Does this sound familiar to you? You know someone who goes off to a weekend seminar, and they come back “a new person.” They can’t stop talking about it, and yet they don’t make much sense except for their clear message that you have to do the same thing, and at worst, they’ll think less of you if you don’t. And then several weeks later, they’re back to their old selves, their old bad habits, and nothing really changed.
Well, that was not what happened to me. Quite the opposite (which is why I’m conveying all of this weeks after the event).
The first day I got back, I felt a sore throat come on all of the sudden. By the next day I woke up and thought, “If I could simply feel completely awful, that would be a massive improvement.” I went to the doctor who diagnosed me with swine flu. That was a fun week, but it got worse…
I coughed so much for two weeks that I would wake up at all hours. Codeine, Robitussin and a healthy shot of Nyquil couldn’t stop the coughing. It was painful and I couldn’t sleep. I went on a 10-day course of antibiotics, and it was still there. I went through a Z-pack 5-day course of antibiotics as well.
Some could say I simply got sick, but my belief is that I was clearing out years worth of pain around my heart. Pain, memories and a loneliness I had not acknowledged. One of the worst nights I was lying at home in my apartment, thinking dreadfully, “If I were to die this weekend, no one would even look for me till Wednesday.” Dramatic, of course, but what hit me over those two weeks as I watched awful reality shows and sat on my couch eating loads of comfort foods was just how alone I felt, and how ready I was for all that to change.
By Thanksgiving the cloud finally began to lift. And that’s when I realized why all of this happened, because there’s a big part of this story I left out…
You see, by Thanksgiving, I knew the first woman I saw at the hotel before the Deida event would become the love of my life. (update: Not really, but it was a great relationship and we learned a lot)
But that’s another story, for another time 😉
There are many causes to champion, but my favorites are the ones that clearly, without a doubt save lives. Clean water….How can life truly be possible when your children are drinking from polluted swamps?
In January I dedicated my birthday to raising enough money to build a well that would provide 400 people safe drinking water. All of the money goes to building the well because Charity Water’s administration costs are covered by sponsorships.
It is not complete. And I have less than a month to fund this well.
But this is not about making me look good.
This is about making YOU look good… literally.
In exchange for helping NOW… I’m offering a gift…
Some of you know that that I co-founded a fashion company called “The NOW Project” – a clothing and jewelry line dedicated to inspiring people to live in the moment, and make a difference immediately. Together, my partners and I helped bring yoga to at-risk youth.
We had a line of jewelry and clothing designed by the wunderkind talent, Erica Rose Trumpower. Our flagship product was “The NOW Watch.” It was a reminder to be in the NOW. I called it “The Reverse Time Machine” – rather than going to the future or the past, you go to the present… it’s a watch that does not tell time.
But they never came to market…
It’s a very long story, but even though we fought for two years for the trademark that our brand eventually received, we were sued by a brand that owned the word “now” on all watches. While we had a 50% chance of winning, the cost and time involved would have killed us.
These are the remaining NOW pieces. And here are the reasons I think you’d like one:
The first 9 people who donate at least $75 to fund this well, will get a NOW piece.
1. Go here to donate $75 or more!
2. Email me your receipt (Robert@Richman.LA)
3. Tell me if you prefer a men’s or women’s piece
As I said, only nine remain, so I’ll give them on first come, first serve basis.
Thank you for reading this far, and thank you for being a part of this!
From Blown Speakers by The New Pornographers
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what
you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s
I gathered with all the men for the morning exercise. We started with a run around the ballroom, and there was something inexplicably cool about watching all of us run in silence, while completely relaxed and focused. Next we lined up face to face, adjusted each other's posture, then tried to break his concentration by sensing his weakness and throwing it back at him. Finally, we locked arms like wrestlers, pushing against each other in full force, without losing eye contact. Completely invigorating.The instructors pointed out that as men, we love having something to push against, a challenge. And if we're fully engaged with it, we feel completely alive. It's when we avoid it, numb out, walk away – that's when we die. It was great to have such a visceral reminder that the challenges I have in my life are for my own benefit (side note: I was watching VH1's "Celebrities Gone Good." Stories of philanthropic stars. It was so boring! It made me realize that purely good news, or pure comfort, is not what we're built for. We're built for the challenge, the mission, the growth, the transformation). The "Sex" Exercise (this is finally the promised "Sex without Touching" though honestly, I think the whole event could be summed up with that phrase). We covered Love in part 5. Now the exercise would be "polarity" – The charge between the masculine and feminine sexual energies. Again, I went with my paradox of choice principle and chose the first person I saw. She was a psychic healer I had spoken with earlier. These exercises feel much easier when you have never even spoken to the person. That we had a previously established rapport suddenly made me feel embarrassed for what was to come. We began again with breathing while staring into the other's eyes, a foot away. After awhile David asked the women to rate how present we were on a scale from 0 to 10 (5 being the presence of a good friend, 10 being the most present man they've ever encountered). At the count of three he asked the women to say a number. "8" she said (Yes!). When it was my turn I just didn't feel her that closely. Her eyes were there, but she wasn't with me. So I said, "4." And I felt awful when I saw her face turn to shock and disappointment. We then did a few exercises to tune up our presence. What happened next… Granted, we never even touched each other, but David then had us say the most provocative sexual statements one can pronounce, and then the other person would assess whether or not they believed the emotion was real. Here I was, less than a foot in front of a woman I wasn't even feeling attracted to, and yet saying the most intimate things one can say. Again…intense. But all preparation for our real relationships, when we're in that place where romance is fading, but we still want to keep the spark. It became clear to me just how much choice we have about the love and sexuality we create. The final feedback
The most important tool in self-help is not only free, it's a pre-req for living. Our breath is the most underutilized tool we have. Its rhythm shapes our moment to moment experience (and really, what else is there?).The Power of Breathing