I’m grateful to my clients for their willingness to express their appreciation.
These first writings are from my individual clients.
To read what participants in my group programs have to say, you can jump down to that section.
When I first thought about working with Jon, it was like pulling teeth to make that phone call, write that email. There was this inertia of, “Oh, nothing will help, oh, you’re just a whiner, oh, get over it.”
I felt desperate — like I couldn’t get enough help fast enough. Jon quickly helped me deal with my anxieties by supporting me in holding the space — to walk through it. I began hearing things from him, in words in my ears, that I have been hearing inside my head for as long as I can remember. So he was speaking my language. It began to calm me down.
Over the course of time, I wasn’t so much straining forward for a fix, and I was more learning to trust the Self no matter where or in what condition I was. I would not have been able to do that. I learned extraordinary and fascinatingly new things — even though he was telling me things I’ve already known all my life. It was like it was being laid down inside me, on me, in a new track.
My feelings changed from, “Quick, fix me, I can’t stand how I feel, make it better, hurry,” to, it’s not about hurry, and it’s not about fix, it’s about staying where you are and getting more and more and deeper and deeper and more and more thorough sensation that this is okay. You’re fine, this is okay.
It helps me reframe experience. I don’t see anything that’s happening quite the same as I’ve ever seen it before, because my viewpoint has been enlarged. So now when something bothers me, hurts, upsets, frightens, frustrates, I have a new and a growing sensation that this is not all there is — the frustration, the anger, the pain, the fear, whatever it may be that gets me all tied up, this is not all there is. There’s more, there’s peace, there’s joy, there’s love, there’s health, there’s everything.
I’m happy, I’m grateful, I’m understanding more now than ever that this is not the end, and there is no fix. That makes me feel like, okay... okay. You know. Okay!
- Layne Young, artist, Salem, Oregon
When I started working with Jon, I was at the end of my rope. Nothing in my life was working: my marriage, my work, my day-to-day life.
My greatest tool had always been my capacity to figure things out, and going through counseling several times previously had reinforced my belief that if I just worked harder to figure out what was wrong, I’d have different experiences.
What I learned from working with Jon was that figuring things out was just another way of distancing myself from my experiences... of living life from my head instead of my heart.
I can honestly say that, for the first time in 50 years, I’m learning how to just be. How to relish the present moment, which, magically and mysteriously, unlocks the door to the treasure house that is the rest of my life.
- Jennifer Green, Salem, Oregon
Working with Jon has changed my life in more ways than I can possibly describe.
I’ve stopped hiding from myself. And I’ve stopped hiding who I am from other people. People don’t scare me any more. I meet them where they are, and wherever they are is absolutely fine. And I can even meet myself where I am — most of the time, anyway.
My relationships with family and friends are richer and more rewarding, as I stop trying to be what others want and just show up as who I am.
How I feel and what I want are accessible to me — and I navigate life from there, instead of by shoulds, expectations, and external rules.
To-do lists no longer control me. Being productive isn’t the most important thing any more — being is much more fun! Decision or indecision become less and less meaningful as I live in the flow of what’s obviously next to do.
My writing — which is a big part of my life and my work — is simpler because I don’t need to create drama or masks with lots of adjectives, adverbs, and flowery phrases.
I’m willing to cry as almost as easily as I laugh.
I’ve discovered the richness and power of living from my own truth, as deeply vulnerable as that sometimes feels. I am more and more able to meet my life with curiosity and interest instead of fear and struggle. And life feels more real, more deeply textured and vivid.
Jon has an amazing and rare ability to see people as who they really are, free from expectations or any desire for them to be different. This makes him completely safe and profoundly trustworthy — and yet at the same time, he continually challenges me, over and over again, to see my stories for what they are, and to reach past them into the greater context, the greater perspective of what’s actually real.
He engages with his clients in the flow of their lives. There’s nothing theoretical or esoteric about his work; it’s incredibly practical and operates within the context of what’s actually happening. Whether it’s career, relationships, family, friends, or just all the day-to-day “stuff” that comes up, it’s actively met and becomes an ongoing part of the process.
Jon walks, lives, breathes, is what he teaches. The power of his work with clients comes from a deep resonance within and through him, a resonance he lives in every moment. There’s certainly a process through which his work takes shape, but it’s simple, without jargon, and it allows everyone to access it in whatever way works best for them. He recognizes that everyone’s experience is unique and non-linear, and he never judges or assumes that anyone “should” be anywhere other than exactly where they are.
Full disclosure requires that I say that Jon and I are good friends and business partners. But that happened after we“d been working together for a while — after he had shown me the way home to myself.
- Grace L. Judson, Svaha Concepts, Oceanside, California
My business was stuck, it wasn’t moving, I was frustrated, I didn’t know what to do, the money pressure was getting intense, my husband’s support was deteriorating, and week after week I had this commitment to come up with goals, and I couldn’t do it. It was like I was trying to move a mountain. And I just wanted the pain to go away.
It’s easy to decide to take a marketing program. It’s easy to say, I’m going to work with a coach on building my business. This isn’t that. So it wasn’t a matter of deciding in a logical way that this was the experience I wanted to have. And there was a lot of trust involved in letting go of the outcomes for myself and my business, trust that it wasn’t about working directly on my webcopy or things like that.
From the moment Jon and I connected, I had this deep experience of loving presence and complete trust. Something bypassed my mind and my ability to figure things out, and communicated directly to my heart and soul that I was safe and in the right place. There was a creation of power in our relationship that he honored and witnessed as being mine. It was my power. I had the experience of being wonderfully, beautifully powerful, in the most loving, energized way.
I’m someone who has almost an allergy to people who are too enamoured of their own model. Jon isn’t full of a model or a methodology. He’s very much a guide and a teacher, with a capital T. He offered simple truths that my soul recognized.
I have a completely different relationship with expectations. It used to be that I’d be running a million miles an hour to keep everyone else happy, without giving any thought at all to what I wanted. Meeting everybody else’s expectations was a way to keep the earth spinning in its orbit. The tricky part is that sometimes it looks very effective because everybody’s happy, except me. Yeah, stuff is getting done, but I’m half dead, not at all in touch with my sense of being creative, and kind of like a zombie.
Now I can recognize early on if an expectation has gotten into the driver’s seat, taking me off base. And I know how to respond to it. So I don’t get waylaid by expectations the way I used to.
The flip side of it is I feel so vitally alive when I’m not caught up in the sweep of expectations. I navigate by what I’m curious about, following my feeling, what feels attractive, what feels appropriate, what feels interesting. Feeling becomes a magnetic experience rather than an emotional experience. I navigate confidently by what I resonate with. I don’t have to think about it. Actually, if I’m in indecision, that’s always a clue that I’m caught up in expectations. Otherwise, I’m usually getting a clear feeling — that magnetic thing. And I really trust it. Not in a woo-woo kind of way — it just feels grounded. And I know that happened through my work with Jon.
It’s completely changed how I work with my clients — it’s more effective, without a doubt. When I saw what’s possible when you’re not being driven by expectations, I couldn’t in good conscience help people surface their expecations, because it would have been a violation of a truth that I feel deeply. And so my work with people starts from the larger truth of, everything is all right. We can be in that paradoxical place of this immense, whole, complete perfection, and simultaneously becoming something different.
I set my husband free from all the roles I had him set up for. What he was supposed to be doing, what was good, what was bad, whether he was doing it the way I wanted, or whether he’s a protector, a friend, a fill-in-the-blank. And that began to leave space for us to be companions on a journey. It doesn’t make the challenges go away, but we meet them differently. We’re able to have a level of conversation now that we weren’t able to have before.
I’m happier. I’m a lot happier. I feel more sparkly!
I think most folks have never had the experience of being in a relationship that was free of expectation, and filled with this absolute love. And that’s life-changing.
He’s not at all threatened by your brilliance. He just sort of loves it. And that can be an unusual experience for a woman working with a man.
- Laura Lind-Blum, The Idea Midwife, Waterbury Center, Vermont
I’ve had a lot of issues with men, and one of my big leaps forward into integration is letting go of my defenses in this area. So the mere fact that Jon is male is really important for me — that I have enough trust to open myself up in this way with a man with absolutely no fear is significant. No fear. I just trust him implicitly. I know I can be all of who I am with him, there’s nothing I have to hide, nothing I have to defend, nothing I have to hold back. It’s because of the kind of man he is that I can do that. I feel really safe.
Jon can help you recognize where you are, and become more clear. My work with him has not been about plotting out my future, it has been about helping me come into deeper relationship with myself so that next steps unfold easily and effortlessly.
The fact is that he’s really done his work, and he knows what he’s talking about. The benefits aren’t just in the verbal exchange — it’s the depth of the vibe, if you’ll pardon the jargon. In addition to the verbal sharing, there’s a lot of silence and a lot of laughter, too. It’s not an intellectual process for either one of us. I don’t turn to him because I want to deal with something on an intellectual level!
He creates a safe, spacious container for you to go as deep or wide or high as you’re capable of in any given moment. It’s like there’s room in the dynamic for something new to emerge, and he’s so good at helping you recognize that and see it. It’s the nuanced listening, and the way he can feed back information to you about aspects of yourself that most people would neither tune in to in the first place, nor would they have the capacity to reflect them back to you in a way that allows you to own and claim them. It’s a matter of him being able to see the facets and help me make them real in me, and see them as real.
So when you’re out in the world and you’re trying to bring all of who you are — it helps to have somebody like him at your back. Because then you feel more real and established and valid in claiming it all and emerging into the fullness of who you are.
- Sandra Leader, Carmel, California
I just wanted to let you know that I went skydiving yesterday. It’s a direct outgrowth of the work I started with you last year. I could NOT have done it without being able to just feel my fear and not tell stories about it and let God lead me one step at a time. Total surrender.
It was the most amazing and awesome experience of my entire life. A minute of freefall from 14,000 feet to 5,000 feet before the canopy opened.
I will never be the same again.
- From an email from Jennifer Green, Salem, Oregon
I was referred to Jon by a friend, and at the same time as I felt I owed it to myself to give it a try, I was also thinking, “Well, I hope this works.”
For me, it is hard to trust a man emotionally. I was hesitant to surrender to all the pain inside. He let me know it was O.K., human and liberating. Finding Jon was a real blessing which I am thankful for daily.
When Jon asked me a question and I would answer it, he would interpret it and see it through another lens. Then I could modify what I was saying, or look at it as maybe not accurate, or created by one of those scripts that we invariably have in life. I could see, okay, there’s another way to look at it.
Our conversations flowed — there was an organic aspect to the way we’d talk. It wasn’t contrived. He was able to elicit responses from me that were very deep, that I perhaps hadn’t even articulated to myself. It was a kind of a dance — a gentle moving of ideas and thoughts.
Jon’s perspective always comes from a pure space. His heart guides him; he has a very intuitive way of relating and thinking and communicating. It was like a dance, very sacred. I felt that I could lean into his strength, and yet remain myself. And that is something I’ve never, ever felt — and it was liberating. He truly listens — listens from a place of love, compassion, and trust, without judgment. He listens and he guides.
From a learning perspective, it was getting outside of my own way of looking at things, and understanding that there is a myriad of choices available if we are tuned in to the intention that we hold highest in our heart. That can be in any aspect — solving a problem in daily life, or working on a creative process, or in relationships, whatever.
I don’t judge myself so critically now. I believe that my perspective is unique and does have value. And I know that I’m not alone in the way I think — in my spiritual quest. The integrity that I live on a daily basis is my heart’s desire and is the purest way I can live if I am in accord with myself. If I am in tune with that quiet listening in my spirit, I can be guided and be doing the right things.
When I really stop — the silent meditation, the quiet being in myself — that’s the tuning fork we all need for being our truest self, which of course is what I think we should be. That was a very good tool that he left me with — the silence of meditation, the non-judgmental quietness, knowing that answers come, and they are beautifully presented if we are aware, if we listen.
I think he’s very special. He has such an ability as a man to elicit from a woman feelings that you don’t share with men normally. I don’t mean to sound sexist, but there is a real comfort in Jon. He gently illuminates the colors and the prism and perspective that we are as unique individuals. When we listen to our hearts, things can be transmitted to the world, transmitted to our daily actions, for the benefit of the whole circle.
- Heidi Jack, Suquamish, Washington
When I started working with Jon, there was just this little light of spirit in me, but it was very faint. I was a lost girl inside a grown-up woman’s body. And I’d had enough dysfunctional relationships with men that it was a real leap of faith to work with him, to trust him — but I knew I wasn’t as fulfilled on any level as I was capable of being.
He showed me how to tap that part of myself that never changes, that’s always there through it all. He helped me see that I’m the one who is uniquely qualified to give me whatever it is that I want, that it’s not going to come from anyplace else. No matter what the plot line is, no matter what the current situation might be, I can easily tap into my light, my authenticity, who I am. He showed me where my inner strength is. That’s a cellular change for me — that’s priceless, and it would never have happened without him.
One of the big ways this shows up in my life is with my kids. Instead of telling my kids what to do, I just model what it’s like being me. And they’re so happy not to be told what to do and when to breathe. I just let them be who they are, and I delight in who they are. It’s a thrill for me to stop interfering in their lives. A lot of the time my thoughts, the stories I make up, about what my kids are doing aren’t the most positive thing. So when I share thoses stories with the kids and they tell me I’m wrong, I go Yippee. I love being wrong. It’s really a blessing. I’ve opted out of guilt, shame, and needless worry.
My light fills up my whole life. And it’s fun being me!
- Char Brooks, Okemos, Michigan
Jon and I met in 2003 at the International Coach Federation conference in Denver. We live very close — we’re about 45 minutes apart. Our initial thought was to collaborate to bring coaching work into McHenry (Illinois) County. Over three years we had so many ideas, you wouldn’t believe it! And we did a couple of retreat workshops on finding voice and vision. After three years, we decided that we had reached a juncture where our businesses were going to go in individual ways, though we’re still close colleagues and friends.
Jon sees and feels life in its glory and beauty and preciousness and all of that — he lives with such awe and consciousness. When Jon shows up, it’s sacred space — I don’t care if we’re at Starbucks or walking on a trail. He is reverent and respectful of witnessing things that want and should be witnessed: the precious, sacred process of someone and what they are immersed in, their transformations and their integrations.
He has great respect for whatever the process is that somebody is in the midst of, and he makes room for it. He doesn’t try to hurry the process into action. He is committed to giving room for contemplation and discernment and then taking inspired action. He creates and insists on the room to discern — he takes a stand for discernment, let’s feel into what’s right and true and authentic before we take action on it.
Jon is fearless and trusting about going to very deep levels with people, and just by showing up and being who he is, he creates the safest of spaces to do deep work, to come to deep work and deep questions, deep discernments. He listens at a really deep level; he knows how to ask questions to help a person really discern, and he hears it as well, their true authentic voice, the voice of spirit. It’s in the space he creates, but it’s much more about who he is and how he shows up and his own work that he’s done in and for himself.
- Lynne Fairchild, MBA, PCC, Marengo, Illinois
Professional Certified Coach, Reinvention Revolution
Everything that I do, noticing myself in the world, trying to be effective as a businessperson, trying to be effective in relationships — this program showed me that there’s a way to address it that allows me to handle all of it, to encounter all of it and not freak out. The program reached a part of me that has for some time been ready to work directly with myself.
If you believe that your life is valuable, the Finding Another Way program will teach you how to explore the meanings and the aspects of its value so that you will get to know it better. And your life will be more useful to you — your value will be there for you in a way that you haven’t experienced yet. You owe it to yourself to make that investment.
The two people who offer it are such a brilliant counterpoint to each other — they come from such different stories. These people are really not talking about the product being something that you can package, sell, produce, charge for. They’re talking about your value, you as an individual, and they’ve got the bones and the heart to do it.
- Brenda Kelleher, Brunswick, Maine
My daughters were initially wary. They feared the program could be a senior scam, or a magnet for unhappy housewives. And my initial read was that it was too good to be true.
It has become, instead, a blessed forum for unfailing encouragement and support. It is helping me learn to honor those aspects of myself that I always suspected/wanted/hoped were of value. It also makes it possible to face and name and quell my “demons” — the worst-case what if’s?, if only’s, and should have’s.
My family is pleased, relieved, and so supportive of the positive effect the program has had on my sense of perspective.
There’s some kind of balancing factor that happens with this program, that keeps pulling me back to try to keep the whole picture in focus, instead of just the compelling issue of the moment. I have a feeling of community, an awareness of fellow searchers who are trying to find a way to be who they are.
I only had the vague sense that there had to be another way to go through life, but I didn’t have any mentors. I caught glimpses of people who seemed to be peaceful and fulfilled, but I never experienced the intimacy of that. That’s the biggest gift of all. There’s another way to be busy and productive and creative and still feel enriched in your own core. I’m just filled with promise of another way to be in this world, whether it be alone or with friends, and not be in a role that was written for me — that I allowed to be written — not trapped into what is expected. And I realize that I can actually do what feels right to me instead of what I think I’m supposed to do.
There’s a an expanded sense of breathing space in my life. It’s as if doors and windows are opening that I didn’t know were closed — that I didn’t know were there.
- Sharon Robohm, Bath, Maine
I’d never done anything online, or by the phone. And I thought, hmm, how real can it be? People portray themselves as anything online. And I’m a pretty sophisticated psychological person, and I thought — nobody can help me.
Well, I played out my no one can help me thing. And you both just stuck it out, and called me on it, and named it, and I recognized it. Now I’m able to have perspective, to observe myself. That helps keep me from being overwhelmed and overtaken by my distress. So I’m less likely to discharge feelings at my staff or my friends.
It works. I’m surprised that it worked. And I can’t really explain how it worked. But I notice a change in myself. A change for the better. My staff and friends — I think they’d say, Jill’s happier. Yeah. I’ve never felt this good in my whole life!
- Jill Wallace, Topsham, Maine
Elm Street Assisted Living
I’ve been involved in group coaching before, so I did wonder, would I be able to relate to the other people in the group, would they be able to relate to me. And it was different folks, different walks of life. I think that made the group stronger.
It was good to realize that there are other people around me in the world that I deal with that are just like these women in the group, but these other people around me aren’t revealing that they’re encountering these anxieties and fears and issues and whatever, because I’m not that close to them. But in reality — it is impacting them.
You did a good job of taking me back, saying stop thinking about stuff. I think that was of huge value. I don’t need to think through this, I just need to feel it. And just sit with the feeling and accept the feeling, and accept the emotion. And I would not have done that prior to this program.
Last week, when my son was so sick — I just needed to be there for him. And I knew that once I clicked over and was with him, I needed to shut off work. So I notified the appropriate parties and I shut it off, and I didn’t think any more about it. In the past, I would have tried to straddle both worlds. I think that helped a lot.
It was good to realize that the people around me are dealing with anxieties and fears and whatever, but they’re not revealing their issues because I’m not that close to them. But in reality — it’s impacting them. Now if somebody does something at work that disappoints me, there’s an awareness of, hey, cut them some slack, there might be a reason why that happened. Don’t take it personally, these things happen, go with the flow on it, the emotional part of it isn’t worth it and it’s not needed. Show empathy rather than frustration. So I’m calmer. More willing to just hear all sides, rather than just say no, this is the way it is. And my team — we’ve come together closer as a team. We’re more willing to open up from a communications standpoint.
You and Jon are masterful at hearing what someone is saying and truly understanding them. Your ability to actively listen and tune in to not only the words but the emotion, what that person is really saying, makes the person truly feel valued. Jon and Grace get what I was saying, they get where my place is, where I am right now. You guys are true pros at it, you really do a great job. Regardless of what else was going on in the call, whoever was speaking, you knew that Grace and Jon understood where that person was.
- Lauren Pickwoad, Vice President at a national printing company based in Dallas, Texas
I acknowledge you both for the simple, clear, and profound doorways that you present. The level of integrity, compassion, and safety that was created was palpable. I really appreciate the way you don’t make it about “you” and thus this helps me not make it about “me.”
- Na’ama, St. Helena, California