Father, husband, teacher,
coach, speaker, author
Although I did not know it at the time,
my desire for a deeper understanding
of human struggle and thriving began
growing up in a chaotic, alcoholic
Whether through genetics or due to my
early environment, I have what I would
call a "reactive nervous system." Feelings
show up quick and strong in response
to what is happening around me. As I got older, I struggled with to cope
and became quite the anxious perfectionist. My reactivity and my efforts to avoid uncomfortable feelings led to a lot of difficulty in my relationships.
Fortunately, I found some
wonderful teachers who taught
me how tocreate a more peaceful
relationship with my emotions. My love of neuroscience also opened up
pathways for insight into the biology behind our behavior and how we can successfully shift toward habits that support our goals and values.
After teaching human development, neuroscience, mindfulness, and physics in
independent schools for more than twenty years, I started Applied Attention. This work has allowed me to spend time with students, executives, educators, athletes, parents, and people from just about every walk of life.
I have learned that our capacity to
thrive and connect meaningfully with
others in the face of challenge is profound.
Unfortunately, our ability to whither and
to be unkind to ourselves even in
comfortable circumstances is equally
Be careful what you practice,
you are going to get better at it.
Awareness & acceptance of what is going on inside us creates the space and opportunity for choice.
We can live gently & joyfully in the midst of challenge. Really.
I am so excited and feel so fortunate to work with people on the life that they practice. Where we put our attention and energy has an incredibly powerful impact on the quality of our lives. We can learn to meet life with compassion and with the confidence that we have what we need to deal with whatever shows up - this is what I call a HEARTY approach to life. It is something that we are all capable of - it just takes practice.
This is not just theory or philosophy - this practice has helped me immensely through two bouts of leukemia. Challenging? Yes. Uncomfortable? Definitely. Unwanted? For sure. And yet, I would say going through all of it was one of the most positive experiences of my life. It helped me clarify and anchor my life in what matters most. It brought me into contact with some of the most dedicated and caring people I have ever met. I did not find having cancer pleasant at all - I did find it incredibly meaningful and inspiring for personal growth.
I love my work. However, the greatest joy of my life has
been being a parent and a partner. I was fortunate to
find someone who has consistently shown me what it
means to do the next right thing. I was doubly fortunate
that she has been willing to spend her life with me.
And, I have been blessed to raise two young men who are
kind, funny, thoughtful and creative. Watching them become
who they are has shown me a depth and range of emotions
that I did not know existed. Parenting has not always been easy (super big understatement!) or comfortable, but it is hard to imagine something more rewarding or filled with potential insight.
So, that's me I guess. I am grateful that I grew up in a challenging environment and that I have an anxious and reactive nervous system - I am even grateful to have had to deal with cancer. All of it has helped me to make the distinction between a pleasant, comfortable life and a HEARTY life of meaning, connection, and purpose.
Blessings for a HEARTY life!