Interview

Rick Clemons

"Courage, confidence, and commitment"

Why do you act in this world?

I have a really deep desire to help people see themselves as they came into the world—without any of the other stuff. To get back to the space of “this is really who I am, and it is who I have always been”.

We lose that ability to see ourselves as we came into the world through different means, whether its how we got socialized as kids, or how we got socialized once we get into college and our work life. And suddenly we only have pieces of ourselves.

And the reason why I act like I do is—as a gay man—I finally came to terms with the fact that “I have to be me” and that experience led me to see how much other people are not being themselves. We all have a closet door and when we walk through it, we get back to who we really are.

 

What makes you think that you make a difference?

Because when I talk about what I do, I see people have these beautiful—almost visceral—reactions to being themselves and stepping into this beautiful thing I call the .1-ness (point-one-ness), which is that point one percent of themselves that makes us unique on a genetical level.

When I talk about it, it’s that place where they hide stuff that they don’t want people to see—because they are afraid of it showing up; afraid of being criticized, or being ridiculed, or being told you cannot be that way. But it's also that piece that makes us so unique—the piece that makes us go create beautiful symphonies, or come up with the next scientific discovery that save lives.

 

What gives you hope?

The thing that gives me the most hope is to continue to get this message out in a loving way where people can take it in in little bites.

When I used to think this is the way you do this and had to say: “no, lets do this from the perspective where we honor who we are as humans”, and then we see how the beauty is in our differentness as humans, that our differences will actually begin to create this beautiful community and movement where we can really be one. But we have to let go of a whole lot of our bullshit as humans, before we can say “I get you, you get me. I may not agree with you, but I still get that’s you being you, and now let’s wrap our humanity arms around each other and just be who we are.”

 

If you were to condense what gives you hope into three words or a very short sentence, what would it be?

Courage, confidence, and commitment

‘Cause I think it takes a lot of courage to say: “I am going to be hopeful.” Once you do that, you have to be confident that you can stay in that space, and through that confidence you will commit to just stay on that road and go do it.

 

When I have a sad Sunday and don’t know what to do, if you could make me do one thing on Sad Sunday, what would it be?

Step out of that closet that holds you in your Sad Sunday, even just for a moment.

Because when you are in that space, all you can see is those four walls that hold you in that space, where there is no hope, but if you open the door, there is something else on the other side.

I don’t really know what that looks like.

So the sad Sunday is holding you in that state, where you don’t even want to leave your house?

My particular Sad Sunday, looks like this “we as humanity will not be able to address climate change, so therefore nothing I do matters.”

I would invite people—and you personally—to think, what if, you didn’t have to matter. What if what you did, just made you feel better.

‘Cause it starts with each one of us. If opening that door—and in my world as a coming out coach, which is where I started—if opening that door to let my or my clients’ sexual orientation just take a peek through and go “oh, I could look like that”.

I didn’t say you had to walk through that door yet. All I asked, was for you to open that door and look at what might be. Your situation is the same thing, by opening that door and go, “okay maybe I can’t heal all the climate change,” but by just letting yourself look through that door and maybe see something slightly different, you might realize that you don’t have to heal the whole thing by yourself. It is just what you have to do for yourself.

 

Thank you!