It's all about the evolution of consciousness ...
This page will tell you more about me than any other. This is about values, the stuff that matters ...
As long as I can remember, I've believed in:
- maximizing my own integrity
- living a life that benefits others
- mining relationships for depth
Graduating from Harvard, I could have gotten into a top-notch law or business school. But I didn't see a way to "integrity" on those paths -- not that there couldn't have been a way, but I didn't see it at the time.
So I became a newspaper reporter, expressing what integrity I could through my reporting and my writing, and when that no longer fulfilled me, I took my life-long passion for music into a teaching career.
In the mid-90s, Ken Wilber's A Brief History of Everything leapt out at me from the bookshelf of a Mendocino coffeehouse. It changed my life. Over the next decade I became a student of development -- human and cultural -- under the umbrella of integral theory, a "theory of everything."
It led me, in 2001, to dust off the Harvard psychology degree and become a professional personal development coach. A few years later, I parlayed that into leadership development work -- essentially coaching in organizational contexts. I currently have a balance of one-on-one coaching work and organizational work. The combination is the most rewarding work I've ever done.
Nature and animals have always been at the center of my integrity. I turned vegetarian 30 years ago; I didn't want animals dying to become my food. When I was a teacher, I focused kids on their responsibility to the planet that we adults are in the process of destroying. After becoming a professional coach, I served on the Board of Directors of the Northwest Environmental Education Council for five years.
And now, about a quarter of my work is dedicated to the nonprofit Sustainable World Coalition, where I serve as Director of Operations.
And yet my work in sustainability is for me not a destination, but a doorway into a deeper awareness and mission.
This deeper awareness – spawned through my study of integral theory and practice – is that the catastrophic degradation of the natural world (which – surprise, surprise – includes humans) is itself a symptom of a broader and deeper crisis. All these global issues:
- social and economic injustice
- war, terrorism, and political strife, and
- psychological/emotional/spiritual unease
are in fact not separate concerns, but four faces of a single "crisis of consciousness" – a crisis rooted in how we view the world and our place in it.
For a few hundred years, we in the "modern" world have seen ourselves as separate from nature, at odds with each other, and worthy to treat all life forms – including anyone not of our "tribe" -- as "resources" for our exploitation. These assumptions constitute the engine that has driven exponential human progress – and is now driving us down a disastrous evolutionary dead-end. Somehow in our pursuit of progress (which, to be fair, has eased enormous human suffering), we've missed this essential truth: what we do to each other, and to the plants and animals who share Spaceship Earth with us, we do to ourselves.
The overarching challenge for all humanity at this historic juncture is two-fold:
- to awaken to the truth of the interconnectedness of all life; and
- to act in integrity with that truth – to accept our responsibility, as the most powerful species on the planet, to make sure the world works for all.
These are truly spiritual challenges, and it wasn't until my mid-50s that I found a fitting vehicle for my spiritual leanings. "Evolutionary spirituality" is a way of both being and becoming that honors science and spirit -- that honors all religions and wisdom traditions (even if it doesn't always honor how they act in the world).
Given my background, my talents, and my passion for these ideas, I see two interrelated contributions I can make to the world:
- to "be the change," living every day in ways that honor this interconnectedness (I'm on the road, and I have quite a ways to go – the damned horizon keeps moving), and
- to foster the shift toward a global worldview of interconnectedness – and toward living in accordance with that worldview – through sustainability awareness-raising, coaching and group facilitation
This -- all of it -- is truly my life's work; and the quest to maximize my potential to be a contribution will never end. I'm still working on those four bullet points at the top of this piece. I invite you to join me in evolving consciousness – in whatever way feels right for you.