Current Reading: Colorless Tsukuru by Haruki Murakami
Current Music: The Beatles 1962 -1966 (vinyl)
Mood: run, run, run
Smells: Kale smoothie
Temperature: 69 degrees 
Thoughts: Spirit original meaning “Breath” - Holly original meaning “clean”


Lesson Learned ~ Life with NMO

About a mile and half into the run she asked me, “Daddy, why do you run?” “Because I can.” I tell her.

October 2013 I was supposed to run in my first marathon. February of that same year I had an NMO attack. The attack took away my ability to run, barely leaving me with the ability to walk. October 2013 came and went. My dream of running in the Chicago Marathon faded along with the numbers on the calendar that year. Slowly I rehabbed. I got better as the season changed colors.

September 1, 2014, the unofficial start of autumn, I ran in my first race since my setback.

I say the words to her, "Heart of a servant - strength of fighter. That's what keeps me going. My desire is for you to know that it's possible. That everything is possible. Dream big and do the work." I have always fancied myself as a street philosopher. Here I am preaching to an eight year old little girl who is running simply because she can.

Telling my daughter that I have a disease that was not going away and did not have cure was my biggest fear. Then one day I received a handwritten letter addressed to John & family. The letter was written from a kind woman who herself was raising a son with NMO. The letter was a thank you for the writings I have done on NMO. She went on to express her gratitude for me sharing my journey publicly. The letter filled me with joy and tears. The letter was the bridge (the gift) on how to tell my daughter why daddy got sick for long periods of time.

About a half mile before we cross the finish line my daughter tells me “Let's run for NMO. It's not about winning the race, it's about completing the race.” Yes little one. I pat her little bum and we run until we cross the finish line.

Chicago marathon can wait. This was the best run of my life.

You do not need to be strong enough for whatever life throws at you…..You need to be compassionate enough to be of service to it. Lesson learned.

If you like what you just read and would like to read more I keep an updated page on Medium.com with all my writing on Neuromyelitis Optica. Please share with those who you think will benefits from the writings. 



Current Reading: Meat is for Pussies by John Joseph
Current Music: Ashes & Fire by Ryan Adams
Mood: Future thinking
Smells: Laundry detergent
Temperature: 71 degrees 
Thoughts: Living with a ghost, waiting for it to die…..


Sisterhood: Documentary

What happens when you get 9 gutsy women together to celebrate beauty, success and sisterhood?



Current Reading:Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull
Current Music: Aerial Boundaries by Michael Hedges
Mood: Zapped
Sound: Fan, feet & drum beat
Smells: Coffee
Temperature: 70 degrees
Thoughts: Impermanent is unreliable.


Life with E ~ Insanely Useful Photography Tips

I have been wanting to write this post for years. Not until seeing the photo above and being a witness (film coming soon) to nine women going through the Elizabeth Craig Intimates experience did the words come to me. I am writing this for the up-and-coming photographer to help them be the greatest (& happiest) photographer that they can be.

Elizabeth is by far my favorite photographer in the world. Ok, I am her husband and deeply in love with her, but read on to discover why for yourself, and how you can apply her approach to becoming a better photographer yourself (or whatever artistic endeavor you want).

I feel like I’m E’s olympic coach; for years I would help guide her on her creative path of discovery.

She has heard me say “photograph the light first and the subject second” countless, endless times. We have critiqued, ripped apart, and been overjoyed when reviewing her work after a shoot (only the family-friendly photos ladies…I’m not privy to the “husband/fiance/boyfriend/significant other” photos. No worries there). We do this after every single session. She imports the pics, then we have a conversation and a discussion on what she has created that day.

Tip #1. Get critiqued often. 
Tip # 2 Have lots of conversations.

Like most coaches, I look at her as far surpassing anything that I ever taught her. When I watch her work I feel like the student. Don’t get me wrong, someday when she is awarded “greatest photog" in the world, I will accept a big shot out, but at the same time nobody will be cheering louder than me.

She is a constant creator, collaborator and at times a pusher (she wants what she wants). When a camera is in her hands she has a glow and an energy; she is happy, very happy.

Tip #3 Do the work that makes you happy. 
Tip #4 Do not take a job because of the money, you will fail.

One of her strengths is that she knows that no photograph can be reproduced twice in camera. Every single press of the shutter is an opportunity to create anew. She is a student of her craft. She studies others, but at the same time she has a complete understanding that you can never copy another photographer’s style. You can be influenced, motivated, jealous and inspired by other photographers, but you can never be them. You must make your own music, create your own work. If you try to clone another’s work you will always fall short in achieving the most important thing in photography….which is seeing what is in front of you.

Tip #5 See what’s in front of you (light then subject).
Tip #6 Vision takes practice; put the time in.

Her greatest talent by far is the wounded healer that she carries inside of her. Today when she photographs a woman, what she is doing in essences is handing back to those women her own beauty within. Yes, the photos she creates are beautiful, glamorous and carry a dream like quality. When Elizabeth connects with a woman (see photo above) she herself is looking forward to looking back on a moment.

A moment when that woman felt strong, beautiful and intimate. A moment when that woman can say to herself that she got it right in her life: flaws, scars and all the wobbly bits are just as important as the curves, lines and the fire and passion in her eyes.

As the group photo session went on that day, Elizabeth would take each woman and do an individual session with her. I filmed this entire process and I noticed there was one constant thing that every woman would say when Elizabeth would show them their photo on the back of her camera: “That’s me?? I am amazed!” Elizabeth’s response was “Yes. That’s you” with a smile on her face.

Tip “Lucky #7: Transformative power of seeing the beauty within.

This is the my favorite photo of E, never has truer pic of her been taken. I am the lucky baster who gets to see her beauty within, daily.


Family Photo + One Giant Ego

Last week two good friends of mine (also fellow photogs) updated their personal headshots. This kicked me in my butt to go and update mine. It has been at least four years since a new photo of me has appeared.

Since I am married to the world's greatest beauty portrait photographer, achieving a new pic would be easy. Flash her a smile with an offer to by drinks afterwards and bam you get an updated photo.

Since, I am also a good student of the craft, she handed the camera back over to me with a set of instructions on how she would like to be photographed.   Bam, updated Elizabeth photo (damn she's hot!).

We go home and bask in our extreme good-looking-ness, proceed to talk about what a beautiful creation we have in our daughter. Open up photoshop and stitch together a new family photo.

A photo of you is important, do not forget that. Go get one done!



Current Reading: Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong by Juliet Macur
Current Music: Pure by Michael Hedges
Mood: Feel good
Smells: Clean air
Temperature: 69 degrees
Thoughts: What I will ask of you is do you have a "kind plate?"


Abstract Photo ~ Ambient Art

This might be my favorite photo of all time. It is definitely my fav as of now.  What I love about abstract photograph is that, without a defined subject you can find yourself in it.


Ful·fill·ment ~ Short Film

As with all the films in this series the film is best enjoyed in full screen with the outside world turn off. If this film resonates with you then please share it with the people in your life who need to hear this message.

This is #7 in the series. Ful·fill·ment



Current Reading: Spartan Up by Joe De Sena
                               Paradise in Plain Sight by Karen Miller
Current Music: Morrison Hotel by The Doors
Mood: To many beers yesterday
Smells: Trash
Temperature: 71 degrees
Thoughts: There is no hand book on how to be a human being never mind a guide book on optimal health with a chronic disease…I think I will right one.


Endurance & Elegance ~ Life with NMO

Your disease is not going away.
What you are about to read is not a cure.
Read on to get better.

Disease is not a living suicide. Society has conditioned us to think that if we have a disease then we must be sick.  It is the biggest obstacle that you will ever face when living with a chronic illness.  A shift in mindset can set you free. Do not be paralyzed by the fear of change.

Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do.”

Health is not the absence of disease; good health is defined by what we (you) choose to define as optimal living. If you live in a state of illness and do nothing to improve your wellness then a life of illness is your state of optimal living.

You cannot define health by what it is not. Define health by how you choose to live.

Think about that last sentence. Sit with it. Can you define it? Does it make you mad (mad at me for asking) or mad at the answer you give yourself? Do not deceive yourself. Be life-enhancing; you do not need a special thing to answer the question. The suffering has already been your teacher, coach and mentor.

Get committed and overcome that obstacle (fear, pain, suffering) that is holding you back…that is keeping you from getting out of bed, or off the sofa.  Create a personal practice that keeps you in charge of disease.

Disease is unpredictable. You cannot practice for that, but good health is predictable when you have a good practice in place.

Disease can be a rite-of-passage to transcend the notion of what good health means to you.  For most, good health has become this far off alien thing rather than ideas that is within us at all times.

You know how to suffer.  Life with disease means there will be periods of suffering to endure. The question to ask is “What can I do with my ability to suffer?” Pain from doing something feels a lot better than pain from doing nothing. Life with disease is filled with pain from doing nothing.  Disease-pain arises as a mystery from within us. The body fighting the body and most times the mind is not even invited to the match.

Disease-pain can teach us how to bring purposeful suffering into our lives. Yep, purposeful suffering…most likely voted to be the worst motivational topic of all time. Stay with me. You can now endure more pain than you ever imagined possible. You can handle pain and come out on the other side.

Suffering is an opportunity to improve your condition.  Disease is always on the horizon. You do not have a fix. The only escape is to practice how to endure elegantly. This practice will teach you how to stop hurting yourself and others around you. It will teach you the awareness that you are alive and with that you can cultivate the clarity to be purposeful with your suffering.

Elegance ~ doing something with as few steps as possible.
Endurance ~ living with a disease with as few steps as possible.

What follows is my personal practice for living with a chronic illness. Use mine or create your own.  Whatever you choose be sure to share it with others living with chronic illness.

Plants: Eat plants, lots of them. I am not asking you to go on a diet but I am asking you to change your menu.  In the beginning there was the Garden of Eden, not the chemical laden junk vending machine that only produced disease. Fruits and vegetables create a healthy life, processed foods create disease. Plant-based food is elegant medicine without side effects. Plant-based food only create optimal health. If you want to endure your illness eat plants.

Power: Exercise, move your body. Exercise is an effective drug that treats the whole body. Good health is not achieved with a single step. Taking a pill or giving yourself a daily shot is instant gratification but at what cost? Most people I talk with who live with chronic illness choose not to move because it hurts. This is where purposeful suffering can become your teacher. All that time sitting and suffering with your disease has given you the strength to get up and do anything. So use it, do not let your suffering die in vain. Walk to the mailbox, then to the end of your driveway, then to the end of the block. Try running or biking or swimming or whatever your heart yearns to try. Exercise to compete in your own life. Good things will happen when you put energy into moving your body.

One last thing…get outside.

Prayer: Pray, meditate, yoga, quiet the mind. Create sacred time in your life. Sacred is elegance and endurance in action. Let the mystery of your life talk to you. Stay with that mystery, it will take you where you need to go. If you are going to ask God for help or ask people to pray for you on your behalf…earn those prayers. I believe in the power of prayer. What I do not believe in is waiting around for prayers to work. Go out and place effort into the prayers that are being offered up on your behalf.

Purpose: No the “why” of why you want to be healthy. To be an example for your children. To be an example for your community.  To enjoy your spouse well into your old age. Life is not complicated when your are honest with yourself.  Be purposeful.

To finish,

I am writing this for myself as a reminder of how I think about optimal health.

Every time I go on a walk, run or bike ride I am carrying the weight of the whole NMO community. Nobody asked this of me. For some reason the weight is there. What I know is if I can live these words and be an example then it will help at least one person to live with optimal health…and carrying that weigh feels great.

Heart of a servant
Strength of a fighter.

John Craig


Soul Scrubbing Series ~ Are Men Obsolete?

Conversations, I am lucky enough in life (blessed is the right word) to get the opportunity to have interesting conversation with lots of different people. This has birth a passion project for me that I am calling the “Soul Scrubbing Series”. The goal of the series is to bring to you interesting topics which deserve a deep dive of thought and hopefully spurs conversations in your own life.

As with all the films in this series the film is best enjoyed in full screen with the outside world turn off. If this film resonates with you then please share it with the people in your life who need to hear this message.

This is #6 in the series. “Are Men Obsolete


Meditation on Waiting ~ Short Story

Not sure why I need to write this down.  This is the third lifetime I have shared this.

I clasp my wings, put on socks and go back into the world. Maybe this time it will do some good.

By my account, 18,250 days wasted from waiting around for things to change.

You are timelessness stuck in time.
You are consciousness waiting to re-awake.
You are complaining, bragging and avoiding life at all times.

The problem with waiting is all the time wasted.  Nothing good has come from all this waiting. A wasted life of “what if”’ and “could-have-beens” is all that remains. A mind filled up with non-memories, non-dreams and a constant echo. Days pass by and nothing happens but the waiting…days are filled up with sitting on the sofa, then moving outside to watch the grass grow, counting the leaves on the trees.

I flush the toilet, wash my hands. Antibacterial soap…I can never remember if I should stop using it. Does it kill too much of the good stuff? I dry my hands with a white cotton towel.

Mixed blessings of truths and tasks that you must wait for the end. You must wait for the light to grow dark so it can then once again transform back into light.  This process must be repeated till eternity. Every being gets the opportunity to hold the understanding that we are trapped in a box named “reality”.

Keep your faith. Question your beliefs.  This alone will save you from the transmigration.

There is no salvation in the waiting. There is no solitude found in the waiting.  What is left is only the question. The same answer running across the brain waves. Thoughts dissolve into heartbeats. Heartbeats are transformed into a curse. You become afflicted with the remainder of the time left to wait.

The Beatles, White album. This will do. I slide the vinyl record out of its sleeve. I place the needle in the black groove and I listen. Lennon got it right. That’s why he was shot. Deep loss for all. McCartney came close, Harrison eventually got it right. Ringo, drummer died on his own vomit.

I practice the “Waiting”. I will sit on a meditation cushion for 25mins, bell to bell, waiting, breathing, repeating, sitting in nothingness. I get off the mat. I want a drink, not water to quench my thirst but bourbon to numb the mind.  Mindfulness is a tool to be a better cog in the wheel, to become better at being this thing called human.

I chop vegetables, I focus. I wash the dishes, I focus. I brush my teeth, I focus. This is how I fill the empty space. Mindfulness is a needed trick to waste time.

I have always been fascinated with how society deals with the waiting. The world is at all times falling apart and at all times healing itself, growing anew. Rebuilding constantly arising as if there are twin Gods of creation and deconstruction at work.

The Beatles White album, side three, not very good for what most people consider to be their masterpiece.  Side one, “Dear Prudence”...it makes coming back here worth it.

Life is spent being mildly interested in what is going on around you.  At all times thinking that they have the problem, it's never “I”. The problem "they” have is that…”they” have to watch my suffering, my suffering is greater than yours.  Suffering is not a contest. Comprehending suffering is a pursuit. This lesson is never learned. That suffering is akin to love. No matter how great or horrible, it's all equal. The suffering of a child born into starvation is no greater than the suffering of a child born into privilege. Suffering is an experiential exercise in the “waiting”.

Grace = Luck…Luck is grace, take notice.

There are many different ways someone can commit suicide, but the act of leaving one's own body seems to be the only act of suicide that society cares about.

The suicide in waiting is the greatest sin...to be alive is a gift that is created specifically for you.

To sit and waste a life to complain about the whatnot’s and the don’t-haves is worse than if you nailed Jesus to the cross yourself. Living suicide, that is a form of torture that causes the waiting to happen for lifetimes to come.

Give me a good narcissist that is a person who enjoys life. Narcissists...they see light.

You would think that I would miss sitting in the clouds…watching and listening. The life in the soil is so much more enjoyable.  The soil is in constant movement. The soil never waits.

Consciousness, awakening, Christ, Buddha: call it whatever you like.  I call it the WAITING.

Until next time…..

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da



Current Reading: The Spooky Art by Norman Mailer

                                The Big Empty by Norman Mailer
Current Music: Lazaretto by Jack White
                           Beauty & Ruin by Bob Mould
Mood: Ready to go
Smells: Coffee
Sounds: Love
Temperature: 71 degrees 
Thoughts: Waiting & Wanting = Wasted Life


Wisdom of Food ~ Short Film

This film is #5 in my "Soul Scrubbing Series."  The wisdom of food, a return to yourself.

As with all the film in this series the film is best enjoyed in full screen with the outside world turn off. If this film resonates with you then please share it with the people in your life who need to hear this message.


Life with Disease & Other Random Stuff

“No matter how far you my dig into the the depths of your soul, eventually you will come out an asshole” -Norman Mailer

This is a good starting point to what I am about to share with you.

I live with a disease. Most of you reading this most likely know this about me. My feelings about life with a disease can be summed up in two words: nothing special.

We live in the age of compromise where we all carry the weight of diseases. It is nothing special; honestly it's akin to a time when making it through the winter was a hit or miss experience.

Every generation carries the sins-of-life. Our generation has disease.

Your disease may be self-inflicted, you may have smoked and cheeseburger-ed your way to disease or maybe the air and water carried the disease into your bloodstream.

Disease is the product of the past fifty years.  Corporations have been built as temples to the grandeur of illness. Disease is economics. Get a disease someone will profit from it. Someone will dedicate their life to the study of that disease. Someone will give up and sit on the sofa waiting for death to come.

What can a disease teach us about us? It is an "us", it's not a "you" or "I". It's not even a "we"; it's an “us.” Disease is now a social thing. There are clubs, groups, organizations, companies, schools, restaurants, chat rooms, social media sites, tour groups, cruises and vacation destinations all built to serve the ill.  Disease is an industry. That may seem too hard to accept, nonetheless it seems to be truth. Can you argue my point? How many jobs would be lost if disease went away?

Want to dip your toes into the cosmic quagmire? Google “seed, antibiotic, lobbyist” and see how many companies produce seeds to grow food and the very same company produces the antibiotic to cure the disease that may arise from the seed. Circle of life, circle of cash flow, sins of now.

Life is filled up with simple solutions, this has been my lesson learned. Look for the obvious. Walking and water, breathing and smiling...these have been by far my most favorite solutions.

Recently added to the list (forgive the subtle use of words to come next): if your shit stinks that means you are not well. Eat better food.

Simple solutions. Notice how we will stay away from anything that stinks accept for what we produce. Take the time and notice your bodily waste. The body can cure us if we only listen to it (or in this case smell it). Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's gross, I get it. But do you want to escape a life of disease? Truly we can exit the matrix. At this point, please refer to my opening quote. It has deep meaning on many levels.

Simple solutions arise if we only take the time to notice. If you put things in your body that create stink, it creates disease. If you place foods into your body that create an odorless passing, that creates good health.

When I am a healthy person living with my disease in a state of optimal health I feel like a prophet who will preach to anyone who will listen to the message.  When I am struck down by the disease I feel as if I am a fake; a person who could not live his truth.  Then I came to understand that the word "truth" should be replaced with the word "task".

Let me go off-subject to paint a picture about truth & task.

Replace the "truth of” living your beliefs with the “task of" living your faith. This simple flip of words opens up a new way to think about old ideologies.

"Truth" is someone else's idea on how we should live. But "task"...living with a task can give us purpose to live life with effort.  Having a disease is nothing special but it is important work if you choose to do it well.

With the flip of these words it will help us to create less harm in the world. It will help to teach us to live in this age of compromise. Disease is a product of this age but for those of us that live with a disease, we can not only live in the truth of not slowly dying from our illness but also the the task of showing others how to live with optimal health.  

My task is to help others lead a life filled with health, creativity and simplicity infused with the “heart of a servant” and the “strength of a fighter”.

And that takes practice.

We need to do the work in the soil before we can ever part the clouds.


Working Script ~ Draft 1

(Are you replaceable...disposable...obsolete?) 

We are conditioned to sacrifice ourselves.
We are expected to stand in front of our families; we are told that we need to work or we have no value. Our expendability is expressed in many different ways.

(What if we stopped doing and started being?)
The question is how do we move from being humans-doings-things to simply being a human-being? Your life has been a mix of cultural expectations and biological conditioning.

(What if we stop thinking about how to be a man and started thinking about how to be a human?)

There is the existence of gender roles, but to manifest a full life there must be unequivocal intention to radically transform male thinking.
What if we stopped doing and started being? What if we tuned into the abundance of the universe and just started to allow creation to work through us. Jesus summed this up in the sermon on the mount. He exhorted us to look at the birds in the sky and told us to emulate them. In short he expected us to become human beings.

(Transcending the notion)

Men, especially fathers, have always been considered to be expendable, but this notion must change for the world to be a better place.
Are men expendable? No!

(Are Men Expendable?)

As Einstein has said “we do not solve a problem with the same consciousness that created it.” 


Published ~ Edible Allegheny

You can see photos & read about it (HERE)
You can listen to radio spot about it (HERE)



Current Reading: On God by Norman Mailer
Current Music: Beauty & Ruin By Bob Mould
Mood: Happy
Smells: Coffee
Sounds: Running water
Temperature:63 degrees 
Thoughts: Happiness is the joy we feel when striving for our potential



Its not to often that I post pics of portraits that I do but this one I wanted to share. 
If you want to see more go (here)


You Are Not Broken ~ Short Film

It all started with a conversation that I turn into a blog post.

I received numerous e-mails from people who wanted to agree but felt that they could not, they felt that they were broken.  If this film resonates with you then please share it with the people in your life who need to hear this message.


Happiness Is

“Happiness is the joy we feel when striving for our potential.” 
  This is how the ancient Greeks defined happiness.  

Pretty good definition, isn’t it? Where did I stumble upon this ancient wisdom?

Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Yep, I watch it.  All the enlightenment you could ever want shoved between commercials selling us mind-numbing drugs. Circle of life….you too can achieve happiness right after this next sponsored announcement.

It has always amazed me that we cannot master the teachings that are 5,000 years old. The answers to most, if not all, of life's problems have been given to us from our ancestors, repeatedly.  Yet we search for new answers to old problems in which the answers have already been given to us.

With deep thoughts I ponder this cosmic question “Why can we not get it right?” Blame God or the Devil or the lack of both; could it be that our only guidance is the two pound muscle that is placed in the dark empty cavern commonly known as our skull. Isn't it weird that the most powerful thing in the universe never even gets to feel the wind or see the sun? A life of blackness floating in goo projecting electrical impulses that creates thoughts that it will never get to see.

This is our guiding light? Two pounds drowning in cerebrospinal fluid trying to forget that it was given all the answers in the first place.  Do you ever think that God purposely forgot that s/he was God just so s/he could ride a roller coaster and experience it for the very first time?

Experience it for the very first time? There must be some wisdom in that sentence

The answer to everything is in experiencing this very moment and surrendering to it.

This sentence came to me after sitting on a meditation cushion for 25 minutes earlier that day. I wish I could say it arose from within my consciousness or that the universe split itself in two and handed me this divine wisdom but, alas, it came from a tribe elder that sat across the room from me drinking coffee and rubbing his bald head.  I asked a question and he gave me the answer from within his own personal experience.

The reason we cannot experience happiness is: because we are used to being told what happiness is instead of discovering our own potential for ourselves.

The tribe elder pontificates: This is the 5,000 year old mistake that we keep making. Somebody somewhere thinks that they have got it right and then they organize their beliefs, then proceed to spread it to the masses. Life is not about being told, it is about doing. Organizing anything and everything, no matter how well intended, will become bastardized over time (simple examples include religion, politics, academics...etc.) They all share cult thinking. Sometimes it maybe good to be in a cult but unfortunately you never get to experience an original thought.

Practice, surrender, sit down and shut up, then repeat…this is the one hand clapping as the other hand slaps your original face.  The face you had before your parents were born, the face you had before the stars were placed in the sky.

Happiness is this moment. Go discover it.

Go manifest a universe.