I came to be here from a deep sense that there existed 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 discard 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 intellection memory 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 about 10-15 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 from Whit, one of the 4, 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 two consecutive summers founding Authentic Montreal, with a few friends. Authentic Montreal is now one of the most thriving authentic relating communities in the world.
Here I am. It’s 2017. I’m facilitating with Authentic World on their online platform while traveling around the United States running events, coaching, and connecting.
I would love to connect with you!