Onsite Experiences, Gourmet Man Food, Craft Beer,

Inaugural Kickoff Dinner At Chicago’s Goose & Fox, 

Pre-Party and After-Show Events Announced For

Chicago Open Air

July 15, 16 And 17 Festival At Toyota Park In Bridgeview, IL

Headliners RammsteinDisturbed And Slipknot

Will Be Joined By Chevelle, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch,

Ministry, Breaking Benjamin, Marilyn Manson, Of Mice & Men And Many More

Additional onsite experiences, as well the official pre-party, an Inaugural Kickoff Dinner at Chicago’s Goose & Fox, and after-show events have been announced for the first annual Chicago Open Air. The three-day music, craft beer and Gourmet Man Food festival held July 15, 16 and 17 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL, just outside Chicago will feature a spectacular music lineup.

Overall, Chicago Open Air will feature performances by more than 40 bands, including Rammstein (the group’s only 2016 U.S. performance and first Chicago show since 2012), Chicago’s own Disturbed (who recently returned from a 4-year hiatus with their #1 album Immortalized), global rock juggernauts Slipknot, Chevelle, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, Ministry, Breaking Benjamin, Marilyn Manson, Of Mice & Men, and many more. The festival will also include Gourmet Man Food featuring local and regional cuisine, a craft beer village highlighting top brews from the region, other entertainment and fan experiences, and will be hosted by Jose Mangin from SiriusXM.

A limited number of single day tickets will be released for purchase on Friday, June 10 to celebrate Father’s Day weekend. Single day tickets will only be available while supplies last. Weekend General Admission and VIP tickets are on sale now at www.ChicagoOpenAir.com.

Here’s a preliminary list of Chicago Open Air special events, Gourmet Man Food and craft beer partners, as well as onsite experiences and nonprofit organizations with a presence at Chicago Open Air:

Chicago Open Air Pre-Party: The official Chicago Open Air Pre-Party presented by 95 WIIL Rock and 100.7 QRock will be held at Concord Music Hall on Thursday, July 14Otep headlines the show with Shaman’s HarvestIslander and Through Fire supporting. Chicago Open Air ticket holders will have the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets in advance for $10. Regular tickets are $17.


Chicago Open Air Inaugural Kickoff Dinner: In celebration of the inaugural Chicago Open Air festival and the great culinary city of Chicago, Danny Wimmer Presents will be throwing a special Chicago Open Air kickoff dinner presented by Chicago’s Goose & Fox and hosted by Jose Mangin of SiriusXM on Thursday, July 14 at 6:00 PM CDT. The BYOB dinner will feature five courses with seasonal and local ingredients from Midwestern farmers for $75.00. Limited tickets are on sale now at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2560621.

Gourmet Man Food: Chicago Open Air will feature selections from Chicago-area favorites such as: Bruges Brothers (Braised Oxtail Poutine, Currywurst, Comeback Fish and Chips) ● Chicago Doghouse(Rattlesnake and Rabbit Sausage, Smoked Alligator Sausage, The Midway Monster Hot Dog) ● Crème Of The Crop Food Truck (Grown Up Mac & Cheese, Strawberry Chicken Wrap, Tater Skins) ● Dia De Los Tamales (Cuban Tamale, Spicy Black Bean and Corn Tamale, The Chicago Beef) ● Dinky’s Donuts ● International Spud Station (The Spudnik, Apollo-Mash, Nebula Chips) ● Kuma’s Corner (Led Zeppelin Burger, Iron Maiden Burger) ● Pizano’s (Chicago deep dish) ● The Happy Lobster (Happy Lobster Roll, The Angry Lobster Roll, Fried Lobster Mac And Cheese Bites) ● Yum Dum (Kimcheesy Fries, Braised Pork Belly Baos). Additional Gourmet Man Food vendors from around the country will include: Cheeze Louise (Salmon Grilled Cheese Melt or Bowl, Meat Lover’s Grilled Cheese, Fried Chicken Mac N Cheese Bowl) ● Cravin’ Cajun (Spicy Shrimp Po-Boy, Gator Critter Fritters, The Soft Shell Crab Sandwich) ● Master of Patties (The Brekky Burger, The Muffaletta Burger, The Beef Wellington) ● Pie Baby Wood-Fired Pizza.

Headbangers Beer Hall: This unique METAL themed bar is a 100×80 dive bar experience complete with Marshall amplifiers lining the back wall, a unique jukebox playing heavy metal music, rocker pinball machines, Chicago favorite Kuma’s Corner serving their signature metal themed burgers just next door, and more that will give fans a dark, heavy metal, craft beer and cocktail experience all on site at Chicago Open Air. The Headbangers Beer Hall will feature national and regional craft beers and artist inspired beverages including: Goose Island (Chicago – 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Four Star Pils), Half Acre Beer Company (Chicago – Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, Vallejo IPA, Pony Pilsner), Iron Maiden’s TROOPER BeerLagunitas (Petaluma, CA – IPA, A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’), Motörhead WineSurly (Minneapolis – Surly Hell Lager, Surly Furious IPA), Two Brothers Brewing (Chicago – seasonals TBA), and more to be announced. Look for unique experiences throughout the weekend with members of bands at the bar, as well as former MTV Headbangers Ball host and Cathouse founder Riki Rachtman playing some of his favorite songs and guest bartending during the weekend.

Kuma’s Corner: Offering the best burgers in Chicago, Kuma’s started in 2005 with its flagship location at the corner of Belmont and Francisco avenues in Chicago’s Avondale. From their origins as a corner bar with solid American bistro fare, they’ve grown to two locations that offer the finest burgers available on this planet or any other. Kuma’s ethos is simple: Support your community. Eat beef. Bang your head. Look for the official Chicago Open Air #GourmetManFood burger at Kuma’s, and for their full menu to be announced soon.

Monster Energy Experience/Sampling: Monster Energy will be keeping all fans fueled up and ready to rock by offering free sampling on their Monster Energy viewing deck. Enjoy Monster Energy drinks from one of the best seats in the house. Make sure to check back throughout the festival for a schedule of Monster Energy’s interactive artist experiences.

Facebook: facebook.com/monsterenergy

#monsterenergy #monstermusic

Jack Daniel’s Experience: “Taste of Tennessee” invites visitors to come out and tour the nation’s oldest registered distillery from outside the Jack Daniel’s Hollow. Visitors get to see (and smell) whiskey dripping slowly through charcoal and the new oak barrels used in maturing Tennessee’s finest whiskey. The Jack Daniel’s Experience is open to all fans, 21 years old and up, for tours free of charge.  Stop by the Jack Daniel’s Experience for interactive engagements throughout the weekend.

Facebook: facebook.com/jackdaniels

Instagram: @jackdaniels_us

#jackdaniels #BornToMakeWhiskey

The Music Experience: The Music Experience features all the elements that are involved in making music in a professional band setting. The interactive exhibit features guitars, basses, amps, drums, keyboards and electronic gear that are used by today’s most popular bands. The Music Experience has autograph signings and artist interactions throughout the day. Check Facebook and Instagram for the latest info on who will be hanging out at The Music Experience.

Facebook: facebook.com/themusicexp

Instagram: @tmexp

Keep Golf Metal: Keep Golf Metal is a movement that encourages festival attendees to play a 9 hole putt putt course with PGA level golf clubs provided by Rife Putters and MasterFit Custom Golf Clubs. Keep Golf Metal also has apparel that features designs that fuse the rock and golf worlds together.

f.y.e. Fan Experience: f.y.e. will be hosting the ultimate fan and artist interactive experiences throughout the festival. f.y.e. is the only place at the festival to get all your favorite band’s music – and maybe even get to meet your favorite Chicago Open Air performers. Check back for updates on artist meet and greet and autograph signing sessions.

Facebook: facebook.com/FYE

Instagram: @officalFYEmusic


Dyin 2 Live / Fxck Cancer: The F C Cancer Foundation’s mission is to fight cancer by raising awareness and to educate about early cancer detection, ultimately putting an end to late stage cancer diagnosis. The Dyin 2 Live wish granting program looks to enrich the lives of those fighting cancer by offering them an experience that will bring joy, hope, inspiration, and courage into their lives. In doing this, the program hopes it can help give the cancer fighter a chance to forget, even if it’s only for a day, what they are battling. The hope is that it can be used as a source of inspiration to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour.




Facebook: facebook.com/Dyin2LiveDREAMS or facebook.com/FxckCancerUSA

Instagram: @FxckCancer and @Dyin2LiveDreams

Take Me Home Animal Rescue: Take Me Home is a not for profit, volunteer based foundation that has been saving the lives of homeless animals since 2001. Many families living in low-income areas cannot afford medical care, basic vaccinations, or spay/neuter surgeries for their companion animals. The donations raised help us to fund mobile veterinary hospitals to travel into these under-served areas to provide free spay and neuter, vaccinations, microchipping and administer medical care for animals in desperate need. Take Me Home also supports local animal charities. Come by the booth to help out our furry friends by buying a shirt, signed merchandise, and entering a raffle. Danny Wimmer, Founder, DWP, said, “DWP is proud to support various charities, giving them a national platform to promote their messages. We are particularly fond of Take Me Home, which advocates for animal adoption. I hope everyone stops by their booth and supports their fundraising efforts to help animals in need.” For more information, please visit: www.takemehome.tv.

Facebook: facebook.com/TakeMeHomeRescue

Instagram: @TakeMeHomeRescue

Twitter: @TMHRescue

Official Chicago Open Air After-Show Events: 

Friday, July 15Helmet with Tight Phantomz at Double Door (1551 N. Damen Ave., Chicago)


Saturday, July 16Carcass with Deafheaven at Metro (3730 N. Clark Street, Chicago)


The daily music lineup for Chicago Open Air is as follows:

Friday, July 15: Rammstein, Chevelle, Ministry, Of Mice & Men, Meshuggah, The Devil Wears Prada, In This Moment, Hollywood Undead, Trivium, Hatebreed, Periphery, Drowning Pool, Butcher Babies, Through Fire

Saturday, July 16: Disturbed, Korn, Breaking Benjamin, Alter Bridge, Gojira, Helmet, Deafheaven, Carcass, Pop Evil, Nothing More, Saint Asonia, Miss May I, Beartooth, Silver Snakes, City Of The Weak

Sunday, July 17: Slipknot, Five Finger Death Punch, Marilyn Manson, Bullet For My Valentine, Killswitch Engage, BABYMETAL, Asking Alexandria, Corrosion Of Conformity, All That Remains, letlive., We Came As Romans, Jim Breuer and the Loud & Rowdy, Upon A Burning Body, Gemini Syndrome

Chicago Open Air is produced by Danny Wimmer PresentsLive Nation and Toyota Park, with the support of the Village of Bridgeview and Bridgeview Mayor Steven Landek.

Festival doors open at 11:00 AM each day and the show ends at 11:30 PM on Friday, 11:00 PM on Saturday, and 10:00 PM on Sunday.

For more information on Chicago Open Air, visit www.ChicagoOpenAir.com.

Chicago Open Air sponsors include: Monster Energy, Jack Daniel’s, f.y.e., Dyin 2 Live / Fxck Cancer, Take Me Home Animal Rescue, El Jimador Tequila, The Music Experience, Roadrunner Records, Century Media Records and more to be announced.

Website: www.ChicagoOpenAir.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/chiopenair

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chiopenair

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chiopenair


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About Danny Wimmer Presents: Since 1993, music industry veteran Danny Wimmer has been producing concerts and festivals, both large and small. In 2011, he formed Danny Wimmer Presents, which now produces several of the largest rock and alternative festivals in the U.S. By combining A-list talent with local cuisine and culture, DWP has become recognized within the industry for delivering the highest-quality entertainment experiences to fans, artists, sponsors, partners and host cities. DWP creates memorable and all-encompassing festival experiences, leaving both consumers and partners with lasting and meaningful impressions. With 580,000 fans attending all DWP festivals in 2015, and 10 billion media impressions, DWP will continue to add new music festivals to its already stellar portfolio, which includes Rock On The Range, Monster Energy Aftershock Festival, Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville, Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion, Louder Than Life, and Monster Energy Rock Allegiance, among others.


About Live Nation Entertainment: Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, Live Nation Media & Sponsorship and Artist Nation Management. For additional information, visit www.livenationentertainment.com.

About Toyota Park: Toyota Park is located at 7000 South Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview, IL. It’s the heart of soccer for much of the Midwest and a must-see destination for world-class concerts and other sporting events. Toyota Park is conveniently located in Bridgeview near I-294 and-I-55, within an easy drive from every corner of the Chicago area. Just 15 miles from Chicago’s Loop, Toyota Park offers ample parking and is served by PACE buses and shuttle links with the nearby CTA Midway Orange Line station.


Chicago Open Air Publicity Contact

Kristine Ashton-Magnuson/Ashton-Magnuson Media

kristine@am-media.net(818) 996-2496

Chicago Open Air Marketing & Sponsorship Contact

Clay Busch/Danny Wimmer Presents


Live Nation Publicity Contact

Taylor Heydlauff/Live Nation – Midwest

TaylorHeydlauff@livenation.com; (312) 260-9176

Village Of Bridgeview Publicity Contact

Ray Hanania

RGHanania@gmail.com; (312) 933-9855

I find it kind of fun and amusing to have people catch you in whatever current exterior predicament you happen to be in at a particular moment and totally get the wrong impression of what you’re like and who you really are.

On this particular day, I’m heading back to school after winter break comes to an end and I’m riding the El with some film equipment I was able to check out. I situate myself and take a seat, arranging my film equipment by placing my tripod on my seat, propping it behind me against the wall and the camera lens case on the floor in front of me. I take off my hat and gloves to reveal a bandage on the outer edge of my palm (where one would strike a block of wood in karate). I earned myself this flattering display from a wine glass that broke while I was doing the dishes. I start to pull out my makeshift makeup bag (the bag my makeup comes in when I buy it) and it crinkles in its flimsiness. I tend to leave my makeup on overnight and just reapply what’s gone awry in the morning. (Bad habit, I know) Anyhow, I didn’t give myself enough time to do my makeup at home and pushed this back to combine with my travel commute time. All the while, I’m sniffling to a runny nose because I’m getting over a cold.

At this point, I can feel all the inconspicuous and conspicuous looks pounding my way. I can only imagine what they’re thinking. “What’s the tripod for?” “What’s she doing that she’s got smeared makeup on and reapplying it now on the train?” “Is she a prostitute traveling from her last client? Is she on her way to her next appointment?” “Did she get that wound on her hand from a job gone wrong? Was the guy rough on her? Was there BDSM involved?” “Is she sniffling cause she has a weak immune system cause she’s got some sexual disease? Does she have AIDS?”

Yeah, I may have quite the imagination but I wouldn’t be surprised if something along these lines crossed their minds! Everyone knows how ridiculous unfiltered thoughts can be!

So that was the time people thought I was a sick, diseased prostitute who supplied her clients with video recording equipment. Maybe they thought I was a pornographer or a porn star. Hah! Circumstances can give people the completely wrong impression of you and really, I think it’s kind of funny! ‘Cause somewhere, at some point, in someone’s mind, you’ve been a crazy psycho. …And the world keeps spinnin’ round.

There’s a topic I’m bringing up today that is typically tucked away into the deep corners of your mind that you wish you could just toss out altogether. Maybe it hadn’t occurred to you; if that’s the case, I apologize for shoving this thought into your existence. It’s the fear of the possibility that upon death, all consciousness ceases; we completely flatline for good.

The first time this paralyzing fear pierced through my heart and settled into my stomach, I was about five years old. I can clearly envision where I was and what I was looking at. I was sitting in the bathtub enjoying the soothing, warm water while my mother was in the bedroom down the hall putting clothes away. I was staring into the shower faucet’s distorted reflection of myself. I remember the debilitating fear just hitting me out of nowhere. I called out for my mom and she came running.

I asked her what happened when we died. She said simply, “I don’t know.” As my mother, she added sweet nothings of God bringing us to Heaven. She calmed my fears and assured me into safety.

Throughout the years, the fear would occasionally come back. They were such rare occurrences and did not stay too long to cause much concern. Then a few days ago, I had one of the worst bouts of this gut-wrenching fear creep back into the forefront of my mind; this time, for a good part of a day with remnants lingering for two more (and counting). I’m currently writing this during the aftermath of this latest instillation of fear.

Let me describe this feeling. It is an utterly helpless, panicked, desperate feeling that makes you feel shaky and the worst kind of uncertainty. The fear churns like a popcorn machine and spreads throughout your body, continuously shifting so it constantly feels new as if you’re experiencing this feeling for the first time over and over again in quick succession. There is no other moment where I’ve felt more scared, small, and insignificant. It is the ultimate feeling of hopelessness.

I sought to get rid of feeling this way, if only temporarily. I searched for websites acknowledging and discussing this topic. I come across an article of someone who described this fear just as I have and the myriad of comments that followed from others who felt the same way. I read through many of the responses and found solace in some of the answers. As the feeling started to subside a little, the disturbing fact that we can never know for sure what happens upon death until it’s happening takes a permanent seat.

I also looked up the definition of ‘die’ and found two very different meanings that pertain to this very subject I’m writing about: 1) stop living and 2) used to emphasize that one wants to do or have something very much. Within the very definition of dying is the struggle I refer to in this article. We all die (stop living) and are also dying (to live and have [eternal] life). This struggle of irrevocably coming into existence and being given conscious thought paired with the binding promise and guarantee of an end that leads to somewhere unknown and therefore potentially nowhere is very powerful and very real. Everything important to you in your life and all your thoughts fall powerless underneath this all-encompassing umbrella that looms above us and everything we “know.” That is incredibly scary.

Recognizing and acknowledging all of this is the only way to get this fear under control. Simply ignoring it only delays its inevitable return. Instead of shunning it away like it’s some sort of taboo, learn to live with it and figure out how to fit it into your life. (In my opinion, this also applies to addiction.) I would compare this to a puzzle: your life comprises of puzzle pieces; one of those pieces represents a fear you have. How did this piece come about and get assigned to one of your fears? You did when you let it into your life. (It’s important to note that I am not blaming anyone for letting anything into their lives; there are no preventative measures to be taken; it is as effortless as energy exchange between items of differing temperatures.) Once it’s in, it’s in, if only leaving the evidence of having changed you. As the puzzle pieces are permanent, it wouldn’t make any sense to throw this puzzle piece in the corner so that it’s out of your physical sight. You’re going to need that piece for your puzzle. Other pieces need it to fit into the puzzle. So it would do you no good to toss your fears or puzzle pieces into a dark corner. Doing so will only delay your own progress and prevent you from functioning at your optimal potential.

Instead, your fears need to be faced head-on. Metaphorically speaking, with how big and monstrous they are, the only way to break free of the grasp it has over you is to get up close to it so that you won’t be able to see its massive size; they’ll be too large to fully take in or see up close. At this position, it’s much easier to not have to let its sheer monstrosity intimidate and have control over you. You’ll be  within range to chipping away at it and depleting its matter. Optimal strength you’ll possess and your odds of destroying your fears are at its highest.

Rather than ignoring your fears, you should figure out how to incorporate it into your life as a functioning tool for you to work with. This goes back to the positive suggestion “Make lemonade out of lemons.” There are numerous sarcastic remarks that can be made to dispute this method, but try as you might, you can’t ignore the fact that I’m onto something here. (The nerd in me goes, “Resistance is futile!”)

Now in my aftermath, I come out spinning my fear into motivational momentum. I am not and will never be perfect, but in turning this into a positive propeller, I accomplish more with my day than without this powerful mechanism of thought. (It’s all about perspective!) I periodically research this subject and anything else that would lead me to build my case of determining what is most likely to come after we die. I won’t go into my personal findings right now because what I believe is not important to this article. I do encourage anyone who identifies with this same fear I talked about to do their own thorough research, exploration, and discovery.

Harness your fear and let it motivate you instead. Focus on the positive and try your best to let go of worrying about that which you cannot control. Learn to work with your fear and let it become something that strengthens you.

[Remember, we are all on this journey together. Lean on each other for support. The least we can do is be there for each other.]

© Amy Girl Huge Smile Bunny Ears Nick (Plain)I simply get so much joy from seeing others happy, smiling, and laughing. I am fascinated by expression and reaction to the discovery of the contents of each new second. I am delighted by its infiniteness. Much of what I get to capture in my photography are beautiful moments that are otherwise gone within a matter of seconds. More often than not, a moment can happen and be over and done with in the time it takes to press down the shutter button. There are so many astronomically amazing moments rushing past us at any given point in time. Likewise, the different elements within the camera required to successfully capture these moments need to be in place. I love what I do and here’s how I’m able to produce such high-quality images. 

© Eddie and Sound FL Laughing (Plain)

I have that key ingredient of passion and love of others. I have that eye for the intricate and the interesting, no matter how minuscule; It’s all in the detail. I understand vision, light, and photography at a fundamental level. I am very particular in my framing and focus. After all, our own eyes can only focus sharply on a very small area at one time (the size of your thumbnail). Therefore, I am keenly aware of the crucial care required to handle the delicate focus of the camera and how it translates to the final product. On another foundational principle, light hits everything we’re able to see, and so anything deserves a shining spotlight and deserves to be celebrated whether it be a shred of dust that descends from its gathered habitat and falls unto the floor in a graceful manner or a moving moment shared between two people. To be able to catch and focus in on the beauty and even the ugliness of occurrences is truly humbling and rewarding.

© Feel-Good Hug (Plain)
These stills tell a story. They’re a storyboard of real life; A Storyboard of history. It’s really beautiful when you leaf through it. This is a major reason why I put so much value in photos and why I do what I do. When I think about what it is I do, all I feel is love and desire. There’s a healthy fire there that gravitates towards stoking others’ fires and happiness. I receive so much satisfaction from that.

Big Bowl of Splash

What particularly sets me apart from the rest: I go through and edit my RAW images one by one, giving each photo its own attention. I don’t batch edit my pictures. While a group of photos will be shot under similar lighting, each picture is its own image and hence, I treat them as such. I make each photo the best that they can be. By focusing on each individual picture, I am able to bring each photo to its optimal quality. I put the time and care into producing my images. It’s a service I’m happy to deliver.
© Smiley Face (Plain)
That being said, I operate with a quick, fast hand with no reservations. I am not daunted by high shot counts. I look forward to reviewing my thorough coverage. I always operate with the mentality of getting the shot as the most important factor; I have no thoughts about the workload I’m adding on for myself for later. I always have the purpose of what I do at the forefront of my mind. I am never misguided by extra time I need to spend on my projects because of my high shot count rate. I don’t even live in the realm of or think in terms of that being an inconvenience on my part. I’m here to get the best coverage of shots and I do whatever it takes, no questions asked. That is all I want and that is what my clients want. Working with someone with the same desires and goals will yield a 100% satisfactory result every time. That’s my guarantee. I deliver dedicated, caring, amazing work. If pictures evoke a thousand words, I make those words shine like gold.
Cold Syrup

Look and Slow Down

There’s been a growing appreciation for motivational speeches and insights about ourselves. It’s funny how we know all these principles and ideas that remind us and ground us yet we’re so surprised when we hear these simple facts. I feel it’s due to the fast-paced world in which we live in now. It’s all about chasing the next thing, looking forward, figuring out plans to come. There doesn’t feel like there’s time to slow down and focus on what’s going on in the present. It’s as if we don’t realize what’s happening within ourselves. We feel like we simply can’t afford to. I would equate this to the dilemma of a race car driver during a race: he knows he should probably stop for a tune-up but resists and may decide to forgo the pit stop because he feels that it is time he cannot afford to spend; the tradeoff doesn’t seem worth it. Instead of pulling over and getting the necessary tune-ups, he continues on in the race in order to not fall behind.

A lot of us are feeling this catch 22 effect of keeping up a pace quick enough to not fall behind in life, to succeed and such: Looking up ahead (the only way to maintain a fast pace without crashing into something unexpected) prevents us from, excuse the redundant phrase, smell[ing] the roses. Sure we anticipate what lies ahead by recognizing the obstacles in our way, where we currently stand and by evaluating how we’ll get from point A to point B. In other words, we know what elements exist in our lives. But the key difference here is that at such a fast pace, we’re only able to get a sense of the outside. We see the physicalities and the space that they take up in our lives, but as far as how they can potentially affect and are affecting us, we have no clue.

But if we did take the time to evaluate ourselves, really take the time to appreciate and enjoy day-to-day life and not just save that outlook and mode of feeling for “someday” or those vacations that are few and far in between, we would perceive that our place in the world has diminished. We would feel like that momentum we had accumulated and the time it took to gather that pace is going to waste. We would then feel we were at a standstill while we stopped to gather the energy and focus to build up the fuel to rev that engine and start moving again. That extra time taken to start up again is not a place we are comfortable being in. We feel that this pace that we strive to maintain is trivial to our success, our security, and in defining who we are.

Basically, the catch 22 we feel: we need to make money in able to enjoy life. But in order to make a living, we need to match and sustain the fast pace in which the world functions. At such a pace, we feel we can’t take the time to enjoy life without feeling inadequate. We fill this void by putting more focus on making money. And thus, the perpetual cycle of emptiness and feeling lost circulates.

[Note: when I speak about the world, I only mean first world countries. You know, the world I live in. I would be arrogant to speak about a world I virtually know nothing about. (I am fed information that would lead me to believe I know about the way third world countries operate, but I feel that I would have to experience it for myself to really know. I don’t believe everything the media tells me to believe. More on that another time.)]

We’re caught up in this paradox the man-made world has inevitably led us to. Unfortunately, there is no way to create more hours in your day. And there is no way you can forgo on sleep and maintain your best optimal abilities. The good news is, God willing, we have a good set amount of time to live. That’s right, to live. That means experiencing the true meaning and purpose of being alive, which I hope you would agree is to enjoy, love, and feel. That catch 22 up there that I mentioned? It’s not ironclad. Notice how I said we feel this catch 22.

Fortunately, we have the ability to experience all that life has to offer while continuing to succeed and make progress in our career goals and endeavors. You can make money and feel secure while simultaneously striving to preserve the real purposes of living. (I stress the importance of the vice versa here as well) We don’t have to feel lost in ourselves. Thankfully, we have these amazing teams of people who spin out messages to us that remind us who we are and to pay attention to and to take care of ourselves. All we have to do is take that time to listen, incorporate that into our mentality, and remember to not forget. That will make all the difference. So let’s cheers to a healthy, successful life full of love, enjoyment, excitement, vibrancy, and above all, awareness. Here’s to feeling whole and knowing we are not alone. We all have each other. Slow down and enjoy the ride together.