Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Songs Are Stories 2.0 - In Celebration of Mike Adam

Two out of the past three Eye Empire shows within my traveling distance did not come to fruition the last couple of years the band has been touring to love, support and respect their fan base.  Then came June 23rd, a beautiful super moon long summer day, proving the third time would be the charm.  

In the weeks leading up to the event, I was beyond excited.  Two plus years of waiting for this had transpired.  Not only was I looking forward to watching and hearing Eye Empire live in an opening slot for Drowning Pool, I was looking forward to time with old friends at a venue I have a long history with.  One of my favorite local bands Twenty12 Tribe even had an opening slot.  Name of the venue: Empire.  No, I'm not making this stuff up!

Excitement turned to somber reflection however, less than a week before the show.  Those of us within the Beyond the Music (#BeyondTheMusic) community of Eye Empire's social media outreach were mourning another casualty of Cancer.  Mike Adam, a warrior who loved the music and the people of Eye Empire was on my mind.  His family and friends celebrated his life on the 22nd.   A beautiful courageous soul I first learned about when the Songs are Stories blog was written, back when Beyond The Music began.  Mike was certainly in my thoughts that evening. 

Mike rocking the red!
Mike was diagnosed less than a year ago with Non-Hodgkins Anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that ended up spreading into an equally aggressive skin cancer shortly thereafter.  At each turn in the road, Mike and the love of his life Hollie rolled with the punches, embracing or fighting another new round of treatments, tests and doctors. So many highs and lows to their story this past year were shared openly and honestly on the Mike Adams Fights Cancer Facebook page.  Death is a taboo in the country; it’s something so many of us aren't comfortable dealing with.  Mike Adam and Hollie were open, real, raw and vulnerable in their sharing the love in the struggle.  In the end, the Cancer may have taken Mike away, but the light he leaves behind shines bright through her and their own Facebook timelines of beauty, dignity and grace. 

Mike during treatment.
In August of 2012, a month after Mike's diagnosis, Eye Empire played a benefit concert for him in Sarasota, Florida.  Before diagnosis, Mike was a bartender at many of the local establishments.  He was a fixture in the music scene as well.  Something all of us at Empire (formerly known as Jaxx and Zaxx in Springfield, Virginia) can relate to.  They gave back to him in his time of need an equal measure of the man he was in their lives each day.  It was a beautiful thing to watch the love spring from the pain and the community of both those known and not known come together to make a difference.  You could tell by their actions that Mike's light was loved by all of them.

Mike & Hollie

In all honesty, I didn't even find it the least bit random to learn that one of Mike's favorite adult drinks was Jagermeister as they too are a huge supporter throughout the world of both local and national musicians.  Like attracts like, and as with all such things, it's also no wonder he shared his life with one of the strongest woman on the planet.  Hollie James was by his side through all of it.  She was his voice, his warrior and his cheerleader when he needed her the most. Even in death, she'll continue to do so.  That's the amazing thing about true love, it's everlasting through eternity and this lifetime.  

Mike & Hollie

Eye Empire's mission to support Mike Adam and countless others is probably why I connected so strongly with what they started implementing within their social media circle. Believe me, they're as genuine as one can get when they say to bring it to the Empire.  Come, share, be, seek and find; we are all one.  They live their mantra; they want to make an impact.  They believe in the Love, Respect and Support they teach.  They believe that in order to do so in life, you have to be the example you wish to see, that you have to live it. Their compassion and truth is what birthed the inspired thoughts that were to come.  

What inspired thoughts am I speaking of?  Before the event at Empire, I allowed the flow to happen as it so magically does and compiled a list of questions for DC as a follow-up to the original Songs are Stories blog.  I even allowed him some time to mull them over from the road as the date grew closer in that they weren't your typical interview questions of the lead vocalist for a rock band.  

The answers that come in the next blog of this multi-part series are true to the Knowing mission of passing along the beneficial knowledge of life.  I am grateful that DC was open to share as he humbly did.  It is with certainty I can say that this group has something to say that each of us can relate to, not only in their music but in who they are.  The next blog that's posted will be a must read, I hope you are able to enjoy it and share it with those who make an impact on you too.  Mike and Hollie surely did make an impact on all of us.  Please know from the bottom of my heart that neither of you will ever be forgotten.  Love, Respect & Support forever.  


Copyright ©2013 Nita Clewis 
All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In The Driver's Seat - Making Right Choices

Interesting what a month plus of daily meditation and yoga will do for the soul.  Back in May I started this venture, to actively be mindful each day, to have focus over my thoughts verses my thoughts just racing as they like to do for all of us if we let them.  The average person has 70,000 thoughts a day.  Everything from what's for breakfast to what we're going to wear.  70,000!!!  Most of which we allow to be on auto-pilot.  

Nothing wrong with racing per say, sometimes racing can be good.  The racing of positive thoughts builds an environment wherein a vibration is created that expands additional good feelings.  As with all things in the Universe however, in all things of like attract like, racing with panicky, obsessive, stressful, or doubtful thoughts does the exact same thing.  It creates a vibration that expands into additional bad feelings and eventually those bad feelings expand into a greater life experience of those negative emotions.

Those of us who leave up to fate what unfolds into our lives aren't getting it.  Our thoughts and energies are what create our experience here.  We are the ones behind the wheel driving the journey.  Some people we meet along the road hitch a ride for a short distance.  We pick them up into our lives and we drop them off.  Others we sometimes grow so comfortable with as they ride along, we sometimes allow them to take over the drive.  This can be a dicey decision in that very few others we'll meet will respect the direction and course we've set out upon enough to follow along the same path.  In fact, the more positive a direction you're headed in, the more peaceful you become in your evolution of self, the more it will seem as if your companions on the ride (life) will question or attempt to inhibit your progress.

Why is that?  Why is it that you can decide to be in a healthy and positive place yet someone you love and trust can assert that you're anything but?  Why is it that the sky can be blue and sunny but someone out there will complain about what it isn't instead of giving gratitude to what it is?  These character issues, they have nothing to do with you and your path.  When you are in peace, happiness and gratitude living, fact is, some people just can't handle it.  Others only see what they allow themselves to see.  Perception is like that, you either see what you want or what you don't want.  Either way, it's on course to meet you where you are.  Either way, the problem is with them and not with you.

Here's an example of what I'm saying, if we act in life from what we don't want i.e. I worry about someone I love being homeless or making wrong choices for their life, because I don't want them to suffer, my intentions for them are coming from a place of the unwanted.  The Universe doesn't know the difference, it doesn't know that I don't want the person to suffer.  All it knows is that I'm thinking about the person suffering.

On the flip side, if I think about what I want for the person from a place of serenity and trust, if I learn to map it out in a way that's positive and that feels good, I in turn will feel good and by default attract that positiveness into my life.  So, in the case of the person I fear suffering, I turn the fear off and feel love.  Love that the person is alive, that the person is experiencing life and learning valuable lessons that will one day create a well rounded person who knows what they want in life.  By doing this I feel good and am in control of the drive.  See how that works?

So yes, thoughts do become people, places, opportunities and things.  Good, bad or indifferent, it's just law. You're in the driver's seat of life and you get to decide each moment you're awake the environment you travel in and who's along for the ride.  Take the scenic route and travel in good company when you can.  Trust me, it makes for a more enjoyable journey.  

Copyright ©2013 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Floating with the Current

Been pondering this for sometime now and I wanted to share it with all of you.  There is someone in my life who's reached out lately, someone who in the past has hurt me repeatedly, the last time of which created a serious distance between us.  Someone I don't trust, even though I love the person with every fiber of my being.  This person isn't as experienced as I am with life but they do know right from wrong.  It's been difficult for me to act in love and receive this person back into my life knowing what I know now about them.  While I hope their intentions are pure, my instincts are at odds.  So, it's been an emotional quandary of sorts.  Do I continue to let them in?  Do I let them in but have my guard up?  Do I even bother anymore trying to help them navigate their path in life?  Do I allow them in cautiously but nonetheless allow them in?    

Intention, what we want from the Universe, we have to FEEL it.  If I want this person to continue to be a part of my life, I know I can't have an underpinning of doubt about their place in it.  That doubt is a feeling and that feeling will manifest itself.  I've been watching it already happen.  One day we're making strides and the next day it's same ol', same ol' situation.  It's tough.  

I know I can't control what another person says, does or becomes in life but I do have control over how I personalize or receive their actions in the world.  I can decide if I'm being manipulated or really missed.  I can decide to have a wall or not have a wall up in dealing with them too.  All that I've learned about intention though says you can't want A while thinking about B because then A & B are at odds and in the end, you'll never end up with what you wanted with the A scenario or feeling.  Darn perfect thing that intention is.

So, here I am floating with the current of life being extremely mindful of what I'm feeling.  Each time I feel as if I'm being used to fill a void or get something, I pivot that feeling to open my heart and feel love.  Each time I'm told a lie, I remember to pivot it so that I don't take it personally.  Lying is what this person does, until they decide that they're not going to do it.  Other people's bad behaviors aren't about us, they're about them.  Really, it's as simple as that.

You see, I've learned that if I'm going to get a negative it's not going to be because I manifested it by feeling it.  If I get a negative it's on the one giving it, not on me.  I can at this juncture hope for the best, all the while protecting myself and those I love.  I can build a bridge and care.  I can allow this person to show me they're making a better path for their journey.  The person already has a pretty good map.  Now all they need to do is follow the directions.  In the meanwhile, I'll be available for advice should the need to ask for directions when they get lost.  Grateful that I'm smart enough to not be a backseat driver on their journey too.  This life, they have to drive it on their own.

Copyright ©2013 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.