Veterans Journey Home



"Veterans Journey Home"

Veterans Journey Home is a one-hour program for TV produced by Warrior Films and Frederick Marx that tells the story of the 1.7 million returning U.S. veterans and what it takes for them to successfully transition back into civilian life. Whether officially diagnosed with PTSD or not, most vets carry the psychic scars of “moral injury” and will carry the battle within long after the bullets stop flying.

Our special guest presenter at this Fall's Sacred Path Men's Retreat will be Frederick Marx who will explain the shocking statistics and real-life challenges faced by U.S. veterans returning from active duty.

Frederick's film poses the question: How can these returning veterans be “re-civilianized” through trainings that are as effective as the ones that first turned them into soldiers? And what might that do for the 250,000 now in prisons? The 500,000 who are homeless? The 350,000 who are unemployed? What about for the 22 who commit suicide every day?


"What I know is that we are our brother’s keepers, and none of us are going to get out of “this” unless all of us get out of “this” – and your film is all about that….taking the shadow off the shoulders of the soldier and bringing that shadow back into our communities and country where we can all hold it together, share the burden, and walk it into the light."
            — Barbara Whiteside Crary

This powerful film will show how these veterans can be healed and maybe even saved. Watch Frederick’s recent public talk here. Read his veterans blogs here.



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Click here to learn more about "Veterans Journey Home"

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Warrior Films
“Bearing Witness,
  Creating Change”

   Rakasu:  the boy formerly known as Frederick Marx

Rakasu: the boy formerly known as Frederick Marx

Frederick Marx / Warrior Films produces compelling documentary films about solutions to the world’s problems: Everyday people finding ways to overcome oppressive socio-economic barriers. Most known for HOOP DREAMS and transformational stories that transform lives. Though they specialize in stories of the poor, youth, people of color, the dispossessed . . . each story is issue specific. Warrior Films goes worldwide to tell the right story. Their last feature length film, JOURNEY FROM ZANSKAR is set in Zanskar, India. Their recent short film explains the necessity of providing healthy RITES OF PASSAGE for teens to attain mature adulthood. They will soon begin production on a film about returning US combat veterans getting the healing they deserve through VETERANS JOURNEY HOME. Changing the world . . . one story at a time.

  Frederick will be a special guest presenter at the MCLA Sacred Path Men's fall retreat on the mountain above Malibu Oct. 19-22. To learn more about Frederick and his work go to     To register for the fall men's retreat click here:   MCLA Fall Retreat Registration  .

Frederick will be a special guest presenter at the MCLA Sacred Path Men's fall retreat on the mountain above Malibu Oct. 19-22. To learn more about Frederick and his work go to   To register for the fall men's retreat click here: MCLA Fall Retreat Registration.

Rod Louden: Safe Parenting On & Off the Field





You're Safe: A Safe Parenting Approach
On & Off the Field

by Rod Louden, MA, MFT, BCPC

You’ve done your job.  You’re on second base.  As you slowly create distance between you and the base, anticipation starts to grow, hoping your teammate will be able to further advance you around the bases.  The pitcher starts his windup. 

As the ball leaves the mound, your focus intensifies.  Your heart starts beating faster. You hear the bat hit the ball and in a millisecond the ball rockets over your head.  You’re now running.  The third base coach is waving you on.  You have to trust your coach’s decision.  You round third, you see the pitcher running toward home plate as well, racing to get behind the catcher in case of an errant throw.  You look at your teammate behind the catcher telling you to slide. 

The catcher, his arm stretched out to the max, squats protecting his turf.  You adjust your course slightly to the right and lunge into a head-first slide.  You hit the ground. The impact causes dirt to fly into the air.  Like the catcher, your left arm can’t be extended any further.  You touch home plate.  You know the catcher tagged you.  But when?  Did you beat the throw?  You look up toward the home plate umpire. 

In what seems like an eternity, you listen and watch for his call. You know it’s going to be close.  And then you see his arms making the safe motion and hear that glorious word, “Safe!”  You hop up and high five teammates as you make your way to the dugout.  Life is good.  You feel great.  And then you hear it.

“Johnny!  Why didn’t you tag him faster?  You just let him score.  I’ve told you a thousand times that you have to protect the plate.  Are you stupid?” 

Johnny slowly lowers his head.  He felt he did everything right.  He did his best.  But, his dad is pissed off. While you are safe, Johnny is not.  He feels shamed.  He feels embarrassed.  He’s defeated.  He fears what his dad may say next.  What should be one of the safest places on Earth is not for Johnny.

All over our great land, scenes like this play out too often.  Sports are supposed to be fun.  Inherent in all sports is a danger of being injured.  But, this should be limited to the field, the court, the ice, etc.  Far too many of our youth are being hurt from the stands.

Children need three things to grow in to healthy, happy, and productive adults.  They need to feel loved, have structure, and feel safe.  If one or more of this essential building blocks is missing, the chances that child will struggle emotionally and behaviorally increase dramatically.  Upon reaching the teenage years, a teen may turn to drugs, alcohol, and other assorted rebellious behavior, as he or she searches for ways to escape the pain of feeling not good enough, a failure, and not having met the expectations of his or her parent(s).


All children need to feel loved, have structure,
and feel safe

As a psychotherapist practicing the art and science of Narrative Therapy, it is our relationship with our own problem(s) that is the problem.  As no one, no parent, is perfect, childhood is often a place where a lot of problematic relationships are formed.  Relationships with low self esteem, fear, depression, anxiety, and guilt, are often created in the developing mind. 

If these relationships continue to be “fed” by adults, these problems can grow and become monstrous.  Instead of a child blooming, a child will wilt. They will learn that being vulnerable, an essential component of creating deep, loving relationships, is bad and needs to be avoided.  Walls will be erected, defenses will go on full alert, and other problematic relationships, such as relationships with anger, shame, hypervigilance and hypersensitivity, just to name a few, may manifest.

One of the hallmarks of youth sports is that inherent in them are positive values and important life lessons.  There are so many teaching moments that arise on a daily basis. Lessons about winning, losing, sportsmanship, honor, integrity, loyalty, decency, fairness, empathy, sacrifice, respect, responsibility, and courage are just some of the many positive human values that are on the field for the taking.  This is why we, as a society, are so interested in sports at all levels and why many parents encourage their children to participate.

I was curious about the current state of mind in regard to kid’s and parent’s mindset in 2017.  So I sat down with Mike Barger, an accomplished athlete having played baseball in his youth, as well as in the army, where he also played football, and then played professional golf.  Mike has been umpiring baseball games, little league, high school, city leagues, charity events, and once umpired the USC /UCLA professional football player’s alumni baseball game, since the 1960’s.

ROD:  Mike, thanks for taking the time to meet with me.

MIKE: No problem. Happy to do so.

ROD:  You have been umpiring for a long time. I am curious, what has changed over the almost 60 years that you have been calling baseball games from behind home plate?

MIKE: Well, not that much. For the most part, parents, coaches, and players remain respectful. But, there are always those players, coaches, and parents that want to argue over balls and strikes. Recently, I had to call time in a game to call the coaches over to have a conference. I let them know that if anyone started to argue about a ball or strike call they would be gone. People can get very emotional. As a parent, coach, or player you want to make sure the you are modeling good sportsmanship.

ROD:  What do you think is the most important thing parents can do in regard to their children’s participation in sports?

MIKE: That’s easy. Encourage them, don’t belittle them. Children need the support of their parent(s). Children need to be cheered on and supported. Your child needs your support. It is not up to your child to support his or her parent(s). That only puts undue pressure on a child. The worst thing a parent can do is to put down his or her child; to make a child feel that he or she is not good enough, failing, or not living up to his or her potential in the eyes of the parent.

ROD:  Have you ever had to throw someone out of a game or out of the stands for being inappropriate?

MIKE: Yes. There have been times where someone comes unglued and I need to get them out of there. I remember one game where a father kept yelling from the stands. The last straw was when he yelled that I was intentionally helping the other team. My response was “you’re gone!” I can only imagine what must have been going on in his child’s mind.

ROD:  Besides encouraging a child, what else can a parent do to make the field a safe place for his or her child?

MIKE: Not all children are going to enjoy playing a sport. Don’t force your child to play a sport that he or she may not be interested in. Work to find out what your child is interested in. It may not be sports, but in doing so, you put yourself in the position of being able to encourage and support your child. Your child may be interested in music or science and have no interest in sports. Forcing your child to play a sport he or she has no interest in will only cause both you and your child a lot of stress and suffering.

ROD:  Thanks for your time Mike.

MIKE: You’re welcome.

Mike made an interesting point in that encouraging children is very important. Within the word encouragement is the word courage. Courage is a not the absence of fear. Courage is going forward to face a challenge even if one is fearful or anxious. Fear is just one of a number of states of mental energy. And, fear, in the right amount, can be used to power courage. Thus, part of encouraging children is to help them face fear or anxiety in order to be able to move forward and to challenge themselves free of the weight that fear and anxiety manifest. The worst thing a parent can do is feed a child’s fear or anxiety by talking down to a child or making him or her fear failing. Instead, talk to your child about how anxiety or fear may be pushing them around.

Ask your child this simple question, “What is fear telling you?” One of my favorite ideas about fear is that fear is a liar. Therefore, help your child see that he or she does not need to listen to fear; that he or she can turn, face fear with courage with you at his or her side, and evaporate it as he or she travels through it. A key is to make sure that your child feels safe enough to talk about what fear or anxiety is saying to him or her. Then you can become his or her ally against fear. Objectify the problematic relationship with fear and anxiety, not the child.

As I stated earlier, making a child feel safe is one of the three pillars of parenting. Children are naturally in a position of low to no power. Their lives are managed by adults in their lives. Parents, coaches, teachers, and other associated adults, are all in a position of power over children.

If parents engage in actions that builds trust, such as being empathetic, assessing without judging, and being patient, a child will feel safe on that foundation of that trust. Being on a platform of trust allows one to enter into a positive state of vulnerability. It is in that vulnerable space that a child will feel safe enough to let down defenses and be far more open to sharing deep personal fears and anxieties, and to being open to hearing and working to connect to what the parent is trying to teach.

In my next segment, I’ll look at the pros and cons of trying to protect a child’s self-esteem at all costs, a movement that arose out of the field of psychology that gained a lot of momentum in the last few decades, and share thoughts on how a parent can navigate this complex issue. Until then, keep encouraging your child and make sure that your child knows that he or she has your love and support.



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Read Rod’s original article courtesy of
Youth Sports Performance Network

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Rod Louden & MCLA Executive Director Dr. Stephen Johnson

ROD LOUDEN, Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, MFT, BCPC
While most therapists limit their interaction with clients solely to the therapeutic hour, Rod applies the Narrative Therapy ideal of post session letter writing. He has written thousands of post session letters to clients. These letters help to keep both the client and therapist focused on the work at hand and create bridges of thought between sessions.


In addition to Narrative Therapy, Rod utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Marriage Counseling, Couples Counseling, Addiction, Survivors of Childhood Abuse, Problem Solving, Self-Growth, Anxiety, Depression, working with Teens and Relationship Building. In addition, he works with Musicians, Actors, and Artists to break through creative blocks as well as Athletes at all levels for improved performance on and off the field. Rod is a performance coach for He is also the author of “Monster Relationships: Taming the Beasts that are Killing Your Relationships" and contributor to "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life, Vol 3."  Email him at or visit

  Rod will be a featured presenter at MCLA's Fall Men's Retreat on the mountain above Malibu, October 19-22.   Click here to register for the Fall Sacred Path Men's Retreat   .

Rod will be a featured presenter at MCLA's Fall Men's Retreat on the mountain above Malibu, October 19-22. Click here to register for the Fall Sacred Path Men's Retreat.

From Stress to Strength . . . through Meditation





From Stress to Strength . . . through Meditation

By Sarah Le
Epoch Times

Just a few years ago, Nicholas Stein had it all—a dream career, a beautiful wife, and good family relationships. He produced a popular action-packed television series for National Geographic called “Border Wars,” where his team was embedded with law enforcement along the U.S.–Mexico border. But there was a dark side.

“Everywhere we went, we saw absolutely horrendous human suffering,” he said at a recent presentation for entrepreneurs with Innovate Pasadena in Pasadena, California.

Stein said the Border Patrol officers faced intensely stressful and violent events, such as drug smuggling and even deaths, on a regular basis. They often rescued large groups of destitute migrants, only to arrest them and deport them soon after. Stein said he was left with symptoms similar to PTSD.

Then the unthinkable happened. National Geographic was bought by 21st Century Fox, and Stein was fired from his job as showrunner. He was re-assigned to teaching his replacement how to do his job.

To make matters worse, his marriage was falling apart. Then the most important person in Stein’s life, his father, passed away. Stein said he was a mess.

“I lost my job in a humiliating, anxiety-ridden way, my wife and I are on the cusp of divorce, and my dad dies. So I’m not good,” he said.

Even Stein’s therapist was causing him further headaches by constantly asking him to check out something called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) over their weekly Skype chats.

“I kept saying, ‘I don’t want to talk about mindfulness. I want to talk about my problems,'” he said.

Finally, out of desperation, he agreed. The results were unexpected.

Transformation Through Mindfulness Meditation

“[It’s] profoundly changing to people,” said Brian Shiers, a mindfulness facilitator certified with UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. “Your life is going to become a little more clear. You’re going to be seeing it in different ways.”

Stein took an off-campus class in Los Angeles from Shiers to learn how to practice mindfulness, which is essentially “attention training,” said Stein. It’s based on MBSR, a secularized form of Buddhist meditation designed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in the 1970s at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Nicholas Stein leads a short meditation exercise at Cross Campus in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 6. (Sarah Le/Epoch Times)

By quieting the body in a meditative setting, participants quickly see that their mind just doesn’t stop, with distracting thoughts arising one after another. Trying to actively suppress them does not work. The goal is simply to remember to bring one’s focus back to the here and now, an exercise similar to training a muscle.

For many people, the mind is often lost in reliving past memories, agonizing over the future, or trying desperately to shut out painful or uncomfortable realities.

“This is a terrible way to live. You’re not really paying attention to the thing you’re supposed to be paying attention to,” said Stein.

But when you focus on the present moment, “nothing else exists. The past is gone. The future is speculation.”

Through this practice, participants become more in tune and honest with themselves. They eventually learn to regulate their emotional states, which helps to keep them calm and focused in their day-to-day life.

There are also five essential qualities that participants must develop, said Shiers during a recent phone interview.

“We’re also cultivating curiosity, acceptance, non-judgment, kindness, and compassion, so that people are able to tolerate what they notice and see it from different vantage points,” he said.

Without these tools, he said, meditators might hate what they see or experience within themselves, or become re-traumatized. They won’t notice and start to change their own patterns of behavior, and they might even make things worse.

But when a meditator embraces these positive qualities, then the healing begins, almost like magic.

Change Your Mind, Change Your Life

A study published Jan. 24 in the journal Psychiatry Research found that mindfulness meditation training reduced stress hormones and inflammatory responses in anxiety disorder patients following a stressful situation, while patients who took a different training had worsened responses.

Dr. Elizabeth A. Hoge, associate professor in Georgetown University Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry, said in a press release, “Mindfulness meditation training is a relatively inexpensive and low-stigma treatment approach, and these findings strengthen the case that it can improve resilience to stress.”

Shiers and other researchers have also found that mindfulness meditation actually alters the structure of the brain.

Consistent meditators were shown to have an enhanced prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that regulates the ability to sustain attention, filter information, plan and complete goals, actively solve problems, and manage relationships, which are all affected by emotional regulation.

These meditators also had a smaller amygdala, the part of the brain most directly related to fear, anxiety, aggression, and the fight-or-flight response.

After three or four months of meditating every day, going to UCLA classes, reading, and listening to podcasts, Stein found that he was paying more attention to his wife and his marriage was healing.

“At one point, she just turned to me out of nowhere, and she said, ‘Where’s my husband, and what have you done with him?'” he said. They will soon celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary.

Stein also quit drinking as a kind of experiment, to give himself a better grasp of how the meditation was working, and he said he never looked back. He came to realize that nearly everyone around him was obsessed with drinking, and he was happy to not have to bother with it anymore.

Other people noticed that Stein was more calm, more interested in other people, and had become a better listener.

“I’m a better husband, better uncle, friend, brother, and they all have commented on it.”

Mindfulness on the rocks. MCLA's Sacred Path spring men's retreat kayak/camping trip, Colorado River

Pass it On

Stein decided to become a certified mindfulness teacher himself, partly as motivation to continue his daily practice, which he says is not easy.

“Lots of people start meditating, and then can’t find time for it. Next thing you know, they are as miserable as they were before they started,” he said.

One of the most unique places Stein has taught is inside the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail. He and other teachers walked the cell blocks and talked to the inmates behind bars about how meditation could help them cope with the stresses of their ongoing court situations, time away from family, and simply being in jail. Stein said the inmates were almost all appreciative of the simple yet practical techniques.

This is part of Stein’s idea to bring mindfulness to those who need it most, as well as those who make the biggest impact on the public, including prison guards, police officers, public defenders, prosecutors, parole officers, and judges.

Of course, the biggest reason for this focus comes from Stein’s own experiences with the daily trauma experienced by the Border Patrol, ICE agents, and other law enforcement while filming “Border Wars.” Stein has even held a presentation on mindfulness with Border Patrol officers and is now working on a curriculum.

Various law enforcement agencies around the country, professional sports teams, schools, large corporations, and high-profile celebrities such as Hugh Jackman and Emma Watson have all professed to have found benefits from practicing mindfulness in recent years. And the popularity of mindfulness continues to grow.

Stein encourages everyone to try it out, even if it’s just for five minutes a day.

“You will change your life if you stick to this practice,” he said.



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Click here for Nick's recommended
meditation apps, books, organizations & websites

Click here for Sarah's original article on

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Since this Epoch Times article was first published, Nick has done a number of all-day training sessions with Custom and Border Protection (CBP) personnel in both New Mexico and South Texas. The first one was at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Artesia, NM, with CBP Port Officer Chaplains; the 2nd with the leadership of the U.S. Border Patrol Academy. In late June he traveled to McAllen, TX, to train 65 Border Patrol Peer Support Agents, which was followed by a July training in the San Francisco East Bay Area with the Emeryville Police Department. Nick is excited to be facilitating the Men’s Retreat Mindfulness Meditation sessions again and looks forward to being with all the mindful men on the mountain.

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Nicholas Stein is a long-time, respected MCLA member, an award-winning TV producer, keynote speaker, and certified mindfulness facilitator. He conducts sitting meditations for the public at his home in Studio City and will be a featured presenter at MCLA'S Fall Men's Retreat on the mountain above Malibu, October 19-22. Click here to visit Nick's website,





12 Weekend Habits of Highly Successful People

12 Weekend Habits of Highly Successful People

by Emma Rushton

I’ve read countless articles about what successful people do on their weekends. Do you want to know the secret? It’s the same thing that they do every other day. As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Here are 12 weekend habits of highly successful people:

1. Robert Iger: Get up early

This Disney CEO is not the only executive claiming to rise at 4:30 every morning. Successful people do not stay in bed until 2 p.m. on a Sunday. Or even 11 a.m. Research shows that our brains are sharpest two and a half to four hours after waking. Get up early on a weekend and you’ve got a head start on the rest of the world.

2. Benjamin Franklin:
Have a plan

Apparently, this founding father asked himself every morning, “What good shall I do today?” Successful people know the importance of even daily goals — the weekends are no exception. Sure, they can be a time for (planned and purposeful) rejuvenation, but you don’t have to be President to know that general slacking off is not an option.


3. Timothy Ferris:
Don’t multi-task

Multi-tasking is so 2005. It may be tempting to maximize your weekend productivity by running on the treadmill while calling your mother and trolling your newsfeed, but successful people know that this just reduces efficiency and effectiveness. Instead, be present for each single activity. Ferris recommends a maximum of two goals or tasks per day to ensure productivity and accomplishments align.


4. Anna Wintour: Stay active

Vogue’s editor-in-chief commits to playing tennis for one hour every day. And she’s not the only big-shot making time for exercise. Richard Branson stays active with kite surfing and India’s fourth-richest billionaire is a serial marathon runner. Successful people know the importance of an active body for an active mind — weekends included. If nothing else, it will also counteract that glass of wine and cheese platter from Saturday night.

5. Steve Jobs:
Prioritize what’s important

“Things don’t have to change the world to be important.” Weekends are the time to remind yourself of the forgotten little things — to keep your work-life harmony (the new ‘balance’) in check and reset if needed. Spending time with your friends, children or partner might not directly increase profits that day or propel you into the limelight, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Even the current US President famously makes time to sit down for dinner with his family.

6. Warren Buffet: Make time for hobbies

He may be considered the most successful investor of the 20th century, but in his “spare” time Buffett likes to play the ukulele. Successful people are often interesting people — and their hobbies have a lot to do with that. Sure, golfing on Saturdays can be a great way to network and source business opportunities. But, even solo hobbies — knitting like Meryl Streep or oil painting like George W. Bush — can aid success through fostering creativity and relieving stress.

7. Oprah Winfrey: Practice stillness

Forbes’ most powerful celebrity of 2013 still finds time to sit in stillness for 20 minutes — twice a day! This once-best-kept secret of the yogis is now common knowledge. Even the corporate world is acknowledging the benefits of meditation and mindfulness for reducing stress, improving productivity, facilitating creativity and maintaining general well-being. The weekends can often be busier than week days with attempting to cram in chores, exercise, family commitments, social engagements and more into a 48-hour period. The most successful people take daily time out for stillness, weekends included. They don’t call it a meditation “practice” for nothing.

8. Randi Zuckerberg:
Forget FOMO, Embrace JOMO

We’ve all done it — posted a tastefully filtered snap of our weekend antics or checked in on social media to elicit “likes” and envy from our friends/followers (#bragging). Enter, the era of FOMO (fear of missing out). On weekends, we’re even more prone to FOMO. But the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media (and, you guessed it, the sister to Facebook’s creator) says people should be focusing on JOMO (the joy of missing out) — the mantra that “there is nowhere I’d rather be than exactly where I am.” Successful people are often competitive, high achievers by nature — practicing an attitude of gratitude and resisting social-media-induced FOMO is key for a happy weekend. And isn’t happiness the real marker of success?

9. Bill Gates:
Take time to reflect

The founder of Microsoft famously said, “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Reflection should be a daily practice but the weekends are a perfect opportunity to step back and reflect on the lessons of the previous week and to make improvements for the next. Author of “The Happiness Project,” Gretchen Rubin, suggests starting a “one sentence journal” to encourage daily reflection. Make Saturday or Sunday your day to flick back through the week’s entries!

10. Richard Branson:
Give back

This billionaire entrepreneur says that “it is amazing how focusing your mind on issues like health, poverty, conservation and climate change can help to re-energize your thinking in other areas.” Successful people agree with Anne Frank: “No one has ever become poor from giving.” Tom Corley studied the rich for five years before writing his book "Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.” He found that 73% of wealthy people volunteer for five or more hours per month. Nothing helps put things in perspective and reduce stress more than helping those less fortunate. Weekends are a great time to get involved in local and community volunteer events.

11. Jack Dorsey:
Get ready for the rest of the week

The Twitter and Square co-founder is notorious for 16-hour work days from Monday to Friday but says, “Saturday I take off. I hike. And then Sunday is reflections, feedback, strategy and getting ready for the rest of the week.” Forget Sunday blues, let’s call it “Sort-Your-Life-Out Sunday.” Laura Vanderkam, author of “What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend,” says successful people know that weekends are actually the secret weapon in professional success: “You need to hit Monday ready to go.”

12. Jay Z:
Keep up the momentum

He’s made an empire as a highly successful rap artist and entrepreneur, and the secret is right there in his lyrics: “You can want success all you want, but to get it, you can’t falter. You can’t slip. You can’t sleep. One eye open, for real, and forever.” (Decoded) Jay Z didn’t become worth $520 million by only wanting it five out of seven days of the week. If you want to eventually spend your weekends on a luxury yacht in the Caribbean with Beyoncé, unrelenting grit and persistence might just get you there. Well, we can always dream, right?


It’s settled then. Success is a 24/7 lifestyle choice — weekends included!



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EMMA RUSHTON is a lawyer, traveler and blogger in Melbourne, Australia. She writes about having "a life with a view" - where wanderlust and a desire for professional success are not mutually exclusive. She spends her free time writing about Roots & Wings and travelling to new countries as often as her bank balance and boss will allow.  Visit her website www.Roots&, or follow Emma on Twitter.




7 Ways to Help Yourself (and Others) Be Successful

7 Ways to Help Yourself
(and Others) Be Successful

We’re better working together.


1. Give back.

There is an astute knowingness in understanding that we all have a limited perspective or lens. I have one, you have one and everyone who walks this earth has a limited perspective. And for a great many years, we as a collective have convinced ourselves that our differences are a hindrance, when in reality our differences are the very thing that makes each of us uniquely talented in ways other people are not. When we honor these differences and celebrate them for their uniqueness, we open up an entirely new kaleidoscope of possibilities we might not otherwise be able to see.

If everyone asked, “How can I help?” as opposed to “What can I get?” we would start to see a much different world take shape around us.

The universe aligns its bounty for a generous heart. We must take that first step toward serving the greater good. This is the greatest act of service we can offer. When we elevate one, we elevate all, and soon all of our common interests are met. Only then can we begin to transform the world. It is only then the better world we dream of becomes a reality.

It’s up to us to offer a helping hand to those struggling to climb the ladder. We stand on each other’s shoulders to elevate us to our ultimate accomplishments. This is a testament to a new tomorrow. We must clasp each other’s hands and take that first step together. It’s a step that every person, organization or institution can take together—if only we change our lens from competition to cooperation. From receiving to giving.







2. Surround yourself with people smarter than you.

Regardless of all your hard work, unique talent, good timing or good luck, success is largely a factor of the people you make a part of your journey.

When you first start, you pursue like-minded people in your social circle. But things change. You mature. Your circle widens as your interests shift from social to professional. Although you are initially drawn to people like yourself, now you start to gravitate to people who can offer alternative perspectives—the more unrelated and diverse the individuals, the more opportunity to fill in the gaps of your limited experience, which lowers your risk.

You must network, pay attention and seek out people who not only know more but are willing to challenge and push you. Because few things are as important as gaining new perspectives. It’s easy to get lost in your ideas. Alternate perspectives can eliminate the blind spots and bring you down from the clouds.

3. Find a mentor.

Mentorship is a service. How can you help this person? You need to care more about their goals than you care about your own. Actually, your number one goal is to help them with their goals.

Under promise and over perform. When you get an assignment, blow them away. Do more than expected. Make their life as easy as possible. Get them excited to work with you more.

Never stop seeking help from those who are where you want to be. At the same time, don’t neglect those who could use your help.

Never let a goal become more important than helping people. Help others generously, abundantly. Help others without expectation of a return favor. Serving others will turn you into a mentor yourself. And you will always find more joy in helping others succeed than in achieving your own success.

4. Be an influencer.

Influencers focus on helping one another without expecting anything in return. They give and balance with their own self-interests to make giving a win-win for all parties. Adam Grant, author of the best-selling book Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Your Success, told me that “givers are not just philanthropists or volunteers… but people who enjoy helping others and often do it with no strings attached.” Grant explains that givers have the greatest opportunity to both succeed and fail in business because givers can often be taken advantage of, but the most successful givers thrive when they have their own self-interests aligned with giving.

5. Celebrate others’ success.

What does it mean to be just as happy for the success of others as for our own? It’s a matter of attitude. Adopting a praising and loving attitude will help you bask in the success of those you know and with whom you feel a personal connection. This might be difficult at times, but it’s a great way to help us lead more positive lives and get more in return.

By being courageous and selfless enough to embrace others’ success, we get the benefit of greater satisfaction. We feel fulfilled instead of bitter. For example, your best friend gets a job offer at a great company and you don’t know how to feel. You might feel happy but conflicted, especially if you feel less successful at the moment. But having the courage to celebrate your friend’s success as your own can lead to personal satisfaction when you think, OK, I now know someone who works at X company! Your inner circle of affiliations and acquaintances grows, and you can feel appropriately satisfied by that.

Not only does your inner circle of affiliations grow with others’ success, but you can also potentially find personal success. For example, say your best friend’s company is advertising for other positions. Now you have an internal referral that might benefit your own career should you desire working with the same company.

Beyond seizing an available opportunity where possible, our sense of embracing others’ achievements helps to expand our own willpower. American football player and coach Vince Lombardi said, “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, nor a lack of knowledge, but a lack of will.” Our own will can be awakened, in turn, when we see the success of others.

6. Spread positivity.

In director Christopher Nolan’s film Inception, Leonardo DiCaprio plays a man named Cobb who uses futuristic military technology to steal people’s corporate secrets by digging into their subconscious while they sleep. Then a secretive entrepreneur named Saito hires Cobb to do something a little different: plant an idea—inception—instead of stealing one.

For inception to be successful, the idea that Cobb plants has to be simple, emotional and positive. As he explains to his team, “The subconscious is motivated by emotion, right? Not reason. We need to find a way to translate this into an emotional concept…. Positive emotion trumps negative emotion every time.” For Cobb, positive realities are much easier to transfer to others than negative ones because they create lasting change.

Out of the fantasy world and into the world of neuroscience and positive psychology, the research supports Cobb’s claim. Over the past several years, researchers have been investigating how perceptions and mindsets can be transferred to others. And as it turns out, the three best strategies for transferring positive genius to others are not that different from the ones Cobb employed. (See what they are here.)

7. Find your motivation.

Successful people don’t become that way overnight. What most people see at a glance—happiness, wealth, a great career, purpose—is the result of hard work and hustle over time.

To be successful, you have to use each day as an opportunity to improve, to be better, to get a little bit closer to your goals. It might sound like a lot of work—and with a busy schedule, next to impossible. But the best part is, the more you accomplish, the more you’ll want to do, the higher you’ll want to reach. So as long as you have the hunger for success, you will always have the power within you to achieve it.

Use your ambition, drive and desire to make it happen.




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Click here to read the original article at


SUCCESS MAGAZINE: Unlike any other time in human history, people need to continually keep up with expanding knowledge and perpetually develop new skills to stay relevant and sustain their lifestyles. SUCCESS magazine strives to deliver the thought leaders and success experts, both past and present, and reveal their key ideas and strategies to help you excel in every area of your personal and professional life. You also will be provided a unique window into the lives, practices and philosophies of today’s greatest achievers—top CEOs, revolutionary entrepreneurs and other extraordinary leaders. Click here to visit

Don't Save Anything for the Swim Back



Don’t Save Anything
for the Swim Back

by Kate & Brett McKay
The Art of Manliness

The hallowing of Pain
Like hallowing of Heaven
Obtains at corporeal cost —
All — is the Price of All —

–Emily Dickinson

In the excellent and under-appreciated film Gattaca, biotechnology and advanced eugenics have divided the “not-so-distant” future into two groups: the “valid” and the “in-valid.”

The valids are those whose embryonic genes were pruned and manipulated to allow for their birth as genetically superior children, destined to bring to fruition their parents’ best hereditary traits.

The in-valids are those who were conceived naturally, by parents who played a game of genetic roulette. More likely to carry “flawed” DNA and more susceptible to genetic disorders and weaknesses, in-valids are barred from society’s important professions and consigned to menial work.

Vincent Freeman is an in-valid. With genes that indicate a high probability of several disorders and an estimated life span of 30.2 years, he works as a janitor while secretly dreaming of becoming an astronaut, a vocation from which he is disqualified.

Vincent’s brother, Anton, is a valid, and their sibling rivalry is heightened by their genetic divide.

Growing up, Vincent and Anton challenge each other to games of “chicken,” in which they both swim out into the ocean as far as they dare; the first one to turn back is the loser.

Vincent always loses, until one day he shocks Anton by outdistancing him. Anton, who cannot keep up, almost drowns, and has to be saved by his genetically inferior brother.

Years later, after an insatiably ambitious Vincent uses subterfuge to join the space program and earn a place, through merit, on a mission to Saturn, the brothers have a rematch. Once more the underdog bests his fraternal rival, who again must be rescued from drowning.

Astonished at this turning of the tables, Anton asks, “How are you doing this Vincent? How have you done any of this?”

To which his brother replies:

“You wanna know how I did it? This is how I did it Anton.

I never saved anything for the swim back.”


The Edge Wrought From Desperation

“One salvation alone remains to the defeated: to hope for none.” –Virgil

After thoroughly routing the Roman army at the Battle of Cannae, the victorious Carthaginian general Hannibal offered to ransom back the thousands of legionaries who had been taken prisoner. The Romans refused, though their devastating losses had left them acutely, desperately in need of men. They knew that should they accept Hannibal’s offer, their remaining soldiers might see a chance for survival in surrendering and would thus lose their ferocity in the fight. The Romans, Carlin Barton writes in Roman Honor, further “ordained by law that soldiers must either vanquish or die, so that . . . there might be no hope of survival in case of defeat.”

As Barton observes, this approach to maximizing motivation by purposefully putting one’s back to the wall and setting up a situation of “do or die” was typical of this ancient people, who “romanticized the challenge of desperation” for “the edge [it] gave to valor.” As the Greek historian Polybius recorded, “The Romans, both singly and as a group, are most to be feared when they stand in real danger.”

“Burning their boats” was just one way the Romans sought to achieve the state of being they deemed necessary to the salvation of both individual and civic life: that of holding nothing in reserve. As Barton explains, “The willingness to expend everything — up to and including the state — was, paradoxically, the final insurance of the continued existence of both the state and the spirit.”

They believed, as the Roman general Sulla put it, “You will be safer the less you spare yourself.”

The spirit of the man who was willing to give everything could not ultimately be defeated.

Moderation in All Things, Including Moderation

“He who scorns his own life is lord of yours.” –Seneca

Saving nothing for the way back, consuming yourself in a cause — choosing to be, as Jack London put it, ashes rather than dust — is of course not a sound policy in all things. In most things, really.

Success in modern life most often hinges on moderation, on budgeting one’s resources, carefully pacing the distance. Being sensible. Prudent.

And yet there are times when victory can only be achieved by he who goes all in, who spurns an exit plan, who has no option B, who leaves it all on the floor.

This strategy accomplishes two things:

First, as the Romans observed, it forces you to find a fifth gear, to summon resources of will inaccessible outside a situation of “do or die.” Not saving anything for the way back is then a kind of act of faith — a belief that if you dig deep enough, you’ll find a layer of black gold heretofore untapped.

Second, it intimidates one’s enemies, who are terrified by the uncertainty of just how far you’ll go — just how much you’re willing to risk, to do without. “Hannibal’s will was broken,” Barton notes, “when he received news that the Romans were ‘discarding’ their soldiers at the moment they were most in need of them.” Take a game of chicken far enough, and a competitor will often give up and turn back.

In some things in life, there are simply no guarantees. You have to push forward with all you have and make the most of the moment. You have to trust that even if you burn up so much fuel on the way out that you don’t have sufficient energy for the way back, you’ll have yet traveled far enough to have reached another shore. You won’t have to return to where you started. You’ll have opened a new possibility for your life.

As Anton and Vincent swim through the ocean towards the horizon, the former, frightened by fatigue and how far out they’ve gotten, beseeches his brother: “We have to go back.”

“It’s too late,” Vincent answers. “We’re closer to the other side.”

All is the price of all.



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Click here to read Brett & Kate's original article at The Art of Manliness



BRETT McKAY founded the Art of Manliness in 2008 and has grown it into the largest independent men’s interest magazine on the web. He grew up in Edmond, OK, a suburb of Oklahoma City, and attended the University of Oklahoma. After graduating with a BA in Letters, he went on to pursue his lifelong goal of attending law school. At the University of Tulsa College of Law Brett started the Art of Manliness as something fun to do in his spare time. When AoM quickly and unexpectedly took off, he brought on his wife, KATE McKAY, to help. Kate grew up in Tulsa, OK, and graduated from BYU with a BA in History in 2003. She later earned her Masters in Religion from Oklahoma City University. She has taught American History and Humanities at Tulsa Community College. The McKays have two adorable children: Gus, age 5, and Scout, 2. Together they run AoM from its manly headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Click here to visit The Art of Manliness.






Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

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Are You Emotionally Intelligent?
Here's How To Tell

By Janae Ernst

You've probably heard the term "emotional intelligence." It's come into vogue in recent years, with numerous books being written about the subject. Businesses are increasingly focusing on emotional intelligence and researchers are increasingly learning its importance.

But what exactly is emotional intelligence? How can you determine if you have those characteristics? And why is it so important?

Daniel Goleman

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

The term "emotional intelligence" (EI or EQ) was coined by researchers Peter Salavoy and John Mayer. Author Dan Goleman made the term mainstream in his book "Emotional Intelligence."

Typically, EQ includes two related, but distinct items:

  • The ability to recognize, understand and manage your own emotions
  • The ability to recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others

Those who have a high EQ are highly in tune with both their own emotions and the emotions of those around them. They can recognize and understand the various feelings that sweep through them and are able to appropriately manage them.

Those with a low EQ find themselves unable to understand why they feel a certain way and unable to process the emotions they're feeling.

David Caruso distinguished between EQ and IQ this way:

It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head—it is the unique intersection of both.

Emotional intelligence is hugely important in terms of success. Those who want to excel in life and work need a high EQ. If you can't understand yourself or others, you simply won't be able to improve in specific, important areas.

Discussing the interplay between IQ and EQ, Michael Akers and Grover Porter write:

How well you do in your life and career is determined by both. IQ alone is not enough; EQ also matters. In fact, psychologists generally agree that among the ingredients for success, IQ counts for roughly 10% (at best 25%); the rest depends on everything else—including EQ.

For more information about emotional intelligence, here's a short video:

The 5 Characteristics Of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is characterized by 5 distinct characteristics.

#1 — Self Awareness

Those with high EQ are able to recognize emotions in the moment. One of the keys to developing EQ is being aware of feelings, evaluating those feelings and then managing them. Rather than letting emotions take over, you are able to take a step back and understand what is happening.

#2 — Self-Regulation

Everyone knows that emotions come quickly and with force. It's rare that you have control over when we are hit by an emotional wave. Even the slightest thing can trigger something deep within you.

However, if you have a high EQ, you can control how long that negative experience lasts. This can be done through using various techniques (breathing, taking a walk, thinking positively, etc.) to minimize or effectively address negative emotions that may be plaguing you.

#3 — Motivation

It's very difficult to be motivated if you always have a negative attitude. Those who are full of negativity don't often achieve their goals. Those with a high EQ are able to move toward a consistently positive attitude by thinking more positively and being aware of negative thoughts. Reframing these negative thoughts allows you to be positive and thus move toward your goals.

#4 — Empathy

Empathy is the ability to recognize how others are feeling. This is essential for functioning well in society and excelling in your career. A person without empathy will end up regularly insulting and offending people, while a person with a high EQ will be able to understand what a person is feeling and then treat them accordingly.

#5 — Social Skills

The final characteristic of EQ is having and developing excellent interpersonal skills. It used to be that access to the greatest amount of information would allow you to succeed, but now that everyone has immediate access to knowledge, people skills are more important than ever. Those with a high EQ are able to wisely and skillfully navigate the various relationships that fill their lives.

How Can You Tell If You Have High Emotional Intelligence?

There are various tests that can help you identify your emotional intelligence, such as the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 test. However, these tests have their limitations in that EQ is intangible, making it difficult to precisely measure.

There are certain ways to estimate your overall emotional intelligence that don't involve taking a test (most of which aren't free). There are a number of markers that accompany those with a high emotional intelligence.

Some of those markers are:

A Curiosity About People

Curiosity comes from empathy, which is one of the most significant elements of EQ. If you are curious about people, you will also care about what they feel and how they struggle.

On the flip side, those with a low EQ don't have any interest in others. They aren't interested in what others think or feel. Their primary focus is on themselves.

A Thorough Emotional Vocabulary

Remember, EQ is the ability to identify and understand emotions. Research done by Travis Bradberry, who is the author of "Emotional Intelligence 2.0," suggests that only about 36% of people have this ability.

This is partially due to an inadequate emotional vocabulary that prevents people from properly identifying what they're feeling. Every negative feeling is simply called, "Bad," and every positive feeling is, "Good."

However, those with high EQ can specifically name their emotions, which then allows them to deal with them in the most effective way.

A Holistic Understanding Of Themselves

If you have high emotional intelligence, you have a holistic understanding of yourself that goes beyond just feelings. You know what you're good at and what you're not. You know the people and situations that frustrate you. You also understand how to avoid or effectively navigate situations that will hurt you emotionally.

If you have a high EQ, you can tap into your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.

Not Easily Offended

Emotional intelligence involves a thorough knowledge of yourself and the ability to control your emotions. Combined, this makes you difficult to offend. You are confident in who you are and are able to understand when someone is simply making a joke versus when they are degrading you. You don't let people easily get under your skin.

An Ability To Judge Character

EQ gives you the ability to read and understand people. You are in tune with their emotions, which then allows you to more readily understand their actions. You can tell the difference between someone having a bad day and someone who is a bad apple. The more you develop your EQ, the more skilled you become at making character assessments about people.

Not Haunted By The Past

A low EQ makes it difficult to manage emotions when they appear unexpectedly. When a past mistake comes to mind, it's easy to get dragged down into discouragement and despair.

If you have a high EQ, you are able to think about past mistakes without letting the associated emotions overwhelm you. You can process the past in a way that is appropriate—not forgetting but not dwelling. You are able to learn from mistakes and prepare for the future.

Giving Without Expecting

Those with a high EQ are able to give without expecting anything back. Because you are constantly in tune with the emotions of others, you know the effect that a gift will have on someone. When someone needs something, you want to meet that need.

This giving attitude allows emotionally strong people to build deep relationships with other people.

An Ability To Handle Toxic People

Toxic, difficult people will often draw a reaction out of you. You feel surges of negative emotions when you are around them and often lash out, which then hurts both you and them. Lashing out also fuels their toxic behavior even more.

If you have a high EQ, however, you can keep your emotions in check when dealing with a difficult person. You don't allow your anger to boil over. You're able to see multiple perspectives. While most people are quickly flustered by toxic people, you can handle them calmly.

There are numerous other markers of high EQ, but this should serve as an effective baseline to help you determine where you stand.

For a deeper dive into EQ, here's a brief video:


Emotional intelligence is absolutely essential. Your intelligence can only get you so far, especially in this day and age where everyone has almost equal access to information.

As Daniel Goleman said:

If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.

Being closely in tune with the emotions of others allows you to interact with them in ways that create positive outcomes, both for you and them.




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Click here to read Janae’s original article at



JANAE ERNST (M.S. '17) serves as the marketing communications coordinator for Cornerstone University's Professional & Graduate Studies. Janae has a Master of Science in Management and almost three years of higher education experience. Her areas of interest include personality theory and design theory.



Emotional Transformation Therapy

ETT Training Level I

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am looking to put together a Level I training in July. There are 2 possible weekends available for training (Friday, Saturday and Sunday):
July 7, 8 & 9
July 14, 15, & 15

The training fee is $595 or $495/each if you pay for Level I & II at the same time. And the training would be held at my office in Upland at the address below. Please let me know if you have a preference for a weekend. A brochure for the training is attached. I will send out a registration form when I have enough interested participants.

I want to have a Level II training by the end of August. This would give us enough time to hold a required 6-hour consultation prior to the Level II training. The fee would be $150 for the day and we would choose the date together when we are in the Level I training. The consultation session would consist of sharing about the clients with whom you've used ETT and the results you are getting, questions you have about intervention application and to get more practice with the Level I tools.


Lolita M. Domingue, M.S.
Marriage & Family Therapy
1126 W. Foothill Blvd., Suite 150
Upland, CA 91786909-982-5171



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by Dr. Stephen Johnson
MCLA Executive Director

Emotional Transformation Therapy (ETT) is a therapeutic method incorporating the use of light, color wavelengths, and eye movements to rapidly transform emotional distress and related physical pain into a positive emotional state. Professionals trained in ETT work to help those in therapy address trauma and other pain and achieve lasting, healing change.

Developed by contemporary psychologist Dr. Steven Vazquez in 1991, ETT Is a relatively new form of therapy. Dr. Vazquez’s studies in the fields of epigenetics, optometry, neurobiology, and quantum physics influenced various aspects of his development of ETT as he attempted to establish a therapeutic technique beneficial for the reduction of emotional and physical distress. His noninvasive, non-pharmaceutical approach combines traditional psychotherapy with the use of visual brain stimulation and colored light therapy for fast results.

In Dr. Vazquez' book, Emotional Transformation Therapy, An Interactive Ecological Psychotherapy,” he explains, “The implications for counseling and psychotherapy are enormous.  This process has the potential to revolutionize the way therapists work.  Symptoms are changed so rapidly and so permanently that the use of psychotropic medications might become largely obsolete.  However, its use for physical symptoms may offer an even greater breakthrough, particularly in treating physical pain syndromes.”

Several members of our MCLA community (Dr. Stephen Johnson, Jeffrey Young & Anthony DiMaggio shown above) are currently training in this powerful modality of healing under Master Level Trainer, Lolita Domingue, LMFT.  We were initially introduced to this neuroscientifically-based therapeutic power of color and light by one of our MCLA leaders, Mitchell Roth, while attending the Sacred Path Men's Retreat last October. 

Mitchell Roth, JD, MS, LMHC

Mitchell, who had just completed his Level I (out of 5 levels) training, was quite excited by what he had learned, and graciously offered to work on a few retreat participants. If you reside in Florida, or are traveling there, Mitch has just completed his Level III Training.  Click here to visit his website and experience a remarkable session under his guidance. He resides in the Boynton Beach area.

There is a wide array of ETT diagnostic categories ranging from neurosis to more severe mood disorders and addictive tendencies that respond favorably to this amazing modality. It has proven to show positive results with crime victims, survivors of automobile accidents, rape survivors, survivors of natural disaster, war trauma and other disorders including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

ETT Master Training instructor Lolita Domingue, LMFT

If you are a licensed therapist, or budding counselor in training, and would like to equip yourself with a revolutionary new treatment modality, there is an upcoming training scheduled June 2-4. If you do, you’ll be able to join the three of us for our Level II training that will follow by summer.  Check out Lolita's website at

Participants attending this training will learn to combine empirically based concepts from quantum physics using precise wavelengths of light and attachment neurobiology to access core emotions while providing attuned interpersonal support. This break through technology also provides a new level of client safety while rapidly regulating intense emotion.


ETT Level 1 Training

WHERE:  Office of Lolita M. Domingue, Marriage and Family Therapist
Email:   (909) 982-5171
1126 W. Foothill Blvd. Upland, CA 91786



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DR. STEPHEN JOHNSON is founder and executive director of the Men's Center Los Angeles and leader/wayshower of the Sacred Path men's retreats for the past 30 years. He is author of "THE SACRED PATH: THE WAY OF THE SPIRITUAL WARRIOR," an amazing how-to book for men who want to become better men . . . AND for the women who care about them.

Margie Stewart, WWII Pinup Girl and Dr. J’s Mother

Margie Stewart, WWII Pinup Girl
(and Dr. J's Mom)

New York Times


For American troops in World War II, Margie Stewart was the girl they’d left behind. For the Army, she was a wholesome pinup girl who had an important message for the boys.

The Army made a dozen posters of her, and ultimately printed 96 million copies. Most pictured a handwritten letter at the poster’s forefront. “Please get there and back,” was the message on some posters. “Be careful what you say or write.”

Miss Stewart, the Army’s official poster girl, posed in practical clothes, in contrast to the provocative pinup photos of stars like Betty Grable (“the girl with the million-dollar legs”) or Ann Sheridan (the “Oomph Girl”) that soldiers carried to distant battlefields.

Miss Stewart hit a tender spot in homesick soldiers’ hearts. Stars and Stripes, the armed services’ newspaper, told of a pair of soldiers, one from Iowa and one from Kansas, agreeing that she had to be a farm girl — but hotly debating which of the two states she was most likely from. Even soldiers’ wives applauded Miss Stewart’s wholesome look.

Eleanor Roosevelt tried to stop the posters on the grounds that this salubrious image might turn warriors’ thoughts homeward, Miss Stewart later wrote. But soldiers were sending barrages of letters to the Army asking who the pretty girl was and asking for more pictures. So nine more posters followed the initial three. These carried letters urging servicemen to buy war bonds so they could save money to buy homes after the war.

The same images and messages on the posters were included in inserts sent to soldiers with their paychecks, accounting for many millions of reproductions.

Miss Stewart, who had long been Mrs. Margie Stewart Johnson, died at 92 on April 26 in Burbank, Calif., her family announced. She had recently enjoyed a renewed popularity after the website printed an essay she wrote about her life. On her own site,, she enjoyed answering requests for autographed pictures.

Margie Stewart was born on Dec. 14, 1919, in Wabash, Ind. She attended Indiana University for a year and was elected freshman princess, a title that included a free trip to Chicago. There she met an advertising executive who was looking for two women to pose in a rowboat on Lake Michigan for an outboard motor ad. That led to a job modeling in a Chicago department store, then at a store in Los Angeles.

RKO signed her to a movie contract in 1942, and she appeared in about 20 movies over the next three years, often uncredited. She said she did not become a star because she “wanted to be me.”

The ad executive who had put Miss Stewart in a rowboat was a retired Army major who approached the War Department with an idea: to bolster troop morale with a series of pinup posters. That led to photos taken by George Hurrell, who is credited with helping invent Hollywood glamour photography, for at least the first three posters.

The second group of “Margie posters” was printed in response to demand from the men Miss Stewart called “my boys.” In 1943, she traveled around the country, with stars like Fred Astaire, Judy Garland and Harpo Marx, to sell war bonds. She was one of four young starlets on the tour called Bondbardiers.

In 1945 Miss Stewart toured Europe and was one of the first Americans to enter the defeated Germany in civilian clothes. In London, The Daily Telegraph reported that “Uncle Sam’s Poster Girl” caused gridlock at Hyde Park Corner as crowds tried to catch a glimpse of her.

In July, in Paris, she married Jerry Jeroske, an Army captain who later changed his last name to Johnson. One edition of Stars and Stripes said one of its editors had fainted in dismay at the news. Another edition carried the headline, “Margie, How Could You?” Mrs. Johnson said that headline haunted her for years, because she feared that her admirers felt abandoned.

Mr. Johnson died in 2003. Mrs. Johnson is survived by her son, Stephen, and three grandchildren.



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Click here to read the original Margie Stewart obituary in the New York Times






Dr. Stephen Johnson and his beautiful Mother, World War II U.S. Army international poster girl Margie Stewart, on their Alaskan cruise in 2003.


Director's Message: July, 2017

JULY 4, 2017

Greetings Sacred Path Community,

On Saturday my wife, Fran, brother-in-law, Fred, one of our niece’s daughter, Ally, and I went to the Holocaust Museum.  We had never been there before.  You could spend hours touring it, but on average they recommend allowing 90 minutes to two hours.  That makes sense due to the power of the experience.  I plan to return and felt that two hour increments provide an ample opportunity to come to terms with the reality of what you’re taking in.  It’s also virtually impossible to go through everything in one outing, so I found myself drawn to certain aspects that called to me.  I will save other aspects for my next visit.

When you arrive you’re greeted by a security guard who thanks you for attending.  There’s no charge for admission.  He offers some initial information and then checks your bags.  After donning a headset with small audio device we commenced the tour at our own pace, listening to recordings that can be dialed up to correspond with a myriad of different elements specific to the history of the persecution and extermination of over 6 million European Jews from the 1930’s to the mid 1940’s.  You know the story but the starkness of this reality is so stunningly impactful that it leaves you feeling numb on the one hand and painfully sickened on the other.

At the end of my journey, as I was returning my headset, the woman behind the counter asked for my last name. I told her it was Johnson.  And then I found myself offering that it had been changed from Jeroski when I was young, and it apparently had been shortened from Yarosheski.  Frankly, I’m not sure of the spelling.  She asked where my family was from and I said, “Poland on my Father’s side.”  Then she asked if I had family members who were in the Holocaust.  I paused and said, “Not that I’m aware of.”  I then indicated that my Father’s side of the family was Catholic.

That prompted me to tell her that several years ago one of my clients, an older Jewish woman, once commented that she felt that I understood what she was saying because I was Jewish.  I responded to her that I did feel that I understood but that I was not Jewish.  She appeared confused and said, “you’re not!? And then asked where my family was originally from, and I said, “I was Scottish on my Mother’s side and Polish on my Father’s side and that he had been raised Catholic.”  And then she smiled and said, “Oh there you go, you see, you never know.”  In fact, I had learned along the way that some Jews converted or pretended to be Catholic to escape the horrors of the Holocaust.  And then she blessed me with, “In any event darling (pronounced darlink) you have a Jewish Soul.”  The woman behind the counter grinned and said,  “With that pronunciation she must have been Hungarian.”  Then she quipped, “She’s right, you never know.”  I’m planning to take a deeper look into my lineage.

Before leaving we were invited to go out to the Children’s Memorial where we took a slip of paper with the picture and information about a child who was murdered at the brutal hands of the Nazis.  I wrote a message on the back of it and rolled it carefully to insert into a small hole in the Memorial Wall.  I chose a spot adding to the word LOVE in a message of HOPE that others who had preceded me had begun.  Needless to say, I highly recommend this experience.  You will be touched significantly and will leave with much to contemplate and consider.


In the spirit of our July 4th celebration of Independence or what I heard referred to the other day as “1776, the first Brexit,” we’re launching our 31st Annual Sacred Path Men’s Retreat.  You can be among the first to register early at a discounted rate and if you are a Veteran or a First Responder we’re offering an expanded discount in honor of your service to our country and community. 


Last week I met with one of our men, Captain Mike Henry of the LA County Fire Department and CEO of Firefighters Down at the offices of the UCLA MEND organization, a volunteer group that provides medical and psychological services in support of wounded warriors suffering from PTSD.  Mike will be with us on retreat and will be facilitating a breakout session along with retired Sheriff Clyde Terry of the LA County Sheriff’s Department.  As always, I am looking forward to being with you on The Mountain in October from the 19th to the 22nd with a cast of remarkable men on the Journey to Mindful Manhood.

Thank you Bill Arena, our stalwart newsletter editor, for suggesting that we include an article on my Mother, Margie Stewart, who was the official World War II Poster Girl.  Over 96 million posters to encourage the purchase of US War Bonds were created with her image on them.  She was the first American woman allowed behind enemy lines to visit the GI’s in the hospital and then entertain the troops as a member of the Bond Cavalcade of Stars, including Judy Garland, Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney, the Marx Brothers and others.  She was quite the moral booster.  My Father, who was a Captain in the Army, was assigned to escort her.  Love bloomed and they were married in Paris at the end of the war.  I came along in 1946.


To you and yours, all of us at the Men’s Center and on The Sacred Path wish you a happy and healthy July 4th!

In the spirit of brotherhood,


Stephen J. Johnson Ph.D., LMFT
Executive Director





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Dr. Stephen Johnson is founder and executive director of the Men's Center Los Angeles and leader/wayshower of the Sacred Path men's retreats for the past 30 years. He is a gifted therapist and master facilitator for the experiential journey that unfolds during his counseling sessions and workshops. Dr. J is a skilled and seasoned psychotherapist who has the sensibilities of a wisdom teacher. He provides a safe space for freedom of expression in accessing one’s pain while fostering transformation, personal expansion and spiritual growth.
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Dr. Johnson is author of "THE SACRED PATH: THE WAY OF THE SPIRITUAL WARRIOR," an amazing how-to book for men who want to become better men . . . AND for the women who care about them.




The MCLA Wisdom Council honored Dr. J's amazing 30 years of mindful men leadership and mentorship with a special commemorative film that debuted on the mountain at the recent 30th Annual Sacred Path Men's Retreat. Click here to view "The Sacred Path."