Listen to My Exclusive Interview with
Michael and Jeffrey Eisen
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Empowered YOUth: A Father and Son’s Guide to Conscious Living by Michael and Jeffrey Eisen is the Father/Son book of the year in my opinion!
Michael Eisen is the Founder of the Youth Wellness Network (YWN), an organization dedicated to inspiring and empowering youth across the globe to live happier and more positive lives. YWN specializes in creating and implementing wellness programs in schools and organizations, while providing additional assistance through online resources.
Michael is a passionate, authentic, and charismatic speaker, author, and social entrepreneur. After positively transforming his own life at the age of 19 and overcoming challenges with stress, anxiety, depression, and sickness, he is now driven to share with other young people the principles, strategies, and practices that empowered him to start living a happier and healthier life.
Michael created YWN at the age of 25, in order to provide more extensive support programs and resources for youth struggling with similar challenges. Michael provides a fresh, young and authentic voice to the field of wellness and is rapidly becoming a youth wellness expert.
His first book titled Empowered YOUth: A Father and Son’s Guide to Conscious Living, has been co-authored with his father Jeffrey and published by Hay House. Learn more about this book, Michael, his father, Jeffrey and the tremendous journey of self-discovery!
What do you want to accomplish with this book?
Michael and Jeffrey: We want to show the world how it is possible that no matter how unhealthy a relationship may seem, it can be transformed it into one full of love, support, understanding and mutual respect. We want to illustrate that however deep rooted the challenges may be within the family unit, there is always hope for positive change. We want to show the world that in order to create long-lasting change in our society, every individual needs to make the necessary changes within themselves first. If we want a more empowered next generation, we need to live the most empowered version of ourselves first and then lead by example.
Your title is Empowered YOUth does this mean this book only for youth?
Michael and Jeffrey: Although this is a book about youth empowerment, we believe that the most important step in empowering youth is discovering and living the empowered YOU. We wrote this book for youth, parents, teachers and any adults that play a support role in the lives of youth. It wasn’t until Michael witnessed the changes that Jeffrey had made to live a more empowered life, that he was inspired to do the same for himself. Whether you are young or old, parent or child, teacher or student and interested in living a more empowered life, this book is for you.
What does the word “empower” mean to you and why did you choose it for the title?
Michael and Jeffrey: In our society, most people are taught from a young age that there are specific rules, restrictions and guidelines that need to be followed in order to live a “successful” life. This leads to feelings of inadequacy, indecisiveness, and the desire to be perfect. People are more fearful, stressed out, and unhappy than ever before. Clearly, this philosophy based on the principle of control is not creating the “successful” life that we thought it would. Our desire is to create more empowered people instead. Ones that are free to follow their dreams, open to all possibilities, and confidant in their abilities. The Empowered YOU is happy, fulfilled, relaxed, creative and the master of their own destiny. We believe that moving from a place of control to empowerment is crucial if we are to create sustainable positive change in our world.
Why did you capitalize the YOU in youth in the title?
Michael and Jeffrey: The title of the book has a double meaning. We share our story of how Jeffrey was able to empower Michael to live a happier and healthier life at a young age. Michael became so inspired by the changes that occurred in his life that he now teaches the same principles and strategies, that Jeffrey taught him, to youth across the world. One of the purposes of this book is youth empowerment because a happier, healthier and more optimistic younger generation will lead to sustainable positive change in our society. The other purpose of this book is to illustrate the importance of empowering yourself no matter what age you are. It is the change in YOU that will enable change in others. In order to truly empower youth we believe that we all must live the empowered YOU first.
What makes your book unique?
Michael and Jeffrey: There are very few books out there that are co-authored by a father and son duo and none that we know of that tell such an inspiring story with a true happy ending. Another thing that makes Empowered YOUth unique is the fact that it is written from two unique perspectives: the parent and the child. It appeals to a broader audience because the parent generation will be able to relate to Jeffrey’s story, and the younger generation will easily relate to Michael’s. It is these two perspectives that allow both parents and children to understand one another on a deeper level. In addition, this book does not only share our stories of triumph, but also provides practical insights and applied wisdom strategically infused throughout.
Why would someone want to hear about your family story?
Michael and Jeffrey: When we first sat down to write this book, we were a bit hesitant to share our story because it seemed so ordinary. What we came to realize was that it was the typical nature of our story that made it so powerful. The truth is before we made any changes in our lives, our story was so similar to that of many parents, children, and families. The atypical part of our story is that we both (Jeffrey led and Michael followed) had the courage and determination to change our lives for the better. It is the relate-ability to the early part of our story that will grab the reader’s attention. But it is the latter part of our story that will inspire positive change.
With distress and bullying among youth on the rise does your book offer any solutions?
Michael: In my story you will read how I experienced distress, and many accounts of bullying throughout my childhood and teenage years. I believe that by sharing my story, I am uncovering the biggest root cause of this behavior – a lack of self-esteem. I believe we are facing an epidemic on this issue in our society, especially amongst youth. In my opinion, the solution to this challenge is teaching youth how to love, respect, and value themselves. In my story I share how I was able to reclaim my own self-worth and as a result overcome the distress that was caused by these dramatic experiences. In doing so, I provide practical tools and strategies for others to overcome these challenges in their own lives.
What was it like for a father and son to co-author a book together?
Michael and Jeffrey: As we began writing the book we both realized that we wanted to tell the story and explain each concept in our own way. Because we both are so self-assured and natural born teachers, there was a bit of a struggle to find a common ground. As a result, this brought up some old unconscious habits and beliefs that fueled the fire. We began to slip back into old patterns and to treat each other in ways that we hadn’t in a while. After taking a step back and reflecting on the situation, we both realized the amazing gift we had been given. Without writing this book together we may not have had the opportunity to work through some deeper more unconscious kinks that were still present in our relationship. If we were going to help parents and youth work through their issues, then we needed to continue to work through ours. We wrote this book together because we believe in the power of co-creation. When two people come together, put aside their own egos and personal drama, and are unified by a common mission; the finished product is significantly more powerful. The experience of writing this book together has enhanced our relationship.
How did you get Louise Hay to write the foreword for your book?
Michael: I had the privilege of meeting Louise at a Hay House event in Toronto and we formed an instant bond. It had been her vision for quite some time to share her work with kids, but she was not yet sure how she was going to accomplish this. When she found out that I was already working with youth, she was excited that we shared a common vision and decided to take me under her wing. We have since become close friends and I have learned a great deal from her guidance and support. She opened the door for me to the Hay House family and played an instrumental role in getting this book published. I am forever grateful for her friendship and support.
Is your book just about your personal stories or is there more to it?
Michael and Jeffrey: Although our personal story will hopefully capture the reader’s attention, it is the insights and principles that we share throughout the book that have the greatest potential for creating long lasting change in people’s lives. Each chapter consists of our story combined with principles and strategies that are displayed in side bars and call out boxes. These principles and strategies were instrumental in moving us from struggle to awakening, conflict to cooperation, control to freedom, and fear to love. We also provide more practical tools and techniques in our resources section at the end of the book that inspires the reader to take these insights and put them into action. It is these principles, strategies, tools and techniques that can provide a roadmap for living the empowered YOU.
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