Spiritual Health Is Real

Happy Friday, “Crew”!  Let’s do this … TGIF!  Don’t think about such a humble yet “lofty” prayer … Just Do It!  It was just “Thanksgiving” yesterday!

In case you haven’t noticed, “some” of us live on different “frequencies”, so to speak.  Some of “us” may feel insecure and find the need to “put someone else down” … perhaps the way “they” had been treated in their own family or group of friends.  Meanwhile, there are others who are more or less secure unless “threatened” and, seek good vibrations and look for ways to improve relationships … wherever they are.  This paradigm examines the continuum of “helpful” vs. “hurtful” character (personality) types.  We all may fit in there depending on our level of self-esteem as well as what THAT is based on.  Self-esteem that is based on the individual’s innate ability to navigate through one’s circumstances is more static and reliable.  So, there is NOTHING wrong with being confident and proud of yourself, and “you” don’t feel threatened by “others”.  Thus, “you” have no need to look for ways to demonstrate “fake superiority” to cover up for a dearth of self-esteem.

If a person sincerely “works” on their spiritual health as much as they do on physical health or sexual prowess, they may strike a balance.  Patience, meditation and prayer, “helping others” all provide a magical cure for a person suffering from poor spiritual health.  This “getting outside of oneself” enables one to help others, share and feel more balanced … important even!  Through meditating on peace and universal love, I find myself increasing my spiritual health.  Living alone helps me.

Well, the “self-publishing” episode is coming to an end.  The bank I use has been relentless in pursuing the publishing company’s banking institution.  Wednesday, after calling “billing” two days in a row since they promised me a call from “someone”, I got an e-mail from a representative of the “refunds division”.  The e-mail basically said that they would deposit all except $400.00 from the $1600.00 I had been scheduled to pay, including one more installment set to come out on the 6th of December.  I put a “stop payment” on that as well.  The “refund department” for the publishing company claims that the $400.00 is the fee for the “content evaluation”, which was never done properly!  When I researched the cancellation terms, I discovered that an author is entitled to all except $150.00 of the price if I cancel within 90 days.  After the “check-in counselor” sent me an e-mail 2 weeks ago with my photographer’s name – “Davia” – written in the e-mail as “David”, I wanted no parts of that “content evaluation team” which he blamed for the misspelling!  So, I have one more “self-publishing” company I will investigate before figuring out if I can “self-publish” the book on my blog!  Still, I am taking this time to re-read and edit, if necessary, the entire manuscript. 

Enjoy your weekends … stay healthy spiritually, too!


John I. Cook, Director

“Make No Mistake About It!”

It’s Friday, “World”!  Sometimes I wonder how things keep going with all of the “fabricated drama” and the human dilemmas it fosters nowadays.  Welp, I’ll do it for the team – “TGIF”!

You know the saying, “Life goes on!”, as well as what folks are trying to say with that expression, right?!?  Well, right now, with the pandemic and everything … we can’t be so sure anymore.  I wonder where those folks are who advocate that there is no pandemic!!  Can “they” explain that to the families in Russia … or the United States … like in Texas!!?  It is getting scary when we see the “leaders” taking care of themselves and their “constituents” while their job assignment involves taking care of ALL of the citizens of the United States … even though we look pretty “dis-united” right about now.  It’s hard to stay sane sometimes, yet I continue to count my blessings out here … “Life is beautiful!” I keep telling myself!

Have you had those “stops” in your life that cause you to do a “double-take” or a second look?!?  I was pretty comfortable with iUniverse as the company I had used before to self-publish my first two manuscripts.  I was hoping to make it a “trilogy” …  But a few days ago … it was Saturday … I had gotten a communication from a “check-in counselor” (CIC) written in poor English and with the photographer’s name spelled wrong in the message!!  Not only that, but he said that the “content evaluation team” had found some “places” in the manuscript where I spoke candidly about the characters I had encountered.  There were partial names (no last names) in most cases and “no names” in other circumstances that he had “identified” for me!!  Right away, I took offense to his telling me that I had to get permission to use “David’s” photographs that “she” had taken of me for the front and back covers.  Yep, he changed “Davia’s” name to “David”!!  When I asked him why, he claimed that another person on the “content evaluation” team had made that mistake and that the culprit was being punished!!  Now, I don’t like being lied to especially when I am “paying” for ones’ services.  It left a bad taste in my mouth.  I asked for his supervisor’s name and contact information to which he replied, “He’s copied on all of our communications!”  But he didn’t tell me that his supervisor was on a “leave of absence”.  I thought that to be rather arrogant!  So, I waited one day … two days … three days for a response from his supervisor after having written him a direct communication.  I got no response …

Totally disturbed by this “ignorance”, I contacted the bank through which I had paid about a thousand dollars to iUniverse and one payment scheduled to come out on December 6th or so!  I opened a dispute on all three charges under the instruction of the bank I use.  Of course, they asked me if I had tried to contact “them” and I informed them that I had and had not received any response.  You may know that a customer has to allow the bank to do their “research” for usually 90 days.  I was okay with that.  Then, yesterday, I got a call after he had sent an e-mail from the “CIC’s” supervisor.  He tried to explain that I had to change my manuscript because my words were “maligning” the character of a person I had mentioned!!  I told him, “I was simply stating the facts!”  He began to tell me after I queried him on every instance when he tried to convince me, that “we” could be sued for “libel”!!  I attempted to explain to him that I had published two previous books with iUniverse and that I didn’t have that problem.  He continued that the “regulations” had changed in 2012 when they were sued by someone whose “father” was mentioned negatively in a book!!  There are no such circumstances in my manuscript … I just state the facts!

I had told him that I was not going to use them anymore because I felt “abandoned” for four days with a poorly educated “CIC”.  He finally sent me a message yesterday telling me that it would be better if I changed my name and did NOT use any photos of myself in the book.  I quietly chuckled inside and replied with another message just to humor him!  I don’t know what’s going to happen with the “dispute” but I decided that “the Universe” has spoken and I am not going to change my manuscript to fit their “past circumstances”.  I even went as far as to explain to the supervisor in our conversation that many people WANTED me to mention their names in the manuscript after pointing out that there was no “malignment” of any characters in my book this time!  I tried to explain that the characters in most cases helped me to reach my early retirement … right here in Costa Rica … Puerto Viejo to be exact!  

To be continued …


John I. Cook, Director

No … It’s NOT Okay!!!

Yeah … it’s okay.  His “boys” are getting tired of him, too!  So, we can do this … TGIF!  Coddle a grown ignorant, arrogant, boastful bully?!?  I don’t think so!!  I mean, damn … he’s already thinking about pardoning HIMSELF?!?  Who does that?!?  A criminal!!  Did you actually vote for a perverted, racist, dishonest bully?!?  Who does THAT????

I’m not one of those teachers who says, “I told you so!”  I am a person who hopes that people pay attention to their mistakes … and then, correct them.  Of course, first, you have to admit that certain things are not okay!  Are “we” capable of that or have we been dumbed down so much that we think horrific stuff is okay?  Do you still believe that there is a “law and order” president in the White House today?!?  Oh yeah … he got you, too!  This is the kind of stuff that you can’t just “grin and bear” … a quarter of a million Americans have died on HIS watch and his priority is to recount the votes so he can wallow in the FACT that he lost!!!   This is a very mentally ill person … Like some of his fellow Republicans all said after the fact … “He’s not fit to lead the country!”  I say, “Lock HIM up!!”

So, these are not things that we can “toy” around with … our lives, the environment that we live in, our families and friends … geesh … our loved ones!  Do I have to remind “you” of THEM, too …  This character hasn’t mentioned the pandemic since he lost the election!!  What a selfish POS!!  Did you lose anyone in YOUR family yet?!?  I think that retired professional tennis player, Billie Jean King said it best: “Yes, Black lives matter … they have ALWAYS mattered! … We should use our platforms to inform people of the injustices in America …  Yes, it’s a lot that we are handing over to the younger generation to resolve …  I wish them well though I feel sorry for them sometimes …”  The Republican director of elections in Philadelphia said something shocking: “It’s amazing how many people just look for lies and conspiracy theories to believe in …”  He’s gotten death threats, too.  No, it’s not okay …

Former President Barack Hussein Obama has a new book out.  It’s about his eight years in the White House … another person who has gotten daily death threats!  I mean … some crazies want to “threaten” Dr. Fauci and his family!  You say it this time … “It’s not okay to threaten to kill people who don’t look like you or think like you … and live in the same country as you with the same needs as you!”  It does seem sometimes … that “politicians” have lost civility, respect for each other, and their missions to lead the American people …  I think back to the impeachment proceedings … Oh MY GOSH!!  One can’t “lead” anyone to anything beneficial without being respectful of EVERYTHING!

Do what you can … and then some … to make things right!  “A house divided will surely fall!”

Have a great day and a wonder-filled weekend!


John I. Cook, Director

An “Alternate Fake Reality?!? Really?!”

It’s another fine Friday, Folks!  I have been rather pensive lately, arriving at one month in a new location in Puerto Viejo, and today being 15 years that my Mother expired …  That’s a reality that I’ve learned to live with, so … TGIF, then!

I had been keeping up with the election developments for president in the States!  What a “sitcom” with a new episode twice a day!  Oh MY GOD!!  Enough already!  I woke up early Friday … out of curiosity to see if Biden maintained his lead in the “battleground states”.  He has been and … “the people” even flipped Georgia to embrace Biden!!  Proof that while difficult to “hear or see” them, “AmeriCANS” are changing the direction of leadership in the country … thank God!!

It was fifteen years ago today and early in the morning when I took my last look at my Mother – Marietta Dolores Cook – in the form that she had held for 88 years!  It was a very difficult moment and time for me being the youngest “child” as I watched her struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease after having fallen in my sister’s house and suffered from a brain hemorrhage, according to the story my nephew told me on the phone when he called … Peace be still!!  My sister and I were not getting along for various reasons, yet she was the “caretaker” of my Mother who had helped my sister buy the house!  We still don’t speak to this day once I told her why I moved out of the country!!  I don’t like, nor appreciate … and it is very hard to tolerate … toxic dishonest phony people.  I stood “tall” as my Father had taught me while his wife, my Mother, struggled with her last breaths of life …  I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle things without her “unconditional love”.  But here I am today, retired and living abroad “happily” in Costa Rica … Puerto Viejo to be exact!  The third book, “Cookin’ With Life”, is dedicated to her and the many fine people who assisted me in getting to early retirement.  I just turned 66 in July … the same month that my Dad – “Big Ike” – was born!  I miss them both and carry their lessons and love in my heart each and every day …

I stick with my analysis of racism being a mental illness … self-induced at that!  So in my opinion, a racist has no excuses except that … the person is mentally ill and has established “the color” of another person’s skin as her/his compass of how that person should be treated!  Once “scrump” is gone, the real AmeriCANS can start healing the wounds that this “infantile” president has left on the nation and the world!  In fact, some of us who were misled can now reorient our “human compasses” to embrace each other.  In the words of John R. Lewis, “We’re better than this!”  Yes, yes, I am still concerned about “the States” as my grandson and only Child live there.  Both of my parents are buried there in New York, too!  So, I’ve got to be able to go back when I need to ….

In the meantime, I am hunkered down here in a new flat, much more convenient and private for me.  I can meditate even better here and have taken the option to partake in some physical fitness sessions with a young guy here.  While I am missing yoga a bit, I am more focused on my next projects – healing myself and … fixing my teeth!  I had a great appointment a few days ago with a local dentist when one of my front teeth fell out and into the toilet after years of my own dentistry (crazy glue!)!  I should be able to afford the treatment to restore my teeth once my last payment for self-publishing the book comes out of my bank account next month!  Onward and upward … with positive vibrations.  “Rid yourself of the fakeness!”


John I. Cook, Director

%d bloggers like this: