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.
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 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.