“When we are sure that we are on the right road there is no need to plan our journey too far ahead. No need to burden ourselves with doubts and fears as to the obstacles that may bar our progress.
We cannot take more than one step at a time.”
Orison Swett Marden
I’m not a fan of the heat.
Kathilynn said it’s 105* today…and we’re out in this dry heat, shopping. For our home, for boys camp (I’m one of the cooks this year)…and I am conVINced that I’ve lost 22.4lbs just from standing under the blistering sun.
Where’s a 7-11 Slurpee when you need one, eh?
Today has been a wonderfully irritating yet laughable day.
It seems like each time I’m excited, wake up happy and I’m ready to write my heart out, the world says, “Hey, I think we should throw some stuff in Jaime’s face. Ya know, like emotional emergencies, family stress, maybe a hospital run (or 3)…just to keep him on his toes.
“‘Cause he needs the exercise ANYway, right?”
But you know what? It’s all in Gods hands. My focus has changed over the past few months and though I’m being hit harder than EVER before, I’m grateful.
Grateful, excited, happy, almost giggly happy—because life is so full of opportunities to love, to cheer others on, to smile and reach out a hand of friendship when no one else will.
Plus my iPod is still working and I can listen to Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire…and the TROLLS soundtrack!
(Seriously, buy that last one if you haven’t already…it’ll make your hips smile)
It’s all Gods Fault
Thankfully, I’ve come to this point in my life, because God loves me.
He’s shown me how to find happiness and how to appreciate what I have, who I am and the relationships He’s brought into my life, by the things I’ve suffered and the people I’ve also lost.
It’s odd how we spend so much of our lives trying to avoid pain, discomfort and being pushed out of our comfort zones when that’s the only way we can actually be happy.
Think about that for just a moment. How can you tell you’re happy?
…because you know what it’s like to be sad.
How do you know you’re healthy?
…because you’ve been ill.
We only know what something actually is and can appreciate what we are and have, by experiencing some form of the opposite. So why are we so quick to avoid the gifts God is giving us?
It’s this method of thinking that prompted some beautiful conversations between my son Evan and I.
…which led to a decision to shut down this website.
Two Steps Back
Don’t panic, you’re not getting rid of me that easy—this is a temporary freeze.
It’s to give me a little bit of time without overwhelming me.
It’s challenging to spend 12+ hours drawing a day, then be a dad and husband, then put in another 6-8hrs where I can, to build this as it should be done.
Time I don’t currently have.
Instagram has already been frozen. Same with Pinterest.
Don’t really care much about Twitter—still, don’t understand it.
Facebook is run by my daughter, Cesilea (and she does it like a boss).
My weekly cartoons are also being frozen for a short time, even though my subscriber list is at an all-time high in 12 years.
This website is next. No more posts until we do a relaunch.
So why am I stopping the progression I’ve made up until now?
To Take Ten Steps Forward
Remember, my hope has always been to make enough each month, so I can do this full time.
After looking at my current methods of blogging, we discovered a few methods to possibly achieve that if we included some affiliate work and added some specific products.
But this takes a lot of time and effort.
This all about the long term game…and it finally clicked for me when I let some things go in my life.
The first one was letting go of money.
Not that money isn’t important, or that I don’t need to pay my bills (because I do, just like you), but money is not my motivating factor. It’s not the motivating factor in helping people or in writing books, courses or even creating comic strips.
It’s to help people.
That’s what I’m most passionate about, what I’m best at and it’s what I care about most.
When money became my focus, things quickly fell apart.Click To Tweet
I lost sight of relationships and my priorities switched from what was right to what as right for me and me alone.
It didn’t feel right to the point I couldn’t sleep at night…which is a good sign something’s wrong.
The next thing I learned, was that all the promotions going on the internet didn’t matter because they weren’t real.
I have, over the past year, caught so many people in lies, that after a couple months, I lost count.
The deception was everywhere…and patterns revealed how this was being done.
Watching the fruits of companies and ‘pros’ who advertised and pushed their products and services, shouting at the top of their lungs that if you wanted to be successful, you needed to do this and that, to buy this course and that program.
Which is exactly what I did.
That’s not how success actually works.
Sure, we can do all we can—to be wise, create strategies and make sure we’re consistent, but the harsh, comPLETE truth is, we never control the results. Ever.
Deny it all you like, doesn’t matter to me. I’ve watched this pattern for 13 years now and it’s consistent.
The internet moves forward on the premise of ‘fake it until you make it’.Click To Tweet
That is not how I want to live my life.
I’m not interested in trying to manipulate anyone, con folks out of their money or try to convince them that they need what I have.
Yes, those tactics work to a degree, but again, it’s not how I wanted to live my life or to do business with people…yet that’s how my site is set up. It’s how I have been taught in courses and seminars.
I’m better than that.
YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT!!
…and I am so sorry I ever did this and I pray you’ll forgive me.
If not, I completely understand.
Those who come to see me from this point forward will notice a substantial shift in what I do and how I do it.
Because I’ve found peace…and that peace is what helps me decide what I do next.
If I don’t feel peace in my soul, that’s not the path to take.
The truth is, I have many brilliant things to offer. It’s not ego or pride…it’s my talent and what I honestly believe God put me here to do.
Some materials are SO good, I want to make sure readers get access to them, regardless of being able to pay.
Because it’ll change lives and help tens of thousands (if not more) in specific life struggles which I believe are literally critical to one’s survival.
On the other hand, I have products that will transform lives and entertain, but they are not critical to one’s survival—so those I’ll sell for a specific price.
Lastly, I have been struggling for more than a decade to find my voice.
Some of you are probably laughing right now.
Yes, I’ve been searching for my voice.
The part of me, deep from within my soul, that has something to say to the world. That part which can be a help to just about anyone I come in contact with—but I’ve been afraid.
Afraid to be me.
That’s where my son comes in.
The best move I’ve ever made since I started this journey was to start working with Evan, my oldest boy.
Brilliant, compassionate and one of the finest human beings I’ve ever known. Yes, I’m bias, but I also realized if he wasn’t my son and we met on the street, we’d most likely become best friends anyway.
How cool is that?
Evan’s first counsel to me was for me to be completely and unapologetically me.
That’s it. That’s the grand secret.
Just be me.
…exactly what Kathilynn told me to be almost 3 years ago.
So here I am.
The moment I let go of my presuppositions, fears, and stress about what people want to hear, I started thinking about what I wanted to say.
My writing quickly blossomed into what I could do for others, what experiences and wisdom I could share to pull someone from the fires of life, where I could throw a lifejacket to someone drowning and how I could become a hero to someone all alone.
…and I started to smile.
This was me.
The person my wife saw when we first met.
The man she’s been waiting for 27 years to be with.
…and I found him.
So what’s next?
(*Pandora kicks on ‘Boogie Shoes’ by K.C. & The Sunshine Band…and I can’t help but smile*)
This isn’t the end of anything. Quite the opposite.
Evan and I are working fast and hard on what truly matters and it’s fast approaching completion, but we need some dedicated time.
The look will change slightly on this blog, but the message will have more depth, passion, conviction and what we will offer will delight so many.
Tell you about it?
You have to come back and see. =)
What you should know is that I won’t be doing any more blog posts OR comics for the next while, until the products and revisions are ready to be launched.
However, I’m hoping you’ll help me when I come back.
I’ll need it, to spread the word to all the corners of the internet.
Until then, keep us in your thoughts and in your prayers.
I have to find funds to accomplish this, but with your good thoughts and prayers, I believe God will provide…because I wasn’t put here to fail.
See you soon!!
There are so many people I’d like to mention in my blog posts, so I’ve decided to start this section to give shout outs to the people I’m thinking of when I write these articles.
This week I want to give a special thanks to my beloved wife Kathilynn and also to Joseph Compton, Laurence Bunker, Karen Bunker, Jamie Bunker, Aubrey Bunker, Craig Werner, Ondi Allred, James Bronson, Dallin Mangles, Jessica Mangles, Chris Lewis, LaNae Lewis, Michelle Taggart, Jessica Taggart Rogers, Gillian Taylor, Kolby Bailey, Aaron Bronson, Jake Butler, Phillip Allred, Dan Reynoso, Dan Buckley, Angelina Buckley and my kids, Evan (Happy Birthday, son!), Cesilea and Josh Barber (I’m SO glad you’re doing better and out of the hospital).
Over the past month, each of you has had a substantial positive influence on me, whether you know it or not. Your examples (and the outpouring of love and kindness towards me) has helped me get through some incredibly tough internal struggles, to the light on the other side.
Especially you, Kathilynn.
I love and admire each of you.