It’s been said that no prophet is accepted in his hometown, but that doesn’t stop Derek Rydall, who has a following that some might compare to those of a religious teacher. The author of multiple books, including “Emergence: Seven Steps for Radical Life Change,” the Santa Clarita resident works as a life coach and speaker, sharing his form of “integrative therapy” and inspiration with A-list clients in Hollywood, leaders in business and many others.
“They are perennial principles for successful living,” Rydall explained. “When you peel away the story and the doctrine and the dogma … what are the underlying principles that seem to be true across all cultures, time, and areas of expertise?”
His studies are multi-disciplinary – part psychology and part spiritualism mixed with science while taking a lot of metaphors from nature.
“The oak is already in the acorn,” he explained. “The acorn doesn’t have to find an oak, become worthy of an oak, attract an oak. It just has to match the pattern.”
Rydall believes there’s a “seed pattern,” or purpose, within everyone.
“When you understand what that is in you, then you can bring yourself in integrity with it,” Rydall said. “That’s the foundational principle of emergence.”
His last book was about the law of emergence, operating with the premise that you already have everything inside you and explaining principles for finding purpose. His new book, “The Abundance Project: 40 Days to More Wealth, Health, Love, and Happiness,” is being released this month. It aims to take readers further on their journeys, with the keys to generating abundance in life, regardless of circumstances.
His Own Journey
A graduate of William S. Hart High School, Rydall got involved in a local parachurch program as a teen, but later began a more personal spiritual quest.
“More than I wanted to be right or agree with anybody else, I just wanted to know the truth directly, not just what was written,” he said. “So many years trying self-improvement drove me to be addicted to drugs and alcohol. I almost killed myself.”
A visit to the hospital emergency room didn’t improve Rydall’s choices or his lifestyle. The catalyst for change occurred when he was working in Jamaica.
“I almost drowned in a coral reef,” he explained. “No one knew I was there, and I couldn’t get out of there. … I knew I was going to drown; all that was left was surrender – a real ‘come to Jesus’ moment.”
Then it came to him in a flash.
“I found that the self – an amalgamation of parental fantasies … and societal conditioning – was a construct in my psyche,” Rydall said. “But behind him was the real me.”
Miraculously, Rydall ended up at a place in the coral where he could stand up.
“I still don’t quite know how I got out,” he said. “But something had unmistakably shifted in me. The guy that swam out was not the guy who swam in.”
Rydall tried life as a monk (literally), which didn’t work for him. Then he cloistered himself in his apartment for a few years. That’s when the principle of emergence came to him.
The Abundance Project
Life doesn’t happen to us, it happens through us, according to Rydall.
“We’re led to believe we’re empty shells,” he said. “We’ve been conditioned to believe we’re victims of circumstances.”
The author is urging readers to achieve their dreams by accessing the resources within themselves. As an example, he says that people he counsels who want more love in their life are often sad, withdrawn or resentful.
“You can start generating more love by being a great companion to everyone you meet that day, that week that year. You start being the person you would be if you were already in love,” Rydall said. “Love will claim more and more territory in your life.”
For individuals wanting more respect, Rydall suggests treating themselves with the kind of respect they’re seeking.
“We come to that realization and we ask the question, ‘How would I treat myself if I loved, valued and respected myself?’” he explained. “Start showing up as if you were already living your dream life.”
As a teen, Rydall worked at Bob’s Big Boy at the intersection of Valencia Blvd. and Bouquet Canyon Road, often serving up food to people returning from local football games.
He moved back to Santa Clarita as a father-of-two and raised a daughter, now 19, and a son, now 22. In addition to living near family members, it was easier to purchase a home in Valencia than Studio City or Santa Monica, which were areas he also favored.
“It was so beautiful and idyllic, in terms of safety … we wanted to have a yard, and a place where they can ride bikes,” Rydall said. “We went riding bikes down the paseos every weekend.”
It was also here that Rydall’s career became focused and his message took shape.
“It gave me a sense of peace to allow me to finally have the space to get connected again,” he described. “When you live in city it’s easy to get so focused externally. The paseos, parks, my backyard on a cul-de-sac with the beautiful mountains around me helps me get in touch with my creativity.”
Some of his achievements include his writing – both screenplays and books.
“All my greatest work was done in a Starbucks in Santa Clarita,” Rydall joked.
Meanwhile, Derek Rydall continues to create and to cultivate authentic expressions of life in those around him. And contrary to conventional wisdom, he seems to be doing just fine in his hometown.