In The Beginning
I have been working in service to people for my entire adult life. Initially, as a clinician helping people with developmental disabilities remedy extreme behavior challenges. Supporting classrooms and families in challenging situations as well. Then, supporting adults and children with disabilities to live lives of their choosing by moving into community settings with person-centered planning processes. Along the way, I received a great deal of training and experience in leadership, teaching adults, facilitating groups and team building. I used these skills to create my own retail/wholesale business, which for me, was about crafting a healthy and productive work culture where people could grow and thrive. And while doing all of that, I’ve been actively engaged in personal growth work by sitting in various support groups for nearly 25 years, and leading men’s growth and leadership trainings.
Oh, and for over 10 years of my journey, I’ve been living with a range of challenging and sometimes debilitating symptoms related to neurological damage from West Nile Virus and from ongoing episodes of atrial fibrillation. And before that, bouts of depression for a couple of decades… Coming to grips with all that was a big reason I eventually sold my business in 2012 – I was no longer willing to let my health and wellbeing take such a big hit to keep the business thriving and consistent with my values. Something had to give… And I still have a lot more to give as well.
The Choice To Live
There were many moments when I considered “giving in” and applying for disability payments. That’s not an inherently good or bad choice, but not the right one for me then or now. And even if I had done so, I’d still be faced with the prospect of HOW to live an interesting and meaningful life – to reclaim a future worth living – how to BE WELL while being ill.
Instead, I’ve chosen health, fitness and living well. I’ve chosen to continue to be of service. I make the hard choices daily (though generally less hard as time goes on) that empower me to take care of myself first so I can do the things that matter: For me – and perhaps for you…
In many ways, I have been “coaching” people – support staff, employees, people with disabilities, students, other leaders and managers – for most of my adult life. Called by other things generally (leadership, management, facilitation, mentoring…), but coaching in the sense of encouraging, challenging and supporting people to navigate the particular waters of their lives in service to higher purposes. I’ve also been leading, teaching and facilitating groups in organizations large and small for as long as I can remember, as well as in self help and support settings for the last decade or so. I do enjoy the power of groups!
When I realized I was ill in a big way, I naively went looking only for stuff around my particular afflictions, and found little of use. And I spent a lot of time looking for cures and remedies. I didn’t consider the idea that ALL chronic illnesses and ongoing health challenges create similar challenges for people, and that there were people who’d overcome them – sometimes with flair and vitality! The disadvantage to journeying mostly solo was that it’s taken me a long time to integrate my illness as part of my life and keep living in a good way. The advantage to you is I made a lot of mistakes along the way that you don’t have to make.
It took me a long time to arrive at the conclusion to offer services to folks with ongoing health and illness challenges. Partly, because I was afraid to “come out” as a person with ongoing and permanent challenges – so yet another layer of denial to remove… allowing me to see clearly that my background and experiences were perfectly aligned for me to do this and do it well.
I feel fortunate to be able to combine my knowledge and skills from my diverse experiences to create unique and valuable services to help people. That’s always been my passion – helping people help themselves live lives meaningful to them. I love the challenge of solving seemingly impossible problems, and helping people discover hidden strengths and capacities. And my own experience of living with ongoing and chronic health challenges enables me to bring my unique and powerful insights, skills, passion, curiosity and compassion to help you with your situation. To help you get a solid grip on your hope, and to confidently step into a future worth loving and living.
For The Record:
My most relevant credentials are:
M.A. Behavioral Psychology and Analysis
CTA Certified Life Coach
Certified Co-Leader and Certified Leader Trainer, Mankind Project International
Send me an email with any questions