Plan Something . . .

 

Yes indeedy … it’s Friday again, y’all!  T.G.I.F.!

Shake off the unnecessary “elements” and let your hair down … (if you’ve any!)  T.G.I.F.!

It’s been a very decent week for me all things included.  I found that after I swim, which I have modified by moving my hips as little as possible, I am sore for three days!  I swam Wednesday … light stuff … wading near the shore mostly.  It feels good to let the waves move over and around ones body gently … up and down … side to side.  And the water is so comfortably warm with cool spots the further from the shore you go and the deeper the water.  I gave myself the acupuncturist style self massage (hard to reach my feet … forget my back!) and carried on my usual schedule yesterday.  I had a few visits and took my leisurely walk to Puerta Pirata down by the water.

This morning, I am still a little sore … but I have a PLAN!  Do you know what those are?  Do they have to be “airtight” at first?!?  Let’s agree that practice and experience at a chosen task or skill is paramount.  We live and we learn …  I still think that much of the “educational system” needs revamping with an intense focus on “ourselves” – the human body, our surroundings (galaxy, -ies) and our relationship to ourselves and each other.  It’s going to take some genius, some patience … and some planning!  If we each start with “ourselves” and maybe a small group (like the earliest “churches”) and make a promise to “be the best that we can be” … each and every day, we may be able to “save ourselves”.  Shucks, we could call it “Plan Save Ourselves”.  Of course, we can have back up plans and alternative plans … and we can modify the initial plan as needed.  But most importantly, plan something!

There are a lot of graduation and commencement ceremonies going on “world wide” as we enter the beginning of the summer season.  This was a time of year where for me, in the past, I did graduation closing ceremonies and made speeches for programs at the Urban League of Broward County.  For the most part, I find that the concept of planning is important no matter WHAT kind of system we replace the current one with or that we use to modify our current “system”.  Here in Puerto Viejo, I have had occasion to meet many young people with plans of recycling plastics, plans of purchasing property and establishing eco-friendly “housing” including self sustenance farming (growing basic perhaps organic crops).  At this time, there are many “wild life” sanctuaries where they actually gather endangered animals (bats included) and attempt to nurse them back to health.  The goal is to release them back in to the “wild” … or what I like to call … nature!  I met one young man here who had gathered quite a following with his business plan to purchase property and build an eco-friendly environment to foster basic projects including improving trash removal and recycling.  “Veysel” came complete with a fair amount of savings to invest in his project, a drone … I was impressed, a rental car and a PLAN!  I don’t know about you, but I have developed a technique to first calm myself when a crisis arises … and then formulate a plan to counter the crisis, or at least “manage” it so it doesn’t get out of control … if possible.  I am usually able to come up with an alternative right there on the spot.  It, too, comes with experience.  I see Veysel as indicative of where we need to go and what we need to do!  Good luck!

In closing today, encourage those graduates from “wherever” to consider our world situation, identify where one might be most helpful to improve the world situation … and make some PLANS!

Enjoy your weekends!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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“We Are ALL Connected”!

 

Happy Hump Day, y’all!

How’s the week going for youse?!  I hope it’s all “Kool and the Gang”!

Yesterday … and Monday were good days!  I started feeling confident about the new manuscript.  I organized some time and stayed in my cabin.  Once doing that, I began to look over my notes … plugged in my thumb drive … and brought up the copy of the manuscript on my desktop.  It looks “doable” …  I went out Monday afternoon  and picked up a few groceries and went back to the cabin to write … and relax.  Tuesday was kind of a repeat  but I went out for an ice cream though.  I tuckered out in the afternoon and left the thumb drive in, my resume up on the computer … and took a nap!!

Monday was super, too, because I got an e-mail from the American Embassy where I correspond for a national background check as well as THEIR approval for me to apply for residency here.  It is called a “comprobante” from what I can understand.  So, I replied to the e-mail as requested and am awaiting a reply.  I still have a form called an “Expediente” which means that I am in the process of applying for residency and can come and leave Costa Rica without any legal issues!  That’s important for me a variety of reasons.

I am sure that many of “us” have heard the expression that “we are all connected”.  How many of you agree with that?!?  The first time that the statement was proposed to me, I must admit that I began to look for reasons NOT to be connected to various people – because they got on my nerves!!  However, as time went on, I realized that there is a “power greater than myself” … My Creator … who calls the shots.  (I saw a gent yesterday with a shirt on saying “Call the Shots!”)  How many of us want to “call the shots”?  It is tempting.  Yet, if we want to call the shots in our OWN lives, thereby not affecting others negatively, then CALL ’em!  If YOUR “shot call” affects me negatively, we will probably have to modify something … at least … “our” relationship!  I don’t need YOUR “shot calling” to mess up MY life … nor others!  How many of us know how to “Let Go!” when you can’t call the shot?!?  How many of “us” know how to stand up and state that a particular “shot call” is not functioning well for me and my loved ones?!?  Yeah … Let’s talk!  You all are the people we need at the “front” of good things!!  I have no time and little patience for a “person” who talks about doing everything … yet, does NOTHING!!!  In truth, humans have the same composition, thus, “we” are connected … with EVERYTHING!

Enough said for a “hump day”!  Go forth and enjoy … if you aren’t already!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

“People Get Ready …”

 

It’s Friday!

I’ve got to do my bit of praise for my Creator today … and everyday … T.G.I.F.!

I know that we ALL remember the number of songs in our life times about “People Get Ready …” for something!  The most famous is the renowned “Negro Spiritual” – “People Get Ready … There’s a train a coming; you don’t need no tickets … you just get on board.  All you need is faith to hear the diesels humming; Don’t need no ticket, you just thank the Lord!”

Do you think that we need a “change” in humanity?!?  No brainer, right?!!  But change to what???  That’s the secret … well … one of the secrets anyway.  The next secret is “how” do we carry out this “change” that has been coming for what seems like FOREVER!  By now, we should all be able to see that the change will probably not come from “the top down” … meaning from human leadership, which we are lacking at this moment in human history.  Many people “don’t think that we are on the brink, about to sink” if we don’t implement some very serious changes and soon … and sweepingly.  With the election of the current president in the US, “humans” have been forced to take sides … because he doesn’t care about any humans!  This person is like a catalyst, we thinks, to bring all of the “dirty laundry” out that has been stored for hundreds of years in some people’s ancestors “closets”.  Now, it is coming out!  Most people don’t TAKE time to THINK!!  They just pick an issue like “race” or “income” or “employment” and hang their hats on it, so to speak, without having done any thinking let alone research on that “issue”.  Some people are posting things and saying things … yep, even tweeting nonsense!  I hope all you Canadians know that according to some people’s “leader”, you guys burnt the White House in the War of 1812 even though “the” colonial troops were fighting a revolutionary war against ENGLAND!!  I know one guy who still supports this character even though it makes no sense from the standpoint of who he is …

Okay, so many of us who are able to “distance” or remove ourselves from the “harsh gears of the machinery” can see where the change has to come from … inside!  Each individual has to initiate a personal revolution to revamp “ones” own values and self education (we need to learn about humans … our “history” but the TRUE history … of how we survived for centuries, curing ourselves of illnesses).  We need to stop pitting one human against another and do away with this competitive aggressiveness that has thrown our natural value for “sharing” with one another to make the experience (journey) of being a “human” more fulfilling … literally into the “trash”.  Look around … every country and every city … many people are still “trapped” in to this way of thinking that they have to be better than their fellow human.  That way, these “troubled souls” can feel superior to someone, which is NOT a characteristic that aides in sustaining the human civilization as a community.  Be logical.  Then, some of the more feeble minded creatures “buy into the illusion” that one race or religion, or head gear or skin color and lip shape has caused “their” own discomfort in this “fake” journey to compete for everything down to the last crumb on the Earth! (Imagine how long that would take!)  Well, this is why we have to change this “crap shoot”!  “The hunter has been captured by his game!”

Hey, start to think about peace and harmony, helping one another rather than criticizing each other every chance we get.  Let’s start to look at our values … and OURSELVES … to see where we can improve our individual selves FIRST.  Grasp honesty and truth, stop “one upping” and lying to each other about all of the fantastic things one has imagined one did!  Besides, you are only fooling yourself!  Okay, alrighty then, I hope you see what I am driving at.  As one “friend” often says when the conversation gets challenging, “I don’t care about that anyway …”.  Well, I am here to tell you “DO CARE” and check yourself out!  You might need to make some changes!

Enjoy the weekend!

Peace Out,

John I. Cook, Director

“Death Be Not Proud!”

Happy Hump Day, y’all!

Remember, “we’ve got to get ova da hump”!  I am in a great mood this morning … just grateful!  Have you ever had that feeling … lately?!  I get it quite often here.  Now, everybody is different.  In fact, we each are different at “different” stages of our lives!!  Most folks don’t consider “death” to be part of the process of our lives as we know it.  There is so much intrigue and fascination with the “hereafter” and what happens next!  Most people don’t think that far ahead about “life”.  We have been conditioned and trained to focus on how we will maintain “financial independence” in a “world economy” based on capital.  When do we get a chance to “look at, care for and love” ourselves?!?  “Retirement” is the catchphrase very commonly used as the time when you get to “love yourself”!  What were “we” doing the rest of the time?!?  What if we run out of time to “love ourselves and be loved by others”?!?  “Oh well …”

I think back to my days of studying “British and American Poetry”  at St. Paul’s School and one writer’s poem, “Death Be Not Proud”, caught my attention.  In that poem, John Donne attempts to discredit the power of “death” over our lives.  It seems to me that we live each day not keeping track of where we are or who we are as we try to sustain a system whose goal it is is to sustain itself at our “expense” – physical, mental and definitely spiritually.  In my studies of sociology, I read a lot of “material” attempting to deal with the “aura” of death.  Most of such material emphasizes “death” as the “end of life”, not another stage or “level of existence”.  How does that make “one” feel?  For me, I WOULD feel rather “finite” …. like after this, I won’t be “needed around here” anymore!  But I don’t … I have learned to embrace the concept that there is “life after death”, that we are spirits consisting of energy that has inhabited these bodies we carry around!  Sounds “spacey”, right?!?  It sounds better to me than “you are no longer needed here – just die!”

Just a couple of days ago, I was at my favorite “hang out”, Puerta Pirata, and one of the well known ex-Pats here, Cleo Robertson author and business woman extraordinaire, made a comment.  She said, “You heard that the guy with the bad leg who rode the bicycle all the time … he died somewhere a few nights ago and the vultures ate him.  Well, you know … we all go back to nature somehow.”  I sat there for a minute … I remember the guy.  At first when I would speak to him, he wouldn’t respond.  I kept it up … and after a few weeks maybe a month of me seeing him and saying hello, he replied.  According to Cleo’s account he was suffering from many health issues.  He was a “regular” around town and at one super market that I pass each morning on my way to the beach.  He, too, was homeless … it seems.

At this time, I have been feeling extremely relaxed and have been organizing things that will make living here more comfortable.  Some folks ask me, “Is this your ‘forever happy place?'”  And my response is, “For now, yes!”  Do I have to be “finite” in order for folks to understand me … or themselves?!?  I beg to differ!  While my mother struggled through her last days of “life” with Alzheimer’s and high blood pressure before her fall and ultimate brain hemorrhaging, she often talked about “transformation”.  Many of the Bible passages she read as death loomed at her door referred to this “transformation” after death …  I became curious about this “transformation” thing and have begun to explore how it might apply to me.  What thinketh you?

A quick yet special “shout out” to a very special friend, pilates and yoga instructor, spin specialist, Orange Fitness expert, mother and wife and daughter … sister, too … wishing her a Happy Birthday yesterday!  Lydia Richardson sent me an e-mail reply last Friday that made me appreciate her … and the friends like her whom I have been able to make along this journey … more than ever!  Catch you later!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

Summer Time, Summer Breeze!

Happy Friday, y’all!

It’s that time again . . . T.G.I.F.!

We never stop “growing” . . . have you ever heard that before?  It’s something to think about, because if one doesn’t think about it, one probably WILL stop growing.  This topic opens a “can of worms”, so to speak, about something that science as Western civilization goes has not confirmed – the possibility of alternate realities.  I know, it is a bit too deep for a Friday … with a waning Full Moon … and lots of rain here in Central America.  So, I will stop here for today on this subject.

Summer seems to be here in this “reality” and I am waking up to some steady though not horrifying rain in Puerto Viejo.  I am thinking of traveling maybe “stateside” at the end of this month as I still have a PO Box there in Ft. Lauderdale.  I have the necessary documentation to travel and return to Costa Rica and am planning on staying and renting the cabin I am in.  Sometimes, people ask me if I want to buy property here.  I always give them my stock answer:  “No, first because I don’t have that kind of money and second, I don’t want to be tied to anything that requires too much maintenance!”  I am feeling that “free spirit” existence around this time and summer time certainly adds to my state of “listlessness” …

It’s June 1st and I want to welcome summer time … whether it be warm breezes and cook outs … or tropical rainfall and omnipresent heat.  Do your best to enjoy it!  It’s another season in your life!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

Good Vibrations!!

 

Happy Hump Day, y’all!

Yep, and it’s a full moon, too!  I looked up into the sky last night and saw that full shine peeking through a couple of the clouds that were hanging out after a scorcher of a day here in Puerto Viejo.  I am a “Moon Child” aka Cancer horoscope sign and I find the full moon intriguing as well as full of energy.  In my youthful past, I remember full moons being like a “drug” and I just had to keep moving until “the break of dawn”!  I got tired of that after a while … literally!

In a previous message, I mentioned that guns were illegal in Puerto Viejo.  I was corrected by a guy who has lived here a few years and he mentioned that they were NOT illegal.  So, I looked up the Costan Rican law and that is correct.  There is a tremendous amount of paperwork that must be filled out with the government in order for a person to legally have a hand gun.  My point in suggesting that guns were illegal is that there is always such a “good vibration” amongst the people … and there are various diverse ethnic groups here … including the Costa Ricans apparently mixed with Spanish and local indigenous people; there are people of Jamaican heritage; there are Chinese here … considered to be one of if not the first “foreign” people to set up a thriving store on the water; and there are a lot of Italian people here running “gelato” shops and vegan restaurants and owning other businesses including hostels and lodging.

While still dealing with seeking alternative treatment for my hips, including RSO/CBD oil, I am feeling very “blessed” as they say around here.  In general, people are functioning on “good vibrations” a lot here, too!  I see older women with their daughters and a wheelbarrow type cart hauling platanos, avocados, bananas and other agriculture.  They start early in the morning and literally comb the streets here looking for customers.  There are a few guys who specialize in getting coconuts, called “pipas” here, from the lofty branches of the trees along the beaches and rain forest.  They both, one indigenous and the other of Jamaican stock, have physical disability in their legs … and the Jamaican guy rides a bicycle carrying his machete and basket for the fresh “pipas”!  I happen to have become friends with both and say hello each time I see them.  With me, and with others whom I see those two dealing with, they are always honest … the Jamaican guy gave me a “pipa” one day “on the house” … er uh … forest!

The street I am renting a cabin on is a pretty popular street.  We have a “Mega Super” grocery store on the corner and a clinic and pharmacy just steps away from the entrance of Mega Super.  The landlord of the cabin I am renting is an Italian artist … bohemian style … and continues to paint from her home.  She decorated the cabin and has a tiny “forest” on her property full of cats and kittens, geckos and lots of tropical plants … not to mention all the insects which come with a place like this!  Every Wednesday at 3pm, the guys get together (another melting pot of players) and play 3 on 3 pick up games.  I always watch.  The brother of one of the guys named Kenneth stopped me in the street the other evening when I was on my way home just two doors down from him.  He said, “Hey Man.  I am Clayton.”  His hand was extended.  “I wanted to say hello and tell you that I feel a good vibration from you, Man.  Welcome!”  Each time I see Clayton, he comes up from his porch and comes to shake hands with me.  “I got to get ready to go to work, Man.  I see you coming from the beach.  See you later.”

So, I am dedicating this message to good vibrations as we all know that loving vibrations are the ONLY vibrations that can heal humanity.  Now THAT’S a mouthful!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

Thank You!

 

Happy Friday, again, All!

I hope that your weeks have been good for you … progressive even.  I am always looking for different ways to look at things … good ways … when given a particular situation or circumstances to deal with.  As we approach the end of another month and the beginning of summer in many places on the Earth, I wanted to give thanks … to each of  You … to the Universe … and to My Creator!

In regards to my residency application, I am currently waiting to receive the “go ahead” from the US Consulate here in the San Jose region.  That would include a national “background check” as well as their approval for me to seek residency here.  It’s a process … trust me on this …. But remember, anything that comes too easy, methinks, may not be appreciated!  Consequently, “it” may be treated poorly or not important, as it should be treated very well and maintained at high level of importance.  Waking up on days like today have given me a heavy dose of “gratitude”.  So, a hearty warm “thank you” to all the elements that have contributed to my well being.

Of course, I know that I am a bit eccentric in some ways yet, rather typical in other ways.  I know I drive a hard bargain for love and peace, harmony and understanding.  It is part of who I am.  Trust me on this one, too … I am VERY grateful for who I am.  I am grateful for those of you who understand to some degree where I am “coming from”, so to speak.  Recently, I have had a few people comment that they feel that I will need hip replacements.  I always remind folks, that these are “my hips” connected to my body for which I am responsible.  Am I too far “out there”?!?  I just try to be practical.  I can basically take care of myself, shaving, showering, cooking and cleaning up, and walking around Puerto Viejo to the super market or to the Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning.  Most days  I walk two to three Costa Rican blocks from my cabin to the Caribbean and relax with friends at my favorite hang out, “Puerta Pirata”.  There are a fair number of “ex Pats” who meet up at Puerta Pirata where our friends, Alex and Jenna, have purchased, remodeled and repainted to meet their clients’ needs and their own expectations for an exceptional vegan smoothie/food shop right there on the water front!  It may be that at some point, I will need more medical attention to alleviate the condition, if possible.  Besides, it’s only pain!!  How would “we” know how beautiful peace and tranquility can be if we never experienced pain?!?  I know, I know … Enough already … of the pain and my discourse here!

So, thanks again, y’all, for reading and replying, reading and not replying, reading and deleting the message … or thanks for just checking me out!  I don’t mean any harm to anyone via my perspective on things.  I just wish “humanity” well!  That would be “us”!

Have a great weekend!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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