It’s Your Life

dandelionI teach people how to grow and foster love, acceptance and confidence and how to persevere through it all, especially when life throws us those curves we never see coming. Our collective life journey is an opportunity to embrace the adventure of life itself that fills every moment of our living, breathing existence with possibility.

Illusion Part 3 – Exposing The Lies

man-does-not-want-to-hear-the-truthCalling BS on an illusionist is very difficult, but I’m very good at it. They can’t deal with being confronted, and when I break through the façade of their illusion during the process to clear their heads, they’ll scream that I’m a liar and become very hostile.

If you start poking holes in the illusionist’s web of lies, you’ll get a reaction much like you’d get poking holes into a beehive. The illusion is more important than reality. Their whole identity is wrapped around their illusions, and they’ll fight like demons to keep them. They’ll claim everyone else is a liar and go to war. It’s a deep, organic determination that they’re going to maintain the illusion until they die. It’s terrible. I’ve seen marriages destroyed, businesses go into the ground, and relationships blow up.

I recently reconnected with an old client of mine. She happens to be the wife of a doctor who I’ve worked with for years. The funny thing is that I did a reading for her ten years ago when she had some health issues. When I brought up some negative aspects of her life that I saw, she went into total denial mode and denied any drug use in her past. Her husband never knew anything about it.

Ten years later, after her husband had divorced her, she contacted me out of the blue and told me that everything I had said at the time of her last reading had been the truth. After all the lies she had told, her husband had divorced her and remarried someone else. Now, she had at last decided to be honest with herself and get real. She came to me after going through Co-dependents Anonymous because part of her process was to make amends. She admitted to lying to me and apologized for accusing me of being a liar during my reading with her.

I wasn’t surprised at how hard she fought me. Relationships are often a source of our grandest illusions. I had a client who was an older man who’s had a lot of plastic surgery, and he has always has a younger woman with big fake boobs on his arm. But he has also been in a hidden, long-term relationship with an average-looking, normal-sized woman. Her long hair is going grey, but she refuses to dye it for him or change it in the least. She’s happy and just wants to be with him honestly. And to him, she’s perfect and he loves her.

Nobody knows about this mistress he’s had for over twenty years, while he’s been married in misery four times to skinny young model types. He’s done this for most of his adult life. His illusion is that he wants to be perceived as a guy who can score hot chicks, but in reality, he is far more satisfied with a his secret “ordinary” woman to whom he turns for emotional and physical satisfaction.

People put up with a lot of grief from their partner, so many of them take comfort in an illusion. The say things like, “My husband the doctor is never home because he works at the hospital” and “I married a performer, but I don’t see him much because he has shows to do.” They’ll put up with these illusions so they can feel better about themselves without having to take the risk of being alone. They’d rather be a victim than have to deal. The illusion is that no one changes. If you communicate with them right, there is no illusion and the relationship can flourish. The way to get rid of the illusion is to communicate the truth to yourself.

I’ve watched so many people’s illusions about what their relationship is, who they’re with, and all the fake stuff wrapped around it. If I’m with somebody and neither of us is willing to do something, I don’t have any illusions about where that relationship is going―it’s done. I end it as fast as possible and go forward, always to something better. You need to rip off the bandage and take your hurt feelings with you out the door to deal with them later. People have long-term relationships based on unhealthy illusions that they’re created for themselves over the years. The trick is not to live in an illusion. You’ll end the relationship faster and move on to a healthy one.

 

Illusion Part 2 – Fear and Self-Loathing

man-looks-into-the-mirror-and-sees-a-different-personLords of Illusion think and care more about what other people think than anything else.  Illusionists are in a lot of pain as they navigate through their lives. There are so many people who are not living a life that honestly shows who they really are. Everyone is afraid that if they’re real, they’re afraid that they’re not going to be loved. They think things like, “If people actually knew what was in my head, if they really knew who I am, they would never be able to love me.”

These people hate some aspect of themselves so much that they’re willing to continue this false experience to the exclusion of everything else. They hate and fear what they’re hiding, so much so that they build larger-than-life illusions to compensate for their perceived shortcomings. Lords of Illusion always have to top everyone. We’ve all been at a party or an event where a group of people is sitting around swapping war stories. The illusionist always has to have a better story than everyone else.

Many actors, politicians, and leaders in society create these artificial personas of who they are to control what is going on around them. For instance, stars who are gay believe they have to pretend to be straight because they can’t believe their public image or livelihood would survive if they lived authentically. Many newsreaders, commentators, and hosts pretend to be smart, but they actually have a producer in the control room feeding them information through their concealed earpieces. Using their high-profile platform in the media or entertainment business as the base of their illusion, they enthusiastically embrace their power to influence society, “Vote for this! Support that! This cause is good! That cause is bad!” They have the power to rally hundreds, thousands, or millions of fans around an issue that, in reality, without their handlers, they know very little about. And once they’ve had a taste of that power, it’s even harder to give up the illusion.

Our financial system before the crash provides another powerful example of how destructive illusions can be. For example, we all know that the stock market and real estate bubbles were all about illusions created the fat cats of Wall Street. The whole system was a complete house of cards. Funky mortgages, manipulated profit margins, and insider trading ruled the day, while trusting investors believed their bankers and business managers were honest and invincible. At the end of the day, it seemed like many of those same financial workers were as shocked to discover the extent of the illusion as the investors with. They’d truly bought into their own deceptions, and everyone paid the heavy price when the whole façade crumbled.

One of the biggest illusions created by people is that what you own makes you into something special. We all know people who’ve bought into these illusions of success. For instance, there’s a man in my apartment building who owns a Ferrari and a Bentley. He wears Gucci jeans, Ferragamo shoes, and Armani jackets. But he lives in a $500,000 condo, which isn’t much in the California real estate market. His cars are worth more than that! So why doesn’t he buy a house and live somewhere really nice? This neighbor holds on to his illusion of being a high roller by driving around in luxury cars and wearing designer clothes, an illusion he isn’t willing to give up, even if it would get him a nicer place to live.

Another friend of mine is quite a wealthy man, but he’s relatively cash poor, considering the amount of fantastic real estate he owns. He is determined to appear like he’s at a Bill Gates or Warren Buffet level of cash. Sometimes, he invests the relatively little money he has access to in the most outlandish displays of disposable wealth, just to maintain his illusion. Last year, he built a top-of-the-line sports court, complete with an extensive lighting system for night practices, as well a Greek temple-style yoga pavilion with an intricately decorated domed ceiling and a heated floor. Personally, if I were to buy his home, those are things that would be big selling points, because I love yoga and I exercise every day. But my friend doesn’t do yoga at all, and he can barely play five minutes in a pick-up basketball game in the park.

The sport court and the yoga pagoda (as I like to call them) are just the newest elements of his illusion that his great wealth makes him a “great man.” It’s all about bragging rights. He believes his illusion that he’s healthy and fitness-minded, but that’s not his reality. He works to maintain the illusion that he is fabulously wealthy and can indulge in expensive perks which, in reality, he can barely manage to pay for. There’s nothing healthy about Joe’s illusion that spending money will buy him status and fitness. But like so many people today, he’s unwilling to face his reality and make a change. Only when we’re free of these illusions can we know what real wealth and security feel like.

 

Illusion Part 1 – Lords Of Illusion

woman-holding-mask-of-deceptionMany people deal with their reality by pretending they’re something or somebody else. They make up stories about who they are or where they come from, and they’ll fight tooth and nail to keep their illusion to intact. They’ve lied to themselves for so long that they believe their own deception, and they fully expect others to buy into it, too. I call these people Lords of Illusion.

Illusion and delusion are related, but there are some important differences. They both involve illusions, but a delusional person absolutely believes to their core that what they’re saying is the truth. A pure illusionist is somebody who knows that they started out with a lie, but they are so caught up in it, and they feel that there’s no avenue of escape, so they have no choice but to continue to lie.
In some ways, a person who is delusional is actually healthier than an illusionist, because they don’t know any better. It sounds weird to say it, but it’s an honest insecurity. If a person is delusional, they’ll respond to your skepticism by simply saying, “Oh, you’re just wrong,” and argue their point in a mostly benign manner. But when you bust an illusionist, they feel compelled to prove you wrong. Someone who is protecting an illusion can be far more dangerous.  Believe me, I’ve dealt with it, and it’s no walk in the park. All their lives, they have pretended to be something they never were, and they’re going to go down swinging to protect it.

People create illusions because they are so unhappy with their day-to-day lives, often because they have lost complete control of them. They can’t stand the idea that they would no longer be able to control what other people think about them. It’s hard for others to be with them for too long because they are inauthentic all the time.

Power is an illusion. A savior is an illusion. A victim is an illusion. Guilt and control are illusions. All of these things that I’ve talked about in earlier posts are illusions. They’re perceptions of how you want to present yourself and your life to the world.

Most people can’t handle it when they let go of their illusions and surrender to their reality, and they often turn to things that harm them. They feel absolutely naked to the world and there’s a part of them that doesn’t want to live if they have to be exposed to every experience and emotion. People who become alcoholics or drug addicts not only have control issues, but they’ve bought into their own lies.

The moment that an illusionist decides to stop being fake is when they don’t care anymore. They let go of all the things they think they are, pretended to be, or tried to be that they never were and become authentically themselves. I assure you that, the moment that you can be authentically yourself, everyone will like you a whole lot more. Your life changes for the better, and people enjoy being around someone whose life is growing in a positive direction.

Without the illusion blocking the way―by taking down the walls and ending the pretense of being something you never were in the first place, you can stop being a fake, stop being an illusionist―you can be authentically yourself. No more drama, no more BS. When you’re authentically who you are, you completely embody your reality.

Getting To Know God Takes Patience

man-praying-to-godGetting to know God takes patience. I have found that whenever God wants to talk to me I’m given a situation where I must wait.  I’m sure that many (if not most) of you have gone through the same situation. The best thing to do is to completely and utterly let go. I will usually have spent a great deal of time contemplating any choices, working through the situation and working all the flaws out of whatever my plans happen to be.  Then pray, pray, and pray some more.

Patience is not my virtue, nor that of anyone else I know.  We live in a society that is all about instant gratification. People want their food faster and faster so we have microwaves and all those new inventions you see on late night television.  We want our friendships to start out quickly and last forever. We want to be rich tomorrow and prefer t quick lottery win to long, hard work.  Anything worth while and anything that lasts takes time to create. The great cathedrals of Notre Dame and Westminster or not built overnight and yet they have lasted for thousands of years. The pyramids have survived more than  5000 years.  No, none of these were created in a day.

Any journey worth taking requires planning and execution to make it happen.  So too, our relationship with God takes time,  growth and experience to build.  We should never be embarrassed by any delays or hiccups in the process. I’ve been working on several projects over the last few years and, as I watch them come into fruition, I’m pleased by all the amazing things that I’ve learned along the way. In the process, I’ve met a great many people, lots has happened, and every step has helped me to grow closer to God. This last part is the best part.  Getting closer to truth, beauty and creativity.

It’s been said that that Leonardo da Vinci never quite finished John the Baptist or the Mona Lisa but kept returning to those two paintings throughout his life. Needless to say,  the Mona Lisa is considered one of the greatest paintings of all time.  He worked on it throughout his life.

So to you I say, have hope that you will accomplish all the goals you truly want to see happen in your life because you have taken the time to create them. I send you love and wait patiently to your answers and your remarks on all my blogs.

Thank you

JohnMichael Capaldi

Finding Love

couple-holding-hands-on-park-benchRecently, I was informed by one of my dearest and closest friends that she’s getting married for the very first time. It’s exciting for me to hear that because she’s getting married following her 50th birthday. One thought I have on this subject is how hopeful it is to see love come into being no matter what age you are, but the best part is the understanding that it is only through experience, growth and becoming the best person we can possibly be that we can find true love. I have had so many conversations with so many people who are desperate for love and living in their own quiet desperation hoping that this experience would take off in their own soul. I  know (like every other person reading this blog) what it feels like to want to be in love.  I believe that the desire to be in love is something that drives us like the need for food,  air and freedom. Love is one of the most intangible subjects we will ever tackle. It is such an organic experience to be in love and to allow that to grow between two individuals.

Recently, I was watching an episode of Oprah that featured  an actress by the name of Tamera Mowey.  Tamera is an African-American who is married a white, conservative journalist. Oprah asked her about her marriage and she began to cry because she has been abused for being an African-American woman and married a white man. My eyes teared as I watched this interview.  No one should ever judge  in anyway who we fall in love with no matter who it is, in any way shape or form. To hate anyone in an interracial marriage is a sin in my opinion, and that is my judgment call. No one should judge anyone if they’re in a homosexual relationship either. A close friend of mine is actually hiding the fact that he is homosexual and in love with someone of the very same sex. I am finding that anyone who has a negative opinion of anyone else’s love life is a disgrace to the greater idea of truelove. I don’t care who loves whom. As long as they love themselves and the person they are with, it is no one business.

Love is such a rare and precious gift that we should support and love every single soul who is in love, or finds love, or has love in their life from anyone. In this day and age the only thing we can do is love, accept,  and support everyone who finds love. Hatred is never right under any circumstances but I believe that love will overcome every single one of these situations.

I look forward to talking to you more about love in the future.

Thank you and God bless all of you I look forward to reading your opinions on my posts

DIY – Handmade Tea and Infusions

dig-tea-and-infusions-johnmichael-capaldiRecently I had a little bit of a sore throat and because of that I was able to make my favorite homemade creation; tea. It’s a very simple recipe. I take one small lemon one piece of fresh ginger approximate size of the lemon and 1L of boiled water with honey to taste.

First I chopped up the lemon vigorously into fine pieces and juice.  Next, I chop up the fresh ginger into very fine pieces and juice.  I then mix all of this into a teapot, along with 1 L of boiling hot water,  and let it steep for about five minutes before pouring through a strainer into my favorite teacup.  Lastly, I add honey and drink. It is one of the most refreshing drinks you will ever have at night.

This recipe is really great for healing your throat and the fresh, organic ingredients just feed your soul when you consume them. The ginger has enough spice to invigorate you and also help to settle your stomach before you fall asleep . There’s no caffeine and the honey serves to add sweetness to the entire experience.

Every night when I sit down to write I make myself a pot of it and drink to my heart’s content. On my Facebook page you’ll find photographs of the T being made.

Got bless you and thank you for you my blog I look forward to seeing all your comments Have a great and amazing Friday night!

Inspired To Blog

blog-inspiration-post-itFinding the inspiration to write a blog post is a fun and exciting experience for me.  I have a whole process for it.

Sometimes I come up with the subject and write it on a Post-it. I put that Post-it on my desk and then let it germinate ideas over a period of time. Staring at it. Thinking about it. At some point (usually in the middle of the night) in I inevitably wake up, walk to my desk, turn on my computer, and write my blog.

Other times I get inspired by a conversation with a friend, or while giving advice to a client. Either of these can inspire a subject or format a concept for a blog.  I quickly move to write them down while they are still hot in my mind which, of course, finds me grabbing a Post-it to record the idea on paper.

My favorite place to find inspiration is in meditation and my prayer.  Inspiration here simply, organically appears in my heart.  It’s like a conversation with God.  These are my favorite blogs to write because they are pure, from my soul and straight to the point.

Regardless of where the inspiration seems to come from, in my heart I know that any and all of these methods are conversations with God.  The inspiration come because I am in the spirit, and I love being in that place.  A place where I am filled with the spirit, sharing the love of God with all of you.

So I want to let you know that I’ve been inspired to write quite a few blogs over the last week or two.  As I look over the Post-it, we have a lot to talk about!   I look forward to sharing all of that with you!

Have an amazing beautiful and wonderful day everyone and keep reading, and I want to hear what you have to say in my blogs.

God bless all of you and thank you for all of you being in my life.

Yours truly JohnMichael CAPALDI