Category Archives: Blog

Do It Yourself!

In the Odds and Ends blog post I mentioned The August Experiment. It was simple. I had a brief but lovely exchange with a young (I’m guessing) woman named Debra Anderson. She mentioned looking through this site for a store to purchase Nobull items to give to deserving people. There is none of course but I was struck by a small inspiration. We agreed that she would give away three prizes and write entries for the Award Recipients page to be used both here and on her blog (it is a work in progress). I’m very enthusiastic about this collaboration. In a sense it is experimental, but isn’t life? You will be hearing from Debra shortly. She has been incredibly busy this last month putting all of this together. My attitude is that creative efforts aren’t to be rushed.

Because of Debra I’ve become enamored of the idea of having other people give Nobull Peace Prizes to people of their choice. Those who wish to select recipients would have to get in touch with me to begin the process. There only obligation would be to write a brief piece describing who they chose and why, with perhaps a small story of the process.

I’m enthusiastic about this strategy of distribution (three a month is still the target number) because the liklihood of an extremely positive event increases when there is some personal involvement. So far about 40% of my efforts have been wildly successful, striking just the right chord at the right time in people’s lives. Another !0% were OK and about half recieved no response. Meh. If other people give to NPPs those of their acquaintance the success rate will approach 100%. Success is when action of giving creates a jolt of surprise and pleasure in the hearts of recipients who realize that someone prizes their effort to add Love into the world.

If you would like to participate in this effort by choosing a recipient, delivering the prize through the mail or in person and then writing an account of who and why, please use the thinly disguised email address on the contact page to get in touch with me.

Unknown Welles

A Different Perspective

The most recent (and probably the last) element added to the Nobull Peace Prize project was the creation of 7″ embroidery patches. Because the original prizes were designed to fit in the Priority Mail boxes for shipping these didn’t fit. I decided to mail them separately to those recipients who took the time to express some degree of appreciation for this quixotic little undertaking.

My idea was that they might be sewn on jackets and in time create sort of a whimsical ‘geezer gang’. JP Novic just sent me a picture of her jacket. I’m incredibly amused. I’ve never seen or thought of the orientation she had the seamstress sew the embroidery on her jacket. It expands the meaning of the logo in a delightful way.


Thanks, JP!

Signature Heart Welles

Odds and Ends


As I considered the work of Dane Wigington last month ideas about courage kept popping into my mind. They appeared as little individual elements rather than a connected narrative.

Courage is a quality one exhibits when the motivator of action is the heart.

Courage is drawn from us by circumstance far more often than voluntary choice.

Courage not to do war is far greater than the physical courage exhibited in war for it goes against the indoctrination of thousands of years.

Courage is being the change when the world needs to change.

Courage’s close companion is uncertainty.


I received a lovely bit of feedback from Joe Martino who wrote:

A Big Thanks!

Hey Welles,

I received your package a few days ago and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I just wasn’t expecting such a thing and it was such a kind and loving thing to receive especially during a time where I have been working too hard (my own fault) and was having a tough time appreciating my own work. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to do this and for all the previous awards you’ve sent out to other amazing people. It’s very meaningful and inspiring.

I shared the news with some of my friends on social media, here’s my Facebook post about it.:

“The other day I got this in the mail and to be honest it hit me pretty hard. The idea that someone took the time to do this and share what they shared just hit me hard. The care and love involved in just appreciating someone you don’t know was so touching.

Lately things have been really busy in my life and our team has grown so much so fast that trying to keep up with all of it became really tough. I’m supposed to be “the boss” the manager and get my hands dirty in the workand while that was possible with a small team it’s insane with a big team. For me, trying to appreciate my own work has always been tough as I’m naturally very hard on myself but at the same time it has created a block in me being able to consistently appreciate those who get very close to me.. like our team.

This gift literally snuck up on me and basically hit me in the perfect spot during a time when I was working on changing the way I see my own work and express myself to the team. The timing could not have been any more perfect!

Thanks to Welles B. Goodrich for taking the time to put this together and share it with me. It’s greatly appreciated and it’s been a perfect token to further growth in myself which will surely pass onto others as well. You’re changing the world.

It’s an interesting thing to note when some people can be so loving towards others and their efforts while others can be the complete opposite. Why is it that we’ll always have “haters?” That statement simply shouldn’t exist.”

Again thanks soo much! It has probably made an impact that I can’t even convey entirely via this email as it triggered something interesting within myself that I’m sure will expand outwards to others. Anywho, thanks again and I will be hanging this in my office 🙂

I hope you have an awesome day!

Much love

The August Experiment

My favorite Earthly task is creating beauty. My preferred medium is woodwork. Three months ago I was given the key to a wonderful workshop (both metal and wood) and given permission to create whatever I wished. I chose to finish a project that started in 1975. At the time I didn’t have the slightest idea what was to come.

I lived alone in a beautiful location. My nearest neighbor was a few miles away. Horses had run wild since the old couple who had owned them died thirty years before my tenure. It was as close to the old west as I could imagine. My stay included experiences like being snowed in for three weeks and a forest fire stopping within a hundred yards of my cabin. My closest acquaintance was a huge rattlesnake who kept the ground squirrels out of the garden. We would sun ourselves in close proximity together on a regular basis.

Even there my need to create beauty was a driving passion so with just a home-made 18″ clamp, a coping saw, a rasp and some sandpaper I managed to create a 3′ diameter puzzle sun out of redwood and pine. It took months. I sanded my fingers into a bloody mess. When I left there I took that sculpture as my one memento of a grand adventure. In 1979 I had an excellent wood shop of my own in Palo Alto where I place the sun in a sculpted pine cloud to use as a headboard for a bed. There the project languished and I had given up on ever finishing it until the recent gift of a wonderful shop to use.

What, you might wonder, does this have to do with Nobull? Well my focus has been so narrow for the last three months that I almost just let my self-appointed August distribution slide. In late July I was having twinges of guilt but the bed project was all consuming. Then I had a Nobull message from someone whose name will be withheld for the moment. It was simply this:

In Light and Love,

I responded with a thank you for that little email struck a chord in my heart. This resulted in an exchange that led us to trying an experiment. I’ve sent her three Nobull prize packages for August and asked her to choose recipients and tell us their stories.
She will receive them in a day or so. Let’s see what happens!

Oh the bed? Here is a picture when it was first assembled although there were a couple of tine details still to finish.

The Launch Pad ~ ‘A Bed to Die For’

Unknown Welles

Two Wishes

At the beginning of the Nobull Peace Prize project I was very unsure of the response that this well intended but slightly goofy project might find. When facing the unknown it is pretty normal to make plans that are more hope than substance. Hopes are the medium of wishes.

The value of planning varies in different circumstances. Plans for material creations can be loosely held as visualizations or rigidly held as blueprints. Both of those can be carried out to great degrees of success (success being defined as the result was anticipated). Things are very different when the intent of your action has social and spiritual consequences. You just can’t be sure of the real results. In those cases plans are the preparation that allows you to respond to reality as well as possible. They almost never happen as conceived but something else will. Preparation allows you to see opportunity when it passes by.

This month I had two of my wishes realized. The first was that someone else would begin to help choose the Nobull recipients. That would be easier for me and it would be more fun to see where the NPPs ended up. It was also the first step toward my hope that by the time the first 100 prizes were awarded the project would take on a life of its own simply because people liked it. The first step toward that was realized as Mimi Peleg chose two of this month’s recipients.

Mimi is a friend of a friend. When we first met she embraced the idea of the NPP immediately and suggested that she knew two local women who were unsung angels to kids in need. It took me a week or two to realize that the cosmos had provided an opportunity to which I should respond. Because I accepted her lead I got my second wish, which was to be able to deliver the prize in person. It was wonderful.

Mimi made all the arrangements for our visit. Jackie Russell and Gina Navaroli were waiting to give us a tour of their workplace and were admittedly excited by the whole prospect of winning an award. You know how often reality doesn’t live up to the excitement of our anticipation? I can honestly say that the actual prize lived up to their imagined expectations. It was a wonderful moment. Thanks, Mimi.

On another note Alexis Brooks was kind enough to include a beautiful thank you in her monthly news letter, Higher Journeys News-N-Muse. From that page you can subscribe to the newsletter by clicking on the ‘Subscribe’ button in the upper left corner.

On yet another note my new favorite person, Terri St. Cloud just posted a lovely thank you on her blog. I’ve been awarded an honorary pronoun! Yay.

Signature Heart Welles B Goodrich

Simple Pleasures

I’ve always liked simple actions designed to add a bit of color, delight and whimsy to our world and have been creating projects with that goal in mind for a very long time. To be honest it isn’t very often that there is any feedback to indicate the attempts have been successful (or not). Imagining the possibility of adding a moment of delight into someone’s life has always had to be good enough. After a while you get used to taking it on faith that there is some value to your actions. High hopes and low expectatons are the two fundamental attitudes required in attempting happiness exploits.

When a goal of surprise goodness actually works it approaches wonderful. Responsive feedback is still sufficiently unusual that it is a treasure. I like to share one of the treasures of this project provided by Vicki Howie and Ross Pittman.

CLN Editors & Host Receive ‘Nobull Peace Prize’

Thanks Vicki and Ross. You’ve made my month.

Onward… next month already has a couple of new twists added to the Nobull project. Someone else nominated two of the recipients. Not only that but I’ll be able to deliver those in person with her assistance. Thanks Mimi!

Tune in next month…

Signature Heart Welles B Goodrich

Reciprocal Process

Every time you create something original it is a reciprocal process. The creation acts on the creator as well. That occurs by feedback from the environment in which the effort is invested. This project has resulted in some excellent responses that tend to be directing my steps forward as I respond to them.

The NPP started with a laugh as I imagined the logo but I couldn’t imagine what might actually occur. In a way I was putting a shot across the bows of reality and knew it was rather absurd. It was more like one cartoon character in a rowboat with a popgun as the Titanic of the world rumbled by. Pop! Pop-pop! That was maybe fifteen percent of my original package of motivations truly reflected in the Nobull logo. Another thirty percent or so was consciously trying to inject my version of Love into the world. At the time my largest motivator was simply I love creating stuff and hoped it would delight people. Of course most people are used to institutional products and one individual’s efforts are of necessity modest by that scale.

Dylan Charles responded to my initial letter of inquiry with what I thought was a classic reply. He said simply, “Thanks so much for your consideration in this. I’ve always wanted a Nobull Peace Prize. 😉 ” I cracked up. Pop-pop!

Then I had a wonderful experience. Ida Lawrence added her thoughts about the Nobull Peace Prize on her blog.

Momz Goodies – Creating a Circuit

I’m so grateful for her response because that was my second major motivation for doing the NPP. Now that the physical creation is over my motivation has changed again. Creating a circuit of Love has become the primary focus because of Ida’s reinforcement. Pop-pop. Don’t worry I’m still out there in the rowboat.

The spirit of this project was directed once more by John Ptacek. I was given a personal nudge when he wrote…

“Welles, I received your gift yesterday. Please let me restate what an honor it is to receive this award. You impress me as a person driven to find good in the world and reward it. Shouldn’t we all be doing this? I think so.

Haven’t yet found the right spot for the three pieces you sent me, but will get to work on it this weekend.

Keep brightening the world with acts of kindness. It is our highest human capability and you are setting a good example for me and for those who come in contact with you. 

With love,


You know I’ve never thought of myself as a kind person. I try hard to live by the Golden Rule and wasn’t consciously aware that kindness was one of the results. From now on I’ll be acutely aware of the kindness aspect of my actions. Thanks, John for that direction.

When we reinforce the goodness in one another we are changed and that is how the world is changed. It isn’t a big deal, just profound.

Signature Heart Welles B Goodrich

Social Creation

In this last week I suddenly realized that the Nobull Peace Prize is a social creation. I knew the project was a creative one but not really much more than that until now.

Creation is a funny process. We aren’t The Creators of but a part of the evolutionary outworking of the Universe; the emergence from formless to form. In that light we’re all co-creators. I like that role. How does it work? Let’s look at this project.

The NPP began with a 10-watt inspiration. It blossomed in my mind during a receptive moment when my internal dialog was quiet and heart open. When you are the recipient of an inspiration the next thing is to look around and see if you have the means to do something about it. Well I definitely have the design skills to see the logo emerge from imagination to reality. It took only a day or so and I knew the design was really good. When we are working in alignment with the Universe practical miracles occur to forward the momentum of our efforts. When they don’t it is time to look inward for there are valuable lessons waiting.

With astounding synchronicity I heard that a friend had left me a gift in his will and so actually creating the cloisonné badges to be a physical prize became real. Research and conferences with a couple of vendors taught me how to modify the logo for production. I went with the vendor who gave me one excellent defining suggestion (to turn the white bull and lettering into polished nickel). A few discussions with the factory to make sure of every color, line and facet preceded production. With that under way I worked on the packaging.

There was a great deal of emotion invested in the logo, cloisonné badges, the packaging and every pixel of this web site design. Everything was crafted by feel with an open-heart on the podium directing the whole task. I feel totally confident in the quality of the material prize but unsure of the distribution plan. The reality of every creation is that we are tested, stressed and must grow during the process. I’m not used to being reliant on other people in my creations. So far that’s still an issue.

To begin distribution I chose a variety of people whose work I had found personally enlightening. That was my sole criterion. In the first two months I simply awarded ten people the Nobull Peace Prize and then tried to deliver. I’m used to making unilateral decisions. It turned out that wasn’t a particularly good strategy. Only seven prizes were mailed out of the ten. Of those only three expressed appreciation for the effort but the responses from those people were so much fun that it was easily worth the effort.

As I pondered on the relative failures in those initial attempts it became obvious that I needed a better strategy. I was too autocratic. Perhaps I should ask if potential recipients were interested in advance and created a web page that answered the two most salient questions I imagined people might have. Who am I? What do I want? This January is the first time I’ve tried the new strategy. The answer to what do I want was; ‘should you accept you will be helping to make the project real’. That was about as straightforward as I knew how to be.

So far I’ve sent six invitations for January. Five didn’t respond but Ida Lawrence did. I was really grateful. She and her family got a kick out of the Nobull Peace Prize. I loved the response. Then it dawned on me. The Nobull Peace Prize can be a social creation to spread delight. I hadn’t realized that. I like the idea. Oh yes, a new distribution model came to me during another pondering session.

Creation is funny stuff. Get a little inspiration. Keep doing what you can to make it real and see where it takes you. You never know…

Heart Welles B Goodrich

Love’s Landscape

I often use the phrase ‘building a world of Love.’ It has a very specific meaning to me that includes all the unique possibilities that every person might manifest. Love is quite simply the fundamental undifferentiated energy of the Creator. When we access it through our hearts and it becomes the basis of our actions we become co-creators in our little corners of the Universe. When we allow Love to flow through us our ideas are enlightened, our material creations become elevated to arts and our human interactions generate goodness.

The primary qualities of endeavors nourished by that cosmic creative force are goodness, truth, and beauty. I happen to be fond of the humor, as well, a derivative of those three fundamentals. We are transformed by actions whose intent is an embrace of Love. They are a gift to those around us as well. That is the practical key to spiritual growth.

As I look over our world, so frightfully in need change, I see millions of people participating in creating with Love already. The constant small goodnesses we perform for one another build the ground of an emerging new world. Ultimately it is person to person, heart to heart that creates the circuit to enable the transformation needed.

The manifestation of each person is different. Some work to shed the light of truth. It helps to dissolve the bondage of the old system’s control through fear. That is an ungodly mess that can’t be fixed. As I see it there is also an implied obligation that those truth warriors will be the creators of the new institutions that will help to set us free.

Some are working to uncover and resolve the patterns of fears that reside in our common psyches. The wisdom and understanding gained through their struggles will make the transition easier for each succeeding generation. Some are initiating new courses of action with their intent consciously held in the heart. They are the pioneers who are proving the reality that spiritual development becomes dynamic when we become creators. From them we will learn to initiate from the heart and be responsible for our actions.

I see a new landscape emerging; a new world. The soil that nurtures it is Love. The structures aren’t metal and stone but rather organic. They are grown among people through the voluntary participation of each individual. It isn’t easy. It’s necessary.

Heart Welles B Goodrich

New! Vinyl Stickers

My friend Brenda suggested that I have Nobull Peace Prize vinyl stickers made. I thought it was a great idea. I obtained a wonderful result after a bit of research to learn about the different production techniques that make a durable sticker.

I’d be glad to send you one if you are willing to jump through a few hoops. First go to the contact page and decipher the Nobull email address. Then send me an email with Nobull Sticker in the subject bar. I’ll send you back a mailing address in the US. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to that address and I’ll put a sticker in it and mail it back to you the next day.

It will take you a little time and money (stamps & envelopes) to obtain a ‘free’ Nobull Peace Prize vinyl sticker suitable for application to smooth surfaces such as glass or metal. Sorry about that. I’ll gladly stuff one in an envelope you provide but I haven’t the time to do more than that.

The stickers come on a thick paper backing. It took me a bit of patience to start peeling the vinyl sticker off the backing. During application I ended up with a couple of small air bubbles that could have been avoided if I had been a bit more careful. Oh well. Next time…


George Barnard Replies

Dear Welles,
Back in 1996 I beat the many students of my year in psychology, and for my university to see fit to award me a trophy and a big check.  To this day my name is up in gold leaf, and this is how it all happened …
In December of 1987 I was beaten badly at my works.  My neck was broken, my brainstem damaged and not until 1993 did I begin to see clearly who I was and what had happened to me in that mugging.
By 1996, still in a post-traumatic stress disorder, I had gone back to college life to get my brain and mind working again, as it surely had to be my most vital asset.  It was agony, long hours for my damaged grey matter to function again.  Despite the extra exam time allocated just for me, I more than earned my university’s acclaim.
Your Nobull Peace Prize is very much bigger than that.  It is a reward for doing something other than rote learning, and only God will ever know how much of “heart and soul” goes into this each day of our lives.
Thank you, Welles, for appreciating our 11:11 Progress Group efforts.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
George Mathieu Barnard.

Note from Welles: When I received George’s permission to publish his note he added this…

In my mind I share this award with Bill Kelly of Pocatello, Susan Kimsey of San Francisco, Rick Giles of North Idaho, Gerdean O’Dell of Albuquerque, all passed on since we became friends during my 2000 and 2002 trips to the US.
Must not forget Mark Rogers of North Idaho. Mark of course is still alive, still a youngster.


On Giftivism

Givtivism is the word coined by Service Space to describe the practice of radically generous acts that transform the world. It is a philosophy that, when acted upon, shifts our actions from a drive for consumption to discovering the joy of contribution, from individual selfishness to community generosity. As Pavi Mehta says, “What we will do for love will always be far more powerful than what we will do for money.”

I’ve practiced something like this on an individual basis for 45 years. The realization that started my effort was a sudden understanding that a huge amount of our worldly activity is devoted to self-protection. You can fill in all the ways yourself. They range from conspicuous consumption to craft an image designed to hide one’s fears of inadequacy to war at the most pernicious collective level. I wondered, what if each of us tried to look out for one another? What if we didn’t have to look out for ourselves? I figure that the 75% of current human activities are involved in protecting ourselves from our own fears, both real and imagined.

In trying to actually put the idea into practice there were some limitations. One was that at least some of time I felt the need to assure myself of rudimentary physical support. That often necessitated an exchange of labor for money. Even there the philosophy of giving could be applied. I always did the best I could and tried to give a little more effort, do a better job and keep my prices modest. The end result was that almost all my exchanges with people were happily concluded and many turned into friendships.

I learned that the value of money is created in the quality of the effort for which it is exchanged. I can honestly say that I made money more valuable from my use of it. By doing so I understood the difference between inflation and deflation. Deflation comes about by adding more value to exchanges that are reflected in the symbolic exchange of money. Inflation equals greed.

As I look forward at civilization’s evolution it is obvious to me that ownership and profit need to give way to stewardship and giving. Stewardship is merely a reflection of reality. We are temporary citizens of this planet. We must pass it on slightly better than we found it or be indicted by history for our moral failure. Giving is just much simpler than money. You don’t have to keep track. There’s another huge time waster.

In the future there will be no need for money at all. Our scientific knowledge will allow for decentralized and independent systems of energy, manufacturing material needs and food creation. Sound like a dream? We can see intimations of that reality in nano-machines, 3D Printing and other technologies right now. Intellectual advances will diminish the time needed for physical maintenance to only a few hours a day. Spiritual, intellectual and creative pursuits will fill the vacuum created by the reduction of our fear for material security.

I find it amazing that Service Space is living that future in the present.

Welles B Goodrich

Sandra Barnard Replies

Hello over there Welles!

We just had the most wonderful surprise delivered today while we were out.  Imagine coming home to find such a precious and amusing gift for each of us.  Thank you! Thank you many times over.   I don’t know what is going on this week but I feel so inspired… well, inspired as if we (humankind) can do anything, pull it all together and make this world right.  I hope it lasts through the upcoming elections and beyond. ah well… (Oh dear… Now I am hearing in my head, Buzz Lightyear from Toy story and his peppy slogan, “To Infinity and Beyond!”)

Your lovely little badges seem to add their own spark to that bit of happiness I am feeling.  George too. For me, every time I look at it it will remind me that anything is possible and encourage me to keep dreaming and believing sharing and loving.  Not bad, eh? 

Thanks again Welles for all the encouragement you give us along the way and for walking “the path” with us for awhile…hopefully a good long while.

Sandy and George too!

Angel Investor

Donald Paul Grassini
1/18/1940 ~ 9/27/2013

I only got to know Don in the last half a dozen years of his life. We became good friends in that time primarily because of a similarity in our sense of humor and a shared mutual love of fine craftsmanship.

Don was a practical engineer. That meant he was hired to create systems for industrial production. Often his jobs required pipefitting on a grand scale so he facetiously called himself a plumber. He was a hands-on guy who designed and planned but really loved the actual work. Our approaches to creation were very different. He used plans. I just make stuff up and fly by the seat of my pants. We were both fixated on striving for perfection in our own creative efforts.

Our humor was similar; a sharp and somewhat dry wit that is uncomfortable on occasion because of a certain pointedness. We live in the country where helping neighbors is important and builds the bonds of community. Don helped his friends and neighbors constantly but probably would have been uncomfortable with effusive recognition. We just reciprocated in kind. In that way he was a creator of a society with no name. He was a truly good man who was loved by a small group of people that included all of his neighbors.

About six months after Don died I heard a rumor that he had left me a gift in his will. That was a complete surprise. At almost the same time the Nobull Peace Prize logo came to me in one of those 10-watt bursts of inspiration. Hearing of possible funding allowed my imagination to enlarge the idea by visualizing cloisonné badges for a prize. As the logo developed I realized he would have loved the whimsy of artistically embellishing such an awful pun. When I received the gift from his estate and had the funds to create the Nobull Peace Prize, I worked with a factory to turn the original logo into a cloisonné badge. He would have loved the result. They are just so…real!

My favorite expression of their ‘realness’ was uttered by a young woman, who is an amazing musician. She held the prototype and stared at it for quite a while before saying, “I want to laugh at it but it’s just too beautiful.”

Thank you Don for enabling this project in absentia so to speak. You’ve given new meaning to the term Angel Investor.

Welles B Goodrich