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How I’m Able To Work A 4-Hour Workweek & You Can Too

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I don’t actually work only four hours a week, but I will describe how I have reached a point where I could work only four hours a week if I wanted to. And that, it seems to me, is enough good news to share in my column.

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The four-hour workweek concept was popularized by Tim Ferris, now a well-known writer with a franchise on four-hour things, including work, bodies and cheffing. He’s mastered the art of presenting himself as expert enough to write informatively and in an entertaining manner on all sorts of topics. He made his name, however, by arguing that you, yes, you, could make a good living working only four hours a week. How? Well, I’ll get there in a minute.

In my case (since this column is about my four-hour work week, after all, not Ferris’s), I’ve had a dream for a while to be my own boss and to be independent financially. I’ve always been a free thinker and a bit unconventional. I also realized that there is something about my personality that made it hard to get along with my bosses. Almost six years ago I decided to take a big risk and leave my last employer to strike out on my own. I had about a year’s savings and figured I’d give it a go for one year as an independent consultant and lawyer in the field of renewable energy policy and project development, a field I’d been in for about six years at that point.

That plan didn’t work out too well. At least not at first. My savings actually lasted about half a year and my first big client turned out to be a complete dud who didn’t pay me. I quickly began looking for full-time jobs again. Strangely, no full-time jobs materialized, despite many promising leads and interviews, and I was forced to make the consultancy work. The first few years were rough at times and I ended up having to foreclose on one of the two condos I owned in Santa Barbara. I, like a lot of people got caught up in the real estate bubble and I had bought two condos near the height of the bubble. A couple of years later, I ended up doing a short-sale on my second condo and returned to being a renter.

It wasn’t all bad, however: I really like my new rented digs, so do my friends, and I like not having the worry of a large mortgage over my head. (For some perspective, my second, fairly modest, two-bedroom condo cost $680,000, which required a hefty mortgage payment).

tambookTurning adversity into advantage is a key theme in my life, learned the hard way. I lost a major client in the middle of 2013 and was compelled to start doing a lot more marketing and also to build a financial foundation that was more solid than my previous attempts. My increased marketing paid off and I enjoyed more interest from clients after they read articles I wrote for industry press websites (GreenTechMedia.com, RenewableEnergyWorld.com, etc). I also read, finally, Ferris’s book The Four-Hour Work Week and I was re-inspired to shoot for this goal.

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In thinking about financial independence, I realized that I could buy land and a decent home on the Big Island of Hawaii quite affordably. I plan to keep Santa Barbara as my home, and I have deep roots here after living here for 13 years, but I have had another love affair with Hawaii since being stationed in the Army on Oahu in the early 1990s. Can one have a love affair with two different places? Clearly, I can, since I am in love with both Santa Barbara and the Big Island of Hawaii (the Hilo side, in particular, which is rainy, warm, lush, wild, and bursting with creativity and spirituality).

After experiencing the uncertainty that comes with losing a major client, I decided I needed to find a place that I could own free and clear and that could be my fallback plan if everything went to hell in my career or in the world more generally. I ended up buying three acres of land near Hilo, Hawaii, with a small cabin that was in very bad shape. I retrofitted the cabin during an extended (and wonderful) stay in Hawaii early last year, with a lot of help from local builders. I am now the proud owner of a highly liveable off-grid “tiny home” in Hawaii with plenty of land to farm on and play with.

When I wrote above that I could work just four hours a week, I was referring to a life I could live in Hawaii in my little off-grid home. The home has a water catchment system, solar panels and batteries, and a rainwater-fed flushing toilet in the cutest outhouse you may have ever seen. I could theoretically grow all or almost all of my own food on my land, get all of my water from rain and all of my power from the sun. My expenses to live in this house are, accordingly, very minimal. There’s even a decent hospital nearby and a very good hospital in Honolulu for major issues.

Adding in the costs of owning a car, health care, cell phone and Internet access, as well as travel, food, etc., I’d need to work a few hours a week to make ends meet.

In sum, I could live very well working just a few hours a week if I wanted to. The rest of the time I could devote to writing, music, photography, film-making and generally having fun. That’s a pretty tempting life, but I’m not ready to call my current career quits just yet. I began my career in the renewable energy field because I feel passionately that we need to transition quickly away from fossil fuels. While we’re making great progress in the U.S. and around the world, we’ve got a long way to go still. I want to be part of this ongoing transition, so I’ll keep doing what I’m doing for a while yet.

Ferris likes to present easily digestible lessons in his books, so let me offer a few ideas for how you too, if you wanted to, could reach the point where you could effectively retire early. I’ll suggest three points:

  1. Establish a goal and stick to it
  2. Focus as much on the freedom to be poor as the freedom that comes from wealth
  3. Enjoy the ride

Establish A Goal & Stick To It

Looking back on what has allowed me to achieve what I have thus far, it seems that the ability to stick with a particular goal and work hard toward that goal is key. In my case, it was deciding to continue with my education through finishing law school and all the knowledge that this educational path entailed that was crucial to getting to where I am. As a lawyer I can charge relatively high hourly rates that are justified by the value I provide to my clients. If the goal is to work as little as possible, charging decent hourly rates helps! Getting a good education and specializing in a field that enjoys high demand would make sense for anyone pursuing the dream of a four-hour workweek.

The Freedom To Be Poor

Most discussions about financial freedom focus on socking away enough investments and passive income sources to allow you to live the lifestyle you want and not worry about financial issues. That’s a fine goal and one I still generally strive toward. There is a different option, however, and that is working toward a lifestyle that simply doesn’t require much money to live. This is what I mean by the freedom to be poor.

My little house and my imagined life in Hawaii would allow me to be poor if I wanted to. I’m by no means wealthy now, but I make a decent living and I have reasonable aspirations of one day building a nice home in Santa Barbara, perhaps up in the hills with oak trees for shade. It’s likely that if I stay on the path I am currently on that I’ll reach that goal within five to ten years. I worry, though, that if I do go down that road that I’ll be locked in to a relatively wealthy lifestyle in perpetuity because owning a home is an ongoing expensive endeavor. Mortgage, insurance, utilities, gardening, and many other expenses can quickly add up to a pretty hefty total. Even when a mortgage is paid off a large home can still be quite expensive.

I remain torn about the relative benefits of a modest lifestyle in a small off-grid home and the luxuries and benefits of a larger far more expensive home and the income requirements that entails. For now, I can let that decision remain in limbo but I do want to suggest here that there are many benefits that come from the freedom to be poor. If one’s expenses are very low this of course frees up a lot of time to pursue non-pecuniary interests. That value should not be neglected.

Enjoy The Ride

It goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, that it’s crucial to enjoy the ride no matter where it takes you. The point in talking about financial freedom and four-hour workweeks is to reach a place where you and your loved ones can enjoy life without all the normal stresses and worries. But what if you figured out how to enjoy life now despite all the normal stresses and worries that almost all of us do experience? That’s a powerful tool to have in your back pocket, so I hope that Ferris’s next book will be The Four-Hour Enlightenment or some similar title. Learning how to be happy in the present moment makes the questions of financial freedom and worries a lot less pressing.

There is a caveat or two—isn’t there always? I do plan to have a family someday and families ain’t cheap. Raising a family in jungly Hawaii sounds fun but even then it’s unlikely to be that cheap. Multiply that cost significantly to raise a family in Santa Barbara and the worries also multiply. Add in the possibility of traveling back and forth from Santa Barbara and Hawaii and we get additional stresses. I’ll cross those bridges when I get to them but my point is that even the best laid four-hour work week plans will surely go awry at times. It’s good to remain flexible.

It remains a great benefit for my peace of mind to know that I could live on very minimal income, and live quite well, if I chose to do so. For now, I’ll continue to “suffer” in Santa Barbara working (gasp) forty or so hours a week on my day job doing what I can to help accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels.

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This Super Simple Breathing Technique Can Help Alleviate Anxiety & Depression

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Small study finds breathing technique can help treat major depressive disorder and anxiety.

  • Reflect On:

    The answers to our challenges are much simpler than we thought, we have everything we need inside of us. Great alternative to prescription anti-depressant medication, or other substances.

The breath is one of the most underrated and under-utilized methods of healing. Breathing comes naturally to us, we do it without thinking, which is why it is not something we generally think of as a way to connect deeply with ourselves, calm our anxieties or even reach higher levels of consciousness. Something as simple as breathing can help those who suffer from severe mental conditions and those who have survived global disasters.

There are many forms of breathwork, there is the well-known Holotropic Breathing, made popular by the Iceman himself, Wim Hof. There is another technique known as transformational breathwork and the featured practice of breathing that will be featured in this article, resonant breathing or Coherent Breathing, which is a trademarked term.

This specific style of breathwork came from years of studying the ancient breathing practices of indigenous people all over the world including those from African, Hawaiian, and Native American traditions.

Assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College, Patricia Gerbarg, studies the technique with her husband, Richard Brown, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “We wanted to identify a short program that could be given quickly to people, that they would have immediate relief within five or ten minutes, and that over time would produce long-term changes,” Gerbarg told Vice.

The Study

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine in 2017 led by researchers from Boston University asked 30 people with major depression to practice the breathing technique regularly as well as Iyengar yoga. After 3 months, results from a standard depression inventory test showed how the depressive symptoms had significantly declined.

Even though the study size was very small, it is comforting to know that something as simple as breath alone could help to alleviate symptoms of severe depression. No pills needed. This technique is especially powerful because it can be practiced anytime, anywhere. The process involved taking regular breaths in and out of the nose, at a pace of 5 breaths per minute, each breath in and out taking around 6 seconds. When starting out, it is recommended that this be practiced with the eyes closed, but once you get it under control you can easily do it with your eyes open, meaning while you’re driving, while in a meeting, anytime during the day that you may find yourself feeling anxious, stressed or down. Gerbarg says, “It’s totally private. Nobody knows you’re doing it.”

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The breath should be calm and gentle because the goal is to balance the sympathetic — fight or flight with the parasympathetic — rest and digest areas of the nervous system. Interestingly, when the couple first began looking into the power of the breath, the first thought was that this must send extra oxygen to the brain that we may have otherwise been lacking. However, they knew that there must be more to this to explain the profound effects they had been seeing in those who practiced the breathing technique. Not to mention, some types of breathwork actually decreases the amount of oxygen going to the brain.

Why Does This Work?

Gerbarg and Brown believe that the reason this technique works is thanks to the vagal nerves, those connecting the brain to the body and what tell the organs when to beat, digest, breathe and all other functions, have been found in recent years to send even more messages in the opposite direction from the body to the brain. “These ascending messages strongly influence stress response, emotion and neurohormonal regulatory networks,” stated in a book written by the couple, Yoga Therapy: Theory and Practice.

According to Gerbarg, “Respiration is the only autonomic function we can voluntarily control,” it’s easy to see how changing the breathing pattern can shift the messages received by the brain.

The calm and even breaths send messages of safety, according to Gerbarg, this can reduce anxious or depressive thoughts and makes way for more loving and connected emotions to be felt. Adverse reactions are generally rare, but those with asthma or other breathing conditions should only try this practice under the guidance of a trained professional.

We really do have everything we need inside of us. Our human bodies are magnificent, and if something as simple as breathing can help alleviate symptoms of depression, then we should certainly be studying this more. If you are skeptical about this information and feel it’s too good to be true, give it a shot next time you find yourself feeling down or anxious and see if it helps!

Much Love

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Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

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Awareness

It’s Not New: Pictures Show The Fight Against Vaccines Is Well Over 100 Years Old

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The struggle against vaccination, especially compulsory vaccination mandated by a government/industry coalition, was met with fierce resistance from people during the early history of vaccination over a century ago.

  • Reflect On:

    What does the pictorial evidence of opposition to vaccines from early in the previous century tell us about today's vaccine industry?

In the foreword to the book by Doctor Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bistrianyk entitled ‘Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History,’ Dr. Jayne L. M. Donegan sums up the vaccine ‘landscape’ that she and all MDs enter into as they become doctors:

Despite questioning the safety and efficacity of vaccination by reputable medical men since its introduction, debate has been, and is, increasingly discouraged. Information published in scientific journals is used to support this position, other views being regarded as “unscientific.”

It was a received “article of faith” for me and my contemporaries, that vaccination was the single most useful health intervention that had ever been introduced. Along with all my medical and nursing colleagues, I was taught that vaccines were the reason children and adults stopped dying from diseases for which there are vaccines. We were told that other diseases, such as scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, typhus, typhoid, cholera, and so on, for which there are no vaccines at the time, diminished both in incidence and mortality (ability to kill) due to better social conditions.

You would think–as medical students who are supposed to be moderately intelligent–that some of us would have asked, “But if deaths from these diseases decreased due to improved social conditions, mightn’t the ones for which there are vaccines also have decreased at the same time for the same reason?” But we didn’t.

The medical curriculum is so overloaded with information that you just have to learn what you hear, as you hear it: nonvaccinatable diseases into the social conditions box and vaccinatable diseases into the vaccines box and then onto the next subject.

What this book especially brought to light for me was not just that open ‘debate’ on vaccination is systematically stifled, but the gruesome early history of vaccination itself is hidden, suppressed, and denied. For me, just knowing the early history of vaccination has been enough for me to see that all along this phenomena has fundamentally been about power and money, in complete and abject disregard for human health. I believe an open-minded reading of the book mentioned above will lead you to the same conclusions.

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Early Resistance Against Vaccines

The early history of vaccines is fraught with egregious trial-and-error ‘science’ on humans treated as guinea pigs matched with strong-arm tactics at compulsory vaccination. But even though they were dealing with human populations that were not as educated as we may be today, the illness and deaths of children resulting from vaccination were not lost on parents–and in some cases, before the medical establishment had full control over their doctors’ muzzles, were admitted to by doctors. Here are a few among many pictorial examples and their heart-breaking stories:

Public Gatherings

At a time when mainstream media, government, and the medical establishment were not the well-oiled machine of elite propaganda they are today, public outrage and attempts to mobilize against compulsory vaccination were squarely in the public eye:

Anti-Vaccine Literature And Images

Like today, there were professionals and researchers speaking out against the dangers of vaccination, and probably suffered from the same lack of funding to proliferate their message.

Comparisons With Today

One would imagine that if the early vaccine industry actually cared about public health, that even the death or crippling of ONE CHILD that occurred directly after vaccination would cause them to shut down operations until they could verify that this death was not caused by vaccines. Alas, these pictures demonstrate otherwise. And if it did not happen then, it certainly is not happening now.

The outright lie found on government medical websites that ‘vaccines are safe and effective’ belies the fact that a special fund and a special court was set up by the government to issue compensation to sufferers of vaccine injury that has already paid out over $3.7 billion dollars. The fact is that this court was set up to prevent people from being able to sue vaccine companies directly, because it was forecast that all the vaccine manufacturers would go bankrupt if they were not protected from being sued. That’s how ‘safe and effective’ vaccines have proven to be.

Sure, today there is less of a push towards compulsory vaccination–but that is in part due to the awesome and tireless work of enraged citizens at the turn of the century as evidenced in these pictures! All that happened was that the vaccine industry realized that they could better ply their trade by focusing not on forced vaccination and the obvious resistance it generates, but rather by controlling the narrative with well-funded propaganda through coordinated efforts of the medical establishment, government, and the media. Part of this effort is hiding the history from us that we see in the pictures featured here.

If we are to become clear as a collective about the big picture of what is going on behind government and industry policy today, sometimes a brief look at history is all it takes.

 

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Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

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Health

This Map Shows Which US Cities You Have The Best Chance Of Seeing A UFO In

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There have been 8334 total reported UFO sightings. This means there are likely many more, but this is what has been reported. Wyoming and Vermont seem to be the hot spots.

  • Reflect On:

    Are UFO craft manned by humans or alien life? What is the reason for your interest in UFO's and aliens? What does the reality of their existence mean to humanities consciousness?

A team of researchers at Casino.org examined data records pertaining to reported UFO sightings and mapped out where the highest concentrations of sightings are across the US. Although many other countries are hotspots for UFO activity, the US is one of the biggest hotspots, and there are several reasons for that.

Editor David Sheldon stated, “While many of us are quick to dismiss UFOs as being the stuff of science fiction, there have actually been over 250,000 recorded sightings of UFOs in the USA alone. In addition, over 40,000 Americans are concerned enough about extra-terrestrial life forms to have taken out alien abduction insurance. And the US government takes them seriously enough to have set up The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, elements of which are still classified. If you are concerned about lights in the sky, we strongly recommend you move to Florida which enjoys the lowest odds of UFOs streaking across the night sky.”

While Sheldon focuses a bit on the fear element here, most researchers can attest to the fact that there is nothing to fear. Many abductions, although not all, are actually human military related. This next statement is something you are going to have to check within your heart to know if it is true or not, but this is also a common message many abductees and whistleblowers have corroborated, ET’s commonly seen in our skies are not here as any threat. They are here to help us in our journey of shifting consciousness and look forward to the day of a greater contact with our population.

The threat narrative seems to be an agenda of the deep state to keep people afraid of the subject as they attempt to control the disclosure narrative.

Why Sightings?

First off, many craft people see are actually military black budget craft that have been reverse engineered from ET crafts over the past few decades. Many whistleblowers have attributed to this fact over the years. Secondly, there are in fact ET manned craft as there have also been several instances where UFOs have shot down or deactivated nuclear missiles or testing facilities unannounced to the military or government.

Sightings also help as a means for people to begin thinking beyond their everyday world i.e. expanding their consciousness. What does it mean that we are not alone in the universe? Who is the life in the universe and what are they like? (Not talking about the sad excuse for disclosure the scientific community chooses which refers to life as “bacteria”. We’re talking intelligent beings here.)

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When we expand our consciousness outside of everyday life we begin to rethink what is possible and begin to reshape our world on a collective level. This, of course, happens over time, but the value in sightings is immense when you consider the change that can really be made as people begin to look into this subject and realize the true nature of our reality.

The UFO Sighting Map

Below you can check out the hotspots via the interactive map. If you have trouble using the map embedded below, click here to view it on their website.

 

Get Your FREE In Depth Numerology Reading

Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

Get your free numerology reading and learn more about how you can use numerology in your life to find out more about your path and journey. Get Your free reading.

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