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 unlovable 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.
Utilizing what he refers to as "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. When asked why he was leaving his job, he said to his boss, "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.
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 continued 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 life, and sharing his stories, experiences and learnings as a source of inspiration and direction for others on the path. Whether it is to overcome past emotional trauma, increase self-awareness, understand unhealthy patterns & beliefs, or 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.
- Children's Oncology Camp - Camp Good Days & Special Times
- Certified Foster Parent - Respite Care
- Fund Raiser & Instructor - Junior Achievement
- Hospice Care - Teresa House
- Homeless Shelter - Open Door Mission
- Literacy Volunteer (English as Second Language)
- Emergency Medical Technician - Volunteer Ambulance
- Volunteer Puppy Raiser - Guide Dogs of America
International Travel & Volunteer Efforts
- Czech Republic
- South Africa