Each Sunday, I write an email to everyone who has signed up for my Weekly NOW email series. Each week is completely different…I’ve written about our transition to setting down some roots in San Miguel De Allende and purchasing a house there, I’ve written about struggles and triumphs in my business, about what worldschooling looks like for our family, and about personal matters that I struggle through. I find the writing to be healing and I enjoy all the feedback I get each week from people who can relate and who have learned some sort of lesson from the things I share.
The following excerpts are those of a more personal nature and are all taken from my past Weekly NOW email series. If you would like to sign up to receive the weekly email, you can do so here.
Our family has spent this week in Merida, Mexico at the Project Worldschool Family Conference. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to connect with families on a similar path. We’ve made some new very dear friends, and enjoyed reconnecting with many old friends, all around topics we care about.
We were also honored to speak at the event. My wife Jennifer led an introspective session on creating home on the road, and I spoke, along with others, about funding a travel lifestyle.
Like in the Family Adventure Summit, which we’ll be holding in BC, Canada on September 1-3, these are families committed to living life to the fullest while exploring this amazing planet together. If you’ve never been to a conference like this, and you have an interest in meeting inspiring people living life on their own terms, while gaining support for doing so yourself, then I highly encourage you to register now and see how your life is changed.
Lesson: Jen and I have attended a combined 10 conferences over the past year, in various industries! We’ve learned and gained so much from each one, both through the people we meet, and the information and insights we receive. But we also walk away with tons of ideas and inspiration for how to put on an epic conference ourselves. This week, one thing I learned is the power and beauty of collaboration with those who have similar missions. In the past, I’ve tended to be more comfortable operating solo, but when the right people come together with the right intention, not only can something greater be accomplished, but it can also be more enjoyable.
One of the session topics at the conference was “service” and ways we can serve and give back as we travel. Philanthropy is a topic I’ve been interested in for a long while. I’m fascinated by the ways that aid sometimes hurts more than helps, which often happens when the needs or solutions are imposed or created from outside of the community, rather than from within.
And while the panelists had very helpful and interesting things to say on everything about this topic (often noted was the importance of living in a place long enough to truly understand the needs in the area), I especially appreciated a comment given by a friend of mine, Azizi Birkeland, during the Q&A portion. She’s a powerful black woman from New Jersey, who knows her share of oppression. But she sensed such a feeling of guilt in the room, and in the dominant white culture in general, likely due to the atrocities our ancestors inflicted on the people and cultures we’ve visited around the world. And in her moving oration, she encouraged us to let that guilt go. That it’s not ours to carry. That we shouldn’t feel obligated to “give back”, but that we should purely “give” in the ways our heart calls us to, and in the ways we can serve best.
Lesson: Azizi’s message struck me powerfully, and I realized I had been carrying guilt just for being me – as if I should be ashamed because I was born a white male in America, while other people were born with less privilege. Or that I should feel guilty or somehow responsible for creating the socio-economic differences around the world. I shouldn’t, though it’s a message that often comes at us covertly. Releasing this guilt and responsibility, we can stand taller in our own power, be a greater light, and be of greater service in ways that our talents, interests, and resources lend us to serve. I’m still a strong proponent of the effective altruism movement, but it feels so much more pure and authentic (not to mention helpful) to give from a place of strength and lightness than from guilt or duty.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a bit about what makes moments feel special. Our family has had some incredible experiences in our travels, filling us with awe, gratitude, and joy. These moments connect us to something greater, and when experienced with other people, they can bring us closer together. But I believe that even everyday moments of life can be infused with special feelings.
Obviously, presence is an important part of it. It’s hard to enjoy any moment fully when your mind is elsewhere. But how much of a difference does planning in advance make, and the intention held leading up to the moment? Are there things we can do to enhance presence, and create a special energy?
This week, during my date with Jen, we were walking around town looking at art shops. But the sunset was so beautiful, so we walked up on a bridge to watch it. As we stood there holding each other while the bright reds and oranges shifted in the sky, we felt something special. This wasn’t necessarily a planned moment, but we were both intentional about making it special to us, and it was.
I’ve been thinking about this in the context of my personal and family life, as well in as the events I’m working on (such as the Family Adventure Summit). I want to create more special moments in my life and in the lives of others. And I’m realizing that sometimes even little things and a little intention can go a long way to enhancing an experience, from creating anticipation for an activity, to the element of surprise, to even the spontaneous but conscious decision to make this moment right now an important moment.
Lesson: Special moments can come by surprise, but they can also be consciously created. What can you do to create more special moments in your life personally, with your loved ones, and with those you serve?
Personal / Sex
Don’t worry. I’m not going to share details from my personal sex life. But I finished an awesome book this week that I want to tell you about. It’s called Come Again?: What Men Should Know About Amazing Sex. Yes, it’s a book for men, but I think women could gain understanding from it as well.
If you’ve ever wondered about how to connect more deeply with your partner, how to have multiple, more intense, non-ejaculatory orgasms (yes, men can do it, too), how to better listen to and please your partner sexually, or how to last longer and generally improve your own abilities and pleasures in bed (and much more), I haven’t found a better book on the topic than this one. Concise, well-researched, and directly to the point, the author gives you just what you need to know without any fluff or “woo”.
Sex is a subject that is still fairly taboo in many cultures. As such, there is widespread misunderstanding about the potentials of the human body in this regard, and a lot of unnecessary shame around the subject of sex. (It’s also a topic I’ve received flak from writing about it in the past.) I’m glad books like this exist to help bring the conversation to light, as it’s an important part of being human.
Lesson: This week, I gained some new understanding and excitement about things to try during (and outside of) sex. When was the last time you gave serious attention to improving your sex life? What could you do differently this week and how would it impact you?
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