Saturday, November 28, 2009

Flustered and off kilter

It's the holiday season and I sometimes find myself flustered and off kilter like I am driving towards an imprtant appointment and I find myself on a service road, lost, not knowing how to get back on the freeway and time is slowly running out.I am making myself anxious.
What should I do? Should I try and fix it and get myself back into a sane state? I could try but it could just worse as a little off center and unsteady could tuirn into full blow anxiety.
Instead I stop and take a breath, I remember who and where I am and start simply noticing how I feel, not how stressed I am and how to fix it bit noite how I feel. Don't analyse, juist notice and breathe, this is the way to find center and find the real path.
Brian Darnell
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Friday, November 13, 2009

What is my frog?

A while back I watched the Eat That Frog movie (if you haven't seen it watch it here) It talks about picking your highest resistance item and doing it first in order to increase energy and carry you through the day. This practice goes along well with any practice that uses resistance as a guide to decide priority.
When I have a lot of priority 1 items and have trouble picking one of them to work on I make a list on paper and gauge the amount of resistance I have for each one. The one that makes me cringe the most, I circle and that is the one I focus on first. Lately I have gotten a little geeky with this form and started drawing a picture of a frog on it and titling it with "What is my Frog?". I don't know why but this usually engages me a little more with the list and helps motivate me to work on that hard item.
This morning I took the next step and threw a little form together, feel free to download it if you like it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Big Giant Weekly Review Review

I did a big giant review of my weekly review today to make my weekly review better suit my needs, my purpose, and the outcomes that are important to me. Blogger didn't like my formatting so here is a link to the PDF download of the entire review using the natural planning model.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Does personal productivity make productive personnel

I have been a GTD practitioner and member of the GTD community for almost 5 years now and a recurring statement comes up a lot.
"My work would be great if everyone practiced GTD!"
The statement has made me wonder. Do productive individuals create a more productive environment?
My kneejerk response has been yes until I thought of the crucial question.

What are they producing?

If they are producing outcomes that don't fall into course with the goals of the company then having productive employees may not improve a company.

The answer to this problem is to make sure that the company is practicing GTD at the higher levels as well as the individual employees. If the company has reviewed it's higher horizons of focus and has communicated that to the employees the GTD practice can benefit the company.

Oranizational GTD creates more productive personnel by aligning the control and perspective of the individual with the company's goals.

Monday, October 19, 2009

We are the Cure!

Why am I so passionate about the Komen Race for the Cure? There is more than one reason for that.
The Organization itself
I feel that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization is genuine in its efforts to eradicate breast cancer for this world in that it provides real support for victims of the disease in the form of treatment aid and awareness material in addition to funds for research. This is evidenced by the events themselves which are filled to the brim with content which creates awareness, promotes hope, and shows a genuine love for the people affected by Breast Cancer.
My personal experience
When I was 13 years old I became very close to one of my closest friend's mothers who was afflicted by the disease. She wasn't able to work at the time because of Breast cancer treatment and when I called to talk to my friend, many times I ended up talking to her instead. She supported and encouraged me when I was going through my tough early teenage years and I really appreciated it. she eventually went into remission and went back to work but I stayed in close touch with her over the years as she was a waitress and I was able to see her often.
Her smile and hope during what had to have been the hardest time of her life became a place of support and a source of hope for me. Hope that things would get better during a very heard time in my life.
A few years ago her cancer came back and she eventually succumbed to the disease and passed away. I helped take care of her and her house during that time and I became very aware of how terrible breast cancer truly was as it destroyed her body.
I am passionate about the Race for the cure because of what I have seen of this disease. I have seen that this disease can be defeated by hope and love and Susan G. Komen for the cure creates a foundation of hope and love that is the cure. When they say "I am the cure" they are right! because through that support, awareness, and work we create that hope in the people that may not have it without them, this is what will cure the disease.

My Team, the Hilton Hikers ran in the Susan G. Komen race for the Cure yesterday on Sunday, 10/18. It has been a long process with a lot of hard work. We started in May with a $3000 goal and the promise that if we reached it I would dye my hair pink for the entire month of October. After months of fund raising events, raffles, and very very generous people we have arrived at $3902.22! We would love to reach a record breaking total of $4000. If you could see to donate $100 or even $1 to bring us closer to the goal please do at We can accept donations till 11/6/2009.

Thank you to everyone who has helped, will help, and the team of 31 Hilton Hikers that has made this all possible! We are the Cure!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Meaning Journal Revisited - Change

Here is my entry today:

What can I change about me that would be meaningful? How could i be more focused on the glory of God?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Breath, from my Gratitude Journal

I am grateful for the feeling of breath, my breath coming through my nose, down my throat, the feeling of it passing my heart seeming to touch it on the way down.

I am grateful that it fills up my diaphragm and then stops with a pure feeling of peace as no thought can enter that empty place of no breath. I am grateful for the exhale as the warm breath travels up up my throat and over my glottis leaving me with a warm feeling across my forehead as I exhale the day and relax into the momentum of life.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Purpose Statement

I live my life prayerfully, mindfully, thankfully, and joyfully, trying my best not to make mistakes and accepting that I am human.
I work to document the beauty and meaning in the world around me. I work to help cure breast cancer and be an inspiration to others. I do my best to honor those that have brought me success and remember those that I have loved that are gone. I work on a balanced and healthy life style and thank God for what I have, what I have done, who I have, and what will happen good and bad.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What is their to be grateful for when you are sick?

I am sick today, a pretty bad cold with a cough, a heady feeling, and a general feeling of malaise; in other words, I feel like crap. I laid down until I felt well enough to work on my daily checklist, I read some stuff on google reader, reviewed some forums, and came to my gratitude journal and froze.

I wrote: I am grateful for being sick.

This doesn't really work because I don't want to be sick, I am not grateful for it but it gave me something to think about. This is what I wrote:

Dear Lord, what is their to be grateful obout being sick? I am grateful for your will in my life and the glorious outcome that will surely come from being blessed with your will.

I came to this conclusion based on my experience with negative things in my life, even thoughI didn't believe so at the time they have always worked out for the better. My house burned down and I ended up with a new house, I lost one job to gain another better job. When God closes a door he opens a window. So for once, I finally can be grateful for something that seems negative at the time by being grateful for God's will in my live. Thank you Lord for this realization, I am grateful for it.

Monday, September 21, 2009


When I breathe in and out it doesn't do anything special to my state of mind, balance, movement towards center, movement from center, stress reduction, anxiety reduction, depression reduction, or sanity.

But when I breath in and out fully present in a state of mind of moving towards a grounded, centered, aware, state it moves me closer to who I am.

Is this true? no, because if I were to breath in and out now, centered or not, aware or not; it may help, it may not. I think the point of being present is to not only know what you are doing and what is happening but to also know who you are, how you feel, what you feel, and move closer to the why; breathing, may or may not help you get closer to that but it is good for you, good for the mind, and is better then doing nothing at all.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Is writing stuff down the answer?

I have seen people take notes; at work, and in their personal lives, people take notes. When someone is trained on a new procedure at work they will write it down in a notebook, when someone wants to get in touch with a new contact they write the phone number down, notes cover are desks, and cover our fridges. But what do you do with note? What good does having the note on that piece of paper do for you?

A couple of habits can come in handy:
  • Drop all your notes into one place at the end of the day, go through them every day or two and either do them if they or short, save or file them if they are reference, or through them away if you don't need them.
  • Add phone numbers into your phone the second you get them

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A key to knowing and trusting God

James 3:13: "“[Two Kinds of Wisdom] Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”"

I love the book of James; the letter reads like a collection of God inspired good advice. Be humble, listen more than you talk, listen before you become angry, remove immorality, follow the word, and more. James speaks from a humble heart knowing the word and knowing Jesus. Where does this come from? The Word! Becoming closer to God comes as easy as knowing the Word and knowing the Word comes as simple as reading the Bible.

Does this mean knowing God requires long, tedious study, bent over a book by candle light, giving up life to study the Bible all the time? No, even though that is a worthwhile sacrifice for some; but it does mean Study. Study is the key to aligning ourselves with the mind of God; this is how we learn to know him, to trust him, and to learn to live in a way that pleases him.

How do we do it? Read the Bible, read devotions, read something every day. Here are some resources to get started:
  • - The Daily bible verse is great. It gives you a small dose every day and even has an RSS feed.
  • - E-mailed devotional every two weeks
  • - Full sermon podcasts and a really awesome daily devotional tied to current events. RSS feed for the devotional isn't listed but you can get to it here.

Whether it is a verse a day, a daily devotional, or a podcast in the car - Study is a key to knowing God.

My Prayer:

Dear Lord,

Please reach into people's hearts and help them to know you. Help them to know that they can have a relationship with you and make it easy to do so.

In your ever present holy name,


Monday, September 14, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Why !daily works for me

Disclaimer - This article refers to terminology specific to GTD.

For about 6 months now I have had a daily checklist called !daily (exclamation point added to move it to the top of my lists in Remember the Milk). !Daily came from a project "Create a Daily checklist" that I set after listening to Barbara Bailey's interview on the @context podcast. Barb had mentioned that she had a Daily checklist and it worked wonders for keeping her on top of her day to day so I added the project and about 3 months later !daily was born.

I walked through the natural planning model to determine the Purpose and principles so I knew what would go on the list.

Purpose - to develop daily habits
Principles - flexible, friendly, positive. - I will not be dissapointed if I don't complete an item.
I didn't determine an outcome at this time:

What has the outcome been? I wake up every morning and start doing items on the list without even checking it!

Here is my list
01 Iaido
Minimum (usually ends up being more) Practice my circle Drill in Iaido (Anything labeled 01 is something I do every day, the other's I am flexible on)
01 Read physical Bible
Pull out my actual book bible (rather than read online) and read my bible.
Minimum, 1 set of sun salutations but it usually ends up being more.
Pray for the people on my @prayer list
Check the calls context
Check my @calls list and schedule or defer all calls.
Cursillo Devotional
As part of Lutheran Cursillo of Southern California, we have a devotional in which we prayer for 2 team members each day, it includes a Bible verse as well. This task will run through October.
Google Reader
Read all blogs in my must read list on Google Reader that take less than 2 minutes. Send the rest to for Read Later. These include but are not limited to:

Gratitude Journal
A time to focus on what I am grateful for.
Pray a prayer of thanks first over the budget, then do today's budget balance
This one used to just be called Budget but changed recently after a reminder that all we have we owe to God in a sermon at Church.
Review your blogs
I open each of my blogs on a new tab, read my last posts and post something new if I either feel like it or it has been about a week since my last post.
Write one sentence in the Ballard Story
Here is where I work on Ballard.
Review New Posts on GTDConnect
Here I review GTDconnect's forum's new posts like an inbox.
Post To GTDConnect
This item is every 3 days - Post a new forum post to GTDconnect.
Add one photo to j:\digital Art
I added this recently to do every two days - Add a photo I have taken to my digital art folder on my computer. I added this after I found I wasn't doing it by habit anymore.
Review Readlater list on
This is another every 3 days - all the websites and blog posts I added because I didn't have time when I found them. I usually process 1 or 2.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gratitude for life and death

I am grateful for life, I talk about this a lot but it feels great that I really am and I am not attached to my life. I am grateful and I am not attached.

I am grateful for my salvation in Heaven. I have heard that Heaven will make this life seem like nothing, like no time, but dust in the wind but the Bible states that love, hope, and faith will remain (1 Cor 13:13) ; life on this world is important. It is our time to gather up those treasures to bring to heaven and to help bring as many people to Jesus Christ as we can! I am grateful for that understanding. I am grateful that one day I will be in the Lord' s arms but I am also grateful that I am in the Lord's arms now.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Walking on Sunshine!

Tara Made it! Please read her blog below and consider donating to her cause. As of this writing she is at $2,690.00 now, with our help we can get her to $3000!

Walking on Sunshine!: "Screen-capture-1In less than two weeks, I’ll walk 60 miles in three days. This journey all started with a simple idea: tracking how many miles I walk with my dogs over the course of a year. Being someone who thrives on purpose and meaning, I wanted my walking to feed into something bigger. I chose the Breast Cancer 3-Day event as my goal and took on the task of raising donations (tax deductible, all toward the cause of ending this terrible disease; I pay all the cost of training, traveling to, and participating in the event).

My projects list included this: Complete Breast Cancer 3-Day (Sept 11-13). Subprojects were items like “Create plan for fund raising” and “Create plan for training.” During each weekly review, I checked on my progress and added training walks to my calendar. For my fundraising, I used social media and electronic communications almost exclusively (I only sent out two letters by snail mail). I blogged (here and at WomanWhoWalksWithDogs), tweeted, used Facebook, and email. I’m not someone who is comfortable with asking people for donations, yet I learned how to do that, knowing that asking was the key to success.

The biggest success, however, wasn’t from my asking. Someone else, a member of the GTD Virtual Study Group, asked for me. That’s what put me over the top--a kind, generous friend who galvanized an awesome group of GTD’ers on my behalf. This is the power of social media and user generated content: to create a place for like-minded people to come together, support, and encourage each other.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you! I feel so loved and encouraged and cared about. It’s an amazing experience--I am blessed.

Now, I’m in the home stretch. Next, I’ll map out the logistics, pull out my packing checklist and put the finishing touches on my training before boarding my flight to Seattle. And with every step, I’ll say thank you! No matter what the weather in Seattle, which is famed for its rain, I’ll be walking on sunshine! That’s because thanks to you and so many other generous people, over $2500 is going toward the fight against breast cancer.


Complete Gratitude

I am grateful to God for all I have, I am grateful for the events, the gratifications, the pleasures, the things, and the food. I am grateful for the ability to taste food, to walk, to have an able body. I am grateful for all the strife and grief I don't have and I am grateful for all the strife and grief I have had because I wouldn't be the man I am without it. I am grateful for a loving father who is actually here with me all the time no matter what. I am grateful for my God and what he gives me, which is everything.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Reflection: "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16"

I am getting ready for Church and I just got done reading this devotional on It discusses a survey given to people who are over 95.

What would you change about your life?

There were many answers given, but most of them fell into three categories:

  1. I would reflect more. (This was one of the most popular answers.)
  2. I would risk more.
  3. I would do more things that would live on after I'm dead.

What an amazing gift! Things we can focus on now!

Questions I will be asking myself:

  1. What are some ways I can reflect more and what should I reflect on? I would like to reflect more on God's Glory, the gifts I received from him and his will for my life.

  2. What risks am I not taking that I should? This sounds like a new end-of-the-day journal. A list of the risks I took and the risks I could have taken throughout a day. The first thing that pops into my head was, did I have any opportunities to talk about Christ that I missed?

  3. The last question is a tough one for me. According to the Bible the only things we can take with us are faith, hope, and love so if anything I would focus on being a more loving person. If I want to leave a legacy in the world it would have to be loving my neighbor.

Friday, August 28, 2009

G.R.A.C.E. Part 1. - Grounding

I have posted about George Leonard's G.R.A.C.E. technique before but I have been exploring this technique and other relaxation and meditation techniques and wanted to share the way I practice each piece.

G - Ground - what is it be grounded? Being grounded means being level in body and in head, and if your body is in a state your mind will follow. Take off your shoes and follow these steps (These work even better if you record yourself speaking them slowly and play them back while you follow the steps or just have someone read them to you):

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, bend your knees slightly (never locked) and breathe evenly, with each breath feel your body sink a little deeper into the ground.

With your first breath feel your feet pushing into the ground and feel the ground pushing back into your feet. Concentrate on what the ground feels like, your feet warming the ground and the ground warming your feet.

With each breath imagine energy coming up into your body. Curl your toes up and find a balance using the body of your foot without your toes, then bring your toes down and feel your whole foot hug the ground. Now focus on pushing your weight into your feet with your ankles. With your next breath push down from the knees, then tuck in your pelvis and tighten your core, use your core to push your lower body into the ground. Bend your knees to deepen your stance, use your core to pull your shoulders down your back and relax your kneck. Imagine that there is a string attached to the top of your head holding up your head and kneck and let your shoulders hang, relaxed.

Imagine your feet and legs extending down deep into the earth, knees neither bent nor locked, connecting with the universe and sigh a breath of release as you let go of all stress and anxiety firmly rooted into the ground.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Love must be Sincere

I was just reading Romans and I came across the following statement.

Romans 12:9 - Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Wow! I love it when the statement is simple. Meditate on this for 1 minute. Please share your comments.

Simple loving statement

I was just reading Romans and I came across the following statement.

Romans 12:9 - Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Wow! I love it when the statement is simple.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Challenge: meditate on a feeling

TO focus on the moment sometimes it helps to focus on one feeling.

Try this - pick one physical feeling: Touch something and focus on the feel you can also focus of the feeling of your shows on your feet, the skin on your body, the air on your skin, grass under foot, your hand on a counter, etc; it doesn't matter what you choose, just pick something to feel and focus on it and only it for 30 seconds.

When I do this exercise I feel myself grounded in the moment and taken to another place at the same time, I may be shifting my focus to be completely aware of a feeling but I am also thinking about how the rest of me feels at the moment too, I am not just focusing on me feeling the thing but I might as well be what I am feeling.

  • When I feel my hand on the counter, I am the counter.
  • When I feel the wind on my skin, I am the wind

This is an interesting exercise that can be very rewarding, I challenge you to give it a try. (P.S. my favorite is fresh green grass under my bare feet, watch out for ants though :))

Sunday, August 16, 2009


When I was about 5 I used to wonder what things meant a lot. The specific question, "What does it all mean?" didn't come up much, it was more, "Why am I looking out of these eyes and not someone elses?", "Why am I me?", and "Why can't I be somewhere else at the same time as I am here?"

I spent a lot of time pondering these questions and then just stopped. I just accepted that I was me and it didn't matter why. I remembered recently my childhood ponderings when reading the Bible. I was reading the book of Ecclesiastes 1:2
"Meaningless! Meaningless!"says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless!Everything is meaningless."

Everything is meaningless, Solomon wrote. Solomon wrote that the things, pleasures, and work of this world are meaningless. So does that mean that there aren't answers to my childhood questions? No, the things of this world are meaningless, only God grants us meaning in our lives. So the answers to my childhood questions are:
  • "Why am I looking out of these eyes and not someone elses?"
    Because these are the eyes God wanted me to have
  • "Why am I me?"
    Because God planned me before the world was created
  • "Why can't I be somewhere else at the same time as I am here?"
    Because this is exactly where I need to be

If everything is meaningless unless I have God in my life, why would I want to be anywhere else?

my prayer:

Dear Lord, please help me to get to know you better, to get to know how awesome, powerful, and limitless your love is. Help me to do the impossible and understand how much you love me enough that I will trust your will Lord!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Lord's message deserves Joy!

Church and prayer should be looked forward to with true joy! These should be the exciting times in our lives because we get to spend time with God, the one who not only made us but made everything.

This morning I was reading through my daily devotion on the Lutheran Hour Ministries web site. Today’s devotion was titled revelation and it talked about how people may get bored listening to messages about the Lord’s word and since this is the message of our salvation we should be the opposite of bored, we should be filled with Joy and look forward to opportunities to hear that message.

For me, that is not always the case, I have a really hard time paying attention in church; my mind wanders, and yes I do get bored sometimes. As I sit in church and while I should be wrapped up in the holy spirit, and wanting more I am not, my mind may go to my checkbook, chores I need to do, homework, or work. I may think about what I am going to do after church is over with…over with!

Why do I do this? I have made it clear that I am a Christian and I believe strongly that Jesus is my Lord and Savior and died for my sins! Why do I get bored? It is my sinful self, the fact that I am sinful and imperfect. I need the Holy Spirit. I need to pray to god for help to remove my sinful self and help me to truly bow down and give him the praise he is worthy of as my Lord!

My prayer:

Father God, please help me to be open to your word. My sinful self would rather be in this world dealing with its own priorities and worries. I would rather be trying to plan my own salvation then relying on you. I pray to you Lord, please take my sinful self out of the picture. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit and align my will with yours. Please fill my day with opportunities to see your will, help me to have the discipline to regularly read your word and stay in prayer. Help me to see opportunities to spread your word where I can and give me the will and courage to shout your name to the masses!
I love you Lord and I pray and praise you.
Thank you for always being there for me and helping me to know that you are always with me. Amen.

Church is a time that we can stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ and praise the Lord. It is a time where we can be taught and guided through the Lord’s word. It is a time where we can be equipped to spread that Joy to others and lead others to the salvation that Christ has promised. Through prayer the Lord can fill us and renew us and help us to dedicate our lives to him because by ourselves we can’t do it and he is always there to help us.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Prayer of and for gratitude

Father God
I can honestly say that I am grateful for my life. I find sometimes that I am not always grateful for all of it. There are times in my life that I have considered bad, negative, or unpleasant and I haven't been grateful for those times.Dear Lord,please fill me with your holy spirit and help me to remember that you are in charge. Please fill me with your love and help me to remember that no matter what happens in this physical world, your holy, eternal, and wonderful grace is ever bountiful and overwhelming to my heart, mind, and body and I can be grateful for my life, my salvation, and your love!

In Jesus name,

Brian Darnell
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Challenge - when was the last time you didn't think?

Can you go 10 minutes without thinking? How about 5? How about 2? Are you able to go 30 seconds without thinking?

Try it. Set a timer, whether it be an alarm, egg timer, phone, waterver. Try to go 30 seconds without a thought entering your mind. Can you do it?

You probably won't be able to but you may find it beneficial to try. Practicing emptying the mind can help with
  • focus improvement
  • stress management
  • prioritization
Try it, no thinking, you may be surprised at how you feel when you are done.

Monday, August 3, 2009

How to make sure what I do is what I should do

To simplify my GTD system I would describe it as being broken up into larger outcomes and next actions.

Larger outcomes are categorized as:
Life Purpose

Next actions are categorized as:
!home - Checkbook

Larger outcomes are anything that requires more then one step or a categorization that is important to me in my life. For example:
Get my bike fixed would be a larger outcome categorized as project because it can be completed regularly quickly (over a week or so), and is made up of next actions - call bike shop, budget the money, take bike to bike shop, followup call, etc

Maintain Healthy Lifestyle is a larger outcome categorized as a responsiblity because in addition to requiring next actions it may require projects, habits, etc.

To make sure i am doing what I should be doing I verify that what I am doing fits into one of my larger outcomes.

When I set a next action it may come from a project or it may just come to mind. If something comes to mind I can decide if it is worthwhile by asking myself, does this fall into one of the larger outcomes that is important to me, or should I set a larger outcome that would add to my quality of life? If the answer is no, the item might not be worth doing. I can also follow the flip side of this and review my larger outcomes (during my weekly review) to verify that I have projects and next actions set for them, this makes sure I am working towards the things I have decided are important to me.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Being Generous in a Financial Crisis

Psalm 112:5 (New International Version)

5 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,
who conducts his affairs with justice.

Wow, what an awesome promise! Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely.

When I read this I think “Well that is all well and good but I have my own issues, it is a recession. How in the heck can I be generous?” Really, how?

This is one of those times that I can’t do it on my own. I can’t be that kind of generous because my sinful self, and this world tells me when times I hard I need to look out for me and my own. It is a time when I really need God’s love in my life to help me to let go and know that since it is God’s will it is good.

Dear Lord,

I pray to you for the kind of faith that allows me to do good and follow your will even though times in the world seem hard. I pray for that kind of generosity and love when I feel the opposite.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Can I have faith like Peter?

“But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”- Matthew 16:15-16

Jesus asked Peter who he thought he was and Peter answered him faithfully! "You are the Christ"!


Can I have faith like Peter? no, not on my own anyway, my sinful self won't let me. It is not as easy as saying I believe. I only believe through the holy spirit who brings the understanding of my Lord and savior Jesus Christ into my heart. Can I have faith like Peter?

Yes, with Christ's help which is always available. Christ loves me and wants to help me and I can pray and feel his loving arms wrap around me. Can I have the kind of faith that when asked who Jesus is to me I can answer "the Christ, the son of God, who came into this world and died for my sins, who loves me so much that he saved me from the sinful self that couldn't possibly embrace his love.

Do I have faith like Peter?

Yes! Because Christ died for my sins, I have the faith that he is my savior!

My Prayer:

Dear Lord,

Thank you for coming into this world and saving my life. Thank you for saving me from the sinful self that does not allow me to experience your love. Thank you for life Lord! I love you and I thank you for the ability to love you.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Response to project anxiety

Stop, do not worry, you are God's child. Rejoice in being here and able to work and be happy for the challenge of a difficult project. Look forward to the harder projects, it means you are worthy and it means you can do it. You would not have been chosen to do a project you are incapable of.
Stop worrying, stop second guessing and stop asking for validation.
I am great!
I am am confident!
and I can do it!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Can't write, too busy dealing with my writers block

Me: Here I go, sitting down to write in my blog.
Resistance: What do you mean write? You can't write, you don't have any ideas.
Me: I guess that' s true but shouldn't I at least try?
Resistance: Why try? You don't have anything to write about, you would just be wasting your time! Why not do something more productive like read TV show summaries on Wikipedia?
Me: While that does sound appealing I really enjoy working on my blog. It is all about the process for me and I should probably just sit down and write something.
Resistance: That is ridiculous and foolish, there is no point in writing anything unless it is perfect the first time.
Me: That is not what my good friend and coach Tara Rodden Robinson says on her blog. She says that I should meet inspiration halfway by either stimulating my creativity or just writing something.
Resistance: Oh no! not Tara! You have bested my with your use of the best performance coach around. But I will be back the next time you pick up your camera!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Being Happy is a Choice

Is being happy a choice? When I have felt unhappy in the past it definitely did not feel like a choice but there have been things that have helped me get through an unhappy or depressed period that we do have the choice to take.
  • Look up a friend and talk to them, let them know you are unhappy and talk about it.
  • Smile on purpose - Even if you are unhappy smiling or laughing on purpose can help.
  • Write a gratitude journal - often for me, being unhappy can result from dwelling on negative feelings and negatives occurences. Try writing 5 things you are grateful for that happened during the day each night (or in the morning, whatever works best for your schedule).
  • Pray - the Lord's love is with you even in a bad time; he loves you when you have done something wrong and feel guilty, and he loves you when you are depressed. Talk with him.

Being happy might not feel voluntary at times but we can choose to do something about it. By taking action we are choosing to be happy, by not we choose unhappiness.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Do not be ashamed of the Gospel!

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”- Romans 1:16

I love this one! It is a great help in a troubled time where it can be "offensive" to share Christian faith.

My Prayer:

Dear Lord,

I praise your Glorious majestic name open and in the streets! I am a poor and unworthy sinner who is incapable of good no matter how hard I try and I thank you for entering my heart and forgiving my sins! Please give myself and other Christians the strength to stand up and proclaim the glory of the salvation you promise us no matter where we are! I love you and praise you Lord and pray in Jesus' name!

Some of the Daily reminders I use every day

I keep a daily reminder list in Remember the milk as am item in my !daily list. Here are my current reminders.

It is OK to be high energy even when you don't have energy, greet everyone who comes in with the best smile you can muster! Always give your best no matter how much you have left!

Remember resistance is the enemy! if you feel resistance to doing something that is the exact thing your soul wants to do!

Remember to smile big and smile often when people are there and when they are not.
Smile at God and rejoice in the smile you get back from him all the time.

I am God's child and the people I interact with are also God's children.
Love them by listening to them and making that moment about them. Stay with God in prayer and live your day trusting God's glorious will!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Smile big

Remember to smile big and smile often when people are there and when they are not. Smile at God and rejoice in the smile you get back from him all the time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Prayerful affirmation for a more loving prayerful day

I am God's child and the people I interact with are also God's children. Love them by listening to them and making that moment about them. Stay with God in prayer and live your day trusting God's glorious will!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My hair will be pink in October

Every year I run or walk with my team in the Susan G. Komen race for the cure! This year is amazing in that I not only can support the cause by raising funds and participating in the event, I can help support my friend Tara who is walking in the 60 mile Breast Cancer 3 day!!
Please visit Tara's HQ on the Komen 3 Day site and read about the work the foundation does.

She is almost half way to her goal of $2300 so please visit and support her even if you can only donate as much as $5 it will make a big difference. She only has to September so help is needed!

My Team's goal is $3000 and if we make it I will be dyeing my hair pink for the entire month of October. If you are able to come down to Temecula on October 18th 2009 and would like to join me in the walk please go to to sign up.

Please pick Tara over me. I have a team and ton's of fund raising efforts behind me and my goals for the Susan G. Komen foundation, so if you would like to support this cause please donate to Tara's goal - She is on her own working very hard and she needs the help. Tara, you are the cure!

You are welcome to join me walking and raising funds so if you can come down to Temecula on Oct 18th you are welcome join me!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Meditation challenge - listen to music

I challenge you to do something simple. Listen to entire song doing nothing else but listening. Sit, lay, lounge, etc and listen to an entire song without thinking, multitasking, etc.. Give the song your full attention.
An average song is 2.5 minutes long. You can do it right?
You may be surprised. I just tested this concept and I am almost picked up my phone to tweet 3 times.
This is a good mental exercise so I hope you try it and practice it often.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fishers of men

Here is the prayer offered in my daily devotional and my prayer inspired by it.

Today's prayer -
Dear Lord, You have told Your disciples to fish for souls. Grant us the willingness to follow Your instruction and send the Holy Spirit so the catch may be blessed. In Your Name, I ask it. Amen.

Dear Lord, please help me to not only witness your word but to want to. Fill me with your holy spirit to help me be an example of Christian life to help bring people to you. Please help me not only to do this but to want it with every fiber of my being.


I find myself torn when praying. Sometimes i just go with the motions in prayer and ask God to do things for me and ask him to help me do things I think he wants for me. I feel like this isn't enough, I feel like what I should be doing is praying for God's will and praying to actually want it rather then just praying for it to be in my life. If God's will is there I might be too scared to actually move forward with it. Courage is not exactly my strong trait. I pray,

Dear Lord! I praise you and worship you! I confess that I am sinner and cannot accomplish anything on my own Lord and most of the time I do not want your will in my life. I pray to enter my heart and help to shape my desires to be your desires! In your holy name,


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Artist's block at the airport

I am currently at Salt Lake City Airport at the end of a four hour layover. An aiport might not be the first place thought of when thinking of places to be blocked but here I was and you know what? I had know idea I was experiencing resistance.

I was walking around the airport pretty restlessly, hanging out playing with my laptop, reading, talking on the phone (very rewarding conversation with sarah who I already miss terribly btw) but still kept feeling really restless and not really knowing why.

And then I realized it, I have the means of creation with me, my notebook, my laptop, my blackberry, my camera, even my juggling balls and all their potential was sitting unused in my bags brimming with the potential energy that could be released through art; whether that be photos, writing, a braindump, planning a project, blogging (hahahaha, the blog won), or even juggling (very very cool way to be creative especially when there are people around because it helps me get over my inhibitions)

I had the framework to make meaning and I wasn't using it and my brain was going crazy!! It was almost like having an unspoken committment using up tons of psychic energy. In this case it was solved with a quick braindump into my notebook followed by this blog entry.
Brian Darnell
follow me on twitter -

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lost task - Natural planning model

This morning I opened my !daily context in rmilk and discovered that my daily reminder task was empty. I took it as an opportunity to walk through the natural planning model and re-purpose the task. Please take a look inside my brain and review the process I went through.

08:31 6/23/2009

It is Tuesday June 23rd; year of our Lord 2009 and my reminder task is blank! Most likely an accident caused by milksync, outlook and deleting things on my Blackberry but I have to say, as we all know there are no accidents and I have to accept this as such; not an accident. So let's think... What do us or in this case I do when a task is wiped clean. Renegotiate the task using the natural planning model.

The natural planning model is 5 steps.

1. Purpose and principles (why and under what rules)

2. Desired outcome (best possible "what" that exists because of the actions included in the project)

3. Brainstorming (long list of ideas, this is a mindsweep but also revolves around steps 1 and 2. What are all the ways to get to 2 using 1?

4. Organizing (taking the what is useful from 3. and organizing it into a timeline, project plan, list, etc. Creating a form for the project).

5. Next actions (listing the next actions and organizing them by context)

After typing up the 5 steps of the natural planning model I begin to think that there should be a step before step 1. I am going to call that step 0 - Current reality.

0. Current Reality - what is true? What is my existing truth that I plan to build upon with this project/goal/vision etc.

So, first off I am going to get started.

0. Current reality - What is true?

What is true that is relevant at this time?

I am 30 years old; slightly overweight on the brink of major change (I know this through a feeling. I have an active prayer life and in the past have suffered from anxiety which results in some controlling tendencies. I am in a great relationship, have an awesome job and am constantly working on improving and getting better. When I am not fighting I am training is one of my favorite sayings. I am also about to go on a one week vacation.

So truth -

Past - anxiety and controlling tendencies

Current - 30, slightly overweight, on the brink of change)

Future - vacation

1. Purpose - reminders helping me to manage my anxiety. Principles - flexible, never rigid, reviewing doesn't take longer than 2 minutes.

2. Outcome - My anxiety is managed, I love my self and act with love to those around me

3. Brainstorming

Remember to be prayerful

Remember to be confident

Remember you can be your own manager

Remember you are great!

Remember to pray, pray now

Remember your baptism

Remember that it is all good because it is from God's will

Remember to breath.

Remember that others are children of God

Remember that God's grace is enough so there is no need to be anxious

Remember to affirm your day

Daily reminder

In outlook

In remember the milk

On blackberry

Reviewed daily?


Read all?

Add reminders?

Can I skip?

Every other day?

Should the reminders be related to all aspects of me?

They should focus on being present. If I am present I am not anxious.

4. Organization

Place a daily reminder in rmilk (which will sync to bb and outlook at home)

Add reminders which enforce being present, being loving, being prayerful, and having a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Take a moment to reflect during each session and adding to and removing from the list as needed. This moment will be a time to be present across all moments.

5. Next actions - open rmilk and add recurring note called daily reminder in the !daily context.

Now I have a task I can review daily which will give me a time to reflect and be present. It is a time for affirmation, and renewal.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My key to humility

As sinful beings it is impossible for us to be humble, we will try to do it ourselves, be our own masters and in fact try to be our own gods. What is the key to humility?

Let go to God.

Don't worry; not about consequences of action, about problems or anything; trust in God and if you find yourself worrying anyway, pray for help to trust, for help to even to want to trust, pray for help to have the strength to want to ask for help, pray for the ability to mean it.

My prayer:
Dear Lord,

I praise you before all and I confess to you that I am sinful. I try to run my own life, solve my own problems. I try to prove to you that I can do it without you and of course I can't. Please fill me with you through your holy spirit. Help me to see your will and when I see it give me the courage to do it because without you I am nothing Lord. Please fill me up and help me to not only see your will for my life but to want it with every fiber of my being.

In Jesus' name I pray,


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Grateful for being tired

I am tired today; it is probably a side effect of all the riding I have been doing. It came time to do my gratitude journal and I decided to write about being tired. I like some of the thoughts that came from this journal session and I would like to share it with you:

I am grateful I am tired because I know it will be easier to fall asleep tonight. I fight being tired quite a bit like there is something wrong with it but I would like to learn to be friends with tired. I am grateful that I have the option to slow down; I am trying to go full speed even though I am tired and I don't really need to do that. I am grateful that I can relax and let my momentum take more forward. I am grateful that I am tired, for it is a reminder to relax, lean forward and let the work happen. It is a reminder to stay centered and I am grateful for that.

Monday, June 15, 2009

How do you let it go?

When I am anxious or stressed about something I often get the advice from friends,

"just let it go".

But how do you do that if you feel like you can't? What if it feels like something is wrong with you and you hold onto things even though your greatest desire is to just get rid of them. Don't worry, you are not alone and there is nothing wrong with you, I have the same problem myself quite a bit.

How do I deal with it?

Sometimes I don't, sometimes it really stresses me out and I can't let it go but a lot of times this is because I haven't really identified how I am let alone why. I find that I can't find the why until I have found the how and even if I know why I am so stressed, if I haven't identified how it doesn't go away.

Some tricks that work for me:
* Write it down - Identify how you feel on paper. This isn't why you are stressed, this is how the stress feels. Is your chest tight? is it hard to breath? are you breathing too fast? How does it feel?
* Talk about it with someone you trust. Being open about how you feel is a great way to relieve the feeling. Very often once it is identified the problem goes away.
*Take a walk - This one is really easy but sometime the hardest thing. I will think I am stressed about tons of different things but the real problem is I haven't given myself any adequate reflection time. Take some time for yourself and your problems may just unravel themselves.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Some tools from my Daily routine

Over the last few years there are a number of techniques I have implemented into my daily routine that have helped me with anxiety, productivity, and overall sanity. I keep track of these in Microsoft Outlook and maintain them mostly every day.

Daily Devotional

I want to fill my life with the Lord’s word and stay in it but I find it very hard to keep a Bible on me and when I do I find myself going numb to having it and not making the time to read it. My solution, I added a daily task in outlook to read a daily devotion and to read a daily bible verse at
This has helped me stay active in the word and helps me to make it a part of my life.

Daily reminder

This is simply a task with a list of things to be cognizant about all the time. The items are simple:

  • Remember to smile
  • Remember to affirm your day (you have an affirmation note category)
  • Remember, God's grace is enough and you don't have to worry about this world, just love the people in it.
  • Remember, you can always go somewhere else to work for a while if you can't concentrate.

I also have items specific to work, twitter, etc. I read this daily so I try to keep it down to about 4 or 5 items and I update it every day adding new reminders and removing things that have already become habits. This list becomes useful to keep me centered and give me inspiration for Twitter and the Blog.

Gratitude Journal

Every day I write 5 things I am grateful for. This was a practice suggested by my good friend (and big Sis in Christ) Tara Rodden Robinson. This helps me to stay positive, focus on God’s will for me, and it has helped me to remember that even things that have seemed unpleasant in the past have always resulted in good for me.

Daily Affirmation

Every day I write a few words in a note in Outlook affirming what wild success for the day would look like. I close my eyes and imagine myself at the end of the day and I write about how wonderful it is to have experienced what ever joyful thing I envision at the time. I don’t believe for a second that positive thoughts like this make anything happen but I do believe that it keeps me focused, outcome based, and helps me to think in terms of present action towards future goals.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pray without ceasing

I just finished reading my daily devotion and said the prayer listed at the bottom -

Dear Savior, because of Your sacrifice I am saved. Now may I, no matter what the world throws at me, be able to rejoice evermore. In Your Name, I ask it. Amen.

Sometimes when I read these prayers the Spirit leads me to continue in my own words:

Dear Lord,
I am sinful and faulted and do not always praise you, I do not always pray, give thanks in all circumstances, I more often then not, act in a way that is not pleasing to you. I praise you Lord and thank you for my life, I thank you for humbling yourself and dying on the cross so that I may be free from sin and live with you forever. I thank you for my time in this world and thank you for the gifts you have given me and the gifts you will give me.
Dear Lord, I pray to you to help me, help me follow your will not mine, help me to live in prayer because I know I cannot do it without you Lord. I love you Lord and thank you once again for what I have and what I will have.

In Jesus's holy name I pray.


Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Can't do it without God

Dear heavenly Father,

I am writing this as a way to trigger my brain to be active about it, I am praying for the holy spirit to fill my body, mind, and spirit and to stand with me to fight the fights, live the Christian life, and love the people, I love you Lord and I praise you and thank you for everything I have, will have, and will do, I thank you for saving me and loving me no matter what and I thank you for this spirit I currently have reminding me to stick with you and making that possible. I am yours Lord please work in me to be the man you want, to be the man you see me being. I am a sinner and cannot do this on my own, I fool myself into believing I can and I can't and I stress about it when really I should be joyful in the fact, the fact! That you have saved me and I am good to go! Good to go with God! Lord, thank you for my life and helping me to follow your will not mine.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Do you live for the days when your ketchup flows freely?

At lunch today I had some french fries and poured my ketchup and thought, "Wow, this sure poured out easy today, I didn't have to do anything to the bottle to force the ketchup to pour any faster than a perfect, steady, free pour". And I got to thinking how this compares to how a lot of us view life.

Are we disappointed when life doesn't flow freely? When we turn the ketchup bottle and it doesn't come on it's own and it needs to be shaken, hit, or helped with a knife to free the ultimate companion to french fries? I digress, life can be tough. Sometimes life requires hard work and it isn't easy. There will always be goals and projects that we have to work hard to get through it. Anything worth working for is 80% negative gain and 20% positive gain. But that 20% gain is 100% gratifying. So I choose to live for the days that life isn't easy, that I have to grab it and shake it and work to get it moving in the direction I want.

I live for the days that I have to work to get what I want out of life and I am thankful for the days it flows freely.