Flash of Objectivity, Election Edition

Trip with me, won’t you?

These are images of Galaxies from NASA’s Hubble telescope.

There are trillions of stars in some galaxies with over 100 billion galaxies in the known universe.

Hello everything!

a Flash of Objectivity

If we’re lucky, we get a handful of moments in life where some seemingly mystical, random combination of circumstances converge around us, and we’re suddenly capable of true objectivity; of feeling and seeing and being at one with our place in the universal order of everything and everyone, of our place in line with everything and everyone that’s gone before us, and all that will come after, of how insignificant we are and yet how extraordinarily important we are.

Regardless of where or when they happen for me, when they happen for me, I’m insanely aware of everything and, simultaneously, of nothing.

Regardless of where or when they happen for me, when they happen for me, I’m able to realize the bounds of my utter impermanence, the bounds of my life and its utter insignificance in relationship to everything else but how I’m somehow an integral part of the physical space I occupy, on this physical land, on this physical continent, on this physical planet, in this physical galaxy, and how this physical galaxy is part of billions of other physical galaxies in our physical universe.  To recap, while in Flash, I’m aware that I’m nothing while at the same time my nothingness is part of everything else that’s, at the same time, something and nothing.

Suggestion: Perhaps you should take a hit of pot because I’m only half way through the set up of this piece.

That’s what’s happening in my mind on/in Flash, but there’s a body-centric component of being on/in Flash, too.

My body doesn’t end, it blends, it merges, it is subsumed by the air around me.  What I’m seeing is somehow not coming in through my eyes, it’s already inside me and I’m looking out through it, as part of it.  For me, these Flashes of Objectivity almost always occur when I’m out in nature and when they happen, without exception, wind and light and sound pass through my body as if I had no mass.  Instead of giving resistance or being impenetrable to wind and light and sound, my body seems to no longer exist as something separate from everything else.

During these Flashes of Objectivity, I am gone from what I know of myself and I’ve become part of everything else.

This type of transcendence is what the monks are capable of when deep in meditation or prayer.  Surely, this is what drug addicts’ seek to control the repeat of.  Surely, this is what it’s like to merge with all life forms, and with God.

You want more of everything, don’t you?  Me too!  I went and got us more of everything from the internet!  More of everything is right here!


I have memories of those Flashes coming to me as early as 8 or 9 years old – while fishing, while riding my boy’s bike with a banana seat and cherry picker handle bars (I was gender fluid before we knew what it was!) – but I couldn’t describe them until I got into my teens.

In my late teens, I had one of my longest sustained Flash.  Not surprisingly, a Fiat was involved.

I’ve always been a loner and one day, I drove my bright yellow Fiat X19 out to the Ten Cent Bridge where I parked on the sand just a few feet from the water’s edge, and I laid on the hood and watched the clouds float by.

Ten Cent Bridge

Dolphins came to breathe with me, for me.  Fish burbled to announce themselves, then jumped to show off for me.  Waves lapped the shore trying to get to me.  Heavy wet hot air carried the trace elements of the water that couldn’t quite get on me, and that heavy wet hot Florida air surrounded me with salt that left grit in my nostrils as I took it, with every breath, into my lungs.  That heavy wet hot Florida air carried the grit of salt into my ears, and all through my waist length blonde hair.  Bumble & Bumble, you’re a poser.  The sun baked my skin, it heated my body from above and it came for me from underneath by heating the hood of my car beneath me.  As I laid there in complete willful sacrifice and with the power of eternal nature surrounding me, I was being environmentally birthed, swaddled and nursed.



Today is Election Day in America.  What a shit show.

I haven’t attended any rallies, I don’t talk politics, I did watch the debates but not for the same reasons most people might.

Yesterday, I walked the downtown waterfront and just so happened to arrive at my turn around point, the Dali Museum, just in time for a Joe Biden/Jimmy Buffett “get out the vote” rally in a waterfront park.

I’m still a loner and I had no intention of going to the rally – it was full of the dreaded “other people” –  but I wanted to hear what the Vice President had to say, and who isn’t up for a little Jimmy?  So I stood along the seawall railing just across the water from where the rally was being held and there, I fell into Flash and stayed there for I don’t know how long.

When I came out of it, I took pictures of the sky.










When I came out of it, I took pictures of the waterfront.

Buffet Flash


When I came out of it, Jimmy was singing this:



And with that, I stretched out my tight hips using the railing you see in the foreground of the marina shot, and as I draped my body over that railing, I released myself into the 12 knot wind and it took everything I don’t need and it brought me everything I do.


God Bless America.

God Bless You.




Flash of Objectivity, Election Edition

Every Fucking Time

Across all domains, excellence is excellence is excellence.

Across all domains, greatness fears no consequence.

Across all domains, the demands of greatness never rest.

Nor do the needs of the world, and the billions of people in it who are disadvantaged simply by the circumstances of their birth.

One of the most powerful ways I hold myself accountable to get smarter, be more effective and to work in greater service to others is that every single day I scavenge wisdom and enlightenment, from simple realization to full on revelation, from everything I see, hear, read or experience.

No matter how mundane, no matter how routine, no matter how insignificant, each moment of each day holds an embarrassment of riches when it comes to learning potential if you know what to look for.

Studying people at the top of their game is a cheater way to learn what to look for and fast track your own enrichment.

For over 25 years, I’ve studied Bill Gates.  Together with Melinda and through their Foundation, they’ve materially changed the world for so much the better.

What do we have to learn from Bill Gates?  Watch this.


In this speech Mr. Gates lays out for us a blueprint to follow for tackling the world’s most complex problems.  To turn caring into action, we must overcome complexity and, here, one of history’s most effective problem solvers teaches us how we can solve our own problems, at our own scale, in our own lives, and within our own work.  I’ve been lecturing on this speech since Mr. Gates gave it.  Because I continue to follow their accomplishments and process in achieving them, I can honestly say that I owe a large part of my own success, and my unbridled happiness in achieving it, to Bill and Melinda Gates.

I’m not yet certain why, but Melinda Gates sent me a Facebook friend request and it was with a whispered prayer of gratitude, I hit “accept.”


That’s one example of who I study and why.

Here’s another.


I study human performance, and I study it for 2 reasons.

First is because I’m an old jock – I predate Title 9 and in elementary school I played on boys teams because I was good enough to – but I also study human performance because athletes have to peak perform, then quickly move on to do it again, and again, and again.

There isn’t an elite athlete who isn’t masterful, whether studied or innate, at emotional separation and benign neglect of the past, and at moving on with a high spirit, and complete peace of mind that perfected preparation will deliver, at the moment of critical need, the performance of a lifetime.  Over and over and over again.  Day after day after day in training, and in peak performance competition after competition after competition.

I’ve learned tremendous lessons from this guy, Richard Sherman.

What You Don’t Know About: Playing Cornerback


“So if I had to pinpoint the most difficult part of my job, I would say that it’s not any one thing I do on any given play.

It’s doing all of it, every play.”


“You may not see it on your TV screen at home because the camera always follows the ball, but if the play is away from me, and I’ve got a fresh backup receiver across from me whose job is to take off down the field and run me away from the play, I have to respect his route. I have to run with him, full speed, like he’s the No. 1 receiver and he’s getting the ball — because there’s always a chance he might. And if I get three different fresh guys off the bench running me off on consecutive plays, and I come back up to the line against their true No. 1 in a crucial situation where I know they like to hit him on a fade, I can’t stop the game and say, “Hold up, I gotta catch my breath.…”


I have to match up — and man up — against their best receiver and do my damn job.

No excuses.”


“You probably remember the 2013 NFC championship game when we beat the 49ers — you know, the game where I batted the ball away at the last second to set up the game-sealing interception and send the Seahawks to the Super Bowl.

I made that play because I saw it coming. Because I was prepared. And I had been banged up — run off on the plays before that one and used up on the the drives earlier in the game. When you get to the fourth quarter, nobody is 100%. That’s when ballers ball. That’s when stars shine. So no matter what had happened previously, the reality was that it was first-and-10, fourth quarter, inside two minutes, and it was me vs. the 49ers’ wide receiver, and one of us had to make a play.

My job was to make sure it was me.

And that’s what I did.”


And with that, Richard could easily be talking about a professional, problem solving Pilates teacher who has to put aside all other matters – all stress, all distraction, all everything – and give their absolute best, to every single client, every single session, every single exercises, every single time.

In life, as in sports, what’s done is done, and all that matters now is your ability to do your best, to create amazing, to give it all, again.  And again.  And again.

THAT’S what separates the absolute great from everybody else.

Endurance, discipline, being unstoppable, relentless, smart and capable are all implied, assumed, expected, demanded.

Of you.

By the world.

Simply because you’re here, and simply because the circumstances of your birth were so very favorable.

When I lead teachers to this realization and they get, often for the first time, that enormously powerful, mind blowing, intellectually and sensually seductive satisfaction that comes from creating a session that truly flows the teacher’s and client’s body, mind and spirit together as the single power source we were designed to live and work from and through, they almost always stare at me in disbelief – that this level of engagement was underneath all previous “sleepwalking sessions” they’ve taught – and ask, “how often do I have to do this?” and my answer, both fortunately and unfortunately, is always the same:

You have to be your exquisite best every fucking time.

Being inconsistently magnificent is far worse than being consistently mediocre.

The choice really is ours – choose to be great! – and that choice is informed, sustained and evolved by one thing, and one thing only; our level of tolerance for or, in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Gates, of Richard Sherman, and of, oh hell yes, Rebecca Elizabeth Leone, our level of embrace of all that’s implied in holding ourselves accountable for the demonstration of our greatness, every fucking time.


Make the most of your privileged birthright and be every bit as impactful as Bill and Melinda, and as Richard, but in your own exquisitely unique and exquisitely powerful way.

Now go do it.

And if you get stuck, I’m right here.




Every Fucking Time

Make It Your Own

If you teach Pilates, you live in Joe’s shadow, whether you teach like he did or not.

If you teach Pilates, you are advancing his legacy through your own work, whether you know anything about him or not.

Making someone else’s work you own is often difficult.  It’s so difficult that we don’t need to look beyond it to explain the rift in the Pilates industry between the hard line classical devotees who stay true to what they believe is Joe’s work, often without having a clue what they’re doing, and the modernists who have fused and made Joe’s work contemporary, often without having a clue what they’re doing.


Unless and until you, what I call, “bring the story of your life to your work”, you’ll be selling the commodity that is “the P word” and when that happens, your efforts to position and promote yourself will be competing against the efforts of studios with advertising budgets and/or square footage and/or equipment investments that are bigger than yours, and/or more established than yours, who have staffs of teachers with more experience than you/yours.

When that happens it’s really a shame because the thing that makes it so amazing for clients isn’t that you’re teaching whatever it is you’re teaching, it’s that they’re working with YOU.  

How do we know that it’s you, you, you at the very center of the client experience?  Your clients are completely free to go anywhere, to work with anyone, at any time.  You don’t own them, they’re not indebted to you, their not bound in any way to you.

They’re with you because of YOU!


There are other industries where creators step, in one way or another, aside giving their work over to others to interpret, to evolve, to be the starter for their own interpretation of the same thing.

There are other industries where “bringing the story of your life to your work” is on display, for all to see.

Paying attention to similar situations helps us get smarter about our own realities.


Read this.


Watch this.




And then watch this.



Bob is absolutely a genius beyond measure and his interpretation of his own work is, without question, amazing.

But there’s no dispute about the power of Kesha’s interpretation of it.  And if you read the article on what Kesha’s been going through, you’ll absolutely hear in her rendition of “It Ain’t Me Babe” every bit of her pain, her hope, and the deepening of her gift.  Remember in the article how the author talked about her pauses?  Patience is hard to learn; Kesha’s performance of this piece let’s us know she’s learned it.

Kesha has a right to interpret Bob’s work, even with Bob still alive and performing it himself.


Joe’s dead.

You, and how you teach, and how you work are the only way for Joe to be relevant today.

Without you, and your next client, Joe’s work will be as dead as he is.

You have every right to Joe’s work – we all do.

You have every right to make it your own – we all do.

Then and only then will your unique talents, gifts and genius shine through.

Then and only then will you have brought the story of your life to your work.


Be like Kesha and boldly perform master work, even right in front of the master or his most judgmental legacy holders.

Be like Kesha and bravely make genius works your own.

If you don’t, the world won’t know you, and what you can do – and neither will your clients.

If you don’t, you’ll be the cover band of Pilates teachers.

The world doesn’t need more impersonators of Joe, the world needs YOU!


Joe got his chance.  Make sure you get yours.


Need help?  I’m right here.

Make It Your Own