Is Cave of Monsters for You? Are You in the Right Place?
This isn’t a “self-help” blog. We’re not gurus. We don’t have answers. And if you’re looking for articles like…
- 7 Steps to Happiness…
- One Weird Trick to a Perfect Relationship… or
- The Lazy Way to Get Rich Online…
You’re in the wrong place.
We believe life is chaotic. That there are no black-and-white rules. And trying to put life in a simple, easy-to-swallow package is a waste of time.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t find happiness, health, love, wealth, and freedom though.
You can. It’s just that…
We Believe LIFE IS A CRAFT
There’s an element of creativity to it. Complexity. Art. Magic.
Life is something you work at. It takes practice. It requires your presence every day, every waking moment until your dying breath.
It takes being vulnerable with ourselves and others. And our obsession with comfort, certainty, and control resists that at every turn.
Now, this is scary for most people. Us included. But it’s also exciting and thrilling, because…
Life is precious. It’s valuable. It’s so goddamn, absolutely beautiful when we share those moments of humanity and vulnerability and connection with each other.
Those are the moments we live for. The moments we strive for. The moments we hold on to long after they’ve passed. The moments we retrieve in our times of loneliness and difficulty. The moments we carry into our twilight years.
And ultimately, that’s what Cave of Monsters is about. It’s about TRULY LIVING LIFE by crafting it.
“Craft” requires discipline. It costs energy, love and devotion. It’s not a one-time-thing. You have to show up… and keep showing up.
You have to face your monsters.
So if you’re sick of all the empty, “mental junk food” you get online, and you’re ready to put in the real effort to “craft your life” instead, join us here…
Are You One of Us?
We’re looking for smart, hungry people to be a part of this community.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer, designer, builder, performer or artist…
Someone established, just starting out or someone about to reinvent themselves…
You’re one of us if you fall somewhere near the middle of this Venn diagram:
Here’s the deal…
When you’re resourceful, and can see opportunities and seize them… that’s entrepreneurial.
When you live in the now, and can rally the courage to move into the fire… that’s spirituality.
When you solve challenges with perspective, experimentation and hacks… that’s creativity.
But you can’t rely on just one or the other. You need all three working in tandem.
If you’re only S and C without the E… you’re a starvin’ artist constantly raging at the world.
If you’re only E and C without the S… you’re a soulless salesman who can make it rain but can’t connect.
If you’re only S and E without the C… you’re a woo-woo guru set in his ways. “Just visualize harder, dammit!”
We want a balance of all three.
So in The Cave, we’re going to draw on wisdom, data and strategies from everywhere.
Business and politics, science and religion, sports and art…
Wherever we see peak performers embodying this holy trinity of entrepreneurialism, creativity and spirituality… we want to go to there.
Would you like to go on this journey with us?
Nobody Said It Was Easy
So yeah, this requires deep inner work. It ain’t easy.
In other words, this isn’t a website where you click “like”, “share” or “retweet” and go about your day.
We believe getting the life you want takes real effort, and it’s worth every ounce of struggle you put in.
Now – If that’s not for you, no hard feelings. This isn’t for everyone. In fact, most people on this planet can’t deal with life this way.
Heck, there are a lot of times when we can’t deal with life this way.
A lot of times, instead of living, we choose to numb ourselves instead. Distract ourselves. Hurt ourselves.
And yeah, we know. That’s not what you want to hear from someone putting up a website like this. We’re not “supposed” to talk about this kind of stuff.
But like we said…
We’re not gurus. This isn’t a “self-help” blog. We’re all in this together.
So you’re probably wondering…
“Who the Heck Are These Guys?”
We’re Joshua and Tony. We’re behind Cave of Monsters.
Joshua Harbert is a husband, father, copywriter, and 2nd degree black belt in Taekwon-do. In 14 years growing up in Kenya, he learned to cherish the beauty and grace of humanity. However, he still often prefers to be left alone so he can make things, wander around Chicago, or be silly with his two daughters.
Tony Leung coaches, trains and writes copy for a living. Born, bred and raised on the streets of now-gentrified East Van, he retreated to the ‘burbs to raise his three little monsters. Outside of that, he plays snooty designer board games, runs D&D campaigns for his kids, and writes fiction when he can.
At the core though, we’re two guys on a journey.
We’re here to open the doors and walk in first. And we’re simply inviting you to join us as we craft our lives and share our discoveries.
This quote from the philosopher Seneca sums up where we’re coming from…
“… I’m sick myself. I’m talking to you as if I were lying in the same hospital ward, about the illness we’re both suffering from, and passing on some remedies.”1
So, on that note…
If what you’ve read so far has resonated with you… then maybe, just maybe, we have something here, you and us.
And if that’s the case, stick your name and email down below, and we’ll let you know whenever we have something to share…
Our Core Philosophy
Here at Cave of Monsters we want to dig into the flesh and bones of life. We want to push ourselves to the edges and peer into the abyss. We want to rearrange every atom of our soul to be the human beings we were meant to be.
We want to CRAFT OUR LIVES.
We don’t believe you can shortcut your way there with “7 steps”, “one weird trick” or some “quick and easy guide”.
We think, if you do that, you end up paying for it later. (And believe us, we’ve learned this the hard way multiple times.)
The ONLY way to live a free, alive life is to embrace everything. To take complete ownership of your circumstances. To confront the monsters in your life.
For us, this means focusing on 3 main areas…
- Start at Zen Zero:
- Unwind the stories, beliefs, and patterns that keep you stuck.
- Create an inner foundation of courage, strength, and equanimity.
- Notice the beauty and magic of everyday life.
- Your Weapon Is Kindness:
- Act with grace even in the most difficult situations.
- Face your life with boldness and courage.
- Walk into scary situations willingly.
- Create open spaces so you can create freedom for others too.
- Be kind.
- Now ― Reinvent Your Game:
- Define the terms of your life.
- Create your own meaning.
- Feel alive by being in the thick of pursuing your own impossible goal.
But Wait… Why Is This Site Called “Cave of Monsters”?
Well, for one, there’s a neat little story behind that name…
One evening the monk Milarepa returned to his cave after gathering firewood, only to find it was full of monsters.
And even though he suspected they were projections of his own mind – all the unwanted parts of himself – he just couldn’t get rid of them.
He tried asking them to leave. He tried lecturing them on the wisdom of the Buddha. He got angry and ran at them.
The monsters didn’t leave. In fact, they laughed at him.
Finally, he gave up and just sat down on the floor, saying, “I’m not going away and it looks like you’re not either, so let’s just live here together.”
And so he did.
(We found that in a Pema Chodron book.)
And that’s sorta what we’re gonna talk about here. Facing and living with your monsters.
The Cave is also a wonderful metaphor for your subconscious, the deep recesses of the infinite, a certain female body part, the second act of the hero’s journey, and many more universal symbols you can shake a stick at.
It’s also a “secret level” in Tony’s favorite video game where you face a Leviathan.
But really, at the end of the day, we chose the name because it’s kind of silly and ridiculous.
And we like that… because it lets you (and us) know we’re not taking ourselves too seriously.
And hopefully, you won’t either.
Joshua & Tony