Being Human

No other form of life has the depth of intellect and consciousness that human beings are privileged to experience.  The Buddhists believe it is a rare gift to be born a human.  That we as humans have the ability to write these words and read these words and feel connected emotionally through these words is rare indeed.  I never want to take the gift of this human life for granted. 

Today we are alive.  Today we share our precious and rare humanity.  
I am grateful to be here with you.  

So how will we act today?  What will we think today?  
How will we feel today?  Who will we connect with today?  

Today we have much to be thankful for.  Today we are awake.  
We are grateful to feel the warmth of the sun and the warmth of those we love.

True Education- authentic, courageous and vulnerable

My purpose in life is to be authentic, courageous, and vulnerable to the truth of my life.  I am here to follow the still, small voice.  The voice I have come to know as God.  It is that spiritual place in all of us that some call soul and others call unconditional love.  I am here to serve that place in you and in me. 

To know who we truly are, to be authentic, is knowing we are connected to the infinite.  I have come to experience that being authentic requires a lifetime of courage.  This courage, this love of life is like a gentle rain eroding the stone walls of ego. Throughout this process I have experienced moments of enlightenment.  I felt at one with Divinity while in prayer in the mountains of Idaho, praying for healing for our special needs daughter, Ashley.  The message I heard in my heart, head and soul was "She is not here to be healed, she is the healer, let her do her work."  From that moment on, I have shared this vulnerability of my daughter and our life together whenever I speak and teach.

I have come to believe that in therapy and education it is essential to focus on the courage, integrity, authenticity, and vulnerability we need to become fully human.  All the best therapists and teachers I have known help facilitate a learning and discovery process.  The learning is in the process.  The Latin root of the word education is educere.  The meaning of educere, the root of education, is to draw out and lead forth.  Education at its best, has always been about drawing out the best in our students.  It is the passionate teacher that leads forth their students into a life of passion and service. 

True education has never been about shoveling more content into the minds and hearts of children.  True education has never been about one test to find how much content they have accumulated.  True education has always been about those that teach courageously and authentically showing spirit and passion that connects with and draws out the passion and value of their students.

This does not happen with force, manipulation, authority, prizes or rewards.  It is through the integrity, warmth and love of our full humanity that we teach each other to transform into spiritual beings. 

Whole Child Educators...Stay true to our calling

As an educator, teacher, counselor, administrator, and now consultant, I always care about being effective.  Am I getting through to my audience, to my listener, to my students?

As whole child educators, we need to remember to be faithful to our mission. We need to be grateful to the gifts that we share.  We need to be grateful that the world needs our gifts.  I experience a world where children, families, and colleagues need passionate and caring educators now, possibly more than ever before.  We must never allow politics and testing to crush the spirits of the children and colleagues we cherish.

We must stay true to our calling.  We must stay true to the precious children entrusted to our care.  We know in our heart of hearts we will never accomplish our tasks in our lifetime.  When at the end of our time we can say "I was true to my calling" we can leave with a full heart.


“Healing comes with owning our wounds as the first step in any beyond them.”
- Anonymous

I believe in working together.  All of us, different, unique, abled, disabled, sharing our life stories.  Being together, sharing ourselves, seeing different perspectives, understanding and accepting.  Our pain becomes a teacher.  We become more sensitive, more caring, better able to listen, more compassionate and more empathetic.

Pain is challenging.  There are good days and bad days.  There is mild, manageable, pain and there is crippling, debilitating pain.  It moves me forward.  My priories are clear.  I am forward.  I must do what I can, while I can.  I ask for more help.  I find greater discipline. I seek deeper conversations.  I listen for deeper voices.  I find deeper meaning.

We are all here on this blue marble, hurdling through space, trying to do the best we can with what we know.

I remember one of my dear old friends who had devoted his life to recovery.  He had been abused and beaten as a child by his alcoholic father.  When I asked how he was able to forgive for all the years pain and abuse, my friend said, “He was doing the best he could with the what he knew.”

This for me still rings true as one of my greatest lessons in forgiveness and healing.

Speak your truth

"It is by risking ourselves
from one hour to another
that we live at all."
- William James

Although I do not like conflict and throughout my life, I have often tried to avoid it, there is no way to avoid conflict.  I am a passionate man and I am very passionate in my mission to serve children and schools in Social Emotional Learning.  I have found that when we are passionate in our mission, we will encounter conflict.  When I have avoided conflict with others, I have created a deadly conflict in myself.  When I have not shared my truth and passion, that same truth and passion festers inside me.  When I speak my truth and address my mission, at some point I am in conflict with those who would like me to be someone else.

The cost for being authentic is someone will disapprove.  There will be conflict with someone.  The cost of not being real, the cost of being less than myself creates a series of little deaths inside of us.  Trying to please everyone destroys our authenticity.

At 67 years old, I have to speak my truth.  Life is precious.  
Life is too short to appease everyone and suffer the little deaths that come with societal approval.