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Testimonials from former students, colleauges and mentees.

“Mike is a wonderful coach. As a recent college graduate, it is challenging to figure out where I want to be in life and how to get there. When I talked to him, he asked me insightful questions to guide my thoughts and gain clarity about an important life decision. I’m thankful for his deep perspectives about life and I look forward to connecting with him in the future.”- Michelle M

“Michael Blackwell is one of those rare people that is so unique there are no accurately acceptable words to describe him. He is a wonderful human beings and we should all strive to be more like him, in terms of positivity and our outlook on life, and reevaluating what’s important. However he is so humble that he will never admit this. I owe him so much and he does not realize to what extent and in how many ways he has helped me.”- Nadia D.

“I would like to thank you for: Asking me hard questions (and encouraging me to do the same); Challenging my decisions; Helping me approach music and providing a venue for me to explore; Teaching me always to “Go Another Way”; and among other things, thank you for listening, and mentoring me as I have struggled, learned, and grown…”- David H.

“I found the desire to live life a little differently than what seemed to be the “norm” when I was in a high school student. I don’t know if I ever would have found a way to do it or feel so challenged to chase that dream unless I’d had so much time with a man that actually embodied this mission. Michael always encouraged me to find my vocation, my calling. He wouldn’t let me settle for less than my capabilities and he did so in a way that always kept me searching for more, to develop my skills, mind, desires, beyond the accepted limits of today’s society. I owe a lot to this man. Thanks so much!”- Kirsten D.

“YES! I love this. I’m currently in shock and awe–the array of options available in this world is incredible, and I’m enjoying trying to pick it apart. Mike loves picking things apart, and has a knack for asking questions to give one pause, to shake things up, and to help refocus energies where they need to be. Our conversation left me feeling refreshed and excited to continue my pursuit…”- David F.

“Mike, thank you for always volunteering your time to speak to students about nature, appreciation, traditions, and positive change; your sessions for Virginia Power Shift 2012 and Earth Week 2012 made a lasting impression on several young men and women… I still have people come up to me and ask when we’re hosting another discussion with you. Looking forward to more talks and dances and songs and drawings!”- Kara D.

“I will never forget running around in a circle on all fours in the middle of campus with a huge smile on my face! I find myself tuning in more to what I can hear, see, and smell of what’s around me thanks to your coaching. Thanks a lot Michael!!!”- Muriel V.

“…and last but not least to Michael J. Blackwell for his sage like advice that we ALL need a village!! It has made all the difference in the world!!!”- Sarah M.

“Yesterday I was hustling my son in from the car in the rain and it occurred to him to sit down on the flagstone front walk and start slapping his hands in the growing puddles to see the splash and hear the sounds the different sized stones made, and I put down the groceries the grass and sat down with him and we got all soaking wet together drumming on the flagstone. This made me think of you and what you have shared with me…”-Tara D.
“Thank you so much for joining us at Virginia Power Shift this past weekend..we really appreciate how much you contributed to the event! On Sunday, we had a big circle-up where everyone shared their highlights from the conference and your workshop was one of the most loved of the weekend by far.”-Dyanna

“hey Mike…I just got off a conference call with the Virginia Power Shift planning committee, wanted to let you know they said that your talk is still being brought up at all their schools as one of their highlights of the weekend.” –Drew G.

“.. I just wanted to let you know the influence that you’ve had on me, and many other people I’m sure… to say that I am thankful for the knowledge and experience that you have given…and hope that you will continue to pass it along to future generations.”- Alex W

“He guided us in such a new and unique way. I have never felt so comfortable, natural ,and effective in the learning process than in this class. He really knew how young people/people in general learned and interacted. This made his teaching a lot more effective in my opinion, I concentrated longer ,focused more deeply, and participated more…” student from Nature of Leadership Class, Virginia Tech, Spring 2014


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Ceremony Matters

The Official Blog of the Celebrant Foundation and Institute


A blog about religion, science, and philosophy

Residence on Earth

A Sustainability Blog

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