• Surrender to Win

    I used to have an AA sponsor who often said he was waving his little white flag.

    I surrender… 🏳

    I’ve also heard that surrendering is not admitting defeat, but choosing to join the winning side.

    Now whether you want to be restrained or not by such social constructs as winning and losing (since we live in a fairly competitive society), that is up to you.

    The point, however, out of years of personal trial and error, is that by surrendering, or rather allowing what is, I’ve learned freedom and happiness naturally flow when I let shit go.

    Pretty sure that’s a direct quote…

    And what, young Bucky, you may be wondering, should I let go?

    Oh, that’s simple…

    EVERY FUCKING THING!

    It’s also been said it’s “Simple, but not easy.”

    But since when has life and thriving beyond trauma been fucking easy?

    Anything worthwhile in life certainly is worth (yes, I used a derivative of “worth” twice) enduring some pain.

    I heard in high school that life is pain.

    That seems bleak and definitely does not paint the whole picture.

    But as patron saint, David Goggins, illustrates in his book Can’t Hurt Me, freedom lies beyond the pain.

    When we change our relationship to pain, and I submit to you to death (https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/05/27/let-old-things-die/), our lives open up to incredible potential.

    David Goggins says when we think we’ve reached our limit, we’re only at 40%. We have 60% of untapped resources within.

    The key is to surrender to the hard stuff….

    Good ol’ reliable Michael…😉

    Let There Be Life

    As mentioned at the end of last week’s blog, I have some big news to share with you all…

    I know, the suspense is killing you.

    And far be it for me to milk the situation and draw out the

    Antici…

    -pation… 😜

    I’m all about the moment before the moment!

    I mean, isn’t the anticipation of getting something almost better than actually getting it?

    You know what I mean, ladies…

    Have you ever gotten so excited about something, and the build up was amazing until the actual event occurs?

    I swear this never happens…

    Okay, okay…

    I know.

    Get to the fucking point, Greenleaf.

    The fucking point (as you so eloquently said or rather, I wrote into your mouth—that just sounds nasty) is that anticipation of pain is pointless.

    Sure, it’s great to feel excited about stuff, but what good does it do us to pre-feel pain?

    As the great philosopher, Mark Twain said (or wrote… maybe he said it and wrote it. I don’t fucking know)…

    So…

    In a long-about-wordy-meandering-tangential way (this amuses me 😆), I submit to you to stop fucking worrying.

    Feel the pain once.

    And let there be life.

    You may be wondering at this point if I’ll ever tell you the big news I alluded to earlier.

    I haven’t forgotten.

    I just wanted to make a point about waiting…

    Point made.

    SO!!!!

    The big news is that my amazing oldest child gave birth to my first granddaughter last Sunday!!!

    Out of respect for their wishes (the parents, not the baby’s), I won’t post pics with her face or name on the interwebs.

    But here’s one they posted, so I think it’s safe…😇

    And yes, since you were wondering, the beautiful baby was born at 11:56 weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces.

    That’s two 13s, motherfucker!!!

    If you don’t get the 13 reference, read last week’s post…

    I am indescribably (but I’m going to try to describe it) grateful mother and baby are healthy.

    Our newest family member was born eight days after their due date, and yet, right on time.

    My child had planned for a natural birth, and due to genetics and the will of the Universe, after several days of pre-labor, Little Baby came via cesarean section.

    I cried when I found out.

    I felt such extreme joy and relief.

    The joy and love I experience over my child, grandchild, and this whole experience is greater than anything I’ve ever known.

    The depth of feelings I experience over this often surprises me.

    It’s like a part of me opens up I don’t often feel I have access to.

    Overcome with joy is the best I can say about it.

    Although, I surrendered to the timing and outcome several times, a part of me was worried.

    In talking with my child prior to the birth, they revealed to me not only their plans, concerns, but also their own surrender that things will play out how they will.

    They anticipated the pain and planned to lean into it through mindfulness.

    I am so proud of my child’s perseverance, adaptability, and empowered voice as the birthing events unfolded.

    They and their husband are the epitome of loving parents, and I am in so much awe of these amazing people.

    They inspire me.

    And yes, I am a proud Papa.

    We get to see the new little one at the end of this month.

    And yes…

    I’m very

    ex-

    -cited… 🥰

    House Panther of Pain

    As I waited with bated breath for the birth of my grandbaby, I decided to invest (loose use of the word “invest”) some of the motorcycle sale proceeds into some new ink.

    And by ink, I mean a large fucking chest tattoo of my beloved black house panther.

    Perhaps it wasn’t the wisest way to spend this money, but the coverup work and homage to my heart’s desire was long overdue.

    At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

    And the tat’s already done, so it’s moot at this point.

    Anywho…

    If you’ve ever had any tattoo work done, the vast majority of people know the process is painful as fuck.

    Not to mention the chest, collarbone, sternum, armpit, nipple areas tend to be sensitive.

    No, I didn’t get my armpit or nipple tatted, but close e-fucking-nough!

    The thing about nerves in the chest is pain travels.

    So when he was tatting my collarbone, it felt like it was on my neck. Near the nipple, it felt like on the nipple, and so on and so forth.

    I just wanted to see how many times I could write nipple before it got weird for you.

    I think five nipple mentions (now six) is sufficient to achieve the weirding-out effect.

    I resisted posting an actual nipple… Oh, that’s seven!

    And speaking of seven… (not nipples—that’s eight, well technically nine because it’s plural, unless it’s an infinite number of nipples…)

    That’s ten or infinity.

    I don’t know.

    Math is hard.

    That’s not what she said, Michael. Calm down.

    Anyway…

    I spent over eight hours at the tattoo shop, and seven hours actually under the gun.

    The thing about getting tattoos is it requires commitment to a long drawn out and frequently painful process.

    In the years I’ve been getting tattoos, I’ve tried distracting myself with music or conversation, taking ibuprofen and Tylenol before hand. Hell, I’ve probably even been stoned. (I don’t recommend that).

    This time, rather than resist the pain, I focused on deep breathing to let it flow through me.

    I focused on something in front of me (a black chandelier 🖤) as well as taking long inhalations and exhalations.

    In yoga, I’ve learned what I think is called pranayama breathing. Maybe I haven’t learned it, since I’m unsure that’s what it’s called.

    Nonetheless, by focusing on inflating my diaphragm (also to keep my chest as still as possible so the artist wouldn’t fuck up) and then constricting my throat (like fogging a mirror) whilst exhaling, the pain (while still painful) was much more bearable.

    The onlooking tattoo artists assured me the real estate of which my tat was located is extremely painful.

    Yes, I fielded some stupid questions like, “Does that hurt?”

    Of course it fucking does!

    But my response to the pain was veiled in a focused stoic stance of breath work and determination.

    I chose to fucking do this.

    I committed to it.

    I surrendered to it.

    I transcended it into an altered state of consciousness.

    And I endured.

    The reward was a beautiful tattoo and the gift of knowing I can withstand extreme pain for several hours.

    It’s a right of passage to me.

    Nothing worthwhile comes without enduring, embracing, and surrendering to pain.

    Just ask my child and the house panther.

    As seen on TikTok @greenleaf4life
    Tú eres mi corazón, pantera de la casa 🖤🐈‍⬛

    Conclusion

    So, young Bucky…

    What have we learned here today?

    Well, let me tell you.

    The point of life is NOT the avoidance of pain!

    Clearly, if you’ve read this far, you’ve endured a little pain your damned self.

    Congratulations!

    Welcome to the human race!

    When we build up our lives with the sheer goal of avoiding pain, we suffer.

    Period.

    Pain is mandatory. Suffering is optional.

    That which we resist persists.

    Feel the pain!

    Embrace the pain.

    Understand that freedom lies in surrendering to the pain, and yes, letting that shit go!

    As we change our relationship to pain and learn to embrace it and let it go, we truly live.

    Strength is achieved in surrendering.

    If you don’t believe me, keep trying to avoid pain.

    Sooner or later you’ll surrender that approach too.

    You deserve to live fully, and the only way out is through.

    If you’re walking through Hell, keep walking.

    You can do this!

    It’s all about mindset.

    Mind over matter.

    If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.

    What have you got to lose?

    Good luck and be well. ☺️

    Thank you for reading the latest installment of the memoirs of a house panther manor man. We are here to thrive beyond trauma! If you enjoyed this little post, be sure to like, comment, follow, and read my other fucking posts!

    I also offer life coaching services. When you decide to get off your ass and do some hard shit, shoot me an email at davidgreenleaf4life@gmail.com. We’ll get you where you want to go in life!

    Be sure to check out the podcast.

    https://open.spotify.com/episode/2c7akRMZBMQuMkEYgd4O3V?si=8fL7WWmMRLGUlH6efvcHOw

    You can also find me on the socials—

    Instagram @greenleaf_4_life

    TikTok @greenleaf4life

  • The Miracles of Marriage and Motorcycles

    Strap in folks!

    You are about to go for one hell of a ride!

    Off to a strong start so far…

    This week in the life and times of yours truly some major shit has gone down!

    That’s also what she said…

    Okay, okay… Enough fucking around (also what she said).

    Let’s try to get a coherent thought out that doesn’t contain profanity or a euphemism.

    Hmmmm….

    I’m drawing a blank.

    Ah, fuck it! I’ll just write and let the fucks and inuendoes [in your end… oh!] flow feely…

    It is my style, after all.

    Okay, no pressure.

    It’s Sunday afternoon, my beloved is taking a nap, the kitties are stirring in the distance, and I’m grateful to finally sit down and write.

    In fact, I love writing so much that I rarely do it these days.

    Try understanding it from the inside…

    Right now, I’m at a stage of life [insert bullshit self-justification] that I am too busy to write as frequently as I want.

    And…

    The very act of planting my happy ass in the chair to scribe such philosophical tripe seems to take an act of God.

    And I’m okay with this…

    #okaynotokay

    The bullshit part is that I tell myself I am too tired and busy to consistently pursue what I love because of working my ass off in the Phoenician heat dragging tree limbs and heaving log chunks.

    So there is that.

    If David Goggins were here, he might just bitch slap me for all this excuse making.

    Except, he’d look like a gremlin.

    You know the ones in my head?

    That paints a picture.

    So yes, the motivating voices in my head (some shame-based) look like (sound like?) David Goggins and the evil gremlins.

    I doubt the interwebs even has a picture of such for me to post, but you know I’ll look for one.

    Maybe I finally had an original thought?

    David Goggins Gremlins…

    Fuck yeah!

    David Goggins GIF - David Goggins - Discover & Share GIFs
    That’s what she said, David…
    Brain Gremlin GIFs | Tenor
    Hmmm… Yes, Stay Hard indeed…

    Okay, that’s the best I can do without any photoshop skills, but I’ll work on it.

    Anywho… my point is…

    What the fuck was my point?

    Oh yeah! I’m making excuses for not writing more often because I’m tired, in-love, and distracted as a motherfucker.

    However, the dream is still alive, and here I am clicking away at the keyboard of dreams for your and my edification and pleasure.

    So, come inside.

    Make yourself comfortable.

    And welcome to the light at the end of the tunnel…

    Living the Dream

    Aside from making excuses about not writing more frequently, if you’ve been following the blog or know me personally, then you know some big changes have happened in my wonderful life.

    Since the subtext of this blog is about thriving beyond trauma, I think it’s important to note that’s exactly what the fuck I’ve been doing.

    In just nine short months, I have regained my sobriety, lost about 25 pounds, transformed my mind and body through regular CrossFit participation, met the love of my life, got a couple kitties, moved into a house, and am happier than I ever remember being.

    I’m not just thriving…

    I’m thriving like a motherfucker!

    And one could say I’m manifesting like a motherfucker, too.

    Everything, and I mean everything I wanted when I moved to this god-forsaken desert wasteland… I mean gorgeous oasis called Phoenix, has occurred.

    I credit that largely to the benevolence of the God beyond my understanding, consistent work, and a shift in attitude.

    Ironically (or paradoxically) the actions created the attitude and vice versa.

    In AA, some say, “Bring the ass and the mind will follow.”

    It’s simple Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) shit.

    Make a decision, and do the damned thing!

    One’s attitude changes enough to start taking new actions, and the new actions reinforce the new attitude.

    For instance…

    It’s Sunday, and I have a long history of hitting snooze and struggling to get out of bed in the morning.

    Today, the alarm went off at 5AM, and I sprung out of bed ready to go!

    When the alarm used to go off, the first word out of my mouth was, “Fuck!”

    When I shared this information with my beloved, she said it’s because I am happy.

    And she is fucking right!

    Everything I’ve been through up to this moment–the subtle and not-so-subtle actions I’ve taken, and the grace of my higher power transformed me to live the fucking dream!

    So you may be thinking, “Well that’s nice, David. I’m sooooo fucking happy for you…” [yes, you were meant to read that as a sarcastic tone]

    Or (hopefully) you’re thinking, “What the fuck do I have to do to acquire this happiness?”

    Maybe you’re wondering what drugs I’m on?

    Just creatine and caffeine… I assure you.

    Okay, and fucking nicotine… You got me.

    Are you fucking happy now?

    If not, maybe, just maybe, you’re wondering how could things get any better?

    Well, young Bucky, let me tell you a couple stories of how things have unfolded for yours truly over the last couple weeks, and maybe you’ll gain a nugget or two for how to live boldly, and yes, thrive beyond trauma!

    Amazon.com: Fortune Favors The Bold, motivational poster print: Posters &  Prints

    She Said Yes!!!

    The biggest and happiest news I have to share is my beloved Tricia accepted my proposal in marriage a little over a week ago!

    I think it’s important to share this first because of the sheer importance of it [yes, that was redundant], and I am running out of descriptor words for her besides “fiancée” to use for this blog post.

    The word “miracle” appears in the main title because I was starting to wonder if marriage might be a fantasy I may never experience again.

    As I’ve mentioned, years ago, I wrote out an intention for the ideal mate.

    I had certain qualities I was looking for, and even though I am in the business of manifesting dreams, I was starting to lose hope.

    If you’ve been reading this blog, you know my dating history has been less than ideal.

    I also take a lot of responsibility in that because, as you can probably ascertain from reading this, I am not an easy person to love.

    Unless you are Patricia “Panelicious” Shoemaker!

    By trudging my way through the murky waters of online dating and a series of trials and (mostly) errors, every single step along the meandering path of love led me to her.

    None of the past relationships were a mistake.

    They all happened when and how they needed to to bring me to this lovely place by Tricia’s side.

    Yes, I am still growing and learning how to be a healthy and loving person…

    And…

    I found the person who checks the boxes I drew nearly four fun-filled years ago.

    I cried out to the heavens to find my bride (yes, that is a bit dramatic), and she appeared…

    Fear of the Dark – Life Less Ordinary

    Tricia was worth waiting for.

    She is my best friend, my partner-in-crime, my lover, the mother to our kitties, and I cannot imagine life without her.

    As the flow of our relationship continued to blossom (does a flow blossom?), I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

    And yes, that’s asking a lot of her…

    As loving and charismatic as I can be, I have certain quirks that make cohabitation (I imagine) challenging at times.

    However, I know she’s the one to live and grow with me.

    We both have a growth-mindset and enough humility to admit our mistakes and forgive one another. (She’ll get a lot of practice in forgiving me… I fuck up regularly).

    AND!!!

    That’s the spice of life!

    That’s what I was looking for!

    Tricia is the perfect partner for walking hand-in-hand through the ebb and flow (the blossoming one 😉 ) of life, leaning on love, recovery, and you guessed it, young Bucky, thriving beyond motherfucking trauma!

    So, you may be asking, just how did this wily writer drop the bomb of matrimonial bondage on this unsuspecting sweetheart?

    Well friends…

    Lend me you ears…

    Or eyes, rather…

    Unlike this current post wherein I revealed to you upfront about the proposal, on my podcast, I saved that tidbit for the conclusion.

    In fact, on episode 13, the season finale, I interviewed Tricia and proposed at the end.

    It’s getting resized, otherwise it would be on her finger.

    If you’d like to hear her amazing story, strategies for thriving beyond trauma, and of course, the proposal, check out the interview posted below.

    She gave a wonderful interview, and her reaction to the proposal was priceless!

    It is a very happy memory we will not soon forget.

    Plus, we can listen to the podcasted proposal anytime we want.

    And we have…

    Several times…

    It makes us smile.

    Post-proposal celebration selfie…

    A Side Note About Synchronicity

    I believe the Universe leaves me breadcrumbs as signs I am on track.

    Figuratively, not literally – except I wrote it, so it is literally, too. 😉

    As soon as I left the parking lot with the engagement ring in hand, whom should I pull up next to on a very busy road?

    Tricia!

    I was driving down a major street in the Glendale area, and coincidentally, she pulled out of a driveway and ended up right next to me.

    The odds of that happening are astronomical as there are easily over a quarter million people in the Glendale area, not to mention Phoenix’s population.

    That, my friends, is synchroncity.

    Of course, I was busted as she knows I never take that way home from work, and I always text her when I’m en route.

    But I played it cool.

    She asked what I was up to after I followed her into another parking lot.

    I merely said I was following her.

    That was true, vague, maybe even a teeny bit deceitful…

    But I was on a mission from God, and I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

    I Solemnly Swear Im Up To No Good Wallpapers - Wallpaper Cave
    Mischief Managed…

    Nonetheless, she didn’t pry, and my scheme was afoot.

    I kept dropping subtle hints and worried about her finding the ring, how to go about the proposal, et cetera, etc.

    As I led up to the big question, I read her the following poem I wrote the morning of the proposal.

    What words would I use

    What words would I choose

    What way would I say

    Today is the day

    I choose you

    Lost & found

    Through slings & arrows

    As the poet sings

    Our focus narrows

    And I choose you

    Lost & found

    Through trial & error

    Every step we’ve taken

    Brought us nearer

    And I choose you

    Lost & found

    And grounded

    In synchronicity

    In loving lucidity

    I choose you

    Lost & found

    Lost in each other’s eyes

    Found in each other’s arms

    Lost, we’ve found our way home

    And I choose you

    Lost & found

    A symbol for forever

    I choose now

    And eternity together

    I choose you

    Lost & found

    Will you walk

    With me through the flames

    Take what the heart claims

    Will you choose me?

    Because God as my witness

    I never want to miss this…

    I choose you!

    —I Choose You

    Coincidentally (I prefer synchronistically–and yes it’s a fucking word, autocorrect!), during the interview, she said, “I choose you.”

    AND…

    She found a song for our wedding by the same title!

    Oh…. the breadcrumbs are a-flowing…

    You know what I mean.

    Maybe you don’t.

    Then, while we supped celebrating our new engagement, we thought it would be fun to go buy a Powerball ticket with our first date and planned wedding date as our lottery numbers.

    You may know that my favorite number is 13.

    I told her it would be cool if we found a 76 station on 67th Ave to buy our lottery ticket (yes, I know you can do math… never mind) because they equal 13.

    And BAM! There it was! A minute away from the restaurant.

    She thinks I knew it was there, but I really don’t remember there being a 76 on 67th otherwise, that’d be the only gas station I ever go to.

    Then, the Powerball jackpot was $238 million (yes, another 13). No, we didn’t win. If we had, I would’ve written this blog days ago because I would’ve quit my fucking job.

    Nonetheless, that’s a cool little coinkydink. (It’s a word, autocorrect. Look it up!)

    Oh yeah, and the price for our meals totaled $90.31….

    Yes, another fucking 13!!!!

    I’m glad Tricia sees these damn 13s with me, otherwise, I’m sure there would be a padded cell waiting for me as I crawl around on the floor, wearing an extra long-sleeved jacket strapped in the back (a very wordy way to write straight jacket, I know) whilst looking for a corner in a round room mumbling something about the 13s.

    A final note about this synchronicity business…

    To-date, (which has only been just over a week), everything Tricia has said she wants for our wedding décor is exactly how I envisioned the perfect wedding.

    When she played the song we will walk down the aisle to, I just stood in the kitchen, held her, listened, and cried tears of joy.

    She and everything she brings to this union is perfect.

    It is all aligned with our hearts’ greatest desires, and yes, thriving beyond trauma.

    Motorcycle Miracle? Really?

    Recently finished season 6 of Sons of Anarchy. And then watched the final  scene without watching season 7. I feel like this was definitely the best  way to watch it. : r/Sonsofanarchy
    If you’ve seen this show, that’s not quite what I mean… But I like the pic…

    Okay, the use of the word “miracle” is a bit heavy handed to describe the following adventures in selling my Honda motorcycle.

    Certainly, it’s a no-brainer that Tricia agreeing to marry me was a miracle (as well as finding her to begin with).

    But motorcycle miracles? Really?

    I think so…

    The interwebs (and they know everything) say that a miracle is “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.”

    Now, I’m sure the point of scientific laws could be argued here as relevant to motorcycles and the sale thereof, but to me, the motorcycle and the selling of it are pure fucking magic….

    So, the miracle moniker stands.

    My blog. My miracle.

    When transphobes say trans people aren't real : r/traaaaaaannnnnnnnnns

    Now that we got that cleared up, I’ll attempt to get back to my point…

    The point is, since you asked, is that the same day I proposed to the lovely Tricia, I also (finally) sold my Honda motorcycle.

    I may have mentioned in a previous post (you’ll have to read it to find out–https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/09/04/the-only-constant-is-change/) that I sold out and bought a beautiful Harley Davidson. Since Tricia found it, I think it’s good Joo Joo to have sold my soul to the HD gods.

    Well…

    As a result of such mechanized necromancy, I decided to sell my Honda.

    I’ve had that bike for five years.

    I loved that bike.

    For a mechanical neophyte such as myself, the low maintenance and zoom-zoom of it made it a perfect bike for me.

    It was my self-care via throttle therapy after my life fell apart in 2017.

    I’ve ridden that bike from Phoenix to California and up to Oregon and back on more than one occassion.

    AND…

    It was a black 1300!

    I know, right!?!

    It was made for me!

    The fact that it was a black 1300 (and I could afford it) was reason enough for me to buy it to begin with.

    But, alas, parting is such sweet sorrow because until Tricia learns to ride and we become independently wealthy, we need to be a one-bike family for now.

    I am grateful for the memories, Black Beauty….

    Awww… True Love (ménage à moto)

    Well, friends, you’d think as the weather cools down in the greater Phoenix area, more people would be in the market for purchasing a little two-wheeled freedom.

    And they are!

    This, however, young Bucky, is where the fuckery and practicing of spiritual principles intersect at the crossroads of Craigslist, OfferUp, and Facebook Marketplace.

    My bike actually went up in value since I bought it!

    Yay!!

    Sure, it was a little high in miles (because I rode the motherfucker). But it is a 16 year old bike. It should have some miles on it.

    Nonetheless, the aforementioned fuckery began with the Harley dealer. Those assholes (they take pride in that label, I mean the asshole part, and I suppose the Harley label, too… I digress) offered me less than half of what the bike was supposedly worth (because it’s a “metric” bike… where’s my eyeroll emoji?).

    Then, after deciding to sell privately, I received a litany of lame bids for my beloved Black Beauty.

    I was selling it for nearly $1,000 less than the (supposed) value.

    People either flaked, lowballed me, wanted to pick apart what was wrong with it (the miles), etc.

    Not one of these sons-o’-bitches actually came to look at the bike over the two weeks I was trying to sell it.

    It was akin to online dating, except with dipshit would-be biker-buyers.

    I wasn’t desperate to sell it, but I wanted at least $3,500 for it.

    That seemed fair because it’s solid and fun as fuck to ride.

    So, as my patience wore thin with the surplus of stupidity chiming away on my phone, I decided I have a bottom dollar, and I’m taking no less.,

    For inspiration, I referred to the late-great bard of boldness, Bernie Mac, to help me stick to my guns whilst negotiating with fools… I mean perspective buyers.

    Masterful negotiating…

    So, whenever anybody gave me a ridiculous bid for the bike, I merely messaged $3,500 back to them. I imagined my beloved Bernie Mac saying “half” over and over until the point was made.

    Then…

    A wonderful man who seemed interested in my bike came along.

    He took his time.

    He researched.

    He test drove other bikes.

    I merely made myself available and trusted in the divine agency (miracle) of letting shit go whilst manifesting like a motherfucker <— secret of life shit here!

    You’re welcome. 🙂

    This person came to look at my bike after riding others that day. He complimented me on how clean it was (since I shelled out money to detail the bitch, it made me happy to hear that.) He test drove it and came roaring up to our house with a big grin on his face.

    He asked me how much I was selling it for. I told him $3,965 (as listed) and that I am willing to negotiate (Bernie Mac welling up inside of me–that sounds wrong since I just typed it).

    I know better than to name a lower price, so I let him go first.

    He asked with sincerity, “Will you take $3,500?”

    I felt like the loch ness monster in South Park.

    But instead of getting “three-fitty,” I got the number me and the Almighty agreed upon (not the buyer, the Universe).

    I smiled, extended out my arm, slapped him hard in the face, and said, “I need three-fitty.”

    Just kidding. I’m just amusing myself right now.

    I shook his hand and said, “Deal!”

    I even accepted a personal check from this guy because to all appearances, he seemed nice, drove a nice truck, he loved the bike, and he named my magic number for the purchase price (besides 13 or three-fitty).

    Wait For It

    The miracle of the two stories I told you comes down to waiting on the Universe to present what your heart desires.

    Sometimes, I think with all of the patience I practice, I should be a doctor. (That joke works better said rather than written.)

    I knew in November of 2018 the kind of woman I was looking for.

    I set the intention, surrendered it to my Higher Power, went out and made a mess of things for awhile, and eventually found out I need not settle.

    Again, I had boxes that need checking, and all I had to do was be patient as I found the woman who checks said boxes.

    I knew I wanted a certain amount for the motorcycle. I ignored the offers that did not check my boxes (or box–the price) and did not settle.

    The point is DO NOT SETTLE!

    As trauma survivors, it can be difficult to determine what we want.

    It can be easy to allow shit we’re not okay with.

    Through a process of letting shit go, healing, and getting in-touch with our true selves, we get to figure out what the fuck we really want.

    The key is to hold out for that.

    Yes, life doesn’t always go our way.

    As we speak (me write and you read), I am retyping this fucking blog post for the second time because due to operator error, technological glitches, and the Matrix, this post got deleted.

    Evidently, if I start writing through WordPress on my phone and then pick it up on the laptop, two versions are created, and yes, it reverted to the original phone version with only two sentences, a Michael Scott and Kevin Hart meme.

    You’ve read how long this fucking post is…

    It’s taken me nearly three hours to retype this fucker.

    Fortunately, when I realized my mistake, through other inexplicable technological fuckery (probably cache or something), the finished version still showed up in my browser, so I took 50 some odd screen shots to recreate this.

    Yes, shit doesn’t always go our way.

    However, if you have dreams and desires, there is a way to bring those things into existence whilst letting go of the outcome (or screaming at your laptop for losing your long ass post).

    It may seem paradoxical (or insane) to consider going for what you want while letting go…

    But there really isn’t a better way without driving yourself or others crazy.

    When I proposed to Tricia, I figured she’d say yes.

    However, a part of me also surrendered to the possibility that she may say no.

    If she had, we would’ve figured out what to do next, if anything.

    The point is that I let go of the outcome WHILE pursuing my heart’s desire.

    Chase what you love. (Not in a stalker way–I shouldn’t have to say this… I hope.)

    But while you chase what you love, accept that the path meanders and will not go as you plan.

    You may find yourself recreating a blog post from 50 screenshots…

    Or from memory… That would’ve sucked, but I would’ve done it.

    It does not mean you need to change your goal.

    It just means now is not the right time for your intended outcome to manifest.

    Keep to your vision, be patient, trust the process, let the fuck go, and you will accomplish what intention you put out into the Universe.

    See how simple that is?

    SURELY YOU JEST - Aristocat meme | Meme Generator
    No, I jest not, Mister Whiskers… And don’t call me Shirley…

    These verbal puns don’t quite work in written form.

    Regardless of my punny sense of humor, if you got anything from this, DON’T FUCKING SETTLE and BE PATIENT!

    Conclusion

    Thank you for following along my long-winded (written) rants about thriving beyond trauma.

    Sure, it may be a stretch to say my life adventures and attitudes are thriving beyond trauma, but as a trauma survivor, I am leading a charmed fucking life right now!

    I firmly believe every story contains at least one lesson.

    Everyone has a story, and the more we take the time to listen to (and hear) each other, the more we learn and connect.

    The next time you find yourself judging someone (I know, I know, my readers don’t judge people); okay, the next time I find myself judging someone, I’m going to try to remember everyone has a story, and I don’t know what that person has been through or is going through.

    My life is an example of living on borrowed time.

    I could’ve easily died before I reached 18.

    Through the various trials and errors of my life, I believe I’ve learned a thing or two to maintain a basic amount of self-esteem, contentment, and usefulness.

    I have learned that what my heart longs for matters.

    I have learned that it’s okay to say no when I find myself close to settling for less.

    Without repeating myself too much, I want to reiterate redundantly and repetitiously: WHAT YOU WANT MATTERS!!!

    I mean, don’t be a total self-centered, self-seeking dick like I can be from time-to-time.

    You know, think of others first.

    But not at the expense of always sacrificing what you want.

    You are worth it!

    Look in the fucking mirror and tell yourself, “What I want (and need) matters!

    Say it until you believe it.

    Figure out what those things are (wants and needs), and fucking do something about it!

    Don’t wait for someday.

    Someday will never come.

    Today is someday!

    You got this!

    I believe in you!

    We’re in this together!

    So do it again until you get it right!

    That’s also what she said.

    Be well 🙂

    Thank you for reading another installment of as the engagement ring turns. We are here to thrive beyond trauma! No one said it would be an easy or straight road, but we are committed to manifesting the life of our dreams!

    Since I already posted the link to the podcast where I proposed to Tricia, I won’t post it a second time (but you know I am tempted to…)

    Also, I am ready to help you find the love of your life, get the job you dream of, lose weight, get in shape, get along better with your spouse, get a fucking cat (or dog, I suppose–just kidding, I like dogs, too.)

    As your life coach, we will team up to get some shit done! Drop me a line (no cocaine, thanks) at davidgreenleaf4life@gmail.com.

    Be sure to subscribe, like, comment, follow, throw tomatoes, or whatever with this blog. It’s your life. Regardless, I thank you from the bottom of my blackened heart for reading!

    Stay tuned for my adventures in thriving beyond trauma!

    I’ve got a great post brewing for next week!

    You can also check me out on the socials:

    Instagram: @greenleaf_4_life

    TikTok: @greenleaf4life

  • Adventures in Domestication

    They say (whoever they are) cats domesticate humans, not the other way around.

    Dogs, on the other hand, give it up for anyone.

    They just ooze love and attention.

    But cats require a certain je ne sais quoi… A certain finesse.

    As for yours truly, I lend myself to the feline purrrsuasion.

    Not that it’s ever a good idea to quote Andrew Dice Clay, but in his esteemed words, “I don’t play hard to get, I play hard to want.”

    Fortunately, over the last several weeks I’ve found a partner willing to ride this rollercoaster I call life, and she has a certain finesse about her, too.

    I’ve found my match, and we have kitties.

    We’ve all moved into a house, and the adventures in domestication have ensued.

    And yes, young Bucky, you may be asking yourself or screaming at your screen, what the hell does this have to do with thriving beyond trauma!?

    Well hold on to your tighty-whiteys as I elucidate on the finer points of living in a mad realm… I mean our happy abode. 😇

    Two Cats Walk Into A Bar

    Tricia just told me if you die while having an orgasm, you’re both cumming and going.

    Should I be worried?

    Should I even be writing right now?

    I’m trying to formulate (somewhat) coherent thoughts whilst blogging on my phone after working strenuously in the Phoenician heat and sitting patiently as our landlord replaces our water heater.

    Yes, today’s adventure includes getting a call from my exasperated beloved that our house flooded due to our ancient water heater bursting.

    All I did was comfort her, come home, and start cleaning up water.

    She, on the other hand, got the shock of not only finding the soggy mess but also getting slightly electrocuted by her computer power cord.

    And yes, the kitties are fine. Thank you for asking.

    They took to high ground on the couch since no ark was built.

    Tricia, however, was not a happy camper.

    And rightfully so.

    Now that the dust (or water) has settled, she is doing much better.

    Fortunately, our landlord was mostly responsive (once he called us back), came over and has fixed the issue.

    Sure, some of our boxes and electronics got soaked, but we lived and things appear to be moving along.

    Don’t get me wrong. It was an ordeal.

    I’m just glad Tricia (and the kitties) are okay.

    You Don’t Have to be Crazy to Live Here… We’ll Train You

    You still may be asking yourself what the fuck this has to do with thriving beyond trauma…

    Or maybe you’re wondering why you subscribe to this blog or if you left the oven on.

    Regardless, in a roundabout way, I think describing the domestication of trauma survivors (the cats included) is in and of itself, thriving beyond trauma.

    Last week we quit smoking.

    This week we started up again.

    And by we I mean I did and Tricia followed suit especially in the wake of house flooding.

    Is it an excuse?

    Nope.

    It’s two people seeking clemency through nicotine addiction rather than flipping the fuck out.

    So yes, there’s still some room for growth.

    I can understand after her day today wanting a cigarette.

    My reasoning was much less justified.

    I thought I lost my precious Beats ear buds.

    Yes, I can be that superficial and shallow.

    I was pissed about losing my overpriced electronic doo-dads and basically threw a fit of self pity and nihilism.

    No, the house flooding didn’t get me going.

    It was something as meaningless and simple as losing a toy that threw me over the edge.

    And…

    I found the fucking earbuds today in the work truck.

    So….

    [dramatic pause]

    I started smoking again over nothing.

    Yes, the gremlins are loud right now.

    I can’t hear you over all this shame…

    In an attempt to take the nail out of the board I beat myself with, I will say thriving beyond trauma is not linear nor am I perfect (nor am I expected to be—except by those fucking gremlins).

    So yeah…

    There’s that.

    I’m sure I’ll quit again.

    I mean everyone quits smoking sooner or later.

    I’m just planning on it being sooner.

    Than later…

    People are just dying to get in here…

    So during our eight cigarette-free days Tricia and my new-found domestic life experienced some challenges.

    Learning to live with another adult in an intimate environment is definitely an adventure.

    It’s an adventure I’m grateful for.

    However, I heard in a meeting a while back that getting in a relationship is like adding MiracleGrow to your character defects.

    It also reminds me of the Parable of the Porcupines…

    In order to survive the harsh winter conditions (wherever the hell porcupines live—probably north of here), they need to huddle together to stay warm.

    However, when the pokey beasts close in for comfort, their quills prick (and hurt) one another.

    If they retract from each other because of the pain, they won’t survive the cold conditions.

    So to survive, they need to tolerate each other’s pokes as they huddle together.

    Just a little prick…

    So if Tricia can live with this prick, I think we have a chance at a real warm winter.

    As our relationship blossoms, we are learning each other’s triggers and tender places (some more tender than others 😈 but that’s for a different type of blog).

    And it’s a fucking adventure in thriving beyond motherfucking trauma!!!!

    And I’d have it no other way!

    So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

    And smoke some for me too because the streets are safer if I don’t smoke it.

    House Panther Manor

    Facebook wouldn’t let me call our home La Casa de Los Gatos, so I’m guessing that’s a euphemism for something else.

    The point is (if there really is one) that this domestication gig requires give and take.

    It requires intention and attention.

    It requires being present, not sweating the petty things, and petting the sweaty things…

    Or something like that.

    There are times to practice boundaries, anticipate the needs of my partner, honoring my needs, and sometimes just letting shit slide.

    Neither of us are perfect, and we both have a trail of broken hearts in our past (particularly our own).

    So we practice every day an assumption of good will.

    When one of our quills pokes the other, we don’t keep score or bite the other’s fucking head off.

    We remember we love each other and give the other the benefit of the doubt.

    I say (write) this to be instructive and as a reminder to yours truly.

    When one grows up as a child of chaos raised by wolves, the business of scorekeeping and resentment meant power and supposed safety.

    In a relationship where two adults choose to thrive beyond trauma, we practice admitting our mistakes and forgiving quickly.

    I’m not perfect at this and screw up regularly.

    However, Tricia and I communicate beautifully, and we try not to let things fester.

    Intimacy and vulnerability are absolutely necessary for creating a long term happy relationship.

    And when you (I mean me, young Bucky) choose to shack up with someone, you are given choices moment by moment.

    And today, I choose to practice being in a loving relationship.

    I am here to love Tricia.

    I am not here to fix her because she isn’t broken.

    And let’s face it, anyone who chooses to live with me in relationship should be given a fucking medal!

    You’ve read my blog…

    Imagine living with this day in and day out.

    At least you can close your browser or unsubscribe.

    This lady has me unfiltered every fucking day!

    I will say in my defense, she says I’m a beautiful man.

    And she’s right.

    And I agree with her.

    She sees my heart.

    Shriveled and blackened though it may be, it beats fiercely for love and purpose.

    She is my partner, and she is a beautiful woman inside and out.

    Conclusion

    I think May West said, “A hard man is good to cum by.”

    Yes, Michael… we all thought it, too. 😉

    I don’t know how else to end a blog on the fly…

    In order to see your life as thriving beyond trauma, frame it as a motherfucking adventure!

    We get to do this.

    Stop saying you HAVE to do things!

    You GET to!

    Everything!

    If you haven’t shit your pants today, it’s a good day!

    It’s like I tell Tricia… I choose to be here with her.

    There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

    Life is exactly as it should be right now.

    True happiness is found when we stop resisting what is.

    That bears repeating…

    True happiness is found when we stop resisting what is.

    These would’ve been good words for me to remember when I decided to start smoking again, but even that was meant to be.

    Everything contains a lesson, and every adventure is worth living.

    If you want to thrive beyond trauma, decide right fucking now that everything is as it should be and make it what you want it to be.

    Throw yourself in the deep end.

    Find the person of your dreams.

    Move in with them.

    Get some fucking cats.

    And live!

    Or do whatever the fuck you want. It’s your life.

    No one’s coming to rescue you.

    Now’s the time to just fucking do it!

    Thank you for the assist Hell-Mo 🔥

    Be well 😊

    Thank you for tuning into another episode of as the Harley tire turns. This is a first for both of us that I should write a blog entry via mi teléfono and you should read said blog á la phone.

    If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my other entries as well and be sure to like, comment, and follow.

    But wait, there’s more! I also offer life coaching services! Are you ready for a relationship or some kitties? Shoot me an email! davidgreenleaf4life@gmail.com

    You can also check out my podcast. Coming soon is season one’s finale! Episode 13 where I interview Tricia! You won’t want to miss that!

    You can also check me out on Instagram @greenleaf_4_life or on TikTok @greenleaf4life

  • The Only Constant is Change…

    In AA, I’ve heard some folks say the only two things alcoholics hate are things changing and things staying the same…

    Well, young Bucky, gird your loins ’cause some major shifts are a-happening!

    And of course, music always heralds the coming of a new age, or at least a “hark” so the herald angels sing…

    David Bowie, the herald angel…

    I think that’s about as strong of a hook as I can create at the moment for this post.

    I have so many things to catch you up on since I posted two weeks ago.

    AND…

    This is Day Two without a cigarette, so I am technically, clinically, legally, and existentially insane.

    But (or AND), if you know me and/or are a devoted reader, labeling myself as insane is a bit trite, redundant, overstated, unnecessary, and goes without saying…

    Ahem… 😉

    However, my occasional lapses into self-deprecation and flying the flag of Captain Obvious do lend a little pressure release and written lubrication whilst I conceive my intended course for this post.

    So, yes….

    I’m stalling.

    Thank you, Captain Obvious!

    Where to Begin?

    Since this blog is geared towards demonstrating principles of thriving beyond trauma by sharing my own personal adventures, it stands that I shall catch you all up on some shit.

    And I use the word “shit” playfully and affectionately here because the changes in my life since last we spoke (I wrote and you read), have been the furthest things from excrement.

    Does that make them food?

    That’s about as far from shit as you can get, methinks?

    At least, in the whole digestive spectrum, I suppose?

    So yes, the events of the last two weeks have been akin to the sweet nectar of the gods–inasmuch as being the nourishing, life-changing experiences we’ve absorbed since then!

    Wow! What a mouthful!….

    Wait for it….

    Wait….

    IT’S COMING…

    As glad as I am to be at ye ol’ keyboard of dreams, I am frickin’ exhausted!

    One week ago, Tricia and I moved into a house!

    Yes!

    That’s right!

    A motherfucking, ain’t got no damn roommates, I can walk around the house buck-ass fucking naked if I want to, motherfucking house!

    BAM!

    Tricia and I have mutually had roommates for a few years now, so the fact that we are renting a house for just the two of us is so indescribably fucking awesome, I may only be able to use cat gifs to adequately describe my joy!

    I do need to back up a bit because I realize I just lied a little, too….

    No, we did not rent the house for just the two of us.

    Part of the master plan for many-a-moon has been to get some kitties back up in this bitch.

    And by “this bitch,” I mean my life… again, affectionately.

    The VERY night we started moving into La Casa de los Gatos, Tricia fortuitously found two kittens online.

    Before I go down the road to that story, I need to back up a bit more…

    Everything wonderful that has happened lately has been as a result of Tricia finding things…

    For instance, she found this house online.

    She found the kitties THE MOMENT they appeared online. (We were the first of many to respond to the Craigslist ad.)

    And… as I shall reveal later, she found something else that we are very happy about.

    I think I need to hit her up for some lottery numbers because she clearly has the touch.

    A Series of Fortunate Events

    I want to continue writing right now, but as mentioned earlier… I am fucking exhausted and my brain sans nicotine, day two, is a bit blurry…

    I’m headed down for some self-care (AKA a nap) and shall return to regale you with the events of the last two weeks in hopefully a close-to-coherent way.

    No more coherent than normal, but at least to where I can follow it.

    BRB, young Bucky…

    Okay…

    And we’re back!

    A couple weeks ago I did some hard shit…

    And I don’t mean heroin or cocaine.

    I faced my fear of climbing a fucking palm tree, worked around mesquite trees with thorns almost as thick as pencils, and survived humid and over 105 degree work conditions…

    So yeah, I saw and did some cool shit.

    Working in and around trees with boot-puncturing thorns makes one’s mindfulness practice very important.

    I was very impressed by the crew I work with because I heard minimal complaining despite the pokey conditions.

    Every step and limb grab had to be intentional lest one finds themself skewered by a mesquite spike.

    Nonetheless, the mixture of potential punctures, palm trees, and the picturesque made two weeks ago eventful and satisfying at work.

    Again, I showed up and did hard shit and felt grateful to participate.

    A Moving Experience

    A few weeks ago Tricia and I decided we wanted to find a place of our own.

    We both had similar ideas of what we wanted for our living situation, and they included not having roommates nor a live-in landlord.

    And…

    We both wanted to have the creative freedom of landscaping our own yard.

    The most important thing for me, however, was getting a couple kitties.

    Ever since I left Oregon in 2019, I have been without my feline friends.

    Perhaps to those who read this and are not predisposed to the level of feline infatuation I live with on a daily basis, this point may fall flat.

    However, for me, I felt like a huge piece of me was missing living without them damn kitties!

    Yes, they are very much a part of my happy place, self-care, or whatever the fuck you want to call it.

    The point is, I was overdue for getting some kitties, and fortunately, the Universe provided them at just the right timing!

    So as I mentioned earlier, Tricia found this three bedroom, two bath house, and the very night we started moving in, she found these two online:

    Meet Pneuma & Luna
    Kings of the Castle

    We found littermates on a dark Saturday night and rescued them from the rough hands of an overzealous child in Scottsdale.

    That might sound a little dramatic, but one of their (the kittens’) siblings seemed a little slow, and by the way one of the owner’s children was shaking the kitties, we felt good about adopting these two from potential shaken kitty syndrome.

    On the way to Scottsdale, we heard the songs Pneuma by Tool and Luna by The Smashing Pumpkins, and thus our house tiger and pantera de la casa received their names.

    Besides our kitty acquisitions, we also ordered a cat tree which resembles more a kitty megaplex! And they took to it immediately. This thing is taller than me (which isn’t saying much)…

    But they love it and that’s all that matters!

    Every day they are growing larger and more affectionate.

    They are purrrrfect! 🙂

    So amidst the excitement of it all, last weekend we moved all of Tricia’s and my stuff with the use of my boss’s truck and trailer.

    A good friend of mine lent a hand with the move for a couple hours Sunday morning.

    Our new neighbor hooked up a hose to our front yard spigot so we could have running water, and we slid in safe to our new digs…

    And just in-time.

    My living situation wasn’t so bad except the occasional drama I overheard from my roommates. Fortunately, I practice the fine art of minding my own fucking business, so it’s impact was minimal.

    Tricia, on the other hand, had some first-class bullshit to contend with leaving her former place. So I am grateful to have assisted her with leaving the land of drama llamas!

    Let’s just say this in case you’re ever considering renting from “friends.”

    Get everything in writing to cover your ass if you’re a renter or rentee.

    And… If someone routinely calls you names and changes the terms of the agreement with you, THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND!!!

    [Steps off soap box and puts it away for another day]

    At least, until next time…

    So let’s just say the move is a win-win-win-win-win.

    It’s a win for Tricia, me, the kitties, and our new landlord.

    Fortunately, for us, our landlord appears to manage by neglect, so we have the freedom to put in a flower/vegetable/Zen garden. It came with a firepit and possibly has room for a small pool.

    There’s a couple sheds, ample parking, we’re near a lot of businesses, the freeways, my work, the gym, AA meetings, my family, a park, and the neighborhood is decent.

    We did alright on our first move together, and it feels wonderful to have some fucking autonomy again.

    We can be as loud as we want to (and you know damn well what I mean)!

    I actually can use my tools, play my guitar, and listen to loud music.

    In fact, I could have a loud motorcycle if I wanted….

    The Cherry on Top

    So thanks to the commercials I heard on the local rock music radio station, my overdeveloped ego, and Tricia’s blessing, the fertile ground for having a Harley-Davidson germinated my idea and took root unto growing a scooter-scheme.

    Since I just used a Michael Scott gif, I won’t say that was a mouthful, but you know what I mean… Oh wait, I just did!

    After getting the greenlight from Tricia to trade in my Honda for a Harley, my obsessive mind took over and I began finding ways to manipulate my minimal resources to manifest said machine… manically?

    Probably maniacally, but nonetheless, I went down the rabbit hole of trying to make a bike appear whilst simultaneously letting go of the outcome.

    The goal was to upgrade to a touring bike that would seat Tricia more comfortably for longer trips.

    And to upgrade my fragile self-esteem with a Harley so I’d feel cool again.

    Yes, I admit my lower nature succumbs to such nonsense. It’s hard to be an enlightened person who still likes shiny stuff.

    It is what it is…

    Prajnaparamita with loud pipes…

    So after a day or two of disappointment dealing with the local Harley dealership (i.e. they were not going to give me much for my trade, and I was declined for a loan), I figured well, either I’m going through a private seller or just not getting a different bike right now.

    When I told Tricia this, within a minute she found this bike on Facebook marketplace…

    1996 Road King

    We messaged the owner and he said someone was coming to look at it the next day. I told him that if he changed his mind, we could be there within the hour with cash to buy it.

    He changed his mind.

    We ran right out to meet the owner of this bike who had put all kinds of extras onto it including a tuner, loud pipes, an assortment of leather bags, an extra windshield and seat, et cetera, etc.

    He and his wife clearly loved and took care of this bike.

    It’s just what I was looking for.

    I own it outright, and I can sell the Honda to make some money back.

    Tricia said Jeep owners wait 500 miles to name their rigs, so I’ll give it some time to name this beaut.

    And a sufficient seat for my sweetheart…

    So yeah… Tricia’s running three for three.

    She found the house.

    She found the kitties.

    She found the Harley.

    I’d say she found me, but I think I found her.

    And I’m fucking grateful I did!

    Whether we buy a ticket or not, she and I won the lottery…

    Because we have each other!

    I found my person…

    Adventures in Domestic Living

    Prior to moving, Tricia and I decided we were going to quit smoking once we got settled into our new place.

    Well, we are more-or-less settled, it’s Labor Day weekend, so now’s time to put up or shut up.

    I, for one, have felt troubled about smoking since I resumed it.

    Not to mention the health implications, the shit’s fucking expensive! The brand I smoke runs upwards of $12 per day. That’s roughly $360 per month in fucking cigarettes!

    Plus, I know Tricia and I want to lead healthier lives.

    And since I’ve been smoking, I sit around on my ass a lot…. smoking.

    It’s such a waste of time, resources, and health.

    So we quit yesterday morning.

    I quit cold turkey.

    So far, we haven’t killed each other.

    We have had a couple tense moments, and as I wrote earlier, I am technically insane right now and forming complete sentences is challenging.

    However, I am willing to rip off that scab and get through this because I do hard shit that leads to a better quality of life.

    Tricia joined me for CrossFit yesterday for the first time and she did great!

    I am grateful she got to meet my peeps I’ve known for the last seven months.

    In eight days, I’ll have nine months sober again.

    Friday night, I went to a meeting in Mesa with nine of my AA buddies.

    I have a daily routine of texting several men three things I’m grateful for… And the list of guys is growing!

    I have found the life I am looking for.

    The key is to be grateful for it one moment at a time.

    So far, I’m off to a good start.

    Conclusion

    Writing a blog about thriving beyond trauma and choosing to use my lived-experience as an example feels like a double-edged sword sometimes.

    I think it’s absolutely necessary to relate to each other in order to heal, recover, and thrive!

    And the only vehicle I know for conveying that message to you all is my life.

    My thoughts about this life matter, but not as much as what I do.

    Today, without a doubt, I am happier than I have ever been!

    Yes, I have the nagging feeling of nicotine withdrawal that feels like my body is craving something while my mind has erratic spikes of emotionality and confusion.

    I also feel the slight whisper of shame and imposter syndrome that says, “You’re only happy because you’re getting all these things you want, and so you’re selfish and don’t deserve them.”

    And to that old voice, I say thank you for sharing, now shut the fuck up.

    I know where that voice comes from…

    That script was downloaded into me by a man who wasn’t okay with his own feelings and right to have them…

    His shame is not my shame though.

    Even if I am fucking up by shacking up with Tricia, getting some kitties, and buying a Harley, I am living my best life and am enjoying the hell out of the adventure.

    I am sober today because I want to be and choose to be.

    I am facing my demons and chasing my dreams.

    I quit fucking smoking yesterday.

    I go to work every day.

    I try to be of service to others.

    I practice being a loving boyfriend and admitting when I fall short.

    I am living the fucking dream today!

    And I’m writing this motherfucking blog when every other scrambled thought of mine includes a nicotine withdrawal or urge to eat something.

    Life is good because I am living it fully awake to the ups and downs of it.

    I am thriving beyond trauma by choice.

    And if you are reading this, so are you!

    Show up for your life.

    Find out what you want and go for it.

    Find out what holds you back, and let that shit go!

    Everything you want is within reach…

    Just reach out and grab it!

    Thank you and be well 🙂

    Thank you for reading this epic chapter in my life of soooooo many wonderful changes. I am grateful for the turn of events in my life, and I feel like I had a hand in manifesting this stuff. Every thing that has happened, I wanted. I decided to set the intention, point my feet in the direction I wanted to go, and fucking went there with an open mind. This is the essence of thriving beyond trauma!

    If you want to start realizing your dreams, follow, like, and comment on this blog, and email me at davidgreenleaf4life@gmail.com. We will figure out how to get you the job you want, that special someone, or even maybe a cat and a Harley?

    Also, check out my podcast. This week will be the season finale where I interview Tricia! Be sure to check out episode 13. For now, here’s the link to episode 12 (because I haven’t recorded #13 yet).

    Found on all major podcast platforms – or at least Spotify, Apple, iHeart, Stitcher, and maybe Google?

    You can also check me (and Tricia, the kitties, and the Harley) on social media:

    Instagram: @greenleaf_4_life

    TikTok: @greenleaf4life

  • Letting In Love

    Oh shit…

    Now the boy’s gonna tell us what he thinks about love.

    Yes, young Bucky, that’s exactly what the fuck I intend to do!

    [interlaces fingers and cracks his knuckles awaiting words to spew forth]

    Lucky for you the clothes dryer just went off so I have a few more minutes to let the love percolate as I attempt to inspire the masses…

    Or at least, eschew obfuscation…. 😉

    Yes, and my take on love may not either…

    So strap in, muthafuckas! (I mean that in the nicest way possible.)

    How Did We Get Here?

    Before I elucidate the various ins-and-outs of love…

    I think it bears discussing what the fuck this love business has to do with thriving beyond trauma.

    It’s only what this fucking blog is supposed to be about, so I’ll attempt to stay somewhat on track.

    Ah yes…

    Trauma, trauma, trauma…

    That motherfucker.

    Trauma can be a real buzz kill when it comes to allowing love to flourish.

    Before I take THAT deep dive, let me further digress within another digression.

    Or don’t… It’s my blog, I’ll do what I want…

    I realize there are several types of love, definitions of love, flavors of love, et cetera, etc.

    And you know damn well the only one I really give a shit about right now is romantic love, so let’s just set the expectation there for context.

    Okay…

    Yes, for at least an honorable mention, we have the classics as illustrated below:

    Some say love is a feeling. Some say it’s an action, an attitude, and on and on it goes.

    There’s a plethora (since we’re going Greek today) of philosophers, poets, and pirates (argh, they’re always after me booty) out there who have pontificated (another “P” word – and yes, I’m thinking of a couple more. And now you are, too 😉 ) on el amor.

    Case-in-point, a lot of folks talk, sing, and write about it.

    The only thing I offer here of substance that hasn’t been covered on the subject is my humble (not-so-humble) experience and thoughts on this matter.

    Now!

    Back to that fucking trauma shit we’re here to thrive beyond!

    Love for folks like me has been historically tricky.

    It wasn’t exactly modelled consistently to me as a child.

    In fact, if there is such a thing as unconditional love, the love I received as a child was conditional as fuck.

    My dad used to say “it takes 10 ‘atta-boys’ to make up for one ‘aw shit.’”

    When I asked him how many atta-boys I needed to catch up, he said there’s too many.

    Love was dished out hot and cold like a lazy line-cook’s lukewarm lunch.

    Sometimes it was spicy, sprinkled with affection and praise, and other times my very existence was cursed like undercooked bacon.

    If I was upset, I was in trouble.

    If I was happy, I was in trouble.

    If I complied, I was in trouble.

    And if I cried, you bet I was given a reason to cry.

    I’m still not sure about the logic on that last one, but it’s effect was felt.

    It shut me the fuck down.

    I did not trust my own thoughts or feelings.

    People who were all-too-willing (or perhaps unwilling – seemed deliberate at the time) to hurt me were my caretakes, and their love was contingent on some random-ass code I could not quite break.

    So without a clear barometer of my own feelings and thoughts and a constant drive to be whatever people wanted me to be, this love business was murky at best.

    I can see clearly now the pain is gone…

    Oh, don’t get me wrong…

    As a child of the 70s and 80s I saw plenty of movies that molded my impressionable mind. Not to mention (except I just did) the impact my dad’s Playboys had on me that I found when I was 10 years old.

    As the budding romantic forged in the crucible of toxic-masculinity, I formed some skewed ideas about love and romance.

    Dad kissed my mom regularly, patted her on the butt, and would also tell her what a fat bitch she was…

    Oh… so romantic…

    But…

    Poor PeeWee… Yes, his public “self-love” impacted my childhood, too…

    When I discovered girls (I think in kindergarten), I knew I wanted THAT kind of love.

    Fortunately, for yours truly, and the amazing woman in my life today, I’ve learned a thing or two besides “that’s what she said” jokes…

    Heart-Shaped Box

    What this song has to do with love is beyond me. Ask Kurt.

    And since we’re posting random “love” songs… here’s another…

    The challenge or luxury (I haven’t decided yet) about picking up a couple days later to continue writing where I left off on this blog is the caffeine-fueled creative vibe has invariably changed.

    Let’s see if I can get back on track (if I was on track to begin with).

    After reading what I’ve written thus far, I think I was going to talk about this matter-of-the-heart stuff.

    I’m hoping that’s where “Heart-Shaped Box” was leading.

    I guess we’ll never know as those ideas are floating somewhere in the ether of two days ago, and I lost my time-machine.

    Somewhere along my journey of forming the fantasy (or ideal) of what love should look like, I discovered various things about myself.

    I’ve read several (a few) books on the matter.

    I developed a knack for writing poetry.

    I learned about love languages (https://5lovelanguages.com/), astrological alignments, and sex. Yes, let’s not forget about the sex part.

    Over the years I’ve learned what to do and what not to do in relationship thanks to several failed attempts and a shit-ton of couples’ counseling.

    But were they really “failed” relationships?

    Today, my attitude is they were not.

    Without the trail of broken hearts (mine included), I would not be where I am today to appreciate the dance that is romantic love.

    Anyone who is successful at anything had to fuck up a lot to find the sweet spot.

    The point is, if there is one, is that without coming to grips with the fact that I have several character flaws preventing me from experiencing true intimacy, I could not enjoy the fruits of connection today.

    And when I say (write) “intimacy,” I mean a willingness to be vulnerable.

    And by vulnerable, I mean the willingness to be fully seen and heard as I am.

    AND…

    The willingness (and follow through) to fully see and hear another person without an agenda to change them.

    Yes, folks…

    Intimacy and vulnerability equals love.

    But Wait, There’s More!

    This is the benefit of writing stream-of-consciousness. I had no idea this is where we were going.

    As a person who has historically struggled with self-esteem, this business of letting down my guard has not been easy.

    And whilst on guard protecting ye ol’ heart-shaped box, it has been difficult to hold space with others without judgement.

    From a basis of fear and defense mechanisms of self-centeredness, a lot of time was spent pretending to be someone I was not.

    It’s exhausting building up a false-self and maintaining it.

    And the insanity of trying to feel loved as I am while not actually presenting that person is… well, insane.

    And while buried eyebrow-deep in identity management, actually being present for another person is often impossible.

    So, young Bucky, once upon a time, wee David decided to let some shit go, learn to love himself (fully see and accept), and set down the façade.

    I also went so far as to write out an intention for the ideal-she my heart longed for.

    And I wrote that fucker (the ideal, not the actual person) down nearly four years ago!

    I decided that with 330 million people in this country (roughly half are women), I did not need to settle.

    I wanted to find someone who sees me and loves me just as I am.

    And beyond just sees and loves me…

    I want to be adored.

    And I, in-turn, wanted to find someone I adore.

    Someone with a few loose screws (like yours truly) who is also an intelligent, spiritual, passionate sex-machine.

    Raised Eyebrows Napoleon Dynamite GIF - Raised Eyebrows Napoleon Dynamite Kip GIFs

    I wanted to find someone who is and can be vulnerable and powerful.

    I wanted someone to laugh and cry with.

    I wanted someone who has dreams and wants to ride the magic carpet ride that is my life.

    And ohhh… did the Universe deliver!

    Is It a Controlled Fall?

    They (whoever they are) say you always find what you’re looking for in the last place you look…

    That’s because when you find what (whom) you’re looking for, you stop looking.

    And I, my friends, need look no further.

    Upon meeting Tricia (on an online dating app), we instantly connected.

    From the very get-go, we found an ease to our communication, mutual interests, and common desires.

    We both agreed that to solidify the deal, we’d need to meet in-person to see if we passed what I call “the smell test.” Did our pheromones match our psychic connection?

    We met at a roller skating rink and the mutual-magnetism was instant.

    She hadn’t skated in probably 30 years, said she felt disheveled from a last-minute work emergency, showed up a little late, and was beautiful and right on time to me.

    We met each other where we were and played together that night in the awkward and romantic revolutions of the roller rink.

    There was risk and trust dished out in equal servings.

    I found a friend.

    As we spent more and more time with each other, we shared various stories, music, tears, and laughter.

    After the first date, my old friends showed up in my head.

    Despite a wonderful evening of fun and connection, the next day my fears reared their ugly heads…

    Yay, trauma response!

    I called a friend of mine and regaled him with all of the prior evening’s events, my thoughts, and feelings.

    He patiently listened and then proffered his sage feedback and advice.

    He reflected that it sounded like Tricia and I had a lot in common, really liked each other, had a wonderful time together, and that I should just keep it simple and enjoy the unfolding without overthinking it.

    He reminded me of the principles of honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness.

    At that moment, I surrendered to this new adventure that would carry me into a free-fall like Mr. Whiskers.

    And like Mr. Whiskers, although I initially looked down and felt the fear, I decided to let go and fucking fly!

    Vulnerability and intimacy are choices.

    They require a certain letting go.

    At the same time, as Tricia and I got closer, it felt more like I was falling.

    And yes, grab your barf-bags… I mean falling in-love.

    Letting in love is simultaneously an act of will and a letting go.

    As fond as I am of her (which is very), I hold this relationship with a loose grip.

    There is no fear or need to make it happen.

    There is no people-pleasing.

    There is simply being who I am and appreciating who she is.

    Some may say we’re in the pink-cloud phase of this relationship, and maybe we are. We both intuit, though, that our mutual adoration will last the rest of our lives.

    Besides, all we have is right now, and the future doesn’t exist or matter.

    We have found a pattern of partnership, fun, romance, and excitement that keeps getting better by the minute.

    Both of us have histories and yet, we see beyond that.

    We have fallen in-love with the person right in front of us.

    And with a connection like this, the sky’s the limit.

    For the first time in a very long time (if ever), I feel very optimistic, free to be myself, and so very grateful to find such a magnificent woman to share space and time with.

    It isn’t that all of my relationships in the past were completely “bad” by any means.

    They just didn’t check enough of the boxes.

    And quite frankly, I wasn’t ready or checking the boxes either.

    She checks the boxes.

    And I check hers.

    She’s said she wishes we met earlier in life.

    I can appreciate (and agree with) the sentiment of wanting to have more time with each other and avoiding some of the bullshit we experienced before meeting.

    And…

    We met EXACTLY when and how we were supposed to.

    We wouldn’t be who we are today without those experiences. (She also agrees with this.)

    And I dare say, perhaps we wouldn’t appreciate what we have as much had we not grown into the people we were when we met.

    I trust the Divine Timing of this union, and am so grateful to be present for it.

    Such a happy couple!

    Conclusion

    A part of me (the fucking inner-critic gremlins referenced in the gif above) feels a little neurotic writing this blog post.

    There’s still that part of me that feels like I don’t deserve love and am incapable of adequately giving it.

    And…

    At the same time, the empowered me that thrives beyond trauma says this post is due for publishing.

    If you’ve been following my blog (and podcast), you know that I have struggled in the dating arena as well as with self-love.

    This is the dance of thriving beyond trauma, and you need to hear about it!

    We sit down between the little fucking gremlins in the theater, put an arm around each of them, and say, “What’s up motherfucker? You ready for the show?”

    Yes, I embrace my demons and expose them to the Light so that I may love and be loved in return.

    My name, David, means “beloved” in Hebrew.

    I used to think it was a sick cosmic joke because not only did I hate my name, I felt anything but loved, lovable, or loving.

    I wanted to feel and be all of those.

    And with consistent work and surrender, I have embraced the reverent nature and influence of Love in my life.

    I have embodied what it is to be loved and be beloved.

    I love you tailgater!

    Although a lot of my rhetoric around thriving beyond trauma includes doing hard shit and not making excuses (and “that’s what she said” jokes), love is and always has been the foundation.

    Love for self, love for others, and love for the world.

    Ah hell, I’m feeling charitable… And Love for God, too!

    I’ve had several spiritual experiences, and the one constantly emerging theme is that love connects everything.

    The vibration of life energy feels like love to me.

    The very act of creation and the humming of electrons provide proof of the loving force in our lives that is everything and holds everything together.

    Okay, I’m going down a woo/Star Wars rabbit hole here, but you get the gist.

    Without learning to love and be loved, I would not be the happy person I am today.

    By learning to love and be loved, I have been able to open my heart up to a beautiful person, stand in awe of her life, and surrender to the joy of being embraced by her.

    It’s a journey, folks.

    Although this post may seem like there’s an arrival point, there really isn’t.

    This experience of loving Tricia and myself is fluid and will require the ever-evolving dance of being intentional and letting go.

    I believe strongly in impermanence.

    What we have may disappear at any moment.

    The greatest way to love is to love THIS moment without clinging to it.

    So my parting words to you, young Bucky, are to look deep inside, find out what your heart desires, find out what holds you back, let that shit go, and lean into the vulnerability of loving yourself and others.

    It’s hard to do at times, but worth it!

    You knew I couldn’t end this without a final word from our patron saint, Michael Scott.

    😉

    Be well 🙂

    Thank you for tuning into another installment of the ever-moving target that is my life. I’d have it no other way! Be sure to like, comment, and follow me for weekly entries about thriving beyond trauma. You can also reach out via email at davidgreenleaf4life@gmail.com.

    I also offer life coaching services. When you are ready to start creating real results in your life, reach out, and we’ll get you going! Want that better job, to find your true love, or to be physically and emotionally healthy? We can do this!

    Also check out my weekly podcast found on all major platforms. Stay tuned for the next episode coming this Sunday! And if you’re still reading this far, two episodes from now will be the 13th and final episode of season one. The grand finale will feature an interview with Tricia. She’s also got a hell of a story and is thriving beyond trauma!

    Check me out on the socials, too!

    Instagram @greenleaf_4_life

    TikTok @greenleaf4life

  • Titleless Blog

    Yes, “titleless” is not a word except I just typed it and so now it is.

    Aren’t words fun? 😜

    It begs the question as to whether it matters what words we use, spelled incorrectly or not, as long as you know what I fucking mean…

    Right?

    At least, that’s what I’ll keep telling myself.

    I mean isn’t the point of communication merely to convey an idea from one’s mind into that of another’s?

    Does it really matter what symbols we use as long as you get the fucking gist?

    Perhaps at this point, you may be wondering where I am going with all of this….

    Well, young Bucky, that makes two of us.

    I haven’t the foggiest idea what I am going to write…

    And I like it that way.

    YARN | I know it's got an aftertaste! I like it! | Bee Movie (2007) | Video  clips by quotes | b02818d4 | 紗

    There May Be a Point to This…

    And maybe not…

    Regardless, welcome and thank you for tuning into another installment of aimless random thoughts spewed onto the inter-webs…

    Perhaps the reason for my rambling has to do with my current state of mind?

    You think?

    Yes folks. I’m tired, and in the spirit of thriving beyond trauma, I have been doing hard shit.

    And I don’t mean heroin or cocaine…

    Yet.

    No…

    For the last five days, I have been working for a tree service in 100 degree weather.

    So there’s that.

    And Tuesday I even went to CrossFit after working all day.

    Thank you David Goggins for the motivation to do hard shit (except he hates the word motivation… we’ll save that for another rant… oh wait, I already have—see post https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/06/23/motivation/)

    And…

    I am writing today despite my clearly scattered mind.

    After writing such an inspiring post last time (https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/08/04/you-call-this-a-storm/), I think it’s okay to just blah blah some mediocrity to at least keep the writing muscles going.

    It’s only my fucking dream.

    No biggie.

    I had a writer friend once tell me to write every day, even if it’s shit.

    So here it is.

    Shit.

    I’m on a real roll here going from Triumph the Insult Comic Dog who notoriously says, “for me to poop on” to Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo.

    Well, ’tis the season.

    Okay, where was I going with this besides down the toilet?

    Oh yeah….

    Doing hard shit…

    Not taking one on the interwebs.

    Too late.

    If you’ve made it this far, I guess I’ll try to come up with a point besides potty jokes.

    And shitty ones at that.

    Okay, okay…

    Now, I’m just mentally masturbating at your expense.

    Let’s see here…

    A point…

    Hmmmmmmm….

    Don’t rush me.

    I’m thinking…………………………………………………………………

    Got it!

    So yeah… Doing hard shit.

    When I started this new job, I was a little nervous.

    The idea of working in excessive heat, climbing palms trees, and the possibility of meeting scorpions and other common Arizonan critters was a little daunting.

    The first day of work I got to find out what I’m really made of.

    As our boss began to dump large portions of a mesquite tree in the soon-to-be sweltering heat, I realized keeping my break-neck pace of debris removal was not going to be sustainable.

    I tend to have two speeds: Off and On.

    I learned that day I have a slightly slower speed that would be necessary for sustained physical exertion as the temperature climbed.

    I also became very aware that to remain productive in that heat, I would not only need to drink tons of water but repeat the mantra over and over again, “Just keep moving.”

    I don’t know if you’ve been in a space like that were your ears are throbbing with the beat of your heartrate whilst pouring sweat out of every orifice, but it is clearly a mind-over-matter situation.

    I almost started another sentence with the letter “I.”

    Shit, I did it again….

    Anywho…

    It is what it is.

    I am grateful that I started listening to David Goggins’ book, Can’t Hurt Me, for the third time because during that day, in particular, he was my internal coach pushing me onward.

    All I had to do was keep moving and stay hydrated.

    Things get real fucking simple when your mind tells you to quit exerting yourself, and you get to dig deep and choose whether or not to continue.

    Except it looked more like this….

    Okay…

    Maybe that’s a little dramatic.

    But the point is (because it’s always important for me to feel like I’m making a point and write very long parentheticals) that I love (#lovenotlove) pushing myself to the point of quitting to (as David Gogins says – someday he’s totally going to sue me for using his shit, except he’s kinda cool, so maybe not. Maybe he’ll want to hang out? Wait, what was I saying before the paratheses?) the “quitter’s mind.”

    Whew!

    That was a mouthful!

    Yes, the quitter’s mind.

    Again, to borrow (steal because I’m not returning it) David Goggins’ ethos, (is that the right word to use here?) by facing and overcoming the quitter’s mind, one callouses the mind. Again, shameless plagiarism here.

    What can I say?

    The guy has influenced me.

    And…

    As he has said, and I am here to confirm, when one callouses the mind through extreme physical exertion, this resiliency transfers into other parts of life.

    And that, young Bucky, is what I mean by thriving beyond fucking (added for emphasis, but you knew that) trauma!

    But Did You Die?

    I think I need to re-watch (or watch for the first time) The Hangover Part II because I use this line a lot and don’t remember watching it.

    And no… I was not drunk and/or hungover in case you were wondering.

    But it’s fair to wonder that.

    Especially after the whole heroin and cocaine comment.

    I digress…

    No. I did not die!

    Yes, it would be a cool trick to write posthumously.

    But alas, I am still here.

    But no! Quite the opposite.

    By facing the extremes of heat, hard work, and the quitter’s mind, I feel more alive than ever and am enjoying the fuck out of my life!

    And since I’ve written last, many wonderful things have been happening.

    In fact, I am sure that by suffering from time-to-time, one can truly enjoy the other facets of life much more.

    To wit: a few weeks ago, I met a lovely human being to share more time with.

    If you’ve been following this blog, you know what a rollercoaster the dating scene has been for me.

    And to continue with that metaphor, it’s been more like a mine cart ride that randomly starts, stops, jumps the tracks, and dumps me out of the fucking cart periodically.

    The Temple of Doom GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

    Yes, with a false start here and there, a few oaths to stay out of the mines altogether, I have reached the promise land of romance.

    The pleasant irony of it is it was unexpected.

    Sure, I lived in hope of finding the compatible-she whom I crave, but when I went into this adventure (if you recall) I had shaved my head thinking I was diving into the deep end of embracing my own ugliness. (see post https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/07/27/once-more-from-the-top-this-time-with-feeling/)

    Little did I know, underneath the down of ugly duckling feathers emerged a sexy-ass swan brimming over with confidence.

    Yes, I’m asking you to imagine a bald swan here.

    Not quite what I had in mind… But I’ll allow it…

    And…

    With this boost of confidence, and quite frankly, desire to just fucking be me, I found a magnificent person who meets me where I am.

    Not only does she meet me where I am, she clearly adores me.

    That, young Bucky, is nearly an indescribably wonderful feeling.

    I’ve had a relationship or two (gross underexaggeration – also not a word, but it is now beeeeeoootch!) and have as of yet to experience the magnitude of adoration and connection this woman brings to the table.

    It’s real and powerful and real powerful. 😉

    And the feeling is mutual.

    I adore her.

    So yeah, we’re that couple that makes people sick in public.

    We sit on the same side of the booth at a restaurant.

    We are that cutsie-cutsie, affectionate that makes miserable people wanna barf couple.

    And I love every fucking minute of it!

    There’s a sense of optimism, hope, and security in finding someone I align with.

    And it makes me grateful for all of the bullshit I’ve been through to get to this point. Not all of it was bullshit, but enough of it was.

    Had I not experienced all of the ups and downs of the romantic rollercoasters, I may not be the person I am today to fully embrace and surrender to this experience.

    And the great thing is, I just gotta be me.

    No pretending.

    No people pleasing.

    Honesty.

    Vulnerability.

    Dreams.

    Desires. (especially desire)

    Doing hard shit.

    And it works.

    I am a happy man.

    Conclusion

    In all honesty, I started writing this Wednesday and am now finishing it up on Saturday. I changed some of the earlier sentences to reflect as much.

    Nonetheless, the dream is still alive, and I am fucking living it.

    I am thriving beyond trauma!

    I say all of this to give you hope for doing the same.

    If you’re feeling stuck, depressed, anxious, tired, alone, or all of the above, this, too, shall pass.

    Sure, I am not writing as much as I was.

    My life has changed, and I have chosen to make some adjustments to continue living the life I want to live.

    You can, too!

    Dig deep.

    Find out what excites you or you want to feel excited about.

    Find a way to face your fear.

    Remember that fear is mostly an illusion.

    Do hard shit.

    And I don’t mean cocaine and heroin.

    If you want to be a writer, write shitty stuff.

    If you want to make TikToks, record shitty TikToks.

    If you want to meet the love of your life, date shitty people (it’s a numbers game – you gotta sort through the mismatches to find your person).

    If you want to get more physically fit, exercise shittily (yes, a new word).

    The point is, the Universe rewards effort, even shitty effort.

    Take consistent action despite how you feel about it, and eventually, you will see results.

    Learn to become comfortable feeling uncomfortable.

    Do hard shit and you will find the promise land of inner peace, purpose, and happiness.

    You can do it.

    I know, because I can, and I am just like you… a bald swan!

    Ok, maybe not JUST like you…

    But we’re all people with so much more potential than we give ourselves credit for, and happiness lies just at the end of the rainbow.

    (Hint: the rainbow is inside of you.)

    Be well 🙂

    Thank you for reading another installment of Greenleaf4Life’s Thriving Beyond Trauma. It’s such a fucking relief to write about happiness again. Sometimes we have to go into the Pit of Despair (https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/07/12/the-pit-of-despair/) to find the happiness within. But keep looking for it. You have everything you need inside of you.

    Please like, comment, follow, or email me at davidgreenleaf4life@gmail.com. I offer life coaching services to help you thrive beyond trauma. Drop me a line and we’ll chat.

    You can also check out my podcast on all major platforms. This episode is a couple weeks old, but I have a new one waiting to be edited and will be out tomorrow.

    You can also check me out on the socials:

    Instagram @greenleaf_4_life

    TikTok @greenleaf4life

    ***All references to David Goggins were blatantly and unapologetically plagiarized, except that I did reference him, so maybe it’ll fly.

    Check out his book: (yes, this is the second link to it this post – I do what I want) 😉

    Can’t Hurt Me

  • You Call This a Storm?

    Yes, young Bucky… this is a storm of epic proportions!

    This morning I woke up at 4:30am for my first day at my new tree job and was immediately greeted by a thunderclap that shook the house.

    In the distance, I could hear a car alarm going off.

    My first thought when I heard my alarm go off, was, “Oh, fuck” because I barely slept out of excitement for my new job.

    My second thought was “OH FUCK!” when I realized the heavens had cracked open to shake some shit up!

    God of Thunder or is it Lightning?

    I stepped outside to smoke tempting the Almighty to strike me down as the wind howled around me. Under the patio cover there was no safe spot away from the rain.

    Just the other day someone told me lightning struck a palm tree in the parking at their place of employment and made the windows wave like something out of the Matrix.

    Not only is cigarette smoking bad for your health, it’s stupid as fuck to do it standing in water as lightning crackles with a two second thunder delay…

    One one-thousand… two-one thousand…

    Oh, it’s far enough away for me to tempt fate as I stand here like an eager conductor.

    So as I inhaled deep on my death stick, a little tremulous and half-awake, I figured, well, today’s a good day to die.

    What great irony that I should work in the Pacific Northwest for nearly a decade climbing trees in the rain to move to the Valley of the Sun to be greeted by my old friend, la lluvia.

    God has a fucking sense of humor.

    What Do You Want From Me?

    And now for a little theme music….

    Can you really get struck by thunder?

    As I stood there by the dim dawn light contemplating my life’s choices, I remembered how just yesterday I posted a very strongly worded post to the tune of put up or shut the fuck up.

    Well…

    Now’s my time to put up.

    Or so I thought…

    As I began my morning checkin with the God beyond my understanding, I expressed gratitude for this day and an opportunity to do some serious David Goggins shit.

    It also occurred to me that since moving from Oregon, I stowed my rain gear in an unmarked tote figuring, “I won’t need my rain gear. This is Phoenix.”

    So I concluded that working in 70 degree rain might actually feel good, and I won’t need the gear anyway. By the time noon comes, I’ll be dry, or more accurately, drenched in sweat rather than rain.

    I half expected to hear from my new employer because you gotta be fucking crazy to work in this shit.

    I don’t care what kind of badass you think you are. You don’t climb fucking trees in a thunderstorm with torrential rain and wind.

    But…

    I wasn’t about to call them and cancel.

    I made a commitment and signed up to do hard shit.

    At that point, I set aside my fear and became willing to walk into the storm, come what may.

    I realize I’m being a bit dramatic here because the weather app said the storm would pass around 8:00am.

    But…

    I was willing to show up at 6:00am to the yard as agreed and face the music.

    God had other plans.

    At a little after 5:00am, I received a text from my soon-to-be boss informing me the start time had been pushed back an hour to 7:00am.

    No shit, I thought.

    And yes, I was relieved and amused.

    Then I got another text around 6am….

    The job was pushed back to 8am.

    Then I got another text shortly thereafter…

    “I’m calling it today.”

    No tree work today.

    No doing hard shit.

    No getting struck by lightning or rained on.

    Just a showering of gratitude and amusement…

    God’s funny that way.

    What a fucking joker…

    Good one, God.

    You got me.

    All That Was Required of Me

    Yes… recycling the memes. I do repeat myself.

    I had a hard time getting to sleep last night partially because of the mental calisthenics my mind likes to do to prepare for potentially scary shit.

    Even though I didn’t feel noticeably nervous, my mind really wanted to pre-climb those trees before I even showed the fuck up.

    It took quite a bit of mindfulness practice to relax.

    I focused on my breathing, purposefully kept coming back to the moment, and surrendered to my insomnia.

    Getting pissed about not being able to sleep doesn’t fucking help, so I might as well accept it and try to relax.

    I estimate I got around three hours sleep last night and would be facing today with sheer will and adrenaline to get me through.

    This morning I was consciously aware of the choice to trust my higher power.

    I am right the fuck where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

    Fighting reality only causes suffering.

    Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation—some fact of my life—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake (AA, pg. 417).

    Of course, if you want to fight reality, go ahead.

    In fact, try harder.

    See where that gets you.

    As for me, my friends, I’ll follow the sage words of the Buddha…

    Oh wait, that’s not the Buddha…
    There you go. Much better.

    All that was required of me today was to be willing…

    I was willing to honor my commitment, set aside fear, trust in my higher power, and show the fuck up.

    Don’t me wrong. It was a huge relief to have the job cancelled for today.

    Cancelled obligations feel like heroin… so I’ve heard.

    I had to laugh at yet another example of my life where there’s a dramatic emotional buildup which leads me to dig deep, practice faith, gratitude, and willingness and then BAM!

    You’re off the hook, young Bucky. (That’s God calling me young Bucky this time in case you were confused.)

    Time and again, all that’s required of me is to be willing.

    I’ve also learned that if I am unable to be willing, it’s a useful practice to pray for the willingness to be willing.

    It’s okay to say, I don’t want to fucking do this [fill in the blank] right now.

    *You’ll notice I did not say I “cannot” do this. It’s usually a won’t, not a can’t.

    Insert vaguely patriotic meme to make myself laugh…

    And this is an important distinction—this business of can’t or won’t.

    We can do a lot of shit.

    However, many folks say they can’t do something.

    The truth is, they won’t because they don’t want to.

    They are unwilling to either face the fear or potential discomfort they associate with said goal.

    It’s a mind-game.

    It’s time to stop playing games and find the willingness to grow.

    If you’re reading this blog, I assume (yes I know what it spells) that you are here to fucking achieve some shit.

    To be who you are meant to be.

    To self-actualize into the badass you really are.

    And by badass I don’t mean some dipshit that posts videos of himself doing CrossFit on social media…


    By badass, I mean being your own hero.

    (Here’s me trying to reel this back in to my point about willingness…)

    Be the hero of your story by finding the willingness to do what needs to be done.

    Face the fears.

    Ignore the inner critical voices.

    All that was required of me today was to be willing.

    And I was.

    You’re Right Where You’re Supposed to Be

    Maybe YOU’RE not right where you’re supposed to be, but I am.

    I’m kidding.

    Yes, you are, too, boo-boo.

    You know how I know this?

    Because you wouldn’t fucking be there if you weren’t.

    You’d be somewhere else.

    Life is so much easier to accept when that concept can be internalized.

    Stop mind-fucking yourself into misery that things are not going the way they should be.

    That’s fucking crazy making.

    You’re exactly right where you’re supposed to be right fucking now!

    And now.

    And now.

    And then….

    Now.

    You see how that works.

    You only need to be in the moment.

    Everything else if vapor.

    Your imagination.

    IT DOES NOT EXIST.

    That’s where the magic is anyway…

    Right here and now.

    If you believe in that shit… 😉

    After receiving the final text from my would-be tree boss, I called him to confirm our next rendezvous for my first day of work.

    He invited me to coffee down the street to at least do an in-person interview today.

    I cheerfully agreed to meet him at Starbucks 45 minutes later.

    I arrived early (’cause that’s how I roll, beeeotch) and received another text from him informing me he was running 15 minutes late.

    So I sat content and over-caffeinated watching Batman spoofs on Facebook as I waited.

    Little did I know, this would be no ordinary interview.

    A little side note that will sound vaguely un-patriotic to the uniformed… except that I will counter that it is very patriotic to disagree with the system…

    “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” – Benjamin Franklin

    And yes, I realize these were both slave-owning shitheads who had some good ideas about liberty, and dropped the ball as humanitarians.

    But we’ll save that for another rant…

    The point is, the company I’m applying for clearly communicates a military identity complete with an American flag in their logo.

    Don’t get me wrong…

    I do not have a problem with people in the service.

    However, I have felt some shame about being associated with the stars and stripes for the last several years because of the clear oppression and social injustice running rampant in this country.

    Again, a rant for another time.

    What’s curious about this and the little breadcrumbs left for me by the Universe is that yesterday I bought a lighter with an American flag printed on it. It was random. The clerk picked it for me.

    Then, I am pursuing a job with a company that (by all appearances) is not the crowd I normally gravitate towards.

    However, I found myself picking up the trail of God’s will along the star-spangled banner.

    When the gentleman showed up, he sat down and we began to talk tree stuff.

    He asked me for a run down of my experience. I asked him about the company.

    Things were going well.

    Then, perhaps intuitively, I decided to mention that I am in recovery, my involvement with a certain anonymous 12-Step program (I’d have to kill you if I told you the name – I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it several times in other posts and quoted an excerpt of its literature in this post… Okay. No killing), AND of my commitment to a recovery-based CrossFit program.

    Without going into his story, at some point, this person I had never met and who was interviewing me opened up about some of his struggles.

    It hit my like a lightning bolt at that very moment that this is why I am here.

    In fact, those very words rang through my body and mind with incredible clarity.

    I got to switch hats before him (figuratively, I only brought one hat), and become perhaps, a voice of hope for him.

    I listened to his story, validated his experience, shared pieces of mine (not too much; it was an interview after all), and found common ground and connection with this stranger.

    A stranger that I would not normally mix with except by the mere chance of following the trail of willingness against my own prejudices and fears.

    I knew immediately with all of my being that this was God’s will.

    I felt an incredible presence and (possibly divinely planned) purpose before me.

    I was right where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to be doing, and doing it with whom I was supposed to be doing it with.

    Perhaps the storm this morning was an act of God?

    Who knows if this conversation would’ve ever taken place had we not met privately at a coffee shop because of inclement weather?

    Perhaps there was a Divine Order orchestrating all of this?

    Regardless, if there’s such celestial influence or not, the feeling was electric.

    I left there feeling goosebumps and indescribable joy (except I just described it).

    It felt electric…

    Conclusion

    For this person (I mean me), a devoted chronic malcontent and nihilist extraordinaire, sometimes life can seem like a meaningless and random game of whack-a-mole.

    And then there’s moments when the sky opens up and Divine Purpose reveals Herself.

    I call it my Sacred Calling.

    And here’s its logo…

    Perhaps it’s a coincidence that my podcast and general logo have a lightning bolt and today’s storm brought about another clear and crisp reminder of why I am here…

    I am here to be of service.

    Often times I have to follow the yellow brick road and face the man behind the green curtain to get there.

    Sometimes the pilgrimage seems like a meandering and lost journey.

    And then there are times of sweet synchronicity that simultaneously ground and elevate me.

    Face the storm, my friends.

    Remember, resistance to the storm is the storm.

    The storm always passes.

    And quite possibly, the storm appeared to guide you to better things….

    Embrace the storm.

    Find the willingness to embrace it…

    Pray for it, if necessary.

    It will come. (resisting Michael Scott gif right now)

    You are right where you’re supposed to be.

    I feel tingles all over…

    Well that didn’t last long….

    I could do this all day…

    Okay… enough’s enough… [giggles to self with several more gifs at the ready]

    Be well 🙂

    Thank you for tuning into another installment of Greenleaf4Life’s making meaning out of madness… It’s a hell of a ride (be quiet, Michael). Please like, comment, follow, and email me at davidgreenleaf4life@gmail.com.

    But wait, there’s more. You can subscribe to get these blog posts sent right to your email so you’ll never miss the impassioned rants of a social misfit.

    Oh yeah, and we are here to thrive beyond trauma. If that excites or scares you and you’re ready to make some changes, I offer Life Coaching services. See the above email to set up a chat.

    And…

    And…

    Check out my weekly podcast on all major platforms.

    On the socials I can be found at:

    Instagram @greenleaf_4_life

    TikTok @greenleaf4life

  • Put Up or Shut Up!

    Okay, bitches…

    And I mean that in the most affectionate way possible.

    Really.

    It’s a term of endearment and not pointed at any particular gender in this context.

    Maybe as a cis-male, (and a white one at that – d’oh!) I haven’t earned (nor ever will) the right use that term?

    But today I’m feeling particularly spunky, and that’s the first thing I thought of.

    Note to self: Learn to self-censor… sometimes.

    Check!

    You can call me a bitch if you want to.

    Self-censorship is off to a strong start so far…

    Yes, it’s not the most trauma-informed, woke term in the world.

    But it serves well as a linguistical slap (dare I say bitch-slap?) across the face.

    It makes a point.

    What is that point, you may ask?

    Beats the fuck out of me, but have patience, young padawan (or young Bucky, if you prefer)…

    I’m getting there.

    Inconceivable!

    Enough is E-Fucking-Nough

    As I’ve undoubtedly said before in a previous post (there’s too many to go back to reference at this point – just read ALL of them), one must get sick enough of their own circumstances before they commence to make changes.

    Maybe it’s this one? Either way, there’s Star Wars references and Grumpy Cat, so it’s worth the read… (https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/05/27/let-old-things-die/)

    When the fear of change becomes less than the fear of things staying the same, we will take action.

    I used to have an AA sponsor cleverly take a different stance on the Serenity Prayer by saying, “If I’m not here accepting things I cannot change, then I am undoubtedly out trying to change the things I cannot accept.”

    If you read yesterday’s blog (https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/08/02/maybe-do-as-i-do/), you know that I have inventoried areas where I am falling short, and I don’t mean my height.

    One might even say… my sins…

    Before you get your tit all twisted up about my use of a highly-loaded religious term, let us remember the root of the word “sin.”

    “It’s a Greek word, spelled in Greek [that’s convenient] this way: ἁμαρτία. It’s also an archery term for when someone didn’t hit the target or put more simply missing the mark” (random Google reference).

    So… (and I apologize for the vaguely sexist remark three sentences ago), I have been “missing the mark” in some areas of my life.

    And…

    If we are honest with ourselves…

    WE ALL ARE!

    See how I try to indict you as an accomplice in this mad realm?

    Let’s face it.

    We’re in this together.

    Let’s start telling the truth.

    Don’t Distract Me, Pontius…
    As you wish, Wesley…

    Okay, now I’m confusing myself.

    What the fuck was I talking about?

    I almost fell into the Multi-Verse on several tangential side (that’s redundant) rants.

    Perhaps, that’s why I’m missing the mark…

    Or sinning!

    Oh!

    The point is, by examining the way things have been going with my current occupation and financial status (or lack thereof), I made some changes and will be starting a new job tomorrow.

    But…

    Or is it and?

    And…

    I had to reach a point of critical mass and quite possibly a little discomfort with sprinkles of desperation on top to reach out and get said job.

    Yay…

    Our life coach is doing what every other fucking adult is expected to do…

    But am I?

    Regardless, before I go on to the next subheading to address the above rhetorical question, one must get sick enough of their current circumstances before fully becoming willing to let that shit go, get off your (I mean my) ass, and do something about it.

    So if you’re hanging in there feeling miserable by the shit you’re compulsively doing, I’m not going to say stop it.

    Keep fucking doing it until you can’t stand it anymore.

    Fuck that skunk until the stink is unbearable.

    Get it out of your system.

    After all, we’re looking for commitment here.

    And commitment requires passion.

    And surrender…

    I Just Made That Up

    And damn it sounds good!

    Maybe I can sell t-shirts?

    Okay, perhaps for most of you, commitment doesn’t require passion.

    Maybe it’s a maturity thing (which I claim no stake in).

    For me – a person who wishes to be “uncommon amongst uncommon people” (in a humble sort of way), I need to tap into passion to stay committed.

    I am not saying you need to be a ripped Black dude that does incredible things (unless that’s your goal)…

    But…

    If you want to find sustaining happiness, find your purpose and passion.

    As I alluded to below the last of my many gifs, this job of mine is a means to an end.

    It is not my intention to be a career arborist (again).

    You may have noticed I have passion for writing and trying to be of service.

    And one way I can continue to do that is to push myself mentally and physically.

    This tree job simultaneously excites me and scares the hell out of me.

    No, I’m not thrilled about climbing hornet-infested, flimsy-ass palm trees.

    However, I am excited about callousing the mind and doing hard shit.

    Climbing tall trees in 100 degree weather is just another exercise in stretching my mental fortitude – or put another way, my resiliency.

    Physical feats which require sustained effort and facing one’s fears makes living through life’s ups and downs more tolerable.

    To thrive beyond trauma, I need to challenge myself and toughen up the courage mechanism.

    Preach it, Paul! (I’m pretty sure that’s not Paul’s ass in the pic)

    Yes, “Fear is the mind-killer” (Dune by Frank Herbert).

    For fuck’s (or is it fucks?) sake, I jumped out of a motherfucking airplane less than a month ago!

    #dohardshit

    Now climbing tree after tree has more room for error and potential for catastrophe…

    But only if I think about it. 😉

    So as they say in some AA meetings, “Face your fears and grow.”

    And the person whom I am growing into is using this experiment of doing hard shit as an example and catalyst to inspire others to do likewise.

    No, I’m not saying go out and climb a fucking tree (again, unless you want to).

    I’m saying, find out what the fuck excites (and scares) you and fucking do that!

    Learn to push past pain.

    The secret ingredient to that is finding your passion and living it!

    Freedom lies beyond the pain.

    It’s every “person,” Mel… sheesh, get with the times… man.

    Back to the Title

    I could just as easily make this the conclusion, but let’s make it the pre-conclusion and really exhaust the fuck out of this point I’m trying to make.

    Remember when I was talking about getting sick enough of shit to let it go and do something different?

    As mentioned in yesterday’s self-revealing rant, I admitted to recently resuming the habit of smoking cigarettes.

    Yeah, that shit’s gotta go.

    So this post is a self-directed (and hopefully inspirational for you) message to shit or get off the pot. (see https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/06/09/shit-or-get-off-the-pot/) I don’t remember what the hell I wrote in that post, but since it’s title is what I just fucking said, it bears referencing.

    Friday, I am quitting smoking.

    Why, you might ask, I don’t do it today?

    Because I still have cigarettes left and 8/5 equals 13.

    Now do you understand?

    Doesn’t matter… it makes sense to me. 😉

    Okay…

    Moving right along.

    What I’m trying to say here is talk is cheap.

    And I’ve been doing a lot of talking… or writing, well, and talking.

    If I want to be the man of integrity and resilience I imagine myself to be, simply, I need to put up or shut up.

    Watch my feet, not my mouth.

    (They both run fast.)

    And don’t even get me started on my mind’s velocity… but you already know.

    If I want to do as patron saint, David Goggins, preaches, ie. “be uncommon amongst uncommon people” and “stay hard…”

    …then I need to push myself.

    I welcome the challenge of facing nicotine withdrawal, facing the fear of falling from a flimsy-ass palm tree, and experiencing heat exhaustion from working in 100 degree temperatures.

    Do you know why?

    Because I know I am fully living.

    Again, these exercises in personal development need not specifically apply to you to get the gist and push yourself.

    But by all means, stop saying, “Someday, I’ll…”

    Do the fucking thing!

    Whatever it is that excites you…

    Haven’t used this one in awhile. I must be feeling better.

    I’m done with the fucking “someday” bullshit.

    Shut the fuck up and do what you say you want to do.

    The Universe honors and rewards effort.

    Even if your efforts are strenuous and you see no immediate results, you are making progress.

    All effort is progress… even if you fuck up or it hurts.

    Do not wait until you are “ready” to do something.

    Here’s a hint.

    You’ll NEVER be ready.

    I mean if you want to be a pilot or a heart surgeon, be ready before you do that shit. At least learn a thing or two first.

    But just get started.

    Go to school.

    Take the flying lessons.

    Call the school’s advisor.

    Call the… I don’t know what the fuck flight school people are called… but fucking call them!

    Oh yeah, flight instructors.

    Make an appointment and fucking go to it!

    Pick a date.

    Quit smoking.

    Call the fucking tree service.

    Go to the first day and climb some fucking trees.

    Do the damn thing!

    Conclusion

    Okay, so I feel like I blew my wad already in the pre-conclusion…

    So I hope you got the fucking point.

    Do the damn thing!

    Stop talking about it.

    Stop thinking about it.

    Just fucking do it!

    Be well 🙂

    Thank you for reading this latest installment of my impassioned self-pep talk. Although I talk (almost exclusively) about me and my journey, I sincerely hope you can relate and feel inspired to thrive beyond trauma. Hell, if I can do it, anyone can!

    I offer Life Coaching services! If you think you’re ready to dance with the devil by the pale moon light (I mean face your fears and get some shit done), reach out to me. Like, follow, comment, or email me at davidgreenleaf4life@gmail.com.

    Check out my latest podcast episode found on all major platforms, and stay tuned as I join forces to co-host a few episodes on a respectable podcast.

    Be sure to check me out on the socials… if you dare.

    Instagram @greenleaf_4_life

    TikTok @greenleaf4life (it’s just pretty much the same shit as on Instagram)

  • Maybe Do As I Do

    Hello my devoted readers and perhaps newbies to the rollercoaster known as Greenleaf4Life!

    Guess what? It’s a Monday, and I’m actually fucking writing!

    Damn, it feels good to be a gangster… Well, not really.

    I’m the furthest thing from a gangster, but I am feeling fairly inspired to do something different today.

    Maybe it’s the phase of the moon, my recent success at dating, or this Bang energy drink… but the boy’s got some piss and vinegar in him today!

    So hold on folks while we try to do something fucking productive.

    Or…

    As with any good rollercoaster, throw your hands up and scream your fucking head off.

    Either way, it’s a win!

    About That Title…

    I chose the title of today’s blog entry based on how I closed my most recent podcast episode.

    I realize my recovery and life decisions are quite the moving target, so I finished up the last recording with the sage advice handed down from generations of dysfunction…

    “Do as I say, not as I do…”

    Of course that’s a feeble attempt at self-deprecating humor (my old stand-by) based in evoking love through pity.

    You know, childhood survival shit.

    But alas, I digress…

    Closing that episode with the advice of do as I say, not as I do not only made me laugh, it gave me the idea for this post to once again, criticize my former suggestion in favor of something new.

    And such is the road to recovery (in my not-so humble opinion).

    We make many course corrections throughout this journey.

    Sometimes, I will have a morning meditation routine for months then switch it up because I’m feeling inspired or bored.

    Some folks have to switch medications (as well as meditations – sought through prayer and medication 🙂 ) because they just stop working.

    And that’s okay.

    Be adaptable.

    Try new shit.

    And sometimes… Do as I do…

    Driving GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
    Waka-waka-waka…

    But First, An Update…

    If you’ve been following my saga of self-involvement and unrequited romance (see below podcast episode by the same title), you will know I’ve reentered the wide world of dating…

    This probably has a lot to do with my clearly elevated mood.

    So, faithful readers….

    I have found someone I connect very well with.

    And…

    Because I am who I am (if you’ve been following along)…

    I also have to be very mindful of the fact that I want to spend every last waking and sleeping moment with this person right now.

    Ah yes…

    The sweet stage of early infatuation has it’s hold.

    So…

    For today’s experiment in thriving beyond trauma, I’m going to attempt to lead by example and answer a series of prompts provided to me by my recovery sponsor.

    Let me first qualify the following by saying, he received this list of questions from a coach himself, and they are not 12 Step nor original material.

    However, because I thought I would personally journal using these prompts, I figured, what the hell, let’s do it publicly and perhaps inspire others to do likewise?

    Efficient, huh?

    Or maybe just lazy, self-revealing, and grandiose…

    In any event (as I gently pull the nail out of the board I beat myself with), it should be a useful exercise.

    And…

    By doing this exercise (as well as writing this blog), I am focusing on my goals and dreams, and extricating myself (momentarily) from romantic distraction in order to nurture a healthier and more rounded me.

    Enter, If You Dare…

    Question 1. What actions have you taken since our last call?

    Well… Since that was over two weeks ago… A lot!

    A few things I’ve done include volunteering at the AA Intergroup Office, talking to a friend in recovery several times per week, writing this blog, recording my podcast, doing my first Instacart shopping delivery, spending time with family, and now – answering this list of questions to assess my progress and areas of needed improvement.

    Question 2. What results have occurred since our last call?

    Hmmm…. Not quite the results I was hoping for…

    So, I had scheduled and advertised a thriving beyond trauma workshop for July 30th. I even came up with a format. However, I did not follow though with it. I advertised it twice in a two week period (understandably, I received no responses or inquiries) and ultimately let it go.

    Why? The question doesn’t ask that, however, I was distracted with the aforementioned saga of self-involvement and unrequited romance. In other words, I was feeling sorry for myself and was looking for love in all the wrong places…

    So yeah… there’s that.

    Other results…. I’ve found someone I enjoy spending time with. I co-hosted a podcast recording this weekend. I recorded, edited, and posted my own podcast. I’m writing now.

    I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I’ve seen the EXORCIST ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT… NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU’RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY… NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK?

    So, on the whole… things are going 😉

    Question 3: Where are you feeling flow and alignment?

    I am feeling flow with my creative ventures in writing and podcasting. I am feeling flow and alignment with my latest love-interest.

    Yay phenylethylamine!

    Question 4: Where are you feeling resistance or misalignment?

    Only in my head, dear friends… Only in my head…

    I am aware of my fear of failure and of fucking my life up. In full disclosure, I smoked some cigarettes this weekend. I quit that shit January 1st for oblivious reasons.

    Yes, it was stupid and risky given the addictive nature of the death sticks (and yours truly). Plus, I cannot afford to smoke either financially or physically. Smoking and doing CrossFit five-to-six days per week are not conducive.

    And….

    I just wanted to fucking smoke.

    So…

    That is a misalignment with my healthy values (and finances). I’m choosing not to beat myself up for it and hope to resume my smoke-free life style. The cigarettes, while nostalgic and a little exciting, also hurt my lungs and made me feel sick. I’ve come too far physically and emotionally to do that to myself. So I put them back down.

    I also feel a little fear of being judged for my recent romantic involvement. Judgement from my sponsor, ex, and those little fuckers in my head…

    I am also feeling resistance to the Instacart gig and/or finding a “real” job. However, this journey of living off of savings, while it’s been fun, is coming to an end, and I best figure some shit out before things get dire.

    Oh adulting….

    Question 5: Where are you grinding?

    I could tell you where I’ve been grinding, but this isn’t that type of blog…

    Okay, Greenleaf… reel it in… your inner 12-year-old is showing.

    If I’m being honest… I don’t consider my efforts lately to be of the “grinding” nature.

    I mean, at the gym I do “grind” regularly.

    I work fucking hard there, but even then, I skipped this Saturday’s workout because I was otherwise occupied.

    Business-wise, no grinding has occurred as of late.

    I hope this question serves as a wakeup call to ratchet up my intensity.

    I was just saying today I may listen to David Goggins’ book, Can’t Hurt Me, again to kick-start my level of activity.

    It’s like they say in recovery, if you’re not pedaling the bike uphill, then you’re cruising downhill. Or something like that.

    I do not want to go downhill, and I see that I am.

    It’s time to start grinding…

    Hopefully, this exercise will also create that accountability to keep me moving forward.

    Question 6: Where are you feeling doubt or uncertainty?

    Uhhhh… let’s see here.

    How can I be specific with this one?

    Every-fucking-where?

    No, that’s too broad and perhaps exaggerated. Also, it’s just a reflection on my current mood (which you’ll notice changed mid-post).

    Remember question four’s answer that I put the cigarettes back down.

    Yeah… and then I picked them up again.

    Damn it!

    So that’s what I’m doing… Rethinking my life via this post.

    I’m feeling a bit of shame about smoking, and not to mention (except I’m mentioning it), this peculiar twist in my thinking that says I can still do CrossFit, be healthy, and financially secure while smoking.

    I also noticed just now the last four letters in the word “peculiar” spell liar….

    dun, Dun, DUN!!!

    The gig is up.

    So yeah, at the moment, I’m feeling doubt and uncertainty about my frame of mind and recovery.

    I may be being too hard on my self (far be it for me to do that), but it feels like a relapse.

    I know I’ll do the right thing eventually (hopefully sooner than later), but for now, I’m walking the tightrope of insanity.

    Because really, given all the information available, to smoke is insane.

    Besides THAT, I feel some doubt and uncertainty around my employment status, or more accurately, lack thereof.

    Fortunately, I did take a step today to call a potential employer, however, I feel doubt and uncertainty around that, too.

    As a former arborist, tree climber, man-squirrel extraordinaire, I wouldn’t mind getting a part-time job doing tree work.

    However, this time of year the temperature commonly crests beyond the 100 degree mark and palm trees look sketchy as fuck to climb.

    So while in an ebb right now, I am regrouping to face these areas of uncertainty.

    The thing is though…

    Nothing’s fucking certain!

    Except death…

    But things are going so much better than I give them credit for that THAT option is not currently on the table.

    So I’ll spill my guts to my devoted readers, whine a little, whip myself mercilessly, then knock the dust off my piteous self, and make some changes to create the illusion of certainty in an otherwise uncertain existence.

    Atta boy!

    There’s that old nihilistic resolve that gets me out of bed in the morning!

    Question 7: Where are you feeling pushed or stretched?

    Is that a euphemism?

    I defer to the answer in question six.

    Don’t get me wrong… Regardless of my current setback, I’m still committed to thriving beyond trauma.

    They, whoever they are, warned of the “certain trials and low spots ahead” (AA, pg. 15).

    Thanks to the miracle of dialectical thinking (see post, I think – https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/07/27/once-more-from-the-top-this-time-with-feeling/), I am simultaneously feeling very happy and bummed.

    The areas I am feeling pushed and stretched are within my own resolve to chase my dreams and to manifest the motherfucking existence I envision.

    So, in a way, I am grateful for the wall I’ve hit.

    Fortunately, I keep getting back up to push and stretch my damned self.

    Afterall, it’s the motherfucker in the mirror that’s trying to kill me.

    And he’s my BFF and has my back, too.

    It’s time to go back to the basics of my rah-rah rants laced with gratitude and purpose to push and stretch myself unto abundance.

    Question 8: What is one possible target you would love to become a reality?

    Thank God the question just asks for one answer…

    Today, quit smoking

    And two… 😉

    Be self-supporting through my own voluntary contributions…

    In other words, be able to support myself financially so I can get an apartment to house a cat.

    Yes, it’s all about the pussy…. cat.

    Is that too much to ask for?

    Question 9: Are you avoiding hitting your limits? If so, in what area?

    Fortunately, today I am successfully avoiding hitting the limits of my sanity…

    Yes, that’s debatable…

    And I know what it looks like on the inside of this head, so I’m sure I’m still in the green zone of relative sanity.

    One area I am avoiding hitting my limits in is consistent commitment to a routine.

    As of late, I have been a free spirit pretending that I am independent wealthy.

    As I float languidly down the river of denial, I have stopped pushing myself.

    I need to start getting up early again and following a schedule which includes earning money from a side hustle or job while consistently creating content to build this damn thing I call a dream.

    So, I shall stop procrastinating tomorrow… 😉

    Question 10: What is one thing that you have been avoiding that needs to happen?

    Life.

    Too vague?

    Accountability and follow-through?

    Oh! I know! Maturity!

    Yes, but getting colder…

    Referring back to previous questions/answers…

    Resume a routine.

    Quit smoking.

    Get a fucking job.

    Create content daily.

    [drops mic and bows ignorant of celebrating the obvious]

    Maybe I should throw loving myself in there? Or at least being nicer to myself?

    Yes, yes… I’ll take the nail out of the board… sheesh…

    Question 11: What results do you want to see in the next 30 days?

    [pics up mic off the ground and drops it again]

    Okay… So I feel like I’m repeating my answers here a bit.

    Quit smoking, acquire sufficient employment to pay my monthly budget, and consistently create daily content geared towards world domination….

    I mean helping others.

    Poor mic… never did anything to anyone.

    Question 12: What is your top outcome(s) for today’s call?

    Bullshitting my sponsor into believing everything is fine.

    And cough up enough honesty to feel like I’m still working a thorough program.

    I suspect I’m only hurting myself here…

    Damnit Dwight…

    I can never lie to you.

    Okay then. Writing this self-revealing exposé of yours truly for the public to judge.

    I feel so clean…

    Glad I got that off my chest.

    Question 13: What do you want to discuss during your call?

    Not a damn thing.

    Question 14: What would you like to leave today’s call with?

    Validation and ice cream.

    Question 15: What are you enjoying most about sponsorship?

    Enjoy is kind of a strong word for it…

    I would say I “enjoy” (#enjoynotenjoy) the accountability and honest feedback.

    I know my sponsor cares enough about my life to tell me the truth about my apparent conduct.

    No, I did not tell him I was smoking because the internal shame was screaming so loud I couldn’t hear myself think it.

    Boy, that’s a doozy of an excuse even for me.

    Not really.

    He’ll find out because I will invariably tell on myself because I do want to recover, and I’m still sometimes blindly driven to get his approval.

    I appreciate (enjoy) the validation and understanding he conveys.

    He really wants me to succeed.

    Even if it doesn’t include ice cream.

    Question 16: What could be done to improve your sponsorship at this point?

    Really, the only thing that could improve his sponsorship of me is for me to continue to practice the program “to grow in understanding and effectiveness” (AA, pg. 84).

    Yeah, sometimes I want to kindly invite him to go fuck himself for what I perceive to be condescending remarks.

    And…

    I did ask this man to be my sponsor which includes honest feedback from an experienced recovering alcoholic.

    So, I can grow thicker skin and practice making wiser decisions (with his guidance) that will preclude me from having to “tell on myself” afterwards.

    And a million dollars would be nice.

    He can keep the ice cream.

    I’ll buy my own.

    With the million dollars…

    In case you didn’t know that’s what I meant…

    Oh, forget it.

    😉

    Conclusion

    Holy shit, Greenleafers 4 Life! We fucking made it!

    Wow, that felt like homework!

    I hope that by going through those questions I demonstrated a method for self-evaluation, goal setting, and course correction.

    And…

    I hope I demonstrated you don’t have to be too tightly wrapped to do these exercises of self-improvement.

    I hope you found the exercise informative, relatable, motivating, and at the very least, entertaining.

    I know I enjoyed writing it… kind of.

    I’m grateful to have received this suggested list of questions.

    I think it’s helped me to refocus on what needs to happen as well as reminding me why the fuck I am here.

    Continue to do the work!

    Find out what you want!

    Write that shit down!

    Find out what’s blocking you!

    Prioritize the manageable steps.

    Celebrate the victories.

    Whip yourself mercilessly for failing…

    Okay, not that one.

    But WHEN you do fail (and it is a when)….

    Do as I do!

    GET THE FUCK BACK UP!!!

    Be well 🙂

    Thank you for reading today’s instalment of when a love bird flew over the cuckoo’s nest! I promise, I’ll keep recovering so I can help you do the same! Deal?

    Be sure to like, comment, follow, or email me. I can be reached at davidgreenleaf4life@gmail.com. Let’s chat about thriving beyond trauma or why I insist upon using pop-culture gifs from the 80s through the 2000s every four lines.

    I already posted the link to the weekly podcast way up closer to the top of this post. If reading my insanity isn’t enough, you can listen to it, too.

    But wait, there’s more!

    Follow me on Instagram @greenleaf_4_life

    or on TikTok @greenleaf4life

    🙂

  • Once More From The Top… This Time With Feeling!

    Oh… you may be wondering, what is this guy up to NOW?

    Yes, I am quite the moving target on this path to thrive beyond trauma.

    I hope my journey is at the very least entertaining, if not informative and instructive…

    Yes… You are right… I am stalling…

    Okay! Fine!

    I decided to start dating again!

    You don’t say??
    Not Shocked GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

    I can feel your least surprised look judging me through the inter-webs.

    Not really, that’s just the voices in my head.

    Ah well… At least I’m not alone up in here.

    The Best-Laid Plans…

    “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry…” (To A Mouse by Robert Burns).

    As you may recall, in my last installment of the memoirs of a love-sick poet… or something like that, I conceived the idea to shave my head in order to commit to this life of solitude by making myself (as I perceived it) less attractive.

    I thought by leaning into the ugly and distancing myself from my appearance by clipping away part of my identity with a set of hair clippers, I would ascend (or descend?) into the ranks of ascetic or monk.

    Nope.

    Bald is beautiful?

    The very day I cut my fucking hair off, I started to get more attention from women.

    THE

    VERY

    DAY!

    In fact, my new look was merely a couple hours old and yet my shiny cranium served as a beacon of seduction…

    Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little… far be it for me to exercise a heaping dose of superfluous hyperbole…

    BUT…

    I shit you not.

    I thought I was checking in as a new resident to the Ugly Inn, and yet…

    A beautiful woman hit on me that night.

    Granted, she was at a meeting for love addiction… So it may have been more her impulse than my looks.

    But…

    After visibly noticing an increase in my personal stock and quite frankly, growing very tired of surrendering a God-given impulse for connection…

    I said FUCK IT!

    I give.

    I want to find a partner.

    And for the time being… at the very least, meet some people to spend time with.

    And when I say people, you know damn well I mean women.

    So…

    Here we go again…

    The Multi-Verse

    I realize I just used two Matrix memes (I couldn’t decide on which one because they both make me laugh), yet, I called this section the Multi-Verse which has nothing to do with the Matrix…

    Whatever… my blog, I do what I want.

    It makes sense to me.

    And so to answer Morpheus’ question…

    I’m trying to illustrate a desire to operate in multiple realities.

    Yes, yes… I’m sure my history of mental health and taking psychedelics contributes to this line of expanded consciousness, or as the professionals (and certain AA members) would say, delusional thinking.

    But you’re here, so you might as well continue this ride with me.

    In a few different posts now, I’ve illustrated the idea of dialectical thinking (see post https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/05/26/row-your-boat/).

    If, however, you do not want to read my other post because you’re barely keeping your eyes open for this one, I’ll elaborate…

    Dialectical thinking is a skill one develops in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy wherein a person can hold more than one conflicting thought, feeling, or reality in their mind. It’s a tool to get away from “Black-and-White” (I know, so racist) thinking.

    For instance, one can feel sad about a situation and grateful.

    One can have strong feelings, say.. I don’t know, to date (best laid plans 😉 )

    AND….

    Practice using the executive functioning of keeping on fucking task while being available for courtship.

    It sounds good in theory, right?

    So my hope, fearless friends, is to fucking relax a little bit and enjoy the company of potential partners WHILE practicing a program of recovery.

    This so-called program of recovery includes continuing to watch for codependency and love addiction while going to meetings and working with others.

    So far…

    If I’m being honest…

    It’s easy for me to get carried away.

    For instance…

    I have been chatting with someone and formed a pretty quick connection.

    Looking at my phone has taken on a new importance in my day.

    And…

    It’s been fun.

    And ohhhhh the fucking shame-monsters in my head are having a fucking hay-day with this!

    The boy’s doing something that makes him feel good, so it must be bad…

    I heard someone say in a meeting last week that dating is like pouring Miracle Grow on your character defects…

    Isn’t that a comforting thought?

    This is why I want to operate in multiple realities…

    One where I can be grounded in my recovery amidst the excitement of dating.

    I want to keep focused on taking care of my damned self and enjoying the life I am building…

    And…

    I want to be open to my dreams which include falling in-love.

    The quest, should you choose to accept it, young Bucky, is to do all of this with some degree of emotional sobriety and humility.

    Side note: Sometimes you’re young Bucky, and sometimes, I am. This time, I am in the third person. Got it, young Bucky? (see what I did there 😉 ).

    Anywho…. I digress.

    There Are No Stupid Ideas

    Okay… Maybe there’s SOME stupid ideas.

    What I meant to say, is there are no mistakes…

    The interesting thing about the human mind is that we have this self-justification mechanism called confirmation bias.

    When we decide on something, our minds will automatically find supporting information to corroborate our pet belief.

    So, I could sit here all day and spin my wheels about the reasons why I should or shouldn’t date, and at the end of the day, since I have decided to, I will mostly focus on the reasons it’s a good idea.

    Or…

    I could make myself miserable and tear myself apart by overthinking about it.

    Far be it for me to do something like that….

    And now for a brief message from our sponsors…

    It’s like my friend Daniel said in the podcast interview… I can either focus on the cockroach on the bowl of cherries or just the bowl of cherries….

    The point I’m trying to make is I am exercising some fucking mindset and intentionality to enjoy what little time I may have left here.

    And even if I am making a HUGE mistake by deciding to date right now, it’s not really a mistake.

    I will be living life fully and certainly grow from the experience.

    I do not subscribe to the idea that we are meant to be alone here.

    And I know there are no guarantees about how long this little science experiment known as human existence will continue.

    See all that confirmation bias at work? It’s a beautiful thing. I know because my confirmation bias is looking for the beauty in it! 😉

    Life and thriving beyond trauma are about taking risks.

    Today, I am choosing to do what (or whom) will make me happy.

    I know that happiness is an inside job that comes from having a purpose and living aligned with my values…

    And my values today include:

    Shameless Moulin Rouge reference…

    Conclusion

    Thank you for tuning into another installment of the love-sick saga of a chronic malcontent trying his best…

    I think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson here…

    So the long and short of it is…

    Listen to me, don’t listen to me…

    Do whatever the fuck you want!

    Someone I love very much said that she was manifesting like a motherfucker…

    Life is short.

    Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

    Yes, plan for the future.

    But don’t necessarily count on there being one.

    Today is all we’ve got!

    And today, I’m gonna confirm the shit out of my bias towards being available to find the her I’m looking for.

    And she will come…

    Thank you, and goodnight…

    Be well 😉

    Thank you again for reading this latest post. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Believe it or not, I do offer Life Coaching services. Granted I don’t run my life worth a damn, but I’m sure I’ve got some ideas for you…. I can’t even write that without laughing out loud….

    Please feel free to check out my latest podcast episode which completely contradicts what I wrote here today…. Welcome to my world!

    That’s also what she said…

    Check me out on social media if you dare…

    Instagram @greenleaf_4_life

    TikTok @greenleaf4life