I have Arrived!

“…la vie est un magnifique endroit d’etre!”

As I sit here on a lazy Friday afternoon with my feet up in front of my wood stove, I can sense something special in the air. I inhale a deep breath of life. The smell of freshly burning wood on a crisp winter day reminds me just how special this moment is: Life is a magnificent place to be!

* * *

It was some time towards the end of June when I decided it was time to stop worrying about all of the doom and gloom and naysayers out there. I decided to let go of all of the fears and frustrations of the world, and I would just start living my life. And here we are almost 6 months later I am finally acknowledging and experiencing the transformation: I have Arrived!

I don’t want to give the impression that it has been an easy 6 months because I have gone through an inordinate amount of challenges, changes, and transformations. But on the other hand, I do want to convey that when you stop trying to catch up with life, and realize that you’re already here, life moves at just the right pace.

Perhaps it is enjoying “country living” that has helped me take more deep breaths and feel the energy of nature, but to be honest, I think that things have been moving in the right direction for quite some time, I had just been looking somewhere other than here and now. Yes, it is really just as simple as looking at all of the wonderful gifts that you have right here and right now.

I could share with you the interesting tales of the roller coaster ride that I have been on since June:

  • How Shelly made the decision to leave her job at the hotel and we decided in the blink of an eye to move to Amherst.
  • How we looked at houses and condos for one day before putting in an offer, which was accepted the next morning.
  • How the actual home purchase and bank loan so seamlessly and effortlessly happened.
  • How I had two jobs waiting for me without even looking for a job knowing that I would be unemployed at the end of October.
  • How my ultimate Frisbee team ended up making the semi-finals at Nationals from the 14th seed qualifying us for a spot to the world championships in Prague.
  • How I have coached, counseled and supported over a dozen different people to begin to realize their visions in life.

And all that would just be the positives. I didn’t get into all of the rocky moments on the roller coaster ride; the moments that left me exasperated, frustrated, sad, and confused. I didn’t get into any of those stories, good or bad, because those are just simply the circumstances of life. Those are the fables that we tell every single day that cover up the real lessons that I think are much more important than the story itself.

And for me, this is a lesson that I have to keep learning over and over again. Perhaps it is because I am a slow learner. Or perhaps because every time I learn this lesson there is a small voice in the back of my head telling me it’s not true. The lesson is that I am. It sounds simple and if you take a deep breath and say it out loud “I am” you can even feel it. Try it again. “I am” Did you feel it? Try it one more time “I am” It feels pretty good, right?

It helps me get centered, grounded, and brings me right to the present moment. It doesn’t take me off of the roller coaster of life, but it simply lets me know where I am on that roller coaster. It brings me right to the edge of life…and then…the voice in the back of my head chimes in quickly telling me that this is not real. Why, you ask? Well, that’s very simple. When I acknowledge the here and now and when I live in the moment and when I inhale deep breaths of life, the voice in my head goes away, there is only the realization that “I am.” The small little creature that protects me from all of my fears, worries, and failures, also does a very good job of protecting me from living in the moment. Not because he does not want me to live in the moment, per se, but more because he wants to get a word in edge-wise while I am living at the edge.

So why is it that I have arrived?

  • I have arrived because I am present and conscious all the time; I can enjoy every moment of nature and the world around me.
  • I have arrived because I am courageous, I am fearless, and everything will be okay no matter what the outcome.
  • I have arrived because I am excitedly in a loving relationship; everyday I get to wake up and smile and feel unconditionally in love.
  • I have arrived because I am listening to the world and others; I get new ideas, different points of view, make new friends, and together we can make a difference.
  • I have arrived because I am sharing my passion with the world; I get feedback and can adapt my beliefs; I can share who I am with more people and help others transform.
  • I have arrived because I am abundant and making money is easy; I have everything that I want and can share my abundance with others
  • I have arrived because I am prepared to live my passion, live my purpose, and help others realize their hidden potential and make their visions into realities.
  • I have arrived because I am here to stay in the here and in the now.

I have arrived and…la vie est un magnifique endroit d’etre!

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Your Story Is NOT The Answer

If you solved all of life's problems today, what would you do tomorrow?

This afternoon, I attended a program at Amherst College called Career Choices. It was a panel of alumni talking to students to give them advice on how to find a job in this difficult economy. There were several different alumni from all walks of life telling their stories and offering up wisdom to a younger generation of college students. And, as a young alum listening to the wise advice of an older generation, I found it rejuvenating and re-energizing. It made me realize, once again, that life is just a process of trying to figure it all out, especially, when it comes to finding a career and finding a passion.

I found it re-energizing because it reaffirmed the obvious: everything is going to be okay. No matter how much turmoil, uncertainty, fear, and madness is going on in the world, everything is going to be okay. If you've lost your job, your finances are in peril, and you're girlfriend is leaving you, it's still going to be okay. (Try to put yourself in your own shoes as you continue, especially if you don't think that everything is going to be okay).

How do I know? Well, other than being a seer, I know that it's only a matter of how you look at your life, and that being said, everything is going to be okay.

Now, that may seem like an obvious answer to some and an over-simplification to others, but I think it's just right. The fact of the matter is that the rest is just a story of your individual circumstances. Beyond the story, there is a reality that no matter how challenging or daunting, you have the ability to overcome the circumstances of your life.

It's amazing how easy it is to get caught up in the circumstances of your own story. This is what I did, this is what happened, this is what she said, this is what's going to happen, this is why my life is ruined, blah, blah, blah. They are only circumstances with no real assessment of what is going on and how you are going to overcome the circumstances.

Interestingly enough, this is a very difficult problem because our lives are frequently shaped by our circumstances. When our circumstances change drastically, rather than reevaluate and adapt, we go through an identity crisis and begin to panic. We look inside of our box of possibilities to what was, rather than look outside of our box of possibilities to what could be. Rather than generate new possibilities to fit our current reality, we try to make old possibilities conform to where we are. The old reality no longer makes sense in our current reality, but we have yet to let it go.

So, yes, once you've let it go, it's going to be okay.

At the edge of your box of possibilities you are constantly aware of the attitudes, judgments and beliefs that are affecting your reality; you are conscious of where you are right now in the world and living in the moment; and by virtue of this awareness, you are living life fully all the time! Isn't that the point of living life, to live life fully?

I personally believe that it is your destiny is to be who you are. We each have a different passion, a different personality, and a different path. Our lives will inevitably ebb and flow as we try to navigate the waters of life. And yes, there are times where we fear the worst and get caught up in our own circumstances. And yes, there are times when it feels like we are paddling up stream and going in the wrong direction And yes, life is challenging and reality can be daunting.

But you know what, it's going to be okay.

This was the lesson that I learned today from watching alumni tell the stories of their lives to students. They talked about their circumstances to help explain the lessons they learned over the years. And the moral of all of their stories was: it's going to be okay.

So, as I continue to beat a dead horse, you're probably wondering why I won't just be done already. Because it's an easy concept to hear, but a much harder concept to embrace. We are so intertwined with our circumstances because they make up the very fabric of our lives. The circumstances create the lessons even if the lessons are not the circumstances. They are very difficult to separate sometimes because we want something to hold on to. We want to wrap ourselves in the fabric of life and hold on to the fleeting existence that has already happened. In the now, there's nothing to hold onto because you only have the moment!

It makes my head hurt and my stomach turn sometimes to think this way, let alone live try to live this way. When I take a deep breath and try to let it all go, my mind asks, what do I have if I don't have my circumstances? What am I going to do without my story?

Everything is going to be okay no matter what happens.

I hope that this makes sense and perhaps helps you better understand how to separate your own circumstances from the lessons that are hidden just beneath the surface. Whether it does or it doesn't, I want to leave you with this question to ponder if you missed it earlier: If you solved all of life's problems today, what would you do tomorrow?

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Welcome to the Middle of the Night!

We're here to help others, as much as we're here to help ourselves.

I find that the best ideas come to me in the state just before waking while I am still in a partial dream state. Unfortunately, I have been experiencing an interesting problem of finding that those times are between the hours of 3am and 5am. Most nights, I refuse to get out of bed, turn on the light, or even acknowledge the brilliance from sheer lack of motivation. Well, if success is motivated by vision and action, here I am sitting in my bathroom with the heat cranked up at quarter of four in the morning!

* * *

For the past several days, I have found myself trying to answer some of the big questions at work and in life. Questions that seem to have answers that are intuitive, yet always slide into the realm of elusive. It's a vicious game of cat and mouse because most of the answers come during the middle of the night and most of the questions are asked during the middle of the day. So now that I am finally bringing these two realms together, I can hopefully find some peaceful solace in my warm, comfortable bed, although the linoleum bathroom will soon be quite toasty.

* * *

In the past 48 hours, I have had the fortunate luck of meeting three brilliant minds in the blogging community: Lindsey Pollak, Marcos Salazar, and Thomas Edwards. It has reminded me (although to be fair, the signs were on Brazen a few weeks ago) the value of sharing your ideas with the world. It's not about self-serving personal branding, but rather about serving the community of readers that dare to pay attention to the insightful musings of others' lives. So, in that vain, let me share why I find all three of these muses, who have helped me find my voice this evening are truly so inspiring.

Thomas Edwards is a personal coach who helps men find success with women, which ultimately helps them gain more confidence and find all around success their lives. He runs a program called Project Infinity to help men understand how to interact with women, through a series of simple observations. For Thomas, it's certainly intuitive to dress the right way, have the right posture, and say the right things, which just don't come as naturally to everyone. His goals are modest, but his approach is genuine: help others (men specifically) be successful.

A simple google search will lead you to Lindsey Pollak. Not just because she has great personal branding, strong SEO, or a great book, but because she has a message that needs to be heard. She has fantastic advice that helps Gen Y workers find success in the world as well as educates the rest of the world on how to deal with Gen Y in the workplace. After watching Lindsey's keynote speech at the Unlocking Potential conference held by Experience.com yesterday, I was moved by how truly personal the story was to her. She commented that it was from the "big sister's" that she counseled the room of Gen X and Baby Boomers. And it was true!

Marcos Salazar is a coach, author and speaker who focuses on the topic of finding your way in your twenties. He provides great advice and insight from a psychological perspective as well as well-founded research in the field. Recently, he has started a website called FiveDailyGratitudes that lists the five things that he is grateful for each day as a means to increase success, happiness, and self-esteem, among other things.

After reaching out by e-mail because he too is an Amherst Grad, we spoke on the phone for about an hour yesterday (Thursday, which is really the day before yesterday). Just as we had come to a logical ending point for the call, he asked me, "Are there any other questions I can help you answer?" Perhaps this may seem like a simple and very reasonable question, it resonated with me because, although we had just met, he was extending me an offer that we frequently lose in the fast-paced world of me where personal branding is king. It was with this same genuineness, authenticity, and care that I found passionately drives Lindsey and Thomas in their efforts to help others.

* * *

So, it is out of gratitude for these three who have inspired me that I am able to take a slow, deep breath knowing that I have remembered something that is so easy to forget: we're here to help others as much as we're here to help ourselves!

* * *

Ahh, there it is. The gentle knock of the sandman. He's ready to put me back into the bed so that I can rest soundly. I am glad to have shared, thankful to have learned, and honored to have met three people who are saving the world one person at a time!

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Comfortable with Uncertainty

Being comfortable with uncertainty, is certainly uncomfortable

On Sunday night, I was driving back from the Philly Invite, an Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Allentown, PA. When we started the trip, we were a few gallons shy of a full tank and several cards short of a full deck.

Speaking of being short of a full deck, everyone seems to be especially worried about the price of gas lately. Personally, I have just accepted that it’s going to be more expensive because it is almost completely out of my control. You can complain about it if you really want to, but I’d prefer that you change your habits and start driving less before telling me how “unfair” it is. It’s not really “unfair” if everyone faces the same price. It’s really a supply and demand problem not a societal injustice.

Anyway, the point is we had enough gas to get us just over 300 miles, and the trip from Allentown to Boston was about 315 miles. So, being the good friend that I am, I made sure to let Dave know that we could definitely make it to Boston without stopping to get gas. After all, none of us had ever personally run out of gas, and although it was going to be late at night, the consequence of actually running out of gas is mostly inconvenience and a loss of time. You are not in any real physical danger when you run out of gas, in fact, it could be fun to be trapped on the side of the road with a few friends while you wait for AAA to help you out.

I am personally mystified by the fear of running out of gas. What drives us to the edge of insanity when the orange light comes on in the car? Do you not have a cell phone and AAA? The fact of the matter is that running out of gas isn’t that bad. So, of course, knowing the consequences and the excitement of being uncertain, I insisted that we press through to Boston without stopping when the orange light came on with 50 miles to empty. Now, what happened next was a fascinating set of circumstances that I will briefly recount.

50 miles left.

The tension mounted. Would we make it safely or would everyone enjoy about 45 minutes relentlessly taunting, Max?

40 miles left.

There was some friendly bickering over whether to get gas, and fortunately, Dave was fairly easily convinced with the usual peer pressure tactics that he would be “sacrificing his manhood” if he were to stop and get gas. After all, how would we know if we weren’t going to make if he stopped for gas?

30 miles left.
Dave started putting the car into neutral on every downhill and maintaining a steady 55 – 60mph to maximize fuel economy. Silence took over.

20 miles left.

Sarcasm became the main form of communication in the car as everyone began to get nervous. Jeremy could not help but check the "miles to empty" every few seconds. The radio was turned off and the air-conditioning was lowered to conserve gas.

15 miles left.

At this point, having been warned that there were no open gas stations in Auburndale, MA, where we had to stop to drop off Andy, everything began to spiral out of control. To be fair, I was making things worse by asking Dave which way he wanted to go, already knowing that he was unfamiliar with the bowels of Newton and Auburndale. It was especially disconcerting for him since I was the one with the GPS on my blackberry assuring him we would be okay. At this point, however, I had turned it off telling him that our fate was in his hands.

- - - - miles left.

Under a certain mileage, the dashboard no longer tells you how many miles you have left to empty. This created even more tension and there were a few threats of physical violence towards the baller riding shotgun. Fortunately, Dave was concentrating on driving efficiently and not running out of gas. Being a black belt in karate, he could have caused some serious damage to the bones in my body. I couldn’t believe that he wasn’t interested as I pointed out each and every one of the 15 closed gas stations that we passed at 11:30pm.

As the car began to sputter in Newton Heights, we saw the Promised Land: US Petroleum. We coasted in on fumes and made it safely to the pump. The 1999 4WD Volvo 850 Wagon guzzled up a healthy 18.207 gallons of gas despite the fact that the manual insisted that this model only held 17.4 gallons. At this point, everyone could breath easy once again. We had not run out of gas, and with a full tank of gas, everyone was once again certain that running out of gas was not a possibility. Once again, fooled by our expectations, our severe mental and physical anxiety was unnecessary.

So what did we learn from this experience?

Uncertainty creates a sense of mental discomfort. Our reactive mind wants to know the outcome of every situation so that it can be at peace. If we are certain of what is going to happen, then our imagination cannot live out the worst case scenario. In lieu of this, however, we begin to create trauma before it happens as our mind imagines the worst possible outcomes and scenarios. This causes strong feelings of mental discomfort whether we are aware of them or not. Frequently, this will manifest in anger, frustration, anxiousness, nervous laughter, exhaustion, and physical discomfort as we try to cope with these feelings.

Frequently, even when our cognitive mind tells us to be comfortable with uncertainty, the mental and physical discomfort persists. One cause of this may be our individual sense of attachment created at a very young age in our parental relationships. We all create certain expectations of how to deal with uncertainty from early childhood, which is so ingrained in our ways of being that we have trouble letting it go. Another cause of this may be our natural affinity for the status quo and fear of change. Simply watching the transformation that took place in the car, it was clear to me that we were outside of our box of possibilities and our normal comfort zones. It was very rare for all of us to test the limits of the car by consciously deciding not to get gas; this was certainly a drastic change from our normal behavior.

Ultimately, we experienced a very important life lesson, which is far more important than not running out of gas (or even running out of gas for that matter). We were able to face uncertainty, and realize just how uncomfortable it could be to be comfortable with uncertainty. This is an important lesson because most of our lives are uncertain all the time! We are not certain what the weather will be tomorrow, what will happen next week in the stock market, or even what will happen in a few months during the upcoming Presidential election. We have some sense of certainty, but only because it is more comfortable to deceive ourselves and pretend that we can predict the future. We must experience the discomfort of uncertainty in order to comfortably face situations that are much more challenging, strenuous, or important than something as benign as running out of gas. This is just a test drive for the rest of our lives!

So the moral of the story is this: next time the orange light comes on in your car, take a deep breath, hold the wheel firmly, and ask yourself, “How low can you go?”


Creating Your Own Reality

If what I have done is true, then may these things come to be.

--The Diamond Cutter

What?! It’s May already? My birthday is tomorrow? What? 27? How did that happen?

They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and I feel like the past few months have flown by like a roller coaster through Las Vegas. My life has gone from spiraling completely out of control to balling out of control in just a matter of months. And the only thing that I did was get clear about who I was and what I wanted. I was able to re-clarify the vision for my life and step into my own reality. When you’re living the dream, all of the right people, situations, and interactions come your way!

So, let me give you the quick update in the standard life categories: Love, Work, Travel and
Ultimate, Motivational Speaking, and Other.


Shelly and I have been dating for more than seven months now. What started with moving in together on a whim in September has become one of the best decisions I have ever made. I find that with every passing day I grow as a person just by being around Shelly. She has made such a dramatic difference in my personal confidence and the way I live my life. She is supportive, caring, and beautiful. Not to mention, she loves peanut butter, The Cape, sun glasses, Top Chef, hand bags, volunteering, Dustin Pedroia, Fantastic cleaning spray and making little children smile. What more could you ask for in a woman?

I think that our relationship has allowed both of us to stretch outside our comfort zones to learn more about ourselves through each other. The satisfaction of being in a relationship that excites you and evolves every single day is a blessing.

And we recently redecorated our apartment in the Back Bay and cleaned up the back patio area. We have a grill, love the Red Sox, and enjoy having people over to our apartment! So you’re welcome to come over with meat, vegetables, and some sort of dessert. Just give us about 24 hours notice…


I woke up on March 3rd and said, “I am going to have a job by the end of the day.” Now, I didn’t even have a job interview scheduled. I just knew that I was going to have a job by the end of the day. So, I got out of bed, made some coffee, and checked my e-mail. Low and behold, I had an e-mail from The Daily Jolt in Cambridge, MA asking if I would be interested in interviewing later that day.

For those of you who do not know, The Daily Jolt, it is a network of 200 of campus-specific websites that provides all of the information that you need to start your day. The Daily Jolt provides news, forums, polls, procrastination links, event listings, job, housing, and ride boards to the individual campus communities. And the best part is that the platform is run by students on each campus, which allows each campus to have its own local flavor.

Well, to make a short story long, I replied to the e-mail and was invited to start training the next day. Talk about creating your own reality! So, I had created a great part-time job that allowed me to explore a few other options that were on the table and to help a few friends get some unfinished business finished. But, it looks like I will be moving into a full-time role with The Daily Jolt in the very near future, we’ll just have to wait and see…

Travel and Ultimate

I traveled to Italy for 10 days during the month of March with Jason Adams, Ryan Scribner, and a collection of other big ballers. We visited Milan, Cinqueterre, Rome, Florence, and Rimini. It was an absolutely unbelievable experience because we were able to enjoy the fruits of the Italian culture without the crowds of tourists. Not to mention, I was there for Paganello, the largest beach ultimate Frisbee tournament in the world. I would love to tell you that D-Rex won the tournament, which seemed like a possibility when we were 6-0 on Saturday, but we came in 7th out of 32. It was still pretty impressive for a rag-tag group of players from Seattle, Eugene, Boston, Washington D.C., Brussels, Vienna, and Melbourne.

If you want to see a quick video of the trip, you can watch it here: Don’t be fooled by the pictures that say “Italy,” the video is called “Three Men and a Duck.”

Motivational Speaking

I have had the fortunate opportunity to expand my motivational speaking business this past month by giving two great workshops. For anyone who has attended my Living at the Edge Workshop (or read some of my previous blog entries on the topic), I am using the model of The Box of Possibilities to fit almost any context.

At the beginning of April, I spoke to the Northeastern Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team to help them come together as a team before heading to Nationals. The basic concept was that in order to overcome the mental challenges on the field, you have to first know what your limits and barrier are. You have to understand the moments when as a team you either successfully or unsuccessfully overcome adversity. It was a very powerful workshop for these ladies as individual players as well as a team. I can proudly say that they not only expanded their boxes of possibilities, but they also won the Northeast Region. The Northeastern Valkyries are headed to Nationals for the first time in the program’s history!

I will also be giving two workshops in the next few weeks. The first is on May 28th entitled "Living at the Edge" at Studio Om in Wakefield, MA. The second is June 7th with my friend and yoga teacher Priscilla Flynn entitled, “Playing at the Edge: Yoga and The Box of Possibilities.” In the second workshop, we will be incorporating the concepts of being at the edge of your box of possibilities both cognitively and physically. Go to Yoga Sanctuary to learn more. Shoot me an e-mail if you're interested to learn more about either.


I will be playing Ultimate Frisbee for Quiet Coyote again this season,

I went to Game 5 of the Celtics/Hawks series and watched the Red Sox crush the Blue Jays

I read The Diamond Cutter and The Valkyries

I saw David Chase, producer of The Wire speak at The Kenned School of Government

I made a new friend in Italy named Duck Rex (check him out on Facebook)

I just got back from Lake Tahoe for Brian Stout’s Bachelor Party


How to Spin Off the Earth in 61 Days or Less

After 61 days of travel in 20 states and 4 countries, I have finally returned home to Boston. For the last few weeks of the trip, I had been eagerly looking forward to waking up in the same bed every single morning without having to politely decline breakfast with my host or tell the housekeeper to come back later. And yet, since returning home, I have not slept through the night once. Every night I have been woken up by revelations about life, travel, and the future. My mind has been racing to jump right back into the normalcy of living in one place and to create some semblance of certainty in my otherwise extremely chaotic life.

To some this might be an exciting journey into the sub-conscious mind. For me, however, it simply means that I wake up late into the day wondering why everyone is confused when I wish them good morning in the afternoon!

* * *

After driving across the country in September, I had a very important realization: The United States is much bigger than just Massachusetts. This may seem painfully obvious, but when you spend your time in one place, it is easy to forget that the country is much larger than just Greater Boston. There are so many regional differences, interesting idiosyncrasies, and strange Americans.

Then, after traveling to Thailand for a month, I had another very important realization: The World is much bigger than just the United States. This was my first trip to Asia and I found it to be a fascinating culture shock. The Thai culture had so many rich and intricate nuances and a long standing history. Not to mention, millions of people living life just like back home. Thailand also had many regional differences, interesting idiosyncrasies, and strange Americans, or as they call us, Falang (a.k.a. Foreigners specifically Western Foreigners).

Being able to grasp the vastness of the global community on this level really makes you feel small and helpless. It makes your subjective reality seem meaningless in the larger scheme of things. If I am one in 6 billion, then what affect can I have in this world? If I am just a pawn in a global society, why do my petty actions matter? And fortunately, I think that the Thais had my answer: Local Communities and Individual Satisfaction.

* * *

So what is it that allows a local community to function, and furthermore, what is it that creates individual satisfaction? The answer is: productive, resourceful relationships.

If each of us lives in our own subjective reality, then we are each destined to go down our own individual path. Ideally, we are all going to lead our lives to be as close to “who we are” as we can be. Some of us will be close to that path and others will be far from it. And the understanding of where we are on that path will be governed by our individual satisfaction or personal fulfillment, which I would call your quality of life.

Thus, by finding other people who are aligned similarly to ourselves, we are able to interact and coexist in a very coherent way. We are able to agree on similar points of view, beliefs, attitudes, judgments, values, standards, ethics, etc. etc. We are able to express these understandings of “who we are” and “what it means to be who we are” to an audience that understands better than some other subset of individuals to which this would be an incoherent way of being.

And what is amazing is that in productive, resourceful relationships, this is an audience that unconditionally cares what we have to say. And ironically, after all is said and done, our similar views, beliefs, attitudes, judgments, values, standards, ethics, etc. etc. do not matter one iota. They are irrelevant because we are operating from a place of unconditional love, unconditional support, and mutual trust. When we are truly aligned with those around us, we can unconditionally be who we are as can they. Those with similar vibrational energies will vibrate as we need them to in order for our visions to be aligned and coexist. That is why productive, resourceful relationships are so powerful!

And that is why collaborative communities of productive, resourceful individual relationships improve the quality of life for all of the members of the community. In essence, we all have our own subjective realities, which operate in one collective reality, yet we only interact with a very small portion of this collective reality. And when we find others who want to live similar subjective realities we can collectively improve our quality of life. We can live a quality of life that allows us to feel unconditional love and support to be “who we are.”

Thus, local communities and personal satisfaction make our individual subjective reality coherent and meaningful, due to our productive, resourceful, and hopefully, interdevelopmental relationships.

* * *

So, at this point, you’re wondering why I would proceed on such a tangent when it appeared I was going to discuss something about my travels to far away lands or perhaps tell you about my return trip across the country. Well, I haven’t slept through the night for the past 10 days and I needed to let go of some of the existential thoughts that have been plaguing my mind. I have been trying to come to grips with a coherent understanding of how to proceed through this subjective reality in my local community, and furthermore, how to improve not only my quality of life but the collective quality of life of those around me.

And I will continue this discussion shortly with my explication of my new found understanding of the environment, sustainability, and local community development. Or I will find another equally interesting discussion of why time travel is incoherent due to my several bouts with jetlag. Or an even more interesting discussion of how to view life from a multi-dimensional perspective that makes not only this lifetime and next lifetime seem meaningless, but significantly less important than understanding how to view these lifetimes in a planetary context of space and time. And if you're lucky, I will combine them into one clearly explicated manifesto entitled, "Balling out of Control: Art, Lifestyle, Both or Neither."

There is no one more helpless, irresponsible, and depraved than this man!


Superfat Tuesday

Four years ago during the Democratic National Convention, I stood face to face with Senator Barack Obama. As he walked through the lobby of The Colonnade Hotel, he exuded charisma and confidence. He had a presence that you could feel and a smile that was contagious. I shook his hand and told him that he was going to do great things for this country. I knew then that he had the potential to transform the country I just didn’t know how quickly he would make an impact.

* * *

Superfat Tuesday was a long awaited day, and a historic day at that. As everyone in New Orleans geared up for another alcohol induced stupor, twenty-two states prepared to vote to see who would represent each political party. And amazingly, despite the fact that this charade will continue for several months, I think that we determined not only who the candidates will be, but who will win this battle.

We all know that politics is a game of rhetoric. Politics is a game that the media, lobbyists, campaign managers, and voters play to see who will be the President of the United States. Each interest group tries to swing the votes in its favor as the voters desperately try to determine fact from fiction. Interestingly, the democratic political landscape is largely determined by these few and is tangentially determined by the people. Name recognition, party affiliation, and access to information play a larger role than we sometimes wish. And yet, because it is a game, everyone can play. This is a game that we can join in and a game that we can win. It’s not going to be an easy road, nor should we expect it to be, and that is what makes it so much fun to play.

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Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee showed that despite their good intentions, the Republicans wanted one candidate to get behind. John McCane is the old man whose depends they want to hold as he desperately hobbles his way towards the finish line. Perhaps Huckabee will earn the Vice Presidential nomination, but McCane’s old school values, lack of religiosity, and hundred year war provide them with the best chance to unify the majority of the country behind the status quo. Why change what’s not working?

As for the Democrats, although it is still too close to call for the networks, I think that the tide is shifting in a positive new direction. As Hilary paraded up in her yellow jumpsuit and read her canned speech, it was clear that this motherly figure appealed to a motherly and grandmotherly crowd. She had swayed the votes of baby boomers and their parents, but the younger generations were not wooed or swayed by her political jargon. They were instead inspired, excited, and hopeful for the prospect of changing the face of the country.

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As CNN cut away from John McCain’s “victory” speech to cover Barack Obama’s speech, I could sense that the tide was beginning to turn. The Obama campaign decided not only that they were going to interrupt the McCain speech, but also that they were going to be the very last speech on Superfat Tuesday. Obama’s speech, geared towards a bipartisan national audience at the end of the biggest primary day of all time, let America know that he had the edge over Hilary and over the Republican Party. It was at that moment that I knew this was a time to hope for change.

Barack Obama represents the future of this country. He provides not only a fresh new set of values, but also a passionate fervor to implement these important changes. Obama knows that the task of transforming this country will not be easy and in some cases will not be accepted. Maintaining the status quo always seems to be easier than changing the status quo regardless of the atrocities perpetrating this country. Living in a dysfunctional reality never seems dysfunctional until you alter your perspective. Bush believes that he is plotting a functional course as he continues to lead us down a dysfunctional path. But the time for change is now! We must transform our image and our priorities if we are to survive in this rapidly shifting world. Our policies towards education, healthcare, the environment, and the economy are in dire need of change and we need a charismatic leader to take the reigns of this country! Obama is that leader and our next President!

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I made the joke about a year ago that McCain would be the president of this country and that we were not ready for a woman, a Mormon, or an African American. I said that the majority of this country would not stand for a change that drastic. I firmly believed that we were stuck in the past and preaching a set of values that were incongruent with the reality in which we lived. I truly believed this sentiment until just this week.

On Superfat Tuesday, I was finally able to be hopeful, excited, and inspired for the first time. I was finally able to believe that this country has the capability to transform. Yes, we can make a difference in our own reality, our own country, and our own world! Yes, we can bring about the necessary changes to become functional once again! Yes, we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!