Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Passion Party #17 - Today

Today I choose to talk about positive things
To see something good in every person I meet
To water my vegetable garden
To nurture my soul.
Today I choose to organize my time so that
I can help those that need my help.
Today I choose to have patience
I choose to say a prayer for those in pain
And do what I can to live in serenity
Accepting the things I cannot change
And changing the thinks I can.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Passion Party #16 - Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

You can hate that some people make millions a year while others don't,
or you can love that some people make millions a year while others don't.
Not everyone can be Kobe Bryant, or Michael Bay, or Joshua Bell. Their unique abilities make them a lot of money $$$.

You can hate money, or you can love money
and if you hate money, money will probably hate you and stay away.
I don't love money, I love what money can do, I love what money can bring into my life.
You can hate life, or you can love life.

Take a breath, love life!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Passion Party #15 - Funemployment

I spent many years when I was younger, working at jobs where the main lesson I learned was that it was not my job.
What if I had a job that I dreaded going to every morning?
What if I had a job that required a huge daily commute?
What if I had a job with no future? Where every day looked the same? Where I spent my time watching the clock? Where my income was limited? Where it felt like I didn't matter? Where it felt like I was in the typewriter repair business?

What if I had no job today?
What would I do?
Would I sit and mope, or learn to cope?
What if I CHOSE to have no job today?
What if I took a "well" day to walk a mountain path, or go watch the ocean waves?
Who would I meet? What might I discover about who I am?
Think about going from

What if I had a job with a bright future? Where I loved going to work every day? Where every day brought new challenges? Where I was happy going "the extra mile", doing that one more thing before I left the office? Where my income was limited only by the energy I chose to invest? Where it felt like I made a difference?

What if I had a job that I loved going to every morning?
That would be going from

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Passion Party #14 - Simplify

I have started to simplify my life and I do that first by choosing who I spend my time with.
Creating time is an interesting concept - there are only so many hours in the day, but it seems that some people get so much more done than other people.
It is like cleaning the hard drive on your computer: you can create more space and then things move faster.
So today I want to give things away to create more space in my life.
I want to give my time to help others.
I want to give good financial counsel to the people I love.
I want to give away some old clothes I don't wear any more.
I want to give my son a ride to and from school.
I want to be of service to the school music programs.
Being generous feels good.
The more I give, the more I will be able to receive.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Passion Party #13 - It's Not Easy

It's not easy.
I used to have an affirmation, "Money comes to me, easily and effortlessly".
Right now that affirmation does not ring true. Things are not easy now. Work takes a lot of effort.
Money is tight. It is a struggle to get things done.
Is this true? Maybe. But this rings more true:
Money is flowing. It is a challenge to get things done.

I love challenges.
I love puzzles, and I love competition.
Competition allows me to win by comparison, because I am better than 90% of the people in my profession.
AND the business is not easy.
I always remember: if it was easy, everyone would do it.
If it were easy and effortless getting a home mortgage, I would be out of a job.
If it was easy and effortless to have a fulfilling, meaningful life, everyone would have one.
A meaningful life,
a life of passion
takes skill, courage, knowledge and discipline.
And that is a wonderful thing.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Passion Party #12 - Tolerations

There are some messes in my life that I must clean up. I cannot tolerate them any more.
I keep my desk at work clean, but at home my desk is a mess, covered with weeks of old debris that needs to be filed, put away or thrown away. I can't have clear thoughts working at a cluttered desk.
I am busy every day helping clients with their mortgages, monitoring their credit and tax bills, and yet I got a reminder yesterday in the mail that one of my own bills is past due.
As I clean up these messes, I want to simplify my life. I am going to fill my time with what is important to me - my family, and my unique talents. The rest is just noise, getting in the way. It is time to clean my side of the street.
The good news is that I am learning a lesson, and it is a small wake-up call, and I can make a change.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Passion Party #11 - Great People

I surround myself with great people
People willing to love, and to be loved
People with wisdom
People with knowledge of how to get things done
People willing to share their art
People who are in touch with their values,
that have set their moral compass towards "north".

Today I am not afraid to ask for help from those around me.
I will face my fears, walk through the door and say,
"Good morning! I need your help."

Asking for help is not a weakness, it is a sign of strength, the knowledge that I cannot do this alone.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Passion Party #10 - Letting Go

Letting go
is hard but necessary.
Letting go allows new things in,
makes space for the new,
new thoughts, new actions.
I want to hold on, control,
make things happen the way I want.
When I accept that I am not in control
I feel fear, fear of the unknown, fear of what might happen.
What might happen could be wonderful
I might discover that the world continues on, even if I am not in control.

How many things can I let go of today?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Passion Party #9 - My Dad

My Dad taught me so much.
He taught me what to do and what not to do.
He taught me how to fish, the pleasure of sitting in a boat and doing "nothing" while we waited for the fish to bite.
He taught me to work hard and play hard.
He showed me the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur.
He taught me that the best thing you can do for your kids is to support who they are becoming and let them grow. And to finally get out of the way.
He taught me that it is OK to agree to disagree.
He taught me you can mediate, compromise and still get things done.

I resented my Dad for years, pushed against my parent's values and belief systems.
My Dad was a workaholic, and I felt forgotten over the years, abandoned to his pursuit of money - his pursuit that succeeded in getting three kids through college without student loans.

My Dad wrote letters to my Mom every day during the end of WWII, married her after the war, and loved her for decades. She greeted him at the end of each work day with a kiss. I learned something about relationships from this.
My Dad taught me by his actions, more than his words.
And I am grateful for all this.
Thank you Dad, I miss you.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Passion Party #8 - I Love Who I Am Becoming

I love who I am becoming.

I love who I am becoming, even though I act out with improper behavior.
My thoughts rebel,
a desire for excess -
stayed up too late last night, maybe to prove I still can;
yes, I can still be the guy at the Billy Idol concert yelling "More, More, More"
What is THAT about?
It is not about being my highest best self
The burn in my stomach this morning is not from passion but from yesterday's excess.

I am imperfect.
I never promised to be anything but human
And still there is a spark, no matter how hard I try to bury it.
I love who I am becoming
getting up, showing up every morning.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Passion Party #7 - Embrace Change

I embrace change.
I accept uncertainty in my life.
There is so little we know for sure.
Time and its passing seems like a sure thing, but Einstein proved that even time is relative.

To wrap my arms around change
and give it a big bear hug
and let it into my heart...

To do that I have to let go of many old beliefs
I have to admit that I don't know it all
and that many ideas I thought were true might be totally wrong.

The exciting part is that I do not know where this will lead,
and I am willing to walk
along this path and see where it goes

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Passion Party #6 - I want to do something meaningful today

I want to do something meaningful today.

I wished for passion, and I have been getting something meaningful, every day.
Friday was my 15 year old son Evan's Confirmation service at our Temple - he and 20 other teenagers stated their beliefs about God, Judaism and the "meaning of life".

Saturday I got to see Evan play in a string section with Dave Mason and Billy Idol (!) at a huge outdoor concert in front of 2000 people.

Sunday I got to play with my Jazz Quintet at the Jazz Bakery, raising money for music in the Santa Monica public schools.

Monday I got to join 400 fellow travelers at the San Francisco Main Event.

I want to do something meaningful again today!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Passion Party #5 - Surround Yourself with People You Love

I love people.
I choose to surround myself with people that I love:
People that I care about
people that I wish the best for
people I am willing to help
people I can laugh with
people I can share my story with and who want to share their stories with me.
These are the people that I love
This is the circle of people that I want to grow with.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Passion Party #4 - Whatever It Takes

About 33 years ago I let go of most of my possessions, threw what I could into a Dodge van, and moved to Los Angeles. I had decided that I would do whatever it takes to start a new life as a musician and composer in Los Angeles.

About 23 years ago, when my first son was two years old, I decided it was time to stop being an "under-earner" and I got my first job in the financial services industry. I had decided to do whatever it takes to shift into a new career.

About 20 years ago I got my first job as a commission-based loan officer for Security Pacific Bank. I decided to do whatever it takes to be a successful loan officer.

About 11 years ago I met Joe Stumpf. I was burnt out after the real estate difficulties in the '90s, and I was ready to try something new. I decided to do whatever it takes to build a referral-based business built on trust and honesty that would allow me to earn a great income and still have time for my music, my family and my life.

It is now today. I am here now. Once again, I am ready to do Whatever It Takes to find the passion in my life.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Passion Party #3 - What Can I Give You Today?

Diana, my wife, broke her her foot two weeks ago. We like to say she did it kick boxing, but actually she fell getting out of a row in a dark concert hall, tripped and fell down and broke her foot.

So now we are two weeks into the cast and the crutches and the physical therapy. It is a relatively small thing in the world of problems, but it adds a layer of complexity to every day, as I am picking up a lot of the extra jobs around the house that Diana usually handles.

At first it felt like yet another thing to take care of. And then I realized, I do not want to be here caretaker-- I want to be here care GIVER.
When I give care it is easy and open. It is the same with my clients and the people I work with.

I have so much to give.
Giving makes my heart feel light.
Giving makes the other person feel better, and that makes me feel better.
Giving with passion feels best of all.
I can do this today,
Find my passion, and give it away!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Passion Party #2 - Restart My Heart

Restart My Heart

My battery died yesterday.
No, really.
Went down to the parking garage and the car would not start. Had to call AAA. It took about 20 minutes for the man to show up and I ended picking my son Evan up late from school.

The car is less than three years old - this should not be happening. I felt annoyed and inconvenienced.

I have been paying my AAA membership dutifully for many years. I am happy to call them again today to help me. I am so thrilled that I just have to call this 800 number, and someone will ride to the rescue and get my battery started.

But who will I call to restart my heart?
My heart yearns for joy and passion. but it often feels clogged with the day-to-day demands of life.

Sometimes I have to bring it to the repair shop: it could be the ocean, or a dirt road in the country, or just a "filling station" in my house where I allow my brain, my heart, my body and soul to reconnect and check in with each other.

I wish it were as easy as having a man come with a little energy box, hook up the cables and - BAM - you are off and running again.

Maybe it is. I just have to find the man with that little box full of energy. I have his number here somewhere...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Passion Party #1 - A Stream of Abundance

I Am Riding on a Stream of Abundance.

It is so easy to get pulled down right now. News is bleak. The media drum beat has been negative for years. Recession - layoffs - blah blah blah.

But still, the sun rises every morning on another day filled with potential and opportunity. My life is filled with people I love, a caring family, music and beauty.

Life is beautiful if I stop for a moment and just observe it. Nature continues its steady pace from spring to summer. I do not have to make summer arrive. It just does.

All I need to do today is take a ride on the Stream of Abundance.

Let the Passion Party begin!