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Josh Misner, PhD

Mindful Living in a Distracted World

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Grab a Tissue

The Bookmarks to Our Life Stories

fb_img_1428860458077_900858ba3edad2232d66bc617464e937.today-inline-largeThis week, the online world was introduced to a young man named Carter Gentle, a brave little boy with a congenital heart defect who has undergone multiple open-heart surgeries, and when looking at his chest riddled with scars, Carter cried when seeing them out of the fear of being judged by others as hideous or ugly. Carter’s dad, though, acted nobly by sharing this story online, so that his son could hear from the rest of the world how beautiful he is because of the stories his scars tell us about uncommon strength. In less than 24 hours, Carter had over half a million people reassure him that his scars were not only nothing to be ashamed of, but stories of which he should be proud. As of this writing, that number is in the millions.

As Carter’s story spread, others came forward to share their scar stories, as well as how they came to terms with what those scars represented to them. The sharing of this story has given way to a crucial conversation on the definition of beauty as it relates to personal “flaws,” and more importantly, how we, as a society, allow our culture to define what is flawed. These conversations have been ongoing in my family for the last seven years or so, thanks to one event that could be considered any parent’s nightmare. Continue reading “The Bookmarks to Our Life Stories”

A Powerful Lesson in Doing the Right Thing

Note: I ran across this amazing and powerfully written story of father strength, conviction, and the ability to see past blind rage to do the right thing, and I knew I had to share it here…

ANGRY FATHERS

by Mel Lazarus

“Daddy’s going to be very angry about this,” my mother said. It was August 1938 at a Catskill Mountains boarding house. One hot Friday afternoon, three of us—nine-year-old city boys—got to feeling listless. We’d done all the summer-country stuff, caught all the frogs, picked the blueberries and shivered in enough icy river water. What we needed on this unbearably boring afternoon was some action. Continue reading “A Powerful Lesson in Doing the Right Thing”

A Soul Generated By Love (For Oren)

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“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly” – Richard Bach

Last Saturday, February 28, 2015, the world lost Oren Miller, a soul generated by love.

I was never blessed with the opportunity to meet Oren in the flesh, but in today’s age of communication technology, that fact is nearly moot. It was shortly after another tragedy, that of the Sandy Hook school shooting, that Oren greeted me with virtual open arms, into the fold of the Dad Bloggers community on Facebook.  Back then, we were just a few hundred guys who wanted to promote the virtues of fatherhood and to advocate for the right of men to be a dad and all that being a dad entails. Continue reading “A Soul Generated By Love (For Oren)”

Why I Will Never Carpe Diem Again

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“Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” The moment I heard those words fall from Mr. Keating’s lips in Dead Poets Society, I felt myself come alive. Even as a headstrong teenager, I knew Keating was right, and I set out to suck the marrow out of life, to seize each day, and to make it extraordinary. From that day forward, back in 1989, I committed myself to those two familiar words, made immortal through a near-extinct language: carpe diem. Continue reading “Why I Will Never Carpe Diem Again”

The Mighty Fork: More Powerful Than Sword or Pen

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The year was 1986.  Top Gun and Ferris Bueller dominated the silver screen, while Whitney Houston and The Beastie Boys ruled the airwaves.  Walking into my 6th-grade classroom on the first day of school, I was a punk.  Being only my second year in public school after transitioning away from a strange combination of home school and private school, my rebellious spirit had blossomed into full-fledged obnoxiousness.  I had a chip on my shoulder, the last thing a four-and-a-half-foot boy should be packing around, but my mouth overflowed with biting sarcasm.  Not a day went by when I wasn’t in trouble with my father and on the receiving end of a two-by-four swung at my backside like a designated hitter warming up for the Yankees. Continue reading “The Mighty Fork: More Powerful Than Sword or Pen”

Is Parenting Really Worth It?

I’ve been thinking lately (which usually gets me into all sorts of trouble). What I’ve been wondering as I spend probably more time in thought than I should (maybe I need a hobby), is whether or not being a parent is all it’s cracked up to be.

Every day, it seems like a hundred new parenting blogs emerge, all celebrating the joys of parenting and how wonderful being an engaged parent can be, complete with pictures of cheery families amid faux sunshine-induced lens flare, frolicking through meadows while holding each other’s hands.  Gosh, that looks swell.  I then wonder if those are staged ad campaigns for a household cleaner, because parenting, for the most part, is ugly. Continue reading “Is Parenting Really Worth It?”

Father-Son Duo, Team Hoyt, Celebrates 37 Years of Inspiring Teamwork With One Last Boston Marathon

 PHOTO: Dick Hoyt pushes Rick Hoyt as they compete in the 2008 Boston Marathon on April 21,2008 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

In 1962, Dick and Judy Hoyt welcomed their son, Rick, into an unsuspecting world; a world that would forever be changed by their presence and sacrifice. Because of complications with his birth, Rick was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. According to a CBS interview, Dick remembers the advice of the doctors who suggested that his son would essentially be non-functioning, and that he should place him in an institution.

Dick refused. Continue reading “Father-Son Duo, Team Hoyt, Celebrates 37 Years of Inspiring Teamwork With One Last Boston Marathon”

Anywhere But Here

Before you, I was free.

I had my choice of the time of day I woke up.

My breakfast, lunch, and dinner were all prepared one serving at a time, strictly to my liking.

Privacy and choices were as abundant as air and light.

I was accountable for every decision I made, because I was the only one who had to live with their consequences.

Living life was comfortable, and that’s how I liked it.

I couldn’t imagine living anywhere but here.

Then, the news came.

Two red lines where there should be one.

In a split second, my definition of manhood disintegrated, and as the dust settled, all that remained was one word, that label of which I was informed I would become soon.

Dad.

Contemplating this fork in the road, I wanted to be anywhere but here.

Before long, my freedom would inevitably fizzle.

I would have to wake up all hours of the night and early on the weekends.

My meals would be dictated by when you were hungry, eaten only after you were satisfied.

Privacy would become a precious commodity found only within the fortress of solitude that is a locked bathroom.

Choice would become a satellite orbiting your world, fully dependent upon your comfort, your safety, your wellbeing, and above all, your happiness.

Living life would forever become a complex web of neverending dilemmas, anxiety-ridden burdens, and seemingly incurable worries.

Now, that’s how I love it.

As a man, I helped make you a child.

As my child, you made me a father

Today, I can’t see myself happier.

Anywhere but here.

Let it be me

 A “post-poem” for my children…
 


Let it be me

 

When you find a roly-poly under a rock, whose feet tickle the palms of your hands and make you squeal with delight, and your excitement to show another living soul simply cannot be contained a second longer…

Let it be me.

Not a dad who is too busy.
Not a dad who has one more email to answer.
Not a dad with the uninterruptible daily routine.

When your math homework gives you a headache so bad that it makes you want to break your #2 pencil in two, wad up your homework sheet, and throw it across the room, and you need someone to talk you down…

Let it be me.

Not a man who doesn’t know the first thing about Euclidean proofs.
Not a man who lacks just enough compassion to realize that struggling only does so much good.
Not a man with the missing satellite remote and an insufferable commercial break.

When your boyfriend does something so unspeakable that it shatters your faith in love or your girlfriend rips out your soul, leaving you an empty shell, but in either case, all you need is a set of familiar arms to hold you, rock you back & forth, and remind you that life can & will go on…

Let it be me.

Not a father who has let life harden him to the core.
Not a father who has suffered and wants others to suffer, too.
Not a father harboring jealousy for your trusting nature.

When the world comes shouting, berating, minimizing, and scolding, beating back your will with subjugating castigation to the point where you no longer believe in the power of your dreams, and all you want is someone to make you feel meaningful again…

Let it be me.

Not someone who never recovered from burnout.
Not someone who was never told it couldn’t be done.
Not someone who couldn’t stare the world back when it did the same to him.

Whatever it is you need from life, my loves…

Please.

Let it be me.


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