Category Archives: Substance Abuse

Don’t Quit….Never Give Up

Don't Give Up

Every once in awhile,  someone we know says something that catches our attention in a way that moves our soul. Today is one of those for me, and perhaps these thoughts and words from the heart of a fellow human being may touch yours; “Everywhere I turn, I see and hear people relaying messages of frustration and sadness. I currently have friends fighting the fight of their lives with cancer and other ailments. I have friends who are going through the pains of loss in relationships, friendships, work, self esteem and so much more. So it got me thinking… again. Sometimes it’s really hard to remember this. Harder for some of us than others, and especially hard for me at times. For as we grow … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Death, Divorce, Economic Worries, Family Relationships, Healing Loss (ALL), Health Issues, Job Loss, Life Coaching, Loss Of A Loved One, Romantic Relationships, Self-Improvement, Social Issues, Spirituality, Substance Abuse, Tragedy | 6 Comments

Ted Williams – “The Man With The Golden Voice”

Bridge to Our Past

He came bursting into our living rooms, on our computers, and on our cell phones. It was January, 2011, and a roving news reporter with a camera noticed a disheveled homeless man holding a sign asking for financial help. The sign included a hand-written statement advertising his radio voice. The reporter took a chance, gave the man some money, and asked him to give an example of his voice. He caught it all on camera. Today, than ONE video has been viewed 20 MILLION times around the world. Within days, the homeless man was flooded with job offers, financial aid, requests for interviews, and appeared live on the Today show with Matt Lauer. And then the bottom fell out. Not long after the media sensation … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Economic Worries, Forgiveness, Healing Loss (ALL), Health Issues, Life Coaching, Self-Improvement, Social Issues, Spirituality, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You Can Too!

Kansas Sunset 2

“You can too!” The first 13 years of my life were fairly normal; a farm boy living in a small town doing the things farm boys do, working, playing, going to school, church, participating in sports. That ENDED shortly before my 14th birthday. As I looked down at my mother’s near lifeless body, which was force-ably ejected after a head-on collision with another vehicle, I knew right then the life I once loved was gone. I was the first one on the scene. If it wasn’t for that hill that obscured the view of the collision, I would have seen it with my own eyes. But boy, did I hear it. That sound, the smell in the air, is as vivid today as it was … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Death, Divorce, Economic Worries, Family Relationships, Healing Loss (ALL), Health Issues, Job Loss, Life Coaching, Loss Of A Loved One, Loss of Home, Self-Improvement, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Uncategorized | 28 Comments

Facing Fear ~ The Hidden Enemy

Fear

Who has not felt the cold clammy hand of fear grip one’s spirit and paralyze our actions mid step? Sometimes this happens right at the moment when we are on the very verge of accomplishing our greatest success! Foiled by the Enemy again! Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson Most of us are enslaved by some kind of fear or the other. Like many of you, I have encountered fear in many different forms. The fear of being stuck in a permanent cage, unable to fulfill my true potential, the fear of not living up to the expectations of the people who matter most to me, the fear of loss of my loved ones, the … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Economic Worries, Healing Loss (ALL), Health Issues, Life Coaching, Self-Improvement, Social Issues, Spirituality, Substance Abuse, Uncategorized, Work & Career | 1 Comment

The Joshua Tree – Part III – NEW Beginnings

DSCN0516

Less than 24 hours after leaving San Diego, bound for the desert to clear my head and reconnect with the inner spirit guiding me there, I awoke at 5:30 a.m. It was February 26th, 2012, exactly one year to the day when I’d done the same thing. (A recap of that story may be read by clicking > HERE.) The room I’d rented for the night at the Best Western in Yucca Valley, CA. was less than a half-hour drive back to Joshua Tree National Park. I didn’t have much time. The sun would be rising soon, so I loaded up on coffee, water, and a few things to eat. Batteries were fully charged on both my cell phone and my digital camera. It was … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Economic Worries, Family Relationships, Healing Loss (ALL), Health Issues, Life Coaching, Paying It Forward, Self-Improvement, Social Issues, Spirituality, Substance Abuse, Tragedy | 6 Comments

The Joshua Tree – Part I

DSCN0486

Friday, February 24th, 2012. Awoke at 5 a.m., the usual time. Walked outside to get the morning paper in the driveway. It was still dark and as I opened the gate, I heard him, softly cooing not far away in the quiet neighborhood where I lived. It was a Mourning Dove. For reasons unknown, it suddenly occurred to me, this was the same dove I’d been hearing the day before and the weeks before that. Every day. But why did I “hear” him today, and not all the others? As I went back inside, memories of my home state of Kansas came flooding back. Why? Because Mourning Doves are prevalent there. However, the last thing I expected was to hear one in San Diego, CA. … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Death, Divorce, Economic Worries, Healing Loss (ALL), Health Issues, Job Loss, Life Coaching, Loss Of A Loved One, Loss of Home, Self-Improvement, Spirituality, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Habits Die Hard

When you thought i wasn't looking

We are all creatures of habit and if you make good habits, good habits will make you. This wisdom has been around since ancient times. Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” The subconscious mind—the habitual mind—is over one million times more powerful than the conscious mind. This means that we spend a substantial amount of our lifetime on “autopilot,” playing out the mental programs that govern our behavior. For example, while driving a car and carrying on a conversation with someone, the conscious mind is attending to what is being said in the moment while the subconscious mind is turning on the turn signal, hitting the brakes, attending to oncoming traffic, monitoring our blood … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Economic Worries, Health Issues, Life Coaching, Self-Improvement, Substance Abuse, Uncategorized, Work & Career | 2 Comments

Reasons, Seasons, or Lifetime

Reasons, Seasons, Lifetime

One of the most difficult parts of our lives is dealing with relationships. Whether it’s family, friends, co-workers, or intimate, there will be times in our life when our faith is severely tested. Think of those relationships in your past when something beautiful came along and, for whatever reason, it ended. It may have been the death of a family member or loved one. Your first boyfriend/girlfriend or marriage. A co-worker who turned their back on you. Someone whom you thought was a friend, only to learn that they were just using you. However you wish to describe those moments, they all involve a form of grieving. The pain, heartbreak, and the bitterness you felt. As for me, my first experience was in the death … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Death, Divorce, Family Relationships, Forgiveness, Healing Loss (ALL), Job Loss, Loss Of A Loved One, Loss of Home, Romantic Relationships, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Welcome to the NEW Gusto Ramblings!

Gus Rowe

Hi! I’m excited to Welcome you to the NEW “Gusto Ramblings” website! Nearly 2 years ago, April 9th, 2010 to be exact, I awoke early one morning and a thought occurred to me; “You’ve got so much inside that you want to express, so many experiences you wish to share and the lessons you’ve gained from them, why not start your own website? A platform by which you might inspire others?” I had reached a point in my life that I knew I needed an outlet. Up until then, I was merely sharing some of my musings and thoughts on my personal Facebook page, a forum I had joined in early 2009, after suffering a rapid series of tragic events beginning in mid-2007 until June 2008. … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Death, Divorce, Economic Worries, Family Relationships, Healing Loss (ALL), Health Issues, Job Loss, Loss Of A Loved One, Loss of Home, Music, Paying It Forward, Romantic Relationships, Self-Improvement, Social Issues, Social Media, Spirituality, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Work & Career | 14 Comments

~ “TEBOW” ~

He’s one of the most polarizing figures in America, a football player who shows no fear in professing his religious beliefs. But more on him in a moment. First, I want to share a story with you, one it is hoped you will see the connection between it and the other subject of this chapter when you’re finished reading. The message came through my cell phone on New Year’s Eve 2011 from a young lady in Indiana (the name will be Jane Doe for privacy reasons); “Gus, this is Jane. I apologize for intruding in your personal space. I’m in need of your home address. If you’re not comfortable giving it to me, I’ll understand. I just wasn’t sure if the address on your Facebook … Continue reading

Posted in Death, Healing Loss (ALL), Loss Of A Loved One, Spirituality, Substance Abuse, Tragedy | 6 Comments

Happy NEW Year!

As another year rolls to a close during this journey called “life”, most of us take time to look back and reflect on what happened in our lives over the previous 12 months; our triumphs, failures, the glories of success, the beginnings of something “new”, whether it was a job, a relationship, new surroundings, marriage, divorce, birth, and even death. And most of us look forward to the “New Year” full of promise and hope, thankful that we even made it this far. I’m no exception. What you’re about to read is REAL. It’s also going to be somewhat graphic, dark, but I’m convinced by the end, you’ll be more inspired than ever that whatever your circumstances are, there’s always hope, there’s always light, there’s … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Healing Loss (ALL), Self-Improvement, Spirituality, Substance Abuse, Tragedy | 11 Comments

Back On My Feet Again

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Posted in Courage, Healing Loss (ALL), Health Issues, Life Coaching, Self-Improvement, Spirituality, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Uncategorized, Work & Career | Leave a comment

A Box Called HOPE

Hope

Last June, I wrote a piece entitled “Inspiration/Hope and Two Young Men.” In that particular piece, I described a story of a young man I met one night in Liberal, Kansas in March, 2010. For those who haven’t read it, I’ll give you a short summary. The young man had just caught his first DUI and was sentenced to attend an intensive in-patient rehabilitation program. The night I met him was his first day there and the look in his eyes is one I’ll never forget. You know the one, the “deer in the headlight” look. He was scared. Later, as the group members were discussing their individual plights, I clearly remember this young man’s story. Since he was new, hesitant, and fearful, it was … Continue reading

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Moving On

Imagine you’re on a 10-speed bicycle. You’re on a two-lane highway near a small town in Southwest Kansas. It’s summer, sometime in July 2009, it’s 6 p.m. and the temperature is still near 100 degrees. There’s little traffic, the road is flat, with a slight breeze in your face. Your pedaling at medium-speed, sweating profusely, and listening to classic rock on your headphones. Then it happens. “Your” song comes on, “Freebird” by the legendary group Lynyrd Skynrd. That’s when you “kick it” into high gear and pedal as fast and hard as you can all the way through the song. Your mind and legs are in rhythm with the music and AT THAT MOMENT, you forget how hot it is, how stiff the wind is … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Economic Worries, Healing Loss (ALL), Self-Improvement, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Grieving is Living

If you’ve read my blog, then you know the primary purpose is an attempt to inspire others through sharing some of my own life experiences, as well as hopefully gaining some inspiration from others. This particular post may not “fit” that definition per se, but it’s one that I hope will give you an insight into the “grieving” process we all experience at some point in our lives. Before I begin however, I want to state unequivocally that I am neither a trained counselor nor do I propose to be. On the other hand, I would suggest that people like myself, people who have experienced this emotion first-hand, may be able to offer a unique perspective to this topic, unlike those of us who haven’t … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Death, Divorce, Economic Worries, Family Relationships, Healing Loss (ALL), Job Loss, Loss Of A Loved One, Loss of Home, Self-Improvement, Substance Abuse, Tragedy | 1 Comment

Divine Intervention

Back in September 2010, I wrote a blog post entitled “I Can’t”. For those of you who have read this particular piece, then you know it was one widely commented on and one of the most viewed stories so far in “Ramblings.” Of course, the main message was what we are capable of as human beings when faced with tragedy or life-altering experiences. One of the stories I mentioned in that post was one that goes back nearly 35 years, a story of three young men whose lives were changed forever by an auto accident in Kansas in 1976. One where I was driving and two friends from California who happened to stop that summer night in Tribune, Kansas, my hometown, and who were injured … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Healing Loss (ALL), Life Coaching, Self-Improvement, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Rehabilitation? Or Retribution?

Every now and then something occurs that stirs our passion so much that it takes on an identity by itself. This particular topic brings that passion forth within me with a vengeance and though I will do my best to remain objective and avoid appearing self-serving, it remains a difficult task. I would therefore ask for your patience and indulgence in that regard because of my own very personal and life-altering experience with a subject that is naturally controversial by its very existence in our world. Please also keep in mind that one of the goals with this blog is to give it a “personal touch”, so that its readers can make some sort of connection between the subject matter and their daily lives. Recently, … Continue reading

Posted in Healing Loss (ALL), Social Issues, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Change Starts From Within – YOU Have the Power!

Starting well over a year ago, people, both friends and casual acquaintances alike, began saying things such as, “The way you speak and write…it sounds like you’re a preacher or something.” Funny thing about that statement. I’ve heard it so many times I began to ask myself the same question. “Who am I and why do I come off like this?” It all started innocently enough. I began sharing some of my thoughts and what I’ve learned through this process of recovery and self-improvement in the form of “notes” on Facebook. Slowly, people began to respond beginning in the summer and fall of 2009. I want to emphasize this point, however; I am neither a preacher nor do I wish to be. Anyone who knows … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Healing Loss (ALL), Health Issues, Self-Improvement, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Integrity, Vulnerability, & Perfection

The essence of integrity isn’t just speaking of moral and ethical principles. It’s putting those principles on the table for the entire world to see by virtue of your actions. A microcosm of yourself that others look at. Being brutally honest with yourself, God, and those you love and hold dearest to your heart is one thing. Doing the very same thing with everyone you know and come into contact with is entirely another matter. In the first instance, the truth you see in yourself, what you admit to God, and what you share with people you love the most, affords a level of comfort, safety, and security you simply don’t have in the latter instance. People want the truth. It’s our nature as human … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Family Relationships, Romantic Relationships, Self-Improvement, Social Issues, Substance Abuse, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

“A Change Will Do You Good”

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Posted in Courage, Family Relationships, Health Issues, Romantic Relationships, Social Issues, Substance Abuse, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Freedom

September 26, 2008. Day 114 at the Holliday Inn. 116 miles of walking logged so far, 5,775 sit-ups, and 2,020 pushups. By now, the routine is clear. Up at 6:00 a.m. with my plastic bowl and plastic spoon waiting to hear the familiar rattle of keys. First one door, then another, and finally, one more. And there stands one of Doc Holliday’s deputies with morning breakfast; a gallon jug of milk in one hand and a box of cold cereal in the other. Frosted mini-wheats. Every day. Each of us in the “bullpen” stick our little plastic bowls through the “bean hole” to get our breakfast. We sit silently at the steel bench and table and eat, the same place where we play cards, sometimes … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Healing Loss (ALL), Self-Improvement, Social Issues, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Perfection

Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” He forgot to mention that I was the chief critic. I was always able to see the flaw in every person, every situation. And I was always glad to point it out, because I knew you wanted perfection, just as I did. A.A. and acceptance have taught me that there is a bit of good in the worst of us and a bit of bad in the best of us; that we are all children of God and we each have a right to be here. When I complain about me or about you, I am complaining about God’s handiwork. I am saying that I know better than God. What … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Family Relationships, Healing Loss (ALL), Romantic Relationships, Self-Improvement, Social Issues, Spirituality, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Power of God & Prayer

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Posted in Courage, Healing Loss (ALL), Self-Improvement, Social Issues, Spirituality, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

“P L A U G E S”

River of Love

I remember when I first thought of this acronym. It was about a year ago when I was encountering a lot of anger and resentments from family members about past issues. I could never remember the 7 deadly sins and this acronym helps me to remember them: “PLAUGES” = Pride, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Greed, Envy, and Sloth. I had to fudge on the U, substituting gluttony instead! When I think of those words though, there’s 2 more that I think should be included as “deadly sins”, fears and resentments. When you look at your own life, ask yourself these questions. When is it when you feel like you’re losing control over your life? What do you FEEL when you don’t have control? And what is … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Economic Worries, Family Relationships, Healing Loss (ALL), Health Issues, Romantic Relationships, Self-Improvement, Social Issues, Spirituality, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Uncategorized, Work & Career | 2 Comments

Does God Give You Only What You Can Handle?

Two weeks ago, I had the good fortune and opportunity to meet and visit with a lady in San Diego County who is a professional counselor, one who has been in this profession, as well as teaching, for many years. This meeting came at the suggestion of someone special in my life, a woman I met recently, though we both feel like we have known each other much longer. Since that time, she and I have discovered we have many mutual interests and she’s one of those people that have just “happened” to appear in my life like so many others over the past two years, though this is very different. Where this relationship is headed I’m not really sure. I do know this; she … Continue reading

Posted in Courage, Healing Loss (ALL), Self-Improvement, Social Issues, Spirituality, Substance Abuse, Tragedy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments