Jaren's Blog

July 29, 2010

I guess not all cops eat doughnuts?

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 1:35 pm
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My youngest daughter asked me and Kim what old people like us do for fun.  My first thought was, “We are not old” then I realized at her age everyone over 16 is old; so I let that comment fade.  Then I thought, “She doesn’t really think (old people) can have fun.”  So I shared with her a story about our last date together.

The other night Kim and I decided to step into a small shop as it looked interesting to us.  We probably were in this store for all of ten minutes at most.  When we came out there was a police officer writing a parking ticket.  I walked up to the officer and said, “We were only in there for a few minutes, there are no other cars anywhere around here and I didn’t have any idea there were meters; give me a break, please.”

This officer (a male) said nothing at all and just proceeded writing the ticket.  I am not one to anger quickly; typically.  This however, for some reason pushed the wrong buttons for me; so I reacted!  “Sir is your mother proud at all that you grew up harassing people out enjoying themselves, who are doing nothing wrong; while there are criminals running around free?”

His stoic attitude remained as he started writing another ticket for a broken windshield.  At this point, my normally calm wife chimed in stating, “You have got to be kidding me; why don’t you go down the street and eat doughnuts like you usually do!”  All this did was make his face turn a bright red.

As he finished the second ticket, putting it under the first one under the wiper blade he commenced with writing a third ticket.  It seemed as though this was going to go on all night.  After a few more choice comments from both Kim and I, with the cop remaining silent; we decided to leave.

This created a lot of interest in this officer as we walked away.  He yelled out to us, “Where are you going?”  Home, we replied.  “Aren’t you going to take your car?”  That is not ours; we saw the Obama bumper sticker and decided to have a little fun.  Have a great night sir.  Presume we will never know what happened with all those tickets.

Guess old people can still have fun (This is just a story I changed from one I read from a friend. Kim would never do that; I may however)

Jaren

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July 26, 2010

Simple example on Socialism

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 1:24 pm
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A friend, Wayne Kotter recently shared a story with me where a college economics professor stated, “I had never failed a single student; until recently I failed an entire class.”

This professor’s class had insisted that socialism works and that we should let our current president give it a try.  They believed that with socialism; no one would be poor and no one would be rich— it is a great equalizer.

This professor told the class they would have “an experiment on socialism.”

His plan suggested that all grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade.  According to the students this would mean no one would fail, yet no one would receive an “A” either.

After the first test the grades were averaged and the entire class received a “B.”  The students who studied hard were upset and those who studied very little obviously were happy.

By the time the second test rolled around the students who had studied very little had studies even less.  The students who had studied hard had decided they too wanted a free ride so they studied less.

The second test average came in as a “D.”  Now no one was happy.  Not surprising the third test averaged an “F.”  The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise.  The professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

For me this story is very interesting and comes with arguably little long-term devastation.  A large-scale experiment with our countries future is a little harder to stomach.  Aren’t there some great examples out there for us to make an educated decision on the direction of our collective futures?

We truly do have the best system; we just need to let it operate as it would naturally!

Jaren

July 22, 2010

“Gosh dang it; how on earth will I survive another day?”

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 5:11 pm
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“Gosh dang it; how on earth will I survive another day?” Julie thought as she was preparing to get into bed.  She was feeling as though the weight of the world was on her and knew that with anymore pressure a complete collapse was on order.

Her boss had been an emotional drain on her; he again today had required validation all was going to be okay.  It had become a regular occurrence that going to work meant her last ounce of sanity was instantly stripped; carrying the burden of this unstable leader’s needs.

The children, now out of school for the summer, needed attention.  Time had been easier to give when money wasn’t such a high priority.  The family had been hit hard from the failing economy.  What had been enjoyment in employment now became a fundamental need; a burden just to keep food on the table.

It seemed like all the little things which used to be incidental now were magnified to gigantic proportions as Julie hit the floor, kneeling in prayer.  The knowledge Julie carried in her heart was that her Creator wouldn’t test her beyond her ability to sustain, yet she was in mental and physical pain.

She offered a plea of relief, suggesting the energy gained would be put to good use.  What had been a clear appreciation for all she possessed now was clouded perhaps by concentration on difficulties.  The last words she offered were, “Please, if there is no relief; give me understanding.”

The next morning Julie woke up feeling more tired now then before she went to bed.  The night was full of tossing and turning.  Just as sleep was to overtake her tired body, a child would come home; upset with feelings from girlfriend relationships.  Getting things worked out with this child didn’t mean sleep would easily follow as thoughts of how to help now occupied her mind.

Struggling to dress for the day, Julie put a load in the wash, did a few dishes, arranged for lunches and then drove off to another day at work.  She drove down the road with a feeling that today was going to be unique occupying her mind.  Not really remembering the request made of her Maker the night before; to gain understanding.

Just before noon Julie was to pick up a friend for a lunch gathering.  This friend was meeting her at the south end of a large regional mall.  It was an outdoor mall; full of activity early on this summer day.  This mall had served as a gathering place for sports spectators during the winter Olympics.  There were water features, walkways, varied shopping, entertainment, office buildings and eateries.

On the south end of this mall there was a homeless shelter, right across the street from where Julie was waiting.  Like the mall there was a lot of activity.  What she noticed was that there were families leaving the protection of this shelter onto the streets.  There were all ages, colors, types and genders.  The activity was noticeably different then the groups of people where her friend would arise from.

Suddenly it hit her like a ton of bricks!  Could these different groups of people, poles apart, ever realize the needs of each other?  On one side of the street a family had nothing, perhaps not even the hope for a meal or another peaceful night’s sleep.  While on Julie’s side of the street, perhaps the concern was having the most current style or what to have for lunch.

Julie’s mind immediately gravitated toward inner peace, knowing she had blessings which are not always realized.  The friend she was picking up was going with her to meet some mutual friends to plan for a reunion.  Lost in the spirit of her thoughts; suddenly her passenger door flew open with her friend standing there with a smile from ear to ear.  “Julie it is so good to see you, life has treated you well my friend,” were the first words out of the mouth of this friend Julie hadn’t seen for years.

Small talk began and the two fell off into earlier days of their youth.  Their lunch was only minutes away which didn’t allow for covering all that needed to be talked about.  Quickly they ran to the restaurant hoping others had already been seated.  They found their group, who were seated; they were some of the last to arrive.

Naturally a group gathering in preparation for a reunion that hasn’t seen one another for years had a lot to talk about.  Julie started by asking where one of the missing members was.  “Julie, didn’t you hear?” was a comment from across the table.  Hear what?  Sue had a stroke two years ago and has been left with limited to no physical control.  She desperately wanted to come, thinking she could; only to find she had a bad morning.  Julie’s heart fell, thinking how lively and vivacious this woman had been the entire time she had known her in their youth.

While there was a lot more talked about in this meeting, including mostly positive wonderful stories of success; Julie’s mind had concentrated on the unknown stories of her friends who had experienced some type of suffering.  It seemed, as the hour passed, that each story got a little more tragic.

Yes there were divorces and horrible relationship stories but the ones that captivated Julie’s mind were the one’s she couldn’t believe.  One friend, a mother, had lost her son to drugs, another in the battles of war.  There was a son who had lost his legs stepping on an IED, another whose daughter had disappeared four years ago.  One who lost their wife, one thought to be homeless?  All Julie could think about was the time she spent observing the shelter just an hour ago.

The friend, a male, voted most likely to succeed had died several years ago of a heart attack at a very young age.  With a heart full of love and emotion Julie couldn’t find another word to say.  The meeting concluded and the two walked off to the car.  Julie dropped this friend off back at the mall with the parting words, “Julie, are you okay?”  Yes, just carrying a heart full of gratitude and understanding.

Julie finished her day at work, clearly just going through the normal motions of her workday.  Her mind was off in another world.  The drive home was very similar; as she drove in the driveway she wondered how she got there.  The evening wasn’t much different other than the emotion of gratitude for what just the day before had been frustration.

Now, again retiring to bed and again kneeling in prayer; Julie began to speak to her Creator.  Dear God, thank you for all you have given me and the knowledge to be aware.  I am embarrassed I felt as though my burdens were hard to bear.  Thank you for the understanding you granted me today.  Never let me forget all that I have; let me be aware of others needs.  Put in my path those who necessitate.  Grant me information to assist them.  Let me be a vehicle for you here on this earth with compassion for all.  I have abilities and capabilities to help; please let me do so!

Jaren

July 20, 2010

If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will take you there.

Filed under: Nick Galieti — Nick Galieti @ 7:26 pm
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From the Wizard of Oz comes the phrase, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will take you there.” When we consider the paths that we all are taking in life, do we all know where that path is taking us?

When I see some of the people who have made the most notable achievements in this world, they seem to be those with a clear idea of what they want to accomplish and posses a strong desire to accomplish it. A business needs a plan, educational pursuits are best served in a degree program, and a life is most valued when the path we take is intentional.

I have heard it said that no one will make it to heaven on accident. I don’t believe that Walt Disney stumbled upon Disneyland, or that any major achievement of success happens without a plan or path in place to take us there.

Under this philosophy sometimes I wonder if we should be voting for people to run for office, but rather vote for programs we want to have done then pick the most efficient candidates for the selected public policy. Should we be the one’s voting for certain bills to be passed, not voting for people to do who knows what in office?

Businesses make business plans, strategic plans, marketing plans and financial plans to achieve the goals desired. Should our country be more focused on a business plan and less about who to put in office?

Perhaps this is rambling ignorance, but the reality is success comes first from vision, second from accomplishing that vision. This seems to be true both personally and in business, why not in government too?

Nick

July 19, 2010

“The Bracelet”

Filed under: My Book — Jaren @ 10:48 am

The Bracelet is a story about the undaunted courage of a mother and her special connection with her inner light, a family’s adventure in a new world, and a gift from a special advisor.

 The Callisters were fortunate–they had a nice home, took great vacations, and had four wonderful children. But Karen Callister felt something deep inside her driving her to provide more. Not something material, but an experience–a life-changing experience. And when a mother is on a mission for her children, nothing will stop her!  Road blocks appear, at times seeming insurmountable, yet she perseveres.

So it is that this family is blessed to visit a culture that might as well have come from another world, where they witnessed love, compassion, service, sacrifice, and growth. Their own example alters the lives of those they touch, which in turn alters the course of an entire society.  However, it is also a world with a dark past, one that threatens the Callister girls with kidnap and a life of drug-induced slavery.

Interwoven through the breathtaking adventure is the influence of a wise spiritual leader; who, with the gift of a bracelet, a sacred blessing, and a series of intense but practical lessons changes young Alice’s life forever.

Come join the Callisters in the adventure of a lifetime. The Bracelet might just be the most important book you will read this year. Its ancient wisdom transcends millennia and provides lessons more valuable today than in any other time.

July 16, 2010

An Angel landed on my step!

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 4:48 pm
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The world is full of beautiful, wonderful angels, which show up in our lives; making our days a little brighter.  One (Chris Bangerter) appeared in my life just yesterday.  She called for no reason other than to thank me for my participation in her life.  What I hope she took from our call is that it is she who has given and I am the recipient.

Her graciousness in initiating the call will never be forgotten.

I, like you, enjoy times where I sit and ponder the wonderful people in my life.  I am reminded of how each of these individuals has enhanced my well-being, made my joy more significant, my load easier to carry and my experiences truly meaningful.  I then quickly come to realize that without them; my existence would be significantly changed.

With these inner thoughts; my mind easily recognizes the importance of valued relationships.  My knowledge is magnified; knowing my ability to grow and improve is limited to participation with others.  My hope is that I have given at least something equal to what I receive.

The message delivered, beat me to the punch; leaving me embarrassed I wasn’t the first to react.  You see, this angel has given more than she has received.  She has always lived in the spirit of giving.

I can’t imagine living a life without the experiences so often shared by significant people who are willing to share.  I know we live in abundance.  I have a perfect knowledge that they are receiving as a direct result of their generosity.  Let me however, have the ability to communicate my feelings of gratitude; for I know how it makes me feel.

Don’t let another day, minute or second go by where I am not expressing openly and willingly my deep appreciation of those who are participating in my life.  Whether it be a perfect stranger offering help or a lifelong friend who has assisted tirelessly; it doesn’t matter.

To each of you who have been in my life, whether for a moment or for a lifetime; I thank you for the meaning you have brought into my life!

Jaren

July 14, 2010

When you wish upon a star

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 4:20 pm
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Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

The other day I was blessed to eat lunch with the baseball player Steve Sax.  Steve was the National League’s Rookie of the Year, an All-Star five times and won two World Championships.  He played second base with a batting average over .300 in three seasons.  Clearly one of Major Leagues better players during his years.

When time offered, I began asking Steve questions about his career as a professional athlete.  There are many topics I learned during our lunch such as his personal feelings on the, “Steve Sax Syndrome.”  I will write about this and others in later postings.  For now, however, I want to address something I learned from Steve I feel relates to the opening quote.

I have attended a variety of professional sporting events where the athlete is asked to perform tasks which arguably are incomprehensible.  Some examples are witnessing Jimmy Connors play John McEnroe (this dates me).  I played tennis my entire youth eventually playing high school tennis; I was pretty good, but watching how hard these two men hit the ball and how fast it got across the net astounded me.  I could barely get out-of-the-way of a stray ball let alone strategically return it.

I asked Steve how on earth he could possibly hit a baseball traveling around 100 hundred miles an hour covering only 60.5 feet.  I had understood through some study that human reaction is incapable of reacting in the time given for the ball traveling from pitcher’s mound to home plate.

Steve said that you have .3 (three tenths) of a second to decide what it is you are doing.  To put this in perspective, it is the sound of a clap of your hands.  He suggested if you took the time to think about what you are doing; by the time you took your swing the catcher was throwing the ball back to the pitcher.

He could see I was speechless.  My comment was, “No wonder one of our greatest athletes, Michael Jordan, could not just step in and do it.”  Steve said it comes down to building up to the speed gradually; over a long period of time.  He went on to say that for him, having practiced and practiced, it was as if the ball was going at a speed he could understand.

When any good player steps up to the mound they need to have their entire concentration on what the objective is.  While the opposing team’s players, fans, conditions and many other things are surrounding the player; all these distractions need to be eliminated.  As Steve took the plate he saw only one place in the park, a little square about 18” across.  This square was in the exact position the pitcher’s hand released the ball.

He saw nothing else; described the field as a calm sea with nothing on it.  As soon as the pitcher’s hand went into this box, he could see how the pitcher’s hand was releasing the ball.  Each pitch delivered is released with the hand in certain positions.  Steve needed to be prepared to hit the pitcher’s fastest pitch, describing that you can’t prepare for a slower pitch and speed up your swing to a fast ball, but you can prepare for the faster pitch and slow your swing down.

The two players are high tension springs loaded to fire at the same time.  When the pitcher’s spring releases, at that exact moment; the batter’s spring releases too.  Now what the batter is doing is deciding where to place the bat or whether to commit fully to swinging.  Steve said that he could often see the ball’s stitching as it was coming.  WOW, is all I could say or think!

When you look into the sky and dream on the stars high in the heavens; understand anything is possible if you only stay with it.  If Albert Einstein wasn’t, by self-definition, smart, but  suggested; he just stuck with it.  Or if other people of great accomplishment just carry the secret of knowing it just takes time.  Know in your heart those stars are not that far away; we just need to do a little traveling to reach them.

Jaren

July 13, 2010

Returning to the Present

Filed under: Micah McAllister — mikeutah @ 7:30 pm

If you have watched Jack Black’s “Kung Fu Panda”, you might remember hearing the old turtle, “Master Oogway”, comfort Po’s anxiety when he said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”  If not fully contemplated and understood, the profound wisdom of this quote is easily overlooked or dismissed.

So much of our regrets, angers, anxieties or worries are based on events that have already happened, or not yet happened.  That leaves them as either past “has happened”, or future “might happen”.  We rarely stop to take note of how much of our vitality is wasted on these past events or future possibilities.  While the past does have its lessons and memories to cherish, and the future its preparations to plan for, neither of them should be allowed to ruin the joy and experience of each passing moment.

The past is valuable insofar as it increases the joy and ability to live better in the current moment.  If we regret the outcome of a past event, it is likely because we still haven’t extracted the wisdom from it to live with different resolve today.  Instead of holding onto regret, we need to fully realize the lesson of that event and then transform regret into gratitude by learning a better way to handle that situation going forward, should the opportunity arise for a “redo”. That realization will only take place today and never tomorrow.  Once realized, move on and let it go.

If anger is still gripping you from some past event, it’s probably time to evaluate whether that anger is serving or hurting you and then see if it can be let go.  As an Eastern proverb goes, “Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”  Another excellent observation of anger comes from the meridian of time Roman, and friend of Gaius Julius Caeser, Mark Antony: “Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief, than from those very things for which you are angry and grieved.”  Anger is an instinctive emotion that serves during the “fight or flight” stage of any perceived threat.  The problem comes from not releasing that energy once we are no longer threatened.  Once you’ve escaped or resolved the perceived threat, let the anger go.

The past can teach us a lot of things, as well as bring back some of the joy of past relationships or events.  However, it doesn’t do well to dwell on it if it is keeping us from living fully today.

The future is something so illusive that it can be difficult to predict, even when based on the patterns of yesterday.  We all think about the future for various reasons.  Perhaps more so than is helpful when it comes to living fully today.  The future can stir up all sorts of emotions from hope, despair, anxiety, anticipation, worry, and many, many more.  When we look forward to a future event, we often feel excited or hopeful.  When we dread a future event, we may feel anxiety or fear.  Whether you perceive either of these seemingly opposite emotional sensations as positive or negative, they can both be debilitating when it comes to living fully today.  Whether it is excitement,  fear or anything in between that you feel towards some future event, the potential exists for those emotions to prevent you from realizing what you are living and experiencing today by not being present enough to enjoy whatever it is you’re doing right now.  The future should only occupy our awareness so long as what we’re doing right now is preparatory for the future we want to create.  That can be anything from buying groceries for the coming week, making reservations for a trip to Yellowstone or buying tickets for the Lady Gaga tour in 2011.  Notating those events in a calendar will help you be prepared and continue preparations when those dates become today.  However, if you’re not in a position to do anything in this moment to plan or prepare for that future possibility, put it out of your mind and focus on enjoying whatever it is that is needing your attention and awareness right now.  Another way future events can ruin the current moment is when we place excessive emotional stock in a future event but then that future event either never takes place or turns out to be a dud, we are left in a mostly depressed, angry and ruined state.

While we are stuck in the past or looking for salvation in the future, we are likely creating a mini hell for ourselves today.  This is because our preoccupation with the past or future is keeping us from living or accepting today.  This is why we love weekends and loath Mondays.  Our anticipation for the coming weekend, or longing for the past weekend is often the very thing which is making weekdays, particularly Monday, when the past weekend is so fresh in our memories,  unbearable or mundane.  Except for those mostly rare times when remembering the past or preparing for the future is enhancing the current moment, they should be left in their respective time frames.

To give some perspective to this concept, please consider the following: Nothing that has ever happened in the history of the universe has ever happened outside of this moment.  Nothing ever happened in the past and nothing ever happens in the future.  When ever anything transpires, it does so right now.  Each passing moment, right now, is the only position of power.  Thus when we focus on living each day to the fullest, doing those things that need to be done and indulging in those things that we want to do, we are in the best position to guide and live our lives in whatever way pleases us most, without regrets, and without anxiety.  This realization can identify the ills of procrastination in a much brighter light.  Regretting not doing something yesterday or putting it off until tomorrow will not get it done.  Today is the only day that you will ever live your life in.  Realize it and gain your power in the present, this moment, right now.  What are you waiting for?  You start living by doing so today.

Namaste

Micah

“This is the best day of my life!”

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 11:01 am
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“Daddy this is the best day of my life!”  My 16-year-old daughter blurted out as we got out of our car.  We were just getting home from successfully finalizing something she had been working on for a few months.  Her hard work paid off and her emotion was very high; she was sporting a smile from ear to ear.  This emotion was due in part to the trails of details unknown in getting over the finish line.

The emotion of being her father caught me and I too began to celebrate in her achievement feeling deeply the sensation of true joy.  It is times such as this that being a parent is well worthwhile.

My mind began to realize all that lies ahead of this young lady.  Yes, this is a time she will remember, but I know it will pale in comparison to what she will yet do.  You see I too realized this same accomplishment at her age; I remember the joy I felt, it was cool.  Yet, now as a father, the joy I felt was much different.  The feeling is indescribable.

I could, as each of you parents can, recite many stories such as this where we were proud; happy for being blessed to be a parent.  Knowing now with greater wisdom what life has to offer and how we continually gain greater appreciation.

What I want to share is that we who have lived a little longer understand the milestones which are head of our youth.  Remember saying, “I do” and knowing your soul mate was now part of you?  How about the birth of children; knowing you were responsible?  Graduating from college, first job, promotions, awards, and new positions, anything that comes to mind?  Finally, most meaningful, being there when loved ones reach these same landmarks.

I am so very happy for the joy my daughter felt, but I can’t wait to be there when she achieves just apart of what is on her bucket list.  Know from your father the joy you experience gets better, sweeter and intensely more meaningful as you grow and mature.  Thank you for who you are and for making me so happy 🙂

Jaren

July 6, 2010

Introduction to “The Bracelet”

Filed under: My Book — Jaren @ 10:09 am
Tags: ,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5Sb7PxeaE0

This Segment was produced for me by Nick Galieti owner of  “Studio 5.1”
Nick can be reached on his mobile @ (801) 301-0440.  Nick is an extraordinary talent, a man you would enjoy working with!!!

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