Posts tagged attitude

Beware The Sunglass Effect – A Holiday Lesson

Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner

Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see. –Confucius

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I realize that I need to keep reminding myself not to judge something or someone by my tainted beliefs.

This is my thought today after confronting what I believed to be a thief sneaking around in my yard early this morning.  And since I live in a very small, rural farm area where everyone knows everyone, these things do not generally happen here.

About a week ago, I was out of town when a suspected burglar broke into several places, including a truck and the small house of my sleeping tenants.  It was about ten or eleven in the evening on a dark stormy night with the rain pouring down like crazy and flooding the street outside.  Considering that we have recently had some good snowfall, and it is late November, I’m assuming it was crazy cold outside also.

According to a couple of neighbors accounts, ‘Manny,’ as he is known in this tiny, one horse Hispanic town had entered the gated and enclosed large community yard of several casitas that I manage and rent out.  This yard is used mainly for gardening and animals and provides a back access to five separate units or ‘casitas’ here.  Supposedly, Manny had approached one private yard, only to be turned aside by the barking dogs inside.

He then walked around or jumped a couple of fences and entered one tenants’ truck which was parked in the front driveway, and unlocked.  Word from one neighbor was that he was ‘hot-wiring’ the truck, and that he had intended to steal that tenant’s outboard motor that was attached to his small boat outside.  (This assumption was made and verified because Manny had left his jacket on top of the boat’s motor.  And since Manny has a background as a talented mechanic, it would’ve been easy for him to highjack the truck.  Thank God MY car was not there at the time)!

Well, supposedly, Manny’s attempt with the truck was interrupted (barking dogs?  people’s voices?), and he left the truck and took off.  Since his previous attempts at thievery had been foiled, Manny then turned to another neighbors house.  Jumping the six foot secure fence, he then rummaged around the back of the house looking for a way to enter in the dark.  Hearing the noises, the wife of the couple living there commented to her husband that she thought someone was outside and trying to break in.  They were watching TV, and her husband at first did not believe her.  Yet as the back kitchen door rattled again, he realized she was right, went to get his gun and a flashlight.

Opening the door, he barged outside and found Manny quickly walking away, towards the front of the property where a six foot gate secured the area.  Recognizing the thief as Manny – someone he had known of for many years – my neighbor then demanded an explanation for why he was attempting to rob him and his wife.  “What have we ever done to you?”  “We used to give you our business, and this is how you repay us?”  My neighbor was very indignant when he related this story to me.  I could just imagine the scene as he related it to me.  Manny cowered by the front gate while searching for a way to open it to escape.  “How do you get out of here?” Manny stuttered to my neighbor.

“What are you doing here Manny!”  “How did you get in here?”  my neighbor queried.

“I fell asleep at the church, and I woke up in here.”  “I don’t know.” Manny kept telling him.

“Don’t you play dumb with me you M>F!”  “You obviously jumped my fence and were attempting to rob me!”  “Maybe THIS will help you remember how you got in here!”  And my neighbor lifted the gun he had been hiding and pointed it at Manny.

“You should have seen how quickly Manny jumped that gate,” my neighbor exclaimed.  “He was just lucky that my wife was yelling for me not to shoot him!”

So what happened after this I asked him.

“Well, it turns out that my wife had called the police and that the dispatch office had recently received numerous calls about him breaking into various places.”  “So they already had a policeman in the area, and they came around the corner and found him walking on the street.”  “They arrested him and took him to jail.”  “Good riddance!”

“Though, I know they won’t hold him!”  My neighbors wife said with contempt.  “The police never do their job!”  “If someone goes to rob you or break into your house, they do nothing.”  “Yet if you try to protect yourself or your property, YOU are the one prosecuted!”

It was a day or so later, when I was at our local community store and mentioned this fiasco to the owner.  “I hope your tenant prosecutes him!”  “He’s a bad man.”  “He’s always stealing things, and he even stole things from the church!”

Reflecting on this, I thought how fortunate I was that nothing truly bad had happened, and that this man had ended up in jail!

So when I awoke at seven am this morning to the persistent barking of my dog, I was surprised to see a man sneaking through the community yard over by the tool shed.

“No.”  “Surely that is not the same man!” I exclaimed to myself as I hurriedly shoved my feet into my boots, threw on my jacket and stuffed my hat down over my wild hair, and flew out the door into the freezing cold and snow.

Blinded by the glare of sun on snow, I reached into my pocket and grabbed my sunglasses and slid them on as I strode angrily towards the now quickly departing man.  I caught up to him just as he opened the previously locked gate to make his exit.

“What do you think you are doing?”  I exclaimed with anger.  “And what is your name?”

“I’m Manny,” he said as he started to walk off.

“You are the one that broke in here a week ago!”  “This is a private property.”  “You can’t do this!”  “It’s against the law!”  “Don’t you ever come here again!”

Manny continued onwards down the road as I called the police dispatch and followed him to see what direction he headed.  After only a few houses down, he sat on the front porch of an abandoned house and I quickly informed the dispatch as to his location.

An hour later, a policeman showed up and took my statement.  Then he mentioned to me that he was the arresting officer from a week back, and that he had taken Manny in that night for mental evaluation.  He also said that this man was homeless, had nowhere to live and no one to help him.  The officer sadly proclaimed that the government system for dealing with such a man was proving hopeless.  At which point, I angrily asserted that, “So we are to let a man do whatever he wants and break into places, since he is not in his ‘right mind?”  “This is ridiculous!”  At which point, the officer quickly agreed this was a problem.

It was several hours later, after the sun had thawed some of the snow and left the slick gooey mud to attach itself to my boots like glue, that I ventured out to double check my turkeys, ducks and chickens.  It was then that I noticed…several places on the ground… that Manny had spread the cracked corn for my critters.  He had gone to the toolshed, not to steal.  In the midst of his own aloneness, possible hunger and cold…he had simply had the desire to bring some food and comfort to another.

As I thought about the warm roof over my head and the abundance of food in my house, and the promise of Thanksgiving dinner with friends tomorrow, I realized how easy it is to see the world through the eyes of our beliefs.

Cc Dana Hee, 2013

ABOUT DANA

Dana is an Olympic Gold Medalist, Top Motivational Speaker, 3x Hall Of Fame Martial Artist, Award-Winning Stuntwoman (over 17 years stunt doubling the leading ladies in Block-Buster Films such as the Batman Movies, The Terminator films, Charlies Angels, Peacemaker, Alias and MUCH more).  More importantly, she is a Life Survivalist whom endeavors to Inspire, Enlighten, and Elevate the hearts and minds of people around the world.

http://www.GreatThingsArePossible.com

TO READ MORE OF DANA’S INSPIRATIONAL STORIES…CLICK HERE

Thank you for viewing my stories!  Love and light to all!  Dana Hee

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INTERNAL POWER BEGINS WITH A POSITIVE MIND-SET!


I find that when we seek to improve upon our sense of self…we often turn automatically to the external tools of making us feel better…getting our hair done at the beauty salon, going to lift weights at the gym, taking that cool Harley out for a ride, buying/cooking/eating delicious and satisfying foods, and sometimes in my case…going shopping. Hey…she who dies with the most shoes, wins! Right? Aghh! (buzzer sound). Wrong!

Now if only my ‘natural’ instinct was to work from the ‘inside-out,’ life would become much easier. My life would be filled with much more peace, power and happiness. But then, I’m the Chinese ‘Ox.’ I often put my shoulder into that ‘yoke,’ and choose to do things the hard way. Fortunately, since I am aware of my shortcoming…I now to work at changing my life-long pattern of behaviors so that I can achieve higher levels of love, satisfaction, and sense of ‘self.’

It’s my personal experience and feeling, that everything we want and desire is out there in the universe waiting for us to tap it on the shoulder and say, ‘Come here.’ It’s my personal belief, that ‘God’ wants all the best for us. So then…why do we not walk on that bed of roses, if what we want is so very possible? I believe it’s a negative behavior pattern learned from years and years of using ‘external’ power to try and satisfy our internal needs. Question is….how can we change this and tap into the riches of the world that awaits us?

I have discovered that a positive mind-set is the first step we can take to help ourselves.

“Nothing will ever change without movement!” I’m sure you’ve heard that quote. And it’s so true. Believe me I know. Because I did NOTHING the first 25 years of my life to change that which I needed to change! I ran from anger, confrontation, sorrow, and rejection. Heck…I even ran from opportunity because I was afraid I might fail! I refused to ‘step-up’ and take my place in this world, because I was too afraid to take a risk…too afraid to accept a challenge. I was too afraid to even hope. It wasn’t until I reached an emotional crises in life, that I finally began to realize that ‘this’ was no way to live! And so it was…that I discovered that ‘change’ begins with the power of the mind.

In High School, I was pretty much considered a ‘loner.’ I was tall and thin to the point of bony. I was extremely introverted and spent the majority of my free time in the library with my nose buried in a book. And on the special holidays that many kids would get carnations or cards in their lockers…I would often send myself a couple, just to make it look like I had some friends too.

I imagine that things would’ve remained pretty bleak for me throughout High School, if I hadn’t of discovered, that I had a real talent and opportunity to be successful in the track and field event of the high jump. Discovering that I was actually ‘good’ at something began to transform my soul…and with the emotional support of my new Foster parents, I began to train and compete. It didn’t take long before my self-esteem and self-confidence began to grow. Soon I was interacting with other students and participating in after-school activities. I had found a tiny star within myself and I was learning how to make it shine.

By my senior year in high school, I was a different woman. I had fallen in love, and had a fiancé. I had a good job, and I had started dressing nice and taking care of myself. Because of the high jump, I had received a scholarship offer and a training sponsorship with a top Stanford University coach. By the time I graduated High School, I moved out to live with my fiancé, and started taking college prep classes at the local Jr. College. I felt ready to take on the world.

But then, everything turned upside down once again as I was suddenly hit with the emotional whip-lash of being pulled into interacting with my mother (who was recovering from yet another suicide attempt…which she had done in the effort to pull me back into her life), and then I was hit with the news that my grandfather had just hung himself.

To try and keep my sanity, I shut myself off from my emotions, and retreated into the safety of my day-dreams and the sanctuary of hard training. And as I trained with that top coach, I began to day-dream of what it would be like to go to the Olympics and win an Olympic Gold medal. Deep down inside…I just knew that if I could win an Olympic Gold Medal, then I would really ‘BE’ someone. Then I would truly be happy. But just as the going got tough, I let my old fear of failure get the best of me. I couldn’t bear the thought of what would happen if I tried my best, and discovered that, once again, I wasn’t good enough.

It was just like that old saying…that the higher up the ladder you climb, the further you have to fall. And I had fallen so many times before, that I had become deathly afraid of the pain I would feel when I hit the ground. So one day, when I was frustrated and discouraged, I gave up. I just turned and walked away from my dream. I never even said good-by or thank you to my coach. I was too afraid to face his reaction.

Only something unusual happened that day. For the very first time, after spending years running away from any pressure or conflict, I realized what a coward I was being. Hey…I had the talent, and for the first time, I had someone supporting me. It was ‘possible’ that I would’ve been able to make my dream come true. But, now…I would never know. Because I had just given up without even trying! That thought settled in my brain and began to haunt my heart…as the rest of my world began to fall apart.

On the surface, I presented my survivalist ‘game-face’ that everything was just fine. But stressed out with inner turmoil, and emotionally shut-down, my relationship with my fiancé quickly deteriorated and fell apart. I was on my own once again.

To hide from my disappointment and anxiety, I quit college, buried myself in work and began training in the Martial Arts. To everyone else, my life seemed just fine. But deep inside, I was falling apart at the seams. I didn’t return phone calls, or follow through on things. I avoided any and all emotional connections. I didn’t even go to visit my grandmother whose health was failing…even though I knew it was the last chance to see her. I was going through life like a zombie…keeping myself busy, and trying not to think about anything, or feel anything. It felt like I was all alone in the ocean, slowly sinking in a rickety boat full of tiny little holes. I knew that I needed to rescue myself before it was too late…but I didn’t know how.

Just when I was about to capsize, my salvation arrived with my newly found talent in the full-contact fighting sport of Taekwondo. I had been training in the Martial Arts for about five years at this time, and had just started competing in sparring matches. Placing second in my first National competition in 1986, I discovered that this sport was to be introduced in the upcoming ‘88’ Olympics in Seoul, Korea. The revelation, that here was my second chance to make my Olympic dream come true, hit me square between the eyes.

At that moment, it became startling clear to me that I could not just walk away again. I’d been given a second chance, and by God, I’d make the most of it! I was tired of running away from everything. I knew that I needed to draw the line and make a stand. So I swore to myself, that this time, no matter what, I would take this dream and make it come true. And if I failed…well at least I would know that it wasn’t because I didn’t give it 100% effort. I would know that, for once in my life, I did not let my fears get the best of me! Like a drowning person clinging to a life-raft, I made the determination to save myself by clinging to my long standing dream of Olympic Gold.

So at the age of 25, I took the little glimpse of hope that my newly found talent gave me…I told myself, “Be not afraid!” and I took one tiny step towards my dream.

(Dana’s Olympic gold medal win. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44gy17PKDnk )

Ok….so ‘that’ was quite a few years ago. Yet that one step changed my life, because it taught me that good things ARE possible. We just need to know this, so that we can begin to BELIEVE it to be possible. Well through the years, I have taken that one step with courage to make my dreams come true. First with the Olympics (in the full-contact fighting sport of Taekwondo), then with my dream of becoming a top Stuntwoman in Hollywood, and now, with my dream of becoming a great motivational speaker. Sure, I know that I may never reach the heights I aim for. But I DO know that it IS possible. So when I stumble and fall, I pick myself up, brush off the dirt, re-set my mind, and reach out to claim my happiness from the universe.

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