TLA Right Livelihood Professional Training

Special Guest Teachers

Learn from luminaries in the field during weekly video conferences with your fellow participants and facilitators.

Each week, on a Sunday evening for an hour 8 p.m. EST/ 7 p.m. CST/ 6 p.m. MST/ 5 p.m. PST between June 17 and Aug. 28, the following people (more to be confirmed) will present some of their work, and join us in conversation when you can ask your questions.

Dr. Harriet Lerner is one of our nation's most respected voices in the psychology of women, and the “how-tos” of navigating the swamps and quicksands of difficult relationships. She lectures and consults nationally, and is the author of numerous scholarly articles and 12 books  including The New York Times bestseller The Dance of Anger, which has sold more than three million copies with over  30 foreign translations. Her new book is, Why Won’t You Apologize? Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurt. Lerner served as a staff psychologist at the Menninger Foundation for several decades and currently has a private practice in Lawrence, Kansas.  For more on Harriet visit her website or follow her on FB and twitter.

Charles Eisenstein  is a speaker and writer focusing on themes of human culture and identity. He is the author of several books, most recently The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible, and Sacred Economics. His background includes a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Yale, a decade in Taiwan as a translator, and stints as a college instructor, a yoga teacher, and a construction worker. He is also the author of The Ascent of Humanity, and The Yoga of Eating, and he is currently working a new book on the climate change narrative. He currently writes and speaks full-time. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and four children. 

Gregg Levoy, author of Callings: Finding and Following An Authentic Life (Random House) and Vital Signs: Discovering and Sustaining Your Passion for Life (Penguin), is the former "behavioral specialist" at USA Today and a regular blogger for Psychology Today. He has Keynoted at the National Career Development Assn., National Conference on Positive Aging, Smithsonian Institution, Environmental Protection Agency, Microsoft, American Counseling Association, been a frequent guest of the media including ABC-TV, CNN, NPR and PBS, and written for the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post and Psychology Today. His website is

See a SPARKS session, hosted by the TLA Network, featuring Gregg Levoy talking about callings and right livelihood.

Donna Washington is a professional author, storyteller and multicultural folklorist who has been sharing stories for over thirty years. Her amazing vocal pyrotechnics and dynamic physicality make her stories come alive and enthrall and delight audiences from four to one hundred and four. She has been featured at numerous festivals, schools & libraries theaters and other venues around the world including Canada, Peru, Argentina & Hong Kong. Donna is a multiple-award winning artist with nine CDs and is an accomplished author of four children's books. She presents a wide variety of tales from many different cultures. She offers a range of multicultural folktales, personal narratives and stories of her own creation. She also presents masterclasses in storytelling and workshops for teachers, educators and librarians on the role of storytelling in education. 

Patti Digh has written 8 books on global diversity and living mindfully, has worked and traveled in over 60 countries, has served on the President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities, and has learned more from her transgender Autistic son than from any of those other experiences. Patti is the founder of The Art of Activism and Life is a Verb Camp, and is currently writing a book on the history of normalcy with her husband, John Ptak.

José Faus is a native of Bogota, Colombia and long time Kansas City resident. He has participated in mural projects throughout the Kansas City area, Mexico and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia where he traveled under a State Department grant. He has exhibited extensively in the Kansas City area. His writing appeared in numerous journals, and he has published a chapbook This Town Like That with Spartan Press; his second book of poetry The Life and Times of Jose Calderon was published by 39 Street Press. Mr. Faus is an independent teacher and mentor with an interest in the role of artists as creative catalysts for community building. He is a founder of the Latino Writers Collective and sits on the boards of the Writers Place, UMKC Friends of the Library, The Latino Writers Collective and the Charlotte Street foundation.

Rob Peck, is an author, humorist and recovering perfectionist! True to the title of his new book, It's a Juggle Out There, Rob’s moving speeches and uplifting seminars focuses on three things simultaneously: Stress management, Streamlining, & Simplifying. Rob's fun, fast paced programs combine comedy and content with eye-catching juggling and balancing visuals. With humor and heart, he offers fresh insights and 'outside the briefcase' ideas to decrease stress, increase focus, and go to work feeling less overloaded & underslept. He is also a long time member of the National Speakers Association, who has appeared on CBS, NBC, CNBC and was a featured presenter at Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institute.

Priscilla Howe travels the world (12 countries and counting) with a head full of stories and a bag full of puppets. What kind of stories? Folktales, stories from books, her own (almost true) experiences and stories that tiptoe closer to jokes. Her favorite audience is the one in front of her at any given moment. A full-time storyteller since 1993 and a former librarian, Priscilla lives in Lawrence, Kansas. She’s also searching for the best restaurant pie on earth.

Kelley Hunt, singer songwriter and international touring recording artist, has a career that comprises over 1800 live performances, airplay on 5 continents, 6 acclaimed commercial releases and hundreds of thousands of indie units sold and downloaded. She is also a skilled workshops presenter at all levels - from grade schools to the Berklee College of Music in Boston - on subjects including various facets of songwriting, piano and vocal performance, specific workshops for choral groups and even interactive programs for elementary school-age kids. For 13 years she has co-hosted the Brave Voice Writing and Singing For Your Life retreat and workshops with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, and she has been a guest artist at The Power of Words and Circle of Music Conferences. In addition to touring and recording Kelley maintains a robust schedule of teaching and vocal coaching.

Jen Cross is a writer, performer, and writing workshop facilitator based in Oakland, CA. Her organization, Writing Ourselves Whole, founded in 2003, focuses primarily on sexuality writing workshops and writing with survivors of sexual trauma. Her new book, Writing Ourselves Whole, is garnering great praise, and is a bestseller on Amazon. Jen's writing appears in more than thirty anthologies and periodicals, including The Healing Art of Writing, Nobody Passes, Visible: A Femmethology, Best Sex Writing 2008; she is also the co-editor of Sex Still Spoken Here (with Dr. Carol Queen and Amy Butcher). Jen is currently an MFA candidate at San Francisco State University.


Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of two dozen books, including the forthcoming Miriam's Well, a novel; Following the Curve, poetry; and Everyday Magic, a collection of beloved blog posts and personal essays. Her previous work includes The Divorce Girl, a novel; Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust; The Sky Begins At Your Feet, a bioregional memoir on cancer and community; and five poetry collections, including the award-winning Chasing Weather: Tornadoes, Tempests, and Thunderous Skies in Word and Image with weather chaser/ photographer Stephen Locke. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely, particularly for people living with serious illness and their caregivers. With singer Kelley Hunt, she co-leads writing and singing retreats. She also is a writing and right livelihood coach, working with people to bring of what wants to be written and lived into being. For over three decades, Caryn has worked extensively with many arts and ecological/bioregional not-for-profit organizations as a grant-writer, fundraiser, staff, board member, and consultant, and she also founded several long-term groups. With her husband Ken Lassman, she also offers consensus-based decision-making and other organizational development workshops and retreats. Born hard-wired to make something (in art, music, and especially writing), Caryn’s long-time callings include writing as a spiritual and ecological path, yoga, cultivating a loving marriage, family, and community, and helping herself and others make and take leaps into the miraculous work of their lives.

Laura Packer has been performing, coaching, writing, consulting, and leading the storytelling field for almost 25 years. She knows the best way to the truth is through a good story, and that this universally accessible artform creates empathy, builds bridges, and has the power to both heal and change the world. The winner of multiple awards for performance and leadership, Laura has told, taught, consulted, coached, and considered storytelling around the world. When she isn’t performing, Laura is the sole proprietor of thinkstory, llc, one of the nation’s foremost organizational consulting firms. thinkstory helps both for- and non-profit organizations communicate more effectively through coaching and storytelling techniques. Her one-day storytelling workshop, Stand Up and Speak Out: Tools for Effective Self Promotion, presented at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center was endorsed as “more useful than you could possibly imagine.” Laura knows that following your passion may be hard, but life and the world around will be richer for it. Laura considers her whole life her calling, which includes the depth and breadth of her storytelling and writing work, building and growing healthy relationships, loving the people in her life, practicing radical forgiveness, spending time in nature, cooking, listening, demystifying and destigmatizing grief and other powerful feelings, and trying to live as authentic and engaged a life as possible. You can learn more about her storytelling and coaching work at, her organizational work at, and read some of her writing at

Read an interview with Laura Packer and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg from Chrysalis: A Journal of Transformative Language Arts.

"The Transformative Language Arts Network" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Kansas, P.O. Box 442633, Lawrence, KS 66044

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