Contact me directly here.


I’m streaky.  

I carry a lot of personal energy (#enneagram8), so I sort of have to be streaky.  

I rest a lot.  I work a lot.  

When I work, I seem to be able to get a lot done in a relatively small time, but it takes tremendous inertia-resistance to distill myself into the small, workable funnel which will shape the situation-appropriate instrument.  This is a significantly larger energy drain at mid-life, both because I’m old AF and because I’m much more aware of the damage to me and others when you need a machete but you only bring a scalpel (or vice versa).

Part of putting all that effort in just to show up means a feel alone a lot.  I don’t think this is fixable, and I don’t think I want it fixed.  It feels very real.   

When I go into nature, I have a tangible sensation of energy-release, like I don’t have to contain myself, and I often cry.  (This is sometimes a strange experience as others walk by me. 😯) 

I ask for help more than any single individual I have ever met.

I eat, drink, and smoke good, and allow my senses to be engaged.  I will not live my life on a diet of any sort.

I am of the Earth.

I am in Christ and Christ being.

I am of G_d.

I am that I am.

Whatever I am, it doesn’t really seem to matter whether I like it or not or what my judgments are about it — I’m still more or less always subject to its essential nature (regardless of my ability to see it) which may or may not bend to my efforts, and I’m still more or less always subject to others projections’ onto it (regardless of their ability to see it) which may or may not be remotely in touch with something like what we might call objective reality.  I don’t mean to sound glib — if it sounds like I mean I don’t pay attention to who I am or work on developing myself, anyone who knows me will tell you it just ain’t true.

The late Fr. Henri Nouwen once said,

“After many years of seeking to live a spiritual life, I still ask myself, [‘Where am I]?’, ‘How far have I advanced?’, ‘Do I love God now more than earlier in my life?’ Honestly, I don’t know the answers to these questions. There is just as much reason for pessimism as for optimism. Many of the real struggles of twenty or forty years ago are still very much with me. I am still searching for inner peace, for creative relationships, and for a deeper experience of God. And I have no way of knowing if the small psychological and spiritual changes during the past decades have made me more or less a spiritual person. In a society that overvalues progress, development, and personal achievement, the spiritual life becomes quite easily performance oriented…Spiritual formation, I have come to believe, is not about steps or stages on the way to perfection. It’s about the movements from the mind to the heart through prayer in its many forms that reunite us with God, each other, and our truest selves.”

So, do you see?  Whatever I am, it kind of doesn’t matter in the sense that people are usually talking about when they ask me to talk about myself, because they’re not really asking about my real self because if you do something as simple as just uncover and critically examine the the (potentially faulty) assumptions of progress that pervade spiritual and psychological thinking, how seemingly everything is supposed to lead to glory-filled moments, where the waves break and where we get over the things that have been vexing us all our lives, and how that’s hoisted above our shoulders as the supposed goal or prize or desired outcome, you see very quickly that there is no room for my fearful, lowly, hand-wringing, anxious and traumatized and GASP, real self to exist if I am constantly judging myself, trying to appraise my spiritual progress.

On the other hand, if you’re asking about my real self, and not my agent (agent = the guy looks like me but is a lot less genuine, transparent, and authentic), go back to the part above in bold and blue.  It is a warm, but honest self-description that tries to get in the neighborhood of the real thing.


A medicine woman once told me this:










I hold a bachelor’s degree in Religion and a Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy.  I have twice started then stopped PhD studies, once at the University of Delaware and once at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Virginia and Missouri, and I’m a Board Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC), the most advanced clinical mental health credential extended by the National Board for Certified Counselors.

The heart and seat of my professional and personal energies is Change, Inc. | A Counseling Company in South City, St. Louis, MO.

Contact me directly here.

Ryan Thomas Neace is a counselor, professor, husband, and daddy. Please contact him for counseling via skype or in-person at

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