Facing Fear (Your Deepest, Innermost Fears around Love)

Sometimes the Dragons we must eventually face hide within the wilderness of our own hearts

Often in the pursuit of adventure and facing one’s terror amidst avalanching mountains and flooded whitewater rivers, one may forget the Hardest Work and the Greatest Challenges lay not at Death’s Door in the Wilderness but in being with people including those we love and those who love us. Much of the time, however, it’s face to face with the mirrors of your own self.

This speaks especially with those we love or used to love. Our most difficult practices arise within the relationships we form among ourselves, with other people, and especially our selves.

The greatest Dragon we must someday face is not some monster in a cave abiding over those hearts we treasure the most. No, the greatest Dragon is us as we face our own shame, anger, & fear, yes, fear of turning back around to look those Others in the eye and atone for the consequences of damaging our relationships with them. Perhaps the hardest work is facing those whom we have hurt and wronged. Oh, the messes I have made! And cleaned up, too. It’s a neverending process at first, and, over time, the more one practices the easiest such practices become.

“Everyone says love hurts, but that is not true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts. Envy hurts. Everyone gets these things confused with love but in reality, love is the only thing in the world that covers up all the pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in the world that does not hurt.” – Liam Neeson

So, yeah, listen up. Love doesn’t stop. Who turned it off? Stop pretending. Do the fucking work. Stay with the pain. Transmute it with breath and blood. Face me. Let me face you. Choose to keep on loving no matter what. Awaken into the Oneness we once shared and, yes, still exists. Whether or not you believe in Twin Flames and the Twin Flame blues is up to you, and besides, doesn’t change what we had felt so true. Keep the fire burning before the last flame blazes out taking with it every precious memory of what was & what almost could have been.


William Dudley Bass
Thursday 10 August 2017
SeaTac/Seattle, Washington

NOTE: The quoted statement from Liam Neeson was borrowed from Wild Earth @ http://wild-earth.tumblr.com/post/136230670895/everyone-says-love-hurts-but-that-is-not-true.

The image of the red dragon & heart is a Free Download from Public Domain Pictures, License CCO Public Domain, @ http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=4445&picture=dragon-heart.

This essay/cry out was first published to my Facebook page on the evening of Thursday the 10th of August 2017.

Copyright © 2017 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.


Inner Shifts of Being

Sunset from the bluffs while gazing across the Sound toward the Olympics. Richmond Beach Park, Shoreline, Washington, Sunday 23 September 2012. Foto by William Dudley Bass.

Sunset from the bluffs while gazing across the Sound toward the Olympics. Richmond Beach Park, Shoreline, Washington, Sunday 23 September 2012. Foto by William Dudley Bass.

Something has shifted in me recently. What has shifted is I’ve lost my taste to speak harshly of others.

During the unexpected challenges of recent years I almost crumbled. The past few months were particularly difficult emotionally and financially. I could’ve sunk deeper into cynicism and bitterness and wallowed in apathy and self-pity. Instead I found the strength and the courage to pivot into a field where there are no paths. My life was my own to choose. My life was mine to live.

Continue reading “Inner Shifts of Being” »

It’s Time to Rethink Swimming

With more and more people becoming involved in whitewater, it’s time to rethink swimming. Many steepcreekers have been swimming differently for years, and their experiences can improve the swimming techniques for both those who take a once-a-year commercial raft trip and the average weekend paddler of Class II, III, and IV rivers.

During recent years there has been an increase in drownings and injuries among even experienced boaters as well as casual rafters, which could have been avoided, had they swum differently. Of course we all go out there thinking and hoping we’re not going to fall out of our rafts or come out of our boats. But let’s face it: sooner or later we will all swim, and swim again. Swimming is an integral part of whitewater, and just like combat rolls and eddy turns, it should be done properly and safely. It should even be practiced.

Swimming aggressively instead of floating passively is the key. A number of paddlers have been killed or injured in a variety of river conditions from long, continuous rapids to fairly small rapids. There are numerous cases of flush-through drownings where boaters were swept for extended periods while maintaining the old float-with-toes up position.

Earlier this year in a different type of incident a tandem open boater drowned in Nantahala Falls, a Class III rapid in North Carolina. He and his partner had quickly gotten into the traditional swimming position: toes up, head upstream, floating on one’s back with the arms out to slow one down. His partner shot along the tongue of the falls to safety, but he dropped over a ledge in the steeper section and pinned. His feet and lower legs became entrapped in a crevice, and he drowned. In the same incident, a would-be rescuer also trapped his foot in the same spot and nearly drowned as well. It is likely the victim would be alive today if he had swum aggressively.

Continue reading “It’s Time to Rethink Swimming” »

Seeing Chris Guillebeau in Seattle for his new $100 Startup Book

Yesterday morning I sat down with a cup of strong Irish tea to catch up on a ton of email. I didn’t get very far before I discovered Chris Guillebeau was scheduled to speak that night at Town Hall Seattle. I’ve never met the guy, and his writings expressing his unique way of thinking about our world provoke and inspire me. I love his blog The Art of Non-Conformity: Unconventional Strategies for Life, Work and Travel. He has a book out with the same title that also stirs the pot, your pot, with relish. It stirred my pot for sure.

Fueled up with a late afternoon cup of coffee, I hustled downtown and promptly got lost. I make the same stupid mistake every time by parking in the wrong underworld garage then meandering around in the labyrinthine maze atop the Convention Center lid over the freeways. I caught myself ranting on the phone to my wife as I tried to get her to come meet me, but she was too far away to arrive anywhere close in time.

She listened with more patience than me as I caught myself getting angry. Feeling silly, I burst out laughing at what a fool I was. I cooled off quick and chilled out. There were more important things to do than get wiggy over buses and cars, and, boom, Town Hall. Wow, I’ve never happened upon it so quickly. I could hear the Universe poking me and saying, “So, there!”

It was only $5.00 to get in to Chris Guillebeau’s presentation Downstairs at Town Hall. Wow. And between the time I paid $5.00 and scurried back from the bathroom the numbers of people in the room had swelled from about a dozen to well over a hundred folks. As more poured in the staff flung open the partition curtains and arranged more rows of chairs. And still more people arrived.

Chris Guillebeau is a tall, lean, young man who lives with his wife Jolie in Portland, Oregon. Apparently she lets him travel as long as he promises to keep coming back home to her. He’s never worked a real job and has been self-employed most of his life. Chris is a world traveler and adventurer who’s been to, as of last count, 183 nations. He’s a salesman, volunteer activist, writer, entrepreneur, networker, published author, and a blogger with a global following.

I think of Chris Guillebeau as a type of guerrilla Seth Godin as he operates on a much smaller budget than that genius on the Hudson. Chris has demonstrated he’s a man of action and vision, probably in that order, and is both proud and humble.

In person he’s courteous, friendly, easy-going, and piercing. Up on stage he is an acute, attentive listener with a quick mind. Chris bows before his mentors and his followers and acknowledges he wouldn’t be anywhere without both. He demonstrates a gift for speaking with a certain cadence right into the ears and minds of another’s listening. And his stories are … amazing. What people do to move forward when they choose to move is awe inspiring. His unique perspective on the Great Global Recession with his mix of gloomy realism and optimistic opportunism inspires. I could feel the whole room bend forward in … wow, in gladness, in hope. But don’t get your hopes up too high. Chris Guillebeau is much too pragmatic and down-to-earth to be anyone’s messiah.

Chris is on a whirlwind tour across North America to market his new book, The $100 Startup: Reinvent The Way You Make A Living, Do What You Love, And Create A New Future. He presents his two primary themes: “freedom” and “value.” He is all about freedom. He is for each person establishing their freedom – if they choose to do so. It is a choice, and he points out too many people give up before they even get going as they believe being free is just too hard, too much work, too expensive, etc. And he is aware to be truly free and independent is only true within the context of our interdependent networks. Chris is also a big stand for value and redefines value as something a person creates to share with others. It doesn’t do any good to invent or create the most astounding thing only to hide it or use it for extorting extreme prices.

There are other themes, too. Our current economic hard times are truly HARD TIMES. Everywhere he goes Chris encounters many, many, way too many highly qualified, educated, and skilled human beings out of work or underemployed. Either they lost their jobs or their businesses failed. When Chris saw over 300 supereducated people apply for a low-level clerical position for $14 an hour with 0 benefits, he knew the system is broken.

Continue reading “Seeing Chris Guillebeau in Seattle for his new $100 Startup Book” »

Faith vs. Data vs. What’s Really Important

Seth Godin, a master blogger and bestselling author over in New York highlighted, once posted on the tension between faith and data. First, allow me to distinguish between those two words.

I define “faith” as a belief in something without any evidence and often in the face of evidence to the contrary. Boiled down having faith is the desire to believe. And humans want to believe what they wish to be true.

Sometimes faith is a negative. Witness, for example, all the bloodshed committed and endured in the name of religions, notorious for demanding faith in many things for which there is no empirical evidence and with each religion claiming competing and opposing “truths” for faiths at odds with each other. Religious institutions demand faith from their followers.

And yet faith is what drives people to push on through great hardship and challenge to ultimately succeed. Faith inspires people to attempt and actually achieve amazing things often in the face of ridicule, harassment, even “proof” held up and waved in their faces to demonstrate their foolhardiness. Faith triumphs. But is it really important?

Continue reading “Faith vs. Data vs. What’s Really Important” »

Blogging the Bloggy Woggy

Blogging the Bloggy Woggy is the history of how the woggies became my two bloggies in a single poddy but not a potty. Goodness, I’ve gotten my Dr. Seuss and Clockwork Orange stuff all mixed up. It’s the story, actually, of how my first two websites, both blogs, came into existence and what I first wrote upon them. They were Blogger blogs, and they were kinda like my babies. But not quite…they felt like brand new babies I was so proud of mixed up with feeling strangely similar to those personal items one might shyly hide in an old steamer trunk in the attic. Items, I said items in the attic, not babies, now. Cultivate and Harvest right At the Brink I was. So let’s open the old, leather-strapped trunk before our digital freedom is taken away.

November 2006…my mother had just died while I was caught in a terrible storm with branches crashing down around my cabin and the power went out. My father had passed two years earlier on the First of December. Both perished from cancer, and they were wrenching and disorienting experiences. So I groaned when Robert Masters, our Canadian teacher and trainer, announced part of our homework required for us to graduate from his practicum was to create a blog and write about those experiences.

“Oh no,” I said out loud as I contemplated yet another technical whamdoodle-diddle mickle-jiggle I now had to figure out. Can’t we just share our tales of woe and enlightenment with each other via an old-fashioned email listserve? Years later, however, I love to blog. OK. I have a lot to say. I channel the chaos of the Cosmos and can’t stop. Much of it feels as if mysterious Dark Matter Dark Energy stuff is flowing through my body-mind-spirit with spooky action from a distance at.

Continue reading “Blogging the Bloggy Woggy” »

Over Meditated

After four days away in the woods of Cloud Mountain, a Buddhist meditation retreat center down near Mt. St. Helens, Washington, I’m back in the Emerald City of Seattle surfing traffic in my four-wheeled kayak. With fiercely serene contemplation my breath guides me to all the sweet spots between grinding dump trucks and vrooming sports cars and teeth-gnashing morons, oops, excuse me, peoplyps, wow, post-meditation Freudian malapropism there smashing together people and polyps! Oops, back to the breath. Breathing in, breathing out. Good thing we worked with our nasal orifices and not any others. Indeed.

During the retreat, we focused on Samatha or Concentration and Tranquility Meditation with Jhana practices. Samatha is “the other twin” to Vipassana, or Insight Meditation, and is little known in North America. It’s beginning to take root, however, as it is rediscovered by many practitioners. My two teachers, Tina Rasmussen, a former nun, and Stephen Snyder, had immersed themselves deeply in these Samatha practices. They mentored under a rare master, the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw of Myanmar/Burma.

After studying and practicing Vipassana in Seattle for two years it proved to be the missing link. For the two middle days I spent at least nine to ten hours in sitting meditation, or attempting to, and the rest of my time awake meditating while walking, eating, and during tasks such as brushing my teeth or working as one of two “soup yogis.”

As part of trading work for money to get myself into the course, I set up and maneuvered giant soup contraptions for the cook. It wasn’t hard, especially as a tiny woman with a head-spinning mane of hair who once spent five years as a bald nun on a silent Zen meditation retreat handled those big soup gamdoodles even faster than I did.

Continue reading “Over Meditated” »

Blogging the Deborama

“Tuesdays with Deborah” is a circle of bloggers and writers I gather with to listen and to share about and for blogging. Author and editor Deborah Drake facilitates, and she pours her soul into our meetings. She’s passionate and generous for the art of crafting language…and how we can all market it. Deborah recently guided us through our blogger version of November’s National Novel Writing Month.

Good thing I didn’t keep what I originally put down as my title, “Decembering the Deborahma.”

Better yet I’m glad I paid attention to my intuition, something I’ve been known to neglect with interesting consequences. My intuition said, “I betta lookit uppa!”

“Decembering” stems from Olde English per the on-line Urban Dictionary & as December’s the first true month of Winter means, “to give a cold shoulder.” To dismiss, “to blow off,” even, uh, um…“hate.” See for yourself at:  http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Decembering. Worse, my spellcheck suggested I respell it “dismembering.”  I’ve been playing a bit too cheeky with words, I see. Continue reading “Blogging the Deborama” »

Balance in Forward Motion

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Balance in Forward Motion! “Go faster, Daddy!” Bass Family Bike Ride, “Iron Horsie” Trail, WA. August 2006. Photo by Kristina Bass.

Balance is overrated. Balance achieved is motion frozen in time and space, all energy internalized to remain upright against gravity. Some speakers up on stage I’ve heard like to refer to achieving balance in your life as creating “homeostasis.” Which is supposed to be “healthy.” It’s a misuse of a cool word. Homeostasis is merely the biological process in which organisms regulates and maintains their physiological and chemical systems in a stable manner.

Homeostasis as a process can even be disturbed to exist and continue in a state of imbalance. It’s definitely not the same as balancing a stack of plates upon your head while standing atop a ball. It’s not turning the messy breakdowns and re-creations of daily living into a brightly colored pie chart called “Designing a Balanced Life.” Do you really want your “life balance” to feel as if you’re splitting down the middle like an amoeba about to reproduce?

Up in Canada once for a series of trainings I witnessed Bob Proctor in action. He’s a master trainer in the field of personal and professional growth and development and a highly successful entrepreneur. Well-dressed and about 70 years old, he popped out behind the curtains and raced across the stage leaping and shouting as if he was a superbly athletic actor in his 20s.

“Balance!” roared Bob. “Balance is waaay overrated! It’s boring! Boring! You cannot move forward standing still trying to stay balanced. I’m living my life OUT of balance!”

He stopped and spun around, stood perfectly still as a warrior poised to pounce, then jumped as high as he could with one arm pointing straight up into the air. And laughed, laughed loud. Continue reading “Balance in Forward Motion” »

What’s Your Purpose?

Hello, there! Ready or not, here’re a few questions to consider. And answer. Especially since life is what it is and doesn’t wait for us to feel ready.

Consider just what is your deep Purpose in Life? What drives you to do what you do, how you do it, who you do it for, and what you do it for? Without Purpose, how successful is your business? Your primary relationships? And with Purpose, thrive!

Are you clear what your Purpose is?

What is your Purpose? Your deep, life Purpose?

Are you on Purpose?

If you feel off, what do you do to get back on track?

Or did your “Purpose Train” derail and crash and the wreckage overwhelms you?

Are you already on Purpose and you navigate through challenges not necessarily with grace but with clarity? What works for you?

What the heck is a “Purpose” anyway, and why is that “P” so big? Continue reading “What’s Your Purpose?” »

Go Write! Write like a Dog!


William at Work, Home Office, Dragonfly House, Seattle. October 24, 2008. Photo by Kristina Bass.


William Bass, Guerrilla Writing. Always be Writing! Seattle. August 14, 2011. Photo by Kristina Bass.

I grew up writing like crazy. My Mom, a poet, encouraged me to write from the get-go. I’m told I could write my name by age 3, although I don’t know if anyone could read what I wrote. I learned to write with both hands and even with both feet. Never had the elegant cursive of my lettered ancestors, though. I was too impatient and liked to go … FAST! You should’ve seen the jagged sentences scribbled with a pencil gripped between my toes.

One sunny afternoon in October 2008 as I drove around the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Garrison Keillor came on the radio. One of his short, nap-time blurbs for NPR. He quoted another writer, Augusten Burroughs:

“The secret to being a writer is that you have to write. It’s not enough to think about writing or to study literature or plan a future life as an author. You really have to lock yourself away, alone, and get to work.”

Now that kicked me in the ass. Ow! Continue reading “Go Write! Write like a Dog!” »

What is Deep Listening?

Are you a Deep Listener? If not, would you value learning the skills required to practice Deep Listening? And just what is Deep Listening anyway? You hear pretty good anyway, right?

Consider these:

  • What do you listen for?
  • How do you listen?
  • Who do you listen to?
  • Why are you listening?
  • Are you listening about something or someone, or are you listening for something or someone?

As you ponder these five questions to come up with your answers, below are several things to consider. There’s work to do and practice before we can answer those questions on a deeper level. Continue reading “What is Deep Listening?” »

Microwaving my Blog

Doing everything one isn't supposed to, zapping a tin foil hat & all.

Doing everything one isn’t supposed to, zapping a tin foil hat & all.

Goodness, my Blog must be a tinfoil hat. In desperation I stuck what I loved in the microwave. Gonna transmute tin and wool into GOLD! Maybe even transform positive influences from inspired dreams into birthin’ out some reality! Yeah! What a mess! A bloody, damn mess! Woo Hoo! Sparks arced from brain to computer screen. I channeled the dead but dreaded whatever it was as it wasn’t human, or worse than demons, a mad old blue-haired biddy floating up from her vacation lounge chair down in the Underworld to grasp my face with crooked fingernails and smother me with lipstick and bad breath. Ow. Horrors of childhood. Birth’s a mess all right, and I’m alive to add mine to make our world a more positive place.

I’m writing every day. But not posting every day. Back toward the end of October I attended a meeting of a Blogger’s Circle that met every Tuesday afternoon in Bellevue, Washington. I hadn’t been since my first visit back in August. I longed for the company of other writers and wanted to learn what actions do I take to publish and market and effectively do so at low cost?

Cuz I’d lost my job, investments, and homes in this Great Recession. After short-selling our homes, my family and I moved into a beautiful rental with what was left with the possibility of buying it someday. Three months later faulty wires in the wall ignited a blazing inferno in which we lost everything but our lives. So reeling a little bit still, just a tad here and there, if you will, so I turned back to writing to help heal my self. Continue reading “Microwaving my Blog” »


People don’t like change. Do you like change? To change? Most folks are just too busy trying to be disciplined with their own routines when they don’t really wanna to be distracted with having to change.

“Oh, no, not again!” Changing diapers is a mess, isn’t it?

Change seems to get people going, though. Galvanizes them.

What fires you up?

What inspires you?

What are you passionate FOR?

I don’t want to know what you care about. I want to know what you stand for. And what you’re gonna next. Continue reading “Changes” »

Envisioning Future Networks Now

With so many people choosing to become entrepreneurs, what does that look like? Especially during this Great Recession? What 3 trends may be developing? Trends you can jump on and drive?
Our Great Recession is far from over, and its trajectory continues to defy many experts and pundits alike. Why’s that? Many keep looking to the future while staying stuck in the past. Our current economic mess, and it is a mess regardless of what label historians will ultimately stick on it, is just as different from the “first” Great Depression as the Second World War was from the First.

Many changes are happening, and are happening faster and faster. Globalization, relocalization, sustainable economics, the linkage of environmental and social responsibility to economics and finance, integrated and mobile digital technologies, and the global long war on terrorism all squeeze the status quo.

Amid all this pressure, however, opportunities await and trends are discernable. As alchemists once believed they could transmute lead to gold and we do know intense pressure transforms carbon into diamonds, so too can you generate value from great change. Continue reading “Envisioning Future Networks Now” »


“OK, who’s in?” asked Deborah Drake for her scary, post-Halloween blogging challenge. She threw down yet another gauntlet to our delightfully strange circle of creative writers and business bloggers. “It starts next Tuesday, November 1st!”

Slouched in my folding chair with my legs flopped out from once sitting excited on the edge of my seat with my feet planted, I raised my arm. It was as a dead tree limb except it moved. It moved “yes.” My arm stuck up higher than I expected in spite of my reticence. And oh, I was reticent.

It occurs to me as I type we associate dead things as “heavy.” Dead weight. I think of death as lighter. If you’re an animal, well…uh…stuff drains out. Air expires. For a little bit, anyway, right, till decay generates more, uh … gas. Plants decay, too. In the water dead things float, become waterlogged, and sink to the bottom. Now that IS added weight, unlike the Lady of the Lake who turned into soap at Lake Crescent. But if there’s any spirit or soul, well, we’re a few nanograms lighter after bio-death, right? Hmmnnn…no more glazed donuts and Boston cream-filled shuga yummies adding to the scales. But a dead branch still jutting from a tree is dry and hollow, much lighter than a living branch heavy with water and life. Good Lord, see what happens with me living in my own ADHD? Everything relates. Oh, good, I’m now at 217 words.

That’s 117 more than the minimum per blog post. Deborah Drake is fierce in her advocacy for writing, or rather the discipline of writing every day even if it isn’t much or all that great. We return to the mindfulness of the practice of being mindful: we wash the dishes to wash the dishes to wash the dishes, not to hurry up and get out of the kitchen so we can rush off to the next distraction. We create to create. I write to write to write. Strip out the “because to’s” or the reasons why and all the “in-order-to’s.” We hone our craft with the presence of someone sharpening a dull axe or a big-bladed knife. I pay attention and drop into the flow of sharpening my edge whether it’s my axe, my writing, or, more challengingly, my children and my wife. Continue reading “Reticence” »