On Sabbatical

As of March 4, 2017 I’ve stopped all online publishing. This includes my websites and social media accounts. No blog posts, no tweets, no status updates. I’m nonline. I expect this to last at least a year. In that time, I’ll be writing. My goal for that writing is to become a book.
My newsletter, being email, will be my primary means of communication with folks “out there” (that’s you). I will continue to share occasional and infrequent updates, thoughts, and missives there along with information about the project and how you can pre-order the book when done.

The Begging Bowl

The Begging Bowl (or sometimes referred to as a Alms Bowl or Monk’s Bowl) is one of the few possessions a Buddhist Monk has. It is a practical object, used as a bowl in which to collect alms (either money or food) from lay supporters. Many monks rely solely on the kindness and generosity of others to survive.
This is my bowl…
As of March 4, 2017 I’ve stopped all online publishing. In my own way, I’ve gone into solitude and trusting my continued sustenance into the hands of those that wish to support my efforts. Here are ways to fill my bowl:

Other ways to fill my bowl…

Extending one’s bowl takes a tremendous amount of trust in both directions. The monastic trusts that there are those that wish to make a small donation to support their practice and the giver trusts they’ll have something of value to give back to the world upon return — this is the basis of karma.

Traveling Light (2017)

One of the more frequent requests I get from my readers is an update to a video I made back in 2009 detailing what products I used to maintain my goal to travel as light as possible.
I’ve resisted doing an updated version with specifics on clothing and gear for a number of reasons. For one thing, product offerings and availability changes too frequently. Many of the items I use I purchased several years ago and are no longer available. So telling you what I use is next to useless. Also, what I take often changes based on the conditions and environment I might find myself in. For instance, what I pack for a spring break vacation will be vastly different than what I pack for a speaking gig. Not to mention what works for me, as a middle aged male, does little service to my female readers.
Most of all, traveling light is less about products and more about methods, choices, and principles:

  • Get clothing that is lightweight, durable, easy to hand wash in a sink, and that dries quickly. Many of my faves are from Travelsmith, Patagonia, and REI,
  • If you’ve done the above, there’s only two sets of clothes you need for most short trips — Those you are wearing and those that you plan to wear tomorrow having washed what you’re wearing at the end of the day.
  • Pack clothes that are versatile — solid colors you can easily mix and match. 3 tops and three bottoms are nine potential outfits if the colors, style, etc. are complementary.

  • There are only two types of luggage, carry-on and lost. Most airlines charge for checked baggage anyway. Avoid both the potential loss and the near-certain cost.

  • Like I said, you’re going to be washing your clothes in the sink unless you are lucky enough to get an AirB&B with a washer dryer. Therefore, get some single serve travel detergent packs. The ones behind that link are Woolite — gentle on clothes — and come with a handy rubber sink drain stopper which is also recommended for times when the built in stopper fails. Or, if you really want to go full hippie ninja, get yourself a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s and use it for every-friggin-thing. Also, a travel clothesline for hanging up the wet stuff to dry. I like this one but there’s plenty of good options out there.

  • Invest in good shoes. Shoes that are as versatile as the outfits and are appropriate for most occasions. But, more importantly, ones that you can walk for miles in. Because, we do a lot more walking, in general, when we travel. In modern airports, distances can often be counted in miles between the curbside and your gate. My favorite travel shoes I’ve had for years (like I said, not worth mentioning the brand because they’re no longer available) and I could write a whole post of their own about where they’ve been. They’ve seen some miles and adventures and are not showing a single sign of stopping.

  • Finally, a good sturdy bag. One that can take a beating. I prefer the handsfree convenience of a Backpack but something with a good slip-free shoulder strap can work too. These days, I switch between a GORUCK GR1 and 32L Kit Bag depending on the circumstances. Love them both.

I hope this helps. If I can think of anything to add to the above I may do so at a later date. Further questions are always welcome but, if you really want specifics on products and I did not convince you with the above on their usefulness, you may want to search for past posts I’ve written on the subject.

Where I’m at…

Lately, I’ve been seeing and hearing from lots of new folks coming here thanks to my appearance in the Minimalism documentary which recently started running on Netflix. Very cool and humbling, to say the least. So, this is a post to help folks find what they may be looking for and where to dig in to find more.
Posts here generally run on a “when I have something to say that belongs here” schedule. I post far more frequently right now at Rhoneisms. That’s my place for shorter essays and thoughts.
Go here if you’d like to buy the book enough which was mentioned in the film.
All of my books are available for purchase here.
I have also posted many things here around the subject of enough. You may enjoy reading how I increasingly subscribe to an Amish approach to technology, a great way to make your Twitter timeline more sane, or how we are better off when we choose tools and methods that are proven. All of these and more are about the choices that lead to a more simple and meaningful life.
I also have a free newsletter that has been warmly received. The schedule, format, and topics are irregular but I’m confident that those that subscribe find something helpful show up in their email inboxes every once in a while. Take a look at the archive if you’d like to get a sense of what I write about there.
Finally, I love being a guest on podcasts, email interviews, and any other engagement where I can reach and help more people. My info page tells you everything you need about me and how to get in touch. Please do.


I’m a writer. Writing is how I make this world a better, friendlier, stronger place. If these words improved your day, please let me know by contributing here.

Signed Books with Random Things

bunchofbooks
Did you know that you can get any of my printed books personally signed with a nice message just for you? Well, you can! I recently restocked and once again have a full shelf of books for people to order. Only gets you the signed book and first-class shipping…
But wait! There’s more!
If you order in the next week, you can get $5 off by using the offer code ‘random’. Why “random”? Well, because I’ll also throw something random into the package along with your book. Perhaps it’ll be an extra book of mine or by one of my friends. Maybe, one of my favorite paper notebooks. It could be just about anything I think is great. You won’t know until you get it. How fun is that?
So, don’t wait! Get your signed copy below:

  • This Could Help (sold out)
  • enough (sold out)

  • Minimal Mac: What We Believe In (sold out)

Update: Sorry but all copies have been sold. I won’t be able to replenish my stock until after the new year. I very much appreciate all those folks (wow!) who purchased.
Non-signed versions are always available in a variety of formats (including paperback) at http://patrickrhone.com/books/

Me too

The first time I tried to kill myself, I basically went on a hunger strike. I woke up one morning and couldn’t get out of bed. I simply decided I wasn’t ever going to get out of bed ever again. I was going to just wait there and die.
The next time I tried to kill myself, I tried to slit my wrists. I have read somewhere the best way to go about doing it. As I laid there bleeding, I wasn’t afraid. I remember feeling the deepest sense of relief of my life.
I had been diagnosed as manic depressive (bi-polar) in my teens. I had lived with it under various forms of treatment my whole life. A series of events had led me to the point where I felt defeated by mental illness. I was in so much pain and loss that I thought dying was the only way out.
Today, I’m OK. Many days, it’s a lot of work just to be OK. Recently, it’s taken even more work than normal. And, that’s OK. I’ve spent a long time learning how to do the work I need to keep me alive. I don’t mind doing it because I have a lot to live for. I’m a survivor.
I bet you’ve been there or know someone who has. Odds are you’ve been touched in some way, shape, or form by mental illness at some point in your life. If you have, and you’re still with the living, you too are a survivor.
This past weekend, at Camp CoCo, I told a room of about 100 smart people the story of my life with mental illness and my son’s long and much more difficult fight with it. I had an outpouring of compassion and folks looking for ways to help do more.
This has me inspired and committed to take it to the next level. For me, for my son, for the too many friends I have lost to this fucking thing. Today is World Mental Health Day and I refuse to let the next one pass without seeing this through.
I’m brainstorming creating a non-profit around this. I’m not sure what it will look like yet (and am very open to ideas) but, basically, just like the language, compassion, and understanding around Cancer has changed from something one suffers to something one bravely and boldly faces with courage and support — I want that for Mental Illness. I want those of us who live with it daily, directly and indirectly, to be able to tell our stories with pride. I want us to OWN IT!
I’m looking for any help, suggestions, ideas, etc. on turning this idea into a movement. E-mail me if you’d like to contribute in any way.
But, the first and easiest way you can help is to share your story. Tell the world you’re a Mental Health Survivor. When you see and hear the stories of others say, “Me too”. Let us know you’re OK.

49

Birthday’s are hard when you’re hardly in a celebratory mood. I’m not much of a “big day” person anyway. I’m a bit uncomfortable when people make a fuss over me. It feels undeserving. I’m never quite sure how to react. Is a simple thank you enough for the well wishes and presents? It never quite seems so. So then I’m left unsure.
People who love to help others are often the worst at allowing themselves to be helped. I certainly fit that bill.
Thank you. Hundreds of thank you’s to the to the hundreds of little wings that have been providing us lift and supporting us through this. If you sent a note on Twitter or Facebook or email or did something concrete over the past week or so, this includes you. Even those who just thought about it and help us in their hearts and minds for a second. Thank you. I am humbled and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, sympathy, and support we’ve received through this.
One of the most surprising things about sharing this ordeal with others is the many people who have come forward with some form of a “me too” story. Whether is was a “crazy uncle” or a sibling or a parent or themselves. It seems everyone has been touched in some way by mental illness at some point in their lives — large or small. It certainly has helped me feel less alone, less ashamed, and given me more peace and comfort than I thought would be possible in a time like this.
But, it also tells me we have a health crisis. Just as everyone I know has been touched in some way by cancer, mental illness is equally pervasive and worthy of our fucks.
The best way I can think of for folks to help, especially those not local to me, is to give money, volunteer, and support local mental health organizations in your area. Especially those who lobby and advocate directly at the state legislative level. Locally, Mental Health Association of Minnesota is a great choice. There are others, too. And I’m sure there’s a few where you are. Find them, donate, volunteer, etc.
Mental health resources and care are extremely lacking in this country and all over the world. I can say with confidence and knowledge that my son would not be where he is if he’d gotten the help he so desperately needed and that we begged the system for. Our goal and hope now is that this leads to Maxim getting some semblance of the help he needs. I don’t know that I have enough faith in our system to rest on that hope but we will certainly do all that we can to try. Part of that, is doing what we can to fix the system. Maybe if we all did our part we can prevent more suffering and death.
We’ll get through this — because in life what alternative is there? One is either dying to live or living to die so the only reasonable choice is to survive and thrive. Your support is very much appreciated.

I can’t talk about it…

I can’t talk about this. Not in public, at least. If you’re a really close friend, and you’re local, and we’re face-to-face, and we have the time, maybe. But then, it’s still hard. It’s too much. Too fresh. Too painful. I’m too sad. I’m heartbroken. I’m ashamed. I’m racked with guilt and suffering and loss. For my son. For a system that’s broken. For lives lost.
I’m not sure how much more I could say even if I could. The investigation is still ongoing. The charges still yet to be filed. The preliminary hearing, still yet to be scheduled. I know as much as anyone else who happened to catch the local news does. Really. This isn’t like in the movies. The system is opaque and slow and confusing. They don’t tell anyone much unless they need to know.
I don’t know what really happened or how or why. Likely, no one else outside of those directly involved with the case do either. And even they likely will never get a complete picture because the only person who was there and is still alive has long had an illness that distorts the very meaning and understanding of reality. He may not even remember anything at all about it or it may have been a voice that told him or it may have been something he thought he was watching on television.
What I can say is that I’m barely holding on. This is testing the limits of my own struggles with mental illness. That which I have worked most of my life to manage. Through mindfulness practice I’ve been mostly above water for over a decade. But, I feel like I’m just treading water right now and I’m getting tired. If not for my wife and my daughter and my other son and his mother and all of of the other people I need to focus on and be "there for"… Well sometimes the best support one can receive is having others to give support to.
So, I’m not sure what more to say. He’s my son and I hope this leads to him getting the help he’s long needed. That we’ve long hoped he would. Before it came to something like this.
I need to be silent for a while. There’s not much I can talk about besides this and since I can’t talk about this that means I likely should avoid talking about anything in a public space.
If you want to reach out via email or message just to say hello or check in, that’d be great. I’ll try to reply.

I can’t talk about it…

I can’t talk about this. Not in public, at least. If you’re a really close friend, and you’re local, and we’re face-to-face, and we have the time, maybe. But then, it’s still hard. It’s too much. Too fresh. Too painful. I’m too sad. I’m heartbroken. I’m ashamed. I’m racked with guilt and suffering and loss. For my son. For a system that’s broken. For lives lost.
I’m not sure how much more I could say even if I could. The investigation is still ongoing. The charges still yet to be filed. The preliminary hearing, still yet to be scheduled. I know as much as anyone else who happened to catch the local news does. Really. This isn’t like in the movies. The system is opaque and slow and confusing. They don’t tell anyone much unless they need to know.
I don’t know what really happened or how or why. Likely, no one else outside of those directly involved with the case do either. And even they likely will never get a complete picture because the only person who was there and is still alive has long had an illness that distorts the very meaning and understanding of reality. He may not even remember anything at all about it or it may have been a voice that told him or it may have been something he thought he was watching on television.
What I can say is that I’m barely holding on. This is testing the limits of my own struggles with mental illness. That which I have worked most of my life to manage. Through mindfulness practice I’ve been mostly above water for over a decade. But, I feel like I’m just treading water right now and I’m getting tired. If not for my wife and my daughter and my other son and his mother and all of of the other people I need to focus on and be "there for"… Well sometimes the best support one can receive is having others to give support to.
So, I’m not sure what more to say. He’s my son and I hope this leads to him getting the help he’s long needed. That we’ve long hoped he would. Before it came to something like this.
I need to be silent for a while. There’s not much I can talk about besides this and since I can’t talk about this that means I likely should avoid talking about anything in a public space.
If you want to reach out via email or message just to say hello or check in, that’d be great. I’ll try to reply.

How can I help you?

I’m asking, because it’s what I do. To some it may sound hokey or, to the skeptical, disingenuous, but it is really what I love to do — especially through my written work. Some may say it’s my personal brand. I like to say that writing is how I make this world better, friendlier, stronger place. The way that happens is this; if my words or advice can help just one person, even just a little bit, it makes them feel better. They, in turn, are more likely to help those around them, and so on and so on. Thus, the whole world gets a little bit better.
Perhaps, my books can help you. Get this one if you are looking to achieve a simpler or more intentional life. If you are looking for a more mindful approach to technology, this one is the one for you — even if you don’t use Apple products most of the ideas still apply. If you are looking for practical, actionable, advice on living, this one will help you for sure.
I’ve also published a book about writing (especially for an online audience) and one on meditation that anyone can do. These are meant to help too.
I also have a free newsletter that has been warmly received. The schedule, format, and topics are irregular but I’m confident that those that subscribe find something helpful show up in their email inboxes every once in a while. Take a look at the archive if you’d like to get a sense of what I write about there.
Sometimes, I speak to organizations and groups and try to help them. If you are a part of an organization or team that you think would benefit please let me know.
Finally, I now offer personal one-to-one sessions for those seeking my direct help, counsel, and advice. Rates can vary based on level of engagement. Get in touch to discuss pricing and details to fit your need and budget.
The bottom line is that I’m always looking for ways I can help others. It’s who I am. It’s what I do. Let me know if there is some way I can help you.