The rings of christmas

The Rings of Christmas – Body of Life

Silver and gold garland wreathed around the needle-sharp Christmas tree. An array of glass and plastic ornaments fell from hooks like stems of fruit on the pine branches. Spiraling luminescence gracefully undulated from a string of rainbow lights.  A sparkle caped angel rested atop the lush tree, but it was the brilliantly wrapped gifts tied with bows that were the culmination of excitement.

Hundreds of cookies rested in old popcorn tins. Homemade fudge, pies, cakes and all sorts of scrumptious treats were in abundance. The house was a Christmas treasure land, my mother made sure of that. Each year she made everyone’s favorite, mine were fork mashed peanut butter, snicker doodle and chocolate chip cookies. The experience was one of love, a memory I am still able to treasure to this day.

These lessons, memories, moments are the foundation of how Me-of-the-Past and Me-Now romance life. I desire for my relationships to show love in the same way my mother showed how to make holidays special.  Find the beauty in the world around you, and you will be filled with it.

When saturated with beauty, we accept and nurture hope. We can take this small gift and place it into the palm of those we love. By passing this a spark we can ignite a great fire and inspire a conflagration of joy, peace and harmony.

All actions may have great return, so invest in the positive ones. The love shown to me, expressed by my mother, has, continues and will always enrich my life.


Healthy Relationships – Body of Life

Healthy Relationships

So much has changed since I began this journey. Many of the thoughts I wrote are no longer what I believe now. A good number were force fed to me by Ino. Spoonful’s of his hurt jammed down my throat into my heart. I have a peace-love relationship with my time with him. My heart has found peace, I no longer suffer with animosity or anger toward Ino. I love him as I would any person. The hurt he fed me has been spat out and the sour taste washed away. This peace has opened the pantry door for me savor the experience of healthy relationships.

From Ino and the Wolf in Sheep’s clothing I’ve discovered a quality I look for in others. True Empathy, the kind where hurt spoken is investigated before being dismissed. I want a friend in my corner who will listen to me, before they cast out my feels on this or that. The same is what I want to give, and that is exactly what will be given.

I’ve always believed that your lover should be your friend, your best friend. They should be your partner in crime, your battle buddy, your advocate. In my last relationship, I didn’t have this. It was a clear parameter set by them, a line I wasn’t allowed to cross. Healthy Shawn White would have ended the relationship then and there. Me-of-the-Past and Me-Now are a lot stronger than Chemo-Me, or Post-Chemo-Me. I was in too deep, too much in love during a troubling time to let go. It was the right thing for me, it was the affection and attention I needed. There is nothing I regret about that relationship. It was, as it was, and everything it was meant to be. I’m at peace with it and have moved on.

Every Relationship is Different

I believe that every relationship is different, each with its own social contract. Though different, all are similar in that they’re defined by the personal boundaries of at least two people. I dig love, life, adventures and dreams, but without personal boundaries none are possible.




Tree of Life

Our palace is built from lumber harvested from the Tree of Life. This tree is enormous, stretching through the earth into the underworlds and high into the sky to the heavens above. As we walk our road of life we spot leaves and sticks and collect them under our arm. When the world grows cold we pile them together to build ourselves a shelter. Over time this refuge becomes bigger and safer, fortifying into a fortress and one day becoming our personal palace. It is a place we all live, a place we all must build on our own, it is a symbol for how we see and think.

On this journey some of us turn toward the tree and tear it down. Others refuse to saw or collect the limbs, instead they seek safe-haven in another person’s palace. The best way to live is to pick up sticks here and there and saw off this or that without leaving the tree cut in half.  With the parts we will have the tools to build our perfect palace.

The tree if life represents the aspects of who we are and when we climb and play on its branches we can learn how to live to be the better version of ourselves.

Playing on the Tree of Life

  1. Digging in the dirt to see the roots that feed us.
  2. Climbing the trunk and feeling its bark
  3. Swinging from the limbs
  4. Exploring the flavor of its fruit.

Our life, like a tree’s root system spreads further and deeper when fed with rich nutrients.  The healthier food something is fed the healthier it becomes. Negative begets negative and positive begets positive.

Indulge the negative and like a disease it will worsen and spread.  Embrace the positive and you’ll expand and attract the same. Feed the soil of life with the energy you desire and you will experience it.  Look inward to find the answers you need. Exploring ideas with others can be great, but no one knows more about you than you do. Come with me and climb this tree to discover how to see the person you want to be.

Digging in the dirt to see the roots that feed us

Be your own life coach and dig into the dirt. It can be messy and muddy but if you look hard enough you will see we have two kinds of roots: Negative and Positive. The negative is comprised of denial, false perception, shame, malfunction, false validation, guilt and regret. The positive is made up of acceptance, wisdom, accountability, rationality, empowerment, forgiveness and harmony.

Climbing the trunk and feeling its bark

Our roots lead into the body of life, which represents the seasons we have endured and years lived. It is our life, our thoughts manifested and actions achieved.

Swinging from the limbs

From the body the Tree reaches out to the Limbs of Negativity and Positivity. The positive is our plans, adventures and dreams; the negative represents our stagnation, isolation and impulse. From the limbs our branches spread and grow to represent the action of these passions and pathos. It is at the end of these branches that we enjoy the fruit of our labor or suffer with its rot.

Exploring the flavor of its fruit

As I reaped the rewards for my hard work I took a bite and discovered a delicious delight. I saw the purpose to the pain, the truth of my terror and the reason for my existence. I am here to help, to show you the clues of what you must do.

To overcome who you are, you might have to split yourself open to observe how you work. Why do you do what you do? Why do you feel how you feel? These are questions anyone can ask, but only you can answer.

I address the dangers of life coaches, gurus and MLMs because they pretend to have answers for questions they cannot know. When it comes to the peace you seek, you already have the answers you need. The journey you walk has been paved by the life you’ve lived.  Look at where you’ve been to figure out where you want to go. The Tree of Life philosophy is about getting to know the true you inside yourself. I don’t have your answers and there is no one you can pay to do your dirty work. Change comes from within, this is the greatest truth I know. I cannot show you your way, but I can show you how I found my path to peace.

Take my hand and follow me as I explore my Tree of Life. I have chosen to open my heart to you, to see how I split myself open to understand how I work. To see how I discovered why I do what I do and feel what I feel. I am going to give your the greatest gifts I can, which are the questions I learned to ask myself to learn what I already knew.



Harmony – Tree of Life


Harmony is one of the seven positive roots of the Tree of Life. It’s the act of accepting, succumbing and overcoming the past. Harmony is an experience unlike any other. It’s an abstract sensation, one of calm, of ease, of tranquility. Those who feed the roots harmony aren’t beyond the range of human emotion. Rather they aren’t haunted by it like others may be.

Living without regret is not the same as living with harmony. My proactive prevention of regret has never led to the state of peace I feel today. Instead that philosophy kept my insides from catching fire.

I regret nothing

Everything that happened has been a stepping stone to where I am now. I’ve spoken of the hardships and pain associated with being a stepping stone for someone else. Though it may have hurt, it had to happen. Some were blessings, so amazing it was an honor endure such anguish.

I’ve been in relationships with horrific and delightful partners, good and bad pairings. Though heart break permeates them all, I regret none. Even more so, I love them for what they were.

There is something to be gained from everything. If you can gleam love, a lesson or perhaps some lore it had significance.

I love everyone

It’s true, I do love everyone. It doesn’t matter if you hurt me, we never met or you’re a friend. It was a recent milestone that I discovered this, when your mile stone finds you… you will be awestruck by it.

My milestone was being cool with my brother, and letting go of the past with both he and my father.


Regret – Tree of Life


Rationality – Tree of Life

Rationality is one of the seven positive roots of the Tree of Life. It’s the act of fueling our thoughts with positive energy. With it we make sound emotional decisions supported by reason.

That which conforms to principles of good reasoning, is sensible, shows good judgement, is consistent, logical, complete, and relevant. Rationality is a summary term like ‘virtue’ or ‘goodness’. It is manifested in an unlimited number of ways and depends on a host of principles. There is some ambiguity in it, depending on whether one considers only the logicalness and effectiveness by which one pursues one’s ends, or whether it includes the assessment of ends themselves. There is also ambiguity in whether one considers selfish ends to be rational, even when they conflict with what is just. Does a rational person have to be just or only skilled in pursuing his or her interests? Is it rational to be irrational in an irrational world? [1]

Throughout the years, I’ve watched the world become something other than what I thought it was. People doing things that don’t make sense. Their motivations are indiscernible. In a story, a character and their motivations must be believable, in life that is not the case. The only commonality I’ve seen is that people who hurt, hurt others. Some people hurt so much they become unbelievable villains. It makes you want to believe their only drive, the motive of their actions is to watch the world burn.

In my journey, I’ve blamed myself here and there. I’ve been convinced I was the villain, the destroyer of this relationship or that one.  That doesn’t make any sense, I am not solely responsible for the destruction of my past relationships. Just like you are not solely responsible for yours., but we are all partially responsible for anything that happens in all of our relationships.

If I were healthy…

When I was going through chemotherapy I was dating this lovely young woman. After we broke up I said that her and I wouldn’t have dated if I were healthy. I don’t know if that is true, because I was fond enough to fall in love with her. Truly in retrospect I think the statement was a coping mechanism.

The way it ended was terrible, perhaps more so than I anticipated. A lot of shitty things happened in the end. It made me feel like I was used. Used for all sorts of things and it made me feel like a tool, a weapon, a place holder and a stepping stone.

That’s life and its ok. I am grateful I had this beautiful young woman in my life when I was lonely and afraid. She was there for me in a way I needed someone to be in my life, she was my knight in shining armor. Spending time with me in that terrible hospital, holding my hand during chemotherapy and standing beside me as my lover. She eased the horror of staring down the barrel of death and I am eternally grateful to her for that.

So, what does all this lead into?

The positive root of rationality is more than accepting your role in relationships, it’s acknowledging and respecting their ebb and flow. We’re not always equally responsible at every moment. A wise man once told me this ebb and flow is akin to a seesaw. Sometimes you’re in the air and sometimes you’re not. There are times when we are more responsible and times when we are less.

[1] Paul, Richard, and A. J. A. Binker. Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs to Survive in a Rapidly Changing World. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2012.

Malfunction – Tree of Life





Forgiveness – Tree of Life

Forgiveness is one of the seven positive roots of the Tree of Life. When we feed these roots,  a weight lifts from our chest and the world becomes easier to breath. Forgiveness soothes the angry bees in our belly, takes away the lightning behind our eyes.

The act of feeding positive energy into this root is more than just saying: “I forgive you.” You have to actually deal with the issues fueling the guilt. Face down the baggage you’ve been carrying and work through the puzzles. Life is filled with all sorts of games, its a matter of solving them and learning something along the way. The guilt we feel has a value, before we can allow forgiveness to take hold we have to understand the significance of the guilt.

Ignoring your responsibility is not the same as forgiveness. Negligence is an inherent flaw of negative energy. To refuse your responsibility is denial, a negative root of the Tree of Life.

There are moments when guilt can be healthy. If we have a relationship with this root, then we wont allow it to grow longer than it needs to be. Hold onto it long enough to keep us healthy and remain accountable for our actions.

Guilt – Tree of Life



Empowerment – Tree of Life

Empowerment is one of the seven positive roots of the Tree of Life. When our heart weakens and our blood runs thin we turn to others for guidance. We desire words to equalize and harmonize. In these moments there are two choices we can make, personal empowerment or false validation. We can embrace our sound judgement or give our power to others. Empowerment can be described with:”I am who I am, these are my opinions, this is my decision.”

When we walk the road of empowerment we choose to live life with our own thoughts. We push out the influences of others and we have the force of will to be who we are, who we believe ourselves to be, who we want to be.

In my journey of empowerment I’m trying to remove phrases like: “What do you think about that?” …and other questions of validation. I’ve discovered that if someone has an opinion they’ll share it to you. We don’t have to ask, it wouldn’t be a gift if we did.

I choose to be my own person, I choose who I want to be. I have chosen to transform my root of false validation into the root of empowerment.


False Validation – Reflections