What is “Enriched Living?”

I wanted to call this category “Renaissance Living” but didn’t want to appear presumptuous or portray something I’m not. Ideally my attitude over the last 25 years has been to try and mimic the adventurous spirit of discovery that my grandmother, Elsie Lacy, embraced in her life. For me, growing up as a child, my grandmother was a beacon of getting out of her comfort zone and experiencing as much about life and culture as she could.

She didn’t have a college education but she didn’t let that deter her spirit of adventure. I’ve never been clear if she always had elements of being a renaissance woman throughout her life or just in her last 25 to 30 years. She read voraciously, she painted in oils, she learned to play the organ, she would take me and my brothers everywhere. She would take us to the fair each year and didn’t shy away from walking through the livestock pavilion and dodging animal droppings everywhere – making sure we visited everything. Some of the other places she wanted to make sure I experienced:

  • The old river wharf with its old boats
  • Regular trips to the library
  • The old Seventh Street train depot to see a vintage steam engine
  • A civil rights march in the 60s
  • Speed Art Museum
  • Shakespeare In the Park
  • Historic neighborhoods with their beautiful homes
  • Parks throughout Jefferson County
  • The Devonian fossil beds on the river
  • She took my youngest brother on a train trip to Florida to visit her son’s family

It seemed like her goal was to expand her (and her grandchildren’s) wings far beyond the mundane daily lives of most people. She even told me she shot the Falls of the Ohio in a canoe when she was a teenager. Now, that’s what I call living!

Her influence affected my greatly. I’ve always seemed to want to build, create, read, learn, discover, travel, see, do, experience – seizing as much of the vibrancy of life as possible.

My goal is to become the maximum individual I can be in this brief time on Earth; to delve into as many passions and interests as possible; and to learn and discover as much as possible.

So, for me, Enriched Living includes . . . .

  • Growth & Self-Actualization
  • Wonder & Living Enriched
  • Finances & Prosperity
  • Purpose & Vision

Growth & Self-Actualization

Move beyond self-imposed limitations. Learn and discover as much as possible. Cultivate a deep desire to constantly refine and change – to grow to my maximum. To live with an extremely high level of self-confidence. Challenge my beliefs and paradigms. Expand both my right (artistic) and left (analytic) sides of my brain. Live beyond the mundane. Question, seek, discover, soar. Create and savor an awesome, enriched life.

Wonder & Living Enriched

Seek out and appreciate beauty and wonder wherever it can be found. Satiate the soul by experiencing and creating beauty. Feed your passion for a full and meaningful life. Embrace gratitude. Live the life you imagine. Get things done. Don’t be a couch potato. Experience as much as you can. See as much of the world as you can. Live as much of a Renaissance life as possible. Expand your horizons.

Finances & Prosperity

Define your own success and prosperity. Practice some sound financial behavior. Eliminate your debt. Plan for your retirement but don’t entirely abandon a pleasant life now for a distant future. Understand “want” versus “need.” When is enough, enough? Live enriched without spending unwisely. Make smart decisions – not simply what everyone else is doing.

Purpose & Vision

Identify your mission in life. What is your purpose? What is a vision versus goals? Do some life planning. Visualize. Don’t aim too low. Tackle big stuff by ‘chunking’ it into more sizable bites. Live intentionally and passionately. Seek truth. Relish in the spirit of discovery. Think for yourself. Control your own destiny. Don’t go to the grave with the song still in you.

Enriched Living . . . .

Ultimately you should have an inner sense of genuine satisfaction, sincere gratitude, wonder and awe at the beauty of nature and resonating art, a high-level of self-confidence and growth satisfaction. Make sure you get out of your comfort zone and experience as much as possible. Create your own personal aesthetic at home that resonates with your soul (your “Elysium”).

Don’t forget that there’s even a beautiful aesthetic in discovery of little-known truths and elegant knowledge. Seek truth, beauty and freedom.

Why Is “Liberty & Empowerment” Important?

I have an innate passion and drive about individualism, personal responsibility and freedom. In my ideal world each person would be as self-reliant as possible, the government would stay out of our lives and allow individuals the opportunity for ultimate growth. Any significant achievements of the human race aren’t made by wards of the state sucking from the teet of big government. It’s done with the passion & persistence of independent individuals with vision.

I absolutely refuse to accept a ‘victim’ mindset – for myself or for anyone I know. That type of living is an equation for laziness, excuses and lackluster (unguided) living. Do you want something to change in your life? Make it happen. Get out and do something about it. Make a change. Adapt. Learn. Do. Prevail. Sitting on the couch, doing the same thing you’ve always done (and that everyone does) isn’t going to cut the mustard.

You have to be different, independent, determined, have an exceptional personal work ethic. Do what has to be done. No excuses . . . . results. Excuses are for whiners.

Here’s What “Liberty & Empowerment” Includes For Me:

  • Freedom & Rights
  • Politics & Government
  • Conditioning & Control

Freedom & Rights

What are the true foundations to the creation of the United States of America? How free should individuals be to conduct business with other citizens? How involved should the government be in people’s lives? What is sovereignty? What’s an oligarchy and how is it controlling our lives? What is Problem-Reaction-Solution and how is it used to control the populace? What is true entrepreneurial capitalism versus the nasty corporatism we see today?

Where does money come from and who controls it? How far should government surveillance go, and Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? How far should we take patriotism, or allow it to drive knee-jerk (unexamined) reactions? What part should dissent play in our country? What are our rights and how much are we losing – how and why? What are our alternatives for a life of liberty?

Politics & Government

What role should government play? What forms of government work best? Which serve the rights of individuals best? What purpose should politicians serve versus the real world behavior they display (or hide)? Do politics, government and bureaucrats produce real value? Or do they destroy value?

What are the flaws in the two-party paradigm? How different are these two parties – really? Should we allow special treatment, perks, law-exemptions, benefits, ethics abuse, corruption and elitism with our politicians? What valuable product are they producing that you would voluntarily pay for right now? Who and what are the various ‘think tank’ and foundational organizations that actively involve themselves in political and strategic governmental policy and legislation?

Conditioning & Control

Each human being is born and raised in a particular culture. We’re brought up and taught with a certain set of assumptions and beliefs that we hold as ‘true’ and ‘right.’ Unchallenged, these preconceived rules of life can limit us and hold us back from becoming incredible and enlightened individuals. It can also block our critical thinking skills which would allow us to see the ruse of many of our cherished beliefs.

Running in tandem to our cultural beliefs is a massive set of media and organizations in place constantly pounding out the message that supports the existing cultural, academic, scientific, political and religious paradigms. I’ll be pointing out these paradigm control systems, their manipulations of human behavior and how they shore up the structure of our heavily conditioned existence.

Ultimately . . .

My goal is to operate as free and independent as I can; To be as educated, knowledgeable and aware as possible; To know and see the emotional manipulations of the populace as they occur and realize I don’t have to be pulled along by the game. In the end, for me, it’s Total Life Control.

What Does “Creating & Building” Include?

For use on this website it specifically refers to those activities for which I have a direct interest in learning about or (more importantly) actively participating.

These are the activities that I involve myself which give me the satisfaction of actually producing something of value and/or beauty. There are a large number of hobbies and activities we as members of the human race can find fulfillment. I’ll only be addressing those for which I actually do – or am wanting to learn how to do. I’m a “project” kind of guy. I always have multiple projects working.

What does it include?

  • Build & Restoration
  • Home & Gardens
  • The Arts

Build & Restoration

Since I was a kid I’ve always loved to take things apart, clean or repair the components, and put them back together so they look great. I also like building things from scratch. This can include fixing up cars & motorcycles, home improvement and remodeling, creating beautiful landscape gardens, building web sites, fixing just about anything mechanical, working on personal computers, etc.

Home & Gardens

This will include projects specifically oriented to building a beautiful place to live. My wife and I call our home and gardens “Elysium,” an ancient Greek and Roman term meaning Paradise or Heaven. Our intent is to create a haven for our souls to relish, an oasis of beauty and tranquility.

The Arts

This will include various art forms I’ve either personally participated in or desire to attempt myself.

Sculpting – For some reason I always had a desire to chisel on stone and ‘release’ a figure. A local sculptor, Matt Weir, helped me do just that – in an adult-ed-type class held out in beautiful Bernheim Forest over a few Saturday sessions in 2011. Wow, it really resonated with me and I felt a natural affinity wielding chisel and hammer to the limestone. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to pursue this craft, but I hope to produce more works.

Music – As an adolescent I learned to play the organ (electronic keyboard). I only took lessons for about a year and a half. Over the last decade or so I’ve felt a desire to learn to play piano, specifically several Nocturnes composed by Frédéric Chopin. My intent is to self-teach. We’ll see if I get anywhere with this desire!

There are many other arenas of “creating & building” but with everything else I’m trying to accomplish in my lifetime I need to limit my involvement to these. . . for now. 😉