Choose Courage

“Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” -Mark Twain

Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the belief that there is something else more important than fear.

To move past fear we must be clear on our vision. When our vision is clear we move towards it. We take action to make our dreams real. We do the foot work. We make calls, we contact friends, we create a support system. We learn, we grow, we move forward.


“The pain was necessary to know the truth, but we don’t have to keep the pain alive to keep the truth alive.” – Mark Nepo

It is not the better part of our wisdom to create our identity by our past hurts and pains. The more we hold on to our burning anger and resentment at those who have harmed us, the more our wounds stay open. We rationalize that we seek justice, fairness, apology. We must reclaim our power. Stop waiting for something magical to come and heal us. We must heal ourselves.

When we forgive we do not excuse the past hurtful behavior, with forgiveness comes our own healing. We exchange resentment for inner freedom. When we let go and forgive, we can heal and live.


Simple kindness to all life and to one’s self is the most powerful transformational force I have been privileged to witness. My wife, Sandra, is my daily example of unconditional kindness. Her kindness has no downside. It supports everyone and everything. Her kindness lessens grief, loss, and stress. Sandra’s kindness is endless joy, happiness, and contentment. It increases true power without the toll of force. There are no exceptions to Sandra’s kindness. Her kindness is pure, service oriented. She has no thought for her own reward. It is because of her altruism that she is spiritually rewarded.


Stories are our wealth. They are the wealth of our heart and soul. They are filled with our truth, our experience, our beliefs, our values, and our history. When we tell our story, our authenticity grows and deepens. There is a great healing when we share our story. Both the tellers and listeners are healed as we realize we are not alone. As we tell our story we give others permission to tell their story.

Most of what I do as a public speaker is tell my story. I tell my family’s story. I share my vulnerability, authenticity, and my truth. Although I have a plan when I begin, each speech is a different story. The story reveals my heart. Each telling of my story saves me. With each breath the story is the same and different. I find that as I share my story, it gives others the invitation to do the same.

Nurturing Your Life

How are you nurturing the unfolding story of your life?

I am working consistently to be authentic, courageous, and vulnerable. I am finding situations that demand my integrity, forgiveness, and gratitude. I still work on breaking old patterns of approval seeking, especially with old friends. I still have not mastered patience. I am still seeking to be kind and loving even as I establish boundaries for how others will interact with me.

I must be fully myself. If I am not authentic, courageous, and vulnerable, my growth is short circuited and I feel the pain of stagnation.

I find myself at another growing edge, a new threshold.  I must commit to growth, even when it is uncomfortable.

Building Community

I have begun reading Parker Palmer and Arthur Zajonc, “The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal.” I find much for discussion in this passionate work. Their work, research, and discussion make it clear that whole child education, the renewal of human purpose and meaning must be at the heart of education. Our work is transformational education. We invite deep dialogue, integrating the inner life with the outer life. We make real, diversity and global sensitivity, servant leadership and compassionate communities. They offer this powerful quote by Wendell Berry in their introduction:

“The thing being made in a university is humanity . . . what universities are mandated to make or to help to make is human beings in the fullest sense of these words—not just trained, workers or knowledgeable citizens, but responsible heirs and members of human culture . . . underlying the idea of a university—the bringing together, the combining into one, of all disciplines—is the idea that good work and good citizenship are inevitable by products of the making of a good—that is, a fully developed—human being.”

Palmer proposes that the thread running through the nature of being, knowing, teaching, learning, and ethics is the concept and practice of building community. This is the essence of our work. I am so grateful to be a part of a team that offers programs that explore our sense of purpose, core values, and mission.

It is rewarding and meaningful to share our authenticity, creativity, innovation, and passion. I believe we can create schools that build community, mentor servant leaders, and allow educators to share their truth through deep dialogue.

Learning the Essential Lesson

Hearing a doctor say heart attack or cancer has a very specific way of giving our mind a pinpoint focus. I believe that social emotional learning can do the same thing. Courageously exploring authenticity, vulnerability, and integrity like a life-threatening diagnosis is a blessing. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I passionately agree. This life is an exquisite learning process. We enter the classroom of life unprepared and inadequate. Social emotional learning is the best preparation I have found for the challenges of life. Whole child education, balancing the mind and the heart, enables us to find our sense of purpose or mission even in a world that breaks us repeatedly. Social emotional learning helps us gain perspective, resiliency, a belief in possibilities, and passion for life.
Sometimes it takes illness, knowing you have already loved longer than you will live, to learn the essential lesson.

Life continues to speak to me. Be still, be courageous, listen.

Stand In Your Truth

Integrity means more than honesty. It literally means “the state or quality of being entire, complete, and unbroken.” When we are whole, authentic, real, we are being integrous.

Our human history is abundant with role models who walked their talk. Individuals who stood in their truth. Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and other names known only to each of us. We have all known beautiful hearts who stood in their values. Even when they were unpopular.

As we grow into our integrity, as we stand in our truth, we cannot embrace life’s challenges alone. We need trusting, healthy relationships, and a loving supportive community to surround us. Finally we need a deep belief and relationship with something greater than ourselves. I do not debate about what you call it. I am quite passionate that you call it. Whether it is God, The Divine, your true self, identity, or integrity. It is essential that we are in relationship with something greater than us.

Awakening Imagination

Anytime we feel misunderstood, misused, neglected, suspicious, afraid, we are spending our thoughts and wasting our time.  Whenever we assume the feeling of being what we want to be, we are investing.”
                                     - Neville Goddard, “Awakening Imagination”

Our self-reflection is a commitment to investing in our future.  Our meditation, prayer and positive affirmations help us create a physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being.

We are not our past.  We need not limit the perspective of our future by remembering the pains of the past. 

All life is change, constant change.  We can choose to be a part of that change.  We can choose again, and again, and again.