McCartney Green Ministry
"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth." Revelations 3:16
I will no longer be lukewarm
It's about to get real up in here. The line between light and dark, good and evil, draws ever clearer.
Are you ready for the end times? They are here!
|Posted on November 5, 2019 at 10:50 AM|
This blog post is about a Facebook post I made way back in April of 2019 and I felt like I should share it on my blog. It had to do with me sharing one of James Woods’ tweets. Here is the tweet:
And here is what I wrote a few days later:
A few days ago I shared one of James Woods' tweets about immigration. It caused a hoopla when one of my so-called "friends" commented about me having hate in my heart and all my real friends chimed in. Now, I go back and ALL the comments are gone.
I don't know if the friend deleted his comment therefore erasing everyone's reply, or if I just got censored by FB for saying "dems are evil" one too many times, lol. Either way, I'd like to thank those who stepped in and came to my defense. Karen Andrews Pratt, Audrey Hurst Powell, Eydie Trust Goulding, Lorraine Koerner, Lynn Robertson Campbell, Frank Jennings, Deborah Parris Linenger. I'm probably forgetting some people. If I left you out, please forgive me.
Unfortunately, all that wisdom that was spouted by all of you also was lost. Oh well, all in a day's work I guess. I do happen to have a bit of my last rant because I put it on my word program to make editing easier... so I'm reposting it below with some clarifying edits.... just so FB or my friend won't think they have silenced me.
You think there is hatred and anger in my posts? There is no anger, and the hatred is not for people, but for evil. I operate out of love. Love of God, love of family, love of country and love for friends and acquaintances. I am a warrior and I speak out against evil. This is not out of hatred, but out of love, for I don’t want the encroaching evil to overtake anyone, or where I live or those I love.
The democratic party is evil.
They work against God to kill babies
They work to destroy our country by letting illegal immigrants flow across our border
They work to destroy our country by trying to introduce socialism and do away with our Constitution
They tried (and failed) to stage a coup using the FBI, the CIA, mainstream media and other devices to take down a legal and duly elected sitting president
They do all this and more because they want nothing more than to destroy the sovereignty of the United States of America so that they can usher in the New World Order, which is the plan of the Antichrist.... therefore, evil.
The above are just a few of the reasons they are evil, I could go on and on.
Does that mean I hate all people who voted democrat? No. The leaders of the dems ARE evil. Their followers, however, are simply uninformed, blind and ignorant. I don't hate them. I pray for them and I try to wake them up. I do get frustrated with them, however, they are also God's children and I work for them... not with hatred as I’ve been accused, but with love because I don't want the evil to take them over.
I was also accused of hating the immigrants. I have no problem with immigrants. I have a big problem with illegal immigrants, not vetted, flowing over our borders, committing crimes against American citizens, running drugs, and using our tax dollars that could go to addressing so many other things, and more importantly, those illegal immigrants all encouraged to vote illegally for dems so they can steal every election.
In my post I was also reminded of the Muslims and their plan to take over the country and the world. They would love nothing more than for us to convert or die. They want sharia law introduced...and have had success with that thanks to dems, which is absolutely against our Constitution. No muslim should be in our government. If you say you have no problem with muslims so that you are being politically correct, then I feel like you simply don't understand the danger in sharia, which tells me you simply have not done any research. It is those misinformed ilk that are dangerous.
These are the things that were pretty much said in the comment thread. I wish I had Karen’s link to an article in Denver, and Lorraine’s post which had a lot of great points. People, there is no gray area anymore. There used to be. But the dem left has made their choice.
30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
Anyway, y’all keep hanging in there and fight the good fight. In love.
|Posted on November 2, 2019 at 2:50 PM|
Once upon a time I was too proud in my ignorance to admit that I, as a human on my own, have limitations. Yet in the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, I can do all things.... but only in Him. Believe in yourself, sounds like a good motto, but not when it excludes the divinity of our creation.
|Posted on November 2, 2019 at 9:00 AM|
My husband, Larry, found this card in his dad's wallet after he passed away in 2003. He shared it with me today. Here's the poem... in case it's too small to read.
The Cross in My Pocket
I carry a cross in my pocket a simple reminder to me,
of the fact that I am a Christian no matter where I may be.
This little cross is not magic, nor is it a good luck charm.
It isn’t meant to protect me from every physical harm.
It’s not for identification for all the world to see.
It’s simply an understanding between my Savior and me.
When I put my hand in my pocket to bring out a coin or key,
the cross is there to remind me of the price He paid for me.
It reminds me to be thankful for my blessings day by day,
and to strive to serve Him better in all that I do and say.
It’s also a daily reminder of the peace and comfort I share,
with all who know my Master and give themselves to His care.
So I carry a cross in my pocket, reminding no one but me,
that Jesus Christ is Lord of my life if only I’ll let Him be.
Verna Thomas, Agora Inc.
©All rights reserved
|Posted on November 1, 2019 at 2:35 PM|
On October 30th I "fasted" from television and from social media. Here are the things that came to me during this time. Firstly, we all spend waay too much time on social media. Of course, we all know that. I had to actually TAKE TIME TO THINK of other things I could do whenever I thought about turning on the television or getting on Facebook.
I almost always eat my meals in front of the television. So, during my fast I ate at the table, alone, with nothing but my thoughts. (It's not that I don't want to eat with my hubby, but he always watches television while he eats, so for my fast day, that was out.)That made me wonder what people use to do before television. They ate with their families and spoke with each other, or if they didn't have family, maybe they read, or listened to music. My mind actually came alive for a minute. It was like I snapped out of the hypnotism that the drone of the TV keeps us in. BTW, that's not just a musing, scientists have done research on the wavelengths made by the TV and its effects on us and it’s not good.
Here's another thing I discovered– when I was TV and media free I had a strange feeling, like, today, I can do anything! I had more energy. I felt more like doing something active. We always complain because we have no energy, so we settle down in front of the TV. I think it’s actually opposite. We habitually settle down in front of the TV and it saps our energy away from us. We just don’t realize it. Same thing for the computer.
But what would we do if we had no TV or internet? How would life change? Of course, the economy would crash and we would all fall into survival mode. But I mean after that. Day to day, hour to hour, what would we find ourselves doing? I would probably read and pray.... a lot! But I think I would also probably find friends and family and dwell together because we have the need to feel connected. Personally, I think if we have found that connection to God the Father and to His son Jesus Christ, we would not feel all alone. We would know that we are NOT alone and we would be much stronger. Any maybe, the world’s constant connection to TV and the internet is what keeps us from finding that connection to God. The darkness in the world, which is a real thing, loves that TV and internet make people feel that they don’t need to believe in God, or in anything really except themselves. This is exactly what evil wants.
Funny, I hardly get on Facebook at all anymore and I rarely get on Instagram or Twitter, but the day I knew I could not get on, made me feel like I wasn't connected to the world. Okay, let’s be realistic, we need to know what’s going on in the world, we like to know what weather is headed our way, and we can learn a lot from all the information out there. However, there needs to be temperance in all things. So, maybe we just need to try to turn things off at least at mealtimes. And maybe we need to develop our relationship with God through some prayer and meditation. I highly suggest everyone take a day or two and turn things off, and just see where your mind goes and what thoughts jump into your head. See if Divine inspiration comes through once all the noise is gone. I know that is my goal and I am looking forward to another fast very soon.
One more thing... I know several people who work their jobs and do things with their families and really have no time for TV or social media, and I think they’re okay. But I also know those same people whose children are constantly watching TV, on their phones etc.. Maybe as families we can get our kids to “fast” every once in a while too! Just a thought!
|Posted on July 7, 2018 at 1:45 PM|
To All Those Gathering in Protest... Some things you should know
You believe your protests against the separation of families is based on some kind of loving righteousness. After all, those poor children are crying for their mommies, something that tears at the heart of any good person, right?
You believe your protests calling to abolish an entire law enforcement agency, ICE, is based in some kind of loving righteousness. After all, they must be monsters to be taking these children away from their parents, right?
You believe your protests to take away the citizens’ right in this country to bear arms are based in some kind of loving righteousness. After all, guns are killing innocent people, right?
You believe your women’s marches to demonstrate against the President of the United States is based in some sort of loving righteousness. After all, this man has bragged about his prowess with women using base disgusting words, right?
You believe your protests to not allow certain people to dine with their families or watch a movie, or walk about in public to based in some kind of loving righteousness. After all, these people are terrible people who don’t deserve any kindness, right?
It seems you are earnest, sincere people who are willing to gather together and let your voices be heard, right?
Wrong. Wrong in all aspects.
When your protests are violent and filled with hatred, then you are wrong.
When your protests are base and ugly and filled with hatred, then you are wrong.
When your protests are anything but peaceful and you engage in screaming and shoving and spitting and slapping, and grabbing hats off kids and throwing drinks in their face, you are wrong.
When what you are protesting is based in manufactured lies to get to you to do what you are doing, then you are wrong. You are all so, so wrong.
I want to say shame on YOU. Shame, shame shame. But I am trying to love you. I am trying to find the love in my heart for you, as if you were simply misled. Trying to keep the words of Jesus in my mind when He said, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”
And then I thought, maybe I should let them know what they do.
Here it is. When what you do is based on a lie, then it is woefully wrong.
There is a man who has taken up residence a little ways away from the White House who has been manipulating you, you liberals, progressives, Demoncrats, Socialist, communists, anyone other than American Patriots. His current name is Barack Obama. He, along with George Soros, (a Hungarian billionnaire,) the Rothschilds, the Clintons, the Vatican, yes, the Pope, and many others have been setting up and financing all of these protests and demonstrations all over the country. They use the media to tell you lies, like showing you children crying in cages, to get you all riled up, and then they organize these demonstrations all over the United States. And you, in your ignorance, fall right into line, allowing yourselves to be manipulated. Everything you think you are doing in righteousness in based on a lie.
They seek after lawlessness. They seek after hatred. They seek after bitterness. They seek the destruction of America. And YOU are giving it to them. You are tearing apart your own house because someone has convinced you that your own walls and furnishings are evil. It is a lie. Stop believing the lie.
You can no longer believe the mainstream media news. They deliver lies mixed with a little truth in such a way that they can make you believe anything. They don’t expect you to do your own research and find the truth. That takes too much effort and they know you won’t make that effort. So they tell you what they want to tell you and you believe them. Why would they do that? Because they are owned and operated by George Soros AND other entities who are in league with him.
Once the news tells you the lies, then the Democratic leaders and ignorant celebrities urge you into your protests and demonstrations. And you fall right in line. You comply. And those who manipulated you into it, sit back and smile. That was easy.
Don’t make it easy for them. How can you keep from being manipulated?
Do your own research.
Stop having a mob mentality. That means think with your head, not with your emotions. Stop allowing someone to prod you with the stick of righteous indignation and you run out immediately and take action.. Think. Use your brains. Question what you are being told. And well you should because most of it is lies.
The children being separated from their families was a lie. Oh, there are some who are, but they are not ripped away from them and put in cages. THAT was Obama’s legacy, though you are too blind to see it. As Ben Shapiro wrote... “Immigrants who come to points of entry to seek asylum aren’t actually illegally in the country – they’re not arrested. They’re processed through ICE, and their children stay with them. If, however, illegal immigrants cross the border illegally, the Trump administration now treats them as criminals. If they choose deportation, they aren’t separated from their kids; if they choose to apply for asylum, they stay in the country longer than 20 days, and their kids have to be removed by operation of law.” The rest of his report here.
Don’t want to hear it from Ben Shapiro? Fine, there are plenty of other sources our there. Find them. Do the work.
The call to abolish ICE agents is based on a lie.
The florida shooting was manufactured by Obama/Clintons/Sheriff. Oh, it was real, but it was coerced into happening. Open your eyes and read the reports. Why did they manufacture a school shooting where real kids were killed? They know that to take over a country you must first disarm the people and the best way is to get ill-informed people all worked up emotionally. Look how many people immediately jumped on the bandwagon. And I’m not talking about the kids like Hogg and his cousin. They were in place and waiting for it to happen. If you think disarming the public is the answer then you are truly ignorant because bad guys don’t follow the rules. Good guys with guns are what make our nation strong.
Now, about the President’s misogynistic statements. Obviously, he really said what he said. My question is why is it so horrible to you? I call bullshit. Every single man I’ve ever known has made statements like that, if not those exactly then similar ones. They talk that locker room talk, they brag about what they have done or would like to do to some woman. And women, get off your high horse, because you do the same thing. You say stuff like, “I’d hit that.” Or, “I’ll have one of those.” “I’d have his kids.” Or, you might wonder about how he’s “hung.” So get over yourselves.
You’re all pissed off about something a man said a decade ago before he ever thought he would be President. Yet you’re not pissed off that a man when he was president took advantage of and sexually harassed a young woman, and assaulted other women, and becuase of his power and because his wife came against those women, he was able to get away with it. I cry BS.
No one said this man, Donald Trump, was perfect. He is not a perfect man. But he is a strong man, a determined man, an honest man and he has changed since he said those words and he has come forth to try to help our country stay a country. He didn’t have to. He already had a great life. He had already accomplished great things. He had no reason to go from his easy, billionaire lifestyle to the burden of being President. He did it because he loved his country and realized he was losing it to the New World Order. He did it out of love for his country.... which is YOUR country too. I could go on talking about all of the things he’s done so far that have helped save our country, but this is not about that. It’s about telling you that your ugly protests, where you degrade yourselves and scream ugliness and hatred is much worse than he ever said to a friend in confidence. I am ashamed of you women. Your protests are based, not in love or righteousness, but in hatred, and ugliness. And I think it shows YOUR true colors. You are base and dark and ugly. And if you don’t want to be known as that, then you need to change your actions.
And so, to all you ignorant people who think communism and socialism are good things, who riot in the streets and damage property and infringe on other’s.... Shame on YOU.
Shame for allowing yourselves to be so easily manipulated. Shame for not keeping your cool and looking into finding the truth. Sit back and think. And you’d better do it soon. Because the world is about to become very ugly and you want to be found on the side of goodness, the side of righteousness, the side of God. And yes, there IS a God, He is Real. So, stop scoffing in your condescending little attitudes, because those who understand that there is a power beyond our understanding will have the last laugh. Only, we won’t be laughing. We will be crying for you. Because we love you. God loves you. Jesus loves you. Now get serious and start looking for answers. They will come.
This meme says it's "all for a buck." But that's not true. It's about much more than that. It's about the classic battle of the powers of darkness agaisnt the powers of light. Make sure you are of the light. Anything based in anger or hatred is of the darkness. Anything based on a lie is of the darkness.
|Posted on May 27, 2018 at 2:40 PM|
Armor? What armor? Armor to keep us safe from what?
There are sooo many things going on behind that scenes that we cannot experience with our five senses. There is an entire spiritual world out there that is real. How do I know? I've been both blessed and cursed to have experienced parts of that spiritual world. I've had an angel or heavenly messenger appear to me at one of the darkest times of my life. I've had visions and dreams. I've had Jesus come to me and speak to me as I walked in a park one day. I've had angels speak to complete strangers about me. And it has been given to me to be able to see some of the dark forces that we are up against in our lives.
One night I felt a strange presence in my room. I opened my eyes and saw a large black spidery blob looming over me, its tentacles moving as if casting a web. I closed my eyes, but even with my eyes closed I could still see it. So I opened my eyes and began to use light to rebuke it. It took several minutes for me to be able to overcome it. After that, I was spiritually taught about this whole other world that exists. It DOES exist. In the universe there are forces of light and forces of darkness. The darkness works every day to get to us. The darkness wants to make us feel sad, angry, lost, depressed, discouraged, downtrodden, jealous, mainly, to destroy us.
There are things we can do to stay strong, to erect shields, including the pulling of light which I describe here....mccartneygreen.com/howtopulllight.htm. However, today's post is about one of the main things that is putting cracks in your armor. That is the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol, every single time you consume it, makes little cracks in your armor and those cracks allow the dark forces to come in quickly and take charge. This consumption of alcohol is one of the main reasons why the darkness and evil and consuming our world so quickly and completely. Think about it. Except for a few religious sects, most everyone drinks from a social glass of wine to everyday whiskey drinkers. It doesn't matter which place you fall. Any drinking is slowly destroying you.
I've come full circle. I never drank until I turned 40 and then I went on a little binge for a few years and then as Jesus and light came into my life I began to realize that there was just no good reason to ever give the darkness an in...an edge on me. But hey, don't take my word for it. Pray. Ask. Meditate so that you can hear the answers. They will come. Be strong and put on the armor of God. And stop letting those bad guys in.
|Posted on May 11, 2018 at 8:05 AM|
Above is one of my daily Facebook posts and I thought it was important enough to give more explanation. What is pulling light?
Pulling light is a super easy process that takes all of two seconds. Why do it? Because this quick and easy process was given to me by the Lord and it is powerful and effective. Pulling light can change your mood instantly. It can even change your immediate circumstance or situation, for example, if you are in a dangerous or negative situation. It aligns you instantly with God's energy, takes away negativity instantly, lifts your mood instantly, and calms your nerves instantly. It can heal your body. It can heal you emotionally.
Pulling light is a proactive thing. You are not sitting around asking God to bless you with His light. YOU are actually doing the work, bringing His light through your body. He gives it to you willingly and loves to see you take the action yourself.
Pulling light could actually change the world because it would fill the people of the world with light which fills the world with light. It would do away with anger and hatred. It is powerful. Ultra-powerful. Amazing that something so quick and easy is so powerful. Do this two second process before prayer each day and you will feel the Lord's presence like never before and you will become an unstoppable force.
For more information on how to do this super easy and quick process go to:
|Posted on April 25, 2018 at 5:25 PM|
|Posted on March 12, 2018 at 2:15 PM|
|Posted on September 11, 2017 at 11:15 AM|
I've recently spoken to several different people who contacted me because they were having a difficult time. In not one or two, but in all of the cases the people who contacted me were sad, mad, and pretty much miserable. Once I spoke with them about the details of their problems, the reason for their misery was clear. Again not in one or two, but in all the cases, the source of their misery was the fact that someone whom they wished to control was not conforming to their opinion. Of course there was much more detail, however, if I were to "bottom line" it, that was the real reason for their misery.
It's really amazing how many of us just expect certain people in our lives to go along with the path we have chosen for them. Think about it. We want to control not only everything in our own lives, but everything in our spouse's lives, our children's lives, our friend's lives, even the lives of perfect strangers. We want them to do what we want them to do. We want them to follow the path we think they should follow.
When we can let go enough to allow everyone to experience their own path, then we will be able to relax and reestablish our peace of mind and even our happiness. As Grandmaster Kino says in Messages from Transcendent Beings, "You cannot control anyone else, though you may want to and you may try to and you may even succeed. However, this control will not benefit either of you. When you are able to allow yourself and others to walk their own path, your spirit will relax and alignment will be much easier in coming."
When we let go and align spiritually, that connection lifts us to a higher perspective and bring us closer to God, and when that happens, your burdens lighten, your heart rejoices and blessings abound.
|Posted on August 16, 2017 at 10:30 AM|
[Pic by Frerieke at http://flickr.com/photos/9399948@N05/3644112373]
When we focus on the ugly things in the world, we give energy to them. When we look for hatred and things that hurt us or make us angry, we will of a surety find them.
Every single person has the freewill to love or hate. Every single person has or should have the freedom of speech to express how they feel. They have that right and we MUST allow that freedom. If we don’t like what they are saying, then don’t focus on it. Don’t give ANY energy to it. Instead, focus on a happier and love-filled scenario.
We cannot force anyone to love us. We cannot make laws to make people think the way we think. As a matter of fact, doing that will only cause more hatred and more resentment.
Let’s let go of trying to control the actions and thoughts of others and move forward in our own knowledge and peace of perfect love.
Let go of resentment.
Let go of hatred.
Move forward in love.
If we do not, the feud will never end.
|Posted on April 6, 2017 at 10:15 AM|
|Posted on March 6, 2017 at 2:45 PM|
I recently watched the movie "Passengers" and being claustrophobic myself, the movie totally freaked me out. Claustrophobia aside, Jim felt so alone he condemned another passenger to his own fate. Sometimes when the day is dark and things are not going so well, we too may begin to feel that we are all alone.
Once we feel completely alone, the next logical step is to wonder why we exist at all. That is a subject for another post.
The point of this post is really just to say this to all who may be feeling lost and alone. "We are NOT Alone. I know this of a surety. When we quiet our minds and connect spiritually, there is no trauma, no sadness, no depression, nothing that cannot be overcome..." Again, we are not alone! Not ever.
Wishing you exuberant joy, McCartney Green
Let's Talk! Visit with me by clicking on the "Let's Talk" tab above. I would love to share with you the 7 keys to Unshakeable Joy.
|Posted on February 12, 2017 at 12:35 AM|
Just some of my thoughts this morning. A bit disjointed, but hey, it’s Saturday!
Most who know me know that I am all about love and joy and kindness and patience and understanding. However, a few of you know that I am also a warrior. I am not afraid to stand up for what is right, to stand up for freedom, to stand against hatred and violence, to rail against ignorance. I am also not one to follow the status quo, to agree with what “everyone else” is doing.
I am a rebel. I believe in honesty and integrity in all things, business, personal relationships, with myself. Yet I also believe in tactfulness. I don’t have to tell you that I dislike your dress. What purpose would that serve?
I don’t believe in taking something that does not belong to me, standing in anyone’s way to impede their progress, or in hating people just because they don’t happen to agree with me. There are a lot of people out there who preach togetherness and love, unless you disagree with them. Then they hate just like everyone else. This saddens me, and makes me resolve to stand up and fight.
The unbeatable foe, many times, is one we cannot see. It is a thought process, or a lie, or something so giant and unfathomable we cannot even describe it. We only know it is dark and looming and has the ability to destroy.
Freedom comes with responsibility. Freedom comes with caveats. We are free to do what we please as long as that freedom does NOT infringe on others' freedom, life or property.
So, love whom you want to love, hate whom you want to hate, that is your right. Notwithstanding, you have no right to harm, to infringe, to destroy OPP.
We need to remember that nothing good can ever come from anger, hatred or darkness.
One of my very favorite quotes came from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Does this mean that we should tolerate evil? No. We shall stand against evil. So let's be clear on what evil is. It is anything that tries to take away your individual freedom to choose. Remember though, freedom’s caveat... And remember, that doesn't mean your choices won't have consequences.So choose well.
|Posted on February 8, 2017 at 6:30 PM|
Let go of the past. It’s a hard thing to do.
Lately I’ve tried to listen and be super-conscious of the people around me and what they are actually saying. I’m amazed by how many people continuously put themselves down for the mistakes they’ve made in the past.
Have we beaten ourselves up enough? Let’s go ahead, and give ourselves one more swift kick, one more good slap, and then, well, we just gotta let it go.
Let’s use the past only to learn from our mistakes and move on.
Let’s think of the past only in gratitude for lessons learned, experience gained, and things accomplished.
Let’s turn our heads and thoughts to the present. Let’s really “see” what is happening right in front of us. Is the sun shining? Is the sky blue? Did someone just smile at you in line at the store?
Let’s really listen to the sounds going on right now. Is there a child giggling? A bird singing, a bell ringing, a song playing on the radio? People laughing, car horn beeping, computer keys clicking? TV blaring?
Let’s learn how to be really present in what is going on in our lives this very moment, and the next and the next.
Let’s let go of any stressing about the future too.
Let go of the past. It’s a hard thing to do. Lately I’ve tried to listen and be super-co
|Posted on February 6, 2017 at 12:00 AM|
Super Bowl Sunday. Such a fun day. This playoff season and now the Superbowl has been more fun than usual for me because I really liked three of the teams, Falcons, Cowboys and Patriots. I was sad to see the Cowboys lose out. But then my other two fav teams blew out their opponents to play today. Awesome! It's a win/win situation for me.
I like Tom Brady. So much to like about him, personally and professionally, and so I would love to see him win his 5th SuperBowl. I really like Matt Ryan too and would love to see the Falcons win Some say the Falcons are the underdogs, but I don't see it that way at all.
And it's not just the QB's that I like. The Patriots like to say they are a "family," and the way every single member of their team loves each other and works together is evident. Each member is utilized because each member is important. Same for the Falcons and their "brotherhood." Exact same thing. It would be so cool for them to finally go back to a Super Bowl and to win!
Either way, I'm happy, as long as they each play well and don't make stupid mistakes and don't just hand the game off to the other. I'm looking for a well-fought battle, and I think it will be.
All that being said, I wanted to get a jersey to represent either of "my" teams and alas, there were none to be found, so....I made one. Patriots on the front...and Falcons on the back. Okay, so I'm not an artist but I didn't too badly for painting free hand.
Side note: You will notice that I used Super Bowl and Superbowl, for apparently, there is an "American Spelling Crisis" about this very thing. Superbowl, Super Bowl, brotherhood, family, Brady, Ryan, Patriots, Falcons... best, best. Have fun, be safe.
|Posted on November 14, 2016 at 11:30 AM|
If current circumstances in our nation or in the world are stressing you out and causing you pain, maybe this will help.
Everyone wants to be happy, right? I thought that once.
A few months ago I ran a survey, well, it’s really an ongoing survey on the front page of my website. It only has three questions. In a nutshell I asked people what was the one thing in their lives that caused them the most pain, the one thing they would change if they magically could change it.(Take the survey www.mccartneygreen.com)
The answers were overwhelmingly narrowed down to four things. Tho top four things were:
2. Health problems/illness
4. The 2016 presidential election
I ran that survey because my goal was to help people with the thing that blocked them from their happiness. The results seem to cover a wide span of subjects, but really, if I were to get down to the real basis, people just want to be happy, and they believed that if they could change one of these main pain points then they would be happy.
I am very happy. I live in joy. But I wasn’t always like that. I am certainly no stranger to the hardships of life. There are many labels I could apply to myself. As a child....abused, neglected, and starved. Both my parents were alcoholics. We lived in poverty. I was bullied in high school. When I married I thought everything would get better. But we were destitute. I worked three jobs to keep a roof over our heads. By the time I was 39 years old, I had seven beautiful children but my marriage was crumbling, I had no idea how we were going to survive, I was sexually assaulted in a Wendy’s parking lot. Feeling alone, unloved and like my children and the world would be better off without me, I tried to take my own life. So yeah, I was at the bottom of the barrel. Now, the only reason I allow anyone to know these things about me is only so that they can know that I can identify with their pain, that I understands where they are coming from and I can indeed help them to rise up out of the ashes. But I will yell at the top of my lungs....I am NOT a victim.
As I go about the business of helping people relieve their stress and find joy and happiness, I’ve come to realize a few things. First happiness really is a choice. Usually when I say that people get pretty angry with me. They say, “Happiness is not a choice. Don’t you think I want to be happy?”
And I say, “Wanting to be happy and choosing to be happy are two different things.”
If you choose to be happy, that doesn’t mean that suddenly you will magically be happy. It means you are choosing to do what it takes to be happy. And I’m not talking about hard work. I’m talking implementing 5 to 7 keys into your life that will help you find joy. Notice I didn’t say that will help you find money, or health, or love, or a new president. It will help you find joy no matter what your circumstances.
Some will say that is impossible, to feel happy when nothing is the way you want it. But I say nothing is impossible. I know first hand. Now here is the kicker....once you begin to feel what I call, joy for no reason, the “reasons” begin showing up. You see, it’s sort of ironic, but once you begin waking up each morning with joy in your heart, your vibration rises and when that happens it turns you into a magnet for all the things that give you even a higher vibration which are the things of your fondest dreams. In other words, joy first, and become a manifesting magnet.
I actually work with people to help them find this joy, but many in the world and in our nation are in despair right now, so I will list the steps to relieving your money/health/relationship/election stress right here. I want for every single person in this world, to come together in love and joy.
Yet, here’s an even greater kicker. Many people don’t really want to be happy or joyous. They want to be victims. They want to continue in their misery. This has been made evident to me over the past several months and I am incredulous. So, I ask you, do you really want to be happy or are you a victim? If you enjoy the attention of being a victim...and victims have many labels, (assault victims, war victims, abuse victims, societal victims, racism victims,) then just admit that you don’t really want to be happy and move along. If you realize that the bottom line is you just want to be happy AND you want to have your fondest desires, then implement the following steps into your life. I guarantee it will change your life. I know this because they changed mine.
(If you would like to download the PDF, go to this link..... http://www.mccartneygreen.com/profile/7%20EasytoImplement%20Steps%20to%20Overcome%20Despair%20and%20Stress.pdf)
Or just read it here....btw, it's not actually a book, it's simply in book form, but it is only a few pages.
Copyright ©2016 McCartney Green
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means now known or hereafter invented, or in any information storage or retrieval system is forbidden without the written permission of McCartney Green.
Before beginning any new exercise program it is recommended that you seek medical advice from your personal physician.
This book is not intended to be a substitute for the medical advice of a licensed physician or counselor. The reader should consult with their doctor in any matters relating to his/her health.
Warmest of Greetings!
Welcome to YOUR free gift from me to you!
If you’re reading this I’m going to assume your mind is at least a little bit open, if not wide open. That doesn’t mean you’re stupid, or crazy or silly, it means you have the intelligence to know that there is much more going on in this world than we can experience with our five senses. With that being said, read on to find an easy step-by-step formula that if practiced daily, will open your mind to experience true, unshakeable joy, what I call joy for NO reason. The cool thing is, this joy has a delicious side-effect, and that is it will turn you into a manifesting magnet. That means you will be able to finally achieve your heart’s desires.
The following process is a daily routine that is easy to implement, takes very little time and can actually change your life. First up, I won’t make you wait.... is a list of the steps. Following that, an explanation of why each step is important.
You do not have to be religious at all to partake in this exercise, though you can be. The Universe is vibrational. Your joy and your problems, your happiness and your despair really all have to do with vibration. You may believe in a Divine power, or just the force or quantum power that is out there in the Universe, it doesn’t matter. What matters is being consistent in following these steps. The goal for this gift, and for my latest books, Messages from Transcendent Beings, AND Kino Martial Arts Student Manual, is to have everyone, religious or not, spiritual or not, confused or enlightened, master or student, Democrat or Republican, black or white, legal or not, coming together in love and joy by revving up their vibrational alignment, “pulling light” many times a day and preparing this world for what is to come. In other words, it is meant to bring everyone together in light and in love and that is absolutely possible through vibrational alignment!
You will find several items in quotes and/or italics. Unless otherwise noted, they are taken from, Messages from Transcendent Beings, We Are Not Alone, and Kino Martial Arts Student Handbook, A Guide for Every day Living with Purpose.
What you are learning here is a quick and easy way to align your personal vibration to the quantum power in the Universe, or to God, or the Angels, or your Spirit Guides or to Benevolent Beings or simply your own higher consciousness. You don’t have to dedicate hours and hours to it. It only takes a few seconds, but boy is it powerful. When you align vibrationally to a higher vibration, you find a delicious side benefit.... Joy! And Joy too has a delicious side benefit.... it turns you into a manifesting magnet!
“True joy comes through an awareness and awakening to life beyond this Earthly realm, and this awakening comes from spiritual alignment.”
~Grandmaster Eric Kino in Messages from Transcendent Beings~
Let’s get started! I won’t make you wait and read through a bunch of fluff before we get to the heart of the matter... Here are the steps right up front. Following is a quick explanation of how to easily accomplish each step!
1. Be an observer of your own thoughts
2. Let go
5. Pull Light
7. Pay Attention
1. - Be an observer of your own thoughts
Everything begins with thought. There is nothing that can be done without thought, and there is nothing that can be done that is of the light without positive thought. So, observe your own thoughts. Are they positive, or are you focusing on your fear of what could happen, what might happen, on hate, on violence, on despair?
“Be an observer of your thoughts. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t be frustrated with yourself. Only observe. That is the beginning.”
When you find yourself in a bad situation, angry, frustrated, sad, depressed, stand back and simply observe your own thoughts. Do NOT try to change them. Just observe...for now.
2.- Let go
This is one of the most difficult things for people to do. Just try. Think of the very worse case scenario and then say, whatever will be will be. This letting go, this acceptance helps your mind and heart to actually relax. In my book, the boy trapped in the cave finally let’s go, though his death is imminent. This letting go is what changed his vibration and allowed him to change what was happening. Most people will find that they will have to do this step many times a day.... but always do it at least once....early in the morning is a great time.
Let go of all expectations. Let go of any negative thoughts or emotions. Let go of your need or want for anything. Simply accept all that is you right now. Say, ‘yes,’ to who you are, what you are, where you are, how you are, right now in this very moment. If you are in a place that feels pretty good, be grateful for it. If you are in a place that feels terrible, wallow in it, but either way, accept it. At this moment, you may be feeling a little bit rebellious about what I’ve just asked you to do for you may not want to accept where you are right this minute. I am not asking you to never again reach for what you desire. What I ask is a tiny adjustment in your thought, for before you reach for anything else, you must accept and say ‘yes’ to the now. The working toward goals comes later. For now, let go.
Every day, throughout your day, let go. Stop pushing. Relax. Accept. If you feel yourself tense up about anything, let go. Visualization always helps, so, take a deep breath, and as you exhale, see yourself letting go of a taut rope. You let go and you float down to land softly.
This ‘letting go’ sometimes takes practice. We are so used to gripping onto everything in life with such desperation that letting go seems impossible. Let go as if you are accepting that your life is coming to an end. Surrender. You will know when you have achieved this moment of surrender because you will suddenly experience the most freedom you have ever felt in your life. It’s a wonderful, empowering feeling.
3. - Hydrate
Water is not only perfect for flushing out impurities from our bodies, it is a super conductor and therefore, staying hydrated is an important part of the energy connection between our bodies and Source energy. It is a spiritual conduit.
4. - Stretch
You might think I’m speaking of your mind, and yes, I always ask that you ...
“Stretch your mind and open it up to new possibilities.”
“However, in this section we are actually speaking about stretching your body. Your body is more important than you may think in the seeking of vibrational alignment. In this Earthly realm, our bodies are the clear point in which the spiritual meets the physical.
“Our bodies are important, but this doesn’t mean that the only way to connect with spirit or our higher consciousness is to be physically fit, though many people who focus on health and fitness also find a beautiful spiritual connection. (Ever heard of a runner’s high?) I always recommend everyone be as fit as possible, but if you are not fit, don’t let this defeat you. You do not have to be perfectly fit to align vibrationally or spiritually. Anyone in any physical condition can reach beautiful alignment. You can be handicapped, wheelchair bound, even paralyzed. I ask you to simply stretch, for I have found that the moment we decide to stretch the body, to use it properly, to be grateful for it, the higher the vibration that moves through it, and the higher the vibration, the closer we are to the higher realms.
“How can someone who is paralyzed stretch? Remember, thoughts are an energy form. See it! Use this same principle if you have a difficult time using your body. See it. Try it. Take small steps in the right direction.
“Though I always recommend yoga, this stretching should not be difficult or complicated. Make it easy. Bend, breathe, stretch over your head, breathe, lean to the side, breathe. Hold the stretch, any stretch, for at least three breaths and then change positions. It doesn’t matter what stretches you do, as long as you are slow and gentle with your body. Be safe. Be comfortable. Breathe oxygen and light into each part of the body that you stretch and try to hit most major areas, (legs, waist, arms, chest.) Do this stretching for at least five minutes, unless you are truly enjoying it. If that is the case, stretch as long as you like.”
5. - Pull Light
This is a super easy process that takes all of two seconds. Even though it may be the shortest part of everything so far, it may very well be the most important part. I hesitate to say that, because each of these keys are important. It’s like a combination lock. However, I cannot stress enough how important this step is. It has changed my own day and my circumstances hundreds of times now. Here’s what you do:
“See a bright light coming from the heavens toward the top of your head, (the crown chakra.) Some people like to embellish this procedure, seeing it come from a distant galaxy, to the Milky Way, to the solar system, to our planet, through the atmosphere, through the roof of the building they are occupying and finally into their bodies through the top of their heads. Some people see this as the light of Christ, some see it as coming from the finger of God, some from a star. I don’t embellish mine so much, for it is not necessary. I find the simpler I make things, the better they work for me. However, others feel the exact opposite...so embellish away if want!
“I usually begin by saying these words in my mind, “I call upon the light of Source,” or, “I call upon the light of God,” or a fun one I like to use, “Power Shield activated!” (Makes me feel like a superhero, lol!) As I speak the words I immediately ‘see,’ (visualize,) the light burst from the heavens into the crown of my head. I ‘see’ this light move all the way through my body. I ‘see’ this light increase in brightness and volume as it fills my body, moves through my body and exits. If I am standing I ‘see’ this light exit through my fingertips and soles of my feet to continue on into the Earth and all the way to the Earth’s core. If I am sitting, I ‘see’ this light exit my body through the root chakra and again, continue down into the Earth’s core.
“Sometimes I pulse this light in huge bursts and sometimes I just let it flow. Do what feels the best to you. Say what feels the most comfortable to you. If you are not religious at all, simply call upon the communal light of the Universe. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is you are “pulling light” through your body.
“For, where there is light, there can be no darkness.”
“Now, you must understand that when you are visualizing this light coming through your body, indeed, that is exactly what is happening.
“Your thoughts are energy and what you think and what you say and what you visualize, IS. Thought energy exists.”
When you first begin to do this, you may not feel anything. Eventually though, you will. When I first began to feel something, after a few weeks of doing this almost constantly, (that is, every time I thought about it during the course of my day,) it was a strange feeling in my little finger on my left hand. I realized that whenever I pulled light, my finger would stick out and curve in a strange way as if I were being electrocuted. I realized I could actually feel this power as it moved through me and I knew then that what I was visualizing truly was taking place.
Now it sounds like I am asking you to do a long light meditation. That is not what this is. It is a two second whoosh of light and power moving through you. I call upon the light and whoosh, it is done. Take longer if you want, but I have found that a fast explosion of light is easier for most people and makes them more willing to do it. So.... pull light, two seconds, it is done. Great job!
Like the feeling? Want more? Do it again. Do it three times in a row, or five, or sit with it for as long as you like. The point is, everyone can do two seconds. So do it!
6. - Meditation/Prayer
Meditation and prayer, though similar, are not the same. I actually use both. My prayer is usually a statement of gratitude, a statement of intention and an asking for divine guidance. My meditation is a quieting of the mind for if we do not quiet the mind, we will not hear the messages that come to us. These messages may be from God, from a Divine source, from our higher selves, from our eternal families or from any source of light. I highly encourage you to pull light and be attuned only to sources of love and light. To do anything else is foolhardy and could be dangerous. I am a warrior of light and I do not compromise with evil or dark and negative forces.
I will not instruct how to pray, for each person’s religion or spirituality is different. Do what you feel good about.
From Grandmaster Eric Kino about meditation:
“How do we meditate? There are no firm rules, though some disciplines will tell you that their way is the best way. What I think about that is – YOUR way is the best way. In other words, whatever you instinctually feel comfortable with is the way you should go. The best for one is not the best for all.”
Here is what I teach my students: Simply sit or lie down comfortably, take a few deep cleansing breaths and then just breathe normally, in and out anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. The longer you take, the more inspiration flows.
Now, you may have heard that you should focus on your breath. The reason for that is to keep your mind from wandering and thinking about a thousand different things, which we, as humans, have a tendency to do. Focusing on your breath as it enters and leaves your body is the simplest and closest thing to our goal, which is, no thought at all. Breathing is an instinctive action and doesn’t require much effort. Your mind will wander away from your breathing, and when you realize it has done that, simply bring it back to the breath, in, and out. Do NOT feel like you’ve failed because your mind wandered, for that would bring negative emotion. Be kind to yourself. Be forgiving of yourself. Love yourself. You are a beautiful creation capable of much good, love and light. Let go. Be a light.
I have a trick I use when my mind is being particularly active, racing all over the place because I am upset or worried or stressed or in despair. It’s a visualization. I simply see a body of water, a lake, a pool, a quiet stream, a bird bath.... I see it with waves or ripples and slowly I see the surface calm and the water become still. It is very relaxing. Try it.
7. - Pay Attention
You may ask, “Pay attention to what?” To everything. To synchronicities that happen throughout your day. To the person sitting across from you on the bus. To the birds chirping over your head. Listen. Watch. Be the observer of life. Remember the positive thoughts. The inspired thought will come. The “aha” moments will come. The meeting of a key person will happen. You will begin to see things from a higher perspective and your fears and anxieties will melt away. You will begin to feel joy.
There are no such things as coincidences. The Universe is not random. Everything, EVERYTHING, happens for a reason. When you are thinking of someone and they call you out of the blue, it is not random, nor a coincidence. When you pay attention to all the things that are happening around you, you will begin to see the correlations. If we choose to simply ignore the signs we are given, then the signs will stop coming.
There was a time recently when I was having a hard day. I began to feel a little bit alone, a little bit disconnected, and so I pulled light, and meditated. I directed my thoughts to my “heavenly messengers” with whom I usually communicate. I told them, I was feeling alone and disconnected and asked for a “sign,” of some kind. Then I remembered the bible says “Do not ask for a sign,” and so I said, “Oops, sorry, I guess I’m not supposed to ask for sign,” and the message came into my head clearly. “That is a fallacy. Of course we want you to see the signs. We send them to you everyday. They are all around you, all of you. So go ahead, ask, but once you do, you must be aware, you must pay attention. The signs are everywhere.”
Now, there are some things that will also come that are not inspired. Use your gut to tell the difference. Being able to discern is a skill. For example, I have visions, but I am sent these visions from both the forces of light and those of darkness.
Quick Side note: Yes, there really are forces of both light and darkness, regardless of what the Law of Attraction gurus say. That’s why I am currently writing a new book about the LOA. The LOA people say there are not “dark forces,” out there, only what you attract to yourself, but that is really not the full story. They have not lied, but kept the real story from you for perfectly good reasons. I am offering disclosure in When the Law of Attraction Doesn’t Work - The Secret You Haven’t Been Told. Be on the look out for it.
Back to the point about my visions. The “good” visions never frighten, are only positive or give hope. The dark visions are filled with taunts and hatred and ugliness. I am sharing this with you for a reason. You see, just before I see a vision, a vibration moves through my body. I use to not be able to tell who the vision was from until I actually saw it. Now, I can tell from the feeling of the vibration and I can immediately pull light and raise my vibration so that I am not affected by the darkness. It took me a while to get it, but I am now pretty good at discerning from where my messages are coming.
Also, listen, even, to your mind chatter. I spoke at a conference about the words that came into my mind and how I knew I was being led in a certain direction. After the conference a woman asked me how I was able to differentiate between normal mind chatter and the inspired thoughts that may come. I explained to her that sometimes I can’t. Sometimes it seems just like my own mind just going a mile a minute, but then, some little coincidence/synchronicity, will occur that lets me know that what I was thinking was indeed the inspiration for which I’d been searching. However, I wouldn’t have noticed the synchronicity if I hadn’t been “paying attention.”
So, listen to your mind chatter, listen to the world, pay attention. It doesn’t take very long at all before you realize things in this world are not what they seem. There is much more going on behind the scenes than we know or realize. And it is MARVELOUS!
As you persist in following these 7 easy-to-implement steps you will become more and more in tune, and before you know it, you will begin to have amazing, joyous, inspired things happen in your life. Or if you already did, it will begin to be at a much higher rate and much more controllable. Your connection will grow stronger and stronger every day.
As I love to say, there is a delicious side-effect to following these 7 steps, for they are steps to overcoming stress, depression and suddenly realizing the feeling of a deep, true, wonderful joy, the joy that comes from a high vibrational alignment.
Of course, you can always take this deeper. If you are truly struggling and want help, you can schedule a free one hour Personal Life Transformation Strategy session. We will discuss your current situation and help you get on a road for total life transformation!
Just go here: http://mccartneygreen.youcanbook.me
For now, be in joy. Follow the 7 steps in this gift and if you would like to share your progress, please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Posted on September 24, 2016 at 11:05 AM|
Football can be a beautiful thing visually. All the bright colors, bands with a heavy beat, big strong guys in colorful tight pants. I love football and.... well....I hate football! I will try to explain my bipolar reaction to the game.
I've always understood the game. Back when I was cheerleader in high school, we actually knew what was happening on the field. We were as into it as the players and actually believed if we revved the crowd up enough, we could help the outcome of the game. Waaaay back then, every school's cheerleaders and bands thought of themselves as the "12th man." Being quite the tomboy, I also played football with a lot of the guys who were on our high school team at weekend pick-up games. I was fast and intercepted many passes much to the admiration of those boys. Back then, football was plain ol' fun.
Then my 5 sons played football. All quarterbacks. All really good. And suddenly football became much more serious. I was that mom, the QB's mom, pacing either on the top stadium seats or behind the stands. Nerve racking. We all got through it. Now, one of my sons is coaching high school ball, and one of my grandsons is a high school QB. I thought I was over it, the nerves, the anticipation. And I AM much better than I used to be. But I admit, I've felt those old worries and stresses coming back. The old wanting to scream at a ref, or yell, "Are you freaking kidding me," at the play the coach just sent in. I don't yell at the players anymore, because I've begun to see them all as my own children and know they are doing the best they can do. I think it was the politics of football that made me want to distance myself as far from the game as possible.
Still, when it turns fall, and the excitement builds as each team believes they are going to do better this season, and tail-gating takes off, and the bands rev up I feel the old pleasure from a long time ago. With all that, there is one thing, to me, that is the most attractive thing on that football field and it's something I wish we could see more of, something I wish the coaches and parents would think is more important...and that is...a show of good sportmanship. Whether it's putting in your "twos" when the score is 45 to zip, or no late hitting when you're frustrated because you're losing, or even just the helping up of an opposing player. Yeah, when one player helps up a player on the opposing team, that is THE most attractive thing! Of course, I realize they may not be saying something nice, they're probably saying, "Come at me again and I'll knock you down again..." (I cleaned that up, lol.) But I like to picture in my rose-colored world, that they are doing what Andrew Luck is thought to be doing.... paying a compliment to the player for a great effort.
Yep, a show of good sportsmanship is really, really attractive...not just in football, but in every sport, in every game, in every thing. It's one of the things that sets us apart as humans. Would sure love to see more of it. How about you?
Pic from WSJ http://www.wsj.com/articles/andrew-luck-the-nfls-most-perplexing-trash-talker-1418663249
|Posted on August 9, 2016 at 9:00 AM|
Shelley dressed quickly, hands trembling, as the fear of her first competition seeped into her mind. She smoothed golden brown strands of hair back into the thick braid that fell just a few inches short of her waist and hurried down the stairs to join the others already sitting on the floor along the edge of their designated mats.
Sitting cross-legged on the floor, she took long, slow, deep breaths, to help center herself. She tried to clear her mind, seeking the strength she needed to perform this seemingly simple task. Looking her opponents over, she took measure of the eight other women competing in her division. None were from her class at the “Y”. Except for herself, only the younger students from the YMCA had opted to participate in the tournament. Her instructor had pretty much let her know she was on her own because he had to be there for the kids. She assured him she’d be fine.
She’d acted so nonchalant, but truth be told, she wanted so badly to do well. She'd practiced for hours with her two young sons. Still, she reminded herself, the winning wasn’t important. It was progressing that was important, and participating in competition signified progress in her quest to become strong.
Feeling calmer, Shelley exhaled, letting her mind relax. The minute she did, the traitorous organ wandered immediately back to the man she'd run into. Why was she thinking about him? She hated men. Well, most men anyway. Okay, she didn’t hate them, but she sure didn’t trust them. Especially strange men. Still, as men go, that particular one had been quite attractive. Even so, was she really so shallow that a hunky male could distract her from the important task she was about to undertake? She shook her head. What a fool she must have seemed, crawling around on the floor, collecting deodorant and hairbrush. Thank goodness she didn't have anything more personal in her bag.
She rubbed her head, remembering the hardness of his body. Well, she thought, he was an impressive specimen. Even more impressive was his kindness, and, what was it? A calmness. There was a quiet calm that seemed to surround him. Realizing her mind had again wandered, she reprimanded herself, and quickly regained her concentration. While she waited for the tournament to begin, Shelley closed her eyes and desperately strove to “become one with the universe.”
It was only a minute later, however, that the event director began speaking into the microphone, snapping Shelley out of her reflection. He gave a small welcoming speech and went over rules of conduct. “Now I have a surprise for you,” the director continued. “I know we said we were unable to get a celebrity to attend today’s event, but it seems he was able to fit us in after all and he brought along a bonus. So, we’re extremely excited to have with us today two stars of the martial arts world!”
Shelley squirmed around excitedly to get a better view.
“I have the extreme honor of introducing to you a legend in our industry. A Master who has taught other Masters. Three time MART instructor champion and black-belt hall-of-famer, Master Eric Kino!”
Realizing now who she’d run into, Shelley's jaw dropped. She watched Master Kino stand and bow to the crowd and then he seemed to glance in her direction with a slight smile. She looked behind her to see who he could possibly be acknowledging, but there was no one. Me? Is he smiling at me? She was sure steam rose from her red face.
“And we’re very pleased and excited to introduce to you Master Kino's son, star of Shadow Warrior, The Lone Wolf, War Zone, and To Master the Art, just to name a few.” The applause all but drowned out the announcer. “I'm sure you all know– Ricky Kino!” The gym was filled to its four thousand capacity, making the wild applause and whistles deafening. Ricky stood and bowed to the audience very seriously, then broke into the famous broad smile, waving to all.
Shelley joined the crowd, applauding long and hard. Ricky Kino! The boys are gonna die. Oh, how I wish they could be here. She’d taken her sons to see Shadow Warrior just before they'd left to spend the summer with their dad. She couldn't wait to tell them.
“After our forms competition, Ricky will be honoring us with a demonstration.”
The crowd erupted again. It took the director several minutes to regain control and get the tournament underway.
While the women in her arena were called on to perform, sudden stage-fright overtook Shelley. Maybe I won't compete after all. I don't really need to. I have nothing to prove to anyone. She wanted desperately to rationalize her way out of it, but she couldn't. She really did have something to prove, if not to anyone else, at least to herself. She hadn't fought two years ago. She'd laid there and let him touch her. As usual, her stomach churned at the memory. She would not just sit idly by today.
Pushing the unpleasant memory aside, she tried to focus her mind on something else, anything else, and found herself thinking of Master Kino. Had she really asked him if he was competing? She shook her head and groaned inwardly. He must have thought her a complete idiot. She should have recognized him or at least realized he was not just a regular competitor.
Her head jerked around, the blood draining from her face as she realized her mind had been wandering all over the place, when she should’ve been paying attention. They called her name again, and she pushed herself into action. She rose and bowed, out of respect to her domain, which in this case was the mat, her home for the next few minutes. She walked bravely onto it, purposely avoiding any eye contact with the head judges' table.
In a voice as loud as she could muster, she called out the name of her form, her instructor and school. She then addressed the three judges sitting to one side of the arena. “With your permission I will begin.”
The judges nodded. She backed up three steps to the exact center of the mat, bowed and took her stance. Forms, hyungs, or katas, require intensity and concentration in order to be properly executed. The forceful yet fluid movements are to be “thrown” as though each blow lands on an imaginary opponent. Inner vision and discipline are necessary. The judge can count off for the slightest variation such as an arm too high, fingers not together, foot turned out too far.
Shelley had worked hard perfecting her form. Every muscle of her body from her fingertips down to her toes was tense, yet she moved smoothly and gracefully as she stepped and kicked first one invisible opponent to her left then the other on her right. She became completely immersed, imagining the attackers coming at her from each side.
“Watch her and tell me what you think,” Eric said to Ricky as he pointed to the woman with the long hair in arena two.
Ricky waited for her to finish. “She's a looker, but I guess that's not what you mean, huh?” When his father didn't answer he got serious. “She has potential,” he allowed. “Someone you know?”
“Someone I'd like to know,” Eric answered softly without taking his eyes off her.
“Hmm,” Ricky considered. “I see.”
Eric turned his head. “You see what?”
“Oh, nothing,” Ricky answered with a sly smile.
Ignoring his son, Eric folded his hands together and rested his chin on them. He watched as she finished and returned to sit beside her mat, thinking about how she'd looked up at him in the lobby. He'd nearly grabbed her by the shoulders proclaiming her “the one.” He'd looked into beautiful, big, brown eyes and felt hypnotized. He'd seen those eyes before, in his dreams.
She'd blushed under his gaze which made her appear quite innocent. He'd had to fight an overwhelming urge to wrap his arms around her and comfort her. The need to protect was strong. Now that he’d found her, it seemed obvious that his task is to train her. Ricky was right, the woman in his dream and the student he is to teach for the MART are one and the same. And he probably has been led to her to train her because there is some unfortunate event lurking in her future.
So positive now of the direction he should take, he wondered how he should approach her about becoming his student. If he explained to her how he's seen her before in his dreams, she’d think him a lunatic. However, he knew he cannot let the opportunity to meet her go by without taking action. Nothing to do but go with instinct. He was pulled from his thoughts when the forms competitions in each category neared their end.
Eric turned to his son. “Ready?”
“Always,” Ricky grinned.
Ricky stood and stretched his thick, muscular arms above his head then walked back to a clear space behind the table to limber up. Eric pulled a box of boards out from under the table. Ricky would blast them to bits in his demo.
A group of kids leaned over the railing, looking down at Ricky as he warmed up. Ricky glanced up grinning and waved. They shrieked with laughter.
Leaving his son to his antics, Eric looked back to arena two but they had been dismissed. Rising, he walked slowly through the crowd and up the steps, but didn’t find the person he sought. He went into the lobby, grabbed a bottle of water and spoke to a few teenage boys who asked his thoughts on a particular defense movement. He set them straight. “The best defense is offense. Don't mess around. End it and end it quickly. Then there is no room for error.”
He shook their hands, autographed their programs and started back, but pulled up short. There she was, at the top of the stairs, gazing out over the crowd. She’d changed out of her uniform and was dressed now in jeans and an airy white blouse. Light brown hair with streaks of gold, still crinkly from the braid she'd worn earlier, cascaded over her shoulders. It wasn't cut into one of the day's trendy styles. Instead, it flowed down her back in long, golden curls. It added to her inherent femininity and made a statement that she wasn’t your average woman. He found himself longing to comb his fingers through the thick curls.
Eric watched her for just a moment as she went up on her toes and leaned over the railing, looking down on the activities below. Her hair stopped just short of a trim waist. Her jeans hugged her bottom. Man, what was he thinking? He sighed. He was thinking like a man and not like a martial arts instructor, because he envisioned running his very lethal hands all over that firm backside. Getting himself under control, he strode up to her and lightly touched the small of her back to gain her attention. She stiffened and spun to face him.
“Hello Shelley,” he said softly. “Sorry if I startled you.”
“Oh,” she said, drawing a breath to calm herself. She smiled at him. “You know my name?”
“I heard the judges call you. By the way, you did well.” He watched for a reaction in her eyes, but she looked down too quickly.
“Thank you, Master Kino.”
“Please, call me Eric,” he insisted.
She looked back up at him, nodded in agreement. “Have you seen the scoring results?”she asked anxiously.
He shook his head.
She shrugged. “It doesn't really matter. I'm just glad I got through it. This was my first competition and I was extremely nervous.”
“If you were nervous, I certainly couldn't tell.” Eric gazed into her eyes. He could glimpse something in her. A quiet strength. He smiled at her. Simple words had been spoken. Nothing of importance. Yet the feeling something of magnitude was taking place was hanging there, waiting for him to grab it.
Eric watched her as she glanced away, looking out over the huge gym as down below, competitors and their families ran helter skelter, trying to find the place that would offer the best view of Ricky Kino’s demonstration. He told himself it was merely the master observing a potential student, yet there was a certain pull that he couldn’t ignore. She was extremely attractive, in a simple sort of way. There was an innocence about her, a sweetness. And, well– and she was sexy as hell, he admitted, though he would have to quell those kinds of thoughts. He was here to help her. In his dream, she'd been in peril. He needed to keep his mind clear if he is to help her, and the need to help her was strong.
“Are you staying for the rest of the tournament?” he finally asked.
She turned back. “Oh, yes I wouldn't miss any of this for the world,” she gushed. “It's all so wonderful and everyone's skill is amazing. I just love it!”
Her face was a delightful pink, her eyes sparkling, her enthusiasm refreshing. She rolled her eyes and he knew she silently reprimanded herself for getting carried away.
He paused, took a deep breath. “So, please don't think it too forward of me, since we've only just met, but, when this is over I'd love to have you join me for dinner.”
He watched her face go from pink to fire engine red.
Shelley went over his words in her mind, making sure she really did hear what she thought she'd heard. Master Kino just asked me out. This can't really be happening. Why me? Why would this man ask me to dinner? Maybe it's like you always read about celebrities, they have girls in every town. One night conquests. I don't even know if he's married. Why me? Does he see me as a groupie that would be just too easy to pass up? No. It can't be like that. He is, after all, a Master and someone in the public eye. He’d want to show irreproachable behavior, wouldn’t he? If he just wanted to find a girl to have for a night, he could have his choice of any of the women here, most who are younger and beautiful and— Oh, what am I doing? Okay. Okay. Get a grip. I’d be perfectly safe with him. This is a once in a lifetime invitation. What could it hurt? Besides, the boys would never let me hear the end of it if I were to turn down Ricky Kino’s father.
“Well,” she started slowly, trying to think of a clever way to accept his invitation. Nothing came to mind. “I'd love to,” she finally blurted out.
“Wonderful,” he beamed, hitting his fist gently against the railing. “May I meet you in the lobby as soon as the tournament is over?”
“I’ll be there,” she said, nodding her head.
“See you then,” he said as he walked away, pulling out his phone immediately. He needed to rent a car.
Shelley watched him walk, his well-muscled arms swinging down from broad shoulders. Her eyes followed to the trim waist, powerful buttocks and magnificent thighs. He was dressed for the occasion in black silk Kakama pants that were snug at the waist, ballooning out at the sides and a black silk sleeveless shirt. His hair, also like black silk, was back in a queue, swaying gently as he walked. His voice had been soft, yet commanding. He'd spoken her name in a way that moved her. A soft caress, almost as if he'd touched her cheek.
Taking a deep breath, she told herself she was not hallucinating. This really had happened. She'd come to a tournament, met a martial arts master and he’d asked her, yes her, out to dinner. Not any of the gorgeous young girls in any given direction. Her. Why? And why, with her aversion to men, had she accepted? She should be terrified to accept an invitation from a man she’d just met. So why did she? Because, she thought, somehow, he made her trust him.
Shelley maintained her place at the railing as the room grew quiet with anticipation. The announcer needed no other words than the few he spoke. “Ladies and Gentlemen— introducing, Ricky Kino!”
Accompanied by the roar of the crowd, and dressed in a black and gold martial arts uniform, Ricky entered the floor at a run, turned five back hand springs, ending with a full layout. He bowed and waited for the narration.
“In the martial arts, nothing is as important as your reaction time in defending yourself against an attacker. If you’re ever caught with your pants down —”
The laughter made speaking impossible for a few moments while Ricky joked around, pretending to check his waistband.
“If you’re ever caught with your guard down,” the narrator corrected, “it's all over and you may very well have made a fatal mistake. In actuality, it isn’t reaction as much as anticipation. Some call this instinct, some magic. Whatever you prefer, it is a skill that with enough practice can be acquired by anyone.”
All eyes were riveted on Ricky. Shelley was amazed at how quiet the room had become when just moments before the crowd noise had been deafening.
“For the next few minutes you will be witnesses to a type of martial arts paint ball, minus the paint, of course. Nothing has been preplanned. When a lethal punch is thrown, you must stay down. Let’s see how Ricky Kino fares against these guys. By the way, he’s never met any of them before today.”
Shelley watched Ricky prepare to fight five black belt assailants. His body tensed for a moment, then suddenly he straightened and shook his head, wagging his finger. One of the assailants didn't have on his head gear. Ricky motioned for him to put it on.
“What about you?” the young man asked.
“I'll take my chances.” Ricky grinned.
Shelley giggled along with the crowd at the banter even though it was obvious it had been scripted. Finally, the competitors swung into action. Ricky was amazing as he worked against the men. It became quickly evident Ricky wasn’t just a movie artist. His skills were real. With Master Kino for a father, Shelley figured that was as it should be.
When the five attackers were down, the audience stood and cheered, none more enthusiastically than Shelley. Next Ricky grabbed the nunchakus from Eric, in this case a pair of bright red and black hard wooden sticks joined by a chain. Ricky spun them around to get their feel.
Suddenly, he stopped, dropped the weapon to the floor. Much to the delight of the young girls in the crowd, he untied his belt, and pulled his uniform top over his head. Shelley had to admire him along with the rest of the crowd. His golden skin glistened with perspiration, his broad shoulders and rippling abs eliciting “oohs” and “ahhs” from the female assemblage. One even called out, “I love you, Ricky!”
There was laughter as Ricky looked up and blew a kiss in her direction. An excited scream, more laughter.
A murmur of admiration hummed through the crowd as he warmed up by working through a series of movements with the nunchakus. His speed was incredible. He then proceeded to demonstrate his skills using kicking pads as targets, held by twelve assistants. The weapon made a loud “pop” as it hit each pad. A back somersault, “pop” as he hit another target, then speedily to all sides of the circle, more pops. It began to sound as if someone had set off a string of firecrackers. The audience roared.
In the last part of Ricky's demo he broke boards using hands, feet, elbows and fists. When he finished, Ricky knelt on one knee as thundering applause rocked the arena.
He finally arose, looked up smiling, bowed and ran off the floor. Immediately the tournament was set back in motion, but Shelley kept her eyes on Ricky, as he joined his father. Eric threw a towel at his son and patted him on the shoulder.
Shelley studied them both, deciding they were quite a pair, and apparently very close. They looked like brothers, she thought. She felt intense admiration, and was thrilled to have witnessed such perfection. Since Eric was the “Master”, Shelley wondered if he ever gave demonstrations.
Moving down the steps, she settled into a seat. This tournament had been a long time coming and she wanted to soak in every bit of information she could. Soon enough it would be over and she’d sit across the table from Master Kino and speak with him, and listen to him and— Oh my God! What could I possibly have to say that would interest him? Get a hold of yourself. Talk about the tournament. That's it. The tournament. Now sit and watch, you need conversational ammunition. With as much patience as she could muster, she sat back and waited for things to begin. Things like– the free sparring– the weapons' forms– and her life.
One of the judges spoke into the microphone. “Attention everyone. Before we move on to the next portion of our tournament, we want to announce the winners of the form's competitions.”
Eric looked up, curious to see Shelley’s reaction. He knew exactly where to look because this time he hadn't let her out of his sight. When they called her name for third place her expression fell and his heart went out to her. During their brief conversation she’d told him that winning didn't matter, yet he could see that it had.
He watched as she leaned forward, her elbows resting on her knees, her head in her hands, a childlike pout on her face. He had to smile. She was very readable and entirely too cute. He blew out a breath as he thought of his base reaction to her, acknowledging the fact that he found her extremely appealing. Shaking his head at his weakness, he struggled to push the thought from his mind.
When the women's sparring began Shelley sat totally entranced. Could she ever progress far enough to be able to hold her own in a sparring match?
Shelley noticed one girl in particular who stood out from the others. She was beautiful. Shoulder length blond hair, tall and lean. A Taekwondo brown belt with a killer smile. She glowed with confidence, practically oozed with it. Shelley picked her to win and the woman did, with ease.
When the tournament finally ended, Shelley watched as one by one the names were called and Eric and Ricky handed out trophies, ribbons, and certificates to the participants. Unable to sit still during the long awards presentation process, she freshened up in the restroom and headed toward the lobby to meet Eric, excitement and apprehension building.
Slowly, to calm herself, she strolled around, reading the plaques and trophies on display. Her daughter, soon to be a college freshman, had just graduated from this school. Shelley searched for and found Bree's name on the most recent cheerleading plaque and allowed a proud smile to cross her lips.
Ambling around to the doors, she peered out. The early June temperatures had already reached record highs. Heat waves distorted the street and cars, but Shelley didn't mind the heat. In fact, she loved it. She loved getting into her car after it had been sitting in the sun with the windows up. It was comforting, like slipping into a hot bath.
She turned as people began filing into the lobby area, signaling an end to the day's proceedings. Several of the female competitors entered the lobby together. Shelley went over to offer her congratulations to a few of the winners.
“Thanks,” drawled the pretty blonde Shelley had chosen to win her division. “I watched you do your forms. You were pretty good but you should think about competing in the sparring. That's when it really gets fun. I think you could probably do well.”
Before Shelley could answer another piped in. “Look who's talking, Angel. You do pretty well yourself.”
“Yeah,” a third teased. “As long as there are male judges.”
The blonde placed her hands on her hips and pursed her lips in a strategically cute little pout, obviously accustomed to using her beauty to get whatever she wanted, but not liking anyone to accuse her of it.
The blonde changed the subject. “Speaking of looks, what did y'all think of Ricky Kino?”
A much better subject, Shelley thought. It certainly piqued her interest.
“God, he was fantastic,” one woman answered.
“Forget fantastic, did you see that body? He's gorgeous.”
“Yeah, and don't leave out his dad. Girl, you can see where he gets it.”
“Oh yeah, the man is definitely fine.”
“I'd love to have a daddy like that,” the blonde purred, causing giggles to erupt.
“What was the dad's name again?”
“I don't remember, I only remember how his biceps bulged when he handed Ricky the nunchakus. After that, it's all blank.” More giggles.
Shelley decided to speak up and help out. “His name is Eric.”
“Yeah, that's it.”
“No, it's not Eric, is it? Are you sure?”
Shelley smiled. “I'm positive. It's Eric.”
A sneering smile from the blonde. “Whatever it is— all I know is, I bet he looks as good under his shirt as his 'little boy.'”
“And if anybody can find out, it's you,” Angel's friend assured.
Jealousy reared its ugly head. Shelley tamped it down. Jealousy rooted itself in low self-esteem. She was working on that.
The blonde grinned with the challenge. “I suppose little old me will just have to see what I can do.”
Shelley could only roll her eyes.
“You see what you can do, Angel, and I'll baby-sit the ‘little boy’,” Angel’s friend offered.
Shelley considered telling them she had a date with Eric, but she came up with two good reasons not to say anything. First, she passionately hated catty females and she wasn’t about to join their ranks. Second, they probably wouldn't believe her anyway. She barely believed it herself.
She endeavored to find a polite way to leave the group while the women continued raving about and lusting after various parts of the two men's anatomy. However, before she could excuse herself, one of the ladies nudged another and whispered loudly. “Speak of the devil.” She nodded in the direction just behind Shelley. “Oh, God, here he comes.”
Shelley turned, feeling chills popping out all over her body. Master Eric Kino approached the women, his eyes on Shelley. Smiling, he joined the group, sending temperatures and heartbeats through the stratosphere.
“Hello, ladies. I trust you all had a good time today.”
The blonde gave a feminine squeal, spoke in her very best southern drawl. “Oh myyyy, yes!” She extended her hand. “He-ey, my name is Angel.”
Eric clasped her hand. “A great pleasure to meet you, Angel. I'm Eric.”
“Oh, I know who you are,” she tittered.
The others began offering hands and blurting out names.
Eric took each lady's hand as they introduced themselves. All, except Shelley, who was succeeding in self-control.
Angel nudged her. “Speak up, honey, don't be shy. He doesn't bite. Introduce yourself.”
Shelley knew the words Angel spoke had been constructed to make her feel small and look silly. And it worked. What she didn't know was if Eric purposely rescued her with his words and actions. He turned to Shelley with a familiarity that didn't yet exist, and gently brushed a stray hair back from her face, which for the umpteenth time that day, had reddened.
“This one I already know,” he said softly.
The others looked on, their faces a mix of surprise and envy. There was an eternal moment of awkward silence, which Eric finally shattered. “Are you ready to go?”
He lifted Shelley's bag. “Excuse us ladies,” he nodded as he turned and placed his hand on the small of Shelley’s back. She was tempted, so tempted, to turn to the group and make some kind of gesture, like– what? Stick out her tongue? No, no cattiness. She held her breath at the feel of Eric’s warm hand resting gently on her back. The evening was about to become very interesting.
|Posted on August 6, 2016 at 9:00 AM|
Shelley Adams stared into the mirror and wondered at the woman who stared back. She was the mother of three and had at one time believed there would always be a loving husband standing beside her. There was not. He’d forced her hand, shown her just what kind of person he was and, remarkable as it seemed, she’d found the strength to remove him from her life. Her husband's nonchalant attitude toward her assault had been an eye opener and the final nail in the coffin for their marriage. Pregnant and married at sixteen, she'd never been without him and now that she'd gone through with the divorce, she admitted she wasn't quite used to the quiet house.
At times the loneliness threatened to engulf her. This was one of those times. The house was dark. The silence was deafening. The boys were with their father for the summer and Bree was in New York. Taking a deep breath, she reminded herself that she didn't need her ex-husband. She didn't need anyone, or so she liked to think. However, she hadn’t been prepared for the fears that had begun to take her over.
It surprised her because she’d been so fearless in divorcing her husband and reaching for her own independence. She never used to scare easily. Yet over the past few years she’d begun to jump at her own shadow. She was afraid of the dark. She never walked anywhere alone. She was over-protective of the kids. Allowing Bree to go to New York had meant a major fight between herself, her ex-husband, and her daughter.
Maybe the fear was because of what had happened to her, or maybe it was because she’d never really been alone until now. Over the past two years she’d learned to stand on her own and she was learning to be strong emotionally. Physically, though, the fear was always there, though she was working on that. That work would keep her occupied all day tomorrow.
In the morning she’d be participating in her very first martial arts tournament. The huge regional event included all styles from karate to taekwondo to jujitsu. It was very exciting, but she had to admit she was more nervous than excited.
Either spawned by that random act of violence that had taken place almost two years earlier on a bright, sunny afternoon, or by some new post traumatic fear, she'd set a goal to master one of the martial arts. Once she’d begun, that goal had grown into a burning desire. The police had never caught the man who'd assaulted her. Sometimes she wasn't sure they even believed he existed. The counselor at the rape crisis center had helped her with the frustration, but not with the self-disgust.
It sickened her that she hadn't fought. She'd let fear paralyze her. She’d sworn she’d never let that happen again, and yet it had begun to do just that. She’d also sworn she would stand up to her husband, a considerable feat considering her emotional dependency on him. At least she’d followed through on that. She’d stuck to her guns when she up and divorced him. The divorce had been a huge step, but she had to do more. She had to become strong. Her counselor had supported Shelley's conviction that taking action would help to alleviate the feelings of shame and frustration. “Do something positive. Something you've always wanted to do. Do something for you.”
That's what had led to a Tae Kwon Do class at the local “Y”. It had given her something to focus on and given her back some confidence. She worked hard, desperate to even the odds, to be on a more equal footing with the male species.
Shelley studied her reflection. Sometimes she felt so old, yet she was only thirty-four. “Thirty is the new twenty,” a co-worker had remarked. She admitted, she was flattered when people thought she and Bree, her seventeen-year-old daughter, were sisters. I have great eyes, Shelley thought. Even her ‘ex’ had told her that. They were large and brown, and were framed with unique lashes, that appeared to have been sprinkled with gold dust. Coming out of an emotionally abusive marriage, she was learning to be kind to herself and this was the first thing she'd allowed– pretty eyes.
Her hair was long and thick with large voluptuous natural curls. Bree let her know that her girlfriends would kill to have those curls and told her she’d personally kill her mom if she were to ever cut off her hair. That was no problem for Shelley since leaving it long made it easier to put back in the no fuss, long braid or ponytail she usually wore.
Making her way to the front door, she tested the lock, then headed into the kitchen to check the back door. She was a wimp, especially when the children were gone. Sometimes, in the dark, she could feel the panic take over. It was those times she questioned her decision to become single. It would be nice to have someone there to help her feel safe. She’d definitely had offers, but she’d turned them down. Mostly because she hadn’t ever met anyone who intrigued her enough to draw her interest, but also because she had to learn to stand on her own. For a long time she’d been both emotionally and physically crippled. She was getting stronger.
Tomorrow’s tournament was a big deal because it was her first time competing. The goal to obtain black belt meant she must compete. There were several different areas for competition in a tournament. Forms, sparring and weapons. She must spar, and spar well in order to accomplish black belt, but that would be down the road. The further the better, she thought. For her very first competition she’d elected to compete in forms only. Taking a breath, she repeated her new mantra. “Strive for perfection. Strive for perfection. Strive for perfection.”
As the early morning sun made its way across the plush hotel room, Eric emerged from the bathroom to find Ricky sitting on a bed, peeling a banana plucked from a complimentary bowl of fruit.
“It's about time,” Ricky laughed. “Come on Dad. If you don't hurry, we won't have time for breakfast and I'm starved.”
“Where have you been then? I woke, you were gone, I assumed you were eating.”
Ricky gave a sheepish grin. “Naw, just checking out the scenery. Not much to check out though. I guess southern girls sleep late on Saturdays. However, I did accidentally manage to attract the attention of a couple of kids in the lobby, so I signed a few autographs, let them snap a few pics, you know, just enough to get the blood going.”
“I hadn't realized your star status ego had grown to such proportions that you now need a 'fix' in the mornings to get you started on your day. Looks like I'm going to have to bring you down a peg or two.”
“Can't even take a joke,” Ricky grumbled as they left the room.
The tournament was being held in a large high school super gym just south of Atlanta. The huge event included competitors from most of the southeast and there would be several thousand spectators in attendance.
The limo arrived and, as celebrities, Eric and Ricky were escorted to the judge's table where they were introduced to the local martial arts dignitaries and given a place of honor at the same table.
While Eric took a seat, a crowd quickly formed around Ricky. Eric watched as Ricky, ensconced in his element, signed autographs and chatted with youngsters, boosting their confidence with a well-placed word. Local press took pictures and tried for impromptu interviews. Thankfully there were no paparazzi. They tended to avoid the Kinos.
Watching Ricky now, Eric considered his son's bright, exuberant personality and compared it with his own more serious demeanor, marveling how they could be so close, yet so different.
Physically, they were similar. They both had straight black hair. Ricky's just skimmed his shoulders, Eric's was slightly longer. They had bronze skin from the Hawaiian part of their ancestry, and dark eyes. One film critic said it was remarkable how Ricky’s eyes could go from warm and compassionate to hard as steel. His eyes though, were only part of what made Ricky a star. He had a musculature that was rock hard, and a bright, alert mind. He was swift and agile and very good at what he did.
Ricky had achieved black belt at nine years of age. Two years later his mother had died of cancer. Ricky and Eric immersed themselves in their art as therapy for their loss. Losing his wife had nearly defeated Eric. It was caring for Ricky that brought the light back into his world.
Another glimpse in Ricky’s direction made Eric smile. His son now had his arms around two gorgeous, giggling blondes. They posed while a third girl took a picture, then demanded her turn. “Thank you sooo much,” the girls purred in their sweet southern accents.
“Ahhh, the pleasure is all mine I assure you,” Ricky crooned back, glancing over at his father with a grin.
Eric rolled his eyes and pointed to his wristwatch, letting Ricky know he should head to the locker room to change. Ricky bid the ladies farewell, grabbed his bag and headed to get into his uniform.
At eight on the dot, the nervous tournament director approached and bowed to Eric. “Uh, Master Kino sir, uh, do you happen to know where Ricky is? It's time to begin and we wanted to introduce everyone.”
Standing, Eric offered to go and locate his son himself. He passed up the locker rooms and headed toward the lobby where concessions were already being served. Ricky was an insatiable eating machine, and Eric had a feeling he’d find him there, stuffing his face with all manner of unhealthy delicacies.
Cursing herself as she drove, Shelley pushed her old faded red Ford to its limit. I know I turned the alarm on. I know I did, darn it. I checked it at least twice. Of all times for it not to go off. “Stay green, stay green,” she chanted as she approached the next intersection. Beads of perspiration trickled down her forehead as she streaked into the school parking lot at 8:03.
Grateful that at least, the tournament was being held at her daughter's alma mater, only a few minutes away, she hoped desperately they'd let her sign in late. Grabbing her bag, she sprinted to the gym, and jerked open the heavy door. Cool air rushed to greet her, calming her. Sucking in a deep breath, she looked around nervously, to find a young man in a white uniform gathering papers from a long table.
“Am I too late to sign in?” she asked in a panic.
“No ma'am. You lucked out. We're running a little behind,” he answered, thumbing through the papers in his arms. “Here you go,” he said pulling out a paper. “Find your events and sign in.”
Once she did, he looked over her entry form, checked off her registration number. “You're assigned to arena two.” He looked up. “Locker rooms are through those doors and to the right. You'd better hurry.”
Shelley shot toward the doors in a run, turning back to offer a belated thank you.
She swung back around, happy that– UUMPH. Her face smashed against something solid and she went down hard. The contents of the bag she'd never bothered to close tumbled across the floor.
Realizing she'd run into a person, even though she'd first thought she'd misjudged the distance to the door, she rubbed her nose and began apologizing profusely. “I'm so sorry. I was late and in a hurry. I should've been watching where I was going. I hope I didn’t hurt– ”
She'd been crawling around gathering her things but stopped when a bronzed hand held out her folded purple belt for her to place back in her bag. Her eyes followed the hand up to its source and she found herself looking into the most incredible face.
He smiled. “Please, let me help you.”
He lifted her to her feet as if she were nothing more than a rag doll, which both amazed and annoyed her. Amazed, at his strength. Annoyed, because it reminded her of her vulnerability as a woman. The latter thought stirred anger in her heart.
“Are you alright?” he asked.
His voice was calm, soft, and stole her anger immediately. She gazed at his face again. Dark eyes and long black hair tied back at the nape of his neck gave a certain nobleness to his appearance, like that of a Native American warrior. And that smile. He had the kindest smile she'd ever seen. It made her feel safe. It took her breath away. He raised his eyebrows at her and she realized he waited for an answer to his question. “Oh! Oh, yes! I'm fine. I'm sorry. I was late and– ”
For the second time she was unable to finish her sentence but this time it was because he raised his hand to quiet her.
“I'm the one at fault. I should've been looking where I was going and certainly should’ve been quick enough to get out of your way. Are you sure you're not hurt? You were moving pretty fast.”
She laughed, rubbed her forehead. “I'm fine, other than the fact that your chest is hard as a rock.”
She felt the blush creep up her neck. I did not just say that.
“Are you competing?” he asked, as he handed her the rest of her belongings.
“No– I mean, uh, yes. Well, I mean, only in forms.”
He smiled again. “Forms are important.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right. Are you competing?”
“No I’m not.” He seemed amused by the question. “I came to watch my son, however, now, I have two people to watch.”
“My son and you.”
He smiled again and she thought she’d rise off the floor. He quickly brought her back to earth. “Better hurry. I think they’re about to start.”
“Oh, goodness, I have to go.”
Eric turned and watched as she disappeared inside the women's locker room.