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Morning potted plants

tcr! · 5 days ago

Morning potted plants

It’s no surprise that when I give plants room to grow and plenty of sunlight, they get bigger than they were before. There’s a life lesson there if anybody needs one.


In other news, here’s my earrings from another era.

Earrings from another era

#photos #advancedsoul

THREECRATES! · 5 days ago

Ha! I’ve got a little box like that of silly old retired earrings too!

tcr! tcr! · 5 days ago

I can’t get rid of them! 😊

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Momma J Momma J · 5 days ago

Very interesting collection!

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When I be my best self

tcr! · Aug 5, 2018 at 1:40 pm

diaries for July 2018 spread

I’ve been working on my magazine pretty much since I got up, trying to get the July issue all done and off to the printer. Sometimes the pages and layouts just spill onto my screen effortlessly. It’ll sound kinda corny but when I do my best creative work it feels like the cosmos is directing me. That whatever I’m doing just comes out all on it’s own.

Same goes with writing or whatever, too. They’re not my words, they come from somewhere else. It’s like being funny. Everybody knows that we’re not funny when we’re trying to be.

So if I force shit, it just never works. I end up frustrated and hating it. I need to let go and let the cosmic river take me where it sees fit.

Anyways, I’d earmarked today to get this latest issue finished. I was plenty social yesterday and Maggie’s with her mom and I got nothing else going on. I just wanted to be alone and channel my expressive side. Plus, I needed to make things a priority now and then or I won’t get them done. And I had early 80s music on and everything. The B-52s.

But the last 4-5 pages weren’t coming together. I was pushing crap around, rearranging content, deleting shit. Forcing my artistic hand and nothing was working.

And then a thought came to me that wasn’t my own. Because I’m selfish and my best ideas are never mine.

I messaged Sara:

I don’t know if Hope is still with you or what your plans are until this evening, but if you wanted to hangout for an hour or two or whatever my magazine stuff can always wait.

We set up plans for a couple of hours later and then, because I got out of me and what I wanted, put someone else before all that, the stars aligned and everything fell into place. Those last pages of the magazine came together with little effort and little time. The universe spirit moved my hands to paint for me.

Okay, that was definitely corny but it’s true. When I be my best self, the best things happen to me. My magazine is more or less done and I get to see a beautiful girl.

And then Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran came on and life was complete.

#diariesmagazine #advancedsoul

Sadie · Aug 5, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Beautifully written. Love the honesty. ❤️

tcr! tcr! · Aug 5, 2018 at 4:41 pm

Thank you!!

Sadie · Aug 5, 2018 at 5:12 pm

You’re welcome :)

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Momma J Momma J · Aug 5, 2018 at 6:06 pm

Sometimes just need to take a little pressure off the creativity part of us which of course is what you did. You might consider dropping in your magazine from monthly to bi-monthly?

tcr! tcr! · Aug 5, 2018 at 8:54 pm

I’ve thought about it but months are easy to keep track of 😊

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rnsara2003 rnsara2003 · Aug 5, 2018 at 8:56 pm

No, we ate tacos and THEN life was complete. 💃

Momma J Momma J · Aug 5, 2018 at 8:58 pm

Love it!

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Lazy daisy for Thursday

tcr! · Aug 2, 2018 at 7:46 am

Lazy daisy for Thursday

What’s cool about flowers is that I don’t expect nor want them to be anything more than what they are.

Not a bad goal for people, too.

#photos #flowers #advancedsoul

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In this icecapade parade (or life became balanced)

tcr! · Jul 25, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Wherein fate is for people who have given up, part 3 of 3.

Toy train caboose

I’m going to jump right in because this story is already long enough in my head. And it’s taken far too long to write. I’ve grown weary of fate and all that it doesn’t have to offer. I’m ready for closure.

So there’s this lady I kinda work with, helping with a project of hers. I get the feeling she got a few dysfunctional nuances about her. Most likely some anger management issues stoked by a little low self-esteem.

My heart goes out to her every now and then, when I see her socially wobbling. My own self-esteem has been a struggle for more of my life than I’d like to admit. So sometimes I want to give her a shoulder to lean on until she can find her balance. Watching people wrestle with and within themselves is heartbreaking.

But. When she turns and looks directly at me inflamed, raises her voice, then all bets are off and I stop caring if she’s a suffering human being. She kinda likes to fight. There’s an overly aggressive drive in her of sorts. One of her nuances. And when we argue it’s paramount that she wins. And that everybody knows she’s right. All along. Even if all evidence and witnesses are saying that she’s wrong.

I’m not interested in being right in the here and now. Or fighting. And she seems to need to do both. But fighting to be right is a fight no one will ever win. Everyone goes away a loser.

I cover up and brace for impact most days. What else am I to do when she comes charging in, other than take a defensive stance, preparing to fend off her oncoming assault? The answer is to pray, of course, to stay plugged into the cosmos so I’m walking a spiritual path before getting into the boxing ring. Pray beforehand for guidance rather than praying afterward for help. Prevent rather than correct kinda thing.

But it’s like, fuck I don’t want to have to do spiritual pushups each and every time prior to seeing this lady. I don’t ask the cosmos for guidance before I hang out with Sara or Maggie. When I’m with them everything just is. There’s no drama or stress. We hold hands out of love. We don’t take jabs at each other because the greater good of our relationship is more overall important than any one person. That’s how you both win.

Okay, so this is the point in the show where things get more specific. Up until now I’ve just been setting the stage for you avid readers.

Over the past few months she started taking a keen interest in my daily well being. Hourly well being as it came to be.

Between 9 and 10 AM she would send me a message and ask me how I was doing. And then I would say something like, “I’m doing good, working on your project.” I always tried to be professional and polite but I’m not going to engage more than superficially with someone whose goal is to be right. Fuck that.

And then she got in the habit of sending me another message, around maybe 11:30 AM. Again, she would ask me how I was doing and I would respond that I was doing good. In my head I would say, “I’m doing just as good as when you asked me an hour ago.”

But wait, peeps! There’s more. She started messaging me in the afternoon, too. I shit you not, this happened almost every workday. Three to four, “How you doing? How’s it going? All good?” type of messages.

It didn’t really even feel like she wanted to know how I was doing. Sometimes it felt like she thought she was being cool, doing finger guns, master of the universe shit. Maybe she didn’t have anything better to do. Maybe it felt good for her to ask caring questions, take an interest in another human being because up until then she never really had.

Humans are complex creatures and our relationships with them can take place on many levels. It’s not always this factor that’s coming into play. Or that factor. Sometimes it’s a combination of both. Sometimes it’s a third factor. Pour in a quart of passive-aggressive and you have a milkshake most people don’t wanna talk to.

I don’t know her ingredients, well her propellant exactly. Why she kept bugging me because I’m sure it was obvious by now that it was getting on my nerves. All of them. Even the baby nerves just born were shouting, “Oh hell no. Not this drivel again.”

It got to the point where I wouldn’t even respond to most of her messages. I would answer the first one of the day but then ignore any that came after that. At work I don’t transplant hearts or build rockets but what I do does take brain power. And then every time she would message me it’d interrupt what I was doing, totally break my train of thought.

Think of it like a mechanic under a car with someone routinely coming in the garage asking silly questions. Sooner or later the mechanic is gonna roll out from under the car and say, “I’m fucking working here, you dumbass.”

And I’m a big boy at work. I’ve been doing my job for a long time and if I need help or have questions, I ask. My ego is pretty much non-existent in the workplace. I’ve mostly learned my lessons and what happens when said ego gets too big. I just want to do a good job at work and then go home.

One morning I counted how many times she messaged me how I was doing. Three times that particular day. Before 10 AM. Jesus Christ Almighty. This is when, in this icecapade parade, I quit even acknowledging that she sent any of them.

Where’s my socket wrench? I’m gonna smack somebody upside the head.

And you guys know my go-to for people who get on my nerves. I write them off.

Somewhere in this story I was bitching to Sara about all of this and she said maybe she’s worried, because I was being short with her, and that’s why she kept asking how I was doing. And then I thought, “Good. She should be worried because she’s really pissing me off.”

And yeah, I did write her off a long time ago. It was easy and called for. Totally appropriate as far as I could tell. Monkey throwing poop at you, you best move along. Because they’re gonna keep lobbing their shit.

However, working with someone every day, even remotely, that you’ve written off is an exercise in agony. I don’t like shutting down. I don’t like being cut off from the sunlight and that’s how I feel when I build walls to keep people out. Loving you critters and having you love me is what makes the world go ‘round.

Anyways, there’s all the fruity spiritual stuff and then there’s real life. In any corporate world there’ll be bitches clawing their way to the top. And sometimes scratching you in the face because their childhoods sucked. Because they’ve never dealt with why they have that low self-esteem. Sometimes I get the feeling some people don’t even know that they do. It’s kinda like when the woman on NPR said, “I never knew I had anxiety. I just knew I needed another cigarette.”

I settled into the fact, that this endless stream of comms, and the ring fights to be right are just how it’s going to be with this lady. A spinning airlock door I wasn’t going to get out of until our paths led us far and away from each other. Because people don’t change and my spiritual skills only have so much mileage. My patience for morons is only so high.

And then I’d been thinking about fate way too much this past summer. Because it’s been in the back of my mind and under my skin since forever. Sometimes it feels like I’m doomed. Sometimes it’s easier to just give in and give up to the melancholy than to keep disobeying gravity and fighting fights with people I’ll never win either.


Toy train 2

So I prayed and put this big ball of bullshit into the cosmos’ hands.

And then I didn’t feel any better. Nothing changed. The “how you doing” messages kept coming. And we still kept boxing.

I’m not a big fan of how I’ve felt throughout this whole story. Dysfunction was normal for the better part of my life and since I started looking for fruity enlightenment, bad behaviors don’t feel right any more. They feel yucky. I don’t like being at odds with people.

Because I think too much, I was thinking one night that maybe Sara was right. Because she’s way more compassionate than I am. Compassion in her DNA. So maybe that low self-esteem underneath was what was triggering that lady’s barrage of “all good?” messages. It’s obviously what’s behind her need to be right. People who’re okay with themselves don’t need to prove anything to anybody.

And then I was reading something that Pema wrote in her book[1] When Things Fall Apart

Compassionate action is a practice, one of the most advanced. There’s nothing more advanced than relating with others.

So maybe the message lady was anxious by my lack of acknowledgement, by my lack of participation in she and I’s conversations. If someone was all but ignoring me I’d probably be worried that I’d done something that hurt them. And without self-analysis it’s easy to fall into the trap of never looking at what I myself am doing.

The real story here isn’t about the lady though. Or our fights. Or even our messages.

It’s about me.

I kinda sorta believe that we sit in the same grade until we’re ready to move onto the next one. And that can suck when we feel like we’re repeating the same lesson over and over again. It’s pretty easy for me to shut down and run away. Never legitimately learn from whatever assignment is on my desk. But then I never grow. I’m stuck eating the same leaves, day in and day out.

So I needed to do something about and in my dealings with this lady. Just for me. Regardless of what else happened.

Sara also said that the lady and I were caught in a “dysfunctional, infinite loop.” When it becomes all too evident that my self-defeating patterns are running the show, I can’t live with them anymore. Because I don’t like feeling stuck. Knowing that I am stuck. I want to be a bigger person, be a better man than I was a year ago. Be bigger than the guy who was treading water in useless swimming metaphors.

And then I was thinking a thought that wasn’t my own. One of those thoughts that wasn’t my idea, one that doesn’t come to me by default …

People deserve your full attention.

I’d wrote about that topic not long ago but only in reference to people I care about. It had nothing to do with, nor had I any intention of applying that to people I’d written off.

So then the next morning when the first “how you doing” message popped up, I concentrated 100% on the conversation. I stopped multitasking, shut off the headphone music, and even turned away from my desk so as not to be distracted. I didn’t do anything but directly engage in the conversation, focused solely on what she was saying.

It can be difficult for me to do the opposite of what I’m accustomed to doing, even more so when other people are behaving badly. But I did it anyway. I took a step in the right direction and let the god within take me where I needed to go spiritually.

I acted like I cared about her and her feelings. Because she was human. A whole human being. I tried to be as loving and accepting with her as I am with my friends.

At first she seemed a little wary, a little unsure about getting my full participation but within a few minutes she was completely gung-ho to be gabbing. It felt like both of us came out of that spinning airlock. Life became balanced. The wheels were no longer in motion and the runaway train let us both off.

People want to feel a part of. They want to feel accepted, that they count.

Looking past their shortcomings isn’t always easy but it is possible when I do some real soul searching and look at the world from a cosmic perspective. Get out of the minute details and look at life from afar. Stop using my magnifying glass to scrutinize someone else’s most annoying traits.

When our morning message conversation was over, I felt better and I hope that she left the conversation feeling good about it, too. I think she did as she lightened up on sending as many messages from then on. Maybe my attitude change had a positive impact on her attitude. It doesn’t matter, though, because I felt good about me.

I can talk spiritual truths all day long but when I live the change I want to see in the world I get to stand in the sunlight once again. The loop no longer exists. I can move around in life and not live behind the walls I’m too good at building. Because when I build walls they keep everything out, not just the certain someones I’m not getting along with.

Every now and then I’ll still get more “how you doing” messages than I’d like and I can still get pretty frustrated with her. On my worst days I’ll again flat out ignore her and her bullshit for sure.

But on my best days I’m confident in who I am and what I believe and engaging in the fight provides little interest and little value. Confidence is a bonus point from humility. It lets us walk with our heads held high. It lets us move forward because everything will be okay no matter.

And when I do feel like I’m entering that dysfunctional loop, mostly it’s plain as day and that awareness makes it easier to take a step back.

Do I really wanna get in that ring again? Not really.

The cosmos will heal us, teach us when we’re ready and receptive.


Toy train 3

At the end of the day do you know what I really hate? Being full of loathing. Look toward the future and assume it’ll be dreadful. “Hate” because when one’s heart has been touched by love, the doom and gloom from yesterday sit in piss unappealing.

Fate is for people who have given up. After living with a predetermined future for this long and having concrete examples to the contrary, I can say that I no longer see it as valid cosmic force. I have plenty of my own real life evidence that says the opposite. Personal experience is always what changes my mind.

And really, I’ve found the future to be mostly irrelevant. We live in this very second and what we do this very moment is all that matters.

That’s where the change takes place. That’s where miracles happen. That’s where we decide how our lives will be today. The cosmic now.

If we do our best work in the here and now then when we look back, our memories will be wonderful.

#fatedebate #advancedsoul


  1. Sara got me that book because her heart is that big.

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Cat in the right now

tcr! · Jul 4, 2018 at 11:57 am

Cat in the right now

The admirable thing about cats (or any pets for that matter) is that they have no interest in anything other than now.

Also, she’s eating. But that’s not my point.

My point is that animals pay attention to what’s in front of them. Right now.

Not what happened to them last week or what’s going to happen tomorrow.

#photos #cats #advancedsoul

tcr! tcr! · Jul 4, 2018 at 12:12 pm

JJ gave me the beautiful art piece a few months back 💚

Frowning cat art

Frowning cat art
View full size →

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We all have things to answer for

tcr! · Jun 25, 2018 at 11:36 am

Expo marker formulas on the family room window

We all have things to answer for. Things that shouldn’t be forgiven but are.
Belamy

In other TV news, one of the reasons I like Sci-Fi shows is that the good ones also have their characters searching for and finding spiritual truths. Along with shooting their laser guns.

PS- I got a set of Expo markers and then Maggie and I wrote formulas on the family room windows. Because that’s what you do when you’re us.

You: What do the formulas mean?
Me: No questions.

#photos #advancedsoul

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Unless I’m a celebrity gardener

tcr! · Jun 22, 2018 at 9:00 am

Spiral staircase

Not long ago I was reading an article wherein the author said that people aren’t going to care about what you’re doing. Like if I plant a wonderful garden people aren’t going to come from miles around to see it. They won’t throw flowers and shower me with attention.

Unless I’m a celebrity gardener, nobody will care.

How the author believed it did work was like this: if I care about you and your garden then you in turn will care about me and my garden. Of course there’s no black and white rule that you can apply to all people or all situations but I do think there’s a lot to be said for me caring about you and you reciprocating.

All the people that subscribe to my magazine, I’ve established relationships with them. Showed a true interest in them as human beings. And not because I want them to subscribe but because I legitimately care about them and their lives. Because people can smell a rat.

I don’t want to go off on a ratty tangent but I do know that my life is much bigger, much more meaningful when I get to experience another person’s sorrow and happiness. And as a bonus I get to have people care about me and my pursuits. Humans are special. Valuable creatures. If I wanted to be treated as such then I better do my part.

It’s not always easy to stop and listen to what people are saying when we have plates in the air spinning but what I’ve found is that being there for another’s triumphants becomes so much more fulfilling than experiencing mine own.

Okay, I’d like to think myself all that and a bag of chips but I’m not that spiritual. I don’t fully engage all the time with everyone else’s wins.

However, when I do life is pretty good. Another’s joy will lift up my soul and foster my own creativity. My struggles aren’t that impossible and my plates don’t spin nearly as fast.

And if the china falls, whatever.

#relationships #advancedsoul

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Red faced robot

tcr! · Jun 20, 2018 at 10:01 am

Red faced robot

So I have this thing that I’ve been doing ever since I was a teenager. It’s not a healthy thing and I’ve struggled to let go of it ever since I stopped drinking.

Most of the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it until after I’ve already done it.

In the last several weeks I realized just how bad the behavior is. How it takes me out of the moment and distracts me from all that I have and all that’s truly important.

So I pay attention in life and seek not to put myself in the situations that prompt my bad behavior in the first place. And I pray for graceful nudges to keep me on the right spiritual path. Me being who I am, it’s all too easy for me to wander off on a self-seeking tangent.

And I’m proud to say that I’ve done fairly well at not doing it.

What is it you may be wondering? That is another very good question but it doesn’t matter.

Anyways, what really sparked my attention to this behavior is that I had somebody do the same thing to me recently. After I’d been doing my best not to do it. And it didn’t feel good. It was a real eye-opener of just how bad it can be when you’re on the receiving end. Karma defined if you will.

And then in related news, what the real story is, is when Sara told me that she didn’t believe in karma.

The notion that karma is false hasn’t left since. Maybe karma is dogma, a made up law to keep people in line for fear of cosmic reprisal.

And then I thought that Sara’s most likely a spiritual revolutionary.

Karma keeps me out of the moment, keeps me waiting for yesterday’s falling dominoes to finally catch up and knock me down. It feeds my suspicion and keeps me thinking that I don’t deserve nice things.

Karma also gives us a reason “why” and typically that’s never important. To our internal struggles.

What is important is me being the best me that I can be. In the here and now.

#photos #robots #advancedsoul 🤔

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Baha’i House of Worship 2018

tcr! · Jun 18, 2018 at 3:42 pm

Sara and I went to the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois.

There’s only one picture of me because she’s much prettier than I am.

📸 View gallery →

#photos #photogallery #advancedsoul

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I fucked this up

tcr! · Jun 13, 2018 at 11:57 am

Yellow lily hiding in the leaves

I set up an auto-renew feature on a client’s website not long ago so members could check a box and have their member account renewed each year. It’s a win-win for the client and the member since neither would need to do anything. The client would collect their membership dues and the member would have uninterrupted access to the site. Hurray!

However. When the first member selected the option their credit card was charged twice. And then of course it happened to the second member.

After each duplicate charge I thoroughly reviewed my code to see what was going wrong and for the life of me I couldn’t figure it out. I was even tempted to just disable the feature and not tell anybody. But that wouldn’t be the right thing to do even if it did solve the problem from my end. I ended up telling the website to send me emails anytime anything happened with the auto-renewals.

This morning I got up after only sleeping six or hours and I saw a handful of emails from the site. Of course the latest member had two charges on their credit card. Again. It’s one thing to screw something up and look like an idiot. It’s something else to look like an idiot and bill a client’s member an extra $125.

When I’m tired I don’t have much patience. I’m easily frustrated and it doesn’t take long for me to give up on life. And maybe yell at the cat because she wants her breakfast.

But often times giving up is exactly what we’re supposed to do. When we can’t see the flowers for the leaves.

Let go and stop trying to fix and manage and control things that we’re not suppose to. Let go of the mess we’ve made of things. Being full of imperfection, it’s a given that we’ll screw things up. And it’s totally cool to say “I made a huge mess and I need help cleaning it up.”

So then after I was at my wit’s end and I remembered I need to give up in life, I prayed. I asked the cosmos for help and guidance in fixing a huge problem I created.

After we let go we’re set free. Free to see things how they really are. Clarity won’t come when I’m frustrated and unhinged. It comes when I have a clear mind and a positive outlook. When I’m anchored to a spiritual rock. I need to find harmony inside and out if I want to move forward when I’m stuck.

Society won’t often reward us for admitting defeat or being vulnerable or saying I fucked this up. Especially in the corporate/business world.

But when I am those things regardless of my circumstances or environment, I’m rewarded with tranquility and contentment on the cosmic scale. Sometimes I even get a steel blue striped donut.

Anyways, here’s the email conversation I had with the client after I went to work and spent less than half an hour on finding and fixing the auto renewals bug.


Hi CLIENT,

I deeply regret to say that these duplicate charges have been my fault.

After reviewing all the code again this morning I see that PayPal lets you set the recurring charge amount and then also an initial charge amount for auto renewals. I had set an initial charge because I misunderstood PayPal’s documentation to mean that would be the first charge.

In any account I’ve removed the initial charge amount and I’m really hoping, crossing my fingers it puts this issue to bed once and for all.

Again, my most humble apologies for the headaches.


Well I am glad to hear you found the solution to the issue. No worries, at least it is taken care of.

Thanks,

CLIENT


PS- Most people won’t argue with you when you admit you’re wrong or made a mistake. They just want to get on with their life, too.

PS2- After I wrote this I was looking around work for a photo to go with it. And then I went outside for a few minutes because it’s sunny and I like sunny. The cosmos gifted me with the perfect image. Serendipity, peeps.

#photos #flowers #advancedsoul

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