Mindfulness and The Journey


To love life in the past is just a memory, to love it in the future is nothing but a fantasy, all we ever really have is this very moment (what I refer to as The Journey) to live with heart, love, and compassion.

This may all seem like ‘New Age’ speak or sappy BS and hell maybe it is, but I tell you what its not, its not useless. When I say words like “love” and “compassion” I do not mean some romance movie definition of the word. I don’t mean Hollywood hot pink love I mean REAL LOVE. I mean a true understanding of the beauty of consciousnesses and the universe. When you finally wake up to the idea of mindfulness, your life is changed forever. I don’t mean that I have somehow “woken up” or been “enlightened”… far from it. However, as Sam Harris says, you must learn to take the goal as the path. This means enlightenment isn’t some switch to be flipped. You do not become enlightened and stay that way forever, not even the greatest teachers in history ever made it to the top. The key is living The Journey. Every single moment is nothing but a gift, an opportunity, to live with love and compassion for the universe and every being in it. If you know enlightenment is always available all you need to do is be mindful to glimpse it…

I have been thinking lately about the limited way in which we humans describe the concept of time. It is a very peculiar thing to say time “passes” or that “time flies”. In reality time is simply the measure of what is. We pass through time, not it through us. We are a part of nature and the universe, not apart from it. Civilizations live up, explode into being, and die out all in the blink of an eye. This very Western idea of humans and our soul at the center of the universe or that somehow we are a divine creation is really quite funny. It is such a remedial way to look at the universe it is hard to understand how anyone ever believed it at all.

Mindfulness is the art of always remembering. If you stray from the path and let your emotions entangle you then simply bring your mind back to the center. The sensations of hate and fear and sadness always come and go but they are simply that, sensations. They arise and fall away. Opening your mind to the idea of observing these feelings instead of clinging to them is truly a life changing experiment. You quickly find that you spend very little time feeling each emotion in and of itself and very much time convincing yourself you deserve to feel that way. Once you break away from this cycle, real tangible growth can begin. Whether you forget your power of mindfulness for two minutes or two years, all you have to do is remember again, remember a thousand times, take the goal as the path and see enlightenment is always available, all you have to do is look for it…


Des Moines Hipster Heaven Millennial Magic

des moines rabbit sculpture

Des Moines topping the list again as one of the coolest places ever, and why not!? Portland, Brooklyn, Seattle and San Francisco are so 1990’s. We rank top 5 in things such as property values, places to raise a family, low income inequality, and places to start a business. Now we are starting to resonate with young people in the type of way that creates a movement. Check out here and here for some of the other lists but for not enjoy this piece in the Atlantic.

Trumplestiltskin and Gork

trump hairDonald Trump’s recent surge in the polls is a beauty. The perfect alignment of everything wrong with the conservative party all wrapped up in one big hair critter. Its so perfectly destructive to the GOP, you would think it was some kind of liberal conspiracy to guarantee the party never again wins an election….And while it may be the case that conservatives never win another election bid let alone the White House, it is no conspiracy. Trump has spent years crafting his tough guy CEO persona and gathering together enough ‘yes’ men to fill a gym. Combine this with decades worth of entitled 1% crust that has built up on his back and you have a juggernaut that may single handedly tank any hopes the GOP has of gathering swing voters into their arsenal for 2016…thank you Donald, thank you national media, and thank you “Gork” the creature living on Mr. Trumps skull 🙂

Eagles Never Land

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return. – Leonardo da Vinci

tornado photo

Travel is the ultimate paradox. The ultimate human condition. Ceaseless movement which keeps you grounded. While within these adventures you never stop moving, the memories are those things which stay firmly planted…

Three weeks ago I traveled to the Lake of the Ozarks and rode high powered Jet Ski’s until midnight. There is something special about cruising 70 miles per hour over glassy water at sunset in the southern grain belt : ) – The next week, myself and 11 adventurous comrades camped and kayaked for 3 days on the Upper Iowa River near the Bald Eagle sanctuary of Decorah, Iowa. Majestic aerial raptors glide around the cliffs scanning, patrolling, hunting like Jurassic Park. We traveled 15 miles down stream over that weekend. We drank like sailors and ate like kings, smoker cooking 4 whole chickens, beef briskets and 2 rainbow trout along the way. Flasks full of cinnamon whiskey and pens filled with sticky wax make long days of paddling breeze by like humid summer wind through a corn field. 8 hours in the smoker makes meat taste like a carnivore candy : ) – My friend KW brought along his trout pole and caught fish all up and down the river like a turn of the century pioneer. One week after that (around 3 days ago) I jumped out of an airplane in Brooklyn Iowa. Free fall toward the earth at more than 100 miles per hour. Those who say the Midwest is boring have likely not seen it from a parachute at 9,000 feet. A chess board of corn fields divided the horizon where rook and bishop were farm house castles and wild horses, king and queen were the farmer and his wife. This moment of peace after the violent rush of un-tethered free fall culminated as a chemical explosion in my brain unlike any I had experienced. For the rest of that day and into the night my mind would wander in the possibility of “what if”. What will we do? What can be done? What if we…You see the act of travel and the art of adventure do not satisfy some requirement to move, to escape, rather they inspire the continual exploration of ones life through experience in the present moment. Movement. The Journey. The human urge to run, to fight, to love, growl and bite like an animal are not apart from nature but a part OF it. We are not brought into this world, we are made by it.

Trade Show Vacation

Hay Bale

So the past few months have been pretty hectic and pretty awesome. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel for work and go to some trade shows around the country. I sell weather stations, satellites and other agricultural technology to farmers across the US. For the most part that means sales calls, conference calls, WebX meetings, regular meetings and a lot of emails finding the right solutions for my clients. However, a few times a year (when farming slows down) we attend what are called seasonal trade shows. This is where hundreds, sometimes thousands of companies descend upon some coliseum, stadium or other outdoor venue to present, share, and sell merchandise. This winter I went to a convention center in Fort Wayne, Indiana for my first trade show. The experience was tough but educational. Tough because you stand for 8-10 hours a day (without so much as leaving for lunch) and sell sell sell. Educational because you really get to know what real people are saying across the country about the state of agriculture. Next we packed up and went to the National Farm Machinery Show one of the largest trade shows in the world (look it up) This show was even crazier as it takes up space over a 1.2million square foot monstrosity of a venue in Louisville Kentucky.  After that I packed up and headed to Phoenix, AZ for the Commodity Classic. This travelling trade show is the classy upscale version of a farm show and focuses more on large farmers and agribusinesses. Its worth mentioning that between the National Farm Machinery Show and Commodity Classic I sold almost as many weather stations and products as I had the entire year previously . This is amazing because it starts of your sales year and quarter with a huge boost. Phoenix was a little underwhelming but when I was about to leave my flight was cancelled so I had to stay in the desert for two more days. Having a free hotel room and company credit card in Phoenix with nothing to do reallllly isn’t too bad 🙂 I made my way downtown and checked out the ASU downtown campus. This along with plenty of 5 star meals and my trip was definitely not a waste.

In the wake of all that company travel I realized just how lucky I am to have a job that not only pays the bills but gives me the ability to travel around the country not only to see new cities and visit new places but also to sell more and meet more of my clients. Not many people can say they are able to have a job they love let alone one that actually excites you. I feel very fortunateand actually get a little giddy about just how lucky I am to be where I’m at in life. Life is short and enjoying it moment to moment is the greatest success anyone could ever ask for.

(I also went to the Ozarks and kayaked 15 miles down the Upper Iowa River within the past two weeks but I’m much to lazy to write about that now. I will get to it soon though!!!)

ISIS and World Heritage


Over the past few weeks we have seen ISIS continue to race across parts of Iraq and Syria. In many cases the towns they capture are either military installments or civilian villages. In rare cases, however, the cities they plunder are what we call World Heritage Sites. These areas are renown for their beauty and historical significance. These areas are specially classified (and rightly so) due to them containing a vast number of artifacts, statues, and buildings from civilizations that died long ago. We usually pass this off as the Iraqi and Syrian army’s inability to protect any city let alone smaller less populated cities within their own countries. The problem with this lies in the fact that they NEVER try to protect these sites. Yes there are skirmishes but as a general rule the Syrian, Saudi Arabian, Iraqi, Yemeni, Omani, Iranian and UAE armies have not exactly rushed to protect these cherished locations. This leads us to one main conclusion, Islamic countries and Islamic leaders agree that these “false idols” should be destroyed…This is an inflammatory claim to be sure but lets look at this from a religious stand point. The Syrian army hasn’t exactly done a great job at protecting their civilians but they at least put up a fight. They evacuate people in advance and usually post some kind of military resistance before either fighting off ISIS fighters or surrendering and running away themselves. I propose that leaders of the Islamic world have been urged or encouraged to not put resources towards protecting sites that are not, of themselves, Islamic. Only time will tell if this is the case but as for now we should all be very angry and not only ISIS but also the Iraqi and Syrian governments/armies for not fighting to protect these priceless locations. The sites of ancient cultures and their relics belong to humanity as a whole, not to a single country or organization.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you been following this in the news? Are my claims justified? Have they gone to far? I would like to hear some feedback on this issue.

Crickets at the White House Correspondents Dinner

Awesome article about our new cricket diet!

Living With Insects Blog

Chocolate_covered_cricketInsects as food are not yet mainstream in American culture. Not ready for prime time as appetizers or deserts, eating crickets got honorable mention in a joke told by commediene Cecily Strong at the 2015 White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

When new foods are introduced to a culture, the rate of acceptance is typically low at first. There are a few early adapters, but the majority stick within their culinary comfort zone. Stories about the cuisine of other cultures are often treated by media as news of the bizarre and get ratings by triggering an emotional “yuk” factor. Media figures, such as Anthony Bourdain who respect and embrace foreign cuisine are interpreted by many as straight men to a visual joke.

Comedy allows people to talk about issues that are otherwise taboo. Increasing mention of a subject often indicates a move to mainstream acceptance. After all, over half the world population…

View original post 19 more words

Presidential Candidates?…not so much

November 16, 2014Every four years we get a new drove of elderly veterans, congressional freshmen, Vice Presidents, and wealthy businessmen that compete for the title of each political party’s darling. This year is no different…or maybe it is. Seeing as most of the so-called “presidential candidates” are not fit to lead a youth baseball team let alone a country, we are due for the ugliest, nastiest, dirtiest, costliest elections of all time. Right wing presidential hopefuls have already raised more than $800 million dollars to start running campaign ads in this pre-election season. Jeb Bush for instance (whom most consider will be the Koch backed candidate of the race) has set his sites on the billion dollar mark to try and buy achem umm, run his campaign for 2016. This is a man who is more moderate than most, he has at least on occasion admitted to “not knowing” whether climate change is man made or not. This varies greatly from the Canadian goofball who is also presumably running for president in 2016 Ted Cruz. Cruz has stated on many occasions that “there is no warming happening” man made or otherwise. This is a major problem for us humans. Seeing as the IPCC has stated on multiple occasions that the evidence for man made climate change is “unequivocal”. This is an organization that has been running study after study involving multiple countries and multiple data sets for decades. An organization that has NO INTEREST in American politics as a place to tout its claims. An assertion that Ted Cruz cannot make. This should scare us, a political candidate who denies science to advance a political agenda is not a presidential candidate but an enemy of the state.

Lets take time to consider these facts when we choose the next leader of the free world, for the policies we make truly set the bar for the rest of the world and we are as of yet not setting that bar very high…