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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Met a guy one day out of prison and...

Dear angels thanks for sending me a reminder...

I was driving in downtown Waterloo, Ontario today and I stopped randomly to go to a comic book shop to add a gem to Wyatt’s collection. When I got out of the car I was approached by a great big dude dressed all in black who needed a shave amongst other things. He had a kind of broken smile, removed his hands from his pockets and held them out in a very non confrontational way and said “can I ask you something? Um… can I just be really honest with you?” I said of course. He went on to explain that he had just been released from prison yesterday, he possessed only what was on his person and was more than a little lost and in need of a number of things. He never actually asked me for any one specific thing, but I gave him some money that I had in pocket and then we walked for about 45 minutes and talked. I think that is what he needed the most. I told him I had been through a bit of a crazy year as well and that I had learned a few lessons in that time. He asked what those lessons were? First, forgive yourself but don’t forget what you have been through. Second, surround yourself with good people and good situations and follow your instincts when you feel otherwise. We continued to walk and talked a while and the third thing we arrived at together.

We spoke a little about what he needed and where he was headed. He mentioned a woman that he loves but who he is not in good favor with currently. He mentioned a couple of kids that were his and how badly he wanted to be in their life and he mentioned a few health issues that he had that would likely continue to cause him trouble in the near future. He had obviously had some rough times in his life, he inferred that his childhood was less than awesome, and that he had some things he felt regretful for and mentioned that multiple things from his past nagged at him consistently. I suggested that he focus more on what he can be doing today to take him in a good direction and then that he try to gently push those hard and ever present emotions aside, be honest that they are there but to quickly return to what he can be doing to move forward in a positive direction. He was a big and potentially intimidating dude, so I suggested that he get some clean “happier” looking clothes, get back to the halfway house and have a shower and get cleaned up and then to go out in the world feeling better about being clean and alive. That’s when we came up with Our third thing. He needed to find public health, and some source of moral support and a job; we agreed that he should... show up on time, smile and be clean and then vow to himself to do as many good things as he can to earn his and others faith and respect in himself. Seemed like good advice for anyone.

If he ever reads this, my message to him would be…

Big unshaven fella, in the black hoody with the spikes on it; with a good heart and a boat load of baggage: you have a somewhat clean start and a lot of opportunity to change your life for the better. Chip away at life, one good decision at time and then one day at a time and so on. Earn back respect in yourself, focus on that big heart of yours and listen when it speaks to you, the respect of others will come in time and will be earned with consistency and love for yourself. Thank you for stopping me on the side of the road and reminding me of a few good lessons about life, and most importantly, how fortunate I am. Take advantage of your chances, life is long and forgiving if you let it be.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Say "Thank You" from your heart...

Say Thank You

I am sitting in the car with my parents, we’re driving to Rochester New York, from Port Elgin Ontario. I was invited to attend a professional lacrosse game, one that just two years ago, would likely have found me competing in it. The owner of the home team, a man I have never formerly met or played for, has pledged to give my family $1000.00 for each goal his team scores tonight.

The team is filled with players whom I have battled alongside and against for years, more years than I can remember. Pat O’toole, a soon to be hall of fame goaltender and perennial representative for the Professional Lacrosse Players Association, mentioned to mister Curt Styres, that my family was doing some fundraising to help offset our medical bills and lost income. His response was something along the lines of “well we can give him a jersey to raffle off, but we can do a lot more than that as well”. If times were different it may very well be that I’d be battling against Curt’s players tonight. If I was having a typical night, I’d like to think he’d be cursing me and calling me any number of well deserved names. Instead he is instructing his staff to get us VIP passes and he welcomed us into his suite with his family and he treated us with incredible dignity and respect. We met his mother Vera, a lovely and kind woman who had a very interesting pearl of wisdom to help me with my healing. Here were children running around and a beautiful little baby just the same age as my 3 month old daughter. The arms of the lacrosse family opened up and invited us in and made us safe and comfortable.

My time recovering has taught me many things. One of them is that one person’s illness can bring out the absolute best in others. I write these thoughts down as way to burn them in to my mind, and a way to provide myself reminders. One day soon I will be much healthier than I have been recently, and nature will have its way and be inching me closer to taking things for granted yet again, these memories should serve as a cold ice cube on the sunburned back of life. They should make me sit up straight and remember that things can change in an instant, and when they do, everything will be fine and some incredible people will be there if you are open to finding them. And I had better pay back into the system because it sure is taking good care of us.

After the game….

Now, sitting here in the hotel room just after the game in Rochester, I am a little overwhelmed and am trying to process the lessons in life that I just learned. “just say it from the heart”… that will be the take away from today. Sometimes “Thank You” doesn’t seem like enough because we say it everyday. We say it to someone who holds a door open for us, we say it to our kids when they do something nice, to our spouses, to taxi drivers, we say it to total strangers. What do you say to someone who you have never met, but has heard about your story and hands your family $23,000 to lighten the burden that you are experiencing.

“You say Thank You and you say it from the heart and they will know.” Wendy Styres February 27th, 2010.

Never ever forget that lesson.

Jim Moss

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dear dudes on the Buried Life...

Guys, my wife and I watch the show after we put the kids to bed and we love it. We are Canadians living in San Jose CA. I am 32 years old.
Last year I got very sick, spent 30 days in hospital after H1N1 and West Nile Virus I had to relearn how to walk. Funny thing was I am a Hall of Fame Lacrosse player, played for team Canada in two sports and have won a world championship. You can imagine walking with a cane is a tough pill to swallow.
I have stayed positive and am determined to make something good and much bigger than me out of this situation. I decided that what made me who I was before in life was that I pursued my dreams and I was very good at it. So I am getting back to that, something simple but it’s what makes childhood so incredible. Why shouldn't it make adult life just as fun?
I am going to space. I have dedicated myself to going to outer space on one of the Virgin Galactic flights and figure that it should prove inspiring to others to go from a hospital bed to outer space. The flights cost $200K, $20K is due as a deposit. I have called myself the Panhandling Spaceman and I am fund raising the entire amount $1 dollar at a time and trying to convince 200,000 people that I am a worthy recipient. The big project is to create a non- profit called the Dream Cadets that teaches children the importance of dreaming big dreams and empowers them to pursue those dreams, I think that's what will change the world in the future, Kids that feel empowered to do good in the world instead of just accepting how things are. You guys are a good example of that wouldn't you say?
So I'd love your help. It has been a tough year but I am overcoming adversity and am determined to make it the catalyst for something big and wonderful.
Check out the website or watch the videos
I hope you'll agree that my project is worthy and that Sweet ol' bus will come rolling up North on the 101 to help us out.
A little buried but diggin my way out,
The Panhandling Spaceman,
Jim Moss
PS Love your work

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Generosity in all sizes… inspiring me as much as I am them.

As I was sure would be the case, it is proving true that journey toward my dreams will be an excellent one. I have said many times that the people along the way will be one of the most memorable parts of my project. And at the risk of sounding cliché my “trip” has already begun.

So far, I have had a 13 year old girl, collect dollars from all of her friends at school and hand me 22 one dollar bills. I have had a donation for $1000.00 come with no note attached, just the cash. Today I had a guy in the UK contact me as he is doing something similar to my project. He survived a one year long self-inflicted drug induced coma and now is returning to a childhood dream of going to space, just like me. He told me in plain English that I was an inspiration to him and that he was more determined because of it. I had an $18 donation from the players on a lacrosse team in Monterey California. On the flip side, I have had some interesting “nay sayers”, they comment on Facebook, but typically they have cast a superficial judgment and have not looked deep enough to see the good I am trying to do. When I correct their misjudgments, they don’t come back to offer a rebuttal. I hope they do read it though and learn that we are really trying to do something pure and good.

I have been taking time to write thank you cards, I have been more organized than ever and am always motivated to work away at little bits here and there as my health and time allows. It is interesting though; it is the people that are motivating me as much as I might motivate them or as the ultimate goal serves as inspiration.

I’ll be in touch again soon,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Excellent horoscope for Tuesday Feb 9th

Most of your energy today will be focused on matters of reputation and image, Pisces. There is a lot of support from many quarters for you right now, and others are willing to give assistance. Even those who either openly oppose you or do so in a clandestine manner inadvertently act to your advantage by giving you the opportunity to show of a skill or ability to someone who matters. Follow your intuition and be flexible, and try to stay away from those who are more focused on happy hour than personal power.
Post my horoscope to my profile!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Goals, deadlines, and our brains

One of the major premises behind this project is that goal setting is a process that can be utilized to work in the direction of our big dreams. This week we set the goal of getting to 1000 fans on our face book page by Friday at 5:00 PM. One of the keys to goal setting is to set deadlines for your accomplishments. By setting a date for things, a finish line, it increases the importance in which your brain subconsciously applies to the project. When you know that you have a deadline coming, your brain elevates that item to the higher functional levels and applies more resources towards it. It sounds like fast talking mumbo jumbo but it really is true. I have read countless articles on how the brain filters priorities as a result of my having ADHD, the bottom line is that the prefrontal cortex makes split second decisions as to what items to pay attention to and then bumps those up to the frontal cortex. As projects are deemed more and more important they continue to rise further up the food chain in our brains. Deadlines and goals, are the language of these higher functional responses and so applying them to our projects, offers them a leg up on the food chain and increases the chance of accomplishment.

I’ll see if I can dig up some simple articles to reference for those of you who like to do some fact checking, but trust me…  Dream Big…. find sub goals to apply along the way, define those goals very clearly, apply a deadline, then let the magic of the incredible super computer God gave you go to work.
Have a great weekend,
The Panhandling Spaceman