IMGP2109A friend once said to me, “Man, you do a lot of shit!” I took his comment as the compliment it was. Now, my wife and I are embarking on our biggest adventure yet – the Good Foot Project. To me, this expedition feels like the natural next step in our evolution to set our lives in line with our values…but my life hasn’t always felt this focused, I’ve spent most of it moving in one of three directions.

Right Brain. Left Brain. Heart.

I am an artist. My paintings and photographs have shown in over 70 exhibitions internationally and have made appearances on wine labels, book and CD covers, magazine illustrations and the Encyclopedia of Jazz. I’ve written over two million words and once wrote an article in 45 minutes about the speed of life which was published just a few days later in the Los Angeles Journal

I am an entrepreneur. As a child, I sold Kool Aid and, later, comic books from a makeshift stand on the sidewalk. During the summers, I grabbed a bucket, sponge and some dishwashing liquid and went door-to-door washing cars. I took my first full-time summer job at 14. I printed my first line of custom greeting cards at 16. I bought my first home at 25 and my second one 11 months later. I have produced and implemented sales and marketing strategies for 100’s of small- and medium-sized businesses along with some of the world’s largest companies.

I am a seeker. My parents bought me a set of Encyclopedia Britannica and, at 7-years old, I started reading them A-to-Z. I have been enrolled in at least one college or university for 19 of the last 30 years. Though I respect my creative talents, business acumen and formal education, I recognize that life’s greatest lessons are learned through our relationships with others and that what we do and how we do it is what matters most. It is my path to learn to live my life as an expression of that awareness in all my actions and words. I am a practicing Buddhist and yogi, which simply means that I’m still working at it.

Why This? Why Now?

When I think of all my on-demand comforts – gasoline, electricity, internet, cell phone, iPad, air conditioning, all-night grocery stores, pre-washed lettuce, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix and every possible 24-hour-on-demand service imaginable – well, deep down inside I know that my lifestyle is simply not socially sustainable. Don’t get me wrong – I love ALL that stuff – it’s just that I recognize that for every person living my lifestyle, it requires thousands of others who live impoverished and slavish lives, often, in remote and far-off regions of our planet.

Add to that the environmental costs of mining, drilling, refining, manufacturing and distribution and the economic burden to earn ever-more money to pay ever-increasing tax, insurance, energy and food costs. It’s like bailing water with a leaky bucket – way too much effort to save a bad boat, better just to save myself.

jakeAnyhow, that’s what I’m doing – saving myself. And my wife and my dog. And maybe a few other like-minded folks that follow along. I’ll be exploring and implementing environmentally, socially and economically sustainable solutions for real-life issues like: water, food, shelter, energy, waste, health and well-being. I’ve researched all I can online – now it’s time to get my hands dirty.

I feel extremely grateful that I am able and willing to step outside my very comfortable life and start this expedition. And that I have a courageous and beautiful partner who feels the same way about our old lifestyle and is willing to help craft our future with her own hands. There are people living sustainable, fulfilling and meaningful lives and we’re going to visit them, live with them for a spell and learn how they do it.

And we’re starting now because yesterday is over and tomorrow never comes. I’ll catch up with you from the road…


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