Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My CEO told me so...

Many years ago, the CEO of my company sat me down and said - "Tim, its good to do nothing from time to time.  To turn off your computer and phone and close your door. And just do nothing."  It took years for that advice to sink in. In those days the terms "meditation" and "mindfulness" sounded to me (and perhaps also my CEO) like something monks or hippies did.  Little did I know, my CEO was suggesting that I be mindful.  Now days, its not just off hand advice, but a structured practice available to all of us and championed by some of the most successful people in the world.

Meditation and mindfulness is powerful tool to help you get what you want.  How?  For starters, by reducing stress.  The latter gets in the way of clear thinking.  And then by training our brains to perform better.  Just like we can train a muscle to get stronger, we can train our brains to think better.

From CEO's to students, meditation is being used effectively to optimize performance.  Per the article below, the World Economic Forum now has a panel specific to meditation.


Friday, January 23, 2015


Here is an eye-witness to our internal inflammation. Imagine spraining an ankle and what it looks and feels like. That's what happens to our cells, blood vessels and organs when we eat the wrong food...


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Optimize our Performance

We all seek or crave performing optimally. It looks good to onlookers and even if no one is around it certainly feels good to do something well. At work we want to do our jobs well, to make good decisions, to be creative, to be efficient. Playing sports or even board games we try to perform well. At home doing chores, efficiency is optimal. Being part of a family and raising children we want to get it right. Being social, we try to be contributors. It's almost as if trying to perform well is one of our basic instincts.

To achieve optimal performance we look to education, training, practice, and in often, good old fashioned hope. "I hope I do well!"

One of the most powerful tools but yet the most underused and under recognized conduits to optimal performance is nutrition. What, how and when we eat has a huge effect on how we perform. Eating and drinking effects our mind, our body and our resolve.

First order of business is eliminate foods that don't provide nutritional value(and there are many of them), and then find nutritional alternatives for food that is inflammatory. Then put down the fork between each bite. Then don't go and get seconds and certainly be aware of eating snacks. Our bodies are master geniuses and will balance themselves perfectly over time. Give them the right food, and even if we miss a meal here and there over overeat every now and again, and they will take care of the rest.

Within two weeks, without fail, we will start to notice we are stronger, faster, smarter. From Einstein to Djokovic, from an employee sitting in a cube to someone training for their first marathon, from parents to lovers...clarity, awareness, endurance, energy, excitement, fulfillment...will prevail.

"Don't live to eat....EAT to LIVE" as Gandhi would say.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Year of the Tortoise

A year ago last night I rang in the new year at a club in Cape Town, South Africa, fueled by mdma and Windhoek lager.  A stark difference to last night watching a giant mushroom chandelier fall in the town of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, the only stimulant being the the ambient 19 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2014 proved to be a year of transformation.  

In January I was asked  by a sangoma (South African Shaman), who lives in Santa Barbara, if there was any reason that I was immediate danger.  A few weeks later I moved back to Cape Town to move in with my girlfriend.  On arrival in South Africa I scheduled a medical checkup with the sangomas words niggling away at my sub conscious. Come to find out I had stage two rectal cancer.

The following week was a time of reflection, and integrating the news.  During that week while trail running along Table Mountain I came across a tortoise easily the size of three human heads.  A powerful sign I believe. A sign to slow down, to move forward slowly and attentively.  The next morning I cancelled the recommended surgery and initiated a series of events and lifestyle changes, that I can now look back and say, have drastically changed my life forever.

A Journey began that took us from Cape Town to Philadelphia to the Hudson River Valley, to Abadiania Brazil, to Silicon Valley to San Diego and into the mushroom capital of the world , Kennett Square.  A journey that peeled away insecurity and fear layer by layer. 

Philipa, my partner and lover, has been at my side every step of the way. From holding my hand during my pre-surgical panic attack to allowing me to see who I am really am in my reflection through her. Weathering the storm as my deepest sanskara bubbled to the surface.

As was revealed to me in an Ayahuasca journey, this experience is not about cancer, and that I must turn my attention to a much a bigger perspective. I must look at the big picture.  Back then it made sense, but only now is it embodied.  All this change that I have initiated, and am living is not to cure cancer, it is the change that has been waiting to happen for many years. Now it is time.

Pre operative Chemo radiation, followed by successful removal of the tumor, has shaken my body, but yet left it in place of re-birth, to rebuild in a paradigm of greater awareness and wisdom.  A permanent colostomy bag is like having that tortoise at my side, leading me through every fork in the road.

I look different, I feel different, I act differently, and I know the difference.

The best year of my life is now a memory, a new network of pathways carved into my consciousness. A new year is at hand in the wake of a new moon and the winter solstice.  What should I expect?  Only the tortoise knows.  Expect nothing and be prepared for everything.