Fabulous and Terrifying Chaos, that’s ‘How I’m Doin”

What needs written today? What hasn’t been said? What are you here for? And for that matter, what am I here for? Specifically, sitting in just some jammie shorts with a cup of coffee at my too-cluttered office desk, on this rain-drenched Friday morning…

I’ll make this quick… There’s sooo much, tooo much, amazing, tragic, scary, blissful, and just plain wrong, to tell you about today. In fact, just not today, that is like every day. In fact, most all the time, the ‘stuff’ in my mind, the ‘activities’ in my life and the events taking place are just so unbelievable to me, that I usually say nothing, to almost everyone…

In my old life, I talked a LOT about what I was going to do, or thinking of doing, or seeing other people do. Now I don’t. In fact, I feel that this place, this online little spot, is the only place I really share much at all. Of course, my wife and I talk about life. Deeply and truly we do share with each other. However, in my interactions out in the world, I am seeing myself withhold, and go through the motions. For now, that’s what I’m choosing…

Inside it’s different. Inside the world is fabulous chaos most of the time. I am doing, seeing and experiencing first hand so many new things. I constantly see the unfolding of magic and gifts from God. Here’s a few: I recognize how blessed I am that ‘problems’ of career and of money, from months passed have flipped-turned 180° in our house. Lindsay has a new gig in the fall, that she’s dreamed of for a loooong time. I get to help run this restaurant, a dream too, for me. Monies for the little things, the regular stuff of life, is here now. Stacks of hundred dollar bills can be easily found when needed. Stuff has sold, we’ve saved, we’ve stayed frugal on the little stuff, money builds up over time.

Working all afternoon at Church yesterday, to get an internet cable run, is something that seems simple, but not being tied to a schedule that allows that kind of freedom, is really fun still for me. I can always choose to make myself available if I really want to now. Other things aren’t so Pollyanna. I do ride the waves of emotion that we’ve discussed together here. I don’t always stay waaay up on a high wave, they fall too. I have hard times. This sobriety is a freakin’ work in progress. Excruciating at times. Too hard some days. Why I hold the line? Why I didn’t give in to temptations lately? I can’t say. I don’t know. But the feeling of having something I want; complete freedom from alcohol, sucks sometimes.

So, the garden is in, new life is coming, a summer of tending my plants, I like that. I like the design and creativity and artistry it can be. It’s a distraction too. It’s something I use to spend energy upon that feels productive and pure, just because I decided that too. The house is a wreck, and I don’t want to clean it. That too is here in this moment. I cause the messes, then I don’t feel like cleaning them up. Someone once told me, “How we do some things, is how we do all things.”

And maybe, that is where this blog is headed today…

I am moving through life lately, causing things, creating things, inventing myself as I go along. I rarely do maintenance anymore. I really don’t put effort into the nurturing and the care-taking like I used to. Especially in relationships, in people moments. I actually experience this as a free-fall. It must be by choice, everything is. This detachment and looseness and being in the present moment, is pure love sometimes, pure terror others.

And, I don’t share that either, anywhere but here.

I share this stuff today, to connect with someone else, who may have felt the same way, and weren’t sure if they were the only one who has. All the connected-ness and rhythm and repetition of my old ways are gone now. Almost every step is brand new, sometimes good, sometimes bad. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that little by little, I am creating it now. I get to shape it, I have the opportunity and the responsibility, it’s not the worn-in groove created by years and years of the same cycles spinning over and over and over again…

Sometimes, like out at the lake last weekend, I desperately miss those old cycles…

Sometimes, like this very morning, I’m headed off to help shape a business. I have a clear mind and determination and a fumbling forward mindset. I know I’ll fall and fail and make mistakes, and I’m good with that too. I don’t do this thing right. I can’t if I want to stretch myself into new places. Growth and new experience can only happen outside my comfort zone, outside feels both exhilarating and terrifying, simultaneously.

That’s what’s up this week. That’s what I won’t share when someone asks, ‘How’re you doing?’ And I’m gambling here, to guess that I’m not the only one, with more to say, than we actually do, most of the time.

I feel you out there. I feel that something is boiling within. I feel that you are here for that part of you, to connect with that part of me. If it weren’t true, you’d have clicked away long ago, and never made it this far, down the rabbit hole, with me.

Thanks for being the REAL YOU, somewhere, somehow. It’s important.


– Aaron Nichols

Weirdforgood Hangout – 18 – Big Days vs. Balance

Balance is Best right??? NOPE, not in this discussion! Check out this hangout to find out why it’s great, if your life isn’t in complete balance at all times!

The blog post we’re covering is:

Dig Deep again with us this week, in one of the most enlightening and real conversations on the web, here at our weirdforgood world!

With Aaron Nichols & Melissa Ford

You can read more about me, Aaron Nichols on http://www.weirdforgood.com

or Melissa Ford’s website — http://www.empoweredcoachingsolutions…

Big Days vs. Balance

Some days reroute lives forever. Some events occur as game-changers, severing any continuity with the past, and leaving us to wonder how a new future will ever be possible.

I was reminded this week of a few of those moments. For people in my life, but not just us.

This week of May shines summerish sunlight we’ve missed through the long winter. It’s been mild here; windows open at night. Things are dry but not too dry. Most people have a garden in. The best outdoor time of the year so far, in Kansas.

So we spent time outdoors this week. Like standing with Mother and Sister, at my Father’s headstone. Gathering all together, maybe only for the second time I really remember, we talked about normal stuff, like the big week they had ahead. Their trip to Mexico. A wedding. Without too much angst, we just had a conversation. Eventually someone looked down, we could see the names of not only my Dad, but Uncle Steve, and Grandparents William (Bill) and Dorothy too… The ending date on my Daddy’s stone shows May 21 1983. It’s been thirty years since that big day.

Why was 5 years ago, the first time we three stood there? I don’t know. Lots of little days go by in between I guess. Times past, we couldn’t have. In that day’s moment, it felt good, it felt right. It wasn’t too hard, but I revered that little space we created together. It was time to go, nearby, another too-young person was laid to rest. We stood together and hugged. Funny, I felt real tall. It was like the heads of my sister and mom, only came halfway up my chest. It was a good hug. I probably won’t ever forget it. It was a big day, in honor of a Big Man we all lost too young.

That was Tuesday.

Last week, there was a birthday. I celebrated in my own way, late at night by shuffling through bunches of old pictures and posting some to facebook. My cousin Megan would have been 35 that day. Her too, lost too young. A big day, none of us will ever understand.

Then Monday, we saw the news. Moore, Oklahoma. A Big twister, a day so many of them will never forget. A day that erased the past. The day before, someone mowed. The day before, someone shopped for groceries. The day before, someone fought over something trivial. The day before, wasn’t that Big Day. On the big ones, nothing else matters, but love. Finding someone alive. All the stuff in their world gone. Didn’t matter at all. The people. The love. Life itself was enough. Everything else could be taken. Have it. We’ll start over.

We had other big days this week too… On Tuesday, at the Restaurant, we installed a new computerized ordering system. A big step forward for us. We changed the game. We can now do lots of new things, to measure our business. We can serve our customers better, when things are clearly defined. We want to be in process of making improvements always. This is just another one. Big nonetheless.

My wife and I hung out with our favorite band this week too. The boys of the Band of Heathens including their sixth member, the freight train whistle and it’s lumbering screeches, put on another awesome show at Knuckleheads. We rocked out. We had a date night. We had real fun. Watching my wife bring us two crisp clear bottles of water, while the rest of the party guzzled booze, was big, for me. Sure, I still feel the tug of cracking a cold one during a concert. But this new way is even more refreshing. Even more rock’n roll rebel style. Against the grain. That’s me.

I could go on and on, about the big days we’ve experienced lately. Tons of moments, not the least of which was seeing my youngest sister say Yes, to a life-long commitment.  I was lucky enough to join her for the small ceremony that legally united them, before they stood in the sand and did it oceanside. Her dream wedding is taking place today. I was really lucky to get to witness and be there for her, in part of her journey, if not all of it.

So what about balance? What about the little days? What about times and weeks that pass without much exciting taking place, or life-changing going on? Should we be thankful for them? Should we be glad that not every day is totally radically tragic, or fantastically inspiringly romantic and blissful?

In this moment, for me, I’m saying screw balance. In the waves of emotion that have moved me both up and down in the last few weeks, I’ve felt a rush. I’ve been pushed and I’ve sailed, and the rigging is up and catching wind. I have a rhythm of activity and of dance that brings pleasure then pain then back again. It feels natural. It feels like real life. I’m so thankful for all of it.

Balance is suffocating. It feels so teeeee-dious and irritating to try and achieve balance. Barely adding a bit to this side, while barely taking away from that side. Ever so slightly adjusting this and that, to find this perfect moment where all things have the right weight and energy and ritual and discipline in my life. Yuck. Lately, it’s been Big Days. We’re pushing waay forward and making cool stuff happen. I’ve shared these super deep moments, in love. I haven’t however kept my house cleaned up, and in perfect order. I haven’t done all the projects on my plate. I haven’t done everything right. I’ve made messes along the way too. It’s cool though. With me.

I see that there will be Big Days for those things too. Days to make a decision and cut projects loose. A day to block out, and just clean and clean. A day to finally put a garden in. A day to say thank you, to people in my life, for the cool things they’ve given me. A day to appreciate the forgiveness and flexibility I’ve been given, as I wander and reroute and play with my life, sometimes changing too much. The old familiar ways are now the uncomfortable ones… Crazy idn’t it.

Really, every day is a big day. Every day contributes to the weight of these big events. None of the big things happen without thousands of tiny little things coming together. Watching this band, with my wife, sober, and appreciating the gift of God, didn’t happen out of the blue. Thousands of moments lead to this. Including the death of my Dad, when I was age four, and he, only 26… Wow.

Balance doesn’t inspire me. Keeping things perfectly all in order, while nothing gets the chance to be great, or die, leaves no risk and no reward. Life doesn’t have meaning without death. There is no halfway between the two, that we can maintain for any amount of time. Jesus told us to be hot or cold, not lukewarm. Balance is lukewarm, and I’m not interested. So today, I’ll again barely show up on time. I’ll drop the ball. I’ll sit here among a mess. I’ll also take a step, working to make a business great. I’ll pound out the very last word of this message, to completion. I’ll, be who I am called to be today. In the only way I know how. I’ll guess at it. I’ll just shoot in the dark. I’ll do something, instead of waiting and wondering.

I’ll do things wrong, and screw up the balance. I’ll feel the rush of the swings and swells and the winds of change. It won’t be teee-dious though 🙂 It will be another Big Day.


Aaron Nichols


Weirdforgood Hangout – 17 – You Can’t Screw Up

Avoiding mistakes and trying to do it right, could just be the real failure we all fear. Find out more here, in our 17th Weirdforgood Hangout!

The blog post we’re covering is:

Dig Deep again with us this week, in one of the most enlightening and real conversations on the web, here at our weirdforgood world!

With Aaron Nichols & Michael Wright

You can read more about me, Aaron Nichols, on my bio page.

or Michael’s Blog – www.fatherofone.com

How to know, How to not, Screw Up My Life

Can I mess this thing up? Is that possible? Isn’t that the fear that creeps into my every activity, my every thought about the future, and is the source of the regrets of my past?

What if I thought that I couldn’t.

What would that change about my attitude, my actions and my well being?

Just everything, that’s all…

I wanted to share in this space this week, a worry, that I may be sliding into a complacency, a neutrality and a ‘good’ mode, that I’ve spent the last couple years in protest of. Certain things have shifted recently. My wife has accepted a new job, meaning I too have accepted a new job. I am excited about it. I will be now spending much more time and energy at our restaurant, The Brand’N Iron Bar and Grill, in Princeton, KS.


I like that 🙂

I still will be the art dept for a local tee shirt and sporting goods store, Front Row Sports. Good! I like that 🙂

I also am quite involved with church, being a part of the leadership at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Good! I really like that 🙂

And, I have regular life stuff, like gardening and mowing, bicycle riding, writing a blog, maybe a book, being a husband, riding a motorcycle, planning a honeymoon, seeing my favorite band next Wednesday, delivering kittens to Mom and playing with a nephew… good stuff like that…

BUT, what about Coaching. What about my Big Dream, to share with people a creative space of possibility and assist a movement in their life. To witness an opening, a transformation. Feel the heat as they ignite and delight as they bloom. Singing praises as they prosper, and sweat and toil in the trenches, as they laboriously drop their limiting crap… What about this GREAT SERVICE, I could offer to REAL GREAT PEOPLE??

Uhh, well… Ahh, ya’ see… I kinda’… sorta… well… I’m now so busy.. I mean… really… like… ya’ know… life is what it is… ya’ know… I got all this ‘good’ stuff goin’ on… I just, now have more stuff, less time… I know… I’ve spent like 3 years going after this… but well… I’ll backburner it for now… I have new things… and with my busy-ness… and the restaurant… and Church… and SHUT UP!! (Me)



I see my stories loud and clear here. I actually watch myself choosing Good, instead of Great. I’m even looking at the title of Good to Great, by Jim Collins on my bookshelf, which I know, starts out with the quote, “Good, is the enemy of great.” When I see someone else choosing to play small, instead of reaching for their own potential, it burns me. Why would we do that! Why would we decide to have less, be less, stay comfortable, instead of pushing and growing and living into excitement and adventure!

Cause, it’s scary. Cause, it’s hard. Cause, it’s not easy. That’s why we don’t. I was taught by my mentor Melissa Ford, that our subconscious loves to keep us safe. It wants us to be in the habit of the known, in the space we already have defined and conquered. It doesn’t want us to bust through our walls and find ourselves outside the comfort zone. It says ‘Noooo!’ And for me this week, my subconscious, like a nuclear submarine, Won. Under the surface, it shot it’s powerful torpedoes, and blasted holes in the vessel of my Big dreams. It used all the reasons and excuses and BS stories to keep me from sailing onward, forward, out of safer harbors…

So, here again is the question I posed first: “Can I mess this thing up?” Is the victory of my subconscious a death blow to my dreams? Is the thought, that I can screw up my life, helping me? Nope.

What if I didn’t think that? Simple right. What if I didn’t think I could screw up my life? Woah! Crazy! Stupid! Irresponsible! Unholy! Bad Boy! Really?

Is my life screwed up right now? Debatable. Is what I am, what I have, what I do, anything that can be exactly quantified and counted? Nope. It’s nailing jello to a tree. The answers to these questions lie in my own thoughts about the questions. My own self-judgments. My own ‘atta-boy’s or my own ‘oh-shits’. I really am the last line of defense against my own thoughts. At some point God will judge. At some point, a higher authority than me, will show me my life story, and hopefully not a huge pile of missed opportunities to change the world, that I passed on, because I wanted to stay safe.

But still, I do have a thought, on the answer to the question, ‘Can I screw this thing up?’ Some truth lies in a story we read this week, at Men’s Bible Study. From I Samuel, chapter 9. Saul and his servant were out looking for some donkeys that were lost. He searches high and low. He goes from town to town to town. Eventually, the servant says, ‘maybe we should ask the Seer, about the way we should go.’ Saul wanted his donkeys back. He wanted his trip to be worth the effort. He was a great man, but from a small tribe. He had his plan. God had another.

When Saul shows up, to get the wisdom of the Seer, Samuel, he is served the choice portion. He dines with Samuel, the prophet and judge of Israel, and Man of God. He just wants his donkeys. God wanted him to be King of Israel. Guess who’s wishes won out.

If you read this chapter, it almost appears that Saul, couldn’t have messed this thing up. In fact, he’s clueless. He’s out of touch. He’s one-minded in the midst of huge moment in the history of his people. Saul was doing the thing that was in front of him. He was following his own path, doing what he thought was right. His anointing, and his promotion was out of his hands. It was all handled by others. It was his servant who suggested they see the Seer. It was Samuel who recognized him, and followed through with God’s orders. It wasn’t about what Saul wanted. Saul wanted donkeys. If he got what he wanted, it would have been the herd, then back home.

Israel wanted a King. God chose Saul. Saul didn’t choose himself to be king. He didn’t read the top 10 ways to be more kingly, and then implement a 7 steps plan to kingly success. He went searching the world looking for his lost ass.

I can start to do that too. I can do these things in front of me. I am a lost ass. I am a wanderer. I have spent years now, searching around, looking for something, leaving so much of home behind. I don’t know if God wants me to be a Coach. I seem to have wanted that. It must be that for now, God wants me to make a difference in this restaurant that I married into. To help and to serve people, the business and the customers, my wife. It must be that I can take a little rest from the pressure of having to create all of my own successes, in every little endeavor, and know that on a very important level, it’s out of my hands. I will choose to work hard. I will choose to keep stepping forward. I will choose to struggle and wonder as I continue to search for my lost life, out among the prairies.

If I’m doing that, I can’t be screwing up. If I sit at home and just try to forget about the dreams, the donkeys, that took off (and I chose to sit at home instead), I may not come across the right place at the right time. I cannot however, claim to know when or how, or if ever that will be. And, if that day comes, that a promotion or a serendipity brings me to a new level, I can see as well, that it may not be all roses either. But a position given by God, must be taken, there is no other way. It simply will not be avoided. Only in hindsight, will that moment be visible.

Today I set out again, another day of searching for something lost. I will take step after step, and I’ll get frustrated too. I’ll wonder if I’ll ever find. I’ll lament the strain. I’ll miss home. I’ll fondly remember the olden days with friends. I’ll appreciate new views. I’ll be a stranger in a strange land again. I’ll try to listen, when someone points the way to a Seer. But I guess it’s time to focus on the donkeys, and nothing else…


Aaron Nichols



Our #16 Weirdforgood Podcast!
Space in your life is at a premium, right! We’re all too busy, to have any time for the things we really want, right! Find out how that story is really BS, and we have more choice and room and time and space in our Vertical Lives, than we realize! All that and more in this week’s Weirdforgood Podcast

Weirdforgood Hangout – 16 – Space You can make, in your Busy Life!

Do I really have more time in my busy day, than I realize? Can I really regroup, and realign myself in the midst of any crazy moment? Some top tips to see the valuable spaces in your existing life, you don’t have to wait for your next one!

Space in your life is at a premium, right! We’re all too busy, to have any time for the things we really want, right! Find out how that story is really BS, and we have more choice and room and time and space in our Vertical Lives, than we realize! All that and more in this week’s Weirdforgood Hangout 🙂

The blog post we’re covering is:

Dig Deep again with us this week, in one of the most enlightening and real conversations on the web, here at our weirdforgood world!

With Aaron Nichols & Melissa Ford

You can read more about me, Aaron Nichols on my about page

or Melissa Ford’s website —http://www.empoweredcoachingsolutions

Oceans and Rivers of Light Everywhere, Show Black Tragedy, Rocks, Obstacles, Busy-ness

Clear Space. Like the opening, the blankness, the gap, in between these words. It’s key.

I have noticed that this life-shift of mine, that has occurred over the last few years, has opened up new and fresh clear still pools of consciousness to dip into, that didn’t seem to be there before.

We’ve talked about the BS of Busy-ness, and how it’s the popular culture’s excuse for everything. We encourage busy-ness and we admire busy-ness and we even feel bad for some idiotic reason, if we can’t tell another person how extremely busy we are, and how life just so packed with whatever this imaginary thing called ‘busy-ness’ is…

So anyway. Visually look at the paragraph above, or at this whole page. Not as words, but as a graphic image. Squint your eyes and see the groups of letters. See the ‘rivers’ of white that flow up and down, connecting spaces in-between words. Also notice that the ‘black’ color is what actually creates the letters, the words. The white is the background, right? Well, some letters need a ‘hole’ of white to be recognizable. Like the ‘a’, the ‘e’ the ‘o’, even ‘b’, ‘d’ capital ‘R’ and both ‘P’s’. Actually all letters utilize both the white and the black, the yin and the yang.

The white space, the in-between space is JUST as important as the ‘black’ image of the word itself. If you look at these chunks of ideas, the paragraphs, or ‘pair-a-giraffes’ as my high school biology teacher would say, you could notice that from afar, they resemble a ‘busy’ bunch of lines and dots and curves. Right?

Now, I want you to take a second, and re-look at the -paragraph above. Look for the white. Only notice the white. Let the spaces and the ‘leading’, the horizontal white blocks stand out. Use your focus, to see the ‘in-between’… Wow, there’s tons of it. In fact, most of this whole page is white. It’s everywhere. It’s the thing that organizes, and shows the breaks between words. The white is the canvas with which I stamp into, my ideas each week. The white, creates a cadence between words, your mind finds music, in the ways and whys of the spacing of these sentences.


That looks busy. What you see above is possibly how you feel day to day. Do we really all jump instantly from one activity, one task or idea, instantly, with no break whatsoever, into the next, without so much as a breath at all? I doubt it. But our speed, our focus, and some energy of urgency, may have us living a half-tick too fast, to notice the space we do really have at our fingertips.

The message today is Slow Down. And I’m not talking about the speed of my day, I’m talking about the speed of my ‘reading’ of the day. There is space available everywhere if I choose to see it. I have plenty of activities in my week. Like words, I could tell you all the ‘things’ that I ‘did’ this week, and it was another full week. BUT, there were TONS of little spaces in between. Tons of moments for my mind to wander into good, or not-so-good places. The in-betweens are where lots of my life is lived, if I choose to notice it.

I ran across some information about the ‘Gut Brain’ a month or so ago. Fascinating stuff. I’m no authority on the subject, but I have used a simple technique over and over lately, in the ‘spaces’ in between activities, or even right in the midst of a moment, to check in with my ‘Gut Brain’, and physically feel a reset in my mood, or energy or even anxiety. The ancient Egyptians used to pull out the grey matter of a mummy, through the nose and toss it away. They kept the heart, and the guts too. They were on to something. We do too much ‘head thinking’ and not enough ‘gut thinking.’ When my mind is spinning out of control, my thoughts stuck on negativity or fear or judgment, I can simply move my conciousness down my body and ‘feel’ what my gut ‘thinks’ in that moment. Usually it’s a much calmer, deeper, more open and peaceful place, that resides right inside ourselves.

Try it now. Just consciously make a shift, feel your way down to deep within your gut, below and behind your belly-button, you’ll find a well of calm, that is available right now.

It’s an important space to know about, as I have come to enjoy. There are lots of moments where we benefit from the awareness of the true wealth of space in our lives. I have carved out and created this blog-space here, where I go each week, and pour something out onto this work-table. It is a crucial space in my world, and yet many times, I wonder why I spend the the time or energy to do it. Most people, would say they’re too busy. OR, think I ‘should’ be busier, and not ‘have time’ for this. Ha!

Another key ‘space’ is the openess and safety of the space between client and coach. Just yesterday, in a session, I noticed that the space created between a client and I, was so ripe and rich, that things were wanting to come up, and enter our work, that the client wasn’t ready to let out. That’s okay. I understood about that struggle. But it was really awesome to see the power and magnetic force of an open trusting space between two people. Our subconscious wants to use that space to let go of our junk, to release.

Physicists have been searching for decades for proof of ‘dark matter’. It’s the ‘stuff’ between the ‘stuff’ that makes up our universe. They even recently are claiming they’ve found ‘dark matter’ particles. I think they’ve got the name wrong. It’s easy to see that it’s not dark matter, but light matter, even white matter. It’s the force of God. It’s the everything glue that not only keeps us together, but moves us forward, ever onward. It makes grass grow, it’s the tiny dot that started as you and as me, it can’t be contained and yet nothing does not contain it.

This week, in our local area, there has been dark and sad and terrible news of real deaths of real people. 4 human beings, have been murdered. One of them used to be my neighbor. A man, a father, that I talked to, and listened about his life, and who borrowed my mower too. That was a couple years ago, I don’t know what brought him from then, to this early, violent, point of death. It has been tragic to hear of an innocent baby, caught up in this mess too. Killed, like the other three. All were innocent babies at one point. Just like you and just like me.

Our busy-ness, the tragedies, the news; can bring us to our knees. Lifecanallofasuddengetreallytoughtoseeclearlywecanforgetaboutthespacethebreathsbetweenthegoodandthe G O D thatisalwaysintertwinedamongtheeverythingelse

There is plenty of dark matter. Plenty of evil and plenty of stress too. That is what busy-ness is… I encourage you this week, to pause, even for tiny split seconds at a time. The time it takes to skip over the spaces between these words, and feel down into the peace within you. Breathe deeply from that place, squint your eyes at the world, at the junk, the news and the stuff, it will fade. Notice that among it all, God Abides. God’s the background, the space, the context that creates everything. Among it all, we can always, always, always, find peace, hope and possibility if we look for God.

Rest in peace Steven White, and Lana, Kaylie and Andrew too. There is nowhere that God is not. May we notice the abundance of peace and light and love, adjacent among and around this darkness.


Aaron Nichols