A Deep Well

Around 10 years ago I did a life planning exercise with my brother to set some long term goals. It's a great idea to do this, you'd be surprised how many life goals you can achieve if you just actually take the time to set them.

One of the exercises that came out of this was to give my life a brand and work toward making that my true brand by working toward being who I want to be. Like BMW is "The Ultimate Driving Machine", this particular task was to set a brand for yourself. This was really difficult imagery to narrow down - something that you truly desire and can hopefully accomplish.

So what did/do I want my brand to be you ask? What I came up with then is now still something I think about regularly and work for in my life. I wanted and still want to be: "A deep well to draw from." Image

There's a selflessness in this that appeals to me. It ties in with my upbringing as a Christian and also my current love of the Tao and most of the people I really admire in life. Those like my friends Howard Potratz and Ed Cox who devote their life to help others reach their potential. But I've been thinking lately on how there needs to be more specifics now to this brand I desire to be. A deep well of what? I've come to some conclusions:

1. A Deep Well of Wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to apply your life lessons and learning to current situations. This isn't some pie in the sky, etherial quality, it comes from a life long desire to learn and a focus on introspection - "what did I learn?" I've had a lot of failures in my life and will have more, but I've learned from most of them what not to do in similar situations. My gray hair is proof of this! Mostly though, I want to be able to help others through applying the knowledge I've gained in life and learning in a wise manner and when it's wanted. This also spurs me on to keep learning through living and study. Ghandi said: " Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever."

2. A Deep Well of Love. I want the people around me to know that I love them.  Not for what they can do for me or even for what they can do for themselves, but for who they are. This doesn't mean I don't have expectations for those I interact with, it just means my love for them doesn't depend on those expectations. Unconditional is how it's put in a lot of circles. I also want people to be able to dip in and draw love when they don't feel it themselves. It's why I care about the plight of the hungry and homeless. most of whom have a serious love deficit. Again, there is a personal responsibility for me to make sure I have a love surplus. Letting people love me.  Honestly, that's been one of the hardest lessons in my life and something I still struggle with. You can't love others without letting others show their love to you. It's how you learn to love and it's also how you build up a surplus.

3. A Deep Well of Joy. I think Joy is a combination of two things: Contentment and Simplicity. Being peaceful and content in where you are and who you are is a life long journey. This doesn't mean you don't have goals and desires, it just means you don't let them rule your attitude. If you fail, learn from it. The Tao teaches this best. Think of your life as water; though water is soft and compliant, there are no obstacles that it will not eventually conquer. Visualize the Grand Canyon. There is nothing in your way that you cannot eventually master. In this, you can be truly happy, for without contentment, joy is unatainable. Also, getting your life to it's simplest form creates joy.  Your life may be complex compared to others, but reducing complexity always leads to happiness and joy.  Building up a surplus of joy, being so content on simply where I am at and who I am that joy spills over; this is how I want to live.

This is a bit of a life manifesto for me, a passion to keep me going, for at times my well runs dry.  It's then that I am so thankful for my family and friends.  I could recount how each one at times has let me draw from their own well when I am parched. I hope to be that person for you when you need it.



Simple Christmas Gifts - Recycled Tie Wallets from Narwhal Co.

Wallet  You have to check this site out!

The Narwhal Co. has some VERY cool wallets made out of recycled ties.  Lots of different styles and different patterns.  For a last minute holiday gift for those hard to buy for people, this just might be the right gift.

I know I'd love to get one of these under the tree! (hint, hint)  : )

Check out all the wallets at Narwhal Co. for a simple gift for that "life simple" person in your life.


Tim - Simple Activities


ON NEW WEB SITE THIS HARVEST SEASON Links Travelers to Pumpkin Patches, Farms, Orchards and More

St. Louis – September 17, 2008 – It’s the time of year when no one can resist the lure of a fragrant apple orchard, a pumpkin-filled farm stand or a lively winery.  Now there’s a web site that helps travelers connect with these types of exciting rural experiences across the United States.

The new site,, promises to guide its users to “Fresh Farm Fun.”  As the nation’s leading directory of agritourism farms, ranches and wineries, the site offers information on more than 100 farm-based businesses on all points of the American compass, from New York and California to Michigan, Georgia and all points in between.  More attractions are being added to Rural Bounty’s listings every day.

“We created Rural Bounty to help people find the country’s greatest agricultural experiences, whether they’re looking for a close-to-home activity, taking a weekend getaway or traveling across the country on a family vacation,” said site founder Jane Eckert, a sixth generation farmer’s daughter who was raised as part of a family orchard
business that became a successful tourism enterprise.  “Connecting people with the farmers who grow our nation’s food and offer such wonderful and authentic experiences is my life’s passion.” allows visitors to choose a state, city, zip code, product, or special activity and the site’s dynamic search function locates exactly what they want.  In addition to farm attraction listings, Rural Bounty presents an interactive calendar of events that includes timely harvest season activities ranging from hay rides and corn mazes to pick-your-own berry patch festivals and cider mill celebrations.

thelifesimple, 2008