January 29, 2004
Pasadena, California, USA

9:41am. The following article was on the front page of the Saint John Telegraph-Journal, published on January 27, 2004:

Adventurer adds to Chicken Soup mix

TRAVEL: 1997 journal entry from kayaking trip included in best-selling book series

Cory Richardson has written a chapter in the latest Chicken Soup book entitled Living Life to the Fullest.


A local man's kayaking adventures will soon be attracting international attention for their part in a best-selling book series.

But even Cory Richardson is amazed that his exploits of nearly seven years ago are part of the multi-million selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series. The wildly popular self-help books offer stories about everyday people and the events that changed their lives.

The just-released Chicken Soup to Inspire the Body and Soul features one of Mr. Richardson's 1997 journal entries. That story came from a grueling kayaking trip he took down the West Coast of Canada and the United States.

Mr. Richardson, 26, wrote of getting stuck for hours in the mud flats in Washington state and the mental and physical strain of making a journey that was just a few kilometres long.

Finally freeing himself and arriving at his destination, Mr. Richardson made the acquaintance of a man who was going to sail solo through a dangerous stretch of water.

The then 19-year-old kayaker faced a dilemma: continue on his own journey, or accept a unique offer to undertake a whole new adventure. He chose the latter and was thrilled with the experience.

The story ends with Mr. Richardson sitting down to a Chinese dinner bought by his new sailing friend. Upon cracking open his fortune cookie, Mr. Richardson read this message: "Now is the time to try something new!"

The exploits are featured in a chapter written by Mr. Richardson called Living Life to the Fullest, starting on page 121 of Chicken Soup to Inspire the Body and Soul.

Getting paid $300 US and having his 1997 story published in a Chicken Soup book was just an added bonus to that experience, Mr. Richardson said.

"I would have done it for free," he said when reached by phone in Santa Barbara, Calif.

With 80 million Chicken Soup for the Soul books sold and more than 65 titles published in 37 languages, Mr. Richardson has attached himself to a powerful entity.

Mr. Richardson was last home in West Saint John in November 2002 and has been spending time in the California and Mexico, travelling and experiencing life.

"I am all about life experience. I hated school," Mr. Richardson said, noting he wants to dedicate his life to helping others reach their potential. He plans to return home to Saint John for the summer.

Mr. Richardson's story fits right in with the book series philosophy, which is "Changing the world one story at a time."

Diana von Welanetz Wentworth is one of the co-editors of the latest Chicken Soup book. She met Mr. Richardson at a motivational conference in Westminster, Calif. in 1998.

"He was someone we were all really enjoying," Ms. Welanetz Wentworth said. "He had all this enthusiasm. I thought he was amazing. He had his laptop in his kayak and had a real can-do attitude. He was really going for it. He had a contagious energy that was fun."

Yesterday I wrote this article for the Pasadena Weekly:

Know appreciation--know wealth.
No appreciation--no wealth.

If you could have anything, would it be a "thing" …or an experience?

Bling-bling doesn't mean a thing. In tribal communities, the wealthy are not those who have the most, but those who have given the most. Deep in our hearts we know that our true prosperity is expressed by our love and quality of relationships, not in the amount we acquire and consume.

We can become a prisoner to our possessions. The first step to freedom and abundance might be giving away what you don't need. This will open space for new things. It is also easier to find peace of mind in an organized, uncluttered environment. Throw on a pot of chili and have a party. With a Christmas tree sort of theme, gift rap your crap, dangle all those unwanted trinkets and give them to your friends. They won't care it is used-it's free-and better yet, it holds the sweet essence of you as a reminder of your connection.

Living simply, we can afford time to slow down and enjoy growing food in the back yard or community garden, or getting to know the man who plays sax while selling sprouts at the farmer's market. Living in southern California-why maintain a lawn, wasting water-our most precious resource, and gas-the source of war and pollution, when you can grow free food all year long? Riding mass-transit could be time out to read a book, or cycling to work at sunrise could mean losing weight.

Health is wealth. Eat raw fruits and vegetables. Cooking kills enzymes- the "life force". Brush and floss teeth regularly-the dentist is not cheap! My teeth are litterly the most expensive thing I own. The USA has the distinction of being the only first world country where being ill can cripple you financially.

Nobody wants a job-we want a life style that is enjoyable. The stress of getting ahead through schooling and climbing the corporate ladder can be overwhelming, and we can loose site of what we really want-which is to appreciate every moment of the journey.

To protect yourself from an economy you can't control, develop your interests and talents into useful skills and build a network of mutually supportive family, friends, and neighbors.

In pursuing wealth and happiness it is important to have a vision of yourself and the world that inspires you. Fixed ideas about self-image and identity can keep you stuck in a rut-a negative headspace. Rationalization and justification are mental masturbation-you're just screwing yourself. A friend once said, "If you want… you can lay brick in Spain," meaning there are infinitely more options than feeling stuck where you are. You have an infinite choice of worlds to live in.

Secret treasures await you in the mountains and canyons. Following a stream you may discover a thundering waterfall, or a hot springs more luxurious than at any health spa. I've been there, but I'm not telling where. That's your adventure to explore!

If you have time to chatter
Read Books
If you have time to read
Walk into Mountain, desert and ocean
If you have time to walk
Sing songs and dance
If you have time to dance
Sit quietly, you Happy Lucky Idiot

-Nanao Sakaki, Break the Mirror