Dr. Rhian Daniel
As the son of post WWII Italian immigrants, birthed and raised in Anglo-centric Australia, I found the question of, “who am I?”, surfacing early in my life, due to the amount of racism I experienced. This was a time of a very white Australia, a product of the White Australia policy (https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/white-australia-policy). Raised in all-white Australian, non-Italian communities, playing Australian-rules football and cricket, my Italian relatives considered me white-Australian and abused me as such. While my community of white Australians saw me as dark-skinned Italian and foreign, and racially attacked me as such. I was caught between two worlds and not welcome in either. Consequently, it was impossible to identify as Australian or Italian.
My saving grace was that I excelled academically and athletically. My primary school created an A++ (double plus) grade for my work when senior staff found my work to be substantially greater than my piers. Some of my teachers even questioned my parents as to who was doing my work, as they did not believe someone of my age was capable of such standards. This triggered the insecurity of some teachers who sought to bring me down by referring to me using derogatory racial terms.
Athletically, I was consistently in the top group of achievers. This was positive in that it earned me respect from the very sports-orientated community, which felt validating. However, my achievements were at the cost of white team mates. Consequently, I was often attacked racially from those I stood above and even their parents. My socially significant achievements were seen as a threat to the greatness of the superior white people. Consequently, finding forms of identity in academics or athletics (as false as it is) was negated.
While my achievement and success brought temporary joy, they never brought true happiness and I continued to ask questions about identity, existence and purpose. My family and society identifying me by my achievements, which were temporary. Additionally, for my father, my achievements were never good enough, and I therefore began to question the point of achieving also.
My parents divorced when I was around 12-13 years old, and I was forced to stay with my father (not a good fit). Completely disillusioned with school and confused about existence, I left school when I was 15, returned about 2 months later only to be kicked out when I turned 16 (apparently I was a distraction). I began working odd jobs that really interested me. Significantly, because I didn’t finish high school and inevitably attend university, I was not forced to make a hard decision about my (occupation) future. I did not find myself having to select a university degree program, a career, as so many other are around that age, at a point in my life when I didn’t even know who I was. This was a blessing in disguise. But, I knew I had to get away from my family and society.
Other trainings & Certificates
Rites of Passage Guide Training Program
Rites of Passage, Inc. Bend, OR (formerly of Santa Rosa, CA) – All components of this training are recognized by the California Board of Behavioral Science Examiners as eligible for continued education units (CEU).
Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Adult/Child CPR, AED & Airway Management, Epinephrine Auto-Injector
National Outdoor Leadership Schools (NOLS)
Practicing Health Channeler
South Australian Spiritual Healers Association
Certificate of Ordination
Church of Later-Day Dude
Advanced Open-Water Dive Instructor
Scuba Schools International (SSI)
Stress and Rescue Diver
Scuba Schools International (SSI)
Dive Control Specialist
Scuba Schools International (SSI)
Enriched Air Nitrox Diver
International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD)
National Speleological Society/Cave Diving Section (NSS/CDS)
National Association for Cave Diving, NACD
Registered CAT (CT) Scan and Radiologic Technologist, R.T. (R)(CT)
American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)
Diagnostic Radiologic Technology (CDPH – CRT and fluoroscopy)
State of California
California Venipuncture Certificate
Kaiser Permanente School Allied Health Sciences
Australian Institute of Radiography (AIS)
Additionally, Dr. Rhian Daniel undertook two years of training in Psychic and Spiritual Development, and Spiritual Healing, under the direct tutelage of Audrey Wiley in Melbourne, Australia; has additional Energy Healer Practitioner training from Lyn Townsend and Tse Chien; and, further Spiritual Healing training from the Rosa Tingey Center in Adelaide, South Australia, where he also practiced.
Obtaining my driver’s license at 16 and purchasing a car (behind my fathers back) was my first step to freedom. This helped me break free of some psycho-social shackling. The more shackles I broke free of, the faster I ran—and run I did! I went everywhere I wanted to go, and did whatever I wanted to do. My two rules were, 1) don’t do anything that could jeopardize my ability to travel internationally (at least don’t get caught!); and, 2) don’t do anything that intentionally hurts anyone or anything. Other than that, I gave myself complete freedom to do whatever I was drawn to. And so began my 20+ year journey.
During this time I lived in different parts of Australia; and in England, Taiwan, Canada, USA, and New Zealand. Additionally, I traveled extensively through over 30 other countries. Amongst other things, my working positions included, a baker, an apprentice crash-repairer, a carpenter’s assistant, a plumber’s assistant, a spare-parts salesman, a gas (petrol) station attendant, an apprentice chef, a barman, a retail salesperson, a grave-digger, a graphic artist, a desk-top-publisher, an illusionist assistant, a cameraman’s assistant, an audio-visual production assistant, a corporate audio-visual and video producer, a photographer, a website builder, a resort representative; I sold hot-dogs at premier league football matches in England; I was a cellarman at the Brixton Academy (now the O2 Arena), worked in accounting at NatWest Markets, taught English to Chinese students in Taiwan, was an advanced SCUBA diving instructor, a ski-lift operator in multiple countries, an airline customer service agent, and a limo driver.
Approaching the end of this period, a close friend was diagnosed with two brain tumors. During this transitional period, I spent a lot of time with this friend, and in various hospitals and clinics. I had so many new experience, and witnessed so many things I was unfamiliar with. These experiences instigated the new direction my life would take. I returned to Australia and began a BSc program in Medical Radiation with the intention of entering the post-grad medicine program in Australia. I wanted to become a surgeon. During the final year of my BSc however, after witnessing significant dysfunctional behavior by surgeons too many times, and having my first experience with a borderline personality disorder, I changed my direction from post-grad medicine to psychology. And thus, after completing my BSc my occupational growth continued as a medical imaging specialist, a Special Procedures Technologist for cardiac-interventional and vascular interventional procedures, a CAT scan tech, and a surgical procedure instructor, while attending grad-school for psychology. Upon completion of grad-school, I was a now able to play the role of a psychologist.
So after being kicked out of high school at 16, I now have my GED, BSc, MA, and PhD. I have lived in six different countries, and travelled extensively through over 30 others. And, I’ve probably had more job variety than most people would even think about. It is amazing the drive one can have when self and Self are connected and leading each other; the purpose that can be felt, and the success that can be achieved.
This IS self-discovery; and much of it is about learning who you are not, which you can only learn by experience, by doing, and thereby knowing. How can one discover and learn more about who they are without journeying, exploring, and adventure! It’s impossible. Experiences help us learn, and learn about ourselves. Without independent journey and adventure, for better or worse, one remains a literal puppet created one’s by family, culture, and society. Therefore, part of knowing who I am is knowing who and what I am not.
What I am not is my profession. That is, my profession in not me; it is nothing more than a role I play on a given stage. Don’t mistake your career or profession for who you are. If you are a physician, a lawyer, a butcher, a businessperson, this is just a role you play. This is NOT YOU!
Identify ourselves by our occupation is a cop out; it’s avoiding the difficult questions and the hard work—it is object referral. This is confusing our ego with our reality, also known as mistaken ego identity. Many people become trapped in their career, a career or profession of ultimate unhappiness because they think it is what/who they are. They identify with it. Careers are often nothing more than a vicious cycle of earning, spending, and ego-indulgence, with ego gratification, but no real, authentic gratification. I learned that climbing corporate ladders is not innately gratifying, only temporarily ego gratifying, and the drive is fed by fear and insecurity.
Of course this is not to say that one must change jobs/careers weekly, but rather to monitor and make appropriate changes as you journey; avoiding toxic people and environments to create and maintain balance and harmony while exploring who you are.
My journey may have been a little extreme for some. But this was, and is, my journey. Everyone’s journey is their own. What I did, and what I experienced was all part of my journey. Your journey will differ. You do not need to travel geographically, and change careers as often as I did to bring your self and Self together to know purpose, have leadership, and enjoy success.
To facilitate the understanding of Self- self relationship for increased balance and harmony and enhanced Self-self reliance.
To create a better existence through the understanding of who we really are, and what we are not.