Monday, December 29, 2014

What a year......

's that time again.
If you're reading this, then you lived another year - way to go!

"It always beats the alternative" thats what people say of living vs dying.
But of course, no one really knows this to be true.
We are all just afraid of what we do not know, and quite possibly dying is WAY better.
Like Louis C. K. says - there are so many more dead people than their are people alive.
But alas, we are alive and thats the way it is - so suck it up!

I have to thank you and God for a great year!
It has been another year of crazy touring, making new friends and fans all over the world,
and getting closer to my family.
I thank God for keeping me and my family healthy and safe.
I thank you for your continued support and friendship with my music career.
Laura took over our online store this summer and she has been busy ever since.
Thats all in part to you placing orders and supporting our new business venture.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Mike Zito and The Wheel took to the stage at Dosey Doe in Houston, Tx. in January
and filmed my first ever dvd "Songs From the Road".
What a night that was - I will never forget it!
The audience was so excited and lifting the band up. The band hadn't played together in quite a while
as I was touring with RSB all year in 2013. We did not rehearse, we just went for it and the audience
carried us through to new heights.
My niece, Amanda Irizarry was there to be the head camera and work with director, Mark Bergeron.
I am so proud that she edited the entire dvd and she did a great job!
I knew that night that I needed to get back to focusing on my own music and take this great band
out on the road full time.
I put in my notice with the Royal Southern Brotherhood back in February.
I loved playing in RSB, but I never felt quite comfortable in that group.
I love each member of the band so much, I connect with each member on a personal level,
but I never quite connected with the group, together, musically.
I realize that now. It was me, not them.
It was a hard decision to make, considering we had just recorded our third album
"Heartsoulblood" together in December.
But I knew it was time to make that choice and move on, so I gave my notice in February of this year.
I gave a 9 month notice - I said I would stay until the Blues Cruise in October.
The guys were confused at first, not happy, but understanding and eventually they knew it
was what I needed to do and they supported me.
RSB took off as it always does and we toured like crazy all of spring.
I worked on editing and producing my dvd for Ruf Records.

I hooked up with Truefire in April and filmed my first ever guitar instructional course.
"Blues Americana" came out over the summer and I am so proud of our work together.
I have been a long time fan of guitar and instruction and working on getting better and learning in general. I grew up in a music store and learned guitar from the Hot Licks video series.
Creating this course was one of the milestones i my musical career, it means a lot to me.
The folks at Truefire are awesome and helped me every step of the way.

Mike Zito and The Wheel were honored to be nominated for Rock Blues Album of the Year
and we performed in May at the Blues Music Awards. RSB won for the DVD of the year!
I took my wife Laura with me to Germany with The Wheel to perform at the Grolsch Blues Festival in Schoeppingen in June for her birthday.
Then RSB headed back to Europe for summer festivals in Italy.
I had a fantastic family vacation for a week at Crystal Beach in Texas. We rented a house for the week and all hung out swimming, playing and even caught an Astros game in Houston.
RSB rocked the Notodden Blues Festival for the second year in a row in Norway.
We had the honor of backing up the one and only, Delbert McClinton. That was a hoot!
Delbert is pretty cantankerous and I love it.
We also got to do our "Exile on Royal Street" tribute to the Rolling Stones - that was a killer show.
I always thought that was a great idea - RSB doing cool tribute shows.
So I took that idea and decided that The Wheel would do a CCR Tribute show in the fall.
I love John Fogerty and I had just recorded "Fortunate Son" with Sonny Landreth for a Blues Tribute to CCR on Cleopatra Records.
I did my last European tour with RSB in September of this year.
It was along 3 and 1/2 week tour with very few days off and no end in sight.
RSB definitely worked their asses off.  But it was a good tour with great shows and I really enjoyed
the music for it was some of the last times I's get to play this music with this band.
The guys were not always so friendly on this tour, I guess they were maybe upset or just ready
for me to go.  I tried to stay light hearted and have fun.
We set out on the October Blues Cruise and I brought my daughter Riley and my son Sam.
They are both in the teenage bracket now and I thought they would enjoy this musical adventure.
We had the time of our lives - me and the kids really bonded and I think they really liked the blues music.  I played my last shows with RSB on that cruise and they were pretty uneventful.
There was no big goodbye, no hearty handshakes, no big hugs and good lucks....just finished.
Cyril was sweet to me and I was thankful for his kindness.
Not that I expected a big going away party, but I started that band and wrote a lot of the songs
and I guess I did expect friendship to prevail over the trivial.
It would have been nice to have been made felt that I would be missed and that they wished me well.
I assume they all did, but were not in the frame of mind to give it away at that time.
Either way, I have no hard feelings and I enjoyed my tenure with the band.
But I also enjoyed playing with Los Lobos on that cruise!!!! That was a dream come true.

The Wheel got together after the cruise and we took off on a midwest run to start playing again
and get ready for our big tour. Mike Zito and The Wheel and Samantha Fish took off the end of October for what would be the longest tour we had ever  had to date.
We flew to Basel, Switzerland to embark on an almost 5 week European/UK/Scandinavian tour.
WOW - what a tour it was. We played 28 shows on that tour and none of them sucked!
The band was in full force except the roar of Lewis Stephens. We were unable to bring Lewis with us on that tour, but he is absolutely to be on the next!  Sam and I put this tour together and we had a 60's style show in mind, like a revue.  She would come out with the trio and do 45 minutes. I would come out for one tune with  her on her set. Then a short break and The Wheel would take the stage for 60 minutes and she would come out and sing a song with me. Then we both and the band would take the stage for the encore and just rock out and have fun. The crowds loved this show! It really worked well. Everyone got along so well and we all worked hard to make the show better every night.
Sam killed it, she was on fire! The audiences love her and it gave me a shot in the arm to go out there and really give it my all. The UK fans were over the top, filling the rooms night after night.
I truly believe we hit our stride in the UK and have began a fan base that will last a long time.
We had great shows in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and a very memorable show at Buckley's in Oslo, Norway. Magnus Berg came out and played "Sugar Sweet" with me and tore it up on guitar. Make sure you check this young man out, he is really good.
We packed in sold out shows in Germany that was really over the top.
The show in Basel, Switzerland for Blues Now with my friend Patrick Kaiser was amazing.
All in all, this was the best, most successful tour I had done to date and it showed me that
I had built a great following with RSB and the fans wanted more.
I came home feeling really good and excited for the future.
I cannot thank the band and most of all, Sam, for doing that tour with me.
Everyone was so fun and got along so well.

I got back and took a week or so off to just relax with my girls at home.
My good friend and mentor, Tinsley Ellis had been talking with me about going out and playing
some shows together. I have always loved Tinsley and thought it was a great idea.
We found a short window in December to head up to the northeast and do a string of shows.
It was Tinsley and I and his rhythm section. We played some of my songs and some of his songs
and ended with some great old blues tunes. I LOVED these shows with Tinsley.
He is a blues master and it was so much fun to play with him and his great band. I look forward to more of these shows together next year.

In the midst of this I got the call from my friend, Paul Nelson, to come out and take part in the Johnny Winter Remembrance show in Saint Louis.
Johnny was my hero and we became friends these past 5 years.
I was sad when he passed but happy for him to have left us back on top.
I jumped at the opportunity to play his music and celebrate this legend. We had a great show
in STL and Paul asked me to stay on the bus and head up to Chicago the next night for the show
at Buddy Guys Legends. I couldn't resist and I made the trip with Paul, Marion and the boys.
Ronnie Baker Brooks was fantastic and I finally got to spend some time with this great blues man.
The show in Chicago was legendary. Buddy came out and they commemorated one of Johnny's guitars to hang on the wall at Legends. Johnny's brother Edgar was there to play with us and that was amazing! Having been transplanted to Southeast Texas, Edgar Winter and White Trash are a staple in the music down here. I got to spend a little time talking with Edgar and when he asked where I lived
I answered "Nederland, Tx." His jaw about dropped...."What? Really? You knew my brother?"
and then when I told him I moved there a dozen years ago he asked the same thing his brother would always ask me "Why?" Edgar sang "Tobacco Road" and tore it up, he was stunning.
What a few days that was with Paul and I cannot thank him enough for the invite.

I always try and finish the year with time off for family around the holidays.
I gave myself 3 weeks at home for Christmas this year, and I needed it!
I played some local shows with friends that have been really fun and just great to be back home
seeing friends and family and taking a break.  RSB was nominated for the Blues Music Awards "Rock Blues Album of the Year" for "Heartsoulblood". I am very excited for our nomination and I am proud of our last album together.
My family had the best Christmas together ever. Just peaceful and easy and lots of family time.
All of my kids are here now. Zach flew in from Saint Louis and Sam and Riley joined us a few days ago. We have been laying around playing games and watching movies and eating WAY too much food. I keep thinking I might be in trouble in some way.. isn't that weird.
My mind is always working and when I give it a break for a few days I start thinking I am missing something or forgetting something, but I am not, I am just crazy :)

My wife is amazing and I fall in love with her more each day.
She is my best friend and she makes this family work beyond belief.
It's not easy to have 5 kids and 2 ex-wives and 7 animals, but she takes it all in stride.
I truly believe she is my soul mate and helps keep everyone in line and working together.
We are a true team and I am excited for our future together!

We are working hard on our New Years Eve show at Dosey Doe - Tribute to CCR!
I think I have all of the lyrics down and Zach is working on some guitar parts.
We have our dear friends, Patrick and Beatrice Kaiser, from Switzerland coming to spend a few days
with us in Southeast Texas. They have never been here and I wonder what they will think.....
Switzerland is so perfect and clean and "organized"....HA!
They are staying in Port Arthur at a nice hotel, but...... Port Arthur and Southeast Texas are so NOT
perfect and clean and organized.....but it is beautiful in so many different ways. I know they will enjoy the culture shock...............I hope they like Mexican food.

I am sitting at my dining room table as I write this. The girls are eating cereal and Laura is playing on her phone. The big kids are still asleep and Sasha, one of our cats, is looking out the window.
It's cold and damp and rainy outside, thats as close as we get to a "Winter" here...and thats is fine with me.  I am so thankful for this life, for my family and friends.
I am thankful to you for supporting me and my career. You make my dreams come true, corny as it sounds, it's true.  Without you, I would not be able to continue making music and provide for my family.
It's hard to believe that 12 years ago I was really down on hard times.
I was not doing well at all.
But today I am doing better than ever and I thank God for this second chance at life.

I am VERY excited to jump into 2015.
We have so much planned already - tours, big shows and another studio album for MZ and The Wheel. I have a lot of songs written and demos I am working on. The guys are working on music too.
We are all gearing up for this next album and a full year of touring as The Wheel.
I am heading back to Florida in January with Truefire to film my second instructional course
that will come out sometime in April or May.
So many things we are working on and I can't wait to share them with you......

Happy Holidays - Thank you for the best 2014 ever!

Peace, Love, Zito

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays

A sincere and heartfelt Happy Holidays to you and yours this season.

Not sure what religion or non-religion or spiritual program or Festivus you're working......
but I think we can all agree to wish each other a happy season.
Buddha suggest that if we cannot do something to help one another, at the very least, do nothing to
harm anyone.  I try and live by those words of freedom.
When I wish no one harm, do no one harm, and try and help when I can.....I live a relatively serene life, free of drama or pain and suffering.
Life is painful at best, so I try not to contribute to my own pain.
When I go to sleep at night I think back over the day and examine my behavior.
Did I do someone wrong? Speak ill of someone? Act inappropriately?
If I can answer no to these questions....I can sleep peaceful.
If I have behaved badly, I can take time to make amends to the person the next day.

The bottom line here is that I want a good nights sleep.
Peaceful sleepers have the world in their hearts.
When I have nothing to worry about, and I have followed principles to guide my behavior,
I am at peace with myself and my maker.
I trust the process and let it all go.......I fall asleep easily and rest.

We all do not agree and have the same views of religion or politics or behavior.
But we all certainly know right from wrong, or should know if we are adults
living on Planet Earth.
So lets all agree this holiday season to have respect for one another, have faith in humanity,
and at the very least....not harm one another. It only hurts us the most and hurting ourselves
makes no sense at all.
I pray you and yours have peaceful nights of sleep and healthy days of joy.

Happiest of Holidays - Peace, Love, Zito

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Have a little faith......

"Have a little faith in me"

I love that John Hiatt song, but I love every John Hiatt song.

Faith is a word that stands true for me.
I have it tattooed on my left arm, it's been there a long time.
I sometimes forget I have that tattoo, but I am gently reminded when the time is right.

Faith is defined as "confidence or trust", also as "Observance of an obligation."

Most of the time Faith is reserved for religion, at least in conversation.
We may use the word to describe our hope for an outcome, but I think rarely do
we actually consider the true meaning of the word as part of a responsibility.
In a religious or spiritual realm, faith describes our utter belief beyond proven fact.
We may not have proof of our belief in tangible human terms, but we have a strong feeling
in our soul and in our heart that our belief is real and alive.
Of course this rings true for faith in our fellow man, our husbands and our wives, in our children,
our President, and so on.  When we believe in a person, that they can succeed and will overcome,
we have faith in that person. We trust them, their integrity, their abilities, they have moxie.
Having faith in a person, the outcome of a situation, in life in general, is all based upon a belief
beyond our realm.  We are not so sure what the outcome will actually be, but we have "faith"
it will work out for the best.

"Faith without works is dead."   James 2:14-26

I am not much of a Bible quoter at all, but this certainly rings true.
Faith is absolutely in my mind, an action word.
I must HAVE faith. Acceptance is the spiritual principle for me in having faith.
I pray for the outcome of a situation, I have faith that it will work out the way it is supposed to
in Gods will, not mine, and I accept the result as spiritual in nature.
Faith is absolutely put on me. I am responsible for the action.

My faith may also require me to take some steps toward a goal.
I pray about opening a new business. I have done my part, planned and organized.
I am still not certain that the outcome will be absolute in my favor, but I have faith
in the outcome and in my planning and my organization that this will all work out.
I take the next steps on faith and open my business.

Faith is most certainly an action for me.
When I commit to having faith, I am taking a step forward based solely on my belief
and acceptance of the outcome.  I must be willing to fail to truly have faith.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Life is not for the weak at heart, it's a pretty tough game, and we all have to play to win.
I know that sounds corny and almost high school football-ish, but it's just the cold hard facts.

To me, Faith is getting involved in life, taking chances, and helping others.
When I get out of my head and spend some time helping others, doing chores,
taking care of my family, I am faith in action.
I am almost certain of the spiritual outcome when I help others.
I will feel very good about myself and my life.  I have absolute faith in the process.
So why don't I spend all of my time helping others?
Because I am human, I am selfish and self centered.
We all are, like it or not. when we can break that cycle, even just for a few minutes a day,
we get a better sense of who we are from the observers point of view.

Faith is always available to me, in abundance.
God keeps nothing from me in the spiritual world.
I only keep it from myself. The answers are readily available to any of life's problems,
if I am willing to look for them in the principles.
But my ego will always go to "Why me" and cause a little pain and suffering.....
because faith works best when I am hopeless.
Once I have put myself through enough pain, I will begin to search for the answer spiritually.
I will see my part in the situation, and begin to have faith that it will all work out.
Again, acceptance is the key principle to having true faith.

Life without faith sounds horrible. No matter what your beliefs are, belief in something
seems to give a human being hope and principles to living life on planet earth.
No one knows where we go from here, whether it is to a grand Heaven or just 6 feet under......
Faith can help make the transition easier for all of us while we're still breathing.

So, Have a little faith today. Believe in yourself, in your family and in life.
Life is better today than any other day in your life.
Stop comparing and start living. Have faith and hope and bring love to those around you.
Happiness is a state of mind.

peace, love, Zito

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Reckless Abandon

I have a hopeless, desperate, romantic obsession with reckless abandon.
That is quite a sentence.
All my life I have been romantic about the idea of carelessly letting go of
the rules of the world and letting it all hang out.
It’s certainly an effect of all the 80’s movies I grew up watching, I’m certain.
I followed the rules my entire childhood and adolescent life.
Even into my early twenties I was doing what I was supposed to do for the most part.
The idea of not going along with the pack, taking the low road…the long hard low road
sounded more exciting to me, and yet I did just the opposite.
I loved music and musicians that were different and exciting.
Eddie Van Halen was always my first guitar hero and will forever be.
His guitar playing was so wild and crazy and such a departure from the stale,
straight forward playing I heard in other rock n roll.
Jimmy Page was the same way, precise but sloppy at the same time.
Songs that were about leaving it all behind and stepping into the unknown based on a whim of romance or leaving your hometown…..wooo they would really get to me.
The entire “Darkness on the Edge of Town” album will change me every time.
Music fueled my fire for reckless abandon.
If I heard the right song that had that desperation in it, that longing for letting go,
it took me to another world in my heart where I made decisions based on feeling
and not on good judgment.  Music still does the same thing to me today.
There are certain albums I can’t listen to all the time because they will really change my focus.
I of course obviously idolized these musicians and the stories of getting all messed up and playing crazy and out of control. All of my hero’s were drug addicts and alcoholics.
I really thought at some point that I would never be on the level of these guys, especially guitar players, if I didn’t start drinking and doing drugs. Once I began drinking in my early twenties
and playing gigs, I would just let go and get really crazy. People would freak out.
The next day they would tell me how awesome I played and how I was a genius.
Of course my ego began to believe all of this and I became consumed with the “Inner Genius”.
The more I drank, the better I played and so the saga began.
I truly thought that Jimi Hendrix was that good because he was on drugs.
It was a romantic story of loss of life and amazing talent brought about through the use
of drugs and alcohol. It never occurred to me that he was just maybe that good because he practiced and played the instrument all the time…..
I did that as well, but for some reason I couldn’t get past all of the rules in my head until I had a beer. The problem is that once I had a beer, I wanted a LOT of beers, and then whiskey.
Eventually it turned into cocaine and then it all went out the window.

Now that I am on the other side, of course, I see more clearly.
I understand that yes SRV was playing his ass off on drugs, but a lot of time the drugs
were playing the guitar, not SRV. Maybe he played less notes when he was sober and more precise, but they were much more considerate and emotional.

This all brings me to the point…….
A lovely man gave me an SRV recording last week in the UK.
He was a sweet man and I was very thankful for the cd. It was a live recording from
somewhere in California in 1984. But as he handed me the disc he said
“This is Stevie at his best, all messed up drugs and playing incredible!”
“I think he was much better on the drugs than he was when they cleaned him up.”
I knew what he meant and he certainly meant no harm.
He meant he loved the “Reckless Abandon”.
It’s a shame. They have both versions to compare - the messed up Stevie,
and the cleaned up Stevie.  At this point I will always take the cleaned up Stevie.
He was alive and playing from the heart. 
He didn’t die from drug abuse and made it through to live another day.
He was writing songs about recovery and sobriety and living just for today.
It was beautiful and had meaning way beyond his reckless guitar playing.

But I understood what he meant.
People are always romanced by the loss and the pain and the suffering.
It is part of the human condition. It’s who we are.
That reckless, desperate feeling can be accomplished without drugs or
the loss of life. It takes as much letting go to let go and let God.
To trust in the process and accept the outcome. To not follow the rules in my head,
but follow the feeling in my heart. It has taken years to get to this point in my life,
and especially in my music and playing. To not think so much and trust what the
Spirit decides for me to play today.  When I write a song, if I’m lucky and feeling good,
I just try and let the song come to me with no pre-conceived ideas or patterns.
Instead of thinking about the next note I’ll play during a solo, I just play.
Sure, sometimes it’s not always as good as I would like, but over time and a commitment
to continue trusting the process, my hands begin to go where they want and it sounds good.
I close my mouth when I want say stupid shit and let words that are more helpful come out.

I trust the process today, it’s the ultimate feeling of reckless abandon.
I let go and let God handle it all, the best I can.
It’s desperate and amazing and hopeful.
I have no idea whats coming next, but I know if I’m doing the right thing……
something good is coming my way.
I practice my guitar and try and be physically and mentally prepared for the stage,
then when I get there - I let it all go. Let’s see what happens next.
If I’ve done my homework and I am feeling good physically, mentally and spiritually,
I am almost certain to have a wonderful and exciting experience musically.

Today I am moved by emotion and freedom, trust and faith.
It takes a lot of humility and whole lot of awareness to let it all go,

and I am thankful for the gift of being here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The mind is a terrible thing.....

Remember that commercial from the 80's with the egg?
"this is your brain..... (throws egg in frying pan).....this is your brain on drugs."
That was a good one, during the golden age of Nancy Reagan telling us to "Just say no".

There was another one I think for the United Negro College Fund
and the end slogan was always "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."
(which is still their slogan and a damn good one!)

"the mind is a terrible thing" has always been my slogan :)

I am continually baffled by the arc of mental illness.
It's amazing that we literally survive our own minds in this day and age.
I am a firm believer in mental illness and it's effects on folks and their families.
I love to discuss and learn in detail the cause and effect of mental illness,
specifically "Crazy" that a medical term? I don't know.
I love to watch movies about "crazy people", read books written by "crazy people".....
these are my people!

I just read about a Czech scientist who has a very deeply rooted theory that the protozoa
that is in cat feces is laying dormant in peoples brains and changing the way they think and feel.
Cat people are being manipulated by this protozoa.

I am a very big fan of the podcast "Stuff You Should Know"
they have a website as well -
Really cool show that talks on a million different subjects where the guys do all of the research
and teach you about the subject firsthand, in a very fun, entertaining way.

So, recently I listened to their podcast "How panic attacks work"
I was VERY interested to say the least.
Strangely enough, scientists have linked a gene to causing this horrific experience.
If you have too many of this "fear" based gene, you could be a more fearful person
and in turn be more likely to have panic attacks, or panic disorder.
OR.....anyone can have a panic attack, even only once in a lifetime.
If you have a traumatic experience take place when you are a child, your brain could "wire in"
that experience and save it for years 30 years later, when the time is right and everything lines up in your brain, a certain set of circumstances could trigger this release and you might have a one time only panic attack.   Thats just freaking crazy shit right there!
Now, get this - a panic attack is basically your fear factor kicking in, without any real fear or danger actually taking place, but your nervous system is being told by your brain that you are in imminent danger. The worst part is that your primary nervous system, that would usually kick in and calm you down and focus all your strength on "flight", running away, knows that there is nothing wrong, so it does NOTHING! So you just get this huge boost of adrenaline and freak out going and it doesn't stop or slow down or get focused, you just FREAK OUT.

WOW, I love learning how crazy works.
That is so unbelievably nuts. People deal with this everyday if they have Panic Disorder.
It's what causes phobias to elevators, buildings, airplanes....etc.
If you have a panic attack somewhere, you NEVER want to go there again.
Obviously they have medicine to help calm your ass down - like anti-depressants.
But the best form of relieving this craziness, is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

"The cognitive model states that individuals with panic disorder often have distortions in their thinking, of which they may be unaware, and these may give rise to a cycle of fear."

So, therapists spend time with the patient explaining to them that they are actually "crazy".
(they might be a little more politically correct than yours truly)
Then they begin to work with them by letting them know that possibly their minds have been
thinking on their own and making decisions for them that are not actually based in fact.
Eventually, the outcome is to get the people to accept that something is wrong with their minds
and accept that they have panic attacks.  If you are fearful of an elevator, they get you to first imagine being on an elevator and eventually to actually get on one and see that everything is ok.
This takes a long time. If the person with this disorder can come to the state of acceptance,
they can eventually manage these attacks and sometimes they go away completely.
The best scenario is for the person to have a panic attack and be able to say to themselves
"It's ok, I'm just having a panic attack, this will pass."
Basically, getting a grip on their mind and teaching themselves to recognize their disorder.

If you realize you are crazy, you're now not as crazy as you once were.

Of course, I always relate all of this crazy to my own crazy.
Because, before I worked any steps or got into a recovery program......
I was just doing what my brain told me to do and basically thought I had no choice in the matter.
In fact, I would do things I said I would never do again, against my own will.
I would wake up and wonder why the hell did I do that???
I couldn't figure it out at all.
People told me I was a horrible person, I was selfish and self-centered and didn't care about
anyone else, just about myself. They were absolutely correct, but I didn't understand to the lengths
this selfishness extended.
The last time I got high, I was clean for 30 days.
I told myself I was going to do this new drug that a friend had and that I would only go for a few hours and then I would come home. I had to be at work the next day.
I made it perfectly clear what my intentions were and how I would handle myself.
I stayed high for 6 days and never came home, except to steal some money to buy more.
When this spree had ended and I woke up a day or so later......I KNEW something was wrong with me.  How did this happen? I did not intend for this to be the outcome and then I realized
that EVERY time I drink or do drugs, this is the same result.
This is how all the bad shit has taken place - I cannot control myself once I put in.
And then it really hit me, my mind knew this was true and continued to tell me do it anyway.
My mind would convince me it would be different this time.
It used elaborate hoaxes and stories to get my attention. I believed it every time.
I realized I was CRAZY.
I desperately needed a "Psychic Change".

Just like the Panic Disorder sufferers, or the crazy Cat people,
I needed a change of mind and heart.
What I found is that Spirituality could forever cure my mind into "right thinking".
Because no one in their "right" mind would do what I had been doing.
I slowly learned to change my thinking from selfishness and self centeredness to thinking of
others first and being considerate.  I learned to say "No" to the drugs and the alcohol because I realized it was bad for me.  That in turn helped to make better decisions in all walks of my life.
My mind still thinks some really crazy stuff, but I realize that it is crazy thinking, and move one.
I don't just do what my mind tells me to do today.
I considerate my options, I consider the outcome of my actions, and if need be - I pray about
making the right choices. When I put God first before everything I say or do, I always make the right choice.  I accept my mental illness today, it has in turn forced me into a spiritual life.
This acceptance has been a life changing decision, and I so grateful for the chance to
think clearly.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Well as many of you know,
I am finishing my time with the Royal Southern Brotherhood and continuing on
with my own group and career.
I have been making my own records since the late 1990's and to this date I have 10
albums of my own, both independent and on labels.
I am not bragging, but my point is I have been doing my own thing for a long time
and I have always intended on keeping that my main focus.
I love playing in the RSB group, it's been a lot of fun and I have learned a lot.
It's always nice to get an opportunity to pull you out of your element and put you
in a different position to truly appreciate what you're capable of doing and what it
takes to make a marriage work with others. I really consider my time with this
"Supergroup" as a likening to being cast into the NFL after playing College level.
Maybe you were the Quarterback on your team back at Ohio State, but we've decided
you're gonna be a Wide Receiver here.
I have said all I have to say about the musicians individually and my love for each of them.
I truly appreciate the fans worldwide for all of the support.
This group has actually brought me closer to fulfilling my own personal dreams by
bringing me to a larger limelight.  I am so thankful that today I can walk away proud
and confident of where I am going and what I am doing.

All of this being said, it brings up a wonderful spiritual concept of closure.
Many times in our lives we walk away from loved ones, marriages, parents
but we carry with us the division for a long time after we have actually left.
We think of what could have been, should have been and never really accept what it
was.  An angry teenager leaves the home too early because they are mad at the parents
and that anger carries on for years and is never quite settled.
Even later in life there is a division between the parents and this child from something
that happened long ago.
I do my best to think of matters spiritually and take everyone into consideration.
Obviously in the end I do whats best for me and my family, but I am thinking of how
it will affect others as I am doing so. I am looking for the easier, softer way in every situation.
If I can let everyone know that this closure is not personal, not angry but out of love,
everyone should be equally understanding and supportive.
Of course, this is not always true. Not everyone is basing their thoughts and considerations
on spiritual principles and they get their feelings hurt and take it very personal.
When we leave on an angry note, a divorce, it is painful and can take years to amend.
But if we can look ahead before we walk away and become brave enough to know that this is
whats best for all involved, it can be beautiful and bittersweet.
Maybe the teenager and the parents realize later in life that this was the best thing for both of them.
The child needed to learn some lessons the hard way and the parents needed to let go and give it
to God.  Trusting the process is usually, always the best bet in the end, but certainly not easy.
It requires a lot of faith and prayer.
I think to achieve true closure is to accept things as they are and be grateful for what it was.
Celebrate the good times and the bad times (which were probably not that bad after all).
Life is ever changing, and if we don't change with it, if we don't adapt to the world around us,
we will begin to die.  The true explorer, the witness in us all, has a need to walk away.
Sometimes walking away gives us the perspective to see things for the absolute truth.
We could always have done better or worse, that doesn't really matter anymore.
It is what it is and so be it.
Life is so short, and to live conflicted is just painful at best.
Take chances, believe in who we are or want to be, walk away and try a new door....
They are constantly opening for us when we look where we are going,
but if we stare at the ground or wrap up in our ego's, we lose sight of our

Not that my leaving this group is such a grandiose experience, it's just part of life.
Time to move on and celebrate the good times we shared.
I am thankful for my life and the support I have to make my dreams come true.
In a world full of pain, I am one of the luckiest men alive.

Peace, Love Zito

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Give it away...give it away now

 A little Red Hot Chili Peppers reference for you!!

So, if you're in a recovery program of any kind you are familiar with the phrase

"You've got to give it away to keep it".
Which means, once you've been given the gift of recovery, you need to share your
experience, strength, and hope with others that are in need.
Not just out of a moral obligation, but also it's how you continue to be in recovery.
Just like a true "Diet" is a lifestyle change, not just eating differently for 30 days to lose
a few pounds and then back to the binge, so is the recovery process.
It is a spiritual awakening, a psychic change that continues onward and upward.
You don't just get clean and then go home and say thanks, you have to keep going
and working and stay on the path that becomes more narrow with each new turn.
That is just the way it is.

Service work is something we can all relate to, recovery based or not.

When we help our communities by giving of our time and our service,
we are not only helping the community at hand, we are truly helping ourselves.
No one can deny the great feeling of humility and gratitude we receive when
helping others.  It is almost a selfish endeavor. It feels good inside and out.
It almost always helps us more than it helps the recipients.
We walk away feeling thankful and humble, we appreciate what we have and where
we are in our lives today.
So why don't we do it more?  Why do we not take part in this pleasure more often?
Just like most things spiritual, I put them off until they are really needed.
I know praying and meditating feels good and is so good for me and my peace of mind,
yet I don't do it as often as I should and a lot of times wait until I have some drama
and then I hit my knees begging for help.
Had I been "Prayed Up", this drama might not hurt at all........truly humorous.

In recovery, service work is a must. Working with others is necessary.

We have to give back, again not under obligation, but because our lives depend on it.
Mostly out of true selfishness, I need to work with others to be reminded of who I am.
When I hear the horror stories of those just coming off the streets, it reminds me of the horror
story of my life when I got here.  I was not doing good at all, life sucked and it hurt real bad.
But 10 and a half years later, my life is pretty awesome. I have everything I ever dreamed of and I
am so far from the drugs and the alcohol, it's easy to forget the bad times.
But the bad times got me here. The shit life I was leading of pain and suffering is the direct
result that got me in recovery. Being an addict is the reason I have a successful life today.
I know that is hard to comprehend, but if I was not an addict, I would have never worked those
beautiful steps and received the greatest gift of all, awareness.
With that awareness, I have been able to seek my dreams and have them come true before my very eyes.  That awareness of a spiritual world, applying spiritual principles, has helped me to achieve
everything I have today. I am thankful for being an addict and an alcoholic.
But I can lose it all if I allow my obsessive, compulsive, self-centered, egotistical mind to
take over yet again. It happens all the time. I am not immune.
I must be reminded that all I have is a daily reprieve, just for today.
One day at a time, one step at a time......
I have the disease of addiction and it centers in my mind.
So as much as I would like a big pat on the back for helping others and doing service work,
it's not necessary. I am truly helping myself.
I'd love to think that I am saving lives when I work with others, but the only life I am really
saving is my own.
And if you read this blog and think "Wow, Mike Zito is a great guy who writes this blog to help
others!"  Thats just really not true :)
I write this blog to help myself. I need to hear what I am saying the most.
It's like repeating lines to a movie I am - I am memorizing my lines for life.

I need to be constantly reminded on a daily basis who I am and whats wrong with me.

If I stopped reading my literature, going to my meetings and working with others,
I would soon forget who I am and my crazy mind would start to tell me that maybe
it's ok to start doing the things I used to do.
So, day in and day out I do the work and walk the walk, thats who I am and thats what I do.
Like it or not, I am addict.

Like my sponsor always says - "Thats just the way it is, so suck it up."

Tuesday, August 5, 2014



I learned this definition of this word from reading a simple jazz guitar book years ago.....  "Approach".
It mentioned to consider your approach when getting ready to take your guitar solo.

Thats all it said, but it stuck with me.  It has been something I have really tried to implement
into my musical life but as most things with music, so it is with life.
I look at any situation and consider the best approach, or at least I try.
If my wife or band mate or child is struggling with something and they are making a fuss
about it, I want to rush in and tell them they are wrong for feeling that way,
they need to look at it like this and they should get over it.
I may even be correct in my assumption, but the approach is SO wrong.
What I am actually saying to the other person is that they shouldn't be allowed to be a human being.
They should be super-human.
Everyone should be allowed to be frustrated, upset, crabby, etc.
I also don't have to get involved at all, I can just stay out of it and continue on my merry way.
That is usually the best approach.

Rather than telling my wife she is wrong for feeling that way,
I don't say anything and I listen to her. When she's done talking and looks at me
my first words are "You have every right to feel that way." or "I would feel the same way."
This will allow her to feel that I am on her team, I feel for her.
If she asks me what I would do.....then I might offer her my thoughts, but only then.
Obviously, this works on every human I come in contact with.

I have found that the best approach always is to consider the other person I am dealing with
and how I might feel if I were in their shoes.
When I talk to my band mates, I try and get their perspective on things, instead of just telling
them this is how it's gonna go down.  It might still go down the way I intended, but by
including them in the process, they feel "a part" and not "apart".
They are much more likely to believe in me and my idea when I include them.
The same goes for any situation where I am leading or trying to get a particular result.

Musically, approach is everything.  If I just barge into the musical situation, loud and proud
and inconsiderate, I am not really making music.
First of all, there is a song. The song has qualities and a certain feel and dynamic.
I need to listen to the song and try and interpret these qualities the best I can.
Do I need to play hard? soft? distorted? clean? loud? quiet? - less notes, more notes.....etc.
What are the other musicians playing? Maybe I should try and coordinate with them.
This is just the beginning.  Then their are very musical elements, like melody, harmony, rhythm.
All require the correct approach if I am going to rise to the occasion.

Spirituality has everything to do with my approach to anything in life.
I read the book "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie years ago.
It is a very simple book on approach.  A "How to" on being a leader and getting people
to join you in your endeavors.  Many people would think by the title or the content that this
is a book on manipulation, but it is actually a very spiritual book.
In the book Carnegie states many times that if your purpose is whats best for the whole
and you include people in the process, you are being a true leader.
Approach is a spiritual principle.
When we take time to consider the others around us and how they might feel, I am being spiritual.
Rather than rushing in to push everyone around, I walk in slowly and ask everyone what they
are considering, then offer my idea with them in mind. I am also open minded to the fact that maybe
someone else might have a better idea than mine.  My ideas are not the only ideas and not always the best ideas.  That is humility.

Just like I try and consider my approach when I play guitar or sing to make the best music
possible, I try and consider my approach to every relationship and social interaction I have as well.
In the end, I am looking for the path of least resistance. I want harmony and content.
I have found that in life and music, it is better to be flexible and understanding, than to be stiff and unsympathetic.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Self Esteem

I get an email everyday from a friend who has me on their email list.
It is recovery related and I try and read it everyday.
Somedays I am so busy traveling, I forget and then these emails sit waiting for me.
When I see at least 2 of them, I feel bad and read them both immediately.
I'm funny like that, but I am sure we all are like this.
I read a lot of different little books to spark my spiritual experience everyday.
I try and switch it up and maybe one week or month I am reading recovery related literature,
maybe next month I am reading the Dalai Lama or some Buddhist material or some Deepak Chopra.
Just trying to keep my mind focused on the spiritual picture.
Somedays this material is nice and I like what I read and I think about it and then I move on into my day and maybe it is only in my subconscious, it's still there and it helps when I need it.
Other days I am really awe struck by the simplicity of "remembering" what I have read, like I already know this instinctually and it really makes an impact.
But then sometimes I am not reading things well. I am confused and just kind of doing my spiritual job, if you will.  It's all a little fuzzy. The world is on my mind and I am not focusing.
I am struggling in my life with a relationship or a problem financially or business and my mind will
not stop obsessing and I cannot really get the spiritual information into my brain, there is not enough room.  This is when I need direction most.  But when I cannot focus, I tend to put it aside and I stop reading or praying because I have too many "real" problems to deal with.
Obviously after enough obsession, I relinquish and get back to reading my literature, praying and meditating. I force myself to stop thinking and start breathing.  Slowly I see the light.
As I start to make progress in my own mind, I choose to read one of my books or emails and suddenly
I have found the answer to my problem. It's amazing, and it works every time.
Just what I need to hear is waiting for me, exactly when I need it the most.

Which brings me to Self Esteem.  Something few of us probably consider much as busy working adults.  It's seems like it's something we think about when teaching our kids values and instilling in our coming of age children.  Self Worth, the value of of who we are in our mind.
Obviously, Self Esteem is a part of every living human being.
We feel a certain way about ourselves, positive and negative at certain times and in certain situations,
around certain people and overall in life on planet earth.
When we handle life's challenges well and with confidence, we feel good about ourselves and
feel worthy of happiness.  When we behave badly and selfishly, or act cowardly to the world around us, we feel depressed and not worthy of happiness.
It's all a bit of self conscious manipulation.
We might feel we are good at certain things and that makes us feel good about ourselves,
very specific, but we might in general feel we are a bad person and not feel good about ourselves.
What I find personally is that overall I feel good about myself today.
I am not perfect, I am flawed and have character defects, but overall I forgive myself for being human
and give myself a break. I try to do my best and in the end I do not always succeed.
But I never give up on trying to be better, do better and learn from my mistakes.
I have learned to forgive myself for my past and let it go. I have cleaned up my side of the street
and it's time to move on.  But just as I stated earlier, self esteem can be very specific and related
to particular relationships and behaviors.  I have a particular relationship that is never going to be
a true success.  (I am down to one in my life, isn't that amazing!)
It involves my past and when it flares up it reminds me of the "old" me.
I become flustered with shame and my self esteem goes out the window.
It bruises easily.   I get angry and defensive and try and reason with unreasonable.
The argument may be very valid, but it brings up old feelings of resentment and pain.
Suddenly, I am truly feeling like I have no self worth. I am not a good person.
I wrap up in the warmth of self loathing and hide for a day or so.........just like I would when
I was actively using and drinking......but without the chemicals anymore (THANK GOD).
Still this is classic "Stinking Thinking" - thank you Al Franken.
I walk around arguing and pouting and spouting and angry for a day or two.
So as aforementioned, I finally get back into reading some positive literature and wouldn't you know
it, the email I get from my friend is about "Self Esteem".
I read it and it changes EVERYTHING IMMEDIATELY.
My self esteem is tied to this relationship based on history of bad behavior and experience and I re-experience the same feelings over and over and over every time this relationship flares up.  I do not choose to bring the "New and Improved Mike" to this old relationship, I become the old shitty version instantly. This is true Conditioning. It is sub-conscious. I have no idea I am making this choice, I think it's just "happening" to me, but I am clearly making the choice to feel this way. I am responsible.
Suddenly, I "wake up"....I ask myself what I am doing wrong here. Usually what I am doing is not wrong at all. The decision I have made that makes the relationship flare up is not wrong at all.
The negative response from the other party is their problem, not mine. What I am doing wrong is falling back into old behavior and as soon as the other party is not happy, I try and "Please" them, because I feel like a piece of shit all over again from all of these old negative experiences.
The more I try and please, the more suffering I cause myself.
I initially say "NO" and then I try and explain and excuse myself when they are not happy with "NO".
Thats when the self esteem drops to zero and I get depressive.
It's all my fault, no other person is at fault here. I am responsible for my feelings and my actions.
Finally I pick myself by the bootstraps, wash myself off, forgive myself for being human and move on.
I stop explaining and excusing and just let things be.
It's all a learning process and I guess and hope I will never stop learning.
Less thinking and more doing, thats the ticket.  Make the right decision, do my best and let go.
I cannot make everyone happy, it's just not possible and super egocentric if I think that I could.
I try my best from here on out to bring my happiness worthy - self esteem to all of my relationships and experience as best I can.  If I am making good choices, I don't have to explain anything to anyone.
If they don't think I am making good choices, thats fine, it's not my business what they think anyway.

I am thankful for the literature that saves my ass every time, at the right time.
I am thankful for the pain in the ass relationships that continue to teach me to be a better person.

I am thankful to be happy today and feel good about myself, I hope you are too.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Brighter Days

Brighter Days......

I am looking forward to the future.
I hope you are too.
Not because all of my dreams are coming true and I am living a full blessed life,
Mostly because my mind is aligning with the blessings and dreams of my life.
I have been living the dream since the day I was born.
The realization of this truth is what I am so excited about.
It's hard to believe without judgment that it took this long to have this
understanding, so many good years spent in misunderstanding, but I am thankful
that I get to spend the second half in truth and awareness with a full heart of humility.

I was performing with the Royal Southern Brotherhood this past Sunday at Crawfish Fest
in beautiful Augusta, Nj.  It was a gorgeous day, perfect weather, cool breeze, sun shining....
Lots of my friends were there to welcome myself and the band to the stage.
I had a real good time that day.
JJ Grey and Mofro were on after our set to close out the main stage.
I have been a fan for years and love his music and message.
I stood on the side of the stage and watched the band and JJ really dig into "Brighter Days".
It was a killer, soulful groove and JJ's voice was righteous.
In the middle of the song, he broke it down and the band got real quiet.
JJ began telling a story about having an epiphany a few years back when they played
the Crawfish Fest, how he realized that it wasn't only the band that was performing that day,
but the audience was performing as well, both the band and the audience were one and they
were performing for the Universe. He said he knew in that moment that it was time to stop judging everything and begin to take responsibility for his own happiness, because everything we feel,say,do
is put out into the Universe forever. He was going to try and find a silver lining in everything that happened to him, no judgments.

I was smiling ear to ear. It's a real blessing to have this awareness and understanding,
and it's truly exciting to hear others that we don't know personally acknowledge the same
awareness and understanding. Maybe this is happening all over the world, I believe it is.
It's not from a book or a speech or passed down through tradition....
It's an actual experience that is personal and real.

I am hopeful that this world is 51% committed to a new spiritual experience (actually the only
spiritual experience) especially in the Western World. Thats all we need for a change.
Brighter Days.....

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Life is short.
It's not really long enough to get everything done and sometimes I think
it's all in vein anyway.  But I have children and a family and I am thankful for
all of my blessings.  I try to live today like there is no tomorrow and make the most
of every moment, but I am also human and need to be reminded.
Unfortunately, I am reminded by seeing tragedy.  Loved ones and friends who lose their lives
in the blink of an eye.  It is a horrible feeling, and yet a necessary one.
I also have the same feelings to be thankful I am alive when I see my children and I hug my wife.
I am thankful to be alive today. I know you are too.
I used to think I would live forever. I never considered the possibility of dying at all.
I was young, dumb and full of you now what.  Years later, I have a healthy dose of humility and awareness. With this awareness comes the understanding that I will die.
We all will die.  That is life.
I try not to dwell on this fact, but I also keep it in the back of my mind at all times.
Sometimes I think it was better when I didn't have a fucking clue, I was so caught up in myself,
I would have never seen it coming.  But thats not true.
It is better to know today and accept this absolute truth in life, than to live selfishly blind.
I don't have to be macabre, just aware.  I want to go peacefully, and I don't have to be old and gray to do so, I just need to be aware and thankful.  If I try and make sure that I don't have any resentments,
haven't done anyone wrong, and I am making decisions based on spiritual principles, I am good to go.
If my life ended today, I could live with that. (yes, pun intended)
Certainly I do not wish for this to happen!! I have plenty of dreams and adventures and life to live,
but I really do not have any control over my demise.  I try my best to not take part in the end......
the list goes on.  But, that still does not keep me from just keeling over right now.
When my time comes, I will have no choice in the matter.
Mostly, my desire to stay alive is strongly based on responsibility.
I have children and a family to provide for, so I cannot die anytime soon.
Whats super ironic is that by the time we figure out how precious life is....we've blown half of it away.

Friends are beginning to go, family members too.
Slowly but surely, people I know are no longer with me physically.
I do believe they are with me spiritually.
I think of the good times we shared and remember them fondly.
I hug my kids and kiss my wife and think I've got it made......if this ends tomorrow, I was a lucky man.
I think that is how I will live the second half of my life, grateful.

"Life gets pretty precious, when there's less of it to waste."  B. Raitt

Monday, April 28, 2014


We are either getter better or we are getting sicker.

Thats just the way it is. We can argue this fact all day long,
and if we argue against the truth, we are probably on the getting sicker side.
Life is progressive, and so is every facet of life.
Life moves forward, whether we like it or not.
We either go with the flow, or rub against the grain.
When we stop and go backwards, we disrupt the flow and cause waves
and splinters to those around of us and mostly to ourselves.

If I am not consciously striving for betterment in my spirituality,
I am falling back into my old ways.
Spirituality is a constant forward motion, that consistently seeks what is right and just.
It is never ending, there is always room for improvement.
Spirituality is a perpetual reminding of the truth.
My mind will always try and forget, but my heart beats to "re-mind".
Spiritual perfection is unattainable, but striving of perfection in spirituality is necessary.

Progress not perfection, but progressing toward perfection is what this is all about.

It is always wonderful to see myself in the light that I once dreamed of seeing myself.
But my second thought is to give myself a treat, like a dog, like I deserve something
for doing the right thing.  That, I believe is the human experience.
I need to get over myself.
Eat a cookie :)

Everything should be getting better, not worse.
Striving for greatness is our greatest attribute as human beings.
The next song I write needs to be better than the last, each record needs to push the limits
and boundaries of my last efforts.  Each day I need to try to eat better, exercise more, pray more.
I need to love my wife and children more than I did yesterday (if thats even possible).
I believe it is all possible. By getting out of myself and being less selfish with my time, my money,
and trying to make others happy, I can learn to need less and have more.

Somedays I will need rest. Sometimes I can only do enough to get through the day.
So I give myself a break, I am only human.
But the next day, I pick up my boots and strap on for more.
Get in the game and make a play.
I am not afraid of life or people today.

"The right thing is always the hardest thing to do" - Jason Isbell

Life should be hard, not easy. Accomplishments do not come to those who sit on their asses.

Today I will be progressive - Spiritually, Mentally and Physically.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


"Honesty,  is such a lonely word......."

Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integritytruthfulness, and straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Furthermore, honesty means being trustworthy, loyalfair, and sincere. think you know what a word means and then you look it up.

What I am really saying is,  YES, I know what Honesty means and it still bugs me sometimes :)
Ok, all kidding aside.
I learned what honesty was at a very young age, but not really.
I was told to "tell the truth". "Don't lie". "Do not take things that don't belong to you."
But, I also learned at a very young age, the wonderful world of manipulation.
I learned that you don't have to tell all of the truth, you can keep some for yourself.
I learned how to rationalize and justify.  It's not stealing, if you don't get caught.
It's not a lie, if you believe it to be true.
If my intentions were good, it's not really lying.
Most of these attributes came from the neighborhood I lived in and the people around me.
All very loving, good people that cared about me deeply, but inevitably were not always the most
"honest" people in the world.  I am not just talking about my family, I am talking about the Catholic school
I was attending, the kids and their families I knew, the world I was born into and grew up in.
I grew up in south St. Louis, Mo. Smack dab in the city, in a lower-middle class neighborhood.
Everyone was trying to get ahead and get by at the same time.
You learn to take care of yourself as a young child. I learned to get what I wanted and to manipulate the situation when it wasn't going my way.
I won't go into the juicy details, (I'll save that for a glorifying, self-absorbed autobiography)
but I learned the art of deceit.
At the age of 33, I was low down and ready to try anything.....including honesty.
My first attempts at honesty were like that of a child.
I learned to be "Cash Register" honest.  I stopped stealing money or things that did not belong to me.
I was so proud of myself when I gave you back your exact change!
Baby steps.
I learned to say the truth out loud, mostly for myself to hear.
I had been lying to myself for so long, I believed it all to be true.
Once I accepted this new truth about my life and who I was, I was able to start honestly taking
steps to change my life and change my thinking.
Honesty comes in phases in recovery, just as it does in life.
We are faced with situations (opportunities) in life where we get a chance to practice forms of honesty,
truthfulness, straightforwardness. I want to exaggerate this story to you, but it's simply not true.
Tell it like it is.  
If I am keeping in my feelings about you or a situation and telling you something different, that is dishonest.
This is not easy.  People pleasing is a form of dishonesty.
I will tell you what you want to hear, to manipulate the situation for whatever reason......usually selfish.
I also have learned that I don't need to tell you the truth to be hurtful.
I can simply not answer you or bow out.  Telling someone the "Truth" to let them have it, is not very spiritual at all.  True honesty requires consideration.  If the truth is going to hurt you and it is not life threatening, world shaking or really necessary, it could be best to not say anything at all, or just be nice.
BAD EXAMPLE:  "Does this dress make me look fat?"   
BAD ANSWER:  "No, your big fat ass makes you look fat."   
Could be the truth, but just seems mean and unnecessary.
GOOD EXAMPLE: "Does this dress make me look fat?"
GOOD EXAMPLE: "If you don't feel comfortable in that dress, maybe find something else to wear."
That's how you do it Al Anon!

As life continues in recovery, I am much more honest and truthful than I have ever been in my life.
I seek the truth in all that I do and accept nothing less.  (most of the time)
But my mind can still get the best of me, usually with intellectual dishonesty.
Again, manipulation.
I am not revealing all of the facts, I am keeping things to myself.
I know the truth, you do not know the truth. That is your problem. I will not tell you the truth,
because thats not my problem. I figured it out, you figure it out for yourself.
Plus, if I tell you, you won't believe me and it will cause me pain and suffering to argue with you,
so I'll just let you bobble around until maybe you figure it out for yourself, or you crash and burn.
Also, if I tell you the truth, now we both know and I am not in "Control" of this situation anymore....
If any of this makes sense, you are in big trouble.
Eventually though, the dishonesty wells up inside and when I am uncomfortable enough, I will tell the truth.
Usually this very intellectual, high brow form of dishonesty is a one on one, relationship type of dishonesty.
I might be honest with the entire world, except one person.
For some reason, I feel this person does not deserve the honesty. 
Resentment is the culprit here, and needs to be dealt with if I am to remain clean and sober.
Whatever the situation, honesty must prevail. It will allow me to breathe and soothe my worried mind.

I will never be 100% honest, all of the time. No one will.
Like all of the spiritual principles, I will continue to do my best and when I make mistakes, hopefully learn from them.  I will make mistakes. When I do finally take the step to be honest, no matter how painful it might be,
the relief behind the truth always outweighs the pain of being dishonest.

Honesty is spiritual. It is real. The truth is the truth, the only truth. Their is your story, my story and the REAL story.  I am trying to see the real story, at every step of the path.

"When I'm deep inside of me

Don't be too concerned
I won't ask for nothin' while I'm gone
But when I want sincerity
Tell me where else can I turn
Cause you're the one that I depend upon"
Billy Joel

Peace, Love Zito