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Rob Kaiser

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About Rob Kaiser

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  1. Thank you, Sean. I sincerely appreciate you taking time out of your day to read this. I wish you the best of luck on your journeys as well and hope that we keep in touch wherever our individual successes lead us.
  2. Secrets of the Morel Mushroom

    For someone new to mushrooms and foraging, this was a great read. Thank you!
  3. Physical Fitness 101

    I’m not so sure what happened with your reply, Steve. If you would like me to check in with the moderators and/or editors of Brink of Freedom, please let me know.
  4. Organic / Local / Nutrition / Community

    Thanks Nick! I appreciate you taking the time to read the article. Getting it from our own backyard is as local as it gets!
  5. Deliberate Sacrifice and Personal Economics

    Thank you for your comment, Matt. Good on you for being debt free and having that emergency fund in place. I appreciate you reading my article and being a part of Brink of Freedom!
  6. Chronic Medical Conditions and a Shift in Perspective (Part 1)

    Steve, I appreciate you reading the article. I am looking into alternative and adjunct therapies in addition to traditional allopathic doctors.
  7. *Life* and a Shift in Perspective (Part 2)

    Hi Brooke, you are most certainly welcome for the article. The quote you referenced, “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be” is an amazing quote indeed. I couldn't agree more with you about the letting go of consumerism, debt and our typical understanding of money/wealth and it's role in our lives (especially with regard to the Federal Reserve). Spending time with friends, family and community truly *is* important. Many thanks for taking the time to read my article and comment on it! I appreciate it.
  8. *Life* and a Shift in Perspective (Part 2)

    Steve, thank you for taking the time to read the article. I appreciate it! I'll definitely look into reading Edgar Cayce and his various works. I will be in touch with you regarding some specific questions. Thanks!
  9. Independence Day

    9 years ago. This “Facebook memory” popped up today in my news feed while having coffee and relaxing on this long holiday weekend. It is a long weekend on account of: Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and were no longer part of the British Empire.[1] The Congress actually voted to declare independence two days earlier, on July 2. This is a photo I took of myself long before selfies were a thing. I was working as a consulting utility forester, working with major gas/electric utility systems to address their vegetation management needs. Much of this involved working and walking alone to assess the terrain, habitat, and environmental conditions where the work needed to take place – it was a great job. If you’re interested in learning more about this type of work, visit this site here. There are so many times that I think about what activities I’ve chosen to engage in for a primary source of income over the years. While the decisions I’ve made and the actions that I’ve taken have never resulted in what many would consider a large income stream – they have resulted in happiness and a good quality of life. This year, I will turn 40. As part of my personal wellness program, I see a counselor regularly. One thing I recently observed is that I *never* find myself bitching or complaining about my work. I’ve created a life where I’ve spent half of my years on this planet working outdoors during all seasons. It seemed natural. However, it wasn’t good enough. For the last few years, I began voraciously “chasing my dream” of becoming the next rock star market farmer, permaculture farm designer, community organizer, green industry entrepreneur, writer, blogger, content creator, or whatever else I found myself focusing on at that time. Much of this work was performed to my own detriment. I pursued the “good cause” and failed to embrace many of these principles I stood and for and preached in my own life – specifically “self care.” The article titled “Why Many Farmers Eat Like Crap” sums it up very nicely. I began to hate my #hustle. This year, I decided this year to step back from the pursuit of those dreams. The reality is that many of those dreams were little else other than someone *else’s* dreams that I admired. I’ve shifted focus to living the life *I* am living…now and in this moment. It’s all I’ve ever done and all that I know how to do. One man whose dreams I was chasing was Curtis Stone. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Curtis and the work that he’s done. He’s a mentor and a friend. He has always advised people to keep their ideology in their back pocket. I’m going to take this a step further and suggest you put your dreams there too. That’s not so say that you should leave them there, but sometimes it’s important to take time and reevaluate what you are chasing and why. Sometimes, when we get so caught up in the #hustle, we lose sight of the life we’ve been actively creating for ourselves. Let’s give ourselves some credit every once in a while. Rather than tirelessly chase dreams, think about the dreams you’re chasing. Why are you chasing these dreams in the first place? What’s you’re purpose in life? If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? You don’t necessarily need to figure it all out right now, because it’s also very easy to sit around getting nothing done while contemplating your navel and the universe. However, I do encourage getting these thoughts down on a regular basis. This will help you identify the purpose in mission is your life. The why. Last September, I wrote a blog post titled, Three Primary Components of a Deliberate Living System. This post and many others like it helped me determine my why. Blog posts since then have been sporadic at best and the weekly email I used to send also seemed to lose its’ purpose. It began to show in my work. It bothered me, but I soon decided that I needed to do what’s best for me. I needed to begin practicing self-care first. All of this is relevant and culminates in the content of this long blog post that I find myself writing today. It is relevant because the development and creation of Deliberate Living Systems was based (in part) on the idea of self-sufficiency, freedom, and independence. As we read at the beginning of the article, “Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and were no longer part of the British Empire.[1] The Congress actually voted to declare independence two days earlier, on July 2.” As the forefathers of this country declared independence from the British Empire, I find myself continually thinking about ways that I wish to declare independence from the systems of support and the mindsets that I know. I am my own sovereign being and I encourage each and every person that reads this to understand that this is the truth – but only if you want it to be and allow it to happen in your own way. You cannot live through other people’s dreams… …you must find your own. You must find your purpose. You must find your way. You are creating your own Deliberate Living System. The primary components that comprise your systems will change, but before you can recognize this as truth, you need to understand and identify what those components are in the first place. I’d encourage you to take some time and do so this weekend. There is no better time to celebrate Independence Day than to figure out what it is that you seek independence from and how and why you seek it. Declare your independence today and celebrate the life you are actively creating. Moreover, share it with someone and talk about what you’re doing to make it happen. Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend. Live deliberately, my friends. The post "Independence Day" appeared first on Deliberate Living Systems.
  10. Objective This series of blog posts will document and share my medical experiences. I’m doing this for several reasons, first and foremost – after this most recent visit with the doctor, I’m realizing my memory issues are real and potentially getting becoming more serious than I initially thought. Secondly, by openly sharing my experiences it may potentially help people. I’d like to think that the way in which I write allows for a broad audience to identify with different things that I say or write. On the same note, I’ve recently learned that what I say and how I say it can come across at times as offensive, harsh, or abrasive. I also make no apologies for this. My reality is that I’m (brutally) honest. I speak without a filter. The beauty of the written word is that I can go back and edit my words much more easily than when spoken. History Many people reading this may not know my story, so I’ll try and provide some background and context without going into too much unnecessary detail. My name is Rob Kaiser. At the time of this writing on March 08, 2017 – I am 39 years old, living in Medina, Ohio. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. For all intents and purposes, I lived an average childhood with amazing parents in upper middle class suburbia. At the age of 13, the summer before going into the 8th grade, I was diagnosed with a chronic neurological disease known as epilepsy. Epilepsy As I do in many writings, I look at Wikipedia as a base line for something I am discussing – and I will do the same in this blog post. As defined by Wikipedia, Epilepsy is a group of neurological disorders characterized by epileptic seizures.[1][2] Epileptic seizures are episodes that can vary from brief and nearly undetectable to long periods of vigorous shaking.[3] These episodes can result in physical injuries including occasionally broken bones.[3] In epilepsy, seizures tend to recur and as a rule, have no immediate underlying cause.[1] Isolated seizures that are provoked by a specific cause such as poisoning are not deemed to represent epilepsy.[4] People with epilepsy in some areas of the world experience stigma due to the condition.[3] Treatment Within the community of epilepsy, you will find many other ways to define epilepsy, but for the purposes of this blog post, this will suffice. When I was first diagnosed as a child, the initial treatment was a prescription for Tegretol, otherwise known as Carbamazepine. As defined by Wikipedia, Carbamazepine (CBZ), sold under the tradename Tegretol among others, is a medication used primarily in the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathic pain.[2] It is not effective for absence seizures or myoclonic seizures. It is used in schizophrenia along with other medications and as a second line agent in bipolar disorder.[2] Carbamazepine appears to work as well as phenytoin and valproate.[3][4] Almost immediately, use of the medication was discontinued due to what is referred to as an “adverse event” (skin peeling off hands, loss of hair, falling out in patches on head, and severe itching that would leave me writhing on the ground. The second option in my treatment was the prescription of (or as it is stated in my medical records, I was “initiated” on) Depakote, otherwise known as Valproate. Per Wikipedia, Valproate (VPA), and its valproic acid, sodium valproate, and divalproex sodium forms, are medications primarily used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder and to prevent migraine headaches.[2] It is useful for the prevention of seizures in those with absence seizures, partial seizures, and generalized seizures. It can be given intravenously or by mouth. Long and short acting formulations exist.[2] Side Effects Historically, the dosages I had been prescribed would be considered a “medium” dose. Blood levels taken twice a year indicate that I wasn’t quite on the “high” side, but also not quite on the “low” side. In addition to making sure that the medication levels were deemed acceptable by the neurologists, levels of many other things are monitored due to what one of my neurologists has referred to as “the toxicity of the medicine.” Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and a dry mouth. Serious side effects can include liver problems and regular monitoring of liver function tests is therefore recommended. Other serious risks include pancreatitis and an increased suicide risk. It is known to cause serious abnormalities in the baby if taken during pregnancy. Because of this it is not typically recommended in women of childbearing age who have migraines. It is unclear how valproate works.[2] Moreover, valproate (also known as the trade name Depakote, which I have taken for +25 years) decreases cognitive function (this is especially noticeable in my experience), negatively impacts metabolic functioning, and has the potential to cause premature osteoporosis. In a nutshell, it is believed that high dosages of anti-convulsants (including Depakote) lead to decreased bone mineral density which may contribute to the early onset of osteoporosis. There’s a vast amount of material to cite, and for the sake of the blog post I’ll simply guide you here, here, and here. It wasn’t until I moved to California in 2011 that I began to learn about the severity of the side effects of Depakote. Given the lifestyle I have led and plan on continuing to lead, early onset osteoporosis and liver damage do not sound very appealing. As I age and approach 40 years, the benchmark of 50 years of age regarding closer monitoring of bone density no longer seems that far off in the future. Health and Wellness In the next blog post, I’ll share my experience of how I began experimenting with some alternative and adjunct therapies for the treatment of epilepsy. To conclude this blog post, while the side effects of the medicine I’ve been taking for +25 years were always communicated to me, I suppose I never fully understood how these could affect me in the long term. It took me 20 years to really begin taking my health and wellness into consideration. We’ll pick up on health, wellness, and the stereotypical California lifestyle next time… The post Chronicles of a Chronic Neurological Condition (Part 1) appeared first on Deliberate Living Systems.
  11. 48 Days

    What does 48 days mean to you? For me…today – 48 days is the length of time that has passed since I felt compelled to take the time and bang out one Pomodoro of writing (thanks FocusTime app) for a blog post. To calculate the duration between two dates, I simply used this website here. I frequent this site regularly and it’s very easy to use. There’s your daily dose of nerd…you’re very welcome. Deliberate Living System Moving forward…as soon as I sat down this evening, I wondered what to write. Previously, I had told myself that I would consistently write about one of the Three Primary Components of a Deliberate Living System. These are the Seven Dimensions of Wellness, Permaculture, and Entrepreneurship – and you can read more about that in the blog post linked to above. However, tonight – I wanted to wing it. I determined the date and immediately I thought about the book 48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal, by Dan Miller. While I haven’t read this book in its’ entirety, over the past few years, I’ve run with a crowd that had a big entrepreneurial lean. The Amazon description reads as follows: In 2009, the U.S. unemployment rate approached ten percent. Today, when new work is found, it may not be traditional. Studies estimate half of the American workforce will soon consist of freelancers, consultants, independent contractors, entreprenuers, “electronic immigrants,” and so forth. Are you ready for the new normal? The New Normal Like you, I’ve been spending the last few years preparing for a new normal of my own. Books such as this have given me the insight needed to continue thinking outside of the box. This type of thinking I am referring to isn’t really the cliché corporate-speak “think outside of the box.” The shift in perspective over the past few years has been a bit more complex than just some thoughts outside of said box. Seeing as books like this gave me a little insight into this paradigm shift, I made sure to read them. I couldn’t get enough. Perhaps you could even refer to what I was doing was “paralysis by analysis.” Then, the urge to “Get Shit Done” bit and I stepped it up. Finding Balance Not unlike my climb on the corporate ladder resulting in burnout after a few years, I experienced a bit of burnout while chasing the side hustle. Conversations with friends who were doing the same turned from #hustle to #joyandhappiness. Last year was yet another year full of growth and development of my very own Deliberate Living System. The #hustle has been put on the sidelines for a little while. More than a few projects have been put on the backburner. I am making a conscious effort to live “life on life’s terms” – but not in a reactive and mildly negative way that it can seem like when Dave Ramsey speaks of this…but more of “life on life’s terms” to ensure I am able to experience the full beauty that life really is. As we all pursue the path of our own individual #hustle…let us never forget to pursue the path of #joyandhappiness. For if we forget to find the balance, we begin to soon become too involved in the details of our life, rather than look at our life as something to be experienced. We may begin to lose sight of the forest on account of all the trees. The post 48 Days appeared first on Deliberate Living Systems.
  12. A History of the Sunday Review (Part 2)

    Part 2 of A History of the Sunday Review is where we look at where we are now. This is only appropriate seeing as we read about where we came from in Part 1. You can read Part 1 of A History of the Sunday Review here. As previously stated, the first installment of the Sunday Review contained: What’s New in the Blog The Great Void Current Reading Material What’s Coming Up This Week (Lunar References) Life on Life’s Terms The reality is that the business and the lifestyle that Deliberate Living Systems was founded to embody wasn’t happening in the time frame that I wanted. I was forced to deal with life on life’s terms. I realized I am no different or special than anyone else. Also, I realized that one of the best coping mechanisms I found was to share it all with you in the form of a blog. Deliberate Living Systems was formed during a very driven time in my life. During the past two years, I began to feel the familiar drifting feeling again. Much of this was reflected in what I wrote. The DLS blog lacked direction and blog posts encompassed a wide variety of topics. Recognizing this pattern, I wrote about it and my observations in a separate blog post here. Drifting vs. Driven Continued reflection on this drifting vs driven element led to the creation and development of what I like to refer to as the Three Primary Components of a Deliberate Living System. This blog post was important for several reasons. It helped me identify what was important to me, and the best way that I could share this message and interact with YOU while doing so. I wrote: I am not interested in content specific to the green industry. I’ve struggled with explaining what Deliberate Living Systems is to people. It’s been challenging to accurately describe the mission and and vision behind Deliberate Living Systems. A company formed as a direct action of attempting to implement permaculture into my life and the lives of others, the mission and vision has been equally difficult to define. The content created has validated this statement…in the best way possible. While this is an admirable statement, sometimes I wonder if the reality is that when it comes down to business, people may actually WANT specificity. However, I also understand that much depends on the particular circumstance and nature of the work. One thing is for certain though…I am not ready or prepared to move forward with Deliberate Living Systems full time. Originally, the idea was for the side hustle to become the main hustle. While this may still be the idea, the time frames have changed dramatically based on the reality of life on life’s terms. So, here we are, making adjustments to the original plan, improvising, and overcoming…but an even better way of looking at this may be best described by Bruce Lee, “Be like water.” Be water, my friend. Stay tuned for Part 3. The post A History of the Sunday Review (Part 2) appeared first on Deliberate Living Systems.
  13. A History of the Sunday Review (Part 1)

    (Photo Courtesy of: Caleb Schuster Photogrophy) The very first Deliberate Living Systems email was sent in October of 2015. After presenting at the 2015 Fall Farm Workshop, hosted by J&S Poly Farms – an email list seemed like the best way to keep in touch with all the great new friends who attended my Basic Fall Plant Propagation presentation. It was a great way to keep in touch with everyone and give a big thank you to everyone who supported Steve Harbolt, his family and the other presenters. Initially, I was slow to send emails with regularity for the remainder of the 2015 calendar year. As we moved into 2016, I was sending weekly emails and sharing them throughout social media. In January and February, I was invited to speak about Permaculture and subsequently began asking people if they wanted to be a keep in touch via email…and the community grew. By mid-February, I announced to my core group of fans – that the email list was changing. There was more interest in Deliberate Living Systems, and I decided to integrate the J&S Poly Farm email list with everyone else that attended speaking events, along with a few customers, and other people who had signed up on account of interest garnered via social media. (Photo Courtesy of: Launch and Hustle) During the months of March, April, and May – the emails contained a good variety of content, and were slightly easier to assemble than regular blog posts, which was important, because time was something that I was lacking. However, while the method of delivery may have been easier for me to compile, I felt that the emails were becoming increasingly difficult to read. The more I learned, the more I wanted to share…but all of this content in an email was cumbersome. Personally, if I can’t process an email in two minutes, it is turned into a task to be addressed at a later time (based on my task / project management protocol). I decided to address this content in periodic blog posts, and then simply link to them in the weekly email. Many of the mentors and people I had been following assembled their emails in a similar manner. I was trying to implement patterns I was noticing within my own work. Some people who inspired changes to content creation and email delivery were Diego Footer, Geoff Lawton, Michael Hyatt, Paul Wheaton (via Permies.com), John Ackley, Daniel Vitalis, and Tim Ferriss. I tried to assemble emails in an easy to read format, especially on a smartphone. I wanted to provide as much information as possible, in an easily-digestible format, in a way that allowed the reader to access what they wanted, when they wanted, and how they wanted. The result was the very first installment of “The Sunday Review” on Sunday June 19, 2016 (see here). At that time, the Sunday Review contained What’s New in the Blog The Great Void Current Reading Material What’s Coming Up This Week (Lunar References) Stay tuned for more history on the Sunday Review! The post A History of the Sunday Review (Part 1) appeared first on Deliberate Living Systems.
  14. If you’re not self-employed, what is your side hustle? Do you even have a side hustle? I didn’t until August of 2014. Dream Less than six months after attending the first Permaculture Voices Conference, I finally put some visions and dreams into action and founded Deliberate Living Systems, LLC. My permaculture mentors, Geoff Lawton, Mark Shepard, Jack Spirko, Diego Footer, and many others promoted the idea of profitable permaculture through entrepreneurship as the most effective way to fully integrate the ethics and principles of permaculture into our lives. Build For several years, I have had my name listed on the International Society of Arboriculture Find an Arborist website. Periodically, I was able to get a side job as an arborist consultation. It was a way to capitalize on a life-long skill set in the green industry. The intense exploration of Permaculture, attendance at the first annual Permaculture Voices Conference in March 2014, taking a PDC in April/May of 2014 led me to thinking obsessively about permaculture design and application in the landscape…every landscape. Hustle In August 2014, I found myself observing and interacting with an arborist consult customer. During our post-consult discussion, we began talking about landscape design. By the end of the conversation, I had upsold a simple arborist consultation into a landscape design based on permaculture principles for their suburban lot. Deliberate Living Systems was born. Succeed That winter, much time, effort and energy went into the mission and the vision of Deliberate Living Systems. The broad vision needed to be refined. There has been a lot of growth, development and transition since August 2014. Much of that time was spent kicking myself over the failures that I made. However, Joel Salatin has been quoted as saying, The opposite of success is not filing, it is quitting. Joy and Happiness I’ve heard that people say, “If you trade time for money, you’ll never find freedom.” I’m still doing this, but I’m working hard to change that. Whether or not I’ll ever be able to fully do so, I’m not sure, but in the meantime, I’m working hard to find a way to do things that bring me joy and happiness while trading time for money. If you don’t have a side hustle, what’s stopping you? If you do have a side hustle, what’s driving you to continue pushing through adversity? What keeps you putting one foot in front of the other on the road to entrepreneurship? What does the road to entrepreneurship even look like to you? Please comment below or email me here to share. Share this blog post on your own social media below and keep the conversation going! The post Entrepreneurship – Employment and Self Employment appeared first on Deliberate Living Systems.
  15. Social Wellness and Social Media

    In a recent blog post titled, Three Primary Components of a Deliberate Living System[1], we read that these components are the Seven Dimensions of Wellness, Permaculture, Entrepreneurship. Today, we’re discussing Social Wellness and Social Media. Social Wellness Social Wellness is the ability to relate to and connect with other people in our world. Our ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers contributes to our Social Wellness.[2] We relate to and connect with other people in our world a number of different ways. Over the past century, these ways have changed dramatically. Over the past few decades, the change has been even greater. Currently we are experiencing one of the most monumental shifts regarding our own humanity. This shift is perhaps most noticeable with regard to technology and human connectivity. Connectivity with humans has become integrated with social media. Social Media Let’s examine the term “social media” Social: Media: Combined: Social media Personal Social Media Usage I am a user of the following social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The only accounts that are personalized to/for myself are Twitter and LinkedIn. The way in which I use Facebook and Instagram is via business and/or organization pages, where I create and/or moderate the contact that is shown on those various pages. Social Media Usage Experimentation For years, I maintained a personal Facebook account. I also struggled with my inability to effectively manage the way I used it. I allowed it to be a tremendous time suck. Accordingly, on two separate occasions I have “left” Facebook (aka “Hotel California”). Facebook makes this very easy to do. We have the ability to check out any time we like, but unless we actually delete our account, we can’t ever leave. Disabling your account just puts everything “on hold.” The first time I “left” was in mid-2012. At that time, there were various reasons for doing so (if you’re curious, just comment below or shoot me a message here), and after approximately 8 months I re-enabled it. The act of leaving Facebook was a great social experiment. Try it. Currently, I am in the process of another personal Facebook hiatus. I left Facebook approximately 6 months ago and have enjoyed my time away from it. Again, I’m still using business and organization pages, but very deliberately. Over the past few months, I’ve received feedback on my decisions – both positive and negative. Social media, and it’s integration in the lives we lead and the shift in the societal norm is really quite fascinating. It’s easier to review this while slightly removed. In addition to feedback regarding my presence (or lack thereof) on social media – there’s also been a lot of discussion about it with friends, acquaintances, and business partners. Again, fascinating conversation on many levels for various reasons. Have you experimented with the way you use social media? If you have, I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below or email me here to share. Share this blog post on your own social media below and keep the conversation going! The post Social Wellness and Social Media appeared first on Deliberate Living Systems. [1] http://www.deliberatelivingsystems.com/three-primary-components-deliberate-living-system/ [2] https://wellness.ucr.edu/seven_dimensions.html
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