I’ve been meaning to do this…

I’ve been meaning to do this…

I’ve been meaning to do this…

…no, really.  This has been on my “to-do list” for quite some time.

Updating this blog has been on my mind for months.  I first my desire to get “caught up” on my blog around July / August.  At that time, the busy spring season was starting to slow and I began getting caught up on many things work and life.  July / August quickly turned into August / September.   Before I knew it, September was over and we were all getting ready for Halloween.

Even then, I was beating on myself because I was falling behind on my personal blog.  It wasn’t until today when I finally sat down to write that I realized that my last Nameless Wayfarer blog post was in March, but I did write several other articles in the meantime for an online magazine I write for called Brink of Freedom.  You can see the articles here:

As I previously mentioned, until today…where I sat down to write, because of the repeat kicking myself for not writing…which has taken place for months.  Today, I pause and realize that I actually had been writing.  It took a shift in perspective to understand this.  Perhaps this is part of the reason that this very topic has been a big part of my writing for Brink of Freedom.

Without expanding on that more than I already have, I am writing this post as more of a “check in” post.  It’s a quick post to get myself back in the habit of writing in 25 minute blocks (Pomodoro-style) and actually sitting down to *do* something rather than just thinking about it.  So here we go…in addition to the writing above, a number of other things have taken place since March.

Besides the busy spring, it has been the best and most profitable year for the tree farm I work for.  Moreover, the farm I work for had their best and most profitable year from Farmer’s Market sales as well.  After attending the Permaculture Voices Conference (PV1) last year, I returned to Ohio to organize a Permaculture Meetup group in my local community.  Within 6 months, we had approximately 50 members in the group with a core group of about 6 people that are regular attendees and have been to multiple single and multi-day events we have organized.

During all this time, the dream of starting a permaculture-based business materialized and started to take shape.  I performed my first consultation as a Certified Arborist in August and upsold a landscape design at the same time.  Within a few months I delivered a proposal to the customer and they put a deposit down for the second-tier design package that I offered.

I also was able to work with a neighbor and the farm I manage to secure plant material based on their needs and effectively became a small-scale nursery dealer.  Shortly after looking into licensing by the state to be a certified nursery dealer, I attended several additional permaculture workshops and conferences and have continued down the permaculture worm hole.

That’s it folks, one Pomodoro of writing.

Stay tuned.

Pushing Through Fear

Pushing Through Fear

Everyone has fears; the person who says otherwise is lying.  Quite honestly, one of my fears is that my readers will read the words that I am writing and further convince them that I am indeed the lunatic that I have been telling them that I am all along.  In all seriousness though, one of my fears is that people won’t read these words.  One of my fears is that people won’t listen to me.

Like many people, I’ve had my fair share of struggles in life.  On the other hand, I feel blessed in so many ways and know there are many more people who have struggled much more than I.  Frequently, I write about the importance of perspective.  By living deliberately and shifting our perspective, we can change the way we see the world.  It is important to simply understand that we can change.

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Right now, I am writing…or at least I am trying to.  I feel myself struggling for words.  I want to stop.  I want to take the easy way out and crawl back into bed for another hour or so before I actually need to get up.  However, I have a message to share.  I have something deep inside me that I need to say.  I continue writing searching for the right words to express myself.  I fear I will never find them.

It is important for me to acknowledge this.  Every time that I do, I continue writing.  I never stop.  I realize that my fears are nothing more than a brief perspective of the moment.  Before I know it, the fear has passed, more words have been written and my fears have passed like dust in the wind.

These moments of clarity come when I take time for myself to reflect.  Whether it’s a walk in the woods, going out for a run, or time spent writing – I find myself best able to address my fears when I have taken the time to fully understand them.  It’s much easier to not take the time to look at the man in the mirror.  It’s much easier to sleep walk through life and not pay attention to the painful reality that is life.

With that said, once we realize that we have actually spent time in our lives doing this, the realization that we have not been fully paying attention becomes more painful than the perceived pain of life’s reality.  We can allow this pain to continue with lives dominated by complacence and apathy or we can put an end to it by not only making a decision to change, but ultimately taking action and executing.

The decision is yours.

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We have a choice.  We can choose to take the red pill.  We can choose to take the blue pill.  Sometimes we can pretend we take a pill and simply “cheek it” only to spit it out later.  Whatever words you use to describe addressing your fears is up to you, but the bottom line is that you have a choice.  You can take the time to reflect on what your fears are or act accordingly…or not.  What will you choose to do today?

My Resume Lady and Happy Tears

My Resume Lady and Happy Tears

Less than 30 minutes ago…I found myself in tears.  Happy tears.

Shortly afterwards, I was exchanging messages with a friend who wrote, “I am so happy for you. I love when you are connected in conversation and it brings out emotions. Even better is being vulnerable and free to do so.”

For over two months, I have been on a medical leave of absence.  During this time, the correspondence with my employer has been…less than desirable.  All too frequently, I find myself frustrated, depressed, angry and confused.

It finally dawned on me that after almost six years with this employer – the harsh reality is that I will likely lose my job.  While there are likely grounds to “fight” it…I’m not so sure this battle is one in which I wish to engage.

The inevitable change has been paralyzing at times.  Situations such as this demand that we address our fears…otherwise we will be steamrolled by life on life’s terms.  This has happened to me before and will certainly happen again.

Suffice it to say, the time during my leave of absence has allowed me to reach this conclusion on my own terms and quite slowly at that.  Over the past few months, I have been spending many hours each week working on my resume and scouting jobs online.

Mid-December, I finally began applying for some jobs.  Mid-December, I began receiving rejection letters.  I was applying for jobs everywhere.  I couldn’t accept the fact that I was here.

Looking back, it seems as though I was applying for jobs elsewhere to prevent me from dealing with the reality that would be facing me every time I looked in the mirror.  Nevertheless…I kept up the hustle.

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A week or so ago, I came to the realization that I am here – and here is where I will make my stand.  I began to look for opportunities for employment here.  Once I made this realization and came to this conclusion…amazing things began to happen to me.  Within a matter of days…I was presented with opportunities.

For example, a friend requested my resume on account that there were discussions about potential positions being created in 2014 that might be a good fit for me.  Shortly thereafter, a family member handed me a business card from a local business owner who mentioned that he might be looking for someone to fill a position where someone like me might be a good fit.

After more hustle, I tweaked my resume further and sent it to my friend.  I also sent my resume out to Amy Campbell, of http://www.myresumelady.com/.  I “met” Amy through an online community that formed around Jon Acuff’s book titled, START.  You can read more about the online community and its development here.

bloglogoAfter a brief exchange with Amy, I emailed her my resume and within days, we had scheduled an appointment to review my resume.  This was the first experience sending my resume to a professional.  Not knowing what to expect, I was blown away by the quality of service that I received from her.  Amy’s personality was warm and welcoming and her passion for helping me was unquestionable.

She helped me understand all aspects of my resume, gave me advice where and when it was necessary and answered all of my questions – all in a way that was beyond professional.  It was evident that she truly cared about me and that she wanted me to succeed.

It is important to understand that while we were part of the same online community…we had no correspondence prior to our discussion.  I learned of Amy Campbell after reading a *raving* testimonial about her work.  After spending time with Amy on the phone…I wanted to write my own raving testimonial.

Not only did Amy Campbell help me review my resume, she helped me identify my strengths and gave me the courage to share them with others.  She motivated me to “punch fear in the face” and embrace the talents that I have and not be afraid to show them.  She inspired me to look beyond what I think I am capable of doing and chase dreams I never even thought possible.  She challenged me to become a Thought Leader and provided me with much needed encouragement at a time I needed it.

At the end of our conversation, I was filled with joy and I found myself in tears.  Happy tears.

Contact my Resume Lady, Amy Campbell.  May you be blessed with happy tears and the ability to be “vulnerable and free to do so.”

New Year’s Resolutions and Creating Meaningful Work

This morning, I began 2014 not unlike many other days in 2013…

Soon after waking up, I begin scanning facebook on my iPhone while drinking a cup of coffee that is entirely too strong for my tastes.

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After getting “caught up” from the night before (and likely wasting even more time), I soon shift gears into behaviors that make me feel slightly productive – such as reading 48 Days to the Work You Love.

Why this book and why the need to feel so productive?

Before I get overly psychoanalytic about this, I would like to point out that the New Year is merely coincidence.  I am not one to drum up a whole lot of resolutions and speak of what I am *going* to do this upcoming year.  However, this time of year *does* get me thinking about what I’ve done, what I’m doing and what I’m planning to do.

Before I expand on all of this, there may be some new readers out there…if you are one of them – Welcome!   You have boarded the crazy train and are about to join me as I share my thoughts on humanity with you.  For those of you that are unfamiliar with me and my current situation, please feel free to take a moment to get caught up by reading some of the back story here.

While there are many complexities within this story, the reality is that I am feeling uncertain about the security of employment with the company I am currently working for.  It appears as though driving restrictions I currently have will factor heavily into my reassignment.  Bottom line?  I’ll likely need to begin looking for new work in 2014.

So…back to the question I previously wrote, “Why this book and why the need to feel so productive?”

In my back story, I wrote about how life is truly lived on life’s terms.  I realized this completely when I attended the memorial service of a college friend whose wife passed from cancer last month.  My own challenges, coupled with life experiences with people who are challenged with much greater burdens have made me realize what blessings I have in my life.  Personally, it is important for me to acknowledge this.

Perhaps, the need for me to feel productive is summed up in a quote that Dan Miller provided in his book.  He mentions that we should “…expect change and workplace volatility to enhance your chances of creating meaningful work.  It is often in the midst of change and challenges that we find our true direction.”

At the time Dan Miller had been writing about this, he was also discussing Ralph Waldo Emerson and his concept of “divine discontent.”  I don’t want to begin drawing comparisons between the challenges with my continued employment and a friend’s battle with cancer…but the bottom line is that when we are presented with challenges we must look inward.

Looking inward allows us to find the place that causes the pain we feel and the root of the challenge that life has presented us with.  Moreover, it allows us to reflect on this with God and find the solution to the challenges and begin acting accordingly.  Only then can we begin creating meaningful work.

Dan followed up his writing by quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines.  With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.”

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This is important to understand.   It is also confusing.  Frequently, we associate consistency with productivity and success.  This is partially true.  However, when our consistency leads us to living a life of complacency and apathy, we begin constructing barriers that prevent us from exploring alternative paths towards the very destination we set out for from the beginning.

We all have our own individual destinations and goals in life.  If you find yourself at this time making resolutions for the New Year, consider the foolish consistency that we all have experienced from time to time.  Consider how this foolish consistency may factor into the greatness that your soul is.  Consider how this foolish consistency may be hindering you from creating meaningful work.

Rather than creating a simple New Year’s Resolution, consider reflecting on what your individual destinations and goals are in life.  Allow your New Year’s Resolution to include those destinations and goals.  Do not submit to foolish consistency.  DO think about what you’ve done, what you’re doing, and what you’re planning to do.  Then…stop planning and start DOING.

The Back Story

The Back Story

(for new readers regarding the events of late 2013)

 

In late September 2013, I went on a camping trip in the Utah backcountry with one of my best friends.  Upon our return to civilization, I suffered from some “breakthrough” seizures and was taken to the emergency room at a Denver hospital.

The seizures were intense enough that I entered into a life-threatening condition called status epilepticus , in which the brain is in a state of persistent seizure.  I was sedated, placed on a ventilator and subsequently admitted into the hospital.  I spent several days in the Neurological Intensive Care Unit.

Prior to the event and hospitalization, I had been working as a Project Coordinator on a temporary assignment based out of Austin, since August 2013.  The project was to last approximately 6-8 months.  Taking this position and working on this project was the first of many steps towards the next phase of my life.  I had a plan, I was meeting goals, I was making things happen.

Then…I regained consciousness in the emergency room of a Denver hospital.

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After being discharged from the hospital in Denver, I returned “home” to live with my parents, recover and try and figure out what the next step was.  For three weeks following this incident, I was able to work remotely from their house and actively managing my accounts remotely – while working on determining the next step with my current supervisor.

The next step for me was to begin a medical leave of absence.  This would give me the time and the opportunity to get my life back in order.  At this time, I had possessions in three different states and no home.

In a matter of a few days and weeks, I went from feeling like a successful Project Coordinator with my life in order to living in my parent’s spare room with nothing but the possessions I had taken with me to Utah.

I could not drive.  I could not work.  I quickly realized that life is truly lived on life’s terms.  Regardless of the plans that we make, we must always prepare for those plans to be changed by a power higher than ourselves.

Over the next few months, I began working with the Human Resources Department with the company I work for.  The people within the HR department have been very helpful in assisting me with gaining a better understanding of the situation that I am in and the options that I have.

(end of backstory – written on 01/01/14)

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life – Episode 0011 – Disconnecting to Reconnect – Part 2 of 2

11/15/13 – Episode 0011 – [21:26] – The First Day of the Rest of Your Life – Episode 0010 – Disconnecting to Reconnect – Part 2 of 2

Join us today as we discuss:

  • Feeling Grounded
  • Life throwing the proverbial curveball
  • Playing “catch up” and “getting things done”
  • Procrastination vs. Action
  • FacebookProcrastination_flagOrganization:  An organizational system is only as good as the execution of the content contained within the system.
  • Community
    • Planning to work with local farm here in Medina County, OH
  • Relationships
  • Fear
  • Patience / Impatience
  • Changing our environment
  • Finding balance
  • The “System” and change
  • Personal Tracking & Productivity
    • Spreadsheet?
    • Pomodoro app on phone?
    • What is the overall objective?
    • How can this tie into my job/resume/etc?
      • Should this tie into my job?
  • Music / blog
    • Where am I going with this?
    • What is the purpose of this blog?
    • “The First Day of Rest of Your Life” title is very appropriate – but needs direction

Resources for today’s show:

Stay tuned.

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life – Episode 0010 – Disconnecting to Reconnect – Part 1 of 2

11/15/13 – Episode 0011 – [24:12] – The First Day of the Rest of Your Life – Episode 0010 – Disconnecting to Reconnect – Part 1 of 2

Join us today as we discuss:

  • Disconnect to Reconnect
    • We stay “connected” but at what expense?
  • Stability / Instability in life
    • Go through life challenges with others
    • Preparing for instability
    • Community
  • “Waking up”
    • Feeling overwhelmed
    • Ignoring the realities right in front of our eyes
    • “Living deliberately” (making this more a part of what I’m doing)
    • Waking up:
      • To chronic medical conditions
      • To social-political and economic realities
        • How these parallels can affect ourselves and society (21:50)
  • Inspiring and Motivating others
  • “Back to Disconnecting and Reconnecting…” – show cuts out (memory card full)
    • See Part 2 of 2

Resources for today’s show:

Stay tuned.