Masculinity

Abraham Lincoln famously said, “Better to be silent and thought a fool, then to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Perhaps it was in Abe’s spirit then, that before everyone had GPS in their cars, it was a well-worn cliché among women that their husbands would drive around lost rather than stopping to ask for directions.

Personally, I never related to that behavior, but I knew it was a thing.

For me it was more like, “Hmm, I think I’m lost. I’ll ask for directions. Now I’m no longer lost.” But then again, I was never the kind of kid who didn’t raise his hand in school for fear of looking foolish, either. And it’s fair to say, I looked foolish and felt foolish a lot. Often it was embarrassing, and sometimes even painfully so. But I learned that being seen “not knowing” didn’t kill me, and by developing emotional resiliency, I could shift from “not knowing” to “now knowing.”

I bring this up because many of my women friends and women clients express frustration with their husband’s “fragile male egos,” particularly in the domain of intimacy. It’s normal that over time relationships change, and different challenges emerge. But deeply ingrained in men’s psyche is the need to be right and to get it right, and when things are not right, and we don’t know how to make them right, it’s scary. And it feels somehow safer to “drive” around lost then ask for directions.

At a very early age boys learn—more so than girls, I think–that love is conditional. We learn that life is a competition over scarce resources, and we only received approval when we won, when we got the good grades, when we “scored” with the girl, when we got the big paycheck–and it hurt when we lost, or made mistakes, and was especially painful when we got it wrong. We learned we were lovable (or not) for what we did, for what we achieved, not for who we were.

Sadly, we internalized conditional love for ourselves, learning to love ourselves only when we succeeded. From there, it’s not a stretch to only want to do things you’re good at, and to avoid areas of perceived weakness. To be a successful man is to be seen as a successful man—at all times!–and so the image of empowered masculinity becomes transactional, measured by money and the accumulation of trophies. Success means winning, winning means destroying your opponent, and life becomes a zero-sum game. Feelings of doubt or vulnerability are perceived as weakness and need to be quashed if you are to be victorious–and from there, it’s not too far of a journey of disconnection from our hearts and our humanity to the realm of toxic masculinity.

In the context of conditional self-love, then, it becomes understandable how admitting you’re “lost” could be so painful you will do all manner of psychological gymnastics to avoid it. However, we only learn from our mistakes, so if you’re not admitting your mistakes, you’re not learning. If you’re not learning, you’re not growing. If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

In relationship and in intimacy, what worked well in the past often doesn’t work so well anymore. Not because anybody’s wrong, but because everything and everyone changes over time. There’s no shame in that.

But if you’re not growing, you’re dying.

The shame is that the fear of “not knowing” leads to not looking. Old school masculinity “wins” in the short term by force, or by denial, but love always loses in the long term.

My mission is to empower men to create even more love in their world. To do that I believe we let go of having the answers, and learn to ask different questions.

What becomes possible when we stand centered and open-hearted, fully present in this moment, confident in our not knowing?

Let’s show the women and children we love that the patriarchy and toxic masculinity have had their day. Are you ready to join me in launching the 21st Century Man Project?

Solstice…Jupiter/Saturn Conjunction…So What?

As you may know, December 21st marks the shortest day of the year (winter solstice) as well as the closest Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in 800 years–both of which are a very big deal in astrology.

Now, while I don’t believe the alignment of the planets has any direct impact on our lives here on earth–any more than I believe that the big hand on the 12 and the little hand on the 6 causes dinnertime—I do believe in the natural expansion and contraction of energy in the universe, and that these astrological markers are symbolic of these phases, just as the hands on the clock in a certain position are symbolic of the phases of our daily activities.

With that in mind, I do believe it is useful and powerful to align our intentions and actions to the very real shifts in the energy field around us.

In my last newsletter I wrote about the phases of the breath—inhale and exhale—and our planet literally has phases of inhale and exhale as well.  (Did you know that global carbon dioxide levels increase in winter and decrease in summer because of the shifting light cycles and its effect on photosynthesis?) 

For me, the energy of these last few days of the solar year is an opportunity to fully exhale thoughts, habits, behaviors, and relationships that don’t serve.

We all love the feeling of expansion, but one of the reasons why change is difficult and New Years’ resolutions often don’t work is because we haven’t gotten rid of the old to make room for the new.  If we don’t lighten our load how can we expect to be able to take on more?

2020 has been the darkest, heaviest and most energetically negative year of my life.  On top of political, economic and pandemic nightmares, for health reasons–pre-diabetes–I’ve given up alcohol, sugar, and almost all carbs.   (Aargh! No more pizza!)  A shoulder injury has forced me to give up playing golf and guitar—sources of pleasure, creativity and identity for over 40 years.  

But the good news is, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  So what’s the opportunity to “exhale” just a little bit more, contracting here now just a little bit more, to allow for even greater expansion next year? 

Is anyone else losing energy down the sinkhole of social media/cell phone distraction? What’s the energetic cost of mindless behavior? I wonder what new, more interesting activities I would have energy for if I didn’t continually leak my juice checking my news feed again and again?

It all sounds simple enough, perhaps, but changing behavior is difficult.  It requires an investment of energy and commitment, and oftentimes accountability. Perhaps more than anything, it requires the celebration of the small steps, the witnessing and the celebration of the daily succeeding that leads to success—the secret sauce of my coaching.

If your desire for 2021 is to be the equal and opposite of 2020, click here for a free breakthrough coaching session.

–Lucas

Don’t Take a Deep Breath

Most people who receive my newsletter care a lot about their health.  And typically we think of good health as being mostly about eating right and getting sufficient exercise. 

And while “shoulding” on ourselves for not exercising more is close to the universal self-judgment, we can go a lifetime without exercising– though it may be shorter and feel considerably less vital.

People obsess most about what food they’re eating, or shouldn’t be eating, but humans can go 30 days or more without food at all.

A more complete approach to healthfulness also includes sleep and hydration habits.  However–curiously, considering we can only go 10 days without sleep and 4 days without water—attention to proper hydration and sleep are typically farther down our good health priority list then diet and exercise.

Remarkably, most people put ZERO attention on the most important element of their health: oxygen. 

Humans can live for only 3-4 minutes without oxygen, yet very few people put conscious attention on their relationship with this most vital of all elements to life.

Lucas Roy Lehman

The typical resting breath pattern of a modern human is shallow and fairly rapid, with the inhalation primarily into the upper areas of the lungs.  Stress, anxiety, and depression only exacerbate this pattern, and while exercise is good for working the lungs, it takes conscious attention to breathe into the mid and lower lung areas to maximize lung capacity and oxygenation of the blood.

So, while the notion of pausing to take a deep breath is always a good idea to de-stress and bring yourself to greater presence, an even better idea would be to give a complete exhale first!  Because if you don’t fully exhale all the carbon dioxide from your lower lungs, there’s no room for you to really take a deep inhale of fresh oxygen.

Try this: Take a moment here to notice how you’re normally breathing.  Notice particularly how much exhale there is still left when you typically begin to inhale.  And now, on your next breath, exhale more, even more, maybe even squeezing your belly a little bit to get the last of the old breath out.  Maybe even pause for a second at the bottom of the outbreath.  Then slowly and evenly breathe into your lower belly before filling your upper lungs.  Now pause again for a moment at the top of the in-breath, noticing what it’s like to really feel the fullness of your lungs.

Do that three times and notice if maybe the light seems a little brighter, or your brain feels a little clearer, or your body feels a little more energized.

That’s oxygenation. 

So from now on, don’t ever take a deep breath…until you give a complete exhale first.

— Lucas

Is Anyone Else Feeling Like a Prisoner?

Back in April, when the pandemic and Shelter-in-Place was first upon us, a friend of mine said he felt like a prisoner.

Having spent eight years leading trainings in a maximum security prison, I reminded my friend—not without compassion for his frustration—that he still had the freedom to take a walk on the beach, order takeout from his favorite restaurant, and make love to his wife whenever he wanted.  Without too much smugness, I hope, I suggested that he could focus on what he didn’t have and couldn’t do (increasing his suffering) or he could focus his energy toward gratitude for all the freedom and abundance he did have.

Six months later, and after 7 weeks stuck inside because of all the smoke from California wildfires, I admit, I’m starting to feel like I’m a prisoner.  A prisoner of the Covid-19 pandemic; a prisoner of accelerating climate change and worsening wildfires; a prisoner of the toxic political atmosphere; and a prisoner of the hopelessness of my current perspective.

Here in Santa Cruz, living just outside the evacuation zone, I am grateful that my house didn’t burn down, and my heart aches for all my friends and acquaintances who were not so fortunate.  Lots of people have it much worse than I do, facing economic uncertainty, homelessness, and racial injustice on top of all that I’m struggling with.

Nevertheless, carrying my personal prisoner metaphor a little farther, I feel like I’ve got about 30 days until my parole hearing — AKA the election. And while I feel somewhat hopeful that things will go my way and I will be released in January, at the moment I feel powerless and afraid. 

Ironically, after writing that last line, the heaviness that paralyzed me for this entire day has mostly lifted.  (Clearly this speaks to the power of journal writing and coming present to create the conditions for transformation!)

And with that lighter perspective, I find myself contemplating a different metaphor, that of a monk in a monastery.  Like the monk, I am free to leave, but here I am, choosing to stay inside in my “cell” to avoid smoke, choosing to wear a mask when I go out in public, like a monk who chooses self-sacrifice for a purpose greater than himself.

The opportunity (dare I say, necessity?) in this crisis is to embrace my inner monk and commit even more fully to the cultivation of my connection to spirit, to my meditation and breath practices, to reaching out with love to my people however that remains possible, to cultivating my feelings of universal oneness in the face of separation and fear. 

This too shall pass.

Today, I invite you to watch my short video on how to expand your energy body to bring more possibility, joy and ease.

What Should You Do When You Don’t Know What to Do?

These are uncertain times, with disruptions and upheavals in all aspects of our personal, financial, social, economic, medical, political, and climate realities.  We fear how long this uncertainty will continue, and worry how bad it’s going to get before it gets better.  We’re anxious to know how soon our will lives go back to normal, and we fear what the new normal will be like when all the dust settles.

There are lots of highly paid talking heads bloviating 24/7, but nobody says anything that placates our anxiety.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  These are unprecedented times, and nobody really knows anything.  The stock market is up for “this reason” today, and then the stock market is down tomorrow for the same reason. 

The only thing that’s certain is uncertainty.  They only thing we know  is, “This too shall pass.”

The sages say there is opportunity in crisis.  And we are definitely a world in crisis, but what is the opportunity? 

Wise aphorisms aside, crises are scary, and when I’m anxious and afraid, my body experiences an increase in adrenaline and cortisol that urges me to “DO SOMETHING!” so I can get back to safety.

But what should I do when I don’t know what to do?  What can I do when the illusion of safety only exists in an unknown future?

Since I was a young boy, I’ve enjoyed playing chess.  And the secret to winning at chess is not so much about making great moves.  It’s  about not making bad moves, which happens when you move too quickly, or don’t see the whole board because of tunnel vision–both of which are biological impacts of adrenaline and cortisol!

Yeah, but what should I DO when I don’t know what to DO?

There’s a grove of ancient redwood trees near my house that I often visit when I’m feeling anxious.  For hundreds of years they’ve been turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, and growing slowly toward the sun.  They’ve weathered thunderstorms, drought, fire, insects.  When I listen for the wisdom they’ve gained through the ages they inevitably tell me: “If you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything.”

Hmmm.  So then, what should I do when I don’t know what to do?  Expand my field of vision and my capacity for patience, until I do know what to do. 

And how do I do that? 

Diving deeper into my daily meditation practice. 

If you don’t have a daily meditation practice, this is your opportunity in the crisis.  A mere two minutes per day is all it takes to start and make a noticeable difference.  And I can tell you from experience with my clients, those who don’t have a daily meditation practice get left in the dust by those that do.

I’ve been practicing meditation and breathwork for 35 years, and I’ve done and tried just about every method under the incense.  I’ve distilled what I’ve learned into a practice that’s simple, easy, and guaranteed to change your life.  I call it “Tuning to the Key of Me.”

Click here to receive a free download.

  If you have any questions or feedback, I’d love to hear it! Until next time, keep washing your hands, and keep turning oxygen into carbon dioxide underneath your mask!

Why Setting Goals (MOSTLY) Doesn’t Work

It’s February, the time of year when folks who made New Years’ resolutions begin to lose their New Years’ resolve.  After only a month, those not-so-unreasonable goals– to lose 25 pounds, learn to play guitar, or double your sales from last year–have once again fallen by the wayside, deepening disappointment and reaffirming unconscious voices that whisper “Why even try?  Why even set goals?”

Indeed, why even try to set goals, when trying leads to failure, which makes you feel like an even bigger failure than if you hadn’t tried at all.   Fortunately, this time you didn’t tell anyone about your goal, so at least you don’t have to endure that embarrassment and shame.

The problem with goals, the way most people set them and live into them, is that they put the focus on “success” as being a specific end result.  Which means that every day that they have not reached their goal, they’re living in the painful gap of judging where they are versus where they should be.

We judge ourselves by things we can measure, and we often measure the wrong things in the wrong ways, and we can easily get demoralized.  Life is hard; change requires additional effort; and self-judgment on top of that is the straw that makes the camel lay down and give up.

The key to achieving your goals is shifting the focus from the destination of success to the journey of succeeding; from the focus of measurement of specific results, to the focus on follow-through of processes of succeeding.

You can’t control how many pounds you lose this week (the typical measurement of dieting success) but you can control (and celebrate) the succeeding of reducing your wine consumption, or eliminating bread.  And the continued succeeding in a sustainable process will boost self-esteem and make it easier to continue sustainably, and ultimately lose weight.

Another example of the power of reframing the measure of success is the story of a massage therapist who was struggling to make her rent, and needed to drum up some clients fast.  I suggested that she reach out to 10 previous clients and offer them a special package.  Her fear of rejection put her in paralysis around that idea.  “What if I call 10 people and they all say no?  Then I’ll be even more scared and depressed because I’ll feel like a complete failure!” 

Now, while she couldn’t control the ultimate outcome of her efforts, she could control her definition of succeeding, so I challenged her to see how quickly she could get 10 people to say, “No.”  And that would be the measure of succeeding. 

I wasn’t too surprised when she reported back that he it took her 12 calls to succeed in my challenge because she got 2 “yeses” along the way.

So, what do you really want to accomplish in 2020?

What would it be worth to your life if you accomplished that goal?  What’s the value of powerful and creative reframing that supports you in reaching your goal? 

That’s the value of coaching with me.

How will it boost to your motivation when you have a place to regularly celebrate the process of succeeding? 

That’s the value of coaching with me.

As always, I offer a complimentary breakthrough coaching session for anyone who thinks they might be ready to live into their dreams; that is, create powerful, actual change and finally accomplish your goals. 

This is your year.  Say yes to yourself and send me an email and we’ll set up a time to talk. lucas@lucasroylehman.com

Think Again and Grow Richer

The other day I was speaking to a group of real estate professionals, and I asked how many of them had read Napoleon Hill’s classic book, Think and Grow Rich.

Nearly everyone raised their hand.

Then I asked, “Who can tell me what–according to this book–is the first step to riches?”

Much tittering laughter followed as it was clear that nobody knew.

“Hmmm.  How’s that working for ya?” I asked, to even more laughter.

At this meeting, the team leader handed out a sheet listing over 20 activities that realtors needed to do to succeed.  Things like, make your calls when you don’t feel like it; systematize your online lead follow-up to ensure “speed to lead”; learn the social media platforms and post specific content for each.

But none of these is the first step to riches.

It’s like if I were planning a cross-country road trip.  And the things on my to-do list were: make a cool playlist; check the weather report for El Paso; make reservations for dinner at that great restaurant in St. Louis.

But none of those things would be the first step to a successful trip.  The first step would be: make sure the car’s tank is filled with gas, right?

According to Napoleon Hill, the first step to riches is DESIRE.  Actually, he goes on to say it’s BURNING DESIRE.  (So maybe that’s the equivalent of being TUNED UP and filled with gas).

Just as most professionals don’t know how to tune up their own cars, most professionals don’t know that DESIRE, and tuning it up into BURNING DESIRE, is the first step to riches. Probably they haven’t given it much thought.  Possibly they don’t know what desire is or how to increase it. 

Most likely they aren’t on the road to riches.

We often use the words want and desire interchangeably, but they are very different energetically.  Want is a feeling of lack we try to fill by obtaining something outside of us (I want more money!) whereas desire is a feeling of overflowing that arises from within us (I desire even greater prosperity!)  This is the paradox of the power of attraction regarding money in that you must create the feeling of already having (desire) the thing of which you lack (want). 

They say, “Fake it ’til you make it” but that doesn’t work because faking it isn’t the feeling of already having it.  The real question is, “How do you be it ’til you see it?”

It’s not simple, and it’s not easy, because cultivating desire is as unique to each individual as cultivating the growth of orchids, or cactuses, or tangerines.  And it’s impossible to do something that’s not simple, and not easy, and not clear, on your own.

The good news is, I’ve invested over 40 years as a creative (music, writing), 30 years in business and sales, 15 years as a sexuality and intimacy educator, and 10 years as NeuroTransformational coach studying desire and cultivating desire in myself and hundreds of clients. 

Contact me when you’re ready to learn how to cultivate your unique expression of DESIRE and get yourself on the road to riches.

Click here for a free breakthrough session

Published! Magazine Interview

Please enjoy my interview from Published! Magazine from 2019.

Lucas Roy Lehman speaks and leads seminars on personal power all over the U.S., Sweden, and Canada. He is a certified neuro-transformational coach, a certified sexuality educator, and founding director of the nonprofit Freedom Within Prison Project. He’s also the author of the new bestseller, Seven Principles of Sex and Money and Power: Your Clear Guide to a Better Life.

P: Lucas, can you share a little bit about what your background is and what brought you down this path to your passion and purpose?

LRL: Thank you. My background is really this exploration of creativity, energy, spirituality and consciousness. If you track my background, it starts as a writer, a musician, a songwriter, and a performer, and tracks into entrepreneurship, then it all starts coming together into the transformational coaching, what that’s about, and what brain states are required for us to bring the transformation into our life.

P: That’s so wonderful, so important, and so empowering for everyone. Could tell us a little bit about how all of the wonderful things you’re doing with clients translated to you wanting to write a book?

LRL: I really began to get a distillation and a synthesis of where…essentially, like Albert Einstein said, that matter and energy are the same thing. Energy is vibration. Vibration is most clearly understood really when we think of music and how different vibrations have different frequencies, have different energies, and even different keys. If you’re a musician playing a song in one key, it will have a different emotional resonance than playing it in another key. How those things correspond to then physical energy systems and different energy levels in the body, and the chakras, and all those sorts of things. I began seeing a synthesis of all of that. In some ways, The Seven Principles is the distillation of that.

P: What can the readers look forward to learning when they pick up your book?

LRL: They can look forward to learning that in a sense, we create our own reality. Whatever our reality is, we’re actually creating it now. People think changing their reality means changing their external reality. A more effective way to do that is actually to change my relationship to my reality and the judgments, choices, and the thoughts that I’m making about it. From that place, it actually becomes much easier for the external to change. But, if I’m not okay until I get over there, then I’ll still not be okay when I get over there. It’s this question of how do I shift the brain state that I’m in, whether I’m in frustration, fear or hopelessness? Those are all normal and understandable brain states, but it’s not solved by something out there shifting it. It’s solved by how I shift my relationship to whatever problem I have, move into a higher functioning part of my brain to deal with it. Then, life becomes a different process.

P: For people that are just entering into the idea of transformation and this whole concept that you teach so brilliantly, what are some tips that you would give them?

LRL: There is a concept in music that’s called sympathetic resonance. What that means is that if I had a guitar leaning up against a piano, and I played an A on the piano, the A string on the guitar would begin to vibrate. Likewise, we’re vibrational beings. The predominant vibrations that are coming at us from the outside world are predominantly negative: fear, frustration, and anxiety. Naturally, those vibrations outside of us trigger those feelings inside of us and make it feel real.

I might be afraid. I read about climate change, and I’m now in a place of fear in my life in general. I’ll not only bring that to a discussion about climate change, but I’ll now be in a place of fear, which is then going to impact how I respond to everything, because I’m now playing in the key of fear, if you will. I might be snappier with my partner or anxious when I’m in traffic or whatever, which isn’t to say that fear of climate change is not real, but do I have a problem in this moment? My fear isn’t real; the thing that I’m afraid of isn’t happening in this moment. How do I bring myself back into connection with what actually is true in this moment? Oh, in this moment, I’m driving in the car with my loved one, we’re going to the grocery store, and there’s plenty of money, plenty of love, and plenty of food on the shelf. Then, I now have experience of life based on what’s actually going on, not on my fear of what’s going to be happening tomorrow or in two decades.

P: That’s so wonderful, the idea of living in present time. There was a book out at one point called The Present and it was all about the present, being present time. So much of what you teach is around that. How do people veer away from going into the past and moving into the future, and conjuring up all these emotions that are possibly not so positive? Any tips for how they stay present time?

LRL: Well, I believe the first part is to recognize that’s what they want to do. I have a meditation practice that I call “Tuning into the Key of Me.” That really again speaks to this notion that if I’m a musical instrument, what’s going to have me play the prettiest music? It doesn’t matter how many hours I practice if my instrument is out of tune.

My first intention would be to notice that I’m doing that, and to have the intention to bringmyself back to the present moment. “Oh, there I am, having fearful thoughts about global warming. Ha, ha ha. Aren’t I wonderful? What’s true right now?” Our physical body is a great way to do that. Just let me smell some wonderful oil or small a lemon, or take a walk in nature, or any of the things that bring us back to the feeling of, “Oh, actually everything’s fine right now.” It starts with the intention to do it, and the intention to put less inputs that cause those things.

I don’t know how many people out there listen or watch the news every day, but I would argue, “What’s the point of that; to ingest psychic garbage every day that makes us feel less powerful, more fearful.” I’m not suddenly safer because I watch MSNBC every day versus one day. Trump’s either going to be impeached or he isn’t or whatever. I’m taking myself out of the vibration that puts myself into those places is the first step, and then having the intention that that’s what I’m doing.

It’s back to one of the things that I talk about in the book is that people want different things than they have, but the first step to that is, who are you being? There’s a saying, “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve got.” Albert Einstein calls that the definition of insanity, to expect different results from the same behaviors. I would say, if you keep being who you’re being, you will keep experiencing what you’ve experienced. If you do not like the quality of your experience, then who do you want to be that’s going to have a different relationship to your experience?

P: Again, so true and so powerful. You decided to put some of this wonderful work you’re doing into the book. It’s touching people all over the world, literally. It’s so wonderful. You already have a practice where you touch people, but now more and more people can be touched by your writing. Did you have any challenges with converting what you’re doing to the actual writing of the book?

LRL: Well, I did, actually. I was percolating on this idea for quite a while. I remember a girlfriend of mine actually bought me a stencil to put on the wall of my office of The Seven Principles, and that was back in I think 2015. I already had the idea of what the seven principles were, and there definitely was resistance to writing it. I had several false starts. Some of that I think sources back to this being question of, “Who did I need to be, to be the guy who wrote this book? Was I ready to stand in the authority of that and the responsibility of that?” Sometimes what we think might be procrastination, and there might have been a lot of judgment of myself that I was procrastinating, and what was that all about? It could have just been I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to be the guy who had the authority to be that person.

P: That’s a wonderful point, because I think a lot of people beat themselves up over that. I found when I was younger, I used to think if I threw more energy at things, it would be a really, really good thing. If I was at a place where I was in a stalemate, I’d just throw more energy at it. Now I find, and I learned this way later in life than I wish I had, that if I just step back and allow peaceful place for energy and for intuition and inspiration to come in, I get it resolved in a much gentler and beautifully finessed way than throwing everything against it.

LRL: I agree. There’s a saying, “What we resist persists,” and throwing more energy at something that I am in resistance to doesn’t necessarily move it. We also have a limited amount of energy to put into the system to make changes. What you’re saying really speaks to the question of how do we get out of our way? How do we eliminate the blocks to what wants to flow? I talk about that in the book. That’s a way better use of our energy…back to this question of, “Who am I being? How do I create clarity on myself so that energy flows through me?” rather than thinking, “Oh, I need to crank up more energy or work harder or whatever.” We want to let the Dao or whatever you want to call it work for us – it’s got way more power than we do. How do we get on board with it is really the question. How do we be gentle? I love that. You just said that. That’s beautiful.

P: How did you know when your time was right to write the book? Were there signs saying, “Okay, I’m ready now. I’m the person I need to be to do this.”?

LRL: In some ways, I would say yes. There were things that had happened in my personal life. My marriage had ended. Some health issues had happened. In a way, it sort of came around of like, “Okay, this is it now. It was necessary for me to take my business to the next level. Obviously, I had always had that in the back of my mind. “I want to do this to get my business to the next level,” but it was just like there was something in the timing.

Then, the final piece was a friend of mine wrote her book. It was like, “Oh.” She did a program that helped her write a book in three days. I knew that I wasn’t going to write my book in three days, but that I was ready to write ‘the good enough book’ and get the support that I needed to write ‘the good enough book’. I signed up for the program, and in three days, I had a draft of a book.

Once you have a draft of the book, then it’s like, “Okay, now I just need to make it better.” Not, “Am I ever going to finish it?” It was definitely a process of “Time to just do this.” I was just ready. Yeah. It’s hard to say exactly what shifted, but it just became…there were other things that had happened, and it was just, “You know what? This is it now. It’s time.”

P: If you look at the fabulous work that you’ve done over the years and are doing now, it just keeps expanding and growing out to more people, and also, of course, the book, which is global, what would that look like to you if you were to look at it almost like a legacy? How would you like that work and your book to impact the world?

LRL: Wow. What a question. I think how I would want it to impact the world would be to have people ask the questions of themselves, “What matters? What are my values? How am I living in alignment with those values? How do I get myself in a place where that’s what matters?” That’s a question of present. Becoming present to, “What am I feeling and how am I behaving from what I’m feeling? Oh, I’m feeling afraid. Okay, what’s necessary for me to shift out ofbeing afraid?” Not solving the problem that I’m afraid, because typically fear is – what do they say – false expectations appearing real.

To get people, especially in this country, to become present. We’re in a time of abundance of richness greater than ever in the history of the world. With my iPhone and a credit card, I’ve got more power than Louis XIV ever had in terms of what I can do and where I can go. What’s with all the fear? To connect with our bodies, our spirits, and what’s here right now, and then what choices do I want to make from that place?

 A world of connection and presence and joy that’s available right now. That’s what I would want.

P: I can’t thank you enough for being so generous about your sharing. I would love it if you could share a link on the web where people could connect with you, to learn more about you, and the wonderful things that you teach.

To connect with me, my website is the easiest place to go, which is my name – www.lucasroylehman.com. There are some cool free gifts there. My “Tuning into the Key of Me,” videos and meditation practice, which is two minutes to transform who you are being and your relationship to yourself and the world outside. The Seven Principles Assessment is also on my website and lots of other goodies as well.

A Good Day in Prison

This past week I was sitting in circle with 20 incarcerated men at the Salinas Valley State Prison, like I’ve done nearly every Wednesday for the past 7 years.

It was a profoundly typical and typically profound group, with considerable laughter and camaraderie, frustration and fear, and more than a few tears. (Mine, as well as a handful of the inmates.)

I devote 24 hours of my time each month (half inside and half commuting) in service to the transformation of consciousness and emotional literacy of gangbangers, drug dealers, addicts, and murderers, for reasons both simple and complex.

It’s simple in the sense that during those hours I am crystal clear about what I am doing, who I am being, and why. 

What I’m doing is showing up with presence and acceptance, surrendering to the dictates of prison dynamics and the incomprehensibility of life and fate.  Who I’m being is my highest self, living into my Purpose to empower men to create more love in the world.  Why I do it is because it allows me to release the guilt that I carry about enjoying such an abundant, liberated, and empowered life, while so many other humans are less fortunate and must struggle through lives full of abuse and suffering.

It’s complicated because I don’t know how long a man convicted of murder should be incarcerated, or if he should ever be released. 

It’s complicated because what kind of prospects for life outside is available to an ex-con if he were released, after he’s spent decades in prison falling farther behind the rat race of a world outside, a race he most likely already lost before he turned to a life of crime to survive?  A man who often is grateful that he’s been in prison all these years because everyone he knows from the ‘hood that’s not in prison is now dead?

It’s complicated because I don’t experience these men as monsters or evil.  I don’t actually even experience the 40-year-old who killed somebody 22 years ago as a murderer, but rather, I experience a grown man full of sadness and remorse, unable to forgive himself today for a life he took and the grief he caused half a lifetime ago. 

But when a man living in integrity today is witnessed taking responsibility for the impacts of his actions in the past, that’s when the true healing and transformation begins.  He begins the process of recognizing he is no longer the same man who committed those unforgivable acts, and his heart softens to himself and others.

I doubt anyone reading this newsletter is a former murderer, but I would inquire if there are stories of self-judgment and lack of forgiveness that you hold toward yourself?  Maybe you cheated on a spouse and wrecked your marriage; or abandoned a friend or a child when the going got too tough; or betrayed yourself by playing it safe and not living up to your potential, or failing to pursue your dreams? 

And if so, what is the cost of your continued self-judgment to your heart and to your experience of your life now? 

And if so, are you ready to be witnessed creating new stories and a new experience of life for yourself?

I challenge you to honor the millions of men and women behind bars who don’t have the freedom to live full out, and reply to this email.   I’ll give you a 20% discount on one-on-one coaching or my super-affordable “7 Principles of Personal Power” online group coaching program starting next month (based on the system in my book 7 Principles of Sex & Money & Power).

If you’re not sure which is right for you, please contact me for a complimentary 30-minute Breakthrough Coaching Call and we’ll go from there. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

With love and gratitude,

–Lucas

I’ve got the good cancer!

Many of my close friends and family are currently battling cancer.  Leukemia, lung cancer, breast cancer, melanoma.  On a daily basis they deal with terrible  discomfort and fatigue, invasive procedures, and many, many, many trips to oncologists, testing centers, specialists, and hospitals for surgeries.  The fear and heaviness of it all ripples out across families and communities.

Over the past 3 months I’ve gone through a little of that.  I’ve had a number of blood labs and doctor visits, and last week I had my first CT scan.

But the great news is: I have the good cancer.  Although Micosis Fungoides is described as a type of lymphoma, it is quite slow in its development.  And even though we determined that I’ve had it for over ten years, UCSF Dermatology this week confirmed that mine has not spread beyond my skin, and is responding incredibly well to light therapy.  As treatments go, it’s about as pleasant as you could hope for: 5 minutes 3 times a week I stand naked in a special tanning booth at my dermatologist’s office, a mere ten minutes from my home in Santa Cruz.  And after three months of treatment, the visible signs of my disease are retreating, and living in my own skin feels better than it has in years.

This will be the story for the rest of my life.  Perhaps reducing or stopping the light therapy as my skin responds, and then likely resuming light therapy when and if the skin markers return.  Periodic testing to confirm that the cancer has not spread.

And it’s the good cancer for another reason: There’s nothing like a C-word death scare to make me appreciate my life.  More than ever I am grateful for all the love in my life, for my family and friends, for meaningful work, and the blessing to live in a beautiful home in my favorite city in the world. 

I’ve also gotten even clearer on my priorities, values, and choices regarding how I spend my time, and as I mentioned in my last newsletter, I’ve been inspired to be even bolder and more vulnerable in my signature talk.

In that regard, I’ve been invited to join the Fresh Inspiration Tour, and this Thursday, February 21st at 7pm, three powerful speakers/authors and I will be delivering our message at The Hivery in Mill Valley.  Please click here for more information and tickets.

I hope to see you there!