Sunday, August 18, 2019


By Steve Trash - Illusionist, Eco-Educator, and Rockin' Eco Hero

I'm a professional magician, but I'm NOT a super-great-magician.  I'm pretty good.  

I've SEEN great magicians and I KNOW what they look like. I'm pretty good, BUT... I know this is true. 

 I AM... a GOOD thinker. I LOVE ideas and I love pondering stuff. I love asking the question... why?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not that smart, but I think and read and ponder. Sometimes I ponder deeply. Because my job is about understanding PERCEPTION (you gotta know something about perception to make it APPEAR THAT you can defy the laws of nature) I read and think about perception and how the mind works... a lot.

Here's something that MOST PEOPLE do not understand and I'd like to share with you. I think it will help you. I KNOW it has helped me.

You and I have ONE BRAIN, but we have TWO MINDS.  First is the FAST mind - (LEAPING LIZARD is what I like to call it) - great at quick decisions/gut reactions/involuntary responses.

Our second mind (remember one brain... two minds) is the SLOW mind - (WISE OLD OWL is what I like to call it) great at wisdom and long term decisions - which college to attend/meaning of life/how to treat others/truth/etc.

Because of the way our BRAIN is designed, we sometimes use our LEAPING LIZARD mind when (instead) we should be using our WISE OLD OWL mind.

Here's why... we NEED both minds... fast and slow. Fast is GREAT at super-quick-decision making (hear something scary in the woods... get outta there) - SAFETY - and slow is GREAT at getting to TRUTH.

Here's the problem, because we are UNAWARE that our brain has a fast and slow mind, we sometimes STOP at the emotional LEAPING LIZARD reaction to an event and do not ponder it any deeper - WISE OLD OWL. 

Instead of getting deeper to the TRUTH of the matter... by sending it to the WISE OLD OWL for contemplation, we react/respond/retweet/share something that (had we taken the time... we'd know is false or simply not accurate or possibly even destructive).

We tend to have an emotion/quick/reaction to something and just STOP there.

If we have a viscerally strong response to something or someone.. (good or bad), we may STOP at the LEAPING LIZARD mind and never consider that we've fallen short of THE TRUTH. We had a strong emotional reaction... so that must be TRUTH (it isn't necessarily truth) and it's the WISE OLD OWL'S job to discern truth... not the LEAPING LIZARD'S.

LEAPING LIZARD is GREAT... if you're jumping out of the way of a speeding car, or a foul ball is heading right towards your head, but it's TERRIBLE if you're evaluating your behavior as a human being or trying to seek wisdom or looking for TRUTH.

So... Consider doing this... PAUSE... and go DEEPER... if your LEAPING LIZARD brain is yelling... "That group is BAD". "Those people are evil." "I'm on the GOOD TEAM." Pause... and simply send this idea to THE WISE OLD OWL.

Next time you have a super emotional response to... anything... pause and ask the WISE OLD OWL to take a look.

Now... If the LEAPING LIZARD says, "it's Sunday, I should be happy..." then go and have a happy day! The WISE OLD OWL would agree. Thanks for reading.

#leapinglizard #wiseoldowl #happyday #fastbrain #slowbrain #theundoingproject

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Apple Trees and Apple Pies

By Steve Trash - Illusionist, Eco-Educator, and Rockin' Eco Hero

This is a picture of an apple.  Well, several apples actually.  I know, I know, they LOOK like pears, but trust me, they’re apples.  I grew them.  I know exactly what they are.  Trust me.  They are apples.  Eight years ago I planted the tree that grew them in my front yard.  They’re apples.  

Sometime around 1960, my Mom and Dad married.  Newlyweds do lots of things.  But mostly, they figure out how to live in really close proximity to a person they don’t know very well and they look for ways to make their new partner’s life better.  My newlywed Mom decided she’d try to cook “just like my dad's mom”.  She asked my dad, “What was the favorite thing your mom cooked for you?”  He thought a moment, and responded, “You know, Mama used to bake the most amazing apple pie.  I’d love to have that again.  I haven’t had it since I was a kid. Could you try and bake that?” 

Challenge accepted.  My Mom dove right in to making my Grandmothers’ excellent apple pie for her newlywed husband.  Now, apple pie (made from scratch) is pretty simple.  It’s time-consuming but it’s not hard to make.  Easy win, or so my Mom thought.  She got everything together to bake a “home-made” apple pie for her new husband.  She mixed.  She baked.  She served.  She waited.  My dad’s response?  “Oh this is really good apple pie, Honey, but it’s not as good as my Mom’s apple pie.”  My Mom thought, “Rats… I’ll try again”.  So she did.  Same result.  Good, but not as good as my Grandmothers’ apple pie.  One more try.  Same result.  Good, but not as good. 

Frustrated, my Mom took the problem straight to the source.  She phoned my grandmother up and said, “I’m trying to make your special apple pie for Will, but I just can’t seem to get it right.  Did you have some kind of “secret ingredient” or “bake it in some special way”?   My grandmother (a gentle and very very kind person) began to laugh.  She laughed out loud.  She said, “Betty… you will NEVER be able to make my apple pie.”  My mother was taken-a-back by this response.  My grandmother continued, she paused to catch her breath, "Because I never used apples.  I used pears.  Years and years ago, a traveling salesman broke a wheel near our home, we fixed it for him, and he paid us back with pear tree saplings.  When Wilbur (pronounced Wil-Bu if you’re from south Alabama) was a boy, he didn’t like pears.  He wouldn’t eat pears, but I didn’t have anything but pears to bake pies with, so I told him a little tiny “white lie”.  I told him the pear pie was an apple pie.   He loved those pies. I never had the heart to tell him otherwise.”  

Years and years passed, as did (eventually) my dad.  And my mother would dust-off this old family story from her mental filing cabinet of happy memories and share it with us kids.  We’d all get a great laugh out of it too.  She loved telling that story, and she was good at it. 

More years and years passed, and eventually she passed too. 

Sometimes a pear tree is not a pear tree at all, it’s an apple tree.  It’s an apple tree that is keeping alive a story about real people that lived their lives the best they could, about family mythology, about newlywed bonds strengthened, about laughter, love, a little white lie, and a much loved Grandmothers’ pie.  

So… every time I walk past that pear tree in my front yard nowadays… those people, that story, that love, that laughter, that history, that moment in time, all come to life for me.  

So, to me, it’s always going to be an apple tree, it can’t be anything else.  Know what?  I think I’ll go bake a pie.   Want some apple pie?


Tuesday, August 6, 2019


By Steve Trash - Illusionist, Eco-Educator, and Rockin' Eco Hero

In my opinion, this is true for EVERYONE (dancers, artists, engineers, dads, moms, scientists, bus drivers, school teachers, lawyers, child advocates, computer programmers), it's not your job to judge your contribution to the world. You are required - ONLY - to create THE WORK, your art, your love, your life - your unique set of "things that ONLY you can bring to the world". We judge ourselves harshly (I'm very guilty of this). We compare ourselves harshly. (I'm very guilty of this). Our job is to bring to the world that "thing" that only WE can bring. That "thing" that no one else can. Do that. Do that - to your fullest capacity - and then... be satisfied. Thank you for the reminder... Martha Graham. #marthagraham