Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Morning Coffee Musings

The following words are unedited...other than spell-check! (i hope). I purposefully do not edit.  I need my thoughts to be fresh and vulnerable.  This is me...I speak from the heart...

today's musings...

Well, i just poured myself a cup of java and am sitting here at my desk.  I found myself looking through some past "musings" from my blog...especially the ones during the beginning of COVID.  Challenging things...things that I don't think I really did very well.  I don't think I took my own advice at all...at least not lately.  I feel as though this last 6 months have "re-taught" me something. Here is what I am pondering, "If you do not maintain your mental health, your focus, your goals, your priorities etc... you will slowly start to go backwards"

This is a fresh awakening for me.  

I am also glad that the work I have put in over the last 7 years have helped me to recognize the fact that I was going backwards.  I feel as though I have put on the brakes a lot earlier in the process of going backwards - so there is not as much uphill climbing to do...does that make sense?

Looking back to my blogs over the years...especially during the "year from hell" in 2014/2015 - the fall was primarily because of the years of "going backwards" that were un-detected.  One bad year is inevitable.  One bad situation happens no matter how solid you are.  But as I unpacked that year, and the years that proceeded it, i can see the massive whole I created.  So, fast forward to this year.  I am seeing a "moving backward" in my life...THIS TIME, i feel like I am seeing it much faster!  Also the damage is minimal as well...catching it in time is crucial.  Because of what I have gone through in my life, 2015 was not the only time...it was just the worst.  I am able to use my past failures to recognize patterns.  I am sensing that patterns are not where they should be and I want to correct that NOW!!

I don't know if this is resonating with you?  I am fortunate that my past, as painful as it was, has allowed me to have "life markers".  I had created enough of a change in my life that my "radar" is in better working order.  Meaning...the slightest course correction is now sending alarms to my body.  I am also quicker to respond...

All of this is code for:  I DO NOT WANT TO GO BACKWARDS ANYMORE!!!

I looked back...I studied 2016, 2017 up to the end of 2019...what was different? 

I need to dig into that.  2017 was the most radical change in my life.  Emotionally, physically, spiritually, relationally.  I need another 2017.  

Here are somethings I am going to attempt to implement...my goal is that I can spark that creativity again...spark that energy that created a new physical person (i felt WAY better in 2017)...I also want to get back to being present more often.  This is not just about my physical body, this is about habits, being joyful, and removing unnecessary stress from my life.  That internal JOY (not giddy happiness but real JOY that only comes from your inner most being - i believe that is the JOY that the Creator gives!)

1.  Morning Routine

2.  Physical body - get active and control my intake

3.  Surround myself with the things that bring me joy.

4.  Create the life I want. 

5.  Remember why I exist - I am a follower of Jesus.  I need to love others better!

Now what?  I have noticed the backward motion.  I am putting things in place to re-engage forward motion.  I now need to act.  ACT - a simple yet very difficult thing to do.  TODAY at least - I am going to do it. 

Actions...they are the only way I have grown in the past...and the only way i see change in the future!

So let the journey continue...


-Kevin

Monday, September 26, 2022

is blogging really a therapeutic exercise?

 Good morning...it may not be morning when you read this but it's morning when I am writing this.  So...I am not crazy! LOL

Is this "writing a blog" for the reader or is it simply a way for me to feel better about myself, or work out some crazy emotional damage?  I often wonder what it is about this process that is supposed to be therapeutic?

I am sitting in my office and I am by myself...and I am literally thinking out loud (on my computer).  I have not pre-planned the content...in fact I never do, i simply start typing and whatever is in my head comes out.

This morning the idea of blogging...is it for me or is it for others...maybe both?  I do know that this process is actually intellectually stimulating.  It causes me to think.  It causes me to articulate and "back-up" my thoughts.  Is what I am thinking a good idea that needs to be fleshed out or is this simply the morning rambling of a under-coffee'd man!?!?!  Valid question!

This was my thinking this morning.  Sitting at my desk and trying to figure out how to be better.  How to be a better man.  How to be a better husband.  How to be a better performer.  How to be a better follower of Jesus.  The thought of blogging then hit me...you see my morning routine, which is often not a solid routine, is important... let me say this another way...

If I want to be a better, all the things I said above...I feel that my morning routine is vital to becoming those things.  So blogging is one of those routine items that I feel is so important...AND YET I DO IT SO SELDOM (should it be seldomly?  I am no grammar person!!)

So, in thinking this through, i put my random thoughts together for me...which then gets read by you and hopefully sparks some thoughts that are beneficial. I hope it works like that.

I will try and continue this at a more consistent pace for me.  I hope that my random thoughts will resonate with you and simply allow you to know that someone else feels the same way... or at least thinks... LOL!

I am still working with this wonderful lady in Nashville and attempting to finish my book.  I know that this blogging journey helps me write - so...if nothing else, it will help my journey.

I would love to know your morning routines...what makes you feel like you are starting off better?

Talk to me...



Monday, September 19, 2022

Monday morning blues?

 Well, does the fact that it is raining bother me more than the fact that it is Monday?  I am not sure.  I have weeks that start on a high...I feel like Monday is the best! THEN there are Monday's that feel heavy.  I don't think it is the start of a week, or the fact that the weekend is over or just a Monday thing...I think it is a mindset.  "A mindset you say...tell me more!"  I am glad you asked...

I tend to me an optimistic person, however as I age and get more introspective I am finding out more and more about myself.  My bad habits, my poor self talk, my procrastination and my running from conflict and the list is longer but I will not bore you with the entire list!!  

When I am in a good headspace, looking after things I need to, my "to-do" list is complete, my morning routine is healthy etc... Monday morning is a welcome event...and when I am putting things off, not looking after my "to-do" list and avoiding conflict...Monday's suck!

So, knowing that alone does not fix it.  Seriously...how can I know that and still allow myself to end up in a bad headspace?  It is a riddle I do not know how to solve.  I am getting much better at it, but I still fall prey to bad habits...SO TODAY - I will not.  TODAY - I will follow through on my "to-do" list and TODAY I will deal with what I need to deal with!  

I am learning that my mornings can often dictate my headspace for the day.  I am working on a morning routine that can actually be duplicated...day in and day out...

so, today was a good morning...Let's hope that continues!

I would love to hear your "life hacks" for Monday morning blues...How do you stay positive?  How do you stay motivated?  What moves you??

Talk to me...


Kevin

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Is September the NEW January?

"This is my new single...releasing soon!" 

 I find that mentally, at least for me, that September is more of a "reset" than January. Perhaps it's my programming. School always started in September, people start back to work on a more frequent basis, holidays are "OVER" and we start talking about Fall, Thanksgiving and yes...Christmas! This year I am feeling rather well...like I need a new start. The more i take stock in my mental "situation" the more I realize that COVID did have more of an effect on me than I would like to admit... I got sloppy in some areas of my life. I lost focus. I didn't start out that way...COVID brought some wonderful clarity at the beginning...tuning into that part my psychy that said "I will not fall prey to this virus!". I remained postive and motivated...yada yada yada... However, as we are clearly on the other side of this (some would disagree I know - but for the most part...it is behind us) I am now finding myself in a bit of a funk... I need to get back to a routine, back to a mindset of "go gettem" - you know...that kind of thing! I have such wonderful things happening. My music has opportunities that I did not see coming. New music, new tours, new connections...SO GOOD! I am in the early stages of starting my mortgage business and I am excited about that. However, I feel as though I am still scattered. I am realizing that I have managed to create some very bad habits during COVID. Habits that were easily justified because there was a pandemic. But, I need to hit the reset button. SO...I don't know if you are feeling the same. I am going to use September as my "reset". I am doing some serious soul searching. I need to build some new habits, bring back some old habits that really worked for me and stay FOCUSED!! I need to dig down into the minutiae of my daily routines and find the things that stir creativity, things that allow me to ignite that which I am passionate about...and also remove distractions and things that drain my energy! I don't need to eliminate all things that cause me anxiety - like "book work" - some of those things are necessary to growth and to reaching your goals. However, if I am not focusing on the things that bring me life...I am doing it wrong! That is my goal for September...rebuild my daily routines and build a life that allows me to be the best version of me...so that I can be the best "husband", "Father" and "Papa" and friend... Here is to September!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

numb?

Do you ever feel that way? NUMB? There is a lot of emotion below the surface but it's like you cant really connect to it for some reason. Right now...I feel numb. There are so many emotions. COVID-19 & social injustice have been the catalyst for uncertainty, anxiousness, frustration, ANGER, fear, hatred...do I need to go on? Humanity is being thrown a curve ball...we are all vulnerable to very strong emotional responses - when you are losing hope. Right now...it feels like we are losing our hope.

Hope tells you that everything will be ok. Hope gives you a spring in your step. Hope shows you the way things will be in the future, not the way they are now...BUT if you lose that hope...things can look dark. You can respond in ways you did not think you were capable of. Often times...in desperate situations, our true emotions rise to the surface unfiltered.

I think the world is responding to so many things...unfiltered!

My perspective is this...maybe...just maybe we might learn something if we dig deep...if we take the time to actually listen. Take time to understand, before trying to be understood. I love the old saying, "God gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth, so listen before you speak!"

I am wanting my current state of numbness...to allow me to ask some important questions. I want to, and I need to listen. People are acting out right now...but that's not an "over-reaction" to one incident. It's the bubbling over of hundreds/thousands of incidents the world has not learned from.

I don't even know how to feel at this moment. There are so many "feels" that nothing is coming out. As I said before...it's there, but it feels like I cannot locate them.

This virus is driving people crazy...This virus is dividing us, its causing uncertainty, it causing loss, people are isolated, people are desperate for something...some change that will give them hope...SOMETHING NEW. So when social injustice hits - it feels even more desperate.

What if...because there is nothing else to talk about...because we are so fixated on the social injustice...what if WE ACTUALLY LISTENED...and WHAT IF this actually started a revolution of change...is it possible that we have stopped our normal lives just long enough to see this injustice for what it is. Not just a bad cop(s), not just a "awful incident" but a systemic problem that permeates our society!

I know you may feel numb. I know you may feel overwhelmed. I even understand that you may feel that people are responding unfiltered and you don't know what to do. I get it...So, right now...if you listen...and then listen, and when you are done listening...listen some more - we might find a way to not let history repeat itself. We MUST come out of this better...we have a chance to change history. COVID can be remembered as the catalyst for change...Wouldn't that be an interesting take on this devastating time...Disaster causes social change!! MAYBE there is hope in that?

Thursday, June 4, 2020

It's my turn...

I have purposefully stayed away from attempting to add to the dialogue. The dialogue about hatred that is seemingly so prevalent in our world. I don't want to say that this is a USA problem only...this is a world wide problem. People destroying other people simply because of the colour of their skin or the direction of their prayers. I don't even know where to begin...but let me start with my own experience.

When I was young...about 6 or 7 years old, a family moved in behind us. Our backyard, backed onto their side yard. I saw the moving truck pull in and this family start to invade their new home. They had a young boy in their family so I quickly ran over and asked him if he wanted to play...I soon realized that he could not speak english. He had a very strong German accent, and could only form a few english words and the english he could say, I couldn't really understand. I ran home. I told my mom I didn't want to play with the new kid...I said, "He's weird, he can't even speak right!" (how ironic!). My mom told me that this was the language my dad spoke and his family spoke...I was mortified. I say "NO HE DOESN'T" and ran up to my room. I don't remember ever again playing with that boy...and soon they had moved away. I really wish I knew who they were and how I could reach them. I would love to look that man in the face and tell him how sorry I am.

I watched as the next family moved in. They were a black family. They too had a boy around my age. I ran over to them and we immediately became friends. He spoke perfect english...so we got along very well!!

I am ashamed that I reacted like I did to that young German boy. How sad that I treated him like that. I was racist. I think we all wrestle with some thought that we all have to work through, that could potentially stop us from loving EVERYONE. I always took pride in the fact that I didn't remember a time when the colour of someone's skin caused me to feel negatively about them...and then my mother reminded me that I felt pretty strongly about this boy that couldn't speak english...WOW...That made me sad.

I think we all need to look in the mirror. What blindspots do we have? How do we feel about people that are different? People that pray to a different God. People that have skin a different shade than ours...People with a different story. How can we make our world better? How do we find a world where justice in actually served...lived out...desired by all human kind.

My answer...I do not have one right now. I do not know how to change the culture, so that culture can change. I do not have the answer...BUT - I do know what I can do, until we find the answer...

LOVE...EVERYONE...just because they are human
LOVE...EVERYONE...even if they disagree with you
Don't pretend to NOT see colour...embrace the difference...LOVE the difference.
Remain curious in all circumstances...find out about people you don't understand.

LOVE ------ EVERYONE!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

fear...

Today, day #...? I have completely lost track. I looked at the calendar today...we are almost at June. REALLY?? All I remember is, we were talking about some virus...then March hit...we talked more about this virus...and now its almost June! We had snow in May and we have had (currently) a heat way of over 90 degrees - in the same month!! Is this related to the virus?? LOL...

I have nothing of value to write today. I have no thoughts that will lift your spirits and allow you to soar. I simply want to commit to the writing process. I actually find this soothing. Putting ideas onto (virtual) paper...and allowing others to read it. Scary and soothing.

We often allow ourselves to NOT do something because we fear the outcome. We fear the vulnerability. We assume the outcome, we then allow that to squash our creativity and we stop! I have done it many times...I don't want to do it anymore. SO...I continue the process of putting myself out there. I will continue to dream, speak, shout and whisper on this blog...while we are putting together the NEW Kevin Pauls.

I am getting ready to change a few things...I have mentioned this before. I need to re-Brand myself...there is a re-Boot coming...A new expression of the creativity I have in my head. I want to express my thoughts...on faith, on music and on the current situation in the world. I want real conversations to be at the forefront. Not hiding my ideas because some may not agree...I am ready and willing to express them loudly. I know a lot of people that do NOT do a lot of things because they are afraid...I AM DONE! Fear will not be the reason anymore. I find when we speak what is true to us, when we speak what we feel, when we speak with clarity...people respond. I can't believe some of the things I have shared...thinking "nobody will care...but it's good for me to talk about" - I find out that people do care...People are looking to talk about their hurts, their fears...their ideas that may be a little different - but they have held back because of fear.

So...I will continue on this journey...I am cautiously optimistic about the future...about the re-Boot...I am excited to share my spiritual, emotional, and musical journey with you...and hopefully with a whole bunch of new friends...

The re-Boot - coming your way...this fall!! (there I said it!)