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And such was the case with me..
Following a traumatic childhood Michael ventured out on his own with many personal issues relating to low self-esteem and a belief that he was unloveable and unworthy. He depended on others to give him the love he could not give to himself which resulted in co-dependent relationships and a constant feeling of being lost and confused. The pain became too much which led him to therapy and workshops where he started to put the pieces of the puzzle together regarding why things were going so wrong in his personal life.
Utilizing many of what he refers to as the "tools for self-discovery" he began to rebuild and reshape his unhealthy beliefs into more positive and productive beliefs. The person he saw in the mirror no longer was so unworthy. With a greater sense of self-esteem, he found greater levels of happiness in his life. However, something within wanted more, an understanding of what life was all about. In his early thirties, despite being successful in his job, he decided to leave his “success” in Corporate America in further search of himself and to find new meaning in his life. When asked why he was leaving his job, he said to his manager, "As crazy as it sounds, I am going to find the meaning of life."
Being open to new experiences, his journey included backpacking across the globe, volunteering in numerous capacities related to understanding death and dying, studying numerous religions, listening to other's stories, and hours of contemplation about what this all meant. It was in effect, a modern day vision quest, becoming exposed to concepts, ideas, rituals and people that helped him form deeper values and beliefs. The journey led him to experience some of the stark contrasts life offers, from beautiful sites and natural wonders, to disease, famine and starvation. In each case, he discovered ways to make connections and volunteer with the local communities which enabled him to learn their amazing stories of trials and tribulations.
The essence of his journeys is captured well in Michael Crichton's book, "Travels", where he stated:
"Often I feel I go to some distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am."
He returned to find that although the world had not changed, he did, thereby giving greater meaning and perspective to the diversity of life around him, and to the value of his own life. He then married, raised 3 children and continues his career. It was not an easy transition. He adjusted and has since been recognized for many outstanding achievements during his career as an educator and leader. He has published numerous articles in his field, and has spoken at national conferences. Although life continues to have its trials and tribulations, what is different now is a deeper understanding of himself and of life itself, greater levels of gratitude and compassion for others.
His quest has been and continues to be to gain a greater understanding of the self-discovery process, applying these "tools" and methods first to himself, and now sharing his stories and experiences as a source of inspiration and direction for others on the path. Whether it is for personal growth, to increase their awareness to aspects of themselves that are based on unhealthy beliefs, or for self-discovery, to ultimately find new meaning in their life and discover their full potential, Michael offers insight from a user's perspective to help others on their life's journey.
International Travel & Volunteer Efforts: China, Russia, Poland, Norway, Czech Republic, Egypt, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, & Swaziland and Europe
Volunteer & Community Involvement: Certified Foster Parent, Open Door Mission (homeless shelter), Fund Raiser & Instructor for Junior Achievement, Hospice Care for the Terminally Ill, Literacy Volunteer (English as Second Language certified), Volunteer Ambulance (Emergency Medical Technician), Camp Good Days & Special Times (oncology camp for children).
Throughout your life, there is a voice only you can hear. A voice which mythologists label "the call." A call to the value of your life. The choice of risk and individual bliss over the known and secure. You may choose not to hear your spirit. You may prefer to build a life within the compound, to avoid risk. It is possible to find happiness within a familiar box, a life of comfort and control. Or, you may choose to be open to new experiences, to leave the limits of your conditioning, to hear the call. Then you must act. If you never hear it perhaps nothing is lost. If you hear it and ignore it, your life is lost.
AN INSPIRATIONAL GUIDE to personal growth & SELF-DISCOVERY
By michael james, Published by balboa press - a division of hay house, March 25, 2014
“The benefit of personal growth and self-discovery is that we become better human beings with the strength to endure and carry on, and then we may experience something magical when we begin to reach out to others. We discover a feeling that is so rewarding and fulfilling: that fact that we can make a difference. Here is to your willingness to begin with making a difference with yourself!" Michael James