Poem: Can you Feel It?

Can you feel it?

If you put your right hand over the left side of your chest and press in
Between your ribs you will feel it

Pulsating into your palm, navigating to your mind
As a river flowing to the ocean…
Can You Feel It?

Echoing through your body, whispering to your soul,
Speaking… as persuasively as your prayers when you are desperate,
Can you feel it?

It’s as though your heart is beating melodically,
Longing to compose a symphony of awe-inspiring music,
Conducting rhythmic beauty into the world

Like the alluring synergy of instruments coming together
-we- are supposed to come together

I don’t know about you,
But I’d be surprised to arrive at the orchestra and discover only a cello player there
To walk into the concert hall…the sounds, the dim lights, people finding their seats,
Anticipating resonant complexity from multiple musicians connecting who have spent countless hours perfecting their art
Yet the stage is nearly empty

It’s as confusing as seeing someone dreaming completely in isolation…

And yet we do this all the time… why?
Playing solo concerts when we were meant to be playing duets, trios, quartets, and more
Yet we settle for less,
Forgetting that unless…
Unless we abandon our attempts to play loud enough so everyone will hear or soft enough so no one will notice,
We will never understand the meaning of harmony

Can you feel your heart beating?
If you put your right hand over the left side of your chest and press in

Harmony: the combination of sounds considered pleasing to the ear
Can you hear your heart beating?
Harmony: the relationship of separate independent voices
Can you hear the beat of another’s heart?
Harmony: the interweaving of different stories into a single narrative
Can you hear the heartbeat of humanity?

Your heart is your humanity housed in hope
Eclipsed in a torso so overflowing with potential resilience that it makes niagara falls look like your kitchen faucet
Your resilience…combined with others, could wash over the edge of the pain in this world, collide into itself and create a mist, a mist dense with self sacrificing love
Delivering coolness by pumping thunderous sounds of belief and anticipation into the lives around you and you, you could become we, and we could become a wellspring by which the world drinks

We, we will give wings to the dreams in our minds,
dreams so pervasive they could wake the sun up in the middle of the night

Can you feel your heart beating?

If you put your right hand over the left side of your chest and press in

Can you feel it? 

Poem: LiveDreaming

Have you ever thought about those times in the past?

When you wish you had made better decisions

When your position was indecision and you realized that such apathy

Left your soul with an open incision

Instead of stepping into those moments that are incredibly defining

You sat silently by watching TV instead of deciding

And now you can’t stop from rewinding those times in your mind

Wishing you had done something worthy to be defined as kind

The reality is this:

People will not follow titles, but they will follow courage

This begs the answer to the question

Why is there no competition for the courageous position

Why have we hidden from stepping out into the face of opposition and indecision

Meanwhile inserting a glass ceiling depicting

Mediocrity: the height of our life’s mission

In the short run, mediocrity seems easier if we lack wisdom that is discerning

But we fail to realize that normality in reality leaves our soul yearning

It seems we spend our entire lives drafting up some mundane manifesto,

But for some reason I can’t get my soul to indulge in that type of status quo

I can’t stand to live a life that is average and mundane, empty and meaningless

I don’t want to wake up each day with my life in a mess

Where all I do is get dressed and pick up my girl while driving my benz on this quest

Trying to convince those around me that … my life is the best

I have this feeling in my gut

That life is more about the why than the what

I long to really find what exists deep inside

That from within me, great things could derive

I want to gravitate towards those choices which make me come alive

Where the life I dream about living and the life that I am living — collide

Where there is no divide between the person I want to become and the person I am becoming

Yet up until now my life has not been what it could be

I have not made the choices which ultimately … set me free

But my future does not have to look like my past

I can choose to live rather than merely exist behind a mask

And I must…that is…if I want to live the life that I only live when I am dreaming

So often when I am dreaming, I feel as if great ideas are often careening

Off the seemingly endless expanse of my imagination

Do you ever just sit back and dream anymore

Like the time when you were four

And your imagination you adored

You dreamed more than you had time for

But that’s just not reality anymore

You became civilized and convinced that dreaming is for kids

Dreaming should remain in the minds of those who have time

Which, by the way, is no one

Who has time for dreaming?

There is way too much to get done

And so we rule out all of the fun

That is going on in our endless imagination

Because now we have an education

That tells us that dreaming is time we are wasting

And so the daylight, we stop chasing…

I crave a future that looks much better than my past

Because if I don’t…what’s inside of me will have to find a way to lie to me

Until I have been convinced that the lie is reality

And I… stop… dreaming…

But you can’t convince me that this is where the story has to end

There is an entire future out there waiting to be created

And even though the better choices are often more difficult to make

What’s at stake is that we live in the wake of this insatiable desire within our core

That can’t be ignored that states that we want to do something great

By helping others escape to a place where they experience life at a whole new level

The yearning exists longing to woo you in with its wit

And it doesn’t seem to care what other people swear is true about you

For the simple fact that what they say doesn’t stand a chance in the debate about the beauty that lies within you

Because I think you know the desire is there

And you care and you swear that you want to live your dreams

And so the question lies not about dreams and their existence,

But in this instance, the question is whether you will remain merely daydreaming or jump into the realm of uncertainty which lies beyond your abilities refusing anything less than livedreaming.

Poem: About Me

My greatest fear is that I don’t have what it takes.

To create the life I long for.

That I will play it safe my whole life because I am afraid to fail.

My greatest fear is that I will always flinch.

When life provides opportunities for me to risk,

I’m afraid I will always cower in fear.

Like a boxer, about to receive a knockout blow

I am doing everything imaginable simply to stay on my feet

I can imagine this future, where I have what it takes,

…somewhere out there

Yet it is always out there, and I’m afraid it will never come

Or that I will never go.

I don’t know.

I wonder how long I will be here. In this place.

This is the conversation I have in my head.

That I don’t tell anyone.

And I convince myself that others don’t know it is there.

I once read, “self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.”

It occurs to me that focusing purely on my fears is a self-absorbed pursuit

And I wonder, how do I transcend myself when I am obsessed with myself.

This may seems harsh, but does that make it untrue?

So what does it mean to transcend oneself?

Transcend is Latin for “climb across”

What if transcending myself meant I’d do whatever it takes,

To climb to you

Going beyond myself in the process, I focus on you.

It is so often said, “You get what you focus on”

You focus on your fears, you get – your fears.

You focus on climbing towards others, you get – others, the gift of community.

What if we shifted our focus from the difference WE WANT TO MAKE in the world,

To the difference WE WANT TO SEE in the world.

Poem: Behind Your Forehead

Behind your Forehead

As humans, we have the insane ability to use our creative powers for self-destruction
Instead of using reason utilizing induction; we choose that of unashamed deduction

Deducting ourselves; we become entrapped; struggling to remain nameless
When we should be inducting ourselves; settling for nothing less than greatness

Yes, it’s easier to hide; to revert behind the shadows of mediocrity;
But I wonder so often what really is it that’s powerful enough to stop me…

The reality is that real artists ship

Shipping is the collision of your art and the outside world
Shipping is the exposure of your vulnerabilities
Shipping is choosing the potential for failure over guaranteed indifference
Shipping is opening yourself up for certain criticism
Shipping is giving a dang about the future
Shipping is living slow to move fast
Shipping is stepping out there and getting after it
Shipping is letting go of what others think
Shipping is being comfortable in your own skin
Shipping is the truest form of authenticity

and

Shipping is realizing that if you don’t live your art; it can never inspire anyone, comfort anyone, encourage anyone
Nor give anyone hope when they most desperately need it.

Simply because you chose fear over courage
Selling out over giving it your best

So often it is said that you are the only person who can stop yourself…

Will you stop?

Stop failing before you begin
Stop being your worst critic
Stop wasting time hiding from what it is you need to be doing
Stop worrying about what others think
Stop playing it safe

Because we desperately need you to be with us
We need you to inspire us

James Joyce once wrote: “Your battles inspired me – not the obvious materiel battles but the ones that were fought and won behind your forehead.”

We need you to win those battles
We are here to help
But the one thing we can’t do…
Is stop you from sabotaging yourself

So uncross your arms, extend your hand towards mine
And let’s ship this thing with all we have inside
Life is just better lived putting it all on the line
Risk is what it takes to discover the greatness inside

When your art collides with the world
There will undoubtedly be damage that is collateral
Great thing is that this…this is where resilience is forged
In being able to press on even after taking on the shrapnel

Every part of me hopes that you’ll put your ship in the water
Take off the cover and expose the beauty within
Put up the sail and expose it to the wind
And ride off towards the unknown horizon with unprecedented determination

And when people stop you and ask
Why the ships name is “relentless”
You’ll simply respond with a question
What would it take for you to stand with us?

Poem: Scripting Uncertainty

Life is visceral

Well at least I hope it is

Standing at the crossroads of the life I long for
And the one I’m leaving behind

Not a place to be for someone with a weak stomach

Looking out at the horizon, full of hope, fears, and everything in between
Looking back, wondering how I arrived here

Imagining what it is going to take for me to leap

I realize this is all part of the journey

A fulfilled life is inconsistent with cowardice
Nobody gets a free pass
The reward cannot be gained without the risk

You see, it is when you risk that you truly find yourself

Beyond all the ways you can script the predictable
And lay it all out as if you are unstoppable

Yet you know deep down inside the only one stopping you
Is you

And the only way to become unstoppable
Is to start quitting

Quit giving up on yourself
Quit letting fear have its way
Quit worrying about the worst case scenario
Quit holding out on the world around you

And start realizing its not about you

Its about connecting to them. Him. Her.

You can’t script others the way you do yourself.

Start living for them. Finding yourself in them. Fighting for them.

Unpredictable them.

How do you script uncertainty?

You don’t. You show up.

Poem: About Seeing

So much remains unseen
Complexities come our way
Some we see
Some we are blinded to

At times I am saddened by what I cannot see
To know I comprehend a small percentage of what is truly going on around me.
I wish I were able to see it all.
Alas, I cannot.

Dependence is a vulnerable place to reside
To choose a heart of flesh over one of stone
To choose a life well lived over one unknown
We cannot see so we cannot hide