Picking up my paper from the driveway this morning I looked at it and thought “If the LA Times gets any thinner I’m going to have to wait a few days just to have enough to line the bottom of a bird-cage. Why am I still paying for this ghost of a rag? Looking down the street I can see I’m clearly in the minority of Los Angelenos; those who still have the newspaper delivered to their home every morning. It’s been a tradition that runs back to my earliest roots. My parents had one delivered every day, my brother Jeff delivered them, with me helping him occasionally when he needed it. The newspaper was the only way to start off your day by reading what had happened in the world the day before. I didn’t know it in my youth but there was an even bigger connection to the paper waiting for me, my first real job as a photographer was going to be at a newspaper.
I have my mother to thank for starting me down the path I was destined to take. I don’t know if I ever really did tell her how much I appreciated it but I can at least tell you the story. It all began with her suggestion one day that I stop into our local newspaper and fill out a job application. I immediately balked at the idea. “They only hire college kids as summer interns.” I said. “Well it won’t hurt to apply.” She replied. “You never know maybe they’re looking for someone just like you.” How can you argue with logic like that so she drove me downtown to the newspaper office and I filled out an employment application.
A few months later I was pulled out of my high school English class and told to report to the principal’s office. No reason given and no idea what was in store for me, just report to the principal’s office immediately. It was the longest walk of my life. Everything was flashing before me. Was it a classroom prank I had pulled on one of the teachers or maybe some other trouble that was always brewing with my friends? Maybe it was a joke on me. That’s impossible the principle’s office doesn’t do that sort of thing. My mind was racing but I could not come up with something deserving a trip to see the principal.
You can’t imagine the shock I had when I entered the principal’s office to find my mother waiting there for me. “You got a call today from the newspaper. They want you to come down for an interview this afternoon.” My mother was beaming a huge smile. “They want me?” I quizzed to make sure this wasn’t some kind of joke. “Yes they’re looking for someone to work in their photo department for the summer and they liked what you put down on the application.” I was speechless. How could this actually be happening to me. The principal offered up a few words of encouragement and then my mom and I were out the door.
The interview with the personnel manager went great, he told me that they normally only hired college students for the summer intern program but they really liked what I had written about my abilities in the darkroom so they decided to go in another direction this year for the photo department. A few days later I received a call confirming I was in at the Johnstown Tribune Democrat. The door of destiny had flung wide open for me and I quickly stepped into a world of seemingly endless possibilities, the newspaper business.
To say it was the best summer of my life would be an understatement. I shot, developed and printed countless numbers of photos. Learning all the time from the best newspaper men in the business. Jack Rue was the chief, Merle Agnello was the senior photographer and Chuck Mamula and Randy Leidy rounded out the rest of the staff. It wasn’t a huge operation but big enough for me. I wore a coat and tie to work everyday, you wouldn’t think of showing up in less than that. When you represented the Johnstown Tribune Democrat it meant something back then. The community respected you and you had a respect for the community.
A lot has changed in the 40 years since. Everything today is wrapped around the tabloid nature of life in general and the newspaper and TV news business are two of the main avenues of distributing that information. I wish it didn’t have to be this way. I wish they could have stayed a head above the crowd but in the end all that mattered to the corporations that own them is the bottom line, more advertisers, and more readers or viewers. After all who really cares what you’re selling as long as people are buying right?
The funny thing is though that people have stopped buying the newspapers and are watching way less television now that everything is available on their personal phones, computers and other devices. The genie’s out of the bottle now and there is no putting him back.
This was all driven home again to me a couple of days ago when this article came crawling up my Facebook wall ‘L.A. Times’ Cuts Review Freelancers. It was about Susan Salter Reynolds a reviewer for the LA Times, whose reviews I happened to like and read weekly. She had just written up a review last weekend for The Snow Whale by John Minichillo a fellow author and friend of mine. As you can read in the article Susan was terminated after 23 years with the paper.
For those who have read my book, The Key of Life, you know the synchronicity of that number in my life and of course it grabbed my attention first. Why would someone be terminated after 23 years with a company? Couldn’t they find a way to keep that tiny column she writes in the budget of this huge newspaper? The simple answer of course is yes they could have but the reality is they didn’t. This brought Susan to a major detour in her life, one she certainly wasn’t planning on but a new path none the less. It’s a road with no clear view of what lies ahead.
Many of us are standing at that same unplanned crossroad right now asking ourselves, “Which way do I go from here?” The first thing we need to do before we answer that question is understand why all these changes are taking place to begin with. We want to lay the blame in countless different directions, from the economy to rotten luck and everything in between, lashing out at everyone from presidents and politicians to illegal immigrants and terrorists saying “If it wasn’t for this or that, things would be better!”
I’d like to present a different way to approach all this change in our lives, how to understand it and in the process begin to move ourselves onto that higher plane of consciousness or vibration everyone is always talking about.
The Keys of Karma
Lose the blame and embrace the change.
The number one rule of karma; There is no blame. After all, you’ve created the play you’re in. All the people, events, and drama surrounding you right now are karmic lessons you brought into your life to see how you would respond to them. You are not going to pass the test by blaming everything and everyone around you. Remember every one and everything around you was created by you. Pointing a finger at anyone is the same as pointing it in a mirror. Before you blame anyone the first question you should ask yourself is this. What part of me is in this character? The answer may surprise you. Understand that the change in your life was placed there by you to move you onto a higher path. Don’t fight it, you’re fighting yourself. Start looking for where that path is taking you, let go of everything in your past and begin this new ascent. The best place to search for all those answers you’re looking for is my next Key of Karma.
Search within and let the synchronicities begin.
I’ve written an entire book on this subject so I could go on for days about the importance of this. Listen to your inner conscious, it’s screaming out to you right now and more than likely you have it tuned out. Shut off your conscious mind for at least a few minutes each day through meditation or yoga. If you can’t find the time for that at least spend a few minutes alone, away from the phone, computer, television and other electronic leashes that are holding your sub-conscious mind hostage. Once everything is shut off, the magic begins. You will hear the truth and the truth is within you. This requires an incredibly bold move on your part; Trust your instincts. You know those gut feelings that come out of nowhere and vanish just as quickly once your conscious mind creeps in. Don’t let this happen, hold on to that impulse especially when it’s asking so little of you like stopping by a friend’s house or investigating something new. These are your guides speaking to you and when you let go and explore, the synchronicities will explode in front of you.
Synchronicities are the little signs we’ve placed here in our play so we know we’re hitting our marks. In reality they are the marks. Once you recognize them for what they are they’ll bring great comfort to you as they light up the new path you’re on. One more little word of advice, we tend to call them coincidences, so every time you’re ready to use that word think again. These are the road signs of your life and our ancestors use to read them like a book. They knew the meaning of every motion in nature but as time passed and we became civilized, we lost all connection to the signs. They’re still there, they’ve always been there and now they’re coming at us on billboards, buses, newspapers and television. Somehow they’re slipping by most people completely unnoticed. Once you’ve taken the blinders off, there’s no putting them back on. For the best road map to recognizing the synchronicities in your life check out The Key of Life; A Metaphysical Investigation.
Free your mind and the rest will follow.