He collapsed and died on the football field, and they brought Damar Hamlin back to life. CPR saved him. The Buffalo Bills medical team initiated the league’s Emergency Action Plan within 10 seconds. 


When your heart stops pumping the oxygenated blood has no way to get up to the brain, and “oxygen is what we need in order to sustain”…a line from my CPR rap.


CPR is an empowering life-saving skill that everyone can learn. There are certain steps to follow to better ensure resuscitation, but it does not have to be done perfectly…just be able to get it done. “Do what you can, lose count?? Keep compressing, saving someone’s life is the greatest of all blessings.” (another line from my rap). 

When CPR protocol switched from breaths first and then two compressions to performing the compressions first, my CPR STARTS WITH THE HEART message was born. We learned that getting that blood from the heart to the brain was the top priority, especially if we don’t know how long the heart has stopped pumping.

cpr chest compressionsCPR stands for cardio, pulmonary resuscitation, reviving and bringing back to life. Your heart is what determines if you are dead or alive. Trophies and medals rust, records are broken, our bodies can break, and we can lose our minds, but the heart is the overall deciding factor in declaring us dead or alive.

In today’s society and all through the ages we face seemingly impossible challenges. Oftentimes, we can even face challenges that make us wonder if this life is worth living. The more you care the more pain you feel too. But, is the answer not to care? Heck, no!

These impossible challenges, through prayer and being there for each other, become divine accomplishments if we view them in the light of eternity. Every joyful step we take can better the existence of someone else, and that joy will get passed down through the ages. The tougher the challenge the more impact you’ll have on yourself and others to keep marching forward. And, not if, but when you mess up, acknowledge it, learn and march on!

If you just can’t march on, if you get stuck in your tracks, initiate your own personal emergency action plan. All of the steps of CPR, along with administering a shock with the AED, automated external defibrillator, can be used as a guide to actions you can take to revive and resuscitate yourself or someone else.

We’re all facing issues, many a result of our own choices and many more cultivated by the media. We’re constantly told and reminded that we, as a nation, don’t get along. If we’re divided, we are weaker, but if we can come together, we’ll be strong. It takes each individual to understand this and not fall prey to the division. Each and every person must understand how to keep their heart warm, regardless of what’s challenging them. It’s a lot easier to revive a warm victim than one who has turned cold. A warm nation CAN be made up of individuals who understand this. If we can understand and work towards this warmth, we will not have as much to fear, collectively.

But, there are times that we just don’t understand. Like when a heart goes into cardiac arrest and just quivers instead of pumps. That’s when the AED can shock it back into rhythm. The AED is like divine intervention. WE UNDOUBTLY NEED IT! We can’t do this life on our own. We need each other and we need a higher power, miracles.

Trust in The Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 Good luck getting a good night’s sleep these days without believing this. God is the electricity, the shock, the lightning bolt, the AED. Make sure to have that knowledge on hand with batteries charged. 


Reading, praying, and studying ways to improve your faith is like putting fins on in the ocean. It gives you the leverage you need to stay afloat, especially when the waves get big and the currents surge. My favorite singer-songwriter, Jonn Denver, expresses in his song, Calypso, that “to live on the land we must learn from the sea.” You can learn more about this in my book, BREAK THAT GRIP…Lessons From The Ocean of Life. 

What if we talked and thought about what we want to see instead of what we don’t want to see. Imagine the news commentator saying, “we can expect to see cooperation,” or, “we can expect less fear due to people coming together to enjoy their short time on this earth.” Also, coverage that proclaims, “we can expect lots of love and laughter at this upcoming event where we’ll all witness local firefighters extinguishing fear and igniting hope as they share their stories of saving lives and how they train and prepare to do so.” Perhaps we can reach that future school shooter before he becomes one, and change the trajectory of his or her life?

We bring a certain level of commitment to our lives, our families, community, and to the world. If that level of commitment is not matched, we can feel frustrated, but please don’t take that personally. Not everyone has the same upbringing or experiences that lead to awareness, and an ability to see beyond themselves. The only way to prove your point is to set the example and be the change you want to see. The worst thing you can do is to take things personally and react instead of responding with love, compassion, and understanding for where another soul is coming from.

Reviving or resuscitating relationships requires communicating effectively and lots of forgiveness and grace for ourselves and for others. We need to understand our past to create a brighter future, but not dwell there. Communicating effectively is a hard thing to do and requires you to leave your ego at the door and listen to the message God has in store.

Yes, I can be too nice and naive and I’m currently paying a high price for being to trusting, but this mess will be my message. I already had to have a skin cancer cut out and if I let it keep getting to me, I know there is likely to be more. Frustration and stress make me want to drink and then I pay the price the next day. My weapon, treatment, and strategy has to be to improve my mind, and as we know, the heart feeds the brain and that oxygen is like affirmation. Without oxygen we gasp for life. Without affirmation we act out in negative, hurtful ways. I’m not talking about flattery that can be used to manipulate someone. I’m talking about good honest gratitude for yourself, for others and for every situation we face. The hard times can launch us into the best times with the right outlook and intentions.


Who am I to say this? Who am I to think I can make a difference? I’m someone whose nervous system has glitched out and I can’t survive any other way. As I form new patterns of thought that calm my nerves and enable me to respond effectively, my desire is to pass that improved style of communication on to my kids and grandchildren and on to many more generations to come. 

I have a desire to respond better to circumstances than I have in the past. We all need to have the ability to respond positively and effectively. It’s an unavoidable aspect of life that we all encounter on a day-to-day basis. Not only do we have to face it with our relationship to others, but with ourselves as well, internally. It is our responses or lack of responses to any trying situation that ultimately decides our fate.

The kids of today are our future. Who can they trust? They’re in the most important developmental stages of their lives. It’s imperative to develop and maintain simple strategies for responding positively to themselves and others in any given situation. That need is more apparent today than ever before.

First, they must believe in themselves, their own ability to think and make decisions, based on what’s best for them, instead of trying to please everyone else. If they can find their gifts, those natural lifts, then their joy and energy will affect others and spread love and optimism to a world that’s starving for it. If we can feed the world energetically, perhaps we can feed the world physically. CPR, resuscitation, STARTS WITH THE HEART.


The task might seem enormous, but we have to do what we can to prevent unrest and separation, prevent suicide, prevent angry outbursts that lead to the killing of so many.

It will take synergy and we must educate ourselves quickly. We’ve most likely learned the most from our mistakes, so appreciate those bad choices and outcomes that you learned from and make something good come out of them.


The R.I.S.E. strategy, here in this emblem, repeatedly applied, can help promote better spontaneous behavior springing fourth. I have a vision of a bright future. I see a creative spark in young people who can turn this world around and create a healthy environment, a sustainable future, and a brighter quality of life for all living things.