The Best is Yet to Come (The David Deida Experience: Epilogue)

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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 😉

Save 400 lives, NOW (and look good doing it)

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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?

 

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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.

 

Robert_richman

 

 

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.

 

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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.

 

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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:

  • They are contraband.  You won’t see find this on the free market
  • They cost us over $1500 each (R/D, production costs, legal, etc)
  • Designed with unique shapes to an eye-catching conversation starter
  • Stainless steel, heavy quality design
  • Makes a great gift for the holidays

So…
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!

It came out magical…out from blown speakers

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From Blown Speakers by The New Pornographers

The Invitation

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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
longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will
risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure
of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to
know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have
been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain,
mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can
dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic,
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want
to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you
can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; If
you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every
day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still
stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full
moon, “Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you
have. I want to know if you can get up, after a night of grief and
despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want
to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not
shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I
want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls
away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like
the company you keep in the empty moments.

———————
The Invitation
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Dark into Light (The David Deida Workshop – part 6)

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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
Lining up against all the walls, shoulder to shoulder, the women stood in front of the men, and were asked, "what would you need this man to change so that you could be with him?"  My first partner was a cute, meek south pacific islander who looked transfixed as she said, "Whoa, you're really good at this. I'm intimidated." I tried to soften up to help her relax, and strangely enough, my once giggling persona was nowhere to be found. The next woman was super sensitive and began to tear up as she said, "You have such a big heart.  But I feel that you won't let yourself be angry with me, and I need to trust that you can."  I had to do the same for each of them, and it was amazing how this amplified all my senses. I could see the best in people.  I could feel love and attraction to women I would never even consider. And for the ones I could? It felt like I could marry them right there.

The Final Exercise: Dark Energy

I had a very interesting dinner with people who have been to several Deida events. Apparently this one was tame compared to the others.  Wow.  Back to the Inn for the final exercise…David warned us that this may get a little dark.

We did our usual line-ups. This time rather than picking the first person I saw, I picked the last one….  It wasn't intentional. Earlier I had several great conversations with a woman with a similar background to mine and after dinner we agreed to find each other for the final exercise.  I looked all over for her to no avail, and finally had to sit down like a game of musical chairs.

The lights turned dim, and we closed our eyes. We each reached out, one palm up and one down, and then took turns leading a back and forth hand motion, as if we were having a conversation, simply with our hands. We then took an emotion, like how I would want to be as a father and then expressed that, only through my hands. My memories get murky from here on out, so I may be terribly misquoting, but you'll get the idea…

We then took on stronger and stronger emotions.  David instructed the women to throw everything they had at the man, as if they were fighting him. The voices got louder as the women became more and more expressive.  But it was soft music compared to the next part… David asked the men to show the women that they're willing to kill anything that invades their home, and the animal roars from 150 men were deafening.  Finally we did both at the same time, and the intensity hit an 11.  It was like using up all your remaining energy on the final home stretch of a race.  

And then calm, then silence.

We turned around so as not to face our partner, and I never saw her again, let alone even remember what she looked like. David advised us that it's better this way – unless you have a lifelong partner. I believe him when he said these exercises are too powerful to do it any other way. I saw the woman I tried to find earlier and apparently I had looked right through her in my search, though she was quite thankful that we both went through it with someone we didn't know. 

There was a party that evening, sure to be filled with great conversations and undertones of God knows what. But I was half in a state of Zen and half pure exhaustion, so I headed back to my hotel to get a few hours of sleep before my flight straight to work.  I had no idea how exhausted I really was, as I would find out later.

Next:   Final Chapter: The Epilogue.

Love, with No Pre-Conditions (The David Deida Workshop – part 5)

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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
The breath is so powerful it can literally alter our reality.  When psychologists like Stanislav Graf could no longer use LSD on their patients to access deeper realms of existence, they developed holotropic breathing and re-birthing. Both are forms of horizontal hyper-ventilation that create so much oxygen in the blood stream, that one can actually stop breathing and simply be, in a dream like state.  That is, if you can get past the first five minutes of feeling like you're about to die (I've done it five times and it never gets easier).

———–
Ultimate Problem Solver:
If you get nothing else from this post, keep this in your back pocket :

If you are ever in a situation where you don't know what to do, slow down your breath and focus on it. You will have your answer is less than 2 minutes.
———–

The breath would be our main tool through the exercises. We learned the technique by first breathing into our lower belly, then our solar plexus (core), and then high into our shoulders (and then exhaling all that in reverse). Add a slight pelvic tilt to each breath and it feels like pure presence and power.

The Love Exercise
We sat men on one side, women on the other, and each man tapped the one in front of him in a game like telephone, reminding each other –  "Breath deep."  David stood on stage and gave us a warning before the exercise…. "Now we're about to go really deep. Do NOT go talk to this person after your exercise. if someone comes up to you and says, '(in sleazeball  voice) Hey, I felt we had a really deep connection.' – then you tell them to f-  off.  Of course  you felt a deep connection, that was the whole point –   People, do not turn this into a pick-up game. This is far too powerful for that."

To say we were excited would be an understatement.  What could be this powerful???   Half the men and women were instructed to stand up and go to find a partner.  He said, "Choose the person you think would give you a hard time."

Now, I have a rule for choosing in situations like this, or any situation for that matter.  It's based on the Paradox of Choice.  You see, the more choice we have, the less happy we are.  More choices means painful decisions, followed by second guessing, and finally regret.  I have found that whether it's for a partner exercise or deciding what to order at a restaurant, the first one I see is always the best.

I sat down in front of the first woman I saw and jokingly said, "I thought you'd give me a hard time, so here I am."  She had a cold look on her face as she said, "You have no idea what you're in for."   Part of me felt like I was about to be killed, but I grinned because I love a good challenge.

We sat right in front of each other, knees practically touching. We closed our eyes, went into deep breath, and then opened to the two eyes staring right at us.  My first reaction?  I had to use all my energy to stop me from laughing.  I must have looked like my face was going to explode because every part of me was giggling inside, probably due to a combination of nervousness and excitement.  But since the whole room of 300 people was dead silent, I did my best not to ruin the moment.

"Men, start to mirror her breathing," David said.  "As you get in sync with her, take her slightly deeper with each breath.  If you mirror her, then lead her, you can actually breath her body."

I could feel our breath getting deeper, and my insides started to light up, but not in what might be considered a "good" way.  More like the scene in Star Wars where R2D2 is lit up because he's getting electrocuted.  I grounded the energy, and as I looked at her, she seemed to be saying, "You are not strong enough for me. I will destroy you. You are like every other man out there who has hurt me, and I will no longer stand for this."

Now, when you're less than a foot from someone's face, breathing as deep as possible, in a staring contest that's not ending… this isn't so much an "intellectual" exercise.  I'm a trained Reiki practitioner, and when I work on someone who has a lot going on, I feel this tingling work its way up my arms.  It's not a good feeling. It feels like it could knock me out.  In Reiki I have ways of diffusing the energy.  But here all I have is my breath, and my entire body was radiating like I was about to have a panic attack.

Mind you, we're almost a half hour in by this point.

Then I feel the shift in her.  Her eyes soften. Her whole body softens.  My heart slows down.  While we said nothing, I could see this renewed faith in men and love in her eyes.  David had us each say phrases of love, and he was right. I was barely attracted to this woman and yet the I could feel the full emotions of wanting to spend the rest of my life with this woman.

I realized how many times I've been in a relationship where I turn away, where I go unconscious, where I check out physically, emotionally, spiritually.  For me this was like a military-grade bootcamp in energetically staying present with a woman, for as long as she needs it.

We bowed in gratitude, closed our eyes, and I turned to face the front. As we left for the break, I was on a high – the kind of peaceful high where nothing in the world could have bothered me.

Again, I could have left at this point and felt I got my money's worth. But that was just the "love" exercise.  Little did I know, we still had the "sex" exercise, the lover's feedback, and… the dark energy.