Magic Cough Syrup

The new struggles as we let go of even more, even more than we thought physically possible, is the question, should I care? Caught in the middle of ‘the world’ and the ‘not the world’, I skate razors edges ever being cut and healed again before the next.

I say struggle, because one such is that these smattering of letters each week ignites and inflames the topic that I type. I can speak of cooling old anger, then it flares up agian. I can claim newfound confidence, only to slink back and shrivel for the next week or so. I intend to be raw, and real and do the one and only thing I’ve ever been really good at, which is to feel these detailed and thorny emotions, point by prickly point, and hope it helps to share.

Yet, as I scoot the demon out the door, and bolt it shut, I spin around to find a legion more, still snarling and writhing within. So here’s one I am afraid to write about. The Drinker that still lives in me… I could write a real raw tale about what pinging and ponging goes on in the brain of someone still trying to keep that world away, living sobriety. But if I do, and make any claims of accomplishment, it could backfire, big time.

So I’ll only say, what I really only ever said. “I’m not drinking today.” That’s it.

The demons Jesus cast into a herd of swine, rushed down into the sea and drowned. The legion was removed from the man. Jesus has done this before. Sometimes I think he’s done it to me too. I love those times.

Other times, I feel the fullness of an army of ghoulish greedy and sinister spirits that want to derail any progress or peaceful state of mind that I’ve experienced. Sometimes, the worst times, they don’t seem sinister at all. They seem lighthearted, and easy going. They don’t pressure or judge, but they offer and toss ideas of possibility. They whisper and coo. They leave me to do the choosing. They want me to decide that I want things back. That I want release and relaxation with a simple beer, a glass of wine with my wife… And the true struggle lies in the question: Is that so bad?

How does this inquiry arrive? What makes it so hard to answer? The events, the parties, the world I used to know so damned well, is just a sip away, a phone call away, an easy, so easy, cracking of a can, and it can all be back again… The Egypt that I was a slave of, would welcome me home so fast… Would I be me, as now, back there? Or the former version, in all ways, so good and oh so bad?

In a couple of days it will be 21 months of no drinking. It certainly isn’t 21 months of no thoughts of it. Going without has done a few things. Maybe it was finding God, that did a few things. I can’t say for sure. I can prove some facts however. I am right where I am supposed to be in my life, right now. I am married to an absolute blessing of a woman, who I love. Just like sobriety, it brings so much good to my life, but it’s not always easy.

So these struggles are for good. These moments that I experience another day dry, or another day married, or another day of appreciating something tiny and divine, I wonder if I am doing it right. Funny, huh? I fall so short of being the good friend I once was, or the good brother at times, or especially the late night campfire clown… My heart is heavy when I see that old world up close again, but from so far away…

Back to the hard-to-answer questions, for me. As detached as I have chosen to be, and continue to be, should I care? As seemingly small as a slip back to sipping cold suds with good buds would be, why fight that? If my life is now in such wonderful condition, why would I spend any time at all, pondering the past? Would it be okay, to really reveal my thoughts about it here?

I am not a perfect man of God. I don’t even really think I know what that is. I know I feel the presence of God within me. I know I feel demons too… One thing I have noticed though, with a mind and a body that has almost 21 months of sober awareness for new discoveries… I see how we worship. I see how hard it is for me, to really worship God and life and joy and love and freely, openly, be the artistic and sensitive and spiritual soul that seems be alive in me. Instead, I see how easy it is worship something else. I used to worship the alcohol itself. Don’t laugh, don’t dismiss too quick. All sentences about fun and love and joy, had to do with the drink. All the talk had a glue, the good times a lubrication. A universal language understood across people and places.

It was an easier language to speak aloud, than the Good News, is for me to do. So therefore, I struggle, and for now, choose the harder way. The old ways are so delicious in my mind. The richness of that world so tantalizing. To be with God, but in this world, leaves us feeling poor and lonely and lost sometimes.

Something else though I must say… Much more often, I feel full instead of empty. I feel calm instead of anxious. I honestly, truly, don’t care about a bunch of crap that I used to really care about because I had done it for so long. And I do wonder still, if I can give myself permission to be okay with that.

These words are fresh and relevant today to me. They aren’t written for you, in the way, that they ‘should’ be your words, or are ‘supposed’ to be your thoughts too. It’s just a written recording of this moment in my life. I can pour my heart onto this screen and bleed my true feelings all over this page, and not know if it has made any impact out there in the world. If it has affected you, let me know. It is easier to post a picture of a tomato plant, if I am in the mood for feedback. I’ll get 25 likes and 5 comments surely, every time. So there. Have fun, drink it up. Do what you wish to do today. I am not here to say otherwise.

I did plenty of it. I tried it over and over and over again. I lived in the world of the worship of alcohol as a magic elixir for every occasion. In fact, I was the carnival barker, the pitchman and the demon himself, maybe convincing you sometime to tie one on, with me. So this isn’t about not understanding, it’s about understanding all too well.

I’ll wrap this up, by reminding myself of the first of ten important Commandments. Thou shalt have no other gods before me… I did have then. I struggle now, to keep them at bay, and keep my eyes on the one true God. I can’t say exactly why, but I can prove that God is powerful enough to fix my broken-ness in a divine way. The creator of this whole universe apparently does have me in mind for something other than that ‘old version of me…’

I was told on October 1st, 2011 ‘God can only use me, if I’m sober’, I do expect this experiment to produce fruit, in a way that can only be attributed to Him.


Aaron Nichols

PS – Future Aaron: Keep up the good work, I’m proud of you, for choosing to be exactly who you want to be, weirdness and all!

Weirdforgood Hangout #20 – with guest-star Megan Sillito – Finally Release that Emotional Rubbish!

In a great conversation with the dymnamic Megan Sillito, we cover HOW to finally fix up and release our piles of emotional junk. She shows the shifts possible, to consciously little by little, enjoy a fresher more joyous new version of normal… Or just stay with the old hard-ish ways… Your Choice 🙂

Megan was the person who originally inspired these Hangouts to begin with, so I am really grateful to have her with us. If you’ve enjoyed these programs, then you can thank her, for pushing me to explore this Hangout world 🙂

The two blog posts we’re covering this week are:

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 & Megan Sillito

You can read more about me, Aaron Nichols on

or Megan Sillito’s website — or

PS: My video stream is junky in this version – if you’d like to just hear the podcast version – click here.

In appreciation of big steaming hot heaps of garbage

So the neighbor kid who mows my lawn, got it almost right… almost.

Yeah, the lawn was cut nicely, and his weed-whackin’ left a few too many weeds un-whacked, as usual… but overall my twenty bucks was well spent… except.

Except, that on the note I left him, about bagging the grass, and where to put it (near the garden), he didn’t. I’m sure old habit took over, and like last year, he felt best about dumping the clippings back at the compost pile. Okay fine. So, the reason we bagged this time, was to slice up some free garden mulch, to block weeds in the pathways and cool the roots of my tommytoes.

Well, tonight it was mulchin’ time. I sunk the four tines of my potato fork into the pile of grass, to toss a scoop into the wheelbarrow and Wow! A radiance of heat, and even a plume of steam! I felt the grass, and sure ’nuff, it was HOT! The pile of new cut grass had a quick shower, it was plenty moist. It was also put onto an older pile of grasses and compost from the last turning. The proportions were right and this stuff was cookin’! I was really amazed at how fast and how gosh-darn smokin’ hot the stuff was.

Well either way, that is my mulch, so I loaded it up. Like the last couple years, I’ve hand-spread these clippings out on my pathways and around some plants. Tonight though, I noticed something interesting about this process as I dug into the heat, and scattered the grasses around. When you feel the intensity of the temperature, coming from within, you can try to dig around and look for the source of it. I was literally peeling apart a handful of hot wet grass half-expecting to find an inner ember deep inside. Actually what I found was quite different. As I picked apart the clumps and tore the big pile into many smaller piles, the heat escaped, vaporized and dissipated into nothing. You can’t see or grasp exactly, where the burning is coming from…

I tossed and scattered and the light breeze was already starting a drying process as I went along. I suspect that by tomorrow afternoon, the grasses will be sun-baked and shriveled. By simply separating and spreading out the pile, I stopped it’s process. The heat, the decomposition, the steam was only built up, because the pile was heaped up, and untouched. Left to it’s own natural system, it would eventually have broken down into another form altogether…

Okay, big deal. It’s just wet grass. It happens. Duh.

No Duh.

Remember waaaay back in the early spring, I posted here about a incident of anger, and of frustration and of emotional HEAT and Energy, that I released into the woods around Forest Park? Yeah? Well, that buildup was just like my compost pile. It was HOT! It was Fuming and Steaming and Rotten! It was a natural process that was the result of me choosing to heap a bunch of fears and worries and insecurities into one big pile and just leave it there. I didn’t want to go near that stinky pile of garbage, and so I didn’t! Ha! That’s one way to deal with my emotional clutter and leftovers and clippings, I’ll just pile them up and leave them in the back corner of the yard of my heart, maybe forever.

Except, that someone sorta stuck my nose right into that pile, and I got ticked off!

Then, someone else, my Coach Megan, helped me see the beauty in the moment. She showed me how I could use the opportunity to help myself grow. I could choose to fix my own mess, and release myself of the pain and the agony of being burned by MY crap.

She spent the time with me, to dig into that steaming pile. She didn’t let me stop when I talked about how it hurt, or how someone else ’caused’ it to happen. She showed me that the big scary burning pile of emotional rubbish actually didn’t have any embers or sparks or dangerous-ness in it at all. It was all in the leaving-alone of it, that it even had any power.

In our work, as we tossed around a handful here and a handful there, the emotions started to lose their intensity. They almost immediately cooled down. The breeze, the attention and awareness of dissecting the big ole stack of crap, actually turned it into harmless little clippings of mulch that I could walk on, or spread around in useful ways. In fact, that lesson she taught me is something I use almost every day.

Our fears, our junk and our worries, have no real power, can gain no heat and can not burn us at all, if we keep scattering them around. If we handle them, and play with them, and look at them closely, we’ll see that they contain no inner ember, no hot coals. As long as we keep digging into, and sweating through the regular process of scattering our emotional heap, it can’t build up, and cause a real fire.

Fire? From compost? Oh yeah, I did forget to mention that this heat can eventually become highly dangerous. A big pile, left too long, and doing too much of this natural process can reach temps high enough, that a switch happens. The microbial and biological processes actually burn themselves up and a chemical reaction takes over. Then we have real fire and it can really burn…

Luckily, I think most of us just swelter and sweat and steam among our various piles of emotional compost. We aren’t quite yet to the unstoppable blazing inferno point… yet. Megan taught me a huge lesson about my own crap, it only has power when I keep it stuffed down and tucked away untouched. When I bring it up into the light, it just loosens and cools and floats away in the wind, leaving me calmed, open, at peace.

Of course, it’s up to us. We can just pile up a bunch of thoughts and memories and regrets and hurts and crap, and leave in the corner of our backyard… I hope we don’t leave them too long… If we’re lucky, the fire will only burn us… but probably not.

I don’t know about you, but when I do little things, like spread mulch, I think of the bigger picture, what it means in my life, how it reminds me of something else much more important and significant. My Einstein-ish theories are about how we live in a copy and paste Universe. How we can look at the truth of how one things works, copy that, and paste it perfectly into the truth of how something else works. We can learn everything from anything, and anything from everything. If we really are in great awareness and focus, answers come easy.

Let us be aware. Let us play and scatter and get our hands dirty. Let us grow ourselves always and appreciate our whole garden of life. Including the vibrant flowers, the tasty veggies, the sun and dirt and yes, as Megan taught me, even the compost pile out back 🙂


Aaron Nichols


How long is a day? Forever. How long is a life? Milliseconds. How long is a moment in the Flow? Never Ending.

Where did we get the structure? Who made up the context of time? When did somehow we become expect our work to happen in daytimes, during the week, and our play time on nights and weekends? This isn’t going to be a whiny post about how we need to work 24-7 and if we’re not, then we’re doing it wrong… Exactly the opposite.

There is no separation between work and play, in the flow. There is no exhaustion, just excitement. There is rest time, there is work time, it all interplays throughout each day at all times of the day. Early morning, late morning, noon time, afternoon, evening, late night, early early morning. All these times are open for work, open for play, open for rest, Really.

I have struggled though, fitting this truth into a context of time, that maybe I learned in grade school? Starting quite young, our school weeks are boxed-up and packed, with blocks of play built-in: Recess, Lunch, Recess Again. All the good stuff seems to be the small parts, while the boring, or hard or tedious or stuck-in-your-chair work is the painful majority. Sad really. I did well in school.  I wanted to ‘do it right’ and get good grades, please people, yet I still wanted those play times most. Art classes, special project time, or  science experiments are what I enjoyed more than anything else. I didn’t want the boring work time… So sue me.

So later on, we grow up, we want to continue this structure and rhythm we’ve been institutionalized into believing, and we ‘need’ a job, and our stuff, and our little place in this big ole world. The best jobs, give the most free time, for the most money, right? Get a 9-5, enjoy weekends and vacations, be happy?!?!? Nope.

Been there, done that, it wears out. What’s funny about lately, is that I am working harder and better than ever. I have a place again. I am more found-er than lost-er on my little career journey. But quite upside-down from my old life. The work now is more intense, it’s harder, and requires more depth of focus. I make a mere fraction of the pay. I work all hours of the day, and night. I am happier. What?!?!

Yeah, it’s weird (ha!). Among the hard intense work, I enjoy mid day naps often. I sleep in late many days. I work late too. I make creative designs. I grill fat juicy steaks. I talk about business with my spouse a lot.  I had hiring conversations and meetings this week. I cleaned up poop, just yesterday. I dropped tough news that not everyone would like. I saw historic firsts, that delighted me deeply and simply with my wife.

I have enjoyed moments so far out of my own ideas of success, that I appreciated and was surprised by. This stuff is more highly concerted and divinely orchestrated than I could have ever created myself. And that’s the really funny part. I have been intentionally directing my life for several years now. Picking a far out big ole crazy goal, like becoming a professional Life Coach. Working with the world’s best, and choosing to dive into such uncharted waters, the struggle to stay afloat at all, was so exhausting. I chose all that. I chose how hard it was too. Probably didn’t have to be that hard. Anyway…

I see quite lately, that the Flow, shows itself in it’s ease and play and forthcomingness. The Flow is timeless, it’s suspended as an infinite and fleeting flash of gratitude and cooperation. I’ve experienced Flow in such simple little moments lately, no stress, no fear, nothing I could ever have decided and planned for and carved out with my intentionality.

To quote a teacher that has impacted me, it’s like holding a cork underwater and just letting it go. The feeling is release, it shoots upward, it’s easier than the struggle to grip something where it doesn’t want to be. This blog itself is like that. Even today, I struggle and fight to keep it where it is. It’s painful to push words through the clattering keys and make sense of something to share with myself, to fill this space, what is the point? I don’t actually know what the point is. I can tell from other recent experiences however, that this pattern of black letters and spaces, isn’t really in full flow. It’s too hard. It’s too much of a fight. It’s too pointless, to make sense of. Other activities lately are not that way at all. They jump onto the screen with vigor and pop. They ignite conversation and feedback and gifts and participation. This place don’t do that. It’s a fight to write, then crickets chirping, a like from my wife, maybe a couple more. Thank You all, for every last one of your clicks or comments that’s ever come. Maybe it was a struggle for you, to let the world know you read these crazy words.

This isn’t a beg. Please don’t read that. This is a contrast, it’s a distinction, it’s a laugh I’ve had at myself this last week. Things that are falling so fittingly into place, are a joy and delight in my world, they are so easy. They are not however, ‘normal.’ No, you can still guarantee that my life, doesn’t look like the thing you would want for your kid. It doesn’t have ‘security’ and ‘balance’ and a disciplined schedule that you can ‘count on.’ No, it’s wilder than that. It’s no round peg for a round hole. It doesn’t even Flow, most of the time.

I have seen the Flow lately, in tiny glimpses. It’s so Real, and so visceral and so ordinary I chuckle at myself. I couldn’t have pushed for this. I couldn’t have made it happen. It was supposed to be this way, it was and is, always perfect. I was supposed to die, and be sad and be lost and fail. I was supposed to crack and crumble and be brokenhearted. I was supposed to be rich and unappreciative, then broke and content. I was supposed to have all the friends and all the people, then push it all away for one. The flips and flops and counter-intuitive lessons keep piling up, they will forever.

It’s quantum. As soon as I observe it, it changes, by the act of my observation. I love that. I hate that. It’s how it must be. The darkness and hollow silence of night, has broken. There is a glow of pink and shafts of orange fresh light spiking through cloudbanks. The Flow, is sunrise, out of my control, yet bringer of all life force. Without it, death. Luckily, I kept holding on, and struggling to grasp the cork, till finally I gave up, and let go.

What does all this mean. I dunno. It’s about darkness giving away to light. It’s about exhaustion wiped away by enthusiasm. It’s about menial tasks that show me God at work. It’s about divine detours rerouting our best plans, and taking somewhere far better than we ever set out to go. It’s about seeing for real, the unreal. It’s about release of our Mind, and letting God have our heart, and starting to listen to our Gut.

If it feels good, in our gut, and we know, like we know, like we know, that we feel that Flow, then it doesn’t fricking matter, if it looks right to the rest of the ‘world.’ The world’s got it wrong. God’s got it right.

I’ll see you around, maybe here next week. It may be a fight, or it may be the flow. We’ll see, as it unfolds. Again, it’s all perfection. The struggle and the song.


Aaron Nichols


Weirdforgood Hangout – 19 – Because Is BS!

One of the most POWERFUL messages ever recorded here at Weirdforgood, thanks to Melissa Ford!

Wow! This video delivers up one of the finest conversations on personal responsibility and powerfully seeing the real buffet of Choice we all have access to. THANKS to Melissa, for the rich discussion and for Just Being YOU 🙂

Enjoy Y’all!

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

or Melissa Ford’s website —

Because WHY! Because Why! BECAUSE WHY!!!!!

It was one little sentence spit out at the end of our weekly Hangout discussion that still haunts me. I fell to temptation, on video, and yet you’ll never see it…

(No, I didn’t finally give up on recording and posting the conversations that a few of you check out each week. This latest chat with the fantastic, Melissa Ford, was special and poignant and lost, in some unexplained glitch of the digital Universe. Maybe it was too powerful. Maybe it was too rich with insight, and inspiration and pure in clarity, that it just smoked the servers it was recording too… or something like that 🙂 Prolly not…. ANYWAY, it’s gone forever, sorry )…on to the story…

Temptation has been a bitch lately. Among the feverish action and broad bounding steps forward we are taking in our own lives, temptations have sprinkled all the shiny new surfaces of my days.

Let me explain… “Since” my wife recently took a job as a teacher at the local high school. “Because of that,” I accepted new responsibility, and will be manning her post as manager and co-leader of our restaurant. Also, “I seem to be” coming out of my shell and regaining long lost confidence and even swagger, with more stuff to do, and problems to solve, as all men really love to do.

ANYWAY, I am beating around the bush here, and I want to make something clear. My life has ironically returned full circle, to a sort of ‘normality,’ that I haven’t felt in YEARS!! Lots of work on my plate. Lots of things going on. LOTS of moments that I am tempted to fall into an old trap. I even said something terrible, during the Hangout discussion with Melissa… I said this… “Because we run a Restaurant, we don’t get to bed, around our house, till Midnight or later…” YUCK! PUKE! I’ve returned to ZombieLand! SICK! I fell into the trap of NORMAL! (and not the good kind!) Melissa didn’t call me on it, but I felt it almost immediately…

Any time I follow the word ‘Because’ with anything other than ‘I choose to’ or ‘I’ve chosen it’ or ‘For now this is what I want’, I’m lying and victimized and being a big ole FAKE!! The TRUTH of the matter is that all things in my life, Are My Choice. How I react to all things, Is My Choice. All the Because’s and the Since’s don’t have anything to do with the circumstances or people or events I follow those words with. The words that follow Are My Choices. They are things and feelings and reactions and actions and releases and procrastinations and opportunities and missed opportunities That I’ve Chosen. They are not anything other than that… And I almost used my new life-shifts, to fall into an old trap. I’m too busy, to get to bed before Midnight… BullHockey!

I choose to go to bed at Midnight. Or I don’t. I may choose to watch 4 hours of Hoarders (for the first time ever, online) starting at 10:30pm and completely clean house instead of sleeping on a Tuesday night… YES, that would be, (and was, this week) my CHOICE!

I love sharing my shit here. I caught my own crap, during that one innocent sounding little sentence this week. Because, we run a restaurant, I don’t get to sleep early… blah…. blah… blah… BULL! It is this way, because this is how I Choose my life to be. Lucky me, that I got to see that BS story in action.

Now, does that help you at all, that I saw my own crap, when I started to ‘explain’ some circumstance to a friend during a conversation? I sure hope so! I’ve spent years and years and years of my life, doing that exact thing! I’ve talked with people and family and co-workers and bosses and all kinds of people about tons and tons of ‘Becauses’. We have a little barometer in our gut, that starts to go haywire, whenever we say or hear someone use a bunch of “BS Becauses.” It’s kinda funny that our higher self understands the truth veiled by this swiss-cheese white lie, that we pass off for ‘being realistic’.

I’m not being smart or mature or astute, when I give you some calculated example of my limitations and my weaknesses, after speaking slowly… and deliberately… the word ‘Because’… I’m just full of shit. I instead could say:

  • I am choosing this right now.
  • I want this thing.
  • I don’t want that.
  • I am choosing no.
  • I am not willing to, right now, solve this.
  • I am choosing to feel my fear.
  • I like where I am at, really.
  • I am a powerful person, and I have all that I really really really want, and that is good enough for me.

Ya know… stuff like that….

Instead, I can fall into what the cultural backdrop seems to accept as perfectly valid and even responsible behaviors of cowardice and complacency and just trying to be comfortable for the time until I die… Yeah, really.

I do that sometimes still anyway. I even choose to play this game, in certain conversation, purposely, to get along and even limit my exposure to the Victim-One-Upmanship-Game, that occurs out in the world. I wouldn’t however be okay with myself, if I didn’t ‘out’ my own crap in this little space. This little place where we can be released from the BS of Because, and finally free-fully OWN our own crap!

I won’t always do this right. I won’t always be a 100% OWNER, I could fail, and you could see that in me, or read it here too. I do know, right now, in this moment, that those times are chosen times. I do have the power in the reaction. This physical world around us, isn’t really an outside-in type of place. It looks backwards to us. Like we perceive the image in the mirror to be the real thing. It isn’t. It’s an illusion.

Our experiences (meaning our individual perceptions of life) aren’t a little hunk of play-doh that is beaten, formed and shaped by the objects, people and events around us. It’s the opposite. We are the shapers. We are conduits for creation. The world we see is completely malleable, and we LIE to ourselves when we speak otherwise. This mis-alignment with truth actually shows up in our gut as stress. We actually already know this. We are divine instruments that spiritually know when clarity and truth is spoken, and when it’s not. And anytime, we follow the word ‘Because’, with a ‘reason’ instead of our CHOICE,  it hurts a little.

Melissa Ford, said something so awesome on our Hangout together. We shared that everyone has a shitstorm of emotion and junk and thoughts and fears and excitements and flushes of arousal (okay, I threw that one in 🙂 ) among their ‘normal’ lives. Actually all that ‘weirdness’ is what normal really is. She even went so far as to say this blog should be called, because having all these crazy thoughts and junk is just what we all experience, yet rarely share.

I am that kinda normal, my friends. A specimen of such brutal, and numerous yellow-diarrhea-stained mind-monkeys, that I may be the most Normal person you know…

And I LOVE, (right now) that I’ve CHOSEN THIS. Oh yeah! It’s not because of anything other than that. P-E-R-I-O-D. I’ve chosen this. I’ve chosen this. I’ve chosen this.

End of story. It all is the way it is, because I’ve chosen it. It all will be the way it will be, because, I will continue to choose it. I always have. I always will. There is nothing else that exists after the word Because.


So, if you are around, and catch me falling, failing, not seeming to be winning at this ownership thing, know that I’m choosing that too. And you can choose what to do about it then. You can speak up. You can keep quiet. You can Choose to see another human being, trying and failing, or trying and learning, or just being human…

That is Your Choice.

Enjoy it.



Aaron Nichols

Alright, ONLY click this video if you have a sense of humor, and ‘get’ the message I’m sending today… (Psst… it’s not, Because I Got High!)