• VisionPassionFaith

Wellness for Real, Part Five of Series

With Rich Case My fifth interview in my "Wellness for Real" series, is with Rich Case . He is one of the most compassionate, centered, mindful, as well as truly kind individuals that I am blessed to know. He lives his life by example. His actions speak loud, and his words are always filled with wisdom and empathy. We are both huge Jewel fans, and this seems to have been the thread from which we have built a wonderful friendship. Hope you enjoy! Me: So, I usually start off with this question- Do you have your own definition of "wellness" that you can share? Before that though, I know today is your Anniversary- Happy Anniversary. Rich: Well, thank you for that. My own definition of wellness- I think I am still coming to my own conclusion. One of the books I am in the process of re-reading is Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping. This book seems even more meaningful today than when I bought the book back in 2008/ 2009. I was facilitating a group, and there was a gentleman in the group who mentioned this book. What I really enjoy is that a lot of these things speak differently to me, than when I originally read it. My takeaway:

Many times I find when reading a book, if I read it again years later, there are indeed things that speak differently to me as well. Possibly we are at different "stages" in our development, and also have experienced other things in between the times we read and re-read, where we have developed some different perspectives. This book, Radical Forgiveness, that Rich mentions is definitely on my "book list." Thank you Rich! #radicalforgiveness #perspective #wisdom #colintipping

Rich: I have also been blessed to meet some of the folks whose books I have also read. One of which is Father Joseph Martin who is famous for the film- Chalk Talk, about alcoholism and recovery. Later, I would have the chance to meet John Bradshaw who had a number of series on PBS on recovery and inner child work. I was also fortunate to meet Earnie Larson, who wrote a book- Stage Two Recovery. Here I learned the principle of : "What we live with we learn, what we learn we practice, what we practice we become, and what we become has consequences". And these consequences can be positive or negative. So, my "wellness" definition, would ultimately be learning who we are and what our purpose is. Over the years, I have found out more and more about authenticity and what my purpose in life may still be, and I am comfortable with this. My takeaway:

Some very profound insights that Rich shares. Authenticity and purpose are always areas that are worth chatting about! As Socrates said : “to know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” I think on many levels we are all in "recovery" for something. Inner child work is always something precious, if we allow ourselves to do the deep work, and embrace the process. On the other side, does come many layers of healing. What Rich mentions about what we live with we learn.... much truth. Ultimately what we become does indeed have consequences. Many times, we are on a road to becoming who we really are not- this is where consciousness, as well as deep healing at the core can be transformational. Rich's definition of "wellness" is probably one of the best definitions, in my opinion. To learn who one is at the core, this is the journey. When we do this, we can then uncover our purpose. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said (he has been one of my favorites since I was a little girl) - "to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment". #socrates #emerson #ralphwaldoemerson #authenticity #purpose Me: So I think we all may have a similar purpose- which is helping others. The more authentic we become and the more we live from the core of who we are, and thus express ourselves in our own unique and creative ways, we are helping others do the same. Helping others be their true selves. Thoughts? Rich: Yes, when I help others, I, in turn, help myself. Pieces of you are pieces of me. As I listen to others I find pieces of me. Thus, more healing for me My takeaway:

Some deep truth- "pieces of you are pieces of me" #healing #authenticity #betruetoyouself Me: You are definately someone who "walks their talk". You share personal experiences, as well as insights. You are one of the most compassionate listeners that I know. This coupled with the fact that you are not one who is in any type of "interrogator" energy. This I find to be rare, as I believe we live in a society that is filled with much judgment, and condemnation. Others can be our biggest "hindrance" to moving forward and being happy. Many times, people ask a lot of questions, and put others on the defensive as to how they are feeling, and/ or what their perspectives are. We are all entitled to our own feelings, as well as thoughts and perspectives. Practicing non-judgment of others is key and instrumental to truly assisting another with their own soul's growth and evolution. I would think that you have been instrumental in much of many people's growth and transformation? thoughts? Rich: Back when I was a family therapist. I worked with family members as well as addicts and alcoholics. In 1978 I went to my first Al Anon Meeting, and they talked about "just for today." Can I do these things every day? Some days one can be good at some; other days maybe only do one or two of them. Some days one is attuned and some days not. It is almost like a bio rhythm. I try and stay in my own rhythm. When moderating/ facilitating domestic violence or anger management, I would often use some of the things I learned in Earnie Larson's book Stage Two Recovery. Though the facilitator and myself had different backgrounds, ( she was an RN who worked on the medical side) - while doing the counseling/ therapy work, one of first things we tried to get across to people sent by the courts, was that we were not there to punish, but to help them see that what they were doing was not working well, and we offered some alternative. Alternatives that may work better. We only had two " repeat customers" in the six years. The idea was for them to get to know who they are, and one of the things they learned was they are not their behavior, but they are responsible for it. One of the things that happens... we do one or two things in life, and have a lot of shame. But we should not be characterized by that. People need to be responsible, but also understand that they are not that behavior. They are more than that behavior. Jewel talks about this a lot- we are not our behaviors and not our thoughts and not our emotions. We may be having thoughts and emotions, but we do not have to act on them. Most important, we are more than our behaviors, feelings, and thoughts. My takeaway:

Having others who can reflect back to us, who we truly are, is invaluable. "Seeking wise counsel" ( what I call it)- is always not only wise but essential. Questions I like to ask myself : is what I am listening to and who I am communicating with - is this authentically speaking to who I am? Taking one day at a time, always works well for me, and knowing I am doing my best. I know my rhythm, and as Rich says, so eloquently, some days we are better and more attuned at staying in our flow and "bio rhythm". I think it is important to not allow others rhythms to "dictate" how we need to navigate our own day. I love what Rich shared about his working with the RN in the therapy/ counseling work. Powerful insights and much kudos on only having two 'repeat customers" in six years. #rhythm #flow #wisecounsel #intheflow #discernment #justfortoday Me: Let's talk for a moment about "choices" and options. Sometimes we forget that we have the power of choice. One of the few freedoms we still have. Many are not consciously choosing. While others are very conscious. When making a decision, how do you make decisions that are coming from a clear and pure center? Rich: It is always important that I realize that I have choices and don’t need to jump the train track based on others decisions, actions, or words and emotional state. I find that it is a new freedom that I didn’t realize that I always had. How wonderful it is to learn that however long we have been alive, we can always learn more about ourselves. My takeaway:

Always powerful to know we are always 'at choice". When there is intention, deep alignment, and consciousness- we "decide" better. Decisions that come from a centered place are usually the ones that bring peace. #choices #powerofchoice #powerofintention Me: This brings me to the term that you have used before: "enlightened self interest". I never heard this term before, and it is a "good one"! What does this mean for you? Rich: I have to keep remembering that I am powerless over a number of things, and that I also have choices or options. One of the things I am powerless over is other peoples’ choices and behaviors. It is important for me to recognize my "enlightened self-interest". That is to say what is healthiest for me. Selection of this often includes consultation with my Higher Power and soul. Being an observer of others' choices and behaviors doesn’t mean that I am forced to be involved. If I see a whirling dervish it doesn’t mean I have to join the chaos. In addition, sometimes "enlightened self interest" will involve projects that would be healthier for me to do, to benefit the group. I am one of many. If I develop new behaviors will this also benefit others, as well as myself. My takeaway:

Love this! Much wisdom in this! #enlightenedselfinterest #choices #powerlessness Me: You mentioned Jewel in a previous question, and you and I are huge fans! . She talks a lot about nature versus nurture. I believe that she is a true example of a " phoenix rising". And, most importantly, she leads by example. As a young girl, I wrote poetry, played concert piano, and was gifted in art. So much of her creativity and self expression resonates with me on a very deep level, that most do not understand. She is spectacular in being raw, real, honest, and true to herself- especially in putting pen to paper for her songs/ poetry. She is also very vocal about the fact that her "goal" is to be a whole happy person first and musician second. Why do you think Jewel, her story, her lyrics, and her life resonate so much with people like us. Do you think it is primarily because we all want to rise from the ashes of our own personal stories to triumph and be examples for others that they can do the same? And secondly, are we not all trying to find true happiness in our own unique journeys? Rich: Jewel talks a lot about the importance of forgiveness and gratitude. "Hard Wood Grows Slowly". This is an important principle and takes a while before it takes root in our lives. When we learn to not only forgive ourselves, and forgive others, we free up energies, and our creative force inside is unleashed. Thus, we continue to move forward, and not remain stuck in that area any longer. When I first got involved in recovery, someone shared about "walking up the down escalator". If we don't continue walking up, we end up at the bottom. The "escalator of recovery" is also just like the "escalator of joy".... Joy is not a destination but a journey. My takeaway:

Jewel talks a lot about the three pillars to change: transformation, transmutation, and transcendence. And "hard wood does grow slowly". As Rich mentions when we forgive ourselves, as well as others, we free up energy, and creativity can be unleashed. I believe we all want to be the "phoenix rising" in our own lives, and with this journey, we can embrace joy along the way. As Rich says, joy is indeed a journey. Continuing to "walk" up" the "down escalator" does take intention, and consciousness. Rich is a great example of someone who continues to take steps "up" and keeps moving forward. It is a true privilege and a true joy to know Rich, and I am grateful for this time we had to chat. #joy #gratitude #hardwoodgrowsslowly #jewel




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