Author: Craig Weidhuner

[Updated] What is a ‘Mystical Force’?

[Updated] What is a ‘Mystical Force’?

You’ve all heard the term ‘Mystical Force’, but what exactly does it mean?

“All beings radiate a life force, but some have an additional ‘Mystical Force’. Mystical Forces are divided into three main categories: Magical Essence, Demonic Aura and Spiritual Powers. Though on the surface these powers seem identical and indistinguishable there are subtle differences between them.

Magical Essence:

Is the generic term for beings with magic powers (called mages), regardless of what type of magic it is. The characters of Mystic and Noonien are two examples of characters with Magical Essence as their Mystical Force. Magic powers may be hereditary, natural to the species/race or from other/artificial means (magic potions, objects, and so on) Depending on the exact nature of the powers it may be necessary to recite incantations to engage specific spells. However, if one is powerful enough in their magic skills, they need only to think of the desired effect to make it happen, such as Mystic or Noonien simply casting a spell with a wave of their hand, rather than performing an elaborate ritual, or even saying a specific magic phrase for different actions to be taken.

Demonic Aura:

The generic term used to describe the powers demons have. Demonic Aura, like Magical Essence, can be natural to the race/species but is also hereditary and is passed down from one or more of the parents. Thus a human with a demon for an ancestor can inherit Demonic Aura via it being passed down through the generations, though in that case their Demonic Aura is generally weaker and may even not be noticeable (the individual may not even be aware that they have it). Unlike magic, the powers of Demonic Aura are less direct. Demons generally use their powers to enhance their abilities (strength, speed, stamina, healing). In some cases it may allow the user to change their appearance and or form (gaining claws/wings and so on) Any other powers/abilities their Demonic Aura gives them are more general in nature and unlike Magical Essence they don’t require spells or incantations to work. Tokijin is an example of a character with Demonic Aura as his Mystical Force. Despite the name, individuals with Demonic Aura don’t get their powers from the Devil, as the Order of the Cross claims, it would be more accurate to describe their abilities as natural traits of their race/species. Demons are simply another species living on Earth. Despite their appearance and abilities, they’re not much different than humans. Like humans, some are kind and compassionate, some are malevolent and hostile and most simply want to live normal lives. It is simple prejudice for being different from humans that makes people fear and hate them.

Spiritual Powers:

Is the generic term used to describe the third main type of Mystical Force. Characters like Shi-ria, Sister Rose and the other members of the Order of the Cross are examples of characters with Spiritual Powers as their Mystical Force. Spiritual Powers are more vague than the other two and are the most difficult to achieve. Unlike Magical Essence or Demonic Aura, Spiritual Powers take years of training and discipline to master. Most people who have these powers usually have strong spiritual/religious beliefs. They also tend to be monks or nuns (though this isn’t necessarily a requirement) and they tend to live simplistic non-materialistic lives in order to strengthen their spiritual beliefs and powers. Like Demonic Aura, Spiritual Powers are used to enhance one’s abilities (strength, speed, stamina, healing) as well as providing a form of ESP (such as visions of the future, a warning or ‘feeling’ of danger and so on). Some (like Shi-ria) believe that these powers lie dormant in everyone and with proper training and practice, anyone can learn to harness these powers. Others (like the Order of the Cross) believe this power only appears in certain people chosen by God and by extension, those who aren’t ‘chosen’ by God who have similar powers must have gotten them from the devil. While Spiritual Powers are developed through training, the time it takes one to develop such powers and their skill level may vary based on the individuals. Some have to train long and hard to master Spiritual Powers while others are just naturally gifted.

It should also be noted that these three categories are not mutually exclusive. For example, if a mage and a demon were to conceive and child then that child could theoretically have both Magical Essence and Demonic Aura. So which would choose? What’s your Mystical Force?

A sneak peek at Liberator vol. 2:

A sneak peek at Liberator vol. 2:

Coming this November, Liberator: The People’s Guard volume 2: Genetic Arms Race! And now I’d like to present you all with a special sneak peek! A small excerpt from the book, enjoy!

Location: The Heptagon, Federal District, Republic of Usonia

It had been several months since Mongo’s rampage in Movogorsky. The attempt to obtain the formula from Grigori Chekhov had been deemed a failure. Yet despite this setback, General Flagg was more optimistic than ever about his attempt to create his own version of the Liberator. After his phone call with Mr. Torahara, Flagg had been delivered a suitcase containing “top secret” information. Inside was exactly what he had been looking for all this time—the formula necessary to create his own genetically enhanced metamorphic-human, one loyal to Usonia and with the same strength and invulnerability as the Liberator. The difference with this version was that Flagg didn’t trust anyone with the formula. So, rather than choose a candidate and genetically modify that person, Flagg simply provided a sample of his own DNA to create his own version from scratch, a clone of himself that would be programmed to be unquestioningly loyal to both Flagg and Usonia. Thanks again to both the information and equipment provided by Torahara Industries, Flagg managed to create his clone. The clone was grown in a lab like a culture of bacteria and programmed like a computer. This Usonian “Liberator” was everything Flagg had hoped for—a state-sponsored hero who shared all his beliefs because Flagg had personally overseen them to be programmed into its DNA. Now, he was ready to show off his creation to a top secret meeting of military and government officials.

Having temporarily closed off an outdoor space on the north side of the building, General Flagg was addressing an assembled crowd of top military brass and government officials, “My fellow Usonians,” he began proudly. “Our nation has faced many threats over the years, but none so great as the one that exists right now over in Ruthenia—a threat known simply as the Liberator—a genetically enhanced super soldier, created by those godless commie pinkos for the sole purpose of destroying our nation and our way of life. While some out there are content to let Ruthenia win this genetic arms race, I can assure you I am not one of them. Just as we’ve spent the past several decades trying to win the nuclear arms race, so too shall we win this genetic arms race. For today, I am proud to present to you our nation’s newest weapon in the war against tyranny. Our own state-sponsored hero. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Patriot!”

The general motioned toward a large black metallic box several feet away, large enough to hold a person. Some attendees expressed shock and disgust that the general would keep a person contained in a box; it seemed inhuman. This was another example of General Flagg’s irrational view on national security; his country’s newest hero, a tool to be kept sealed away in storage until called for, then placed back into storage until needed again. However, this shock and disgust was nothing compared to the reaction of the gathered dignitaries when two soldiers, under Flagg’s orders, opened the box to reveal the Patriot.

The Patriot looked less like an idealized version of the ultimate soldier and more like a creature from some post-apocalyptic zombie horror movie. He looked like General Flagg if the general had been killed and brought back to life by a mad scientist as some experiment gone wrong. His skin was pale and pockmarked, his eyes appeared sunken into his skull, and his massive muscular frame looked like he had overdosed on a lifetime supply of steroids. His uniform was not unlike the Liberator’s in terms of design—a blue one-piece suit with red and white vertical stripes over his abdomen under a large white star in the middle of the chest, much like the large yellow star on the Liberator’s costume. Just as the Liberator had a yellow cape, the Patriot had a red and white striped one, making him look like he was wearing the Usonian flag on his back. While the Liberator’s face was partially concealed by a red bandana/mask, the Patriot’s face was completely exposed. Given that he had a bald misshapen head and a pair of grey eyes that seemed fixed in an intense frozen gaze of pure rage, many guests silently wished the Patriot had been given something to cover his face. Some of the dignitaries had to turn and look away. The fierce gaze of their so-called “hero” gave the impression that he would attack and kill them simply for looking at him. One of those dignitaries was another high-ranking general in the Usonian armed forces, General Roberto Sanchez.

General Sanchez was only a few years younger than Flagg. He was slightly shorter and pudgier than Flagg, with a round face, brown eyes, and thick black hair with only slight signs of grey. While he may have lacked Flagg’s physical finesse, his intellect made up for it. Unlike Flagg, Sanchez wasn’t a hard-line conservative; he was actually more liberal. While he was still a patriot and ardent supporter of the military, Sanchez didn’t see conspiracies all around him, nor did he believe that the military should actively go out looking for wars to fight. He was sane and rational enough to know when to pick up a weapon and when to put one down. He was the type of man who preferred to use words and diplomacy to solve problems while, at the same time, not afraid to use force when necessary. Unlike Flagg, General Sanchez didn’t look at the Patriot and see a soldier; all he saw was Frankenstein’s monster dressed like a character out of the comic books he used to read as a child. He turned to General Flagg, “This… thing is your idea of our state-sponsored hero?

“Don’t let his appearance fool you, general,” Flagg responded indignantly, “I assure you he’s as deadly as the Liberator.”

“Yes, I’m sure he is,” General Sanchez replied. “I was more concerned about his ability to follow orders.”

“I’ve created the Patriot to be the perfect soldier,” Flagg explained. “One who is unquestioningly loyal to our country and won’t hesitate to follow orders.”

Sanchez looked the Patriot over closely, “He looks kinda like you, general.”

“Of course, he looks like me,” Flagg said, slightly insulted. “I provided the DNA sample necessary to clone him.”

“Clone him?” Sanchez replied with genuine surprise, “You’re telling me you’ve been secretly cloning yourself? Why wasn’t I notified?”

“National security,” Flagg replied. Even among his fellow officers, Flagg hesitated to reveal too much information to them. As far as he was concerned, no one, not even the president of Usonia, especially those who weren’t hard-line conservatives, could be trusted. “Observe,” Flagg addressed the rest of the crowd. He signalled a small group of soldiers, who drew their guns and began firing on the Patriot. Just as Flagg had hoped, the bullets simply bounced off the Patriot. The Patriot turned and looked at the soldiers shooting at him but took no action.

“Fellow soldiers. Patriotic citizens,” the Patriot spoke in a firm voice that gave no hint of emotion, “Accidental friendly fire, do not engage,” the Patriot stated in an almost robotic tone.

Flagg nodded to the soldiers, who holstered their side arms. Turning to another group of soldiers sitting at a nearby table, Flagg waved his hand, signalling them to begin the next phase of the demonstration. Using small remote control devices, the soldiers sent a small group of robotic drones up in the air, hovering around the Patriot. The drones fired several grenades and small rockets at the Patriot. The weapons exploded upon contact with the Patriot, but he remained unharmed and unfazed. He stood there completely motionless, like a statue.

“Patriot,” Flagg called out, “destroy those drones.”

“Understood,” the Patriot replied before turning to attack. Leaping up several feet in the air, higher than any average person could, the Patriot grabbed each of the drones mid-air and crushed them in his hands. Even the spinning blades of the drones’ helicopters shattered upon impact with his skin. The Patriot turned these high-powered yet compact military weapons into debris as easily as if they were paper origami. The various dignitaries, even General Sanchez, had to admit they were impressed by what they just witnessed.

Just then, a young officer ran up to one of the captains. He delivered an emergency message to him. After reading it, the captain rushed over to General Sanchez, “Excuse me, sir. This message just came in,” he handed the note to the general.

General Sanchez took the note and read it, “A civilian aircraft flying nearby has suffered some sort of malfunction,” he warned the others. “It has lost control and looks like it’s going to crash right here.” The rest of the brass looked up and noticed a commercial jet in the distance with thick black smoke appeared to be coming from it. It was obvious that it was about to crash right into their headquarters. Their new super soldier, their counterpart to the Liberator, noticed it too. Without waiting for orders, he flew up toward the plane, flew directly underneath it, held it up, and safely guided it to a landing near their location.

General Flagg turned to address the others, “See? I told you our hero would do a better job than the Liberator. You think that commie pinko would have saved innocent lives? The state probably would have just ordered him to destroy the plane because it posed a threat to national security.” However, the others weren’t listening to the general. Instead, they raced over to the plane to assist in evacuating the passengers. General Sanchez ordered his lieutenant to bring medics just in case. With the plane’s evacuation slides deployed at all the exits, the passengers began disembarking. They were all civilians, some travelling on business, others on vacation. They were of various ages, genders, and ethnicities. Some were citizens of Usonia; some were from other nations visiting the country as tourists. Unfortunately, Flagg’s new super soldier didn’t seem to care. He stood there, taking note of the various passengers as they disembarked. They looked uneasy being surrounded by soldiers, especially by the grotesque appearance of Flagg’s super soldier. The other soldiers were busy aiding the evacuees and reassuring them that they weren’t under arrest for breaching national security. Little did the other soldiers know that Flagg’s abomination had other plans. Noticing the skin colour and some of the passengers’ fashion choices, the Patriot zeroed in on some passengers who didn’t, at least on the surface, look to be natives of Usonia.

“Potential terrorist threat,” the Patriot said in a cold, almost robotic tone. “Eliminate threat. Defend the homeland.” Before anyone realized what was happening, the Patriot raced toward these passengers, grabbed two of them by their throats, and squeezed until their necks snapped. The other passengers panicked and proceeded to flee in terror. Even the soldiers attempting to assist in the evacuation were in shock.


The Patriot ignored his orders and continued targeting passengers who didn’t look like light-skinned Usonian civilians. Seeing one Caucasian man wearing a hat with the Usonian flag on it, the Patriot simply said, “Patriotic citizen, do not engage.” The Patriot turned his attention to two other passengers, who, by their appearance, seemed to be from Aryavarta. Whether they were citizens of this country simply visiting Usonia or they had immigrated to Usonia and were now living here made no difference to the Patriot. They didn’t look like General Flagg, so in the Patriot’s mind, that made them potential terrorist threats. “Eliminate threat. Defend the homeland.” The Patriot grabbed them both and proceeded to snap their necks like twigs.

“LEAVE THEM ALONE!” Sanchez barked. “STAND DOWN, SOLDIER! THAT’S AN ORDER! STAND DOWN!” Unfortunately, the Patriot continued ignoring his direct orders and continued attacking non-existing threats to national security. Several of the soldiers rushed the Patriot. Tackling him, they tried to force him to release his victims. Unfortunately, the Patriot possessed the same strength as the Liberator. Thus, it was like trying to pry open a vice with one’s bare hands. A few soldiers even tried to pound the Patriot in the back of his head with their fists. It was like trying to bash an anvil with one’s fists.

General Sanchez turned to Flagg, “Order that thing to stand down at once!”

“The soldier is only doing what he was programmed to do,” Flagg argued. “Defend the homeland from potential threats!”

“The only threat here is your soldier!” Sanchez shouted.

“We don’t know who these people are,” Flagg shouted, pointing to the various passengers his super soldier was attacking. “For all we know, they could be enemy spies or terrorists! Hell, they may have caused the plane to malfunction! Their goal may have been to crash it into our offices! Eliminate our country’s top military brass, leaving us defenceless and open for attack!” In Flagg’s twisted view of the world, this made perfect sense. And he made sure to imprint these irrational beliefs onto his new super soldier.

General Sanchez gave Flagg a cold hard glare, “We don’t go attacking innocent civilians because they might possibly be potential threats to the state!”

“You FOOL!” Flagg shouted. “If they’re innocent, my soldier wouldn’t be attacking them!” This was how Flagg’s insane logic worked. Anyone who didn’t look or think like him must be a threat to his country; thus, a pre-emptive strike was completely justifiable. The ends justified the means.

Seeing as this was going nowhere, General Sanchez was left with no option. He drew his gun and aimed it directly at the Patriot. While he was hesitant to start firing it in front of the panicking civilians, not to mention that it wouldn’t harm the Patriot in any way, he was desperate to do anything to try and stop it. “Out of the way!” he ordered the other officers, and they dove for cover as Sanchez began firing on the Patriot. At least he didn’t have to worry about hitting the Patriot’s victims because, tragically, they were already dead. The Patriot dropped the corpses at his feet. Taking a cue from the general, the other soldiers drew their guns and began firing on the Patriot as well. Like before, the bullets simply bounced off the Patriot. Some soldiers stood there frozen in fear, wondering if the Patriot would turn his ire on them next.

“Accidental friendly fire,” the Patriot simply said. “Do not engage.” He turned and continued going after other civilians he deemed potential threats, the civilians the other soldiers were desperately trying to get to safety. While the Patriot had been attacking innocent people and some of the soldiers were trying to stop it, most of the other civilians were whisked away to safety under the protection of other soldiers. Not all of them made it.

….To find out what happens keep your eyes out for Liberator: The People’s Guard Vol. 2 Genetic Arms Race. Coming soon to a bookstore and online retailer near you!

To think or not to think, that is the question

To think or not to think, that is the question

The other day I received an email with a YouTube link to a video where Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about how stupid Americans are due to their ignorance (and in some cases fear) of science and knowledge in general. After watching it, I clicked on a link to another video where he talks about how to NOT raise your children, thank you to the person who posted it. He makes a good point about the state of the education system. I’ve often said school is about “regurgitating on command” as I call it, “Take these books, memories what’s in them, they’ll be a test on it later this month.” In other words, it’s a memory test. Schools don’t teach kids how to think for themselves. It’s also been my experience that they teach what I call “binary thinking”, seeing the world in simple black and white. “This is the problem, X is the solution. No discussion! No debate! X is either right or wrong! It either works all the time, or it never works!” I remember in school being asked questions like “Should Canada legalize marijuana?” (we did legalize it, but that was years later, after I graduated) or “Should Canada legalize the death penalty?” I would often point out that you need to look at it on a case by case basis, to which my teachers would always respond – in a rather condescending tone no less – “Don’t be wishy-washy! Don’t sit on the fence!” In other words, “Don’t actually think about the problem, just give us the answer we want to hear!”

The problem with education, and it’s symbolic of the larger problem of society, is that people fear teaching kids how to think for themselves. I remember my co-worker (the one whom I’ve written about in previous blogs) who is a militant atheist, who criticizes those who blindly follow organized religion once tell me that the problem with kids today is that they think too much. Now think about that for a minute (despite his insistence that you don’t), he doesn’t want people to blindly follow the dogmatism of religion, but he doesn’t want them to think for themselves? So what’s the message here? “Hey kids, don’t blindly follow their dogmatism, blindly follow my dogmatism, because mine is the correct one!” How does that make you any different from the religion you claim to hate so much? All you’ve really done is substitute one form of dogmatism for another. In fact I remember I once said that to him, I pointed out how communist dictatorships officially denounce religion, yet paint their leaders as if they’re divine beings, like some sort of communist god sent them to save the masses. Upon hearing this, my co-worker seemed very offended by this, first dismissing this as a lie, then making the rather bizarre counter argument, “If you believe in God then how come there’s no alien life out there?!” And all I could think was “What does that have to do with any of this?” He was using the same tactic often used by many religions; always attack, never defend.

As the book “Conversations with God” pointed out, most people are afraid of teaching children to think for themselves, because if we teach kids how to think for themselves, they might (HORROR OF HORRORS) come up with an idea that’s different from ours. They might actually realize that the way our society has been doing things for several thousands of years isn’t working. They might – AND THIS IS THE MOST FRIGHTENING PART OF IT ALL – they might actually find a better way. As someone (I’m sorry to say I forget who) once said, “nothing compels a [person] to argue harder than being proven wrong.” The good news is that more and more people are awakening to this, another example of how “woke” is becoming more mainstream, more acceptable (which is a good thing, despite my above mentioned co-worker – and many others – still dismissing “woke” as bad). The world is awakening, the world is becoming more “woke”. Now you dear reader have a choice in life: do you see this as a good thing and help become a part of this global shift in consciousness? Or do you choose to surrender to fear become part of the problem and try to hold humanity back, to regress us to a more primitive state? For if you fear “woke” then you’re not afraid of “liberal indoctrination in our schools” as the radical right claims, you’re afraid of independent thought.

When waters are disturbed, let them settle

When waters are disturbed, let them settle

I’d like to share with you a story about the Buddha that I once heard years ago. One that struck a cord with me and I’ve found helpful in life. May it serve you as well as it serves me:

Once Buddha and some of his disciples were travelling when they came to a body of water (a lake or a river, I forget, though honestly that’s not important). Buddha asked one of his disciples to get him some water to drink. The disciple went to the water only to find the water was muddy and not safe to drink (some person either walked through or pulled some heavy cart through the water earlier and stirred up the mud at the bottom). Thus he couldn’t bring back any water for Buddha to drink. About an hour later, Buddha again asked his disciple if he could bring back some water to drink. The disciple again went down to the water but still found it too muddy for drinking. So he again returned and told Buddha the water wasn’t safe for drinking. Some time later (I forget how long, another hour or more I believe) Buddha again asked his disciple to please fetch some water for drinking. The disciple went back to the water and found that the mud had settled, the water was now clear at it was safe to drink. He filled a pot with water and took it back to the Buddha. Buddha looked at the water and told his disciple “see what you did to make the water clean? You let it be. You let it settle down and now you have clear water. Your mind is like that too. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time and it will settle on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen it is effortless. Having peace of mind is not a strenuous job. It is an effortless process, so keep your mind cool and have a great life ahead.”

I bring this up because of some recently disturbed waters in my mind. Thanks to a good friend of mine I met in LinkedIn, Deborah Aderemi, I’ve recently begun marketing and promotion for my books. Shortly afterwards, I was being contacted by people on Instagram wanting to review my books. This naturally got me excited at the prospect of more book sales and more royalties coming in as many people were saying how interested they were in checking out my books. Needless to say I was slightly crushed when I logged into Tellwell and noticed my sales report showed virtually no sales for my books over the summer. I told myself that these things take time, however there was still that lingering doubt in the back of my mind. That doubt that points out that just because someone is interested in my books, doesn’t automatically mean they’re going to buy a copy (especially now when inflation has made many non essential items luxuries that we simply can’t afford).

This brings me to the next part of my story. I’ve been without a car since June as my old car (a 2006 Chevy Malibu) had brake problems and was no longer safe to drive (and my mechanic couldn’t replace the parts as they’re no longer made). I had already told my mechanic to scrap the car and asked him to buy me a newer used car, which he did. However between inflation driving up the price of used cars, not to mention having to once again spend money on car insurance, plus other expenses in life I was worrying about how I’m going to afford just being able to live. This is where the story of the Buddha that I mentioned above comes into play. The waters of my mind were disturbed. I began worrying about “How can I afford this? How will I pay off that?” Most of us have gone through such problems in life, often multiple times. The simple fact is worrying about the problem won’t make it go away. If anything it’ll only make the problem worse. We all know that stress can lead to health problems, which in turn can manifest into physical ailments, which in turn result in us getting sick, missing work which in turn makes us lose money and thus only compounds the problem. After a few hours the mud in my mind settled and I realized that by putting in some overtime at work, asking for my vacation pay and if necessary not paying off the full amount on my credit card bills will help deal with the financial issues. It won’t solve the problems in the short term but in the long run things will work out. As for book sales? Again it will happen in due time.

The problem with our society especially now with the internet is we expect instant results. We want it all and we want it right now! Life doesn’t work that way. Whether were talking recovering from an illness or injury, suffering a personal tragedy like the death of a loved one or a messy breakup/divorce, or even financial matters like profits/sales, things work out in their own time. The universe doesn’t care if the results aren’t fast enough, or good enough for us. “Good” and “bad” are subjective terms. If something is “bad” in our lives, it’s because we’ve chosen to label it as “bad”. Sometimes even tragic events happen for a reason, because said event in our live isn’t serving us thus we need the “bad” so we can see how it isn’t serving us and if necessary remove it from our lives. This in turn can lead to better things in the future. Hence the phrase “a blessing in disguise”.

Thus I’ve chosen to share this with all of you as a reminder that you have the power to decide whether you live in a friendly world, or a hostile one. While we can’t control what happens around us, or what other people do to us, we can control how we react to it. So you can either worry, or get mad at how bad things are in your life; but ask yourself this, “How will that solve my problems?” As I’ve often said, strong emotions have a nasty habit of clouding one’s judgment.

Thank you for your time, feel free to share this with others, or feel free to dismiss everything I’ve said, it’s your choice. Just remember your choices determine your reality. Choose what serves you best! Namaste!

Is it just me, or as people get older does “be stubborn” move higher up on their list of priorities?

Is it just me, or as people get older does “be stubborn” move higher up on their list of priorities?

With pride month, having come to a close I wanted to share a little anecdote about an incident that happened at my workplace last week. A couple of days ago I was talking with my co-worker (the one I’ve mentioned in some of my previous blogs) about health and the healthcare industry. He complained (like he always does) about how the healthcare industry only treats the symptoms while not addressing the root causes of the problems. Now I don’t disagree on that, but I pointed out the fact that many of our problems are due to stress and people stressing themselves out over things that aren’t really that big of a deal. For example, conservatives getting themselves all worked up over, woke, pride flags and transgender. Naturally this set him off and in doing so, proving my point. I couldn’t help but find it ironic that a man who complains about not addressing the root causes of health problems due to stress then goes on to ignore the very problems he acknowledges. It amazes me how people can be so blind to their own hypocrisy.

I pointed out how most people who complain about “woke” can’t even define the word. I quoted a phrase I heard someone say online, that woke “just means you’re not a closed minded moron.” To which my co-worker countered “that’s what it used to mean”. I told him the right perverted the term to mean anything they don’t like, to which he agreed and promptly defended that definition. In other words my co-worker basically admitted, “yeah I know ‘woke’ has become a catch all term for anything I don’t like and I’m okay with that. I agree with that!” (he didn’t actually say that but that’s what I got from his rant). So since the radical right co-opted the term woke, does that apply to other things too? When Putin, unjustly, invaded Ukraine he adopted the letter ‘Z’ as his war symbol. Does that mean that anyone who uses the letter ‘Z’ in anything automatically supports the war? Do we ban the last letter of the alphabet? When the anti-vaccine “freedom” convoy caused their disruption in Ottawa other protesters across the world used our flag as a symbol of support. Does that mean anyone who displays a Canadian flag is one of the “freedom” convoy?

He then went off ranting about transgender because “if you call someone by the wrong pronoun they start shouting at you.” Now I don’t know if that was an actual incident that happened to him. Maybe he met someone who was having a bad day, he called them by the wrong pronoun and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Maybe it’s was my co-worker’s karma. He’s a closed minded intolerant man who met another closed minded person who lashed out the way my co-worker would, now he assumes that all trans-people do it. Or more likely, he saw/read it online and believed it. The truth is more likely that if people are getting upset at you for using the wrong gender pronouns it’s probably because you’re deliberately choosing to use the wrong pronouns, in which case you’re getting what you deserve.

He then went off about how we’re not strict enough with kids and that parents are letting kids as young as 14 go out at 3 o’clock in the morning. Now first of all, I’m not saying that never happens, but it’s not the huge problem he makes it out to be. It’s not a rampant problem spreading all over the world like wildfire. Secondly, is he implying that the reason the trans-community even exists is because kids are out partying at 3 AM? I’m pretty sure that’s not a thing. Now I personally don’t know any trans-people (at least not that I’m aware of because I don’t pry into people’s gender identity, it’s none of my business), but I’m pretty sure that if someone’s gender identity doesn’t align with the gender they were assigned at birth, it’s NOT because their parents let them go out partying all night long before they hit puberty. That’s not a thing.

The irony of course is that if we were to take his advice about being more strict and stop “babying” people (he always claims people are too sensitive and we “baby” them too much) and apply that to him; start yelling at him to stop being such a sensitive little baby or otherwise discipline him every time he starts acting out this way, I’m certain he’d just dig in his heels and double down because being a stubborn old geezer is more important to him. It just proves that he really has no idea what he’s talking about. As I’ve often pointed out, the more you tell someone “NO” the more likely they are to defy you out of spite, I admit I’m guilty of that (more so when I was younger). I should also point out that he often complains that no one treats anyone with respect, then turns around and does the very thing he accuses others of doing. So what’s the moral of the story? Discrimination is wrong…unless it’s against group X, then it’s okay?!

The truth is that it doesn’t matter what people like him think. The world is changing, humanity in general is becoming more open minded, more tolerant than we were years ago. I know it doesn’t seem that way but that’s only because people like my co-worker are the “vocal minority”. They’re only a small percentage of the general population but because they whine and complain the loudest people assume their numbers are greater than they actually are. The fact is more and more young people are becoming more enlightened, more “woke”. More millennials (people my age, who are technically middle age now) are not becoming more conservative as we get older (actually I’ve gotten more progressive as I’ve gotten older). We on the left are growing in numbers, while those on the right are shrinking. That’s the real reason conservatives have gotten more extreme is because they know the world is changing, and they don’t like it, they can’t stop it. They’re really just scared, frightened little children lashing out at a world they don’t understand, they don’t want to understand. Unfortunately for them, the world’s not going to go back to the way it was, the way they want it to be. Thus like small children, they’re throwing a collective temper tantrum because they’re not getting their way.

Fan fic/old news article:

Fan fic/old news article:

While going through some old files on my computer, I found this short story/fan fic/news article that I had written years ago and had long since forgotten. This was years before I began publishing my books, thus it could be considered something of a dry run, practise for when I would later begin my literary career.

First a bit of context; Growing up I was a fan of Gordon Korman (author of the “Bruno and Boots”/“MacDonald Hall” series). One of my favourite books of his was called I want to go home. The story is about an antisocial parody sue character named “Rudy Miller” who is a naturally gifted athlete but hates sports and thus is not very happy to be sent to a remote summer camp where he’s forced to spend his days playing sports and socializing with other boys his age (something I could relate to growing up, except for being a gifted athlete. I was never good a sports and only took gym in school because they made me, not by choice). While at camp Algonkian, he befriends another boy named “Mike Webster” who also hates camp and sports. Soon they start causing all manner of hilarious trouble for the camp counsellors, specifically their bunk counsellor “Chip”. Not long after, Rudy and Mike decide to take a boat and escape, only to repeatedly get caught and forced back to the island.

This was one of my favourite books growing up, and even as an adult I still enjoy it. Thus years ago, I decided to write a fictional news article about the events of the book as if I were a reporter for a local newspaper. Thus I’d like to share that original article with all of you now. If nothing else to show how much my writing has improved when comparing this to my own book series later.

Now for legal reasons, I should point out that I don’t own any of the characters or name listed below. Nor did I write this for profit, this was simply a fan fic of mine, similar to how a student would get such an assignment from their school teacher. Also just to reiterate, the characters, locations and events listed below are all fictional. Any similarities to real persons, places or events is purely coincidental and unintentional. Now with that out of the way, enjoy:


Summer camp may be more like prison camp, according to reports

Parents thinking of sending their boys to camp Algonkian island this summer may want to reconsider. Evidence has surfaced indicating that the remote summer camp for boys located in rural Northern Ontario may in fact be more like a Soviet gulag run by psychotic camp counsellors who routinely torture their campers for fun. A letter written by an anonymous camper detailing the horrors young boys are forced to endure while at camp has recently surfaced.

“The letter looks as if it was written while being chased by a bear.” our experts claim. In the letter, the author describes being forced to endure such things as sleeping in trees, eating food which is “spoiled and poisonous”, drinking contaminated water – causing a typhoid outbreak and being forced to haul garbage daily while fending off wild animals. But perhaps the most disturbing of all is the claim of the author’s counsellor, identified only as “Chip” being a “reformed axe-murderer on parole”. One who “yells a lot and keeps an axe under his mattress.”

While it’s not uncommon for boys to exaggerate the negative aspects of camp in the hope of their parents coming to take them home, this appears to be more than a simple case of home sick boys wanting to leave a camp they simply don’t like. Others have noticed disturbing trends in the behaviour of Algonkian counsellors. Last summer, campers from Algonkian island visited neighbouring camp Cedar Ridge for an inter-camp soccer game. According to witnesses, one Algonkian camper, identified only as “Webster” attempted to escape in the middle of a soccer game. When counsellors couldn’t find him, they attempted to “squeeze” the information out of another camper via threats of breaking his neck, stretching him on a rack and being fed to alligators. “I wouldn’t go to that Algonkain place,” said one Cedar Ridge camper, “they torture you there!”

Sadly this wasn’t an isolated incident. Shortly afterwards, Algonkian campers went to a dance being held at an all girls camp called Silver Lake. While at Silver Lake, the counsellors from Algonkian reportedly stopped the dance mid way through and proceeded to run into the woods in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. During which they engaged in such bizarre acts such as chasing squirrels up trees and starting fights with bears. One counsellor identified only as “Dave” got into an altercation with a skunk, it’s unclear which one started the incident, but upon returning to Silver Lake was denied entry by staff as they now feared for their safety. “They were like a bunch of crazy savages!” a Silver Lake counsellor was quoted saying.

It seems this “Chip” counsellor may be the ringleader of this psychotic group. An Algonkian camper, identified only as “Miller” spoke of many of Chip’s bizarre antics. Antics such as attacking a wooden cabin, smashing a wooden table (earning him the nickname “The phantom wood butcher”), throwing spaghetti at another camper, jumping into the lake repeatedly and even trying to water ski on his face.

The counsellors of Algonkian island have vehemently denied such accusations, insisting that the author of this letter is simply trying to “slander our camp’s good name”. Arthur Warden, director of the camp has not only insisted such accusations are untrue, but also denies that any camper could simply not love camp. “All cats love meat and all boys love camp.” he told reporters, “That’s the way it was in the days of my grandfather [camp founder Elias Warden] and that’s the way it is now.”

If this is indeed “the way” this camp was founded, it’s no wonder many boys have attempted to steal boats in a desperate attempt to flee this prison of an island. Residents of the nearby town of Snow Hill have reported, on multiple occasions, seeing boys taking boats and attempting to flee the island only to be chased down and forcibly dragged back. One resident – who did not want to be identified, out of fear – told us how he witnessed two boys, having recently escaped the island, being chased through the town by dozens of counsellors. “It was like something out of one of those action movies,” he told us, “you know the ones where someone is wrongfully accused of a crime and has the entire FBI on a manhunt for them. My wife and I were thinking of sending our boys to Algonkian next summer, but after this we may end up just taking them to Vegas instead.”

Sadly it seems campers aren’t the only ones the counsellors attempt to hold hostage on the island. Another man, who did not want to be identified, once ferried the boat that delivered supplies to the island, until one day when he had the misfortune of meeting this “Chip” counsellor. “I delivered my supplies to the island the way I always used to,” he told us, “one day after dropping my supplies off, I pulled away in my boat when I heard a voice screaming ‘STOP! STOP!’ I turned to see this counsellor jump into the water and start swimming after my boat. Then two more got into a motor boat, sailed out, forced me back to the island where they wouldn’t let me leave until [Chip] finished attacking a large box in my stern. After hearing what I heard about this place, I can see now why these kids would want to leave.” Ontario provincial police have promised to look into these events.

“When did we become a society of people who are so afraid of one another that we think all interactions may be malicious.”

“When did we become a society of people who are so afraid of one another that we think all interactions may be malicious.”

I apologize for not blogging for quite a while. I admit I’d been racking my brains trying to think up something but nothing seemed sufficient. So instead I’m going to repost a brief article my father found on Quora and sent to me in an email. I don’t know the people in this story, I’ve never met them but I was so moved by this story that I just had to share it. All credit for what’s written below goes to the original author. I’m simply the messenger, helping to spread the word:

When did we become a society of people who are so afraid of one another that we think all interactions may be malicious.”

Author: Vanessa Fregoso (From Quora)

“This evening I made a quick run to the supermarket with my 13 year-old stepdaughter, and my 23 month-old daughter. While I was in line my 2-year-old was eyeballing a little stuffed dog from her stroller. There was an older man in front of us in line who was only buying ice cream. He then asked her ‘what are you looking at?’

When he saw her point to the dog, he picked it up and put it in her hand.

I’ll admit, I freaked out a little. We have only one income, which means we can’t just buy things for the kids on a whim. Things like that need to be planned in our family.

As soon as I saw the look on my baby’s face as she stared into the dog’s big plastic eyes, I was already dreading taking it away from her and hearing her heartbreaking cry.

But then the stranger did something unexpected. He looked at me with such a kind smile on his face and said ‘I’ll buy it for her.’ I was shocked at his kindness and I immediately felt guilty.

Because the other reason I freaked out was because a stranger was getting close to my daughter.

Because I didn’t know what his intentions were.

Because his hand brushed hers when he handed her the dog.

Really, it shouldn’t be that way.

When did we become a society of people who are so afraid of one another that we think all interactions may be malicious.

More importantly, when did I let myself become so disillusioned about others that I automatically think the worst.

The man interacted with my daughter for a minute or so, giggling her little heart out.

It really warmed my heart. It was just a stuffed animal, but really it was so much more. I’m always telling my kids about how important kindness is, and how I feel as though not enough people are kind anymore.

I was glad my eldest stepdaughter was there to see how touched I was by the man’s gesture. I want her, and all my kids for that matter, to go out into the world knowing how important kindness is and how some small things can really be big things.

As we were leaving my stepdaughter looked at me and said “Mommy, that man was so nice!”

My daughter hasn’t put the dog (“Bacon” as my other children have named him) down ever since we left the store. I was so surprised by what happened that I didn’t even think to get the strangers name.

But I did ask for a picture because I wanted to remember that no act of kindness is too small.”

Credit: Vanessa Fregoso

A Brief Excerpt from Mystical Force Vol. 5

A Brief Excerpt from Mystical Force Vol. 5

Chiyoko felt her insides churning. She was overcome with sadness, hurt, anger, and betrayal. Even though she should have known this, remembering what Akuma told her earlier, It’s everyone for themselves. If ya git caught, it’s ya own fault for not being fast or strong enough. Deep down, she knew this would have happened but somehow hoped she’d be wrong. She couldn’t help but feel foolish for thinking otherwise. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t have the luxury of worrying about that now, for another feeling was smothering all others; the icy hand of fear and its cold grip on her heart. Just like her family, she had been abandoned by uncaring people. She was left all alone to fend for herself. At least, that’s what she thought.

“LEAVE HER ALONE!” a familiar female voice shouted. Everyone turned to face the door where the survivors had escaped just a few minutes ago. Now another person was standing at the door. It was Shi-ria.

The leader of the cult members turned to face her. He could sense Shi-ria’s powers. “You’re the one the prophecy spoke of,” he deduced. “The one who is not of this world.”

Thanks to her Taman senses, she realized this strange cult was tied into the prophecy about her seeking out the true light within the darkness. “I assume you’re familiar with the prophecy then.”

The cult leader nodded, “‘The descendant of the darkness will cause the shadows to rise, and darkness will envelop the world. Then the one who is not of this world will seek out the true light within the darkness, and the shadows will open the gates to the netherworld,’” he recited. “You intend to stop the Kage Dai Yokai from cleansing this world of the human filth that defiles it. We cannot allow that.”

“What is this Kage Dai Yokai?” Shi-ria asked. She recalled Tokijin once telling her it meant Great Shadow Spectre, but beyond that, she knew very little of it.

“The one who will destroy all humans on this planet so that it may be reborn,” the cult leader explained.

“Why does this Kage Dai Yokai wish to do that?” she asked.

“Because humans are nothing more than ignorant, violent, primitive savages. It was their inner darkness that gave birth to the Kage Dai Yokai in the first place,” he continued. “Hundreds of years ago, in the feudal era, various feudal lords fought each other for control over this land. Hundreds of people fell in battle. The souls of all the dead formed a creature from the darkness of the human heart—the Kage Dai Yokai. He seeks to destroy all humans because that is what humanity seeks—to destroy, maim, and kill. Look at the state of the world: war, poverty, discrimination, crime, disease, famine, climate change, and no one cares. Humans look upon the suffering of others and the destruction they bring upon the planet, and their only thought is, ‘how can I profit from this?’ They willingly destroy their world because the accumulation of currency is more important to them. There is only one true pandemic that is ravaging the world; a disease called the human race! Humans are a cancer infecting this land! A plague to be wiped out!”

Shi-ria was tempted to point out that not all humans were like this; many were trying to save the planet and help solve the world’s problems. However, she felt her words would fall on deaf ears. But more than that, she noticed one glaring flaw in their beliefs, one she was surprised they failed to realize themselves. “You know that since all of you are humans, that means that if your mission succeeds and the Kage Dai Yokai is resurrected, you will be eliminated as well. Are you not, as you put it, the very ‘cancerous tumours’ that are also destroying this planet?”

“Those the Kage Dai Yokai deems worthy will survive to build a new world,” the cult leader boasted.

“Somehow, I highly doubt this Kage Dai Yokai will find you worthy,” Shi-ria countered.

“SILENCE!” the cult leader barked. “You will not interfere in our mission!” The cult members drew their daggers and moved toward Shi-ria. Using her Taman alchemy, she conjured up her sword. She dismissed using this same power to disarm her opponents since there were too many of them. To use her Taman alchemy to break down each of their weapons atom by atom would take too long. Besides, having to dodge multiple attacks would make it even harder for her to concentrate. Thus, as they lunged at her, she let the Taman guide her movements instead. She effortlessly dodged their attacks while using her weapon to deflect theirs. Relying on her kudai chenmol, or “air form,” Shi-ria twisted, spun, jumped, and dodged her attackers like air currents. Unaccustomed to this, her attackers grew more desperate. They began swinging their blades wildly, desperately trying to land a blow on her. As they grew more exasperated, their movements became wild and clumsy. Taking advantage of this, Shi-ria switched from defensive to offensive. Using her sword, she swung at them, striking their blades, forearms, and hands, forcing them to drop their weapons. Then she spun and kicked them, knocking them to the ground.

Chiyoko stood there watching with shock. Shi-ria appeared to also have whatever power Chiyoko had that warned her of danger. Not only that, Chiyoko couldn’t believe that Shi-ria managed to conjure up a weapon out of thin air. Now she was effortlessly evading the assault of multiple attackers. Chiyoko recalled having visions of Shi-ria. Could this be another one of her gifts? Was she predestined to meet this strange woman? Something deep down inside Chiyoko kept insisting that Shi-ria’s coming to save her wasn’t just a coincidence. Suddenly, another feeling arose inside her—a warning of danger. Chiyoko had been so focused on Shi-ria’s battle with this strange shadow cult that she forgot that they still wanted to kill her for “polluting” her demonic lineage with “human filth.” Thus, one cult member turned back to her. She lunged her dagger directly at Chiyoko. Fortunately, Chiyoko sidestepped her attacker. Reaching out with her right hand, Chiyoko grabbed this woman’s arm and twisted it, then pushed it back, resulting in the woman stabbing herself just below her right shoulder. Raising her free left hand, Chiyoko punched her in the face. Another cult member, this one male, turned and began slashing at her. Once again, Chiyoko dodged his swings, instinctively knowing where his blade would be and where to move to avoid it. It was the same power Shi-ria had. Chiyoko wasn’t sure how or why she knew this; she just knew it to be true. Thus, with their strange gift, the two women managed to take down these cultists. In the end, some of the cultists had fled, while most were sprawled on the floor. Chiyoko wanted to leave, figuring that the police would arrive soon.

Shi-ria seemed to sense this as well. She turned to Chiyoko, “Come with me.”

“Why?” Chiyoko asked.

“So we can talk.”

“About what?”

“About your future.”

“And if I refuse?”

“Then I turn you over to Shinjo, and he arrests you for your crimes.”

Chiyoko looked Shi-ria directly into her eyes, which she found difficult since Shi-ria had two pupils per eye. Having never seen such a thing before, Chiyoko found it unsettling. But what was even more unsettling was the fact that she had a feeling Shi-ria wasn’t joking. Ordinarily, Chiyoko would have run, but something compelled her to stay. Was she afraid that if she tried to run, Shi-ria would catch her? Was she afraid that if she tried to fight off Shi-ria, Shi-ria could take her down? Or was she afraid she might run into more of these cult members and wanted to stick with Shi-ria in hopes that she’d protect her? Actually, the more Chiyoko thought about it, it wasn’t fear that kept her from running, but hope. Deep down inside, she felt that what Shi-ria had to offer was something better than a lighter prison sentence. Chiyoko couldn’t explain it, but she felt that meeting Shi-ria would set her life on a new path. Where that path led, she had no idea, but she was more than curious to find out.

To awaken or to sleepwalk

To awaken or to sleepwalk

I recently had a conversation with one of my co-workers, I mentioned a video I watched about someone claiming that Gen Z’s are having financial problems because they’re drinking too many margaritas (the person in the video incidentally own a restaurant that serves margaritas for $13 to $17). While my co-worker agreed that said person’s claim was ludicrous, he quickly made the unusual leap that most of the problems in the world are due to “woke garbage”. Ignoring the fact that our conversation had nothing to do with woke, I still found it rather odd that he came to such an equally ludicrous conclusion. To claim woke is to blame for most of the world’s problems is like claiming firefighters are to blame for fires starting in the first place, as if house fires wouldn’t happen if there weren’t firefighters to put them out.

It always amazes me how people can be blinded to their own hypocrisy. My co-worker for example, often complains that “we’re babying people”, yet whenever a mass shooting occurs and there’s talk of gun regulation he starts whining about such laws only hurt the “good” gun owners. He once told me, gun control laws won’t stop mass shootings but will only hurt the paintball industry and thus the economy. I’m not sure how big a role the paintball industry plays in Canada’s (or America’s) economy but I’m sure it’s very, very small. He claims people are “too sensitive” yet during his rant he was getting all upset about the trans community; insisting that there are only “two genders”, ignoring the fact that it’s not about creating a new gender but respecting people’s right to choose which gender they identify with regardless if it matches the gender you were born into (not to mention our conversation had nothing to do with transgender). His justification being that some people look androgynous, thus he doesn’t know whether to use “he” or “she”. It sounds to me like he’s saying people shouldn’t be allowed to choose their gender identity because he’s afraid he might accidentally call them by the wrong gender pronoun. Seems to me like he’s the one whose overly sensitive. My co-worker is also very critical of Putin’s unjust invasion of Ukraine (he’s not wrong about that) yet his solution to the problem is for the rest of the world to simply invade and attack Russia like their doing to Ukraine. In other words, stop the war in Ukraine by starting World War III. He was also married to a woman who wouldn’t get an abortion due to her religious beliefs, despite his wish to not have children – as he pointed out, they couldn’t afford to have one – yet he seems to object to abortion rights on the grounds that (in his mind) women seem to be arbitrarily aborting their unborn children because the whim randomly strikes them at the spur of the moment (which again is totally inaccurate). I also find it ironic that he’s a militant atheist who criticizes religion for encouraging people to blindly follow the church, yet also stated that the problem with young people is that they “think for themselves”. So he doesn’t want people to follow religion but also doesn’t want them to think for themselves? He wants them to blindly follow someone else? His views and beliefs maybe?

As a “woke progressive” myself, woke is about treating others with respect, about acknowledging the problems of the world and working to find solutions to them. It’s about opening your eyes and seeing the truth, that we are all one and by hurting one another we’re indirectly hurting ourselves. That’s what being woke means; as in you’ve “awoken” to see the truth. To see through the illusion that we’re all separate. Yet according to my co-worker, that’s a bad thing? Trying to fix something that’s broken will somehow make things worse? The best solution is to ignore problems and they’ll just go away? That’s like being on a ship, lost at sea, in the middle of a storm. Being tossed around at the whim of the wind and waves. Knowing your vessel could capsize any minute. And when someone comes along and offers to show you a way out of the storm, to guide your ship safely back to shore, instead of accepting their help, you blame them for being trapped in the storm and insisting that continuing to let the waves toss you about will somehow get you safely back to shore. It’s as the law of attraction states, “what you resist persists”. The more you view the world as a negative place full of problems, the more problems you see everywhere you look. Let’s be perfectly honest here, most conservatives use “woke” like “socialism” or “communism”. When they use these terms, it really means “I don’t like this”. “Pay poor people a descent wage?! WE CAN’T THAT’S COMMUNISM! THAT’S WOKE!” “Universal healthcare?! THAT’S SOCIALISM! THAT’S WOKE!” “Starbucks discontinued my favourite frappuccino?! THEY’RE RUN BY WOKE COMMUNISTS!” Ironically my anti-woke co-worker supports better wages for the working class and universal healthcare. (I don’t know about whether or not he likes Starbucks though, but that’s another matter.)

As I stated in my next book, Mystical Force: Vol. 5 Shadows and Darkness (which should be out early spring):

While her [Chiyoko, one of my characters] life was far from perfect, it was all she’d known. That was one of the strange things about people; they often seemed more afraid of uncertainty. A life of hell still seemed better than the chance that paradise may not be as perfect as we’d like. Better the devil you know, Chiyoko recalled hearing on more than one occasion.

Ultimately this is the real reason conservatives attack “woke” as being a bad thing. They’re lashing out in fear of that which they don’t understand, or don’t want to understand. Because they fear change, that which is different/unfamiliar; thus they’d rather continue on the same path our society has been on for centuries, even when they know it’s not getting us to where we say we want to go as a society. As someone once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” So be not afraid of change dear reader, for you can no more stop society from progressing, from evolving than you can stop the sun from rising in the morning, or cause the river to reverse course and flow upstream.

As Greta Thunberg once stated, “They are starting to get more and more desperate. This shows that we’re winning.” and she’s correct. Conservatives and the radical right are so desperate to stop “woke”, despite having no valid arguments to support their claims that they’ll say anything. They’re so desperate to fight woke, that any argument, no matter how convoluted, baseless or without fact or merit is still valid in their mind.

I should also point out that my co-worker has numerous health problems and has missed several days of work due to health related issues. The sad truth is, my co-worker brings most of these problems on himself. We all know that stress and poor mental health can cause physical ailments. The irony is that in doing so, in “worrying yourself sick” you make yourself sick, which in turn causes you to miss work, lose money and in turn creates more stress. Thus it becomes a vicious cycle. While a part of me genuinely feels sorry for my co-worker and his son who also has medical issues, another part of me – I’m sorry to say – also thinks, “You brought this on yourself. You have no one to blame but yourself.” Forgive me if that sounds cold but I’m simply being honest. I admit I sometimes have a nasty habit of telling the truth, even when people don’t want to hear it. People say you need to “pick your battles”, so ask yourself these questions, “Is this the hill I’m willing to die on? Is it really worth it?”

The real problem here is the choice being made. Ultimately, all of us have only two real choices in life: do we embrace love, or do we surrender to fear? Which do you choose?

Spirituality and Health

Spirituality and Health

I recently received this in an email. While I’m sorry to say I forget who originally wrote this, what I found here was too valuable, too important for me to simply keep in my email until I read it and deleted. So to whomever originally wrote this, I thank you for sharing this and I’m grateful to get to share it myself. Hopefully you dear reader will find this as insightful as I did. Namaste!


Everyone has their own, very personal definition of spirituality. No matter what parameters the concept of spirituality is given, science has begun to realize that it plays a very important role in one’s well being.

Numerous studies have shown that spirituality can help improve quality of life for people with chronic diseases like cancer. According to a recently published study, spirituality can also have a positive impact on the quality of life for heart patients. It further concludes spirituality should be considered a potential target for palliative care interventions to improve patient-centered and clinical outcomes in these individuals.

“Patients who have heart failure experience a poorer quality of life compared to their peers, with high levels of depression, anxiety and spiritual distress,” said Rachel S. Tobin, MD, resident in Internal Medicine at Duke University Hospital, and lead author of the study. “Contributing to diminished quality of life is the fact that heart failure, unlike many other chronic diseases, is very unpredictable and can lead to hopelessness, isolation and altered self-image.”

The American College of Cardiology and other major cardiovascular societies recommend palliative care for heart failure patients. Spirituality is a core domain of palliative care, with the goal of identifying and addressing spiritual concerns and providing patients with appropriate spiritual and religious resources. However, limited research has been conducted on spirituality’s impact on patients and there are no known tools designed to measure it.

According to the researchers, spirituality is hard to define, but they reference several definitions that describe spirituality as how individuals find meaning and purpose in life, which can be separate from religious beliefs.

For instance, the Institute of Medicine defines spirituality as “the needs and expectations which humans have to find meaning, purpose and value in their life. Such needs can be specifically religious, but even people who have no religious faith or are not members of an organized religion have belief systems that give their lives meaning and purpose.”

“The literature suggests not only can spirituality improve quality of life for the patient, it can help support caregivers and potentially help patients from needing to be readmitted to the hospital,” Tobin said. “What we have suggested and are now doing is developing a spirituality screening tool, similar to the ones used to screen for depression. This can be used to identify patients who are at risk for spiritual distress. However, this is just a start. More research needs to be done.”