Archives For Personal Growth

socks

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS ARE SOCKS

It’s Christmas Eve and barely last night did I begin purchasing gifts for my family.  I don’t buy much and the gifts are usually just for my mom, nieces and nephews, and if I buy anything for my brothers it’s usually a gag gift or socks, which is the typical default Mexican Christmas present.  Lol, I have so many memories of getting so many pairs of socks from aunts and uncles as I was growing up.  They weren’t even cool socks either, they were plain white tube socks.  Lots and lots and lots of socks.  Once you hit about 10yrs old, you can say goodbye to cool Christmas gifts and count on making more room in your clothes drawer for a shit load of socks.

I love Christmas, and though it’s my favorite part of the year, the hardest part of the holiday is what’s at it’s core, and that’s purchasing gifts.   I know, it makes no sense since that’s what drives the holiday, but what’s challenging is the pressure to purchase gifts out of obligation, and not necessarily because you want to give out of the kindness of your heart.  I procrastinate because it’s frustrating having to roam the stores with 10,000 other people and figure out what to get for people who pretty much have everything they need.

Aside from these scrooge-like tendancies, I do admit that giving gifts is fun and I love the different “spirit” that’s in the air.  People seem to be in better moods and I feel that the “giving” nature of Christmas is a powerful force that brings out a lot of good once a year.   Receiving gifts isn’t that bad either, but if I could receive a gift, I think I’d prefer receiving something unexpectedly.  I would get much more out of a present that was given to me for no reason and without any strings attached, and I would imagine that that would be the case for most.

Imagine that for a minute. You’re at home, cleaning your house or cutting your grass when all of sudden the UPS truck pulls up with some small packages and they have your name on them.  You can’t remember having ordered anything and to your surprise it was just a thoughtful gift from someone who wanted to give to you for no reason at all.  Receiving a “just because” gift is powerful and a lot more meaningful than giving because a holiday dictates it.  Those are the gifts you’ll always remember.

If I would have posted this earlier in the week or a few weeks ago, my advice to everyone would be to do your best to put your heart into the gift giving process.  It’s a little too late to encourage you to not give out of obligation since most of you have already purchased and wrapped all of your gifts.  A week or more ago I would have encouraged you to make it personal and do it with love, and hopefully many of you have probably been doing that anyway.  Maybe.  Or Not.

What I can do this morning though is wish you all an awesome Christmas, and remind you and myself to not get caught up in the commercialization of the holiday and show more love than you ever have to your family, friends, strangers and that asshole driving like a crazy person on the freeway as you rush to Target for last minute gifts and wrapping paper.  Have fun this weekend and maybe a month or two from now, surprise a family member or friend with a gift for no reason. Do it “just because” and see how good it feels to give when no one is expecting or telling you to.  And if you need to practice, feel free to drop off gifts on my porch or office.  DM me for my address.  Ok, thanks.

Merry Christmas.

– Hector

together

ROCK. PAPER. SCISSORS. – Be Together.  Not the same.

1983 was a very transitional time for me, as I was about to enter my first year in middle school as a 6th grader and McDonald’s had just introduced the chicken McNugget.  Yeah, you know those nuggets changed your life too, admit it.  Swatch also released their first watch that year, which I would later overdose on and wear way too many at a time on both arms, but that’s for another 80s story.  One story that always comes to mind though as a new middle schooler is one of my first real experiences with a bully.  I remember him clearly, yet I always forget his name.  What’s funny is that it made no sense why this guy was bullying me and several others, because he was short and to this day is probably the size of Mr. Danny Devito the lovable little actor.  One would think that HE would be the victim of bullying because of his awkward size and I only use the word “awkward” because at that time he was obviously very different from most kids.  He wasn’t technically a dwarf or little person, but was small, stocky, strong, and definitely menacing to me.  For reasons unknown to this day he chose me as a target and would constantly pick at me.  I don’t recall ever having to give him my lunch money but he put a fear in me that eventually led me to share with my older brother, someone who didn’t play around and wasn’t going to allow anyone to mess with me.

My brother is about 4 years older than me and the early 80s were the beginning of many many tough years for him.  A year earlier our dad had died from Cancer so all we had was each other and even as he struggled with his own issues and even though we had brotherly fights ourselves, he was going to do his best to watch over and protect me as needed.  The next day after receiving this news about the bully, he met up with me on the side of the school where I would normally run into this little bully and sure enough he could be seen walking down the sidewalk towards the school gate exit.  He saw me and as he and his friends approached and got closer my brother stepped in front of me and confronted him.  My brother drilled him about his bullying and Mr. Bully was clearly concerned and worried and without any warning or notice, my brother punched him right in the forehead.  This surprised everyone that was surrounding us and within seconds the guy’s forehead swelled up like a baseball.  My brother calmly asked him to leave me alone and from that day forward me and the bully became friends, which lasted all the way through high school.  Turns out he wasn’t so menacing after all and was actually a very nice person.  He just needed a little guidance and punch in the forehead.

I bring up this story because here I am, 44 yrs old, and I thought that bullying and situations like this were reserved for the school yard, yet I see more of this behavior by adults everyday on social media and yes, even in person.  You would think that with age we would mature and handle things differently but I feel like social media has created a world where humans are finding it a lot easier to bully, bash, attack, and beat up on each other with words and images.  More than ever I’ve seen this bad behavior as we approach an election and I’ve seen sides of people that I never thought existed, all in the name of politics.  People are getting angry and wanting to poke people’s eyes out because of differing opinions and views.  Speak against the opposing candidate or appear to be supporting another and you run the risk of being eaten alive or have your limbs torn off.  It’s very sad and it shouldn’t be this way, but it is and all I can do is acknowledge it and ask those in my circle and my readers to do something different and be different.

The video below is one that I saw this past year during the Oscars and I have to give props to the agency that created this, because they delivered a message of unity better than I’ve ever seen. Every one of us is different in many ways yet we are all very much the same.  We all have hands, feet, eyes, a brain (some bigger than others), we have beating hearts and that heart pumps the same blood throughout our veins.  We’re going to have differing opinions and politics, we’re going to like different music, and we’re going to see the world differently, but please don’t allow those differences to cause ugliness or hate.  Don’t allow those differences to attack your brother or sister and hurt one another.  We’re bigger than that and we may have had an excuse for this behavior as kids but we definitely have no excuses as adults.  Learn from one another and accept each other’s differences.

So whether you’re a rock, a wrinkly piece of paper, or those little tiny scissors that they give you in elementary school that don’t cut worth a damn, be nice to one another, love each other, and encourage those around you to do the same.

With lots of love.

@hectorgarciahtx

nothingtowrite_blog

WHEN YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY, SAY NOTHING

I love writing, as it’s one of the most therapeutic things I can do, and aside from my 14 year old chihuahua named Squirt, writing has helped me get through some really tough times over the past few years.  Just a year ago after a very bad break up, I found myself writing everyday for almost a month, many times doing so at like 3 or 4am, knowing that if I didn’t write out what was in my head I would never be able to sleep.  This stint of unloading my thoughts into my 13″ Macbook Pro eventually turned into a small book, one that no one will ever get to read.

My last blog post dates back to March 2016 which was titled “Make More Mistakes” and it was around that time that I felt that I had nothing else to write.  It was almost like the end of a very long several months of therapy, with my last blog post being the last visit to the doctor’s office.  If you read back through my posts before that you’ll see that the overall theme was the result of being hurt from the breakup and working through the after math and a broken heart.  This blog exists as a place for me to share my thoughts, my life, and lessons learned in hopes that it will help someone else, so if you come through here regularly then I hope it has done just that.

There have been many times since March where I say to myself “Hmm, I need to blog about something, it’s been so long” only to find myself sitting in front of my computer with nothing to write.  I won’t write and make up some bull shit just for the sake of blogging, but today I felt the urge to write about nothing.  Haha.

I have a lot of “blogger” friends that work to keep their blogs fresh and updated with new content, hoping to increase their following and website traffic, etc.  There are entire blogging communities that work to help each other do the same, but that doesn’t really interest me.  This is an outlet for me and I’ll write when I feel like I actually have something to say and today the only thing that I have to say is “Hello” and share that I haven’t really had anything to write lately.  LOL.

If you have a blog or some type of online presence, write what you feel and every time you write, be sure to feel what you write.  Let everything that you write have purpose and don’t be afraid to admit the times that you simply have nothing to say.  You’ll find your writing to be much more powerful and enjoyable when it comes from your heart.

I’ve learned a lot about myself this past year and I have tons to write about, I just haven’t felt the need to share it.  I think that over the next few weeks I’ll take time to share the many lessons that I’ve learned and provide some insight and tools that have been life savers for me.  I have an entire series that I could devote to therapy and how valuable and life changing it can be.  Maybe I’ll start with that in a few days.  Maybe.

Till then, have an awesome day, or week.

@hectorgarciahtx

mistakes_blog

MAKE MORE MISTAKES

“The wisest man/woman in the room is the one who’s made the most mistakes. We all make mistakes, no one is perfect, but if you don’t learn from those mistakes, then that’s all they are . . Mistakes.”

I can’t take full credit for the quote above, as its a mixture of something I heard somewhere else with the addition of my own thoughts in the second sentence, but the truth in this little statement is so huge and powerful.  Life is full of successes, but filled with even more mistakes.  In fact, I think that it can be said with much certainty that very rarely will you have success without making a few mistakes.

So what is a mistake?  Can we define it as an accident?  A failure?  Using poor judgment or making “bad” decisions?  I think it’s all of those things and more.  Our mistakes can probably be classified as anything and everything in our life that has brought about hurt, pain, suffering, disappointment, heart ache, frustration, and even sadness.  Many of you can relate, you’re either going through a “mistake” right now or struggling to ensure that you don’t make one.  It’s part of daily life and yes, making mistakes sucks.

I remember going through a divorce about 6 years ago and feeling like such a failure.  I had been married 12 years and with that person for over 18 yrs.  That’s half of my life!  Regardless of the reasons for the divorce, I did love that person whole heartedly and I fought for the marriage as long as I could so I have no regrets.  It’s not something that either of us ever wanted, but it happened, and was definitely a failure and disappointment, not to mention a very sad part of both of our lives.  But with that said, I can sit here and type this all out and say that I am much wiser after going through that, and as a “mistake” in my life it provided experiences that I felt I learned from and I worked to apply what I learned in the next relationship.  Unfortunately the next relationship had it’s own share of struggles and after having that person abandon the relationship, I found myself alone for the first time in my adult life with lots of time to reflect on mistakes, lessons learned, and all the time in the world to work on myself.

EMBRACE YOUR MISTAKES

Does a “mistake” like a failed marriage or relationship make me want to be on guard with my heart or love less?  I’m definitely guarded, but my failures make me want to love even more and cause me to want to give the next person more love than others in the past.  I have a lot of love to give away regardless and when i love I love with all of my heart.

The same goes for other areas in my life such as business.  I can’t tell you how many mistakes I’ve made over the years doing business or at least trying to.  I’ve lost so much money in the past on ventures that I later felt were a waste of time and energy, but I learned from them.  Some lessons learned took longer than others, but I’m wiser from them none the less.  I remember hosting BMX Flatland events from 1999 – 2006 in an effort to push an apparel brand as well as help promote the sport.  I did it out of love for BMX but I wasn’t a smart business man and I lost money every year.  Flatland is a small part of BMX and there isn’t enough involvement to help sustain these types of events, so 2006 was the last event for the Elevation Flatland series.  I get asked all the time to host another series or flatland event but with the help of my good friend Cisco, I’ve taken what I learned from that time and turned it into one of the largest outdoor bicycle festivals in Houston called the HTX Bike Fest which celebrates it’s 5th year this September 2016.

ALLOW YOURSELF AND OTHERS TO MAKE MISTAKES

Making mistakes is a fact of life.  If you’re in a relationship, you and your partner both are going to mess up and it’s important to give each other room to do so.  Some “mess ups” will be “bigger” than others but the both of you need to give one another room to mess up, over and over again.  I don’t know where this ability to forgive comes from but in my past two relationships, one being my marriage, I was put in positions to have to forgive many many times.  I could have given up and walked away but I loved the people I was with and I wanted to give each forgiveness that I too would need at some point.  No couple is able to celebrate 10, 20, or even 50 years of marriage without having made 1,000’s of mistakes along the way.

So if you’ve had many failures, made many mistakes, and are even in the middle of the hurt or disappointment, know that you are a wiser person because of it all.  Learn from these mistakes and do something different because of your new wisdom.  Don’t ever give up on yourself or on others.  If we could all understand that every single one of us is an imperfect human being and that we’re going to make mistakes, there would be a lot more forgiveness in the world.

If you don’t allow your mistakes to produce change inside of your mind and heart, then all you will ever be able to say is that you made a mistake, and that in itself is a big mistake.

Make more mistakes, but not on purpose.

@hectorgarciahtx

strong_jesus

JESUS HAD A SIX PACK

(Edited from posted in April 2015)

Since I was a little boy and as far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a strong belief in God and something “bigger than me and this world”.  This was so much so that in High School I began to question everything I was being taught in the Catholic church, and set out on my own journey to “find God”.  That search for “truth” continues to this day, but one very practical thing that never really made sense was how the world has portrayed Jesus, which has been a very frail, skinny, white, pale sickly looking man who anyone could take down with one punch to the face.

I believe in a very different image of Jesus Christ, one that I feel should have been adopted a long long time ago, and it’s based on very practical observations.  I believe that Jesus was not frail or sickly, but rather a very strong and fit man with dark skin, strong forearms and biceps, resembling a very fit and toned MMA fighter of today.  He probably didnt’ have the physique of a bodybuilder, and may have been more lean, but by all means had more muscle and endurance than most of us.  How have I come to this conclusion?

JESUS WAS A FISHERMAN

The fisherman of today have it pretty easy compared to the days of Jesus.  There were no motorized boats or machinery that lifted nets and brought fish into your boat.  Lots of rowing by hand, pulling up nets by hand all day, every day.  Unloading the boat of fish, packaging the fish, pulling the boats in, etc.  A complete work out like this every single day would have to keep these guys fit and toned.  The exaggerated depiction of Popeye’s forearms was not just the creation of a cartoonist, as I’m sure that fisherman developed huge forearms from all of this work.  In addition to all of the manual labor that kept them fit, take into account their constant exposure to the sun which probably kept them nice a tanned all year round.

 JESUS WAS A CARPENTER

Carpentry today can’t compare to the work involved in the days of Jesus either.  Because of my circular saws, miter saws, jig saw, and my dewalt cordless drill, I can build in minutes what it probably took hours or days for them to build back in the day.  And the energy exerted would be minimal.

If Jesus needed to build a table for someone, he had to manually cut each piece of wood, shave each piece by hand, and perform tasks that required strength and arm pressure.  Wood work back then was not easy work and I’m sorry, but if you do your research on the many different facets of wood work back then one would have to come to the conclusion that these craftsman were building muscle while working.

JESUS ENDURED HIS EXECUTION BECAUSE HE WAS PHYSICALLY ABLE

Without going into detail about every task involved with being a fisherman or carpenter back in that day, I would hope that you can see how easy it would be to come to the conclusion that Jesus was not what the world has described to us for so long.  I feel that one of the major reasons that Jesus was able to endure what he did during his crucifixion was due to his physique and fitness.  The “frail” Jesus wouldn’t have made it past lashing #4 or #5, and yet Jesus withstood 40 FREAKIN LASHES with a weapon that was designed to rip his skin off!

Add to this the beat down that he received from the soldiers, the fact that he had to carry his own heavy cross to his own execution, and then having huge railroad type spikes driven through his arms and feet.  The strength needed to continuously try to pull him self up and position himself to breath easier required a strength that the little white sickly Jesus simply wouldn’t have been able to handle.  Many of us would have been dead before even making it to carrying our own cross.

JESUS WAS A BAD ASS

As you sip on your coffee this morning, prepare for lunch, or even as you make plans for this coming Easter Sunday, remember that the man behind the Easter holiday was plain and simply a Bad Ass.  Whether you believe that he rose from the dead or not, Jesus was a real man who walked this earth, and history supports the fact that he was executed in one of the most gruesome ways possible.

His message was just as real, which in a nut shell was one of LOVE and FORGIVENESS.  If you take anything away from the story of Jesus at least take that.  Learn from his selfless life of Love and walk in it everyday.  He gave us so many great lessons and tools to use to live this life and his story has stood the test of time and will continue for centuries to come.

Have a Great Easter everyone and eat lots of BBQ this Sunday.  *smiley face here.

@hectorgarciahtx

 Photo artwork from Tjokorda Bagus Wiratmaja