Rick Gault’s journey is not conventional: after working as a meditation teacher, he went back to school and worked in the business world for three decades. Now “semi-retired”, he has a life coach service and helps people to find fulfillment. A Transcendental Meditation advocate, Rick has a very interesting message for us. Check out this interview for MysticMag to know more.
Your background as a meditation teacher blends interestingly with your work in the business world in what you offer. How do you manage to unite these two aspects of your journey?
I asked a friend who helps businesses how she’d describe what I do and she said that I work at the intersection between Business and Spirituality. This interest began when I graduated from college. I was very interested in learning more about myself, how the mind works and how we work inside. So, I learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) and taught TM for about 10 years. I’ve been practicing TM for almost 50 years now.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t make a lot of money teaching TM, so I had to do something else. I went back to school and got a Masters’ degree in Information Systems and started a career as an IT specialist, eventually moving into management and becoming an executive and a partner in a small consulting firm. It was here that I really had a chance to apply what I’d learned by practicing and teaching TM in a real-world setting.
Most of us spend the lion’s share of the day focusing outwards: job, family, status, career, looks, successes and failures. That’s only a part of our life. There’s a much more important part of our life – inside. Our mind, our feelings, our awareness of ourselves. What is it that defines a human being? Conscious awareness. If you have no conscious awareness, you are basically dead and are nothing more than just a body.
Our educational system doesn’t deal with the inner aspect of our lives, but rather only with external concerns. I’m not saying these are not important, but what underlies all things and determines how successful someone can be in various areas of life is who you are inside. We’ve all heard the sayings, “Know thy self” and “The kingdom of Heaven is within.” Meditation is a tool for understanding, recognizing, and living who you are.
I read an article in Psychology Today saying that, by the time you are 10 years old, you already know who you are, what your purpose is, and what you want to be. However, society often has other plans for us and trains us to be cogs in a wheel, not an individual person living our true purpose. Many times, people find themselves doing things that don’t align with their values, especially in the business world, because of these internal pressures.
I’ve found that, in my own career as a businessman, meditation helped me to be who I really wanted to be and helped me respond to things in a way that was more natural to me and not stand up for things I knew were wrong. Today, I’m able to combine my inner, spiritual, growth with my business experience, to help others find themselves and be more successful and fulfilled as a result.
When someone reaches for your services, what are the most common complaints mentioned?
I’d say most people come to me about relationships, which is a pretty important part of our life. One person that came to me was divorced and couldn’t see his kids on account of some issues with his ex-wife. Another woman came to me because her daughter-in-law wouldn’t let her come and visit the family – her son and their children.
I had not done a lot with relationships before working with them, but in my coaching practice I use what I call Divine Energy or Quantum Energy. That enables me to heal some inner issues that help relationships. It does not resolve these in one session; it takes a while – Rome was neither created nor destroyed in a day. A lot of problems people’s relationships are habits. Some trigger sets us off and creates a negative response. We don’t get rid of habits overnight.
This one woman, for example, couldn’t see her son nor her grandchildren. So, we started by using tools and techniques that were related to relationships: love, compassion, relaxation, confidence. After about six months working once a week, she told me that her daughter-in-law asked her over for a visit. The work we were doing not only had an impact on my client, but also on her daughter-in-law. By the time we finished working together, my client was making regular trips to see her son and his family.
In business, many people want to make more money. It is a difficult issue to solve because it’s inhibited by a lot of things. In the coaching community, we talk about limiting beliefs, which hold back people from being successful. In that context, some of those would be, “I can’t be successful” or “Money is not important, money is bad, being wealthy is evil.” These beliefs can hold you back from achieving your goals.
But money does not have intrinsic value. What makes it good or bad is how you use it, how you feel about it. I can take a screwdriver and turn a screw or stab somebody with it – two completely different things, same tool. If you feel it’s evil, you can prevent yourself from receiving it. We need to remove that limiting belief and replace it with a belief that money is ok, and it’s ok to want it.
Do you have some advice for our readers interested in pursuing a happier life-work balance?
The first thing I’d say is learn to meditate. Learn Transcendental Meditation. It softens the stresses of life, and the more relaxed you are, the happier you become. You’ll naturally balance your life and work. If you work too much, personal life is going to suffer. When you are more balanced internally, clear, more relaxed and calmer, you are going to naturally want to spend time with your family. You’ll also be more effective at work, so you’ll have more time to spend with your family.
If that isn’t enough, get a good business coach, who focuses on work-life balance. They’ll help you understand what limiting beliefs you may hold inside that cause you to overwork when you should be spending more time with your personal life. Maybe you were raised to believe that hard work is more important than family. It’s possible to change such beliefs so that we can live happier, more balanced lives.
Our careers have ebbs and flows, and challenging/tedious/difficult moments should be natural. How can I know if a specific moment is just too much and I need to rethink everything or is it natural and something I need to overcome?
This is a great question! When you meditate (TM), your mind becomes clearer, sharper. Your perceptions become clearer. As this happens, you begin to make better decisions – automatically, without trying. You don’t have to do a lot of rethinking. You just wake up one morning and begin to do things differently, better. Problems become fewer. Life becomes easier. But you’re right, problems are a part of life – things don’t always go smoothly. Because you’re getting clearer mentally and emotionally, you’re better able to handle those difficult moments when they do arise.
I mention TM because it’s a great tool. Coaching is also a valuable tool. We should take advantage of all the ways to improve our lives. Find a good life or business coach, who can help you grow even faster by helping you clear out your limiting beliefs. My website includes some articles on how to find and select a good coach. The coach-client relationship is very important. You should find someone you trust and feel comfortable with. The rest will happen automatically.