A HIDDEN JEWEL

By clicking on the link that follows, you will be able to read my review on Chow Down in Milwaukee of a hidden culinary jewel located just blocks from my house. If you enjoy an airy and sunny atmosphere, amazing food crafted from local, quality ingredients you owe it to yourself to read this review!

Would you like to know of a local establishment that sells not only the largest variety of select local food and can ship your purchases to all 50 states? Then you need to read this review!

Do you enjoy patronizing an establishment where you know the owners are involved in giving back to and promoting the community? Then please, read this review and you will find a place that does all of this and more.

Your taste buds will thank you. Your friends and loved ones you give gifts to will thank you. Most importantly, you will be helping local businesses and the community. Click on the link below and you will be let in on one of the greatest dining secrets in West Allis!

CLICK HERE TOP UNLOCK THE TREASURE

A GREAT CELEBRATION!!!

I work a lot to help bring joy and happiness to others and to the world at large. It can sometimes be a rather large task. One of the things that really keeps me going is the love and support of the beautiful woman in the pictures above. That is the love of my life, Margie. Today is her birthday. I celebrate this day with a great deal of joy because if it were not for this wonderful woman, I would face a far greater challenge doing what it is I do.

Whether it is reassuring me when some negative soul reports my writing as offensive, when not as many people show up to a seminar as I had hoped or when books sales or views on my website are not going as I hoped, she is always there to remind me of the good I do and how many lives I touch. This has been the greatest gift she can give me is to love me in an encouraging and supportive way.

It is her birthday, but I am the one who is celebrating. Her being born means that I am the one who received the most amazing gift. This beautiful, wonderful and loving woman I am blessed to call my own.

I love you baby and I am going to celebrate your birthday right along side you because I know the miracle it brought me, you, my little miracle.

IT IS FREE, SO WHY NOT?

All this week we have been looking at questioning our thoughts, our beliefs and the inner dialogue we have with ourselves. Today we are going to take a look at something that needs no questioning. It will work with any faith, any belief (at least any healthy belief) and will improve not only your inner dialogue, but your sense of inner-peace and well-being. This is something that we should be doing not only during the holiday season, but all year long.

Making others feel good about themselves. After all, that is the point of gifts we give this time of the year. It is not merely an exchange of material objects, but the thoughts that we remembered those closest to us at a special time of the year. A simple card with a heartfelt message can mean the world to a lonely soul. A genuine compliment and sign of appreciation to a retail employee during a busy holiday shopping season can be a very valuable gift.

This holiday season start a practice to keep alive all year long. Begin today to look for ways to help others feel good about themselves. It doesn’t cost you a thing and can feel priceless to them.

 

LEARN ENOUGH TO UNLEARN

Continuing on our theme of looking at the world in an entirely different way, I present to you the quote in the picture above. To be educated just enough to believe what they have been taught but not enough to question it. I suggest you read that line a few times and really let it soak in. Most of what we have been taught has come from those who were around us when we were growing up. This group could include our family, friends, teachers and others. Let me ask you this question. As well meaning as these folks were in teaching us, could it be that perhaps they had a certain prejudice? Maybe they were just passing down beliefs they had been taught unquestioned? Do you think what may have been correct say 50 years ago, may not be correct anymore? Cigarettes and soda used to be considered ‘health tonics’ in the not so distant past.

Doing things because “That’s the way they have always been done” makes as much sense as riding a horse to work instead of your car.

I suggest questioning a lot of what you believe. That is not to say it is incorrect. Quite to the contrary. Questioning what you believe can lead to a greater understanding and strengthen your faith in it. I turn to the Dalai Lama for an example. One of the leaders of Tibetan Buddhism, he could have easily just followed tradition and did things the way they had been done for centuries. Instead, he has challenged convention and opened up dialogue with other faiths. He also has questioned his own faith. Instead of accepting the power of his form of meditation, he encouraged scientific study of it. He challenged neuroscientist Dr. Richie Davidson to switch his focus of study from anxiety, depression and fear to study qualities like kindness, compassion and equanimity. He even gave permission to have Buddhist monks studied while they meditated. What he discovered only strengthened his faith.

I encourage all of us, myself included, to take a look inside at some of our long-held beliefs and ask why it is we believe them. Perhaps they could use a little tweaking? Perhaps they are totally invalid in light of our own personal experiences. Perhaps, like in the case of the Dalai Lama, by questioning them we will gain an even deeper understanding and appreciation of them.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKIN’ AT?

This ties in with our last post. What we are focused on is what we will see. See if this sounds familiar. You ask a friend where something is, they tell you it is in a cabinet that you are sure it is not in. So, to pacify your friend and because you have no idea where it is you begin to look through this cabinet that you are certain it is not in. You look and look and do not see it. Finally, you yell to the room where your friend is, “I told you it was not in here!” Your helpful friend comes into the room, reaches right in front of you and takes the item out of the cabinet. “I swear I looked everywhere!” You exclaim.

Why did your eyes not see something that was right in front of your face? It was your brain that told your eyes it was not there. Before we delve further into that explanation, let us do one more fun quick experiment. I found this to really make this point clear for me. Get comfortable wherever you are reading this. Now, for the next ten seconds look around and find everything you can that is red….look for red… keep looking… ok now close your eyes (unless you are in your car of course) now with your eyes closed think of everything you saw that was….brown. It may be hard to recall much of anything because you were focused on the red. Same with life. There might be lots of positive things around you that you simply do not see. One more interesting thing, when looking for red things, did your mind make adjustments? Maybe see something burgundy and call it red just so you could have another thing? Our minds do this as well.

How is this physically possible? Our brains create what is called a psychological scotoma. We create a mental inability to conceive even the possibility of seeing that aspect, due to a mentality that lacks any provision for it. In simple terms, if our brain says it can’t be so, our eyes simply say “You are the boss.” and do not see it.

While this is fascinating and a neat parlor trick when it comes to containers of salt in a cabinet or colors of objects in a room, it amounts to something greater. We have proven to ourselves through our little color experiment how we can not only see what we are focused on, but just as important, not see what we do not focus on. If this works with the situations we mentioned above, how do you think this translates to other areas of our life? Like our perceptions of certain races of people? Maybe people affiliated with political parties? How everything in our life is terrible and the world is against us. There may be plenty of evidence to the contrary right in front of our face, but because our brain does not want to be wrong it will literally block it out.

Think of some of your most steadfast beliefs. Maybe it is that some races are all criminals, or terrorists or just plain lazy. Maybe it is that everybody that belongs to a certain political party has a pact with the devil. Try asking yourself could this maybe not be entirely true? Is there maybe one great person in the race you have a negative opinion of? If so, couldn’t there be more? Maybe some of the ideas coming from the opposite political party have some merit to them? Maybe a blending of those ideas with your party could yield an even greater solution?

When our minds open up to see the good and beauty in more of the world, our eyes will follow as well. That will only lead to a more positive and rewarding life for us.

THE IMPORTANT QUESTION

Our life is mostly made up of the questions we ask. These questions can be conscious or subconscious, but they exist just the same. We may ask ourselves “Is this good or bad?” or disempowering questions such as “Why does this always happen to me?” Chances are that is doesn’t always happen to you, but if that is the question you are asking, your mind will find examples that support that. In this way your mind is both your best friend and your worst enemy. It will do anything to prove to yourself that you are right. That is the best friend part. It will do so even to the point of having you overlook all the good in your life so that it feels like your life is one big suck fest. That is the worst enemy part.

This is really good news if we know how to use it to our advantage. I go into more depth with this subject in my upcoming book Living the Dream. For today I will just give you the basic tools so you can start putting your mind to work for you. It is really not that complicated at all. It really amounts to changing our question. While I admit this is not very complicated, it does not mean it is easy. We have been asking ourselves the same question so long we often do so without even consciously thinking of it.

So how do we fix this dilemma and begin to use questions to help us live the dream? That in itself is a great question. Some of what I am going to tell you may sound like a little bit of overkill but realize we are working to overcome years, sometimes decades of negative self-programing. We are going to need any advantage that we can muster. Trust in the tools and try them for a month. You really have nothing to lose.

We are not going to struggle against removing the old question. What we are going to do is replace it with a more positive and self-serving question. Here is where you get a chance to be creative. Pick an area of your life you would like to improve. For this example we will use the every popular one, money. If you asked Santa for a thin body and fat bank account last Christmas and he seemed to mix them up, have no fear! We will give the jolly ol’ man a helping hand this year. You are going to think of a question that will focus your mind in the opposite direction. Such as, “How is my life more prosperous every day?” or “How can I add more abundance to my life today?”

Once you have decided on a question, there are two more steps to put your mind to work for you. This next step is very important – write your question down. Some may ask, “Why do I have to do that? I know what it is.” Remember we are working against our imbedded thought patterns. Your mind will do everything to go back to the question it is comfortable with. Write this down on an index card or something else you can carry with you. Another popular way to do this is to make your question your screensaver on your phone. Most of us look at those a million times a day.

The last step is to read your question either out loud or to yourself at 3 very specific times of the day. 1.) When you first get up in the morning. 2.) Right before you go to bed at night. These are the times your mind is most available to suggestion. We are also using biological science to our advantage as well. 3.) One other time during the day. They say doing something for 21 days starts a new habit. I like to round up to one month for 2 reasons. My mind is very stubborn when it comes to change, and I do not like trying to figure out when 21 days are up. If we can just go from the 11th of the month to the 11th of the next month that is a lot easier.

Pick your question today. “What makes me a great parent?” “How can I be a better teacher?” “What reasons do I have to be grateful?” You can see the list can be endless. After 30 days you can either choose to stay with the question you are using and create even more positive change, add another area of life you are looking to improve or go back to having your mind focus on whatever not so inspiring question it chooses. I would love to hear your results on the 11th of next month! Who knows, you might be in my next book!

FRIENDS AND COMMUNITY

The above picture was taken at the christmas party for the neighborhood association I belong to (East Allis Neighborhood Association) One of the goals of this neighborhood association is to encourage engagement with the community.

Not only have a felt a bond with the people in the picture above, who are in the association, but they routinely have social nights where they meet at local establishments to talk, socialize and get to know each other and the people there. Margie and I made new friends at the last social at GM’s dog house.

This particular event was held at another place called ‘Jonny Hammers’. The owner, Jon, is on the board of directors for the association and was happy to host the event. Jodi, Dave, Judy, Marie, Criag, Robin and other members were also there.

We were looking forward to meeting all of them but were surprised by meeting some other friends as well. Our friend Lisa was having a jewelry party there. In attendance that day was Lisa’s friend, Brandy. To this point, she had been a great online friend. We discussed how great it is to have those last week. That being said, it was great to meet this young lady in person. She was friendly and effusive in her praise for my lady’s beauty and the love we share. (This is always a great way to become fast friends with Margie)

We also were blown away by the courteous and thoughtful service of the bartender Jasmin. Our other friend Lisa was there to greet us as well.

Margie and I left feeling loved and like we had made some new friends. The point is this, if you wish to make new friends, improve your community and have a good time you have to get out there. Do not spend all your time online. Read your daily inspiration from secret2anamazinglife.com and get outside! I reccomend joining a neighborhood group such as the association I mentioned. If that’s not your thing, at least get out and enjoy your neighborhood and more to the point, your neighbors!

THE MOST IMPORTANT PLACE TO FIND A FRIEND

Today’s post is the most important of the week. Of all the places to make friends this one takes the cake. Not only is it the closest and easiest to find, but the most important location of all. Dare I say, if you cannot make friends here you will have a very difficult time making healthy and lasting friendships anywhere else. It just so happens to be one of the hardest places to make friends for so many. What is this exotic location? The mirror.

This may sound a bit hokey to some of you, but it still is true. If we don’t enjoy the person staring back at us in the mirror, it is hard to bring true and genuine joy to those we meet. I know we all have hang-ups and problems with ourselves, that is human nature. Learning to love yourself despite the things you see that you do not enjoy will bring you the greatest amount of inner peace and joy. Let’s face it, this is one friend you will be stuck with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We really should do all we can to form the best relationship we can with this woman or man.

How do we make friends with the person in the mirror when we don’t like what we see? That is a billion dollar question. No really. An entire industry has cropped up to help us love ourselves. There are books, CDs, seminars and life coaches to help us along the way. I am going to give you a few quick tips to get you started, but I encourage you to look into more. After all, if you are going to invest in a relationship, this one will give you the biggest return. To this very day I work on improving the relationship I have with myself. By having a healthier and happier relationship with myself I can do better in my relationship with everyone else.

So, how do we increase the joy and love we feel towards ourselves? At first glance this statement may seem self-centered, but we are not talking about ego-driven love. We are talking about learning to appreciate the truly wonderful people we are. It is understanding that we all are beautiful in our own way. Margie put a decal on our bathroom mirror that reads Be your own kind of beautiful. It is a great reminder that whatever you do you should try to be the best, most beautiful version of YOU. “What if people don’t like that version?” I am often asked. It reminds me of a saying I once heard.

You might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but not everyone drinks tea.

Simply put if you are the best loving version of yourself the right people will like you.

What, other than placing inspirational saying somewhere you will see them often, can you do to fall in love with yourself? Another tip is to keep a record of your accomplishments. Many of us will put ourselves down for mistakes we made days, weeks or even years ago. Dragging up these memories will not only leave us feeling terrible, it will leave us with a less than favorable image of ourselves. Taking note of, and keeping a record of things we have done well will remind us that even though we may not be happy with ourselves on a particular day, there have been others where we have really kicked butt.

That leads to my last suggestion. Keep a written statement of your goals. Knowing what on earth you are getting out of bed for can make life a lot more inspiring. Even if you are not there yet, knowing you are working towards a worthwhile goal can give you a little boost of self-confidence.

When you are free of the mental baggage that most of us are carrying around you will bring a lighter, more loving version of yourself to the world. Who wouldn’t want to be around someone like that? It also will allow you to help others see the best in themselves. As you can see by improving the friendship we have with ourselves, not only will our lives be better, but we will be able to bring a lot more the lives around us.

 

ARE REAL FRIENDS FOUND HERE?

Today’s post is going to look at one of the more hotly debated places to make friends. In fact, this is not actually a geographical location at all. The place we are talking about is online. I have heard people say that online friends are not real friends. Perhaps this stems from the fact that people can be less than truthful about who they are. Profile pictures can photo shopped, facts can be embellished, even names can be changed. I can understand all of these concerns. Even in the ‘real world’ people can be dishonest and deceiving.

With over 7 billion people on the planet I feel it would be doing ourselves a great disservice to only count those among our physical location as friends. There are people who live halfway across the world that might hold the information we need. The person that could relate to your situation the best and offer you some insight and encouragement may not only be outside your city, but might be outside your country. Personally, I work with an amazing publisher in Los Angeles, Aura, who has helped my writing to grow. I speak with an author in Romania, Andrada, who is going to interview me in the future and who understands the struggles of being a hard-working author.

This website you are now reading has allowed me to interact with people on 6 different continents and over 100 different countries. By remaining open to learning and becoming friends with these wonderful souls my life has improved by leaps and bounds! I look forward to traveling to Fiji in the near future and have already made some connections there through my writing. I have learned about different cultures, food, music and holidays. Being a self-improvement author and speaker, I have also seen how much we all have in common. Everyone has the desire to feel important. Whether you are a farmer in Greenland or a prince in the UAE, we all wish to be loved.

Today, the love of my life reminded me of something even better than all you can receive by being friends with those halfway around the world. That is being able to give. While having dinner with Margie and my mother, my love stated that I have no idea how many lives I have touched without even knowing it. My mother brought up the ripple effect. How every life we touch can end up touching another. Through this giving we can improve the lives of an entire community clear across the world. Seldom does it matter where an inspiring word comes from if sent with love and good intentions.

Are online friends real friends? I say absolutely. Some of my greatest advice and most wonderful inspiration has come from afar. We must remember to maintain a sense of balance with friends online and friends in the physical world. I encourage you to reach out to people in different countries and cultures. Join online communities dedicated to your interests.

A MEXICAN BUFFET?! YES INDEED!

We are going to take the briefest break from our friendship theme to explore my latest culinary adventure. That being said, this would also be a good place to go with a friend. Especially a friend who enjoys Mexican food. Imagine a buffet where you can make your own tacos, tostadas and other fun creations. Imagine being able to pick from ready-made enchiladas, burritos and even chicken noodle soup! That, and more, is exactly what you will find at this new restaurant! Just click the link below to read my review and find out where to find this new dinning treasure!

CLICK HERE TO READ ALL ABOUT THE MEXICAN BUFFET