The King is dead. Long live the King of Pop. When Michael Jackson died the world mourned the loss of one its greatest musical artists. An outright celebrity for almost his entire life, he was a controversial figure for many. To some he was creepy man-child who lived in a world that was unlike anyone else’s, with a peculiar relationship to being childlike and relating to children.

To others, he was a visionary, both musically and philanthropically.

I never met the man, I never went to a single MJ concert, and I only know him through his music and the headlines. Neither of which are very accurate depictions, would be my guess. To me he is the man who is the sound of a generation. His music was a major part of the soundtrack of my childhood.

So when my friend Lisa Brisse of State of the Heart Fitness told me she was writing a book about her family’s crossed paths with Michael Jackson I was intrigued. I’ve known Lisa for about 15 years now. She’s this impish woman of boundless energy who keeps people healthy with her personal training at the Loews Hotel Spa. Previously she was with the Pritikin Health and Longevity Center but when they moved from where the Casa Del Mar now sits, she came over to the Loews and started State of the Heart Fitness.

When Lisa first told me about her book, I was encouraging, but secretly thinking, what the heck does this have to do with anything? But as she told me of her story and finding meaning in Michael’s journey, and the many times her path crossed his, in unusual and unique ways, it began to become clearer to me.

Lisa wants to make the world a better place, she does it by her presence, and by her company. She likes to encourage, empower and educate people and send them back out into the world. If that sounds like something Michael Jackson would say, you’re catching on.

But the connections are not just a fan’s love affair with a celebrity, Lisa’s mom Judy worked at Neverland. And the story of how she got the job is a tale in and of itself. Lisa’s book, “Michael Jackson — The Man In Our Mirror: A reflection of our collective soul,” is a mini-biography, spiritual growth and philosophy book with a dash of celebrity to make it all very interesting.

This past Sunday Lisa led a spinning class at Revolution on Montana that was part TED talk, and part crazy spinmaster, with all the music from Michael Jackson. Afterwards there was a book signing where the crowd of people were all eagerly anticipating Lisa’s book. The class itself had about 30 people who looked to be sweating and exercising their butts off as Michael Jackson’s voice reverberated around the room. Lucky for me I was just videotaping it all, but frankly, the class seemed like so much fun if she offers it again, I’m tempted to take the class.

The staff at Revolution were truly helpful and if you’re looking for a good spin class to try out this great way to stay in shape and lose those last few pounds before the Summer swimwear competitions heat up, I’d suggest you climb on one of the 60 bikes they have, and start spinning to some great music and meet some new people.

Lisa’s book is available in book hard copy and e-book format from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. It is on sale now, or you can get hard copies from her directly by contacting her at State of Heart Fitness at (310) 899-4046 or I have it on good authority that if you buy the book and want her to dedicate it to you, she’ll happily accommodate you.

I’m very proud of her for completing this book and for being my friend. She’s an amazing person, and this book is but one example of the light she carries with her. I hope it helps those who read it become happier and more spiritually engaged people.

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles divorce and child custody lawyer specializing in fathers’ and men’s rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at or (310) 664-9969.You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra.

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