Legacy of Heathens

Here’s the true story of how a cheap, silver, home-burned CD randomly thrown in a backseat, became a divinely threaded needle of the almighty; sewing golden stiches into the fabric of my life and forever changing the patchwork of my journey here on earth. Thank You God and Lisa Payne.

You see Lisa Payne is the person who put the CD in the backseat of my cousin Tera’s truck, but after reading this, I think you’ll agree that God had much more to do with it 🙂

(As you read today’s post, I invite you to play the videos of the songs and enjoy the words that have meant so much to me)

Let’s go back to a day in mid March of 2010. My cousin Tera had been living with me in KS for probably a month and a half. I don’t remember the exact day that I asked her about the disk that seemed to be forgotten about. It had been riding around with her since we unpacked her things from her move.

I’m sure she said something like; “I don’t know. My friend Lisa gave it to me before I left. Take it if you want to.”

At some point thereafter, I put the album in while driving around. I was surprised with how quickly I dug it, and thought it would work great for some lake campin’ tunes. I only listened to it a couple times at camp, and among the games and drinks and friends, I really didn’t pay much attention to the songs or words 🙂

Until it spun a few more times and I noticed one of the songs said something about “Miss Ohio”. Hmmm… that’s strange. I figured that since my cousin Tera is from Ohio, that maybe it was a local band… then I really listened to the lyrics, and my heart felt pressured and memories started to flow.

You see, the reason that my cousin Tera, one of my “Miss Ohios”, was here in Kansas is that she had moved cross-country to be where her family is. She had lost all but her niece and nephew up there.


Her Mom suddenly died when Tera was 12, then her Dad 12 years later to MS. Then shockingly, tragically we lost her Sister, her Rock, to suicide on January 31st, 2009. Megan was our other “Miss Ohio”, and Miss her we sure do.

It was 1 year to the day that I got the worst phone call of my life, about Megan, when all of Tera’s belongings were packed up in a trailer and we pulled out of her hometown, headed here, to Kansas. This is just one of the many coincidences that stitch this story together. Thanks for staying with me 🙂

At the same time that I was at the lake and enjoying a birthday weekend listening to the sweet tunes on my vagabond rag-tag CD, I had an internal struggle going on in my gut.

I had become completely free of the debt in the few months prior. I had no payments in the world, but I felt a sinking feeling every day on my way to work. I started to really question the “why’s” of my purpose here on earth. I couldn’t fully understand, but something was pulling me away from my “old life” and whispering in my ear that it was time for a great change.

Of course, as I contemplated quitting my steady, well paying gig and heading out on my own… the Band of Heathens were right there to reassure me

The choruses of their music seemed to speak directly to my life at every turn. “Let your Heart not be Troubled, Cast Your Doubts to the Wind, Lay your Chains in the Rubble, Let Your Heart not be Troubled, Anymore…”

And one day while at work, an ancient thought from my teenage years blasted my brain. I remembered a dusty ol’ dream of a cross-country roadtrip. It was late on a Wednesday when it hit again, and just felt right. I could do this trip. I am in the position to head out across the land with no deadline, no specific agenda and just a couple locations to hit.. My mind gripped and sunk it’s teeth into the idea, until ultimately, I was unemployed, gassed-up, packed and ready.

With my old job behind me, only a vague idea of exactly what was next, I headed West into the roadtrip of a lifetime! Guess what was on my CD player??

That’s right – I brimmed full of joy on every one of the 6,000 miles, from Kansas to the coast of Oregon, down to Southern California and back home. I just wanted to sing to everyone i knew that I wished they where “Right Here with Me, So Wild and Free!” that album spun literally hundreds of times in that 3 weeks. Every note, every strum, every word eventually embedded into my soul, and telling my tales with tears and truths!

I am not exaggerating one bit here. In fact, you can read all about it here on my first ever blog www.ashellandastone.blogspot.com

In the creation of that blog, I found a voice inside me that wanted to come out. I originally only intended to report my locations and progress on the trip. I ended up however, exposing my inner thoughts, letting the Muse play in pictures and words as I rolled and wrote mile after mile. That blog, which I wouldn’t have done; without the roadtrip which I wouldn’t have done; without the loss of Megan and uncle Steve and my debt-freedom; has now blossomed a whole new me 🙂 A writer. Someone who openly shares. Someone who’s left fears behind and looks ahead to possiblity! Thanks be to God!

So, after returning having scratched that internal roadtrip itch. I set about building a new business: True North Financial Fitness Coaching. I wanted to help people achieve goals in their financial lives. I’ve learned what’s possible. I know the awesome capabilities of the average family to beat debt, grow a savings cushion and give themselves freedoms to choose their own paths to their dreams…

BUT, That whole idea went pretty much nowhere… Hmmm… Certainly not the way I had hoped! I had the training from Dave Ramsey’s home offices.  I had the passion, the time and energy. However, with just a couple exceptions, instead of booking clients and serving my community; I heard opposition and misunderstanding of my desires and services… hmmm… All part of the plan Big Guy???

Again, the Band of Heathens had the chorus to my life 🙂

“Say what you wanna Say, Do what you wanna do. Go on your own way, I’m gonna go on mine too!”

Eventually, with lots of prayer and several months with my nose into books new and old that outline the process of success. I find out I was experiencing the usual tough road to launching a new business and the Resistance comes with that territory.

Ha! Guess who (Me!) shoulda’ done a little more looking before he leaped! Actually, regrets factor nowhere in this whole equation, but as they say, “hindsight is 20/20!”

I have learned that history proves that those who stay determined, and persevere by constantly reinventing things until it works, are the ones who make it. I had learned Truths through all this, and if I am to succeed, I must not be afraid to voice that Truth!

The message of “Somebody Tell the Truth” speaks to my new goals, new plans and the reason you’re reading these words on this new website www.weirdforgood.com

So, as we sit here one year after the end of an epic road-trip, a year of scraping by and surviving in the real-world of entrepreurship, what do I have to cap things off with??

Well how about this: I KNOW that I am being protected by the Lord. I Know that the same relatives who I miss on this earth, really do “Have My Back” up in heaven. Want Proof?

Two weeks ago, randomly, my beautiful girlfriend Lindsay and I were talking about cell-phone ringtones or something. The Band of Heathens came to our minds and we jumped on their website to hear a song. For whatever reason, I clicked on the Tour Page and saw that they were playing Really Soon in Kansas City! I did get to see them in Lawrence in the fall and although it was surreal then to see these guys live, this one felt different…

We put Tuesday the 26th on our calendars, to make sure and be at the Show. I was super pumped!

In the next couple days we realized that the BoH show was going to land on Tera’s Birthday! My beloved “Miss Ohio”, who had carried this mysterious album to me from Ohio to Princeton, Kansas was going to celebrate her birthday on the same day that I got to see the Band live…

PLUS, as we drove to KC for dinner, and as I tried to convince Tera to join Lindsay and I, at the concert, another thought came to mind.

That Tuesday, One Year Ago, was the exact day I pulled back into Manhattan, Kansas after my 6,000 mile journey was over!

Tera’s birthday, The Band of Heathens and my One Year Anniversary of my new life… All in one night. Thanks God, I get the hint. You’re with me, You love me, and You’re showing me that all the time! 🙂

What an AWESOME NIGHT OF MUSIC!! My spirit was singing and soaking up every moment! I felt floods of gratitude and love from above! As well as the buzz of a few cans of frosty PBR beer too! We hung out with a new friend, Justin Neighbor, who’s a DJ at 106.5 the Wolf and spins the BoH on Sunday nights. Then after the show I gave Colin Brooks (pictured) a quick run down of this whole story. He was moved 🙂 I have the picture to prove that I didn’t scare him off with my true tall tale!!

If you all are wondering out there about how we’re all doing now? Well, really swell!

I have a work-from-home job that allows me to write and blog for the motorcycle industry. This also allows me to keep pursing my own soul’s desires, like blogging here with you!

And our little girl Tera? Well right now as we speak, she’s spreading her own fabulous wings! She’s about to make her next move into Ottawa. Her strength and independence has been there all along. I couldn’t be a prouder cousin to see her story unfolding as beautifully as she deserves. I just hope I can be as helpful to her as she’s been to me.

Love Ya; Tera The Belle!

From one Heathen to Another 🙂

Your Cousin,


“the Turn”

Weird for Good has arrived! and so have you, since you’re here 🙂 With this post we begin a new era, and I ain’t lookin’ back baby! Let’s Ride!

As the title (W)eird (f)or (G)ood suggests:

  • WfG – will be weird.
  • WfG – will be vehemently anti-normal.
  • WfG – is not for everyone, because, well… most of everyone is Normal.
  • WfG – is not just Against something, it is Most Definitely FOR Something.
  • WfG – is For GOOD Things, truthfully good that it is.
  • WfG – is not for: Things you’ve always been told were Good, or things that you see in others that you think are Good or Things that have been sold to you as Good.
  • WfG – should, on every available opportunity: push your buttons, make you uncomfortable, bring tears, Inspire, Enlighten, Educate, as always being Genuinely, Radically and Truthfully Loving.

Weird for Good will feature Real Stories from Real People, about Real Moments in their lives in which, they made “the Turn.” And it will separate those with vision, passion and purpose, from the rest.

Still reading?? Cool.

Here I want to take a moment to explain a term that will be recurring throughout our conversations together here at WfG… “the Turn”

I’ve made this explanation once before, but it resonates still and was the seedling idea for this new site, so let’s just jump back in time to a year ago and read the words from a post -on my roadtrip blog www.ashellandastone.blogspot.com about “the Turn”

Back in January, on our annual Ski Trip to the Rockies – I took my first proffesionally instructed (a’hem! RUSKIN!) ski lesson… Obviously getting down the mountain in the best way possible is to master the Turn… something I had yet to perfect. Two things happened on that day that changed my thinking forever.

First Idea: The Instructor explained that the first step to a great ski turn is to point your eyes, head and shoulders down the hill… If you properly do this – IT WILL BE SCARY!! You are doing the unnatural. Your body tells you this is unsafe and you Will Crash! You are leaning out where your lower body is not there to support you… This is the exact moment that I realized how Faith works…
“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”
By doing the unnatural, by trusting in these instructions, by GOD, did my legs, feet and skis end up Exactly where they were supposed to be!! It’s true, go try it! The turns flowed flawlessly without Overthinking everything or purposely moving this leg here, that ankle there…The secret was so simple and yet the exact Opposite of the way our minds are built to think…
Second Idea: Also on this day, a fun pair of ladies were in my class and on the lift we talked and laughed… One says “You know how you get comfortable with turning only one way, then once you get to the edge of the run, you are out of room to make your comfortable Right Hand Turn??” I had been there many times 🙂

She went on… “Once I had this issue, my friends were down below waiting on me and when I slowly got to the side of the run, I was So Stuck! One of my friends yelled up at me… ‘JUST MAKE THE FRICKIN TURN!!’– She said from that moment on she had to pop out of the comfort zone and JUST MAKE THE FRICKIN TURN! Of course, she had the skills already and once she made up her mind to DO IT, the turns worked out just fine…

These ideas have played a huge part in the last few months for me. They were integral focus points on this trip as well… It was time for a leap of faith in my life. Overthinking and trying to manuever life on my own is hard and trying to figure out each detail is exhausting… A moment of faith. The knowing that somehow, If I leaned out, then things would work out… Priceless Advice!!

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”
Saint Augustine

 Also, the DOING of it is the key. How else does it happen?? Just Make the Frickin Turn. Then we find that things fall into place, but WE have to break that mindgame of “What If’s” wide open.

Out on the Road, I did become a Do’er and not a Think’er… Waaaay too long I’ve been a Thinker, Analyzer and Judger of What If’s… Out there, your ONLY motion is Forward. Time after Time, I found that just moving forward is how the problem or puzzle was solved. No answers, just motion. The answer comes when you’ve shown up in the right place at the right time and the only way to get there is to move Forward…

Thinking back to the travels there are so many serendipitous moments, I can’t even count them! This is the force of the supernatural at work, in real life, in my life and I hope you’ve enjoyed the sharing of that here on this blog.


People; I’m here for a reason, and so are You.

I am in no-way arrogant enough to claim that I know what that reason is… However, pursuing that knowledge is what I’m living for every day.

There are people out there who are in dire need of understanding “the Turn”. I can’t be the only one, who’s felt like life should be going along fine because I’d been skiing along the same direction as always… but then suddenly found myself off the groomed slopes and lost in the woods, hanging onto branches, and out of breath, with gravity pulling me strongly downhill.

Learning to make a turn, learning to let go and let God, these moments are when we experience real life progress and ironically growth, as we learn to do less, and allow more.

It is such a blast for me to be able to express and share these ideas with you. I do implore you to stay tuned and work with us here at WfG. We need your voice, your input and your experiences to complete the picture. I want YOUR individual stories of making “the Turn” to be posted here. I am certain that the sharing of these intimate moments of pure courage and faith, will be therapeutic both for reader and writer.

Thanks, from the bottom of my heart for being Weird for Good!


Aaron Nichols
(785) 218-6134

Ready for Better?? It’s Coming

Better is coming soon.

The Ready for Better Thursday Blog Series is in the midst of a tranformation 🙂
Please stay tuned!!
What’s to come??
  • a whole new website/blog/utopia
  • wider range of subject material
  • guest bloggers!! Maybe YOU!!!
  • richer, deeper, more colorful, and funner(ha!) mental “weirdness” from yours truly, the king of weird!!
I sincerely hope that the newness on the horizon will bring you a more valuable experience that engages, entertains and tickles the brain!
Thanks for being AWESOME!! I know that every eye on these words belongs to someone who is!!
Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching
http://www.truenorthffc.com… ** new domains coming soon**

Spread Your Sunshine and Help Me Spread Mine!

Guys, Gals, Friends, Pals, People I may not even know are here… Lemme let you in on a heavy issue facing my daily routine…

I have become disturbingly, chronically, unhealthily: Passive Aggressive.

It’s True.

And It’s Bad…

You see, this lifestyle of mine (That I LOVE!!) affords me the opportunity to Study.

I have been in a constant study for the last 4 years, and in the most recent 10 months, it’s been solid.

I’ve told you here that I read lots. Books on self development, spirituality, business, living richly and so much more.

I haven’t told you that I listen to hours and hours of podcasts per week. Zig and Dave and Rabbi Lapin along with other seminars that come along through email, and so much more.

I have a membership to the Free Agent Academy. There we work through dynamic programs of inner-development. Our individual Calling and tons of other cool concepts leading toward an awesome existence of self-employment and free-agency are explored, and so much more.

Also my scholarship to Philosopher’s Notes is used regularly to immerse myself in the classic literature. This includes new-age ideas, ancient religions of various types, successful rulers, poets, scientists, inspirers and so more.

SO! Why am I now suffering?

Of all this information that I have immersed myself in, I have found many common themes of success.

I can pinpoint in a quote or story or a song, when someone has hit on the Universal Truth of the Way of God.

The Way of God is about enlightened living, constant growth, gratitude, courage, contentment, faith, success in service to others and Yes; abundant wealth too. (this is a really, really short list!)

It comes in many names and types of explanations. It has been recorded by thousands of people and events throughout history. Those who’s words we read today, because they were people of such importance, that their ideas have lasted thousands of years, lived and loved these principals.

Now – I hope that you’re still with me 🙂

I believe in the truths of Unlimited Potential we are capable of! And, I am, at this point, a keen Noticer of the traits of success.

I want to see them in You!

I want to see them in Me!

I want to see them Everywhere!

I have the Truthful Understanding that we All have an Unbelievably Powerful Intergalactic Rockstar Energy inside each and every one of us! No One Is Exempt!

I would love to keep typing all through the night and day, never skipping a moment, using every fiber of my being to share and encourage and inspire and quote and combine these ideas with relate-able real-life stuff that You could possibly connect with, in some small way, even just a beginning way 🙂

However, I’m heartbroken with myself that I am currently only confident enough, to share that stuff, as enthusiastically as I do, here in this format. In real life, as mentioned, I have become disgustingly Passive-Aggressive about it all. I let the opportunities go by, and then resent myself for doing so.

You see, the everyday conversation, of too much of the world around me, is less about the awesome possibilities we have every day on this spectacular planet, and MORE about What is Wrong With It.

Honestly, I used to be a bona fide Professional in that sport! How glad am I to know now the wastefulness of spending my precious time on negative self-defeatist and critical-of-others thinking.

As I type this, I am participating in the exact thing that is shutting me up, and bringing me down by recognizing and criticizing negativeness around me.

I am therefore, caught smack in the middle of a growing-pain in my life.

I will, at some point soon, be strong and confident enough to share or discuss or let slide off of my Rhinoceros-thick-skin, the comments and conversation of people that only seem to want to discuss the why-nots of life.

Wish me luck, this is a BIG TOUGH DEAL for me 🙂 And I am weighing myself with the same stone, as I also still slide into that mental muck on occasions…

One spark of brightness? I’m pretty sure, that at the headquarter office of K and G Cycles, the nickname given to me by my co-workers is “Sunshine!!” 🙂 they haven’t said it specifically, but I’ve heard it a few times…

YES!!!!! AHA!!! PROGRESS!!!! At ma’ old job – Attitude was always on the list of areas to improve…

I’m sure you can relate on some level to speaking or hearing the complaining, the clever-criticizing or the pre-forecasted failure of something before it ever has a chance to succeed.

I confidently can tell you this: In NONE of my studies of success is this a trait that is Ever present in someone who is about to kick-booty and make a positive change in the world.

That, my friends, IS what I would be thrilled to become. As a conduit for God to use, at some time in my life!

I would love to hear about the things you Are For, and the Cool Dreams and Goals and Aspirations You Have!

Just FYI – a healthy respect for money and living without borrowing it, IS on the list, even from ancient times… not one of the great philosophers or religions recommends using payments for purchasing anything, and yes Debt has been around that long…

So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! For hanging around to hear these words!! It means so much to me to be able to share this honest insight with you 🙂

Tomorrow I begin a weekend trip on Sterling that will let me add to the ‘ol A Shell and A Stone blog. Can’t WAIT to tell you all about a weekend on the motorcycle with my Love, Lindsay!

Please keep me in your prayers as this life-long journey of self discovery unfolds. I need you dearly my friend, this life experience is a Team Effort!


Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all? Dilapidated Debt that you’re sick of living with? You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!