The Kisses of Life

I was awakened this morning
in a very special way

A kiss upon my shoulder
from an angel sent my way

(Sofia woke me up this morning with a gentle kiss upon my shoulder)

Cover me in kisses
all throughout the day

Wrap your arms around me
Before you go to play

(As I was writing the above, Brosden came up behind me, wrapeed his arms tightly around me telling me he loved me, kissed me and then ran off to play with his cousin Ryan)

You know I love you Daddy
You know I really do

You know I love you Daddy
Through and through and through

(from the poet Bella)

As I spend time around my family (beach, canoeing, etc) I am surrounded by, covered in, and infused with the greatest treasure man can hope for...........LOVE

And no where does it come stronger than from my own children

I am stunned at times at how truly fortunate I am, and filled with a great sense of excitement and courage to appreciate each day for the treasures it holds.......especially the ones I can still hold in my arms.


Time to Go to Ohio

As my pictures finally arrived from Italy we now leave for Ohio.

Sofia is singing, "And the angels will be bringing us another good morning that leads us to another good day."

I am showing Bella the picture of the rose I got her on The Spanish Steps (the only present she asked for......and then the picture of where I got her shirt and parasol)

And Brosden is out playing basketball...........Hey! Get in here and pack.....You already are?.......Ooohhh. Good man......I'm the one not ready?

It's a parent's goal to have their children grow up to have lives even greater than their parents.....Brosden is on his way.....and WITHOUT the ADHD medicine (not needed when replaced by love, purpose, passion, and inner power :-)

OK....My brilliant, self-controlled and more time-aware son than I is telling me we have to go.....

Have a great rest of July. Time to re-explore my childhood home (outside The Pantheon here in pic)


Dream ~ Sneaking Into Heaven

While working on this book for education I was reminded of a dream I used to have, and noticed how as we change our dreams seem to change too. Before this new dream I had the reoccurring three-year dream of dying and going to Heaven, then riding my motorcycle past the angels' houses at 3 am every morning waking them up. Basically I didn't feel worthy of being in Heaven and was trying to get myself kicked out, which Jesus lobbied heavily for with His Father.

Jesus would complain that He didn't think I should be there, and God's response was, "He doesn't either. That's why he's here."

After the second divorce and not having any of my kids living with me I didn't feel I deserved to go to Heaven. Or maybe because being with my kids was Heaven, going to Heaven itself didn't matter to me anymore.

One night Sofia and I were watching The Nutty Professor. After, we youtubed clips of him and imitated him dancing, making his faces and doing his voice.

Between her laughter Sofia uttered, "I'm in Heaven"........... I stopped and stared at her as an incredible feeling came over me, so warm, and so wonderful.

As we danced to the next clip over and over this feeling grew to the point where I felt so happy that I remember thinking, "This is what Heaven must feel like".

I began wondering if "The Kingdom of Heaven" exists inside a person when they are at their happiest. I started changing my focus from the pain I felt when the kids weren't with me to the happiness I felt remembering when they were. This brought about a new reoccurring dream about sneaking into Heaven and running into Jesus.

I want to point out that it's not that I don't believe in God, Jesus or religion or am trying to be disrespectful to these concepts or to anyone's beliefs. It's just that something tells me that they and spirituality are much more than they've been allowed to be, and in pursuing this we might become much more than we've allowed ourselves to be.

More of us might actually find real inner happiness and cooperation and stop the cycle of pain, suffering and separateness.

I'm aware though that by traditional religion I could possibly be damning myself in the process by questioning the "Unquestionable".

However, I still choose to face this fear and have the courage to challenge what is for what it could be. And since I'm eventually going to die and find out what happens to me anyway, I choose to find the humor now in my possible damnation later and say, "Hang on a minute!"

(WARNING: Some Explicit Language)

The dream is I enter a door to Heaven and into a room that's all white. There are a few people milling about. As I look around I hear Jesus talking to some other angels(? - They look like regular people). His back is to me but as He turns around he sees me.

He stops and says, "Not you again! How did you get up here?"

I tell him I came up to see his father.

"My dad is too busy to see you. He's handling important things."

"I know. That's what I want to talk to him about. To see if there's anything I can do to help."

"You?!? Help Him?!?! You've got to be kidding me."

"No, actually. I'm not. I'm interested in solving the same problems as you two. Do you have any guidance on what more I could do or how to do it better?"

"Yes. Go back to Earth and let the professionals handle it. God has a plan."

"I would but the plan doesn't seem to be working. Are we missing something down there?"

"You're going to be missing your place in Heaven if you don't leave now! And who are you to question God?"

"Look. I'm not questioning, I'm...well, OK. I guess I am questioning. But come on, with so much pain and suffering repeated over and over throughout history I think I have a right to question what doesn't seem to be working. I'll change or do whatever it takes. Just tell me what to do to make life better."

"You can get OUT! That's what you can do. You guys, get him out of here! Listen Adam, you better change your attitude and leave well enough alone, or this will be the last time you ever see this place."

"Fine. I'll leave. But you know I'm coming back. How it is isn't OK, and I know we can make it better...........Hmmmm, maybe I should have come in that door over there."

(as everyone looks to where I'm pointing I scoop up some clouds and stuff them in my pocket, like I do each time I'm up here, then give these "bits of Heaven" to others back on Earth who need it)

After I leave Jesus goes to God and tells Him what happened. God says He heard the ruckus and was smiling.

"Look Dad. He just doesn't follow your plan and won't leave well enough alone."

"Maybe he is part of my plan."

"But he can't be controlled like most others. He's a rebel, a loose cannon. I think he's dangerous."

"I remember a young man who once entered a temple and kicked over the tables of money changers in a rage."

"Are you comparing him to Me?"

"I'm just saying that his passion isn't necessarily a bad thing if he thinks he's making things better. I gave him free will and he's actually using it."

"Well, free or not, I took away his pass again to get into Heaven when he dies. He has to be held accountable for what he's done."

"I know. But give him a new one."

"What?!? Why? He's just going to lose it or give it away to someone else."

God looks at His son, smiles and says, "I'm sure he will."


Teaching for Life-Long Success ~ Introduction

I'm working on a book for parents next year clarifying how I teach and why. Although I began teaching out of instinct and my experience in the "real" or business and athletic worlds, it can now be backed up with brain-based research and the sciences of molecular and neurobiology and quantum physics.

Not everything I write here will be included in the book, but it's a way for me to clarify my thoughts and see where I end up.

But the facts have to be faced. Few people throughout history have succeeded in life at the highest levels they're truly capable of, just as few people have succeeded (and few continue to succeed) in school at the highest levels they're capable of.

I think it's less likely that some people are just destined and created differently than others, and more likely that few people learn how to create themselves and their own destinies differently than others.

Maybe it's because we aren't taught how to succeed in finding our greatest inner happiness in school that so few of us learn how to find it in life.

If history is going to be changed then, this means we have to change how we've historically educated ourselves. Socrates used inquiry and involvement to teach Plato, who in turn taught Aristotle, who in turn taught Alexander the Great.

Even with this type of documentation, this type of teaching has rarely been taught since then in either public or private schools. Today it is still met with great resistance, simply because "that's not the way it's always been done".

If this type of learning sounds vaguely familiar however, it's because that's how we all naturally learned BEFORE going to school. And this was the time of our greatest learning. After this, fewer and fewer meaningful connections were made as we filled more and more individual neurons with separate and disconnected bits of knowledge for tests.

The connections we did make between neurons, the way our brains put things together and made sense of the world, often occurred not from connecting facts and creating academic enlightenment, but from associating meaningless facts and meaningful failures to present-day opportunities. This limiting neural network caused us and continues to cause us to see and experience life in a very limiting way. The result is we live each new day as if it were yesterday, making it very difficult to fearlessly think big and boldly pursue our dreams.

I can't believe how many 10 year-olds come to me already believing how they are is ALL they are, and all they're ever going to be. If this is allowed to continue, it only reaffirms and rewires these false beliefs and neural networks for them. Twenty, thirty and forty years more of this and it is that much more difficult to unwire and unlearn.

No wonder we give up on our dreams and settle into lives of conformity and mediocrity, adopting belief systems that as long as we are relatively behaved (just like in school), we'll be taken care of in the afterlife as long as we get "good enough grades" to get in.

It is critical that while in school students do and accomplish things they've never done before. This provides the evidence and confidence for Dreaming Big to truly begin, and to begin unlearning and unwiring the old, limiting belief systems, making way for the wiring of new and more empowering networks. Ones they can fall back on and add to as adults.

But with the increased emphasis on high test scores and the money it brings a school, only much higher test scores coming from classes taught via inquiry and discovery will a return to natural and real learning occur in everyday education.

Much more important is that more students being taught how to create real happiness and success in school, and therefore able to repeat that success in life as adults.

It's a shame to hear parents and teachers refer to any child as just average or below average based on previous test scores. That's just where they are, not who they are and what they're capable of becoming.

Most tests, even IQ tests, often access only convergent thinking (the ability to give a correct answer to a standard question). Divergent thinking, the ability to be flexible and solve problems, is much more valuable in the real world to achieving real, inner success.

As the temptation to teach to the test increases and brain development in our students decreases, there has never been a more critical need to teach at higher levels of thinking and for the development of courage, creativity, boldness and the ability to overcome failure........But for this to happen, the changes have to be permanent, and made on a level that can't be seen with the naked eye.


Today I Claim in the Name of Me!

I’m not a treadmill person
where it's the same thing day-after-day

I refuse to wake up and trade my soul

to build someone else's dream

"It's just for a short while"

we tell ourselves initially.

And end up sentencing ourselves to life

for short-term "security"

No! I will not give up my God-given right to real happiness
Trading in my life
to build someone else's dream

Instead I choose to be a mountain climber
a creator of what I dream

Even if I have to take a 9-to-5 job
in the evenings I'm building rocket ships for my dreams

No destination will be too far
No destiny too high

My positive thoughts provide the target I'm shooting for
my powerful feelings provide all the fuel I need

60,000 thoughts today on what I want

keep me on the right path for me

Paying attention to what feels right inside

provides enough power for my highest destiny

I claim this day in the name of Me!
And all the good I see

*I see this day for what it is

which is the development of the greatest Me

Anything I couldn't do yesterday

I now can do today

I no longer put off living my life and having fun
creating my biggest dreams

Today I stand strong and firm
and I claim it in the name of Me!

~ Adam Stuart (July 18, 2009)

*"It is what it is" has become one of the most limiting and dooming phrases I've heard since, "Well, what can you do?"

Are you kidding me?!? 'What it is' is the chance we've been waiting for all our lives for that one more chance to believe in ourselves again and make that one change we wish we could make that would turn our lives around and/or move it forward.

The trick is not waiting all our lives to do this, because the fact is that for 167,000 people who had that chance yesterday, they passed away and no longer have any more chances today. I hope they didn't wait all their lives to grab hold of the reigns and drive their lives with all the gusto they could find inside.I walked the track of the Circus Maximus in Rome where 300,000 spectators would watch charioteers race and die. This stadium was 3x as big as the world's biggest stadiums today, yet nothing remains of it but it's long oval track.I stopped at one point and imagined the immense noise of thundering hooves and screaming spectators and wondered how could so much life vanish? That's like Madison Square Garden and Wimbledon Stadium being nothing more than a memory in the future.The answer is that we are an imperfect species. We don't last. Our lives are short-term. Why do we fill it with so much fear and insecurity?

And most of what we do build doesn't last anyway. Few dedicate their lives listening to their hearts and building what they hear inside.

Anyone who has ever made history that has lasted has made the same choice you and I are capable of making today, which is to follow their heart and take action towards the creation of that dream.

'What can you do?', is everything you're capable of doing, which increases incredibly and exponentially when you mix passion with your purpose.

Even if we die tomorrow, today we lived happily, and happiness is what we dream of.

When we're living like this, everyday is a good day to be alive, and even a good day to die if today is in fact our last one.

We are truly alive and therefore truly living.....and that's what life is.....not in building someone else's pyramid.....but building your own (and your heart will tell you what shape your pyramid is in.....I'm guessing it's what makes you feel the most love, makes you laugh the most and feel the happiest, and makes you feel the most alive when you think about it)

We're alive today......Let's act like it and build something that lasts!

Claim this day in the name of Me!


You Think You're All That!

Dreams are more important to realize than I think most of us can imagine. We think that it would be nice to achieve them..........but life's not so bad that if we don't make them happen it's not like our lives are going to fall apart. At least our lives aren't as bad as.....(someone else)

We base our lives on those who have what we don't want to make us feel better instead of focusing on those who have what we do want and rising to higher levels of existence and feelings.

What I've found out and continues to be true for me is that by going through the process of pursuing dreams and overcoming the difficulties in achieving them, we become more than what we were, more than what we used to be. If we already were enough, we would have already achieved these dreams.

After achieving them, we also become more as the dream brings new people and new experiences into our lives; people and experiences that would not have come had we not pursued and realized our dream.

In high school my dream was to play football. When I thought of playing I felt so good. I didn't have thoughts of cheerleaders or fans cheering me on or being impressed. This told me I wasn't pursuing my dream out of a desired identity or ego (i.e. I'm a football player). I was doing it for the right reasons; out of a pure passion to play the game because it felt so good to play.

The problem was that I was so small and skinny that I didn't make the varsity team until my senior year in high school. At home I used to make my older sister pretend she was coming down the hallway at school and to stop when she could tell if I had gained any muscle.....

She's so honest that she can't lie and for three years would end up walking from the far end of the basement to right up to me and say, "No. I'm sorry. Not yet."

As frustrated as I was I never gave up, talked to the biggest guys in the gym for advice, and finally had a breakthrough the summer before my senior year. This gave me the confidence and courage to go on and play college ball and study martial arts after, developing something inside me that's almost animalistic or warrior-like in spirit that I became able to take on more difficult and even dangerous situations.

My spirit began driving my life, not my limitations.

On my trip I walked through a large crowd of young men outside a concert at Hyde Park in London. I could have walked all the way around them but I was excited to see something on the other side. So I did, looking them respectfully yet courageously in the eyes as I walked past. After I got through I saw a group of maybe 20 Bobbies huddled together down the path in self-protection.

I thought, "Geesh. Instead of being afraid of them or thinking ill, why don't you try to get to know them? Change the cycle of you-versus-them."

When I got back to my hotel later that night I met a woman who was crying in the lobby. She and her husband had also been at Hyde Park, had a fight where she left and he stayed, and he got mugged.

Although I know any child with a gun or any car with a bad driver can end my life, I also know that by fulfilling a dream (in this case my dream to play football and martial arts) my reality is that I've become much more than I was. Now I can enter situations that seem too difficult and dangerous for many others, and therefore are.

The end result is that I live a different life because of it. I wasn't a tourist on this trip, I was a traveler, an adventurer, an explorer. I explored London and Rome so much that I walked until my feet hurt, and then for hours more. The soles of my shoes are ripped apart, literally. And my experiences were so much more enriching because of it.

Just as I can stand where Shakespeare stood and sit in the same chair at the same table Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist I can walk the streets after midnight searching for the places Jack the Ripper killed his victims. It's the same back home as I sit with those already happy and help make their lives ecstatic, and walk into the lives of the abused and hopeless making it safer and more hopeful.

I do it because it feels right to do it. And I follow that feeling. Life is about feeling good, and feeling and being capable.

Where many say, "That's too bad. But what can I do?" and feel bad, I've become someone who says, "What can I do? Well, if I have enough courage and faith in my ability, I can do ....(this action)." And then I do it, and feel great.

I wasn't born this way, I've become this way; this way of focusing on a destination and making a straight line for it, this way of making real change in the real world....in my own and others.

All from following and fulfilling dreams that I felt beating and pounding in my heart.

You know you've reached this point when someone tells you, "Oh you think you're all that." That's when you should get excited and say happily, "Yes! You're right. I finally do think I'm capable of all that. Thank you! Do you? No? Anything I can do to help?"

All I know is that it feels right to have the courage and ability to believe in myself and others no matter where we are in our lives, to develop the strength to hold on to what could be until it becomes what is, and to explore the world and its people in as many books, travels and ways as I can.

For people who pay attention to what they feel is right or exciting to them, focus all their thoughts on making it happen, and use all their actions to fulfill those dreams.....there is no such thing as "same old, same old" or "same stuff, different day".

Instead, every day is an exciting day of becoming more as new and higher levels of happiness, health, and the wealth we need to follow and fulfill our dreams are created.

As our spirits are filled with an increasing wealth of confidence, courage and capability, these are days spent in Heaven, where maybe not everything is always smooth and easy, but where everything IS possible because WE have become possible......and are becoming MORE possible every day.

That sounds like Heaven to me, and how I run my home and classroom.

Believe me, believe history, believe the facts.....It IS POSSIBLE.....when YOU are! And the more you think you're capable of, the more you BECOME capable of.........You are all that you dream of.

Dreams are Realities Waiting to Happen

"Two years was the time it took me to to go from the start of my dream to the beginning of my reality. Two years may seem like a long time to wait to pursue one's dream, but not when compared to the lifetime most people spend. Many a person during those two years had expressed how they also would love to go to Africa. Initially I tried to explain that if I could do it so could they. I certainly wasn't the highest paid person among them. As a matter of fact, I was probably one of the lowest.

But I soon realized that they weren't truly serious about going to Africa, or else they would be going. They liked to talk about their dreams, but in the end, they just left them as dreams . They didn't know what I felt a glimpse of, and what Ma Ma Gombe would confirm for me. That dreams are in fact realities waiting to happen. But they don't wait forever. At some point you have to help them make the transition. Or eventually they just fade away."

- Life Safari, by John Strelecky


Living a Dream Life

There is a saying that as one door closes, another one opens. I found out something on this trip that's even more amazing and true:

As one dream is realized, an even bigger one comes into your heart.

I've gone from wanting to just travel in Europe, to wanting to live there.

The entire trip was incredible, life changing. London by itself was enough to be a trip of a lifetime.

Rome took me to an even higher level. At one point in my journey I was sitting on the Spanish Steps, got up to get a drink out of the fountain in the square, and then walked up the street and saw a statue of a writer looking up at the sky............My heart burst. I was filled with a desire to live in the world, one month in the States and then one month in a city like Rome, writing, teaching and speaking out of an abundance of inspiration......and then moving on to a different city when the inspiration ran out.

One month in the States. One month in the World.

When you find the courage to hold on to a dream until it becomes your reality......you are changed.....you are more.....and more comes into your life

The size of your world is definitely the size of your heart and mind.

Think and dream small, and you and the world you live in is small and limited.

Think, dream and FEEL big, and you and the world you live in becomes big, unlimited, incredible.

Achilles' weakness was his heel. Mine is my heart........I went to Europe feeling as if a gun had been put to my chest and the trigger pulled. But as I walked the streets of London I realized I hadn't been killed. I was still alive. My heart held no bitterness or anger, only pain, and pain heals. I told Sofia I would go through 100 relationships that didn't work out to have just one of her.

And instead of what was left of my heart closing up, the hole seemed to allow even more love to come into it on this trip.

I have worked so hard and long on thinking of and treating others not based on how they think of and treat me, but on how they deserve to be thought of and treated, which is as a person capable of being and becoming something the world has never seen, with all their developed magnificence and beauty.

And because of that I saw so much magnificence and beauty on my journey that poems and enlightenment wrote themselves in my head and heart as my eyes saw one thing after another.

Last night after Brosden and Bella jumped all over me telling me I was their playground, I put my arms around them and we watched On The Waterfront with Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint. It's a movie about how a woman and a priest come into the life of one man, making him want to be more than he is, and how just one man can make a difference even if he has to stand up alone against an entire system.

Two scenes really hit me. In the cab before Charley gets killed Terry tells his older brother "I could of been a contender. I could have been somebody." I thought of how we all feel that way at some point in our lives.

We know we could have become so much more had we had so much more courage, had we just tried for one more day to be everything we dream of being. Had we not given up and maybe had just one other person not give up on us too.

But we stop there. We don't choose to now have more courage to believe in ourselves, to have the strength to hold on to our dreams today, and the next today, until our dreams do become our reality. We don't fight. We don't face our fears. We settle. We give in. We give up.

I only know how to do two things very well. I know how to love. And I know how to fight. My life has become nothing more than fighting for what I love, which is for the amazing people we all are capable of being, and fighting for this with as much class and courage as I can.

And if I don't have enough, I will keep fighting until I do, even if it means getting knocked down and beaten up by life in the process. If I'm still breathing, I'm still trying.

As we watched the final scene of the movie and my kids were cheering for Terry they said, "That is you Dad. That is definitely you."

Terry's courage is so inspiring that the others now have the courage to refuse to work unless he does too, if he is be able to walk up the dock on his own.

As I squeezed them in my arms my heart burst again. I was filled with happiness that by choosing to fight for what I love, to deal with pain and overcome it, and to have the courage to develop the inner strength to allow my dreams to come true......I've looked out for my children just a little bit....

....giving them the courage to become real-life contenders of not giving up in making their own dreams come true, which has got to be one of the greatest gifts a parent can give.

As I closed my eyes I knew that even our biggest dreams do come true as we ourselves become bigger, that the more courage we have the faster these changes happen, and that I am living a very big dream life.

I fell asleep knowing that dreams are worth fighting for.

(I'm having trouble downloading my 5,500 pictures and videos. There's one of me sitting on this fountain with the lion in the background, the two of us looking eerily similar :-)