Archive | July, 2013

Continue Mission

23 Jul

Received some heavy news today.

As the shock, confusion, fear, anger and despair started to creep in, it was my poem “Charlie Mike” that came to mind and eased my racing brain.

I believe that most people who walk the path of the Warrior do so because they were shattered in way. 7 years ago, my wife and I suffered a miscarriage, followed by 7 years of the purgatory known as infertility.

After 7 years of constantly trying, we were finally successful in getting pregnant again. I’ve kept the news pretty quiet just because of everything I’ve been through, with the miscarriage, my injuries, chronic pain, etc. I’ve learned that balance works best for me; controlling my emotions both in times of greatest joy and lowest lows.

During our second ultrasound today, we found out our baby might be missing one of its legs. In addition, my wife’s life may be at risk if it was an infection that caused the missing limb.

It’s natural to let one’s mind race, but my wife and I are finding peace in focusing on *this moment*, letting go of how we wanted things to go and instead recognizing, accepting, and even embracing new developments.

No matter how hard life kicks at you, always remember that you have two choices; end the mission, or Charlie Mike: Continue Mission.

Charlie Mike

There will be times in life when you
Feel that you’re overwhelmed
You’ve suffered too much loss and feel
The wheel cannot be helmed

It starts to rain and won’t ease up
It just proceeds to pour
It’s in those times you should recall
The words of our brave Corps

“Charlie Mike” is what troops say
When plans all go to shit
They do not abort their mission
Instead, they deal with it

“Charlie Mike” from the NATO
Phonetic Alphabet
The letters “C” and “M” declare
It isn’t over yet

And it has carried me through
Times of loss and sorrow when
I knew not what to do

When I could not devise a plan
In face of all the strife
“Charlie Mike’s” the one plan that
Helped me go on with life

When your mind is elsewhere and
You’re too focused on grief
“Charlie Mike” will move your legs
And help turn a new leaf

Regardless of your losses
Even if they’re catastrophic
Keep it simple instead of
Being so philosophic

Take note from our warriors
Adorned in camouflage
“Charlie Mike” no matter how
Persistent the barrage


Be a Warrior. Always.

23 Jul

the tiger’s whisker

21 Jul


The tiger’s whisker

Once upon a time, a young wife named Yun Ok was at her wit’s end. Her husband had always been a tender and loving soulmate before he had left for the wars but, ever since he returned home, he was cross, angry, and unpredictable. She was almost afraid to live with her own husband. Only in glancing moments did she catch a shadow of the husband she used to know and love.

When one ailment or another bothered people in her village, they would often rush for a cure to a hermit who lived deep in the mountains. Not Yun Ok. She always prided herself that she could heal her own troubles. But this time was different. She was desperate.

As Yun Ok approached the hermit’s hut, she saw the door was open. The old man said without turning around: “I hear you. What’s your problem?”


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Empathy and Proper Training

21 Jul

“Empathy is putting yourself in another’s shoes to find out what exactly that person is feeling or going through at the given time. It basically refers to being at a common wavelength with someone.”

~ Deepa Kodikal

But remember…

“It can be very dangerous to see things from somebody else’s point of view without the proper training.”

~ Douglas Adams

No Thing Makes You Cool

19 Jul

No Thing Makes You Cool

The old man cruises by in his
Exotic vintage car
He gets some stares and thinks he’s cool
He feels like a big star

The young man pops his collar and
He flaunts his pricey clothes
He gets some stares and thinks he’s cool
As he stops to strike pose

The young woman does a full spin
To show off her new dress
She gets some stares and thinks she’s cool
As young men do profess

Their admiration, and they all
Get sucked into a lie
That something that they have purchased
With money does imply

That they are cool, that they are suave
That they have chic and class
Not a single one of these
Is something we amass

With money, they are all just things
Which over course of time
Grow boring, dull, monotonous
And lose luster and shine

So many fall into habit
Of buying more and more
Always spending more money
So others will adore

The Warrior does not rely
On wallet to impart
What they’re all about, instead
They show it through their heart

Through actions and intensity
Through sacrifice and grace
They know that no thing makes you “cool”
And don’t bother to chase

The latest fad, the newest trend
Or fanciest new toy
They’ve come to realize that “cool”
Is not the same as “joy”


You Know It. Trust It.

18 Jul

Eric Tonningsen's Awakening to Awareness

“Ego is simply an idea of who you are that you carry around with you.” ~Wayne Dyer

Sometimes people ask me how they can get rid of their ego. I think what they are really asking is how can they get rid of that part of themselves that sabotages them and makes them unhappy. My answer is that you don’t have to get rid of your ego, just stop believing what it is telling you.

The ego-mind is the part of us that interprets our experiences using our belief system as a filter. These learned beliefs are used to look at a situation and give it meaning. The meanings will be as distorted as our beliefs are about ourselves. How can our beliefs be distorted? Easily. Our beliefs are learned from what people have told us and how they rewarded, punished and made us feel. We believe about ourselves what the…

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Tomorrow is late…

18 Jul

“Tomorrow” is much too late for
A Warrior to start
“Tomorrow” is the due date for
Those who are lacking heart

“Now” is all that matters to
Those who are in the know
“Now” is when you start to strengthen
Learn, adapt and grow

“Now” is magic hour, not
“Tomorrow” down the road
“Now” is when a Warrior’s
True potential is showed


Into War

16 Jul


Into War

To war you must sometimes decide
To head into, to walk, to ride

To face the selfish ignorants
To aid the weak, be their defense

Against all those who take and take
The cowardly who aren’t awake

The ones who do lack empathy
Who just one point of view do see

In war we must engage these boors
Cowards run, but one endures

The Warrior stands face to face
And only does exhibit grace

No anger or hostility
Just searing, painful, third-degree

Of truth is hurled at all who hurt
For their own gain, let us assert

Let Warriors step up and walk
And stare in eyes of those who talk

And talk and talk but do so little
Let us show them just how brittle

Their selfish egos really are
As we draw blade of truth and scar

With words like “Coward,” “Selfish,” “Weak”
“Self-centered,” “Self-absorbed” and “Bleak”

No insults hurled, just what’s observed
And truth will make ego unnerved

Do not fear the war on hate
It is every Warrior’s fate

To walk into the fire though
All others run away in woe

Towards the things which irritate
Which scare and cause to be irate

To stare into its pupils and
Refuse to budge, to make a stand

To say, “You move” to bullies who
Wish you as well would say “Adeiu”

If more would go into this war
And not think of it as a chore

If more would face the ugliness
Instead of saying, “Too much stress!”

Then those who bully and torment
And tease would finally relent

Because they’d know there was a price
And every bully would think twice

They’d think, “Perhaps I’ll hold my tongue”
For fear a Warrior’s among

The timid masses and would go
Into war, stand toe to toe

And give them not a single inch
Not be afraid and never flinch

Stare into their hate filled eyes
And say, “I can see through your guise

I can see past this mask you’ve made
And it does not make me afraid

You don’t have an effect on me
So lean in, come look close and see

That I was born to face, confront
To step in path and take the brunt

And still survive to just repeat
To go to war while rest retreat”

And into war we’ll always walk
With those who disrespect and mock

It’s into war where we reveal
Our iron will and grace of steel


Poem: I Am A Warrior

15 Jul

Global Health and Human Rights

    african warrior

 My name is Mwana Ya Mpiganaji.

 In Swahili, it means son of a warrior.

 I was a child soldier, I was a warrior.

 I lost my leg to a landmine,

 I lost my house to the burning and the looting,

 I lost my parents to the armed fractions.

 I’m an orphan, a nobody’s child.

 Now the war is over, or so they say.

 Now I’m fighting for my survival,

 I’m not afraid. I’m a warrior, I was born a warrior.

They called me Mremba.

 At fourteen, I was raped by a soldier.

 I, later found out that I was pregnant.

 As a result, my parents abandoned me,

 The guilt, the shame was too much for them to bear.

 I gave birth alone in a bush, to a beautiful daughter.

 I walked miles and miles with her, through the empty land.

 At one point, I felt all my…

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The Opposite of Scarcity

14 Jul

Eric Tonningsen's Awakening to Awareness

“Think about any attachments that are depleting your emotional reserves. Consider letting them go.” ~Oprah Winfrey

Do you remember the last time you were driving down a road and noticed that your gas tank was on “E”? How did you feel? If you’re like most of us, you started feeling just a little anxious.

You probably began thinking about how and when you would find a gas station. You might have even wondered (for a few seconds) what it would be like if you ran out of gas. Lots of uncomfortable visuals.

Now switch scenarios. Recall how you felt when you just filled the tank. You are confidently driving with an ample reserve of gas. No worries about fuel (okay, maybe the cost!); no anxiety about running out.

To have a reserve means that you have more than you need, often so much more that you essentially have no needs. In…

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