SSS #209: DON'T Keep That Funk Alive


Here's a quote worth sharing...

“Home is not where you were born; home is where all your attempts to escape cease.”

— Naguib Mahfouz


Livin' La Vida Luna y Luca

Pumpkin Picking
Pumpkin Picking

Candid shot while pumpkin picking. 🥹

Don't Keep That Funk Alive

I'm in a funk right now...

I can tell I'm miserable to be around.

I can put on a mask and pretend everything is OK for an hour or two at a time, but in general - I'm not in a great place and I'm only showing my true self to Dia, Luna, & Luca.

This happens to me once every 6-8 months.

The culprits are so obvious, but they get me every time

  • Gluttony / Poor Diet Decisions
  • Greed / Comparison
  • Doubt / Mindless Scrolling
  • Chaos / Messy Environment


We're going to the Bahamas in a week and I made a conscious effort to dial in my nutrition and fitness routine over the past few months.

I didn't quite achieve the look I was going for so as of 10/1, I started to self-sabotage with pumpkin-flavored Oreos between meals and fat bowls of cereal before bed.

These foods obviously don't make me feel great, but spiking my sugar is the least of my worries.

The real concern is ignoring my goal, not wanting to eat it, telling myself I probably shouldn't eat it, and then eating it anyway. That repetitive undisciplined action is a negative vote for the person I'm trying to be.

Greed / Comparison

2022 was a record year.

But, I have yet to make a single dollar for myself in 2023.

We're under contract to sell our first new construction project for a record-setting price and this one transaction will likely rival the 3 projects I exited in 2022.

Sounds good, right?

Then why am I in this downward spiral of comparing myself to people I don't even know who claim (hard to verify) to be doing better than me financially?

Doubt / Mindless Scrolling

Every night, Dia and I watch an episode of something before she drifts away to sleep around 9:30pm.

When she rolls away from the iPad to pass out. I open up Instagram or Twitter and before I know it, it's 10:45pm.

I don't stop there - I'll then put the iPad away and break out my Kindle to feel less guilty and read until 11:15pm.

Then what inevitably happens is I try to sleep until the last possible moment. I wake up to Luca and Luna running into my room screaming, "Daddyyyy!!!"

It sounds great on paper, but most parents would confirm: if you're waking up after your kids, you'll be playing from behind all morning. And no, you're not Tom Brady in Super Bowl 51.

Chaos / Messy Environment

Our housekeeper comes weekly. We spend 30 minutes every morning and evening "tidying up". Dia has been on a tear ridding our closets and garage of stuff we don't want or need.

Despite all the effort, it almost seems like it's never enough.

Here's what the railing at our first-floor landing looks like right now.

Railing or Coat Closet
A railing or Coat Closet?

This took less than 36 hours to accumulate, but I can see it staying like this (or getting worse) until our housekeeper comes back.

Don't Cry For Me...

This is not an attempt at throwing a pity party. Please do not feel bad for me. My life is pretty perfect and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I married a strong, smart, beautiful woman. My kids are healthy. I keep close relationships with most of my family and many friends.

I will snap out of this. I always do. Most of the heavy lifting is simply recognizing there's a problem, labeling it as such, and working through it one by one.


Sometimes eating the cookie is the difference between staying on track and flying off the rails. Restriction is great - until it's not. I just need to get into a better mental space before I allow myself these unforced errors.

Greed / Comparison

I have to stop measuring the gap and instead focus on appreciating the gain.

I went from being fully dependent on my wife's income and zero-ing myself out in 2017 to achieving a top 5% income in 2022.

Are there people ahead of me? Of course. There always will be. When I'm in a better headspace, I look at those individuals as aspirational and I enjoy studying them so I can improve my own game.

Doubt / Mindless Scrolling

This is the easiest problem to solve. I already took social media off my phone, now I just need to take it off our iPad.

Maybe even take it one step further and stop bringing the iPad into the room. We can watch our nightly episode in the living room and keep our bedroom device-free.

Chaos / Messy Environment

When Bradley Cooper takes the pill in the movie Limitless, the VERY first thing he does is clean his apartment.

When I'm feeling more like myself, I see physical clutter as an opportunity to mentally unpack my shit.

I loathe washing dishes, but I have to admit there's a unique sense of satisfaction when I dismantle a mountain of dirty dishes down to a sparking clean sink.

In fact, I did that just before writing this entire post and outlined the entire thing in my head while doing it.

Invite Mara to Tea

Like I said earlier, this "funk" rears its ugly head every 6-8 months.

Over the past two years, I've gotten really good at identifying it, labeling it, and working through it.

Some of that has to do with therapy and some of it has to do with trying different "strategies" I've found in resources recommended to me along the way.

My favorite strategy is something called, Inviting Mara to Tea. It's an idea I picked up from a book called, Radical Acceptance by Tara Broch.

I can only hope it impacts you as much as it has me.


One of my favorite stories of the Buddha shows the power of a wakeful and friendly heart. The night before his enlightenment, the Buddha fought a great battle with the Demon God Mara, who attacked the then bodhisattva Siddhartha Guatama with everything he had: lust, greed, anger, doubt, etc. Having failed, Mara left in disarray on the morning of the Buddha’s enlightenment.
Yet, it seems Mara was only temporarily discouraged. Even after the Buddha had become deeply revered throughout India, Mara continued to make unexpected appearances.
Instead of ignoring Mara or driving him away, the Buddha would calmly acknowledge his presence, saying, “I see you, Mara.”
He would then invite him for tea and serve him as an honored guest. Offering Mara a cushion so that he could sit comfortably, the Buddha would fill two earthen cups with tea, place them on the low table between them, and only then take his own seat. Mara would stay for a while and then go, but throughout the Buddha remained free and undisturbed.
When Mara visits us, in the form of troubling emotions or fearsome stories, we can say, “I see you, Mara,” and clearly recognize the reality of craving and fear that lives in each human heart. By accepting these experiences with the warmth of compassion, we can offer Mara tea rather than fearfully driving him away.