My Teacher, My Son
Lessons on Life, Loss, and Love
by Nick Shaw
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Pub Date 07 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 01 Nov 2023
An unexpected book that readers are calling “breathtakingly honest,” “courageous,” “gripping,” “intense,” “inspiring,” and “beautiful.”
Life Becomes Our Greatest Teacher
When bereaved father Nick Shaw decided to write a book about the lessons he’s learned from his three sons ― William, Kai, and Bodhi ― he knew that his story would begin with the tragic death of his oldest son, William. He also knew that My Teacher, My Son wasn’t a grief book but a life book.
Nick knew that, despite our differences, we all struggle with big, complex concepts like being yourself, letting go, being present, and finding connection ― in our lives, our work, our families, and our communities. Heralded as “heart-piercing” and “heart-empowering,” My Teacher, My Son takes readers inside the mind and heart of an introspective man ― a father, husband, son, brother, neighbor, friend, and accomplished business leader who never imagined he would write a book about uncommon tragedy and the universal challenges of the human condition.
A Portrait of Sharp Contrasts ― Heartbreaking and Hopeful, Insightful and Inspirational
On February 19, 2019, Nick Shaw’s family suffered the unbearable. What started out as a magical day ― skiing at Big Sky, Montana ― ended in the tragic death of Nick’s nine-year-old son, William. In the days after William’s death, amidst the fog of deep grief, the phrase “my teacher, my son” came to Nick in a moment of clarity. In that instant, he realized that William had been teaching him powerful lessons since the day he was born. Now, those lessons have found their way to the world at large. And William’s story continues …
A Must-Read Book for Anyone Wanting to Regain Clarity and Control … in Life and at Work
Nick Shaw is proof that bad things happen to good people, but that life gives us the tools we need to succeed and survive. Nick’s introspective nature and his talents as an executive coach served him well as he navigated the complex emotions following his son’s death. And his son’s death gave him new perspectives on serving his clients ― and now, his readers.
We all know it to be true ― in life and at work, we will suffer losses and change. Nick tells us: “The only way to pick ourselves up is to honor what was, accept what is, and embrace what will be with an open mind and heart.”
About the Author
Nick Shaw is an accomplished executive coach and author, known for his profound insights into personal transformation and self-discovery. His upcoming book, My Teacher, My Son, is a poignant reflection on his journey through grief and finding meaning in the face of unimaginable loss.
On February 19th, 2019, tragedy struck as Nick lost his beloved son, William, in a devastating ski accident during a family vacation in Big Sky, Montana. This heart-wrenching event catapulted Nick into a whirlwind of emotions, leaving him with an overwhelming desire to find purpose in what seemed like an inexplicable and senseless occurrence. Amidst the fog of deep grief, a moment of clarity arose, giving birth to the phrase "My Teacher, My Son," which would become the foundation for his path towards healing and growth.
Nick soon realized that the most profound way to honor William's memory was to embrace this painful experience as an opportunity for personal evolution. Through dedicated hours of meditation and self-reflection, he began to glean valuable lessons from the tragedy. This transformative process led him to confront his own insecurities and break free from the limitations imposed by his own beliefs and narratives.
As an executive coach, Nick noticed a striking parallel between his struggles and those of his clients. Many people he worked with were grappling with their own limiting beliefs and fears, leading to lives lived on autopilot, devoid of true fulfillment. Recognizing the potential to impact others positively, Nick was inspired to share his journey and wisdom with the world.
In My Teacher, My Son, Nick invites readers to embark on an introspective journey of their own. This compelling book serves as a thought-provoking guide, urging individuals to examine their lives with honesty and self-compassion. Through poignant anecdotes from his own experiences, including the joys and challenges he encountered while raising his children, William, Kai and Bodhi, Nick encourages readers to reevaluate their choices and embrace a more fulfilling and purposeful existence.
Nick Shaw's poignant story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a powerful reminder that even in the face of tragedy, we have the capacity to choose a life of deeper meaning and fulfillment. His book stands as a tribute to his son, William, and a beacon of hope for those seeking to discover their own paths to a more intentional and rewarding life.
A Note From the Publisher
The author is available for select interviews and discussions.
“It seems impossible that a book about unimaginable grief could offer so much hope, yet that is the gift of My Teacher, My Son. With breathtaking honesty, Nick Shaw shows how love, joy, and continued connection co-exist with loss, change, and challenge. The courage of Nick’s self-reflection empowers each of us to find a way forward. A truly heart-empowering read.”
- Kelly McGonigal, PhD Research Psychologist, Stanford University Lecturer, and Author of The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage
“With gripping intensity, Nick Shaw shares the terror of losing his nine-year-old son in an accident on a mountain after sharing a much-anticipated summit ski. Nick is determined to investigate his grief in a way that maintains a loving connection to his son and serves as an example to readers of his powerful memoir, My Teacher, My Son. Fueled by the knowledge that things can change in a moment, he calls on us to pause and be with the complex terrain of grief; he inspires us to move into the strength that comes from exploring our vulnerability so we may ultimately become more present in our lives. While healing is not linear and is deeply personal, Nick courageously shares his journey so we all feel less alone with unimaginable loss.”
- Nancy Rappaport, MD Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Author of The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students and In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother’s Suicide
“This heart-piercing book is a tragic story, authentically and beautifully told. Nick Shaw brings the reader into deep resonance with the entire arc of his experience, with precise sharing of all the emotions — panic, pain, despair, yearning — all the understandable ruminations and all his efforts to reach again for joy, connection, and meaning. It is a short read but an intensely impactful story that bravely reminds every one of us to learn from loss, deal with our demons, make life matter and focus on love above all else.”
Michelle Brody, PhD Executive Coach, Clinical Psychologist, and Author of Stop the Fight! An Illustrated Guide for Couples and Own Your Armor: Revolutionary Change for Workplace Culture
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