Thriving in the Eye of the Hurricane: Early Inspirations

What has come together with the finishing of my new book, Thriving in the Eye of the Hurricane? 

            This is a very special time to be with you today because i feel like i’ve reached an accumulation of a lot of things in my whole life that have come together. With the finishing of my new book, Thriving in the Eye of the Hurricane, I want to thank all of you who have been listening to my blogs and have written to me, giving me your input about the book. I also want to thank many of the people who helped me evolve and transform that has led to the culmination of my life’s work in this book.

            My journey started many years ago as a young boy. i had an Aunt Millie who was a Catholic nun and was a very extraordinary spiritual person.  She wasn’t just a religious person. She was a truly spiritual person who we thought of as a Mother Teresa of her time in Central America. She had a big influence on everybody in our family but i was fortunate that she invited me to be an exchange student in Guatemala and so i got to hang out with her quite a bit in her element.  That country at the time was in a state of war and intense poverty. There were lots of social challenges going on and as I had grown up in little white Newport Minnesota , middle America on the farm, I was very naive about the world and so for me it was quite a quite an extraordinary adventure. I traveled by train all the way to Guatemala with my friend Tim to spend the summer traveling with my aunt and lots of other nuns and priests. During that time it opened my eyes up that there’s a world beyond my little personal reality i grew up in and seeing how other people think and live life in a very different way than I did. I began to appreciate the differences even though i went through culture shock in the beginning.

image of man on mountain for Thriving in the Eye of The Hurricane: Creative insight, transformation, and change is within.


My personal turning point

            That time was a turning point for me because seeing the work that my aunt and some of these other people were doing with the poor, the politically oppressed, people who’ve been victims of torture and murder, whose villages were destroyed, inspired me to want to help people. I wanted to alleviate suffering in the world and so that began my quest for following that course rather than going my father’s business which everyone else in my family had done for generations. I went into the seminary after high school and was influenced by my prefect Father Tom Peyton, was one of Martin Luther King’s best friends. It really helped me see the plight of the African-American in our country which broadened my world again. There were many other inspirational teachers at the seminary but I realized fairly soon that being a priest wasn’t my calling.

            I still knew i wanted to help people and alleviate suffering so i went back to college at St. John’s University and majored in psychology. Eventually I decided to become a clinical psychologist and thus that began my career in the field of psychology. There were many people along the way who were pivotal in helping me see that the real way to help people was not by fixing their problems and their issues, but by waking up their connection to what we call Mind to the connection to that deeper core called the true self, true essence of who we are.  These therapists didn’t really understand what Sydney Banks understood but they were people who had an inkling— they knew there was something more to psychology than just thought and behavior. They knew there was a spiritual essence to human beings, an invisible presence that created our life experience.

             I was on a journey of searching and discovering during my twenties and met many heroes in the field of psychology— Virginia Satir was one of my teachers a very famous family therapist, Milton Erickson the famous psychotherapist, Carl Whitaker one of the pioneers in family therapy. All of these people got me in the ballpark of seeing something bigger than traditional psychology but i knew there was something missing. I was burned out and Ihadn’t found what i was looking for.

The influence of Sydney Banks

            Then I met Sydney Banks and had the opportunity to attend a seminar by him in 1980. Even though he exploded all my theories of psychology and everything I thought I knew up to that point in time that I had so meticulously put together, I knew he was right. It was a paradigm shift from all my intellectual constructs about helping people. It was what I had been looking for.

            As i reflect on it Syd was of all the great teachers I had, he had by far, the biggest impact on who I am as a person and as a therapist, teacher and a writer. His teaching and mentoring over the years had the most significant impact on my life. It was quite interesting that many years later my Aunt Milly who was quite elderly at the time was here visiting our family and coincidently, Syd Banks was speaking in town. They got to meet and she heard him speak and later got to meet individually. It was like two old souls meeting and they really connected.

             So that chance meeting of two of my major influences was the book ends of the beginning of my career. Since I met Syd and had my own paradigm shift, and the beginnings of my transformation. Since that time I started the mental health center  with Chris Heath and we helped thousands of people with mental health issues and addictions and began to expand what we were doing into school systems, businesses and hospitals.

            Over the course of the last three or four decades i’ve witnessed numerous transformations of organizations, of individuals, of communities, of populations of people with certain issues or disorders. This book, Thriving in the Eye of the Hurricane which is a book for its time given that we’re in with the pandemic, the social unrest, the division, the challenges we face with climate change, etc., we need to find that Essence ,that eye of the hurricane within us. This book is a compass to help us come back home to that eye of the hurricane, where our resilience, wisdom, hope and inspiration resides. This book will be an operator’s manual for the mind and how is it that we can access that innate resilience. It will show us how our mind works that either impedes us from experiencing that moment to moment inner peace. It will show us how is it that we can use our mind as it was divinely designed for ongoing evolution, transformation, insight and creation.

            This book is about creating our own new reality using the power of mind and the power of thought and the power of consciousness to tap into this deep residue of resilience. It not only affects us personally, but it affects our marriages, us as parents, us as teachers, as helpers, as business leaders, as consultants, whatever your role is as we become wiser and more resilient. We’re more able to envision and create the new world so Thriving in the Eye of the Hurricane is a book for people personally, but it’s also a book that will share stories of how this has played out this understanding within places like the Mayo Clinic, North Memorial Hospital, University of Minnesota Medical School—Inner Life of Healers Program and many corporations around the world. School systems all over the planet who are using curriculums based on the three principles from kindergarten through college and many other applications. These stories will give images to the ideas, stories, pictures so that this understanding will come alive for you as you read the book.

             I’m extremely grateful to all the people who were so generous to volunteer to tell their stories for the book some which will end up in the book. The book will be out in September as planned and in the meantime I will be beginning to do podcasts on a regular basis that I will videotape and I will also have them available by zoom for those who want to participate. It will give people a preview of what this book will be about. I look forward to seeing you on my podcast and you can always reach me at if you have a question, comment, or in need of any of my services.

Thanks and have a great day