Steve Bivans

Author, Coach, Urban Viking

Tag: audio blog (page 1 of 8)

Interview on The End of Fear Itself!

Hey guys!

Had the distinct pleasure of being interviewed by a friend from Anchor, Avie Uniglicht, known affectionately to us all as “Your Tech Concierge.”

He was kind enough to have me on Zoom last night to discuss my new book The End of Fear Itself, which launches SUNDAY, Dec 11th, on Amazon! It will be FREE the first 2 days, so don’t miss it!

Below is both the audio version, and the YouTube video. So you can either watch, or just listen while you do the Dao of Dishes, or drive down the road to Grandmother’s house.

Thanks to you all for your support during this entire process! PLEASE SHARE the video and/or audio with your friends on social media, or via email, or just smack them and make them sit down and watch it! And don’t forget to download your free copy of the book on Sunday! Put it on your calendar, now!

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Sellers, Vikings, War and the Fall of the Carolingians,The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

Pen & Sword: What to Do with Gordian Knots?

[This is part 9 of my How I Write Series, following part 8, It is Written: End of a Journey Revisited]

In 323 B.C., Alexander the Great reached the Kingdom of the Phrygians in Anatolia, what is now, Western Turkey. He had come here for a specific reason: to master the Gordian Knot.

The great Alexander had already crossed the Helespont, crushed one Persian army in the Battle of Granicus, and was pushing his way into the western areas of the Persian Empire, quickly becoming a thorn in the side of Darius III, the emperor.

But Alexander knew of an ancient legend in this western area of the empire, the legend of King Gordias of Phrygia, and his famous knot. The knot—which reportedly had not loose ends, no beginning or ending—was tied to the tongue of an ox-cart, and according to legend, anyone who could undo the knot would become emperor of the world.

There is some debate about the ’emperor’ part of the legend; it might have been invented in retrospect by Alexander’s soothsayers and supporters, but that’s a boring way to look at it, so fuck it, I’m gonna go with the soothsaying version, because it’s more interesting, and serves my purpose, much as it did Mr. Alex.

Such a legend was just too much of a draw for the ambitious and self-assured Alexander to pass up. When he reached the capital of Gordium, he approached the cart, and the knot, with supreme confidence.pen & sword

He stood, fixed, staring at the twisting mass of rope for several minutes, attempting to find an end, or loose place that he might apply some leverage to unravel this enigma.

But he found no ends, and no slack anywhere. There was no obvious way to untie this knot.

The great Alexander appeared to be stumped.

His soldiers, surely, were beginning to wonder if they had followed the right leader into Persia. Sure, he had pulled off a miraculous victory at Granicus, but that could have been luck. The Persian Empire was massive, stretching from the borders of Macedonia all the way to the Indus River, on the border of modern India! There was no guarantee that this young man, only 23 years old, could best the great Persian Empire with all of its resources and manpower.

Alexander was stuck. The knot was winning. And this was not acceptable to the student of Aristotle, and the son of the great Philip of Macedon.

After several tense moments, Alexander did what Alexander would become famous for; when in doubt, he attacked.

In an instant of genius, and a flash, he strode up to the cart, drew his sword, and slashed the knot into two pieces! The rest is history.

Writing, Knots, Pen & Sword

At some point during the process of writing a longer work, a book especially, you’re gonna run into a mess; you’re gonna run into a Gordian Knot of your own. You can’t leave it, because if you do, your future publishing empire will blow away like so much dust on an windy, Persian plain.

You can’t expect to be Alexander the Great, unless you have the ability to slash your way through knots.

Right now, as I mentioned in my previous How I Write article, I’m faced with a knot in my current project, The End of Fear Itself.

I don’t know how Gordian it is, yet, since I haven’t actually reached it, but I’ve heard it’s up there, up the road if you will. I know it is. I’ve seen glimpses of it as I’ve been writing the first draft of the book. But I have sharpened my pen & sword in anticipation of the encounter.

It may be, when I get there, that I’ll see a loose end, or wiggly spot in the knot that I can easily unravel, and be on my way to ruling the world, but it might be of a true Gordian variety, requiring some hacking. I’m prepared for the latter.

Here’s the situation, just so we’re not talking in abstractions.

Since the book is essentially a guide to ending Fear itself, I’ve outlined it in a more or less logical way.

  1. Introduction: What is Fear? Why should we end it?
  2. Why do we Fear?
  3. What do we Fear?
  4. How do we end it?
  5. Masterful, genius Conclusion (of course)

This was a very logical way to lay it out at the beginning, and for the most part it works okay.

But the knot has tied itself, because as I have been writing the section on What we Fear, I’ve found myself offering advice on different categories of fears, on how to deal with them.

This is because some manifestations of Fear have obvious, or not so obvious, but effective solutions that pertain specifically to that type of Fear, and not necessarily to all Fears in general.

On the other hand, there are some general methods for dealing with many Fears that might work best at the end of the book in a section on How to Fight Fear. So, it might help to save all the cures for the end of the book. But that doesn’t feel quite right to me, so I’m gonna have to unravel this knot, soon.

It may require an Alexandrian approach: a big swing with a fuckin’ broadsword. I might just have to hack and slash my way to a solution. Or, I may get away with some deft, surgical cuts with a scalpel. Who knows which.

But this is something you should be aware of if you’re a writer, especially if you’re in the process of writing your first book, whether that be fiction or non-fiction. You will probably run into a Gordian Knot at some point.

Just don’t stop! Keep working, keep writing, but keep your pen & sword sharp and handy, because you should be prepared to attack that knot with some bold hacking, if needed.

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Sellers, Vikings, War and the Fall of the Carolingians,The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

Punkin’ n Rocky: the Great Kitchen Chase

[The following is another excerpt from my upcoming book, The End of Fear Itself, and will probably be in the section on real Fear, i.e., the fight or flight kind. It’s been polished a bit, but I’m sure there will be additions, subtractions, and revisions to come before the final version. Enjoy.]

There was a disturbance in the kitchen.

There was a rustling sound, a hiss, then a cacophony of pots n pans spilling across the floor.

I was sitting at my desk, typing on my laptop, just as I am right now, one day last year, when I heard a crash in the kitchen. I had been writing for nearly an hour, I suppose, without incident, when the kitchen exploded.

You see, I’m a writer, obviously, and I work from home most of the time. We have a small house in St. Paul, on the West Side. It’s only about 11 or 1200 square feet in size. The downstairs consists of only three rooms: the living room at the front of the house, the kitchen in the middle, and my home office, at the back of the house, overlooking our deck and garden through a large sliding-glass door, which that morning was fully closed. This is an important fact, as you’ll soon see.

I was peacefully writing that morning, when all of a sudden, the kitchen erupted in a violence and a ruckus unlike I had ever heard.

“What the fuck!?” I yelled.

I hate being interrupted when I’m writing. It’s hard enough to get into the dance with the Muse, as it is, and when that dance is interrupted, it’s really hard to get back into it. The Muse doesn’t like to be troubled with shit from the sidelines. She really loves to dance, but brooks no distractions.

And the clashing and banging from the kitchen was more than a distraction; it was like dropping a bomb on the dance floor.

I lost concentration for a second, let loose my curses, then realizing that it was probably just the Viking Pirate Kitties—Punkin’ and her troublesome, aloof sister, Squish—I turned back to the task at hand: writing, with the thought that I’d deal with the clean up when I was finished.

I knew the sound well enough, I thought, even though the one that morning seemed a bit pronounced compared to times past.

In the kitchen, under one of the windows, there is a radiator, that supplies ample heat to the room in the Long Dark that is our Minnesota Winters. Over the radiator is a metal cart with a butcher-block top that we use to support the toaster, baskets of bread, usually a cookie jar, and various other sundry that collects on a kitchen counter.

It was spring or summer when this incident occurred, so the windows were open to let the fresh air waft through the house. They were protected by screens, to keep the Skeeters—that’s mosquitoes, for those of you not from the South—from wafting through the house along with the breeze.

As I said, in that first second of disturbance, I cursed, then directed my attention back to the keyboard and the masterpiece I was working on at the moment. The cats were always screwing around on the radiator, and just below it, on the front edge of the cart, was a wire shelf, a narrow one, on which sat a small sauce pot with lid, that Paysh used to make popcorn.

There are also a couple of cast iron bacon presses next to it. It was customary for the Pirates to jump down off the radiator and knock all of that shit right into the floor, and that’s what I surmised had happened on the morning in question.

I was wrong. Partly.

Something much more intense and deadly was at work: a life and death struggle, and shitloads of Fear.

Just as I turned my attention back to my writing, a second or two after being interrupted, something smashed into the sliding glass door to my left, and slightly behind me, over my left shoulder.

BAM!

I jerked around in my office chair, banging my right knee on the desk in the process—which occasioned a string of profane curses only heard on board Naval and Fishing Vessels around the world—only to see the blur of a grey fur, and a long bushy tail as it rebounded off the glass, to be met by a blur of ginger fur, and slashing claws, and hissing teeth.

There was a squirrel in my house!

There was a little grey squirrel loose in my house, and he was in full flight mode. This was real Fear, my friend, not the bullshit, projected Fear that most of us feel when we need to ask for a raise, or think our spouse is upset with us. Hell no, this was life and death Fear and Rocky the Squirrel had quickly abandoned the fight response for the opposite one, ‘run like fuckin’ hell!’

And run he did.

Right behind him, catching up to him as he bounced off the rear door, was Punkin’, the runt of her litter, half the size of her sister, but fast as lightning, and with claws and teeth sharp as razors. She has drawn more than a few pints of life blood from the humans in the household, and that was only while playing. She wasn’t’ playin’ with Rocky. She had one thought in mind: KILL HIM!

And she was on him like ugly on an ape.

It was in that moment—when I realized what was going on, only a second or two after the clash in the kitchen, and at the moment the Rocky rebounded off the glass door behind me—that things really sped up.

The rest of the incident that I’m getting ready to relate to you, took no more than 6 or 7 seconds in real time, 10 at the very most, but I would bet on less than 6. It was a blur of action like I’ve never seen in my life, and I’ve seen a lot of action.

As I leaped from my chair, knee screaming in pain from jamming under the desk, I let loose another curse, “What the FUCK!? There’s a squirrel in my house!”

By the time I had said this, Punkin’ had leaped onto his back, clawed him, bit him, he shook free, and they were off! back out of the office, into the kitchen. I ran, limping after, thinking, “I have to get a door open, let out the squirrel, but not Punkin’! How the fuck am I going to pull THAT off!?”

As I ran into the kitchen, I saw Rocky launch up over our sofa in the living room, and half the way up the blinds on the front window, with Punkin just behind, hissing and slashing with her deadly claws. She was really into this, man. I thought ole Rocky was done for, and for only a split second, wondered where Squish was, and her dog, Bubble. “They must be asleep, I quickly reasoned, or they would be down here in middle of this, and Rocky would be fucked.”

Before I could finish thinking all of that—which simultaneously occurred as I was reaching to open the front door–Rocky gave into Newton’s Law of Gravity, and came back down the window, bounced off of the side table next to the sofa, and kicked into turbo drive on his way back towards my office with the world’s fastest lioness on his tail, blood in her eyes.

It was then that an idea flashed into my head, and it was a good thing, for Rocky anyway.

Before I could fully formulate my plan, I yelled at Punkin’, “PUNKIN’! STOP!”

And luckily, for Rocky, Punkin’ responded to her daddy’s voice.

Punkin' sucking her tail...

Punkin’ sucking her tail…

You have to realize that Punkin’ is the cute, sweet Viking Pirate Kitty. When she’s not chasing squirrels, or mice, trying to disembowel them and rip off their heads to leave as trophies at the foot of mommy’s bed, she’s usually curled up in a ball, sucking on the end of her tail like a baby, binki. It is simply the cutest thing in the history of cuteness.

But when she’s on the hunt, forget about it. She’s deadly, and relentless. But she does love daddy, even if she doesn’t really listen to commands. She’s a cat, after all, far superior to the so-called, advanced species of monkey that humans think themselves.

But the force of my command caused her to pause, for just a second, which was long enough for me to reach the French door to my office, and slam it shut, just as Rocky careened into the sliding glass door at the back of the house, again.

I stopped. Sucked in some air, and looked back at Punkin’ who was staring up at me, not a little irritated and hurt that I had interrupted her hunt. Her blood was up, and she was not happy that I had intervened on behalf of her prey. Maybe for a second, she thought that I might be trying to assist her.

A part of me wouldn’t have minded if she had killed the squirrel, though I have no animosities towards the species. I don’t want them in my house. Once the wild get in, they’re fair game for the Viking Pirates.

But I had no relish for the aftermath of such a hunt. The entire house might collapse into dust, like 10,000 Jerichos, from such a chase, especially if Squish and Bubble were awakened to join in. God only knows the damage they would have inflicted in the pursuit of little Rocky. Luckily, I had contained the problem, and the damage. But Rocky was still in my office, with no way out.

I took a few steps towards Punkin’ to ensure that she retreated a bit, and then I opened the office door, and plunged in, closing myself in the room with Rocky, who was probably pissing himself, metaphorically, if not literally.

He was all over the place, knocking books off shelves, jumping up on chairs, and trying to get out of a door that wasn’t budging.

I raced to the back door, unlocked it, slung it open, and managed to the get the screen door open just in time to avoid Rocky blasting right through it. He was off, and free, to race across the backyard.

I’m certain he didn’t stop runnin’ till he reached the rocky shores of Washington State.

Somewhere out there, in the misty forests of the Great Northwest, there’s a squirrel named Rocky, with an eye patch, and some nasty scars, sitting at a squirrel bar, drinking nutty squirrel ales, spinning the harrowing tale of the day he broke into a monkey house, only to be confronted with a vicious, enormous lioness, who he only just managed to escape thanks to the philanthropic aid of a large, ape, in shorts and Birkenstocks.

How did he get in in the first place?

Once the excitement of the chase had subsided, I asked myself the same question. And since the chase seemed to have begun near the radiator, in the kitchen, that’s where I focused my Sherlockian powers. And there, in the corner of the window screen, was a hole, no more than 2 or 3 inches in diameter, that Rocky had managed to rip open.

If only he’d known ahead of time what was on the other side, he’d have saved himself a lot of Fear, and a very long run to Seattle.

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Sellers, Vikings, War and the Fall of the Carolingians,The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

Anti-Disruption?: No! Disrupt or Drown

I was doing some research yesterday on disruption, when I ran across a couple of companies, or ‘groups’ that do disruption coaching, management, or whatever you want to call it, for clients both big and small.

One of their main offerings was anti-disruption.

I laughed. Out loud.

This is nothing against the disruption groups, really; I understand the pull to offer such services to companies. I’m sure there are lots of status quo businesses out there that are feeling the strain and loss of market share that disruption brings. It’s understandable that older corporations and companies would want to resist and try to stave off this disruption.

But there IS no anti-disruption. It is a myth.

What these disruption groups are actually selling, I imagine, is disruption coaching in disguise as anti-disruption.

There can be no resistance to the flow of Chaos and Disruption. Any company that attempts to resist disruption, is dead in the water, waiting to sink.

The only true anti-disruption is disruption itself.

The only way to resist the disruptive forces in the marketplace, is to become one of those forces. To do otherwise is to believe in your ability to swim against the current. It is a deadly belief. You may not. You cannot. You will drown.anti-disruption

The new disruptive ideas of doing business aren’t passing fads; they are the new paradigm. If you do not turn around and swim with the current, embrace the change, you will be swept away like many others, and cease to exist. That’s all the fuck there is to it.

Are you a Disruptor? Or Sinking Ship?

Your company is a Titanic, and headed for an iceberg, if:

  • You think more advertising will bring you back to your former position in the market.
  • You think your employees are a cost of doing business.
  • You think that customer service is a cost of doing business.
  • You think that work is synonymous with sitting in an office chair for 40, 50, or more hours per week.
  • You think that time is money.
  • You think that productivity has a 1/1 ratio to time.
  • You think that productivity is linked to more and more effort.
  • You think that your shareholders are the most important people in your business.
  • You think your product or service is your business.
  • You are under the false impression that your employees’ health, wealth, and well-being are not part of your business.
  • You think that people and employees respond favorably to rewards and punishments.
  • You think that you can externalize costs: to your employees, the environment, to anywhere.
  • You think you can hide, lie, cheat, or cut corners and get away with it.

If you or your company work on any of these outmoded beliefs, you are a Titanic, and you are racing into a field of icebergs. You are not Disruptors. Disruptors are shaking up all of those ridiculous notions, and they are kicking ass.

Will all disrupting companies make it? Of course not. There’s a lot more to business than just shaking up the status quo. But if you aren’t attempting to shake it up, you’re drowning in the river trying to swim upstream.

This is not a new phenomenon; it’s a very old one. New companies have been innovating for centuries, and upsetting their predecessors. It is a very old story.

The difference now, is that anyone with a computer or smartphone can create a business over night and threaten the status quo, and they are doing it, every fuckin’ day.

There are no great gateways through which one must pass in order to build a massive, world-shaking business, anymore. The internet has all but obliterated those obstructions. The only thing holding new, and old, companies back are Fears: Fears of failure, inadequacy, chaos, and a host of others.

All of those outmoded beliefs, above, are based in Fear, too. Every one of them.

Fear is my business. Or I should say, Kicking Fear’s Ass is my business. There is nothing more disruptive than bringing about an End to Fear Itself.

Without Fear, you can accomplish, ANYTHING. You can, your business can, anyone can.

That’s why I’m a disruption coach. It’s why I am writing a book on Fear and how we can overcome it.

If you truly want advice on how to deal with disruption, then you need a coach that won’t lie to you, that won’t tell you that anti-disruption exists. It doesn’t. You either innovate and become a disruptor, or you will be relegated to the dustbins of history. I’m an historian by training, so trust me on this one.

The only anti-disruption, is disruption itself.

The best place to start, if you want to become a disruptor, is to hire a coach who will figure out what your Fears are, and help you dispel them. Now! To wait, is to try to stand still in the river. Good luck with that.

Let’s get started, today! Shake some shit up! Be a disruptor!

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Sellers, Vikings, War and the Fall of the Carolingians,The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

The Muse has Gone: a Salty Poem for Labor Day

[The following is part of my How I Write Series of articles. This is number 9, I think. Following number 8: Some Days You Just Write Some Crap ]

This morning, I sat down to write for my hour, a thing I do every morning. Some days the words just come and I’m off, like riding a huge wave to the beach.

But this morning was not like that at all. I started late. There were many distractions, and my brain would not focus or seem to find a wave to ride. So, I just wrote a bunch of bullshit, for about 35 minutes, until I began to describe my dilemma.

And then the following happened: a poem.

At first, I didn’t think it was a poem, since I was just free-writing in a paragraph form, but when I looked back over it, I noticed some rhythm, and some internal rhyme, and so here it is.

I’m actually still in my hour of writing, as I’m typing this explanation. I have 8 minutes left, but I thought I would knock out two birds with one stone, and post the results here for you to enjoy.

This one goes out to everyone who is actually on a beach on this beautiful Labor Day. I wish I was, even though the weather in St. Paul is wonderful this morning. I miss my beaches, the salt air, and the sound of surf. Here’s to being there once again, before too long I hope.

The Muse has Gone.

This is just mental wandering,
looking for a topic that resonates,
a wave I can ride into the beach.

No waves right now.
The surf has died,
or rounded out, or off.
No more white caps,
no pulling out into a pitching wave,
just ripples lumbering into shore,
and the sun beating down upon my shoulders.

The scent of salt in the breeze,
the sound of seabirds,
and laughter from the shore.
A washing sound,
as rippling waves, wash over sand
and retreat to do it over again.

The call of mother
and giggling child,
splashing in the gentle surf,
bearing pails of sandy water
building castles never-lasting.

Girls walk hand in handmuse is gone
along the sand,
eyes following ever after,
reflecting waves and suns over the sea,
while puppies dance
and bark in ecstasy, of the day.

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Sellers, Vikings, War and the Fall of the Carolingians,The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

Conclusion to Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth

[The following is the Conclusion to my book, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth. Why would I give you the ‘end of the story’? Because it is my vision for a better world, and I think that having seen that vision, you might want to know how I think we can get there. It is the target, if you will, the dream I have of a world in balance with itself, a world devoid of Fear Itself. It is my life’s mission to see ti come to fruition, and I will work tirelessly until it does, or until my time on this planet is concluded.]

 

The moment is dire.

The problems we face are daunting indeed. Taker culture has ravaged Mother Nature to the point where she might just decide that we aren’t needed anymore.

If we choose to continue on this path, a century from now there may not be any or many of us left. Be careful, Frodo, when you step out on the road. Choose that road with care.

Some roads lead to Lothlórien, others to Mordor. We are on the latter. save the earth

Our air is becoming a poisonous fume. Our rivers, lakes, and oceans gleam with the sheen of oil; continents of plastic debris are floating on their surface. People murder each other over resources and religion, driven by Fear, Ignorance, Want, and Greed.

Guiltiest of all are the massive corporations and banks who use debt to enslave millions, nay, billions to pay back loans conjured from thin air in the first place, like some Sarumanic slight of hand. Fellow human beings lose their homes, their jobs and, many times, their lives in the name of Smaug’s hoard: money to line the pockets of the richest, entitled of the species who barely note the increase to their own overburdened treasure hoards.

To what purpose do they employ it?

They enlist it to bribe politicians around the world to look the other way while they take more and more and more from the Earth and from the less fortunate of their own species.

In their wake are the smoking ruins of Mordor: wastelands where there were forests, deserts where there were fields, gurgling sludge where there once was a crystal stream, oil where there was water, heat where there were cooling breezes, garbage in place of green pasture, and silence where once the singing of birds.

Why do they do this? Why do WE do this?

Because we are infected with a disease: the toxic belief that the planet and all of its resources are ours to do with as we will. It belongs to us, like some kind of mongrel dog that we can feed when it suits us, beat when it barks, or leave out in the yard chained to a rotting tree stump till we need something from it.

This is how we treat our planet. This is how we tend The Garden while expecting it to feed our ravenous hunger.

Those of us who hold onto this belief, and many of us who should know better, grasp our preciousss with whitening knuckles as our fingers grow hot then cold with avarice and apathy. Like Frodo perched at the Crack of Doom we cannot drop it into the abyss whence it came. Even those of us who know that we hold this ring, find it nearly impossible to relinquish it to the flames.

Most of our culture have forgotten, eons ago, that such a Ring ever existed, though its evidence is all around in the blackened ruin of our groaning planet.

Drop the Ring, Frodo! Do it now. Wait not for Gollum to sever it from your hand. “Take off your golden ring! Your hand’s more fair without it. Come back! Leave your game…Tom must teach you the right road, and keep your feet from wandering.”

Drop it into the fire. Walk out of the cave. Heed not the shadows on the wall; they are the shades of the puppeteer only. They are not real. They are Sauron’s smoke and mirrors, Saruman’s velvet lies, a pale reflection of the light you will find outside. Frodo, come forth! Step into the light of the Sun; walk into the light of the Shire! Come home. You are needed!

There is work to be done.

Long have the Sarumans of our world ravaged the homestead. Let us undo their poisonous handiwork. Let us rebuild our communities, replant our gardens, our Party Trees, and grow Shires. Let’s be Hobbits again and not far-wandering adventurers.

Plant the seeds of peace and harmony. Let’s work together to clean up the mess we’ve made and return Shireness and greenness to the Earth.

Let’s throw a party! Let’s celebrate the destruction of the Ring by forming renewed connections with our Shire and with Nature! Let’s walk the paths of the Old Forest, Fangorn and Mirkwood. Let’s renew our friendship with Treebeard, Bombadil and Old Man Willow.

Bring not axes and fire; bring only Hobbit feet and Hobbit senses. Feel the earth in your toes, smell the forest breath, hear it speak and sing, taste the air upon your tongue and see the roots that bind all living things together as one.

We are not separate from the willow. We are not severed from the stream. We are the rain. We are the trees. We are the birds who sing in its branches. We are the streaming beams of light through its leaves, dancing on the forest floor with billions of teeming, waltzing neighbors.

We are Nature. We do not rule. Shall we rule ourselves? Folly! We control nothing! We rule no one! We dance with the Ents, or we die with the orcs. Be not an orc. Be not a Wraith to the Ring. Be a Hobbit. Save the Earth.

Farewell! wherever you fare, till your eyries receive you at the journey’s end!
May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Sellers, Vikings, War and the Fall of the Carolingians,The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

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