When to “not” meet the Dalai Lama…

Published on:
Tuesday May 21, 2013
by Nick Ortner

As you probably figured or know, I’m passionate about personal growth and healing- finding ways to improve my life, the lives of those I love and now people around the world. That passion is what drives me on a daily basis.

The other day, however, I asked myself…”Are there times when you can have too much personal growth and healing?”

I’ve been into this world, and by this world I’m referring to the broad category of personal growth/development/self-help/alternative healing for a long time. I have to credit my parents for my initial exposure, probably in early high school (or it might even have been middle school!) I still distinctly remember my Dad’s Nightingale-Conant tape sets. About the size of a large binder, with a big picture of the expert on the cover (Earl Nightingale, Zig Ziglair, Brian Tracy and others) and an enticing subject matter, “Lead the Field”, “A View from The Top” and others. My dad would buy them, I would borrow them and start filling my brain with this amazing information.

My mom played a big part with one purchase in particular. She is often lovingly teased in the family about her love of QVC and the Home Shopping Network, and while I find a few of her TV purchases questionable, when she bought one of Tony Robbins’ courses, she made the right move. :) I “borrowed” it as I did my father’s tapes and was hooked. And thus the road to a lifelong thirst for information that could improve my life was paved. One of my roommates after college joked that I should just have my headphones surgically implanted, since they were constantly in my ears!

All that to say, “I love this stuff” I love listening to Wayne Dyer, and Carolyn Myss and Louise Hay… when I come home from the “I Can Do It’s” that I speak at, I listen to the other speakers. This is my life.

Dalai LamaSo the other day, when faced with an amazing opportunity to join my friend Scarlett Lewis to visit with the Dalai Lama, the choice seemed an obvious one. The Dalai Lama! What an opportunity- what an honor! I would be accompanying Scarlett (along with Dr. Lori Leyden), so this wasn’t a meeting for me personally, but still… to hear him speak, to learn from him, to be in his presence.

Initially, I said “Yes! I’ll be there!” but as the date neared, something stirred inside me that was telling me otherwise.

That stirring said, “You’re tired…” (I had just spent the weekend speaking in Atlanta at an ‘I Can Do It’ conference and had some very early morning flights)

That stirring said, “There are no missed opportunities…”

That stirring said, “Your uncle is coming to visit from Argentina, someone you only see every 5 years or so at most…”

That stirring said, “Stay home”

Of course, my passionate impulses wanted to reject all those stirrings. I wanted to keep moving forward, at breakneck speed, meeting people, connecting with them. “What if I can share tapping with the Dalai Lama?” “How great would it be to get a picture with him?” “What might I learn from him?”

And while there’s nothing wrong with those thoughts or moving forward, something told me it was time to slow down.

Something said to me, “What might your uncle have to teach you?” “What might those extra precious hours with your family be like?” “What would the Dalai Lama do?!?” :)

I’m sure you can guess the choice I made: I politely declined the invitation and stayed home. Of course there was a part of me that tugged and said, “What if you made a mistake?!?” But when I did some tapping on it, I got real clarity and comfort that this was the right decision.

The result?

A lovely evening with my family, on a beautiful Connecticut night, drinking some great wine and hearing stories from my uncle from decades past. Stories of how my parents met (I knew the basics but got more details), stories about my grandfather who I didn’t know, stories about me as a kid, stories that nourished a part of my soul like nothing else could. Connection with those I love and a memory that will last a lifetime.

And guess what? If I had gone and seen the Dalai Lama, and had a chance to chat with him, he probably would have said, “What are you doing here? You should be with your family…” haha! But seriously, I think his advice would be to do what I did, to slow down, to connect with my family, to drink some great wine, enjoy a beautiful May evening in Connecticut and just BE.

So what did I learn from this, a few simple lessons:

1. There are no missed opportunities. If something doesn’t feel right, trust that. You’ve got to make sure that it’s not just fear or self-sabotage holding you back (and you can tap on that), but oftentimes, you simply need to say “No” or “Not now”

2. Let that Inner Knowing guide you. When you know, you KNOW. I’ve been more and more surprised on a daily basis just how strong and wise my intuition can be. But you’ve got to listen to it. Again, tapping can help you gain that clarity. When you can’t make a decision or feel stuck… “Even though I can’t make this decision…” Just a few minutes of tapping and you’ll be surprised about the clarity you experience.

3. Don’t take yourself, or others, too seriously. One of my favorite parts about my evening with my family? We laughed. Deep, hearty chuckles at great stories, old jokes and being together. That nourishes the soul in the deepest of ways. That evening wasn’t about the next big thing, or spiritual growth or improving myself, it was just about BEING.

Of course, I’m just as passionate today about personal growth, about finding ways to improve my life. I’m busy at work today, moving forward, learning, helping, healing. And because I took that time, to just “BE”, I can bring more of myself, my best self, to this work.

So take some time to find that balance for yourself. When is it time to slow down? When do you need to recharge? When are you pushing just a little too hard? Or when are you reaching for things that seem “spiritual” or about “personal growth” but in fact disconnect you from the essence of your life.

And remember, the answer to all these questions is deep inside you. You KNOW.

Do you agree with my decision to stay home or do you think I’m crazy for missing the meeting? :) Where do you need to slow down? What did you learn from this story? Share your comments below.



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280 Comments on this post

  1. Marypat Lee says:

    Thank you so much for your beautiful, vulnerable openness about life! You absolutely made the right decision…you have had such amazing success in sharing your passion of EFT and with that, have opened doors for all of us out here just doing it! The right opportunities will always appear.
    You need to take care of Nick …and sometimes getting away from the “tapping” and just being quiet is all we really need. Your story touched my heart and reminded me that “I am enough, just being!” Thank you and please don’t stop sharing–you have no idea the beautiful trust and honesty you create with all of us, and the love that is sent back to you in honor of your dialogue.
    In-Joy and Gratitude,

  2. tabby says:

    That was a good reminder. I needed and love it. It’s true sometimes we think about life more than living it. Thank you Nick.

  3. Vesna says:

    Good decision Nick. If you do not respect family how to respect others even Dalai Lama.

  4. Lisa says:

    That was a great read and so very true. We do need to stop and listen to what our inner voice is saying. God Bless!

  5. Jenni says:

    Wow, talk about a timely article for me. I truly believe you did the right thing, I truly believe the Dalai Lama would agree you did the right thing and you have inspired me to listen to my spirit and let go of the pull/drives/pressures that have proven over and over, can never be satiated if we feed them.

    Seriously…thank you; I really needed this. If you can follow you heart in this situation, I can certainly follow mine in the one I am facing.

  6. Mac says:

    I just downloaded your book to my e-book last night, and I’m all ready feeling encouraged by the first couple of chapters. I also partake in a lot of self-help “R&D”, always trying to “refine” my meditations, stay positive (which isn’t easy these days), “enlighten” my spirit and attitudes. I’ve always cherished the writings of authors such as Wayne Dyer, Shakti Gawain, Eckhart Tolle, (and various others who’s names aren’t coming to mind off hand). I also was briefly involved with acupuncture back in the 90′s, which I found very “grounding” and comforting. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford to continue my visits, so I’m eagerly anticipating similar results from practicing the “art” of tapping. Thank-You for your generous sharing of this wonderful power with our “troubled” species.

  7. Toni Mullins says:

    You did the right thing go with your gut feeling . Listen to the inner voice, the Spirit within , and you’ll usually do the right thing. Thanks for sharing . Toni Mullins

  8. Astrid Metz says:

    I believe you made the right decision, one that you could not regret under any circumstance. The opportunity to meet with the Dali Lama was bound to present itself again.

  9. Barbara Hagerman says:

    There is never a wrong decision! And personal growth is great, but not because we are ever broken and need to be fixed.

    Wish Dr Oz had given you even 5 more minutes to show the power of EFT. I wanted to tell him that giving you and EFT more air time would have been a greater service to his audience than the time spent on the gentleman before you. But you are getting the message out there!

    You rock!

    With much love and appreciation for you and EFT,
    From a fellow practitioner

  10. Pam T. Huggins says:

    I firmly believe that you made the right decision. You know this in heart as well. Great lesson in your story. Thanks for sharing. Your inspiration constantly moves me.

    Pam T. Huggins

  11. Judith Rivera Rosso says:

    Oh, Nick!! Thank you for sharing your humanity with us.
    With love from Italy! Judy Rosso xoxoxo

  12. Wendy Grant says:

    The way you FEEL after the time with your family, tells you that it was the right decision for you. Following INNER GUIDANCE above all else, brings priceless reward.


  13. CATHERINE says:

    I think you were right to stay home. sometimes we all need to do that; just stop and BE

  14. Sonja Robinson - Bermuda says:

    Nick, I admire you for making such an intuitive decision. It was right for you at the time. Family are very important and I believe the time you spent with your family will be everlasting.
    I can relate to you because my daughter just took me on a 7 day cruise on the Norwegion Gem..(a great line to cruise with.) Just the two of us from New York to Bahamas and it was just so special. We had quality time together. My son-in-law styed at home, in N.J. with my grand-son. My daughter and I had a special bonding time. So important! It was my retirement from the hospital and 70th birthday present. I shall never forget the great time I had. So, yes, I agree with you Nick.

  15. Thordis Malmquist says:

    I agree with you that you should stay at home and enjoy a good time with your precious family. You talk about Dalai Lama as if he was nearly God himself. It troubles me somehow that I feel you are a little into the mystic or eastern filosophy but I miss the real tone of Christianity, therefore I am somewhat a sittle sceptic even thouhg I would like to learn to organize many things in my life like reading the Bible every day, remembering better, working out regularly. I work very hard as a nurse, and I need to slow down too and get rid of depression and lack of vitality. But I dont want to do it without Jesus being number one. Forgive me if I am sounding critical about thing.

  16. Judson Williams III says:

    Hi Nick, enjoying your travels through gratitude! I gave my copies of both the DVD & book TTS also my only copy of the Tapping World Summit 2011 to Fran & Brian my TCM teachers who I met at a Sufi Workshop near ground zero in NYC. They live & teach in NJ. The Tapping materials are available in a lending library section of their studio. There is a waiting list! Fran is certified in acupuncture Brian does Yoga and massage and both teach Qigong, tai chi and traditional Chinese medicine and oh yes, middle eastern dancing & drumming. Some of their students and clients are Chinese who are redicovering their roots through this white American couple. Some of their students are allopathic MD’s learning ancient wisdoms. By the way, here in Up South aka Washington,DC; (the source of Global Warming aka Capital Hill),we enjoyed your work on diabetes with Dr. Gabriel Cousens and discovered a fossil named Try It On Everything. Keep on keeping on! from JUDSON a youngin’ (1943) who marvels at your sister”s transformation too!

  17. Michael says:

    There is a time for every thing.. Your time to be inthepresence of his holiness was not then. I was in his presence once .one could feel the change in the atmosphere around him.I felt a lightness especially around my shoulders. I have been practising E.F.T. For about8 months.However,3 months ago I had double lamenectomy with removal of a cyst of my right sciatic nerrv. I have restarted myE.F.T. Ifeel there might be substance to the Reptalian brain or to the sub conscious.I firmly believe that we have the Divine gift of self healing.Afterall The greatest healiner of all times——Jesus the CHRIST told us so—-Greater things that I do you will be able to do!

  18. Clare Selina says:

    Does it matter what anybody else thinks? You made the right decision for you :)

  19. Satyapal says:

    I like your story and the way you wrote it to share with us. Such decisions are personal and will be different for different people depending on the circumstances at that moment. I agree with you about what you learned from this exercise – No missed opportunities, let your inner knowing guide you, and don’t take yourself and others seriously. Thanks for sharing. God bless us.

  20. Andrea says:

    Hi Nick, i think it was a very wise and intuitive decision to stay home. You listened to you intuition, we should do that all the time. I am still having my difficulties here and there, but it never failed me. Last week i was in school(doing some additional schooling) when a friend of mine called if i dont want to attend Barbra Streisand concert in Cologne which i denied weeks ago, cause it was just too expensive. Well this time i said yes, it was an opportunity for 1/2 price and it just came to me. Thank you Universe. It was a pnce in a lifetime experience and i am grateful for that. And yes self-healing is possible, i have tried a few little healings on myself. Tappoing, i still have some difficulties on applying thise, but i hope i get there.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful story
    luv and good wishes

  21. Biljana says:

    Dear Nick,
    in personal growth and spirituality, there are no “authorities”.
    There are just different people having different approaches to the same thing. Yes, experience can help but not necessarily. There are moments when you can learn more from a cat than from a human.There are no such thing like “more developed” person than the rest. But there are people more open than the rest.
    Its all about being open.
    No hierarchy in spirituality, remember.
    So, you choose your road to openness.And attract people accordingly.

  22. Yvonne, New Hampshire says:

    Being with family is priceless! They are our roots. Life gets busy so it is the bonding with our family that re-affirms us and from this we receive a wonderful glow and we can just BE.

  23. Tamara says:

    You did what was right for you by paying attention to your intuition. Or by paying attention to your soul and by doing this thats what makes it right for you. It has nothing to do with the Dalai Lamaa but every thing to do with whats right for you and your journey. Too often we don’t pay attention to our intuition and we listen to our head and that either makes us unhappy or gets us in trouble. And we do not know this is your last chance to go see the Dalai Lama. That could still be in your future. Good for you for taking care of yourself and your family. We can get caught up in more is better to get it all in or we might miss something. I say bull to that. We or at least I need to stop and smell the roses. To enjoy what is around me before it passes me by. And their was a reson that I was born into the family that I was born into so I need to cherish every moment that I have with them. Time goes by so quickly before we know it someone is gone and that moment has passed. And shame on me if I didn’t take the time to build some memories with that person! So thumbs up to you! Tamara

  24. Sylvie says:

    Hum, that would have been a tough one for me! In the end, I agree: there can be such a thing as a ” spiritual quest overload” , and sometimes, instead of turning outward for another moment of guidance, we must learn to turn inward, touching base with ourself and our loved ones….

  25. Monica Sahn says:

    I really liked the story. Good choice. At times its hard to make a decision when you have 2 things pulling you into 2 different directions. It’s about slowing down, going inside for the answer. Thanks Nick, you are doing all of us a great service. Have you read: “Emissary of Light” by James Twyman. You may find it very interesting. I’m going to reread it again now. So much information to process and begin to integrate into my life. Monica

  26. Jessie Kinney-Alcazar says:

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. It so true that we at times need to slow dowm, recharge, enjoy the company of loved ones.

    Thank you for reminding me of the importance of listening to ones inner voice and slowing down enough to enjoy an eveining with family and friends. I will cherish your story and pass it on.

  27. Jane says:

    Your note about slowing down and your “Being” within the family time was so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. It is inspiring and wonderful to be reminded of these cathartic and meaningful experiences that greatly enrich one’s life.

    I have been wrestling with the balancing act of being a wife, home maker and mother of four beautiful children ages, 8, 10, 12, and 14. I was a cardiac RN, BSN for 13 years, stayed home after our 4th child was born and recently graduated as a Certified Health Coach. I am SO passionate about helping others as a health coach! However, I am struggling with fitting it in with the kiddos and all. Your note reminds me that children/family are number one – but I REALLY want to help others enrich their lives by way of health coaching! : ) tap…tap…tap…

    We will really need the extra income here soon also as my children are all in private school and soon our oldest will be in private H.S. big bucks!!! Hummm.

    Thanks for listening. : )

    Thanks again for touching my life in such a positive way!

    Gratefully and Sincerely,

  28. Ana Corrock says:

    Slowing down and connecting with your family is priceless.
    The loving bond is healing growth .

  29. Lucy says:

    I agree with this. When the great and peaceful Dalai Lama came to London a few years ago, I had a choice to meet him or manage along the peaceful support we gave of hanshakes all the way from the Royal Albert Hall to the Chinese Embassy for Avaaz. It was the warmth of the ordinary, peaceful folks lining the streets with handshakes that I may perhaps believe the Dalai Lama would appreciate more.

  30. Lyn Walsh says:

    Recently returned from a holiday with friend of 47 years and others. Fabulous time and totally recharged, or at least I thought so. On arriving home registered for big session on personal growth and business information. Last three or four days have mused over this and realise that still need to continue the nurturing of self. So – no go, staying home with family and friends. Yes, there are definitely times when one really needs to say no to that pull that may undo all the healing that has taken place over (in my case) the last six or seven weeks. Life is precious, Tapping helps keep me on an even keel.