Through interesting life experiences, self discovery, reading books from and personal encounters with many influential guides , mentors, and spiritual teachers, I’ve found that one of the most powerful things I have to offer others is sometimes as simple as a change of perspective.
Another self discovery is my passion for helping people…Something that often comes from sharing a story or experience from life.
One of the most influential experiences in my life is the injury I encountered while at a team building event back at the end of 2007. During one of the physical challenges set up for the employees, I encountered a severe neck injury. As I landed, I remember feeling my head being forced downwards toward my chest so forcefully that my chin bruised my sternum. I felt and heard an intense crack in the back of my neck. My body ended up face down – my arms felt like they were plugged into light sockets. At the time I had no idea what had happened, but I remember thinking to myself “Holy sh*t, I just pulled a Christopher Reeve.” Wanting it to just not be real, I almost attempted to stand up – something that I now know would have been likely to leave me fully paralyzed. My logical mind took over. Being afraid that movement might cause more damage, I kept my body, neck, and head perfectly still as pain started to set in. I carefully wiggled my toes in my shoes – and most importantly felt them move! “OK,” I thought to myself, “this is good. As long as I don’t move to screw anything else up, and as long as the paramedics or doctors don’t screw up, whatever happened can be fixed.”
The paramedics were phenomenal. I was taken to St. Joseph’s hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, where I was to find out that I was extremely fortunate to be in that particular hospital. People fly to that specific hospital from all over for spinal injuries, so if I had to get hurt like this somewhere, I was at least in the right place. I was unable to eat or drink anything for over 2 days while the doctors consulted to determine what had actually happened, what was best, and decide the best way to fix it, and schedule the surgery.
I had a 1 year old son at this time. I remember thinking about all the things in life that I had thought were important weren’t. And the most important thing to me at that time was getting through the injury. All I wanted was to be able to be a father to my son…To be able to run with him, play, and all the things I had imagined. I was able to see my family and my son before the surgery, and waking up afterwards and again wiggling my toes was one of the best moments of my life.
I’ve come a long way since then, both mentally, physically, and spiritually. As I was recovering, I felt this incredible sense of freedom from the things in life that used to induce stress and angst. Financial worries, stress about projects, employment, things like that. I was able to see things clearly for the first time – and it all happened because of this tragic event. I remember thinking that there was no course, self-help book, training, mentor, spiritual teacher… nothing else that could have induced such a massive and immediate change in me. I felt like my life’s worries were in a stack, and this event instantly reshuffled so I was able to feel and focus on what was truly meaningful in life.
Since then I’ve gone on to learn and develop through reading, conversations, and guidance from others… Spiritual texts from Buddhism, conversations and teachings from one of my Gurus, Yogi Hari, other more contemporary writers such as Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Joseph Goldstein, the Dalai Lama, Steven Covey, John Maxwell, and Og Mandino (initially shared with me when I was very young by a man named Norman – a security guard that it would be wonderful to reconnect with if I knew his last name and could find him).
From a practical standpoint, my martial arts interest shifted from more aggressive arts to Aikido, the Art of Peace. I began meditating, settling on a form that works for me that is a hybrid of buddhist and yogic practices. My life continued to shift and attract more positive changes.
An interesting series of events and occurrences led me to develop a lot of interpersonal skills, including networking with others, building relationships, forging deeper connections. I began (re)reading books from Anthony Robbins, Robert Greene..going deeper into research from Richard Bandler and John Grinder, even back to Milton Ericsson. I devoured motivational and positive books of all kinds, from people like Robin Sharma, Michael Singer, and newer authors such as Brendan Burchard. At what seems like the perfect time in retrospect, I met and connected with an amazing coach that was to help me fuse my life experiences and skills into something I could use to be of service to others. As I put things into practice, I realized I had found a way to truly help people – and there is no better feeling than that of having truly helped someone by sharing what I’ve learned.
I love meeting and connecting with new and interesting people – so feel free to reach out and connect – you never know where it may lead!