Family Health By Design

Empowering families be to live life with passion and purpose

July 17, 2020
by Mike Stewart
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Men Self-Confidence and Feelings – How Men Can Share Feelings Without Being Weak

Men’s self-confidence and feelings have been a topic that has been avoided or overlooked for years because men who shared their feeling were weak. That is what I’ve heard from many men over the years. If you shared your feelings or got emotional both women and men would say you were weak.

The only safe environment where I saw men vulnerable was at a men’s church retreat, in all other settings it was taboo for show emotions or even cry. Why is that? I can remember being told as a boy growing up by several male figures in my life that men had to be tough and It was better to just stuff my emotions especially if they were negative and were accompanied by tears. There are many negative side effects of teaching boys that philosophy like almost 50 percent of married couples in the US will get divorced. Many marriages have domestic violence happening to men women and children.

I believe we can lower the percentages of divorce and domestic violence if we will begin to train men as young adults to process their feelings and give both men and women tools to be better communicators. Imagine a couple who may be having a disagreement being able to so effectively communicate that they resolve issues in the first conversation.

Now is the time for community centers, high schools, and colleges to start offering these classes and courses.

I learned some skills and tools of talking about my feelings good and bad five years ago at a weekend workshop and it has made a huge difference in my marriage.

Seven Tools

  1. Preface a difficult conversation with your spouse with ” what I’m going to say may upset you”
  2. Ask your spouse if you could have our marriage be any way what does that look like for you?
  3. Always come from a place of love and harmony.
  4. Becoming a good listener, make your mate the priority.
  5. Visualize your wedding day and remember why you fell in love.
  6. Forgive each other now, life is too short to hold a grudge against your best friend.
  7. Give one another permission to speak openly about how they really feel without judgment or interruption

You can eliminate most disagreements before they ever escalate to finger-pointing and blaming. Communication and confirmation is the key.

A famous author said once that couple should communicate like they were confirming an order at your favorite fast-food restaurant. It goes something like this, Jill who is a housewife says to her husband “honey when you come home and ask me what I did all-day it makes me feel as if you don’t value the role I play in raising our kids and taking care of the home”. Ben replies “so what I hear you say is that when I come home from work and I say to you what did you do all day you feel devalued as a wife and mother”, is that correct? Respectful compassionate communication is the key.

By talking about it the first time it happens you prevent what I call the volcano from erupting. You know how gasses and pressure build up in a volcano and eventually erupts by spewing ash and lava everywhere. Some of you may remember when Mount St Helens.erupted it caused a lot of damage all around the mountain and just like Mount St Helens the eruption of a husband who has stuffed his emotion for years will do a lot of damage to a marriage.

I hope some of these tools have been helpful to you. Please leave a comment with the experiences and communication tools you have used in your marriage.

Have a great week!

June 20, 2020
by Mike Stewart
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Was Shutting Down the Economy The Answer To Covid-19? You Decide

Was shutting down the economy the answer to stop the spread of Covid-19? I have heard various reports from news agencies and government leaders that it was vital that we shut down all small businesses to be able to stop the spread of the virus but there is a group of doctors that are saying it caused more harm than good.

On May 7th, 2020 Tony Robbins interviewed a panel of 7 doctors. I listened to the podcast of this interview last week and what I heard shocked me because I did not hear any of this information from the mainstream media. Listen to the podcast here.

THE PANELISTS INCLUDED:

  • Dr. Michael Levitt, PhD, Nobel Prize – Chemistry, Professor of Structural Biology, Stanford
  • Dr. Eran Bendavid, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine, Stanford University
  • Dr. Michael Roizen, M.D., Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus, Cleveland Clinic
  • Dr. Alan Preston, Sc.D, Former Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Texas A&M
  • Senator Scott Jensen, M.D., Family Physician (R-Minnesota)
  • Dr. Dan Erickson, M.D., Co-Owner, Accelerated Urgent Care
  • Dr. Artin Massihi, M.D., Co-Owner, Accelerated Urgent Care

The actions taken by government officials around the world have caused way more deaths than Covid-19 would have caused according to the numbers reported.

Repercussions of government actions and stats

  1. COVID-19 will double the number of people facing food crises unless swift action is taken. Read More
  2. Coronavirus pandemic may lead to 75,000 “deaths of despair” from suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, study says. Read More
  3. Nearly 9 in 10 COVID-19 patients who are put on a ventilator die, New York hospital data suggests. Read More
  4. Case fatality rate = 3% age 70 and over; Age 60 and under is less than 0.2%
  5. Hospitals are laying off doctors and nurses, closing floors Read More
  6. Dr. Rozien “If you’re under 60, you’re at very low risk of getting a severe problem from this,” Roizen; China mislead us to believe lockdown stopped the spread”

As I continued to listen to the podcast I learned that two of the doctors on this panel were trying to get their messages out to the public but their Press Conference video was removed by YouTube. You can watch the video HERE.

As I continued to research the history of how our media has changed I found several fascinating facts. These 15 Billionaires Own America’s News Media Companies

I was also shocked by a Facebook post from a friend of mine that shared how many of our local news networks were being told what to say or they were all reading from the same script.. Watch the video HEREI learned years ago to stop watching my local news if I want to know the facts of what really happened.

After researching all the facts I concluded that our government officials and our new media overreacted and shutdown our local businesses out of fear without really checking the facts and our news media beings controlled was a big part of spreading that fear like wildfire.

I remember a time when our news networks employed investigative reporters that were allowed to get the real scoop on the story but those days are gone. If you want to know the truth about any story you hear on the news you have to do your own research. Don’t just read or listen to the liberal or conservative view but be open to all views and be willing to discuss it with people who may have a different political view. I believe we can empower each other by sharing what we found in a respectful compassionate way and in a grassroots manner create more unified communities. If we want real change it will have to be done by you and I not being afraid to talk about the issues and also being willing to listen to each other. By educating ourselves we will truly bring the power back to the people.

Have a great week!

June 2, 2020
by Mike Stewart
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Are The Nationwide Protests Really A Solution To Police Brutality?

Are the nationwide protests really a solution to police brutality?

I was really confused yesterday when I was driving to Morro Bay yesterday when the freeway traffic came to a screeching halt for about 15 minutes. I attempted to find out what was causing the problem on my GPS application when I looked down the freeway and I was shocked when I saw people of all ages walking down each side of the freeway carrying signs protesting the tragic death of George Floyd. The crowd was chanting black lives matter.

I was confused at how shutting down highway 101 was a solution to police brutality and this caused me to just shake my head when one of the protestors stepped toward my window and F… You which just confused me even more. If they were chanting for peace what did that lady lash out at me?

On my way home I felt such compassion for all the police officers that do their job with integrity who are being grouped or labeled with office Chauvin as a brutal killer. I waved to each one as I passed by to let them know I support them doing their best to protect the peace.

When I arrived at home I became curious if this was happening all over the country and I was shocked at how out of hand all the protests got with people rioting and others looting the stores and lighting fires in several cities I had to ask myself how is this making a difference to stop police violence in the future. I feel that the protestors could have spent their time more wisely organizing workshops that focused more on solutions than the problem like developing programs or laws that we could get passed to change the future without breaking any laws.

Are we focusing on what happened or the story that is being reported?

The truth is that ALL LIVES MATTER, every human being has value and each one is precious.

What happened?

A police officer lost sight of his sworn duty to serve and protect and in doing so killed George Floyd.

What was reported by the news media is still not quite clear, on one had it was reported that George bought a pack of cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill and another report said he wrote a counterfeit check. The real issue is that a human being was murdered after repeatedly telling the officer that he can’t breathe. I can’t imagine how this tragedy has rocked the world of all of George’s family and friends and I pray for them every day.

Some people believe that many activists are using this as an opportunity to spread their own personal agenda by organizing massive groups to protest for their cause. The protestors are carrying signs that talk about justice but their tone is very threatening. These are supposed to be peaceful protests but the protest I witnessed on the freeway yesterday was anything but peaceful and the news stories that are reporting from across the country confirm that.

How do we really make a difference?

I believe the best way we can make a difference is by showing compassion for the victims, their families, and friends, let each person have the opportunity to share their feelings, how they are affected by this problem and if they have a solution to offer. This problem will never be solved by more violence or aggression against the police, it can only be solved by unity and love for one another.

Image by Linus Schütz from Pixabay

Each person has a moral obligation to stop the spread of violence against all people regardless of color. I believe it is imperative that we do our best to stop the mass protests across the country that do not offer a solution, the only people that are benefiting from the protests are the thieves who use it as an opportunity to loot the nearby stores.

The Apostle Paul provides the answer in this passage from the Bible in Philippians 4:8-9

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

If you are afraid or upset or in fear by what you are seeing on TV across the nation please reach out to someone who can help you process those feeling in a safe place and give you the support you need.

If you need a resource in the Arroyo Grande or Five Cities area on the Central Coast of California please reach out to me.

As always I value your feedback.

Have a great week,

Mike

May 24, 2020
by Mike Stewart
0 comments

What Have We Learned From Covid-19?

What Have We Learned From Covid-19?

How did it impact you initially, what was your greatest fear, and how is impacting you now?

Many people responded in fear by stockpiling supplies and raiding the grocery shelves and throwing and throwing a wrench in the supply chain/

Some people came right out and said it was going to be no worse than the previous flu viruses that we experienced in the past.

Many people responded with compassion by helping others that were alone or senior citizens.

But the real question is what did we learn? How are we going to prepare for something like this in the future?

Let’s start by looking at what some people learned from Covid -19.

Before I share what I learned, let’s look at what other people have learned from various sources.

One person shared the following from a discussion when he was asked the question

  • That we probably aren’t ready for what’s coming.
  • We ravaged grocery stores and stacked 10 years of toilet paper in our homes; all while fast-food chains and coffee shops stay open.
  • People are treating this current pandemic as if it is the plague. They’re behaving as if it is the plague, they’re ravaging super-markets like it’s the apocalypse, and they’re showing signs of violence toward each other.

Another person posted on the same forum

  • A microscopic organism can create worldwide terror.
  • ‘United We Stand, Divided We Fall’- This is the first time in the history of mankind that these lines have proved to be worthless. Staying aloof is the best solution to fight this pandemic.
  • Saving Life sometimes is very easy- Just stay at home and you can save the precious life of a human being. You don’t need to fly to be a Superman or Wonder Woman.

I read a good article that had a list practical lessons on called LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CORONAVIRUS

  • Get the facts Uncle Joe does not know as much as the CDC when it comes to the Coronavirus and that is why it is important to get the facts from trusted sources. It is also important to teach our children how to conduct research on the internet from trusted sources. The local news and social media are not always telling you the truth but contain misinformation, politicized content, and scary data and this pandemic is a great opportunity to help your child get the real facts of why things are being done and where the real decisions are being made.
  • Good Hygiene  The CDC or WHO should not have to remind us to wash our hands, to wash our thumbs, or to use warm water, and always wash your hands after using the bathroom.
  • Realize and focus on the things you can control By focusing on what we can control we can alleviate anxiety for ourselves and our families and explaining why choices are being made for us can have a positive effect instead of creating more fear.
  • Remain calm If we remain calm in the midst of a crisis and use common sense we are modeling good practices for our children that can help them when they grow up. Practices like meditation, deep breathing or even dancing to your favorite musician help relieve stress.
  • To have compassion for others By understanding that everyone responds to stressful situations or emergencies differently we have an opportunity to show more compassion and empathy. By being of service to people who are unable to shop for themselves or perform simple tasks around the home we can bring them a greater sense of peace just know they are not alone and that someone cares.

What I learned from the Covid-19

  • You can’t trust the local TV news A friend posted a video on Facebook that confirmed that my local news was not reporting real news but most of it is scripted by a commons source. The local news networks repeat statements word for word. 
  • It is important to focus on helping others I found it more inspiring to focus on how I can be of service to others by volunteering at my local church giving food to families in need and offering to run errands for seniors in my local neighborhood than to focus on the possibility of getting sick or what rights or privileges I was being deprived of during the stay at home order.
  • To get updates on the virus and county ordinance from one source I was very pleased to find that a local county supervisor Lynn Compton would share daily posts of how many people had contracted the virus, how many were hospitalized, and what the plans were for reopening the local businesses. I also liked the way she provided links to the Governor’s updates. It really helped me realize that the virus was not going to have the impact on our society that was previously predicted.
  • I like to cook and eat at home I started cooking more regularly at home due to the stay at home order and I now actually look forward to cooking with my wife in the kitchen.
  • How to be more active on social media and meet people around the world. In the past month, I participated in two different challenges on Facebook that were focused on shifting your business model to be more virtual than physical that challenged me to take action and launch a coaching business. I met people from Spain, Africa, Australia, the UK, and each of my new friends inspired me to share my gifts with the world.

I would love to hear what you learned from the Covid19 pandemic, leave me a comment.

Until next time, Mike

May 18, 2020
by Mike Stewart
0 comments

Are We Being Fooled By Fake News? – 5 Ways to Verify Fake News

Are we being fooled by fake news?

Have you ever turned on the local news and heard about a story and share it on social media only to find out the news was fake?

Have you ever had a coworker share a story with you that really upset you only to find out the story was not true?

Some people will only listen to the news on television and some will only listen to the news on the radio but what is more troubling is most people never research to see if the story they heard is true, they talk about it with their friends and family as if it is true without verifying the story.

I was that person!

I used to be a victim of fake news daily when I used to travel from job to job repairing phone problems and as I traveled I would listen to the radio in my company truck. I would hear a story the host of the radio show I was listening at the time, sometimes it was a political issue and other times it was a conspiracy story but the problem was I would get so riled up about it I would come home and share the story with my wife without ever verifying the story was true.

I followed this routine for about a year before I learned something very powerful. The news we hear on the radio or watch on TV is only giving you enough facts to support their point of view and they never share the source where they got the story from.

I got upset when I learned the truth

Have you ever saw a story that was posted on your social media feed and shared it because it was information that everyone should know to protect themselves only to find out later when you checked on sites like Snopes.com

Image by andrewsbird from Pixabay

5 ways to verify if a news story is true

  1. Develop a critical mindset. Ask yourself, the following questions.  “Why has this story been written? Is it to persuade me of a certain viewpoint? Is it selling me a particular product? Or is it trying to get me to click through to another website?”
  2. Check the source. Is it from a well know agency or is it a post on someone’s blog? Does the article contain spelling errors?
  3. Examine the evidence. A credible news story will include facts, quotes from experts.
  4. Read beyond the headline. Read the whole story, many times writers and advertisers will post a fake news story just to route you to their website to sell you their product.
  5. Check your biases. Confirmation bias has people to put more stock in information that agrees with their beliefs and discount information that doesn’t. Read from sources from both sides.

Teach your children to follow the same guidelines and you can save them a lot of pain socially. I can remember when I was in school kids would spread rumors about other kids because they did not like them or to make themselves feel better. Always tell you, child, to talk directly to the person in question and ask them point-blank. If you are concerned about the person being mad you can ask the question in the following way. “What I am going to say may upset you but I heard a rumor about you and I wanted to confirm whether it was true or not.”

By teaching our children to communicate openly and with respect you will be equipping them to build solid relationships based on trust and not fake news.

Have a great week

May 8, 2020
by Mike Stewart
0 comments

To Mask Or Not To Mask That is The Question

To mask or not to mask is the question everybody is asking themselves.

If you are confused about whether to wear a mask when you go outside your home you are not alone.

Depending on which source of news you listen to you will hear different recommendations form both sides.

Personally I do wear a mask when I go out in public where there are other people around, like shopping at Trader Joes or picking up food at a restaurant. I mostly wear it to protect others from getting the virus if I happen to be Asymptomatic and maybe a carrier of the virus. I also believe that Covid-19 is no different from any other flu or virus our society has been exposed to my past 57 years of life on this earth.

In 2010 both my wife and I were victims fo the H1N1 flu. We were out of commission for two weeks and my wife came down with pneumonia which forced us to go to the emergency room where they administered an antibiotic and a breathing treatment and sent us home.

Why are so many people affected by the flu and viruses?

I believe that many Americans are very susceptible to viruses and Covid-19 is die the SAD. The Standard American Diet.

Wikipedia describes this diet:

The Western pattern diet (WPD) or standard American diet (SAD) is a modern dietary pattern that is generally characterized by high intakes of red meat, processed meat, pre-packaged foods, butter, candy and sweets, fried foods, high-fat dairy products, eggs, refined grains, potatoes, corn (and high-fructose corn syrup)

Photo by https://www.forksoverknives.com
Photo from http://forksoverknives.com

Studies have shown that most people who follow this diet are more prone to catch colds and be at a higher risk of heart disease and cancer. If you would like to read some success stories about people who shift from the standard American diet to a more plant-based diet their website has plenty. Success Stories  

Now back to the subject of the article Should you wear a mask or not? While talking to most people I found that the mask gives them a greater sense of security that they are protected and if that helps them sleep a little better at night I am ok with that. I will continue to wear a mask when out in stores and I will respect those people who choose not to wear a mask.

Two questions to ask yourself about your immune system?

If I get the latest bug going around what changes do I need to make to prevent myself from being infected in the future?

How can I educate myself about alternative health practices to improve my immune system?   Dr. Mercola and The Truth About Cancer

Until next time.

Please leave a comment, I would love to hear your thoughts about wearing a mask.

April 29, 2020
by Mike Stewart
0 comments

What We Teach Our Kids About Money Today Impacts Their Future

What we teach our kids about money today will have a huge impact on their future.

Did your parents teach you about money? Did they teach you how to balance a checkbook, or how to budget?

I don’t remember my mom spending time teaching me how to save, budget, or manage my money but I do recall my mom saying things like “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

In the past, I have had an up and down relationship with money due to the beliefs I adopted from my mom who was a single mom working full time raising myself and my two sisters. I am very grateful for the sacrifices my mom made to provide a stable home filled with love and acceptance. I firmly believe If I learned about money at a young age I might have made better decisions on how I invested and spent my money.

I was taught from a young age that I would need to work hard to earn money and when I did have it I must be careful or I might lose it. I was also taught that the only way to earn a good wage was to graduate high school, go to college, learn a trade, work for a company for forty years, and then you can retire with a pension.

Some men my age their parents taught them how to save and invest as soon as they were able to understand it and they are financially well off today. Other people, I know their parents established a checking or savings account in their name at the age of thirteen and taught hem how to manage their money.

I don’t blame my mom for not taking the time to teach me about money because she was only teaching me what her parents taught her. It is imperative today we learn how to improve our financial knowledge, our beliefs, and habits of how we view money so we can instill in our kids’ positive beliefs to create a bright financial future as adults.

I am taking a course called The Money Magic Course and it was by doing the exercises in the course I discovered many false beliefs I had about money. It was such a powerful revelation that I could clearly see how those beliefs I picked up as a child affected me the past 5o years. One of the most powerful tools that changed how I viewed money and my relationship was a book called Overcoming Unearning by Barbara Stanny. 

It’s not too late to retrain yourself and reprogram your beliefs about money and create a prosperous future for yourself and your children.

If you want to set your children up for financial success teach them about money as early as possible. I heard about a man last week whose grandmother taught him about buying stocks at 7 years old. His grandmother took him to McDonald’s to get a snack. It was there she taught him what each job in the restaurant entailed worked starting with the workers, the manager, and the owner. She then told her grandson that she would give him a dollar if he would approach the manager and ask him if McDonald’s was a publically traded company. Her grandson approached the manager and asked “excuse me sir is McDonald’s a publicly-traded company?. The manager replied “Yes McDonald’s is a publicly-traded company. He soon left the restaurant with his grandmother and then went home and she bought him some shares of McDonald’s stock.

As a man now he started teaching his sons about investing and how to pick good stocks during this crisis and one of his boys replied toilet paper would be a good stock to buy and he asked his son why do think that is a good buy? His son replied because all the toilet paper is disappearing from the grocery store shelves.

It is never too young to teach our children about saving and spending their money wisely. If your child struggles with completing his chores you may want to offer to pay him a quarter for each chore he completes each week and when it comes time to spend his money show him how to comparison shop to allow him t get the best value for his money.

Another opportunity to teach your child is to take them grocery shopping with you, give them a calculator, have them track how much your bill will be when its time to check out and have them count the change the clerk gives you.

Be as creative as you like because the more they know about money now will help them to respect and manage it wisely when they are adults.

Five ways to change how you relate to money and earn it 

  1. The first way to gain control of your money is to create a budget for your household and track your income and expenses. You can find some free budgeting tools at DaveRamse.com How to make a monthly budget.
  2. Stop or avoid borrowing money using credit cards or financing appliances or furniture purchases. It is better to save money and pay cash.
  3. If you find yourself consistently overspending if you mostly use your debit card you can use an envelope system and pay cash. You can learn about using an envelope system by going here
  4. Meet with your spouse and your kids and set some financial goals individually and as a family. 4 ways to reach your financial goals
  5. Make time to envision your financial goals as if you already achieved them. Learn how envisioning your goals can help you achieve them faster.

I would love to get your feedback if you applied any of these tips if you would share your results with us.

April 22, 2020
by Mike Stewart
0 comments

Could You Use a Miracle Right Now?

Could you use a miracle right now during this pandemic?

If you’re tired of all the negative news and the possibility that you and your family may be asked to stay at home for another month I may have a solution for you.

I know that many of you are frustrated by the circumstances that we are facing right now with many people out of work and parents having to learn how to homeschool their children along with working from home.

Others have been forced to close their business and are deeply concerned with not having an income or possibly having to start from square one and create a new career.

I know how you feel, my business income has been impacted by the Covid-19 virus but I am fortunate that I am still able to work during the Stay at Home ordinance and so I wanted to share a tool with you that has really helped me make each day a miracle day.

In 2015 I stumbled upon a man named Hal Elrod who wrote a book called the Miracle Morning. In the book, Hal Elrod gives practical ways to develop a morning routine that inspires you to get out of bed each morning.

By having a morning routine you will be empowered throughout the day and the routine can take as little as 6 minutes. You can get the book on Amazon Here

After applying what Hal teaches to my morning routine It transformed changed hw I showed up all day long.

I thought I was doing well just by taking time to each morning to read my bible and pray but when I learned and applied the methods in the Miracle Morning my entire outlook for the day changed.

One of the most powerful exercises that impacted me was to read a statement in the book each night before I went to bed that went something like this “No matter what time I am going to sleep or what time I wake up the amount of sleep will not affect my outlook tomorrow. I will have all the energy I need to have a successful day”.

I’m paraphrasing the statement I read from memory but by inserting the belief into my subconscious that no matter how much sleep I get or how I feel I can live today with intention.

Before reading that statement each evening I would wake up the next morning with a sinus headache and that would set the tone for my day, and that would be the story I would tell people when they asked me how I was doing that day, I would reply “I’m ok now but this morning I woke up with a headache.”

The more I applied what I learned from the Miracle Morning I was no longer a victim of my circumstances. I stopped telling myself “if I didn’t sleep well or didn’t wake up feeling the greatest it was going to be a bad day. I learned how to create my day and be open to all the opportunities available to me.

If you are looking for a miracle to change the way you are handling this crisis this book may be the answer for you. Or maybe you’ve been looking for a reason t get up before anyone else in your household and have a powerful time of reflection and learn how to be more productive each day.

Whatever your reason you have you owe it to yourself to check out the book or his 30-day challenge to start creating your Miracle Morning right now. You can get more information including free resources at MiracleMorning.com/start-here/ I to guarantee you will not be disappointed.

If you found this resource to be valuable to you please leave me a comment or send me an email about your experience.

April 14, 2020
by Mike Stewart
0 comments

Men It is Time to Rise Up Pivot Your Focus and Follow Your Heart

Now is the time for men to pivot their focus and follow their hearts and take action.

If you have lost your job or have a business that has been impacted by the current crisis you are not alone and you don’t have to carry the burden all by yourself.

Now is the time to get really clear on the type of work you want to do and the difference you can make in your family and your community.

As men, we have been taught from a young age that it is our job to work and provide for our families and if we lose our job or fail in business our natural tendency is to tie our work to our self-worth.

I discovered this for myself In 2012. In 2010 my wife and I had a dream of opening up a Wellness center, rented office space in our local community and began offering weight loss and health coaching, invested all of our retirement money trying to make it work only to be forced to close the doors on August 31st, 2012. I remember spending that entire day moving all of our equipment from our office to our townhouse garage, cleaning the office space and calling the landlord and leaving a message that went something like this “Hi this is Mike Stewart at Crossroads Wellness we currently rent from you and we have closed our business, the space is empty, we’ve cleaned the space and we would like to meet with you to give you the keys.” After leaving that message I was bombarded with so many fears of what our landlord would do because we still had 1 year left on our lease, they could take us to court and demand we pay them the remaining balance of the lease which would be approximately $27,000. I felt defeated, I reached the lowest point in my life.

Not knowing how we would pay the September rent on our townhouse or put food on the table in we went down to the Social Security office and applied for Food Stamps. I remember sitting with the clerk and filling out the paperwork with $10 in our bank account and 25 cents in my pocket praying “Please let them accept our application, we have nowhere else to go”  We were so grateful they accepted our application which gave us some security but we still needed to figure out how to pay our rent. I was fortunate our landlord agreed to allow me to pay part of the rent and make arrangements to pay the balance by selling equipment from our business.

For the next 3 months, I looked for work in applying for jobs and reaching out to all my old employers and daily waited patiently for an answer but my confidence was very low, I remember sitting on my couch hearing a voice say ” who would want to hire a failure like you?”  I was plagued by those negative thoughts every day until I was hired by my old boss on December 12th, 2012. This job was a new start for me but the negative self-talk did not stop, each project I worked on that negative voice plagued me and tried to zap my confidence and for a moment I would give in to it but I knew if I was going to make this new job work I had to combat these thoughts with my previous victories. I had to tell myself “you have 10 years of success doing this work and completed several projects and this project is no different.”

I share my story with you today because I know how you feel having been fired, your income is gone or you are struggling with thoughts of feeling like a failure. Don’t let those feelings identify you!  Let me explain. Just because you lost your job it doesn’t mean you are a failure, it is just what happened, it is our past conditioning I mentioned earlier that has us feel less than whole because we are not working.

You need to realize You are in control of your future no one else! It is time to learn how to take back your life by spending some alone time and determining what is important to you what lights you up and make a commitment to yourself to never give up on your dream.

.It is time for men to rise up and take control of our thoughts, our destiny and never give up on our dreams to be leaders in our work, our families, and our communities.

I am committed to helping men regain their confidence and create new ways to build a prosperous future that will fulfill a need in our society and provide a lasting legacy for years to come.

Leave me a comment on how I can support you at staying focused on achieving your dreams, goals and discovering your passion and purpose for your life.

March 20, 2020
by Mike Stewart
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How You Can Help Your Community During This Crisis

Have you been wondering how you can help your community during this crisis caused by the Coronavirus?

This past week has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Starting Tuesday of last week both my wife and I came down with colds and we became quite fearful that our symptoms could get worse but our fears were relieved a couple of days later as our symptoms subsided and it turned out to only be colds.

As I was filled with relief I began to shift my focus to those who have been diagnosed with the virus and those who are more susceptible to the virus such as the elderly, those in poor health and those living in fear of contracting the virus. I immediately began to pray for each one of them and sent them thoughts of health and healing.

Later in the week, I began to read about many of my neighbors who are elderly were instructed to stay at home but they still had need of groceries and errands to run but due to the announcements made by the governor and for safety sake they were homebound. This news lead me to begin to think of practical ways I could help my neighbors and I decided to help by volunteering my time at the local Food Bank and also joined Facebook groups that help organize other people who have the same needs.

Together we can build a strong community of support for one another.

Another way to help is to shift their focus from disease to health and the health of those around them. Not just physical health but mental health and one way you can do this is to shift a person’s mindset to focus on happy things instead of sad.

This reminded me of the Disney movie Pollyanna. Pollyanna is an orphaned girl who is sent to live with her Aunt Polly in a small town of Harrington and the aunt is the richest person in town and because she is the richest in town she owns most of the businesses in the town and Aunt Polly even decided the topics of the sermons the local minister preaches on Sunday morning.

But the most powerful thing about the film is that Pollyanna is able to transform the town by teaching each person how to play the Glad Game and through the Glad Game she helps them shift their focus to the happy things in life and they let go of all the anger and resentment of the past. By the end of the film, the whole town falls in love with Pollyanna and each person begins to stand up to Aunt Polly in respectful ways and her love even softens Aunt Polly’s heart.

If you want to hear Pollyanna explain how the game is played you can watch it at The Glad Game.

During this crisis, I encourage you to take care of yourself mentally and physically and if possible help those struggling in fear and worry by teaching them Glad Game and help them when the need arises.

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