Leaning Moments- The DNA of Love

Would you love for your child?

Do you believe that it’s possible for families to become closer while going through divorce and child custody matters? I would say yes! And here’s why:
I have been an attorney for 30 years and have dealt with many custody matters. The most valuable tool that I had the last few years of practicing was by far Leaning Moments and My Family Lines. I created these tools and used them to allay the fears of those going through a custody matter and expecting it to be a long, drawn out, and uncivil process. And I was able to assure them that their story doesn’t have to be that way.
Knowing what I know, and the power of these tools, I believe that every family court guardian ad litem, judge, and attorney should focus on whose line the child is on, and be able to determine who the Leaners or non-Leaner’s are in a child’s life. Without this, how could the best interest of a child be properly determined? Only Leaners can produce Leaner Kids.
I have coached families that have actually grown stronger during the proceedings and post divorce. I have coached parents whose child was drawn to the other parent whose Family Line they were on, and they feared that the divorce would put an even bigger wedge between them. Instead, they developed a close relationship with that child.
I’ve followed some of the families I coached and have seen the whole family growing, rather than being devastated by divorce, which often causes irreparable damage.
Often I have asked my clients these questions to help them see a different perspective; Are you willing to fight for your children? The answer is always “yes.” Would you fight a big, scary, strong man for your children? And the answer is always, “yes.” Would you fight a bear, a tiger, or a lion for your children? And the answer is always, “yes.” So you would be willing to risk life and limb to fight for your children? “Yes.” I knew they were giving me rote answers. Then I would ask, would you be willing to love anyone and seek peace for your children? And this question always left them stopped in their tracks. Then I would narrow in on the most important question. Would you be willing to love or have peace with your children’s mom, dad, or grandparents, for the children? There are some that answered this question, “yes I am.” And the people who honestly gave that answer were the strong ones, that made a positive outcome predictable. Weak people need all the strength they can muster, and are consequently in fights often, in one way or another. Strong people rarely need their strength.
“In family court, there are way too many parents who are weak enough to fight for their children, and far too few who are strong enough to love for their children.” I can assure you that fighting parents will bring out a family courts disdain, but peace in the court brings out their admiration. It’s a wonderful feeling to leave with the courts blessing.
Tony Danza, American actor on his mother’s line, said that he used to get into street fights often, but once he took up boxing and became stronger, he no longer had the need to fight. The stronger a person is, the less they need their strength.
I believe that when people know better, they will do better, especially for their families. This is a critical juncture for your family. Who your children become depends on you. Like boxing did for Danza, my simple tools have helped parents to become stronger immediately.
Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
If you need help contact us, or have your attorney or guardian ad litem contact us https://theleaninginstitute.com/work-with-us/


All article’s are co-written by James and Elisha

My Family Lines and Grandparents

In the introductory video to My Family Lines, https://youtu.be/cOWBgzsBFG4, we talked about the parent stage, and being an online parent or an offline parent. I spoke about the 3 different stages of life that are impacted by My Family Lines. We have stage 1: Home Life with mom and dad, 2: When you’re the parent, and finally stage 3: the grandparent or great-grandparent stage.
I am so thankful that by the time I got to the grandparent stage I had already discovered the power of Leaning Moments. All of my grandchildren, whether on my line or not, have positive predictability for Leaning moments. It’s almost impossible for me to describe the wonderful relationship I have with my grandchildren. This morning I got a phone call from my daughter, and I could hear my 1 year old grandson in the background saying, “pop-pop, pop-pop, pop-pop.” Even though they live a few hours away, and visits can often be infrequent, my baby grandson still feels that closeness between him and me. Positive predictability for Leaning Moments can be established even in long distance relationships. It’s about the quality of time, not the quantity.
Dr. Paul Ekman, American psychologist and professor, is known as the world’s most famous face reader. And, he states that you cannot control the small muscles in your face, they will always show the true emotions of your mind. He said that the voice is just as revealing. I believe that children are sensitive to this, too. You can’t fool a child. They can see the emotions reflected in your face, and feel the energy in your voice.
There was man who served on the board at the Institute, who for the sake of this article, we’ll call John. He held a Phd, and was a very smart and kind man. I sat across from him one day, and he told me about his family. He had custody of his two children, and I knew right away his son, 12 was on his line, his daughter, 10 was on her mother’s line. His face lit up with joy as he mentioned his son, but went down when he mentioned his daughter. Like Paul Ekman stated, you can’t control those small muscles in your face. He eventually opened up to me and said that his daughter was becoming quiet and drifting away from him. After explaining My Family Lines, he understood, and he really wanted to make things better for him and his daughter. I told him that the face that I saw when he talked about her is the same face that she sees, and she would feel that energy as well. I coached him and told him that before he went to her he needed to get himself in gear, and be ready to lean to her like he does his son. When I spoke with him later on he told me that he did as I suggested, and that he was enjoying a closeness with her that wasn’t there before. He said that now she was initiating the Leaning Moments, and this time his face lit up as he spoke about her. I knew that this would impact the direction of her life in a positive way.
As grandparents our roles are extremely important. Just as John learned, we too need to be proactive and intentional about the emotions we are emitting to our grandchildren. Their foundation is greatly influenced by us as grandparents, and our health is greatly influenced by the relationship we build with them.
Many people in history attribute their success to their grandparents. Carol Burnett, who praises her grandmother for not only being her rock, but inspiring her whole career. Oprah Winfrey, who states that, “I am where I am today because my grandmother gave me the foundation for success. Barack Obama, said about his grandparents, “they gave me love, a thirst for education, and a belief that we’re all apart of something larger than ourselves.” Eric Clapton said that his grandparents bought him his first electric guitar. Jamie Foxx dedicated his 2005 Academy Award to his grandmother for the impact she had on his life. Maya Angelou states that her grandmother is the greatest person she ever met. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and the world’s richest man said, he picked up his most crucial business skills from his grandfather, how to be resourceful, and self-reliant. He said that his grandfather also taught him that kindness often trumps intelligence.
To me it sounds like these people were all fortunate to have, what I call, Leaners as Grandparents. And how you treat your grandchildren, whether you are an online grandparent, or an offline grandparent, is a personal investment into your future, and into theirs. We see these stories as history, but what those grandparents had to do was to look into the future for their grandchildren. Each time they leaned, each time they encouraged, every lesson they taught, was an investment into their future.



All articles are co- written by James and Elisha

If you want the world to be a better place, recognize those who make it better.

“If you want the world to be a better place, recognize those who are already making it better.” -James Sarvis

    There was a story that went viral about a woman named Heather Gooch who was on an airplane with her 9-month-old baby boy, Aiden. Much like most babies on an airplane, her son started getting antsy. Heather was feeling stressed about this, but it wasn’t long into the flight before a flight attendant named Anissa noticed them, and offered to hold him. Aiden smiled and waved at passengers as Anissa walked him up and down the aisle. “Although this may not be a story that stands out from the rest, I wanted to thank her and let her know how appreciated she is,“ Gooch wrote. “We so often hear about the negative things going on so I wanted to share this story of someone who made my trip a little brighter.” Gooch said that Anissa deserves to be recognized for putting her baby on “cloud 9.”

    Several years ago I was staying in Nashville Tennessee at the Hampton Inn near the Vanderbilt University, when I encountered a woman named Miss Anita, the breakfast hostess in the dining area. There were several tables in there with maybe 15-20 guests. As I was eating, I noticed Miss Anita going over to guests, and quietly placing little boxes of mints beside them. She was saying something that I couldn’t hear as she was putting the little boxes down. Soon, she worked her way over to me. I saw her hand place a little box on my table, and she said in a kind and spirit-charging voice, “Good morning, sir. I hope you have a blessed day.” Then she went on her way. I sat there thinking about how good her kind words and simple gesture made me feel, and how much I appreciated it. After I finished eating, I saw Miss Anita standing as if she was waiting for someone who needed her service. I approached her, and I thanked her for the little gift and the kind words. Then, I asked her how long she had been doing that for guests, and she told me she’d been doing it for years. I asked her if any one had ever recognized her, or thanked her directly for doing it, and she said no. But, she said people remembered her when they came back. She told me about a lady and a little girl who were excited to see her, and she smiled as she said it.

     I told her at The Leaning Institute it was part of my mission to recognize Leaners like herself, and I gave her $50. She said that she really appreciated it so much and that things had been tough for her lately; and, that recognition was a bright moment for her. Miss Anita deserved being recognized.

    Another Leaner story came from my Amish friend, Regina. When her little boy was seriously ill with pneumonia, she had to stay in the children’s hospital for several days and nights. The first night she had to sleep in a chair next to him. But when I brought her husband back to visit the next day, she had a bed in their room. She had the biggest smile as she said, “A Leaner Nurse got me a bed.” She knew that I would know what she meant by a “Leaner Nurse.” Regina was so grateful. That bed brought much needed comfort and the nurse charged her spirit during a scary and difficult time.

    I think most of us know the difference between a Leaner Nurse vs a Non-Leaner Nurse when we or a loved one has had to stay in the hospital. This Leaner Nurse and others like her deserve to be recognized.

    Whether it’s a doctor, a teacher, a waiter, a policeman, a nurse, or anyone who makes your day a little better by leaning to you with kindness, recognize them. The mission at The Leaning Institute is to recognize Leaners, preserve the ones we have, and foster new Leaners.

If you want the world to be a better place, recognize those who are already making it better.



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



Let’s all be creative and move humanity along

“Creating love is the pinnacle of creativity”           -James Sarvis

Leaning Moments are all about charging our spirit through giving and receiving. I have talked about giving and receiving through a hug, wave, or conversation, but we also give and receive when we use our creativity to enhance our lives and others. Being creative is a person’s gift to humanity. When someone carves a statue, paints a picture, or writes a song, there is a magical moment that happens where the spirit of humanity received that gift.

I wrote a song to encourage creativity that goes like this:


Let’s all be creative and move humanity along;

Thank you for the verse and the rhyme

Thank you for the lights at Christmas time

Whether a bird house or a song

Be creative, move humanity along

You might paint a bird or a vase of roses

You might be the next Grandma Moses

Think of all the pictures on the wall

What if others would answer the call

Let’s all be creative and move humanity along.


Someone gave my mom a birdhouse that they had made. That bird house started out as scrapped wood, but through imagination and creation, turned into something that brought my mom so much joy. I feel certain that the builder of that bird house got just as much joy as my mom did. My mom told everyone how much she enjoyed it, and how pretty she thought it was. Its creator moved humanity along.

    It is our instinct to want to advance humanity, and If you want a better world, or a better life, you’ve got to have an imagination to do it. Albert Einstein said that “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” And just as you envision your art before you create it, it takes imagination to be able to see and create the life and world you want to have.

    Crosby, Stills, and Nash, an American folk rock supergroup, created music that was a gift to humanity, but they also had incredible insight into the importance of creativity. In an interview with Dan Rather, Nash speaks about how important the arts are in schools; and that studies show that as the arts decline, the violence and gangs increase.  Stills said, “It is not that we are trying to change the world, but convince people that it is possible.” Crosby said that their goal through their creative work was to “diminish the space between people.” Stills goes on to reassure people in their own creative endeavors that, “the muse will come if we open the door.”

    I share this goal with them, and creating love by leaning to each other with out-stretched arms, certainly diminishes the space between people like nothing else can.

    Since we’ve lost so much of our ability to create, it’s difficult for us to imagine our lives being better, or having a better world. But, I believe that it’s possible if we could just see it. We must be creative to make our lives and the world a better place.

So, let’s all be creative and move humanity along!



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




The special moments that create love

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

The book I am writing is called, Leaning Moments, The DNA of Love. Why are Leaning Moments the DNA of Love? Because “Love” does not exist standing alone within an individual. Love must be created between people. Leaning Moments create love. And it always takes action.

The reason I call these moments that create love “Leaning Moments,” is because “leaning” is the action required to produce all those wonderful emotions that charge our spirit, i.e., a hug, a wave, or even a conversation. And “moments,” because it’s been proven that our brain records our experiences in moments. It’s often those small, special moments that mean the most. Robert Bault said, “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” I believe that the “ little things” he is referring to are those moments that we want to remember the most. Just thinking back on the memories of our “Leaning Moments” can make us smile and charge our spirit.
I am not the only one who has realized the importance of “moments.”
 In his autobiography Mark Twain said, “That was one of the happiest half-dozen moments of my life.”
Or the quotes, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” And, “The best things in life are not things, they are moments.”

One of my quotes is, “Our lives are defined and valued by our Leaning Moments.” And, one day your family and friends will define and value your life based on Leaning Moments.

Oscar Hammerstein came close to saying “love must be created” in these lyrics from The Sound of Music:
A bell isn’t a bell until you ring it;
A song isn’t a song until you sing it;
The love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay;
Love isn’t love until you give it away.

Love is created by special moments, what I call Leaning Moments, The DNA of Love.



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

A spiritually that unites

“There would be less need for handouts if there were more hands reaching out.”

-James Sarvis

Discoveringr the power of Leaning has given me the simple tools to charge my spirit and keep it charged wherever I go. Because of this, I had no fear when I packed up and moved hundreds of miles north to Massachusetts to create the Leaning Institute, and spread what I had learned. During this time, shortly after the Institute opened, the recession hit and I saw millions of dollars melt right before my eyes. Surely, for many this would have felt like the end of the world, but I never lost my sense of peace. I knew that what I had discovered needed to be shared.
It wasn’t long after this that I decided to travel so I could focus on writing my books. One of my goals was to see if my work was, as the Dalai Lama says, something that could be elaborated alongside the religions in such a way that all people could adhere to it. Something that would bring us together, rather than separate us.
My answer came when I was invited to stay in a cabin on an Amish farm and be apart of the Amish family for a while. Using my work, I was able to help strengthen their family unit, and was able to see how my philosophy coincided and neighbored with their beliefs.
Jesus, Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King Jr, and many other great spiritual leaders are all Leaners, who set an example of the power of leaning to their fellow man (and woman). Their messages were never meant to separate people, but we have gotten off track and have created something that divides us and keeps us confused and depressed.

The people who can easily lean to others, regardless of their differences, don’t struggle with their spirituality. I believe the reason there is an opioid crisis and a depression problem growing is because so many people don’t know how to create a healthy spirituality. People who are hungry enough will eat out of the trash, and sadly, people whose spirits are down will often turn to “trash” to try to charge their lowered spirit, which leads to addiction.

The good news is that there are multiple ways to charge our spirit that’s free, but it does take action. I have seen that people will often do better, if they know better, and the beautiful part is that the only power that was required was within them.

There is a quote from a French philosopher that says, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience”.

If this is true, then our spiritual and our human experience affect each other. However, our spiritual needs must take priority. If you watch any loving mother you will notice that she always leans to her child first, charging the spirit, and then takes care of the babies physical needs. When we lean to each other we aren’t only charging our spirit, but each others. When the spirit is charged, it comes naturally to do good and to see good all around you. People whose spirit is charged see the world as a wonderful place with endless possibilities. Let’s create that spirituality by leaning to others with both hands reaching out.

“We must find, all of us together, a new spirituality. This new concept ought to be elaborated alongside the religions in such a way that all people of good will could adhere to it.” The Dalai Lama



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