Back Road Tour through Sunderland Vermont

A Back-Road Tour through Sunderland Vermont.

Jack and MaryAnn

We took a ride along Sunderland Hill Road today which runs parallel to Route 7A from Manchester into Arlington. We passed several farms and old barns –  many of which we will revisit as we anticipate some wonderful sunrises and sunsets over the not too distant mountains.

Then we discovered the Chiselville Bridge. The name Chiselville comes from a former chisel factory nearby, but the bridge was previously named High Bridge and The Roaring Branch Bridge. It spans the Roaring Branch Brook and was built by Daniel Oatman in 1870. At the time the cost to build this bridge was $2,307.31 including the builders fee. It survived the flood of 1927, which destroyed hundreds of Vermont covered bridges. It appears that the strategic placement of this bridge allowed the flooded Roaring Branch Brook to pass harmlessly underneath.

The Inn at Ormsbby Hill

Chiselville Bridge – Sunderland Vermont

See our website listing the 25 must see Covered Bridges in Vermont

The sign reads “One Dollar fine for driving faster than a walk on this bridge.” MaryAnn got out and walked to make sure I didn’t incur the fine.




Into Arlington – a stones throw from 7A is the Arlington Train Station and the American Legion Posts’s  Tank – I don’t know what type of tank that is, but I will find out and update the blog down the road.

American Legion Post 69





Arlington Vermont – Train Station













Earlier in the day I completed painting the hammock frame.

Hammock ready for Spring




While we were out we received photgraphic evidence that our housekeeper Candi was lying down on the job.

Candi on the hammock

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Manchester Historical Society – Shawn Harrington Curator

Edward Isham – The INN at Orsmby Hill


When we took stewardship of The INN at Ormsby Hill we were told there was history regarding the property, but it wasn’t until we met Shawn Harrington, Curator of the Manchester Historical Society were we made aware of just how much info is available through him and the historical society and how rich is this INN’s history.

On Thursday March 30, 2017, Shawn Harrington came for his first ever visit to The INN at Ormsby Hill with an amazing collection of photos (all now digitized and displayed on his camera) of the INN, and the people. Shawn was as excited to be here as we were to have him visit. He shared so much information that we just felt even more excited to be here at the INN.

He told us of “Rocking Stone” and the Isham Sugar House that is still standing (in need of repair) only ½ mile from the INN. Shawn connected names and shared group photos of the Ishams, the family and their friends. There were old photos including one tilting up the stone columns that stand at the South and North Gates.

The two Griffins that now stand watch at the old front entrance once sat on top of those columns. Shawn also explained that they were originally bronze sculptures that were given to the effort for armament for the Great World War.

He had numerous photos of Edward Isham – who owned the mansion now known as “The INN at Ormsby Hill” and who founded the law firm of Isham, Lincoln (Robert Todd Lincoln) & Beale in Chicago.

Frances (Fannie) Bursch his wife  and his children – Pierrepont Isham – 7th Cavalry Regiment – Anne Elizabeth (who died during the sinking of the RMS Titanic, one of only four upper-class women to do so.)

Our rooms at The INN at Ormsby Hill are named in their honor – Francis (for Edward Isham’s wife Fannie Burch)- Anne Eliza – Pierrepont – as well as his law partner and best friend the Lincoln (Robert Todd Lincoln). The Taft is for the 27th President of the United States – Howard Taft a friend of both Isham and Lincoln who oftened visited Ormsby Hill.

He also spoke about the Dellwood Cemetery less than 1 mile from the INN. The Dellwood Cemetery is nestled at the bend of Historic 7A next to the entrance of Hildene.

Visit the cemetery on Facebook at @DellwoodCemetery for great photos and historic info. The Dellwood Cemetery is open to the public and, once armed with so much information provided by Shawn Harrington and others you will walk through with an amazing sense of history.

We hope to meet with Shawn to further the Manchester Historical Society’s and his work.

There is much more to come.

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Bennington Potters, Bennington, Vermont March 26, 2017

We took a trip to Bennington today for provisions for the Inn and took a much-anticipated side trip to Bennington Potters. We stopped off in the store first and fell in love with the place. The girls in the store were so helpful and accommodating.

After picking out some items for the inn, they encouraged us to visit the factory behind the shop and meet with Terry. Terry has been around there for a long time and knows so much of the history of the building (an old grist mill and depot) and the workings of the pottery factory.

Terry gave us a tour of the entire factory that took over 30 minutes. He told us about the late David Gil founder of Bennington Potters. David Gil’s ceramics are amazing and can be found in museums throughout the world. The business has continued since his death at 79 in 2002. Check him out on Google – quite an amazing story.

Terry explained the clay making process – all the ceramics are made of a special clay formulated by David Gil. He showed us the press process and the molding process. He asked us if we could smell any chemicals in the factory – we couldn’t because there are no chemicals in the process of glazing – all natural products are used.

Terry brought us to the kiln where the ceramics are dried – a 20 foot long multi-level truck of various clay pieces gets pulled into and out of the kiln by cable. It takes hours to dry the pieces and harden them for use. Spoiler alert – the pieces come out at about 75% of the size that went in.

The best day to see the factory is, I believe, Sunday when Terry is there. The shop is quite and there is a certain reverence that you can feel in the quiet. Tours are available during the week as well and the employees will show you around and explain the processes, too.

The logo which can be seen above the factory entrance looks like a fork –no spoiler alert required here – it is not. But I will let Terry tell about it you when you get there.

After the tour of the factory, we returned to the store and of course bought some more ceramics. Be forewarned, when you visit you will be more than tempted to go away with bags full of ceramics.



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Extra 5 Years

Hi Everyone,


We are living longer. There is no doubt about that. According to Marc Freedman’s article in the Wall Street Journal, a person turning 65 can expect to live an additional 19.3 years on average – almost 5 1/2 years longer than a person turning 65 in 1950 (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Health Statistics). That’s 5 years of bonus time that we get to enjoy.


Looking at it from a different perspective, that’s 5 more years that we have to find a way to fund. It is an individual challenge to find a way to pay for a longer retirement, but also a challenge for society as a whole as the majority of funding for the extra 5 years must come from income earned by the younger generations under the current “Pay-As-You-Go” social security system. More importantly, we must find something to do during these five extra years so that we will not fall into the peril of boredom and isolation.


Diane always tells me that I have to look inside to find what I’m looking for. Happiness comes from within. I argue that there is nothing at the core of myself. I am an onion – when you peel off the last piece of onion skin, you will find no pit in the middle. Each of the onion skins represents expectation, presumption, tradition, belief, inference, judgement, aspiration, and hope. I need all those skins to build who I am.

So, what to do in the bonus 5 years is the question. Marc Freedman suggests that it is not the last phase of our lives that we are gaining an extra 5 years, but the period before that. We are talking about this period of time in your life, AFTER you took your career as far as you could take it to the point that you have no more passion and curiosity left in the morning commute, and BEFORE you look squarely into the abyss of retirement. Marc says that it could be an emerging five-year period that did not exist before in the traditional sense of productive career leading straight into leisure based retirement. He says that this period between midlife and old age “can be a time of robust personal growth and development… the chance to do some of one’s most valuable work in a way that provides personal meaning and means something significant beyond ourselves.”


Citing Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Freedman goes further to say, “Those who fail to be generative in this period – who fail to invest what they learn from life in sustaining younger generations – are prone to stagnation and narcissism.” If a glimpse of boredom and isolation scared you, imagine life stuck in stagnation and narcissism a la Norma in the movie “Sunset Boulvard” (1950), played by Gloria Swanson, coming down the grand staircase and saying “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” Marc continued, “In contrast, Lawrence-Lightfoot describes the dynamics of “looking back” and “giving forward to the next generation” in which we travel home to revisit the anchoring values we were socialized.” Working with the young generation can most commonly start from your grandchildren, but is that enough? Erick Erikson, a developmental psychologist, broadens the definition of “generativty” to include teaching, writing, innovation, artistic expression, activism, advocacy and service.


What I am feeling is that we need to use this time period to prepare for the last phase of our lives. Education and vocational training prepared us for a 30 year productive career and raising a loving family; however, we need some time for reflection, reevaluation, and possible redirection. I have this overwhelming suspicion that the value system that worked in the first 30 years may not work to bring happiness in the final chapter of our lives. A single minded pursuit of success may not be the answer to a meaningful and rewarding last chapter.


Realizing that neither 10 hours of meditation every day nor pure focus on spiritual revelation is practical in our modern everyday life, we need to explore a life style that draws on our skills and knowledge to inspire others, that holds some income potential to ease a longer retirement and make our life endeavor sustainable, and help us identify a meaning beyond our ego, which may provide a roadmap, at least directionally, to where we should be heading.


This extra 5 year period may be used as a chance to embark on new learning to chart the course for the next 30 years. Then, I will look for some way I can help. Something in line with my endeavor to significance. Something I can do to inspire the younger generation and be inspired by them. Not seeking success. Not a pursuit of happiness. Just looking for some way I can help. That’s what I would like to do in my extra 5 years.


Come to Ormsby Hill and plan your extra 5 years…


In pursuit of significance…


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Tipping Point

March 19, 2016

Hi Everyone,


I was awakened by a call from the CEO in London. He wanted me to go to Mexico that day. He said that the plane ticket for a 8:00am flight to Mexico City would be waiting for me at the airline counter. If I took a quick shower and drove to the airport, I would make the flight. So, go!


What could be so urgent and important for me to fly into a country operation that I had never put a foot in? I just could not imagine what could be going on there. Why me? Why today? When I got there, everyone seemed calm and there was no sign of panic. The Finance Director told me that everything was under control and it would be in order by tomorrow. “Mañana!”, he said.


The next day, I went into the office and asked if they had figured out what was going on. He said that they were almost there, but most certainly “Mañana”, he reassured. The day after that, my hope turned into surprise when I found out that things were not sorted out at all. That was when I figured out that they had absolutely no idea what was going on! I told the CEO what was really going on in Mexico and he had to make a decision. He said, “Shut down the operation immediately!”
When do you decide that a bucket half full is really a bucket half empty and the slow leak is about to become an uncontrollable burst? How do you catch a turning point?


In the stock market, the investor sentiment can shift very quickly. What was the darling of the growth stocks yesterday could start to fall precipitously the next day with no news to account for the movement. The analysts and traders blame sky high valuations and management guiding down the sales forecast even though they met both revenue and earnings estimates this quarter. What could cause a publicly traded company stock to fall 40% in one day? What pushed them over the tipping point? Sentiment shift, they say.

Malcom Gladwell wrote a book called “Tipping Point” in which he describes what appears to be an almost intuitive decision, is in fact the result of analyzing many data points some of which we are not even aware. Furthermore, some of the data points are not binary, meaning it is neither good or bad conclusively, and many are in the grey area. Though they cannot be counted, the data points in the grey area get picked up quietly by the pattern recognition process and alert us when “something does not feel right.” It is not a linear progression to a tipping point but often it is persistent and compelling hunch.


The irony is that, most of the time, we are actually trying to balance several priorities at the same time so that it won’t tip over. There is so much going on lately that you wonder if you are allocating your time and emotional energy correctly. No matter how much you think about the better decision at every split, you are nowhere near the answer. When things are so muddy, you just have to keep reaching outward until you find something that you can grab onto. The situation may be way beyond logical thinking and heavily layered with hopes and fear that distort what is really in the core. But once again, senses are your best friends.

In the case of the CEO who made that difficult decision, he had much input from different people in London and Mexico City who were closer to the situation, whose opinions were influenced by their own self-preservation and hope. He perhaps needed a completely objective opinion from someone who was outside of the operation to assure the integrity of an unbiased opinion. That was what he needed to tip the scale one way or the other. It had to be me.


Come to Ormsby Hill and find the balance before you tip the scale…


In pursuit of the best pattern recognition system…

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Powder Day

February 20, 2016

Hi Everyone,


POWDrrrrrrrr! That was all I could think of. It snowed seven inches overnight on top of a few inches the other day. I had to calm down and consciously drive slowly to avoid anything happening on the way to Stratton. I did not want to miss it for it has been a really bad winter and we did not have any snow to speak of all season. We had been waiting for a long time for this.


The number of Vermont license plates that I saw on the access road, the limited availability of spaces in the covered garage parking and the lines of people at the gondola already gave me a good clue as to what to expect today. I got on my first gondola ride to the summit and everyone got very chatty immediately. Unable to contain our excitement, we talked about yesterday’s conditions, last week, last month and that incredible powder day we caught last year. We don’t catch powder very often in Southern Vermont and you should consider yourself very lucky if you found a couple of inches of untouched snow on the side of the slopes. Boot-deep powder happens only once or twice a season.


As I turned back and looked down at the slope, I saw among millions of ski marks some unblemished white surface that no one had been on. “Wait, what time is it?”, I said not particularly looking for any answer. Someone said, “Just past 10 o’clock.” Wow, there were some virgin snow spots on the slope at 10 o’clock! This is amazing!

When we moved to Manchester, I bought my first season pass at Stratton. As the season began, I wanted to try the steepest and hardest line I could find and ride it well. I would attack the hills every time I went there. If I did not do well, I went back and did it again and again until I could ride the way I wanted. I wanted to beat the mountain. But the condition on the slope changes every day and sometimes I ride perfectly well and, the very next day, on the same exact trail, I am all over. The mood of the mountain changes every day and you cannot always insist on what you want to do.


In the second season at Stratton, I learned to respect the mountain. I wanted to get to know the mountain, all of it in different conditions, so that I could adjust my riding to get the best day possible under what was given to me. As it turned out, she was a lot more than I expected. That made me want to know the mountain even more. Good days, bad days, sunny days, windy days, and even impossible icy days. The more I learned about the different characters of the mountain, the more I appreciated the rich personality of the mountain. Appreciation then led me to respect the mountain in all her characters in the 20-week long season.

In the third season, I developed a relationship with the mountain. Sometimes, when I am standing at the summit at 3,875 feet elevation and looking at the cascading mountain range in the north, she is so beautiful and I feel so lucky to be there. Other times, she is so difficult and I feel why I’m wasting my time with her when I can be somewhere else. But at the end of the 20-week season, it is not about how many powder days you caught, or clocking how many days you actually went out this season. It is the good and bad and all of it that comprise the season that means something to you. It is the relationship that you developed with the mountain that makes you come back to find another day with her.


In the fourth season at Stratton, I was curious as to what would happen to our relationship. Will we have a new exciting break-through development or will it turn into a vaguely dissatisfied relationship with no fault on either part. The season started out really, really bad. No snow. The day time temperature was too high in December and January to make any man-made snow. The season was almost all written off as one of those “bad years.”


12 weeks into the season, I had not had one day that was better than last year. That meant that I did not have enough runs to be better than last year as a snowboarder. We were already in February and the season would be over by the second weekend in April. What have I accomplished this season? What did this season mean to me, and to our relationship? Then, it came. 11 inches of snow jarred my memories and I was back in the moment. Don’t be negative Nancy and stay with Positive Paul. Go snow!


Come to Ormsby Hill and see your relationship develop into the future…..


In pursuit of the best season in the mountains…


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Coffee Farm

February 6, 2016

Hi Everyone,


The concept was simple. We wanted to move to where we would like to live for the rest of our lives, and then find a way to live there. We decided to move to Hawaii and buy a coffee farm.


We had been moving from one side of the globe to the other because of my job. We moved wherever the opportunity existed as U.S. multinational corporations explored the far end of the emerging markets in search of growth. Initially I was sent from the Home Office to work at a foreign branch. Other times, I went to work in the foreign branch directly and the only time I spent in the Home Office was for the interviews. Sometimes, I felt like as if I were an offshore drill worker, except I was wearing a suit and tie.


When we moved to my new job, we typically had one week to find the best apartment we could find before we relocated to the new city. This time, as we thought about the next phase of our lives, we wanted to find a place where we would be comfortable for a long time and learn to live with the land, community and other like minded people who decided to live there. What we did was secondary to where we wanted to be, so we thought. We had some money saved up and the kids’ college tuitions were already paid for. Surely we could find something to do in Hawaii to live a modest life. We imagined how wonderful life will be if we could live on the most beautiful island.


It was 2004 and the Hawaii real estate market was super hot. There was a huge inflow of retirees from California to Hawaii, who suddenly found a small fortune selling their California home, now moving to Hawaii to find a new home in paradise. If they did not like the first island that they happened to descend upon, move to the next island in a couple of years as you made a handsome profit on the first Hawaiian house in the meanwhile. Along with the California retirees, there was so much money moving to Hawaii that it pushed up the real estate market ever higher. People were buying new condominiums off the blue print and selling them for a profit before the building was completed. Highly speculative markets brought even more speculative people. It was evident that Oahu and Maui markets were too hot for my taste. The Big Island of Hawaii seemed to be the last frontier where one could buy a piece of land at a reasonable price.


The idea of buying a coffee farm in Hawaii seemed crazy, but there was some alluring feel to living off the land you owned. Diane had been an avid gardener and we thought that it could not be that hard to grow coffee in Hawaii. You always have the sun. Figure out where water will come from and anything will grow. We found out that the Kona region of the Big Island of Hawaii was where people grow the famous Kona coffee. This small area of the island always had showers as the moisture picked up by the convectional air flow from the ocean was squeezed out by the steep hills and dumped rain drops on the hill side. Good coffee land is very limited on the island, which put a cap on the annual production of coffee beans. With limited production, demand for Kona coffee outpaced the supply and it sold out every year. If you could grow, they would buy.


This was also the time when the internet was becoming a real commerce platform and people were starting to use Ebay for business. We thought that we could grow coffee, process them, roast them and sell them directly to the end consumers around the world on the internet. Coffee cherry harvest was going for $1.15 per pound, but the roasted beans were being sold to the tourists for $27 per pound. In a super market in Tokyo, Kona coffee was going for as high as $40 per pound. The closer to the end consumers, the more value was added. Similar to Chateau for wine, if you control growing coffee, processing, roasting and all the way to bagging to maintain a certain standard, it is called “Estate Coffee”, sound of which had tone of success worthy of pursuit. Surely this is something we wanted to do.


You can dream about it as much as you want, but there was limited amount of information on the internet about how to become a coffee farmer. So, we decided to move to Hawaii first. Why not? Nothing like seeing, hearing and smelling the actual thing. We spent a couple of weeks doing what the vacationers do, and then started looking for a coffee farm to buy.


We went to look at several coffee farms. Some farms were producing a Champion Coffee, the designation you earned by winning an annual cupping contest. Some were organic, meaning some sort of co-habitation arrangement with ducks and donkeys. Others were abandoned coffee farms that looked more like the Amazon jungle than a farm. We looked at some untouched land and entertained the idea of tilling the soil and planting new coffee plants, i.e. a 3-year plan. Some progressive coffee farmers were growing new hybrid coffee seedlings which had good resistance to certain natural diseases and testing grafting techniques to combine the strength of two spices. It looked like there were lots of interesting things going on and many people pushing the boundaries. If you can imagine, you can make it happen.


What happened after that? Well, we’ll tell you the rest of the story the next time you are at the inn.


Don’t move to an island if you have never been there… Come to Ormsby Hill instead…


In pursuit of the best island to live…


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Act of Small Defiance


January 3, 2016
Hi Everyone,
We were taking a company car to one of our sales offices in Tokyo. It was raining and not an overly upbeat day to give a pep talk to the team of sales staff who were all eagerly waiting to hear what the leadership team had to say. I was going there just to show my support to the newly arrived Country Manager and I did not have any speech to deliver. So I was just gazing outside of the car window, getting lost in thoughts.
The car stopped for a red light at one of the traffic lights. I saw a group of young junior high school children in uniform crossing the street. It was raining a fair amount and everyone had his/her umbrella out. What struck me was that none of the children opened their umbrellas even though every one of them had an umbrella in his/her hand. They were just talking, laughing and having a good time crossing the street. It was so much fun living in the moment that opening the umbrella was the last thing in their mind. Do you remember those moments when an act of small defiance was fun and natural, and you felt free?

At a certain point in your life, you need to de-clutter things you accumulated along the way. I don’t even remember why I bought some of the things I have, but it looked like a nice thing to get at the time. It reminds of a cheap souvenir from one of my trips to Southeast Asia. Primitive, crafty, and woody. A lack of smooth lines indicated that it was made by hands… just skilled enough, but never overly trained to do more than necessary. A cool object in your first apartment perhaps, but sitting in your nice suburban living room, it looks ridiculous. It was never the level of quality that you call “art” or “collectible.” It does not even make a good conversational piece any more. It detracts from who you are trying to be at age 50.
At a certain point in your life, all those stuff you accumulated become an extra load on your shoulder. Material stuff, psychological stuff, memories, regrets and unfilled dreams. Some of these unmet expectations are not even yours. Is it not the time to stop carrying your mother’s expectations? With all that stuff around you, no wonder you feel heavy. Dead weight feels heavier, you know. If all these things have the purpose for them, they never feel heavy. Find the purpose or shed the stuff that’s making you heavier. The lighter you are, the freer you feel.

At a certain point in your life, you need to re-evaluate some of the rules you live by. Roll up the shirt sleeves six and half times. Never wear brown shoes for business. Never re-cork the wine bottle once opened. Don’t put wasabi in the soy source tray because sushi already has wasabi, etc. etc. I always thought that I don’t need to wear a good watch because when I was 12 years old, I broke a brand new watch and my mother said that a person who cannot take care of a good watch does not deserve one. After that, the only watch I ever wore was an indestructible Casio G-Shock.
40 years later, a friend of mine asked me why I did not fix it. Wow, why didn’t I? So, I decided to confront my mother and asked why she did not help me fix the watch. She said that she had no memory of the incident at all. Then it dawned on me that the reason why she didn’t remember was that I never told her. I never told her that I broke my watch. I must have imagined that, if I told her, she would have said that I do not deserve a good watch. Re-evaluate your rules, real or imagined. It’s okay to re-cork your wine bottle because you are going to finish it tomorrow.

It feels good to be free, you see. Free from all those stuff you accumulated and cluttering your life. Free from all those expectations you put on yourself, real or imagined. Free from the old rules that define and confine who you are. Sometimes I wonder how close I am to the person I have spent 59 years trying to be. I wonder whether my current endeavor is on track with my final goal or I should cut my losses and start looking for something else. Then, I hear this voice, whispering to my ears. Why are you trying to be someone you are not? I like who you have become already. Let life freely unfold and you’ll be surprised that there are more good moments than bad. It sounded like Diane…

Come to Ormsby Hill and feel the exhilaration to travel light and unencumbered…
In pursuit of a small defiance…

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Summer Waves

Hi Everyone,


To me, summer in Vermont is like a calm peaceful ocean on a cloudless sunny day. Perfectly nice day for most people, but a disappointing and somewhat sad day for the surfers who are waiting for waves. There is nothing you can do if there are no waves to ride.


There is this belief that calm contentment brings happiness. That theme is repeated by many different religions. The core of this idea seems to be that Self already has everything it needs to be happy in the present moment. Uneasiness, or discontentment comes from the self consciousness or ego being detached from Self and start thinking about the past or future (for example, should have been, could have been thoughts). This creates swirls of self-conversation that disturbs the naturally calm and quiet state of mind. If we could get back to our original Self for a few minutes, we will be in touch with our inner happiness again, so they say.


I, on the other hand, believe that some level of excitement always accompanies my happiness. Whether I’m having the best riding day at Stratton or watching our 2 year old grandson reading a book for the first time, the excitement seems to underscore the feeling of happiness. I even think that the elevated heart rate and happiness necessarily go together. I don’t have to get my heart rate going to induce the state of happiness but happiness in a sedated state does not appeal to me. The notion of calm contentment bringing happiness seems contradictory.
As it turned out, there are two distinct types of happiness – one associated with peacefulness and one associated with being excited.


Professor Cassie Mogliner of the University of Pennsylvania, who carried out the research on how the meaning of happiness changes over the course of one’s lifetime, found that, for young people, 60 percent of happiness is about excitement. In contrast, older people associate 80 percent of happiness with contentment. The difference appears to come from the varying degrees of emphasis placed upon the future compared to the present.


This opens up a theoretical possibility that if you consciously put a larger emphasis on the future, create the reasons to get excited about it, you then feel younger and the excitement brings happiness. So, how do you create a reason to get excited about the future? If you have a fairly predictable future, embedded in the routines, within a known environment, it would be difficult to expect anything new happening. So, begin a new journey, open yourself to new experiences and a bit of adventure, you will then have something to look forward to and be excited about what tomorrow will bring. Isn’t that why you travel?

Another way to create a reason to get excited about the future is to embark on new learning. Not just learning in the sense of reading and gaining conceptual understanding of things, but ideally it involves both mental and physical learning. The physical aspect of learning will slow down the process of getting bored and carry you through the repetition, only after which comes the next level of mastery. Learning is fun as long as you are getting better. Aspiration and anticipation of improvement in the manageable time frame will bring your attention to the future and you will be excited about the progress of learning.


Now which type of happiness do you pursue? Calm contentment or being excited about the future yet to unfold? You know which one I’m after.


Come to Ormsby Hill and create the reason to get excited about the future…


In pursuit of the best future…

The Inn at Ormsby Hill
1842 Main Street
Manchester Center, VT 05255

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Hi Everyone,


How do you reinvent yourself? By now, you probably know what you like about yourself and what you don’t. When was the last time you had a significant and noticeable upgrade to those things you liked about yourself so that this version of “you” is something you will be happy with for a couple of years? Is it time to reinvent myself? That’s what I used to ask myself.


Moving from Tokyo to Connecticut, and back to Tokyo, and to Pennsylvania, and then to Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong and back to Connecticut again, I had plenty of chance to reinvent myself. The problem was that I kept reinventing the same exact “me.” Not even a slightly improved version of me. Just me.


According to Dr. Joe Dispenza, the author of “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself”, you think what you feel most of the time. Your environment is the biggest influencer of what’s in your mind. You are cold, you are hot, you are hungry and you are all stressed out. Animals don’t dwell on the thoughts even after an attack by a tiger, but humans tend to think it over and over again. Pretty soon, you start to feel what you think rather than thinking what you feel (i.e. Have you felt sick on Monday morning?) When this cycle of thinking what you feel and feeling what you think becomes memorized in your body, you don’t even need to think consciously any more and the body begins to respond automatically. Dr. Joe Dispenza calls this state of being “Thinking equal to environment” and, when you are in this loop, nothing new can be created from it.


The scientists have discovered that most of our decisions, actions, emotions and behavior depend upon the 95% of brain activity that is beyond our conscious awareness. Our body-mind is so highly capable of living our lives on auto-pilot that you don’t need to think consciously to do 95% of what you do every day. That’s pretty amazing. Sometimes you feel your life is becoming slightly repetitive and uneventful, but that’s because your body-mind is doing a good job.
Moreover, your subconscious mind, by design, is operating without checking with your conscious mind so you don’t even know why you are acting the way you are and feeling what you are feeling sometimes. If you are feeling blue today, it is very hard to get out of it by your conscious effort because your subconscious mind has already decided that it’s going to be a bad day independent of what you are thinking consciously. This is one of the reasons why it is so hard to change. The conscious mind may be in the present (for example, I want to lose weight.) but the subconscious body-mind is in the past, faithfully and automatically reconstructing the old “me” from the memorized emotions (Ice cream makes me happy!).


I made a conscious decision to come to Vermont so that I can spend six months snowboarding. There is nothing here to automatically reconstruct “me” from the memorized experiences and there are no expectations of what I should be. I put myself in a survival mode so that whatever “me” I create is wholly a consequence of my conscious decisions. I was curious what kind of “me” I will create this time.


Did I succeed in reinventing a better version of “me” in Vermont? Is it a happier “me”? Well, I really don’t know if I am better or happier, but I think I am a truer me than when I was a Corporate “me” where I felt I was the only Zebra among Thoroughbreds.


I just wanted to be “me” but I did not know who I was supposed to be, so I ended up with a bunch of well groomed Thoroughbreds. It was fun running at high speed with a group of fast horses, so I kept running faster and faster. Sometimes I ran faster than most of them on this side of the field, but no one wanted to bet on me on the race track. The thing was that I quietly enjoyed being the dark horse… with a stripe.


By the way, why do I want to reinvent myself? It’s not perfect, but I kind of like “me” and it does not need a major overhaul. I carefully steer clear of over-expectations to avoid any disappointment and try to find many small happiness in my every day life. Why do I need to change what I have?


Because you are so much more capable of being better. Because you can be more than what you are today. So, why not try? You don’t need to wait till you have some traumatic experience to change your life. But if you are not quite ready to totally rebuild yourself from scratch, perhaps what you need is to “renew” yourself, not reinvent, so that you erase some of those memorized negative emotions and create more positive ones. Then, you look forward to what is to come in your life and be excited about what you are creating. I like when you talk so passionately about things you like.


Come to Ormsby Hill and renew some of your memorized emotions…


In pursuit of a better “me”…


The Inn at Ormsby Hill
1842 Main Street
Manchester Center, VT 05255

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