Month: May 2019

Stay in your Strong Position

I took taekwondo several years ago, and the instructor said something that changed my view forever. He told us to get into our strong position. So naturally I stood up straight and tall “like a man”, and to my surprise, the instructor pushed my chest with two fingers, causing me to stumble backwards. Then he instructed us to get into our fighting stance, with one foot in front of the other, leaning forward. Once in that stance, he pushed my shoulder harder than before,  but this time my body didn’t budge. I was shocked because, my whole life I was told to “stand like a man”, without realizing that was my weakest position. And the more I thought about it, I realized that same “strong position” was the same position I get into when I lean to my grandchildren, and say, “come here buddy”.

Think about this. Have you ever stood in front of a child standing from a high place, and told them to jump into your arms? A child knows intuitively not to jump until you get into your strong position. We have been taught in society that our strong position is to stand up straight, but if you will notice, a child won’t jump until you lean to them.
I have even seen cases in the news where a mother stuck in a burning building will trust a stranger to catch her baby when that stranger is leaning and reaching as hard as they can with both hands.

It’s the same way in life, Leaning is your strongest position, and people intuitively trust people in their strong position.

I was at the Barber Shop, and the barber was telling a story about a visit to the OBGYN with his wife. His wife was pregnant with their first baby, and was due anytime. My barber explained that their regular doctor couldn’t be there, so they had to see a new doctor that they hadn’t met before. Then the barber said, “Let me tell you what, that was the nicest doctor! I would trust my life with that man!”. Let’s keep in mind that this was somebody that he had just met, and knew nothing about. I then posed a question to him, that I was confident I knew what the answer would be. “Did the doctor lean to you?” At that, his face lit up and he said, “yes, he did!” Then, I went on to explain, “we trust those people who lean to us, whether it’s a doctor, teacher, parent, friend, etc”.  And he said, “wow, you know, you are right! I never thought about that!”. Since he was about to be a new dad I wanted him to see how important Leaning is. That’s where trust and love come from.

In an interview with famous actor, William Shatner, in regards to his experience with Koko the gorilla, he said that the European way of acting is that the action comes first, and the emotions follow. So, he said he reached his arms out and said, “Koko, I love you”, and Koko hugged him back. He went on to say, “the body won’t let you lie”.

To put it another way, Leonardo da Vinci, according to author Walter Isaacson, understood that the actions of the body represent the emotions of the mind.

Therefore, If we want to create those wonderful emotions that we call love and trust, we must do the action first.
It’s important to understand that Leaning affects us the same way. We learn to trust and love ourselves when we stay in our strong position, making us more confident to jump into life.

So Leaners, stay in your strong position, with both arms reaching out. Because, only Leaners produce Leaners.


These articles are co-written by James and Elisha, based on the books and work created and founded by James.

Why do we need a Leaning Institute?

“Passion is often fueled by missed opportunities”
-James Sarvis


Why do we need a Leaning Institute?

I came across an article where fathers in South Korea are going to a school to learn how to hug, and that it’s taking off in the U.S as well. It’s not easy when you don’t come from Leaners and aren’t taught by example. It’s like learning a foreign language. A little child can learn another language so quickly and easily, but as they get older it gets more difficult. It’s the same way with Leaning, and the people who do come from Leaning parents often don’t understand that everyone isn’t like them.

In America, 95 percent of people associate with being Christian. So why do we even have a need for a Leaning Institute? To be Christ-like would be being like the ultimate Leaner.

Jesus makes the commandment to “Love one another” 11 times in the New Testament. And, there are many examples of how Jesus CREATED that love by leaning to people. Yet, somehow we still don’t know what to do. In the article I mentioned above, a volunteer asked one of the fathers attending the school if his father loved him? And he didn’t know how to answer.

Love has to be created. You envision a good mother leaning to her baby first which charges the spirit, then nourishing with milk, then helping the child learn and move forward. To have a balanced life, the spirit is charged first, then basic needs like food and shelter are met, then the child can move forward. If you miss the first one, you wouldn’t call the second one love, just an obligation.

Many of us can relate to those fathers attending the hug school. One of my quotes is “passion is often fueled by missed opportunities”, because now I get to create and enjoy so much love in my life, that wasn’t there before.


These articles are co-written by James and Elisha, based on the books and work created and founded by James.

Charging our Spirit with Leaning Moments

“Our lives are defined and valued by our Leaning Moments”
-James Sarvis

 With May being Mental Health Awareness month, you might be wondering what you can do to make things better? As Leaning Moments decrease in families and our communities, there is a rise in depression and mental health issues. Therefore, I believe that Leaning Moments are the antidote. Just as food nourishes the body, Leaning Moments Charge the Spirit. What I am advocating is nothing new to modern science and health research all over the world. I read an article on CNN that stated, “well-hugged babies make less-stressed adults”. Our brains don’t develop the same when we lack Leaning Moments when we are young. It is scientifically proven that hugs release oxytocin levels, which is known as the love hormone. The hormones released can also help lower blood pressure and relieve stress. It is considered child abuse to deprive a child of food or shelter, but I believe we need to realize the importance of their “spiritual food” as well.

Several years ago I coined the term “spirit charger”, because I realized how important it was for us to charge our spirits, like we charge our cell phones. We keep extra chargers all over the house and in our cars to make sure our phones stay charged, but what if were just as aware of keeping our spirit charged the same way. I am not advocating you go out and hug everyone; there are so many ways to create Leaning Moments. A wave, a smile, a conversation, or playing with your children, are all ways we can charge our spirit through Leaning moments.

Maybe you are one of those people who say I am not a “people person”. What I have learned through observation is that a person can “charge their spirit” by 1,2, or all of 3 ways; Nature, Pets, and People. I think it’s important to evaluate how you charge your spirit. Once you have figured that out, you can be proactive about charging your spirit BEFORE it goes down. Go for a walk in nature, go spend some time with your pet, or go see someone you have positive predictability for Leaning Moments.

One of my quotes is “our lives are defined and valued by our Leaning Moments”. And, when you talk to someone it won’t be long before they tell you how they define themselves. They may talk about their love for nature, tell you that they are a grandmother, or show you pictures of their pet Yorkie. These are how they get there “Leaning Moments”, and how they value themselves.

When our spirits aren’t charged we lose connection to everything and everyone, and it’s like not having service on our cell phones. We are different, and some may be dangerous when their spirit is down. Depression is tied to value and it’s easy to destroy anything we don’t value, including ourselves.

 Leaning Moments are how we create love by charging our spirit, keeping us healthy, mentally and physically. And the good news is that Leaning Moments are free, and benefit all of us, including nature and pets.

These articles are co-written by James and Elisha, based on the books and work created and founded by James.

Positive Predictability for Leaning Moments

“Our lives are defined and valued by our Leaning Moments”.
-James Sarvis

Positive Predictability is a phrase I coined. Say it a couple of times. It’s a phrase that just feels good on your lips. Positive Predictability.  There are a couple of stories I like to tell that explain how important Positive Predictability is.

In this first story I want you to imagine you live in a community where your source of water is a well that you have to walk a couple of miles to every few days. You have been doing this for years and a neighbor always joins you. The two of you have enjoyed that trip together many times, walking and talking about life, with buckets in hand. Despite the long walk, you really appreciate the fresh, clean water that you can count on the well providing. One day, you get to the well with that usual expectation, but as you approach you realize there is no water in the well. Your heart sinks and a knot forms in your stomach. And now, you and your neighbor have to walk all the way back home with empty buckets and lowered spirits. The next day you and your neighbor go back because this water source is your life sustenance, but, this time the walk is somber. You try to talk about other things, but in the back of your mind you can’t help but wonder what to expect at the well today. As you walk up to the well, your heart starts beating fast. You take a deep breath and slowly peer over the wall of the well, and then you sigh in relief. There is water in the well today, and although you are so grateful, do you think that you would ever walk back to that well again with that peaceful, easy feeling you had before?

Another example is a story from when I was a little boy.  I had an uncle who lived a couple of states away who was coming over for a visit. I was so excited because I had memories of good times in the past. So, when I saw his car pull up I ran to the house as fast as I could. I had been playing in a small pond behind our house, which was really just a mud hole from recent rain. As a result, I had mud on my feet and legs. My uncle and I reached my mom around the same time, who was standing outside on the porch. My mom was the first to say, “son, what have you been doing?”. And my uncle, instead of giving me any leaning moments, such as a wave, a hug, or even a smile, looked down at me and said to my mother in stern voice, “you outta put a stick on that boy”. If you don’t know what that means, he thought I should get a spanking. Imagine being a little boy, expecting a leaning moment, and getting those harsh words. I walked away from him that day, shocked and disappointed, and chose never to walk back to that well again. If that uncle chose, next time, to be that well of water for me, I wouldn’t of taken a chance.

Positive Predictability is so important, and once lost can become the opposite, which would be Negative Predictability.

In contrast to those stories, I have a sister who I have Positive Predictability for Leaning Moments. Whenever I visit, I can always expect that she will be standing outside waving as I leave. It charges my spirit, and It’s something I can count on. In fact, that wave is so predictable, that when Elisha and I visited her for the first time together, I told her with confidence to look for her to be waving as we went down the long driveway to leave. And, there she was. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

The well story always reminds me of Jesus, who is the ultimate Leaner. He is an example of a well of water that never runs dry. In the stories of Jesus, the people who went to him knew that they could expect Leaning Moments, or unconditional love. And subsequently, when people practice what Jesus taught, they live life more abundantly. I will write more on this topic later.

The people that it’s easy to say we love, are the ones that we have established the Positive Predictability for Leaning Moments. It’s that simple

These articles are co-written by James and Elisha, based on the books and work created and founded by James.

The DNA of love

“Our lives are defined and valued by our Leaning Moments.”
-James Sarvis


One of my books I am writing is called, “Leaning Moments, the DNA of love”. The title of that book came to me from a woman I met along my journey. After explaining to her my philosophy, and the power of leaning, she said, “You know James, you really have discovered the DNA of love, and you wouldn’t have to change a word, whether you were talking to a doctor, or a truck driver”.
So, what is the DNA of love?
It really is simple. I want you to grab a piece of paper, and write down 3 people that it’s EASY to say you love. Rod Stewart has a song that says, “the words I love you rolling off my tongue.” That’s the kind of love we are talking about here. I can guarantee that those are the people with whom you have “positive predictability” for Leaning Moments with.
A man that I knew well, is a great example of this for couples. Every single day, as soon as he got home, he went straight to his wife and gave her a hug. As a result, not only did the wife benefit from her Leaner husband, but the children did as well.  Subsequently, they created Leaners that created more Leaners, and so on.
Think about when you see a dad at the park, really leaning to his child, pushing them on the swing, or leaning with his arms stretched out, waiting for them to come down the slide. I bet without knowing anything else about them you would probably say “awe, he really loves them”. Leaning is an action that creates, what we think of as, that practical love.
Leaning Moments help build a foundation that people can grow on. Therefore, without that strong foundation created from a Leaner, kids often spend much of their life searching for what was missing, and this keeps them from moving forward.
The Beatles say, “All you need is love, love…” But I would add, love created through Leaning Moments, is all you need.

These articles are co-written by James and Elisha, based on the books and work created and founded by James.