I got started in this part of my life back in the year 2000. I used to be a teacher of French and Italian in a Junior High School. I went into business as a financial advisor for 24 years, but I’ve always been interested in personal development. I’ve spent many years reading and studying personal development and back then felt the need to get the information out of my head.
A friend of mine who was teaching a Bible study course in our local jail suggested I might be of use there. To make a long story short every Monday since the year 2000 I’ve gone to the jail on a volunteer basis and I’ve taught a course in personal development to a group of men and a group of women who are locked up for multiple DWI convictions. It was a turning point for me. They like the program. They shake my hand, they say, “Thank you”. It just fills me up to go there. The response of the inmates there prompted me to make my message to the public. I started giving talks in libraries, I wrote a book, “Simple Happiness, 52 Easy Ways to Lighten Up” and I’ve travelled all over the country giving talks on Happiness.
Six years ago, a friend of mine heard one of my talks. He really thought the talk was good and told me that he thought the message was very close to Christ’s teachings. He suggested I weave Gospel teachings into my talks and that I should give talks in churches. I took his advice and have been giving retreats in Catholic churches all over the New York area for the last six years. As you can see from the testimonial below, the response has been very gratifying. People fill the churches. They line up to shake my hand and say thanks at the end of each session. People come the first night and come back with their children and friends the second and third nights. I am so blessed to have answered this calling by God.
The theme of the retreats is; ”We Work on Our Human Side, So We Can Be More Open to Experience God’s Love.”
-The First Session: 8 Characteristics of happy People. What are happy people like? It’s all in the context of working on our human side so we can be more open to God’s Love.
- Second Session: Managing Thought, the Key to Experiencing God’s Love. We discuss real strategies to let go of the negative thoughts that keep us away from God and encourage the Christian, Loving thoughts that let His grace to flow freely to us.
-Third Session: Start to Live Heaven on Earth. What did Jesus tell us about Heaven. What will Heaven be
We begin each session with a song and a meditation. The meditation consists of basking God’s presence for a moment. We feel the closeness of God and feel His Love for us. These two things really set the tone for the evening. It’s a great message; one that people are clamoring to hear, even if they don’t know they are. My gift is the ability to open people’s eyes to God’s Love and His invitation to live a loving Christian life.
“Our parish of St. Killian just completed a wonderful three evening mission that focused on happiness and holiness. Jim Ryan invited the parishioners to the retreat in an enticing and warm manner that was an attractive introduction to what would follow. His talks each evening were very well received and the 300 people that came on the first night returned each evening. Jim played a few songs on the guitar each evening highlighting his themes. He is a masterful storyteller who engaged parishioners from young to old Everyone could relate to his easy style and profound insights into human nature and the message of the Gospel” - Fr. Bruce J. Powers, Pastor
"A most entertaining and enlightening 90 minutes. Empowers you to make a positive change in your daily life." - Scott Werner
"Very inspirational! Very encouraging! Jim made me smile throughout." - Pat B.
"I enjoyed your talk a great deal!!! Lots of common sense, good reflections and advice. I hope you come back soon!!!" - Carmela Occhi