A Quick Hitch to a Long Amazing Journey

Do It Now.

Do It Now.

Do It Now.

If you’ve been into the ‘self improvement’ genre for any amount of time, you’ve no doubt heard the story of W. Clement Stone and “Do It Now.” from several sources.

Among Stone’s many secrets for success, like the value of PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) and that the Bible was ‘the world’s greatest self-help book’, his “Do It Now” mantra became the broken-record repeating self-instruction guide.

Basically, he taught his insurance sales force to constantly remind themselves to “Do It Now” and then they would automatically begin to take action on projects. This battled their natural procrastination habits.

Well, Lindsay and I are getting married this Sunday. We’ve decided to “Do It Now” 🙂

And NO, this plan has not been some long-incubated idea that we’re finally telling everyone about. We started the discussion last Tuesday night, and made phone calls Wednesday morning. One after the other, important keys started to fall into place. With tons of green lights ahead, we said “It’s a Go.”

We did decide to “Do It Now!”


Even though we came up with the ceremony idea and plan in one short conversation, I can assure you, this has not been a quick process.

In fact we’ve been grinding slowly away at big tough issues for many months. Even if this weekend’s events have been put together quickly. (With the awesome help of a bunch of friends and family!), the decision to get married wasn’t fast at all.

On this public forum, I will not go into all the details. Let’s just say that our couple-ship has been stretched and tested through this process. We’ve run up against road blocks and seemingly immovable objections. At times we didn’t know how to proceed. There were dead ends.

More than once, I was regretful that we had chosen to work so hard at figuring out all these inter-personal, inter-faith and future-deciding details. It seemed that life would’ve been easier to skip right thru, and avoid them.

And then…

And then there divine moments of clarity. Inspiration and creativity and new levels of understanding would show up, at just the right place. In the nick-of-time.

God intervened.

Our relationship built new muscles from the tired and stretched out sinew that was barely keeping us together.

This may seem dramatic, yet it’s very true.

I would share them with you if you asked in person. Actually, WE could share them, and  would be glad to 🙂

So Anyway!! Last Thursday was the first time, I had something specifically on my mind, and didn’t share it here.

I knew about the wedding plans, and didn’t blurt it out on the blog…

And as I said, I didn’t want to rush things! 🙂


Aaron Nichols




Older, heavier, less agile, not as talented, clearly less experienced and sucking lungfuls of 95 degree air, I was winded and sweaty as I looked across the net at a guy that was just plain better than me.

Last Sunday evening we started another round of coed sand volleyball, for fun.

Well, it’s fun when you’re playing well and competing in a heated match against the other team, and really fun when you’re winning, I’ve found 🙂

I’m still new to this game, as Lindsay and I were first invited just over a year ago to play with our Church’s team. (Once again, it was Debbie Soule, that pulled me out of my ‘I don’t play sports, have no ability to do this’, shell)

Anyway, Lindsay and I have had the chance to play together and it’s brought us closer as a couple in the process. Cool 🙂


Last Sunday, as we started up a new season, I was frustrated and exhausted. We were booked for two matches, we only had 5 of our 6 players, and we’d lost the first match to some (punk) kids 1-2 W-L-L.

I say punk kids, because when you’re older, heavier, less agile, not as talented and basically not as good, you wanna believe they are punks when you lose to them.

At least I did 🙂

But truthfully, they’re not punks. These guys are just really good at coed sand volleyball and want to win at least as much as I do, maybe more.

So there I was, in the beginning of our second match, up against a ‘new’ team and since they were short of players, a couple of the guys from the previous match filled in and were back on the court against us…


I’m setting this up to show you that at one point early in the match, I was across the net from a kid, that I just knew could handle himself and the ball and my attempted plays, better than I could. I was imagining the games from earlier, and seeing that I was not up to the challenge of beating my opponent mano e mano.

He is just too good! The guy’s legs are like springs! He can see the whole court! He’s quicker, he’s powerful and is in Much better shape than me!

I have improved my game a lot over the last year, but I was just plain being beat.

Have I proven my point, that this guy was into my head?

These were my exact thoughts in the moment.

I truly felt defeated before our second match began…

For just an instant.

Then a wise voice piped up in my mind and giving desperately needed insight.

“I don’t have to be a better player than this guy. I don’t have to beat this one individual.”

“In fact, I’m not even playing against him.”

“My TEAM is playing against his TEAM! Together, WE can do this. Together we have much more skill and ability and experience, than just me. Together, we could beat this team we’re up against.”


I was so thankful for this message!

Instantly, I relaxed. Instantly I had confidence.

When the ball was served and play began, I knew I may lose a couple individual battles to my opponent. I wasn’t going to win them all.

Yet, as a Team, we did hold our own. We pushed through. We found the rhythm of our 5 players. We adjusted our strategy, we served well and everyone played hard.

WE rose up to the occasion and WON the match.

Just for the record, the rest of my team is really darned good. I’m lucky to get to play with them, and sometimes be a contributor too 🙂

So, what’s the message here today?

We don’t have to do it all ourselves. We weren’t designed that way. We have a TEAM.

When it seems too daunting, and we’re winded. When we can visualize how life is going to be faster and tougher than we can handle. When it seems like we’re going to lose the battle, no matter what.

Take heart. Your Team wants to help you win. Your Team is collectively stronger than you’ll ever need to be. Your Team has a wealth of experience and stamina. Your Team has what you don’t have to have.

And it’s much more fun too!

I’ll be honest with you. My Team has grown a LOT over the last few years.

I was always blessed with a fantastic group of friends and family. Yet, in the changes and shifts I’ve put myself through, I’ve stretched some of those relationships. I know we’re still a Team when it comes down to it though.

I’m more involved than ever in our community, and have met and connected with great people through the Young Professionals, and other civic stuff.

Also, I’ve been blessed with a fantastic Church family. Every week I’m surrounded by wisdom, caring and deep acceptance of our flawed fabric of humanity. Our Wednesday Men’s Group is an astounding force of sincerity, love and dedication to the Word.

And the Love of my Life, Lindsay, my best friend, my balance, my smiles, giggles and tender honest listener, blesses my experience every day. We work together and play together too. I don’t deserve such a fantastic fit for me, but I do appreciate her, TONS!

Then there’s my relationship with God… Wow. Mind blowing. Ever Rising, flowing upward and expanding me beyond myself, again and again. Turning me inside out.

“… with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26

With our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in my heart, I am not better than one person out there, but I am better than I used to be.

See, this is a Team that can Win. This is a team I would take to battle anywhere! This is a Team that can accomplish infinitely more than I could on my own…

I have to thank that punk kid on the sand volleyball court for reminding me of that.

Maybe he’s not so bad…

And, he may have needed some kindness, considering the results of our last match!

After all, his young agile group, did lose to an older, slower, worn-out team of 5 🙂

But, it’s all for fun anyway, right 🙂


Aaron Nichols

The Closing Ceremony

Was it the Moon? Another friend of mine calls it a Spell. Either way, last week I was sunk in the doldrums and stuck on the couch.

Right in the middle of the most intensely contested athletic exhibitions on the planet, I was moving at the rate of zero.

Sure, the Olympics provided me with tons of great examples of how these thoroughbred athletes used great coaching to reach the astounding limits of their own capabilities. While I loved this absolute truth on display, I wasn’t doing any coaching while watching the tube.

I sat motionless and amazed in my living room, as other examples of my same species performed fantastic feats of physical ability and fierce mental focus. Until mid-day Wednesday that is…

In the afternoon, while home by myself, I had seen enough. My sedentary self finally got fed up with the grasp that the games had on my mind. I noticed that I was STUCK to the TV.

So I hopped up off the couch…

Unplugged it from the wall…

And pushed the whole (old-school big screen) unit on it’s wheels, to the back room.

Then rearranged the living room and said Ahhhh…

Wow, a conversation spot.

Wow, a reading spot.

Wow, possibility!

And no attention grabbing, life-sucking, Olympic games for me to waste another day on…


Okay, so just when you thought this blog was about the ills of television and the heralding of the virtues of reading and conversation, stay with me for a bit, ’cause there is more to explain here… Cool?? Cool.

{Sneak Preview} there still is no TV hooked up to electricity in my house today.

{Another Sneak Preview} I don’t hate TV, and may sometime hook it back up.

Here’s the thing.

Over the last week, without a TV in our life, I’ve had some neat perspective shifts, also unexpected experiences, and lots more time to talk to my lovely bride-to-be, Lindsay.

I’d love this blog to be a live chat conversation and take guesses from the audience as to some of the things that have gone on in the last week without TV.

First off, comedy.

When I am home alone, in the evening, while Lindsay works, it is has been a tough transition to not have the boob tube on.

Yes, I have a very nice 30″ computer monitor, and a high speed connection, so naturally, my ‘need’ for electronic entertainment turned here to the desktop PC.

Did you know that PBS.org has TONS of shows that you can watch entire episodes of online?

I love PBS!

I’ve watched great shows here on the computer in the last week!

Also, did you know that there are websites that have silly kiddo games that you can play for hours and hours for free online? I found them last Friday night! I was so engulfed into race-car games and dirtbike games and snowboarding games and jet-ski games and whatever, that I was literally laughing and terrified hysterically at the same time!!

When Lindsay finally came home and saw me playing a racing game, I just snapped my look over in her direction and said ‘Please don’t say anything right now, I KNOW this is ridiculous, but it’s been a tough night!!!”

So truthfully, I don’t know how everyone else handles withdraw from something that you’ve done daily for bunches of years, but for me it hasn’t been all pretty!

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon, Lindsay and I had some serious coaching homework. Earlier in the week, we’d hired a stud financial coach to assist us in our household money management intentions. Just like a lot of people, we’d let our diligence slip on this issue, and weren’t making it a high priority. So we hired some help, and it was well worth it!

Especially because there was no TV to distract us from completing the homework assignments our coach gave us. We had the normal budgeting stuff to go over, and a better system of tracking our cash, and then, we had lots of Goals to discuss, short, med and long-term.

With a nice dinner included, we probably spent 4 hours together talking about our personal goals, our future lives together, and just welding the connections we already shared.

That couldn’t happen in-between commercials. Yes, maybe lots of people do that same thing with a TV in the room, but turned off. It just so happened that our focus on ‘Us’ became laser sharp with one less distraction around.

The one last thing I want to share about this experience is this:


I learned this by watching episodes of Cooking with Julia and NOVA and The Woodright’s Shop online on the PBS website.

See, when we flick on the TV, we get the impression that the shows and the information and the entertainment is just a perpetual flow. It just gushes forth from the screen and we get caught, or get stuck-on, or get sucked-into watching whatever is there. If the TV execs and advertisers are doing a good job, then we just sit and stare while one program unfolds and we stay around thru the ads, then the beginning of the next one is just tasty enough to keep us there for more. Sure, most of us click around, but we’re just fishing for something good that someone else is spilling out at that moment on their channel, right??


It’s easier to see when I’m choosing each program to watch on the computer that I’ve made an actual decision to watch a certain program at a given time. On the internet, it’s your pick as to when it starts, pauses, or is cut short, to move onto the next show.

It does feel different to choose your entertainment, entree by entree, instead of being at the end of a conveyor belt piled with someone else’s idea of what’s good right now.

Okay, so as you can see. I gave up TV, but not really. I switched habits and some were silly. I have won 1st place on 8 racetracks of a monster truck game, but just can’t get that last one… Yes, it’s true! Ha!

But really, truthfully, when was the last time, you attempted to change a gripping habit?

It doesn’t always go perfectly… BUT, it is a choice.

Yes, I always had the choice to talk to Lindsay for hours on end, and get huge strides created in our relationship, instead of watching TV.

Yes, I always had the choice to read and ride my bike and clean up around the house, instead of watch TV.

Yes, I always had the choice to watch PBS programs anytime I wanted online, or play Mini-Clip games and feel ridiculously excited to win an upgraded racing monster truck!

I did however notice this choice more clearly, more vibrantly, and more painfully in my strained eyeballs, when I moved the TV out of the room.

It just became apparent, what was already really going on.

I could always Choose.

I was no victim of the television, I just hadn’t decided to be in complete control of my attention span. By noticing this, I am working on ways to improve that, right now 🙂

Fact is, I probably already watched less TV than a lot of people. I only had a few channels that my antenna pulled in. Also, being at home, alone in the evening, in front of the TV, instead of out at a bar, is an improvement for me…

I guess I missed the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics. I wonder if I’ll see the next ones, or if I’ll still be TV free when they come around?? hmmm….

I love trying new things. It pushes and stretches. It can bring anxiety, fear, insight, laughter and the feeling of being alive!

And that’s real fun.


Aaron Nichols


Write letters then add some more…

I write because I’m a professional writer.

I sit down and wrestle and force.

I abuse and beat the keyboard to make a story appear on this screen.

The words blink out letter by little letter.

From blank to a small group, then a space, then another small group.

They follow along in these little trains that chug and choo-choo across a white expanse.

This is how a professional writer does it.

He doesn’t always feeeeeeel like writing.

He doesn’t always start with inspiration and clarity and purpose and vigor.

Sometimes, ya gotta just sit down and write.

The story is already existing, there is no point in waiting for it. It can only appear as ends of fingers cup into little plastic springy squares over and over. When the sounds of tinks and clinks fills the ear, or as pen is pushed across page, a story is born.

Not in silence.

All thoughts of the story, all mind creation, are empty and valueless until recorded, then accessed by someone who cares.

I have waited many times. I have wanted to have the picture complete, before beginning.

I sit aimlessly distracted. Small uninteresting movements. Tele Vision. Snack. What Ever.

When my time is up, when I give up the waiting, the story appears. A procrastinator. Me.

Every one of these blogs is birthed in living, then chewed on in the brain, then posted.

Except this one.

I just sat down, and began.

I Declare, to Begin Beginning to Live, Before I’m Sure How it All Will Work Out.

I Declare to Become a Professional, and make a Practice out of This.

Someone who knows, like they know, that they know, that ACTION and STARTING is where the story is born. It’s where our LIFE is Born.

Not in the futile waiting for inspiration to arrive at some unknown future moment.

It’s NOW. We Make It with Motion.

Let’s Go!

Aaron Nichols



He’s Crafty


Live in COULDS

This week I had several experiences of popping up and out of my stuck places, freed and released to float up.

“How to live wisely” has been a question on my plate from the dawn of time.

I’ve followed many patterns. Being told, shown, suggested; watching, learning; always apart from ‘me’. Anguish lives in that gap between where I think I ‘should’ be and my ‘I am’.

Switching one pattern for another can ease it for awhile. Overall, I’ve returned many times to that heartwrenching gap.

The mold is always slightly different from my shape. My most grievous shape. It doesn’t fit, I don’t fit. Switch molds, same problem. Square Peg, Round Hole, over and over.

Until now.

Working with a fantastic coach has opened me. The work delivered things we didn’t order up. That’s how it goes, amazingly 🙂

I am ready. I deserve it. It’s time to Create My Own Mold. To Decide and Choose how I want things to look in my life.

How to Live Wisely?

Now, I’ll CHOOSE that answer. I’ll Craft that answer. It will be my answer only.

Not Theirs. Not Yours.


‘Some people may do it different.’

‘I could see it another way also.’

‘It’s understandable that you may look at it that way’


‘THIS is what I’m choosing for me.’

‘I am claiming this for me.’ 

 ‘I’m deciding to try this, I’m excited about it, It’s my game and I enjoy the play.”

This message today is short. It may seem cryptic? I don’t need a lot of words.

If you can relate to feeling the tension of that gap, between what you think you ‘should’ be doing, and where you are, then close it.

Choose to take responsibility for the exact place and time of right now. Own it. Love it.

Start by looking forward from here. Start by looking forward from here. Start by looking forward from here. Start by looking forward from here. Start by looking forward from here. Start by looking forward from here. Start by looking forward from here…


What would I like to create? How do I want it to look?

I will decide then act.

This is a Wise way to Live.

But that’s just my opinion.

Go make your own.

~ With LOVE

Aaron Nichols

PS – 10 months sober yesterday. Highly Intoxicated on LIFE right now!