Learning from PapaDog – El Maestro of Surfboard Repairs

Plan defined!  Great execution of Surfboard repair 2016..   I’m ready for January surf trip.  🙂

I miss you Frank S.  You would be proud of so much..


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Meet the Patels

HI all. I have so much more to say, but not enough time to write (which I know is a problem). however I wanted to shared out this move – “Meet the Patels” .    I recommend that you watch this, not for the humor factor, but for the core message of the movie.    If you keep searching for something it may be right in front of you already.     I laughed, I cried and I enjoyed this beyond the face value of the movie, but the message.

I am extremely thankful for recent activities and I need to share that out.   It’s just going to take a me awhile to write it with due diligence.


Until then.  Happy Surfing! Happy Living!   ENJOY the journey..


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Trifecta of thoughts

What a great week this has been, Not sure I would have said that on Thursday, but here goes..   I started this week with a sleepless night Sunday due to a critical Monday 8 AM meeting.   The meeting went better than expected and was a major highlight to the last 12 months of work.  However, I was quick to move past it and get right into action (no less than 3 mins after the meeting finished).    From that point forward the week had a lot of challenges, meetings galore and I really needed some down time when it came to Thursday afternoon.  Soo.  I made a game time call to take Friday afternoon off from Noon on..  but yet I still didn’t relax like I should have, I was over ran with work thoughts, planning, thinking, turning, the gears were in full force and it took me over 4 hours to really get into relaxation zone.   Of course at that point it was time to pick up my son and start the weekend of activity..

(I’ll get to the title of this blog at some point– keep reading).

My son & I went off to his basketball game and he has really started to learn how to play ball so much more than last session. He made an epic shot, blocked so many times and then made a foul happen, which I think was just funny stuff.   It was so awesome to see him play, see him getting fired up and how he handled getting a foul.  I am so proud of him.   He reminds me of his older bro & sister that display the same temperament when faced with challenges.   Now, let me tell you when I go to games that I don’t coach I usually put on some tunes and get lost in the game w/o hearing the other parents coach from the stands.   However, this time was different the parents were quiet, the only cheering was when the shots were good and the support was amazing.  but yet I was still rolling some Boys n the hood and then my son hit the EPIC shot, I cheered and the big dude next to me put hist fist out..  of course I gave him a fist bump, but it was funny that there were no words shared, no dialogue.. just a fist bump.   I cranked up the tunes louder in my ears and rocked til the end of the game.   They did great. yah they won, but the team work was all that counts from what I saw.

Let’s continue on..    As I woke up today I took a moment to reflect on the week, the highs, the ultra highs, the lows, the challenges and I remembered from my coaching, reading and practicing that I struggled this week in all reality on meditation, I took very little time to reflect, to be present in every situation and to make a difference in others lives.  I could have done more.   Will somebody say that to me?  nope..  Will somebody say – Josh why didn’t you?  nope..   because it’s my internal compass, my north star that drives me internally.   But I know and will do more this week to make a bigger difference.   Let’s be clear, this is not about completing out tasks, this is about inspiring others, be present in every dialogue, letting conversations flow like a waterfall and letting each sensation be understood…whether is anger, disrespect, love, irritation, joy, etc..   With that in mind as I went book shopping with my son, I took it very slow, letting each step be mindful, breathing and sensing my presence.   The trip was awesome, we talked about school, yugioh (SP), movies and what he was reading in school.  He’s so interested in his reading it makes me happy.     He specifically picked up a book “The Little Prince” and started reading it immediately, it was a book mentioned in a book they are reading in class.  So after we got home, we both read for an hour and then decided to watch the movie.  It was good, sad, but also very relevant in it’s message.   What was the message for me?  Trust your heart, your heart will see clearly vs. your eyes.

So. whats’ the trifecta (Yes I can use that word how I want)..

  1.   I lived through the week, I didn’t enjoy the journey as much as I could have
  2.   I could have been more present and made a difference in the folks around me
  3.   Listen to your heart and don’t get confused by the visualizations in front of you.

Not just the order, but the sequence of these are key..    Journey, Presence, Listen.

As I challenge myself next week to do more progress on each of the three items above, I challenge you to join me on this quest.

Happy Saturday folks.   I know I’m about to get outside again and have some reflection time..    Let’s do it!!!


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Hilliker Strong!

Today, my oldest accidentally “Facetimed me” and I was so happy to see him.   He’s busy rocking his career and achieving his goals.    My daughter is almost done w/ HS (booyah!) and the lil guy (not so little) is learning so much at school around technology that makes me ecstatic for his journey ahead.

So why call this blog “Hilliker strong?”  Well in the thicket of lifes challenges my oldest said..  “Dad we are Hilliker Strong” and it has stuck with me every day.   Regardless of lifes challenges we move forward, we see the good in all situations and we stay as a positive light.

When my oldest was about 16 he created this sketch.    This is just the start of it..


I took his final picture and created the best INK project ever.   I continue to think about it to this day..   Not backing down from you feelings, letting them flow and staying strong on your principles.   Tonight my dad continued this theme for me.  He said that my grandmother (belle) that I loved every moment I spent with her was so passionate & strong for my uncles & aunt that she would take a bullet for them.  I know this to be true after hearing my uncles stories about their childhood and how Grandma Belle was “Hilliker Strong”.   I believe that this character, this trait, this feeling is part of my DNA.

I know my journey continues to be rocky, but when the road is less traveled it is the higher ground, it is the place less will travel.   I remain confident that my journey is about asking questions, thinking and connecting the dots in everything.

Let’s rock baby!

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If I wrote a book what would I title it?

I have been thinking a lot more about writing a book.  I was thinking of focusing on my journey, my past and my present.  Thinking of tips on how to navigate crazy waters, fun work challenges and lifes normal challenges.   The big question is what would I call it?  would I make it theme based?   I just don’t know..  so until then I will keep writing and see where this path takes me.

Have a great day folks.  Hope you are out there enjoying it..


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Price of happiness

I know it’s been a while since I last posted, therefore this may take a few to read.   I have been busy with work, life & finding my center that it has been a ride.   So where to start…   well, let’s start with Monday this week.   I’m headed to Nut Tree in the morning to finish my last Executive Coaching Session.  Over the last 12 months with my coach I have learned a lot, reflected much, defined my blindspots and worked on this actively to achieve success.   I finally understand the thing that has driven me to so hard for success, but yet in the last 5 years has held me back from pure happiness.   What is it?  well.  that’s a long conversation best had over a craft beer & pub grub.    Do I think I’m on my way to greater success?  yes, I do!   I believe that the future ahead is even brighter than the past.    I honestly feel that I should really write the book that I started 15 years ago and now I have had so many diverse life activities that I should really get back to writing it and make it something that lives on.

How’s the water lately?   Great question.   I went out two weeks back, it was good (Lake Clementine) and the water was not as cold as I expected it to be.   It felt good to get wet.   Now I am setting my sights back on getting into the ocean for some longboard surfing.   I know the shark reports keep climbing, but it’s so low of odds, I think I’d win the lottery first than getting shanked by a shark.

Let’s get in deeper .. shall we?    This last few months has been a beast for me.   Work pressure is up, financial pressure is rearing up, missing my two oldest and interacting with them daily.  I have had many hours of deep thoughts of the past to reconcile my feelings, especially on my prior marriages and why what happened, happened.   I am more centered that I have been in my life and the time alone has brought me much peace along with self realizations to help reconcile the pain, hurt, distrust and emotions.   All of these self realizations help with the constant attacks from the past, feelings from the current and knowing who I am to stand the battle.

Let’s talk about what I am grateful for:

  • My kids, my family, my parents, my friends, my new friends, my co -workers, fellow travelers on this life path I’m on.
  • The water and it’s healing affects on me.  from the ocean, lakes, pool..   just being at one with the water.
  • I’m happy for lifes experiences that have made me stronger, more flexible, and more patient.

I have heard many times the last few years, that It’s crazy the amount of stuff I have gone thru and I’m still positive.  I agree.   It’s been a sh&& show at times, but I am grateful for being raised by awesome parents that have helped me stay to course on being me, being confident in who I am and not letting others kick me down.  I have made some interesting decisions the last couple of years as I navigated these new waters and some of them I’m not proud of myself for, but it was part of the growing, learning & moving forward that I needed to do, which has taken me a long time to come to terms with this very thing..   If you don’t feel pain, then you aren’t growing.  If you don’t stand up for yourself then you get caught in the same path that you have been on before.   Pain = Grow = Moving forward!

So what is the price of happiness?   Being bullish on who you are, what you want and be true to your heart.   Recently I read the book 10% Happier, thank you to KBur for the recommendation.  It was a great audio book and I highly recommend taking the 8+ hours to listen to it.  I have read a # of meditation books and this is in the top of the list as it brings together a lot of the books I have already read and the author does a great job of giving his insight as he went through his journey.  What I learned from this book is what i call back to basics, monitoring your breathing, know that your thoughts will pass quickly, therefore don’t give into thoughts vs. just recognizing that they are happening.   Just because you feel anger, sadness, etc.. it does not mean that is who you are.   I.e. Don’t let your struggle become your identity.     Another realization is that for a bit i was doing just this, everything that I talked about, worked on, etc.. was all about my struggle vs. living.  I am past that period of time now and can see better that it ate me up, it made me a different person, one that I am not happy about.   But I understand that now.   So..  I move forward.  I keep focused on my family, my health, my work and building strong friendships.



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Steak today? – Karma just smacked me like a wet towel

Good morning all.   Let’s start by going back a few years for this story.   One day I went to the cafe in the office and there were these amazing small steak bites they had in the burrito line.  It was my first time eating steak like that (yah.. long story folks on this one..) and it was so delicious.  I remember thinking wow, I’ve been missing out all these years.  Soooo..  from that day forward I ask the cafe guy – “Steak today?” and over the last 2 years it has been kinda of a joke.  I ask, he says no, then i get chicken and move on.   Well, finally they had steak on Tuesday, this week, and of course I said “give me the SUPER burrito full of beans, steak and sauce”.  It was so big that even the aluminum foil wrapper couldn’t cover it all.   I was beyond excited as you can imagine.  I mean who doesn’t want a 1LB burrito of steak.    I sat down in the cafe and enjoyed every minute of that burrito – it was as you can imagine – tasty, filling, impressive..

At this point – you’re probably thinking.. okay.  Karma? Wet towel?  what’s up?

Well, I got home Tuesday after taking my son to Suicide Squad (which was absolutely amazing) and I had major pain in my foot, like HOLY **** pain.  I could barely walk on it and something was not right.  I called the Dr. weds morning, luckily was able to get an apt 30 mins later (very rare). I headed into the dr’s and the dr. said “NO STEAK for YOU!”.   Huh?  I’m sorry one more time…  She asked me..   Have you had red meat/steak in the last few days – more than normal? (duh – of course 1LB of it baby), she then asked.. have you had beans lately (duh – that burrito needed a friend called pinto beans), then she said – have you had more beer than normal – (duh I was camping with growlers all weekend)..  so then she said..   well.  No Steak! light on the beans! and how about stop drinking beer! (this is when I said NFW).  she said okay..  just don’t drink a bunch of growlers okay.. (seriously I didn’t have growlers of beer – just a few glasses of a new IPA from Truckee ).

So…..   Here I am on Meds + Pain meds for this darn foot, slowing me down for a few days and thinking..    This is my karma for asking every single day “Steak today?”.   Now when I get back to work I’m going to tell my cafe friend – I can’t eat steak so now we are back to just chicken………

So.. like a wet towel smack, My rein w/ steak was short lived and yah.    Hold the beans! Hold the steak!


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TIME OUT – no Really – why does time alone help?

Okay.. not time out, but time alone.  Part of peeling the onion on the HOW to live my truth is also accepting the fact when I need time alone to reboot, think, process, unpack my brain. In the past I have felt guilty about this and thought it was not something I needed.  However, I was wrong, time alone is important and as I start to accept this, I start to embrace what I need.

I spent time this evening thinking about this topic as I was unpacking my mind on H20 thru the narrow channel @ Uppers.    Here’s the best post I found on why time alone is important..  Full credit to Psychology today – from 2012 – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201201/6-reasons-you-should-spend-more-time-alone .

let me recap the top items.


1. Solitude allows you to reboot yourbrain and unwind. Constantly being “on” doesn’t give your brain a chance to rest and replenish itself. Being by yourself with no distractions gives you the chance to clear your mind, focus, and think more clearly. It’s an opportunity to revitalize your mind and body at the same time.

2. Solitude helps to improve concentration and increase productivityWhen you remove as many distractions and interruptions as you can from your day, you are better able to concentrate, which will help you get more work done in a shorter amount of time.

3. Solitude gives you an opportunity to discover yourself and find your own voice.When you’re a part of a group, you’re more likely to go along with what the group is doing or thinking, which isn’t always the actions you would take or the decisions you would make if you were on your own.

4. Solitude provides time for you to think deeply. Day to day responsibilities and commitments can make your to-do list seem as if it has no end. This constant motion prevents you from engaging in deep thought, which inhibits creativity and lessens productivity.

5. Solitude helps you work through problems more effectively. It’s hard to think of effective solutions to problems when you’re distracted by incoming information, regardless of whether that information is electronic or human.

6. Solitude can enhance the quality of your relationships with others. By spending time with yourself and gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you desire in life, you’re more likely to make better choices about who you want to be around. You also may come to appreciate your relationships more after you’ve spent some time alone.

I think Psychology today hit the nail right on the head.   Solitude matters, getting your brain in check matters.   Relationships can have higher quality if you spend time alone.

So.. let’s keep peeling the onion, shall we?   Are you with me?

What other benefits are there of having time alone?


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How do you “live your truth”?


Here are my first starting steps for me:

  • Remove the past mementos and give them away – maybe it will help another w/o the baggage involved
  • Do what you want to do.. for me.. if I want to go SUP – I go SUP, if I want to camp, I go.  If I have parental responsibility then I do what my kids need me to do.. (taxi, etc..)
  • Don’t beat yourself up for past mistakes, burning up relationships, not being compassionate, etc.. Just learn from it..   I had the opportunity this weekend to really dig deep into my brain and heart around the past.   I realized that I was still holding on to much from the past, why things happened the way they did, what could I have done better, and it hit me pretty hard that I need to let that all go.   While I thought I had already done that, it was just surface stuff, however deeper into the brain & heart I see more.  My path has been a bit rocky, meeting new people, having new experiences, some good, some EPIC, some not so good, however through it all, it is about exploring, learning and then becoming a better person.
  • Create your personal growth plan (Personal, Work) – what are your goals? Even if there is a lot of clutter, think 2-3 years out, what is the plan.  For me I have started to rethink my plans, where do I want to be for my kids as they finish out school, where do I want to go after, what are the enabling blocks that I will need to put in place.  For work, it’s a matter of finishing the story on what legacy will I leave in the next 5-15 years at the company.   What legacy can I leave, how will I be remembered.
  • Get healthy – well this is rough one, when you love hops, but I’m trying to balance this out. Do my workouts outside as much as possible in the water and then figure out what I need to augment the time with.
  • EAT – I know this sounds wonky, but figure out my eating plan. (it aligns to get healthy).   What are the foods that my body needs and how often so I can be fueled up for any challenges ahead.
  • Don’t’ react. This personally has been the hardest for me, when hit w/ work stress, relationship stress, financial stress, competing priorities I am now not responding to it for 24 hours.   I’m letting it diffuse and give the time it needs to process, think and respond in the best manner possible.   I used to call this blue screening 6 years back as I could have my whole day blown up based on one call from my X.   I know try my hardest to not respond until after 24 hours (unless there’s a life on the line), otherwise it can wait.   Time & Distance work wonders on everything.

That’s it for today, I’m sure there’s more to come on this topic and more exploring for me to do.

Thank you for listening..


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Live your “truth”

What a great few weeks, felt like I have been on turbo mode, from New Mexico, Houston, Hollywood, Truckee and of course Nor Cal (home base) in between.   What can I say.    It’s been a long & good summer.   My youngest & I finished our summer to do list, I saw my oldest in Houston and then had a few opts to see my daughter throughout which was really cool.

So.. what’s up w/ the blog title josh?  Well…   On one of my trips this last month I was sitting a table of co-workers and this one gal completely out of fun said “live your truth” to me.  It was a joke, because of a fun night before & a great dialogue on the table (for another blog – maybe..).   But it was a joke, but I have spent more time thinking about that very phrase ever since.   Live your truth.  What does that mean?   I think it is completely subjective and means so many different things based on where you are at on your journey.   What does it mean to me?  well..   I think it means be who I am, be open, be direct, love, laugh, cry, try new things to help know what I want in life.    It also means don’t let your struggle be your identity.  I know the past sucks, it hurts and it does crop up once and again to make me say “ugh”.. but it’s just that.. It’s where I have been not where I am going.

So what know?  I’ll continue to live, love, enjoy life to the fullest and be happy.  If I am not I will be direct, remove myself and set a new course.    I think we all are empowered to make this call and be happy.

okay. in other news, I went camping, it was FUN and I think I know now what I need to get to finish out my camping family plan / list.   Thank you ZINWINEDAD for the opportunity to crash on your camp site and enjoy the amazing friends you have.

Cheers..  (NO TURNT AF – just cheers)






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