The summary is this:
Studying human potential in contemplation, research, action, and real-time experience is my favorite thing alongside discussing ideas and working real-time momentum with others. Professionally, I got into the field of human development after graduating from college (Smith College, MA) with a degree in Biology. I was a teacher for a few years in WA, NYC and Costa Rica, then I became a facilitator of personal, leadership, and team development programs, and then I designed and lead programming and workshops. After doing this work for ten years, I officially became a coach (New Ventures West, San Francisco). After that I dedicated myself to ten more years of study, observation, and application (including meditation) relative to understanding the action of mind in experience and our potential to manifest/realize desired and inspired experiences. I love this line of study, thinking and working with others. Oh, and I love the results in my experience and the satisfaction others express in the results in their experience. Experience should always be more than an intellectual work out! Knowledge alone can satisfy only so far. Inspired feeling and flow of experience now and following can’t be beat.
More about me below, be in touch via Details if you would like to work together on any topic. Cheers, CK
The longer story:
I grew up not far from Seattle, WA. I was given the name Coyote from the get go. Sounds pretty normal to me about now. Growing up I studied dance, helped start the first girls soccer team at my high school, had fun, wondered about global issues, wondered about my reach. I attended Smith College in Massachusetts sight-unseen ignoring several roadblocks (suggestions) to get there. With anything we might remember that other people, statistics, standards, even test results do not have the final say, nor need have any say, in our experience. I loved being in a completely new place for college. The five-college environment, close to Boston, among extremely motivated thinkers and students. I learned much later a distinction between motivation and inspiration that helps me make decisions to this day. At that time, I was all about motivation and effort and changing the world. In college, I played a year of Rugby, made great friends, worked my ass off, participated in student leadership/service, and again, took on a challenge to do something that I previously thought I wasn’t interested in or good at, I majored in science. I spent a semester with a lot of snakes and some amazing humans in the rainforest in Queensland Australia doing science. I took classes in law and global issues at Amherst and UMass, and I was selected to Smith’s two-year Leadership Program. I graduated with a degree in Biology and I was happy to get out of classrooms and experience more of the world.
After I graduated from Smith, I worked as an experiential teacher for three years in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, New York City, and Costa Rica. A supervisor in New York noticed my interests and soft-skills and suggested that I work for Outward Bound. I considered it and attended an Outward Bound course as a student in the Florida Keys. Following my course, I was invited to take a staff selection training and immediately hired to lead personal and team development courses in Maine, NYC, and the Florida Keys. In two years, I became a Lead Instructor and tested for a Captain’s License (100 ton Coast Guard). I was able to work with hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds. My Outward Bound students included adventure seekers, life-change seekers, personal growth seekers, gang members, MBA students, retired military, stock traders, and all in all, people, with heart and incredible capacities. Some capacities unleashed and some waiting for the right opportunity.
At Outward Bound, I coached people (although it was called “facilitation” at the time) into and through all kinds of challenges. A big part of my job was creating challenges to test individuals and groups. Climbing rock walls, rappelling rock walls, sailing in storms, living at sea, navigating in fog and darkness, jumping from platforms into cold water, swimming in shark habitat, figuring out how to take care of self and a team, and learning new things that were necessary for survival and success and to make the experience enjoyable. One of the instructors in my staff training, retired military, said that our mission was to provide the experience of “the moral equivalent of war.” What he meant was, it was our job to intentionally create experiences to draw forth the positive qualities that come out of focused and challenging times: tenacity in pursuit, compassion for others, cooperation, brotherhood, performance under pressure, inspired thinking, service to others, innovation, physical, mental, and emotional resiliency…and, the fun and sheer satisfaction of doing things that we haven’t done or realized were possible before. No small task, but it was a tremendously rewarding experience for me and for many of the participants. It’s amazing to me now to think of how few people ever dropped out or quit. Our spirit and our capacities are truly amazing.
Being an Outward Bound instructor had other perks, I was selected to ride from Chicago to NYC via an event called Girls On The Move, I got to row an open boat in frigid weather from New Jersey to Maine on a staff trip aptly called The Odyssey, and was about eaten alive in a foray into the Everglades. I am so appreciative of these manifestations for it was exactly what I was asking for out of life (at that time), and I got to see up close some of the most beautiful places, meet some inspiring people and feel the rush of adrenaline of cascading down mountains…being alive.
After working for Outward Bound intensely for three years, up and down the East Coast of the U.S., I decided that I wanted a job where I could go home at night and one where I could see my fiancé. We did just that, but I also created ways to continue to work for Outward Bound and lead courses a few times every year for a total of 7 years with the organization.
Once on dry land, I worked for two long-term personal development programs, one that I helped start in New Hampshire. These programs involved some experiential learning like at Outward Bound, and significant time in talk therapy, groups and personal development workshops (in cozy conference rooms). One of my joys was designing workshops with the intention to help people heal past grievances and enjoy greater freedom, confidence, and passion for their lives. I regularly facilitated 3 hour and 3 day workshops. I felt extremely honored to work with people in these ways, and gave it my best. I was a specific dream that I had pursued (something that I had written down on a “life list”) to help start a program like this, and engage and learn on the leading edge asking questions like,
“What is it that frees up human experience and unleashes all its potential, joy, success…?”
I wasn’t a scientist like I was in college, but I wanted to understand it like one. I knew intuitively and because I had seen it numerous times in action, we are more than we believe or can see outright.
Up to this point, I had been working in the field of human development (including teaching) for ten years out of college. I had gotten to know and work with hundreds of amazing and diverse people in really unique settings – sailing under Wall Street, surviving the Everglades, and scaling rock walls against the sea in Maine. I had been able to fulfill a dream of being part of a new program where I got to design and lead long-term personal development programming. I was successful, promoted constantly, engaged, married, divorced, learning, happy, challenged, and ready to take some time to reflect on what I had learned, what works, and what might work better than what I had seen so far. My style thus far as you might imagine was a bit “bootcamp” – the harder you go, the farther you make it – and while this was true in many ways I also knew that there was something more to it. It can be rewarding to take the most challenging route, but not if doing so involves sacrificing our energy or inspiration, or our happiness or quality of life. I knew about doing things the hard way, taking on challenges and pushing the envelope on purpose, and I knew about the benefits and some drawbacks of talk therapy. I was interested in other ideas to illuminate more about what’s up and possible in our experiences in life and love.
I enrolled for a master’s degree at the University of Washington, but just before my classes were going to start I followed a hunch and met with another Smith grad who was a successful life and career coach in Seattle. Believe it or not, the term “coaching” was new to me at this time, even though it was the basis of my work for a decade under different titles (teacher, facilitator, instructor, leader, etc.). A light bulb went off in this meeting and I knew that coaching was the next chapter for me. I withdrew from the University of Washington and found a rigorous program in San Francisco (New Ventures West). It was a year of flying between Seattle and San Francisco until I completed the Coaching to Excellence and Professional Coaching Certification program and was certified in front of a live panel and audience.
Something else significant happened at this time. The spring before I started the coaching certification program I completed a ten-day meditation training (Vipassana). I walked out of it on air thinking that more was possible in ten days of silence than ten years of talk therapy. I am not knocking talk therapy, there has been value in it in my life and for many people. I was just saying, “O’my god! That was not easy, but it was easy! And, effective and healing and inspiring and useful and wouldn’t it be great if everyone knew about meditation and got a practice and felt their bodies and minds and lives and momentum change like this.” I knew someone who attended a training after me who did not enjoy the same benefits or lasting inspiration. This is a great lesson, there are so many ways to happiness and success in life and love. One path is not for everyone. Find what works in your direct and tangible experience and don’t postpone your wellbeing or happiness or success. Find what works, keep questioning until you do and then live it.
I have been using meditation as a focusing and alignment – life tool – for ten years now. It is a game changer in my book, one you don’t need to learn in a ten-day retreat. Meditation can be done for 1-15 minutes with benefits. Anyone can do it almost anywhere. You don’t need to make it a spiritual practice. Meditation is a focusing tool. A mental tool with huge potential in all areas of life. Take no one’s word for it, test it like a scientist in your own life. I am constantly amazed by how it works for me relative to every topic in my experience. It is not the end all be all. Meditation is one tool/idea out of half a dozen that I would not want to live without. Top 6 game-changers. For this reason I teach what I call anyone’s meditation – anyone can use it and tell if they are receiving benefit. I believe the benefits should be immediately recognizable.
I worked in the field of human development for ten years out of college, then took pause to learn more, I picked up a meditation practice, and I became a certified coach, and I kept studying this leading edge subject of the role of mind in experience and the practical potential in understanding mind in experience better and better.
This line of study I love and spend hours on.
I have studied science, self-help, success principles, ancient thought, new thought, and above all I have studied experience. I have not come all the way into proving my understanding in every single second of my days. It is a constant adventure and I am always learning and applying and reaching.
I do understand now the link between feeling and thought and what we can do to feel “ourselves” (pivot/align/tune back in) from any point of experience. I understand how focus works to change experience and I love sharing this with people who are sincerely interested in using focus to enhance and enjoy every aspect of their experience. Why wouldn’t we want this? Of course it is right to fully thrive in each moment and aspect of experience that interests us.
It’s also been eye-opening to study how one can influence, assist, support the desired manifestations of another. There is fascinating science looking at this and I believe that we should never hesitate to call upon an outside observer to support our thriving, interests, desired manifestations in life and love.
Someone who can behold the sureness of our good and not the problem that inspired it.
I imagine that I will always call upon certain people to assit me in activating focus when inspired. I have seen the results in my own experience, I study the results in research and testimonies that point to the power of positive focus upon our experience, and I believe it works and why not use what works. I don’t believe in suffering it so when we can take any path that proves to have positive results. If a path does not feel “on” or have positive results I would do something else immediately. I used to be a “boot camp”/ “go hard or go home” style of adventurer in life and love (yes, in relationships too!), and it served me for learning purposes! There’s nothing like first-hand experience to illuminate what we want in life and love and what works and works the hard way and works better, and most importantly feels better and produces results that are in line with what we most want. Clarity is always valuable. I appreciate the whole enchilada. And, by attacking life deliberately against the grain, I gained the clarity that I wanted my experiences to FEEL better, be more fun, be graced with greater flow…and no less excitement, I have always loved excitement and momentum.
Understanding our part in the momentum of our real-time experience is liberation. There’s nothing like the inspiration that can take us places in feeling, in action, in relationships, in business, in any endeavor that we are interested in.
This only requires work because we are focusing machines – 24/7 awareness – and many of us are retraining our focus and that’s ok. We want to make total peace with where we are when we stand where we don’t want to be, because we always want to deactivate resistance so that we can flow, so that inspiration can flow, and so that our lives can match. I believe that we can manifest our fulfillment relative to any and every true active desire. Sometimes it helps to have outside support in doing this; affirmation and manifestation support/focus active in real-time moments where it counts to us. Sometimes we got it on our own it’s just fun to call in another mastermind and juice it up. Focus creates momentum one way or another and it can be very satisfying to call in another who can jump in on the inspired end of any topic and enhance the momentum of it. There’s no end to what we can enhance, imagine, or enjoy in life or love.
I will be studying these topics academically, in contemplation, in meditation, and with others all the days of my life. It’s illuminating, energizing, and my kind of fun.
In addition to this work, conversations and masterminding with others, I am writing several books, I am enjoying my mornings, coffee, meditation, any activity near or on saltwater, learning new things and improving several skills (tennis, swimming, piano, Spanish, flying, motorcycle riding, swing dancing, diving…).
I hope that you are living a rich life in the ways that feel best to you. One of my favorite quotes goes something like this, if it’s good it can get better, if it’s bad it can get better, if it feels like ecstasy, there’s still more. There’s always more on this leading edge.