Coaches Memo is an area where I share what is going on in my world, the ways in which the power of coaching is affecting my life, and insights I have recently experienced.

The Enneagram and Coaching

For All Alliance Members,

Coach John Keathly and I are happy to announce an on-line Enneagram Study Group for Gay Men, Gay Coaches, and Men in the Helping Professions.

Many coaches have asked me why and in what ways the Enneagram is useful in gay men and even gay groups. There are many reasons: some of them historical, some social, and some spiritual.

Queer folks have been oppressed by most of society's structures, including governments and organized religions. Because of these oppressions, we are naturally wary of any system which strives to teach us something. We have fled from religion and have found very little to replace it with some system which has the possibility to offer meaning in our lives. One of the reasons Buddhism is so popular among queer people is that it comes without a lot of dogma and commandments.

We have also found it a challenge it live in societies and cultures which make us feel unwelcome. Indeed, in some places queer people find that their lives are in danger. Many of us have the experience that we are lone in finding meaning in our lives and a path to follow to live out our purpose.

The Enneagram may serve these many purposes in our lives; it offers a way to be grounded in history, to be aware of the social dynamics taking place around us, and to be shown a particular path that suits our personalities. 

As a student of the Enneagram for more than 25 years, I have found it personally rewarding. It helps me think clearly about myself and others. It helps me think clearly about my clients and gives me the framework to receive them in a way that honors their individually. 

For coaching clients, the benefits are many. One of the most important things a client can do is to explore different points of view and perspectives. The enneagram offers perspectives that are useful and inspiring to a client. It offers the coach/client the ability to think clearly about the issues of the client; and, as part of the alliance, gives the coach the opportunity and permission to "call them on their stuff." 

But, most important of all, the use of the Enneagram helps compassion grow.

For more information on this Enneagram Course starting on January 16th, every Friday for 11 weeks, please visit our website at

Harry Faddis

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John Keathley
Hi guys, I'm very excited to be co-piloting this course with Harry. His experience with the Enneagram is vast and especially usefu... Read More
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 00:59
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Gay Spirit Camp (Easton Mountain)


Today we begin Gay Spirit Camp at Easton Mountain. It will end with our First International GLBT Music Festival. We have done Gay Spirit Camp for about 8 years now; and, every year, I find myself thinking about just what I mean when I refer to "GAY SPIRIT." 

This year, in particular, I am aware of the need for generosity, gratitude, and graciousness as part of the fabric of what gay spirit means. The nation's financial matters are in very bad condition and our war news is discouraging. I look for inspirtation as a gay man to uplift my gay spirit to higher levels of gratitude and a deeper understanding of what it means to be of service.

I am aware this week of a moving source of inspiration. On August 3, 2011, Rudolf Brazda died at the age of 98. His obituary has appeared in major newspapers, including the New York TImes. Rudolf survived the concentration camp at Buchenwald for 3 years and he is the last known homosexual to have survived. His story is a true inspiraton. Both this and his beautiful face speak to a deep "gay spirit" that I find attractive and compelling. All of us who saw him in the film were very moved. So this year, Rudolf Brazda is my own personal inspiration to move throught the world with dignity, strength, and cheerfulness.

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What I Want for The Gay Coaches

What I Want as a Member of the Gay Coaches Alliance

As a founder and member of the Gay Coaches Alliance, I have several intentions.

One of them is to grow the number of gay men who have coaches. I think that this is important because our culture is on the verge of a shift, from healing to action, from interest in the self to devotion to service.

We have spent the last several decades healing from oppression, from abuse, from severe negativity as gay men. It is not yet over, but we can see a new life on the horizon. With the vision of this new life comes the realization that our entire culture is in need of healing and transformation. Because of our unique life-experience as gay men, we are poised to step up and offer our gifts of healing, forgiveness, and transformation to the world. In order to ready ourselves for this great work, we need as much help as we can get. Hiring a gay coach can only help make our work more efficient and focus our attentions on the essentials of living a fulfilled life.

Another intention is to grow the number of gay coaches in the world. It is not an exaggeration to say that gay men have special gifts for listening and for compassion. At our best, we seek the good in people and look for ways to be helpful. Many gay men are having the shared national experience of feeling that they need to make a change in their life direction or in their chosen careers.

These men are moving away from the cultural model of financial and material success and they are moving toward a point in life when they are asking what they can to to be of greater service in the world. These men are often ideally suited to becoming life coaches.

The Father of Coaching was Thomas Leonard, a gay man who died at the age of 48 in 2003. We are his legacy. Long before we came along, he thought about us. He believed that, "Everyone is a Coach." I am saying that we all are, indeed, coaches, especially as gay men.

I have been involved in the Gay Coaches Alliance for more than 4 years and I truly believe that the time has come to gather together, step up, and announce ourselves to the world.

It is my hope that we will create bands of Gay Coaches throughout the world and that we will gather in one place, and, finally look in the eyes of other strong, powerful, and inspirational creative change agents. We will finally know each other.

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The Art of Powerful Living & Kate Clinton

As it has appeared in Michael Cohen's Coaches' Memo, we had a great Coaching event at Easton Mountain.

The Art of Powerful Living was a weekend devoted to coaching, working with gay men who wanted to experience coaching, and also some men who are considering becoming coaches. This event was first produced in June, 2000 at Dawn Manor, a retreat center in the Catskills. Since then we've done it at Easton; this was our fifth retreat. To this day, some of the remarkable men who attended in 2000 continue to recommend the workshop and testify to its impact on their lives.

I have had a radio show on WRPI ( since 2004. It is THE QUEST OF LIFE.

My co-host is Steve Sims and I will be interviewing the great Kate Clinton on Friday, December 10th at 12:15 p.m. EST. You can listen on the website at the time of broadcast, or check out the podcast one week after the show.

Enjoy the Holiday Season!

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What I Wonder

I wonder why there are so many gay men in this country who seem to be unhappy, unfilled, and not in a state of well being. I wonder how we can heal our wounds and enter into a period of powerful activism that can change the world. I wonder why so many gay men suffer from depression.

I wonder why the numbers of substance abusers continues to grow in greater numbers than the numbers of gay men seeking recovery. I wonder why there are so many gay men who are unhappily single and who are unable to make the good decisions necessary to be in a fullfilling relationship. I wonder why gay men seem so committed to the rampant materialism that is brining the US to its knees.

I wonder why we put up with a culture that make excessive demands on male beauty and forces gay men to adapt attitudes that are similiar to teen-age girls. I wonder why so many gay men identify themselves as basically “givers,” and do so with resentment; I also wonder why gay men very often identify themselves as being “unalbe to ask for what I want.” I wonder why so many gay men are doing great work and are still in the closet. I wonder why so many gay fathers are unalbe to tell their children who they are.

I wonder why there are so many priests/ministers/rabbis leading double lives: straight in the day time/gay at night.

I wonder why so many gay men who have great wealth are unwilling to be zealous in their support of gay organizations. I wonder why gay men are afraid of men, afraid of contact sports, afraid of martial arts. I wonder why gay men have a seemingly great capactiy to be negatively judgmental, so much so that they hurt each other. I wonder why we fight so much with each other in organizations. I wonder why so many gay men are shut down erotically; I wonder why so many gay couples unable to nurture and sustain erotic connections.

I wonder if gay men will ever be able to deal wth aging. I wonder if we will stop calling ourselves ‘middle-aged’ when we are in our fifties. I wonder if older gay men will ever be able to be true mentors to young gay men, without being predatory. I wonder if gay men will ever stop thinking about themselves, and start to reach out to help others, such as in the fight for a cure for cancer (breast), in the development of the envoronmental movement, and in other areas including civil rights, racism, sexism,

anti-semitism, and the abuse of children

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