Permission to Speak Freely

White and red bokeh photography

I often say inappropriate things. I can baffle and offend. I confuse people.

My mind skips around. I connect strange dots. It’s a blessing and curse.

To be odd and unexpected.

Still, I speak freely. Less analysis upfront means less stress in conversations and more brain power … Read more...

That Judging Thing

Silhouette of persons hand

Don’t judge me!

Sorry. Can’t help it.

We’re designed to judge each other; it’s for our safety and survival.

Our brains make rapid-fire decisions about what we see based on past experience, learned and lived. We tell ourselves (in a split second), we’re … Read more...

Entitlement

person standing on white snow covered mountain during daytime

Entitlement elbows Kindness right out of the room.

When someone is entitled (e.g. “This is mine for the taking”), they eliminate the possibility of being assisted.

People around them get the message and put their hands down. They may cheer for the entitled person, but t… Read more...

The Key to Impressing People

I was hard at work prepping for a school fundraiser at my house.

I had just finished calibrating the stereo and microphones. I still needed to set up the auxiliary A/V system (just in case), make blackberry rosemary syrup for the cocktails, trim back the ivy on the stoop, vacuum t… Read more...

Cuss Words

Young boy shows cross with fingers - don't touch me

I never was one to care much about cuss words.

I use them in front of my kids.

My main concern is that they impede upon their vocabulary development.

Especially the eff-bomb. That word is a bit too versatile. You can use it 4 times in a single sentence.

But these so-called cuss words… Read more...

Unfinished

Artist drawing

I was being hard on myself for not finishing a course I’m building.

Then, today after meditating, I remembered myself in high school, in art class, and how long it took me to finish a drawing.

Mr. Cook would usually be the one to say it.

“Cliff, I think you’re justRead more...

Cross-Examined

Judge signing on the papers

Years ago, I was in court testifying for a friend, and the defense attorney was doing his thing: trying like hell to discredit me. (Good luck with that, bruh.)

“So you’re saying you drank some beer and smoked a few bowls.”

He said this in a lazy faux-SoCal sort of… Read more...

Part of the Solution

2 person holding hands

Another shooting, this time at a university.

The killer is still at large. My daughter, 16, usually the pragmatic one, surprised me with her response to the news coverage.

“How sad your life must be to kill a buncha people.”

This made me think about something I learned i… Read more...

Imposter Syndrome

mask on wall

In talking with people about their aspirations day-in and day-out, I’ve come to understand that we ALL experience imposter syndrome at some point. (Those of us that don’t, have much bigger problems.)

Here’s the truth: It doesn’t matter how smart you are, wh… Read more...