A Winding Path. A Constant Direction.

Bobopelli in VC City 2014

My work has led me on a winding path: architectural / structural engineering; teaching skiing and snowboarding; training and developing staff; leading outdoor hiking and biking trips; teaching middle / high school; designing homes; managing programs, projects, and businesses; improving systems and processes; facilitating health and wellness programs; training athletes; working with wounded veterans and people with disabilities; teaching yoga. It’s been a wild ride, full of adventure, full of learning, full of change, full of kindness and love.

In fact, I am going through another change right now as I announce my re-re-retirement as an actively employed professional engineer. Yes, I will continue to help long-standing clients like Vermont Barns and The Wadsworth Company as a part-time design and business development consultant; I still enjoy the creative, problem-solving process collaborating with like-minded timber frame artisans and Vermont “homestead” developers. But, I am letting go (again) of the identity of a professional structural engineer. I don’t believe the identity alone allows me to thrive on a day-to-day basis in my natural wholehearted way.

My path has always been directed with the intention of helping people, serving others, and making connections… Connections between what-we-do-today and a greater good, connections between people, connections between challenges and answers, connections between ways-of-living and nature, connections between mind and body and spirit, connections which help us all come together…

So, whether it’s working in the non-profit or the educational sector or the wellness sector, whether it’s working independently or as an employee, whether it’s coaching or teaching or leading or training or facilitating groups, I’m back on my way. Diverse, yet directed.

Kokopelli lives on. Planting seeds. Spreading joy. Bringing new life to local villages.

Wish me luck. I’m open to ideas. But, I really just wanted to say:

I’m baaack!

2013-11-23 Visual Vision

Connect, Cooperate and Collaborate

I believe it is our natural, indigenous tendency to get along with each other: to connect, to cooperate, and to collaborate. It is at least the way I work best. From my perspective, we are responsible for ourselves and for each other.

It seems that we live in a world of specialization, separation, competition, comparison, and blaming others for things that occur in our lives. Things happen. But we are all in this together, aren’t we?

Who-we-are, in my opinion, is NOT the story of what-happens-to-us. Who-we-are relates to how we practice living in our daily lives, how we do what we do. Are we practicing living our daily lives in a manner consistent with our life’s purpose? Are we paying attention to our intentions, individually and collectively? And, are we missing out on real opportunities for expressing our higher selves and living full lives by separating ourselves and not connecting with others?

It is with these thoughts and feelings that I will try to better focus the work I do, again. I have believed for a long time that my work should be a true expression of who I am. In an economy based on competition and comparison, it seems natural that most workplaces promote attitudes of competition and comparison, specialization and separation, sometimes requiring daily work defined by the needs of others or an employer. It is so easy to be caught up in the race…

One of my skill-sets is problem-solving in the professions of building systems, structural and architectural engineering. I have found challenging and engaging work in these fields. I have accomplished much for which I am very proud. But, it is difficult to express myself fully in this field of work alone, to approach my work in my natural wholehearted manner, when I am defined by someone else’s definition of my scope of work and my job responsibilities. I don’t want the business needs of someone else (an employer, for instance) to define who I am.

It’s time to take charge of my work and my career, again, and to find like-minded, inspired individuals and organizations with whom to connect, cooperate, and collaborate. I am confident that I can find ways to better practice living and working in a manner more consistent with these intentions here in this southern Vermont community.

I am so very fortunate to have a few people in my life who see the bigger me, the real me, and who have consistently believed in me and my work. Thank you Rob and Besty Wadsworth of Vermont Barns and The Wadsworth Company, Jo Kirsch and Andrea Ross of Heart of the Village Yoga Studio, Linda Walsh and Larry Geller of Ability Plus, Eva Belanger of Warriors Live On, and Paul Jensen of Albany Therapeutic Massage and Sports Performance Center. Thank you also to my yoga teachers, especially Beryl Bender Birch, Biff Mithoefer, and Eoin Finn… and Jo Kirsch… and also every skier and snowboarder with whom I’ve ever shared the slopes… for helping me see my light. Thanks also to my parents, Alex and Natalie, Jo (again), and my warrior brothers and sisters, for accepting me and standing with me… even when I walk astray. And thank you even to my engineering peers, who have continually given me the chance to perform valuable and important community-building work, albeit somewhat specialized, even when I randomly walk in and out of their business world!

So, I am announcing that I am re-re-retiring from my work as an employed professional engineer! I will continue to do some project development and design work as a self-employed consultant, working on projects and collaborating with organizations doing timber-framed and sustainable home design/build work, but I will also focus more and more on working with non-profits and educational organizations as a coach, a teacher, a visionary, and a team leader and facilitator, too… connecting, cooperating, and collaborating.

Here we go again. One life to live…. celebrate impermanence!