Ryan James is a Life Coach and Ketamine Assisted Therapist who trained under the team of world-renowned Life Coach, Martha Beck. He currently leads our development at Hanya House overseeing our experiences, operations, and new product design and implementation. Read on to hear about how Ryan integrates Life Coaching into his own life:
What brought you to Life Coaching?
Over the last 10 years I’ve been amazingly privileged with the people that I have worked with. From world-famous Life Coaches, to village-builders, pioneering teachers, counter-culture bankers, and a good few medicine people (including my partner, Rav). I noticed that these people were all “working” so differently to what I was used to, they seemed to be guided by a deep and mysterious trust and ease that they didn’t feel the need to explain. They trusted themselves, even when they were going against the grain, and they didn’t care much for what culture had to say about their differences. For me life coaching is all about building trust of self. Authentic self. That process created so much fun and renewal and discovery in my own life that I couldn’t help but want to share it.
What does a good life mean to you?
I’m sure this answer changes as we grow, but at the moment, Frozen 2, my daughter’s favourite movie, is a good guide: (1) Trust yourself; (2) Seek out the unknown; (3) Open yourself up to the mystery beyond what you can see; (4) Be in awe of nature; and (5) Look for opportunities to do good.
Name three non-negotiables in your life.
Walking with my wife, daily exercise, and home-cooked family dinners.
What podcast are you currently listening to?
The Aubrey Marcus Podcast #316: Ketamine and The Mental Health Revolution w/ Dr. Dave Rabin.
The book you own that is the most dog-eared?
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
A lesser-known book that you love?
I’m a huge fan of a book called Diana Herself by Martha Beck. It’s the strangest, most remarkable, and brilliant book, best consumed with an open mind and a sense of humour. If you’re open to it, it’ll change your life.
A lesson you’ll take away from the COVID-19 pandemic?
We’ll never know what life is going to throw at us. The only way to continually prepare for that fact is to break free of our own limiting beliefs again and again and again.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Why that quote?
Martha Beck often says that a one-degree change over time makes a huge difference. We are so quick to create strategies in our work-life, but we’re just “surviving” or “reacting” in our personal lives. I was amazed at where a strategy of one-degree changes took in me in my life.
Something that most people don’t know about you?
Live spiders and flies were my first ever online purchase.
Despite mostly enjoying the arts in school, I won my school’s science fair when I was 16-years-old for showing the effects on a spider’s web when it consumed a variety of different alcohol. The project even made it to the Texas State science fair in Austin. To get the spiders drunk I marinaded the flies in the alcohol. I bought the spiders and the flies online and they were delivered straight to my door. That was back in 2001.
Instagram accounts that get the most likes from you?
Why did you go beyond Life Coaching into Ketamine Assisted Therapy?
Guided non-ordinary states of consciousness have been shown to have dramatic and long-lasting effects on people suffering from depression, anxiety, suicidality, and unresolved traumas. The unique psychomimetic and anxiolytic effect of our ketamine assisted therapy process at Hanya House, under the medical supervision of Dr. Rav, is particularly useful for people who struggle to get past the mind’s control mechanisms so that they finally have an opportunity to go deeper into the unconscious. The treatment is not indicated for everyone, but where it is indicated our patients report huge shifts in mood and well-being. I use most of the same principles from Life Coaching in Ketamine Assisted Therapy, with a tendency towards the tools that help people to access their own body’s wisdom. Martha Beck and her team inspired my love of helping people to “climb back into their bodies.”
Best mood-boosting tips?
- Daily exercise (as much as we want to resist this one, it’s the best and it’s free)
- Daily cold plunge (this is a recent one that I started… yes, even in winter)
- Don’t check your emails, messages, to-do lists or social media for the first hour or two that you are awake (give yourself the gift of presence)
- DNA Analysis (mine helped to see how unmanaged neuroinflammation was blocking my attempts to address my anxiety. I did the DNA Mind, as well as the DNA Sport & Health)
- Limited alcohol (I used to be able to drink as a youngster, but as I’ve “matured” I noticed that there was a real latent effect on my mood, especially with wine or any blend that included a sugary mixer. I now drink only whiskey and mostly only one on a Friday night)
- 20-Minute Binaural Power Naps (Find a binaural playlist on your music streaming service, set your alarm for 20 minutes, lie down and close your eyes)
Morning and bedtime rituals?
These change with the seasons. And I’m happier when I’m flexible. With a five- and six-year-old, mornings are interesting and I found that I was trying to fit too much in by waking up at 4am to do meditation, journaling and everything else, especially in winter.
This winter, I start with an almond-nut coffee, and then it’s all about nourishing the kids and giving them my full attention. Their lunchboxes are super important, if I don’t get that right, Rav has words with me – food as medicine is a big thing in our house. There’s lots of fruit and healthy fats to get them through the morning. We chat while they have their breakfast. And then, depending on the pandemic situation it’s either off to school or an hour or two of home-schooling. I take my supplements five days per week, having a break on weekends. At the moment, the supplements that I am taking are: Vitamin D, NAC, Omega-3, and MethylCare.
We eat a home-cooked dinner as a family at the table every evening. Before bedtime Rav and I love to read our books next to the fire with a cup of Rooibos tea and some dark chocolate. I always floss and we both use rosehip and aloe vera on our faces before we get into bed. Bed is early, I’m normally asleep by 930pm.
When you really need to slow down…
Slowing down is something that I have struggled with in the past, but yoga is something that really helps. Both of my yoga instructors, @denise.sohandev and @watsonbejay are exceptional and have created massive positive changes in my life. I also love getting an aromatherapy massage with Hanya’s bodywork specialist, @cands_buys.
How do you take your coffee or tea?
Apart from my almond-nut butter coffee in the morning (you can see how to make this on the Hanya IG page), black coffee with a ¼ teaspoon of pure cocoa, and always black rooibos tea.
What has been your biggest area of self-growth over the last 18 months?
For most of my life I’ve been the classic over-achiever archetype (Nicole LePera describes this really well in her book How To Do The Work) who believes that if I’m not being productive then no-one will value or love me. So I often struggle to be present and to say no, and I often have quite negative self-talk that includes the words “must” and “should” a lot. Over the last couple of years I’ve become more aware of this archetype and how it limits me. As I’ve allowed myself more flow, I’ve become more creative in my work. I’ve become more present with my family. And I more often allow myself space to just be.
What’s sacred to you?
I do burpees, sit-ups and a leg exercise every day. I’m on about 15,000 of each for the year. They help me to stay accountable to myself. To stay in my body. They also demonstrate my slow and steady philosophy perfectly. Two years ago I struggled to do 20 burpees a day. Now I’m on 120 a day.