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Today’s guest post is from Perri Zepeda.  It’s a wonderful tribute to the man she loves–one any man would be proud to read about himself.

The following description of my life partner, Cody, was written because I was so moved and prompted to write about him just after I finished reading the author Rick Johnson’s book, “The Man Whisperer,”—now re-published with a new title, “How to Talk so Your Husband will Listen and Listen so Your Husband will Talk.”

In the spirit of focusing on Cody’s strengths, I was highly selective and only listed those best qualities I know he lives most consciously by. I encourage others to do this same exercise. I also scanned other lists of character traits from other sources that reflect ethical values. There are dozens more qualities I did not list, and as I reflect on that notion—it certainly is clear to me that we all have our best character traits—as well as other traits that could be developed with increased awareness, love, and support.

I am reminded of my deep gratitude to have Cody in my life and for him being the person who I most wanted to write about—who immediately came to mind throughout reading Chapter Three, “Nine Qualities of Good Men” in Rick Johnson’s book. I was also grateful to see very little of him in Chapter Nine, “The Top Ten Things that Drive Women Crazy.” There always will be needed “whispering” or “gentling” for any of us—to create the safe and loving space that brings out more of our best. Why wouldn’t we want to be our “wise” self (and not self-sabotage)? I think of this journey of learning to be a better human being in our relationships—as an obligation to our soul—to our self dignity, first.

And, I truly thank Rick Johnson for his outstanding and vital work to support men and sons, and the women in their lives. Also, I am inspired to have written this as I, too, am interested in our growth as a human race and the positive character traits that impact our relationships and level of happiness.

                                                                        Perri Zepeda

January 2016

In Honor of you, Cody,

            I am inspired to write these qualities that I know you possess—the values that I see you live your life by—because these are many of the most important character traits I deeply admire and am attracted to in anyone. These are perhaps your greatest strengths as I see you. You are a genuinely decent man and human being. I feel deeply grateful and honored to know you as I do—as your closest friend, ally, and partner.  To know someone as I am able to know you is an enormous gift to my soul, my healing, and my peace. May we continue to grow together and bring out the best in each other. I love you, Cody.


Strong Work Ethic

            Cody is self-motivated with great determination and initiative; he is proactive and industrious. His work ethic is based on a higher purpose, finding personal meaning in his life and work. He whole-heartedly cares about himself, his life, his domain. He absolutely has a clear set of values that drive all his behavior and goals, and he holds himself true to those. Curiosity and learning are integral to his work. He appreciates the importance of discernment, problem-solving, and a job well done. He pushes himself to accomplish greatness in all important areas of his life.

Leadership Skills

            Cody enjoys teaching others and leading others in the direction of learning important knowledge and skills—based on clear values. His intentions are in setting standards of high quality and excellence for himself, and he encourages others to do the same. He values competence building and autonomy—and the blessings of all the players that bring work to fruition. He excels in his stewardship and stamina. Perhaps his greatest quality of leadership is his example.

Honesty, Integrity

            Cody and his life stand for honesty and integrity. I have never heard him lie or try to pull an unfair deal on anyone. In this light, he is courageous, truthful, and ethical. His word is his honor. His genuineness is—“what you see is what you get”—the real deal.


Cody thinks big—large—expansive. He not only thinks big in just one area of life, but in all areas of his life. What he is interested in and cares about he goes far and above most people in creating what he desires. He believes in divine guidance always helping him be his best. His vision is rooted in the aspirations of his youth, his faith in spiritual values, and the wisdom of the great unknown.

Accountable, Responsible

            I have never second-guessed Cody being responsible and being fully accountable. He is certainly his own critic for any oversight. He always cleans up after his own messes (of any kind or size) and does not expect anyone else to clean up after him. He has learned to be more open to accountability in how he communicates with me and others, to be more sensitive in how he says things in order to be heard and respected. He is consistently diligent and dependable.


            Cody cares what is best and healthiest for everyone, and for nature and the land. He is a respectful caretaker at heart. His respect is a daily practice of conscientiousness. He requires self-respect. His soul dictates to respect all of life. Respect is his soul nature.


He is always ready and taking the next step in whatever the need or concern is—to problem-solving, to taking care of business—inextricably a part of his vision and work ethic.


Cody is loyal to his values, and has always proved loyal to me. It is evident in the fact that he is always “there” for me. He has been my faithful support on many levels, and continues to strive to be more so. He is my rock.


I have watched how Cody takes care of himself and everything else he takes care of on a daily basis. He does not falter, and whatever is on the back burner, it is still in his sight to be taken care of, and will get taken care of.


            Cody lives his life with honor—that is, whatever he says and does, he knows he is responsible for, and cares that his name is tied to him and his dignity. He will humbly and respectfully make things right.

Sense of Humor

            Cody loves humor and to feel the lightness of laughter. Not a day goes by that he does not have a wise crack “line”—usually one I am familiar with—a “standard” saying that fits the situation. I most enjoy his spontaneous original wit that causes me to laugh out loud, or when he is able to humbly laugh at himself (or at least shrug and grin).


            His creativity is an intrinsic part of his vision and goals, and an ever-present desire to create beauty as is revealed in his caring for the land, his home, and designing custom cars. His efforts in creativity are his way of honoring life and contributing the immense love in his soul, and hopefully impact others with joy and respect for life. Being open, resourceful, and practical enables his gifted ingenuity to shine.


            Cody says he was born orderly and has always cared for his belongings and his own affairs with great respect. Orderliness is distinctly tied to being responsible. He has taken order and organization to be not only respectful and responsible, but to be efficient and effective. He deeply values security and peace that come with orderliness. Caring this way reveals his personal dignity.


            Cody is one to be a great friend if only the same virtues of healthy relationships are reciprocated. In respect for having a real friend, it may take years to prove their worthiness. In turn, he looks at the qualities in people and how they live their lives—with honesty and integrity a must. In all his relationships he is respectful and trustworthy, the foundation of a true friendship.


            Cody has created a peaceful home and environment in the beautiful, natural surroundings of countryside; the opposite of drama and chaos. In this peaceful ambience, he knows his heart and soul can thrive in the powerful healing process, his highest purpose in co-creating his life. He regularly fulfills his desire for peace and meditation, and carries that spirit into all of his work and relationships. At High Serenity Ranch—where he has made his home—he feels abundant grace and deep gratitude.

Perri began to write children’s stories at age 13, beginning with A Pig’s Tale highlighting instincts and how a piglet might feel being separated from family and lost. At twenty-four, she wrote and self-published, Vilcabamba, in Ecuador, a realistic adventure story for “tweens”, and where she soon immersed herself in volunteer teaching children and experiencing many wonders along the Andean corridor. She explores creative writing in poetry, essays, short story, memoirs, and now the workbook. She has two books in progress, one on parenting, and a self-coaching life skills workbook, Jumpstart Your Life: Making Peace with Life Business, that accompanies a course she designed to support the passage into purposeful and responsible adulthood or a new chapter of life. Some of Perri’s poetry can be read and heard at Other pieces of hers are published in the anthology “Ripples and Reflections from the Basin” sold on Amazon.

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I’m a bestselling author and speaker, and I believe families, communities, and our society can grow stronger when parents begin to realize the unique power and influence we have in the lives of our sons and daughters.

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