Paddling a Submarine vs. Living an Authentic Life 

Last night I dreamed I was paddling a canoe up a lake in the middle of the night. It was calm, I felt peaceful, yet there was one concern. The canoe was underwater. I was trying to paddle a submarine.

I’ve spent years listening to my dreams, paying attention to patterns, weighing the emotions of dreams with respect to my life at the moment. I believe larger forces speak to me in that unconscious world, forces that can guide me to awareness of deeper truths. This pushes me to wonder, why was I paddling a submarine?

I know there are many ways to interpret dreams, but ultimately, I tend to accept that my dreams are about me. Over the years, I’ve noticed that when I’m honest about how I feel in my dreams, they have given me clues to parts of me I needed to pay attention to.

Paddling a submarine. I feel this dream was about my need to live an authentic life. Paddling the canoe was me moving forward in life. My goal was to get to the end of the lake, to a state of inner peace, but I was struggling because I was keeping my emotions below the surface. If I would allow my feelings to express themselves above the water, I would have less resistance to life and my journey would be immensely easier.

I need to be genuine, original, true and trustworthy, and not be in fear of what the world may think of me in my many moments of  smallness.

Authenticity means to be honest, to be vulnerable, to take risks. Authenticity is built one day, one choice, at a time. It is a process of continually stepping out of my comfort zone and engaging the world from a place of worthiness vs. shame.

Authenticity is a daily journey into the wilderness of being fully alive.

What’s the greater risk I ask myself? Living life based on what other people think, or being vibrantly alive based on how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?

This blog, “Travels with Tio, a blind writer’s path to happiness,” is my journey, my choice, to be all of me, fully alive. It is one way I will raise myself from paddling a submarine, to paddling a canoe, to perhaps even flying.

What does authenticity mean to you? How does it affect your life?

Please share your feelings on being the authentic “you”.

tio Stib

2013, 2017, 2018

Brene’ Brown recently gave a TED talk, “Listening to Shame,” in which she explores the challenges of authenticity. Brown believes authenticity is a process, a series of choices we make in our lives, choices made each day, in each moment, to be real…or not.

Here’s the link:


What Should I Do With My Life?

Today’s weather in Tio’s mind: Partly cloudy, warming

After weeks of sobbing  storms overwhelming me as I’ve grieved for the loss of my wife to dementia, today dawned with glimpses of bright sunshine. I heard birds singing and smelled flowers and blossoms, hints of Spring creeping into my small town world.,

I can feel a new season coming, new life beginning again, but what does this mean for me, what now without the woman with whom I spent all day, every day, all the time for the past ten years? Standing stunned on the edge of a chasm of lonely emptiness, I am left wondering-

What should I do with my life?

Being both introspective and introverted, I let this question bounce around my brain like a ball tumbling through a cosmic pinball machine. Over and over, the resulting answer is the same-


Obviously, this mental masochism is going nowhere, so it’s time to just move on, seek out the signs that have guided me to a meaningful life in the past-respect.

Courage. Compassion, Integrity. Gratitude, Simplicity. Fellowship. Nature. Frontiers. Wilderness. Service.

I trust that following the path with heart, I will be guided to the right people, the right places, the right purpose.

I pay attention, I live my truth fearlessly, I expect the best, and-


tio stib

You might also appreciate” Jumping Off; Life Journey Poems & Prose



Start with Why?

Start With Why?

Have you spent much time with three year olds lately? I have, and one of the most interesting and often frustrating behaviors of these little beings is their continued use of the single word question:


“Why do I need to eat my vegetables?”

“Why do I need to use the toilet instead of dumping in my diapers?”

“Why are you so mad about the man talking on the television?:

“Why does it matter if I swallowed a quarter?”

Yes, such questions can be annoying, especially if they seemingly never end, but let’s look past our own small mindedness to a basic truth.

“Why?” is the first question of conscious being, arguably the most important one. Children, when they first become able to verbally communicate with adults, ask “why?” Most of the older folks they ask, soon get tired of the never ending prodding and soon simply answer, “just because”.

Cop out.

When do we turn the brain switches off and stop being conscious? When did this happen to you?  For me, it was when I entered kindergarten and suddenly found my self fearful of social disapproval. Yes, it was fear that shut me down. And now, years later, having traversed many of life’s mountains and fallen face first into my fears, I’m back to asking “why?” again.

Why am I writing this blog? Just what do I expect to get out of this? Sure, it would be nice, perhaps, to have a large following of folks who enjoyed my written ramblings about life, who possibly get a chuckle of my misadventures, who might even find some anecdote that paralleled their own journeys and felt compelled to ask their own questions. Yes, that would be comforting, but I don’t think that’s what matters most to me.  Rather, my heart says this writing, this public outlay of my thoughts and feelings is about claiming my own significance, my reason for being, just for me. This blog is me telling the Universe, “I’m here and I’m playing, doing whatever it takes, to fully realize and be me, all I can be for the betterment of life on planet earth.”

A bit heavy. Perhaps. But it rings true to my soul. Is there some humor in this. Certainly. My delusions of making a difference with my life are, of course, delusional.. But, then, aren’t all dreams delusional? That’s what makes them dreams. What’s even more crazy is that some people actually make their dreams happen, in spite of the seeming impossibilities.

So, why not me?


Back to my favorite question. Let’s hear it for three year olds.

For an interesting perspective on “Why?” check out Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why, on Amazon. For those who have an appetite for intellectual nourishment, this book is wonderful brain food.


Questions, thoughts, or if you’d simply like to connect, send me an email,

Yours to count on,

Tio Stib Signature

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Tio Stib