Lessons From A Prison Lifer – Live Free or Die!

I heard an Eagle Cry! Live Free of Die!!!

I heard an Eagle Cry! Live Free of Die!!!

I wrote the song, Live Free or Die!, when I was volunteering in a maximum security prison. A man serving a life sentence told me he had found peace 10 years into his sentence while watching a bird flying through the bars of his jail cell. In that moment he felt peace, and while the bird had no possessions and was a simple creature, it knew was created for a reason. He realized that even in a prison, with a purpose he could be free. It was then he let his hate and anger go, and he became a new man, dedicated to following God and learning what it means to be free.

I wrote this song for him inspired by the bird and my own motorcycle trip to freedom. Click here to listen to a free stream on my music player!

Live Free or Die!!!

by Silouan Green

Dark rooms and battered dreams, Pretty girls just memories

Remember when I thought I’d be someone

Rains came crashing in on me, looking around but I can’t see

I can’t feel anything, there is no hope for me

 

I heard an eagle cry, she said live free or die

Ain’t gonna fall on a deaf ear

 

Left my front door open one day, sold my radio, computer, TV

Bought a bike and then I raced toward the Texas sky

Smelled the grass, the dew, the trees, I just road and road you see

Found a girl and I know she’s gonna be the one

 

I heard an eagle cry, she said live free or die

Ain’t gonna fall on a deaf ear

Ooh, ooh, ooo, Ooh, ooh, oo, Ooh, ooh, oo, Ooh, ooh, oo,

 

Having a beer in my big chair, I got children everywhere

Singing songs about the roads I done seen

When I hear the devil’s song, tells me I’m just a little someone

I look outside and I can hear her singing to me

 

I heard an eagle cry, she said live free or die

Ain’t gonna fall on a deaf ear

Ooh, ooh, ooo, Ooh, ooh, oo, Ooh, ooh, oo, Ooh, ooh, oo

Ooh, ooh, ooo, Ooh, ooh, oo, Ooh, ooh, oo, Ooh, ooh, oo

Gold Star Retreat – In The House Of The Holy

Look out for each other. You'll find the deepest kind of love.

Look out for each other. You’ll find the deepest kind of love.

To be overwhelmed by the complete spirit of life can change your soul. This past weekend I had the blessing to speak in such a place, a true holy place. It was a Gold Star retreat for survivors of those who had died while serving our country.

It was a STARR event for survivors of those fallen who have served our country. STARR stands for Survivors Transition and Resiliency Retreat and it is put on by our fantastic Survivor Outreach Services coordinators here in Indiana. This STARR event was in Indianapolis and had the support of the Indiana National Guard, the US Army, and the Lilly Foundation. This Gold Star retreat is a true blessing for everyone who attends.

There were a couple hundred of us in a room going through my Ladder UPP program. Wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends, supporters – of the fallen. There was grief and anger. There was thankfulness and joy. There was silence and conversation. Crying and laughing. It was the complete cycle of life.

At the core of these emotions, the loved ones who had been lost and were dearly missed. We tend to think of love as romantic or happy, but this was the deepest, rawest, truest expression of love that I had ever experienced outside the birth of my children and my own moments of love with my wife and family when we had to lean on each other to survive. And that is what we were doing in that room, we were leaning on each other. The faces and backgrounds of those in attendance mirrored the variety of our armed forces, but when you are leaning on someone those differences fade away. We are left with humanity, truth, and the knowledge that the most powerful emotion in the world is love. It was a room of love, a holy place.

I always say, look out for each other. This STARR event is what I mean. It isn’t just what we do for others, it is how we live and how the world is changed for the better. The core of “look out for each other” is love. The kind of love that seeks those who need a light, or just a friend.

I thank God for my new friends. I thank God for the moments we shared. It changed me, I hoped it blessed them in some way.

Look out for each other folks. It’s the only good way to live

3 Simple Ways To Lose Weight And Stay Fit

Maximus #9 on the pitch scoring a goal! When you are young you can pretty much eat how you want and stay fit. Not the case when you are the parent raising the young David Beckam!

Maximus #9 on the pitch scoring a goal! When you are young you can pretty much eat how you want and stay fit. Not the case when you are the parent raising the young David Beckam!

Here are three simple life changes to lose weight and stay fit. As a former fitness freak who over the years let a little too much comfort food collect around my middle, when I decided to do something about it I discovered that losing weight as a middle-aged father of seven was a little different than putting the fitness pedal to the metal as a twenty-something hard charging Marine who won awards for fitness.

It’s primarily three things that can doom us to a pant size we are uncomfortable divulging to our friends: 1) a lowered metabolism, 2) a body that won’t quite keep up with the workouts it used to and 3) an unhealthy diet that accumulates weighty momentum year after year.

After much trial, error, and frustration, I discovered three simple things that allowed me to get fit, lose over 35 pounds, get down to my young Marine Corps weight and more importantly, keep it off.

1) Exercise in the morning (at a minimum, 20 minutes of cardio when you wake up before you go to work).  This kicks in your metabolism for the day and thus allows you to burn more calories throughout the day. (FYI, I love my Nordic Track.  Low impact, strenuous, work arms and legs at the same time, cheap to buy on eBay.)

2) Eat NOTHING after dinner, especially before you go to bed.  Anything you eat after dinner will inevitably get metabolized to fat as your body slows down.  It is a vicious reality that is hard to overcome with any amount of exercise or diet, you just can’t eat in the evening.

and

3) Drink LOTS of water!  Again, it helps with a healthy metabolism, helps with hunger pangs, and just makes your body run better. Drink a glass at every meal, and at least one when you wake up, in between meals, and when you go to bed.

These three things are about the only changes I made in my lifestyle to lose the weight and keep it off.  I wish I had followed it when I was younger. I might have been bionic! 🙂

Stay strong and follow your passions! Aging is just an opportunity for more adventures. Make sure your body is up for the journey.

And might I note as someone who spends most of his time helping those with PTSD and others effected by trauma and poor mental health – physical fitness is one of the best things you can do for happiness and mental resiliency.  It is no coincidence that your physical fitness can go to pot when you are depressed.

A couple post reminders:

LIVE BETTER!

I began this journey focused on reaching those living in the dark with PTSD.  I soon realized their greatest hurdle is one we all face, learning to live free in a world where it is all too easy to get caught up in the stream and lose sight of ourself. I want you to live free.
1) To make sure you receive updates on all my new posts, please either subscribe to the blog or click on the RSS logo at the top of the page.
2) I’m PASSIONATE and COMMITTED about helping people struggling with life learn to live free.  Your purchase of Who Am I? and The Ladder UPP are what allows me to meet this demand as much as I can. Many of those groups I travel to help have no money and no budget.

Who am I? and The Ladder UPP workbook will inspire you and provide practical, easy-to-follow tools to live a better life.  They will also equip you to help others wanting to live free, from struggling mothers facing a chaotic family to floundering veterans dealing with PTSD, from worn out fathers to teenagers struggling to separate from the pack and find their own identity and purpose.
These are the same materials that I use for my discussion/ peer groups and workshops. You will feel empowered to conquer life and you will feel confident you can help someone take that first step to living free and overcoming life’s cracks. You can get them both by clicking here at Amazon.

Daniel Rey Wolfe – “The only fight I ever lost was the one to myself”

Remember Daniel's face when you decide whether to make an impact on our veterans. There are many like it.

Remember Daniel Rey Wolfe when you decide whether to make an impact on our veterans. Their are many like it.

So much that could be unpacked from this disturbing story of Daniel Rey Wolfe, a former Marine whose suicide was documented by his posts on Facebook. I’ll write a longer response in the coming weeks, but I needed to get this out now. I found the article this morning and couldn’t move from my chair.

When you read about the problems at the VA, think about this. When you read about the horrors of war, the millions of dollars and months of training we use to train our young men and women to “compartmentalize” in combat, then the failure of time, money, and training we give them to learn to come home – think about this.

We can do something. Thankfully, this summer I’m doing workshops and training across the country on how to better respond to our veterans. But I need your help. Every place I speak is usually because of the effort of one or two committed people. It might be a college, a church, a conference, or a concerned organization – whatever – at each talk and workshop we save lives, lives like this young man. We have the e-mails and letters to prove it. Find a way to help me come to your community and we’ll make an impact. Lost lives like Daniels send me into a rage. WE can do something about it.

Read this. It’s disturbing, but read it. Share it. Facebook, the internet, TV, has made life a big reality show. But “war” and the struggles of our veterans aren’t a show, and neither is this tragic story. Don’t let the death of Daniel Rey Wolfe be in vain.

God rest your soul Daniel Rey Wolfe. I wish I could have known you.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2623950/Familys-outrage-Marine-documented-suicide-series-grisly-pictures-Facebook-social-networking-site-refused-down.html