Quarterly Update - 2020 Q1

Thank you for sharing a moment together.

If you are celebrating Easter or Passover, please enjoy the holiday season.  Regardless of religious beliefs, it is a beautiful time of year to slow down and spend a few moments celebrating the life and rebirth of our environment.

  1. the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life.

Sitting down to write this email is always a time of reflection and it is hard to believe what all has changed since writing three short months ago.  Hopefully you and your family are safe and doing well through the pandemic.

What is the best thing to do when going through hell?  Keep going!  Which is what we have to do today.  We have to keep going.  We have to find a new normal.

Maybe your new normal will leave you feeling:
  • More grateful.
  • More centered.
  • And more focused.

Here's to a kinder fortune in the months ahead!
I am most grateful for today.

Today, I woke up in my hometown, surrounded by friends, family, and colleagues who genuinely support me.

Today, I am physically healthy enough to enjoy a morning exercise and a fresh meal without assistance.  And mentally stable enough to write this email, engage in thoughtful discussions, and share candid moments,

Today—right now—I am happy and I am thankful.

Thank you for making it so easy to do.
Looking forwad to turkey hunting season in a few weeks!  No social distancing rules for turkeys...


One’s True Self
Gus Tai

I have to confess that I find my inner variability amusing.

As an example, in some moments, I feel enlivened by the desire to be in communion with others. But hours later, I’m craving solitude.

Or I'll feel a deep clarity that writing is one of my authentic purposes. And then in a blink, this identity evaporates without a trace.

Given my contradictory richness, I sometimes wonder, “Who am I, really?”

And I never hear a response.

So in an attempt to relate, I will often imagine myself as a sphere. Beaming from my core are an infinite number of rays. Each transports a distinct habit, quality, or attribute.

On my sphere’s surface, I’ll visualize these qualities animating and expanding as they find their own resonance with the world. Touch the right location in the right way and I might feel a burning passion as a writer. Touch another, and I might just want to nap.

When these manifesting interactions feel cut-off or shunted, I may reflect, “Perhaps I just need to rotate my sphere to find a more helpful alignment.”

And when I feel too fatigued, I might think, “Perhaps I can find a more nourishing beam to use.”

Or perhaps not.

What I do notice though, is how I feel both expansive pride for some of the rays, and contracting embarrassment for others.

This reality jars me into acknowledging that this may actually be my true self: An amplifying, reinforcing, and conflicting bundle of desirable and undesirable energies.

It’s all of them that makes me human. And my intuition nudges me to befriend each and every one. Because, perhaps, this is the path to wholeness. It’s my path to befriending me.

10 Tips for Getting Focused

This list is adapted from Austin Kleon's How to Keep Going. Austin, admittedly, stole these from other artists and wrote a book on how to Steal Like an Artist so I don't think he'll mind my adaptation...

    Every day is Groundhog Day.

    “What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same and nothing that you did mattered?”

    Ralph: “That about sums it up for me.”

    Work as though there’s no success or failure, there’s just the work to be done.

    Build a bliss station.

    Or as Chubbs famously said in Happy Gilmore, find your happy place!


    Forget the noun, do the verb.

    Forget about acting the part, living up to the image, or how you stand in relation to others. Just do the work. Commit to a daily practice.

    Make gifts.

    Relationship > Transaction

    Be extraordinary

    The ordinary + extra attention

    Slay the art monsters.


    You’re allowed to change your mind.

    No, really. You are allowed.

    When in doubt, tidy up.

    P.S. KonMari is nice 👌

    Demons hate fresh air.

    And cinnamon.  But going for a walk is easier, cheaper, and much cleaner.

    Plant your garden.

    Melissa and I are going to try our hand at planting an honest-to-goodness garden this year to supplement our farm buying club.  However, this tip is not gardening commentary; it is a reminder to plant "seeds" now for when this pandemic is over because, as Grandma always says, this too shall pass.
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    Troubadour Coffee Roasters
    Cleveland, OH

    Wow--this place is fantastic.  Tony, the owner, spent a few hours with us teaching us more about coffee than we could have ever imagined.  If you enjoy good great coffee, I strongly recommend checking them out.

    P.S. They also do a monthly coffee subscription.

    P.P.S.  Ryan Besinger, frequently behind the bar, is a wonderful guy with a wealth of knowledge regarding all things coffee + tea.

    Playhouse Square
    Cleveland, OH

    Melissa and I recently attended the Jump Back Ball and we had so much fun!  If you have interest in joining the young professionals group associated with the Playhouse Square, please let me know.

    Buckeye Blends - Gourmet Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil
    Akron, OH

    We love their habanero olive oil and Tuscan herb blend but you cannot go wrong here!