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Showing posts from 2020

My Uncle Has a Country Place No One Knows About

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I'm going to take you back to1981. My brother (3 years older than me) turned me on to numerous bands: Kiss, ac/dc. Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant, Van Halen, Black Sabbath and... RUSH! 
We lived on the WestSide of Grand Rapids, near Richmond Park. Back in those days I would still often go to the store with my Mom. We'd go to 'Little Meijers.' It was the last of the smaller grocery stores of the Meijer chain at the time. It closed down only a few short years after the time of this story.
Little Meijer was only a few blocks away from our house, may three quarters of a mile or so. It had a tiny... and I mean teeny tiny little 'music section', made up of a handful of albums (you know, vinyl records), a few cassettes and some simple electronic stuff. If you looked up on the top shelf shoved in the corner, you could still find an 8 track cassette on clearance!
Anyway, I saw this album, new and shiny... 
RUSH Moving Pictures
My little tween brain said... I NEEDED it!
I wasn&…

Connecting Off the Grid

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Funny how sometimes it takes getting 'off the grid' to connect...Well...
I reconnected with an old friend of mine. He's been wanting to go out camping for a while now, so... 
Off the grid we went for a few days. 
We went up in the Manistee National Forest near Bitley, Michigan. 
It was really good to reconnect and spend some time together. We bonded with some shared adversity in the woods... It was cold and rainy pretty much everyday... However, we had a great time and are looking forward to doing it again!   
Do any of you have a friend who you haven't connected with in a long time?
Sure you do!
Give one of them a call and reconnect with them. Go out for coffee, lunch, dinner, or drinks.
Time moves so quickly! Days turn to weeks, months, years and decades!
Before you know it there is a lot of time in between...
The second thing is that you may have noticed that my last email had a number of links.
Problem is (if you tried them) most of them were disconnected! (oh, shi*t...)
Oops.…

How I Beat the FBI Pistol Qualification Course

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Me doing some shooting at Caliber 3 Counter Terrorism & Security Academy in Israel

Oh, where to start!?
As I was telling you several weeks ago, I decided to reinstate my concealed pistol license. Being that I advocate responsible gun ownership and usage, I wanted to make sure I also dialed in my shooting skills. Being that I haven't shot that often in more than a few years I decided to return to the basics (again) and review things from the ground up so to speak. 
I had many gracious offers from you PeaceWalker Community members to help me get back where I needed to be (and beyond...).
One of the offers came from a (semi) local shooting instructor, Skip Coryell. Skip is a former Marine, a USCCA firearms instructor and the co-host on nationally syndicated Frontlines of Freedom Military Talk Radio Show. He is also one of the featured instructors on our PeaceWalker Private Membership - Tactical Firearms Defense Module. 
The past few weeks, I've taken two of his advanced pistol cou…

They Want You Broken

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How Do You Stay Un-Broken?
There are a lot of ways to be Broken.
Ethically? Emotionally? Physically? Socially? Financially? Psychologically? Spiritually? Structurally? Politically? Philosophically?
...I could keep going, but I think you are getting my drift.
Most of our unrest, conflict and violence comes from broken people doing broken things. They are trying to feel less broken at the expense of others...
Some of them are scratching an itch that being broken brought on. 
There are even some who hold on to their broken-ness so much that they actually enjoy breaking others for their own amusement.
Some people like it when others are Broken, that way they don't feel as bad about themselves.
"I may be bad, but look at THAT guy?!"
or
"See, I'm not that bad."

Logic like that paves the way so they don't have to really deal with their own Brokeness.
Some people make it an unhealthy competition...
"Yea, you think that's bad?! That's nothing... Look at me!"

No Excus…

Here's the Thing w/Difficult Conversations...

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There are many types of difficult conversations...
The ones I'm talking about today are those who we have with people we know and want to be able to trust.
You see, trust, in the most basic sense, is placing confidence in another person, and in return, them placing confidence in you. 
In BrenĂ© Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, she shares a story of her young daughter losing trust in her best friends and her subsequent decision to never trust anyone again. BrenĂ© uses the analogy of a marble jar to help her daughter understand how trust is built. 
Here's how it works:
Every person has a metaphoric 'Trust Jar' that marbles are added to or taken away from. 
Here are some ways to add to the jar:
~ Spend quality time with that person ~ When they do good things for you (w/the right intent) ~ When they open up and share stories about themselves. ~ When they are honest with you. 
The more stories, experiences and deeds they share, and the deeper they are, the more marbles you are able to add …

SFT... WTH?!

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I just re-watched a movie I really like, it's called Seven Days in Utopia. It's about a young, up and coming pro-golfer who just melted down at his last tournament.
He ends up wrecking his car in the middle of nowhere, a place called Utopia. He gets help from an old guy named Johnny, who he later finds out was a top notch PGA golfer.
Johnny takes Lucas under his wing and mentors him in golf and more importantly in Life. And just like a 'Mr. Myogi' of the golfing world, Johnny coaches the young lad into developing both his golf and personal game. 
By using some very unique training methods (much like Myogi), Johnny instills the lessons that could ensure Luke's future in golf and as a man. 
One of the exercises that johnny has his new protege' do is to begin to:
See It Feel It Trust It
SFT
Ironically, this is a process that I help students to develop as well... Only, rather than golf we are training how to defend ourselves (and others).
Learning how to SEE conflict from a …

Is This the Calm Before the Storm?!

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Those who know me understand that I'm not one of these doomsday, prepper, conspiracy theorists, alien abduction, zombie apocalypse fear'n kind of guys.
HOWEVER... =)
There are many experts who are thinking that we may be experiencing the calm before the storm of what's coming regarding (more) government control and (potentially) violent social erosion & unrest. 
And I have to be honest here...
It has me a bit concerned as well...
I'm pretty level headed and 'moderate' when it comes to things like this, but with what we've experienced in the last few months, there is good reason to be vigilant at the very least. 
There has been a lot of change and with change comes conflict. There is still a lot of uncertainty with some big issues coming up on the horizon: 
~ This pandemic  ~ The November election  ~ The economy  ~ Government control & power ~ National efforts to de-fund our police ~ Social/political movements that are sweeping people up to draw sides ~ Social me…

The Art of Shaking Off the Dirt

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I thought it would be a good time for a short tie-in story. I'm not sure who originally wrote this one, but you can find a version of it in Lt. Col. (Ret) Joe Shusko's book: Tie-Ins for Life. Here's the link: https://www.amazon.com/Tie-Ins-Life-Stories-Values-Inspire/dp/1466395567#ace-g2342880709
Never Quit!
One day a farmer needed to fill in his dried up well. When he came up to the hole, he saw that his old donkey fell into it. It was just laying there crying. 
Trying to figure out what to do, the farmer finally decided that the donkey was too old and feeble and it wasn't worth the effort to get it out of the well. The well needed to be filled up anyway, so he could kill two birds with one stone so to speak. Fill in the well and bury the donkey.
The farmer asked all his neighbors to help him. So, they all grabbed a shovel and began shoveling dirt into the well. 
At first the donkey thought they were going to help him. However, as the shovel loads of dirt began falling dow…

Tough Crowd... But This Really Stunned Them!

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Last week's blog reminded me of a story... 
A few years back I was hired by the Michigan Counselor Association to be keynote presenter and do a couple breakout sessions on conflict management.
In one of the breakouts, I showed them how verbal communication and physical defensive tactics go hand in hand. 
I demonstrated to them how these two are essential not only for your safety, but when you bring these together, your confidence raises in pretty much everything you do!  
The Experience Stunned Them...
someone brings up the topic of bullying.. "In my opinion, one of the main problems of many of the approaches embraced by today's schools is that they are coming from the wrong place. They are starting from the wrong foundation. They are beginning from a place of false assumptions and more importantly from a flawed, warped perspective of the human experience.” . What?! The crowd mouthed. . "Could I get a volunteer?" I asked politely. . A small, young lady stepped up. . "Let…

Dealing w/an Attacker (Not the One You Think)!

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Many times when people think of being attacked they think of a physical assault... 
However, attacks come in many forms; Physical, Verbal, Emotional, Legal, Social and More.
Today, I thought I'd share one way of dealing with someone who is gets verbally aggressive when talking to them about something. 
This could happen at work, school, with friends or even at home in your personal relationships.
Insults, blame, shame or being completely shut down is very prevalent today.
How Do You Know...
When you are dealing with this type of bully? 
Simple, when talking no matter how diplomatically you bring your perspective up, they get aggressive and/or try to shut you down completely., 
Keep in mind to pick your battles. If you don't have to deal with this person, remember that you don't have to. Sometime its better to just walk away.
Remember, you can't control others, only yourself. You may be able to influence, however don't get attached to trying to control people. Rather, learn …

How to Disagree w/o Arguing or Backing Down

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How to Disagree...
A PeaceWalker member reached out to me the other day, telling me how they used what they'd been learning.
Here's the story...

As you know currently with this pandemic and social unrest, there has been an even larger slice of conflict out there to contend with. One or our fellow members was telling me how they got into a discussion that turned into an argument with someone over wearing face masks. 
I guess it started out pretty mild, but quickly escalated into a bit of a tiff. Our dear member said that they kept baseline and presented their point about their perspective on the topic at hand. 
But...
The other person wasn't having it, and they started firing back statics and their side of the story. Apparently, when they weren't able to convince them to see things their way, they began becoming more aggressive. 
The more they talked, the more agitated they became, until, getting red in the face, they were almost screaming about all of the idiots who didn'…

A Warrior Looks Up!

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The Buzzard, the Bat & the Bumblebee
If you put a buzzard in a pen six or eight feet square and entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of his ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. 
The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground w/a run of ten to twelve feet. Without space to run, he will not even attempt to fly, purely out of habit. This habit would keep him a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.
The ordinary bat is actually quite an extraordinary flying creature, however it cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle around helplessly. It needs a slight elevation to throw itself into the air in order to initiate its flight. 
If a bumblebee is dropped into an open container, it will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top. It will continue to try to find its way out through the sides near the bottom. It keeps looking for a way …