Friday, November 24, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I may be a day late on the calendar, but it's ok to give Thanks again today.
I am currently on tour in France with my group and our tour manager and things are going well.
It has been a very nice tour meeting new friends and playing music.
It never ceases to amaze me how far the Blues can take you in this world, quite literally if you allow it.  All of my musician friends are looking for their path, trying to find their footing so to speak.
When I let the Blues become a part of my life and my music, I become a part of a greater movement.
I did not create this music from scratch, I am a witness and a bearer of truth.
When I allow the greater good to take over and lead me, the outcome is so much larger than my single mind could imagine. It's like this with all of us all of the time in all of our work and lives.
We have a choice to be singular in movement or join the river that runs wide and deep.
When I let go and join the movement I begin to trust the Greater will at work.
I have my own ideas and my own will, but it is very controlling and when it is not met with perfection, I suffer. My expectations of life get in the way of the truth.
If I made all of the rules and my way was made true, I would know the ending all of the time and no Magic would take place, it would be 2 dimensional. But when I trust the Greater will and leave room for Magic, I become a witness as well and I am amazed at the outcome.
I know this all seems a little too much so early in the morning, but thats usually the best time for creative thinking......early in the morning. My mind is not yet plugged into the world as we know it and I am not yet concerned with the plans and obligations of the day yet....I am still a little bit free.
When the day gets going and I jump in with two feet it is much harder to get back to the creative free thinking mind, I am attached by noon.  More and more I am trying to not make all of the decisions in my life. I am trying to make an outline, a blueprint for what is necessary to be responsible to my Earthly life but leave room for Magic.  I try not to dot all of "I's" and cross all of the "T's".
I am very thankful for my life. I am thankful for my wife and best friend in this world, Laura and for my children and family. My family is the most important thing to me. I am thankful for my music and my manager and my record label and my agents and tour managers and certainly to the musicians who share their talent with me and my music. I am thankful for you. You who support me on this endeavor, buy my music and my goods and help me to stay focused and support my creativity. None of this would be possible without you.  Life is fun when we have an open mind and a purpose, even if the purpose is the be helpful and kind today to those around us, that is the ultimate purpose. What we do in between is really what we want to do. 

"I believe that the only true religion consists of having a good heart."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Happy Thanksgiving!

Peace, Love, Zito




Thursday, November 2, 2017

Always do your best

Well, I don't know about you but I went to Catholic School and heard "Always do your best" pretty much all the time. (Along with, always do your best or you're going to Hell....but thats another story.)
I kid the Catholics because I can and they can take it, they're built for it.

I was very fortunate to go to private school my entire young life considering the most money my Father ever made was $33,000 in one year, and that was after 38 years of employment.
I was encouraged much more than I was discouraged.
The teachers were personal and the education was way above par. I was a bit "Class Clown" and talked way too much in class, so I got in trouble often but never for anything serious.
I did well in school until High School where I spent way too much time goofing off and entertaining the classrooms than doing the actual work.  I was smart enough to get by and pass the tests but rarely turned in the homework or did a fair job. I can honestly say that I did not always do my best.
I could've done much better, but my parents did not expect much from me. They were old and tired
and just wanted to get me through so they could take a nap. They were not bad parents, just older people from another time and we were fairly poor, so as long as I graduated I could get a job and pay the bills and that would be good enough. My mother did always tell me to do my best.
She told me that everyday in our lives together. When I told her I had done something wrong, she'd asked me "Did you rob a bank?" and when I said no she'd say "Well it couldn't be that bad then dear, just do your best next time." So there you go.....as long as I wasn't a bank robber, I would be fine in life. I did not do my best at much except music and acting. I loved music and I loved acting and entertaining and that is where I did my best. I had no skills whatsoever, no teachers to show me the way, no formal education in the subjects at all. I just had a strong desire in my heart to play music and to entertain. I was in every theatrical performance in my high school, 16 productions in 4 years. The most that any "male" had ever done in the history of the school. I graduated high school with a whopping 1.6 grade point average and a scholarship/grant for theater to college.
That is insane. In on area I was way below average and in another area I was way above average and no one seemed to take the time and figure this out for me and help find balance along the way.
It is no ones fault, again my parents never dreamed in a million years that being a professional musician or actor was even a remote possibility. They were very simple and lived through the Great Depression and World War 2, much different people that just wanted to get by and go to work. If you had a job and food on the table, that was very good. They lived through a time when both were hard to find and it made a mark on them the rest of their lives.

None the less I continued to devote all of my time to learning to play music and entertain and it continued to befuddle my parents. They were not opposed, they just did not understand.
I was not the most gifted individual born with unique otherworldly talents and understanding beyond my years, I was if anything below the average line, but I had such a strong desire to do these things since the moment I was born, I couldn't help but always do my best.

I have learned through years of working harder than I have ever worked in my life that the only way to ever really do your best, is to do something you love. Do something that does not seem like work to you. Talent is biased, some have it and some do not, and some have just enough to learn and get better and develop. This development is the most important of all. It is the true desire and commitment.  Once this commitment is made, it is very rarely unbroken. Even if a person gives up their hopes and dreams and does something else in life, they never forget the loss and usually are not satisfied with the choices they have made. It will haunt them forever.
Success is doing something you love.  Even if you are not the best, you will be better than most and rewarded because of the commitment and the desire. When I play music, I am in Heaven. It is not about the financial success, it is about the feeling I get when I play my instrument and sing my songs. I would do that for free and still be very happy. (Do not tell any club owners this please!)

This commitment is ground rule for everything in life on planet Earth.
If I can make the same commitment I have made to music with other aspects of my life, I will have the same results, success.  When I made the commitment to my wife Laura and our marriage, it became very successful. Sometimes saying "I do" is not the total commitment. It takes time to understand and process. Some people get married for no reason at all, they just think they're supposed to.....they don't really know why and they're not sure if they want to, but they do it anyway. They do the same thing with a job. They take a job and work there for a long time and they don't really like it very much. They don't like the person they married very much either. So they don't really ever do their best, they just kinda go along half-ass and give about 60% all of the time.
60% does not get much back in return, there isn't much reward in those kind of numbers.

Bottom line, is the difference between "Have to" and "Want to".
When I look at my job and think I "have to" do this, it's gonna suck.
When I see my partner and think "I have to love this person"....not really love.
This desire I have embraced for music in my life has taught me to go for it all. Whats the point of giving 60% to anything, that is such a waste of time.
When I "Want to" love my wife, man I love her with all of my heart 100%.
So I married a woman that I had the desire to marry. The person that would challenge me and make me work hard and do my best all of the time. I may not have had the natural talent for being a great husband at first, but I had the desire to be a great husband. I wanted to do my best.
Over the years I have learned that when I want to do my best, I will do my best.
When I do my best, I will always get the return. It is inevitable. Life is easy when I am doing all the things I love to do, because I will always do my best. 
I love being a Father to my children. I can't wait to spend time with them and do things for them.
It makes me so happy and joyous inside, I was born to be a Father and I always do my best.

There are times in my past when I was not well and did not do my best.
I was not a good Husband or Father and not a good musician or entertainer. But I wanted to be,
I was dealing with the disease of addiction and alcoholism, but maybe that was the best I could do
at that time. I struggled but always wished to do better and in the end when I got the help I needed I learned how to do my best spiritually. 

When I do my best spiritually, I do my best.
It all starts with me praying and meditating and getting centered for the day.
I always do my best when I apply the spiritual principles to my daily life.
I am a better Husband, a better Father and a better musician.

Life is short.....Life is REALLY long.
However you look at it, I am here and living so I will do my best.
When I do my best I have no inner dialogue running through my head.
When I do my best I am at peace with myself and those around me.
When I do my best I sleep wonderfully at night.
It's all about getting a great nights sleep. That is the absolute truth.

I am thankful to have brought the desire to play music that I have felt in my heart as a small child
to my entire life today. I certainly "have to" do things I don't always "want to" do, but I know they are necessary to being able to do the things I really want to do.
My best may not always be the same. Sometimes I may be tired or sick, but I do the best I can do
with what I have to work with.

So, I do them all and I do my best and the reward is I get to do the things I love the most.

Thanks Mom

Peace, Love, Zito










Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Defense.....

The more I play offense these days and the less I play defense, the happier I am by 100%.

This is absolutely true. It has been a work in progress for years but it is paying off big time
and I am thankful for the peace of mind it brings.

I am like everyone else on this planet, we are all exactly the same people with the same needs.
It doesn't matter if you think kneeling for the Anthem is wrong or you think President Trump is
so horrible......you are the same person. Get over yourself. No one is better or worse, no one is the "good guy" or the "bad guy". We are just "guy" or "gal" to be correct :)
Anywho, I am like everyone else. I want peace and quiet, time with my family and security.
I want to live and let live.  But I get "offended" by people and what they say or believe some times
and it gets me very upset and I want to argue my point of view with them......just like you do.
I have taken an initiative this year to work on myself getting offended.
I have come to the conclusion that the person who gets offended has the problem.

I will repeat this for myself : The person who gets offended has the problem.

So, I have decided that I will no longer get offended. It is not easy and it takes practice, but over the course of this year I can say with some truth that it is beginning to work nicely.

First of all I start by making sure that I don't have the need to explain myself anymore.
It's the hardest part of all, but the less I feel the need to explain myself to another person about how I feel about something, the less offended and defensive I get.
The biggest choice in this matter is the decision to "Not Draw a Line in the Sand".
Thats the ticket right there, I will not pick a side.
I am going with the "Human Being" experience.
If someone comes to me and wants me to agree with them about their view on a cultural or political subject, I do not agree with them. I also do not DISAGREE wth them. I just use the good ole catch phrase of Al-Anon "I understand how you feel."
This is the ticket right here - it's me washing away my need to explain myself and offering to try and understand how the rest of humanity might feel. Whats it like to be in this persons shoes?
I am only me, I only have my experiences. I know what I believe to be "right or wrong" for me,
but I really don't know if it is right or wrong for anyone else. Obviously there are certain truths that I have to assume as a society we will all work with "Don't kill" "Don't Rape" "Don't Steal" and so on.
But as far as how I see a cultural snafu or a political belief is mostly based on my experiences and there is a good chance that I do not know it all. I might not know everything.
So I just listen and learn and most importantly I do not argue with anyone, not anymore.

Some would say not picking a side is a lack of integrity, but I absolutely disagree.
I pick a side, I am just not telling you or anyone else.
I don't have to tell anyone how I feel about anything.
It's not important. It doesn't matter who I vote for or how I feel about anything.
What matters most is the 99% of life I share in common with my fellow man, not the 1% I disagree with. Don't let social media or the news fool you folks - if you disagree with someone over kneeling for the National Anthem, you still share 99% of everything else in life with that person.
Don't let the details keep you from living a life full of joy from all of the human beings around you.
We are exactly the same.

Those of you who call people "Libtards" are exactly the same people who call people "Trumptards".
You have more in common with each other than anyone else I know.
Politics is bullshit.

Why make a choice on a certain ideology and decide thats it, this is how I believe.....
so now anything that falls into this category, I believe this way, details do not matter.
Thats just dumb and lazy.

Bottom line here is being selfish, thats what this is all about.
It's about me being selfish and so are you, we are all selfish beings that want the same thing.
So, in the spirit of being selfish, I do my best to not get offended by anyone or anything they say or believe. I just let it roll by me like a plastic bag floating in the wind......
Not giving a fuck is the most selfish feeling in the world.
I try my best to see where they're coming from - and let me tell you, I can always understand both sides. You can too, you may not want to, but you certainly could and would be happier for it, trust me.  I do not share my belief on the subject and I do not explain myself.

As a result of not being offended, I do not get defensive. I play the offense as much as possible.

I am not drawing a line in the sand anymore. I am working on a case by case basis.
I am not making up my mind immediately, I reserve the right to be considerate and think about things.
I will give everyone the benefit of the doubt, because we are all human and deserve respect.

In the end, I just don't care enough about most of these arguments to really give away all of my energy. I need to use my energy to take care of my family and give back to those who so generously
have given to me. When it comes to right or wrong, it's all about the spiritual principles.
Is my belief in an ideology blocking my belief in the spiritual principles?
If my ideological beliefs are keeping me from loving my fellow man, then they are not spiritually correct.

It is more wrong spiritually to hate a person because they believe different than I do,
than the difference we share in belief.

My mind is made up about one thing, I will do my best to not be offended.
Other than that, my mind is open and trying it's best to understand where everyone is coming from.
It's not that hard.

Peace, Love, Zito




Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sadness

I just got home from a very nice 3 week tour of Scandinavia with the band.
We had excellent shows, and the audiences were strong and loud.
It's always hard to be away from home, and it certainly doesn't get easier over time.
But all in all, I do my best. I take time to pray every morning, stretch, and meditate.
That always seems to help get me focused and feeling positive.
I stay in close touch with my family and work on the music and my guitar playing.
I follow Facebook and the news and social media and try keep things positive.
For a moment in time everyone was very angry about some football players who took a knee
and that was the big conversation. It gets ugly and I try my best to stay out of the ugliness.
I have a horrible disease called "Understanding" and it's effect on others is astounding.
I seem to be able to see both sides of the story and do my best to "understand" where everyone is coming from. I am a true believer that neither side is the "Bad" guy. It's just misunderstanding and closed mindedness that keep people separated and at odds.

Anyway, for the most part the "kneeling" argument was the topic for a few days there until Las Vegas made the news.
Terry and I were in the lobby in the early morning which was right around the time of the shooting. (We were 9 hours ahead of PST) We both mentioned seeing something about a shooter at a concert
in Las Vegas and it said there was 2 confirmed deaths and we shared regrets about hearing this news.
We then headed out on flights and traveling. As I checked the news throughout the morning.....the death toll kept rising. When we landed in the afternoon in Denmark the headline read "Worst US Mass Shooting Ever" with over 50 people dead........whoa. I was awe struck and overcome with sadness. The band and I spoke of it and read the news and tried to get as many details as we could.
It was on my mind all day. I could not imagine the horror and terror these beautiful people felt and it made me very angry and very, very sad.  It stayed with me all day and after our show that night we heard of the news of Tommy Petty's passing as well.
It was a very sad day.

I awoke the next morning and was feeling good and saw the sun shining and smiled and then it hit me.....the "massacre in Las Vegas" and I immediately was reminded of the tragedy.
It did not sit well with me and it hurt deeply. I  was sad most of the day.

I am fully aware today that it is ok and good to grieve and be sad, in fact it is necessary.
It would be inhumane to not feel this loss in my heart. Other human beings were killed for no reason.
I should feel the pain when others are suffering. We are all connected, we are one.
Of course my next thought was how many deaths happen everyday in other parts of the world that I may not be made aware of? The answer is: A Lot.
It should hurt inside when other human beings are killed, abused, and treated poorly.
Because we are the same, no matter where we come from, the color of our skin, the language that we speak, our sexual preference......thats all details, bottom line is we are all human beings and we are connected as a species.

I prayed for the next week for the families that lost loved ones and I prayed for the family of the shooter as well. They sincerely seemed shell shocked and I am certain they feel ashamed and somehow guilty, even though they are not.  Everyone loses in this situation.
Praying is the only thing that helped me to feel better and as the days went on I began to feel happy again and sincerely excited for life, hopeful.  Stories of all the helpers and heroes began to surface and it was inspiring.

I have no answers on how to change the world or stop these things from happening, I am just a simple man with a simple mind.
I do know that this man that killed those 58 beautiful people was mentally ill.
No one in their "right mind" would do such a thing, it's not normal.

Some have spoken of a lack of morality in our country as a reason to explain such horrible behavior, but I cannot see this as a truth.  Morality has nothing to do with metal illness.
I know first hand.
When the mind is sick, it is not functioning properly. This horrible act was the work of a "Crazy" person, pure and simple.

As far as regulating gun laws, it seems very simple to me and with common sense.
Mentally ill people should not be able to purchase guns.
Now, how does this work? I HAVE NO IDEA.
Seems there can be some simple gun control that does not affect lawful gun owners and helps to deter
the mentally ill from getting their hands on this machinery.
NOW - thats all I have to say about that.

The bottom line is when we are looking at these events and specifically looking for blame,
we might be missing a chance to do what we are supposed to do - grieve. Be sad.
This is a sad event and it requires a human response of sadness.
When we do not respond in sadness, I think it makes us less human and we become more tolerable of future events.

The world isn't going to hell. In fact it's safer now than ever before.
Thats a hard pill to swallow, but it is the truth. The numbers don't lie.

Just be sad. Cry and let it hurt and have sympathy and empathy.
Hug your loved ones tighter and longer and pray, or just be still and quiet.
If we can all grieve as a people and then take some deep breathes and start to figure somethings out,
we might be able to work together and that is where the healing begins.

I am ok with being sad today.
It is a part of human life on planet Earth.
Life is painful at best.
We are all exactly the same people, none of us are different.
Don't let the news or social media or politics divide you from the rest of us.
We are all connected and one, we are human beings.
Everyone counts, no one is better than or less than, we are all equal to.

Today I will love like there is no tomorrow.

Peace, Love, Zito













Monday, September 25, 2017

The Music

I am currently on tour in Europe.
We played a show on Friday in Germany and then in Sweden on Saturday.
Today we head to Denmark for a weeks worth of shows.
It's not terribly cold, in fact it's a bit warm, in the 50's and 60's.
I am thankful these folks love American music and give me a stage to make my living.
I am slowly understanding, that while I still feel young, I am getting older and the music I
play and sing is not so popular. But I sing it because I love it and I am thankful to do what I love.

Sometimes I think if I had played more Country music I might be more successful.
My father always told me if I wanted to make money, I should play Country music.
I do love Country music, it's American music and is based the same as Blues music,
but it's just not ever been my whole heart.  To me it would seem funny to have grown up
in South St. Louis and be a Country music singer. We didn't live in the country, we lived in the city.
I also did not hear much Country music growing up, I got into it after high school.
What I heard was Blues and Rock n Roll and Big Band music.
My Dad played all of his Big Band records and Swing music and Jazz.
St. Louis has a feel to it and it's not Country music in my opinion.

Anyway......I made a choice to play Blues oriented music and I have stuck with that
and it has served me and my family well and I am thankful to those who came before me.
I have learned a lot along the way and I am realizing that I still have so much more to learn and that truly excites me.
I understand now more than ever, that it is my duty to pay tribute to those that created this music.
To let people know who wrote these songs and where they come from.
This is not my music, it's our music.

Even when I write my own lyrics, the music is from another time.
I am taking my experience, my story and applying it to "our" music.
Music which has already been written and rewritten.
Howling Wolf said anybody can have the blues, doesn't matter what color you are.
The Blues is when a good man is feeling bad.
But Blues music should make you feel good, make you forget your problems.
This is why the Blues will never die.

I am so thankful for the music in my life today, it means so much to me.
I am a Father and a Husband first and foremost, then I am a musician.
When I am gone for long periods of time away from my family, the music is all I've got,
and it means everything to me. It makes me feel alive and excited.

I can't take credit for much, you cannot be better than those that came before you.
But I can play this music with pride and share my love with the people.
Thats what the Blues is all about, it's not about me, and it's not about you......
it's about us.
We can get together and confirm our shared experiences in life and try and forget it all
for awhile. We acknowledge the great artists of the past that created this fine American Music
and hope the tradition continues...and it will.

If you're feeling like you need a kick this week.......turn on some Blues music.
Listen to the words and the feeling and the raw emotion.
Identify with the lyrics and story and let it feed your soul.

Peace, Love.......




Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fear


I went to Catholic school for 13 years of my life.
My parents didn't have a lot of money, we were fairly poor, but it was very important
that we went to Catholic school, mostly because we lived in the city and the schools
in the 1970's in St. Louis were pretty rough.
My family was not overly religious, although my mother did have an altar in our apartment
and plenty of "Bloody Jesus" pictures.
I am not opposed to the Catholic religion at all, it is really the only one I know.
I am not a practicing Catholic, but that is mostly based on my own choices, not true opposition.
I say that because many people are either very religious or strictly opposed, I am in the middle.
As long as you're not hurting anyone, I think I am ok.

Anyway.....I went to church 6 days a week for about 9 years of my life.
We went everyday before school and on Sunday.
It was all I knew and it was more or less......scary.
It was frightening. Men and women dressed in black and plenty of pictures and statues of bloodied
bodies. As a small child, that is alarming and scary.
I was told from a very early age by these people in black that God loved me, but only if I behaved.
If I did not behave, I would be sent to "Hell"......and the "Devil" would obtain my small soul and it would burn for eternity and I would never see my loved ones again.

VERY SCARY

It scarred me for the rest of my life. I lived in fear for years. As a small child I laid in bed at night
afraid to go to sleep for fear that the "Devil" was going to come get me or a "Demon" would enter my bedroom and take me to "Hell".

I do believe that the above is basically torture and child abuse.

Why would grown men and women teach small children this shit if not to scare the "Hell" out of them???
I understand that the majority of what I was taught was to love one another, treat everyone the way I would like to be treated, to be fair and honest and generous.......but there was always this underlying
message of "sin" and "hell".......the "gnashing of teeth"....good Lord that one always sounded so awful it made me shutter.

It created a fear of the unknown that would last well into my 30's.
I was so fearful of what I could not see and of what was coming for me if I did not "behave".
It created these mental problems that would take half a lifetime to overcome.

I realize today that it is all bullshit.
There is no such place as "Hell" except maybe here on Earth.
There is certainly no "Devil" or "Demons" that are coming to get me or anyone.
That is crap that other men have invented to control other men.
Fear is a useful tool when you are trying to rule and oppress.

Most important today is that I realize I have nothing to fear but fear itself.....(thank you President Roosevelt)
It is true to the core. Fear is born of loneliness and being tired.
The mind will play tricks one us if we do not stay sheltered in love and the spiritual principles.
When we do not spend time helping others and doing service work, we become very selfish and self centered....and there is nothing more self centered than thinking that something is trying to "get you".

Whatever your religious or spiritual beliefs, that doesn't really matter.
No one should have to live in fear, and many people on this planet live with real fear today.

Fear of not eating today,  fear of an oppressive government or rogue army coming to chop off heads and kill everyone, fear of losing everything they own....again, Fear that a loved one will continue to abuse them......the list goes on. There is real fear in this world and it stinks.
Life is painful at best. Adding to this pain with mental fear is useless and morbid.

BUT......I did not just decide to release myself from this bondage of fear overnight on my own.
This is called "conditioning" and it is a form of mental illness.
The same way we could alter the physical shape of a living animal by keeping it in a cage or by trimming the limbs of a shrub, the world around us shapes our mind from a very young age and often times not for the good.  Belief, Racism, Sexism, Hatred, are all forms of mental illness.
No one is born with this thinking, it is taught from a very early age.

My "conditioning" began to change when I turned my will and my life over to the "God" of my understanding. When I worked the steps of a recovery program that brought about a psychic change and spiritual awakening. This psychic change made new beliefs possible.
It helped me to question my old thoughts and my old beliefs.
Maybe everything I knew was wrong.

Slowly over a period of time I began to understand that most of these fears were based on things that other men had told me. Books that other men wrote to make people believe a certain way.
I learned I did not have to count on other men anymore to be my guidance, I could have a direct
conversation with my Higher Power and listen and learn all on my own without any indirect contact.
None of the fear I had lived with came from "God", they came from man.
My Higher Power would not ever do anything to harm me or scare me into submission.

My Father told me something when I was young that I will never forget.
When I was about 6 years old we drove by a cemetery and I got scared and hid under the seat.
He said "What? Are you scared of the dead people?"........I said yes.
He said "What the hell are scared of them for? They're dead! The only ones you need to worry
about are the ones that are alive"........so true.

Fear is not necessary for me today. I have concern, and I have worry from time to time,
but I do not live in fear. I know that I am safe and that nothing is "coming to get me" that is not of this world.  I am one of the fortunate few. I live in the western world with food and no war on my doorstep. My children are not being taught to live in fear of some childish, made up monsters....
the cycle is broken.  I pray for those in this world that live with real fear today.
I pray that those that fear having no food will have food today.
I pray that those that fear war will take their loved ones, they will be spared today.
I pray that those that live in fear of continued abuse will be set free today.

Free your mind and the rest will follow.

Peace, Love.........






Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Thank You

Well it has been quite a crazy couple of weeks here in Southeast Texas.
I had a bad feeling about Hurricane Harvey from the beginning. I warned my wife and friends
that it looked like it was going to be bad.....and it was.
No on ever expects what happened to happen to them. We see mass flooding in India, and we think it's horrible, but it will never happen here.  We see hurricanes rip apart peoples homes, but it's
always somewhere else, it's not our house.

We sat in the house for days watching it all happen, the devastation come to life.
We got anxious and fearful and slept very little.
I had an overwhelming fear the house would flood........but it did not.
In fact, nothing happened at all. We must live on the one block that is high enough,
we had no water on our street at all.

As soon as it passed, everyone sprung into action to start rescuing and helping.
It was quite remarkable how it all came together so quickly.
Laura worked night and day volunteering, along with our two girls.
It finally made sense to me the idea of having the "Big" Texas trucks!!!
Every other man in SE Texas owns a boat and they were all heading out into areas
rescuing folks and saving lives. Black, White, Asian, Hispanic.....it did not matter.
We all came together to save lives and hep one another.

I asked what I could do, and Laura said I should go to work.
I was lucky enough to have work out of town and if I could get there, I should go to work.
As I left last thursday morning, I basically snuck out.. It was still too soon, the damage was
unbelievable and authorities did not have time to assess the situation yet. Both sides of Interstate 10
were under water, but luckily eastbound had the remains of one lane barely drivable.

When I got to the airport in Lafayette I looked at Facebook.
I saw my people out volunteering. I saw musicians out feeding the first responders,
gathering supplies at the local shelters. I kind of felt like a heel.
These guys and gals just lost all of their work and they were helping our area.....
while I was leaving Dodge to go make myself some money.

Thats when I decided to set up the Gofundme for the SE Texas Musicians.
It was to help get some of these folks some money for the loss of their gigs and so they
could continue to volunteer and help our community without having to worry about money.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I set up a simple goal: $500 each for 25 musicians = $12,500

Between the generous donations online from all over the country and amazing blues fans
of Florida - we surpassed our goal. The remaining balance will go to local folks in need.

It is awesome to see everyone come together to help one another.
It is overwhelming the support and love you have all shown.
I cried more than once, and it felt good.

Thank you all so much for the donations and financial support.
Thank you to all of my friends who took a loss and instead of crying, took to the streets
in our community to help others.

Peace, Love....Zito

Monday, August 14, 2017

Humanity

It is a beautiful Monday morning on the road.
The sun is shining and I am thankful to be alive and healthy.
Unfortunately, some folks didn't have these luxuries this morning.
They didn't make it through the night or there lives were changed forever
with devastating sadness.  Some folks maybe just drifted off to sleep and
did not wake up. Whatever the case may be, I was awoken today to live and breathe
and serve.  So....here I am.
I do not watch the news much and what I see is usually bullshit, but the story of this weekends
hate rallies and protests are sad and tragedy beheld 3 lives and their families.
Hate is hate. Its wrong and it sucks.  No matter what our skin color, what our religion,
what our political views - we are all absolutely equal in the eyes of the Lord.
No man is above another.
That being said, I do not, and I repeat DO NOT believe that anyone that voted for our Commander in Chief is a supporter of the  Nazis that rallied this weekend. Anyone who suggests this idea or says this is true at all is WRONG. I know people that voted for President Trump and NONE of them condone any of this behavior. Not the people I know, but I am not friends with any Nazis.
That being said, their is no reason to be on defense in any of this matter at all.
Once people start getting beat, killed, run over...the argument is out the window.
Now it's just evil and hatred.

We need to stop putting people in categories and calling the names like "Libtard" and "Ultra Right Nazis" and whatever the hell we call people we don't agree with.
The only thing we should call people we don't agree with is another human being that doesn't think the way I do about this one particular subject. Because come on folks, in the end we have WAYYY more in common with one another than we do not.  We are all humans with basic needs and family and want peace and love.  Yes, there are a few warped minds out there with mental illness that want chaos and destruction, but NOT MOST PEOPLE.

We need to stop saying things that lump folks into these piles of categories.
If we find the common ground, we can then begin to understand one another more clearly and work on solutions.

I also am not a believer that this is how things are "now".
Thats not really true either. They have been this way since the beginning of time.
People have fought and had wars and killed each other over beliefs since we became man.
Just let this soak in.......right now, today.....is the safest time to ever be alive on planet Earth.

I am guilty of all of this thinking and behavior as well, I am not trying to preach or teach anyone anything, I am stating the obvious.  I need to remind myself when someone says something to me that I think is batshit crazy, that they are likely uninformed or maybe I am.
I try my best to give them the benefit of the doubt because I might be wrong.

I do Not believe things are terrible and everyone is awful and this world is deteriorating.
I believe just the opposite.
There is nothing spiritual about being pessimistic or "realistic" which is a snarky way of acting
as if you know better than the rest of us, you do not.

We are just people, all of us. Brown people, White people, Yellow People, Orange people.....
The media is a complete waste of time and it is nonsense. I say they are half to blame for the deaths this weekend at those rallies. They pumped that shit up from the beginning and I believe helped contribute to the chaos. TURN IT OFF!!!

Stop trying to correct one another and listen to each other.
Why does your fellow man believe something different than you?
It is not because he is stupid, he has different feelings and experiences.
Walk a mile in his or her shoes and see how it feels.

I try hard everyday to give myself a break. When I do, I give you one too.
If we all tried to give ourselves a break and just be people, today would be a little easier.

Peace, Love, Zito

Monday, July 24, 2017

Putting it out there

I've had a pretty wonderful summer, I have to say.
I spent 6 weeks on the road with my oldest son, Zach and my band.
We had a great tour of Europe and the NE United States.
It is a dream come true to have my son by my side onstage with me every night.
He is a very sweet, talented young man and I am excited to see what his future brings.

Being in Europe means not having normal phone service.
My phone works, but even at best it's not what it's like when I am at home.
The wifi is also very spotty.  This is mostly ok for me as I get a break from the hubbub
and just enjoy whats around me.
After weeks of not really being involved much in social media, I return to find the same old,
same old. People fighting about politics, fake ads and stupid IQ tests.
It is what it is, it's "social" media.
It's free. It started out awesome and became shit, just like everything else that is free.
You used to have to pay for music and it was awesome, now it's free and it's shit.
(but thats another story)

I notice a lot of people getting their feelings hurt because of social media.
They talk about what they believe or how they feel about something and then someone comes along
and ruins there day. They get their feelings hurt and run off sad and confused.
First if all, no one in the world would even come close to saying things to us the way they do on social media if we were in front of each other. It is easy to hide behind the curtain online.
Second, why even share your feelings or thoughts with anyone online if you're not comfortable putting it out there.  Someone is going to disagree. Someone is going to make snide, snarky remarks
sometimes just for the sake of being contrary.

People suck. They do. You know it and I know it, it's just the truth.
We are not always nice to each other. Everyone has been an ass online at sometime or another.
Luckily not everyone sucks at the same time.
We take turns being assholes, which makes it easier a cross to bear.

Really the important thing here is mostly on those of us who choose to share our thoughts or feelings with the world online. The word to focus on here is "choose". No one is making us share our feelings,
we are doing so willfully. If we "choose" to share our political beliefs, religious beliefs, recipes, movie critiques, and so on, we need to accept the fact that somebody is going to give us a big thumbs down. Someone will be trolling and see our share and decide to crush our dreams. It is going to happen, so we might as well be prepared. I mostly have taken the side that I don't share all of my feelings and beliefs online. It's too painful. The idea that somehow people are suddenly going to become rational and understanding is a dream. They're not.
Again, it's mostly on me. I should know that plenty of people do not believe what I believe and that is ok and good. We should not all believe the same thing, that would be weird.
I am more than fine with the "Live and Let Live" mantra of life.

The most important side of this to me is if I truly believe in something, then I will put it out there
and stand beside it, no matter what anyone else thinks. Who cares.
They are just people like me. They're not better than I am, we are equal.
When I sing my songs, I mean it. I believe in it. When I play my guitar, I am being 100% honest.
If you don't like it, I don't care. I am doing what I believe in my heart.

Girls being fat shamed is wrong. Kids being bullied is terrible.
But parents need to let them know that this is the world we now live in and it's not real.
Social media is NOT the real world. 99% of people would NEVER have the nerve to behave
they way they do online if we were face to face.

I love going online and seeing what my friends are up to. I want to see your baby pictures,
your kids playing sports and funny memes. If I see something I don't like, I skip through and continue on, just like real life.  I share stupid, silly shit and keep things light hearted.
When I get on a soapbox, I share how I feel and I know someone is not going to agree.

If I decide to "Put it out there", I take responsibility for the aftershock.
Chances are, I know what I am posting is going to ruffle some feathers and I am looking for a fight.
That is the bottom line.

In real life, I am all for putting it out there. I do not hold punches and I go for broke,
cause what the hell are we doing anyway. This life might end tomorrow and every breath counts.
I am not going to sulk around behind the trees hoping everyone is nice to me and likes me, they don't.
I am going to be me. I teach my kids the same thing.

To thine own self be true.

Until you know what that means, you won't be satisfied. Find out who you are and be it 100%

Spiritual principles teach me to be kind and understanding. I do my best.
Not everyone is living the way I do. I don't judge them or condemn them, and I certainly don't
stop living the way I do to accommodate others.
I just let them be. That is the hardest thing to do.......live and let live.

Put it out there. Be real and show the world what you're made of.
Just know that some asshole is going to come along and post a snarky meme below your thoughtful insight.  Forgive and forget....

Peace Love Zito.......


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I don't have to live that way today

I was reminded yet again of how blessed I am.
I played a show in Houston last week at the Heights Theater and stayed overnight in the area.
When my son and I left in the morning we found our car with the window broken and a good portion of my equipment stolen.  I was furious for about 30 minutes or so and then I calmed down and got some perspective.  I know the drill, this isn't the first time this has happened to me over the past 20 years.  I have learned what to do and what not to do the hard way.  We stayed at a good hotel, I parked in the light by a hotel room window and near the side door.
I backed the vehicle all the way up against the wall so the backdoor was not accessible.  I take in all of the guitars and gear that I can and cover the rest with a black blanket. (Now you all know my secret!) Whomever broke into the vehicle, had no idea I was carrying musical gear.

I took a video of the aftermath and posted it on Facebook to help get the word out in case our musician friends in Houston might see the gear in a pawn shop or music store.  I was inundated with an amazing outpouring of love and concern from fans and friends.  People offered to let us use their drums and amps or to buy us new instruments or give us money. It was crazy!  I became overwhelmed with all of the love and positive vibes we received.  After I calmed down a bit I realized it just wasn't that much stuff - a few amp heads, some cymbals and some effects.
Oh, they also stole our banana's and coffee.........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hats off to my band - Matt Johnson and Terry Dry. These guys are the real deal.
They had replacement gear for us to use in Dallas that night in less than an hour.
They are so supportive of me and helpful all the time, the definition of team players.

I finally realized that more than anything, this is just a hassle.
Yes I have insurance and yes we will probably get the gear back as it was very specific and
most of it has my name on it.  We had to have a new window installed and clean out the car.
In the end, it just wasn't that big of a deal.

I started to think "I guess they needed this stuff more than I did."
I have plenty of gear to continue playing music, some would say too much (but they're crazy).
The man that replaced the glass was as sweet as he could be.  We were on the road to Dallas and only an hour later than expected. I thought... at least I didn't have to steal today to survive.

There were many times in my life when stealing was always an option and how I got by.
I hate a thief because I was a thief.  I would steal money out of someones purse, lie about where it
went. I would run out on a check at the restaurant, and eat food at the grocery store while walking around (because I hadn't eaten in days).  I always had an excuse for my behavior, and said I would make it up someday.
I know what life is like when you need to steal to survive......it sucks.
I am in no way excusing these folks, I want my shit back and they're deadbeats, plain and simple.
This just reminded me that I don't have to live that way today.
I have had the bondage of addiction lifted and I can be thankful.

My life is so different today. I sleep inside a nice house and play with my kids.
They stole a few things from me and I have so much more than I need.
Shit happens and it's not the end of the world.

More than anything I am thankful of the reminder of how good I have it today.
I guarantee the folks out stealing to survive don't have it this good, not even close.
I will pray for them and move on.

Today I don't have to steal to get by, I can be a productive member of society.

Peace, Love, Zito

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Service Work

When I first got clean and sober I had a lot of time on my hands.
I was unemployable, and the only thing I did was go to meetings every day.
So I learned to show up early and make coffee, clean the meeting room, and I stayed late
and talked with others and took the trash out.  On Saturdays I would meet other newcomers to
clean the room. Sweep and mop the floors, clean the bathrooms, do the dishes.
I was told this was service work and in order to stay clean I needed to be of service.
It was literally all I had to offer.  It put me in a state of mind that I have never lost, thankfully.
I began to understand and I brought that idea of service home with me.
I was living with my girlfriend (Laura) in her apartment in Port Arthur, Tx. I had no money to
contribute to food or rent or any of the other bills, so I began giving back with service.
I cleaned the apartment every day, did the laundry, cooked the meals, did all of the chores.
Again, it was all I had to offer, but I made sure I was doing everything I could.
Just because I was broke didn't mean I was broken. I was able bodied and capable.
If I contributed with service I wouldn't feel like a heel, it worked.
About 90 days into recovery I was asked to go with a group of people to the Franklin House
in Beaumont to help share a meeting. The Franklin House is a halfway home for addicts and alcoholics. So we would go there on Saturdays and have a meeting and share how the program was working in our lives in hopes that these folks would come join us at our meetings when they got released.  I was told this was service work and to be of service to my fellow man.
I was told I would feel better if I did something for someone else, it would help me forget how
crappy my own life was at this time. It worked absolutely.
As I continued in my own recovery I began to understand that being of service was a way of life.
I had lived an entire life of "what can you do for me?" and I was learning now to live life like "what can I do for you?". It has stuck for the past 13 and a half years.  Life is always about doing for someone other than myself.  Being of service to my family is very important. Making breakfast, cleaning the house, paying the bills on time, buying clothes for my children rather than buying things for myself.  I have to work to keep this family going, but I don't have to work 24 hours a day. I have learned to put work away and spend time with my family. I make sure I am not working too much, cause what's the point? I am also of service to my band members, to the people I work with.
I sincerely try to be of service every chance I get and in every aspect of my life and it is not easy and I do not always succeed, but it is a way of life I learned in recovery and I am thankful.
Being of service makes life so much easier and peaceful. Rather than taking so much, I just try to give away as much I can, whats the least I can live with? I sleep peaceful at night and have very little stress when I give it all away.  Funny enough, I always get back so much more in return.
I literally get back double what I give. Double the love, double the money and double the happiness.
Life is wonderful when I share it with others and it is dark and bleak when I keep it to myself.
I can't do everything I want to do, but I try my best to make sure I am of service everyday.
I bring it with me everywhere I go.  The less I need, the easier life becomes and ultimately death will
be an easy transition. That is the goal.

Peace, Love, Zito

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Interdependence

My sponsor tells me last week to do some study on "Interdependence".
It is very important in our world and the life around us.
We can never go it alone, even when we think we are doing so......we are not.
In the new day of Patriotism and self reliance, we need now more than ever to be mindful
of our interdependence with each other and our world.
From the Billionaire who says he made it on his own and doesn't want to contribute back
to the society that provided roads and business infrastructure to help achieve all of that money,
to the poorest of the poor who is stuck in a cycle of poverty with fear that there is no other life....
we the people are all connected. We are not only connected to each other as human beings, but we are connected to the animal world, the insect world, the aquatic world and the planet itself.
We are all dependent upon one another and our home, Earth.
We as human beings should care as much for each other as we do for ourselves, maybe more.
When we are doing good but our fellow man is not, that affects us. It affects us spiritually, emotionally and physically. We should be willing to do whatever it takes to help our fellow human beings.  Obviously we get so caught up in getting more for ourselves, we forget about sharing with those less fortunate. We label the less fortunate to make this greed easier to digest.
They are "Lazy" or "Dumb" or "Black" or "White" or "Muslim" or "Christian" or "Democrat" or "Republican". None of these labels actually exist. They are all made up by other fearful men.
Fear of losing control, fear of losing power, fear of losing money.
We disagree on how to help our fellow man, what is the best course of action - but we must not disagree that help is necessary for all.
In the end, when we die we will all go to the same place.......in the ground.
What happens on the other side remains a mystery for every single living being on this planet.
No one has the exact answer to life after death, all we can know absolutely is that we will die.
Everyone has a belief that they have acquired through conditioning or experience.
Whatever that belief may be, it is just a belief. It is not certain.
Faith is certain.
"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1
With true faith comes humility. I am not certain of the unknown, but I have faith it will all be wonderful. In the end we will all be in the same place. We are human beings, the same species.

Interdependence teaches us that we need each other. We need to help each other and have genuine concern for those around us, not just our close loved ones. We need to love those that we don't understand the most. Pray for them. Help the poor, share what we have with anyone in need.
The oxygen provided on this planet is the only reason any of us are breathing.
If we do things to jeopardize the oxygen, we are jeopardizing our own existence!
Don't let politics separate you from others. Don't let politics make your moral choices.
Love everyone as God loves.
Disagree, but know we are much more in agreement on a molecular level than we are on a political level. Politics is nonsense.

Interdependence is life. Everything, everyone has a place and a connection to one another.
That is truly awesome and amazing.
Everything we do affects everything and vice versa.
We are all truly connected.

"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. "   The Desiderata - Max Ehrmann

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sensitive

All my life I have been called "sensitive".

I get my feelings hurt easily. Thats what my sisters always told me.
My father said it was because I cared to much what others thought or said of me.
My mother said it was because I had a "tender heart", thats why I was a good singer
and musician.  Emotions were a part of who I was even at a very young age.

I think the word "sensitive" sounds like someone just cries all the time.
But this is not true at all.
The definition of the word sensitive is: "quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences."
And of a persons behavior: "having or displaying a quick and delicate appreciation of others' feelings"

I have had musicians I played with, co-workers, spouses, teachers, friends, family and the lot all tell me at one time or another and on many occasions that I was so "Sensitive".

It is true. But it's so much more than just getting my feelings "hurt" or getting upset with someone
because of something they said. It's more based on my "sensitivity" of the situation and others feelings that I pick up on very deeply.  I am aware.
When I was young I could feel the tension that my parents had been fighting and were not happy
with each other, even if I wasn't there when it happened. I could tell something was wrong.
The tone of the voice, the way a person walks, the cold still face that does not smile.
I see it all, feel it all, and it affects me immediately.
Sometimes I wish it did not, it would be so much easier to not "feel" so much of the world around me. I used drugs and alcohol for years to numb that sensation of awareness and feeling, but alas,
I have an allergic reaction to mind altering-mood changing substances.......who knew.

Since I can remember, I have been an antennae for emotion.
I am also just plain old "sensitive".  I want everyone to like me, and when they don't
I get my feelings hurt and I wanna know why.  Many actors and musicians, songwriters and authors
have this same affliction.
I believe it is why we "perform", to seek attention and people pleasing.
We give more of ourselves than most, in hopes that we will get something in return.

When I cleaned up from drugs and alcohol I began a process of eliminating my old personality
and beginning a new.  The old one wasn't working anymore.
What happened was slowly over a period of time I became who I was before I ever used drugs or drank.  I was a child again.
Over the years of early recovery, I spent time with musicians and friends joking and being mean and teasing and getting tough again.  I loved to call someone out and give them shit, I was the toughest
one of all.  If they gave any back I would cut them down with some quick one-liners and they knew where they stood.  BUT.....as my recovery continued, I learned that this behavior was juvenile and hurtful and mostly a waste of time and energy.  Why tear others down for amusement? I should be lifting others up. Slowly my behavior changed and I learned to grow up.
Spiritually I was maturing, but I was not "tough" anymore.
When I spent time with my old friends, they behaved as they always did.
When they got to me and gave me a good teasing....guess what?    I got my feelings hurt.
I was still sensitive but I was not tough anymore. The spiritual principles had changed my behavior
and I did not have it in me to fight back with hurtful words.  I did not want to behave this way anymore.  I didn't understand why my friends would want to treat me like this, why would they want
to talk to me this way?
They had not changed, I had, and I was still sensitive.

Once again, it's always me.

I could finally begin to work on my self-centered sensitivity. These people were not trying to hurt me or my feelings at all. They were acting the way we had always acted together, but I had changed.
I was not that person anymore.
So I learned to understand my feelings once more.
Mostly my feelings are connected to my ego and the first feeling that pops up when something
is said to me, is probably the wrong feeling.  My ego wants to get bruised, but I can now decide
how I will react. Mostly I just wait a second and "Think, Think, Think" before I react.
This always works.  It's still a daily operation that deal with, but much much easier today than a year or two ago.

I am still sensitive and will always be that way.
I don't think I want to change that about me. It helps me to write songs and play my music
from the heart.
I will always seek attention, but mostly in a positive way today :)

I have learned to let it go. When something is said to me and it feels hurtful, I just stop a second
and remind myself that I'm crazy and it's probably me and the way I am interpreting the words.
My interpretation is most likely more harmful than the words and intention itself.

Unfortunately, sensitivity and self centeredness are a bad combo.
The idea is to let go of the self centeredness and focus on the outside world around us.
Try and understand that most of it has nothing to do with us, as the world does not revolve
around you or I.
I try today to use my sensitivity for the positive. Writing songs, sharing my feelings, being compassionate and tolerant of those around me. Understanding what others are going through.

If everyone was a little more sensitive to the world around them, it would be much easier
to get along.

Peace, Love, Zito

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Transition

Times they are a changing......

Change is life. Nothing ever stays the same, nor should it.
The good old days, are gone.
(btw, they were just old days- all days are good.)
I resist change like everyone else. I am set in my ways, and as an addict I am very much
in need of structure. But I have learned that the structure I need is in my mind and my perception
and not necessarily repeating the same day over and over doing the same things.
I have learned that my brain is a computer, more or less. Scientists insist that our brain is the most powerful computer we know of and they cannot quite explain how it works.
In my experience, my brain computer can be trained to follow patterns.
Just like the sidebar ads on facebook that try and sell me the guitar I was just looking at
on another website, my brain tracks everything I do and don't do. It also tracks subconciously
everything around me.  When I put in bad behavior and wrong thinking, it begins to process
this as how it functions now. Obviously the same goes for good behavior and right thinking.
Any patterns of behavior and thought will eventually become the norm in my thinking brain.
If I am taught to be racist, my racist thought patterns will immediately emerge when I see
a black person or asian person. My brain is trained from the moment I arrive on planet Earth.
But I have also come to understand that there is another thought process inside of me and it is
not always connected to my immediate brain, my spiritual mind.
My spiritual mind is the voice deep inside that is trying to reach me, my spirit.
My spiritual mind is my connection to God's will.
Some people find this connection easily and live a life immediate with the will of God,
others (like myself) do not make the connection right away. It takes time.
A set amount of circumstances and learning must take place slowly over a period of time for
this connection to be made. Once this connection is made, I can begin to reprocess my brain computer. Just like a virus or malware on my laptop, I can clean the computer of unwanted ads
and forced viewing. This does not happen overnight, like running some virus software.
This can take a lifetime.
But once the connection from Spiritual mind to my brain is made, I will want to spend the rest
of my life cleaning and reprocessing my computer.
I know this all sounds silly, but it is the most accurate way to describe the inner brain and spiritual mind.  I have two thought processes today - One is the thought that my brain throws up on my screen
because mathematically this the most correct information it has from past experience -
and then there is the spiritual mind thought that takes a minute to consider all of the options and which is the best choice.
The more I make the right choices spiritually and bring God into my life on every decision,
my brain computer will begin to process that this is the new behavior and how we will respond in the future. My brain computer begins to change and present these new options when engaged automatically. This takes time and many years of making the right choices after years (in my experience) of making the wrong choices.  This reprocessing will take a lifetime of change.
Slowly my spiritual mind will be the leader in my every decision.
At this point the details don't really matter anymore. What matters is at the core, my spiritual mind.
I begin to be open to change around me in the physical world, because the structure my addict mind seeks is found in my spiritual mind. The only routines I need to repeat are prayer and meditation.
The world around me can change and become turbulent - but I do not change in my spiritual mind.

Everyone is fixed on the transition in the Presidency this week.
Some have said they are so worried they cannot sleep.

Faith in God and a trained spiritual mind gives me the confidence to sleep well.
I have no worries of this world, I trust the Universe is in control.
Certainly I hope for the best, I am involved in my community and I stand up for the rights
of all. I cannot live on that pink cloud.  But at the end of the day, when I have done all I can do,
I sleep well knowing that my spiritual mind is connected to my every thought and movement.
I am one with my spirit and I am following God's will to the best of my ability.
I let it go and let God.

Change is always for the good. Even when it seems very bad. Something good must be on the other side. Transition is happening all around us.
I am thankful for the transition I have had in my heart and my soul.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Goodbye to Romance

Happy New Year!

Resolutions anyone?
Oh well, me neither. I am just trying to continue to try harder, be nicer and grateful.
"It's nice to be important, but it's important to be nice"
A lot of people were hell bent on blaming 2016 for a lot of pain and suffering, but it seems to me
that a number doesn't really have any feelings, so it probably doesn't care.
I have to say, I had a great year last year and I look forward to an even better year in 2017.
I'd say most of my happiness came from within in 2016. I learned to let go more and to stop
people pleasing: giving priority to people who did not give me priority in return.
Clean house, move on.
Thats not to say I am still not obsessive, but I am not compulsive as much anymore and thats huge.
Obsession ruled my mind for most of my life. But with help in recovery and prayer (and maybe some medication) I have learned to turn my obsessions elsewhere.
When my mind gets too wrapped up on one thing, I pray. I stop and breathe and try and clear my mind and then I pray.  If I am obsessing on a resentment with someone, I pray for them.
That almost always works. I pray that they have all their dreams come true and get everything in life that they wish. If my obsession is on which guitar pickup I think is the absolute best and that I have to have in everyone of my guitars right now and I can't stop the madness before I start spending money I do not have......whoa...I stop and breathe and pray.
It happens.

I have learned that obsessing over guitars and all the geeky elements of guitar is ok today.
It helps me to have something to focus on in life that is mostly harmless. (unless I break out the credit card) It is so much better than obsessing on sex or drugs or alcohol.
I heard an interview with Kirstie Alley and she suffers the same obsessive mind.
She said today she just enjoys "wanting" something.  She doesn't even really have to have it anymore,
just enjoys the wanting. I know exactly what she means.
If I get excited about a piece of guitar gear that I just have to have, I begin looking it up online.
Stalking it, craving it, dreaming. I watch videos on youtube of guys demonstrating how it sounds,
what it looks like. I really, REALLY enjoy that excitement. Once I make the purchase and it's on the way, I start to lose interest. When it arrives and I get it in my hands and I try it out, I don't like it near as much as I did before I had it. It has lost it's luster. The colors are not as beautiful, it doesn't sound like I dreamt it would, it's faded.
It's best to just enjoy the wanting, the dream.
This is fine when it is musical gear, but it is not good when it is sex or drugs or alcohol.
If I obsess over another person other than my wife, I am doomed.
It will end badly. Especially if I know this person and have access to them, not good.
If I have obsessive sexual feelings, I direct immediately to my wife.
I focus all of that energy to my partner in life. I think of how beautiful she is and sexy she is,
and how much I can't get enough of her.
If I begin to even think about how much I might enjoy a beer with my friends, I put that shit to a halt pronto. THIS will not end well at all if I go any further. I play the tape forward and think about what will happen if I drink one beer - I will drink 10 beers, then some whiskey, then buy some cocaine or crack and stay awake for the next 5 days. That is what ALWAYS happens when I drink "one" beer.
So, I immediately pray. I focus all of that energy of wanting to feel different to my spiritual life, my Higher Power. I always feel better when I pray. The energy I receive from my spiritual life is the greatest feeling on Earth. No drug or alcohol can even come close.

The "wanting" is part of romance. The romance is not a bad thing, it just needs to be directed today.
The romance was lost years ago with drugs and alcohol.
It's not funny, it's not cute and it's not romantic......not for me.
I am only romantic with one person on this planet, my wife, and it is the greatest romance I have known.

The romance continues with guitars and amplifiers and pedals and strings and picks and cords.......
(although I have become monogamous with most all of these, to some degree or another)

The wanting is part of life. It's who I am.
Prayer and Spirituality have taught me to "want" what I already have.
Remember why I wanted it in the first place and make it great again.

The greatest romance of all is within. I have learned to love myself inside and out.
I want to be me today, not anyone else.
This is how I look, this is how I feel.
I like me. I am a child of the Universe and I have a right to be here, we all do.