My Story

Overview:

• BA and MA in English

• Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.)

• Six Years as A College Instructor

• Twenty-five years as a personal growth counselor

• Thirty plus years as a consultant, teacher, and a designer and presenter of seminars and workshops for corporations and the general public

• Thirty plus years in public speaking in the areas of: Awakening the Imagination and Accessing Creativity, Personal Growth and Empowerment, Relationships, Meditation, The Power of Conscious Breathing, and various aspects of the Spiritual Journey

• As a landscape designer I have won many state, national, and international awards.

• As an avid learner and a voracious reader I have explored and studied, in depth, the workings of the human mind, body, and spirit. My focus is bringing out our highest abilities and using them to create truly successful lives. Each of us has a unique purpose that supports ourself and others in creating rewarding and successful lives, at home, and in the work place.

Creativity has been an integral and exciting aspect of my entire life. It is the juiciest part and has certainly given me the greatest gifts and some of my more notable challenges. As a kid playing in the woods, I had no limitations to the worlds and roles I played. When later confronted by disinterested teachers, who were focused on stuffing information into my left-brain, they found holding my attention very challenging. The view out any window was far more captivating to me than chalk scribbles on a blackboard.

I so enjoyed the world of my imagination and creating a life from those gifts that it wasn’t until after my time in the Marine Corps that I literally re-educated myself, starting with two plus two and basic grammar. The educational system had failed me miserably and, I suspect, they felt the same way about me. As I learned to learn in my own way, I went on to earn many degrees, credentials, and pieces of paper that supposedly validated my time and accomplishments. What was great about college was that, if I ran into one of those disinterested teachers, I just dropped the class and took it from someone who was interested and made the subject vital and alive.

It was in graduate school that I learned that my learning style had given me a unique understanding as to how people learn. I was offered a position at Compton Community College’s Learning Center and was able to reach and excite hundreds of students about their ability to learn and be inspired. Many opportunities like this were to present themselves throughout my life.

College Instructor:

Later, as a credentialed instructor, my experience at Compton College gave me opportunities to help develop and expand other Learning Centers at other Community Colleges. I loved watching kids get that they get it. You can see it as the look in their eyes shifts from overwhelm to confidence, from fear to joy.

As an instructor I had the opportunity to teach literature, grammar, and creative writing. I also found myself teaching special classes (later called ESL) to kids whose primary language was not English, which included the influx of Vietnamese kids after the war. As a final for my creative writing classes the students had to go through the process of getting an article published. It might be in Surfer Magazine or the Black Panther newspaper, but the assignment was more about the preparation and process than the results. Surprising to many other instructors and administrators, the students were actually getting published.

As more and more attention was focused on my work, more and more people were asking what I was doing and why it was so successful. In trying to clearly explain why it was working to other instructors, it became clear to me that I was not academically prepared to translate my methods. While continuing to teach, I created a customized PH.D. program that I felt would help me more clearly understand the creative process and the psychology of learning.

I felt as a student that our educational system wasn’t working. I knew as a teacher, it was not only not working, but was, in many ways, damaging our kids. By progressively eliminating creativity in the curriculum, the creative minds of our students were drying up and leaving them handicapped and less confident.

Co-director Brain Integration Center:

While attending University I had an inspiring and wonderful teacher named Carole Austin. We became fast friends and I also became co-director of her existing Brain Integration Center. At first we taught courses in integrative drawing and writing techniques, as well as programs focused on enhancing communications and relationships.

The work was very leading edge at the time, and this drew the attention of many other prominent teachers and visionaries in the area of personal growth and development. People, such as Tom Gordon of PET, Marshall Thurber of The Berklyn Business School and Money and You, Marilyn Ferguson, Buckminster Fuller, and many more wanted to learn and co-create seminars and workshops integrating our material with theirs.

Super Camp was one of the programs we co-created that brought kids from all over the U.S. to attend a program where we brought the most innovative teachers in all areas of curriculum (math, science, computers, English, art, etc.). Many of these kids had learning challenges. It was awe-inspiring to watch the emotional release and personal empowerment they experienced as they came to clearly understand not only specific lessons, but also the underlying concepts behind a subject.

It was all such a great opportunity for me to explore how the best teachers of the time were opening people’s minds to their creative potential. I was invited to take everyone else’s advanced teacher training programs for free, so we could co-create an integrated presentation of our work together. It was an amazing time to learn from and work with all of these inspiring leaders.

Inner Game Seminars & Workshops:

After finishing up with the University I moved to the Los Angeles area. When I first arrived I was staying with a friend. He had a large party one evening and, feeling very much out of my element, I squeezed into the kitchen to get some juice. I overheard two guys trying to figure out how to create a particular workshop experience, and on the way out shared an idea that had come up for me.

One of the two guys was Tim Gallwey and the following week I became the Executive V.P. of the Inner Game Corporation, working with Tim and his dynamic team. We created seminars and workshops primarily aimed at bringing creative focus and enhanced performance into corporations, and helping AT&T shift from a monopoly to a competitive corporation during their divestiture.

During this time I was doing a lot of work with John Gray and Barbara DeAngelis in their Making Love Work workshops. I still have a great deal of respect and appreciation for each of them. As we got to know each other, they invited me to become one of the first teachers of their workshop. Their work had a tremendous influence on me, and I learned how valuable and important it is to move beyond our fears and limitations, so we can have a quieter and more focused mind. An open and quieter mind gives us access to a much fuller imagination and enhanced levels of creativity.

Founder of the Center For Balance in Santa Barbara CA and in Switzerland:

Over the years I had been involved in symposiums and had given talks in Santa Barbara, and was being regularly invited back to work with individuals and conduct workshops. The time finally came when there was so much for me to do that I moved to Santa Barbara and opened The Center For Balance.

My work and I were maturing and it was time to present an integration of not only what I had learned from others but developed on my own. I integrated concepts from the Inner Game into the “Getting the Whole Brain Ready for Business” program, which was quite successful. Businesses were recognizing that focusing on fulfilling their customer’s wants was more rewarding than just focusing on making money. The win-win philosophy was working.

Schools too, both in the US and in Switzerland were more open to whole-brain learning and integrating more creative programs into their curriculum. More nationally oriented measurements clearly showed that teaching the whole person, rather than just the left-brain, resulted in higher GPA’s and decreased drop out rates.

The main part of my work now, was about integrating all of these insights and tools into life-changing processes. My approach was to get people clear of distractions and limitations in their life, define their purpose and intention, and, with a sincere passion, create more successful lives both at work and at home.

Through the years many people also wanted to go through my “Individual Intensive” program. This work was life transforming on many levels (relationships, purpose, health, perspective, etc.) and the results empowering to everyone. The intensive program took people into and through the deepest source of their limitations. It was an advanced program borrowing from all my training in the fields of psychology, spirituality, breathing, and personal growth. I still get calls from these individuals, sometimes twenty years later, sharing how grateful they are for what they learned and how it is still a part of their everyday life.

Somewhere during this time, a couple showed up on my doorstep who had been told by a woman in India that they had to come to Santa Barbara to meet me. They participated in all of my work for several months and a short time after going home, invited me to come to Switzerland to work with select individuals and offer some public talks.

Well, that took off and, for the next six years or so, I would go over to Switzerland four times a year for about a month at a time, and travel around giving talks, meditations, workshops, and individual counseling. It was a wonderful time and my heart smiles when I think of the thousands of delightful people I got to know and the amazing life adventures we shared.

As we entered into the mid to late eighties it felt like there had been a shift in focus in America, and interest in what I was sharing seemed to wane. In the nineties I became a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic and, with my wonderful new wife Carol, opened a holistic health (mind, body, spirit) center where we offered counseling, workshops, chiropractic, and meditation.

Landscape Designer:

By the late-nineties I found myself wanting to explore my own creativity in a private passion I had played with and grown to love – landscape design. I had studied in Europe, Japan, and Indonesia, as well as the U.S. with a keen interest in waterfalls, streams, and ponds, as well as Japanese Gardens.

My first project was at the home of a famous film director, and I found delightful ways to explore and expand my imagination and use my creativity for the next dozen or so years. I learned how to use my quiet mind as a gateway into deeper levels of imagination, watching gardens create themselves in my mind with just a subtle focus on the space.

I learned how to receive the gifts of my imagination rather than chase lesser ideas through my brain. The quiet mind that had severed me so well as a counselor, now also served me as a designer and creator of beautiful settings. I was fortunate enough to receive numerous acknowledgements and awards, yet the deeper rewards lay in the beauty of a uniquely designed garden and thrilled clients.

Spiritual Path:

Back when I was teaching at the college level, I invited a friend of mine to talk about creativity and yoga to my creative writing classes. As I listened I began to see and feel the correlation, and I knew I wanted to explore the spiritual path more fully — even if it was not a part of my upcoming PH.D. program. Some of my most inspiring and creative thoughts happened when I was sitting quietly in nature or while relaxing after working very hard at trying to write something. I saw how yoga was a tool to reach that quiet and creative place more consciously.

Although I’d been raised a Christian and read and studied the Bible through college, even in my early teen I’d explored other religions as I became aware of them. Now I began my journey into Hinduism. They say, “When the student is ready, the teacher will come.” and so it is.

I had been immersed in Hinduism for many years when I became more aware of Shamanism and then later Buddhism. I saw how each path led to the same source. Throughout my various studies and deeply moving experiences I found that different breathing techniques were key to accessing levels of consciousness, focus, and creativity. While I have had many wonderful teachers and studied many paths, it turns out my own breath is my most trusted teacher and leads me on the truest path.

The breath is a great tool for quieting the mind and gaining greater focus that opens gateways into the realms of imagination and creativity. It certainly doesn’t have to be a spiritual thing, but it is a tool we can all greatly benefit from in terms of our mental and physical health and well being, learning to quiet our mind, focus, be present, and create the life we wish to live.

Relationship:

After a few years I felt it was time for a change, and for over two decades now I have focused on challenges and opportunities of living and working in the world and discovering the depths of love a marriage can offer. I am blessed to have a great and wonderful wife as my teacher and friend to journey along the path with.

Rediscovered:

Many people had asked me to offer the “Individual Intensive” work that I used to do, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago, when I agreed to work with a person I felt was truly ready to have a breakthrough, that I rediscovered my deepest passion.

Of course friends laugh when I say I’ve rediscovered it, because they have always known that if they got me started talking about creativity and personal growth, there was no closing the flood gates of conversation! In preparing for working with this one person, I also uncovered all the materials I used to use in my work and realized that I still had something very unique and empowering to share, that had evolved with me. So it started with me naively sitting down to write about some of my ideas.

Now, as Oprah shared so well (borrowing from an old song), “keep on using me, until you use me up.” I am here to serve others on their journey, and I am committed to supporting you in any way I can. My writing and all that I am creating to share with you, is my path. I look forward to serving you and supporting you on your own unique and amazing journey.