Your Right Livelihood Training

Special Guest Teachers

Learn from luminaries in the field during video conferences through the class. Here are our 2020 guest speakers.

Gregg Levoy, author of Callings: Finding and Following An Authentic Life (Random House)—rated among the "Top 20 Career Publications" by the Workforce Information Group—and Vital Signs: Discovering and Sustaining Your Passion for Life (Penguin), the former “behavioral specialist” at USA Today, and a current blogger for Psychology Today. He has presented at the Smithsonian Institution, Environmental Protection Agency, International Conference on Positive Aging, Microsoft, American Counseling Association, National Career Development Association, and many others, and has appeared on ABC-TV, CNN, NPR and PBS. A former adjunct professor of journalism at the University of New Mexico, former columnist and reporter for USA Today and the Cincinnati Enquirer, he has written for the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, Omni, Psychology Today, Fast Company, Reader’s Digest, and many others. His website is www.gregglevoy.com.  See a SPARKS session, hosted by the TLA Network, featuring Gregg Levoy talking about callings and right livelihood.


Dr. Ada Cheng is a professor-turned-storyteller, solo performer, and storytelling show producer. She has been featured in storytelling shows and done her two solo performances all over the country. She is the producer and the host of four storytelling shows, including Pour One Out, Am I Man Enough?, Talk Stories: An Asian American/Asian Diaspora Storytelling Show, and Speaking Truths Series. She creates platforms for people to tell difficult and vulnerable stories as well as spaces for people and communities who may not have opportunities otherwise. She works as an Education and Outreach Specialist for Women's Leadership and Resource Center at UIC. Her interests span multiple fields, including academia, storytelling/performance art, and advocacy. Her motto: Make your life the best story you tell. Her website is here.


Huascar Medina, the Kansas Poet Laureate, is a poet, writer, and performer who lives in Topeka. He currently works as a freelance copywriter and as the Literary Editor for seveneightfive magazine publishing stories that spotlight literary and artistic events in northeast Kansas. His poems can be found in his collection How to Hang the Moon published by Spartan Press. He is the winner of ARTSConnect’s 2018 Arty Award for Literary Art. His forthcoming book Un Mango Grows in Kansas will be released in 2020. Listen to Huascar's "Three Rules for Writers" here. Photo by Dave Leiker.



Heather Forest is a modern-day bard. Her storytelling performances are a fusion of poetry, prose, original melody, and the sung and spoken word. A pioneer in the American storytelling revival she has shared her repertoire of world tales in theatres, schools, literature conferences, and storytelling festivals throughout the United States and abroad. A multiple award-winning author and recording artist, she has published seven children's picture books based on folktales, three folktale anthologies, eight audio recordings of storytelling and a popular educational web site StoryArts Online http://www.storyarts.org. Ms. Forest is a recipient of the Circle of Excellence Award presented by the National Storytelling Network, U.S.A.


Marianela Medrano is a Dominican writer, poet and a psychotherapist with a Ph.D in psychology whose practice include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness, and Integral Psychotherapy. The author of numerous poetry books, Medrano's poetry has been widely published and translated. She is a certified poetry therapist and serves as a mentor/supervisor for the International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy. She also is in the incoming president of the National Association for Poetry Therapy. Medrano’s Tedx Talk can be found here.


Facilitator-Mentors  

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is a creativity consultant and coach. She is the author of two dozen books, including How Time Moves: New & Selected PoemsMiriam's Well, 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 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, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely, particularly for people living with serious illness and their caregivers. With singer Kelley Hunt, she co-leads Brave Voice 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. www.CarynMirriamGoldberg.com


Laura Packer  has been performing, coaching, writing, consulting, and leading the storytelling field for almost 25 years. She is the author of Audience to Zeal: The ABCs of Finding, Crafting, and Telling a Great Story. 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 laurapacker.com, her organizational work at thinkstory.com, and read some of her writing at truestorieshonestlies.blogspot.com.

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. P.O. Box 873 Lansdowne, PA 19050 USA

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