The GLEN Project - Testimonials, Peel Youth Conference
The GLEN Project - Testimonials, Peel Youth Conference
Take a moment and center yourself. Take a deep breath and then look around you. Are you inside or are you outside? Is it warm or chilly? What noises do you hear around you? What’s to your right and what’s on the left of you? What color shirt are you wearing and do you have shoes/sandals on your feet? Are there birds singing or is music playing somewhere.
I am creating a moment of awareness for you. Bringing you right into the now.
Often times are thoughts are so caught up in the past or the worries of what’s going to happen in the future than we neglect for the moment who we are, where we are and what happening right now.
Relish the moment that is happening right now for it will never happen again.
Time goes by so fast and the power of now creates awareness of how precious that time is.
Don’t be in such a rush to grow up, enjoy your age no matter what it is.
Don’t wish for your children to be older, enjoy them at the age they are currently at, for before too long it will no longer be cool to seen in public with you and you’ll be sitting down one day saying…”You remember when?”
If you are so fortunate to be able to read, walk, talk and think cognitively be grateful for you have an advantage over millions of people worldwide. Be aware of your capabilities and be grateful, for maybe one day you will no longer have those abilities.
Now is the time to understand how fortunate you are to simply be breathing, now is the time to love and be happy with your life. Now is the time to make the changes if you do not love your life or are happy with it. There is no time like now to enjoy all the blessings of your life.
Do me a favor count to six with me, one…two…three…four…five…six. That’s about roughly the time it took for my Chevy Blazer to spin out on some black ice and end up in the path of a semi-truck. The resulting impact robbed me of two weeks of my life, as I lay unconscious in a hospital and five long months as I learned to walk again.
In six seconds I went from being able to walk and dance to not being able to do that. In six seconds my life completely changed, in six seconds I nearly lost everything that I hold dear.
You never really think about time, until you face the prospect of not having it anymore.
Six seconds is not a lot of time, yet the small time frame can change everything. Time can have a huge impact, literally and figuratively.
What do you do with your time? If you understand that time is the most precious commodity we all have, the question becomes, how do you spend you time?
The way I see it you have two choices, you can spend all your time thinking negatively about everything, complaining all the time and living like you’ll always have time to get to the things you want to do.
Or you can spend your time being positive; working hard instead of complaining to initiate change and making choices to create the life you want. Now is the TIME to act. In six seconds your life can completely change.
What are you going to do with the most precious commodity you have?
The clocks ticking…one…two…three…
Are you looking for fresh ideas, a way to spark creativity? Are you maybe searching for a new way to solve a problem? Craving something that’s exciting and bold and something to get your motor running again.
Get out there and try something new. Try this technique get out of your environment…displace yourself. Walk a new path, drive a different way to work, shop at a different mall and maybe eat at a different restaurant. Watch something you’ve never watched on TV before. Move the furniture around in your living room or bedroom.
The point is to get out of your comfort zone and force your noggin to experience new things and to look at things differently. It’ll wake your brain up from the dull mind numbing pace of everyday routine.
Buy a different style of shoe.
Try a different color shirt.
Listen to different music.
Visit a museum.
Attend a fair of some type
Try another flavor of ice cream out of the 32 flavors offered
Displace yourself and get out of everyday routine, invite your mind into a new environment and see where it leads you.
When I was a young kid growing up I had some pretty extreme anger issues. When I lost at board games the game would usually end up flying across the room. One time a kid standing in front of me made fun of my brother, so I slugged him. The teachers had to pull us apart and it was off to the principal’s office.
I was dangerous when I got angry because I didn’t feel any pain. I once punched in a metal closet and watched as my hand swelled up right in front of me. I didn’t feel a thing.
Someone who meant the world to me helped me out alot when I had my angry outbursts. She would do one thing and that was, she would listen to me.
Here’s what she would do, she would have me sit at the kitchen table and place a mirror in front of me when I got angry. Then she would say, “Take a look at yourself, you look like a bull…with your nostrils flaring, your teeth all clenched and your eyebrows all furrowed…look at how silly you look.”
Then she would say “I want you to count to ten and take a deep breath and when you’re ready, talk to me, I’m here to listen to you.” You know what, it worked. She didn’t offer advice, she didn’t try to fix nor solve the problem, she just sat there and listened to me vent. It was what I needed at the time, someone to hear me and validate what I was going through.
I cannot express what that meant to me to be heard. I learned much about how to communicate.
Do you honestly listen to those around you who are speaking, or are you just waiting for your turn to talk? When’s the last time you said to someone, talk to me and you didn’t offer advice or try to fix or solve his or her problem? Sometimes people just need to be heard and to figure out things on their own. They need to be validated for the experiences they are going through.
The next time someone is speaking to you, look them in the eye and focus on what they are saying, truly absorb it and communicate with them by just being still and listen.
I can lose myself for hours when I’m recording music, dancing at a social event or standing in front of an audience delivering a speaking presentation. These are my passions; this is what fires me up. I feel energized and alive and in the moment.
When recording music, I love figuring out a way to make everything fit and sound right. Trying different variations on a theme and deciding which one to go with and when to stop. It’s all in the creating.
When Swing-Dancing with a partner to music on the dance floor, that’s living in the moment. Feeling the energy of the music, the beat in my feet and communicating with a dance partner without saying anything. It’s the most fun you can have with someone with your clothes still on!
In delivering a speaking presentation, I enjoy the challenge and the moment when you connect with someone who’s listening to you. Inspiring a room full of at-risk youth to make better choices in life. I cherish the energy exchange of a lively question and answer period. I love having to think fast in front of an audience and initiating discourse between mutually respectful individuals.
What’s your passion?
What fires you up?
What can you do for hours on end and get lost in time?
Find a way to make money doing what your passionate about and you’ll never have to work.
We are all looking for a success of some sort or another, acceptance, love, happiness, wealth etc. We use our skills to move forward in life, we all create plans and initiate ideas to accomplish goals and dreams. These are all plans and initiatives to move us forward to benefit ourselves. We all have particular skills, gifts and talent we use to elevate ourselves.
Here’s a challenge for you, how about using your skills to help your friends and family achieve their goals and dreams in life? What skill set can you offer to a loved one that can help them to achieve more?
Pick one of your friends or family, talk to them and find out what they would like to accomplish in life. Ask if you can help them out in any way. Go into your network and resources and try hard to help them out.
And do this all for the sake of just doing it, don’t do it in a “Oh you now owe me” kind of way. I challenge you to use your skills, gifts and talents to help others achieve in life, how good are you at using your special skill set in life?
Go ahead I dare you…find out.
In the G.L.E.N. Principle speech that I deliver I speak about learning how to give to yourself to be able to give to others. One of the best ways to be able to give to ourselves so we can fully give to others is through forgiveness.
In holding on to past transgressions whether real or imagined we limit our abilities to be able to help others. Holding on to anger, regret, sorrow and having thoughts of vengeance hold us back from being able to give to others fully.
The best form of revenge that you can offer to someone who has slighted you is becoming successful. Forgiving that person and focusing on becoming the best person you can be is the ultimate revenge. Here’s a secret for you to consider, the person you are angry with doesn’t care and has probably forgotten the issue. So stop holding on, forgive move one and be the best you can be. And it doing so you create a self that’s able to fully give to others in return.
The best way to be of service to others is to be the best you possible and part of that process is in forgiving.
Well it’s my birthday, time for reflection on where I’ve been and where I’m going and time to consider all those who have helped me to get to where I am today.
In this, the beginnings of my fourth decade here, I can honestly say that i am very lucky to have many close friends and family. Many who have been there for me, supported me and helped me out when I needed it. All of which I am very grateful for.
However I want to take a moment to recognize the one person to whom I ow so much…My Tante Alice, Alice Marie Powell she’s the lady that raised me, my mentor, my best friend and truly…my mother. If you want to hear the whole story on how she came to raise me, you’re going to have to catch my presentation sometime if you haven’t already…LOL.
I would not be sitting here today celebrating my 40th had it not been for this woman. She was the strongest person I ever knew and would go to any length to protect me and steer me onto the right path. Her words of wisdom shaped me into the person I am today, a few of her sayings:
"Never let anybody tell you that you are not good enough"
"If you want my respect and my trust, you’re going to have to earn it!"
"You’re going to have to take responsibility for you life, because I’m not always going to be here, but I know you can do it and I believe in you."
"That whole blood is thicker than water saying is…BULLSHIT, you’re more my son than anything and I love you."
These and many more were the words that I heard growing up, very empowering indeed. What she said to me was important because it molded me but the fact that she listened to me was just as important. It was comforting to know that I always had someone who would listen and validate me.
She was fun, she loved to dance and attempted to teach me the waltz on a few occasions. She loved music and I developed a great appreciation for Big Band music listening to records with her. She also loved disco and was a huge Micheal Jackson fan, she loved to watch him dance. She played the keyboard by ear and was one of my biggest fans when I started to learn to play guitar. I knew she loved me when she listened to my off key single note renditions of classic Beatles songs that were completely butchered and always cheered me along, encouraging me and emphasizing the words…keep practicing!
We’d take Sunday morning drives after church and go treasure hunting at Yard Sales. I managed to buy a few guitars at some of these sales and I learned all about driving a bargain.
Home is where the heart is…was a saying that went well with her. Tante Alice was the center of the universe for the family, birthday parties, Christmas, Thanks Giving, Easter, Halloween every and any family function was always spearheaded by Tante Alice and her famous cooking. One trait that I picked up from her was that all were welcome in her home. As is the same for Sue and I.
She loved to read, was quick witted and fast with jokes and observations about life. She introduced me to the library and was instrumental in beginning my life long love affair with reading books.
She was strong, could speak her mind and lay you flat out if you pissed her off. But there was always a sweet spot for kids, kids flocked to my Tante Alice, I like to refer to her as the pied piper. She imposed rules and limits whenever anyone came over and I believe it was the structured guidance that she offered to the youth that made her so appealing to them. She use to say all the time, my house my rules and if you don’t like it there’s the door.
As I think back on everything that’s transpired in my life for the past forty years, I am thankful and I wouldn’t change any of it because it brought me to where I am today. My story has been used to inspire others. My daughter bears the name Alice, and I have no doubt Adele Alice Audrey Bacarro will live up to the honor of that name.
It’s been almost 15 years since she passed but I think about her all the time. Much of her strength I see reflected in my wife Sue. Tante Alice never got a chance to meet Sue, but I’d like to think that she would have approved.
Wow 40, I’m cool with it. Much has happened in the past 40 years but I still feel like I’m just starting. I want to thank my Tante Alice for giving me the chance to make it in life and I say cheers to the next 40-50-60 years!!!
Thanks for being along on the journey.
When’s the last time you turned the TV off, shut your mind off from work and learned something new? Do you remember all the fun we had when we were kids learning new things and everything was a huge adventure.
Learning how to ride a bike, play baseball or basketball, going fishing, learning how to cheat at card games. Learning how to drive.
Somewhere along the lines we stopped leaning for the sake of learning and began to learn because we had to. Have to learn the new job to make more money. Have to learn how to manage finances, have to learn how to be responsible because I’m a parent now. And often times the fun in learning has been lost to us.
So right now, today and at this moment, I am giving you permission to go and learn something new BECAUSE YOU WANT TO. Bring some fun back into your life. Learn about painting and the different color spectrums. Learn about photography and the way to compose a shot. Learn archery; understand what it takes to make a bull’s eye that sounds cool.