I am a woman on a mission to change the world. I want everyone - women and men - across the globe to appreciate and honor their courage. To bring that courage into their life and leadership.

I see the world's problems and I know the old approaches of 'power over' - dominance and control - are no longer working. Principles of collaboration, bridge-building, seeking understanding, and taking a "Seven- Generation" view are desperately needed now. We need to balance the world by blending intuition and inner wisdom with logic; reflection with action.

My dream is for every individual to know how amazing and courageous they are, every day. To relish who they are, as they are. To value themselves and their gifts. To deeply understand how much they matter.

And to bring that awareness and passion into their leadership. We need more leaders in this world who are courageous enough to set their individual egos aside and build highly effective companies, businesses and organizations through respectful, safe, and resolved relationships.

I know that when we are aware and empowered, others around us in our families and work are, in turn, empowered...

When we love ourselves and love our lives, we, in turn, love others and allow them to live their lives as they choose...

When we lead from a place of respect and collaboration we create businesses and organizations that thrive and weather any difficulty.

Megan

 

Professional Experience

2003 - Present

Founder and President of Courage Project and Megan Raphael Consulting.

Public speaker, workshop leader, personal and professional life coach, award-winning author.

Former Executive Director, National Writers Series. An arts organization with a social mission to support young writers, and to engage the community with nationally-recognized writers and authors. In the three short years of its existence, National Writers Series has develped a national reputation as one of the preeminent stops on any authors' book tour.

1999 - 2003

Director of Health Services for Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians. Suttons Bay, Michigan

Provided overall leadership for the health services of one of Michigan's largest Indian tribes. Managed a multi-physician health clinic and a wide network of community health services.

 

1990 - 1999

President of Raphael Consulting and Raphael-Leritz Consulting, Inc. Portland, Oregon (1990-1998) and Traverse City, Michigan (1998-1999)

Responsible for managing and providing management development training services to businesses and organizations in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest. Services included executive coaching, staff development, team training, meeting facilitation, and organization consulting. My primary focus was on healthcare organizations - hospitals, physician practices, medical clinics, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

 

1985 - 1990

Organization Development Consultant and Trainer with Legacy Health System, Portland, Oregon

 

Prior to 1985 Manager, Management Development Trainer and Consultant, Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist.

Educational Background

  • Certified Professional Co-Active Coach through Coach Training Institute (CTI), the first life coaching training program to be accredited to offer college credits for courses. Completed CTI's extensive two-year training in 2007.
  • Advanced courses in organizational development and counseling psychology.
  • Graduate work on MBA - Portland State University
  • BA, Social Work - Michigan State University

My Story

I grew up in Royal Oak, Michigan, a suburb north of Detroit. After high school I went to Muskegon Community College and lived with my sister and her family for 2 years. It provided me with much-needed stability and a close family situation.

I transferred to Michigan State University where I had incredible, growing experiences as a Resident Assistant in my dorm. Those years were tumultous as a society and being a college student during the Vietnam War opened my mind to broaded societal concerns of peace and social justice. .

During my junior year I fell madly in love with a fellow Resident Assistant, Peter. We got married in 1973 when I was 21 years old - a young un' - and despite all odds for people marrying so early, we have continued to have a growing, fun, loving relationship for all these years. We just celebrated our 39th Anniversary.

We moved to Portland, Oregon in 1975 after a brief visit there; I can remember it was a beautiful, warm December day with no snow and I was hooked. For a Michigander, celebrating a holiday in warmth felt like I died and went to heaven. I was hooked on the Pacific Northwest!

While I always knew I wanted to have a family, we intentionally waited for 10 years to get pregnant because I just knew I wasn't ready until then. My son, Ryan, now 29, was such a wonderful addition; Alexandra, now 26, was born 3 1/2 years later. Both are compassionate, adventurous young adults and it's such a pleasure watching them carving out their paths.

Living in Portland, Oregon was great. It was a terrific place to grow up ourselves, and to raise kids. But one day, after living there over 20 years, Peter and both said "It's time to move back home to Michigan."

A year later we were moving into our new house in Traverse City - a town that was always a dream for me to live in. It was one of those decisions I knew was absolutely right and I still feel the same way today.

We live in an old house built in 1891 three blocks from the Grand Traverse Bay. I can honestly say there isn't a day that goes by that I don't say, "I'm so lucky to be here!". Between the beaches and water, the great energy of the town, and the laid-back atmosphere, I can say I'm living the life of my dreams.

Interests and Passions

I love being on water, motorboating, kayaking, swimming, having a campfire under the stars, looking for petoskey stones and beach glass, walking on the beach, being in the woods, camping away from the maddening crowd, beading, doing stained glass, writing, biking, rollerblading, reading fiction and non-fiction (personal/spiritual growth) books, going to the library and coming home with a stack of new books to read, traveling and learning about new places, going to historical museums, listening to music, journaling, being alone. I love laughing.

Personal Philosophy

From an early age I had this deep, abiding belief in my right, my ability, and my need to choose how I wanted to live my life. As a young child turmoil in my family life caused me to retreat to my room, or when we were at our cottage in Northern Michigan, to the lakeside on my favorite "thinking rock", to contemplate, be quiet, listen. To decide what I was going to do with my life.

During those hours alone I considered the chaos around me and somehow, heard a small voice inside, helping guide me through my life. It was an inner knowing that led me to choose healthier relationships, to blend mothering and work, to learn to be courageous in facing and confronting conflict, to start my own businesses, to work for other women's right to choose, and to write a book.

I've believed - strongly- that if I listened carefully enough and followed my inner authentic Self, I would be alright. And I have been. I've experienced rich relationships, deep satisfaction and joy in my work, and a sense of peace.

Heroines, Heroes, Mentors and Influencers

  • Every woman and man who are courageously following their own path and are guided by their values and passions, regardless of what others may think.
  • My mother who taught me about forgivenes and acceptance.
  • My sister because of her fiery protection of our family property's woods and water.
  • My family - husband, kids, nieces, etc. - who help me learn the power of love.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt because her deep convictions sprung from her compassion for all people, and because she was a strong, courageous woman in an era that wanted her very badly to be a quiet, timid First Lady.
  • Oprah Winfrey because she followed no one's expectations for her life except her own. In her honesty and truth about her weight, and her quest for integrity and spirit, she has inspired women of all colors and age to more fully accept themselves and reach for their dreams.
  • Virginia Satir, mother of the Family Systems approach in counseling, because of her deeply compassionate questioning, her keen insight into people and her complete acceptance of each person. I had the privilege of attending a workshop she conducted when I was in my late 20's; she appeared very old to me then - probably in her late 60's/early 70's - and it was the first time I had ever seen a woman professional of her age. Her wisdom, her ability to quickly connect on a deep level with her 'clients', and her grace created a new vision for me for how I wanted to be in my "old age".
  • Abe Lincoln, who followed his own truth and vision for a better country despite indescribable political pressure and risk.
  • Nelson Mandela, who maintained his vision for equality and justice, and his gentle compassion for people of all color through years of dark, solitary days.
  • Women and men who stand up for their beliefs in social justice, freedom to choose, and opportunity for all. People who get back up after disappointment, loss and sense of failure...their resiliency inspires and moves me. Leaders who are truly collaborative, engage others meaningfully in decisions that affect them, listen to others' ideas, and move past blame to solve problems.

 

"A person's greatest power is the discovery of the authentic self, followed by a deeper discovery of how they will express what they were born to do." The Courage Code

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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