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Time To Man Up

By July 7, 2010November 14th, 201636 Comments

The last month has been one of the most trying times in my life. EPIC5 has nothing on what I have lately endured.

After the “high high” of my EPIC5 Hawaiian tour, I returned home and took a couple weeks off from training. A time to focus on my law practice and my family. But more importantly a time to ruminate on our life together. What kind of person I want to be, not just for me but as an example for my children. And what we want to collectively experience as a unit in this short lifetime.

The answers are coming and the plan is slowly forming. But nothing is easy. This must be what childbirth feels like.

Until recent years, my entire life has been about following direction; staying within the lines & doing the “right” thing; staying focused and “on track”. My longstanding belief had always been that this has served me well, and I had plenty of ammunition to support the notion that “my will” could solve any problem and take me all the way across the goal line. My focus in high school provided strong support and results from this philosophy. 8th in the nation in the 200m butterfly in my age group and acceptance to all 8 colleges I applied to, including Harvard, Princeton & Stanford. Next up? Getting into a good law school. How about Cornell? Check. Then getting a job at a top law firm. Check. Keep working hard and make the World your oyster. But never once did I stop and ponder what I actually wanted. It was all about playing the game. And playing it well. Over the years, I became progressively disconnected from my true self in pursuit of goals set not by me, but by society. I was completely unconscious that what I was pursuing did not compute with my higher self. Mentally disconnected, my body took charge instead. The revolt manifested in the form of a mean case of alcoholism. What started out as all fun and games morphed into scenes out of “Leaving Las Vegas”, or chapters taken right out of “A Million Little Pieces” – jail; wrecked cars; multiple DUI’s; egregious lying; a first marriage that collapsed on the honeymoon; and total alienation & isolation that could be salved only by the daily morning vodka tonic in the shower.

After a series of predictable cataclysms that marked my degenerate lifestyle, I finally hit bottom in 1998 and through the grace of God and the support of my family and friends, I was able to get sober. Spending 100 days in a treatment center in rural Oregon, I learned that “my will” — something I always felt was the solution to any dilemma — could not solve this problem, an insanity that could only be addressed through an institutionalization that without exaggeration literally saved my life. It was only by learning to “surrender” and “let go” that I was able to begin to get well. That the solution to all my problems lie not with my strong discipline but with aligning myself with a power greater than myself. When I was able to grasp this, everything changed. It’s why I have the life I have today.

On June 6 I celebrated 12 years. And most of the last decade has been an experience in piecing my life back together and a hard-fought and mistake-laden education in a new way of living. A life based on spiritual principles. And despite great progress, my practice of these principles is more often than not rather uneven. So much personal growth, yes. And yet so far to go.

Professionally, I still have so much work to do when it comes to practicing these principles of recovery that have transformed my life for the better in all other categories. I have been a lawyer since graduating from law school in 1994. I have had my ups and downs in this career, but in the balance of the equation, it has ALWAYS been something I do to make money. It has never been a passion. It has never been a “calling”. It has always been a bit like jamming a square peg into a round hole. Motivated by the pain caused by trying to live this life, in 1999 I left high-powered high-stakes big law firm litigation. But rather than having the courage to completely let go of a path I knew in my heart of hearts was not truly “me”, I opted for a softer landing by re-inventing myself as a solo practitioner entertainment attorney. In so doing, I think I have created one of the most fun-filled experiences possible as an attorney. I make my own hours. I choose my clients. And I do really enjoy my clients and what they do. Artists, writers, directors & producers. Together I help facilitate their dreams, which result in tangible realities — independent movies, television programs, screenplays and books. Its pretty cool & definitely something to feel proud of. But at the end of the day, it’s what Julia Cameron in her book ” The Artist’s Way ” (awesome if you have never read) calls being a “shadow artist”. Someone too afraid to to pursue their own dreams who safely resides on the sidelines helping others achieve theirs. A last hold out recepticle for applying my self-will, with predictably mixed results.

I have been able to reconcile this path over the years as it has been a decent means to semi-enjoy what I do for a living and provide for my family while simultaneously allowing me a certain freedom to pursue my passion as an endurance athlete and wellness advocate.

But what about my own personal “Artist”? I see my art as expressed in my love for endurance sports & wellness advocacy. And as much as I have begun to express this “art”, it remains only partially developed.

The simple hard truth is that my continued pursuit of the law is simply not in alignment with my inner artist. And yet I have lacked the courage to take action. Cut the ties & tightrope walk without a net. Maybe I just didn’t have the true faith I preach.

But the financial hardships of last few months have caused enough pain (the best motivator) to bring the issue to a head, compelling me to re-evaluate my path. To the outside observer, my life appears pretty darn awesome. In most ways this is definitely true. I am a very blessed guy who in all truth should probably be dead given the way I used to live my life. We live in this incredible home with an amazing wife & children. I support them and also have the freedom to pursue my passion as an athlete. But there’s always more to the story when you pull back the curtain. With the economy in the tank, my law practice has taken a nose dive (to put it mildly). Its painful to admit publicly, and many would probably ask me why I would or advise me against being so frank and vulnerable. As a man, its not what we are taught to do. These things should be suffered privately and solved in silence.

But I know I am not alone. My hope is that in sharing my experience, another may find comfort or some small inspiration in my approach to what are very real (and unfortunately all too common) life challenges.

This past month has been the worst. New business has dried up. And many clients are either not paying or are late in doing so. Not because they are bad people but because they are likely in a similar boat. I have barely been able to provide much beyond putting food on the table; we are behind in our mortgage payments. And I have not been able to give my kids things every parent wants to be able to do — horseback riding lessons for my daughter Mathis; a proper summer vacation. Even our TiVo is turned off right now – no World Cup for my soccer fanatic stepsons & no Tour De France. Its been awful. And very emasculating. The only solace is in my spiritual connection to a power greater than myself; my time with my wife and children; those precious hours spent riding my bike or running a rural trail; and the small amount of help and guidance I am able to provide others based on my experiences, whether with addiction/recovery, weight loss & nutrition or fitness.

As I celebrated 12 years sober last month, I reflected deeply on all I have to be grateful for. So much. An amazing marriage and incredible children. My sobriety and health. My passion for life and what I feel is a rebirth and calling in pursuing endurance sports and a path as a wellness advocate. In truth, everything in my life is a bonus. Like I said, by all accounts I should be dead. So I try to perceive everything in my life — including my challenges — as just bonus time.

And yet it is difficult to not feel a bit humiliated – a failure for not being more financially stable at this juncture in my life.

It is beyond painful. And yet my wife and I have never been more in love. And my kids are all fine with everything – they have really risen to the occasion in collective support of what we are going through. It has been a challenge that has actually brought us all closer in so many ways.

And it has forced some deep thinking about what the next move is. I could give up on endurance sports & return to big law firm life, 80 hour work weeks and everything that entails. But this is suicide for me and contravenes everything I try to advocate and live. I would rather lose the house and live in an airstream than insert myself back onto a path that in my experience was very dark and quite literally almost killed me. For the record, Julie is in total agreement on this point, because that would be a decision based purely on fear. Something I would be pursuing solely and only for money. After everything I have done and endured, this is simply not an option. I refuse to make decisions based on a fear of a yet to be determined outcome.

Instead, I choose to perceive these challenges as yet another wake-up call. Like hitting bottom with alcoholism, there is a moment of clarity. Akin to getting sober, “my will” is not the solution to this problem. As odd as it sounds, my experience dictates that it is a time to let go. To surrender to the Universe and its perfect way of course correcting. To pay attention to the dissonance as a call to a new trajectory of action. In short, its time for a change.

Julie and I have committed to the more difficult path. The road less travelled so to speak. Harnessing the courage supplied by a faith fueled by our spiritual practices and a deep sense of calling, we have decided — at all costs — to throw caution to the wind in an effort to live genuinely. To pursue what we love with all of our selves. With a deep knowing that in doing so, we will be cared for. For Julie, it is music, yoga, cooking & travel. Sharing her love of music, yogic knowledge and plant-based cooking with the world. For me it is sharing my love and knowledge of endurance sports, nutrition and long-term wellness with the world. These are our passions. And in pursuing them, we are putting faith in practice. In my heart of hearts, I know that this is what we were put on this Earth to pursue and share with others. And I know that if we fully commit with total faith, everything will work out perfectly.

I am good lawyer. And I have always taken it very seriously. But in my practice I have never experienced the satisfaction that I get from helping another feel better about who they are. Whether its spreading the plantstrong message, or inspiring others through exploits like Ultraman & EPIC5, I know based on the countless e-mails I get that in doing this I am having a positive impact on others’ lives. This is what motivates me. And this is a feeling I do not get in my legal profession. And doing it not to make a buck, but from nothing but a place of pure love and joy. And so I can’t help but know that this is the proper path for me to pursue.

But how do we do this and provide for my family? Many would say I am being irresponsible. That I should “Man Up” — bite the bullet and get back to practicing law. Join a firm and get real. Start the 401(k) cranking and forget all this nonsense. I would contend that this is tantamount to embracing fear. Of acknowledging the maya (illusion) as real. Of living small.

What does it actually mean to “Man Up”? In my frank opinion, that is the cowardly move. A decision based on fear. If I have learned anything in my travails through recovery and various spiritual practices, one theme continually resonates — get real with who you are; live in love and faith; and believe that if you are pursuing what you love that the Universe will conspire to support you. That you will be taken care of. Easy to say. Hard to practice. As the adage goes, it’s easy to have faith when everything is going your way. And its easy to be spiritual when you live in a cave. But we all live in the “real world” – where things often don’t go our way; where external pressures all too often create reactive fear-based responses that further distance us from our true selves. Putting faith to the test when you are up against it? Different story altogether.

It been an interesting experience in mining the depths of my ego and my attachment to “things” and “stuff”. It is difficult to admit not just publicly but more importantly to myself just how much my identity is tied up in things that in the macro sense don’t mean anything — the home we live in, the car I drive, where I went to school, my identity as a lawyer. As for our home, Julie and I perceive it as a living breathing thing; like a child, it is something we birthed. Having built it, its difficult to imagine anyone else living in it. Its our house and we have all of ourselves in it. It is who we are. And yet it really isn’t — its just a house. Maybe the spiritual test and true growth experience can only come in letting all of this go. A necessary step to start anew. A requirement to progress in our evolution to becoming more actualized beings. And if that’s what needs to happen, then I can honestly say I am ready and OK with it. Not that it won’t be painful if we need to move on, but that I am willing to do so in order to downsize and free ourselves to do and be not just what we want to be, but what we are meant to be.

I have come too far to u-turn at this point. And together Julie and I are united in moving forward in love. We are willing to let the house go if we need to in order to get to the next level. We are willing to let go of social pressures to live our lives a certain way, drive the right car and be members of the right club. I don’t care about any of that stuff anymore. All I care about is loving my family and together pursuing our dreams in the face of too many obstacles to name.

You may disagree, but in my opinion, this is truly what it means to “Man Up”. To have courage in the face of tremendous fear, many naysayers, and social/economic pressures to not cave and stay true to yourself. I hang on to the belief that as difficult and trying as this is right now on not just me but our family as a whole, that this notion of pursuing what you truly want out of life sets a positive and resonating example for my children.

So if you are going through something similar, know that you are not alone. Change is hard. And something I rarely do until I am in so much pain there is no alternative. And I have to remind myself that every single time in my life experience I have made a hard decision to implement a change and pursue something that is in alignment with my heart and who I truly am, things have worked out fine. In fact, better than fine. Each time. Every time. Without fail, I have never been let down – and I have countless examples in support of this mysterious spiritual equation.

Situations like these are nothing if not growth opportunities. And growth should always be paramount. For if were not here to grow, then what is our purpose?

The first order of business is always to crawl out of denail and fear and connect with who you truly are – your deepest wants and desires. Your inner fears and character defects. In a sense, what makes you tick. And then translating that self-awareness into change-based action. What is it in your life you need to change? What needs to go and what are you missing? Where are things out of alignment? From there you can make a list and begin making baby steps. Small achievable interim stepping stone goals. Because contrary to popular belief, true lasting change doesn’t dramatically happen over night – its the accumulation of microscopic actions taken consistently over long periods of time. Do this, and not only will more be revealed, I can promise that you will be quite literallty amazed.

Don’t get me wrong. Its damn hard. I admit I’m scared. And the prospect of sharing these challenges publicly makes me feel very raw and exposed. But I just felt compelled to speak openly and honestly in the hope that if even just one person gleans some small insight, then its worth it to me.

Julie and I are committed. We hope you join us on this wonderful and amazing journey!


  • jb says:

    Thank you for writing this. I hope God continues to show you what “man up” really means…Awesome bro!!!

  • E says:

    To “Man Up” is to simply quit and conform. You are breaking new territory for yourself and your family, and inspiring more than you know along the way. Many of us at similar points in our lives, it’s great to see we are not alone. Thanks for posting this, I know it had to be hard.

  • cat says:

    telling the truth is never something to be ashamed of and will *always* lead to freedom … for the speaker as well as for the listener!

    thank you!

  • Adam says:

    This was so unbelievably inspiring and real. I cannot thank you enough for this today. Just reading this, my heart lifted into my throat and my thoughts aligned with every word. You are truly a great person and deserve ultimate happiness. Thanks for sharing man…

  • Augie says:

    Wow. What guts you have Rich. Its always right when you follow your heart. I know it must be scary but like you said things have a way of working themselves out. Most importantly, your wife and kids are on the same page for your new journey. Without their love and support you could never take that leap of faith. You would be shackled to going the 80 hour work week corporate rat on the wheel route. I know, I’ve been there, done that. I remember very clearly talking to you on “The ride of truth” in Tx back in January and telling you my story of how I’ve had to re-invent myself 3 or 4 times in my career on Wall Street and you said that you were in the same boat now. I took the easy way out by staying in the same industry even though I wasn’t happy with my personal growth. I did it because I felt I had to provide for my family even though I was pretty miserable inside. Kudos to you for breaking out from doing what society expects you to do and doing what makes you happy and therefore a better person. I really admire you and your wife and I appreciate the inspiration you have given me in my quest to become a better person. If there is anything I can do to help, please feel free to email me or call me.

  • DM says:


    Congratulations … As they say, more will be revealed.

    God bless.

  • jason says:

    Brutal post, probably more so since it hits so close to home with so many. Reminded me of this segment I saw a couple weeks back>

    Get a smaller house in a good neighborhood with great schools, a couple of sensible cars, jettison all the crap or people that are holding you back, and just go for it.

    I’ve been there, I’ve made those decisions, and I’m a better person for it. Still a ways to go, but getting there, sounds like you are too.

  • BBreen says:

    I believe I was supposed to read this tonight. There are so many things about what you’ve shared that connected with me deeply… too many things to mention. Reading this has energized me and filled me with faith about the light on the other side of the dark tunnel of change I’m now facing.
    I will send prayers your way… and I know you’ll end up in a beautiful place… regardless what happens with your material things. You are truly “Manning Up” here. This has been incredible advice.
    Thank you for being so vulnerable and bold. Every person who reads this is going to be affected.
    God Bless you and your family.

  • Michael says:

    I feel your pain brother and optimism. I have also found great solace in the arms of my wife. Thank you for honesty and bravery. This post has had a dramatic affect on me and to review the choices we make in life.

    Stay strong.

  • Massive/awesome/great article and read. Your perspective is shared by a great many modern renaissance figures. Thanks for being so honest and open about your situation.
    I’ve transitioned into a predominately raw vegan lifestyle over the past several months (after being Vegetarian for 13 of my 23 years) and am going through an interesting journey of changing friend groups, pursuing goals I feel reflect my true-self, and recognizing how huge my state of ignorance is and has been. The learning never stops. Much Thanks -George-

  • BW says:

    Thank you for this. Truly, this is a gift to everyone who reads it! I couldn’t agree more that this is the definition of “Man Up”. I will continue to reflect on this through my own challenges. Thank you again.

  • JP Flores says:


    As you say, sometimes the Universe conspires to make things happen, and it certainly directed me to your site today. Exactly what I needed to read precisely when I needed to read it.

    thank you.

  • dep says:

    Brillant post, thanks for being so honest about something shared by so many yet rarely said aloud.

  • Jim Swensen says:

    Thanks, Rich, for such courageous writing. If only we could all be this forthright and honest!!

  • Rick Hartz says:


    You are not what you own, you are what you DO.

    And what you DO is inspire people!

    I think a career doing just that would suit you well.

  • Laurence Fujimoto says:

    Fantastic post. Courageous, frightening, and inspiring all wrapped up in a package of love and hope. Thank you so much for having the fearless spirit to publish such a revealing piece. You are now on the true path, embrace the adventure.

  • Jeff says:

    Thanks Rich! I went through a similar “shedding of my skin” about 10 years ago. One of the most powerful things that helped me to leap from the corporate ladder was the agreement that my wife and I had: ALA (As Long As) we are together it doesn’t matter what else happens. You are blessed to have someone who has taken that approach with you. At 55 years old, I’m now a yoga teacher and budding endurance athlete..will complete my first half ironman this year. As a grandfather I know that my actions influence my family more than anything I can say. You have influenced more people than you will ever know with your courage, honesty and love. May you and your family be blessed with good health, peace of mind and prosperity.

  • Rick says:

    Rich, thank you for laying all of this out. It took me a bit longer, but I also bailed from the law firm life (after 25 years). It had indeed eaten me up and probably had more than a little to do with my dropping dead on a tennis court last year. Lucky for me, I was blessed to be playing against a team that had a cardiologist on it who did world class cpr on me for over 12 minutes until a rescue squad arrived to shock me back to life. That night I underwent a 6 vessel by-pass. A year later (one year a vegan under the guidance of Rip Esselstyn’s Dad, Dr. Caldwell E.), I am devoted to yoga, weights and am training a lot on my bike. I just did a 73 mile ride this past Sunday morning and have never felt better. I discovered your story a few months ago checking for vegan athletes and this latest chapter of your story (as well as Julie’s recent writing) have left me vibrating -similar chords and much to be inspired by yet much to empathize with the scary parts of what you are facing. I wish you the best and hope that you keep up your blogging and sharing. I imagine and trust that you and your family are forging a life to be admired that will be the path with a heart. Namaste.

  • Brian says:

    Great post, Rich. It is great to see people doing what they feel is right, not what everyone says is right. Thank you posting this.

  • Pete Vincent says:

    Probably the best most well timed blog I have ever had the fortune to read! Awesome and very inspiring and reassuring that I am not living this harder path alone! Good luck.

  • Susan Levanduski says:

    Thanks so much for posting. I too am at a place where I want to make a difference, and help people. I hope never to go back to that horrible place called corporate America. I sense that there are many people going through the same thing. In the words of Bob Dylan, “the times, they are a-changin'”!

  • kt says:

    This is the truth! thanks for telling it like it is:)

  • Switch says:

    I have been reading about your journey since the CNN article because I am a 40ish year old man, dealing with the same issues … work (as an attorney), family (happily-married, father of three), physical fitness (sports/triathlons), financial issues (started my own practice), mental (beat an addiction (tobacco)), and even spiritual.

    While I admire your courage, and I certainly do not intend any offense by my opinions, I do not agree with you. You and I have many roles and responsibilities … we need to maintain our health (physicial, mental, emotional), we need to be active and involved husbands, fathers, members of our community (however defined), we need to seek out spiritual solace and enlightenment. But to be certain, one of our responsibilities is to provide for the basic needs and necessities of our family. I would submit that, if you cannot afford the cost of food for your family, you are not fulfilling your responsibilities.

    You have written that, when you started your journey, your life was “out of balance” as you neglected your own health, you drank too much alcohol, you spent too much time working, etc. But in some regards, you are now the polarized mirror image of yourself, using all of your time, energy, and attention for your own health (physical and mental) and in pursuit of your “calling as career,” you are completely neglect your fiscal responsibilities.

    I guess my point is this … there are people “living the dream” where their passion is their paying profession. And I admire your courage to try to be one of them. But it takes just as much courage to sacrifice oneself, to maintain a law practice, to provide for your family, and still maintain the “balance of life,” as it does to “man up” to a life without it. Even in disagreement, still wish you luck and good fortune.


  • SD says:

    You’ve created a wonderful personal life and community. With all your skills, I am sure you can transition into a more fulfilling career. I am not sure the choices are so binary as go back to big law firm or not practice law. Given what you have accomplished, it will work out. Given your families supports and the solace you have in your athletics, perhaps this tough time was meant to be to show you the fruits of your last 12 years of labour – a life of meaning, love, and purpose. No one can take that from you. Be well, SD

  • Perfect timing. Having doubts on whether to bite the bullet or take the safe option, this has tipped the balance in favour of a life rather than an existence, popped the bubble of illusion that I have all the time in the world in this earthly form to make decisions and that today’s not important… it is, it’s the one chance I have to experience today.

    Keep shining and inspiring.
    Love and peas

  • Patrick Mason says:

    Rick, I’ve been following you and your racing (EPIC5) this year. I follow a plant-based, vegan diet and was excited to find you, honestly by searching for other vegan athletes. I’m (was) an active long-distance triathlete over the last several years, until injuries have forced me to stop. Funny how trauma can change your beliefs and desires. I look at it as a positive situation. But honestly what I gravitated to more was your philosophy of life. For several years now I’ve been struggling with wanting to follow my dreams (path), not societies or my family. My wife and I are both business owners, but it’s not my passion and I know she is fed up also. Your “Man up” post couldn’t have been better timing for me. You are a MAN, among men. You will succeed and be a better person for it. True happiness and worth is having a loving family and happy children, not homes or cars. I’ve learned that, you’ve learn that. Thank you for confirming what I need to do.

  • Rich,

    What you wrote was truly fantastic and I suspect took more naked courage than EPIC5. Thank you.

    I think that most people reach a point in there life where they wake up, temporarily, and see the mess they’ve made of it—the string of Faustian bargains trailing out behind them, the unlived and misspent life, how cheaply they have sold or abandoned their dreams— and there, in that terrible moment, they are faced with suicide, beginning anew from where they are with what they’ve wrought, or sinking deeper into unconsciousness. The sane ones choose the latter, the brave ones the former, and as for the middle path…that is the path for the crazy, insane, delusional, touched, punks, anarchists, artists, poets, the marginal, dreamers, and the like. That place though, that horrible, sacred place, that is where the race truly starts, for those that continue on, they are finally dreaming with their eyes open.

    I’ve cried in the grocery store with my last $5. Foreclosure sucked but it was strangely liberating. But none of that has been as terrible and terrifying as waking up everyday no longer having the context/meaning/background of who I had been and continuing down the road that seemed to only lead to ruin—that has been, ironically, far more terrifying than any day, or combination of them, spent in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Best of luck. It is, as you already know, a wild ride.



    Nightmare of Flightless Bird

    the window it went
    the defenestration
    of all you had ever known
    or believed
    you had known
    leaving you
    with a lifetime of memories
    and experiences
    that now equaled
    exactly nothing
    their relation
    to the world and you
    and meaningless.
    And in that darkness
    before the empty
    and open window
    reflecting back
    what was no longer
    recognizable or known
    as you
    the wait of that freefall
    was s(l)ouly crushing, terrifying
    and you didn’t know
    how you’d survive
    The Fall
    the sudden impact trauma.


    Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,
    You and I shall laugh together with the storm,
    And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,
    And we shall stand in the sun with a will,
    And we shall be dangerous.

    ~ Kahlil Gibran

    “My center is giving way, my right is in retreat; situation excellent. I shall attack.”

    ~ Gen. Ferdinand Foch, 1914
    Battle of Marne

    “…we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the heropath. And where we had though to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the centre of our existence; where we had though to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”

    ~Joseph Campbell

  • Jnuey says:

    thank you Rich 

  • neppiks says:

    you’re a bad mother fucker Rich. You have inspired me to follow my dreams and passions and to lead a vegan lifestyle. Props big guy.

  • Joel says:

    Thank you for writing this.

  • Elena Ioan says:

    I think that the times I feel the more satisfied, or “alive”, or “present”, or in deep connection with myself, are the times when I have the courage of my intuitions. The courage to follow them, to follow my heart. And when I don’t, it doesn’t take too long for me to start asking myself “what the f*** am I trying to do here?!” and go back to my true path. And suddenly, everything seems to make sens and the world starts to be that extraordinary place, again! One may think it is “easier” for me, because I don’t have a family to support, and all that, but I think that in those moments, we are all alone and the decisions can only be made by ourselves, no matter how many peolple are surrounding us. And I guess that we only face challenges as big as we can take on. Freedom is not to be “standing” in front of all the possibiliies that we could choose; freedom lies in that one choice we make, in complete awareness of it, freedom lies in the action. Thanks for introducing such an interesting reflexion today (well, I only saw it today… Haha! – this one, and “My Man” too – )! You are an inspiration! Wish you all the best!

  • Ethan Davis says:

    Switch I can’t disagree more (respectfully). I think you are trying to rationalize and justify your own life decisions. I don’t think Rich was talking about not putting food on the table or neglecting the very basic necessities of providing for family. Of course we need to eat, a place to call home, clothing etc. You can call that a fiscal responsibility or acting as a provider or just being a parent. I watched my dad work his entire life at a job he didn’t like, which was a noble sacrifice. But as his child I wish he had the courage to follow his dreams and pursue his passions. Instead he lived out of fear and continues to do so. I love my father and respect him, but when I learn from his example it is to understand what not to do. Why is living out of fear and sacrificing this gift of life for the sake of money or meeting expectations “manning up”? We only get one ride in this body, might as well make it one worth living. Teaching your children how to not live in fear and having the courage to reject the convention of society if need be, to be willing to sacrifice material well being for spiritual and personal well being, how to be true to yourself, that is a courageous thing and a life less ordinary. We have it backwards. We shouldn’t be sacrificing our lives for money (putting a price tag on our familial relationships to symbolize how much we love one another). We should be sacrificing money for our lives. That is an even more noble sacrifice because we are overcoming the convention of society, blazing our own life path. Showing our children how to “sacrifice oneself, to maintain a law practice, to provide for your family”, well that is about as conventional as it gets and not something courageous but a rationalization. It is noble, I don’t mean to dismiss your decisions or my own father’s, but it is not the only way nor is the most noble or best example. BTW I accidentally gave a positive guest vote, I thought it was a reply not an affirmation. Only reason why I am writing this.

  • Donatello Morretti says:

    I have benefitted by reading this. I need to stop drinking. I need to work more. I need to rid the crap from my diet. And I need to be happier. I am afraid, just like you. Its easy to continue drinking vodka but I want more out of life.

  • sonia says:

    WOW! You are a rare breed. So real and refreshing. Its nobody’s business even when you share it but when you share it to be helpful, that’s love. Love conquers all!

  • Ben says:

    I couldn’t agree more – thank you for sharing Rich – you are an absolute role model and a total inspiration.

  • juliank says:

    brought a tear to my eye. truly.

    what you speak and how you speak resonates with me on every level.

    these are the writings of a spiritual warrior in a state of evolution to the next level in Being.

    not only are you not alone but there is a small and growing section of humanity that is going through similar trials that are leading them to a higher level of awakening.

    you are not making the right choice. you are making the ONLY choice.

    major blessings to you and your family.

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