I love learning and growing, and I believe that experience is more important then the education. I constantly search many different disciplines in order to see life in different and interesting ways. I also, love to incorporate those experiential lessons into my coaching.

4 years in the U.S. Army in an Airborne Infantry unit. 9 years as a Correctional Officer. Degree in Anthropology and Creative Writing. Certified in Strategic Intervention.

I just reread my first draft of this “My Story” section and when I was done I wanted to kick my own ass. It was so factual and stuffy, it was more like a scientific paper than simply me telling you my story. I had filled it so full of “truth” and forgot to add any life to it. So, I have decided that I will write this as if I am having a conversation with just you.

Okay, basic details:

My name is Keith.

I’m in my forties—I feel old at times, for example, if I’m reading something I feel very old when I have to try to find the perfect spot so the words are legible. If it’s too close the words are blurry and it it’s too far away, again, everything is blurry. Also, I recently had a doctor tell me that I am at that age where things are going to start to hurt for no reason. So that was awesome. However, in my mind I still feel like I’m twelve. Seriously, it can get pretty immature up in my head at times, but it makes me laugh.

I’m married—which is a cool story. We married young, and we made it work for eleven years. Unfortunately that marriage ended in a divorce. But the cool part of the whole story is three years later we remarried and have been married ever since. After getting out of the military, I struggled with a lot of depression and anxiety. I hated how I felt and I was very confused with why I was feeling that way. I had this constant, deep, painful loneliness even when I was surrounded with friends and family. I think sometimes that is when my loneliness felt the worst, when I had the most people around. I just felt out of place, like I didn’t belong. Of course, nothing is my fault, so I blamed my wife, and having no control over my anger, I treated her horribly. 

Don’t misunderstand, my wife is no walk in the park. Just last week, she made a delicious homemade garlic bread, but left it in the oven for too long, so I have that to deal with, but she is a saint for giving me a little over a decade while I was screaming and berating her constantly. After she “asked me to leave,” which is code for kicked my ass out, I realized she was a scapegoat for all the pain I felt inside. I decided that my pain is now my responsibility and I was going to stop putting the blame for it on everyone else in my life. A few years later we were able to put things back together. I tried to keep this new mindset, but I had not built a foundation for it, and soon I began to collapse back into old patterns and my anger returned. I had started going to college at this time and I met another Veteran who was having similar issues as I was. This little interaction lead me to the VA.

I’m a Veteran—and I had always heard that if you are a Veteran and struggling with some things, then go to the VA. Well, going to the VA didn’t turn out the way I thought it would. After several years of being treated at the VA with a slew of different medications, I continued on a slow trajectory downward. My anxiety was worse, my depression was worse, and my relationship with my wife was beginning to get a bit rocky again. I started to get very angry about this whole situation. I was miserable, I had tried several different approaches from religion to the VA, but still I was miserable. I was tired of people telling me they had the answers for me, when really they just had another ideology, but no real answers. I became so fed up with feeling stuck and hopeless that I decided I would figure this out for myself.

In school I was studying Anthropology, and we wrote several papers for each class. I used these papers as an opportunity to do a deep dive into Veteran Reintegration, and the issues that Vets deal with when they return home. While I was researching the transitional period during which a person will leave the civilian world and join the military, I became convinced that it was a cultural shift and not just a job choice. The military spends a lot of time and money on training a new recruit in how to function properly in the military culture, but when you leave the military—not so much. Then add on top of that some of the other issues that may arise with military service, and it’s no wonder why some Veterans struggle so much. I believe that a sort of mental retraining is needed when people leave the military, and as that doesn’t exist, I decided I would find a way to retrain myself. 

I started reading a lot of books from psychologist and neuroscientists to ministers and mystics. During this time I stumbled onto Life Coaching. I had heard of Life Coaches before, but I thought they were people who would shout out positive cliches and then charge a lot of money. In my head I could hear them yelling at me, “Take action steps,” and “Find the positive in everything,” but those just sound hollow to someone who is hopeless. However, I was desperate and I knew that the answer was somewhere out there, so I bought some more books and started to listen to what some Life Coaches had to say.

As I began to apply the things I was learning, I started to see changes take place. I felt better and had less anger, but the changes wouldn’t last long before old behaviors would reemerge. I decided to go through a Life Coaching course so I could learn more and go deeper into the ideas I was reading about in the books. I laugh now thinking that the last thing I wanted to do when I started the course was become a Life Coach. I really just wanted the training.. 

The more I applied what I was learning, the more I saw changes take place in my life. It wasn’t easy at first, it was more like a ripple effect when a stone is dropped into some water. Some days were good, and some days I felt like it was all a joke and I was just permanently broken. But the next day I would try again. Over time it became easier until one day I noticed that the changes I wanted in my life had become my new normal.

Today my life is going in a brand new direction. The hope that I once so desperately clung to, has become my new way of life. The joy, peace, and contentment that eluded me for so long are the emotions I now spend the majority of my time feeling. My marriage is stronger than ever, my relationship with my kids is stronger than ever, and the way I see my world works to empower me instead of limit me. 

When I could not see the way out of the void I felt inside, Coaching helped me find the path out. I finally understood that I was wrong thinking that the answer was “somewhere out there.” The more I learned, the more I realized the answer was inside myself, and it can never be found outside our own minds. With that at the core of my beliefs, that the life we want, the emotions we want to have, or the (fill in the blank) we want, is created by our mindset, I decided to start BreakPoint Coaching to share some of my new found joy and peace with others.

It will take hard work, and it is only work that you can do, but it will be the greatest work you do.

“In is the only way out.” ~ Sadhguru