the following post is dedicated to my mentor/friend, george kousaleos, on his 60th birthday:
first of all, i'd like to personally thank you for allowing me to attend massage therapy school at the CORE Institute in 1992. ..furthermore, thank you for sponsoring the hardee fellowship that allowed me to pursue a degree at florida state while interning/externing at CORE.
together, we built a Wellness Program, a Teacher Training Program, and a Massage Therapy Curriculum that is second to none.
heck, we did Distance Learning before there was even a thing called Distance Learning!
we grew, through national accreditation, national certification and international presentations (in places like montreal, canada and santorini, greece).
i've seen you enjoy your highest of highs, and i've seen you suffer through the aftermath of a severe t-bone car accident -- the one where you had to be extracted by an emergency crew, using the jaws of life.
as your understudy... and eventually your office-mate, i got to know the man: the Core, of CORE.
i am forever grateful.
ladies and gentlemen, listening to this tonight: please allow me to say a few words about papa george; about geo; about george kousaleos -- he who has already been recommended for and entered into florida's massage therapy hall of fame.
george is generous. ..he will take you to lunch, and you will fail miserably when/if you attempt to pick up the tab. ..he (and patty) have taken care of numerous students in need, especially at those times when a student had experienced a family emergency (because, in the kousaleos world, it is ALL about family).
repeat: it is ALL about family.
in fact, i cannot mention george without mentioning is co-self, the Love of his life, the woman of his dreams, the spark of Light behind the scenes, patty. ..we Love you, patty!
they really, really, really care -- about you. ..and those of you out there who've been taken care of -- well...
you know what i'm talking about.
george is an emotional, conscious human being. ..i have personally seen him spend time with homeless people who've wandered-on into the school, straight off of carolina street. ..if you think that you've seen george cry (at graduations, reunions, etc.), you've only seen a tiny part of the depth of this man -- a man that feels deeply, Loves with passion, and yearns to heal the wounds of our planet, our country and our community.
i've seen george, glowing, on christmas eve at tallahassee memorial hospital, where he makes a habit of offering massage therapy to patients, family and hospital staff. ..to those students who have accompanied george to t.m.h., allow me to also honor you at this time.
i've seen george angry. ..it doesn't happen often, but trust me, you do not want to be in the same grid-zone when the founder of geotouch has been pushed to his limit. ..i've seen george come to the defense of his beauty-full daughters (alana, jen) on numerous occasions where he literally re-defined the term "Unconditional Love."
pity on the poor soul who ever attempts to do harm to george's nest, and pity that poor, sorry soul a thousand, zillion times over -- if he ever, ever, ever makes the mistake of mistreating patty.
but there's more: george can go toe-to-toe with anyone, yes... but... fifteen minutes later (just like the after-party that follows a grueling rugby game) george will bestow forgiveness and forget-full-ness, and he will put his arm around you, and he will sing with you...
because george's heart is One of Love.
ladies and gentlemen... friends of george... you all know that this essay could go on for days. ..story after story after story could flow from these fingertips.
george my brother...
please Know that everyone who you have ever touched...
has been touched in a way that very few on this earth can ever imagine.
you are a man among men, an educator extraordinaire, a mentor, a brother, a friend, a father,
a husband to the Love-ly patty...
you're the man with the Vision.
you are... the Core of the CORE.
we LOVE you.
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