July 2015 - A Tribute to Michael Davis

A Tribute to Michael Davis
July, 2015
"You can choose between love or fear. Love is joining and fear is separating."
                                                                         ~Michael Davis
Living in the Now
Lessons from Michael Davis

by Linda Kreger Silverman

Michael Davis left us May 6th, 2015. A few days later, I opened the May issue of The Sun, and was greeted with excerpts from Eckhart Tolle’s book, Stillness Speaks. Not a coincidence. Years ago, Michael Davis gifted me with Tolle’s The Power of Now. Looking back, I realize that he was saying, “Linda, this is who I am. Read this and see me.”

Michael lived in the Now. He visited as briefly as possible the land of organization, the sea of accountability. It was Michael’s intense presentness—his ability to set aside his own agenda and be with people—which made him an excellent therapist, a wonderful friend and a superb father.

Teri Lutz, who was in a supervision group with him 35 years ago, wrote, “I will pass along a lovely memory I have. I remember him saying once that he used to calm his children by holding them and breathing in rhythm with them. That was before we had kids and I always loved that.” In Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner, I captured Michael’s method of responding to his children’s conflicts:

"Michael Davis, our Staff Counselor, used a nonverbal technique with his four sons. When one of them would come to him crying, he would hold the boy and imitate his erratic breathing. Then, gradually, he would calm his own breathing pattern, and his son would follow suit. No words were exchanged, no explanation of what happened was given. When the boy felt calmer, he returned to his brothers." (p. 254)

Our minds want to interrogate to determine the perpetrator of the wrong doing and make the child accountable. But Eckhart Tolle maintains that we are not our minds. Michael agreed: he always led with his heart. He was gentle and loving, with an immense capacity for fun.

Michael’s child-centered approach enabled him to enter children’s inner worlds, see the world through their eyes, and help them to act with intention instead of reacting. He held certifications in conflict negotiation, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Imago Couples Therapy. He founded The Center for Proactive Relationships with his wife, Susan McCallum, who will continue the Center. Together, they mentored couples in creating peaceful minds and harmonious relationships.

Michael’s clients were astounded at the insights he derived about their family dynamics from interpreting their MBTI scores. Michael discovered that most of his gifted clients were Introverts (I); he found that most underachievers were strong Perceivers (P) and that tension often ensued when one of their parents was a strong Judger (J). His feedback sessions helped family members better understand themselves and each other; by not taking personality differences personally, they were able to construct creative solutions. We will continue to offer the MBTI, and hope to publish Michael’s findings on MBTI patterns in gifted families.

We miss you, Michael. Irrepressible, irreplaceable, you softened the pain, transcended the confusion and transformed so many lives. You lived a good life on your own terms.  And you left feeling complete. You embodied “The Power of Now.”
                            A Tribute to Michael Davis                              
Something You Can Do…

As a friend,
When you think of Michael,
Remember the times he has touched you.
Hold him in your heart.
Pass on his goodness, kindness and brilliance
through you to others.

Look into his eyes
Hold his hand.
Breathe with him.
Sit, talk, walk with him.
Dance with him.
Laugh with him.
Take him on the river of life with you,
He loves that!
Share him with others.

Feel his gifts to you.
Know he is touched by you, too.
That’s what you can do...

  by Susan McCallum

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