Someone asked me this question recently. Innocently enough, as I am sure that they were making spiritual small talk. But given the deep philosophical implications of the subject matter, it started to weigh on my mind. It bothered me that I was being asked if I was one or the other as if they were mutually exclusive.

Manifestation is all the rage of course. If you’re not getting what you want, even Oprah suggests you need a vision board, you need to meditate more or hone your ability to dream lucidly to visualize your desires. The moon can help too…


I lost my fiance to a devastating, inoperable hemorrhagic stroke at the end of 2020. I held his hand as he slipped into the coma that would eventually shut down his vital functions one by one. I held his hand again the next day for several hours, wiping morphine sweat beads off his forehead as he fought the very last battle he would ever have to. The hospital knew he was dying, and the nurses turned a compassionate blind eye as I stayed by his side, gently speaking to him, hour after hour, in breach of every pandemic-imposed hospital rule…


At the end of February 2020 I took a business trip to Taipei to visit CoolBitX’s new corporate headquarters as Wuhan was battling what Donald Trump had deemed a local virus. Taiwan, an island 110 miles off the coast of China, had reported a dozen or so cases of the virus and had started to deploy a response strategy. My trip was cut short and I was advised to head home while I still could before quarantine measures were imposed. My temperature was taken three times in Taiwan — once sternly at the airport upon arrival, once by an apologetic…

Elsa Madrolle

Founder of Bourbon Partners, Ltd. Devoted mother of Lucy, the adorable chug. Long crypto, Buddhism and banter.

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