Be-come something radical: Step into your story
An important part of my work with people is being deeply myself - showing up in the only way that I can as a person - with my flaws and my gifts. It feels important to say something about my experience of beginning my practice in the Boise community. I hope it finds you.
Over a decade ago, my partner and I and our two children at the time, left southeastern Idaho, making the 1800 mile pilgrimage to Cleveland, Ohio, where we anticipated a four year layover for school. Roots developed, and we remained in the area, taking jobs, making community, planting a garden, sharpening the edges of who we are. The distance and space afforded us room to stretch, to imagine new possibilities, to struggle, to dream, and to create a tribe. While living in Cleveland, I would often tell people I was from a mountainous ravine in Idaho; now upon landing in the Boise community, the most honest thing to say is that I am from a place with large buildings tucked below the shores of Lake Erie. I am also aware of our intentionality around rooting and creating community and relationships in Boise. I imagine in time, the Clevelander in me will give way to the Boise-ite in me, grafting in new branches.
Et cetera. Et cetera. In the summer of 2011, my wife and three children sat in a stuffy auditorium and watched as my four years of absence was rewarded with a blue and gold colored doctoral hood, and I walked across the stage into a faculty position at Cleveland State, where I would grind away at a process called "tenure." While there were many meaningful parts of the job, including working closely with counseling students as they developed their identities as helpers and having unique opportunities for teaching and creativity, there were shadow sides: my lack of availability for my family, for my life; spending nights asleep on my office floor, the accumulating sting of rejection that accompanied manuscript submissions; and greying hair. During this time, I was fortunate to grow myself as a practitioner, shaping what I believe is a unique and special way of being with people that facilitates conditions for meaningful growth, for connection, for doing the difficult work of change.
Fast forward to the fall of 2015; neck deep in my tenure and promotion process, I mustered up the courage to tell my wife I was drowning; that I needed the support to leave my position. It took courage to save my life. Feeling her support, I resigned the next week and remained in my position until the spring of 2017, setting in motion something radical. The space to step into my life. Into the fabric of its design. Without manipulation. Stepping in. Being. Then...
...while in South Carolina in the summer of 2016 on a family trip, I learned my father had suddenly passed away. It was, I think, the last thing, toppling the damn of my resistance to the powerful unknown. I spent the year opening myself to so much: the gift of running, learning how to become a competent swimmer, completing a marathon, playing the piano, to tears, being available in new and powerful ways, attending my childrens' musicals and standing at finish lines, breathing, developing a meditation practice, and dreaming possibilities for the future. For the last year, we've been preparing and cultivating the ground for transition and saying goodbye. To close friends. To clients that constantly inspired me. To places and land. To experience. To familiarity. To attachment. To Cleveland diversity. To an urban life. To a place that nourished and held the souls of six humans.
Landing in Boise was intentional. We wanted to be reunited with a larger tribe, with the mountains held by sandy desert soil, with the flowing rivers reflecting the azure expanse of sky, to a winter offering the promise of sunshine. Boise afforded us a familiar topography for our urban hearts.
And now I'm here in Boise. Offering gifts of the soul. Deep listening; radical presence; unconditional positive regard; understanding and empathy; creativity; attunement; support; seeing; acceptance; humor; curiosity; warmth; interest; complexity; connection; culture; sensitivity; feeling; authenticity; and a lived appreciation for choosing the hard, yet beautiful path of growth. I look forward to the invitation to softly join you in your "one wild and precious life" and offering myself as a human resource for those places in your story that are perhaps dormant or grown over and in need of closer attention.