Archive | August 2011

Jesus Drives a Pickup Truck

Very recently I had the opportunity to help a friend and her family move to a new house.It was a typical Saturday with a variety of people there doing the best they could to stay organized, help where they could or just stay out of the way when necessary.At one point I overheard my friend’s daughter exclaim that her and her husband really liked having a truck for their own use, but found it to be a pain in the butt because everyone would ask them to haul stuff or volunteer them to move things.This isn’t a new statement, as I’ve heard it for years and honestly I’ve been one of those people asking for help from a friend with a pickup.I’ve also been on the other side of that scenario having a truck and being asked.To be honest, I really like being on the truck side of the story.I liked being able to help people when they needed it most and I have never felt like I was being taken advantage of.

If you think about it, when people are moving or doing some kind of large project, they are already stressed and feeling very vulnerable.This is a time of big change for them and their vulnerability will generally cause them to be very cautious of everything going on around them.This also includes the people they choose to have around them at that time.Granted, there may be those who ask for help or assume you will be available and don’t necessarily show their appreciation (like your children) but these people aren’t acting this way to be mean, it’s probably because they just aren’t attuned to what it all means.

I can honestly say that being asked to help someone (whether it’s moving or anything else) is truly on an honor.This means that I have been selected not only because I have some kind of asset that can help them, but I’m also someone that they trust enough to handlesome of their most precious belongings.And, I’m someone that they want to spend time with and share this time in their life.If you think back on the times people have helped you move or do some kind of project, I bet you remember every person that spent time with you.I bet you have an emotional connection and vivid memories of large portions of that time with them.You probably worked hard, took breaks and talked, ate a meal together, problem solved issues, celebrated, smiled, laughed and maybe even cried some.

The moving or project was something that needed to be done.It was a domestic task that enabled you to enjoy your living environment in some way.But of everything you did on that day to move or finish the project, the part you will remember the longest and the clearest is the people who were there to help you.These are the important parts of life that go beyond the new house or large deck or the new brick patio.

As I was driving home from the day of packing, hauling and becoming quite tired, I started to think back over the day.I was thinking about how much fun it was to share that time with my friend, her family and other friends.I was thinking about the feeling of community and fellowship that we shared, even if it was only for a few hours.I thought about how important it is that we all help one another in their time of need or change.It didn’t matter to me the kind of house or neighborhood she moved to.It didn’t matter who was there to notice I helped.It wasn’t about these kinds of superficial things.The time I spent helping was what it really means to love someone and be glad you are part of their life.It is a time to cherish and behold the beauty of the sharing.

If you have a truck, be glad in the difference you can make in someone’s life and be prepared for the changes you will receive in yours.After all, WWJD? 😉

Dwight Raatz

Living Like I’m Dying

Why am I living my life like it’s over? I’m realizing more and more that I’ve been preparing for my death, putting my affairs in order for several years now. Why??? I know that I’ve had thoughts of suicide for many years, but mostly those thoughts are few and far between. I mostly have them when I’m hyper stressed or depressed from the state of my life. I recognize these thoughts for what they truly are, an escape from the pain of living. But what good is that? Okay, so I go ahead and end this incarnation, what does that prove, what does it solve? Nothing!!! It’s the easy way out. I’m pissed!!!! What the fuck am I thinking??? If I fail this incarnation, I’m going to just have to repeat the parts I didn’t learn. Suicide is the short cut for this lifetime, but karma will have its due and I will come back to complete the parts I skipped. Do I really want to do this fucking shit again??? No fucking way!!! I’m pissed!!! Get the hell out of my way you sick ass ego – you are not going to screw this up for me you bitch ass punk…!!!

I’m done living life like I’m dying. I’m in my mid-40’s and I realized that I’ve been waiting for my AARP card to come in the mail any day. Done.. I say DONE BITCH!!!

Listening driving rock music, feel the rhythm, the driving fluid frequencies of the music. What are they saying??? I don’t care, it’s the driving frequencies, the rolling rocking fuckin-a music that matters. Connect to the drive and passion of my youth that I’ve denied, that I have suppressed, take it back, establish it, live it – BE IT!!!!

I’m tearing up the will, kicken ass on the proper attire, slip on shoes and hair dye. Take me like you see me… I’m here and no apologies. You got a problem with that??? I didn’t think so…

Dwight Raatz

Eat, Pray, Love – Words to Guide

As I was mowing the lawn one day, I got to thinking about my son’s groom’s dinner. I knew that there was an expectation for me to say something, but what could I say that wouldn’t sound too corny? Then the words, “Eat – Pray – Love” came to mind. As many of you know there was a recent book and movie with this title, but I am not here to recount that story, but rather my own viewpoint on these three words and their significance to your life moving forward.

The first word is Eat. This word reminds me of your physical, mental and emotional needs as a human. It reminds me of how important it is to take care of our bodies, to give it proper nutrition, sleep, exercise and protection. Our mind and bodies enable us to interact with others around us, to show our actions outwardly. Without our bodies we would not be who we are on this earth and in this time.

The next word is Pray. To me, prayer is a type of bridge between your physical self and the Divine. Prayer enables you to be humble, to know that you are not here alone and that there is always help not only from God, but from everyone around you that loves you. Prayer is communication, and this is critical for not only your relationship with God, but also with each other. Communication is the basis for all lasting relationships. Each time you pray or talk, tell your whole story – hold nothing back. Give thanks and gratitude for the blessings you’ve been given. Pray and share everything, and you will know Divine grace in your life.

The last word is Love. Love is a Divine right – Love is God. You are born of love regardless of the circumstance. Love is the highest level of existence that is eternal and unconditional and a part of all of us. I think the most wonderful part of love is that you don’t have to learn how to do it. There are no books or schools and it is utterly simple. Love is beyond your physical being and does not require prayer to achieve it. Know that you are loved in all ways and forever.

Eat, Pray, Love – each of these words can act as a guide to your life together. Each are important and necessary but interdependent. You need each of these right here and right now. Do not focus so much on tomorrow – live now fully and in each moment.

Dwight Raatz

A Starting Point

I thought it was a great idea to have a “Make an Offer” garage sale.I mean whenever you have a garage sale, people will normally look at whatever you’ve priced your item and then make you an offer for a lower amount.So, I thought why not just skip the pricing step and just go to hearing what they would offer.Besides, it’s way easier not to have to price every stinking item in the pile right?

Well the “Make an Offer” sale didn’t work out too well.People would pick-up the ceramic coffee mug, turn it over a couple times and then ask, “What do you need for this cup?”I’d respond with, “Well make me an offer.”Then they would shake their head and say something like, “Oh I don’t like these kind of sales.”So, then I would end up saying, “How about a quarter?”They would then usually nod and say okay.And so it went on like this until I would just tell them a price right off.The upside is that they usually agreed immediately.I found it interesting that very few people would actually haggle on the price.Come on people, you need to haggle.

So what does this have to do with anything?Well, I was thinking about how the sale customers didn’t know what to offer unless they had a starting point.I suppose that some of it might have been that the people didn’t want to offer too little and offend me or it is a cultural thing.Moreover I think that most people need to have a point of reference to be able to function in most areas of their lives.For example, when you drive on a newly paved road that hasn’t been painted with stripes, you have a general idea of where to drive; but when it is painted it feels much safer and you feel more at ease when driving. You have a point of reference or boundaries which makes your decision making “engine” kick in and move you through the situation.

I was thinking about how when I’ve been faced with a mountain of work tasks to complete and feeling a bit frozen and overwhelmed with what to do.If you are in an employment situation your boss will (sometimes) give you the starting point or priority task so you know what to do first and then what is next.If you are self-employed, this isn’t so easy because you (as the business owner) have to prioritize and self-motivate to move through the tasks in an order you think will work best.This starting point is what makes the cascade of decisions fire and for you to take action.So, if you walk into a garage sale where there is a huge variety of items with no prices, it actually makes it harder to decide to buy something and you may just leave with nothing.

When I look at the various decisions I’ve been faced with in my life and I focus in on the hard decisions, I think most of the reason they were hard is because I didn’t have a point of reference, guidelines or a starting point (I was on my own completely).When I compare this to the flow of energy in the Universe around me, this decision point (where nothing is actually decided yet) is an energy blockage or the proverbial finger in the dam holding back a flood of possible outcomes.I can feel the tension of these decisions build the longer I procrastinate and then once I decide (for good or bad) the tension releases and the flow continues to its natural outcome.The problem comes in (for me) after the decision when I start to regret the decision or berate myself for making a bad one.This once again becomes a blockage of energy or natural flow.I’ve found recently that no matter the initial outcome, it’s the longer term result that you want to wait for because the flow of the Divine Universe will take you to the best possible outcome that your intention desires.It’s important to not focus on the initial decision, but rather your goal and the flow will guide you there every time.Along the way, you need to be open to the possibilities and opportunities presented to you and to embrace their meanings and gifts.Be aware of the Universe speaking to you from all sides (people, nature, words, song snippets, wildlife, bumper stickers, billboards, etc).The things that catch your attention are there on purpose, but it’s up to you to relate their meaning to what is happening to you in your life at that time.You must see the perfection of its synchronicity and patterns over time and seek help with its interpretation if necessary.

Step into the flow and float with the waters of the universal energy.You will find that you may get exactly what you desire, just around the next bend in the river.

Dwight Raatz