The light is so much brighter when we’re in the dark.


The light is so much brighter when we’re in the dark. For it’s darkness that makes us appreciate the light. The challenges of life and the evils of humankind should make us even more grateful for what positive things we have in our lives, and the many good people there are among us. Let the force of darkness motivate us to maximize our daily practice of love and compassion.

Sending my warmest aloha,

Jon Riki Karamatsu

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Path to true love may start with your BFF


Path to true love may start with your BFF. With Valentine’s Day near, here is a nice CNN article on how important it is to have an intimate partner who is also your best friend. According to the article, “Friends enjoy spending time together, share similar interests, take care of each other, trust each other and feel a lasting bond between them. It isn’t a coincidence that these all happen to be qualities that also define successful intimate relationships.”

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/13/health/relationship-date-best-friend-partner/index.html

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Tim Ferriss on Depression and Thoughts of Suicide.


Linked below is an article on depression and suicide by Tim Ferris, an entrepreneur, investor, author, and podcast host who has studied and practiced self-improvement strategies and techniques that we can all incorporate into our daily lives in our quest for happiness. He is well known for his book “The Four-Hour Workweek” and his latest book “Tools of the Titans” is in the market.

All of us from time to time will face challenges that will make us sad, hurt, disappointed, and even angry. However, Tim Ferris, like my other favorite entrepreneurs/self-improvement coaches James Altucher and Marie Forleo – they encourage us to practice daily habits that make us positive and productive human beings.

In this article, Ferris wrote: 

Most “superheroes” are nothing of the sort. They’re weird, neurotic creatures who do big things DESPITE lots of self-defeating habits and self-talk.

Here are some of my coping mechanisms for making it through the day:

1) Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. E-mail is the mind killer.

2) Make a cup of tea (I like pu-erh like this) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper.

3) Write down the 3-5 things — and no more — that are making you most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually = most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict.

4) For each item, ask yourself:

– “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?”
– “Will moving this forward make all the other to-do’s unimportant or easier to knock off later?”

5) Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions.

6) Block out at 2-3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow.

7) TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2-3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work.

8) If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.

9) Physically MOVE for at least 20 minutes each day. Go for a long walk, lift weights, take a free online yoga class (YouTube), anything. Ideally, get outside. I was once asked by friend for advice on overcoming debilitating stress. The answer I repeated over and over again was: “Remember to EXERCISE daily. That is 80% of the battle.”

10) Follow a diet that prevents wild blood sugar swings. This means avoiding grains and refined carbohydrates most of the time. I follow the slow-carb diet with one cheat day per week and have done so for 10+ years. Paleo also works great. Don’t forget to eat plenty of fat. High protein and low fat can give you low-grade symptoms of rabbit starvation.

11) Schedule at least one group dinner with friends per week. Get it on the calendar no later than 5pm on Monday. Ideal to have at least three people, but two is still great medicine.

12) Take a minute each day to call or email someone to express gratitude of some type. Consider someone you haven’t spoken with in a long time. It can be a one-line text or a 5-second voicemail.

Congratulations! That’s it.

Those are the rules I use, and they help steer the ship in the right direction.

Routines are the only way I can feel “successful” despite my never-ending impulse to procrastinate, hit snooze, nap, and otherwise fritter away my days with bullshit. If I have 10 “important” things to do in a day, I’ll feel overwhelmed, and it’s 100% certain nothing important will get done that day. On the other hand, I can usually handle 1 must-do item and block out my lesser behaviors for 2-3 hours a day.

And when — despite your best efforts — you feel like you’re losing at the game of life, never forget: Even the best of the best feel this way sometimes. When I’m in the pit of despair with new book projects, I recall what iconic writer Kurt Vonnegut said about his process: “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.”

Don’t overestimate the world and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.

Tim Ferris’ link to his article is here: https://www.google.com/amp/tim.blog/2015/05/06/how-to-commit-suicide/amp/

“Failure” and “success” are both wins because we made an effort to embark on a journey by working on an opportunity. What makes “failure” and “success” both a win is when we appreciate what we’ve learned, the skills we’ve developed, and the people we’ve built relationships with. So even on our hardest day when we feel worthless, like Ferris wrote, we can list the things that are making us anxious, and choose to work on that one thing that would make us feel accomplished for the day and make all the other things on our list less important or easier to knock off later. Exercise, meditate, write our goals down, listen to music, take a walk, spend times with positive friends, or do an activity that will boost our happy chemicals and make us feel more accomplished. The small wins and accomplishments mean a lot, because when we achieve many of these small wins, we will eventually achieve the huge wins! On our goods days, we could rack up a dozen or more wins a day, but on our toughest day, even if we just make an effort to accomplish one very important task, that is a super huge win – huge! 

Sincerely,

Jon Riki Karamatsu 

 

 

 

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Burial Service For Michael Oasay.



This morning of January 24, 2017 from 10:30 A.M. I attended the burial service for my friend Michael Oasay Hawaii Veterans Cemetary at Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii. It was performed with military honors by the Hawaii Air National Guard that included the presentation of the U.S. flag to Mike’s wife Yvonne and a gun salute. Rev. Nakano of Jodo Mission of Hawaii conducted the service with a chant for Mike and a sermon on how Mike will always be with us. 

I got to be friends with Michael Oasay because he, his younger brother Leighton, and I are Eagle Scouts from the Boy Scouts program at Troop 75 in Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii. Leighton and I are the same age and three years younger than Mike. The three of us attended Pearl City Highlands Elementary School, Pearl City Highlands Intermediate School, and Pearl City High School.

Mike served in the Hawaii Air National Guard and worked for Hawaiian Electric Company for many years. He is survived by his wife Yvonne, children Jacqueline, Steven, Andrew, and Sean; parents Manuel and Carol Oasay, and younger brother Leighton Oasay.

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Goodbye Stretch


Thank you for all of your warm thoughts and comments for Stretch. He passed away this morning at his home around 9 AM, 1/19/2017 after my dad had a chance to comfort him by talking to him and petting him. I last saw him alive late last night. I got to talk to him, let him, and rub my nose onto his nose. A couple of times, I placed my face next to his face and told him how much I loved him, and how much our family loved him. This is the last picture I took of Stretch as we kept him warm with the roof of his dog house. This morning, my dad and I carried him into the car, and with my mom, we took him to the veterinarian to be cremated. With heartfelt thanks, I send my love to you all.

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Stretchy Boy


Stretch or Stretchy Boy as we like to call him is slowly fading out. He’s more relaxed now compared to earlier so he’s spending his last moments at home. I’ve been sitting by him this afternoon and this evening. I don’t want him to go, but I know it is near. Through him, I appreciate life, and make an effort to be mindful of all the good things I have in my life, especially the simple pleasures of life like being around those you love. For Stretch, he was always so happy to see us, enjoyed walks, going to the beach, and his favorite foods. He reminds me of the importance of loving others in the purest form as he demonstrated it towards us. I love Stretch with all of my heart.

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Opening day of the 2017 Hawaii Legislative Session.


Opening ceremonies of the 2017 Hawaii Legislative Session on January 18, 2017.

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