dean and rasta wisdom

Leave it to a self-described not quite Rastafarian to tell it like it is.

Dean.

He calls everybody Man.

He smokes weed, reads the Bible and meditates every day.

He lives a very simple life on the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize. Cares for a woman’s yard and flowers in exchange for board.

And he can’t understand why the rest of us have so much stuff.

One of his four sisters lives in Brooklyn and is a special education teacher. To hear him talk about her you’d think she lives on Jupiter. Dean visited the States once and couldn’t take the pace and lifestyle. Too much goin on, man.

As you know, retreat life was quiet, simple, and uncluttered. It was just what I needed to unlayer some of my habits of busyness and reconnect with the essentials.

My conversations with Dean helped deepen these reflections.  Aside from his iPod (which is non-negotiable because he’s got to have da music) Dean’s possessions are few. He worked in the jungle as a researcher for 7 years and had to travel light. Having a bunch of stuff is also counter to his faith: God, nature, and kindness are all der is.

The morning of my departure Dean and I were chatting over breakfast at the bar.

An, man, yu peepole ar always on da compewtr, he said emphatically, throwing rasta signs with his arms.

Oh that. I admitted to being one of those peepole.

Why would you do that, man? The world is so beautiful. I want to be outside, in nature, or reading one of my spiritual books. I don’t get it, man. Everybody checking out and missing this beautiful world.

I slid my cell phone across the place mat and under my hat. And truth be told, I had two other computers in my bag: my laptop which I’d brought to check in on studio stuff (thankfully I wasn’t able to do much of that) and an iPad that sweet Bubby brought to give me for my birthday.

This hits a nerve because it’s balance I’m continually trying to negotiate.

Simplify. What does that mean?

Usually what comes up for me is get rid of it all! Sell everything, move to Belize and live in the moment happily ever after.

I tend toward extremes in situations like these.

Here’s what I’m trying instead: we returned the iPad (I don’t need another reason/way to be on the computer); had a Feng Shui consultation (if you’re in Sacramento, Jodi is amazing); and I’m dramatically simplifying my schedule (recess).

The last thing? I’m going to devote my online work life to exploring this im/balance. If you haven’t signed up for news and notifications on my new project, you can do so here. I’m planning to launch in February.

***

How do you keep things real and simple? What unexpected people or moments have helped you deepen your understanding of yourself? What do you consider to be your life philosophy?

Finally, let’s throw it down to my friend, Dean… Absolute Love, man.

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9 Responses to “dean and rasta wisdom”


  1. 1 Keleigh January 27, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    gosh i love you.
    <3

  2. 2 Jennifer Souza January 27, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    I’m struck by the ‘mirror image’ the two of you created. The face-hand-shoulder-body type-expression…..very interesting!

  3. 3 leili January 28, 2011 at 3:32 am

    “Everybody checking out and missing this beautiful world.” Why does he have to be so right? :)

    So, so right. I spent the last two weeks completely backwards. I devoured the internet (the entirety of it) reading about successful people doing their respective “things,” hoping that some piece of their knowledge/experience would help me with my “thing.” I finally said to myself last night that unless my “thing” is to be some sort of internet researcher, I’ve got to stop the reading and just…do. Be. Do be do be do.

    I’m glad that you’ll be exploring the im/balance. Hoping I can find my own balance, too.

    Also, I’m so jazzed that you had a Feng Shui consultation. Enjoy!

  4. 4 Atividade Ras(Sa)lutar January 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Glory to the Most High, JAH!!
    One Love! Max respect!
    Positive vibration from Brasil.
    One hug to I&I.

  5. 5 JennaFrancisco January 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    So true. Thanks for sharing.

  6. 6 Tian Jones January 28, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I became friends with Dean at the retreat as well and his simplicity was almost too much to take. I found myself making judgements about it and thinking he is missing out or not being responsible. Yet he connects with people so easily and has no judgements of othere and is very happy as long as he can follow his spiritual path, which is love.

    This was further proof to me that our judgements come from our own fear and projections and we can let go of knowing what anything is really for. When we do we can open our hearts to experiencing life as Dean does no matter where we live.

  7. 7 Frenzy36 January 29, 2011 at 1:25 am

    I’d hope there is some balance point, I really am inspired and cheered by many of the people I follow & read.

    There is the internet addiction side to be sure, but our challenge always comes back to balance. Relationships, work, goals, it’s not easy but experience has taught me it has to be a blend

  8. 8 Jenna February 15, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Just wanted to add that I read this post and shared it with joao at the hospital waiting for the baby to be born. I found it truly inspirational. Thank you.

  9. 9 Mathew July 26, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Thanks on your marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you
    are a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back down the road.
    I want to encourage continue your great writing, have a nice
    evening!


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