30 things I learned from Dr. RW (and a stray sage or two)

(MM and Amos) My dad was visiting us at the dome, our home in Taos in 1980, just before relocating to Alamogordo, NM. His station wagon, my blue Dodge pick-up.

What I remember from Dr. Robert Waterman, Ed. D., LCC, and likely, a wandering sage or two is laid out below in three sets of ten,  not necessarily chronologically. Three sets of ten; take your pick. I recently found Dr. W online. He still lives and practices in Santa Fe, as of my last research. Just to backtrack a little, the learnings below were presented to me in 1976 or so, when I ventured south to his clinic in Alamogordo. The sliding scale fee which was still huge for me and the room for overnight made him popular with Taos hippies who wanted a hand up out of the hole they may have felt stuck in.  I was one of those hippies.  I was in dire need of help, and I believe I had two sessions with him. Later, in 1980, I returned to Alamogordo to attend some classes at his school while also attending NMSU-Alamogordo branch. I was launching myself back into mainstream America, sort of.

I.  He said:

  1.  “You have a good grasp on self-love; that’s a good thing.”
  2. Let’s work on what you think is out of your reach.
  3. You picked him (Amos’s dad); you can let him go.
  4. A light goes on! I can let him go.
  5. Find him. Tell him. Make sure you are clear and he understands you are setting him free from your expectations.
  6. Your son’s and his relationship is up to them. You provide the dime for the phone call.
  7. Get out into the world. Join. Meet people. (Make something of your life.) My grandma told me that too, to do something with my life. (I joined Tai chi in the park, and yoga in a woman’s lovely home.)
  8. Pot takes you, he said, from A to B, back to A, then to B; A to B, B to A, endless loop.
  9. Tell your friends not to smoke around you. You ought to give up recreational drugs and going with guys who are disrespectful, unkind, violent, drug-addled, or otherwise unsuitable for you.
  10. Golden Rule and get a phone. A PO box and ten miles out of town isn’t working for you.


  1. When you wake up; get up. No wallowing in morning thoughts.
  2. Meet your life every morning with your best colors, food, hair, and attire. Focus on gratitude.
  3. Smile and listen. Make healthy plans. Make gratitude lists.
  4. Consider your own skills and assets. Make use of them to support your family of two.
  5. You picked him; you can unpick him.
  6. If you get lonely, ask yourself what it is that you want to share. When you have something to share, someone will be there.
  7. If you don’t want to share a damn thing, then it’s not time for relationship.
  8. Work on feeling confident; you can do it. You can raise your son. (and later kids, dogs, cats)
  9. Be responsible for yourself and your child and all that befalls you, all that comes your way. Your responses are you choice. It’s up to you how you feel, think, live, be.
  10. How you treat a spouse informs your children how to treat theirs. If you are kind, they will learn kindness, too.



  1. Love and honor your spiritual self, spiritual life, spiritual essence. Develop your beliefs and behaviors. (Only then will you feel whole, calm, complete, and prepared).
  2. Let your heart crack open to its inner fire.
  3. Don’t worry. To worry is to doubt god. Don’t worry about defining god. Be honest.
  4. Be honest.
  5. Take responsibility for your mood, your health, happiness, anger, fear, gratitude, attitude, etc.
  6. Nothing you have done is wasted, if you make use of it.
  7. When visiting people, friends or relatives, make yourself useful. Do actual work such as cleaning, cooking, childcare, wash windows, etc.
  8. Embrace honesty; seek solitude.
  9. (He did say) “I’m surprised the universe allowed you a child; you are such a vegetable. It’s hard for a vegetable to raise a child.” (I took that as a startling image meant to wake me and shake me. It did.)
  10. After taking Robert’s guidance, my path turned from down to up. I began to direct myself  into the light, something even a vegetable can do. Consequences: a compass, a family, and  often a sense of purpose, with a fair share of happy.




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2 Responses to 30 things I learned from Dr. RW (and a stray sage or two)

  1. megan baldrige says:

    Hi Merimee
    I’m having fun picturing what kind of vegetable (fruit) best described you: an artichoke, unfolding? a sweet and sour ground cherry? peppery arugula. Interesting blog post.

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