Let’s get real about Education and Diversity

I grew up in Southeast Michigan, just outside of Detroit in a Middle to Upper Class Neighborhood. I received the best opportunities in life because of where I grew up, and truthfully because of the color of my skin. I am a white man, and anyone that says color doesn’t matter, or that being white is not “being privileged” is not seeing what I am seeing. I understand that things in this country have changed over the last 50 to 100 years as it relates to diversity, but I do not believe that this is by any means an equal country. It is far from it!

I know live 8.5 miles from the school I work at in Detroit, my son attends a high school in that district that is no more than 10-12 miles from the high school I work at, yet the differences between these two schools, these two neighborhoods, is night and day. The featured picture is of one of the blocks across from my school.  I think we can all agree that the neighborhoods that most of us live in do not look like this, yet this is Detroit. 8.5 Miles from my home where there is not one abandon house, no medical marijuana depots, no strip joints and no gun fire.

The School my son attends is well taken care of, has many electives, plenty of teachers, and no metal detectors. They have books, computers, copy machines, cold drinking water and plenty of drinking fountains to choose from.  My school, has 1 out of 3 boilers working, and many of the classes in the winter are so warm that I sweat through my shirts and sometimes my pants. Our windows do not open, and the drinking water is, well not available. There are a few water fountains that work, but kids will not drink from them because of the taste and the look. I am not sure of the quality of the water, but  perception is power and the water fountains look bad. This means that most of our students are probably dehydrated, which to be a successful learner, the first criteria is that you need to be hydrated, have decent nutrition and have decent shelter. Here, those are well either not here, or very poor.

The next step to being successful in school is to have a feeling of safety, and well Im in the 9th Precinct in Detroit and safety is most definitely an issue in their neighborhoods and the community. Our school, I would say is fairly safe from violence, and I think I can say that the students here are as safe as the students at my sons school to a certain degree, while in the school building. Outside of the school though is other story. Kids do not feel safe walking to and from school. Kids have been robbed, mugged, had guns put to their heads, and always have to be aware of the stray dogs that roam about Detroit.

Since starting work here, these are some of the things that I have heard from kids; One student while walking to school had a gun put to his head and was told to hand over everything he had. Luckily this student was not injured physically, but psychologically, emotionally, he was scared. Another student was telling me about her home, she lives with her Auntie, who has been ill, she has been in and out of the hospital and has not been able to work. This also means that this young lady (15 years old) has to take care of her younger siblings, helping them with their school work, chores, dinner, and preparing them for bed, a job which in most households outside the city would be done by an adult. She is also working 20-30 hours a week on top of attending high school full time.

I know of at least 4 current students that are living in abandon houses either with family or friends because they cannot afford housing. They have limited heat, and limited water sometimes no power, yet these kids still make it to school.

These are just a few of the cases, and they are by no means the worst cases. If you or I were in these situations could we truly focus in class, could we learn effectively, or would we, like these kids struggle academically and behaviorally. I believe that no matter who you are, white, black, jewish or muslim, straight or gay, you would most likely behave in the very same way the kids in many Detroit schools behave. Your grades would suffer, your behavior would not be the best and your hopes and dreams would always seem to be just too far to ever reach.

So what is the solution, for Detroit and really for many of our schools across this great nation? How can we catch up with the rest of the industrialized world, one that currently we are in the middle of the pack. In Detroit, our kids are NOT career and college ready, and from what I have seen from many of the schools I have worked in, or been apart of neither are their kids. Our educational system is archaic, it has not really changed in a 100 years, other than technology. We are teaching the same skills as we did 50 years ago, during a time when many people would leave school and go into factory work, which is no longer a real option for most these days. The skills we are teaching are called hard skills, math, science, english, and history. Which are important skills, but by no means the only skills needed to be college and career ready. Please know that most high schools will have this statement in either their mission or their vision statement, and truth be told, students are NOT ready for either.

Let’s take a look at what soft skills companies are looking for these days:

  1. Communication Skills: being able to effectively communicate is something that is severely lacking with young people today which has a lot to do with social media and texting. Kids do not understand the importance of body language, tone of voice, eye contact and social cues. Most schools and classrooms that I have been in seem to follow the policy for students that you come into class, you sit down and you listen. This method of teaching is old and played out, it is not effective and certainly not preparing students to communicate effectively, let alone learn effectively.
  2. Problem-Solving: A skill which I believe is as important as communication. Problem-solving is a skill that should be seen as critical in all classes, but when kids are allowed to fail, not allowed to think in their own ways Problem-solving does not happen. Most of the time you are taught to do it the teachers way, and if you go on your own, you receive a lower grade.
  3. Self-Management: Students understanding self is almost never taught in school. It is something that is learned in the home, which is often taught wrong, and modeled inappropriately.

I could go on and on, but the truth is I am tired of the bull shit, I am tired of the politics in  our schools and in this country, so I am signing off for know and will pick up this at a later date.


“I’m Sorry”: A story about regrets and a second chance

It was 26 years ago today that I died and was given a second chance at life. I was involved in a head on collision with a Fully loaded car transport. I was not wearing a seat belt and was partially ejected from the car, fortunately for me, the engine crushed my right leg keeping me in the car. I laid there on the dashboard of my car dying.

I have recently remembered those last moments of life, I remember lying there in the car, the cold December wind blowing on my face, and the icy drops of snow falling. I could feel my heart beat slowing, the coldness of death approaching, I was cold and I was sorry! That is what I kept saying.

Now I know why I was cold, I was bleeding to death, the blood pooling in my stomach, but why was I sorry?

“I’m sorry” would have been the words that I spoke, had I not received the amazing care I did from the first responders to the doctors at Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital. Why though, was I sorry? For the longest time I thought I was saying I was sorry because I was involved in the accident and may have believed I caused it. I was sorry to my parents and my brother for leaving them this way. Yet, as I reflect I am not so sure that is why I was saying I was sorry.

As I laid there, very certain that this was it, the moment of death for me, at the young age of 18. I was not sorry that I was dying though, I think I was saying I was sorry because I did not LIVE! I had floated through life, not realizing my potential, not putting forth the effort needed to be successful. I did not see myself as valuable in this world outside my family. What was I? Who was I? Where was I going?

I was sorry because I did not do my best! I was telling my soul I was sorry! I was sorry for not believing in myself, for not seeing who I was, or where I could go. I was sorry that at this moment I was disappointed in ME.

The greatest fear I think we all have is that at the moment of DEATH, we look back at LIFE and have regrets. Things that we didn’t do…things that we could have done…and a few things that we did do. For me at that moment, it wasn’t that I regretted the things that I had done, but at all the things I passed on because I was shy or timid, or because I over thought things, but in the end they didn’t….happen…..they we left as I wish I would haves…..what if’s.

8 days later I awoke in a hospital bed, in incredible pain, not really sure what had happened. All I knew….was that I was not right. It was for a brief time that I lay in that hospital bed feeling sorry for myself, scared of the future that was before me. Then something changed. I saw this guy on TV, he was in the hospital paralyzed from the chest down from a football accident, his accident had happened a month before mine so we were in very similar struggles. Yet, he was not feeling sorry for himself, he was battling, fighting for every breath…He was a warrior and at that moment I made up my mind that I was too…a WARRIOR. I was not going to accept anything less than a full recovery and more. It was time that I started taking advantage of this wonderful SECOND CHANCE at life….no more, what if’s, no more trying…no more not believing in me….It was time for me to take responsibility for me and my future! To fight for every success, and to fight through ever failure and learn.

It is now 26 years later. I am 44 and have seen my fair share of struggles, I have endured 39 surgeries, constant pain, but I have also seen 26 marvelous years of growth and success. I have 2 great kids, Keenan and Liam. I have a beautiful wife and partner. I have the opportunity to work with some amazing students in the city of Detroit at Osborn High School.

My goals now are to share my experiences with others, to help them see that ANYTHING is POSSIBLE, that they CAN….they WILL…and they MUST Succeed. I want them to see and learn from my struggles to see that they MUST plan, the MUST BELIEVE, and they MUST work for everything they get in life. Lion Heart Motivation is about sharing experiences, learning from one another and growing a greater tomorrow for ALL.”


This is a question that pierces the minds of all, it comes in many forms, with many outcomes. The WHY question I think about tonight is WHY ME? The good, the bad and the ugly follow this question.

We want to know why things happen to us, things that seemingly we have no control over. Things like when a man walks into a church and kills  innocent people, or when a young man walks into an Elementary school and takes the lives of children. No matter where lives are taken, young and old, male and female, Christians or Muslims, those in the United States or in Villages in Kabul, the taken of innocent lives make little sense to any sane person. So why? Why do these things happen?

Today I watched a video that made me think why? A coach wanted his students to learn the meaning of privilege, to understand that some have opportunities that others do not. He told them that he was going have a race, where the winner would get the clean and fresh $100 he was holding in his hand, but before the race was to start he has some questions to ask. If you answered “Yes” to any of these question you got to take two steps towards the finish line.

There were many questions, but they went something like this; If your parents are still married take two steps. If you never have to worry about food take two steps. If you never had to work to help support your family take two steps. The questions went on and on, till many of the students were nearly to the finish line, while others hadn’t even taken a step. After the last question the race began…..

I think we all know that the winner of the race was a privileged kid, not the fastest, or maybe even the hardest working, but the one with the most opportunity. This is very much like the life we live, the “Haves” and the “Have Nots”. So, why me? Why do I get opportunities while others don’t, or why am I the one on the starting line with no chance of winning.

I believe the answer to this question of “WHY ME?” has no short term answer. I believe the the answer to this question comes later in life, when we begin to realize that all of those times that I asked “why me?” were the times that “Shaped me”. They were the times that “grew me” or “held me” back.

When we ask this question, our response is either our power or our prison. When we look at the WHY ME, and we wallow and blame, or hide and cower, we find ourselves looking through the bars of life. Yet, when we ask WHY ME and we feel its weight against us and we rise and fight, those bars turn to ladders that help us from the hole we are in. We dig through the darkness to find the light shining above just waiting for us to arrive. So, I believe the why is because that is the opportunity that lies in wait for us to find.

I know, you are thinking, what about those poor souls whose lives were taken, what about them? Why them, why were they taken, they were good kind people that in their death could not gain…right?

I cannot say that I know with certainty that this is the case for all, but the day I died on that cold winter morning in 1991, I realized that I learned from death as I did in life and that if I did not come back that day that my spirit was stronger because of my death, and my family, would be okay, not without pain or sorrow, but opportunity to grow from their loss.


Fighting the Good Fight

It has been sometime since I have written on my blog, the reason being, I have had to go through 2 major surgeries on my back. The first to deal with a few if the multiple herniated discs in my back. The second, because I developed a Staph Infection in my spine. I am STILL in considerable pain and fighting off depression and frustration.

The truth is, we ALL struggle, we all have times of weakness, no matter if you are a survivor, a fighter, a warrior, or anyone else. It bothers me when I hear motivational speakers talk as if they fought their demons in their past and no longer have struggles. WE ALL struggle, we all have many, many, problems; some big and some small, but there are ALWAYS problems present in everyone’s life. I am writing because I want others to see that yes, I have struggles, yes I fight depression, constant pain, and frustrations, but I FIGHT! NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER GIVE IN.Brain-Power

The Power of Perspective: Restorative Practices

Last night I had the Honor of meeting with an amazing group of people at the University of Michigan Dearborn, (Dr. Tracey Hall, Brendan Gallagher, Jessica Camp and Henry McClendon) we were there to discuss the upcoming year in Detroit Schools and Osborn High School. Then we had the privilege of listening to an amazing man and speaker on Restorative Practices and Restorative Justice, Mr. Henry McClendon. He shared with us and Dr. Hall’s class on how we can begin to use Restorative Practices, which will be the second part of this article.

We are working on developing a new way to view the problems occurring in our inner city schools, not just in Detroit, but across the country and maybe the world. People are beginning to understand that the low test scores, poor attendance, behavior issues, violence, and so many other issues are not due to poor teaching, bad kids, dumb kids, or even a lack of physical resources; but due to where our kids are thinking from….their Limbic Brain.

What does that mean? Their Limbic Brain? This theory is called the 3 brain model, consisting of the 3 brains: 1) The most basic R-Complex Brain, 2)the Limbic or Mammalian Brain, to the higher functioning thinking brain or Neo-Cortex.

Fig 1.1 Simple 3 Brain Model

3 Brian simple

Figure 1.2 3 Brain Model

3 Brain

Ok so how does this 3 Brain Model apply in education? Since working in the Detroit Public Schools I have watched how this along with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (see figure 2.1 below) plays into a persons ability to learn and think. I am seeing that many of the students I work with are functioning primarily from their Mammalian Brain (Limbic) which means they are in SURVIVAL mode. When someone is in this state, they are ready to fight, flight, or freeze. Emotions are heightened, and people react rather than respond, meaning they are acting on instincts rather than thought. In the animal kingdom and in prehistoric days this was a very valuable tool in surviving, as it is today. Except when that traumatic event is either never resolved or is continuous. When this occurs the person is always in a state of survival and functioning from this middle brain, not from the thinking brain. It is this part of our brain that separates humans from all other species, it is our higher order brain, problem solving, critical thinking, and learning.

Figure 2.1 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs


Figure 2.2 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Updated

maslow described

What I have been looking at is the similarities between the 3 Brain Model and Maslow’s Pyramid and what I am seeing is there is a lot of correlation between the two. For instance, when a student does not have their most basic needs being met (Physiological Needs, Food, Water, Shelter) they are going to be functioning from their Limbic Brain. Their thoughts will be much more focused on finding food, water and shelter, rather than on learning and growing. This is also the case when kids do not feel safe (Step 2 on the Pyramid) when they are feeling generally unsafe their focus is on survival and safety.  They are always ready to fight or run, or in some cases they freeze. I have seen this play out in many classrooms, a teacher places their hand on a student, trying to make a positive connection, yet the reaction of the student is anything but positive. The student flinches, jumps up and yells a the teacher to get their god damn hands off of them. The teacher in response, calls security, who then detains and many times retains and handcuff the student. Removing them from the situation, but also further traumatizing this young person. What no one understood at the time of the incident, is that this young person was sexually molested by his mother’s boyfriends, and hates to be touched because of the feelings that touch triggers. He was reacting to that and not trying to be disrespectful, and our reaction simply added to his fears. PERSPECTIVE IS POWERFUL!


Truth is for most of us our perspective is our prison. As Henry McClendon said, the movie that plays in our minds feels right, sounds, right, and looks right, until we share it and our movie unravels. If we never share it, it will always remain our prison.

The last of the 3 needs that must be met in order for effective learning to occur is that of Love and Belonging. Having a family that loves, supports, and you feel apart of is crucial to life. In a recent study done by Harvard University, that followed a group of men for 75 years, found that true happiness in life has little to do with how much money you make, or how successful you are in your careers, it actually has more to do with having love in your life. When you have Love, happiness finds you. (The Secrets of Happiness Revealed by Harvard Study, By George Brandt). The power of a loving and safe relationship is so powerful, and I believe it is here where we as educators and support people can over come the first two. By creating a space where people feel supported, cared for and loved, they are more capable of dealing with the lack of their Physiological and safety needs.

If we match up the 3 brain model and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you will see that the first most basic needs of water, food and shelter will match up nicely with the R-Complex brain, the next two levels of safety, Love and Belonging match up with the Limbic Brain. The esteem needs and self-actualization matches up with the Neo-Cortexor higher order thinking.

Therefore when ANY person (no matter what age) is missing the basic 3 Needs in Maslow’s Pyramid their health is severely altered, their ability to learn and grow is limited and they will behave more like an animal, because that is where they are functioning from, their Mammalian Brain.

I have also been doing a lot of research on Trauma and its effects on learning. This theory of trauma effecting learning fits right in with the 3 Brain Model. When a person or student is traumatised it effects the way our bodies function (The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy) and the way that we behave. We are also learning that it dramatically effects our abilities to learn effectively. When trauma goes unresolved, its energy stays within our bodies, accumulating with other unresolved traumas and creating what I call the black hole within the iceberg. In a book that I am currently writing I compare humans to icebergs…what you see on the surface is only 10% of what makes up the whole. What lies underneath the water is what truly makes us…us. All of our experiences in life, good and bad, everything we have learned, the majority of our personality, the good the bad and the ugly all lie under the surface. Then, there is what I call the black hole, which is all of the unresolved traumas and feelings. They fester there, gathering up more and more unresolved feelings until we ultimately snap and explode either internally (beating ourselves up, harming ourselves, or even suicide), or externally, with anger and rage, yelling, screaming, and throwing things about, violence and crimes, assaults and murder, rapes, and much much more). Yet, with all of the release of anger, the black hole inside of us never shrinking, and in many cases growing because new traumas of our own accord are added.

Figure 3: Exploding Pop: How we explode from too much pressure build-up

pop explode

We explode like a pop bottle that has been shaken….BOOM! It explodes and gets on everything and everyone. Life is what shakes us up and when we do not deal with the carbonation of life, we explode. Unlike a pop bottle though, we are not empty, because the only way to effectively empty that black hole is to release those feelings stored inside in their true form.

Which brings us to Restorative Practices. This is a way to deal with those traumas, the unresolved, and the black hole. As Henry McClendon said to us, we do not have a problem with crime, as crime is just a symptom, not the problem. The problem is a relationship problem, within us, and with others. When we deal with the real problem, we see positive results.


Restorative Practices builds stronger individuals, healthier communities, reduces crime, increase social involvement, increases acceptance (diversity), decreases antisocial behaviors and repairs relationships.

This along with Trauma Informed Care will change the way inner city and maybe all schools teach. Understanding that we are not robots that need a cookie cutter education, that we are individual human entities that have feelings and needs that if unfulfilled will keep us from growing and learning. Restorative Practices teaches us how to release those stored feelings free us. go to http://www.iirp.edu/video to watch restorative practices in action.

The power of Perspectives is amazing…I always try to share the story of my pet rock “ECHO”, because his ability to show us this power of perspectives is uncanny. ECHO is just an ordinary rock, but it is all how we look at him that makes the difference. So, there is ECHO, sitting in the center of my room on the floor, no one near him, is he moving? That is the question I pose to my classes…and the looks on their faces describe their uncertainty. They know that there is a trick question here, so they begin to think. Rather than react, they stop, challenge their thinking and respond….YES! Echo is moving, because the Earth is moving, it is rotating, and orbiting the sun. Correct, that is two of the many ways Echo is moving….”What about Plate Tectonics?”….”Correct Again!”…Yet there is still an way Echo is moving and it has nothing to do with external means. “HMMMM” I ask, “What is ECHO made of?” The students think and quickly answer….”molecules!” and I respond, “Yes, and what are molecules doing?” The students reply, “They are always moving.” therefore Echo is moving all by himself! Perspective….POWER!

If we apply this to everything we do, we start to see that what we thought to be true at first, is actually only partial true, that there maybe faults to what we hear, what we see, and what is. Restorative Practices teaches people how to see from multiple perspectives and allows us to see people for….people. It allows us to take the labels off, and listen and learn, not only about others, but about ourselves.

I will be adding more to this idea of Restorative Practices/Justice, Trauma Informed Care, and People in upcoming articles!



Sun Rise

AS the sun rises, and my eyes slowly open, the day begins.It is my choice to make this day great or let it flow by. I stand and glare into the the mirror, the reflection of strength snd power, bounces back at me. I am a warrior and need to prepare, I am strong, and I am smart, and I can and will handle whatever challenge that comes my way.

The sadness tries to stride into my thoughts…I STOP….I CHALLENGE….And I override the negative.  This is a fight that I must face everyday for I am a warrior, But I am also a Human, and I have faults. I have doubts and I have days of uncertainty, yet I always search the great abyss for the shining light that is always there.


That light that is within us all, for some the search maybe a little more difficult, yet the light it is still there. The good, the bad and the Ugly, are there for your choosing. You must strive to thrive, you must look to each corner of life to find that Pride…..For it is hidden in the darkness, around the corner, or through the door…It is there.

So I search…Through the darkness, blind like a bat, I search and I search for that ray of light that is within us all. AS I get closer and closer, the light grows in strength….I see it, I feel it, and I grab it.  Taking hold of that light and never letting go. This eternal fight for light will continue and continue, and I will search for that glowing opportunity


I the warrior reach deep,

Within the Abyss

I strike at the darkness

Always striving for bliss.

I fight with reckless abandon,

Always comamandin’

I search my soul,

Trying to understand my role

Deep inside I find the fire

to calm the flames because I must aspire

I fight….

What is my purpose

I always hear people giving me lip service

I am me and I a real

Full of Zeal….

You cannot stop this train,

Not Pain,

or even Sam Hain.


For I am Unstoppable,

Always unbreakable

and definitely irreplaceable, 

Just plain unshakable.


I fall to the ground,

with a thump and a pound,

My Eyes to the skies,

I rise…..

For I am Unstoppable,

Always unbreakable

and definitely irreplaceable, 

Just plain unshakable.


To the Skies I rise,

Like a Phoenix I fly,

Can you hear my battle cry?

I am a warrior,

A Pit Bull Terrier

To the end I fight,

For I am….



and certainly unshakable!



As I lie on the gurney, my body destroyed, my heart beat slowing, I can feel the energy and the power of the universe pulling at me….My spirit rises above my body and connects with the one…..

There I am below, torn and battered, I feel a sadness run though me…18 years old, and so far from being the man I wanted to be….Quiet and shy, tentative and reluctant to take chances, I was a body full of potential, yet now that potential is dying before me…wasted….

I can feel a pull at my soul, a feeling of peace and unity….I begin to soar like an eagle floating above, no worries, no pain, no stress and no fear…Just freedom and peace….I am me, but I am more…

The presence of something greater than me, pulsing into my spirit….A power that words cannot explain. Energy….everywhere, bright blue, and ever changing ball of….GOD. That is what I am seeing, what I am feeling, a power that can breath life into the world, yet a power we have not touched yet. God is us and we are God….If we can just reach out and feel it, share it and be it, then this anger we feel, this fear that ignites violence and hate would lift like a fog burning off in the morning sun.

I see that there is reason for everything, reason for good and reasons for evil. Everything has a plan and everything a purpose, while we are here, we need to find that purpose, for that is what drives us. We all have one, we all have a greatness that lies dormant in our soul, just waiting for us to breathe life into its being. To bring it to the surface, through the darkness, and into the light, to grow and be nurtured, to spread its beauty to the world above….it’s in us all….dig deep enough and you will find it, work hard enough and it will rise to the surface for all to see….

This is what I learned as my spirit sailed into the depths of the universe. I saw what we can be, as individuals and as a people. The energy is endless, having no beginning and no end, it is untapped and ready for us to reach out and grab hold, ready for us to open and share like a gift under a tree….to spread its eternal power from one to another….

To do this I learned, we must first believe in our spirit, our oneness with life. To see the greatness that lies inside us, to grip it with might, and never let go….To raise it above us and share as Mufasa shared his son with his kingdom….

Then we MUST come together, support one another. Celebrate each others greatness, and be what we were meant to be, the glue that holds this amazing planet together. Be one!


“MoonLight” – Understanding “Little”


Last night I watched a movie titled Moonlight and it got me thinking about how we as humans treat one another…The movie is about a young African American boy growing up in Miami, he is small and the kids call him little. He is also a little different and as the movie goes on you begin to see that he is gay, or as the other kids call him “Faggot”. All too often that which is not us, that which we do not understand we fear….

This is based on a true story and as an educator I see similar things in schools and on the streets. We treat people poorly, we base our judgement on color, religion, sexual preference, language, and really anything else that makes us different. Difference creates uncertainty, which then creates fear….fear then turns to hate….we need to change….we need to evolve….


A “little” boy uncertain about who he is,

struggles to learn about himself and his world

He is different….He is alone….at home and at school,

Made fun of because he is different,

He is quiet….he is shy….

But WHY?

Seen as weak, he is preyed upon,

Yet those that prey are only sheep themselves,

preying on the weaker sheep.


They call him names

They chase him

He hides…feeling unsafe, alone,

The boys leave….”little” is safe from his attackers,

but not safe from his own thoughts….

I must be less than, I must be bad, I am even shamed by God.


Am I a faggot?


Thats what they call me….

What is it….A faggot?

What is wrong with me?


Little goes home, a place of safety, of peace….

But not for Little,

Mom is a lost soul herself,

Drugs run rampant through her body,

Her mind lost, her soul adrift.

Little….Alone even at home,



This is the question I seem to ask myself often, why do we do this to others? Why do you fear that which is different, rather than be curious and learn. Why when we fear, we strike, we hurt, creating more fear, more resentment, more separation.

Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means perfect and there are times when irrational thoughts, ignorant thoughts run through my mind, but I work very hard to stop those thoughts and question…is there another way to look at it. Just the other day I was talking with my wife and we were talking about Nursing homes (her mother is in one) and I made a statement that it made me mad that we do not respect our elderly, we place them in homes and then never visit….My wife checked me on this, and I was so wrong. I made a judgement on others without really knowing them. Maybe they do come, or maybe they don’t. It could be that it is just to painful to see their parent like this, or maybe they just believe that they are in a great place and are safe…or maybe….

The point is I have no idea why? I have no idea what is happening…all I know is what I see at that moment in time from one perspective….mine. I have to stop and think, stop and question, evaluate before judging. WE all do this, I do this, WE have to be better, I have to be better….

Little, like all children, need us to be better. They need us to teach them to think, to feel and to see from many perspectives. We are all different and we are all very similar, yet it is the differences that make the world a better place. Don’t fear them, learn about them, do judge them, stop and listen….learn and grow….be kind and thoughtful…drop the fear by opening our eyes and our ears.








Yesterday I went through a therapy process called brain spotting, which is a new technique to help people deal with trauma. I don’t know a lot about this therapy yet, other than what I went through in my hour session last night. Yet, it was so profound I had to write about my experience:

It was a cool and cloudy day in Auburn Hills Michigan, I walked out of my psychology class knowing that I had achieved my highest grade point ever…a 3.75 for my first semester in college. Excited and ready to tell the world that I was not a failure in school, that I was actually pretty smart.

My friend Brent, suggested we head out to celebrate our great grades and with a little persuasion I was along for the ride, a ride that would change my life forever…..I have always remembered leaving school, following Brent, seeing the Pontiac Silverdome, and heading down Opdyke Rd.. Down the hill, changing lanes and turning on my windshield wipers….then everything disappears….until now.

As I sat in the therapists office, music playing softly in my ears (Bilateral Sound, helps in the healing process), I was asked to look in four different directions, looking at the point of a pen, and choosing the location that created the best feeling.

I started talking about my dad, and how in an Early January Morning he called me in distress. I was on my way to school with a few students and had a big event with the Mayor of Detroit and one of our biggest sponsors. My dad called me, he did not sound good, he was struggling and I asked him if he wanted me to come to him, he being my dad, said no, in his grufff and tough way, then he grumbled and right before the phone hung up I said, “Dad, call 911 if you need help.” That was the last time I spoke to my father, a moment in time that I wish I could go back to…because my father died at some point after that….I am not really sure when.

It was a day later that I went out to his house…there was no answer, so I slide one of his windows open and inside I went. I called my dad…there was no answer….I went up stairs to his bedroom, he was not there either. The bathroom door was closed, so I walked over and tried to open it, but the door hit something….I peaked in and there on the floor lay my father….Eyes open…no motion…..no breathe….A feeling of panic overwhelmed me…….

I felt this pressure in my chest, it became very hard to breathe, and my hands began to shake. I was still in the therapists office, but my mind was elsewhere. The feeling of helplessness growing inside me, panic, fear and a flood of other emotions running though me….

Then I was flashing back even father in time…the feeling of being trapped, overwhelmed me. My breathing quickened, my heart began to race…I was cold, and afraid…I was alone…Laying on the dashboard of my car….I could hear voices, and sounds of cars passing by, A light cold breeze blowing on my face. I could not move…I was cold and trapped, I was scared, but I was not in pain….I could feel cold snow flakes hitting my face, and a soft soothing voice….sorrow now pouring through me….I am not sure if I was talking or just thinking it….”I’m sorry…..I’m sorry…..I am so cold….” I was feeling as though I let my family down, I was leaving and I was not ready…I had not lived to my potential, I did not want my family to see me like this, broken, and bloody…cold and afraid….I was scared…..and I was trapped….

My mind would not let me go any further, I think I had experienced enough for the day…the session slowly ending, but the feeling inside me was still so strong….This feeling lasted well into the night….Sleep was scarce, but today I wake with a feeling of relief, a little bit of the trauma now gone…..

This was 3 hours of panic, three hours of fear, but the release was so worth every second…I know there is A LOT more to experience, but everything has to start somewhere and I am ready for the next steps….