I came to be here from a deep sense that there exists something different than what I was once living. I took many years to listen to that sense… or even hear it clearly. And I still don’t hear it sometimes. Other times, it’s very clear and I don’t have the motivation to follow. The times where I heard, listened, and followed, led me here.
I would like to share a little bit of the larger arc of my story so that you may know me a little better and understand what I have to offer as well as why I’m offering it.
I remember clearly as a child waiting. I was waiting to be done with school so I could do the things that brought aliveness to me. I had the conscious thought of “I just need to do this while I’m a kid until I become an adult and then I can do what I want. I can be free.” Those were probably not the exact words of the thought, but yes, I had that thought as an 8 or 9 year old kid.
As the shackles of “have to”s began to slowly release into my early and mid 20’s, a question arose: what should I do with my life? I began an earnest exploration which lead me to three possible career choices: politician, psychologist, and minister. It’s what they have in common that really drew me: they all, at their best, worked with people to build better lives and communities (for psychology, think group therapy). I systematically explored these and for different reasons discarded each of those three possibilities for myself.
During this personal exploration I was working on my PhD in computer science and then a post doctorate in biological modeling. Though I enjoyed aspects of this work, I found it unfulfilling. I took a big leap of faith after about a year of counseling and introspection. I quit my post doc position without any job lined up and took time off, living on savings, to reflect more on my life direction.
I took about 18 months in this space during which I journaled, read spiritual and self help books, went to meditation retreats and weekly meditations, and spent a lot of time in isolation. I discovered what some people would call happiness. At the time it was clear that my life situation wasn’t the source of this happiness. And before I go further, I want to use a different word that more accurately describes what I felt: peace. I realized from this place it did not matter what I did during my life. This peace would be accessible regardless. I was truly free. I could do anything.
The years that followed brought a distance between that realization and my current experience. The memory of this peace still helped me; along with moments of feeling the realization again, here and there. Despite the distance from the realization, it was too late for for pessimism or depression to adjust my course. I had launched. Not without trouble, but my direction was set with lots of energy behind it to carry me during tough times regardless of how hopeless I felt.
I landed in Portland, OR, for about 3 years where I discovered Authentic Portland under the leadership of 4 people I felt inspired by and alive around. After a few minutes at my first event, I knew this was my place and I never missed an Authentic Portland event after that. About 6 months later I received a call inviting me to facilitate with them. Boy was I excited!!
Someone else thought I had something worth contributing to a community. A community that embodied the characteristics I valued and knew I wanted 10 years prior: working together to create better lives. In this particular flavor, by relating more authentically and deeply. That was 2012.
Since then I facilitated with Authentic Portland 2 and half years. I later visited Montreal, QC, for a few consecutive summers, founding Authentic Montreal with a few friends. Authentic Montreal is now one of the most thriving authentic relating communities in the world.
Now I travel around the US and Canada facilitating events and meeting with local leaders. I also offer coaching for facilitators around the world starting local communities. Facilitators from three different continents call on me for advice, support, and inspiration.
I would love to connect with you!