Category Archives: Journal

Write down all the good things that happened in your day.


Write down all the good things that happened in your day.

Write down all the good things that happened in your day.

Write down all the good things that happened in your day. By doing this, you’ll get boosts of good feelings. This daily practice also reminds you of all the wonderful things in your life.

Enter the +positive masters+ universe at www.positivemasters.com for mindset practices, motivational writing, and apparel with inspirational mantras and designs to boost your happiness and counter any stress, anxiety, sadness, or anger that you may be facing.

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I’ve got more chapters to write.


When I sleep, I fall into darkness.

Soldiers attack and shoot me.

Dead people come back.

They go about like it’s nothing.

I fight to wake up.

Dark shadows won’t let me.

They chase me.

I tell my sleepy body to move but I can’t.

They’re pleased. Now they have me.

I’ve got more chapters to write.

Every word creates light.

So I write and write and write . . .

until I wake up to the sunlight.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Poem, 3/26/19 –

#poem #poems #poetry #writing #writings #creativewriting #storytelling #story #stories #suspense #quote #quotes #reader #novel #fiction #nonfiction #writer #darkness #nightmare #death #ghosts #spirits #dream #afterlife #keepgoing #motivated #hustle #life #business #career

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Just My Soul and I


Just my soul and I.

We talk and laugh.

Sometimes we cry.

We travel to the heavens with visions.

Clips of action of what could be.

We don’t need much.

Only ideas on how to get there.

Because we’re relentless in getting there.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Poem, 3/17/19 –

#poem #poems #poetry #poet #poets #writing #writings #creativewriting #writer #writers #author #authors #fiction #nonfiction #novel #novels #book #books #quote #quotes #motivational #inspirational #emotions #selfdevelopment #selfimprove #selfhelp #mindset #positivemindset #lookwithin #mentalhealth #mindfulness #mindful #grateful #thankful #gratitude

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I Dream of you. Do you too?


Love lost and love gained.

I dream of you. Do you too?

Love this kind of pain.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Haiku Poem No. 218, 3/14/19 –

#haiku #haikus #haikupoem #haikupoems #haikupoetry #poem #poems #poetry #poet #poets #writing #writings #creativewriting #quote #quotes #lovequote #lovequotes #writer #writers #author #authors #love #romance #heartache #heartbreak #brokenheart #pain #emotionalpain #romantic #lovestory #lovestories #story #stories #dream #nonfiction #fiction #novel #novels #book #books #motivation #iloveyou

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Missing My Aunty JoAnn Matsumoto


With the passing of my aunty JoAnn Matsumoto on February 1, 2019 due to pneumonia, I’ve fallen deeper into sadness. I feel an emptiness in my soul. Everyday I practice gratitude, mindfulness, meditation, creative writing, and my many other positive practices to keep moving forward. Nothing seems to matter to me except for those I love and my fiction and nonfiction writing for my far-reaching entertainment company. Everything in the stories I create embodies what my aunty JoAnn was: loving, caring, compassionate, emphatic, and positive. All my worse problems are small in comparison to losing my aunty. I would go to prison for my driving under the influence charge and lose more money with start-ups to have her back.

Yesterday, March 7, 2019, I attended the funeral services for my aunty JoAnn. She’s my mom’s cousin. She was like a sister for my mom Laraine and her sisters aunty Jamie and aunty Maydeen and brother Wilson because she stayed with them and their parents when she moved to Oahu for college from Hawaii island and spent so much time with them up to her recent passing.

My friends, cherish every moment with your loved ones. Them being with us makes our problems small. We can always make our comeback but we can’t get our loved ones back in physical form once they’re gone. We can always find ways to make money but that stuff doesn’t impact us the way good people do. I love you all. May peace be with you.

#aunty #aunt #joannmatsumoto #loving #caring #compassionate #emphatic #positive #family #lovedones #sadness #emptiness #suffering #life #career #business #entrepreneurship #prioritize #whatisimportant #timeisprecious #writing #fiction #nonfiction #creativewriting #healsmysoul #mindset #positivemindset #loveyou

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Keep writing the story of your life!


Keep writing the story of your life!!! Next chapter!!!

#business #law #entrepreneurship #aviation #construction #entertainment #concerts #writing #novels #books #exercise #love #romance #friends #family #life #peace #hawaii #world #quote #quotes

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It Understands Me


My laptop listens.

I spill my thoughts and feelings.

It understands me.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Haiku Poem #86, 11/21/2017 –

#haiku #haikupoem #haikupoems #haikupoetry #poem #poems #poetry #quote #quotes #writing #creativewriting #books #novels #nonfiction #dreams #goals #strategy #selfdevelopment #business #law #entrepreneurship #life #death #love #sadness #peace #innerpeace #happiness #macbookpro #apple #laptop #beatsheadset #beats #mindfulness #gratitude

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A Sparrow Came to Speak to Me


A little brown sparrow came to me on my window sill. It chirped to me comforting words, “Right now the sun is shining and the trees are swaying. I am here and everything seems to be alright. But at night, I will be gone, and they will come for you. Darkness has won here. Close your eyes and go back to your world. She will be waiting for you in the garden by the stream, sitting on the bench under the cherry blossom tree. You know who I am talking about.”

The bird hopped along and faced its back towards me at the edge, ready to launch into flight.

“Wait, why are you telling me this?” I asked.

The sparrow twitched his head backwards at me and chirped, “Because you created us. We want you to see the beauty of what you’ve done for us. The people here don’t know who you really are, but we do. Don’t give up on us just because of the pain you’re feeling here.”

He turned his head back forward and took off into flight, flying high above the coconut trees, becoming smaller and smaller until he became a speck and disappeared.

I wiped away a tear that trickled down my cheek. I knew what he meant, and I understood what I had to do.

#fiction #novel #novels #shortstory #creativewriting #writing #book #books #author #jonrikikaramatsu

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Imaginary World


It becomes real when we make our imaginary world something others can feel. 

#imagination #imaginary #imaginaryworld #fantasy #fantasyworld #real #reality #feel #dream #dreams #thought #thoughts #writing #writings #quote #quotes #jonrikikaramatsu #jonriki

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How do we deal with negative people?


How do we deal with negative people? My practice is to stay professional with them, do what we have to do, and get out as soon as we are done. Negative people are not happy with their lives so they take it out on others, or are numb to other people’s feelings. Sure, they swear and yell at us, or do bad things in front of us or behind our back, but the best way to live is always with positivity and happiness. Surround ourselves with positive people and the law of attraction will do its part. Hopefully, in time, those who are negative will awaken and find peace within themselves, and in turn share empathy and compassion with others. #peace #innerpeace #empathy #compassion #positivity #positiveliving #quote #quotes #awakening #awakening #karma #lawofattraction #forgive #forgiveness #buddhism #bodhisattva #awaken #nirvana #happiness #love #practice #habits #habit #domesticpeace #worldpeace #aloha 

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Succeed, Fail, and Come Back


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Let’s succeed, fail, and come back.  Anytime we take action on a goal, we expose ourselves to attack and even failure, but the rewards are tremendous in that we gain ideas, knowledge, skills, relationships, and heck, even success.  I say succeed until you fail, and fail until you succeed because the comebacks are some of the best feelings ever!

Since I was a child, my parents have always encouraged me to try many things. “If you don’t try, you will never know” was the lesson I learned.  So I participated in many sports, school clubs, and community organizations.  When I grew up, I went after my goals in law, politics, and business.  I even made an effort in my love life.  Did I win?  Yes, many times, but I also had my share of losses.  I’ll tell you a few of my experiences.

When I was attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1995, I broke up with my first girlfriend.  I was so sad that my grade point average plummeted from a B average to a D average at which time I was placed on probation.  If I didn’t raise my grade point average, I would be kicked out of the university.  I went to visit one of the university’s counselors.  “What do you want to be?” she asked.

“I want to be a lawyer,” I answered.

She looked down at my grades on the transcript and then she looked back at me. “Do you like working with people?”

“Yes.”

“Why don’t you become a social worker?”

I was quiet. I wonder what my expression may have looked like?

For the next couple of years, I attained mostly all “A”s for every semester except for a few “B”s here and there.  I brought by grade point average back up to a B average and graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a B.A. in Political Science.

In 2001, I ended up attending Gonzaga University School of Law and graduating with my J.D., passing the Hawaii State Bar Association’s examination, and today, I’m a lawyer.

In politics, I ran for a Hawaii State House seat in 2002 for a community I was unfamiliar with.  I was told that I would likely lose because two of the so-called front-runner opponents were well-known and professionally established.  I was only twenty-seven years old, just out of law school with very little experience, and no name recognition.  Plus, the demographics were not in my favor, and another opponent was young like me with a similar background so we would cancel each other out.  However, I had typed out my strategy and platform for bettering Hawaii many years before while in college so I was mentally prepared.  My front-runner opponents bragged about their experience while I focused on what I was going to achieve for our community and the State of Hawaii.  To counter my opponents’ name recognition, I walked door-to-door around my district 3 times, which was about 20,000 visitation of homes until I burned holes in my pants from the constant rubbing of my bag filled with brochures.  I won the House seat by a good margin.

Years later in 2010, I ran for the Lieutenant Governor’s race and loss, but the newly elected Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro recruited me to become a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and Legislative Liaison because he had watched me in action as the House Judiciary Chairman as I took on very controversial issues like same-sex marriage while he was an attorney with my Senate counterpart, his good friend who I had some disagreements with but I alway tried to be professional with him.

In 2015, I resigned from the Honolulu Prosecutor’s office because of a driving under the influence charge, which I have won the civil side of the case in 2016 because of false information and wrong-doings by the police, but still awaiting an appeal from the higher court on the criminal side of the case after a district court judge ruled that my testimony was not credible, which did not make sense because I didn’t testify in the trial.  Despite it being a traffic crime, he sentenced me to prison with maximum fines and community service, much more than what I’ve seen when I litigated criminal cases such as assault.

Instead of worrying about my legal woes, I dedicated 100% of my efforts into the private sector.  I had ended my Internet retail business in 2012 after 10 years but I was still involved with a couple of business partners in an event production company since 2014.  I then helped to build a night club, assisted an agricultural company in its goal to build a value-added agricultural processing plant, joined a team to build an aviation company, partnered with another group to build a consulting company for foreign investors, and several other projects.  Meanwhile, in my role as a litigating and transactional attorney, I took on a few clients who were undergoing a business partnership split.  In my 2 years since leaving government, I experienced a business partner who took all the money and left the rest of us with nothing, another who didn’t sign an agreement that would give me a tiny share of the company after I helped build it, and another who had child custody legal issues so the company was placed on hold.  To some, these losses could be seen as a failure.  I may have not made money from these ventures, however, I gained a lot of skills, built new relationships, and have come up with ideas for when I make my return to these sectors.  There are many “wins” within such failures.

On the bright side, the aviation company and consulting company for foreign investors are moving forward with business partners that make a great team, and I’m still working on my creative writing projects and taking on some legal work.  With any start-up company, there is a risk of losing time and money, but there is also the opportunity to create new services and products that will generate more jobs and revenue for our community.  It is for these reasons that I continue my journey in these arenas.

Both “success” and “failure” are just as important.  Wins are fun, but if we always got what we wanted in life, we wouldn’t appreciate it as much, and life would become boring.  For it is the experiences of the journey that makes us appreciate the wins.  We gain ideas, knowledge, skills, and relationships regardless if we succeed or fail, therefore, by the looks of it, we still win even when we lose.

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Success is a journey, not a destination.


Past midnight on April 22, 2017, I re-read Bruce Lee’s Wisdom for the Way book.

 #brucelee #quote #quotes #inspirationalquotes #inspiration #success #successquotes #journey #gratitude #grateful #mindfulness #mindful #philosophy #motivation #motivationalquotes #motivationwave

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Gratitude Prayer and Meditation.


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I like to do a gratitude prayer to the universe in the morning, followed by a meditation. I start off by lighting a pair of candles on a display with stones and an oil diffuser. Then I start an app on my smartphone that plays soothing sounds of water and calming instrumental music.

In my gratitude prayer, I express my thanks for my loved ones, the ability to experience life, useful things I have, the beauty of nature, and much more. Throughout the day, I would continue to be thankful for many things.

I meditate by clearing my thoughts and breathing slowly. After some minutes in emptiness, I envision what I will accomplish for the day.

To practice this, all you need is ten minutes, but you can always go longer. It’s a good way to start your day with positivity and clarity. Sometimes I do a gratitude prayer and meditation at night or whenever I need to stabilize my soul after facing some challenges. There are studies that show how gratitude and meditation practices reduces stress and benefits your overall health. Have fun with your gratitude and meditation practice! Aloha!

20170421_004724#gratitude #prayer #meditation #peace #innerpeace #domesticpeace #worldpeace #buddhism #compassion #love #happiness

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Walk with me, I want to show you my world.


“Walk with me. I want to show you my world.”  We left the Japanese garden filled with pink cherry blossom trees that lined along the beautiful clear stream. The green grass carpet that was similar to the type at luxurious golf courses, turned into dirt, rocks, and weeds. I led Kaylee into the forest as the sun began to set behind the tall tree-line. It became darker as we proceeded further into the forest, but golden rays from the sun seeped through the many branches high above. These spotlights guided us along the trail.

I grabbed Kaylee’s hand and pulled her with me off of the walking path. We cut through ferns and brush. I made sure I took the brunt of the leaves and stems that rubbed against us. Once we got out of the wild growth of the forest we reached a large circular patch of wild grass with small yellow flowers scattered throughout it. In the center was a green mound, like a miniature mountain. I smiled at her. “We’re here.”

Her eyes fixated on the grass hill. She turned to me with a grin. “How did you find this place?”

“I needed to escape. They show us what they want us to see. But oftentimes there’s beauty hidden. Sort of like what society expects from us. So I walked out of the beautiful man-made park and found this. I meditate on top of that grassy hill regularly.”

Kaylee kicked off her sandals. “Let’s go!” she blurted. She ran ahead towards the mound. I chased after her, but had to stop when my wallet flew out of my front pocket. I picked it up, placed it back in my pocket, and continued running after her. Her light white dress flew up with the breeze as she skimmed through the many yellow flowers. I got close to catching up to her but she beat me by a couple seconds as we hopped onto the top of the little mountain. We breathed in and out heavily from our sprint. I bent over with a hand on each knee. From the side of my body I felt an impact, and ended up falling onto my back with Kaylee on top of me. I took a couple of breaths that I had lost from the fall. “Why do you always do this to me?”

She laughed, “I like to knock you down and be on top. It’s a new era. It’s time for us girls to run the world.”

I chuckled. “Yes. You girls are intimidating. That’s why I was scared to meet you.”

“You were?”

“Very.”

“Well I’m glad you got the courage to approach me.”

“Me too.” I felt a few small drops of water land on my arms. I looked at the sky, which looked pinkish with the remaining light of the sun glowing onto the puffy white clouds that formed above us. “I think it’s going to rain. Do you want to go under the trees?”

She shook her head in disagreement. “Let’s stay here.” More clouds moved above us and they unleashed their reserves on us with many huge drops of rain. Our clothes became so drenched that they wrapped the form of our bodies. Still on top of me, Kaylee’s wet dangling hair dripped water onto my face. She gently pushed my bangs that covered my eyes to the side, and slowly lowered her face towards mine until our lips met.

 

 

 

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Watch “109-Year-Old Veteran and His Secrets to Life Will Make You Smile | Short Film Showcase” on YouTube


This video on Mr. Richard Arvin Overton touched my heart. He’s someone I would love to have as a friend. Some of Mr. Overton’s traits reminds me of my late friend and mentor, Senator Nadao “Najo” Yoshinaga who served in the 100th Battalion during World War II, became a lawyer, and served in elected politics in Hawaii for 20 years from 1954 to 1974, changing much of our discriminatory laws, making healthcare and education more readily available, and supporting economic development. Najo passed away on December 29, 2009 at age 90.

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I know when you’re around.


I know when you’re around because I know that sound – the sound of your heart.

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Stories Within Stories


I jumped into my old gun metal truck and drove to my late night hang-out, a coffee shop on the top of the hill above my house, after one of those weeks that furiously flew by. I pulled into the parking lot, and right in front of the coffee shop was a prime parking space that was positioned almost directly in front of the main entrance. I pulled the brake and shut off the engine. While patting the dash of my truck, I sent my thoughts of gratitude to it, “Thank you for taking care of me.” I counted this moment as my tenth win for the day.

I pulled my brief case from behind my seat and exited my truck, locking it with my key. My  remote control had long been discarded in a drawer within my personal office. It’s just something I didn’t care to fix after all these years.

I entered the coffee shop and paused by the display glass filled with sandwiches and pastries so I could pull out my smart phone from my front pocket of my jeans and open the app for the coffee shop, which I used for my transactions since you could get rewarded a free drink after a certain amount of purchases.

“Hey Riki, how are you?” asked Kelly, a cute barista with a mixture of Asian and Caucasian ethnicity who I’ve gotten to know over my many visits. She was always so welcoming.

I walked up to her cash register. “Good to be back at the office.”

“What will you get tonight?” Just as I opened my mouth to speak, Kelly blurted, “Wait, let me guess.”

I chuckled. “Alright.”

She closed her eyes and then opened them with a wide smile. “Hot, medium, Green tea latte?”

“Yes. I swear you have a gift.”

“Well, it’s either that or your hot, medium, plain old green tea. So my odds are pretty good in guessing your drink. Tonight you look a bit stressed and that’s when you go for the sweet stuff.”

“You’re really observant. I have to finish drafting a couple contracts for a friend.”

“Got to get paid right?”

“I don’t know. I only get paid if my friend gets paid.”

A frown formed on Kelly’s perplexed facial expression.

“If the deal doesn’t go through, I get nothing for all the work I do.”

“Damn.”

“It’s the nature of what I do.” If only she knew that I didn’t get paid even when I closed some deals with a couple of former business partners I had. I didn’t fight for anything that was owed to me, I just cut my losses and simply moved on.

I flashed my app on the screen of my smartphone in front of the scanner fronting the cash register. After a “beep” sound, I tapped a button and returned my phone back into my front pocket of my jeans.

“Well, I wish you the best on that deal. Have a productive session.”

“Will do. Thank you.”

I proceeded over to the counter where other customers waited to receive their orders. After a few minutes, my order was called by the barista who made my beverage, a young man named Todd with surfer blonde hair.

I strolled over to my favorite corner of the coffee shop where the counters rode along the windows, and lined up beside it were a number of high stools. I placed my briefcase on an unused stool next to me to my right. I pulled out my laptop from my briefcase and fired it up. I opened up a partial draft of one of the agreements I was working on for my friend. I stared at the words on the screen, which began to blur as I dozed off into another world. When my vision cleared up, I was no longer sitting on a stool in front of the window in my regular coffee shop. Instead, I was leaning back on a black leather couch in the more trendy coffee shop with dimmer lights that I’ve become so familiar with over my eight years of writing and reading this scene over and over.

Across the shop I saw Ken sitting at a small square table in front of Kaylee. He had already given her a chocolate cupcake in his attempt to liven up her spirits. He looked just as nervous as I had envisioned. I smiled and giggled quietly because I knew that he was changing the course of the future between the two of them. If only Ken and Kaylee could know how much a part of me has always been with them. Every bit of their pain has been mine, and every time they’ve experienced joy, I’ve felt it just the same. For it’s through their journey that I’m finding my way. If they can make others feel what I’ve felt, then I’m certain many others will find their way as well.

“Excuse me. Excuse me.”

I snapped back to reality and saw a young college-aged Asian girl standing next to me. “Is it okay if I plug my laptop into the outlet?” she asked and glanced under the counter. I followed her eyes and noticed the outlet just to the left of my leg.

“Oh yeah, sure. Go ahead.” I moved off my stool and stood to the side as she plugged in her laptop and returned to sit at a table behind me.

I got back onto my stool and returned to staring at my draft of the agreement on my computer. The minutes kept changing to higher numbers on my clock located near the upper right corner of my laptop, and still, I didn’t write anything new. “Screw this,” I murmured under my breath. I closed the document and opened up my query letter that was addressed to a boutique literary agency based in New York City. I took out my headset from my briefcase and played the songs from my playlist. I bobbed my head to a catchy song “Something Like This” by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay as I proceeded to re-write my query letter.

– Super Short Fictional Story by Jon Riki Karamatsu on March 26, 2016 (This super short fictional story is connected to my first novel that I started in October 2006 and completed in January 2014) –

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Misty Copeland inspired my day – I wrote for 7.5 hours on my counter-offer document.


Yesterday morning of March 8, 2017, as I prepared for my day, I turned on my smart TV to watch an educational video on entrepreneurship, business, culture, or psychology, which I do so daily, when by chance I came across a video about Misty Copeland, the first African American principal ballerina for a major ballet company, which was very inspiring. The story was fitting since it was International Women’s Day.

I ended up having my best day writing for this year so far for either fiction or nonfiction. I wrote for a total of 7.5 hours broken into 3 sessions to complete a 12-page counter offer document for an agreement consisting of over 300 pages that I’m working on for an aviation development project I have with my business partners. I’m estimating that I probably wrote about 3,500 to 4,000 words for my document today that had a total of 6,466 words.

Here’s the video of Misty Copeland that jump-started my day even though I’m still feeling weak from the illness that I had the past week.

Later I found Misty Copeland’s Under Armor commercial that’s inspiring as well.  Here it is:

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Make It Better


After undergoing four rough days from a flu, I was happy to get back to work even though my energy was still low. While drafting a document at Starbucks in Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii, I overheard this song “Make It Better” by Hazel English in their speakers as I was ordering my beverage. I like the catchy beat and mellow tune.

The following are the lyrics:

I want to be seen
Yet I want to be invisible
I want everything
Yet I want nothing at all

All of these thoughts I have
Negate each other
I keep trying to understand
How to make it better
But I can’t make it better

I am confident
Yet I always seem to doubt myself
I am intelligent
Yet I know nothing at all

All of these thoughts I have
Negate each other
I keep trying to understand
How to make it better
But I can’t make it better

I want to be seen
Yet I want to be invisible
I want everything
Yet I want nothing at all

All of these thoughts I have
Negate each other
I keep trying to understand
How to make it better
But I can’t make it better
All of these thoughts I have
Negate each other
I keep trying to understand
How to make it better
But I can’t make it better

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How Super Can I Become?


Trembling without love.

How super can I become?

Losses become wins.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 2/23/2017, Haiku #54 –

Here’s a song “Forever in Silence” by Solstis that helped to bring out my emotions and words to this Haiku poem, which I was able to write in seconds.

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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 is 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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Stretch


Our family dog Stretch isn’t doing too well. Today may be his last day with us since my dad is planning to take him to the veterinarian. He’s been coughing out blood, threw up his food last night, hasn’t eaten today, and his breathing is getting worse. The cancer has taken its toll. The blood might be filling in his lungs. Through it all, he never complains. Stretch is 14 human years old so he is on the older side for a dog. It’s so hard to see him suffer. Stretch has such an unconditional love.

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My Friend’s Mom’s Memorial Service


On the afternoon of Sunday, January 15, 2017, I attended my friend Gregg Teruya’s mom’s memorial service at Nuuanu Memorial Park. When we were in our teenage years, we used to sleep over Gregg’s house to watch movies, play video games, and play basketball. Mrs. Teruya was always so kind, and often cooked or picked up food and beverages for us. I remember having some very nice talks with her. I’m grateful to have these nice memories of her. My thoughts are with Gregg, his dad, sister Marcie, and their family.

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Memorial Service For My Friend Michael Oasay.


I was MC for my friend Michael Oasay’s funeral at Jodo Mission of Hawaii this evening, January 11, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. He was such a caring and good hearted person. Mike’s three years older than me and we are Eagle Scouts from Troop 75 and graduates of Pearl City High School.He is survived by his wife Yvonne; children Jacqueline, Steven, Andrew, and Sean; and parents Manuel and Carole Oasay.

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Nice talk with my friend in my dream, the late U.S. Congressman K. Mark Takai.


I woke up this morning of Thursday January 5, 2017 from a wonderful dream in which I had a great talk with Congressman K. Mark Takai who I became friends with while I was a student government leader at the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii at Manoa (ASUH) and Mark was a young newly elected politician in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. In my dream, Mark and I were talking in his old townhouse in Waiau, Pearl City on Oahu, Hawaii.  We were smiling and laughing like the times when we first met.

At one point we were lying down and staring at the ceiling as we chatted.  It was like before I got elected into the Hawaii State House of Representatives, which distanced our relationship because I was part of the faction aligned with Hawaii House Speaker Calvin K.Y. Say, a family friend and friend of my late grandfather Maurice Karamatsu.  Speaker Say married the daughter of grandpa Karamatsu’s really close friend Stephen Kotake, founder of Kotake Shokai, an import company, and a leader at Jodo Shu Hawaii with my grandfather.  I became good friends with Speaker Say, and I know that was hard on Mark because his faction was trying to take over the House from him.

Well in my dream, Mark and I were friends like before the whole political faction issue.  Prior to Mark passing away on July 20, 2016, I had called his cell phone and left a heartfelt message for him.  I’m not sure if he listened to it.  I’m hoping that he did.  It’s for this reason that I never felt closure with Mark because I wanted him to know that I really enjoyed our times together and that I cared deeply for him as my friend even though we ended up in opposite political factions.  In my dream, it felt so good because I knew that the politics didn’t matter anymore to him – all that mattered was our friendship.  That was the talk I wanted to have before Mark passed away.  I miss him.

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Lost In A Forest


Lost in a forest.

Rain washes away my tears.

Whispers – I love you

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 1/2/2017, Haiku #53 –

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My dream is to take you by the hand and dance with you on stage in front of tens of thousands of people as I play a set.


My dream is to take you by the hand and dance with you on stage in front of tens of thousands of people as my friend DJ G-Spot and I play a set. This fun song “Recess” by Golden Coast would be one of the songs in my set. I’m not sure who you’ll be but I got a target date of 2017 or 2018!

Love Festival Hawaii 2014

Picture of the high technology and special effects stage at the 16th Annual Love Festival Hawaii on 9/27/2014.

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I’ll Only Play This Game With You.


Because it’s true, I’ll only play this game with you.

“Game 4 U” by St. Lucia.

 

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Here’s a song for you to dance into the new year!


Here’s a song for you to dance into the new year called “Physical” by St. Lucia. This band produces that feel good music that I love, which reminds me of the songs of my childhood in the 1980s, and it has that electronic sound in what we now call EDM or Electronic Dance Music, an area I’ve been involved in through my friend DJ G-Spot, my friend since college at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. To have that 80s and EDM sound is awesome! Hmm, I have some ideas as I’m writing this entry.

For those of you still preparing for 2017, enjoy and make the most of your last day of 2016! For the rest of you, Happy New Year! I have a very good feeling that we can do great things in 2017!

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Vanessa Hudgens Would Be A Top Choice For Lead Female Character In My First Novel


If I were ever so lucky to get my first novel published and made into a movie, a paranormal romance and suspense based in Hawaii, my top choice for the lead female role would be actress Vanessa Hudgens because the lead female character in my novel is Asian and Caucasian like her.  Moreover, she would play the personality of the character nicely who is loosely based off of someone who was once a small part of my life.

To change popular culture in the United States to be more reflective of its diversity, it is very important for writers, producers, and entrepreneurs to develop stories, novels, movies, products, and services that share the unique cultural and ethnic diversity in our country rather than what we mainly see in popular culture in the United States today. It has gotten better, but it still isn’t truly reflective. I’m optimistic that commercialized story-telling will become much broader.

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Leaving Flowers to Wither


I always go home,

leaving flowers to wither.

Love frozen in time.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 12/27/2016, Haiku #51 –

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It Can’t Numb My Love


The sign says, “Escape.”

So I work like I’m running.

It can’t numb my love.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 12/24/2016, Haiku #50 –

 

 

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Thinking of My Friend Spencer Ueda.


This morning I learned of the passing of my friend Spencer Ueda last night in a three-car accident.  He and I became friends when I worked at DFS Hawaii between 1992 to 1996.  Spencer was always smiling and full of laughter.

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Picture Your Eyes As I Fall Asleep.


“Picture your eyes as I fall asleep.

Tell myself it’s all right, as the tears go by.

I wish I could feel your face.”

Nice song “Oceans Away” by Arizona.

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Dreams and Visions


To my loved ones, friends, and all of you,

I wish you a wonderful journey, the good and bad, as you progress on your work towards your dreams and visions.  Below is a song I dedicate to you, “Visions” by Jaytech ft. Judah, remixed by Sedi.

With Warmest Aloha,

Jon Riki Karamatsu

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My Thoughts – Born From You.


Music – I love you.

You draw out my emotions.

My thoughts – born from you.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 12/17/2016, Haiku #49 –

 

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People Equals Law


Their false statements hurt.

The truth will sometimes prevail.

People equals law.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 12/17/2016, Haiku #48 –

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Red Roses Are Fake


Red roses are fake.

They don’t know the messenger.

Seek the gardener.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 12/6/2016, Haiku #45 –

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It Will Be Alright


A blue ball of light.

She grabbed my hand and kissed me.

“It will be alright.”

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 12/6/2016, Haiku #43 –

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You Will Always Be With Me


My breaths may be shorter,

but my dreams with you are longer.

You see, either way, you’re still with me.

Soon it’ll be my time to go,

but my memories of you will come with me,

so even though I’m not here, you will always be with me.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, December 6, 2016 –

[My friend Michael Oasay and his love for his wife Yvonne inspired me to write this poem. She told me how he was loving and supportive of her and her children for five years before they started dating. I thought that was so romantic, so I put it into writing in just a few minutes early this morning after I visited Mike at the hospital the night before. I knew Mike since I was in elementary school and Boy Scouts. His family and my family have been friends since our childhood. Mike is battling cancer, which is in a bad stage right now. Even though I know what’s before us, I’m hoping for a miracle. Mike’s such a wonderful person demonstrated by his unconditional love for others. I strive to be more like him. Please be kind to one another. I love you all. Love, Jon]

 

 

 

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And it hurts with every heartbeat


Just found this song, “With Every Heartbeat” by Son of 8 & Phats & Small.

Nice beat – though the meaning behind the song and its music video can make your heart ache:

So I don’t look back.

Still I’m dying with every step I take.

But I don’t look back.

And it hurts with every heartbeat.

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I Will Pick You Up


In my low black car.

Sped by painful memories.

I will pick you up.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 11/28/2016, Haiku #42 –

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Please Launch My Spaceship


Those magnetic eyes

pulled me into emptiness.

Please launch my spaceship.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 11/28/2016, Haiku #41 –

Below is one of my favorite songs “Spaceship” by Comet Blue to go with my Haiku poem:

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That’s When It Enters My Head


 

Lying still at night.

That’s when it enters my head.

I stay up and work.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 11/28/2016, Haiku #40 –

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