The Straw the Camel didn’t see coming

The old saying used when a final event or comment pushed someone over the edge was “The Straw that Broke the Camels Back”. Many times in our lives we we can see the straw coming, the person or event that will cause us to go over the edge. Many times in the end, we could have averted the back breaking outcome.

Then there are those times when the straw does a surprise attack on us. We didn’t see it coming. It was an error or mistake that was just a case of circumstances beyond our control. Not always even intended to cause conflict or harm. But it still happens. Those straws, while rare I believe, are a true test of our character, our maturity, our resolve. Some love to jump on those moments; ones that happen accidentally and use them to bolster their own ego, or feed into their fears. It is an opportunity for those who are small to belittle those who are victim of the surprise straw attack which they have no real context of their life or challenges.

In those moments, moments that can embarrass us, surprise us, challenge us, we have choices to make. They may remind us of past failures. They may inflame self doubt. They very easily can break our back or will to live. The danger of the surprise straw attack.

And then again, with a belief that there is no such thing as failure, only learning, we are given the opportunity to repeat a past lesson. A message that we have not fully received. An opportunity to rise like a phoenix from the ashes again. Fresh starts only truly happen when all the lessons are completed.

This is the true beauty of the the straw the camel didn’t see coming. A chance to complete the lesson and move on in our greatness and calling.

#orangeistruth

In the End

The End of the road

Today, tomorrow, someday. In the end, it is not where we have traveled, but who we have influenced that matters. Our journey is comprised of the routine; problems, solutions, victories and defeats. Through all of this, our actions, words or silence are observed my a nearly infinite number of eyes. Do we leave a lasting positive impression? Have we cause a pause in someone’s life that changes their course for the better? We will find out someday when the video is replayed at our heavenly home.

We are influencers. #orangeistruth

Do not accept the propaganda

We all have fear. Period. It is a struggle to honestly face our fears. Others project their fears on us which makes it even more difficult to overcome our own.

But the truth is that when others lash out, stand firm in your own love of self and refuse to acknowledge them, quietly yet with conviction.

With every acknowledgement that we are not are others sometimes portray us because of their fears, we grow stronger, more empathic and peaceful.

We are all highly valuable. We all deserve unconditional acceptance. Don’t settle for anything less.

#orangeistruth

Thanksgiving: A Pathway out of Insanity

Thanksgiving. An American tradition. Massive meals, prequel to ridiculous shopping, hectic travel and the darkness of isolation. What? Yes, isolation. Busyness, the true escape from reality. We surround ourselves with people, work feverishly to clean, cook, make small talk, shop, fight crowds and in the end can be exhausted physically and emotionally. Sound like insanity repeated year after year.

A different perspective? A pathway out. The name of the holiday is the definition of the way out of darkness and insanity. Thanksgiving, gratitude, giving, reflecting on the infinite blessings poured on us. I know if I reflect, I could write a gratitude list a mile long. A sample would be, the color orange, sunrise, sunset, clothing, food, shelter, faith, forgiveness, sobriety, the gym, kids, new friends and on and on.

Instead of living in the cycles that pull us into our darkness, focus daily on the blessings. Write them down. Savor the moment. Thank our Creator for your calling and gifts. It can be liberating.

#orangeistruth

It’s already there

As we live today the solution has been in place for our future problems. We only need to have unyielding faith that is done. We waste so much time and energy on what we cannot control. Instead if we focus on today, the problems of tomorrow will solve themselves. They have already been solved in the proper time and method. Worry changes nothing except the joy and gratitude we have for the now.

Whose your hero?

Mother’s Day! A day that really does not due justice for mom’s. It is a day laden with commercialism, obligation and at times remorse. It is the scapegoat for 364 days of the forgotten hero’s mom’s are. You see, while we hold up in the limelight the hero’s of history, and rightfully so, we forget about what true heroism is and how our mothers are truly hero’s everyday. Being a hero is all about courage and facing the onslaught of fear that grips us from the moment we get up in the morning, to the last blink before we fall asleep. And, even in our dreams fear can grip us.

So as far as the definition of a hero goes, my choice is a mom, my mom, Corice Jasper. Mom’s are the queens of worry. My mom has been mom to so many! Obviously to me and Amy Jasper. Even though we get irritated at her line of questioning, concern and worry, we are blessed to have such a pray warrior and hero in our corner.

Also, mom was mom to dad. Making sure he was fed, being a pillar of support both in life and in faith, taking care of him in good and in bad, in great health and in his last days. Setting aside her own fears to heroically be strong.

Mom is mom to her grandchildren, Taylor Jasper and Kylie Jasper. From their births, through colic, sickness, joys and heartache, mom set aside her own needs to mother these precious gifts. Mom is the listing ear, the gentle scolding and the unconditional love that her grandchildren need. A safe haven. She has had to set aside her fears about their futures to be support today. At a beckoned call.

Mom is mom to her brothers, Paul Kranz and Curt Kranz. Guiding and leading. Caring and offering tough love. But, no matter what, loyal to the end.

Mom was mom to her parents and dad’s parents. Giving sacrificially to their care and service. Driving hours monthly, nursing them in their twilight years with unsurpassed love. Sacrificing her own desires for the sake of their needs.

Mom has been mom to her nieces and nephews. Even when she has not had contact with them, she cares about their well being, their health, their joy and sorrow. Stephen Kranz Paula Broadwell MikeandLori Kranz Clark Kranz Chuck Kranz Scott Sternberg Stephen Beckström-Sternberg Lisa Mullin Annette Sternberg Benavides

Mom has been mom to many, many of her close friends. Giving them their shots, listening to their grief, sadness, joy and fears. She has been a regular visitor of those friends shut in, bring meals and loading her car trunk with their junk!

My mom is a fiercely independent woman. While none of us are saints, she, in her imperfect perfection, has lived a giving life for us all. Thank you mom.

#jayjasper

#orangeistruth

Checking out is more than a plane ticket

There a so much talk about work/life balance. The thought is that it is vital to higher productivity, mental and physical health and strengthening of relationships sounds great!

I have avoided detaching from business, routine life and relaxation most of my life. There were always excuses; the big project or deal will fall apart, clients will go so,where else, I will miss opportunity…. but this was a false narrative that I learned innocently from my father. He “selflessly” worked non-stop; when very young, trips to my mom’s parents, when I as older, trips with my mom to Europe. It does matter what the reason, true or not, he was a working martyr .

So, as we all learn from the behavior of those of influence around us, I too, have lived as a working martyr. I may have gone on more “vacations”, played more golf rounds, but the sword of the work battle was always by my side.

Why?

Fear and lack of trust. Fear that all will fail, fear that I was not deserving, fear of what others might think. And lack of trust? Not trusting those around me to take care of things, fear that all would be free track upon my return, fear.

Today, I sit by the ocean. Disconnected (more than usual) from the routine. Life is going on. I have learned to trust my teammates, trust my clients and acknowledge that it is okay to disconnect. Will there be a challenge or two to take care of when I return? Of course. But no scorched earth.

The ego driven fear and lack of trust that holds us in our cycles of life is far more destructive then the small hiccups from disconnecting.

I am happy I have. It still a long road, but as time goes by, the road is getting shorted. Now is the time to take a detour or two ant breath.

#orangeistruth