Remember my NA series and all those NA Meetings I attended? Well they just now paid off in the form of good time. My release date has been adjusted from 8-9-32 to 3-7-32. I haven’t done the math, but according to DOC, that’s 155 days!
Upon receiving this good news I was also informed that I will be getting back an additional 90 days at my next review in August. All I gotta do is remain infraction free, stay in The Dog Program, and receive positive evaluations.
It feels good to be going the other way. To be earning good time rather than loosing it. To be living in harmony rather than conflict. To be progressing rather than regressing. To be making friends rather than enemies. To be focusing on the positive rather than the negative.
For almost 23 years my environment hasn’t changed. PRISON! It’s still full of misfits and misconduct. But what has changed is my attitude, perspective, outlook, and priorities. During my quest to seek knowledge and understanding I’ve learned that the mind is like a garden. Either you can intelligently Cultivate it, or neglect it and let it run wild. That’s why its crucial for me to constantly cultivate my mind by weeding out all the wrong, useless, destructive, impure thoughts. And nurturing my mind with right, useful, constructive, positive thoughts.
By constantly pursuing this process of mind evolution, I am starting to reap the rewards. Such as: I found my beautiful soulmate in Suzie, I made it to The Honor Unit, I got accepted into the dog program, I’ve met new people and have devolved new friendships, I’m no longer getting in fights or hurting people, and I’m earning back good time. Just to name a few.
For years I allowed my mind to run wild. The results were devastating! For more on the devastation you can read my ebook titled, STONE CITY : LIFE IN THE PENITENTIARY.
I was oblivious to the fact that a deeper level of consciousness existed. I was mindlessly wandering through life, and inappropriately reacting to everything life threw at me. With a neglected mind, I didn’t stand a chance. But with a new and improved cultivated mind, I have so much hope and excitement for today and the rest of my life.
If you had the power to be happier, to change your environment, and to have better relationships with friends and family, would you use that power?
Of course you would!
So why don’t you?
The power is within you.
Take the first step and read : “AS A MAN THINKETH” by James Allen. This book will teach you LAWS OF THOUGHT that cannot error. By reading this quick little 55 page book, you’ll be taking a crucial step towards intelligently cultivating your mind. I hope you feel inspired.
I’ve already done 21 years of a 43 year prison sentence. I’ve spent many nights laying in the dark, wondering WHY? HOW?
Why me? How did this happen? Why did I do the things I did? How did certain thoughts enter my mind? And why did I act on them?
The process of answering these questions was long and complicated. I’m still seeking answers.
To answer the questions WHY and HOW, I had to read many books. Books that offer absolute truth, love, spiritual understanding, and universal laws. Such as: The Power of Now, The Science of Mind, As A Man Thinketh, The Bible, The Purpose Driven Life, From Onions To Pearls, The Four Agreements, The One Year Love Language Minute Devotional, and The Receptivity Project (just to name a few).
First and foremost, I have a burning desire to change. Otherwise, influential books would have no effect.
These books, my desire to change, and the support from thousands of people, have given me new perspective and answers.
I recognized my thought atmosphere was polluted. I understand why it was polluted. Because I was born and raised in an unstructured environment riddled with abuse and violence.
By giving my attention to abuse and violence, I automatically embodied it. As a baby, kid, ad teenager, I was clueless that I attract the likeness of this embodiment. I was clueless that thoughts become a thing. I was clueless that my mental state takes on form, color, and temporary reality.
Had I known that from birth, my entire life would be completely different.
Well, I know it NOW! And it’s never too late to turn your life around.
By reading influential and powerful books, I have cleaned up my thought atmosphere. I now nurture my mind with positive material full of TRUTH, LOVE, and UNDERSTANDING.
These wonderful books help change lives if you truly embrace change. They have enabled me to experience a deeper level of consciousness that instantly heals.
We outwardly experience our state of consciousness. Our actions are a reflection of what’s within. These books have taught me so much! They have given me true understanding. Once I truly understood, I was then able to truly change.
My transformation started with the simple proposition of the creative power of thought. And from this recognition I discovered that circumstances and conditions are formed and held in place by the power of the mind.
What a wonderful discovery!
This law applies to all!
If I can do it from in here, then anyone can do it from out there.
My days fly by. I’m always busy.
I’d say that 90% of my days are exactly the same. And if you think about it, your days probably don’t differ much either. Ever heard of the saying “Same sh*t, different day?” That applies to us all, no matter where we are.
Sometimes in the midst of your busy day you’ll experience something quick, brief, and full of inspiration.
Here is a little story I’d like to share:
At 10AM I was in the gym doing my cardio class. After class we had about 5 minutes before movement was called back to the unit. That’s when Andy from H4 approached me. I met him about 4 weeks before I moved out of that unit.
So he comes up to me with a big smile on his face and says, “Dude! Since you moved I’ve heard so many stories about you,” as he laughs.
His smile and laugh is infectious. So I’m smiling, too. I say, “Oh yeah? What did you hear?”
“Lots of things,” he responds while trying to stop laughing.
“Like what!?” I demand with a smile.
“Oh I don’t know! Like dumping a dirty mop bucket all over a table full of sex offenders, farting on people’s heads, shoving cellies under bunks, knocking people out, you know…things of that nature.”
He continues, “…I was surprised at all the war stories. The Steven I know is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.”
Wow! I reached out and shook his hand and said, “Thank you. I appreciate that. I’m on a new journey these days.”
Then movement was called and everyone left the gym back to their units.
That brief little conversation left me feeling good and inspired. All the positive seeds I’ve been planting in my mind and in my actions are showing.
It’s just one example of YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW. Therefore, it is my desire to always sow: love, truth, compassion, respect, and understanding. It’s only a matter of time before the universe responds.
Here are a few key points in the book, “As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen:
*As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.
*In life, you do reap what you sow.
*Life’s experiences reflect your pattern of thought.
*Cause and effect.
*Think in the right way.
*Powerful weapon inside yourself.
*You are the master of your own thoughts.
*You hold the key to every situation.
I took a seat in the back. I shook a few hands as people filed in. Then, I just sat there and listened as people read from chapter 10 in the big blue NA book. This is what I got from it:
“We are often amazed at how things work out for us. We are recovering in the here and now and the future becomes an exciting journey.” (pg. 106)
This is so true! My journey has taken me all over the place. Yet, I physically remain in prison.
However, the mental landscape changes dramatically…because my thoughts & actions
create my circumstances & environment. I can do easy time or hard time. I can focus on the positive or the negative. It’s my choice.
Case in point: I choose to improve myself. Therefore, I am able to improve my circumstances and my environment. Within the confines of prison!
I’ve been trying to get into the Dog Program since 2009. They kept denying me. I felt I was ready, but they felt I wasn’t. My past infractions had them very skeptical. Then in 2011, I was attacked and I defended myself (How I Lost My EFV’s For 5 Years). That was a huge setback.
My journey has taught me that you don’t get what you hope and pray for. You get what you justly earn. Wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with propper thoughts and actions.
I have finally been accepted into the Dog Program. It took me over 6 years, but I did it!
This proves that I AM THE MAKER OF MYSELF and the SHAPER AND AUTHOR OF MY ENVIRONMENT.
For years I wanted to improve my comfort level and living conditions. But I was unwilling to improve myself. And even after I was willing, I struggled to find effective ways. Therefore, I remained bound. I was constantly getting in my own way. I continued to seek effective ways to change myself. Seek and ye shall find!
I found a strong desire to change.
I found influential books, such as: The Bible, The Science of Mind, and As A Man Thinketh…just to name a few.
But most importantly, I found love. I found Suzie. Her love & support fuels me in a way I’ve never known.
“We become increasingly open-minded and open to new ideas in all areas of our lives. Through active listening, we hear things that work for us. This ability to listen is a gift and grows as we grow spiritually. Life takes on new meaning when we open ourselves to this gift. In order to recieve, we must be willing to give.” (pg. 106-107)
NA has given me cause for deeper thought. I read and listen to these words and it’s like planting seeds throughout my mind. These seeds take root and produce. They blossom sooner or later into action. I believe this concept as fact because it has transformed my life.
I love NA because it is now a colorful pillar that aids in my understanding, growth, and rehabilitation. NA is truly broadening my perspective.
I just finished reading “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. My wife had been telling me for several months about this amazing book. The prison library didn’t have it, so she bought it for me. What an awesome book! It has had an immediate impact on my life.
For years I would try to apply new principles and philosophies to my life. And time after time I would fail to honor them. My polluted thought atmosphere and compulsive thinking was too much for me to simply overcome.
First I had to clean up my thought atmosphere by nurturing my mind with positive influential material. Such as “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Toll, “As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen, “The Science of Mind” by Earnest Holmes, and of course, The Holy Bible.
Just those books alone was enough to turn my mind into fertile soil, ready to bear the fruits of any seed I choose to plant. Today, those seeds are many. But the ones I want to share with you are as follows:
1. BE IMPECABLE WITH YOUR WORD
I absolutely love this agreement. Every morning before I even get out of bed, I meditate on this. I act as if I only have 100 words that I can speak in a single day. Yeah! So I better make ‘em count…right?
That means no more unnecessary frivolous chitter chatter. No arguing. No wasted words. Every word must be spoken with integrity, love, and understanding. Every word must be used to build people up, make them feel good, and to spread the powerful spirit of love. Easier said than done…I know. Especially here in prison. But I’m proof that it’s possible.
2. DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
I’m starting to realize that I can’t make anyone act in a way that isn’t within their personal nature. If someone lashed out with hate, it isn’t because of me, or what I’ve done. It’s because that’s who THEY are. What others say and do is a projection of their own inner being.
The more I understand this, the more I become immune to the negative opinions and actions of others. I ignore anything that doesn’t serve me well. Again, easier said than done. So to ensure success on my part, there are entire groups of men that I avoid. You won’t find me out in the prison yard with a group of skinheads, shooting the breeze.
But you might see me one on one with a like fella, who I feel is searching for that deeper meaning, like I am. I am always looking for opportunities to mentor and to spread the message of love.
3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
Think about this third agreement for a minute. I’ve been making assumptions my entire life. And they never serve me well. When I assume, all I’m doing is taking a wild guess as to WHY? Doesn’t it seem more logical to ask questions and to express concerns? Why not just communicate in a clear concise manner? Wouldn’t that clear up misunderstandings? With this agreement, I can avoid sooo much confusion, sadness, and drama.
For example: My dear wife recently asked me a list of important questions. By her clearly addressing these specific things, it helped me to understand and to see the whole picture. Her courage to do this helped strengthen our bond. If her questions had been left unspoken, there would be room for a lot of misunderstandings between us today.
4. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
If you really put forth the effort to do your best, then you WILL see results. Believe it or not, your best is good enough.
Condition your mind properly and you’ll be amazed at the things you can accomplish. I’ve been committing to these four agreements, and I already see aspects of my life getting better.