Greetings...fellow seekers, visionaries, and creatives.
Since graduating with a PhD in Adult Learning from the University of Chicago, I have taught and led creative process courses and workshops at a wide range of institutions—from graduate schools to prestigious retreat centers to local and non-profit community organizations. In 2007, I had a life-changing visionary experience while teaching my first course on the psychology of metaphor. In the visionary experience, I was urged by Spirit to see a “non-ordinary” reality of profound beauty that is accessed through metaphor and metaphoric images. A few years after this experience I launched Doorway Sessions, to guide others to this realm. Through my individual sessions and groups, I offer deeply experiential and transformative work, catalyzing and facilitating creative breakthroughs. The work quickly shifts people out of spiritual and psychological difficulties and into a space of profound beauty and creative flow.
My most recent book is Getting Messy: A Guide to Taking Risks and Opening the Imagination for Teachers, Trainers, Coaches and Mentors. I’m currently teaching at Pacifica Graduate Institute; some of my past teaching assignments include Esalen Institute, Meridian University, Sophia Center at Holy Names University, University of California Berkeley and Sofia University (formerly the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology).
At the University of Chicago, I had the good fortune to be mentored by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of the classic Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (some people call him “the Flow guy.”) We co-authored a popular article and book chapter on learning in museums, Intrinsic Motivation in Museums: Why Does One Want to Learn? and Mihaly kindly said this about my work:
Kim is an exceptionally smart, thoughtful, and well put-together person. Her doctoral dissertation of how and what adults learn in informal settings was a pioneering study with all sorts of immediate implications for creativity and adult learning. The field needs the information she has collected and her insights about it. Personally, I feel proud to have been the supervisor of her thesis.
In 2007, a visionary experience made it clear to me that the creative process is much more than a peripheral aspect of human life. My journey began the prior fall, when the President of a small university asked me what course I wanted to teach in his Ph.D. Psychology program. Instead of responding with the curricula that I was already prepared to teach, to my surprise Spirit spoke through me and said “metaphor.” I knew nothing about metaphor as an academic subject, and had no idea how it related to Psychology. The President replied, “Great! We’ll call it the Psychology of Metaphor” and I walked out of his office wondering what I had just gotten myself into. But since Spirit was speaking through me, Spirit also developed the course. Out-of-print books about the power of metaphor mysteriously appeared on my study table at the local library. Reading these materials gave me a strong knowing that there was a realm of beauty that lies “under the surface” and we humans just don’t see it. I spent these months gazing at the world around me, trying to find “the way in” to this compelling-yet-imperceptible place.
Two months after the course ended, the visionary experience initiated me into a world of pulsing, exquisite, profound beauty...the beauty that I had sensed and yearned for while teaching the class. I experienced the breathtaking beauty that lies “behind” what we think is ordinary, and understood at a deep level that metaphor is the way in to this realm.
Metaphor is the language that the earliest humans used to communicate with one another (before there was verbal language, there were pictographs on cave walls) and it’s how babies learn before they develop language (their bodies learn metaphorically, physically engaging with the world around them). And perhaps most importantly, metaphor is the language of the natural world, which holds the most powerful metaphors for transformation and change. Metaphor is at the heart of my work with individuals in Doorway Sessions. I am in awe of the profound beauty of this deeply transformative dimension of reality, a reality that as a culture we do not yet see.
Some awards that I’ve received include an Independent Publisher Book Award for my 2005 book, Sky’s the Limit: The Art of Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey and in 1995, an Outstanding Research Award from the American Educational Research Association for my doctoral research on adult learning in everyday life. Click here to go to my Amazon Author Page.
If you’re ready to tap into a much higher level of creative transformation in your life or simply want to let go of something that’s been holding you back, contact me here to schedule a Doorway Session: