Archive for the ‘Self Help and Awareness’ Category

World Wide P.T.S.D.

June 25, 2018

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.) is the recurring stress from a real incident and is triggered by current stimuli. The awful events we are witnessing in the United States and in the world are hateful, brutal, ugly, horrific, and completely out of are control. The ongoing recurrence of these atrocities are so prevalent that no one can be unaffected whether you are law enforcement or a casual bystander. No one is safe and everyone is a “soft” target as witnessed in France.
Therefore, the only thing we each can do is to be more vigilant and endeavour to be in situations with friends that offer some sense of support and safety. Along with this, we need to talk about what is going on in that we are not alone with our feelings. This allows us to vent and not suppress what is going on within us.
Again, no one can truly escape the goings on that will naturally induce PTSD causing anxiety and unrest. Holding onto these feelings however, will not make it better and we need the support of others so that we do not feel isolated or alone. Going Rambo and brandishing a weapon will not stop a bomb, a truck or even a hate crime. Safety comes from support and the sense that we are not alone and can lean on others.

Deepening II: Authentic Self

July 8, 2016

What a deep tantalizing title, which is bound to draw attention. But what is this exactly and aren’t we already being that? The answer is, it is the manifestation of absolute vulnerability and most people are not even in the ball park of this.

To be absolutely vulnerable is to drop below all the defenses that have been built up to protect out “under belly” that has an experiential sense of danger if we were to expose our core essence that is hungry to be seen, wanting to be invited out to be visible and express our need for more contact. It means dropping all the pretense that distracts/protects us from the danger of being in our present state of self that has never quite experienced a sense of safety to be ones true self. These pretenses show up as arrogance, greed, envy, oneupmanship, anger, road rage, rage in general, affairs, substance abuse, delusion, denial, rationalization, manipulation, and the list goes on. All these distractions provide cover in order to not feel the core suffering of feeling alone and longing to be truly connected and deeply felt with another human being.

The sad truth is that the essence of absolute vulnerability is to be present with the pain we all carry yearning to be invited out with our needs and wants. And to have these needs met with compassion and support rather than the normal responses of shame, blame, guilt, and judgment. If we had someone who truly offered this essential connection we could begin to live in our true state of being. This gives rise to what wwant more of, i.e. love, empathy, and compassion; and what we do not want any more of, i.e. abandonment, shame, or annihilation. And from this deep inner place of being is the clarity to know what this looks like and the empowerment to demand it.


July 8, 2016

What causes us to stay so detached, acting out, or anesthetized? Why is it we can’t truly stay real and own a more authentic sense of self?
The answer is that we are unable due to lack of interest, safety, and compassion from others to be at our most vulnerable. As stated in, The Way Of The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Milliman it is not about being perfect, or victorious or vulnerable, but absolute vulnerability. It is this place that is the portal to our unique and authentic self. This place that can only be accessed if it is invited by someone offering interest in who we really are and how we feel. From this place of  safety to be present can we risk to access and share our truest self. As we learn that we can be completely real, it is then that we can begin to stand on a foundation of self that is empowered and invincible seeking out the “more” connection with the world that we all desire.

Personal Story About ‘To Thine Own Self Be True’

April 9, 2014

Gary Richman HeadshotI spoke at the Anton conference a few years ago. The night before the talk, after I had already prepared it, my inner voice said, “don’t do that talk.” And I thought, these are serious reverends; I’m just showing up hoping to have something to offer. It was a talk I had done at the church a few years earlier and it had gone very well…so I was cool with the talk. They will love it…they will love me. That was my mistake…hear the ego in there?

That was the voice of my insecurity…that’s what it does. The wounds I was carrying with me showed up as insecurity and took me into the shadow land of doubt. So, when the truth of my inner voice tapped me on the shoulder and said “don’t do that talk…we’ll help you out…we’ll channel this…don’t worry.” This is what I usually do…trust my inner voice. But, this time because of my insecurity of presenting to such a high level group of spiritual people, I said, “No…no…I can’t do that this time.”

So I went the next day and gave the talk that I had prepared. Dr. Rick Moss was there with me and after the talk we reviewed how it went. It was probably one of the most mediocre talks I’ve ever done.

Because I didn’t listen to my truth; to my inner voice. Truth is often non-linear, non-tangible, not logical…it comes from a feeling place of what you know deep inside is true for you. But, often the mind goes “we can’t have any of that!” So, if we listen to the mind, we sabotage our inner truth in favor of what seems logical to our fearful self.

I almost did this again the next time, but as I invite people to learn their lessons, I end up learning mine. So, I was talking to someone at church the other day and they asked me “have you prepared your talk for PCC yet?” I said, “No, but that I was kicking around an idea about Buddhist teaching and the pitfalls Buddha faced on his way to enlightenment. “ And just as I was explaining this to my friend standing in front of me, I heard my inner voice again as it said, “Don’t give that talk.”

Well, I had two weeks to go before the talk and again I doubted and said to my inner voice “What do you mean, don’t do that talk?” And again, the Universe said “We’ll help you out…don’t do that talk.”

So, this time I trusted my inner voice. I had learned from the first time I ignored it and didn’t trust my inner guide that this time I better listen. These leaps of faith onto our own inner path are scary.   We have to let go of our sense of what is…our sense of identity…we have to let go of our ego minds. We have to trust that our inner guide will show up with the information we need.

And that is what I did that second time. I waited for the talk to show up and I trusted that it would. And a few days before the talk while I was mediating, I started getting data about the content of the talk. And it continued even as I slept. Thus, I can say that “to thine own self be true” proved to be best way for me to prepare for talks and continues to this day to be my path to public speaking.

Surviving Your Teenager

March 26, 2014

The way to approach this phenomenon is to understand that adolescence is not one stage, but three. The first is called early(12-14), the next is mid(14-17), and the last stage is called late(17-20).

The first stage is marked by a need to individualize, identify with peers, and a certain amount of rebellion. The second stage is characterized by more involvement with the opposite sex, experimenting with alcohol and drugs, more autonomy, and a need to show parents they can’t quite control them.  The last stage, if they have developed a reasonable maturity is where they begin to look down the road and think about where they would like their life to take them.

The way to attend to your adolescent is to always realize you are the legitimate enforcer and they know it. Then negotiate around freedoms and responsibilities to earn that freedom. This is coupled with good boundaries and appropriate and consistent rewards and consequences. When set up during the peaceful times you are more likely to get compliance and cooperation.

Spirituality & Psychology

June 10, 2009

It might seem like spirituality and psychology do not have a lot in common, but that would be a mistaken assumption. Each of  them draws people who are looking for a deeper answer for living and being. Each of them involves practices devoted to consciousness and the courage to look at the shadow side of one’s self. Each of them can not be truly done without a mentor or guide as we are all blocked to certain aspects of ourselves that are in our way.  In each scenario it is not a quick fix and in all likelihood involves a life time of work and personal stretching.

Spirituality for me is the reservoir that all religions originate. At the core one finds the issues of soul, humility, compassion, unconditional love, and forgiveness. It is from this center that most of us strive to live in. Getting to this center means we have to heal the wounds of our ego  allowing us to become more centered and real. Being in EGO stands for Edging God Out. The more we can clean house on our egoic nature the more we are living in our true selves. This is the goal of spiritual practices and psychology. The goal is the same though the reasons for getting there maybe different. The important thing is to put the goal as the priority. To be one with self and get the neurotic garbage out of the way is to be more within self and therefore more with your spirit.

Successful Relationships

April 10, 2009

     The corner stones of a successful relationship are unconditional love, trust, respect, and appreciation. It is not that there aren’t others to consider but for me these are essential. For most, unconditional love seems to be somewhat ambiguous and hard to pin down.  My definition of unconditional love is that the essence and soul of the person you are in relationship with is loved without  judgement or criticism.  Their core is totally lovable and cherished while held in your heart with unwavering acceptance. Therefore, when he or she mispeaks, assumes, errors, or does something bad you take issue with the behavior and or personality, but the essence is known to you and that is unshakable.

        Trust is something you can not live without in a relationship. You have to know and believe that who this person is, what they say, and where they are is never in significant question. It means that you can feel safe with them and are not left in concern or fear with what they are about. You may not always like what they do or what they say, but you can trust who they are. Trust like a redwood tree takes time to grow and can be cut down in an instant. Those who betray trust have to be willing to put in the hard work of rebuilding trust. It is imperative for people to have trust if they are to do the daily work that it takes to have a healthy relationship.

          Respect is another corner stone that must be there to have a functional, and viable relationship. In order to discuss, negotiate, confront and reslove issues in a reltionship, one must feel that his/her partner is someone of merit and value. When the respect is eroded many other aspects of your partner’s dysfunctions become less tolerable to unbearable. Respect needs to be ongoing and reinforced by each to be maintained.

           Appreciation is what floats the boat of a relationships. It is the glue that keeps the good will alive between people. When you are not feeling appreciated contributing to the relationship feels hollow and empty. It takes much of the juice out of the sharing and intimacy. It is essential to maintain on a weekly, if not daily basis a sense of honoring and acknowledging how you appreciate the many and/or little things your partner/spouse does for you. Much of what is struggled through in a relationship can be tolerated and gotten through if appreciation is apparent.

         Being conscious and attending to these corner stones will help keep your relationship vibrant and healthy.

Getting Out of Your Way

April 7, 2009


It was Roosevelt who said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” For many who have been hit by the financial crises of our day, fear of tomorrow is very real. For most of us this is not reality. We are still working and taking care of our financial responsibilities. However, none of us can be unaffected by the state of the union or the world, but succumbing  to fear is not the answer. What is called for is the balance between a watch ful eye and a centered calm. It is unrealistic to be in denial of the economic scene, but so too is it unrealistic to be in panic mode running around as if the sky is falling. The balance is to couple awareness while living your life in some sort of harmony.  This is done by being mindful of all that is around you. It is knowing what the world situation is, while also enjoying the moments of your life. You are still working, making money, having your health, coming home to your family, and still engaging in those things that give you joy. There is a biblical saying that parallels Roosevelt’s, It is done unto you as you believe it. If you live in the panic of dread, dread will occur. If you live in the energetic of the moment of goodness it will continue. Now to many of you this is too California, but it does not make it any less so. There is a demeanor that if you walk in the negative that is what you will get, and if you embrace that which is good around you it will be so.

       Many of you before all of this occurred knew of people who were always negative and depressed. You might have said to friends that these people were always wondering why their lives were so hard while everyone else seemed immune of the tough stuff. You knew that they lived in the negative, and could see it even if they could not. You knew why life was difficult for them and not as much for you. Well, what are you doing now? Are you not joining them in the land of not? Are you not walking in the same quicksand you use to criticize them for? Think about it and hose off the mud, step into the light and take a deep breath.