The Passage

I wrote this almost 4 years ago. My passage has changed, but this is still a relevant topic for many.


“Eric, as a friend and colleague I have witnessed the roller coaster ride you have had over the past number of years —a ride that has provided you with great information on many levels.  Your life’s work has been more clearly defined for you as you experienced the passages that accompany authenticity, clarity and openness to the world.  Purpose, Passion and Paycheck are a great combo if you can make it happen.  For me the road, passage to this desire has been filled with the “moving ahead sideways” effect.  I think I have finally found the combo in perfect combination. What I can tell you is that for me—it was my friends, mentors, coaches and a spiritual advisor who helped me the most.  I moved from intellectually actualizing to a deeper and more satisfying place of authenticity about who I really am —this led to life being easier—and with that the choices became clear. I wish you the best in your continual pursuit—and hope you can find peace with all of this.”

The above note came my way a couple of weeks ago. I’ve held onto it tightly. It is informing my passage to the new.

Where we’re at now, at least in the American culture, most things are measured by winning and losing. I guess it’s no surprise that we worship competitive sports. The winning and losing I’m referring to is related to material and visual success. I, like many, fell for the deception of how many likes, how many followers, how many page views, and the biggest of them all, how’s your business doing.

The crazy part for me is found in the initial motivation for doing what I do. I didn’t start Epic Living as a vehicle for a great business venture. I was motivated to reach people and introduce them to their Epic life. That’s it, still is.

Somewhere along the way, I got off track.

In this world we have the realities of bills, family needs, and work in general. It’s just the way it is. I started to demanding Epic Living to be what it couldn’t be. I started being the old corporate sales guy who knew how to create major ROI. Some may say, why not? Well, GM sales a lot of cars, but that doesn’t mean they’re any good. Understand me clearly, making money on your art is not wrong or bad. The problem arises when it needs marketing to breathe and survive. I speak from my experience only here.

So what to do? I’ve slowly been moving toward a different mindset and model. The one from the beginning. It may mean separating what I do for money from what I do as a mission. That will be hard. I’m finally at peace with going with the current, instead of fighting it. In the end, I know what I’ve been called to do. Didn’t always do a good job at embracing it, but I understand now.

The passage for me is found in 2 things:

  1. The thoughts I’ve been given flowing to you
  2. A fixed focus on tools (writing, video, speaking, etc.) that communicate #1
  3. Saying goodbye to everything else


An Update on Me

Much has happened since my last post. Here’s an update on me:

  1. I’ve been seeing a counselor/psychologist since March. Finding and working with him, has helped me immensely. The work we’re doing together is producing clarity, crossroads and breakthrough. I will reveal more in the coming weeks
  2. I found out, personally, how dangerous stress can be. In my case, it was about carrying too much of it. Working with a counselor has helped. I also have had to be more “on-purpose” with self-care (exercise, time with God, mindfulness, etc.). One of the negative impacts coming out for me was my blood sugar levels (diabetes related). In my last check-up, my levels were the highest they’d been in 20 years. My doctor pointed to stress. She also expressed her confidence in my turn around as well. The idea that I would do something about my state. It was sobering to find out that many of her patients stay in the “tangles” and don’t come out.
  3. The new book is going through cover-design and formatting. It should be available for pre-order soon. This period of my life has made me more grateful for the gift of writing.
  4. I’ve learned, and learning, that not everyone can be allowed to continue on the journey. This includes those you love. For me, maybe it’s temporary, or it could be permanent. This is tough work. You want the person to stay, but they won’t let go of things that will only lead to heartbreak. My Rubicon.

I’m sure there is more to tell, but I’ll stop here. Stay well.

Haunted by Hemingway


I found myself haunted by the following words of Ernest Hemingway:

“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.

For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.”

The dynamics of Hemingway’s life are well documented. Nothing further to say there. My haunting is rooted in a creative soul and its desire for something more. Something more that pulls on me everyday. I know who he is.

The truth in Hemingway’s words, found in such an open and vulnerable way, lay out feelings of belonging. For me there is no other choice. I’m living too far into the story.

I lay this out before you because there is something more.

New Book Excerpt

I’ve been hard at work on the next book and waned to share an excerpt. Enjoy!

Day 2

 Began this day rushing out to make a 7:00 AM meeting. I made two major errors in that process. The first, was not checking my blood sugar before heading out. Damn! The second was playing a subtle game of chicken on the ride into downtown. The driver in the left lane was traveling at a mind numbingly slow pace. I entered the right lane to pass and the driver decided to accelerate, knowing I had a car in front of me. My speed did what was needed. Stupid on my part, for sure.

As I make my way down the road, I regret. Going over it in my mind again and again, I realize what I could have lost. As I get closer to the appointment, I reset with 3 deep breaths and move to what my client will need.

 We begin our session and the energy comes. I wonder if John knows what I take away from our sessions. As his coach, I give him what he needs. I’m struck by the learning and inspiration I gain.

Our conversation closes on the subject of mindfulness. This is an area we’ve placed a lot of focus on. I tell him about a friend of mind, who happens to be named John, who exclaimed that we have to turn the volume down in our heads, in order to hear God’s voice. He offers an analogy (one that helps him) around a group of divers in the Atlantic. These divers were on a mission to find a sunken German U-Boat. In the area they were in, visibility was lacking, and made worse if you stirred up something 200 feet below. If the latter happened, it was vital to be still. Did you get that, be still. Being still allowed the elements to settle and allow visibility to return. We both agreed that’s what mindfulness does for us, if we let it. As we walk back to our cars, I am energized.

Back at my home office, I begin the follow up communications relating to my dual entrepreneur life. This day, I’m not super happy about that. I pray for remembrance of the things I read in my bible earlier. Real life, real living, epic living, and above all thankfulness.

 Preparing for lunch, I’m pleased that I was able to find organic blueberries. Glad we’re heading into spring and summer. Availably goes with this reality. My yogurt, blueberry, raw nut lunch is complete.

 Later in the afternoon I get an email from a participant in a talk who wants to meet and learn more. She seems like an interesting person, so I’ll book something for next week. I also hear from someone that I don’t trust. This individual reminds me of how much harm can be done by those who wear the coat of goodness. I take the high road and don’t burn the bridge.

The mad rush to get my son fed before basketball practice begins. I’m not feeling good about the food choices. I remind myself not to get on a soapbox. The beauty of all of this is having a sit down dinner with Eileen. Unexpected and good for my soul. We spend 45 minutes together and it feels like hours. I am blessed.

The Balance Between Success and Failure

I strive every day to strike a good balance between success and failure.This TED Talk with Elizabeth Gilbert illustrates my striving beautifully.

The following quote from the speech is riveting:

“I had to find a way to make sure that my creativity survived its own success.”.

      – Elizabeth Gilbert

In an age that values creativity less and less, we do need to protect it fiercely.


A Fabulous Tool Named Grammarly

I use Grammarly for proofreading because my mind runs faster than my fingers.

Besides the above tongue and cheek, Grammarly is a fabulous tool I found by accident. The folks at Grammarly reached out to me for a test drive. At first, I thought they were sent by some old english teacher who had been following my every sentence.

I used the online tool in a couple of situations and it performed well. It’s fabulous for the daily writer or the professional who needs to make the best impression possible. My wife asked me whether I could try the free tool in WordPress or Word. That’s an option, I want something as robust as Grammarly. You can sign up for a free trial at their site to see if it’s a fit you.

By the way, it won’t cramp your ability to get your message out. We all know how important a message is.

What Ed Reminded Me Of

This post came over to me as a gift last week. It's from Ed Batista, a writer and coach, out of the San Francisco area. He does some marvelous work with graduate students at Stanford and beyond. Needless to say, I count him as a source of inspiration and fellow pilgrim.

The gift of the post was beautiful and it reminded me of some things easily missed. I just couldn't help thinking about Ed's view and impression of my writing. His words encouraged me that my voice, my notes, are coming out. It wasn't as if I doubted this, it's just great to know that it is connecting as I desire. Ed's comments also wrap around some transitions I'm going through relating to Epic Living, entrepreneur pursuits and life (of course). More to come on this front in the coming weeks.

I believe my Father (I'm trying to get out of just calling him God) speaks and works through connecting the dots. You know, one conversation a month ago that connects to an email seemingly out of the blue. It's a great way of communicating.

So there is my wife, Eileen, Marc, and Ed over a 45-day period exhorting, suggesting, confirming.

I am grateful.


Meeting Marion in Central Park West

Celebrating the best of the Epic Living Blog, 2012. Enjoy!

This is a photo taken of me and Marion Margolis. We met on my visit to NYC last weekend. Marion was very kind to my wife and I on our visit. A seemingly accidental meeting as we were taking in the beauty of Central Park. The photo above was shot in Central Park West.

Marion is an author (among many things). She is a writer of 3 children's books. The one that intrigued me most was titled New Digs for Beau, about her beloved Dalmatian. She spoke fondly, with emphasis, about the her relationship with this special dog named Beau. I don't know if she knew how I was reveling in our conversation. It was so strange and familiar all together. This was important as I am making my way through a new chapter in life, and as I craft a second book.

I asked her about her inspirations and what her process for writing was like. Marion likes silence, I like music when writing. Two authors connecting on the process of writing. It's always intriguing to learn what sparks creativity in artists. She truly inspired me. 

Ever been to a place out of a dream that lived out like that dream? That's what my meeting Marion was like. It was like I was invited to participate in something beyond what I could have imagined. All of this and more, in a place called Central Park West.

My Best Intentions

Thinking tonight about best intentions, the "my" variety. We don't give people the benefit of this type of doubt. You and I are alike, we give things a shot and sometimes find ourselves not feeling good playing the game at hand. Trick is to not fake it for the poser in us or an audience made up of many characters. If you have to walk away from the court or field you just have to do it. I'm speaking about what you're supposed to be doing on the planet. Best intentions indeed apply here. If you haven't figured it out yet, consider that Shakespeare was right: 

"All the world is a stage…"

In this past week my creative wiring has been at a def level. Cruel as it may seem, I think God has turned my amp up to 10. So I've been asking about my role on this world stage. My outlets for pouring out my creativity have been somewhat limited lately. Makes me thankful for this blog and the second book, and yes I am making some progress with sophomore project. Needless to say, it's a source of much madness for me. 

Before I proceed to my next frame, I need to explain that creativity and art are connected to some level of madness. Manageable in my case, or so my wife would say.

Here are some of my best intentions regarding you:

  • I always want to encourage people to pursue their dreams, but to understand that it will most likely hurt deeply. I never want to be the guy who writes something that gives a sense that ease and applause are around the corner. In life there will be blend of all.
  • I understand that my writing isn't always moved by marketing. I write from the heart, often what has been laid on my heart. I can't do it any other way. Sometimes that creates a conflict and the heart wins.
  • I mention God due to the relationship I have with him. Again, call me a mad man, but we have a relationship. Much like a father and son.
  • I try to catch when I screw up and after writing for over 5 years I certainly have. You have an open door to point it out.
  • I have strong opinions because I want to be heard. Weak opinions tend to be swallowed up by the herd. Sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm wrong, but the goal is always to get you to wrestle with what I've written.
  • I am an experiential writer. I am confident you get this.

Yesterday’s Post

Just so you know, yesterday's post was a "re-post" from early 2008.  I forgot to note that.

It's important to look back and get a glimpse of your thinking at a certain point in time…only way to connect the dots.