Worthy Men, Sixth Edition: Dr. Tom O’Bryan
Who: Tom O’Bryan (thedr.com)
Occupation: Host of the Gluten Summit and expert on Celiac and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
Location: Encinitas, CA
I heard about Dr. Tom through taking a The Whole Journey course called Gut Thrive. He not only broke up a lot of misconceptions I had about gluten but shed even more light on just how damaging it is now for pretty much everyone, even if there are no obvious symptoms. I wrote about this topic a while ago on The Inertia: Health and I’m sure that will not be the last article I write about it, especially after learning from Tom. The information he delivers is not fun or what most people want to hear, but it needs to be considered for future health.
Dr. Tom taught me that over 300 auto-immune diseases have been associated with a sensitivity to gluten. His talks lit a fire in me to learn more, as my health has been affected by some auto-immune issues starting later in life… and was elated to find the 7 part series he created called Betrayal: the Auto-Immune Disease Solution They’re Not Telling You. His passion for health and wellness and reaching out to help people suffering was beaming out of the computer.
It wasn’t even a few weeks later when I was walking up to a yoga class in Encinitas and I saw him sitting outside, probably just trying to get his yoga on in peace. I had no idea he lived in California, much less my small hometown of Encinitas! I immediately recognized him and could not help but go up to him…to tell him thank you for the work that he has done. I didn’t pause long enough to think about how many people probably do this to him every single day, but at least it was BEFORE I got all sweaty. He was kind and humble… and I was late to class because he has a lot to say, and I didn’t want to miss any of it.
He is truly tireless to serve the well-being of others. I have heard that he even starts helping people with their health at the grocery store. I hope you enjoy his interview and (even more) hope it inspires you to check out his site and teachings for you or someone you love with celiac disease, auto-immune issues, chronic illness… or really just anyone who wants to secure his or her health now and in the future.
1) Who Are You?
I’m a perpetual middle-aged guy doing my best to make the world a better place. In a profoundly impactful Men’s Weekend I took part in a number of years ago, the question was asked ‘When you transition off of this world, how do you want to be remembered’? After going through the grief, and the loss of not seeing my kids again, it became clear to me that the bottom line message I’d want inscribed on my tombstone was:
‘Here lies a kind man who was of service to others’.
I personally believe the world can use a great deal more kindness. If there is a conscious theme to my life, the Tibetan word Maitri best summarizes it- ‘loving kindness, and an unconditional friendship with One’s Self’.
2) What is the greatest challenge you have overcome/are overcoming ?
Being kind with my self and remembering my heart in this crazy world we live in. In 1999, I had the privilege of being part of the Team doing research for the book ‘The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions’.
We interviewed representatives of the top (by number of followers) 20+ religions (all Bishops or higher) and asked them a series of questions. The answers were remarkably similar, and the bottom line message across all religions was
‘Do Onto Others As You Would Wish Done Onto You’.
Living by the Golden Rule is not always easy, but always fulfilling when I can do it. If more of us lived our lives from this premise, I believe we’d see more kindness, more of a ‘Pay It Forward’ mentality just wanting to make the world a better place for all.
3) What Have You Learned?
- That every day is heaven on earth and it’s my choice to see the beauty and Divine Order to it all, or get blocked, stuck and animated by the moment-by-moment challenges and opportunities that come my way. The secret to maintaining my sanity when I feel really pressed is Maitri-Loving Kindness, and an unconditional friendship with my Self, knowing that I am doing my best.
- I spent 30 years in Chicago raising a family and creating a business. There was an icon in those days who represented the heart of the city. A writer, Studs Terkel was loved by all and empowered hundreds of thousands to be a better fair-minded person. His common-sense approach to life represented in his books and newspaper articles represented the best of the city. In his later years he was known to hang out in a local tavern. When he’d get up to leave, as he was walking out with his stogie in his teeth and his fedora angled on his head, he’d turn around and say “Take It Easy, But Take It”.
And I’d say that’s my message to the world, “Take it easy, with loving kindness, an unconditional friendship with your Self, BUT TAKE IT!”