Can You Stay Serenely In Yourself?

Do you have the patience to wait

till your mud settles and the water is clear?

Can you remain unmoving

till the right action arises by itself?

The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment.

Not seeking, not expecting,

she is present, and can welcome all things.”

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 15

Stay home. Alone with ourselves and our households. Dinner outings, concerts, sporting events, and leisure travel taken away. Discomfort and disquiet resulted. Without fine tasting food prepared by others, music and sports played by bodies other than our own, or the sites of other homes and homelands, where were we to look? At ourselves. Within. Our own lives, decisions, and the world we built or accepted as a place to live. 

If you don’t realize the source,

you stumble in confusion and sorrow.

When you realize where you come from,

you naturally become tolerant,

disinterested, amused,

kindhearted as a grandmother,

dignified as a king.”

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 16

We were unbearably discontent. When made to stay within the walls of our home, we climbed them, scratching at the paint. When made to sit within our own skin, we crawled inside of it, uncomfortable with the fit. Too big, too small. Growing, shrinking. Desperately seeking the respite of externality, we screamed for the injustice and justice of the day.

Thus the Master travels all day

without leaving home.

However splendid the views,

she stays serenely in herself.

Why should the lord of the country

flit about like a fool?

If you let yourself be blown to and fro,

you lose touch with your root.

If you let restlessness move you,

you lose touch with who you are.”

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 26

It was not the outside world. It was not the system. It was not the screens. None of those things were the sources of our perturbation. It was being forced to look within and not liking the view. Of sitting with ourselves and not liking the company. Deep in the well, we scraped at the walls to reach out. Will we keep reaching?

If a country is governed wisely,

its inhabitants will be content.

They enjoy the labor of their hands

and don’t waste time inventing

labor-saving machines.

Since they dearly love their homes,

they aren’t interested in travel.

There may be a few wagons and boats,

but these don’t go anywhere.

There may be an arsenal of weapons,

but nobody ever uses them.

People enjoy their food,

take pleasure in being with their families,

spend weekends working in their gardens,

delight in the doings of the neighborhood.

And even though the next country is so close

that people can hear its roosters crowing and its dogs barking,

they are content to die of old age

without ever having gone to see it.”

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 80

Looking out my dark window, the wind blows and the snow falls. The plows clear the road and the walks are salted to enable travel outside. Must we go outside? It has been cold.

What’s Really Important?

My guest this week is Zack Gould. Zack is a father, husband, and entrepreneur, in that order. Zack co-founded G&N insurance ten years ago and Bobble On business consulting last year. What’s more, he lives an intentional life focused on identifying what is truly important and putting all of himself into those efforts. Through a dedication to learning and personal development, Zack has embodied the journey towards quality over quantity. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or here:

Discussed in this episode:

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

The Go Giver by Bob Burg

Brian Koppleman “Why You Should Read Fiction”

Simon Sinek

The Infinite Game

Entre Leadership – Art Williams “Accomplishing Impossible Goals”

Social Media










My Friend Bill

“I don’t make music, I am a musician.”

Today my guest is My Friend Bill, Bill Mather. Bill has been a professional musician for fifty years and shares his experience playing music, entering the professional world, and recovery from alcoholism. I met Bill in my first year of sobriety as someone who idolized rock musicians from the sixties and seventies for both their playing and excesses. He was a great mentor for me to meet.

Listen here:

Also available on iTunes and Stitcher




If you don’t know the people Bill’s played with, they’re your favorite rock n’ roll artist’s favorite artists, legends:

Buddy Guy

“He is an exponent of Chicago blues and has influenced eminent guitarists including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, Gary Clark Jr. and John Mayer.”

James Cotton

Branford Marsalis

Big Mama Thorton

Maybe you’ve heard this song

Hubert Sumlin

“a Chicago blues guitarist and singer,[1] best known for his “wrenched, shattering bursts of notes, sudden cliff-hanger silences and daring rhythmic suspensions” as a member of Howlin’ Wolf‘s band.”

James Montgomery Band


Tao Te Ching

Father Thomas Keating “Centering Prayer”