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Eric Walker Posts

No More Bedtime Stories

Being literate of our social responsibility, of social media, news media, all media, politics, advertising, race, gender, first and second amendment rights, the history of our country – even the weather – requires an unprecedented level of intellectual maturity that I often see usurped with an audacious moral high ground that sprawls into every crevice of our living, that even the bedtime stories I tell my children are no longer politically or socially acceptable.

May I Have Your Testimonial?

Eric Walker - black white

I want to live a good life and show by example how to live a good life to the people around me who I love and respect: my family, friends, colleagues. Hopefully readers, listeners, clients and customers too as I grow my blog/business.

This all revolves around my mission/theme, which is to help you do work that matters, make money from your value, and move toward love.

To be successful in this mission, I will grow my reach in the world.

Right now, I’m getting started. I’m grateful to have even a tiny tiny bit of reach. I think I’ve had a positive impact on a few of you (because you told me so). I know I matter to my daughter. ha ha. Seriously though, right now I’m asking myself, “How can I get this theme I believe in out into the world? How can I PUSH it ALL forward?” This is hungry work.

So today, I’m asking for your testimonial.

Have I ever helped you?

If so, how?

Whether it be focused on marketing, one of my training webinars, writing, making meaning, friendship, leadership, good-guyman-ship, bravery, vulnerability, etc, or maybe it was just something you read that I posted that struck you in a unique way, I’d like to know.

Have I contributed in some way?

If so, today I’d like to ask you to take a moment to share your thoughts. If you believe in me, it matters.

Here’s why it matters: I have a vision.

I have creativity.

I have a voice. My voice is my power.

Your good words help me with the PUSH.

That helps with trust, and trust helps life get better for everyone around us. The only testimonial that truly matters to me is my own. No wait… That’s not true. I care what you think.

Nonetheless, nobody else can take away my self worth, or argue with me on it. But sometimes it helps to have at least one more testimonial. The more the better.

If you’re willing to write (or even better, record a video) a testimonial for me, you may post it below in the comments, or send it to Eric@EricWalkerBlog.com.

Bonus points if you’re willing to include your profile picture.

Grateful for you. Thanks.

 

Good Day

Walking through the days
crossing paths with my people
telling tales about where we’ve been
what has happened
where we seek to go
and what it means to get there.
We carry heavy things
and we’re capable of rest
good talks, laughter
sharing what’s ripe
and leaving with the reminder
that dark nights are as important
as sunny days

Just for today

Not all who wander are lost. Not today.

I am exactly where I want to be, for better or for worse. I belong right here, right now.

Just for today, anyway.

I don’t know where I’ll end up. I am exploring. I have no goals.

I am a wanderer. When our paths cross, I am kind. I have no expectations.

Just for today. That wasn’t the case yesterday. Maybe not tomorrow, either.

I work hard, but nothing is for keeps. I will work harder yet. I promise not to hold on.

Not today.

I have attachments. My kids. I love my kids. I see them half the time. Sometimes more.

I see their mother to exchange our kids, my co-parenting partner. There is simplicity mixed with depth after all these years. Today.

Just for today.

Today, life has delivered me to each tree instead of the entire forest.

Everything is less overwhelming today. There are no hassles.

Just for today, anyway.

Sometimes I get off the Internet. Because connection occurs when I disconnect.

I post my reflections about the experiences I have when I am “disconnected.”

Today – phone calls, text messages and emails are a suggestion, not my obligation.

Today a real book in my hand is beautiful. I went to the library to read them.

Today, I didn’t read random articles on the Internet. There is no “information” I am missing.

Today I will do one thing. I will not talk about 100 of the other other things.

Today “doing” is information. Today “doing” is experience.

Just for today. No guarantees about tomorrow.

Today, no desire, no possession, no control. I have no longings. Fear is gone.

No miscommunication.

Today I’m not asking ‘Why?’

Today, I won’t make room for him or her if I don’t choose to do so.

I don’t have space for his or her projecting. I’m sorry if it’s been a bad day, or a bad life. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that today I choose not to try to understand. Even my own shit.

How? By not asking “why?” Not today, anyway.

I am not seeking to accomplish anything today. Yesterday that wasn’t the case.

Today “accomplishment” is society holding me down.

Today no one is judge. Especially not me. No inner voices that say I have or have not.

Today I can afford to give it all away.

Here are the things I know, if just for today:

      • A story is better than a material gift

     

      • Joy is best. Joy is a choice from the inside, not an emotion that can be given.

     

      • If I make the wrong choice then be hard on myself, then be hard on myself for being hard on myself, I lose. If I don’t judge myself or make others wrong, I win. I like winning!

     

      • I’m attractive and rich when I am charitable with my love, wonder, kindness, curiosity, friendship and connection. This is gold to me.

     

      • Tomorrow the deck is liable to flip, and I’ll change my mind.

     

    Today I have no goals.

    For so long I have had goals that do not serve me.
    ie. “Once I achieve ____ (x) I will be _____ (y).”

    Today nothing outside me will make me happy. I don’t have room for anything outside of me.

    Today = no goals.

    Instead, I hold my own hand. If I do so, I will achieve all the goals I never made for myself.

    Don’t take advice from me today, and if you read this, thank you. May our next step be lighter than our last.

    At least for today.

How I Became a Better Father After Splitting with My Co-Parent

Several years ago when Ella was a baby, we were at my mom’s house. Ella was in my arms. I noticed she needed a diaper change. So I called to my to ex. Then handed Ella over to her.

‘She needs a diaper change,’ I said.

As I recall, that may have been the norm. I cringe when I reflect back on it. It feels like such a “bad form” move. Why didn’t I just change the diaper?

Because for years, I was consumed with making money and making amends with a sore spot that tainted the tread of my soul. The result? I not only failed at doing so, I wasn’t present to the beauty right in front of me. Diaper changing included.

So what changed? We broke up.

It may not have been as one-sided as I am depicting. What’s for sure is that the break up forced me to take stock of who I was. I had to get clear on what the fundamentals of successful parenting should look like (to me).

Here are just a few things that changed me for the better as a parent:

  • I morphed into a multi-tasker, taking on chores previously done by my ex.
  • Once away from the stress of a failed relationship, by degrees, I became more relaxed, more reflective, more present, and as a result, enjoyed being fully immersed with my life raising children.
  • I developed my own parenting style.
  • With 50% scheduled parenting time, I no longer took anything for granted, and thus, developed a more single-minded focus with the kids (as well as my off-parenting time, which has proven healthy).
  • I became much closer and more connected to my children. Like so many nuclear families, mom is the center of everything and dad is a supporting player. I became the center of everything when they were with me.
  • I got focused on (very) slowly repairing damaged relationships from an old version of myself. This improved my self-esteem and the surrounding support every parent needs when raising children.

Right now, it doesn’t necessarily get easier to leave my children at mom’s doorstep, sharing holidays or having to work everything around a parenting schedule, but I’m proud and grateful for the process.

I always say about parenting: the first step is a journey and going all the way is a promise. I live by that.

Last night after a day of playing, visiting, crying, laughing, cooking, cleaning, running around town, and then cuddling them into bed, I came back later. They were sleeping. I looked with wonder at the angels who have transformed me.

Artistic Stability 

I’m currently reading Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

When you begin to write right out of your own mind you might have to be willing to write junk for five years, because we have accumulated it over many more than that and have been gladly avoiding it in ourselves. We have to look at our own inertia, insecurities, self-hate, fear that, in truth, we have nothing valuable to say. It is true that when we begin anything new, resistances fly in our face. Now you have the opportunity to not run or be tossed away, but to look at them black and white on paper and see what their silly voices say. When your writing blooms out of the back of this garbage and compost, it is very stable. You’re not running from anything. You can have a sense of artistic security. If you are not afraid of the voices inside you, you will not fear the critics outside of you. Besides those voices are merely guardians and demons protecting the real treasure, the first thoughts of the mind.

— Natalie Goldberg

from Writing Down the Bones

8 Exercises for Dealing with Life’s Emotions

For me, fitness is medicine. Especially for dealing with feelings and emotions.

Here are workouts from my life experience that have helped me deal in a healthy way.

If you’re feeling…

Heart Broken

Go distance running.

Find a pace and “run Forrest run!” Hit cruise control on your pace once you reach 65 or 70% of your max heart rate. This repairs the heart by pumping so much blood into it.

Insecure or Unsure of Yourself

Do sprints along with core exercises.

With the sprints, focus on having the posture and keeping Olympic gold medal form. The sprint posture is a metaphor for independence. The core exercises will help keep your shit together. Literally.

Re-connection

Swimming.

Swimming forces you to be in your body, and find buoyancy and equilibrium. Feeling disconnected with your significant other? Swim together.

Reinvention

Yoga.

Yoga will force you to stretch, strengthen and breathe. It will quench your anxiousness, allow you to find your calm. If you practice consistent, in 30 to 90 days you will be unstuck, which paves the way for reinvention.

Falling in-love

Lift weights.

Keep everything pumped, inflate the muscles with blood. It’s also testosterone and oxytocin producing. Yum!

Angry, Frustrated, Rage

High-intensity interval training combined with meditation.

The short bouts of high intensity will neuter the anger. The meditation will, over time, help curb the triggers which send you into the red zone of rage.

Tough Decision to Make

Batting cages or Frisbee or “around the world” basketball.

Keep your hands and body moving together where you have to hit the ball, make the shot, or make a throw/catch. While you do so, keep visualizing best case scenarios.

Creativity Block

Trampoline or jump rope.

Basically you’re bouncing to loosen all your stuff, which will prime the pumps to get your creativity moving.

If you have an emotion not listed, grab my contact info on the side bar and let me know. I’ll match you with a corresponding exercise.

Picture of a Naked Woman

Tribute to my Pobby (grandpa)

This, long after he grew tired of being young and full of running.

This, long after sweeping away the ashes from tables he set and torched.

This, long after he broke from desire when it went back on what he believed.

This, long after he silenced his screaming. Then learned to breathe.

He remarried, sketched his wife nude: swinging hair and hips, hand covering

her breast. Looking toward the Big Lake one early August morning in the 1970s

when the sun rose high in the sky, and his love for her was a landscape.

Let’s Catch a Ball Game

Let’s catch a ball game this summer,

something local in our town. I love

the idea of talking real talk with you

in-between my narrative of the

baseball being played on field. People

watching is fun too. You’d get a kick

out of the vendors hustling beer.

I want us to sing

“Take Me Out To The Ball Game”

together in the seventh inning.

I’ll order a brat with kraut and peppers.

What would you order?

I’d have a poem my grandpa wrote

about baseball in my pocket. After he

passed, I rewrote it. I could read it

to you, stopping to explain every line.

I love baseball. I loved my grandpa.

You’d see me smile with my eyes.

They might glisten in the rereading.

Those eyes that would be open to you

and, catching your gaze, we’d stare

deeply at one another, and fall in love.

Dad, I Can See the World!

We climbed and climbed and climbed. We ditched our shoes as soon as we began climbing the rolling mountains of sand.

Then we arrived at an absolute vista of our beloved Great Lake. We were surprised. We’d never been here before. ‘Look at that, Lucan!’ I said and pointed out beyond.

We had just climbed the highest dune. We were gazing down upon the Great Lake, which was performing waves that raced far. We were proud to contribute our climb. Lucan took a long pause.

He said, “Dad, I can see the world!”

My son just said, “Dad, I can see the world!” and the depth of that statement belted sweet and low down feelings deep into my heart.

There are things we hear and when we really hear it is why we are in the world. That’s how I felt in that meaningful moment.

If there was a tattoo parlor set up in those dunes that day, I would have gotten “Dad! I can see the world!” tattooed across my shoulder blade.

Dad, I can see the world! was blowing my mind.

Lucan didn’t linger too long with the view.

He was five at the time of this moment. I watched him run off.

The pitter patter of his graceful, fast moving feet. The elegant way his feet tap danced across the sand. How that was juxtaposed with the power of his motoring legs digging hard. My little boy, Lucan, and that epic view. All of it moved me.

There were two glances to beholden:

First, that of my boy, so small in a big world, so many years to go.

Second was the grandeur of the view, and how fast time passes in our pursuit of all things beautiful.

And surrendering to the moment, because I acknowledge what isn’t beautiful too, which I see in-between the magnificence of the view.

Lucan’s tracks reminded me of our smallness in the world. It’s such a small significance. Yet with each step of his, there went the entirety of my world. There went my flesh and blood running fast enough to create his own wind. His tiny breath so alive and well and strong, pulsing into the ears of my guts and my heart.

Without him expecting to hear me, I said, “We have miles and miles to go together Lucan Frederick Walker!”

A tear arrived at my eye because of my faith to travel the miles with this kid. I chuckled at the same time because I felt earnest about the fact that Lucan actually did see the world at our view. And now, he was running with determination after it.

It felt like a signature moment for us, a first of many, where we’d be our own truth of spirit staring into the majesty of it all. One of us would always notice. I am so proud that it was him on that day.

His words kept replaying, “Dad, I can see the world!”

For a moment, I had doubts of myself.

Am I passing on the right things to him? Some things wash out in the water and some things are in the blood. Where on the balance were me and my son?

Because, with another glance at Lucan, I was reminded of a song his mother wrote, she sang, “…Why do we hold on when nothing stays, suddenly the sand changes shape underneath the relentless waves…”

There have never been more true words. I’m well aware of the impermanence of things. I’m aware of how we create temporary homes for what suffering creates when things come together and then fall apart. This view seems proof there’s plenty of room for that coming together and falling apart.

“Dad, I can see the world!”

I pulled my phone from my pocket to snap of a picture of this view. Then began the descent on our way down to water. My mind was still working his moment of clarity through my imagination.

I smiled to myself, muttered, ‘hashtag tattoo moment’ because – how cool for me – for the first time in 41 years of life, I felt compelled to get a tattoo. Like I finally knew what it should be.

Then I felt a tad cynical.

Like I could have said to Lucan: ‘Are you sure that’s not your own dizziness, son?’

…Because I think that view is just a carving from all our vein movements toward what can’t be seen and what isn’t ever going to be known.

I finally caught up with Lucan.

We marched onward together. In and out and up and down through the dunes. Then we reached the water.

The waves filled the air. The wind was strong. The waves crashed hard, still in turmoil from the thunder and lightning storm the night before. It was rough out there.

My son looked to me. I loved the way he looks at me.

“Dad! I can see the world!”

And, as I took off my clothes, and leaned into the wind, I said to myself, ‘Me too Lucan. Me too!

Then I spread my arms like the gulls that hover on the ancient air. My heart pounded wide open in my chest. I dove in.

Lucan followed.