Mike Thomas, Greatness Educator, HFL Empowerment Coach, and Holistic Fitness Trainer, is the founder and co-owner of Holistic Fitness Lifestyle and has been trained and certified by Dr. Matt James, The Empowerment Partnership and Board Certified by the Association for Integrative Psychology as a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming, Master Practitioner of Hypnosis and Mental Emotional Release® Therapy. He is certified by the NSCA as a Personal Trainer and is dedicated to the balance of mind and body. With over 15 years of experience in the field, his innovations in supporting mind-body fitness create a new approach to fitness that cultivates a focused mind, strong body, emotional intelligence to support the most joyful life, and the limitless energy that comes from a deeper connection to spirit. By combining the very different, yet complimentary Eastern and Western approaches to fitness, he has developed a unique style of training resulting in balance on all levels: Body, Heart, Mind and Spirit. He calls this “Holistic Fitness.” As a teacher and role model in his field, he encourages his clients to open their minds to use a holistic, comprehensive view of life and fitness. Mike is a welcoming presence for all who wish to find deep healing, and reconnect with their greater life path and potential. With more than a decade of experience in the field, he continues to learn and grow in mind and body in order to further his impact on his clients and the community.
Mike grew up the first son of six children in a small community of two wonderful parents that were the model masculine and feminine “man” and “woman” of their town. His mother had travelled the world, earned top academic grades in school, learned multiple languages, and became the prima ballerina for the Pennsylvania school for ballet by age 17. She always spoke humbly abut her accomplishments and let that all go to become a nurturing mother that inspired him to learn the emotional intelligence to connect deeply as she does to the heart in service to others. My father played sports with the strength and power of a Spartan Warrior on a level that inspired a generation in that small town to reach for their greatness. As a drummer, his father had a drum set in the house which supported him in developing a love for playing music that he does to this day to connect deeply to his vibration of inspiration. Having created a successful, small business in general contractor, his father was a “man’s man” that left huge shoes to fill as his first-born son.
Of all the sports that he learned from his father, it is skateboarding that has his heart. Thirty years since he first learned to ride on that board, it is now his hobby of inspiration, source to practice personal mastery, exercise, and favorite creative expression. By the time he was ten years old, it was clear to him that his emotional sensitivity distinguished him from how he assumed his father wanted me to be. This disempowered mindset of looking to be just like his father propelled him into a deeply introspective and reclusive inner-life that deepened further after his parents divorced. His parents divorced when he was 11, and having few options with a failing economy, his father’s business folded, he moved to Colorado to escape the pain of a failed marriage, and the family quickly fell into poverty. He and his brother, just a year and a half younger, used skateboarding and playing music in a rock band together to distract from the pain of their suddenly challenged life. His mother went back to school to become a nurse, and they often skipped meals or went to friends houses just to eat while their mother cleaned houses just to get by. Using drugs, smoking, and drinking to numb his inner emotional pain and managing his confusion around losing his father’s presence and living in poverty as a preteen, his appendix inevitably ruptured at age 14 where he had a near-death-experience while fighting for his life with pneumonia, losing body weight at an alarming rate. After seeing he had a clear choice to make to live by changing lifestyle, he moved to live for a year with his father in Colorado to rebuild a new life.
It was this year with his father that supported him in cultivating a life dedicated to health an fitness where he skateboarded everyday, did every physical education class available, and learned about holistic health from his father, who had refocused his life to learn homeopathy, polarity therapy, massage, nutrition using Ayurveda, and Landmark Education to hone the power of the mind in creating a life of limitless possibility. His father’s willingness to shift his life to rebuild himself to live a life of serving others in their health and wellness inspired him to cultivate the career he has today. He learned the value and power of a sensitive heart and to simultaneously cultivate a warrior’s spirit. Mike began to see that my desire to be like him was simply a reflection of his personal greatness as he chose to own his individual gifts and personal greatness in dedication and cultivated enthusiasm to achieve any goal he set his mind to achieving. He learned to build himself up from having lost a severe amount of body mass and will to live to becoming a successful athlete in skateboarding, and wrestling with an indomitable spirit. It is this will to overcome any obstacles in his path by seeing them as opportunities for growth that has allowed him this exceptional enthusiasm and zest for life he now effortlessly commands. With a focused mind, an open and loving heart, inspiration from a higher purpose than himself, he can achieve anything he sets his mind to achieve, and shares that with others with effortless ease.
He fell in love and got married at age 19, with two beautiful children that quickly became his life’s focus. Life seemed perfect as they struggled together to create a life they could both be proud of, rising above the challenging circumstances of their community and families. Without much exposure from people outside his small town, Mike grew confident in what he knew in life, yet he realized that at some point he would venture out into the world to learn about other ways of life other than his own sheltered experience. Having only a few years of college under his belt, it was quite a balancing act of creating a career, going to school, and working as a personal fitness trainer. During this time he played drums in a few bands, competed as a skateboarder and a wrestler, winning a few tournaments and contests, coaching junior high school kids with two undefeated seasons, and even toured as a semi-pro skateboarder with a few sponsors. It was at this time that Mike began to research, practice, and refine what developed in the Holistic Fitness Lifestyle using principles of yoga, T’ai Chi, functional fitness, meditation, mindfulness, and seeking the best possible habits to reveal inner human greatness. Despite numerous obstacles of going in and out of poverty and life challenges, he fought for a passionate life that he loves and can be proud of, and inspire those around him to create the life of his dreams. With few tools to navigate a marriage, raising kids and a full life, they divorced 7 years in, and he found himself jumping into the challenge and opportunity of starting over with a hope for new beginnings, a zest for life, and a taste for adventure.
Having never really dated as an adult, the next adventure seemed to call Mike in the form of learning a deeper self confidence, understanding the human condition, and how to cultivate a universal human blueprint for success in any area of life. He fine-tuned the best tools he could learn and practically apply through different methods of communication and social mastery. He began in the dating scene, seeking to learn to uncover the confidence he had always valued as his father demonstrated an effortless ability to inspire and captivate people in conversation. Having been raised in a religious community, learning to cultivate confidence in a world where being a man is often viewed as potentially threatening was his opportunity in disguise to uncover the a path to gentle compassion for himself and others through mastering communication and understanding basic social psychology. With a curious spirit and a loving heart, it was the art of conversation and understanding human condition that led him toward discovering the spiritual practice of Huna (Hawaiian Shamanism that utilizes the power of cultivating spirit through re-patterning habits of the unconscious mind). Little did he realize it would lead him toward the path of spiritual practice he lives and teaches today! He soon found a remarkable woman from New York who pulled herself up from being homeless as a teenager to working successfully in corporate America as an adult, and sponsored extreme sports athletes and musicians with a side business utilizing her clothing line. Mike connected around sponsoring him as a skateboarder in her company,they began dating, and then got married as he took on the role being the step-father of her four children, two of whom are mentally disabled, and his life of service got a massive kick-start in learning to support others on a deep, heart-level. She supported Mike in connecting to the corporate world, where he got experience in corporate wellness seminars and workshops, supporting health on all levels of self using the skills h had developed. Their relationship was exciting and provided the new expansive awareness he was looking to develop while supporting her personal growth. Taking a turn to completion, their relationship was rocky at best, yet he now had the opportunity to cultivate a deep understanding of human relationships through learning from those life challenges. Masculine and feminine dynamics between people and within individuals, became crystal clear to Mike through these challenges, and he used that life experience to cultivate a mastery and wisdom around balancing masculine and feminine energies within individuals and relationships. Through tragedy that no parent should have to experience (specifics are left out to support confidentiality) and unexpected life challenges, they parted ways and he moved on to create a new level of living life with his love and business partner, Danielle Ivins-Fishman.
Through Danielle’s exceptional gift for holding a compassionate and loving space for growth, their partnership has cultivated a daily practice that enhances energy, focus, passion for serving others, and taking life to the next level of greatness for any human being who desires this level of expressing excellence in life. Through further studying collaborative communication and wellness tools such as Nonviolent Communication (a.k.a. “Compassionate Communication”) and Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), the Holistic Fitness Lifestyle was born, and exists to support all who desire connecting to their greatest life as a human being. Through creating a clear focus on what you want (Mind), cultivating a deeper emotional intelligence (Heart), and fine-tuning your breathing and alignment (Body) to craft a physical vehicle for effortless fun play in daily activities, you channel inspiration through connecting to your unique purpose in this life (Spirit). You create a life of greatness as YOU define it.
Danielle and Mike have studied, practiced, and facilitated personal growth for themselves and their clients using the tools they have developed together as the Holistic Fitness Lifestyle. Through a daily practice of meditation, visualization (Huna practice), affirmations, and exercise, they have crafted a system of retraining unconscious daily habits to give you the tools for personalizing the life of your dreams.
Mike’s life story reflects his desire to redefine greatness to illustrate the value of an individual’s unique purpose in this life, and that diversity creates empowerment through teamwork. We are all masters of a particular area of life that supports others in a way that adds value to theirs lives and gives us the deepest fulfillment in serving others using our own specific gifts. The beauty of defining greatness in this way is that the meaning of your life is what you choose to learn from it to create the greatest life as YOU define it! This shift in mindset allows you to create your own reality and use that focus to channel inspiration in serving others doing what you love, cultivate empowering thoughts that foster positive, vivacious emotional states MORE OFTEN, and use that limitless energy to fuel a fit body that serves as a vehicle for fun play in lifestyle, excitement, and gratitude in the fantastic life YOU have created!