Family Health By Design

Empowering families be to live life with passion and purpose

April 26, 2021
by Mike Stewart

MKE – The Adventure of a Lifetime

Beginning in September 2015 I choose to participate in the Master Key MKMMA six-month course.

This course has the most impactful personal development work I have ever done because it gave me the tools to gain control of my thoughts and become a conscious observer of my thought, feelings, and habits.

Another valuable tool I learned through the Master Key Experience course is that my life today is the direct result of all my past experiences and the beauty of knowing that is I now have the power to look back and view those past experiences in detail without shame or embarrassment.

You don’t know what a great blessing that was to me. In 2015 before I found this course I was trapped in a world of the constant shame of losing my health and wellness business and all of our life savings. For three years every day, I was haunted by the loss of $250,000 and viewed myself and my life as a failure.

I was constantly looking for the answers to my problems outside of myself to help me get out of this trap. I went through hundreds of programs read many personal development books and attended many courses all with the hope of fixing my broken life and regaining confidence in myself. The reason I never could help myself at the end of each program one that the instructors told me what to do think but never how to use my mind to help myself or how to become a self-directed thinker.

Through this course, I now have the ability to create the life I want, take full responsibility for where it is my life is today and stop blaming others for my broken life. Master Key Course gave me the tools and taught me how my mind works and the answers I had been searching for were inside myself, that the world within creates the world without.

February 20, 2021
by Mike Stewart

Why Your Failed Marriage May Not Be Your Fault

Are you someone who has gone through a painful divorce? Maybe you have been through more than one divorce and feel like a failure because you and your beautiful bride couldn’t make your marriage work.

You may feel that you did everything you could to make things work only to have your love for one another fade and one or both of you call it quits.

You may have been married and raised children together and now you find yourself separated from both your wife and your children and you feel like a future happy marriage is not possible for you.

If you find yourself listed in one of the above categories you are not alone. 50% of all marriages end in divorce and the most commonly reported major contributors to divorce were lack of commitment, infidelity, and conflict or arguing. More participants blamed their partners than themselves for the divorce.

What is even more astonishing is that the real cause of your divorce is not you or your spouse’s fault.

Now I’m not talking about situations where you or your spouse made the choice to have an affair, If you had an affair your spouse has every right to make the decision to end your marriage because you broke your wedding vows.

I am talking about two people who still deeply love each other, have said hurtful things to one another, don’t know how to share their true feelings for one another, and believe it is impossible to ever recapture the love they so powerfully vowed to have for one another on their wedding day until death parts them.

It’s not your fault you were never taught the skills to communicate in a way that displays and nurtures love and respect for each other. The only skills and examples we were given were the ones that were modeled to us by our parents. It’s not your fault you were taught how to read write, spell, arithmetic, and learn history in school but were never taught how to communicate effectively. It’s not your fault your parents were not taught communication and relationship skills by their parents.

This subject matter never crossed my mind until I experienced it for myself. My wife and I had been married for over twenty years and we still loved each other very much but we both felt like we were relating to one another more like roommates than a married couple. I remember my wife Valerie telling me how she felt one night as we were getting ready to go to bed that evening.

We were in the bathroom brushing our teeth and she turned to me and said I feel more like your roommate than your wife, we don’t do the things we used to do like cuddle together, go on dates, we don’t connect like we used to. My immediate response was I felt frustrated and caught off guard, I wanted to avoid the topic altogether because I did not know how to talk about how I felt or change our situation.

After a lot of prayers, I began to search for some answers, and what I discovered surprised me. A friend of mine invited me to an introduction to learn about a weekend seminar that really made a difference in her life. I attended the event and when I heard the results the speaker shared of people who had attended I was intrigued me and I told my wife about what I learned. We both attended the next introduction Hosted by the same friend and signed up for the next event in February hosted in San Jose called the Landmark Forum. By the end of the five-day seminar, we not only discovered some really cool tools to help communicate powerfully, but we also learned how the beliefs and patterns of communication that we adopted from our parents were some of the reasons we did not know how to talk about our feelings and listen to what was been said with judgment or a prepared rebuttal.

Our marriage relationship did not change overnight it took practice and time to break the old habits of hiding, defending, and blaming in order to create a foundation of love and respect. I feel closer to my wife today because we applied these practices to our relationship and I would like to share them with you.

The practices we used to open up new ways to communicate.

  1. Choose to forgive yourself for relating to your spouse in a way that was modeled for you. You are only able to relate to your spouse given the skills that were taught to you knowingly or unknowingly by your parents.
  2. Live a life of integrity. Do what you say you are going to do. When you can’t keep your word notify your spouse as soon as you can. If you say you will be home by 6 pm, be home by 6 pm or call and give them the new time you will be home.
  3. What stories have you created about your spouse, other people and, continue to collect evidence around that cause you to withdraw? Choose to share with your spouse any or a person the negative thoughts or beliefs you have toward them right away don’t live in your head. Reaffirm your intention for your relationship.
  4. Share with your spouse that you love them every day just the way they are and show it in practical ways. If you are making breakfast or a cup of coffee ask your spouse if they would like something.
  5. Remember for things to change you have to change, by changing your actions your spouse will react differently also. Take personal responsibility for you and your progress and encourage your spouse to do the same. Don’t pressure on another but respectfully encourage each other, we each have our own baggage due to the challenges we have experienced, overcome, or are still processing.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what I shared by leaving a comment I what your experience is in your relationship or you can connect with me through my website

February 10, 2021
by Mike Stewart

Why Married Couples Lose The Magic In Their Marriage

Last month I gave couples some simple ways to keep the magic alive in their marriage. This week I thought I would breakdown for couples the process that causes the magic to erode and how to keep it from happening in the first place.

In my experience, the process starts with some very innocent habits that we begin to notice about our spouse that annoy us. We talk to our spouse about the habits that bother us but after two or three times we stop saying anything to our spouse but we complain to our guy or girlfriends about their bad habits all the time. We don’t offer a solution or come to a different agreement that would appease both parties.

Some people tell me every that couple argues about each other bad habits and they don’t see a problem with that, it becomes a problem when we do it over and over again the whole process becomes automatic. We come home complaining about the issue to our spouse and because our spouse has heard the complaint many times before they respond in the usual way and immediately there is tension between you and the process was completed all on automatic pilot. I call it the Negative Progression Syndrome

I found a solution to our problem

In 2014 I attended a seminar that caused me to see the Negative Progression Syndrome process broken down into phases and when I saw how destructive it was at destroying the love and respect I committed to having for my wife on the day we were married I quickly realized we had to create alarms or signals that would alert us that we were on the Negative Progression Syndrome again. Looking back on my relationship with my wife of 32 years and seeing how many times we experienced NPS was mind-blowing.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels
Example of how to address a bad habit your husband has of leaving his dirty underwear on the bathroom floor. 

There was a time when I forgot to pick my dirty underwear up off the bathroom floor and put them in the hamper after I took a shower in the morning. That night when I arrived home from work my wife asked me if I could remember to pick up my underwear after I take a shower.  She suggested If I needed a reminder to put a note on the bathroom mirror and you know what it worked. She did not complain about it to me in front of my friends or complain to her girlfriends, she just addressed the issue respectively without a lot of drama. This is a simple example but if you apply the principle to your situation it can really save you a lot of time and stress in your relationship.

Remember Communication is the key to a long-lasting relationship and empowers you to keep the magic alive in your marriage.

What is a complaint that you have about your partner that you have experienced NPS? I would be happy to help guide you to a solution.

Woman giving flowers

December 14, 2020
by Mike Stewart

Kindness Makes The World A Better Place

Have you ever asked yourself how you could make the world a better place?

When was the last time you expressed kindness to another person or performed random acts of kindness?

With all the turmoil in our world today I began to ask myself the same questions and what I found is that 99.5 percent of the time I am solely focused on what I need to do to be my best self each day and accomplish the tasks I assign myself each day. What I noticed is when I get caught up in my own little world my flow of creativity shuts down and the flow of giving and receiving fades away. In contrast, when I am focused on giving value to each person I meet I feel alive and the flow of giving and receiving is magical.

When was the last time you felt like you made another person’s day? Maybe you bought the person’s coffee in the car behind you while going through the local Starbucks drive-thru. Swept up your neighbor’s leaves. I find doing random acts of kindness is fun and exciting and the more you practice doing kind acts it becomes a natural habit and it creates a cycle of both giving and receiving and everyone is blessed.

Fruits of the Spirit
Image by bknis from Pixabay

I was very privileged to attend a Kindness Summit in October and join a group of people that host monthly meetings challenging its members to be kind to the people they run into while going about their day and blessing them in a practical way. I found a really simple way to be kind when I am out shopping. When I see a car that is trying to back out of a parking space I wait and let them have the right of way and let them back out safely.  I love helping peole in this simple way because I know how frustrated I get when I am trying to back out of a parking space and people walk directly behind my car totally ignoring my backup lights and my moving car.

There are many ways to be kind to someone. Another kindness practice I adopted is to give out ribbons that say “Who I Am Makes A Difference”  I bought 100 of these ribbons from a group called What I like about this project I get to nominate and acknowledge people for the wonderful work they do and what I found is that most people are very modest about their work

My challenge for the next week is to give out at least 3 ribbons a day and continue to look for other small ways I can help people get through this very trying time.

Leave a comment of some ways you will be kind to others this week.

Mom and child

November 29, 2020
by Mike Stewart

Family Health Starts With Mom and Dad- 5 Tiny Habits That Eliminated my Allergies

Family health is the responsibility of both parents, Mom and Dad and it is the foundation that has the potential to leave a legacy of disease or health and vitality.

As a kid who was born in 1962 our food system was not filled with as many food additives or chemicals as there are today and I believe that is why, my mom, and my two sisters, and myself were pretty healthy. But that isn’t the case with many families today that are eating the standard American diet. Many families today are facing health challenges like:

  • Allergies
  • IBS ( Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
  • ADHD Symptoms
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Auto-Immune Diseases

In 1980 at 18 years old I began to experience allergy symptoms when I was exposed to dust, pets, and trees. I decided to go to my doctor and get tested and I was blown away by what they found. If you have ever been tested for allergies you know that the way they test you is to put a grid on your back and prick your skin with a small dose of substances in each section of the grid and if there is a reaction that means you are allergic to that substance. The results the doctors gave me was a list of about 10 things I was allergic to. for example. I was allergic to trees, dust, and all pet dander.

I followed my doctor’s recommendation and started immunotherapy where I had to get injections each week to allow my body to build up immunities to the substances I was allergic to. This went on for a year with no changes, I still suffered from the same symptoms.

In 2008 I was on a 7-day cruise with my family and on the return trip home there was not much to do because you are on the ship for the rest of the trip home. One of the days my wife and I decided to attend a health talk where the speaker began to share that if you are currently experiencing things like obesity, high blood pressure, and poor health that the last ten years of your life can be very difficult and painful. This started me on my journey of examing what I eat on a daily basis and along with some valuable information my wife was learning at a local nutrition class and I was shocked at what I found.

The first thing we started doing was read the nutrition labels of the dry foods we eat on a regular basis. Foods like macaroni and cheese, crackers, potato chips. (most of these foods contain high amounts of preservatives, fat, and sodium.

The second thing we started looking at was the quality and the number of servings of fruits and vegetables we were eating on a daily basis. We found that we ate about 1-2 servings a day of mostly non-organic and produce and many were canned or frozen. ( Daily recommendations are 3 cups for men and 2 1/2 cups for women). Source

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

The Third thing was to begin drinking half of our body weight in water. ( Water helps with weight loss, regular bowel movements, mental clarity, and healthy skin).

The Fourth Thing we did was change where we ate when we ate out, we eliminated fast foods and ate at restaurants that cooked fresh foods in healthy ways. (many fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Wendys use a lot of preservatives and food additives). ( I noticed that every time I ate my favorite meal at Wendy’s I had a headache afterward and when I stopped eating there the headaches stopped).

The fifth thing we did was to buy organic produce whenever possible and avoid the dirty dozen. ( These are 12 food you need to pay the most attention to how it is grown and harvested. The details on each one are listed at The 2020 Dirty Dozen List  I included the list below.

The 2020 Dirty Dozen Foods List:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

In summary, After following these five steps for the past 12 years I was able to eliminate all of my allergy symptoms, lost over 50 pounds, created a habit of looking at my diet before I visit the doctor, and finding alternative ways to help my body heal. Many people have left their health in the hands of their physician but do not realize their doctor does not have any knowledge about good nutrition unless they live a healthy lifestyle themselves. My doctors only wanted to treat the symptoms with medication but never wanted to get to the roo of the problem

Make the commitment today to be 100% responsible for your health, look at the five things listed above before you seek treatment for minor ailments. If you have a serious health issue contact your doctor right away or go to the emergency room.

November 3, 2020
by Mike Stewart

Making Family Time A Priority Can Be A Challenge – 5 Ways to Make it Happen

Making family time a priority today can be a real challenge but with a little creativity, it is possible.

On Oct 16th I had the extreme pleasure to go on vacation with my lovely wife for one whole week in beautiful Lake Tahoe, CA. We have owned a timeshare in Lake Tahoe for over 3o years and we look forward to being able to get away for one week every other year and unplug from the hustle and bustle of life. What is so wonderful about this trip is we have no agenda with the exception of some of our favorite spots we love to visit.

One of my favorite spots to visit in the Lake Tahoe area is the Camp Richardson Nature Center and what makes this place so special is that is causes you to slow down, look and listen to the sights and sound of nature. One-stop on the trail has you sit on a bench and listen to how the wind blows across the grass and the sound it makes and during that time when I am still I can hear several different creatures around me moving in the bushes and the water. Creatures like ducks, lizards, and birds, one time we even saw a bald eagle but what makes this experience even more special is that I get to be in this beautiful place with the love of my life Valerie. The feelings, sounds, and sights stay with me long after vacation because I can recall the memory at any time and be right back on that bench hearing the wind and other sounds.

Courtesy of

These are the memories I will never forget. I can still remember being in Carmel, CA with Valerie 32 years ago walking down Ocean Avenue and turning into a little alleyway where we stopped in at least 5 different shops to look and their creations and recall the scarf with the Stewart tartan Valerie gave me as a gift from the Scottish shop or the smell of the coffee walking by the Carmel Valley Coffe Roasting shop.

Photo courtesy of USDA Foerest Service

Five of the ways to make Family Time a priority

  1. Add family events to the monthly calendar first and work all other things around them.
  2. Revisit places you went when you were dating.
  3. Get the kids involved by allowing them to make some suggestions.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask if you need help to make it happen.
  5. Take photos of each trip and create a photo album.

Life is too short so be sure to make time to unplug as a family or as a couple, you won’t regret it.

October 13, 2020
by Mike Stewart

Happiness Is An Inside Job – You Have the Power To Make Yourself Happy

Happiness is an inside job, it is not a fleeting feeling it is created by our own thoughts.

Have you ever said to yourself I’ll be happy when we get our new car or I’ll be happy when I get that promotion? Many people make their happiness dependable on an outside source and don’t realize that happiness starts on the inside, it starts with what we think about.

Some people postpone their happiness all their life just waiting for that one thing instead of taking the time each day to really think about what makes them happy and focus on those things each day.

What if you could wake up each morning, be grateful for all the good things in your life, and be open to all the other blessings that await you that day? What would that feel like? How would that shift your focus from all the outside temporal things you believe would make you happy to living in a constant state of happiness and gratitude all the time.

I know what you are thinking, how is that possible? Can it be that I have the power within my own mind to make myself happy, it’s true you do have that power, you were just never taught how to access it until now.

There is a simple formula I learned years ago but never applied until a couple of years ago where you write down the things you want to attract in your life on a 3X5 index card. The income you want to have, the car you want to drive, the dream home, and even that special someone and you read that card each morning and each evening with feeling and imagination as Earl Nightingale explains in the audio The Strangest Secret In The World and you can listen to the message on Youtube here.

I have been following this formula for over five years now and it has changed the way I view life, I am happier than I have ever been. All it took was a little extra time out of my day in the morning and in the evening, and by applying this formula I created a new habit of generating my own happiness. Think about that for a moment millions of people every day are waiting for something to make them happy and they have everything they need to make it happen within their own mind.

Are you ready to be happy? Are you willing to put in the work to change your life, exchange old habits that don’t serve you for habits that empower you to pursue a life of purpose? You won’t regret it, you are worth it, you deserve to be happy and use your gifts to make others happy. There is a quote by Zig Ziglar that says “You can have everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want”. I live by that motto every day.

Listen to the Strangest Secret, follow the formula and come back and leave me a comment.

Remember you have the power and it has been inside you all along.

September 18, 2020
by Mike Stewart

Why Can’t We Discuss Our Differences Instead of Arguing? 5 Ways to Talk About Issues With Respect and Compassion

Why can’t we discuss our differences instead of arguing? Why can’t we discuss difficult issues with respect and compassion?

I had a very interesting experience last week when I attempted to post a link to an article on Facebook written by Ty and Charlene Bollinger. The article shared CDC Admits to Inflating COVID Death Count with the intention to share the article with my Facebook friends but I received the response in the photo below and my post was blocked by Facebook’s software. That is a subject for another article.

The real interesting thing happened when I posted a photo of the article instead. My friends began to make comments like “that is fake news” and “You are misinformed” but not one person asked the question “Why do you believe that?” There was no dialogue about the facts or an attempt to understand each other’s position and that is plaguing our entire nation. Why can’t we be open to hearing another person’s experience or opinion when it differs from our own?

We must learn how to discuss our differences and also teach our children to do the same. We all believe what we believe based on our experience and our source of news but what if we had the tools to ask compelling questions with the intention to learn from one another.

Five Ways to Talk About Issues with Respect and Compassion

  1. Listen with the intention to understand.
  2. Ask compelling questions to understand more about them and their experience.
  3. Be self-aware of what triggers you and why.
  4. Focus on solutions and how to solve the problem together
  5. If you can’t agree, agree to disagree and move on.

By practicing the five ways listed above you can become part of the solution instead of part of the problem. You can be part of a generation of world changers that are not threatened by opposing views or beliefs but welcome them. You can be an example to your children and equip them with the knowledge they need to become a powerful communicator at a time it is most needed.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I would love to hear about your experiences on this topic.


August 21, 2020
by Mike Stewart

When Life Knocks You Off Track How Do You Recover? – Five Ways to Get Back on Track

When life knocks you off track how do you recover?

Have you ever like you were in a really great place in your life where everything seemed to be working for you and all of a sudden you’re hit upside the head and find yourself on the side of the road of life dazed and confused? Maybe you experienced a health challenge or a job loss, maybe you received some bad news but all of us experience it at different times in our life. How do you handle it? How do you pick yourself back up and dust yourself off and keep going? Some people seem to never recover, some people drown their sorrows in alcohol and drugs, and some overeat.

In March we are put on lockdown and told to stay indoors, and this week even though we have the ability to go outdoors we are hit with fires that make it dangerous to go outdoors. It reminds me of Roseanne Roseannadanna of Saturday Night Live would say “It just goes to show you it’s always something if it’s not one thing it’s another”. The real question is what do you do to get back on track?

Five ways to recover when life knocks you off track

  1. Continue to remind yourself of what you want your life to be. Write on paper exactly how you want your life to be in present tense and feel what it’s like to have it and read it 3 times a day out loud. Our unconscious mind has no defense against your own voice.
  2. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and challenge you to always go to the next level. To be the best you. They say you live your life based on the lives of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
  3. Find ways to give and help others who are struggling with your time or money. you can volunteer at a homeless shelter or a food distribution program. By helping others you are helping yourself.
  4. Talk to a friend about what you’re going through, don’t isolate yourself from your friends and family, if you keep all this stuff in your head you are sabotaging the possibility of finding that great opportunity you have been praying for.
  5. Exercise, by exercise you can improve your mood and get many other benefits like. Release feel-good hormones: Exercise releases endorphins, hormones that improve your mood and contribute to a positive sense of well-being. Endorphins even help relieve pain, which often accompanies depression. [Modulates important neurotransmitters: Depression diminishes the neurotransmitters associated with mood and stress response (serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine). Exercise increases the availability of these essential neurotransmitters, which may restore healthy brain function and help you feel better. Boost your self-esteem: Depression contributes to negative thoughts and feelings of low self-worth. However, exercise has been shown to enhance self-efficacy — your belief in yourself and your abilities.
  6. It’s relaxing: Raising your core body temperature through exercise may reduce muscular tension and make you feel relaxed, which alleviates symptoms of anxiety and stress.

I actively practice these five tips and it always helps me get back on track and feeling better about myself and life in general.

Leave a comment on the ways you get back on track.

Have a great week!

July 17, 2020
by Mike Stewart

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!

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