SFI wants to thank you for your visit and participation. Comments, following, adding, tweeting, etc., etc., are very much appreciated and reciprocated. ;o)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What is the purpose of religion? Does religion or its lack of, affect your personal security?

First off, this blog does not intend to promote any religion or spiritual belief over any other. There is no hidden agenda looking to demonize any culture or viewpoint. Morality is relevant to the person reading these pages.

My target is the mind and the intent that is the minds active force. By having control over your mind, you can direct your intent to accomplish the goals that your mind sets. Every person has the ability to accomplish grand things. The scale of the grandness that you are capable of is relative to the scope of the life that brought you to this point. An example of this would be a baby taking its first step. That first step is quite a grand event for that baby, but relatively mundane for its older sibling. The older sibling rides a bike successfully for the first time, but not quite so impressive to Lance Armstrong who won the Tour de France 7 times. Each one of these events is equally stupendous for the person enjoying the success. The same can be said for failures.

Religion, meditation, spirituality, Buddhism, and every other form of belief that exists today are prisms through which we focus the intent of our minds. Why are there so many? Why are they so different? Remember that what will make sense to you today is relative to the maturity and intellect afforded to you by the life that you have led which brought you to this point. People will naturally gravitate towards those people with the same basic principles, intellect, and temperament. There is security and comfort in being with a group of like minded people and it is easier to belong to a group that already exists in a form that closely resembles the person you already are. Hence, since there are so many different kinds of people, the need to cater to them gave birth to the multitudes of religions, sects, cults, and multi-level marketing schemes we see today. Some very tolerant and forgiving and some quite militant in the way they deal with society in general around them.

Each religion has its methods by which it inculcates its agenda or belief upon its members or followers. Rigorous studying, verbal indoctrination, or sermon, meditation and chanting, guided prayer, seclusion, pain, or intimidation. Through prayer or meditation, one is able to seek the assistance of some higher being or god to accomplish things that are important to the person seeking the help. Many people thinking the same and praying or meditating for the accomplishment of a common goal is quite often requested or organized among these groups. Again some are benevolent and some are quite malevolent in intent. The interesting thing is that these extremes can exist in the same group purporting to have the same goal, serving the same higher being. Inevitably, in many cases the leaders of these groups at the base of the alter are serving a very powerful force indeed, and that force is known as the “EGO”. It is because of this, that the followers of these leaders become tools being used to push an agenda which serves the human leader of a group and not the higher being or god that it was intended to serve.

Ultimately humanity itself is the only common irrefutable baseline that we all share. As humans we are all born with innate abilities to create reality for ourselves. We all have the right to make decisions for ourselves and die fighting for them if necessary. If we could only leave being judgmental, our egos, and personal agendas at the door, what kind of world could we enjoy today? Mankind has the ability to attain perfection, nirvana, and heaven, but not the will to do so. As individuals we can strive for these things and even attain them within our personal universes. One day we will attain them as a species.

Please Read More ;o) >>

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Can allowing yourself to be raped be considered "Self Defense"?

What a question right? You are screaming at your screen thinking there is no possible way letting yourself be raped be considered "self defense". Let's see if we can modify your outlook.

We now understand about "broadcasting" but remember that predators occasionally make mistakes or you were distracted by some life altering incident leaving a hole in the fabric of your armor. Then it happens, you are confronted by an attacker. What now?

First, you are still the confident and self controlled you. This is important in that when we "loose it" we really are losing self control and therefore the control of our life. When that happens, the circumstance now controls you and not vice versa. Assess the situation. Where are you? Are there people around or nearby? What is around you? What does your attacker look like? What is he wearing? If you get a good grasp of the knowns, you can more methodically handle the unknowns. Listen to what the attacker is saying. Etc. etc. etc.

We will spend more time, another time, going over making assessments and what to do with those assessments. Right now I am trying to intrigue you, so let's get to the question.

You are now, after careful assessment, at the point where the attacker is about to rape you. Remember, your universe is yours. You have created this universe for yourself decision by decision since the day that you could make decisions. You are now cornered in a place that nobody can come to your aid. (Why you are here in the first place?) You have tried talking to this person. You told the attacker your first name and that you have three kids or a mom, dad, and little brother. This humanizes you. You have asked that the attacker simply does not do this.

The attacker moves closer. You assess the attackers size and strength. Can you fight? Do you know how? The attacker grabs you. What are your options?

Remember, when you make a decision for yourself, your psychological "survivability" is much improved over when your ability to make a decision for yourself is forcibly taken from you. Rape is just such a thing. It is not sexual in essence. Rape is about power and control. The very things that you work for on a daily basis. The decision to allow yourself to get raped, gives you back control over your body and psychological health. Here's how.

There have been women that before being raped asked the assailant to wear a condom. She would say that she has an STD or that she did not want to get pregnant. There have been women that offered to give the assailant oral sex instead of vaginal intercourse, some even getting the person to wear a condom for that. Ultimately, some knew that if they did not give in to the attackers demands, they could quite possibly be severely injured or killed. The difference between these women and too many others, is that these women made the "conscious decision" to "allow" the rape to take place. This is quite different from "losing it" and your decision making ability being torn from you leaving you totally helpless and ultimately victimized.

In the end, the decision is yours to make. Fight or not to fight? What is right or wrong? The answer is, what can you live with? What can you accept? Make your call and go for it.

Think of these things now. Then make decisions in your life that will prepare you for whatever may come your way. First, live your life in a way that minimizes the opportunity for these types of things to happen. Where you travel, how you dress, your "broadcasts", the people you know, are just some of things that determine your "threat matrix". Do you know how to fight, use that gizmo your friend gave you, shoot that gun?

I want you to ask yourself right now where you are in connection with all of this. Ask the questions I asked in todays entry. Then make decisions to improve your knowledge base. If you need more information or advice, just ask via the comments box. I will do my best to give you an answer as soon as possible. If I do not know the answer, I will research it for you and let you know where to look.

Thanks for reading. Please tell a friend about this BLOG. Take care.
Please Read More ;o) >>

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Advice for women regarding "Self Defense"

"Self Defense", "Peace of mind", and "Personal Security" all start from within. You must develop a sense of self and personal worth. Again, we are back to decisions. Remember that we are in total control of our personal universe.

Let's talk about the practical application of this. Picture a lioness crouched low in a thick cover of brush. She is observing a small group of animals foraging for food relatively nearby. In the group of animals that she is observing there are several that appear to be strong and healthy. Among the group there are also old and young along with one or two that appear to be sick or injured. She is deciding which one she is going to attack. It is hot, very hot. She will only have enough energy for one attempt. If she exerts to much energy, there is a chance that she might not be able to recover from the exertion. Which one would you pick and why?

The lioness will go after the one that her instincts told her will be the easiest for her to down. The animal that she decides to chase will be "broadcasting" to the lioness certain signs or symptoms of weakness or vulnerability. It is these "broadcasts" that over time drew the attention of the lioness and ultimately steeled her intent to attack. The broadcasts I speak of are things like a limp, labored breathing, distance from the rest of the animals, and age. The social structure of some animals can also come into play. Can lioness make a mistake? Yes. There are many incidents where the Lioness attacks an animal that is able to fight back and sometimes even kill the lioness. These mistakes are often due to inexperience or simple desperation. What does this have to do with you or any other woman?

Simple, you control your universe and the "broadcasts" that you impart to the world. If a video was made of you going about your daily activities that you did not know was being made, what would you think about the woman you were watching? Was she confident, strong, determined, intense, and friendly? Did she appear weak, sick, confused, lost, sad, or ambivalent? Now put yourself in the place of the lioness. Which one would you attack if you saw both versions of you moving about?

Now the first step to personal safety. Is your life your own? Do you control your personal universe? In an earlier blog entry, we talked about this using a person with an addiction as an example. When you give your life away, you no longer have the power to make decisions for your yourself. Your addiction is now in charge and making decisions for you. Your addiction will not make decisions in your best interest but in it's own best interest to your detriment. Does this sound appealing? When your life is living you like this, you can rest assured that whatever predatory element there is in your addictions life, it is looking straight at YOU. Please read that last sentence again because it is not a typo. It is very important.

Let's end today's time together by deciding to take a long look at where we are in our lives. At the end of that moment of reflection, consciously ask yourself if you own your life. If your answer is no, ask yourself who or what owns it now? Knowing what or who is in control of your life is the second step in taking it back. The first being able to admit that it is no longer your life and that you in fact gave it up. After this, I want you to stand in front of a mirror and tell your addiction that you are taking your life back, and that as of that moment you are in charge. From that moment on start living your life one decision at a time. You must look at every decision from that moment on and determine if it will further your life goal at that moment of keeping your life and not giving it away again. This is our journey together. Not yours and mine alone, but all the like minded people that share the same intent.

We are going to be on this for a while. For the guys out there that may have gotten this far in this entry, please know that this is also for you. The same principals apply to male beasts in the wild. Not just the females of the species are hunted. Another way this applies to you is that it would become a requirement that you educate the people you love for their best interests. If you were given a vaccine for some deadly disease that was going around, would you share it with your wife, daughter, mother, or sister? Do I really need to ask?

Take care. See you soon.
Please Read More ;o) >>

Friday, April 11, 2008

In Loving Memory of Rose Mabel Thorpe April 19, 1924 - April 6, 2008

I just found out that my Grandmother died. The last time I actually saw my Grandmother I was still quite young, less than ten years old in fact. I remember the first time I was able to talk to my Grandmother after so many years of not seeing her, it felt like I was still that little boy who dearly loved his "Gramma".

I opened my email for the first time in a while and was looking through the subject list when I saw the email regarding the death of my Grandmother. My aunt sent it to me. I am so thankful that she thought to do that. It was a very wonderful thing for her to do considering how things must be right now. I love her and respect her a great deal.

Grandma was a spunky, quick witted, loving person. I was getting regular phone calls from her for quite a while. She was on a fixed income, yet she found the resources to keep in touch with the ones she loved. No matter how I was feeling at the time of her calls she would lift my spirits and with a simple, "I love you", make me feel needed and appreciated.

Right now I feel not only an emptiness inside of me but also a deep and gnawing sense of personal guilt. I live a long way from family. Grandma complained that I lived too far away and would ask me to move closer to kin. I always told her that I would try. When she called, Grandma used to ask me to call her more often because her limited income did not let her talk to me often enough. I always told her that I would try. Grandma would ask for pictures of her grandkids and my wife so that she could at least look at the pictures if I could not bring them to visit. I always told her that I would try. I apparently did not try hard enough. I let my Grandmother down.

I want to say goodbye: "Grandma, it's me David. Thank you for keeping me in your heart and mind. Please forgive me for taking you for granted. For thinking that you would always be there, and that I would have all the time in the world to fulfill my promises to you. Please forgive me for not being there to hold your hand and comfort you when you had your stroke. I can only find comfort in the hope that you were never alone. Just know Grandma, that you will always be in my heart. More importantly I want you to know that you were a large part of the catalyst that helped changed my life for the better. That change inspired me to start this blog. So if we can help even one person in a meaningful way, your legacy will live on as part of a much greater movement. I love you Grandma. Rest well."

I still feel shallow and dissatisfied.

My Grandmother's decision to show me how much she loved me really did change my outlook on things. A decision that she made not knowing what set of circumstances she would be unleashing on the universe. A decision made with no other motive other than to get and give a little love and attention. She helped change my life. I am motivated to help change others lives as well.

Your life path is complete Grandma. Good Job. I am so proud of you!
Please Read More ;o) >>

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What can we learn from "American Idol"?

I know, I know...What the heck is this guy talking about? What in the world does that show have to do with security and/or self improvement. Well the first may not be so obvious but the second should be fairly obvious. Again, give me a modicum of your ever so stretched patience.

Well first off, it can be debated whether "American Idol" is actually purely a singing contest or a popularity contest. I do happen to think that the best singer has not always won or even placed commensurate to the talents ability. That being said, it is not my intent to critique singers here. What I do want to comment on are the singers as plain old people. The day before the auditions are even aired, these folks were salespeople, teachers, high school students, etc. They came from every walk of life imaginable. We have seen them rich, poor, tall, short, white, brown, beautiful, and ugly.

Of course all of these observations are relative to the person making them. Me and you. There is one common thread that ties all of these people together no matter what any body's observations are. Each one of these people had enough belief in themselves and the intestinal fortitude to go through the onerous procedure of first trying out for this show then doing what it took to stay in contention for as long as the soft hearted public would allow. That to me is a prime example of creating an ultimate goal for oneself then following a narrow and stringent path toward the ultimate realization of that goal. Again, everything being relevant to the person living the dream, for some, even getting in line in the first place was an accomplishment that would change their lives forever. Remember that lives are lived not one day at a time, but one decision at a time. Would your life be any different today if Fantasia decided that it was too hot to stand in line while she was waiting to audition and left? If your memories are a part of what you are today, then yes, your life would not be the same. For some, the idea of a struggling single mother suddenly not having to worry about next months rent would be at the very least inspiring. If her deciding not to get out of line that day can change lives, Should you be more concerned about how your decisions may affect other peoples lives? If you cannot see this logic then please ask the drunk driver how he felt after the accident when he could have not had that last couple of beers. If you cannot see this logic then ask the child of a single teenage mother who did not insist that her boyfriend wear that condom.

We are not only a product of the decisions that we make, but quite frequently others can become a casualty of the decisions that we make. In the end, when you do something erring on the side of the positive, more often than not the outcome will also err on the side of something good.

My next blog entry will focus more on the cookie cutter side of "Security", but as we grow together, you will see that everything has to do ultimately with us needing to be the best us that we can be. Take care.
Please Read More ;o) >>

Sunday, April 6, 2008

You are a result of the decisions that you make!

Hello again. Well, I feel that if we are to take this journey together We must have a concrete starting point. What I mean is that true personal peace of mind can only come from something that you have total control of. That something is what you decide to do on a daily basis. More simply put, how you live your life.
I teach a martial art that believes in what is called a life path. It says that a person should set for themselves an ultimate goal in life. Once set, it is not the accomplishment of the goal itself that really matters. What matters is if at the time of your death, can you look back and honestly say that you did everything you possibly could to accomplish that goal. A person needs to set the life path to ultimate personal fulfillment and only follow paths that lead you directly to the accomplishment of your ultimate goal. It is when you start down side roads that conflict come into play.
What is an appropriate life goal? Well like everything in life, that is a relevant issue to where you are in life. What is your personal maturity? What is your spiritual maturity? Does a life goal need to be awe inspiring in nature? No. The point in your life that you are now is a direct result of the decisions that you have made in the past. Right now you have to decide where you want to be in the future. This future can be in an hour, in a day, in a year, in ten years. There is nothing written in stone telling you what the rules are, only that decisions need to be made. If you have a an addiction, your decision making with regards to life goals will be very narrow in nature. First off, your life is no longer yours to live. You gave your life to something else. It's priorities are now what is important. You must first take your life back. This is your first decision in your new life. Now everything after that must lead you only to your ultimate goal which can be not to give it away again. Your life decisions at this point may be to get you through the next 30 minutes, never mind tomorrow. You cannot take life day by day. Life at this level must be lived decision by decision.
How does this relate to security? Bear with me.
Remember, it is not the actual accomplishment of the goal that will define you as a person. It is the way you lived your life in the pursuit of that goal which will truly define you. We have all seen the beauty contestant who bravely states that it would be her goal to solve hunger in the world. Does she actually do anything about it? Would it be possible even for one person to do this? Look at Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, even George W. Bush. Each of these people have changed the world to some degree. Have they changed anything totally for either the better or worse? No, but it can be argued that their personal decisions based on what they wanted for themselves and the world in which they lived, did indeed define them as individuals and more so, left an indelible effect on those people around them. You as a father, brother, mother, sister, or friend can do the same thing in your world.
Did I say "your world"? Yes I did. I bet you did not know just how much power you have? Close your eyes for a moment. Relax your mind. Take a deep breath. Now open your eyes again. Congratulations, you just created the world in which you live. The more people that you can get to see the world the way you do, the more power you have to make change on a global basis. The larger your influence will become. Your life on the other hand, is yours to command NOW.
Some of you say, "Huh?" Some of you say, "Ah!" Some of you say, "I knew that." Some of you are saying, "What an Idiot." Good for all of you. Tell or ask me why you are saying any of those things. As for this topic, we are not finished just yet.
Take care until next time.
Please Read More ;o) >>

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Why discuss this?

First off, I do not want anyone to think that I will only be talking about security in the missionary sense. Really how one lives one's life will reveal the total sense of how secure one's life can be. Don't get me wrong, gadgets gizmos and techniques will definitely be covered. Please feel free to ask questions, give feedback, or just critique.

First topic will be true to the title of the blog. Is pepper spray and/or an electric zapper a good method of self defense for your loved one. The simple answer is that out of the package, NO. Any weapon is at its basest an extension of the person using it. So if your loved one is timid and introverted, the way that the weapon will be brought to bear will reflect those same traits. Your loved one must be trained to use the weapon, and more importantly be willing to use it.
You must make sure that your loved one knows how to use the weapon. This means training. Many martial art schools will be able and willing to offer some basic instruction with whatever gadget you may present. You may just have to sit through the sales presentation trying to sell you 3 years for the price of two. As we grow together within this blog I will give specific training recommendations for whatever topics we may get into. For now please be a little patient because I am still getting used to this whole blog thing.

Then there is legality. Is your loved one even allowed to have the weapon in question on their person in the area in which you live? Let me explain my base philosophy on this matter. It would be better to be alive in jail than dead in a morgue. Most trials in self defense situations take into account extenuating circumstances which require an individual to take actions considered to be above the norm. My best piece of advice here is to make sure that the situation that is being "handled" is indeed a "self defense" situation and that you honesty and wholeheartedly felt that "your life or that of your loved one was in danger". That last statement was very important and should be part of any sworn statement that you make to the police after any self defense situation.
Please Read More ;o) >>