Daily Reflection

“If you want to change what’s going on around you, change what’s going on within you.” (Billy Cox)

Everyone seems to be talking about the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election now. It’s pretty much a constant discussion these days on social media, primetime news, late night talk shows, amongst friends, and more, most of it slanted with negativity. From my perspective, there’s an extremely strong division in our country right now and sadly, it’s probably only going to get worse before it gets better. Why? Because people continue to believe that their life is somehow going to be better or worse depending on who the President of the United States is (POTUS).

I have never understood why the hope of our nation constantly gets placed as much as it does in the top political seat of our country. Personally, I tend to feel that the real work in seeing our nation change for the better doesn’t happen “up there” or “out there”, it happens “down here” and “in me”. For our nation to come together and to see it in a much brighter light, it’s never going to come from whomever is POTUS or what laws they pass or what policies they make. It’s only going to come from going within and working through what causes us to see the world in such a negative light in the first place.

This is precisely why I’ve never been much of a political individual. It’s why I’m not Pro or Anti current POTUS or any future potential POTUS either. Instead, I choose to spend that energy working on myself to become a better person who treats people equally, who embraces what’s different, by letting others be themselves, even if I don’t understand their paths. It’s also why I do my best to protect the environment, to constantly help those addicted, to regularly give to the needy and poor, to not judge, to be kind to all living creatures, and so on.

Of course, I have my own opinions on all those major political issues our country continues to face, but what gives me the right to feel any of my stances are correct. Far too often, so many of us get caught up in attempting to make others believe our own political stances are the only correct ones, which in turn leads to heavily supporting a specific POTUS. In doing so, battle lines get laid, arguments ensue, and we all start heading in the exact opposite direction of loving each other unconditionally, the very thing that I tend to believe should be the highest focus of our nation, and the world as well.

From what history has shown, there’s never going to be a perfect POTUS who’ll ever be able to make enough political changes to please everyone. The only way any of us will ever truly find the peace and balance we seek is by taking a deeper look within and working on healing our own broken compasses, as when we do, a much Higher light will start guiding us to see we are the catalysts to change and not the POTUS or anyone else…

Dear God, help me to stop focusing “out there” on what I think needs to be changed, and help me to see what needs to be changed within, as only then do I know will I begin to see the world in a much brighter light.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question Of The Day

Today’s question is…

Have you ever been on any type of retreat that really left you with many positive memories and much to be grateful for? If so, what type of retreat was it?

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

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Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another chapter of Grateful Heart Monday, where the focus is always on a single piece of gratitude to start the week off on a positive note, which for today is for going on the first of hopefully many future retreats with a small group of men from the ManKind Project (MKP) about a week ago now at Proud Lake State Park.

It’s probably best I at least qualify first what MKP is before I get into my specific gratitude from the retreat. MKP is a men’s organization that isn’t based upon any specific religion or spiritual understanding, whose main purpose is to help men heal from those deep-seated wounds that standard paths of healing don’t quite seem to help, wounds like my father’s suicide that only MKP in the end helped me to overcome.

Nevertheless, as part of my 20-year tie now to MKP, I continue to stay active in the organization by meeting bi-weekly with six other brothers, where our only sole purpose is to create deeper connections to each other, to become men of integrity in all areas of our lives, and to help each other continue to face and work through any of those deep-seated wounds and blockages that may still be within each of us. As part of our brotherhood, our group of men decided back in the Spring to begin embarking upon an annual retreat, solely for the purpose of helping us to grow closer to each other. It was decided that our first retreat would be scheduled for the weekend after Labor Day.

Now that it is over, I must say, I have much to be grateful for from the retreat, as I find myself reflecting upon it. For the two cooks, Les and Chris, who prepared all our delicious meals for the entire weekend, for the nature walks I took with Robb where I learned about everything from wild mushrooms to trees that can break a chainsaw, for the “Would You Rather”, “Rotten Apples”, and “Never Have I Ever” games we laughed so hard playing, for the constant outdoor fire that mesmerized us through its dancing flames throughout the entire time there, for my own reflective nature walks I took that lifted my spirits every time I went on them, for Kyle’s guitar playing and singing that always seemed to lull me into a sense of peace whenever it happened, for the deep work John did to overcome a very painful issue from his past, for Jeff being able to come for even a part of it in light of one of his family member’s passing during it, for the enjoyment that buying 8 eight large bags of every variety of M&M’s brought all of us, for the many beautiful wildlife creatures that kept on visiting us such as the brightly-colored dragonflies and caterpillars, for the communal meals we all had together where we dined as a family, for the lodge itself we stayed in that became like home for a few days, for the weather that felt perfect in every way, and for even feeling a whole lot of sadness when we finally had to say goodbye to each other to head home, I truly have a lot to be grateful for with our first annual retreat with my fellow MKP brothers.

I now have much to look forward to a year from now, when we embark upon our second retreat, but in the meantime, I’m just so very thankful and feeling blessed for my Higher Power bringing together such an eclectic bunch of guys during a weekend that most definitely touched my heart and everyone else’s there as well…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson