If You Don’t Love You, You’ll Never Believe Anyone Else Can, Either

Recently, I met a lady who worked on the television series “Air Wolf.” Now that’s the show on which star Jan-Michael Vincent was said to have self destructed, just drinking all day until he could barely recite his lines.   I asked if the stories were as bad they said.

“He would come in at six in the morning with a thermos filled with Vodka and O.J.” she said.  “Couldn’t get out of the helicopter mock-up.  I asked him why he did that, why he seemed so intent on destroying the show.”

“All he would say is `I don’t know why they like me.’”

The audience.  The executives.

You see, he had been a beautiful surfer-boy when he was discovered by a talent scout in the 1960’s, and cast in a film, THE BANDITS, directed by Wild Wild West’s Robert Conrad.   By the 1980s he was the highest paid star on television (a rumored 200k per episode) and was starting to have alcohol and drug problems.

“I don’t know why they like me.”

In other words, he didn’t like himself.  Didn’t love himself. His self-image didn’t match his success, and when that happens we have one of two choices: change our self image, or change our level of success.   PSYCHO CYBERNETICS was based on the idea that if you positively change your self-image, your behaviors will change for the positive, creating the results you desire.   Conversely, if your self-image deteriorates, your behaviors will change for the worse, until you generate a life that matches them.

Of course, our egos can generate a false shell for a time, allowing us to feel we deserve whatever honors we have received…for a while.  Eventually, the pretender voice in our heads catches up with us, and either we deal with that poison, or we will sabotage our jobs, our relationships, or our bodies (a major reason that diets fail.  There is nothing “wrong” with our bodies. But if your self image doesn’t encompass the consistent behaviors to support the loss, we will slip back to the old patterns, “proving” that there was never hope in the first place)

“I don’t know why they like me.”

How many times have we seen this?  A person is given love, health, wealth, fame, opportunity.  But unless their internal image matches their external reality, they will never ever be able to hold onto it.   The “Ancient Child” program would address this problem as follows:

  1. You may not feel “worthy” consciously, but we all have a built-in sense of protectiveness toward children.  Visualizing the “child” self taps into this genetic and social and familial programming.
  2. Mentalizing  the “ancient” self allows you bypass the ego-driven need for approval.  I can promise you that on his deathbed, Vincent will be admitting he’d been a fool who blew the greatest opportunities in life for health, contribution, and happiness.   Why wait to realize we are worthy of love and joy?  How many times have you looked back at pictures of your younger self and thought “I was so beautiful. Why couldn’t I see it then?”  Tragic.  Enjoy your life now. Now is all there is.
  3. All we need to do to live lives of dynamism and contentment is balance between the dreams of childhood and the values of our older, wiser selves.  And live our adult days in alignment with both.

So tragic.  He threw it all away, because he didn’t feel he deserved it.  “I don’t know why they like me.”  Once upon a time, I didn’t understand how much fear and anxiety it costs to attempt to maintain a life that doesn’t match our self image.   But when you know you are worthy of love, that your sense of joy comes not from others but from a deep connection to our own heart and spirit, we are free.  And when we are free, loved, and safe, we automatically expand to include others in our “Me-ness,” producing the precise “unselfishness” people are taught to generate by putting themselves last.

Please.  Don’t wait to know you are beautiful, and worthy, as you are.  You may not have the disciplines and tactics and strategies necessary to reveal this to the world, and yourself, dynamically.  Not yet.  You are the block of marble.  Your daily actions and rituals are the chisel, chipping away at the block.  Tell me your self image, and your daily actions, and if they match there will be a sense of ease to your life.  And if they are positive, you have the chance to make both the child in your heart and the Ancient you will one day be smile as you reveal, one chip at a time, the beautiful work of art within the stone.



Jason, the human laser

Jason’s focus has improved greatly  over the last two years.  Some is just his maturation, but part of it is our Morning Ritual.  From being behind his grade level in reading, now we’re working on the California Sixth Grade Reader from 1914 (edited by Jerry Pournelle, available on Amazon Kindle Here (


If you’ve looked at this, you’ll know that it is actually closer to our current Jr. High school material (the precise “whys” of that I’ll leave to other discussions) but let’s just say that it is a serious challenge.  And then we were  reading “The Argonauts” and the scene where the warriors elect Hercules as their leader, and Hercules refuses the honor, saying that it should go to the wisest and best among them…Jason!  My son’t eyes LIT UP and he began reading more dramatically, acting it out, and I knew he was SEEING the ship tossed by storms…seeing the monsters…seeing the battles in the theater of his mind…


And THAT is reading.  And watching that growth, I’ve decided to move him up from static morning ritual to dynamic…the same thing I suggest in the Ancient Child.  So we’re doing Tibetans, and while in motion we chant:

#1 (spin): “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better!”

#2 (leg lift): “What’s your job, Jason?”  “To be good!”  “Were you good yesterday?”  “Yes!”

#3 (kneeling back bend): “What are Musashi’s laws?”

#4 (table): “What are your rules?”

#5 (Upward/downward dog or Hindu pushups):  “What are your goals?”


He loves it.  We do it together in the morning, and he grooves to feeling his body every morning, and the fact that Dad can outdo him. That won’t always be true.  But for now, I can drive him on with my energy, physicality, focus, energy, and optimism for the future. He is learning to use his body, emotions, and mind, to direct ALL of himself to move in the same direction at the same time–the “human laser” effect.  THAT’S  power.


And I’m watching him begin to find himself intellectually (he’s the go-to kid for math in his class now!) and physically (watching him “catch air” at the skate park is just breathtaking) and emotionally (such a sweet kid. Who knows, without any question, that he is loved and treasured.)


THAT’S the gift I wanted to give him. The gift I’ve given myself.  And the one I hope each and every one of you will give yourselves.


This Saturday at 11am pst I’ll do an Ancient Child conference call (still working out the details) and would love you to attend.  All questions answered, nothing held back.    Please mark it on your calendars!



Life Story–Part III

I wrote my first story, “The Yeti,” when I was in third grade. It was about an abominable snowman in a Canadian lumber camp and starred “Bill Conway,” a character I would revisit for years. “Yeti” was certainly a clone of tales I’d seen on Strange Tales of Science Fiction, Thriller, Chiller, or one of the other Creature Feature shows I loved.

But that was the first, and it was followed by others. At this time, I thought I wanted to be a scientist when I grew up, and I remember my sixth grade teacher Mrs. Turner catching me misspelling the word “Science” and making me write it a hundred times on the blackboard.

That was cool.

I attended a summer camp for the first time, “Camp Round Meadow.” I had the time of my eight-year old life swimming, horseback riding, and learning about secret badges and ceremonies inside the YMCA.

The idea of belonging to a secret club of guys . . . that was just too cool for words. If I had enough brothers, maybe it would compensate for not having a dad. Maybe.

When I graduated to junior high school, somehow things slipped sideways. Maybe it was the fact that we were all maturing, entering puberty. But the hierarchical nature of kid politics became more pronounced, and I was at the bottom of the pile. (more…)


The day I entered Alta Loma elementary school, my mom walked me hand-in-hand to the kindergarten, introduced me to the teacher (can’t remember her name; I know my first grade teacher was Mrs. Benjamin, and my sixth Grade was Mrs. Turner) and said: “Hi, I was wondering if you’d watch Stevie for me today?”

A very sweet, very comforting way to introduce a child to the idea of school.

In kindergarten, I made two friends, Howard Kokubun and Lee Taylor, who were respectively Japanese and White. Didn’t mean squat to me—we were three musketeers, all for one and one for all, right?

My sister Joyce, three years older than me, taught me to read, and the first book was one called The Five Chinese Brothers. She read it to me a dozen times, until I could recite it by heart. Then I read it until I could identify each of the words. And then I had it!

Then in first grade, Mrs. Benjamin’s class, all the kids were divided into reading groups. I remember Lee and Howard were placed in a group composed of white and Asian kids. My group was black and Hispanic kids. “Wow!” I thought. “Wonder why Howard’s over there, not here with me?”

I found out a few minutes later. We were tested for reading by some older kids, fifth grade perhaps. They listened to the other kids struggling with their reading, and when it was my turn, I read better than the fifth graders. Embarrassed, they immediately took me out of the black group and put me in with the white kids. (more…)

My autobiography part I

A Life From Two Perspectives

People think that they must satisfy countless social, religious, and personal groups. Countless friends and family individuals.

They are wrong. There are only two people you have to please in your life.

This is about how I learned that. And how I came to please them.


My dad, Emory Barnes, died March 8, 1995, when I was in my early fourties.

I remember standing at his deathbed in San Jose, California. He had deteriorated greatly, the cancer eating him until he no longer resembled the handsome singer who had performed with Nat King Cole, who I’d actually watched record the back-up vocals for “Rambling Rose.” (more…)

Tell the truth about your own life, and you become much harder to lie to.


Reading this research study on adverse childhood experiences, which begain in an obesity clinic, I 100% agree with what this article says: behavioral dysfunctions are a form of PTSD, often related to childhood trauma. This is one reason that the “Morning Ritual” concept incorporates both the “Ancient Child”, heartbeat meditation, physical motion, and focus. Why I believe so strongly in dealing with the fear that lies at the base of all negative emotion. Sigh.

I can tell you the first time I realized how bad it was, and how I needed to trust instinct rather than the surface or “presenting” stories. I was a GOH at a convention in Texas, and teaching a morning Tai Chi workshop. There was a lady on the periphery of the workshop, trying to do the movements. She was extremely obese, and more, her teeth were rotted out. My first impression was that she was like one overweight person pushed into the middle of a second one, a very sweet small face and bright eyes in the middle of a puffy cocoon of fatty tissue. Over 300 pounds. (more…)