazy big dreams. I'm not where I see myself in my mind but that's okay. Life isn't about the destination. Life is about the journey. Who you meet, what you see, what you learn, etc. Once you die, you are dead. You don't get to take any possessions with you. So when people look back at their life and see that you crossed paths with them, what do you want them to think of you? Will they think that you lived life to the very best of your abilities? Or will they remember those talks about how you wish you could have done something but never ended up doing?

Again, I will repeat: Life is short. You don't know when your time will come. You don't know when you lay down to sleep if you'll be getting up in the morning. You don't know if you'll be in a car crash while you're on the road. The list goes on and on. Take time out of your daily routine to REALLY be grateful for what you have right now. Not the "now" that's cluttered with thoughts of stress, money issues, etc. But right now, after reading this. What are you truly grateful for. Think of 10 things you are truly grateful for. Only 10. Do it daily. There's so much to be grateful for and if you take time as soon as you wake up for 10 things you are grateful for, your day will go much smoother. Stub your toe? Be grateful for your nervous system that tells you when things are painful. Be grateful you still have that toe. Before you fall asleep, think of the best thing that happened to you today. You'll sleep much more soundly.

Life is for the living. Please don't just exist. Pursue your passions. Don't wait until it's too late.

Light, Love, and Blessings!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What Would You Do If Money Were No Object?

I found it interesting when I posted a picture of money in a sack on Facebook with the caption "You too can achieve this if you just BELIEVE. The way people perceive money is interesting to me. I had a few people say "me gusta" or "that's what I'm talking about!". A few people jokingly said how they would want that or asking me if I was a drug dealer to get that kind of cash. Then a couple other people said "believing won't be enough to achieve that". No matter where your stance is on it, I have a question for you. What would you do if money were no object? 

There are TONS of people getting out of college each year with NO idea what they want to do. Others know what they want to do but don't know about how to go about it. Others choose professions like a painter, actor, or a musician where the deck is stacked against them, or so they think. 

Too many people are graduating high school this year and 99% of them are moving onto college. Why? Because high school pushes you to pick a college you want to go to next as soon as you graduate so you can get a sheet of paper that says you've taken certain classes to get this kind of degree. Tons of high schoolers will be going into the theater arts department and get a bachelor's degree in theater arts. How is that going to help an employer than someone straight out of high school? I don't agree with how high school's pressure young adults to choose what college they go to. Making it seem like there is no other choice. 

What people don't understand is if you don't believe in yourself, you'll never become successful. Why is that? You don't have enough confidence to go forward with your plans. You'll dance around the subject and never focus 100% on something. Another reason while believing is important is because it's going to be the fuel for when times get hard. Finding something you are passionate about should be your number 1 priority. Not what college will accept you and what degree to get (unless your passion is to become an engineer, doctor, lawyer, etc.). If you want to become an actor, why are you wasting time going to a 4 year university with a "focus" on acting? You'll be going to classes every week of the rest of your career so save that money. If you want to be a painter, what can college do for you that you can't do for yourself? Look for a cheaper class or travel and find your inspiration! 

It's not just for the creative people either! You don't need to have a college degree to be successful and have a successful business. Do you like houses love improving them? Become an interior decorator, contractor, wood worker, etc! You can start a business right out of high school by working at a job, and building your business on the side. Realtors don't need to go to a 4 year university, they just take a couple classes that can take up to a month or 2 and that's it! You can't learn how to draw in college if you aren't a good drawer. 

Are you a stay at home mother and looking for work that you could do from the comfort of your own home? There are plenty of companies that have affiliate networks that you could sell to anyone! A really good one is The Motor Club of America! It's like a AAA service but with more benefits. They will give you $80 for every person you sign up with the company! You can post ads on craigslist, make a blog around it, make videos and post them to YouTube, etc. There's tons of way to make money. Figure out what your passion is and go after it. You don't necessarily need to go to college so don't think of that as the end all be all. YOU can be successful, even without going to college. 

You just have to know what you want to do. I thought I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to work on film sets and become a film producer! So where do most people start when they don't have connections to be best friends with a studio producer? Start at the bottom of the totem pole! Production Assistant! I moved down to New Orleans where it's in the top 3 places to be to work in the film industry. I walked up onto set and talked to a few people. A couple days later, I was working on an $85 Million dollar film for 6 months! I didn't have time to figure out how to get on a film set. I had the most important thing to be successful. I had motivation, a drive, and a mentor to guide me on how to become a production assistant who was already working in the industry. I was making over $200/day on set!

It wasn't as easy as it sounds, I was just in the right place at the right time with a good friend of mine. We would help each other and after that film was done, I hopped right onto another one. It was a blast and I had the time of my life. I moved out to Los Angeles to work with a three time Oscar winning special effects make up artist thinking that would help my career by being out here. Two months after moving out here, he didn't need an assistant anymore and I needed more work. I picked up the phone, called a few places and landed working at one of the biggest production companies in Los Angeles. I didn't let a few pot holes ruin my drive. By the end of the week after being let go, I already was hired at another place. It all just came together because I believed. Now I'm working on a few films that I will be producing in 2013! 

I quickly am realizing that producing films isn't my passion. It's tons of fun and I sincerely enjoy the film industry so I will always be a part of it, but my passion lays in a different area of my life. My passion in life is not about making money. If that's a passion of yours, please find something else! Otherwise, you'll be working at a bunch of different places chasing after the money when you could be doing less and earning more! Why do you think so many companies can hire people at $8/hour? So many people are chasing after money instead of letting the money chase after you! So how can you do that? Figure out your passion! 

I have finally figured out my passion. I needed a little help realizing it from my girlfriend. Since I'm laid off right now, I've had little motivation to do anything besides find a job. I've been looking for any kind of job. Just a job. Just to make money so I can live comfortably again. Then she said to me, "why don't you just continue to write and motivate others. When the going gets rough, you always at the core focus on being positive and being an inspiration to others." 

I'm lucky to have her around! I never realized that my real passion has been an ability I have always had. I love writing and I love inspiring people. Wait, why not do both!? My passion isn't just writing and inspiring other people. I love to travel too! That's another passion of mine and I want to do something where I can do that too and make money doing it. I can't make money doing them by just sitting on the couch and visualizing/day dream about them. I have a plan that I'm putting into action and I'm going to make a living by following my passion. That's what I would do if money were no object anyway. Travel to a cabin where technology isn't present and focus on the beauty that surrounds me, family/friends, and the gift I've been given. So please, watch this video and then find out what your passion(s) is/are. Follow them and see where life takes you! 

Light, Love, and Blessings!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Understand The Power Of The Holidays

Days six, seven, and eight have come and gone. You best believe that I have been focusing my attention towards truly living in gratitude. It hasn't been an easy journey because it seems like once one thing is good to go, another thing will come and try to break me down.

Well, today is the end of that. The holidays are about love, health, joy, friends, and family. Nobody wants to hear about why life isn't going a certain way, especially if they aren't around every day. They want to hear about what is going RIGHT in their loved one's life.

Today's lesson is on understanding the power of the holidays and focusing on viewing it through the eyes of a child. I have had many talks with people trying to understand how I can step outside and see the world as if it were the first day I was seeing it. Or how I could stay so happy when I don't have much.

What is the power and how do the holidays have anything to do with this? That's easy. Every year, I look forward to all of the Christmas movies that come out. This year, my favorite to date is "Rise of the Guardians" that just came out today. It brings all of the characters that children believe in; Santa, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, The Sand Man, and Jack Frost. In the movie, the children believe in them whole heartedly except for Jack Frost. They just thought it was mother nature that just gave them their snow days instead of Jack Frost. No one could see Jack even if he was standing right in front of them but if Santa or The Tooth Fairy stood in front of them, they could see them. Why? Because they believed in them. When the darkness came and everyone stopped believing that the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny existed, they became invisible.

I won't give away the ending but this is the reason why I love the holidays. People take time off of work to be with their families. (If they are able to have time off because I know many people still have to work on Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. I used to be one of them.) They are surrounded by families and children that believe in Santa. What most people lose along the way is their wonderment for life so we surround ourselves around children who still have wonderment.

How do we lose our wonderment? We become to busy with life. People work endless hours to provide for their families getting paid less than $8/hour because they feel like they have to. I've had to take part time and full time jobs that I didn't want to be able to survive. It usually isn't doing what we love so we slowly start to see dreams fade and the bills pile up. Some people have bigger dreams than others but that doesn't make them more important. The dream that becoming an architect is just as important as wanting to be an actor, teacher, garbage man, astronaut, etc. We lose the fact that we CAN become anything we want. We feel like we can't get out of this rat race because we aren't making enough or aren't happy enough but if we had more we would be happy.

That's where people get it wrong. You can't be happy with more no matter how much you think you would be. There isn't one straight path to accomplish a dream. It's never going to happen the same way twice. You could follow the same path but your dream is different than someone else that's doing what you want to do. What you do is talk to them. Learn from their mistakes, learn how they took steps to get to where they are, and then take action.

What's so special about the holidays is that people start believing in the magic of The Universe. Adults feel the magic but as soon as January 1st hits, they lose it. Children never lose the wonderment in their eyes until they start hearing things like "Santa isn't real" and "You HAVE to go to college to be somebody in this world". The non-magic-believers ruin it for many. People start making excuses why they can't do something instead of fighting for it and end up like everyone else before them. This is the time to break free of that, no matter what your age is!

I'm here to tell you, everything you've been told about Santa, The Tooth Fairy, The Sand Man, Jack Frost, it's all true! Maybe not the characters that has become what we tend to believe in but the MAGIC is what is real. Why do people always come together on Thanksgiving? To give thanks. Imagine if people took the time every day to tell people how much they mean, to eat a good meal with the fancy decor, or even just to say thank you for everything we have in our lives right now!

Can't pay all of your bills this month? Be thankful that bills are still being paid and you aren't on the streets. If a cell phone gets disconnected, be thankful for the time you will gain from not staring at Facebook all day or be thankful when you can re-connect it again. Life is beautiful and we need to take the time to look at it through the eyes of children. With eyes wide open and a loose jaw that hangs down most of the time because you can't believe your eyes. That $1.75 you spend on a coca-cola. Be thankful you get to have your thirst quenched by such a decadent delight! When food appears on your plate tonight, stop and give thanks for the blessings you DO have.

This year, instead of complaining that your dreams haven't come true or that you're not where you want to be financially... give thanks for what you have. Make it your goal in 2013 to say at least 1 thing you are grateful for on a daily basis. Just 1. There's plenty to be thankful for. I'll list 10 right now. (Current time: 4:04PM)

1. I am grateful for the sandwich that I just ate to replenish my energy and to sustain my life for another day!
2. I am so grateful and thankful for the music I'm listening to on my laptop while I'm writing this blog! It keeps me focused and centered.
3. I am grateful for the sun that warms up the town I live in so I'm not sitting in an ice box!
4. I am so grateful for how festive the apartment I live in is for our Thanksgiving dinner with friends and my California family.
5. I am very grateful to be enjoying good friends and family in Big Bear, CA this weekend. It's going to be a blast and I'll be able to focus on my lessons for 2013!
6. I am thankful and grateful for being able to see clearly without having to use glasses or contacts! The world is so beautiful and I'm blessed to see it so clearly.
7. I am grateful for the animals in my life that reassure me that everything is going to be okay and when I need a reminder, they snuggle next to me.
8. I am grateful for my wonderful girlfriend, Malia. She's an amazing person and I'm so fortunate to have her in my life. She's taught me many things about life and I love who I've become since having her in my life.
9. I am grateful for the kitchen appliances we have in our apartment that allow us to cook healthy foods that bless our bodies with nutrients.
10. I am so very grateful for being able to go support a friend at her stand up event tonight. Not everyone gets to have the freedom like we do!

(End time: 4:09PM)

The number of things to be grateful for is endless. Thank you to my organs that continue to work so I don't have to remember to pump my heart consistently. I don't have to think about how my body works, it just works. That's millions of blessings in just my body.

Remember, there's always something to be grateful for and just like a coin, there is always something good that comes with the bad. Just don't ever stop believing in the power that The Universe provides. You have a dream? Go chase it. Don't let a little pebble stop you from climbing the mountain. Just don't lose the faith that one day it will come true, otherwise, you'll lose sight of it anyway.

Always believe.

Light, Love, and Blessings.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day Four & Five - Gratitude for Health & Money

As you read in my prior day four and five blog posts that they have to deal with health and money. If you want a detailed look at each day, make sure to go back to my posts about the days.

The past couple mornings are just like the others. I wake up, immediately write down 10 things I am grateful for and say thank you three times after each statement. I put my gratitude rock into my pj pocket and say thank you as I'm doing my morning routine. As I'm pouring my gingerbread tea, I'm repeating the words thank you. After every sip, I think "thank you". After every commercial on the morning television, I say thank you for my entertainment.

Throughout the whole day, I repeat thank you every time I remember to say it. Whether I get into a car, fill up my tank with gas, pay a bill, light a candle, get a glass of water, etc. I always make sure to say thank you.

I say thank you over 100 times per day and I truly feel gratitude in my heart. I make a strong effort to stay positive throughout the day and make sure if I'm sliding towards the negative, I do everything I can do change that.

So how did I do the past couple days? I'm getting so much better. Right now, as I type, I'm sitting in a dark candle lit room with a Christmas garland lighting up the arch between the kitchen and the living room. I'm sipping on some decadent eggnog while listening to the rain. What isn't there to be thankful for?! I'll show you a picture.

This whole day has just been productive. M and I went to multiple locations to get great dish ware and other essentials for our Thanksgiving holiday feast we will be hosting. We compiled a menu and sent out the invitations to friends that don't have family out here in Los Angeles. The holiday season gets to be lonely when family isn't present. It's what the holidays are all about, togetherness, and sometimes.. it just can't be done.

But I will tell you that I'm super grateful for M and her family. I may not be going to Minnesota this year because I can't afford an airplane ticket, but they made sure I wouldn't be alone. I'll be celebrating my Christmas with M and her family in Seattle. It will be fun to see where she grew up and what made her who she is.

With all that said, I'll show you what the menu looks like for Thanksgiving!

Make sure to call your loved ones this holiday season and never stop believing in the magic of the Universe.

Light, Love, and Blessings!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day Two & Three: Gratitude Rock/Friendships - Part 2

Yesterday's practice was to find a gratitude rock (which I already have) and carry it around with me forever. When I take it out of my pants at the end of the day, right before I fall asleep, I think of the BEST thing that happened to me that day. Rinse and repeat daily forever.

Today's practice is to find three pictures of relationships that I would like to make improve or make stronger. Then I need to write what I'm most grateful about for that person. Throughout the day I need to look at the pictures, read aloud what I wrote on the back, and say thank you while really feeling gratitude that they are in my life.


There are times in life when it just seems like I'm drowning. No matter how much I practice gratitude, something will happen that will make me... pause. The trick to the law of attraction is to learn how to trust and believe. Trusting that everything will be okay when everything seems like it's crashing down isn't the easiest task. Then when one thing starts looking better, another will happen that will make me question everything which brings me back to that drowning feeling.

It's a never ending cycle or so it feels like. When the Universe throws something at me that has to deal with a portion of my dreams, how can I not feel sad about it? How am I supposed to remain grateful for life when something I've always wanted to do may never be able to happen?

I'll be upfront with anyone reading this blog.

I'm having a surgical procedure that may cause me to never go scuba diving. I may need to have a device installed to keep my heart beating normally permanently which would result in a dream of mine to go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef to be diminished. It brought me to a dark place where I didn't think I would get out of.

Well here I am feeling grateful that there are procedures out there that will help my life be a little easier even with a little minor inconvenience. At least it doesn't stop me from traveling all together, without traveling, I wouldn't be able to pursue my new business.

So I leave you here with my last thought. I want to write my book. My book isn't going to be a fiction story of adventure, romance, and excitement. My book is going to be a nonfiction masterpiece filled with action, adventure, romance, love (which is already noted in my book), and much, much more. Don't waste your life wishing you would do something, or chase after your dream. Do what you love to do. CREATE something that is meaningful to you. Just because 99% of the world can't make money doing something that YOU love, doesn't mean you can't think of the right business to start up which will turn your passion into a money making idea.

Don't spend your life dwelling on things you cannot change. What you can change is your attitude. Your attitude will change the outcome of your life. Focus on the positives, what you are grateful for, and everything that you have ever wanted will manifest into your life.

With that in mind, I'm going to make money taking vacations with other people. Don't believe me? Follow this blog and my journey. I hope you will join me on my vacations in 2013. See you on the plane.

Light, Love, and Blessings.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day One: Starting Over - Gratitude Journal Part 2

I wanted to take the time to apologize. I thought I was in a good place when I started "The Magic" 28 day program. I learned that I couldn't handle the slight changes due to the fact that I lost myself. It's easy to do out here in Los Angeles. It's easy to do anywhere but it's necessary to take the time to slow down and find oneself. So I took a few days off while the stress of life got to me. Well, now I'm in a better place and finally can voice what I want to do with my life.

Life is a bunch of trial and errors before finding what one truly wants out of life. It's all at our hands and some times it seems to be too much. I could have ANYTHING and all I have to do is live a life of gratitude, watch what I say/think, and enjoy the luscious fruits that I manifest. I have failed many times, I just failed again with the 28 day work book. Just because I have failed doesn't mean that I won't be successful. I fell and now it's time to pick myself back up.

What does that mean? I have found myself and I have found peace in the fact that I will be working towards a REAL foreseeable goal. I'm not going to announce it until I have put the first few rocks in place before climbing the mountain. It won't be terribly difficult and it's going to provide me with the life I've been craving.

I can tell you what I want out of life and the kind of lifestyle I want to live. I just won't tell you how I'm going to get there because I'm not going to worry about the how. I've been meditating with Deepak Chopra (his 21 day challenge) and have finally found my "ah-ha" idea! It's just moving forward with it.

What kind of lifestyle am I looking for? I thought I wanted tons of materialistic things. I do. I won't lie. I want to be able to dress nicely at reasonable prices but I want to be able to buy a $1300 coat and not worry about it breaking the bank if I really like the coat. I can barely buy a pair of socks right now without the constant worry. (I have to change that mindset though.)

I want to travel the world, spend time with my family and friends, make movies, and I want to enjoy my hobbies. I want to learn how to sail, I want to take a cooking class in different countries, and I want to work from home! I want to be able to fly to New York for a week without second guessing it. I want to go to Paris for a month and still be able to make money while on the road. I want to experience the all-inclusive resorts that are all over the world. I want to make money work for me instead of working for money.

I'm a leader. It's not as fun if I'm just a follower. I have an entrepreneur mindset and I am going to make money work for me. I promise you that. It's just putting everything into action.

So today, it's time to keep adding to the gratitude journal I used on the past eleven days. I have over 120 things written down about what I'm grateful for so by the end of this 28 days, I will have over 400 reasons why I'm grateful. I won't stop there, I will continuously write down 10 things I'm grateful for daily. It's a great way to start the morning and re-reading them at night to assure them while I'm dreaming is so powerful.

Light, love, and blessings.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 7: Gratitude Without Negativity

Good morning! I hope everyone is adjusted to the day light savings!

So I finally watched the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy. It's SO GOOD! I truly enjoyed them and of course they had hidden messages/morals about staying in tune with your true self.

Anyway, today's day not only marked the first FULL week of focusing my energy on gratitude, it also marked day 1 of the 21 day mediation challenge. The mediation challenge focuses on ABUNDANCE. What a beautiful word. What does abundance mean to you? Unlimited wealth? Good health with a great family life? You name it, no matter what it is!

So I have so much reinforcement on keeping in line with intention and the universe. It's going to be amazing and speed up the process even more. Just wait and see! :)

After a weeks worth of focusing my energy, my life has truly changed. Nothing outer yet but more inner. I'm happier, filled with more joy, complain less, and don't feel as heavy. Day 7 is where the gratitude journal truly helps. After writing in my gratitude journal, I read today's chapter which says I have to write 10 things I'm grateful for over 1 subject in my life I want to change.

I want to be able to make money blogging and working on my two businesses I'm building. Yes, 2 businesses in similar industries. It isn't in the film industry either. I'm reevaluating a lot that's happening in my life right now and focusing on what I truly want, not just how I can make a lot of money. Since I'm unemployed, there's a lot I could complain about. Instead, I wrote down TEN things I am grateful for SINCE I'm unemployed. One of the reasons was so I could focus on my businesses and put the needed time into starting them.

Another thing I was grateful for was for helping out a friend with a headshot session and I was given $20. I was filled with so much gratitude which invites more of this kind of work towards me. I LOVE IT!

After doing that, I have to not complain at all today. I can't complain out loud or in my head. If I do complain, I have to say something I'm grateful for to cancel it out. Sounds funny, but it's surprising how negative a lot of thoughts are. Most things we say or think is phrased in a way that is negative, even though we may be trying to be positive.

So my challenge for YOU today is to go throughout the day being grateful for what you have. Write down 10 things you are grateful for and then try to go all day without complaining. If you find yourself with a negative thought or complaining, say something you are grateful for as well.

Light, Love, and Blessings!

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 6: Gratitude At Work

Happy day light savings!! Well today I'm feeling wonderful so far! I got up, put my gratitude rock in my pocket, grabbed my gratitude journal, repeated the magic words while walking to the living room, wrote down 10 things I was grateful for & why, and then went out to dance around the town. I cranked my music up and sang out loud, not caring who could hear me. I am just so in love with life right now, it's insane. 

Of course, I have every right to feel amazing after making $20 and watching Lord of the Rings for the first time! I can totally see the catch of it! SO GOOD! I'm watching the other 2 films in the trilogy today so I'll report back on everything but I'm getting more and more excited about "The Hobbit" now! 

Anyway, today's assignment is easy. It's to have your supervisor/manager write down every time you say you are grateful for something. I work at home so I am just going to be repeating what I'm grateful for all day. If I'm eating, I'll say thank you before I eat the meal. If I'm grabbing water, I'll say thank you. If I'm watching television, I'll say thank you for allowing me to watch tv in peace. The list is endless. I work at home anyway so I don't have weekends. If it falls on a weekend, then skip it and go back to it when the option of being at work is there.

So I'm just going to be going through my routine and proclaiming what I'm grateful for all day. Simple and easy. There's so much to be grateful for!

Light, Love, and Blessings!

Day Five: Gratitude for Money

Good afternoon! What a beautiful day this has turned out to be! My body feels so energized, my mind is super rejuvenated, and I just feel so grateful to be here! I love that I'm sharing my journey with everyone. I haven't felt this amazing since I first moved out to Los Angeles.

Day 5 deals with being grateful for the money I have. The assignment for the day is to grab a sticky, write "Thank You For All The Money I've Been Given Throughout My Life!" I put it in my wallet where I knew I would see it at least 3 times throughout the day.

The meaning of this assignment is to become grateful for all the money I have right now and everything I have been given. I've been working full time ever since I was legal to work in the United States so I've always had an income coming in. It's strange to me that I am unemployed now but I'm so grateful for the opportunity that being unemployed brings. I am grateful that I paid my rent today! It was a terrific feeling! THANK YOU!

So as I was saying the magic words, I was driving Malia to the studio so she can apply make-up on an actress for a headshot client. Malia gets a text from the photographer saying if I help, she'll pay me $20. Of course I could have said no and focused my energy on writing more blogs, thinking of ways to make money, or twiddling my thumbs but of course I said YES! I love my money, no matter what fashion it comes in. Coins, bills, checks, gift cards, etc. :)

So not only was I grateful for what I did have, I magically got $20 for helping out at something I didn't even plan to do! I felt AMAZING! I wanted to parade it around. $20 is a big deal. $1 is a big deal so I made sure to do a little dance for the random money I made today. I can't wait for the random checks I'll be getting in the mail soon! For doing what? Being grateful for the money I have! :)

Light, Love, and Blessings!

Day Four: Gratitude for Health

Today is a good day! I feel amazing! I just about hopped out of bed! Luckily I didn't wake M or else she probably wouldn't have been in the best mood. haha!

I grabbed my rock, journal, and headed out into the living room like I do every morning! Said the magic words as I walked down the hall to the couch, while I was pouring CLEAN water into a cup, and even when I was sipping it I kept feeling gratitude. I have had the largest smile on since I woke up and I love the fact that it isn't becoming wiped clean.

Day 4 is here! The assignment is simple. To write on a sticky, "The Gift of Health is Keeping Me Alive!" and place it somewhere where you'll see it at least 4 times today. I put mine above the toilet in the bathroom because I drink a lot of water and I know I'll see it at least 4 times there. Another place to put it is the wallet or just have it as the wallpaper on the phone!

Every time I see it; I have to close my eyes, repeat the words to myself, say thank you, and feel gratitude work in my life. What's the reasoning behind this? The body is a temple and the soul lives in it. So what better way than maintaining good health for a healthy, long life!

I also went for a walk, danced around the neighborhood while I was listening to my music, and enjoyed the world I live in. It's such a blessing to be in such an amazing mood when 4 days ago I wanted to just quit everything. Life seemed hard but now, I don't feel that way anymore. I'm ready to conquer the world and the new ideas that flow into my mind. Can't wait to see where I am after the full 28 days!

Light, Love, and Blessings.

Day Three: Picture of Three Relationships

This morning I felt a little off when I first woke up. I knew I had to shift my focus so I immediately grabbed my gratitude journal, put my gratitude rock from the nightstand in my pocket, and went out into the living room. Each step I took, I repeated to myself "thank you". As soon as I sat down, I wrote 10 things that I was grateful for and why. It definitely lifted my spirits and I was back in the right state of mind.

With day 3 here, I opened "The Magic" and re-read day three (since some times you have to read the next day right before you go to bed because you'll have a homework assignment). So today's assignment is to grab 3 pictures (photos or just put them on your computer), write on the back of them (or in a word document) why you are thankful and grateful for each person, and say thank you after each statement. I put them in a place (on my computer) where I knew I would see them at least 4 times that day. Every time I saw their picture, I repeated the statement with the magic words.

This exercise is to help maintain a healthy relationship or to improve the relationship. Who doesn't have a relationship they want improving? There's always something to improve on. Relationships can be anything between a significant other, a sibling/parent, or a friend.

I emptied my pockets, put my gratitude rock on my nightstand/thought about the best thing that happened today, and laid down to go to sleep. I feel insanely better than when I started on day 1 and can feel the power of gratitude slowly starting to build momentum.

Light, Love, and Blessings.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day Two: Gratitude Rock

I woke up today feeling super energized! I had a smile on my face when I woke up and it only took me a couple minutes to wake up instead of 30-60 minutes!

I immediately grabbed my gratitude journal and wrote down the first 10 things that came to my mind that I had to be grateful for and why. I repeated them statement by statement and said the magic words after them.

Once my feet hit the ground, I said the magic words again. Brushing my teeth, I said the magic words in my head. Over and over I repeated this so I could feel gratitude in my every being. I started work like I usually do at home taking inbound calls for a company that is commission only. It was a success right away. 1 sale - $80 in my pocket next week. THANK YOU!

Today I have to go out in search of a rock (which was very difficult when I don't live by the ocean, have no gas to get to the ocean, and decided that I will go check out the park to see if there are any rocks there. I didn't want to get one with sharp edges because it has to be in my pocket all day. I don't want to reach into my pocket and cut my hand on it. I also wanted one that was smooth and felt good to hold in my hand.

Every time I reach into my pocket and feel the rock, I think of something that I'm grateful for. Since I apply chap stick on almost religiously (my lips dry out instantly) I say something I'm grateful for around 10-50 times in a day. At night, right when I empty my pockets, I make sure to put it on my night stand next to my bed. Before I fall asleep, I hold it in my hand and go through all of the good things that I enjoyed that day. Whether it was waking up next to my beautiful girlfriend, seeing the sunshine and feeling its warmth on my skin, having coffee with a friend, the ability to drink clean water/have a warm shower, etc. The list is ENDLESS! Then I focus on THE MOST incredible thing that happened to me today and say thank you. That way, I'm in a state of gratitude right before I fall asleep so I am going to sleep on a good note.

When I wake up the next day, I know that my rock will remind me to start listing things I'm grateful for! That way I start my day off on the right foot as well.

Remember, don't worry about the HOW. Don't ask yourself questions like "how am I going to become a working actor/actress?" or "how am I going to make a $100,000 by the end of 2013?". That is walking backwards. It's very easy to stop the flow of The Universe from helping you or stopping it all together. Focus on being grateful; all day every day.

What was the best thing that happened to me on day two? That I was able to be home and take care of my girlfriend who was too sick to get off the couch, to drive, or pretty much do anything. Whenever she shifted positions, she became too dizzy and nauseous. I had to go to the store to get medicine, to get food, to refill her water cup, etc. It was the best moment of my day because without me, she would have gone hungry and thirsty. Maybe she would have been sick for longer than 2.5 weeks.

Make sure to go find a gratitude rock for yourself! Live a life in full gratitude!

Light, Love, and Blessings.

Day One: Gratitude Journal

I hit rock bottom. Everything I worked for seemed to unweave itself in a matter of just a couple months. I just sat there thinking to myself, how am I going to have enough food to eat since all of my unemployment was going to bills. I had a production job that I drove almost 200-300 miles/day for 6 straight months. I kept giving thanks to that car so it wouldn't break down right away but it lasted until month five. I had to buy a new car and for months I was focusing on a Bentley Continental GTC White Convertible. The only car I could afford was a convertible. I laughed so hard because the world was letting me test a car to see if I loved a convertible first since I've never had one. Of course as soon as I lost my job, I spent time complaining and I couldn't see the good in this opportunity.

Now, after searching for a full week/12 hours a day looking for at home jobs so I wouldn't have to drive or serving jobs (even though I would feel like a failure/feel like I was back peddling). I applied to hundreds of positions. Nothing. So I picked up "The Magic" and realized I need to change ME.

I truly recommend this book just based on the knowledge spoken about in it. Reading between the lines and the layout of this book is truly one of a kind. I'm not going to tell you everything that's in the book otherwise I'd get in trouble with the law. I'm just telling you my story from using this book. So throughout this book are quotes but one quote is focused on the most.

"Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him."

That quote is from the Gospel Matthew in the Holy Scriptures. Except it feels... incomplete. There's a word missing that's talked about in the book and the word is GRATITUDE. So it should read like:

"Whoever has GRATITUDE will be given more, and he/she will have an abundance. Whoever does not have GRATITUDE, even what he has/she will be taken from him/her."

This is like the Mecca of a lot of religions. It is stated in most of the scriptures that believe in a "God" or one higher being. Whether in the Holy Bible, The Koran, Secret Scrolls, etc. It's the same premise, just stated differently.

So for day one, I had to figure out how I wanted my life to be. What do I want to be, where do I want to go, what kind of house I want, where I want my health to be, where I want to raise my family and with whom, etc. I also had to write 10 things I was grateful for and why in a journal. Every day for the next 28 days I have to write 10 things I am grateful for and why FIRST thing in the morning. Then I have to repeat each statement back out loud or in my head, FEELING gratitude in every word, and stating THANK YOU 3 times after each statement. Then I also re-read them at night RIGHT before bed. For the first 12 days, it has to be for something I ALREADY have. It's about feeling gratitude for everything I have. Let me tell you, there are thousands of reasons to be grateful on a daily basis.

How did I feel after the first day? I felt amazing when I woke up and felt amazing when I went to sleep. Did anything in my life change? Only inner self. I felt a little happier and felt more at peace with where my life is at the moment. Any outer changes? Just a bigger smile on my face.

Light, Love, and Blessings.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Finding Myself


I have been living in Los Angeles for over a year now and I am here to tell you that you can lose who you really are out here. I was too focused on working in the film industry and finding love that I lost myself along the way. I still have remnants of what I used to be but maybe this is just the way we transform in our early twenties. It's funny that whatever you put the most focus on, you will attract. It's simple, it's the LAW OF ATTRACTION at work!

So here I am, just about to turn twenty two years old and starting over again to build the blocks of gratitude up. I thought that I was already working in the film industry and I found the love of my life that I could just be on coast for a while. I was but I didn't expect the abrupt stop that came my way. I had a steady 2011 and half of 2012 but then it all came crashing down. Another test had come my way and I failed miserably.

I stopped feeling gratitude and practicing gratitude in my every day life. I focused on the lack instead of abundance. I started to complain daily about how the work was slowing down. I complained about not feeling 100% happy. I complained DAILY instead of the way I used to be and saying "Thank You" for any minor bump in the road. In New Orleans, I got off one film and didn't have any other prospects. The next week I got a phone call while I had to attend a family emergency in Minnesota asking me if I could start work when I returned on another feature film! It was fantastic! After that film, I packed up my bags and headed out west where I had another job working with a three time Oscar award winning special effects make up artist and work on the show "Face-Off"! That job went away because I was just on coast. I was out in LA living in Santa Rosa Valley with a good friend because I couldn't afford life on my own just yet.

That job ended and I had no prosects. This went on for about a month until I had about two dollars left in my bank account and my phone was disconnected. I used my friend's phone to call a company about a position that I was hired for a week later. Nine months later, I was thrown back into the freelance world. I got a couple gigs here and there but now I'm on empty. I have unemployment coming in that only pays most of my bills. It doesn't pay for my phone. So who knows if I'll be able to continue with it.

This post isn't for sympathy. This post is to show you that living life in gratitude, practicing it daily, and focusing on what you DO want while looking at the good in every "hiccup" in life is truly remarkable. It's the miracle of life. This isn't about luck, this isn't about a get rich quick scheme. Trust me, I've done them all to try to make a quick buck.

This is my journey that I'm going to share with you on a daily basis. Some posts may be shorter and some may be longer. But I am going to really keep you up to date on my life while I publicly show you that the Law of Attraction is powerful. Rhonda Byrnes has a new book from "The Secret" collection called "THE MAGIC". It's a 28 day journey building up the blocks of gratitude so that you are aligned with intention and The Universe.

I will publicly tell you how my life changes from what little I have to the amazing life that I WILL have. You can't just day dream/visualize all day on the couch while sipping coffee. You actually have to put into action everything you want to accomplish but don't worry about HOW everything is going to happen. Just know that one day SOON; I will not only be a super wealthy man, but I be living the life I've always dreamed of. Wealth isn't just measured by the amount of money in my bank account, there's WAY more to life than that. Wealth counts in happiness, money, love, and the overall justification of your life. Just because someone is a millionaire doesn't make that person wealthy.

Remember, to have everything you desire, you have to have a clear plan on what you want. So I am working on a vision board as well as writing down what I want in each area of my life in my gratitude journal.

Here's to the next 28 days! After that is the true test. Can I keep this up for the rest of my life?

"Oh, sure! You betcha!"

Light, Love, and Blessings.

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