My hope is that you use these emails to practice reflection. Since 2011, I've spent countless hours reading, reflecting, and writing for my blog to craft these emails. They have remained (and will remain!) free and ad-free, with no hooks, nor guest posts. If what I create improves your life in any way, please support my efforts with a donation of $5/month or $50/year …that's less than $1 for each of these emails.

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Be here now

Be here now. […] That’s all there is, is what’s happening right now. The fear of the future or the regret of the past has no real bearing in their own place. Just what you’re doing right now.

~ Thomas Droge, from Body work, writing, and parkour culture

~ Original Tagged Mindfulness, Quotes, Thomas Droge

Respecting people’s wishes

We’re not just respecting people’s time. We’re respecting their voice and their passion.

~ Seth Godin from,

It’s a good post from Godin. This post of mine is a literal tangent from one thing he mentioned…

In cases where “we’re all going to be speaking” isn’t on the agenda, going around the room, (ala “let’s all introduce ourselves”,) robs people of their agency. I’ve heard it discussed that this wastes time—it does. But vastly worse is the fact that it removes people’s agency.

(Agency is critical. I’ll go out on a limb and say that depriving someone of agency is literally the worst thing you can do to a person. All the horrible physical crimes you just thought of, involve first depriving the victim of their agency. Imagine if taking someone’s agency was treated as the worst crime possible.)

I imagine I’m leading some session, and someone is sitting in the space. When their turn comes around… suppose they don’t want to speak? What if they didn’t want to be heard? By saying, “let’s go around”—even if I say, “and introduce yourself if you want to“—regardless, they are going to be seen. They have to speak, to decline to speak. They have to leave the room, or hide, etc. My “let’s go around the room,” literally robs everyone of their choice.

There are of course lots of situations where “going around” makes perfect sense. For example, if we’re sitting in a restorative justice circle, everyone there knows how it works. You’re free to not speak, and you know that you are going be seen. But the vast majority of times I’ve been in a “let’s go around” situation, it’s the theft of agency variety.


~ Original Tagged Agency, Seth Godin, Thought and Philosophy

Dubious applications

Think about what you will add to the world. Some lucrative professions, (e.g., ultra-high-tech finance,) are dubious applications of human brainpower.

~ Steven Pinker

~ Original Tagged Quotes, Steven Pinker, Thought and Philosophy


There is no change, no attempt, no reach that does not look strange to someone. There’s almost no accomplishment that is possible without calling some attention on yourself. To gamble on yourself is to risk failure. To do it in public is to risk humiliation.

~ Ryan Holiday from,

I believe I’ve developed a healthy level of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ when it comes to trying things with a risk of failure. I think this is one—possibly the only—upside to having terrible self-talk. I’ve told my self horribly critical things so many times… and then had that criticism proven to not be the case so many times… well, now I just try things.

Except for people’s names. I’m developing a phobia around saying people’s names. It just feels like the least I could do, when having a conversation with someone who I need to introduce to others… the least I could do is say their name correctly. Perfectly, even, on the first try. …in their native language’s proper pronunciation. What could possible go wrong?


~ Original Tagged Growth, Ryan Holiday


Risk gives you choice, and it gives you opportunity to explore and challenge yourself. Risk is a choice, and you have to learn how to negotiate acceptable and unacceptable risks in our lives. Play is a very safe space to learn how to do that.

~ Caitlin Pontrella from,

I keep trying to rearrange my efforts so I can spend more time re-experiencing the hundreds of terrific conversations I’ve experienced. Every single time I manage to find time to go back in, I find something wonderful. That quote is from episode 4 of the Movers Mindset podcast—it wasn’t even called that back then. It was a wonderful, chaotic, ramble of a conversation long before I realized the magic of conversation.

I keep thinking: Have great conversations and get them recorded. Get those conversations recorded so they can be heard by others is the most important part. I have a million other ideas about how to extract meaning, share the best parts, find threads and themes that run across large scales of people and times and …

My hope is that if I simply keep having great conversations, everything else will take care of itself.


~ Original Tagged Caitlin Pontrella, Movers Mindset, Play, Quotes

You have seen all

Life in itself is neither good nor evil; it is the scene of good or evil as you make it. And, if you have lived a day, you have seen all: one day is equal and like to all other days. There is no other light, no other shade; this very sun, this moon, these very stars, this very order and disposition of things, is the same your ancestors enjoyed, and that shall also entertain your posterity.

~ Michel de Montaigne

~ Original Tagged Michel de Montaigne, Perspective, Quotes

The germ theory

Thus the germ theory, long before it led to medical treatments, drove down mortality rates by revolutionizing sanitation and hygiene.

~ Jason Crawford from,

No, literally draining the swamp. There are a few reasons to click through on that. The most amazing is simply to scroll through the long article and glance at all the graphs; Graphs of magnificent drops in mortality rates by the 1950s. The 50s and 60s were demonstrably amazing simply for the fact that by then, most people weren’t dying of the same infectious things that have been killing people for millennia.

But the little gem quoted above was something that made me pause. Yes, it’s always fun to chuckle from the privileged perspective of the third millennia of the Common Era: The germ theory. *giggles* “Theory.” That’s so cute. What made me pause though was the thought about sanitation. I’d always thought of how the germ theory *giggles* affected medical treatments—washing hands by physicians and surgeons and penicillin and all that good stuff. But the idea that, “hey tiny stuff we can’t see can hurt us… maybe we should, ya know, filter and treat the drinking water?” …it hadn’t occurred to me that that too became a thing we actually started doing because of the germ theory.


~ Original Tagged Jason Crawford, Medicine, Science

The story we tell

The story that you tell people is the story that they’ll believe. And that’s the story that you become. And so for Parkour, we have a bunch of disparate stories that are being told right now, where you have people that are doing their own things… I just think that it’s important that the people who are doing so are taking responsibility for their impact that they have on the global community and the way that Parkour is being viewed.

~ Max Henry from,

Really! I wasn’t kidding the other day when I mentioned episode 4 This one is from episode 5.

Recently I published episode 129 of Movers Mindset. And there are 95 episodes of conversations with podcasters for the Podcaster Community’s show. And 38 episodes that I did for Art of Retreat’s SPARKs podcast. Okay, I’m panicking a little now. There are so many amazing things that people have shared!

Know anyone who wants to help me by working as an “archivist” or “research fellow” or something like that? …please forward!


~ Original Tagged Max Henry, Movers Mindset, Parkour, Quotes

Respectable occupations

Don’t think that the arts and verbal professions are the only respectable occupations, (a common mindset of grandchildren of workers.) The elites sneer at commerce as tawdry, but it’s what gives people what they want and need, and pays for everything else, including the luxury of art.

~ Steven Pinker

~ Original Tagged Quotes, Society, Steven Pinker


“Don’t you find it odd,” she continued, “that when you’re a kid, everyone, all the world, encourages you to follow your dreams. But when you’re older, somehow they act offended if you even try.”

~ Ethan Hawke

~ Original Tagged Childhood, Dreams, Ethan Hawke, Quotes

Two things

This sudden loss has gotten me to face my own death this week. I know it is coming, just not when. I rarely think about it, because life is so in-my-face, but it’s there, waiting. Tyler’s death is such a stark reminder that we never know how much time we have left.

~ Leo Babauta from,

There are exactly two things about my life of which I am certain. I was born, and I will die. I spend a lot of time contemplating my end; Not in a fatalistic, “come at me bro’!” way, but rather with the intention of reminding myself to make the most out of every moment.

There are many moments where I’m unconscious—quite a few of those moments are while I’m sleeping, but also there are mindless moments aplenty throughout my days. But there are increasingly more mindful moments every day.

An extremely fast way to get to mindfulness—this is the fastest way I’ve found so far—is to think: This may well be the last time I do this. The last walk. The last boulder I scramble upon. The last conversation with this person. The last conversation ever. The last word I type. The last sentence I jauntily scribble with a pen. The last time I drive a car. The last time I ride a bicycle. The last time I wrench my back shoveling snow. The last time something scares the crap out of me. The last time I laugh until I lose control of my bladder. The last time I’m stuck as part of the traffic. The last time I’m part of the solution. The last time I’m the source of the problem. The last time I smash the hell out of my toe on something.

In every one of those cases, I can now enjoy it… if I can manage to remember: This could be the last time I get to experience this.

I’ve even decided that if I can manage it, my last words will be: “Well, if that wasn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” (And just maybe with a literal hat tip to Vonnegut.)


~ Original Tagged Apogee, Kurt Vonnegut, Leo Babauta, Perspective


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