Don West, Jr.
The Legacy Specialist

"Be the Change You Want 
to See in the World!"

Don's Personal Blog

The words, thoughts and feelings of me, Don West, Jr.

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Powerful by the Empire Cast (feat. Jussie Smollett and Alicia Keys)

Posted by donwestjr on January 19, 2016 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (3)

Every morning I begin my day with a shower and this song.  If you have never watched the Fox television show Empire then you may have never seen this episode.  The lyrics of the song are just as the title says, powerful.  I also like how the Cookie and Lucious characters on the show have a clear understanding of the concept of legacy and long-term planning.  I strongly encourage you to take a few minutes and take this song in for yourself.

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Thought of the Day - Leigh Steinberg

Posted by donwestjr on December 29, 2013 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)
"Challenge yourself, it's fine not to be a totally finished person." ~ Leigh Steinberg, ( @SteinbergSports )

Untethered in 2012

Posted by donwestjr on January 13, 2012 at 3:35 AM Comments comments (0)

A Statement by Donald L. West, Jr., JD

Untethered.  That is the goal.  This piece was inspired by three people that I have known-

1)  Professor Marc Fajer of University of Miami School Law;

2)  Melissa Presser author of the blog Mary F. Poppins ; and,

3)  My old boss and good friend Leigh Steinberg.

And also by one person that I have never met- Catherine Zeta-Jones. So now I have shared the goal and the inspiration, but you are probably asking why does he feel tethered in the first place?  Well, for the past four years I have lived in cave, hiding from the world ~ trying to hide from the truth.  (I know your like Donald's been in a cave the past four years?  Wait till you see me when I get out of the cave at the end of this...)  I have felt as though there was a rock, a weight, a burden so huge and big on my back that I could not look to face the warm rays of the sun, nor the cool sparkle of the stars.  So here goes my statement, the truth shall set you free…

Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be an attorney, many people have heard me tell my story.  Then very late one evening on Miami Beach in 2001, my old roomie from law school, in his capacity as a Florida Notary, swore me into The Florida Bar.  Well my life’s quests were complete, I was an attorney and a sports attorney at that – done and done.  What next, where is the next great insurmountable mountain to climb?  Boy if I only knew then that the little mole hill I was looking for was actually a tiny foothill at the beginning of the great Andes Mountain range.  So here is the deal, in or around 2001 I became aware that I was different than other people.  I say aware, because prior to attending law school I had obtained a degree in psychology from Florida State.  More than once during many an undergrad psychology class reading assignment or during a bit of self-reflection I would think, boy that sounds a bit like me.  And in 2001 at the age of 27 things began to change with my mood and energy levels.

Like many others before me impacted by all sorts of challenges I had and have developed coping mechanisms to appear as ‘normal’ as all of you.  So, let’s fast forward to the end 2008 when Kaynaz, (my then girlfriend, now wife), was in Dubai completing her MBA and I was state-side in Miami, Florida working as you guessed it – an attorney.  Some things had changed, I was no longer working as a sports lawyer, I had refocused my practice on the estate & legacy planning areas of concentration; but to keep revenues flowing to my solo practice my case load looked much more similar to a general practitioner. 

I was rocking things, I had clients, I had co-authored a book, launched a publishing company was named a Fellow of the American Bar Association in Trusts & Estates and then in December 2008 ~ a bi-polar episode.  This was not the first and probably will not be the last that I will experience in my life, but at least in this case, as well as others in the past, this episode proved to be life altering. 

Much of this was due to the fact that I always worked to keep it quite, hidden – I felt compelled too, was wrongly counseled by fellow attorneys and even a therapist or two who'd say, ‘Don’t let anyone find out.”  But that is like trying to hide crutches under a trech coat.  Bottomline, “I was taken out of the Game.”  The result was that I had to be step away and take some time to take care of myself.  Don West, Jr. required an unscheduled sabbatical.  These types of sabbaticals often have dire and long-lasting consequences. Mine was not any different.  I failed to properly close out numerous open items, including several of my legal clients’ cases.  I made errors in managing my condition prior to the episode and am responsible for all the consequences of said mismanagement. 

I am guilty of being an ineffective and consequently dishonest lawyer during this period.  In the end, I have failed to communicate with the Bar because I was too ashamed to tell the truth.  It has consequences;everything does.  So the truth is that Don West, Jr. is a ‘wee bit’ bi-polar, currently in the midst of serving a one-year suspension [that was extended to three years in total for delays in making restitution and failing to communicate] from the Florida Bar for being a “Dishonest” attorney and I still dream of building on the work of Leigh Steinberg and changing the world in unbelievable ways.  I am a dreamer and I always have been.  But I also make my dreams come true – I've been doing it all my life. “I’mma be what I set out to be, without a doubt, undoubtedly.” Lucky for me that I am also a high hurdler, cause I got a hella lot of hurdles to get over….

Here is the clipping from the Floirda Bar News as it appeared on March 11, 2011:

That is all folks, that is as juicy as the skeletons in the closet get. :)  But now that they are out - I am UNTETHERED!


From the Desk of Don West, Jr. - New Year's Resolutions

Posted by donwestjr on December 14, 2011 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I have given up the practice of New Year's Resolutions, instead when I see a need to make a resolution I do it then and there.  I continually seek to evaluate myself and course correct.  More importantly to find beauty in the flaws and imperfections of life and its circumstances.  So instead I share my current theme song, if you understand - you understand; if you do not... well - evolve!

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On A Spiritual Quest ~ Pranic Healing, the NFL's Ricky Williams and Me

Posted by donwestjr on July 7, 2011 at 12:33 PM Comments comments (0)

When the student is ready the teacher will appear.

For this post to make proper sense and to be understood in the proper context, it will require a little bit of background to understand my personal spiritual journey to properly interpret recent events.  As a child I was blessed to have a very deeply rooted biblical education, starting with a regular emphasis and practice in my both my parents’ and both sets of grandparents’ homes.  When I was in second grade my parents moved to Huntsville, Alabama to place our family in the center of a Seventh Day Adventist University campus. During my childhood I was deeply enthralled by all of the stories in the Bible, especially of Jesus and abundant love. As a child with a vibrant and active imagination, I regularly had all kinds of day dreams and fantasies about hanging out with my friend Jesus. 

From this very young age, I have maintained a question about how all the various and scattered peoples on the earth, all those who were not within the immediate reach of the Fertile Crescent, seemed to have no opportunity to relate or commune with the one true god and his wonderfulness.  It seemed very clear from the teachings I received as a child that the Jews, and later the Christians through Christ’s death, were availed of a relationship with the Creator of our world and universe.  But it also taught that everyone else was outside of relationship and communion with the Creator.  This question would knawel on the edges of my mind for over the next 30 years.  Around the age of16 I stopped attending church regularly, and by 19 years old I was intellectuallychallenging the veracity of the happy messages of Jesus from my childhood. 

Through my dark years of having no spiritual base or refuge I would classify myself as an agnostic, not sure of what there was out there, but pretty sure it was not simply nothing.  After meeting my wife to be, Kaynaz back in 2001, I returned to church due to her positive influence, although not regularly.  From the inception of the path laid out for me as a child I began a quest of investigation seeking understanding that crossed the paths of Quantum Physics, The Institute of Noetic Sciences,Metphysics and many of the world’s religions including Christianity, Buddasim, Taoism, Zorastraianism, Islam and many ancient religions from Africa, South America and Asia.  And then in or about 2005, I was introduced to a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer. 

Dr. Dyer’s teaching resonated with me in a very powerful way, I could not get enough ofhis words and insights.  My beliefs evolved to understand that everything throughout the fabric of our Universe is energy, and a connected energy at that. In quantum physics this phenomenon is encapsulated in modern String Theory.  Comparing the teachings of the various religions I began to see evidence of what I call, the One Message; delivered by numerous messengers of various shapes, sizes and designations throughout history.  With each discovery and insight I would thrust myself deeper down the rabbit hole.  There are so many sources to add to your experience, especially if you are a reader.

So that is the background that brings us forward to about three weeks ago when I received a Facebook message from an old friend and former client of mine, Ricky Williams, saying he was in Orange County, California and asking if I would be around that evening.  I messaged him back and we eventually made plans to get together later at his hotel. I had not seen or spoken to Rick for six or seven years, so the abilityof Facebook to make a reunion possible was exciting and a sign of the new world we live in.  The plan was to meet Rick athis hotel and take it from there.


So, later that evening as I walked up to room 301 I was uncertain about what to expect.  I was about to walk in and visit with my old friend Rick, a friend whom according to all public accounts had engage in an amazing life journey during that time-span since we last met. Through the public accounts, I knew he had spent a significant amount of time studying yoga and eastern healing techniques, and this left me pondering how had my friend changed since our last encounter.  I pushed open the slightly ajar door and there at the table in a silent hotel room sat a serene looking Ricky Williams,smiling over the book that he was reading. He popped up from his seat and crossed the room and gave me a welcoming hug.  Over the next few hours Rick shared the journey he’d traveled over the past decade, including Yoga in Australia,his experiences with Prantic Healing, a form of energy healing, and his discovery of Osteopathic Medicine.  The tome he was reading upon my arrival was the autobiography of Andrew T. Still, the founder of the osteopathic medical field.

I was shocked that in a sense my friend had not changed very much at all. He still had the same endearing magnetism, at times stunningly brilliant with a sharp-witted humor.  We talked of quantum physics and metaphysics.  I shared how my spiritual journey included the discovery of the teachings of Dr.Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra.  It was a sharing session of two people who have been on a quest of both education and enlightenment, highlighted by Rick’s expression of his talents for healing.  As he continued to convey with deep passion the importance of energy and having an understanding and relationship with the energy that surrounds us. The imagery was fascinating as most of the he knowledge he conveyed was delivered with a heavy dose of eastern philosophic influence.

I was shocked by the depth of understanding and passion Rick had for the things he was studying.  It seemed so coincidental that all that I had been studying was leading me to this place ~ “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”  His path, conviction, and the ideologies he shared moved me to humbly ask that Rick become my guide, my teacher.  He quickly responded that he would assist me and also offered to perform a Pranic energy healing for me. 

How did the healing experienceunfold?  I have always felt the energies within and around me, but for most of my life these experiences occurred in what is called an unconsciously aware state. That is to say, I felt the energies, aware of there presence, but had not actual knowledge of what they really were or how they functioned. In recent years I have become more aware of the power, characteristics and presence of energies all throughout the universe.  So Rick informed me that I would need about a half an hour where I could be relaxed and uninterrupted.  Once we found a mutually agreeable time, the session began.  There is no touching/physical contact that takes place during the energy healing session, so lyingin a very relaxed position, Rick instructed me to say a short invocation and affirmationof acceptance of the power of energy healing. In the relaxed state, I began to focus on my breathing and heartbeat, as I have done in meditation sessions, a technique I use to become more aware and in tune with my own energy flow.  As I relaxed and I also became aware of strange sensations in my legs, it is hard to actually describe, but the normal vibrations and feeling of my legs was disrupted, they felt different as if it were being manipulated.  I felt similar disruption/manipulation in various locations most often associated with the Chakras as well as in what I believe to be my liver.  But the amazing thing was not the unusual feelings and sensations within my own body during the session; it was not until days afterward when I noticed how my entire energy flow had returned to decades ago, when I was filled with vigor and confidence.  What I discovered is that within us are deep wells and reservoirs of energy that flows from the Source.  There are all sorts of ways for our energy flows to become blocked, slowed or turned off all together.  These very things had occurred to me casuing energy blockages, and again I was unconsciously aware that something was drastically different, prior to the healing session I had remarked to myself that I was not feeling like the same old Don, that my passion and energy seemed to have fizzled away.  But through the session and a bit of insight received from Rick on the heavy importance of energy to everything we see, think, feel and experience.  I am now consciously aware of the energies I encounter every moment and have embarked on a path to better understanding and embrace these boundless energies.  If your journey has allowed this post to spark a curiosity about how an energy healing could change your life then I encourage you to engage a healer, I would recommend Rick based on personal experience, and start your journey of discovery today.

You can reach Rick and schedule a healing through his foundation at


Plan Your Work - Creating a Personal Life Plan

Posted by donwestjr on April 25, 2011 at 4:54 PM Comments comments (0)

My dad always says, "Plan your work and work your plan."

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Today I am working on my Personal Life Plan.  As a tool I am using Michael Hyatt's free e-book, "Creating Your Personal Life Plan" and thought I would share it with you as well.  Stay tuned and I will share with you the results of what develops and the quality of its instruction.

FREE eBook: Creating a Personal Life Plan

Sadly, I have met very few people who have a plan for their lives. Most are passive spectators, watching their lives unfold a day at a time. This is why so many end up at the wrong destination. Now you can learn HOW to plan YOUR life with this FREE ebook!