Raam's Journal

Mojave Desert, California

"More mind-blowing awesomeness! Yours may be the first paid subscription that I will leave to run and run. Most don't make it to month two. You just keep coming up with the goods. Very pleased to have discovered your work in greater depth." ~ Ando Perez

The Journal is a portal to the world where my work is born. It offers insight into my creative process and a perspective that isn't available through my other writing. If you connect with my thoughts and essays, the Journal offers a continuation, a depth and breadth, to that exploration.

Access to the Journal is available through a one-time donation of at least $7, or a monthly or yearly subscription of at least $7/month or $40/year now free. The minimum price was set using reader feedback.

When you subscribe, new Journals will be delivered to your inbox as they're published and an active subscription to the Journal also gives you access to all previously published material through the archives.

As part of my commitment to sustainable abundance, 25% of your monthly subscription will be donated to charity and you will receive a free copy of any paid-products that I release during the lifetime of your subscription.

I offer a lifetime money-back guarantee, so you can cancel your subscription at any time and request a full refund.

A sample Journal entry is available below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the topics you write about?
How often do you publish new material?
Are there archives of previously published material?
How did you determine the minimum contribution amount?
Can I make a one-time donation?
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What are some of the topics you write about?

The writing in my Journal comes from a place of reflection and curiosity, so the topics vary greatly. A common thread you will find throughout the Journal is that of seeking truth, sharing knowledge, and exploring the essence of things.

Here are some of the topics I write about in the Journal:

  • Experiments in creating harmony between nature and technology
  • Musings on personal growth, the future, and what it means to be human
  • Interesting bits of the web that cause me to pause and reflect
  • Thoughts on creating culture and doing business in a globalized society
  • Riffs on working as a generalist, including techniques to learn anything
  • Notes on writing, elegance, design, minimalism, and living nomadically

How often do you publish new material?

You can expect to receive 1 - 2 emails per week. New Journal entries will arrive by email as they're published. You can also select how frequently you want to receive updates by clicking the "update profile" link in the footer of one of the Journal emails.

I don't live my life based on schedules and I never create for the sake of creating; I create when I have something to share. Creating for the sake of creating often results in creating noise and that's something I work hard to avoid.

If you would prefer not to receive emails, you can cancel your email subscription and use the account that comes with your subscription to view new material directly on this site (see Archives).

Are there archives of previously published material?

Yes. Your subscription comes with an account on this site which gives you access to all previously published Journals.

If you have an active subscription, you can login here with your email address. (If you've never logged in, you'll need to reset your password first.)

How did you determine the minimum contribution amount?

The current minimum contribution amount of $7 was not set by me, but rather by my readers. I used a survey to discover what my readers would be willing to pay for this subscription and then used their responses to set the current minimum.

I believe everyone should have the opportunity to be involved in the process of pricing products (especially digital products) and I'm dedicated to using that concept to set the price for all my digital offerings. I refer this concept as permission pricing.

The current minimum contribution amount was set on November 7th, 2011 following a reader survey and may be adjusted following future surveys.

Can I make a one-time donation?

Yes, absolutely! If you donate more than $7, you'll automatically receive an account on this site that gives you access to all previously published material. The length of access you receive will be determined by your donation amount. See the One-Time Donation page.

Lifetime Money-Back Guarantee

I believe in providing value and I trust that you'll be honest about how much value you've received from my work. If you ever feel that our exchange has not been equal, you can cancel your subscription at any time and request a full refund for the lifetime of your subscription.

If you have any questions about the Journal that are not answered here, please ask me.

Sample Journal Entry

A Meeting with the Rebel of My Heart

Published on March 19th, 2012

When was the last time you felt compelled to do something or to change a decision or make a choice that would affect a previously envisioned outcome? When was the last time your own thoughts presented you with the option to overrule yourself?

What action did you take? Did you take any action at all, or did you just listen and then push aside those rebellious, troublemaking thoughts?

I catch myself at times ignoring my inner voice and 'sticking with what I know' because what I know offers a clear outcome, a previously fleshed out series of actions and reactions, a 'plan' that I had previously set in motion and committed to following through with until the end.

But then from nowhere a rebel appears. It starts as a whisper of a thought, easily snuffed out and put in its rightful place in one fell swoop. I return to being sure of myself, confident that my life is in order and that I know where I'm going and what I'm doing.

But then it comes back again, stronger and louder this time, more persistent and sure of itself. It seems to be trying to tell me that my vision of the future is no longer in alignment with what's real, as if it was privy to a bit of information about what lies ahead.

These inner rebels are easy to ignore. They rise up and rebel for seemingly no sensible reason at all, as if their only purpose for rebelling was for the sake of rebelling.

Self-doubt and fear are common rebels that attempt to start a revolution at the intersection of every big decision, every life-changing opportunity.

I've become accustom to the little rebels showing up when I've committed to something, but I'm also learning to cooperate with them, to hear them out and listen to what they have to say.

In doing this I've discovered that all inner rebels are not made equal. Some of them actually have valuable information and practical arguments to present.

Eight months ago I made the mental commitment to hike the Appalachian Trail for my 30th birthday. Hiking the trail is something I've wanted to do since I first learned about it as a child.

I now had the freedom in my life to undertake such an adventure and I was feeling the need for an extended period of exposure to raw nature. In every way, this decision made a lot of sense.

For the next six months I woke up every day thinking about how I would soon be waking up in a tent on the trail, looking forward to spending the entire day hiking in nature. It was an exhilarating thought and every day I felt more motivated than the previous.

However, there were two unforeseeable events that took place during those six months: My sister became pregnant with her second child and a few months after that I was offered a job doing online community support for a WordPress plugin (money has been tight since I quit my job two years ago, and this was the ultimate location-independent opportunity).

My sister never asks me for anything, so when she asked me to be there for the birth of my niece, I knew that I couldn't say no.

The inner rebels appeared shortly after each of these events, but I took care of them. I wasn't going to let their rebelliousness affect my decision to do something that I've always wanted to do.

I could still make the AT hike work out: I'd just fly back in late April when my niece is born and then return and continue the trail.

For my new job, I'd bring a solar panel, a laptop, and a mobile data card so that I could get online every evening and work for a few hours. I'd make the entire adventure a big experiment and document five months of working online and hiking the Appalachian Trail.

As the start date of March 20th grew closer, I found myself building a routine of taking daily walks in the local state forest, walking for several hours and imagining myself already on the trail.

I spent a lot of time creating the mental attitude that would be necessary to spend 8-10 hours a day for 4-5 months hiking outside.

In the process, more rebels appeared. They seemed to come from every direction, vying for my attention and getting louder and more restless with each passing day.

Amongst the chaos there was one rebel who stood out from the rest. He seemed calm and collected and spoke from a place of serenity. In the process of dealing with the inner turmoil of the other rebels, I was attracted to this rebel. I wanted to know how he was so calm and sure of himself.

We met in a place away from the rest, a quiet and peaceful meeting spot, and I listened with an open mind and an open heart.

"The world has changed since you decided to hike the AT. It no longer looks like the world you envisioned when you made that decision."

"What do you mean?"

"If you hike the Appalachian Trail now, you'll need to interrupt your hike to come back to visit your sister. You've always wanted your first hike to be a true thru-hike, a non-stop hike from start to finish. You're compromising that principal by trying to juggle your envisioned world-view with that of what the world is actually turning out to look like."

Everything was starting to make sense now.

"Your new job gives you certain responsibilities that require you to be online at least every weekday; what would happen if you can't get Internet access on the trail? The risk of being unable to fulfill your responsibilities would create inner conflict that would prevent you from enjoying the hike. In fact, not only would you not enjoy the hike, you wouldn't enjoy the job either as it would feel like the source of this conflict."

This rebel was right. In my attempt to hold onto the way I envisioned the future, I was ignoring the obvious: The time was no longer right and as a result, my heart was no longer in it.

This wasn't a rebel of self-doubt or fear; he was the rebel of my heart watching out for me, trying to save me from doing something that was no longer in alignment with my soul.

I believe our soul speaks to us when we're ready to listen. It won't speak in a loud and obnoxious tone. It won't push and shove and jump up and down until we notice it like all the other rebels. It will sit calmly and speak from a place of peace and tranquility. It knows what's real and only wants the best for us.

This why I feel meditation is so important (and why I'm working to develop a regular meditation habit): By creating inner peace and calming our mind, we can hear our heart and soul; the windshield of our intuition becomes clear and we're able to see what's ahead without all the bugs of doubt and fear splattered all over the place.

When the rebel of your heart speaks, invite it to a peaceful place, sit down, and listen.

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