It Feels so Good not to be Poor for the First Time in My Life.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Sep 27, 2012
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Getting EnergySmart-coordinated bids. Rebates for improving home? Yay #Boulder & federal government! Follow @WaylonLewis on Instagram!

Money isn’t the root of all evil: it’s the root of much stress, or relaxation.

There’s nothing about poverty that’s virtuous, other than simplicity.

There’s nothing about money that brings happiness: we have to make friends with ourselves, rich or poor, in order to be cheerful.

Working a 100 hours a week, broke for 10 years, the sudden maturation of elephant’s staff and support from our community have allowed me to fix my roof just before the winter for the first time in six years; to get a refrigerator for the first time in three years, to consider buying a (cheap) vintage vehicle, my first car in nearly five years. It’s enabled me to go to the dentist three times (the first time thanks to my grandma and aunt) for the first time in 12 years (no cavities, but teeth wearing down). All of this is just in time, and all of this takes time.

Stability is a virtue. Money helps stability.

The next phase for elephant will be exhausting, and fun: now that we have a great, low-drama staff, inspired and cohesive, and a stable community, we can begin to reach for the stars—to finally begin to fulfill our mission of effecting real and lasting change in education, enlightening entertainment and the quality of journalism (the fourth estate) in a new media context.

So thank you, you. If you share an elephant article, thank you. When you do so, you’re supporting indie, still-small, grassroots-created (our readers are our writers) media with a conscience, and our efforts to make this here rag-tag outfit mainstream and available to those beyond our core readership or choir.

A tired, happy, relieved founding editor,

Waylon Hart Lewis


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


28 Responses to “It Feels so Good not to be Poor for the First Time in My Life.”

  1. Love this post. Think you need to consider changing the "H" from Hart to Homerun. Way to go!

  2. DaveTelf says:

    Yeah buddy.

  3. You deserve it. It's been a great three years together!


  4. Wonderful, Waylon! Kate says to change the H to Homerun. I say change Hart to Heart. You rawk! You're an inspiration. Cheers to you and the elephant community!!

  5. elephantjournal says:

    Amen brother.

  6. elephantjournal says:

    Hah. Thank you, Lynn. You're an inspiration, like Bob and Kate and Lindsey…

  7. elephantjournal says:

    Yeah former intern now star entrepreneur and through it all jolly good fellow and now elephant columnist!

  8. @joiedesara says:

    The work you've done creating this site has certainly helped and encouraged me. So, thank you. I'm glad to be a small part of what makes this site possible and can't wait to see where it goes next with you, Waylon Hart? Heart? Homerun? Lewis at the helm.

  9. guest says:

    broke and poor are not the same thing. I have been broke for many years, but I have never been poor, Poor doesn't get to live in Boulder. Poor doesn't get to make it out. Poor doesn't own a Mac-book while building a business.
    So now you are gonna buy a car? Thought it was for the environment that you bike everywhere. But congratulations on not being broke anymore. Seriously, it is good to take care of the teeth, gum disease is linked to heart disease. But seriously, big difference between broke and poor.

  10. guest says:

    and poor definitely doesn't shop at vitamin cottage!

  11. elephantjournal says:

    Thanks for your condescension. You sound like a real prick, but I'm sure you're not—so perhaps take a step back and breathe before shitting at folks you don't know, next time.

    My mom raised me while living in poor circumstances, never making more than $12K a year, as I remember. We went Christmases without presents, lived on popcorn and rice sometimes, didn't get braces 'cause they were too expensive, didn't have a car or for many years a TV, and lived a great fucking life despite that all. We may have been broke, and poor, but she gave me a great education and tons of love and simple, good food. So you're right on one thing: I lived a rich, fortunate life and thanks to the US, and growing up in Boulder, a safe, secure life. Many have it far worse than I, I know that. But food stamps for lunch? Yes. Handmedowns? Yes. Travel anywhere, skiing? No. You know very little about me—which is more than I can say about you, anonymous. So brave, dumping on someone from the safety granted by anonymity.

    I'm on the fence about the truck, and openly so. It's a 50 year old truck, and since I'd drive it at most once every month, and just to go to ReSource (secondhand building materials) for my home, I'd be (this is what others have said, by way of advice, and I mostly agree) using it less than whomever else might buy it, and using it in a way that was mostly green. That said, I don't like gas or oil or having to deal with the world of insurance or repairs etc.

    Thanks for the advice on my teeth! Never a single cavity, but I do need to floss more.

    Poor can live in Boulder, I should know. We have an amazing affordable housing program. If you want to talk broke, we're one of the most popular spots in the US for the homeless, and for a reason—our climate, and our homeless facilities.

    As for vitamin cottage, I disagree. We've done good articles on how eating simply and healthfully is cheaper in the long run that eating crap food. Healthcare is pricey. As for shortfun, it's possible to shop bulk and sales, as I have done for years.

  12. @Chen_Dogg says:

    @ guest, you sound like you have some rage in there man… Seriously. But seriously. You sold me on 'seriously'. Twice. Seriously (Chill)


  13. Sara says:

    I hear you Waylon. Being broke (or poor!) is boring and stressful. Good on you, and reach for the stars ♥

  14. Andy says:

    I cant tell if reading about your personal life is profoundly interesting or completely irritating. I guess that is the conundrum of reality tv and blogging. The type a extroverts risk hate but gain love and adoration in the process. Kudos though. Your version of Boulder is the one i fell in love with just before EJ was birthed by you. And i read it, and see the ads, which is what you're striving for.

  15. elephantjournal says:

    Hah! Me neither. I'm with you.

    Well, I may be an extrovert (guilty) but still exposing those personal parts of ourselves, and submitting ourselves for unasked-for prejudgment, is always painful. I find my job—sharing, being open—irritating much of the time, believe you me.

    Example: I was just at farmers' market, having biked down with my rescue dog, getting coffee and a vegan cinnamon roll (living cliche of a Boulder morning) and got to hear a longtime dear acquaintance flatter me in one breath as being mayor of Boulder and tell her friends about how I own a pricey home (that the bank actually owns, I put nothing down, having nothing) in Boulder in the next breath. Needless to say, and I didn't, owning a home and starting a family and living downtown so I can bike daily and all that is a dream I would like to fulfill, and am trying to do so. My home has also served as our office for many years, saving us some dough there. And none of this, really, is anyone's business but mine, and not something I want to have to argue or talk about on a Saturday morning.

    Then, I got to listen to yetanothersomeone's pitch about a fucking yoga story. I don't need to hear your story about yoga. You can send it to us [click submit a story button, any page of elephant] and we can edit and share it. But I am not elephant, merely. I am a human being, trying to get coffee, and not enjoying being a walking to-do list or cliche for the casual acquaintances who "know" me.

  16. Lori Ann Lothian says:

    "The next phase for elephant will be exhausting, and fun: now that we have a great, low-drama staff, inspired and cohesive, and a stable community, we can begin to reach for the stars—to finally begin to fulfill our mission of effecting real and lasting change in education, enlightening entertainment and the quality of journalism (the fourth estate) in a new media context."

    I am happy to be a part of elephant…

  17. Carrie Tyler says:

    Love to you Waylon. Thank you for following your passion and your dream. Your success with Elephant is an inspiration to all of us.

  18. Thanks, Waylon, for giving all of us an opportunity to voice our sometimes strong opinions in a welcoming and highly varied environment. You should be proud of yourself and proud of Elephant. Love and Light to you.

  19. Atalwin says:

    Waylon! Don't take it so personal! It is never personal. When somebody projects his pain on you, which is what the commenter is doing, feel where it hurts you. Mr. Anonymous has pointed out a sore spot for you: it seems that you don't find him not sensitive enough and not fully acknowledging your (past) suffering. You are both competing for attention: he wants his 'wisdom' acknowledged and his ability to discern between 'poor' and 'broke' and you want approval for all the obstacles you conquered. And that's cool: you worked hard and came a long way. Don't spoil it by getting defensive against somebody anonymous who can't see your perspective because he is stuck in his own perspective.

    I will share a personal insight: I once 'saw' that all the advice I gave others was in fact my Higher Self (Buddha Nature, whateva) speaking to me. When you tell the commenter to 'take a step back and breathe' it is actually True Waylon talking to ego-Waylon. It is up to you to obey the Higher Self or not but I feel his advice is good and worth trying.

    Finally: I know how it feels to have a unpredictable cash flow and not feeling fully financially appreciated by the Universe for all the work I do for humanity. Deep down I feel I deserve to be rich. But when I look closely I see it is my story of feeling inferior because I am not living up to expectations of my environment (I grew up in a rich environment). Our work is to let go of the story. You know it and I know it. Now let's move on, bro!

  20. barbara says:

    Dear Waylon, Your elephant journal is the most refreshing, hopeful, and delicious journal that I have found to date on the web. Authenticity shines through everywhere and I love it – and I love that you are enjoying your life and your goods and your self. You are right: Guest, you are not a prick, you are bitter…. from being poor. And Bitterness is a traitorous companion; Try despair! It's a shape-shifter, a trickster; a shaman and a friend. Follow despair far enough down the rabbit hole, and whaddaya know? inevitably you find the field. Broke may be given at times – Poor is optional. Always.

  21. elephantjournal says:

    As the Godfather says, it's always personal..!

  22. Waylon,

    I just want to tell you that I am so very happy for you! I share (some) of your frustrations, explorations and successes -at a much smaller level- and I know how good it feels to make this online publishing thing happen. You have an amazing team and must be a solid leader, otherwise you wouldn’t be here right now. Kudos! You are an inspiration!

  23. integralhack says:

    Congrats, Waylon! Now buy that dog some pants–what a show off!

  24. shannon says:

    kudos to you for sticking it out for so long to see your ‘child’ to fruition. many wouldve given up long ago. congrats… 🙂

  25. Atalwin: I learned more from your reply than from anything else this year. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. My sense is that many of us have been where Waylon was when he wrote his reply. Your thoughts provide a roadmap to response. With much gratitude!

  26. Holyvia9 says:

    well done….you can add an E now in your surname 🙂

  27. Mariana Wirth says:

    Great, Waylon, congratulations!

  28. […] was I working up to? More responsibility? More money? More spreadsheets? No way […]