Page 4 - Life Coaching Today January 2021
P. 4

   What was family life growing up for you?
I grew up in a fairly typical middle-class family in Wheeling, West Virginia, across the river from Marshfield, Ohio, which is, you know, several miles apart. My mother was very loving but also an alcoholic, which made it somewhat tricky. My dad was a heavy drinker and became violent when he was drunk. When I was around six, my mother divorced my dad, and she, myself, and two younger brothers moved in with my grandmother. My mother remarried. My stepfather had just gotten out of the Navy after World War II. I had a typical childhood. In high school, I played football, ran track, was captain of the basketball team, and joined the swimming team. It was 'huge' in my school to be in sports at all times. I wasn't unusual in any particular way.
Were you a dreamer growing up?
What dreams did you have for yourself?
I was not a dreamer in a big way. I just wanted to succeed, but I didn't have much of a dream of what I wanted to do when I grew up.
I just wanted to do the next thing; make the football team, graduate high school, go to college, make the rugby team, graduate from college, get a great job opportunity, and win the rugby games. I was always looking ahead just a little bit. It wasn't until I was a senior in college that I took an elective class. My major was Chinese history. The elective course I took was Social Relations. It was a private development group where we talked about our feelings, how we felt about each other and, how to use our communication skills. Wow (I said to myself), I want to grow up and do this. That was the first time that I felt like I found something that I wanted to do.
I attended the University of Chicago in 1968 to get a Master's degree in Education. My practical teaching took place in an all-black inner-city high school on the south side of Chicago. It was a very radical time in terms of black consciousness. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated and, people were starting to challenge racial injustices, inequality, and disparities. I started taking classes on achieving and motivation.
I then started applying these principles to goal setting, using visualization, affirmations, taking action, asking for what you want, supporting, and everything along those lines. My students responded well to it. They would sneak in and out of school, hoping they wouldn't get caught because they didn't want to miss my class. The school administration wanted me to train teachers. Here is when I realized this is what I loved.
The Stone Foundation hired me to travel the mid- west teaching teachers motivation and self-esteem building skills. That's when it all shifted, and I went into my life's work. Being a Transformational Speaker is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So, it was a slow fathomable one step to the next step. I always teach people if there's something in front of you and you do it well then, the next thing will show up, and if you're not clear about what you want to do, then try something else. For me, it was always leaning into something and seeing if that works to make me happy. I teach the joy of the internal guidance system, and if you are doing something and experiencing pleasure, it feeds back from your body. It could also be said from the universe that, of course, you are on purpose. You're doing the things that get you where you want to go.

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