These days my intent is Always good and my actions accurately reflect that intent. As a result, I possess complete confidence in my actions because I know that what I am doing is "right" even when it's not the most popular choice. I know that as long as I am doing what is "right" there's nothing any one can say or do anything to twist it around and make me wrong.
"Where do you feel it?"...referring to your intuition
Intuition is a funny thing for me. It's difficult to try and describe "where" or "how" I feel it because it's so ephemeral. For me, there is no precise physical sensation. Instead, it's more of an external experience that envelopes my entire being. Even though it's difficult for me to explain, my intuition is very strong and I've learned (through countless bad experiences) to pay close attention to it. Had I done so in the past I likely would not have ended up where I am today...but I had to stay and witness my own crash-disaster.
"What is the simplest solution here?"
In my experience rarely has the simplest solution turned out to be the wisest course of action. Generally speaking, the "simplest solution" is merely the quickest and easiest means to an end. Most people today seem much more concerned with completing whatever task is at hand, and in their haste they fail to pay proper attention to the details. Initially, the simplest solution may suffice, but over the long-term those details that were initially neglected will come to light and often they'll greatly reduce the (initially perceived) effectiveness or efficiency of the solution. As Coach Wooden so famously advised, "Be quick but don't hurry." I believe in paying close attention to the details, but I also happen to be a big fan of simplicity. The trick is to find a comprise that doesn't sacrifice the quality of the solution, and I always try to make that part of my plan whenever I set out in search of a solution.
"What is the worst that could happen?"
Not to sound morbid but in terms of absolutes the obvious answer would seem to be "death." However, I believe there's actually something far worse than death to be experienced by some while still living. Physical isolation, sensory deprivation, and feelings of abandonment, when combined into a singular experience, become absolute, unending torture of the mind that ultimately ravages and lays waste to the entire mind-body complex....and it's currently happening inside SuperMax Prisons all across this country. There are men, right now, trapped inside their own minds experiencing a literal hell on earth every single day. This "social experiment" has been taking place here in the U.S. for nearly 200 YEARS already despite the blatantly cruel and obviously ineffective results. Thankfully, I've never had to endure such conditions myself but I've known a number of men who have, and each of them was left damaged and suffering as a result of their experiences. I cannot attest to their mental condition prior to their SuperMax confinement but they all demonstrated a variety of similar anti-social, delusional, paranoid behaviors. For them, the prospect of dying might seem, at times, like a pleasant reprieve but I've still got way too much life ahead of me. The worst thing that could happen to me would be spending the rest of my life in here and letting all of my family and friends down in the process...so that's what I remain focused on never allowing to happen. Period.
First and foremost I am committed to my family, my friends and to anyone who I know is relying upon me. I'm sure that commitment stems from my incredibly strong sense of loyalty, which is one of the traits I most admire and prize in others around me. It's amazing how my circle has grown over the course of the last six months in direct relation to the expansion of my commitment to various projects/programs I decided to get involved in. As I unwittingly transitioned into a much more visible position within the prison community, I felt obligated to expand my commitment to the much larger group of men who began to look to me for guidance and support. As a result, I've had to become even more aware of what's best for ALL of the men around me as opposed to what's best for just me personally. I believe that the commitment I've shown to doing what's best for everyone has already won me the trust of all the men around me and it will continue to win me even greater support and trust in the future.
"What is your vision for yourself and the people around you?"
I envision myself and all of the people around me (in here) remaining at the forefront of the Reentry Movement as it continues to gain momentum. The changes that are now taking place will have a dramatic impact on the future of incarceration in this country IF they are permitted to continue, and that's something I definitely want to be a part of. I believe that those of us who are already involved in the movement share that vision and we are all fully committed to making whatever changes are necessary going forward in order to achieve it. This year, 2013, will undoubtedly be one that we will all look back upon fondly and remember.
"What is your heart telling you?"
Right now, my heart is telling me to trust and believe in all of the people around me despite the rebellion of my rational mind. I've been burned in the past, so I know where that fear stems from, but I'm going to listen to my heart anyway. As they say, "Nothing ventured is nothing gained," and a broken heart will always heal, so I'm "all in."