The journey to loving myself: Part 3 – My Dark Period.

Please begin with Part 1 (click here) and then Part 2 (click here)

“I think it is time we begin to see other people…”

My first reaction was, “Do we have to do this now… when my business is collapsing beneath my feet?” I cannot remember if I said this out loud or just in my head, but I said it nonetheless. The time was in the early months of 2008, soon after the big crash of the US economy.

Even though the 14.5 year relationship that was ending was probably about 4.5 years past its expiration date, it was the only thing that was consistent in my life. Less than three years prior I was voted out of the company I had created and had built to a moderate success. I walked away from that company in 2005 with my name, my reputation, all of the knowledge that I gained from the experience, my peace of mind and my head held high. In 2005 I put together a new company and started all over from scratch. Needless to say, these were tumultuous years, but nothing like what I was about to experience beginning in those early months of 2008. The ground beneath my feet was shifting so quickly I am not sure that I was actually standing; and it didn’t stop shifting for another four years.

My friends have called this my Dark Period. Those four years were the most difficult of my entire life. Though, I am now very thankful for those years, because if things hadn’t happened as they did I would not have found the peace and true happiness that I am now experiencing. For me, it was all worth it.

In January of 2008 as the economy collapsed, so followed my business. Somehow, without any funding, I kept the company afloat with sheer determination and the will to not give up. I remember saying, “They will have to pry this company out of my dead bleeding hands…” and they nearly did.

By mid 2008, when it was obvious that we were not recovering from the crash, I had to begin laying off my staff one by one until it was just me and one other person. By 2009 we had moved out of our beautiful new offices and into my home office. That one employee I had left, Maggie, ran my office until the end of 2010 and worked several months with neither a paycheck nor a complaint. I had stopped paying myself back in the early months of 2008. From 2009-2010 I made, packed and shipped all of my candles by myself (with occasional part-time help). The warehouse I was forced to use as my production facility had no air-conditioning or proper ventilation. Temperatures inside would reach around 120 with all the wax melters running during the Texas summers. I was often working 6-7 days a week and not taking care of my health. My eating habits turned into (I’m now horrified to say this) what I could afford on the dollar menu at fast food restaurants. I was killing myself with my work load, the working conditions,  the stress of my mounting debt and my dollar menu diet. I don’t remember having much if any joy in my life…

Since I had stopped paying myself in 2008, I had no money left and no more room on credit cards by early 2010. Some of my greatest fears were coming true. I was so behind on my car payment that I began to park down the block so the repo men wouldn’t find it. I was also several months behind on the house mortgage and received a notice that if I didn’t make a payment that month, they were going to begin the foreclosure process. Adding to the pressure of this, I had been a rescuer of animals for over 15 years at that point and had a house and yard full of animals that depended upon me. They were my family. If I lost the house, there would have been no way for me to keep my family of animals together. I was on the verge of losing EVERYTHING.

By 2011 I was nearly dead; physically, emotionally and spiritually. In order to save the house and keep food for my dogs, I had to sell off many of my personal belongins, including my prized possessions, my Big Boy statues.

IMG_0743

Bye-bye BIG BOYS!

 In 2011 I received some reprieve when I licensed my candle brand to another company. This removed the daily stress of making and shipping candles off my plate, though it still left me with no income. I applied at every job I could think of, though no one seemed to want to hire someone who had been an entrepreneur for the past 20+ years. I literally was starving. Any money I could scrap up went into keeping the roof over my head, my car on the road and food for my animals. I had no spare money for anything.

I learned how to live on $5 a week from a friend. He told me about the real Mexican grocery stores, the ones where all the signs are in Spanish, and how they would always have some sort of (unidentifiable) meat on sale for $0.99 per pound. I would go there and buy $5 worth and live on it for a week. I would cook the hell out of it on my George Foreman Grill to kill anything that could possibly kill me. If I was lucky a friend would give me some barbecue sauce to make it, whatever it was, tolerable.  Yes, I am serious, I was that poor. The only time I saw a vegetable is when Maggie would invite me over to eat.

During this time I was rather lucky that my dogs had relatively good health and did not require much… if they had, I would not have been able to afford taking them to the vet. There were only a couple of events that happened where I had to turn my kitchen into a triage unit and emergency room. I saved one of my special needs puppies life with a chip clip when one of the other dogs ate 3/4’s of her IMG_0825IMG_0972ear off. That is a long

story, but she lived.  

Hippity Hop in the emergency room (my kithen) and her bi-level look afterwards.

I am usually a very social person, and by the spring of 2011 I had been living as a complete hermit for a few years. My dogs had heard all of my jokes and when they began to recite my punchlines back to me, in unison, I knew it was time to get out of the house and become social again – with people. Who would have thought that a visit to The Round Up, a Country & Western Saloon and Dancehall, would change the course of my life forever?

To be continued.

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thanks for reading!

Jimmy

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The journey to loving myself: Part 2

To start from the beginning, and please do if you haven’t: Part 1 (click here)

 

“Fat?! And you thought you were fat? You wanna see fat?! I’ll show you some fat!”

This was the adult me talking to the me in the pictures of when I was younger. I really wasn’t fat at all, maybe a little pudgy in some of the pictures; and by no means was my body the abhorrent image I remember holding in the mind’s eye of my youth.

It wasn’t always like this. Prior to the H-Bomb being dropped upon my psyche that fateful day in the boys department of Muirhead’s Department Store (see part 1), my earliest memories are of being surrounded by girls and woman at church as they are gawking and pulling at me, pinching my cheeks and going on and on about how cute I was and how beautiful my long white/blonde eyelashes were.

Jimmy baby in chair

There was so much adulation heaped upon me that when I was 5 years old I cut off my eyelashes thinking it would make them all stop pawing at me. I was wrong; it only fueled them more. You would think that a young boy growing up with all of that positive attention toward his cuteness would build a strong self image and a strong sense of self worth.

Jimmy 6 yrs

What happens to a child when a great portion of his self worth is built upon being cute? And what happens when he then grows out of his cuteness, and instead is labeled something horrible, such as HUSKY? I’ll tell you; I began to judge my body as imperfect, not cute and not lovable. I began to feel  unworthy of physical love.

Luckily for me, at a young age I knew I possessed the ability to make people laugh, and that gave me enough confidence to carry me through. But as far as my body was concerned, I felt less than; I felt unworthy.

This sense of physical unworthiness drove me to work hard on my body, trying to make it worthy. Through my teens and into young adulthood I would work out sometimes 6-7 days a week…. and I remained unworthy.

Worthy, in my mind’s eye, was an image of physical perfection; an airbrushed image of the perfect body. I remember staring in the mirror, with disgust, thinking, “How could someone love this body?” The sick part to this is, at one point, I was staring at a body in the mirror that looked like a slightly softer (not as cut) version of Mark Wahlberg’s famous Calvin Klein ad.

Because I could not love my body, I was incapable of allowing someone else to love me or my body. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that this physical unworthiness that I held onto for so long was the impetus for the destruction of many of my relationships.

The odder piece of this puzzle is that it took me getting completely out of shape, 50+ lbs fatter than my most fit body, in order to begin loving myself and my body.

It was during the darkest period of my entire life, My Dark Period, as my friends would call it (2008-2011), that I purposefully began the journey to loving myself. The events that lead to this dark period created the space into which I began to heal my life. Though this was THE most painful period of my life, and I hope to never experience anything like it again, I am thankful now that it all occurred as it did.

Because I began to love myself and I did not give up on life… my life is now the most peaceful it has ever been. Because I began to love my body… I am healthier than I have been in decades. And because I began to love my body and I did not give up on love… I met the absolute love of my life.

To be continued. Click here for Part 3

In Part 3 I will go into the events that began My Dark Period and I will explain what I did to turn things around for myself.

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The journey to loving myself: Part 1

The dropping of the H-Bomb.

There I stood with my mom, sparkly-eyed and jumping for joy (in my head), in the Boy’s Clothing department at the opulent Muirhead’s Department Store in Dearborn Michigan, looking at rack after groovy rack of the most spectacular clothing I’d ever seen in person. This clothing looked every bit as exciting as I imagined possible from what I had seen on TV shows, such as The Jim Nabors Hour! And they were mine for the choosing! My dream had finally come true!

Because we were the poor preacher’s kids, the Muirhead’s (members of our church when my dad preached in Dearborn, who owned a very high end department store) invited us to come to their store and pick out 2-3 outfits each before school started. I can still smell the richness of this store… it emanated the scent of wealth.

As I stood there, my mind exploded with images of how great I would look as I strutted down the hallway flashing people the peace sign on my way to my classroom on that first day of school. Every head would turn and gasp in awe of my grooviness! As I stood there contemplating which of these amazing outfits I would first try on, my world came to a screeching halt.

“Excuse me ma’am…”

As I’m hearing in the background, nearly drowned out in the midst of the purple haze of my glory,

“… you seem to be in the wrong section…”

The sales woman begins to whisper to my mother in a tone as if she were speaking of a horrible and unthinkable disease.

“What?!” Snap! …goes my head just in time to witness the sales woman pause for a few seconds more to look over her shoulders, in either direction; I guess to see if the coast was clear for what she was about to do.

“Ahem, you see ma’am, this section is for slim boys” as her voice became even softer, and slightly malicious, as if she knew she was about to drop the H-bomb on a little boys heart.

“… your boy is obviously HUSKY.” 

 

As the mushroom cloud was forming above my head, and before I could completely comprehend what exactly just happened, she turned to lead us to the department especially assigned for my “type”.

I can vividly remember taking that long walk of shame to the far corner of the boys department, with my spirit completely crushed,  as I was placed in front of the ugliest rack of beige clothing I have ever seen. The letters of the sign hanging over the one, singularly very sad rack of clothing, designed especially for me, simply read, for the entire world to see, in big fat, chunky bold letters – HUSKY BOYS.

 

My life was over.

 

HUSKY?!?!

obviously!?!?

 

It was official. In that moment, on that day in the late summer of 1971, at the age of 7, I was fatunlovable…and obviously not worthy of groovy clothing.

 

This moment in time forged the basis for my self image that would follow me for the rest of my life through to adulthood. I grew up thinking I was fat… with varying degrees of non-love for my body.

…to be continued.  (Click here for Part 2) 

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Thanks for reading.

Jimmy

good VIBRATIONS

If you have a row of tuning forks, each of different notes, all lined up together and you were to introduce a duplicate of one of these forks and activate it with a thud of your hand – you would soon notice that one of the forks that is lined up will also begin to vibrate and sing…and all of the others will sit still and silent. When you look more closely, you will notice that the one that is now singing along will be of the same note to which your hand activated fork is tuned; they are both tuned to the same frequency.

 

Matching frequencies will find each other and begin to resonate with each other.

 

Everything we can see and not see in this universe is a vibration… waves of energy. Everything from the colors we see with our eyes, the thoughts we think with our mind, the feelings we feel within our hearts, the planet beneath our feet, the sun up in the sky to the stars throughout our universe – all of these are waves of vibratory energy.

 

Our experiences in this life are all based upon vibrations and frequencies; and our thoughts and feelings are the most powerful frequencies we have in creating our life experiences. Your life experience will only be that of which you are vibrating, or in this case thinking and feeling…and can be nothing other.

 

You cannot make the other forks in the line sing along with your frequency if they don’t match with your frequency.

 

If you are not pleased with the life frequency you are experiencing, then change your frequency to that of the life experience you wish to experience. Once you begin to vibrate at a different rate, you will automatically draw to you the matching vibrations, or frequencies…or life experiences. Use the vibrations you have at your disposal – your thoughts and your feelings and begin to think and feel your way to a new frequency.

 

And the wonderful part of all of this – only you can choose which frequency you wish to vibrate. You have your power of choice. Please use it mindfully.

 

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” – Albert Einstein

 

“Imagination is everything; it is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein

our MAGICAL universe

We live in a MAGICAL UNIVERSE and we have been given ONE (and only one) SUPER POWER so that we can unlock this MAGIC. When you look at the facts, it is pretty simple how it all works.

 

We are ONE with ALL THINGS

This is just what it says. We are one with all things. We are simply an eco-system within an eco-system within an eco-system… infinitum. For goodness sakes, we are made up of the same elements as the rest of the universe – the SAME EXACT ELEMENTS as the STARS! We cannot be separate from this universe, just as a fish swimming in the ocean cannot be separate from the ocean. If I hate you, I hate a part of myself. We are all in this soup together!

 

Now, here is the great part…THE FACTS. One of the findings of Quantum Physics is the fact that we are all participating in ONE MASSIVE experience, though we each get to experience it from our individual points of view. This is why this thing we call LIFE looks different to each of us. We are ONE with ALL THINGS!

We are OPEN-ENDED, LIMITLESS POTENTIAL

200 years ago they would have burned you at the stake if you told people we would someday be able to fly to the moon and back. So far, we as humans have been able to manifest some amazing things. We live in a universe made up of subatomic particles that are limitless, unrealized potential waiting to be called into action by our thoughts and expectations (beliefs). This is another of the wonderful findings of Quantum Physics. We can create endlessly for ourselves, limited only by our imagination and beliefs.

 

OUR THOUGHTS have CREATIVE POWERS.

For generations we have had the idea that our THOUGHTS were simply ethereal, without physical implication. This is no longer the case; we now have evidence that our thoughts have creative powers – supported with findings in both Quantum Physics and Neuroscience.

 

Something that is really exciting in the field of Neuroscience is the work of, recently deceased, Dr. Candace Pert. Without going too deep into the scientific terminology, she discovered that when we think emotionally charged thoughts a portion of our brain instantly floods our body with billions of “communication” molecules which attach themselves to awaiting receptors in our cells. And as we continue to feed this information to the cells, the cells begin to create more and more receptors to receive this information. Whatever this information is: pain, love, hate, fear, it is communicated to the cells and the cells take it on as its truth and respond accordingly. The cells in our bodies then become addicted to this information and begin to demand more and more of these information molecules. This explains why and how we become addicted to pain and mistreatment. So, this is a good thing. Just as we can become addicted to the negative thoughts, we can also become addicted to the healthy thoughts. This is why you begin to crave exercise and better foods once you continue, over time, to flood your body with positive thoughts and emotions.

Though here is the reality – the receptors, all of the receptors positive and negative, are always there – they never go away. But as you think new thoughts and feed your body new information, the cells begin to create receptors for this new information. As you continue to think new thoughts and feed the cells more and more, the cell’s desire for the old information begins to dissipate as the desire for the new information begins to increase. What you feed grows. This is HUGE!

 

What would happen to our bodies if we begin to flood it with thoughts of love and acceptance? How do you think your body would heal if you begin to flood it with visualizations of healing love?

 

We have ONE (and only one) SUPER POWER: FREE WILL

If you have the ability to choose a thought, then you have command over the one and only thing upon this planet over which you have complete control – your FREE WILL. The definition of Free Will that I like the most is: free and independent choice; the ability to choose a thought.

 

And it just so happens that this one super power, puts us in the COMMAND SEAT of our UNIVERSE.

 

Guess what? This is nothing new. You have been doing this your entire life. If this is news to you, you might want to sit down for this one: Your life is an accumulation of our chosen thoughts, period.

 

You cannot choose what someone might do to you, though you have the free will to choose what to think about it. And YOU make the choice if you allow what happened to you to limit your future actions. And YOU make the choice if you choose to let it go.

 

You ALWAYS have your Power of Choice, your Power of Free Will. Your physical freedom may be restricted by others, but you and only YOU can choose to restrict your thoughts. As long as you have the capacity to choose a thought, you have command of your Free Will.

So, what does all of this mean? It is amazingly quite simple.

 

We have been given the power of FREE WILL to think ANY THOUGHT we can IMAGINE.

 

And, why is that so important?

 

Our THOUGHTS have the ability to CREATE for ourselves ANYTHING we can IMAGINE. 

 

And, what does that have to do with anything?

 

We have control over the one thing that creates our lives to be – OUR FREE WILL!

If you start CHOOSING YOUR THOUGHTS consciously, YOU WILL BEGIN LIVING THE LIFE OF YOUR OWN CHOOSING! 

LIFE will not be happening TO YOU – LIFE will be happening FOR YOU!

 

So, I find it funny that the only super power we have, Free Will, just so happens to be the MAGICICAL KEY necessary to operate within our MAGICAL UNIVERSE.

 

Our Free Will is the spark for the engine within our SELF MANIFESTATION MACHINE. When we are in full command of our Self Manifestation Machine, we can easily maneuver through this universe and do so in a manner of our choosing.

 

In my next article I will discuss the inner workings of our Self Manifestation Machine.

 

Thank you for reading!

 

Peace, Love, Jimmy

We ARE love!

In my life’s journey I have come to KNOW it is all about love.

Love is the most powerful energy in existence. We all live for it, if we want to admit it or not. We all want to be loved. We all want to find someone or lots of people to share our love with. We all strive for love. We all yearn for love. Love can turn us into a complete idiot. Love can make us crazy. Love has the power to heal. Losing love has the power to make us experience more pain than we think we can handle.

All of this should tell us something.

We ARE LOVE.

We are all made from this energy that IS LOVE. And because we are love, we cannot completely understand what that means until we are able to experience ourselves as separate from love.

To truly KNOW WHO YOU ARE you must first experience WHO YOU ARE NOT.

How can a princess know what it means to be THE PRINCESS, if she knows nothing about what goes on outside the castle walls. How would the princess realize WHO she is if she has nothing or no one with which to compare herself? And even if she knows what goes on beyond those castle walls, she still doesn’t KNOW how good she has it – until she loses everything that she knows.

The only way for the princess to truly understand what it means to be the princess, would be to lose all knowledge, all obtainable memory of being the princess and to be put out into the streets to live a life other than that of a princess. In this state of non-princessness, she would live as the common folk do, she would experience life as something other than what she really is. She could play in the mud. She could steal food when she is hungry. She can know what hunger is. Though, somewhere deep inside of her, she knows there is something different about herself, though she isn’t quite sure what it is. As she explores this, she more and more realizes that she is special in some way. Eventually, with much soul seeking, she realizes she is royalty, she finds her inner princess. She then comes back to the castle and regains her status as the princess. Though this time, she KNOWS what it means to be the princess. She KNOWS how special it is to be the princess. Because she EXPERIENCED herself as separate from her princessdom, she can now truly KNOW what it means to BE THE PRINCESS.

Even our modern day sciences are proving we are ONE WITH ALL THINGS. But, then why do we have separate bodies? Why do I feel separate from you? Why are all people built differently? Why are there different languages, different religions? Why are there so many shades of skin color? Why does everyone have their own opinion?

What if all of this is the master plan? What if all of this has to exist in order to give us the opportunity to KNOW WHO WE ARE?

What if our mission on this planet is to come here and learn WHO WE ARE NOT, so we can truly, one day KNOW WHO WE ARE?

What if we are here to experience ourselves as separate from love so that we might one day KNOW that we are ONE with LOVE?

What if we are here to experience ourselves as separate from ALL THINGS so that one day we might KNOW we are ONE WITH ALL THINGS?