Friday, January 18, 2019

New Year...New Rules

Happy New Year friends......and foes, I guess.
If you're a "foe" - why would you be reading this fluff?
Ironically, when Howard Stern was really making a name for himself on WNBC
in NYC, he was loved and hated. His antics were driving some "moral" people crazy.
Turns out that those that "hated" him listened twice as long as those who "loved" him.
Isn't that interesting......they couldn't stop paying attention to him because he made them so mad,
and they "loved" being mad.
That's the absolute truth. When we continue to do things that seem to be so upsetting, we must love them. Why on Earth would we continue to do the same thing over and over, unless we really enjoyed it.
Addiction is a funny thing. We usually think it is addiction to drugs, alcohol, maybe even sex.
But addiction is equally based in feelings and emotions. When we get really angry or mad or "riled up",
we get a big boost of adrenaline and it feels empowering and strong. We may not realize it, but we "love" that rush, that feeling, we are addicted to that rush. Even if this outburst of bad behavior is ruining our relationships with others and isolating us, we feel more and more empowered that we are "Right" and everyone else is "wrong".  Hmm......interesting. We have all been through this, we have all felt this way from time to time, but some of us have a harder time letting go. Some of us are truly addicted to our bad behavior. I know that I was for a long time. I am a true alcoholic and addict.
I have the disease. It is mental, physical and spiritual. I abused drugs and alcohol for years, most of the time against my own will, I just could not stop. But I also abused my feelings and my emotions.
I acted out and treated loved ones poorly. I was insecure and self centered, I was always right and always needed verification of my feelings. I was truly unaware.
I lied, stole, cheated and abused. I loved the rush and dug the hole deeper on a daily basis.
My favorite thing to do was to see how far down the hole I could go and how could I get myself out.
I still to this day enjoy that self-defeating experiment. I put myself in situations to see if I can get myself out of them unscathed. It is a terrible waste of time and resources. It is unproductive and very selfish.
Thank God for the 12 Step programs that changed my life. I worked some steps and learned to be aware. It has been a long, slow process, but almost certainly the easier, softer way.
I become more aware everyday, as long as I continue to be open minded and spiritual.
I have to continually remind myself, that I do not know it all, I am a work in progress and still have a lot to learn. 
What I have noticed is that more and more I am focusing on the things that matter most in my life:
Family, Friends, Music. I am exercising more each day and staying in a steady routine of prayer and meditation. I have to stay physically and mentally fit to enjoy this life on Earth.
I am also letting go this year. I am letting go of people, places and things that are not good for me.
I am shying away from ugliness and hatred.
Unfortunately, politics and social media have made things very ugly and deceitful.
But only "Online" - not so much in reality.
What I have noticed is that we see the "Real" person, showing their true colors online.
It is like an alcoholic saying things, that they regret the next day and saying it was the alcohol
talking....but we usually agree that it was probably their true feelings that were only coming out
after being intoxicated. 
I see that people who tell me that they are fed up with the hatred of politics on social media,
seem to be the worst offenders. They continue to share divisive, hate filled, one-sided crap
that usually has nothing to do with the issues at hand.
What that tells me is that they're not so interested in sharing what they feel strongly about.
That tells me that they love being mean. They like being angry and blaming others.
Instead of bitching all of the time, why not do something about it?
If you want a stronger border and are unhappy with the way things are, why not volunteer
your time in service locally in your community?
If you don't like the President and feel he is inadequate, support a new opponent in the coming elections and donate your time to their cause?

I am guilty of all of this behavior as well as everyone else.
In the past, we were duped into "Social Media" - it's the ultimate "Ring and Run".
Leave a bag of shit on someones door step and runaway.
I am also guilty of paying wayyyyyy too much attention to this hatred and politics myself.
Just like the Howard Stern haters, I have given too much of my time and energy to this shit.
But not anymore. Life is good and I am thankful.

It is a New Year - and I have New Rules.
I am sweeping away the debris of bullshit. I have such a wonderful life and I will not waste it on fools.
I will work on my behavior and stay aware of my addiction to feelings and emotions.
I am walking away from the bitterness, the confused. People who cannot bring some light
to the darkness or joy to the sorrow......sorry, you are on your own.
I am not responsible for your happiness, I am only responsible for mine.
If you love to argue and hate and bitch and moan and whine......Enjoy yourselves!
I'll be doing my thing over here, you do your thing over there.
You are always welcome to join me.....

We only have one life to live, I choose to live mine free of addiction.
Happy New Year friends! 
Peace, Love, Zito
I leave you with the Desiderata:

    Desiderata

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.
    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass.
    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy.

    Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.



Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Christmas is for the givers....and takers

We just finished the last big tour of the year, and what a year it was.
One for the books for sure. After being home for 5 days over the Thanksgiving break
and making a new Ally Venable record, whilst eating turkey, I flew out to St. Louis to join my
Italian brothers for the 20th Annual SRV Tribute concert. It was a huge success and such a wonderful
time to be back home. I then whisked away to Dallas the next morning to join Tommy Castro and the Painkillers for a 10 day romp across the country. We always have a good time, but it was especially good to be back on the bus with the boys, causing mischief. As soon as that tour ended in Salt Lake City, I flew to Kansas City to meet up with my band in Topeka for the last "First Class Life" tour of the year. I have been doing this Midwest run for almost a decade and it never disappoints. The Zoo Bar in Lincoln was packed to the gills and Omaha was crazy and fun. All of the shows were so crowded and fun, thanks to all my friends in Burlington, Topeka, St. Louis, Memphis, Mo., Cape Girardeau, and Tulsa.

It always amazes me how generous our fans can be. Not only do they buy tickets and buy cd's and t-shirts, they also bring us cookies and cakes and chocolate covered twizzlers! They give us clothing and starbucks cards (my fave!) and take us to breakfast. Nothing makes me feel loved more than a full house and home made banana bread (thank you Renee!!!).

Tis the season......the season of sharing.
When I was in full on addiction, no one ever shared anything with me.
I also returned the favor, I NEVER shared what I had with anyone, it was dog eat dog.
If I thought you had something left and you weren't gonna share with me, I would probably steal it from you or beat you into submission. I spent a few Christmas' that were less than average while in my drug use.....and they will always be in the front of my mind this time of year, an that's a good thing.
I never want to forget how bad it was. It's so good these days, it's hard to believe those old memories are true, but they absolutely are and they still suck.
The worst Christmas I can remember is right out of a movie. I was kicked out of the house, my parents wouldn't pick me up for fear of stealing from them and I was out of dope, no food and nowhere to go.
It was freezing cold in Cape Girardeau, Mo. that December 25th, 2001, and I had $5 to my name.
My kids were spending Christmas with their mothers and families and I was not allowed to see them or come around. I couldn't "come around" anyway, I had no car or transportation. I had no gifts to give anyone and nothing to offer but a sad story. I was living in a 2 room apartment downtown, the heat was turned off and I slept on the floor with a blanket and pillow.
I got so hungry, I got up and dressed and started walking down Broadway hoping something was open for food. I walked about a mile in the snow and freezing cold and saw the sign to a Chinese Buffet that was lit up. I walked in the place and it was completely empty, open, but empty. It was $10 for the buffet
and all I had was $5. I just stood there and stared at the food, I had not eaten in days and I was completely hung over and sick from the drugs. I think I almost started to cry......the man at the counter asked if I was going to eat and I showed him I only had $5. He took the money, smiled at me and said
"Merry Christmas, enjoy your meal."  I spent the next 2 hours eating there alone. The man would fill up my drink and I would promise to come back and pay him more money the next day. He just smiled.
He knew that anyone so pathetic as I looked, alone on Christmas with only $5 to his name, was not coming back to pay more money. I walked back in the snow to my apartment and fell asleep on the floor. It was probably the worst Christmas ever. I thought about killing myself that day, but I was too much of a coward to even try. It was all my fault, my own doing. No one had done this to me, I was a product of my own decisions.
I will never forget how bad it was........

So after the last tour of the year, I am now home for the holidays. The Christmas tree is up, presents underneath, and lights on the outside of the house. The neighborhood is full of Holiday spirit and the girls are finishing their last few days of school. I have this beautiful home, with a beautiful family. I have more than enough food, the heat and electric are on and I slept in a bed last night, my bed.
I do not take these things for granted, they are a true gift.  I assume my kids and wife think I am crazy
how I go on about loving this life and being so happy and grateful. I cannot contain myself, it's like a dream. I don't wish this on anyone, certainly not my children. I hope they never have to learn to be thankful the way I have learned, the "sad awful way"......but it takes what it takes.

I was a taker for a long time. I took from everyone and gave very little in return.
Today I try to be a giver. So much has been given to me and I certainly do not deserve it,
so I try and share what I have with others.

Thank YOU for always supporting, always believing and always being there for me.
You know who you are, and I do too.
The best we can do is share with each other. Sometimes we give, sometimes we receive.
I have learned that giving is the best gift of all, as corny as that sounds, it's true.
Being able to give away because we have so much or maybe need so little is the greatest gift of all.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, and anything else I am missing :)

Peace, Love, Zito

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Leave Your Ego



"Leave your Ego, Play the Music, Love the People"

When I first heard that mantra, I was blown away.
This is what it was all about, this was the truth I had been seeking.
I was already a fan of Luther Allison and his music, but this was deeper.
This was Luther's saying, his mantra, his code.
It's simple, effective and something to always keep in mind for myself.
I took it on as my own and have tried over the past 10 years to remind myself, day in day out,
night after night of shows.....it's all about the people.
Ira Leslie with Ruf Records always shares a great story with me about being with Luther in
Memphis for the W.C. Handy Awards and how he cold not get Luther to the convention center
because he would not stop talking with all of his fans.

Luther Allison brought me deeper into the Blues and into music in general. His music and performances have taught me how to give 100% to every note, every note I sing and every note I play.
His energy is to be yourself always and shine the light for those that seek it.

I was blessed this year to have been a member of the 2018 Blues Caravan for Ruf Records.
The Blues Caravan has been going on for a long time, a new group each year of musicians that travel together and play music for the people. It has always sounded like fun to me, but this year took on a very special meaning for myself.......we would be celebrating the passing of Luther Allison. It was 20 years ago that he left this physical planet, but his music and message are still going strong.
When I was asked to join this years Caravan, I was told that Bernard Allison would be on the tour.
I had met Bernard the first time in 2006 in Omaha and I really loved his music and playing.
I said if Bernard is doing this, then I wanna do it too!
It was a real joy and learning experience to work with Bernard and the band.
There was a natural chemistry that grew out of playing each night and I truly love playing
music with him.

We just wrapped up the final shows last week and the Caravan tour is now officially over.
We began in January in Europe and hit it hard all year.
We also had an amazing young woman from Croatia with us, Vanja Sky.
She was fantastic and the three of us along with the incredible Roger Inniss on Bass and Super Mario Dawson on drums pushed hard every night to give the best show possible.
It took team work and a lot of stamina to keep the energy moving, but I think we did so in stride.
We were joined by Ruf Records newest artist, Ally Venable and her trio these last two weeks in the USA. Ally is amazing and has quite a future ahead of her.

All of the musicians and tour managers and the record label and agents and publicists....all did a great job!  It took a huge team to work this hard and make this work around the clock.
I am thankful to all for their dedication to this tour.

I am most thankful to the fans. I have the best fans!!!
Night after night, people filled the rooms around the world to see our show.
Some came to see Bernard, some came to see me, some to see Vanja and the band.....
but all left feeling the joy of Luther's music.
Without the fans, we have no show. It doesn't matte how good we can play, it matters if we
have an audience to play for....so THANK YOU!!!!!

I think I have come to realize the mantra of Luther in full face value after this years long road.
Every night I hit the stage, I turned my will over to the God of my understanding.
I was as honest as I could be, I did not try to be something I am not, I was me.
I worked hard to play my instrument to the level necessary to be onstage with the great musicians
I was working with. Finally, I made myself available to everyone that bought a ticket and walked into that show. I made sure I went out early each night to shake hands and say hello and straight out after each show. I made sure I made time for the most important piece of this puzzle.....the people.
Sometimes it's hard, I get tired or I am crabby and I don't want to give away all of my energy.....
but I did anyway. Every time I felt that way, I returned renewed, joyous. I was overwhelmed at all of the love people showered upon us.
This connection we have with the music, is very intimate, very real. It is spiritual ad unspoken.

I feel like I did something important this year, like we did something that mattered.
We celebrated the life and music of the great Luther Allison.
But I also realized that it always matters.
Every interaction matters. Every time I shake your hand or hug your neck or speak to you....it matters.
This joy is overwhelming, I have a responsibility....we all do.
Walter Trout told me years ago...."Mike, you have a responsibility to the music and to the people"
I take great pride in this today. I bring all of my energy with me, everywhere I go.
I am too much for some people, like a hurricane! I can annoy some and rub some the wrong way,
but it's only because they're afraid of the joy, and afraid to let go.
Through sobriety and recovery I have learned to be me and be comfortable in my own skin.
I do not hide, I do not act like something I am not, I am me....like it or not.

Thank you to all for a great year, one I won't forget soon.
I am excited for new tours and new experiences and to bring with me what I have learned
from this one.

Leave your Ego, Play the Music, Love the People

Peace, Love, Zito




Monday, October 15, 2018

Everything matters

I am lucky to meet people along the way out here on the road.
My friends come to see me and I make new friends every night.
People share with me, for some reason they trust me. They tell me about their
problems, losses, sickness, good fortune, new guitars they've bought :)
The list goes on.  I am always happy to listen and thankful they feel so comfortable with me.
I have a soft spot for recovery stories, and all too often I hear about someone losing a family
member to drugs or alcohol, it's very sad. But I also do hear about how someone has cleaned up
and they have 1 year or 5 years or 6 months clean and sober, it's always uplifting.

Recently someone reached out to me to share with me that they were working at the club
the last night I opened for Walter Trout in St. Louis
and was so messed up he had to sit me down and
read me the riot act. They told me they remember the night, and that I was really out there, a mess.
Recently they saw a video with myself and Walter speaking about that evening and how his helping me set off a chain reaction in my life and I have been clean and sober a long time.
This person told me that one of the bartenders that night at the club was a bad alcoholic as well
and he showed him the video. Today this man has years of sobriety.
Finally the message ended with this person telling me that his own son was having a terrible
time with drugs and that he was going to show him that video today.
That's amazing. It's like everything matters. Every word we say, every action, every non-action,
it all counts. We are connected to each other whether we like it or not.

I do believe in Karma, but maybe not the way most people do.
I do not believe Karma is a vengeful repercussion that is coming to get you for doing me wrong.
In my mind, Karma is the ripple in the pond. It strikes the water and makes a wave, small or large.
Either way, the waves matter, they are going somewhere.
Consequences are probably the most fitting way to describe what I am talking about.
Consequences always have a negative attached to them, but that's only half true.
We certainly have positive consequences as well.
Everything in this life matters.
It comes back to us, in one way or another.  Striving to be our best is really the only way to
succeed at happiness in this lifetime. But even through the worst of times, God has a plan.
The Universe is making good out of whatever we determine to be "wrong".
Trusting the process is what it is all about, I have to trust that this will lead to something positive,
and it always does.

Delbert McClinton told me "You're only as good as your last show"
and I have taken that to heart, in all aspects of my life.
I am only as good as the last conversation I had with you.
I am only as good as the last time I played with my kids.
Because that's what people remember, the last time they were with you,
the last thing you said to them.
Play like it's your last show, that's what his advice means to me.
Love like it's the last time you'll ever love again.

Life is short.....and life is long.
The big picture seems to be so sweet and over too quickly,
but the day in, day out is always in front of us. It's staring us in the face right now....
How will you speak to me today? How will we interact?
It's hard to be great all of the time, to be perfect and wonderful and full of love....I know.
It's not a possibility to be God, but it is a possibility to be "God-Like" if we try.
A is always for effort in the world of Karma and good intention, but doing and action gets the plus.

I will try to do my best today, you never know who is watching or how this will affect
someone near you. Everything matters.

Peace, Love...Zito

Here is the video of myself and Walter Trout:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-z2yckSdUs



Thursday, September 27, 2018

Welcome to the Matrix

I don't know what people think about me when they read this blog, it's not really my business
what people think of me. I only ponder the thought because I wonder if people think I am just
very sensitive and lovey and sweet or God forbid Liberal.
I am kidding of course, the reason I put it out there is because I am comfortable in my own skin.
This is who I am, and I don't really care if you like it or not.
I just try and share how I feel about things and how my recovery and sobriety plays a part.
Coming up on 15 years of sobriety I have learned more about myself and about the world around me
than I ever knew in the previous 32.

The reason I begin with this thought is based solely on the sign of our times living in the "Matrix".
It's here, we are knee deep in it and we don't even know it at all, that is why it's working so well.
There is a huge physical planet that we live on with trees and blue skies and oceans and mountains
and yet we have fallen for the biggest lie in history.......that reality is actually in our phones and in our computers and on the TV. We read horror stories of Antifa and White Supremacists causing chaos and
we are so scared we might decide to buy a gun. But, is this actually happening in our own lives?
Maybe, probably not, but maybe.  The divide we think we are seeing in our country today is not
face value, in my experience. I travel the country and I meet a lot of people and whats happening in the Matrix is not the same thing that is happening in reality. It seems as though everyone is fighting each other on every issue, but it's simply not true. It's only happening on your phone or your computer.
When we have 200 people at a concert, they don't split the room at some point and decide to have a melee in the middle of the theater. They all sit and enjoy the music and everyone gets along just fine.
THAT is reality. If it was really as bad as it seems online, cars would pull over on the highway and people would be bare knuckle boxing on the sides of the roads.
Just because people disagree, does not mean they hate each other or it's the end of the world.
Why on Earth would be expect 400 Million people to feel the same way all of the time???
I live with 3 women and let me tell you between the 4 of us, rarely if ever do all people agree on where to fucking eat, let alone how we feel about what clothes to wear.
It's absolutely ridiculous to think that because we are divided politically in this country that it is the end of the world, that is the way it has ALWAYS been!  There has never been a time in history where everyone agreed, not even in the precious 1950's. Ask Black people what they think of the 1950's,
it's not the same Mayberry, I promise you.
We live in a society where everyone has the opportunity (me included) to share how they feel 24 hours a day. No filter, just put it all out there and see what happens.  BUT, that does not actually happen in the physical world. People are doing just fine. I see the cars moving on the roads, people going to work,
kids going to school. President Trump is the President whether you like him or not, and he can be unlikable at times, I assume everyone would agree, even those that voted for the man.
He's going to work, he's doing his thing and the world keeps spinning around and around.
I am not suggesting that anyone should give up their commitment or give in and surrender their beliefs
at all, stand up for what you feel strongly about. Just remember, there is ALWAYS someone who does not agree with you and they're going to stand up for what they believe is right. That is not what the end of the world looks like, thats what REALITY looks like. Grow up and put on your big boy pants.
Deal with it. People don't agree on everything all the time, period.
BUT, we agree on most things and the MOST important things: We all want to live a peaceful life
where our families are safe and we ant to have opportunities to grow.
EVERYONE can agree on this and many, many more things.

Bottom line here to me is that this amazing dissent that we see is being constantly pushed in our face by the media and by our constant addiction to social media. TURN IT OFF!
Turn that shit off and go outside. Read a book, talk to your neighbor.
Life is about so much more than politics or religion, it's about the time you have with your loved ones
right now. We do not know when this will all end, someone we know is going to drop dead today. It's going to happen, trust me. When they hit the ground, it doesn't mean a good damn shit what politics they sided with, they're gone. Game over.
I am living my life like it may end any time, any day.  I don't wanna go out fighting about some
rich dudes, thats bullshit.

Turn the Matrix off. Give yourself and your neighbors a break.
Trust in the process. Get involved. If you believe in something, sign up to help.
Join a political movement or a team in person.  Talk to people face to face and ask them what they
want out of life, I guarantee it is exactly what you want.
Do not believe the lie, the lie is dead.
We are ALL the same, stop thinking you're different or special, YOU'RE NOT.
Neither am I, we are just people trying to live and have a little fun and enjoy our families.

The Matrix is a big lie and it's not real.
It's designed to keep us occupied while the real shit is going on out in the real world.
Join the real world.
Agree to disagree, it'll be OK.
Live and let live, thats what we do in our house.
I have been married 3 times people, when a woman says " I don't wanna talk about it now"
Leave her alone! :)

Why be mad at the other political team for making a move, of course they're gonna make a move.
Being mad about that is like being mad that the team your team is playing tried to score........

I am not suggesting you do not be involved in the world and in important decisions in our lifetime,
I am suggesting we turn off the internet and talk face to face and give it all a break.
The world is not ending around you, it's only ending in the matrix......

Peace, Love, Zito

Friday, September 7, 2018

Do the right thing

I miss the life of a child, although I think I might still be living one.
Of course, having younger children certainly keeps that flame alive as well.
I had an idea of what was right or wrong when I was a kid, it was and is inherent,
as all of us do. My family played a big role in this demonstration for better or for worse,
as did yours. Noon of us are perfect and we pick up bad habits from our parents and
surroundings. Bottom line is: Nurture over Nature. Sure we have natural inclinations but I assume
most of them to be good, not "bad". "Bad" behavior comes from nurture or lack there of.
This is obviously a debate that has been going since the dawn of man, and some may never agree,
but in my experience Nurture always outweighs Nature. Certainly my daughter may be headstrong and
stubborn all on her own, but she can learn to change that behavior. The idea that she cannot change
based on the idea that that is "just who she is" is ridiculous. Obviously, some are sicker than others and sincere mental problems is not something that can be learned away. I am talking about the idea that behavior can change based on nurture over nature. A wild animal is a wild animal, but a stubborn child can learn to be less stubborn over time, we all can. It may take drastic life changing events to get us to change, but it is certainly possible, I am living proof.
My point being, when I was a child I did the "right" thing because I was afraid I would get into trouble if I did the "wrong" thing. Like most of us and most children, I feared the wrath enough to not defy the rules. I did not begin to defy until much later in life. I was a late bloomer when it came to being rebellious. I might have wanted to steal or lie as a child but was certain I would get caught and in big trouble and that was good enough for me not to do it. I may have even slightly understood that stealing did not feel good and I did have a bike stolen from me when I was kid and it made me terribly mad.
But I don't think I really did the right thing for the right reason until later in life. I did the right thing because I was told to do so and that there would be negative consequences if I did the wrong thing.
"Right" and "Wrong" are of course subjective to culture and home life and religion and many other factors, and we can debate forever on "What" is right or wrong, but I believe we know what it is for ourselves, even at a young age. Although we may behave "wrong" for other reasons when we are young, like attention seeking and acting out, but that is probably the same reason anyone would behave badly when they're an adult as well.
Ok, this is getting heady and psychological and I am not a psychiatrist.
My thought is that somewhere along the way as an adult I began to realize that doing the "right" thing, whatever that may be for me, made me feel good. I was no longer doing the right thing because I felt I had to do so or suffer consequences, I was doing so because it's who I wanted to be and the consequences of positive action felt very good. I sincerely began to understand that taking something from someone that was not mine made me feel terrible inside and giving something that was mine to someone else for no other reason than to share my good fortune made me feel alive and connected.
Maybe my late arrival in life to being a productive member of society has allowed me to really appreciate what that means. I assume most "normal" people just grow up and understand these things all by themselves at a younger age in life, but I took the long and winding road because I too was stubborn and hard headed.....hmm, I wonder where my daughter gets that trait? :)

There is a strong and lasting feeling of peace that comes from surrendering to the spiritual principles
in this physical world and just going along for the betterment of the whole. There will always be a time to stand up when life is not going in the right direction, that is standing up for the principles themselves
not rebelliousness. Practicing anonymity to do what is right for the greater good because I am a part of the greater good, rather than doing something that only benefits myself is the peace we each desire.

I am thankful for this new mind and new personality I have acquired.
I am no longer a slave to my character defects, when something gets to difficult to deal with,
I can change. Change is always possible and is always happening, whether we like it or not.
Somethings we were told were okay when we were young are not okay today.
Change stirs fear in those that resist, do not resist change, accept change.
The more we resist, the more it hurts.
Th more we accept, the easier life becomes.
We cannot change anyone but ourselves. We are powerless over everyone else.
But we are not powerless over ourselves. We always have the ability to change.
It just takes willingness. Most often we are not willing to change for fear of the unknown.
Let go, it's the easier, softer way.

Peace, Love...Zito


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Dreams come true

Today is a special day for me.
I am performing at the Narcotics Anonymous World Convention in Orlando, Florida.
I have had the honor of this performance once before with the Royal Southern Brotherhood
in Philadelphia in 2013. It was a wonderful experience and one I will not soon forget.
Today is icing on the cake as I get an opportunity to be of service to a program that saved my life.
I am not sharing this with you in hopes of many "pat on the backs" but more to share my experience, strength and hope with anyone who is unsure if dreams come true. They do.
I was once lost and now I am found.
I remember a time in early recovery when I accepted the thought that  I may not be able to play music again. I may need to give up my love of performing to save myself. If I could not be trusted in bars or clubs to stay sober, then maybe I will need to stay away and just play my guitar at home.
It was do or die at that point and I was more than willing to give up what I loved doing to save my life.
When I told this to my early sponsor I was told that if and when I was spiritually fit I could do anything and go anywhere. I did not quite know exactly what that meant, but when the time was right, I was able
to yet again play my instrument and perform and I had no thought of drinking or using drugs.
I was there for a different reason. I had changed. My thinking had changed and I was no longer the same person. That was a long time ago and I have had the good fortune to continue to play my guitar and sing all around the world. It is almost as if I have lived two lives.

It is with honor and respect and quite a bit of excitement that I will get to play yet again today for so many of my fellow addicts and alcoholics. It is a very humbling experience and one I do not take lightly. I am thankful. I am grateful.
I have learned to be honest and open and to share.
I have also learned that God will always open the door but I have to willing to walk through it and do the work that is necessary for change.
This is a physical world, not a world of magic, yet magical is the experience.

Thanks for letting me share, I will do my best to serve.

Peace, Love...Zito