Day Eighteen: Spectrum

One of the big New Years resolutions I made for myself this year is to avoid too much exposure to outside control and influence. Have you ever gotten an idea or goal, and before you know it, someone has talked you out of your idea? Or had a “better idea”? Does it ever seem that you aren’t following your own script but doing what people tell you to do much of the time? spectrum

Goal setting seems almost un-Taoist, doesn’t it? Seems more like a western perspective. I think there may be a balance though. I don’t want to be obsessed with end goals or results so much. I can’t be. Shit happens. The vicissitudes and storms of life. Everything you have built could collapse, or be lost, TOMORROW. Yup. Gone. It’s happened to me many times before.

Even still, I have quite a few problems to fix and I think getting a clear list of what I need to do is a good idea. I am open to gifts from the Universe, or any kind of windfall or breakthrough, or I am prepared to deal with having to shit can my plans if things become suddenly disrupted. We never have any idea what will happen in the future.

But to dream…

Here is a rough idea of where I want to go.


  • Artistic: Write a book. Eventually re-emerge as a musician, when the timing is right.
  • Attitude: Changes habits and behaviors, such as going to bed and waking up, being tidier around the home, being on time, etc. Stop exhausting my mental energy with anger and grudges. Distance myself from people I have toxic relationships with (without being so much of an asshole about it).
  • Career: What is ‘career’? Do I have a career? My legacy is in music, not in business. Besides that, I have jobs. This year I have decided that my career is writer.
  •  Education: Can’t afford it. Don’t want to allocate the time and money there. Don’t want student loan debt. I will be an AUTODIDACT: a self taught person. Always learning. Every day.
  • Family- Already have two children. Limitations with being able to see them frequently, due to driving distances and custody schedule. To become a better parent and father. Eventually create a life with my girlfriend.
  • Financial- Get out of debt. Save. Get out of the working poor “paycheck to paycheck” lifestyle. Somehow. Dealing with geographic problem in rural Kentucky. (Location, location, location…)
  • Physical- Daily Qi Gong exercise. Hiking. Quit smoking. Physical challenges such as Couch to 5K, 100 Pushups, etc.
  • Pleasure- Travel. Visit Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Go to silent retreat.
  • Public service- Volunteer work at Bernheim Forest, as I did last year.

Deng Ming-Dao on Spectrum:

Today’s entry seemed like a riddle.

Pure light is all colors,
Therefore it has no hue.
Only when singleness is scattered
Does color appear.

The same is true of Tao. In its pure state, it embodies everything. Thus, it shows no color, so too is all existence initially latent and without differentiation in Tao. Only when Tao enters our world does it explode into myriad things. We say that everything owes its existence to Tao. But really, these things are only refractions of the great Tao.
-Deng Ming-Dao

Daily Stoic: See the world like an artist or poet.

Today, was a good entry in the Ryan Holiday book, mostly about the artistry in some of Marcus Aurelius’s passages in Meditations (a book on my reading list this year!). More though, it reminded me that I need to work on my writing some more. Bringing the reader into the experience, showing instead of telling, using objective correlative in my writing a little more, and let people see things they might not otherwise notice in the world.

Tomorrow, I will talk about teachers and mentors.




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