GrowingFREE Gave Me Back My Life

4 Patterns That Worked for Me to Get My Life Back

Get My Life Back sounds a little dramatic, Yes,……..Because It Is. I am nearly 24-Months into this GrowingFREE Transformative Adventure, and here are the 4-Patterns that helped me Get My Life Back. Using the term Transformative Adventure is quite fitting. Post 60-Years Young, My Thoughts About Things, About People, About Place, and About Life started to wander. I started to wonder What’s Next. 40-Years of 60+ Hour Work Weeks had taken the toll. I was tired, and really worn down. That far off label of “Retirement” Seems Scary, and made me feel Old, except I am Old, but I’m Not. And,…….I did not have sufficient savings to “Retire” or so I thought, until doing a couple of sessions with Laura Oldanie. Laura runs a coaching consulting business, Rich and Resilient Living,……Laura is the Real Deal, She Lives What She Preaches, and she has an elegant way of delivering the message. What I learned was I in fact did have enough savings and resources to start the GrowingFREE Journey.

While there are several Patterns to new Habits and Transformation,…..bleow are the 4-Patterns that helped me get My Life Back

Pattern#1 TradeOffs

What Are the TradeOff’s

New Patterns are part of the GrowingFREE Transformative Adventure. For me, I knew I needed to Crush My Housing Expenses. And I was looking for an adventurous pattern to do that. I had researched RVLife and OffGrid Life for some time, and I already owned a small OffGrid Cabin in Northern MI. So, as our business of 22-years wound down in mid 2021, I sold stuff, gave stuff away, and moved my things into a 20’x20′ Quonset Hut, pictured above in UpNorth Michigan. I spend my Winters, Nov thru Feb at the OffGrid Cabin, Writing, Hiking, Meditation, and Stillness in Nature. It is Decadent.

In the Spring, Summer and Fall, I live in a 27′ RV, in a quaint campground at Indian Lake OH, where I grew up. Shortly after my transition started, my oldest daughter asked me What’s Next Pop’s, and at the time I was staring into the woods each at the Cabin. Brenda suggested I come back to the Lake and help them with their family business. Both my daughters own and operate small family businesses, so it seemed to fit. the RV is quite comfortable, for me, Olive the Cat and Bert the Dog.

Pattern#2 Stillness

Spending Time in Stillness

Stillness cannot be overstated. Ryan Holiday is an American author, media strategist, and bookstore owner. He’s also the host of the Daily Stoic podcast. In his book, Stillness Is the Key he shows us the importance of stillness – the ability to think clearly, avoid distraction, conquer impulses, and find happiness. Drawing on wisdom from history’s greatest philosophers, and on the habits of outstanding athletes, leaders, and artists, these blinks show how achieving stillness is a powerful way to find contentedness and success in life. 

Stillness helped me Define Enough, it helped me draft my QOLS (Quality Of Life Statement) which are ones Core Values; Money/Income/Well Being.

Practice Discernment

The ability to judge well. Perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual guidance and understanding. Honesty lies in understanding our close and necessary relationship with not wanting to hear the truth. We spend much precious time at Make Believe, versus Seeing What Is,………

  • May I LetGo of Wanting Control,
  • May I LetGo of Wanting Approval
  • May I LetGo of Wanting Security

And, Become a Better version of MySelf,……..Lord, Grant Me the Wisdom of Your Peace. None of this is possible without Stillness

May we not become like a candle in the wind, a victim of circumstance, and every time the wind stops blowing we will wish we had placed our essential purpose at the center of our life. But the winds of life will blow once more, changing direction and distracting us again from what is really important. 

We get caught up in the episodic cycle of the modern world, and life will bear no signs of continuity or consistency. We will achieve things, no doubt, and will have things, but will be restless and anxious. The sense that there must be more will haunt us continually, the feeling that something is missing will linger on the edge of everything you do. 

And many years from now, in the dim light of distant memory, we will remember the dreams ignored and abandoned. The pain that cannot be eased or consoled. Regret over things done can be eased over time. Regret over things left unsaid and undone is inconsolable.

What our lives desperately need is the liberation of simplicity. If we learn once again to listen to the gentle voice within, we will hear it counseling us many times a day to simplify our lives. When the voices of the world propose the multiple complexities of modern living, the gentle voice within will whisper: Why complicate your life? Over time we will learn to turn our backs on a multitude of opportunities in order to preserve the peace in our hearts that is born from the blessed simplicity that the world despises. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify your life and you will find the inner peace that the poets and saints of every age have coveted more than any possession. Silence. Solitude. Simplicity. Three great friends! They may be the subtlest of our legitimate needs, but when they are honored our spirits soar to unimaginable heights, and we are left only to wonder how or why we ever followed the promptings of all the jeering voices of this world. When we attend to our legitimate spiritual needs, everything else seems to fall into perspective. Only then are we able to let go of the past, wait patiently for the future, and live with an intense passion for life in the joy of the here and now. We feel healthy. We feel more fully alive. Our lives fill with vitality, and life becomes an exciting adventure instead of the day-to-day drudgery of counting the minutes away. 

The fulfillment of our legitimate spiritual needs leads us to place our essential purpose at the center of our daily lives. When silence, solitude, and simplicity become a part of the fabric of our lives, we are much less inclined to neglect our other legitimate needs. Only with the focus, perspective, and vitality that are born from the spiritual disciplines will we ever learn to transform each moment and experience of our lives into opportunities to become the-best-version-of-ourselves. Spirituality brings clarity, direction, continuity, and integrity to our lives. You already have everything within you that you need to make the journey. You must simply begin to honor the truth you already possess. We all have needs. We need air to breathe, water to drink, and food to eat. We need to love and be loved. We need to accept and appreciate others and to be accepted and appreciated by others. We need to learn, to change, and to grow. We need to remember who we truly are and what matters most. We need. This is our common bond as human beings. We are not as strong as we think we are. We are fragile. We are not as independent as we pretend to be. A day is coming when we will realize that independence is a myth. We are interdependent. We need one another, and only with and for one another can we live. We are one in our need. We are beings of need. Our health and happiness are intimately connected. Our legitimate needs are the secret language that unites the two. When we acknowledge our legitimate needs and base our lifestyle decisions upon them, we necessarily live healthier and happier lives. Life should be a rich and rewarding experience. Our lives should be filled with moments of wonder and inspiration. Life is an expression of abundance and should be lived passionately. Know your needs.

Most people don’t know what they want. Most people don’t know who they are. Most people don’t know who they are capable of becoming. These are three very large statements. Are they true? You decide. In any depth, beyond a little more money, a new car, and the vacation of a lifetime, do you know a lot of people who really know what they want from life? Do you know a lot of people who know what they want for themselves? How many people do you know who are intimately aware of and in tune with their legitimate needs? Do you know many people who are connected to the deeper desires of their hearts? Would you say most people know what their genius is and are using it as a guiding principle in their lives? Finally, do you think many people have a clear vision of what the-best-version-of-themselves looks like? These are tremendous disabilities. When we don’t know who we are, what we want, or where we are going and why, we are very susceptible to becoming pawns in other people’s schemes. Knowing who we are (strengths, weaknesses, needs, talents, and desires) and what we are here for (to become the-best-version-of-ourselves) is the knowledge that liberates us from the modern enslavement of a life of meaninglessness and gives our lives back to us once more. Millions of people have lost their lives, and they don’t even know it.

Pattern#3 Time

I Got My Time Back

I get chills reading this because of how simple the quote is. Society is taking their lives for granted and to scared to change their lives.

Every minute someone leaves this world behind.
We are all in the “the line” without knowing it.
We never know how many people are before us.
We can not move to the back of the line.
We can not step out of the line.
We can not avoid the line.
So while we wait in the line…

Make moments count.
Make priorities.
Make the time.
Make your gifts known.
Make a nobody feel like a somebody.
Make your voice heard.
Make the small things big.
Make someone smile.
Make the change.
Make love.
Make up.
Make peace.
Make sure to tell your people they are loved.
Make sure to have no regrets.
Make sure you are ready.”

To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul – would you understand why that’s much harder? ~Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand’s ideology is that the only reason for you to be alive is for your work and your contribution to society. She says people do what they hate every day that they’re basically living for someone else, and not for their own self. That’s when she says “To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his (or her) life.”

-She says keeping your soul is much harder as it means you must have the courage to fight the society and to follow your passion and heart..

-She talks of ego and selfishness as qualities a human must possess. And altruism, the principle and moral practice of concern for the happiness of other human beings, as evil. A person who lives for himself and only himself is selfish, but it states that it’s these people who carry the world forward with their work.

I carried on with My Work for 40-Years, and Lost TIME along the path. It doesn’t have to b that way, Get Your Time Back = Get Your Life Back

Pattern#4 InCome Stacks

What came next were a series of Income Stacks. We talk extensively about Stacking in our Book GrowingFREE, and our GrowingFREE Course. Stacking functions are a core permaculture design principle that anyone who wants a healthy garden can and should practice. The idea is pretty simple: Every element of your garden (plants, animals, insects, fungi, water, etc) serves multiple functionsMinimum inputs for maximum outputs in your garden, landscape or farm. The same Patterns apply to Money/Income, and many other facets of our lives.

UrbaneFarm was born. UrbaneFarm is a purveyor of 250-Small Batch Hot Sauce Brands, Fish Sauces, Salsas, BBQ Sauce, Bloody Mary Mixes, Rubs, Gourmet Salts, Beef Jerky, Summer Sausage, Eclectic Art, Vintage Cast Iron Cookware, New Lodge Cast Iron Cookware , Revolution Stunt Kites and Cut Flowers in Season. It was a natural Stack for Brenda’s Boutique Consignment Store, The Depot with 60-Venders in Downtown Lakeview, OH, population 1,200. It was an excellent Stack for me, as I had loved the HotSauce Business, and this was semi passive. Once the products are set up, The Depot handles all sales, collections, website, shipping for onLine Orders, and processes a monthly Commission Check to the store vendors. It’s a pretty sweet deal, with low barrier to entry costs, other than inventory.

We also have a Grill Trailer, BackAlley Eatzz and sling Vienna Beef Dogs and Polish Sausage on Thursday and Friday in the summer season at The Depot in Downtown Lakeview OH and at the Market on Main Farmers Market every Saturday Morning, coupled with HotSauce Tastings and Sales. These SideHustles are growing into a sustainable SideHustle, with predictable CashFlow.

We also created a Picture Me Photo Booth at my younger daughters business, The Costume Shop. Picture Me is an all around modern photo booth rental company for weddings, parties, brands, corporate events and more. We are a fresh take on an age old idea and offer photos, prints, Boomerangs, GIFs and video. Guests can instantly send and share their favorites, while an online gallery keeps it all in one place for everyone to enjoy. We invite you all to gather around, let your hair down and celebrate while Picture Me captures the moment! Again, this Stacks well with Amy’s Costume Rental Business, and with me, as it too is most semi passive, and is growing into a sustainable SideHustle with predictable CashFlow.

Those are a few examples of SideHustle Income Stacks. I am also an Adjunct Instructor for onLine Courses at Drexel University, and have written a couple books,…………….

You can help support our work by participating in our GrowingFREE Courses and Purchasing our Books

**Sign-Up for the GrowingFREE Course here

**Get Your GrowingFREE Book here

**Get Your The Second Act Entrepreneur Book here

About Eric

Eric is an Entrepreneur, A Published Author and Writer. Eric lives a Nomadic Lifestyle and is an OffGrid Practitioner. He is also an Adjunct Instructor Drexel University. Eric is well seasoned in urban housing development. He has built and developed over 14,000 market rate apartments on a national scale. He founded Urbane Apartments in 2000 and oversaw new business, general operations, marketing and branding at the company until retiring in 2021. He was long recognized by the multi-family housing industry as a vanguard of cutting edge social media marketing. Eric’s social media marketing and branding strategy has garnered national media attention with feature articles such as Branding on a Budget in Entrepreneur Magazine. Urbane Media digital marketing innovation was also highlighted in Business Week Magazine and Eric was named as a Voice of Innovation in Social Media by Bloomberg Business and also landed in the, New York Times and the Harvard Business Review.

Reach Out to Eric;


FaceBook; EricUrbane

Twitter; SecondActMyLife

Instagram; MyOffRoadAdventures

Web Site; TheSecondActEntrepreneur

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: