Other Voices

Tools for the Self Directed Life

Developing Mental Toughness. 

Get on track.jpg


Under my other voices heading I present to you an article,  brought to my attention by one of my clients on obtaining objectives and success through consistency. 

The article or blog was called "The Science of Developing Mental Toughness in Your Health, Work, and Life."  by blogger James Clear. whos work and be read on JamesClear.com

Have you ever wondered what makes someone a good athlete? Or a good leader? Or a good parent? Why do some people accomplish their goals while others fail?

What makes the difference?

Usually we answer these questions by talking about the talent of top performers. He must be the smartest scientist in the lab. She’s faster than everyone else on the team. He is a brilliant business strategist.

But I think we all know there is more to the story than that.

In fact, when you start looking into it, your talent and your intelligence don’t play nearly as big of a role as you might think. The research studies that I have found say that intelligence only accounts for 30% of your achievement — and that’s at the extreme upper end.

What makes a bigger impact than talent or intelligence? Mental toughness.

Research is starting to reveal that your mental toughness — or “grit” as they call it — plays a more important role than anything else for achieving your goals in health, business, and life. That’s good news because you can’t do much about the genes you were born with, but you can do a lot to develop mental toughness.

Why is mental toughness so important? And how can you develop more of it?

Let’s talk about that now.

Mental Toughness and The United States Military

Sun Run  Fort Bragg, N.C., Army photo by Sgt. Gin-Sophie De Bellotte

Sun Run  Fort Bragg, N.C., Army photo by Sgt. Gin-Sophie De Bellotte

Each year, approximately 1,300 cadets join the entering class at the United States Military Academy, West Point. During their first summer on campus, cadets are required to complete a series of brutal tests. This summer initiation program is known internally as “Beast Barracks.”

In the words of researchers who have studied West Point cadets, “Beast Barracks is deliberately engineered to test the very limits of cadets’ physical, emotional, and mental capacities.”

You might imagine that the cadets who successfully complete Beast Barracks are bigger, stronger, or more intelligent than their peers. But Angela Duckworth, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, found something different when she began tracking the cadets.

Duckworth studies achievement, and more specifically, how your mental toughness, perseverance, and passion impact your ability to achieve goals. At West Point, she tracked a total of 2,441 cadets spread across two entering classes. She recorded their high school rank, SAT scores, Leadership Potential Score (which reflects participation in extracurricular activities), Physical Aptitude Exam (a standardized physical exercise evaluation), and Grit Scale (which measures perseverance and passion for long–term goals).

Here’s what she found out…

It wasn’t strength or smarts or leadership potential that accurately predicted whether or not a cadet would finish Beast Barracks. Instead, it was grit — the perseverance and passion to achieve long–term goals — that made the difference.

In fact, cadets who were one standard deviation higher on the Grit Scale were 60% more likely to finish Beast Barracks than their peers. It was mental toughness that predicted whether or not a cadet would be successful, not their talent, intelligence, or genetics.

When Is Mental Toughness Useful?

National Spelling Bee

National Spelling Bee


Duckworth’s research has revealed the importance of mental toughness in a variety of fields.

In addition to the West Point study, she discovered that…

  • Ivy League undergraduate students who had more grit also had higher GPAs than their peers — even though they had lower SAT scores and weren’t as “smart.”
  • When comparing two people who are the same age but have different levels of education, grit (and not intelligence) more accurately predicts which one will be better educated.
  • Competitors in the National Spelling Bee outperform their peers not because of IQ, but because of their grit and commitment to more consistent practice.

And it’s not just education where mental toughness and grit are useful. Duckworth and her colleagues heard similar stories when they started interviewing top performers in all fields…

Our hypothesis that grit is essential to high achievement evolved during interviews with professionals in investment banking, painting, journalism, academia, medicine, and law. Asked what quality distinguishes star performers in their respective fields, these individuals cited grit or a close synonym as often as talent. In fact, many were awed by the achievements of peers who did not at first seem as gifted as others but whose sustained commitment to their ambitions was exceptional. Likewise, many noted with surprise that prodigiously gifted peers did not end up in the upper echelons of their field.

—Angela Duckworth

You have probably seen evidence of this in your own experiences. Remember your friend who squandered their talent? How about that person on your team who squeezed the most out of their potential? Have you known someone who was set on accomplishing a goal, no matter how long it took?

You can read the whole research study here, but this is the bottom line:

In every area of life — from your education to your work to your health — it is your amount of grit, mental toughness, and perseverance that predicts your level of success more than any other factor we can find.

In other words, talent is overrated.

What Makes Someone Mentally Tough?

1936 Olympic workout of Jesse Owens and Frank Wykoff

1936 Olympic workout of Jesse Owens and Frank Wykoff

It’s great to talk about mental toughness, grit, and perseverance … but what do those things actually look like in the real world?

In a word, toughness and grit equal consistency.

Mentally tough athletes are more consistent than others. They don’t miss workouts. They don’t miss assignments. They always have their teammates back.

Mentally tough leaders are more consistent than their peers. They have a clear goal that they work towards each day. They don’t let short–term profits, negative feedback, or hectic schedules prevent them from continuing the march towards their vision. They make a habit of building up the people around them — not just once, but over and over and over again.

Mentally tough artists, writers, and employees deliver on a more consistent basis than most. They work on a schedule, not just when they feel motivated. They approach their work like a pro, not an amateur. They do the most important thing first and don’t shirk responsibilities.

The good news is that grit and perseverance can become your defining traits, regardless of the talent you were born with. You can become more consistent. You can develop superhuman levels of mental toughness.


In my experience, these 3 strategies work well in the real world…

1. Define what mental toughness means for you.

For the West Point army cadets being mentally tough meant finishing an entire summer of Beast Barracks.

For you, it might be…

  • going one month without missing a workout
  • going one week without eating processed or packaged food
  • delivering your work ahead of schedule for two days in a row
  • meditating every morning this week
  • grinding out one extra rep on each set at the gym today
  • calling one friend to catch up every Saturday this month
  • spending one hour doing something creative every evening this week

Whatever it is, be clear about what you’re going after. Mental toughness is an abstract quality, but in the real world it’s tied to concrete actions. You can’t magically think your way to becoming mentally tough, you prove it to yourself by doing something in real life.

Which brings me to my second point…

2. Mental toughness is built through small physical wins.

You can’t become committed or consistent with a weak mind. How many workouts have you missed because your mind, not your body, told you you were tired? How many reps have you missed out on because your mind said, “Nine reps is enough. Don’t worry about the tenth.” Probably thousands for most people, including myself. And 99% are due to weakness of the mind, not the body.

—Drew Shamrock

So often we think that mental toughness is about how we respond to extreme situations. How did you perform in the championship game? Can you keep your life together while grieving the death of a family member? Did you bounce back after your business went bankrupt?

There’s no doubt that extreme situations test our courage, perseverance, and mental toughness … but what about everyday circumstances?

Mental toughness is like a muscle. It needs to be worked to grow and develop. If you haven’t pushed yourself in thousands of small ways, of course you’ll wilt when things get really difficult.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Choose to do the tenth rep when it would be easier to just do nine. Choose to create when it would be easier to consume. Choose to ask the extra question when it would be easier to accept. Prove to yourself — in a thousand tiny ways — that you have enough guts to get in the ring and do battle with life.

Mental toughness is built through small wins. It’s the individual choices that we make on a daily basis that build our “mental toughness muscle.” We all want mental strength, but you can’t think your way to it. It’s your physical actions that prove your mental fortitude.

3. Mental toughness is about your habits, not your motivation.

Photo Artist Jason Beamguard during  his Book Challenge 2018

Photo Artist Jason Beamguard during  his Book Challenge 2018

Motivation is fickle. Willpower comes and goes.

Mental toughness isn’t about getting an incredible dose of inspiration or courage. It’s about building the daily habits that allow you to stick to a schedule and overcome challenges and distractions over and over and over again.

Mentally tough people don’t have to be more courageous, more talented, or more intelligent — just more consistent. Mentally tough people develop systems that help them focus on the important stuff regardless of how many obstacles life puts in front of them. It’s their habits that form the foundation of their mental beliefs and ultimately set them apart.

I’ve written about this many times before. Here are the basic steps for building a new habit and links to further information on doing each step.

  1. Start by building your identity.
  2. Focus on small behaviors, not life–changing transformations.
  3. Develop a routine that gets you going regardless of how motivated you feel.
  4. Stick to the schedule and forget about the results.
  5. When you slip up, get back on track as quickly as possible.

Mental toughness comes down to your habits. It’s about doing the things you know you’re supposed to do on a more consistent basis. It’s about your dedication to daily practice and your ability to stick to a schedule.

How Have You Developed Mental Toughness?

Artist Juan Coronado photo of Actor/Model Jimmy Flint-Smith

Artist Juan Coronado photo of Actor/Model Jimmy Flint-Smith

Our mission as a community is clear: we are looking to live healthy lives and make a difference in the world.

To that end, I see it as my responsibility to equip you with the best information, ideas, and strategies for living healthier, becoming happier, and making a bigger impact with your life and work.

But no matter what strategies we discuss, no matter what goals we set our sights on, no matter what vision we have for ourselves and the people around us … none of it can become a reality without mental toughness, perseverance, and grit.

When things get tough for most people, they find something easier to work on. When things get difficult for mentally tough people, they find a way to stay on schedule.

There will always be extreme moments that require incredible bouts of courage, resiliency, and grit … but for 95% of the circumstances in life, toughness simply comes down to being more consistent than most people. 

The Question Will Make Your Problem More Interesting

This Question Will Make Your Problems More Interesting
Limitations shouldn’t stop you from winning

Under my other voices heading I present to you an article,  brought to my attention by friend Michael Kelley a fellow collaborator on male educational objectives and experiences. Michael resides in Atlanta Georgia.

Gustavo Razzetti is the blog writer of this article that was found in Medium Digest. 
Razzetti is an Author and Speaker. Who calls himself “a Change Instigator. Culture Transformation & Innovation Strategist.”  He has a new Book and you can find it at http://bit.ly/StretchChange


Le Mans race Audi diesel car winner and crew

Le Mans race Audi diesel car winner and crew

Audi was in desperate need to win the 2006 edition of the 24 hours of Le Mans race. The competition is not only one of the most prestigious car races in the world — its outcome can make or break a carmaker’s reputation.

However, Audi was in real trouble: its car was not fast enough.

Until one question changed everything. The Audi team went from not having the fastest car to winning the 24-hours Le Mans race three years in a row.

If you were to design a race car, you’d probably want to build the fastest one possible, right?

Interestingly enough, Audi took a different approach. One that brought to life the power of accepting constraints. And turned them into a superpower, not a limitation.

The Story of an Interesting Question

Interesting questions trigger thought-provoking conversations — that’s what Audi did by reframing its challenge.

“How could we win Le Mans if our car could go no faster than anyone else’s?”Audis chief engineer asked.

The chief engineer’s question not only removed the excuse— not having the fastest car should not stop them from winning. He also reframed the challenge into a more interesting one.

Rather than worrying about the speed of the car, Audi’s team had to discover other ways to win the race.

The 24 hours of Le Mans is one of the most challenging races. Teams have to deal with physical and mental fatigue while balancing demanding speeds with keeping their car running for a full day.

The design team came up with a simple yet powerful solution: a fuel-efficient car. Audi turned conventional wisdom upside down by using a diesel engine for the first time. By reducing the amount of pit stops, the racing team saved significant time — they could never make up that time by increasing engine power.

The engineering team approached Le Mans as an endurance competition —one closer to a marathon than a sprint.

This new perspective helped Audi win Le Mans three years in a row.

Limitations shouldn’t stop you from winning

Winning is not just about what you do during the race. Everything that you do leading to that day matters. That mentality helped Audi turn its constraints into creative fuel.

Most people see their constraints as limiting. When their resources are scarce, they feel limited.

However, not being the ‘fastest car’ shouldn’t prevent you from winning.

Everyone has limitations. Winning is not about having all the resources; it’s about outsmarting your competition.

Don’t let your constraints define you. That’s the purpose of this one question — turn your constraints into a superpower.

“How can you win if ‘your car’ is not faster than everyone else’s?”

Apply this mentality to solve both personal and work challenges.

How can you win if you are NOT…

… the smartest guy in the room?

… the one with the strongest network?

… the most well-known expert?

… the (add the limitation you want)?

The point is: don’t get stuck in the “I can’t win” mode just because of your constraints.

When you focus on what you lack, you become a victim.

“Why is this happening to me?” — You might ask yourself. You feel life is unfair and let one constraint define your future. And, eventually, you give up.

You can opt to fight back. However, this is an endless battle. Being obsessed over defeating your constraints takes your focus away.

Instead of fighting your limitations, ask more interesting questions. Like Audi’s chief engineer did.

Take ownership — accept your limitations rather than wasting your time fighting reality. Your purpose is not to defeat your constraints but to achieve your goals. Ask yourself: “How can I win the race even if I’m not the fastest?” Focus on turning a constraint into a superpower.

Outsmart others by reframing how you will win the race.

Moving from being a victim to hero is not easy. It requires self-awareness; to stop comparing to others and challenge what you can do differently.

When you can’t win within normal conditions, rewrite the rules.

Reframe your challenges into interesting ones

Focus on the opportunity, not on your limitations.

When you try to get more of what you lack— resources, support, budget, time, etc. — you get stuck in trying to solve the wrong problem.

Reframing the problem will help you uncover a more interesting one to solve.

Audi’s chief engineer turned a constraint (speed) into a superpower (energy efficiency). He reframed the problem from “we are not faster than others” to “how can we win without being the fastest.”

Reframing the challenge is half of the solution. When you stop thinking about your weaknesses, you stop comparing to others.

This question will help you reframe a constraint and turn it into a challenge: “How might I achieve (a goal) even though I lack (a limitation)?”

Reframe your challenge into a more interesting one.

Become the hero of your own narrative. Focus your creativity on the right problem. Your goal is not to build the fastest car, your goal is to win the race.

Turn your limitations in your favor rather than surrendering to them.

A Writer Writes

Scott Keene at writing group.jpg

Scott Keene a writer in the Long Beach, CA. Library Writing Group. His writing many of you have read on this site and communicated to me how much you enjoyed it.

You now can read more of him at your leisure, and for those of you who have wondered about our writing process, can also go to Scott’s new blog pages where he goes into easy to understand descriptions of how we come up with what we write.

So as Scott says, “he will use blog space to write about his writing….to write scenes. He creates a mood, places an image in the reader's mind and let the imagination do the rest…. You might get a glimpse of another person's life, but only for a few moments. You're left with an impression.

Happy or sad. Disturbed or terrified. Perhaps completely disinterested.

But, this blogger hopes, never bored."

You can find more of Scott's work on his blog page somelikeitscott

My Favorite Bar By Marni Spencer-Devlin

"Something unique and outside of the box done by one of the exceptional writers of the  Long Beach Library Coffeehouse's, Writing Group - Author MarniSpencer-Devlin. who took the writing prompt of the day,  called 'My Favorite Bar'-  and made it her own."
- Calvin Harris, H.W.,M
Photo by Artisit Juan Coronado

Photo by Artisit Juan Coronado

What makes a bar a favorite? In most cases it isn’t the beautiful or stylish interior, is it? Most bars are quite the opposite of stylish, or even clean, for that matter. Sticky floors, sticky counters, sticky toilets – everything most people would abhor in their regular life so what can make a bar a favorite place to be? It’s the people. Cheers had it right – the place where everybody knows your name. Where people know you and your foibles, and they still want to hang out with you! The place where you feel accepted and maybe even appreciated for being you. It doesn’t get any better than that. It’s what life is really all about.

The Long Beach Library Coffee House.jpg

For me that place isn’t really even a bar. It’s the Library – and it’s not a library either. It’s a funny excuse for a coffee house with mismatched furniture and a perpetually stinky, unisex bathroom. But it’s the place where my beloved writer buddies hang out with me. Once a week, or as often as we can. But when it comes together it’s the best day of the week.



Photo by Calvin Harris

Photo by Calvin Harris


Writing is a funny thing when it’s done right. It’s an intimate, bare-all, no-holds-barred, kind-of-thing. Where you put yourself out there, courageously, and you write what’s in your soul for all the world to see. It could be a scary place but it is isn’t when you’re around a group of similar miscreants who similarity put themselves out there with courage and talent and heart and soul. It’s the stuff that life is made of. Most don’t ever get to experience that much fun. Because they don’t have the guts to go there. Because they make excuses not to. But my buddies make time and show up and are there. And I appreciate them all so much and they me.

Ironic that all that would be found in a usually dark, dank, sticky place with crooked furniture. Life’s messy, I guess. Isn’t that what makes it so fun, after all?

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Blame It On Theatre'

comedy tragedy mask.jpg

It is fall, here in Southern California, as such the days are growing shorter, and the need for physical recreation now turns to mental recreation, as the daylight hours decrease, and hours spent indoors increases.

One preoccupation besides the Football games that can move one indoors is the Fall-Winter Theater Season: This can include anything from state-of-the-art theaters to a world-renowned symphony and a multitude of live performances. I’d suggest giving a live stage performance a go. Much that I have learned about human interaction, or what I now know about my own inner-personal interactions was revealed to me in a non-combative observational way, presented to me as a live on-stage event.  

Granthan Coleman Playing Hamlet 2017

Granthan Coleman Playing Hamlet 2017

I began looking for these revelations about life in earnest, after hearing my Teacher Thane, tell about these insights in his class lectures for the Prosperos. (lectures on self-observation and self-awareness.) He would reference live theatrical performance or musicals as a way to unlock some unknown factor, to perceive something about our situation that we normally would not see, a place of authenticity, or Truth based reality rather than based on sense testimony alone.

foot lights publication.jpg

In the FootLights LA, a theatrical publication handed out to me at a recent musical performance of Cabaret, besides information on the cast and production of Cabaret, the publication had a story that will illustrate my point. The article was written by Peter Finlayson, and was called “Blame it on Theatre.” The article had a resonance with me and this concept of seeing beyond sense testimony as well as the function of Theatre. -Calvin

"I’ve found myself in an interesting position of late. Through the genius of social media, I’ve had the opportunity of being reacquainted with people I’ve not seen since I came to California. Back in 1981, it means I’ve had a bit of catching up to do. The first thing I discovered was that for those that were true friends, well, we are still friends. Getting past all the ‘what have you been up to’ took about a nano-second before we were back to conversation and feelings we shared as if we hadn’t missed a beat in 35 plus years.

What was a little surprising was that even though I am still most assuredly a child of the 60’s and an unabashed left-leaning liberal, many of my old friends had adopted a more conservative position. So has always been my want, political discussion quickly ensued, and the current political climate certainly added fuel to the debate.

At the same time, I’ve also had opportunity to engage with my more recently acquired friends, mostly theatre-makers, on the same topics. The resulting conversations really bought me to think – how did I, a radical loud mouthed protester who’d marched on Washington, the capital not the man, suddenly appear to be opposed to both right and left, positions that were being vociferously expressed to me by people I assumed to share values.

I’ve become a centrist? Not possible!

Thank god, those that were friends are still friends, and no permanent scars were created. But why was it that I was arguing against both sides, this is all in regard to free speech, and I was essentially saying the exact same thing to both, and being met with exhaustive fervency in opposition.

I blame it on Theatre!

What? Yep! My passion for change has been tempered by my passion for theartre. For a while I was feeling a bit like Data on Star Trek, Next Generation, rapidly scanning my memories as to what has influenced me the most to seek a position of principal with the understanding that the principal has limitations.

Theartre always serves as an allegory, and in the 3-plus millennia of recorded history, there is an over-riding principle that is essentially the moral of virtually every play. Moderation. Heroes become tragic when they act in haste or out of self-interest. In comedy, heroes become fools when acting for the same reasons.  Causes are not noble if concern for “others” is not part of the equation

Photo Jimmy Flint-Smith  Actor Model

Photo Jimmy Flint-Smith  Actor Model

Before you scream foul and yell that theatre is not a voice of caution, hear me out. It is not caution that drives theatre, it is understanding. It is the demand that for me to reflect upon the evil men do, I must first understand that they come not from a position of evil, but from a position of self-interest. “My morals are more important”, “my wants are more immediate”, “my judgement is superior”.  

Theatre teaches us the nuances, the difference between caution and moderation. Theatre teaches us that we may be individuals, but are more assuredly a par of the whole. What impacts us, impacts everyone.

In its very process of creating a living play, the moderation I speak of is demanded of everyone at every level. A play, a musical, is the very essence of the social experience.

The participants, from writer to stagehand, are individuals. Each has a vision and a want to execute the play to bring a sense of fulfillment to the audience.  Yet the writer ultimately knows that there are words that will change. The actor knows that the director is there to make sure the performance fits the scene. The designer may want the best set he or she has ever created, but it must serve the play.

Individually we are as the theatre-makers. Our will, our reason, our logic, dictates that certain things must occur for the betterment of humanity. The merits of the effort are determined not by the contributor, but the reality of value perceived by those around us. In a very real sense it is the whole of humanity that determines what is best.

Stage Production of Blood Brothers

Stage Production of Blood Brothers

For more than 3,000 years, theatre has expressed the position that the consequence of action is more important than the action itself. It demands of both artist and audience to take a journey of understanding and at conclusion, become aware that intent is never the cause of the conclusion, intent is only a catalyst to a journey.

The beauty that is expressed in theatre is that we must take the journey. We must examine the life we witness, we must encourage action, but we must do so with the weight of humanity upon our shoulders.

So what’s the take away? Jacques in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” tells us, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players….” While the monologue is about Life played out in stages . . . I think it also an admonition. Play the role; fit into the moment.

Respect ourselves for the roles we play, but accept that our wants will not be the determiner of accomplishments. Theatre teaches us to moderate our expectations to see beyond the vista of our eyes, and then act.

the end.jpg

The Critical Inner Voice

Two surprising similar pieces of writing generated on 21 September 2017, by the Long Beach Library Coffeehouse Writers - Bob Biddle and author MarniSpencer-Devlin. The writing prompt 'Critical Inner Voice,'  gives us a peek at how our pass regulates our present moment.

writing pad.jpg

The Library Coffee writers group of Long Beach, CA., write from prompts. We get a prompt,  we give ourselves, individually 15 minutes to come up with and write a story from the prompt, then with the group we will share what we came up with and the story we wrote..  Below are the stories Bob and Marni made from the prompt – Critical Inner Voice, that gave the instruction to turn the prompt into a character, or tell what does it look like, smell like, etc.


Critical Inner Voice. by Bob Biddle

It’s always in the background.  It nags at me.  Taunts me.  Ridicules me.  I can’t remember a time when that little voice praised me.

I smell the scent of Pumpkin Spice.  Of Halloween.  God, it’s only mid-September.  What’s all the nonsense about Pumpkin Spice anyway?

It’s my mother.  Yes.  That’s who my little voice is.  My mother.  Well, thank you God for that one!  Why couldn’t it be Tom Selleck or Chad Everett?  Why is my mother constantly interjecting herself into my thoughts?  Didn’t she and I resolve this oh so many years ago?

All I see is a small, blonde and beautiful woman of about 30 years of age.  I see her almost like Julie Andrews at the beginning of the movie, “Sound of Music.”  You know, the part where she spins around an Austrian hilltop to the music of “The Hills are Alive.”

Yep!  That’s it—that’s my German mother in just another idiotic incantation.  Actually, now that I think about it, I’m glad it’s her and not my father.

Second hand smoke.jpg

Both of them were bullies, you know, if the truth were told.

I see her now staring back at me from her small chair in my childhood living room.  Her Winston cigarette has been puffed down to a nub and the smoke lingers right at the level of my head.  I was always breathing second-hand smoke.’ 



The Taunting Inner Voice by Marni Spencer-Devlin

Better stick with me. If anyone knew how you really are they would all hate you. I know how you really are, how weird, how lazy, how slovenly, how dumb but I am your mother.

Mother Daughter dynamics.jpg

I can’t walk away no matter how hard you make it sometimes. You are my burden to carry. I never wanted you, mind you.

My boys were enough for me. And I never wanted to have kids from different fathers – just another burden you visited upon me. 

She had been my constant companion for the better part of my years, It wasn’t immediately apparent how brutal she was, seeing how she cloaked herself in seeming caring and protection. She seemed warm, safe, and she smelled so good. Mama always made it seem like she was on my side. It took me years to figure out why I always felt like someone had taken a knife to my soul. 

But then, one day, I just woke up. I realized it wasn’t her. It had never been her. It had always been me. That bitter voice had been mine. I just gave it a face. But it was all illusion. Virtual reality. And I could stop it anytime. And so I did. 

On Healing by Richard Hartnett

ancient-Greeks doctor.jpg
"I have found it can be as simply as attention to what you are doing"- Calvin Harris

When it comes to healing, we all need to ask, "What am I expecting from a healing practice?" Do we expect a cure that will make a problem go away forever? Sometimes we get lucky and such a thing happens. However, more often than not healing alerts us to the need to adjust our behavior. Maybe its taking vitamins, getting better rest, but just as often its about approaching life differently. Healing is not always about body issues, sometimes its the heart, or the mind. The key thing about all the different forms is to notice how we were out of alignment with the universe. Life is better when we are in the flow. Let me know if you have any questions: quantumspirit@ecentral.com ~ Richard Hartnett

The Carpenter

Another surprising piece of writing generated by the Long Beach Library Coffeehouse Writers Group. This time from drop-in writer Alex Welsh visiting from San Jose, California, on Aug. 24, 2017.

writing pad.jpg

We write from prompts, we give ourselves 15minutes to come up with and write the story from the prompts. Alex Welsh story is from the prompts – 

Carpenter” and “If only what was said could be taken back.”

There’s a problem being friends with a carpenter, and having them custom build your home. That’s how I ended up with a toilet, two feet from my bed.

Ted has been a friend since high school and has always been building things, and he’s good!

That’s why when I moved back into town and wanted to build a home, he was the man for the job. The problem began when I gave him total creative control for the design of the house.


Bed & Toliet.jpg

We were a few beers in, stoned to the bone, just having a good old time at the Circus Room, a nice little dive bar just outside of downtown. I told Ted, in between shots of whiskey and PBR tall boys, “Sometimes I wish I could just roll out of bed and take a piss.”  If only I could take that back. – Alex Welsh






The Long Beach Library Coffeehouse Group, is a motley group of individuals with diverse personalities and experiences, united by our desire to share ourselves, our varied backgrounds, and our understanding. We choose to be here because our vision is to inspire, delight, and to enrich lives through the power storytelling.