“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance.” - Phil. 4:11


I don’t often quote the Bible anymore because it is offensive to many of my friends who have been wounded by the church.  But indulge me for a second.


St. Paul wrote these words from a jail cell.  He had been sidelined in his life’s mission.  Yet, here he is saying, “I have learned to be content no matter what the circumstance.”


I would even go a step further.  Each adverse circumstance that has been thrown my way has been for my good.


So, a month ago I was sidelined by an infection in my prosthetic knee.  This will clearly sideline me for the next 6 months or so.


“What a rare opportunity!” I say.  God sat me down - gave this wondering soul an opportunity to be quiet and listen.


In an instant it became clear what I could and could not do during this time.


Yes, I had to cancel all of my gigs.  No, I cannot get downstairs to my workshop to make flutes.  No.  I cannot pursue my Kirtan passion with The Bhakti Bunch.  Full stop on these things that I love!


But, what can I do?  I can meditate and pray.  I have been given the rare opportunity to sit at the feet of a man that I have admired for ages, Jai Uttal.  I can write and compose music.  I can get more proficient with my recording.


So, I can say with St. Paul, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance.


This is my mantra for this period of my life.  I am content.


Fierce grace is a term coined by Ram Das after he had experienced a debilitating stroke that changed the direction of his life.  Although he struggled with all of the after affects of his stroke including cognitive and speech functions, he came to see this disruption in his life as a sign of God’s grace for him.

I didn’t have a stroke and for that I am grateful.  However, I have been STOPPED in my tracks!

On Friday, February 9, I went for my daily 30 minute walk.  The next morning I woke up with my right knee swollen like a football and unable to place any pressure on it.  By Monday I was in urgent care.   By Friday of that week I was in ER at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Appleton,WI running a temp of 101.6 and unable to move my right leg.  I was diagnosed with a MRSA (staff) infection in my knee replacement.  Saturday morning the 17th of February I was in surgery having the knee replacement removed and a temporary spacer installed.

By the next day I found out what I was facing: 6 weeks of antibiotic therapy, 5 weeks of wait time to see if the infection returns.  If it doesn’t, then I get at new knee - maybe mid-May - and then the normal 3 months of rehab for a knee replacement.

Needless to say this stopped everything for me, The Bhakti Bunch, Flute making, recording and staying in touch with my friends on social media.

I have stayed pretty positive through this whole thing, but it has effected greatly the people around me, my wife Cyndi and my immediate family, people that had me booked for events, Abby, my marketing guru, and my music collaborators.

I will work slowly and carefully to rebuild with gratitude.  At the same time I want to remember that this too is part of God’s grace.  I accept this with love and with a receiving spirit.

Prayers please…for me, but also for Cyndi, my daughter Keali and my other care givers, and for all who have been affected by this strange turn of events.






Air passing my mouth leaves dry my lips.

Chest pushes out,



Figures fill my head as lungs begin to burn.

Outward rushing air with a sigh,

Blackness blowing away brings room for blessings.

I count them like black birds on a wire.




Words are like clouds

They fall together and fall apart

Some form images

Animals, rocket ships, people and such

They simply float by - harmlessly

Others gather in storms

Rising up

Taking aim

And in loud voices like thunder

Strike their victims down

with lightning blows

Sometimes they come to us

like a gray blanket

to cover and protect us

Then, at times, they fall away completely

leaving us content in warm sunlight.




I was like a moth trying to enter the bright eye

always bumping my head.

Now I found the flowers,

even moths can smell the rapture in roses.

Jayna Otto

My Poetry Partner

Jayna and I have challenged each other to write poetry.  This is something that we both have wanted to do but felt stuck.  Now we are writing - She writes one and then I write one.  I love this.  Thank you Jayna.




I live on the cusp of a poem

Listening to my heart

My heart sings its own song

while my brain prattles on endlessly

but the poem and my heart say —-




As the days grow shorter and the nights become longer, I feel myself sinking into a more reflective mood.  My mind wanders to Holidays past, of Thanksgiving Turkey at my grandma’s farm or Christmas toys beneath the tree at our house in Atchison, Kansas.  But my remembrances begin to shrink as I begin to think over the happenings in the past year.

At around Thanksgiving, appropriately, I start to make a gratitude list for the things that have happened in the past year.  Once that is completed, I say some thank you prayers to Creator.  Some of the things that happened were planned but many were not.  There are so many variables in life that are out of our control.  So, plans get adjusted along the way.  Nonetheless, planning has been part of my rhythm since my early 20’s.

I love the word manifest.  What a beautiful word!  Often this word is used in almost a magical sense, like I can just think something into existence, or simply will an idea into reality.  Let’s face it, sometimes it happens, but my experience is that it doesn’t happen very often.  Usually manifesting something happens through hard work and planning.

Here’s the definition of manifest: “to create something or turn something from an idea into reality.”  Or, the psychological definition “to use our thoughts, feelings and beliefs to bring something into a physical reality.”

Although my planning has varied over the years, planning and executing plans has been an integral part of my personal and business life.  I have had exhilarating successes and excruciating failures.  Planning has always been my go-to rescue tool when I have failed.  Learn, pick myself up, seek help when needed, make a new plan and go.

In this short series, I would like to present to you my simple planning tools, - those things that have helped me live my life with intention and purpose.

Let’s learn to manifest together. Let’s turn some dreams into reality.