Apple today keeps the passion in play!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wxe_0-rttIw (Watch 1st minute thirty.)

Today, as I sat on a beautiful San Diego beach, I turned on my MacBook Pro to type up my newest blog entry. Signed on to my Safari internet browser to sign into my WordPress blogging platform. Now as I’m sure Mac users are aware, the initial page that comes up when opening an internet window is the Apple Homepage. My usual impatient clicking and typing to get to my destination was somehow thrown as I sat captive, entranced by the opening video to the IOS7 keynote speech. The first minute thirty is brilliantly inspiring. No people. No talking. No crazy colorful animations or diagrams. Just words and simple shapes connecting the thoughts as beautiful poetry.

If everyone is busy making everything, how can anyone perfect anything? We start to confuse convenience with joy, abundance with choice. Designing something requires focus. The first thing we ask is, “What do we want people to feel?” Delight. Surprise. Love. Connection. Then we begin to craft around our intention. It takes time. There are a thousand “no’s” for every “yes.” We simplify. We perfect. We start over. Until everything we touch enhances each life it touches. Only then do we sign our work. [Designed by Apple California] :END

What I love about the beginning video clip, and Apple in general, is that their vision is expressed by seamlessly fusing the human element with technology. Apple gadgets contain all this emotional weight for such a light piece of machinery. While their goal obviously is to produce and sell products, their core message seems to be improving life through technology.

Moreover, reading the quote on its own is also extremely inspiring! As we are bombarded with busy work, when will we have time to explore our passions? How did we go from living by our ideals to coveting superficial images? There is much symbolism here if you look for it. I’d like to think that the “product” is us and the video poses questions that will challenge and strengthen our souls. To me, this video’s message is a perfect metaphor for life.

And life can’t get much better than vacationing near the beach, where everyone is laid back and technological entanglements don’t seem important. Facebook? Who cares. Email? It will wait. Phone calls? They’ll leave a message if it’s important. Sure I still use my phone and computer here and there…..but most time is spent outdoors (getting a tan without the ferocious heat= win/win!).  It’s amazing how perfect weather can invigorate the soul and change your whole living dynamic! I hope everyday has the wind on your back and the sunshine on your face!

~ Breathe Easy ~

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A Cold Can’t Keep Me Down

Hey you! It’s a new day…and I feel good!

The past few days have been kinda nuts. Let me explain…

Soon after my latest blog entry, I spent the day on the beach, getting a tan and breathing in the moist, fresh air; full relaxation. A few hours later, as I sat indoors, my stomach felt queazy and my body felt weak all over. As so many times before, I didn’t realize I may have over done my activity level until it was too late. I feel particularly stupid in hindsight, as one of my recent blog entry described the necessity of knowing your own body and it’s limitations. Late that night I awoke with alternating chills and sweats. The next day my mom noticed my usual clearing of my throat seemed more congested….so I added that to the list of cold symptoms: headache, coughing, weakness, chills and male hot-flashes….is there such a thing?? The scary aspect of getting a common cold for respiratory(lung) patients is how quickly it can develop into pneumonia: so I stayed diligent.

The next day I stayed inside, out of the sun and the windy ocean breeze. Sad but necessary. I kept bundled in my sweats, wrapped in my thick blankets in bed or in front of the T.V. What’s better for a cold than chicken soup and Kardashian reruns? There’s a book entitled, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and if you’ve never read it, please do. The title is in no way misleading. Whenever I’m feeling under the weather, Mrs. Grass chicken noodle soup (or “Line Soup”, as my brother and I used to call it when we were young) and a grilled cheese always makes me feel better!  

Mrs. Grass aka "Line" Soup

Mrs. Grass aka “Line” Soup

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Kardashians - guilty pleasure.

Kardashians – guilty pleasure   

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Feeling Better!

Feeling Better!

While I was wrapped in my blankets, in and out of slumber, mom prepared to help me ward off potential lung infection. She stocked up on soup and Ginger Ale and made sure I had clean sweats to wear the next day. Everyone wants to be independent and show they can take care of themselves but it is important to be honest with your challenges as well – they are NOT a weakness! That said, I am thankful and appreciate my family and the comfort they provide.

That night I went to bed early in preparation for the week long battle with the cold virus. Maybe it was the 22 hour long sleep, my mom’s TLC or the buckets of chicken soup…..but 2 ½ days later I was outside, attempting to walk the 100ft to the Bay. Ah- fresh air! After being trapped inside for what seemed like eternity, this was a favorable change.

(5 min. Later…)

So now I’m jaunting down the hill toward the bay, rolling my oxygen tank behind me and suddenly, I’m hearing metal on pavement! Screech! The wheels on my oxygen roller had rusted completely off and the base looked more like a dumb bell than a part of a loading contraption. (*Wish I would have take a picture to post!) Stay calm. Relax by the bay for the remaining hour of oxygen and hope for a familiar face who could help, or sack up and carry the solid metal canister 100 ft up hill. Scoff if you will but the strain of that combination can be exhausting. Fortunately as I arose with tank in hand, my mom came down to help me. Gotta love moms! After playing phone tag with the oxygen company, they claimed to be sending out a brand new oxygen roller. I look forward to that delivery! Meanwhile, another day trapped inside chained to the oxygen concentrator….with the ocean calling my name.

I’m on my way!

~ Breathe Easy ~

Inspiration “The Return” for Father’s Day

Just a quick hey there! Hi there! Well, Hellooooo there neighbor! In case you didn’t click the link and read the article associated with “The Gift of Inspiration”, here is the inspirational story written by Rick Reilly. Let it’s message inspire you to greatness!

Strongest Dad in the World by Rick Reilly 

Eighty-five times he’s pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he’s not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars – all in the same day. Dick’s also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain cli…mbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much – except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs. “He’ll be a vegetable the rest of his life,” Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. “Put him in an institution.”But the Hoyts weren’t buying it. They noticed the way Rick’s eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. “No way,” Dick says he was told. “There’s nothing going on in his brain.” “Tell him a joke,” Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.

Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? “Go Bruins!” And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, “Dad, I want to do that.” Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described “porker” who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. “Then it was me who was handicapped,” Dick says. “I was sore for two weeks.”

That day changed Rick’s life. “Dad,” he typed, “when we were running, it felt like I wasn’t disabled anymore!”

And that sentence changed Dick’s life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon. “No way,” Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren’t quite a single runner, and they weren’t quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway. Then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, “Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?” How’s a guy who never learned to swim and hadn’t ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.

Now they’ve done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii.

It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don’t you think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you’d do on your own? “No way,” he says. Dick does it purely for “the awesome feeling” he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together. This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992 – only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don’t keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.

 “No question about it,” Rick types. “My dad is the Father of the Century.”

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. “If you hadn’t been in such great shape,” one doctor told him, “you probably would’ve died 15 years ago.”

So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other’s life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father’s Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy. “The thing I’d most like,” Rick types, “is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.”

There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right. Think good thoughts for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…Have a great life!!!

~~ Breathe Eazy ~~

 

Your Desitiny

A friend commented how interesting it is to see who people choose to become once you stop forcing them into a box of who you think they should be. Only then will you see their full potential and realize the illusion you were living in.

After years of physical and social trials, I have come to realize a simple yet empowering idea: Everything happens for a reason and those circumstances shape who we are. It’s funny, as much discomfort as surgeries and hospitalizations and negative comments from school kids may have caused in the past, I never wished for a different set of circumstances. I truly feel that without each trial and tribulation, my life’s journey would stray off course.There’s also a comfort in knowing that without the pain and struggle, there would not be the wisdom and empathy for others who suffer as well. Hence, like the butterfly flapping its wings analogy, without one event a new perspective is lost. While it is a difficult journey to find our calling, the true struggle is realizing your passion and making it a part of your daily life DESPITE society’s pre-judgements. Bottom line, don’t wait for people to let you become who you want to be. JUST DO IT….

Motivating or Destructive?

As a man with supplimentary oxygen needs I can attest to the fact that physical challenges can cause depression. In my case, carrying oxygen tanks can cause dizziness and headaches. Organizining those heavy tanks quickly in order to join spontaneous, active outings makes it all the more tiring. This has caused me to miss out on new adventures. To strengthen my lung capacity and gain energy, I bench, yoga or just practice deeply inhailing and exhailing. The catch-22, and thus frustratiion, is that while I consciously know exercise stimulates the mind and body, negitive thoughts trick me into believing it’s of no use to try. I have a few “rules” to keep a positive mindset.
1. Know yourself. Examine your thought process and be honest with your feelings.
2. Know your limitations and make small, attainable goals so you will see results.
3. Pain does NOT mean gain! There is a fine line between pushing mental and physcal cababilities (necessary for improvement) and overexerting yourself (unhealthy).
4. Everyone is different. Find what works best for your body and thought process.
5. IMPORTANT: Every individual is unique and gifted in different ways. Do NOT measure personal growth based on other people.