TRIALS by FIRE

My Improbable Journey to Happiness

Contents

Author’s Comment i

1 About This Book for You 1

2 Unspeakable Murder and The Dream 3

3 Self-Sabotage and The Mind 24

4 Spinal Injury and The Body 62

5 Execution Day and The Spirit 85

6 There’s More 115

7 What I Learned About Our Mind 124

8 What I Learned About Our Body 182

9 What I Learned About Our Spirit 225

10 What I Learned About Our Mind, Body, and Spirit 239

11 What I Learned About What Everyone Wants Most 242

12 Earn It 250

If You Enjoyed My Book 268

Concluding Author’s Comment 269

Acknowledgements 277

TRIALS by FIRE

My Improbable Journey to Happiness

1

About This Book for You

“We cannot force someone to hear a message they are not ready to receive, but we must never underestimate the power of planting a seed.”
The Contemplative Monk

In a world where many live in quiet desperation, seeking happiness in so many wrong ways and in so many wrong places, I have been asked many times how I am happy despite what I have experienced in my life. It’s a question that cannot be answered well in a few sentences, so some have encouraged me to write a book about overcoming tough times.

The truth is that I have a passion to write another book. Years ago, I began journaling to help me through a tragic crime that became a national news headline story. Years later, with book offers, movie offers, and encouragement from prominent best-selling authors, I was on my way to turn my journal entries into a book and movie screenplay. I was—until I began delivering health and wellness motivational talks.

As I delivered my talks, which included my true crime story, I became increasingly frustrated. I did not have enough time during even a ninety-minute talk to go into the depth I wanted to about what I had learned. Realizing that a book based on my talk could inform much more than I ever could through my

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talk finally moved me to write this self-improvement book before my true crime book.

I’m thankful I have because everyone can benefit from this book. But only those who are ready for it will. And, while it includes what you may want to hear, it also includes what you may not want to hear, but need to.

This is not a “typical” self-improvement book. I have not found another like it. It’s not typical because I use three of my life trials to identify mind, body, and spirit challenges, and show what I did to overcome them. This has prompted some to call this a memoir and self-improvement book. I don’t know about you, but I would rather read a book about happiness written by someone who has overcome tough times and become happy through it. But, whether called a memoir, a self-improvement book or a blend of them, this book reveals how you can help yourself in the same ways I have learned to help myself.

This book is also not a typical self-improvement book because of the nature of one of my life trials. An integral part of my talk, and this book, is what my true crime book is about. If including an unspeakable crime in a book like this isn’t unusual enough, even more unusual is that this crime story is intertwined with a true spiritual story that is a vital part of my talk and this book. As unusual, even strange, as some aspects of this spiritual story may be, I have included them in this book because they are part of the true story I experienced.

While I have given interviews about my true crime trial by fire for television news, newspaper, and magazine stories, as well as for television documentaries, my story is mostly untold. Although it is the most in-depth account so far of what I lived through, what you will read in this book is only a movie trailer of my true crime story experience.

In the pages that follow, you will learn about my three dire prediction trials. I will share what I discovered from them. Then you will see how you can apply what I learned to your life, to overcome your tough times and go on to realize what everyone wants most.

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Of course, learning something without applying it is wasted unless you act on it. Acting on what you will learn is the ultimate key to attaining the happiness everyone wants most. And acting on what you will learn is up to you.

As I said, everyone can benefit from this book, but only those who are ready for it will. I have written this book for you. For your sake and your happiness, I hope you are ready for it. If you are not, I hope what you read in this book will be the seed you need to sprout and grow in your mind to move you to be ready for real happiness one day.

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TRIALS by FIRE

My Improbable Journey to Happiness

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Unspeakable Murders and The Dream

They are called dire predictions for good reason. Individually, they could have been life-shattering. Because of the murders, they were nearly life-ending. I intimately know of them because they were trials by fire I faced along the road of my improbable journey to happiness...

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Dream Creations