Jami Taylor, LSCC

Jami Taylor is the LSCC Community Coach. Jami was a part of the LSCC training program’s second cohort. Before joining the training program, Jami was invited by Emily Hathway to lead a workshop on the first Day of Aliveness in October of 2013. At the time, Jami and her family were living in Georgia. After Jami led the workshop, Emily explained to her that she was already using coaching skills without knowing it. After Emily told her more about coaching, she decided to ask her friend Amanda Foust, an LSCC from Cohort 1, to coach her. “I was just blown away by what was happening. So then I decided to go through the program,” Jami explains.

As the LSCC Community Coach, Jami now works directly with the LSCCs from before the time they sign up, through the program, and beyond. She works at each onsite as the lead assistant and runs the assistant program, which allows LSCCs to come and assist both days of the onsite training. Jami plays a vital role in the program, as she helps the training run smoothly and allows leaders to be able to invest their time in the education fully and not having to worry about much else at all. Jami explains, “It's really fun to [...] create and hold a space for the participants in the leaders to be able to be so focused and fully invested in their time.”

Her presence is radiant, and it impacts the space in a very beautiful way. Who she is is a gift. She’s just a wild woman who is a fierce protector and loving mother and deeply cares for her people. She is a gift to her community and her people. She listens incredibly well. She’s open to hearing other people who are not like her, specifically with race or religion. She’s profound in her listening and in what she says.
— Brenna McCarty
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The LSCC program has impacted Jami personally in many ways. Jami describes how the coaching assumptions permeate into her whole life. “You can’t just turn it on for your clients,” she says. “You have to believe that all people are naturally creative, resourceful, and relational and believe [the assumptions] about yourself. Learning to believe [the assumptions] about myself has been one of the most transformational things.” She explains that when she does not believe the assumptions about her family, friends, and herself, she “can tell that something's not quite congruent or resonant.”

As my wife, Jami’s passion for life propels me down the path of exploration and experience. Her mind is fixed upon the wonders all around us, and she deeply honors the beautiful mysteries of the Universe in a manner I have found to be unrivaled. Jami is a helper who is passionate about seeing others sing their heart song. She approaches every person with a joyful creativity and is capable of illuminating their potential when they don’t see it in themselves.
— Tom Taylor

She discusses how holding the assumptions about her children has been especially influential to her as a mother: “Learning to believe that about humans from conception to death that that's true in like what that means especially as I think as a parent is a big part of her, that's impacted me in the way. I raised my kids and the way that I talk to them and about them and the space that I hold for them to try and fail to try and succeed.”

When asked if she has any additional interests aside from coaching, Jami answered, “I am really passionate about coaching principles, so I can’t imagine coaching not being in connection to whatever I’m doing.” The coaching principles have become a way of being for her. An additional interest of Jami’s is herbalism. She recently opened an herbal business called Sky and Forest Herbs which carries herbal tea blends, salves, soaks and more.

To anyone considering joining the coach training program, Jami says, “Do it. Stop waiting to do it and just do it. It’s completely worth it. The investment you make with your finances and your time and energy will pay off both professionally and personally in ways that you cannot imagine or expect. Jump in and do it.”

For more information on the LSCC training program and to register, visit LarksSong.com/overview.

Katara McCarty, LSCC

Katara represents a medley of ‘I...can, will, and do.’
— Anonymous
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Katara McCarty is a coach, author, motivational speaker, and the Chairwoman of Lark’s Song’s board. She has been involved with Lark’s Song since the beginning and went through the training program with cohort 4. Before going through the training program, Katara was not sure how she would use her certification, but she felt like going through the program was the right step at the time...and because Megan said, “Girl, you need to go through the program.” Since completing the program, Katara has created her personal coaching business/practice. She coaches businesses and organizations on how to develop stronger cultures where women and girls can fiercely thrive and one on one coaching with women who have husbands who are in high profile positions.

In addition to being a coach, Katara is the host and creator of the Red Lips & Eye Rolls podcast and the author of a children’s book called Pretty Girl. Her book teaches young girls that no matter their shape, color, or size, they can love themselves and others.

This book came from my own experience of growing up in a world where I didn’t look like other little girls, and needing to learn what being pretty really means.
— Katara McCarty


“She is a model of overcoming obstacles. She will do whatever she can for others. She does whatever she sets her mind to.” -Anonymous

“Katara is fiery and fresh.” -Emily Hathway

“She is tenderhearted and very generous with her time and energy and her wisdom.” -Jami Taylor

The foundational coaching assumptions, including that every person is naturally creative, resourceful, whole and relational, have changed Katara’s life. She says, “It has changed the way I view people.” Katara explains that Lark’s Song has given her a community of coaches to be a part of. She says, “As an entrepreneur, it can be lonely and challenging, but knowing I have my LSCC community has been a comfort and a source of strength. There is a comradery between our LSCC’s that is refreshing and powerful.”

To those who are interested in the LSCC training program, Katara wants them to know that they should totally do it. She says, “Even if they don’t have an exact plan on what they will do with their certification. If they are drawn to do it, then do it! I had no idea what I was going to do with my certification, but now I have a thriving coaching business.”

Follow Katara on Instagram and Twitter @KataraMcCarty.

For more information on Katara McCarty’s work and to contact her, visit her website, kataramccarty.com.

For more information on the LSCC training program and to register, visit www.larkssong.com/overview.

Aubrey Baker, Little Larks Experience Designer

My time at Lark’s Song has truly allowed me to come alive.
— Aubrey Baker

Aubrey Baker is a senior at Indiana Wesleyan University. On April 3rd, She was given the Outstanding Intern Award for her work with Lark’s Song. Aubrey has been with Lark’s Song since May of 2018. Aubrey enjoys many things about working at Lark’s Song, but especially loves the relationships she has built with the Lark’s Song staff. “I love that we aren't just co-workers,” she says.

We’re outstanding! Megan Gilmore with Aubrey Baker winning their Outstanding Employer and Outstanding Intern of the Year Awards in April 2019.

We’re outstanding! Megan Gilmore with Aubrey Baker winning their Outstanding Employer and Outstanding Intern of the Year Awards in April 2019.

 She tells the story of her first days as an intern at Lark’s Song: “During my initial training with Megan I asked her ‘What is the secret to working here?’ and she said something along the lines of ‘We are a family. We take care of each other. If you want to truly be a part of this instead of just an intern passing through – lean in and don’t be afraid to get messy.’ I had no idea what that would entail.”

 Aubrey recalls the times she ate pizza at Erica’s house, prepared supplies for Superhero Camp, got coffee with staff members and learned about their lives outside of work, and the home-cooked meals at Megan’s home, where they told riddles and watched TV with Megan’s family. “I truly have gotten to KNOW and be a part of this family and THAT is what I love about working at Lark's Song.”

Will Smith, Emily Hathway, and Aubrey Baker. Doing life together. Coworking in Indianapolis at Reformer House.

Will Smith, Emily Hathway, and Aubrey Baker. Doing life together. Coworking in Indianapolis at Reformer House.

 She currently works as is the Little Lark's Experience Designer, maintaining and reviewing the Little Larks Well-Being curriculum and working to expand Little Larks by developing new resources to make revenue and also provide free and accessible content for our community. The Lark's Song Well-Being Curriculum uses children’s literature and an experiential learning model to address core components and critical questions around life purpose discovery and well-being. Research has shown that when children are trained in life purpose discovery and well-being they not only have clarity around their purpose and increased well-being, but they also indicate increased academic performance and decreased depression and anxiety.

 In the Summer of 2018, Aubrey, Megan, and Erica attended the World Positive Education Accelerator Conference in Dallas, Texas. At this conference, attendees gathered in groups to brainstorm ideas for how to advance positive psychology in the next ten years. Erica and Aubrey created an idea about how low-income families could tell their life story through creative arts. “It included the concept that every individual is worthy of being taken care of and listened to,” Aubrey says. Erica and Aubrey’s prototype was chosen out of nearly 800 experts in the field of positive psychology to be presented at the conference.

Megan Gilmore, Vanessa King, Angela Duckworth, Erica Eyer, and Aubrey Baker at WPEA/IPEN in June 2018.

Megan Gilmore, Vanessa King, Angela Duckworth, Erica Eyer, and Aubrey Baker at WPEA/IPEN in June 2018.

 Aubrey explains, “During this time, we discussed our consideration of vulnerable populations and used forward thinking to develop our unique and practical idea. As we presented this prototype, I was able to recognize that I have unique things to say and contribute.”

 In addition to leading a group of children to help discover their superhero strengths at Superhero Camp at the Wabash YMCA, Aubrey created a deck of cards to enhance well-being in low-income families.

 Aubrey is currently a part of the Lark’s Song Certified Coach training program with cohort 12. “Acknowledgment is just as important as constructive criticism,” Aubrey shares what she has found to be the most valuable learning from the LSCC coach training program. Aubrey wishes to tell anyone interested in the coach training program, “that you will not find a program or group of people who are as passionate and invested in the coaching profession and the impact it has on our world as the Lark's Song community.”

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 “My time with Lark’s Song has been a highlight of my undergraduate experience.” Aubrey Baker

 For more information on the Little Larks Superhero Camp and to register, visit larkssong.com/camp.

 For more information on the LSCC training program and to register, visit https://www.larkssong.com/overview.

 

 

 

Levi Huffman, LSCC

Levi Huffman met Megan Gilmore a week and a half before the first cohort of the LSCC training program began. He laughs about how he showed up to their first meeting with a tattered piece of paper covered in questions which were meant to “poke holes” in coaching. He was impressed with the way Megan answered his list of questions and how she carried herself, and he decided to join the program. At this time, Levi had just finished his doctoral program and found that coaching allowed him to start accessing his heart, rather than his brain.

After finishing his coach training in 2015, Levi traveled with Megan and the other members of Lark’s Song’s first global education initiative in Zambia, Africa.

After finishing his coach training in 2015, Levi traveled with Megan and the other members of Lark’s Song’s first global education initiative in Zambia, Africa.

I have always said that coaching brings out the royalty in people, and that is what I stand behind.

— Levi Huffman

Levi currently works as a coach and professor of life calling at Indiana Wesleyan University. He also helped co-create courses for the graduate counseling program, which allows participants to receive a certificate in coaching. Levi Huffman, Erin Davis, and Jackie Stancil recently published a study in the International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring titled “The Impact of Life Coaching on Undergraduate Students: A Multiyear Analysis of Coaching Outcomes” exploring how coaching impacts undergraduates. This team is currently working on another study on how the enneagram impacts the coaching process. Levi will also have an article featured in the next issue of Growth: The Journal of the Association for Christians in Student Development.

 Bailey Batman, a senior at IWU, has been coaching with Levi for three years. She says, “Levi is very empathetic and intuitive. He has been steady and has asked me questions that have prompted so much change in my life that I didn't expect. He is a very warm person, and I have always felt encouraged by him. He has encouraged me to pursue opportunities, just because of characteristics he called out in me, that I would not have seen myself capable of doing.”

Megan Gilmore, Steph Yoder, Luke Anspach, and Levi on the Made Wild scouting trip in September 2015.

Megan Gilmore, Steph Yoder, Luke Anspach, and Levi on the Made Wild scouting trip in September 2015.

Levi and Megan co-created Lark’s Song’s Made Wild program. Made Wild is an immersive wilderness coaching experience, which gives participants the opportunity to work through personal topics amid a community. Levi sees this program as the perfect getaway, a way for participants to unplug and shake themselves out of routine.

He explains, “In the wilderness, your guards are down in certain ways because you can't have your comfort zones. I operate out of the belief that the blessing is outside of the comfort zone. Getting people out of their comfort zones naturally opens them up to change.”

Jade Williams co-assisted a Made Wild trip under Megan and Levi in the Hoosier National Forest. Jade echos Levi’s belief that the blessing is outside of the comfort zone: “Being in a completely different environment allows you to unlock truth that you couldn't even see until you were removed from your day to day patterns.”

During this Made Wild trip, Jade found significant beauty and meaning in the small moments of rest while hiking:

“It’s just amazing how stopping for a few seconds and taking a few sips of water and just catching your breath can do wonders. That's such a metaphor for life. We don't slow down, and we just keep moving. If we would just stop and take a breath and go back to the basics of just taking care of our bodies in the moment, even if it's just less than a minute, then we can carry on better than we were before, not only with our bodies hydrated or lifted, but our spirits lifted as well.”

The Summer 2017 Made Wild crew in the Hoosier National Forest.

The Summer 2017 Made Wild crew in the Hoosier National Forest.

Levi just brings a gentle and yet steadfast leadership to the Made Wild program. He meets people where they are and yet also challenges them and calls them forth in a servant leader like way.
— Jade Williams

Levi recalls working with a young woman who had never been in the wilderness before. He remembers her tears as she was empowered by learning how to build a fire on her own, walking through the woods without being afraid, and other little things that helped her discover her strength. He says, “Sitting with people in those moments is amazing...I just feel humbled by the privilege to work with people in these vulnerable places.”

Levi compares Made Wild to his experience of section hiking the Appalachian trail with his good friend. It affects his heart and his person. He describes it as “disconnecting and reconnecting with [himself] and with God.” He explains, “to be able to be a part of providing that for other people is incredibly humbling, and I do not take that lightly.”

Levi and other participants from 2018’s Executive Summit Wilderness Excursion crafting a rain shelter.

Levi and other participants from 2018’s Executive Summit Wilderness Excursion crafting a rain shelter.

He is grounded, imaginative, curious, real, and benevolent. His character is true, and the energy he holds is safe. All of who I am is welcome and championed when I am kickin’ it with Levi.
— Brenna McCarty

“He is grounded, imaginative, curious, real, and benevolent. His character is true, and the energy he holds is safe. All of who I am is welcome and championed when I am kickin' it with Levi.” Brenna McCarty

Made Wild uses the Enneagram as a tool for coaching. Levi appreciates the Enneagram because “it’s complex, it's layered, and it gives the opportunity to people to live at choice. It reveals and then you get to choose how you want to grow and in which ways you want to grow.” He explains, “It doesn't put you in a box, it shows you what box you are already in. The Enneagram helps people move from self knowledge to self awareness.”

Assistant coaches: Anthony Eyer and Katara McCarty with Megan Gilmore and Levi Huffman before the Executive Summit Wilderness excursion.

Assistant coaches: Anthony Eyer and Katara McCarty with Megan Gilmore and Levi Huffman before the Executive Summit Wilderness excursion.

To anyone considering going on the next Made Wild trip, Levi says, “If you want some adventure in your life if you feel like you just need a change of scenery, not necessarily just around you, but internally, you are a good candidate for Made Wild.”

For more information on the LSCC training program and to register, visit LarksSong.com/overview.

For information on the Spring Made Wild trip and to register, visit LarksSong.com/calendar/made-wild-spring.

To view Levi’s work with Life Calling at IWU, visit Indwes.edu/undergraduate/life-at-iwu/offices-and-services/center-for-life-calling/our-team.

Erica Eyer, LSCC

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Erica Eyer is the Little Larks Well Being Coach. She was a participant in the second cohort of Lark’s Song’s certified coach training program. When she signed up for the program, she “literally had no idea” what she was going to do with the certification, but felt like it was on the path God had planned for her to take. Erica explains, “my coaching certification has taken me down a path that has allowed me to serve others in a greater capacity than my nursing degree or ministry position would ever have allowed me to, which is something I would never have expected or imagined.”

 

When Erica was going through her LSCC training in 2015, she began co-leading coaching retreats for teenage girls to uncover their true selves and step into their best.

When Erica was going through her LSCC training in 2015, she began co-leading coaching retreats for teenage girls to uncover their true selves and step into their best.

The LSCC certification has enabled Erica to do things she never thought were possible. She was a part of the team that developed the Little Larks well-being curriculum and helped start a Ceelelo School in Zambia. The curriculum has reached over 100 students in Grant and Wabash Counties through Superhero Camp, is being used as trauma intervention for children in Mexico, and continues to be used in schools and orphanages in central Zambia. She has done premarital coaching, coaching for students, and is beginning to work with foster families, as well. She has also been able to use coaching as she teaches Yoga at Sender Wellness in Marion.

“What I experienced in coaching with Erica was like taking off blinders. I work in social services and in the mental health field. Not much surprises me at this point in life. The difference I felt after my first appointment was visceral as well as ethereal. Erica is compassionate, intuitive yet not so much that she won't call me on my crap.”

Erica leading students at Ivy Tech through a group coaching activity around seeing their character strengths and acknowledging them in each other.

Erica leading students at Ivy Tech through a group coaching activity around seeing their character strengths and acknowledging them in each other.

When Lark’s Song started partnering with Ivy Tech to offer coaching services to their students last fall, Erica jumped right in. She co-coaches a group of first-generation college students and students who are a part the Associate Accelerated Program, which allows students to graduate with an associates degree in 11 months, and she co-leads a well-being training for students with Megan Gilmore and Emily Hathway for first-time students at the beginning of the semester. In addition to these group coaching opportunities, she also holds office hours at Ivy Tech for students to have additional individual coaching. Erica works with these students on overcoming obstacles, identifying their VIA Character Strengths, and using mindfulness training. Research has shown that these interventions both increase well-being and levels of happiness while decreasing depression and anxiety.

Emily Hathway, Erica Eyer, Megan Gilmore, Bria McCarty and Levi Huffman finishing up a day of training 28 educational coaches in the Chilanga district of Lusaka, Zambia.

Emily Hathway, Erica Eyer, Megan Gilmore, Bria McCarty and Levi Huffman finishing up a day of training 28 educational coaches in the Chilanga district of Lusaka, Zambia.

Erica’s clients express her impact on their lives in their own words: 

“Working with Erica has been life-changing. I had no idea I was being held back by so many limiting beliefs. She helped me uncover those and taught me about overcoming obstacles. I started working with Erica when I was 16 years old and now at 21 I don’t think I would be where I am without coaching.”

“Erica helped me see my worth and how valuable I am.”

“I value justice and fairness and doing things the right way no matter the cost and that is a really hard way to live, and in high school it doesn’t help you make friends either. Erica helped me see how to use those values to make the world a better place, and she also helped me see that sometimes those values were really just hurting me or others - that I wasn’t being just or fair. It changed the way I looked at the world and helps me realize that I might not always be right even though what I think is right.”

The most valuable insight from the Lark’s Song Certified Coach training program to Erica is the learning around living at choice. Erica explains, “It was as if I finally had the formula for solving all my complex thoughts.” This mindset changed the way Erica looks at life and problems and people’s capability.

Erica leading the Green Team at Superhero Camp in Matter Park.

Erica leading the Green Team at Superhero Camp in Matter Park.

I get to teach people how magical they are; I get to help them see the rare jewel that lies deep inside them and that they are a gift to the world. I know that all sounds so woo-woo and a little too self-help-ish, but I went into nursing because I wanted to see people healthy, I went into ministry because I wanted to see people restored to wholeness. Coaching has offered me a way to see people be both healthy and whole.
— Erica Eyer

To anyone considering entering the LSCC training program, Erica explains that the program will make participants into better people, which in turn will make their families and coworkers better. She says, “The program changes you, coaching requires you to let down your walls and wash off the BS and really see what is there. It makes you break down who you thought you were and see the raw material you have in you and to rebuild in a way that's true to you and not to others.” 

For more information on the coach certification program and to register, visit larkssong.com/overview.

 

Emily Hathway, LSCC

Top: Emily receiving her LSCC certificate in 2015 Bottom: Emily receiving the MIllard Servant Leadership Award in January 2019

Top: Emily receiving her LSCC certificate in 2015
Bottom: Emily receiving the MIllard Servant Leadership Award in January 2019

Emily Hathway is the Lark’s Song Culture Care Coach. She has been a part of Lark’s Song since 2013, when she became the first intern at Lark’s Song. Emily was first introduced to coaching while in the graduate counseling program at Indiana Wesleyan University in an elective course taught by Megan Gilmore.

Emily has been with Lark’s Song from the beginning. She was our first intern, and her first day was at our business launch at Matter Park. Since then, she has become a certified coach, she’s served as our LSCC Community Coach, a collective coach, and now the Culture Care Coach… She’s disciplined herself in her belief in a servant leader paradigm and she doesn’t give it up when things get hard.
— Megan Gilmore
Emily chairs the committee for Lark’s Song’s Day of Aliveness each year. Pictured here (L—>R) Aubrey Baker (cohort 12), Emily Hathway (cohort 1), Brenna McCarty (cohort 9), Jami Taylor (cohort 2) worked together with other LSCCs and members of our community to co-create this incredible event.

Emily chairs the committee for Lark’s Song’s Day of Aliveness each year. Pictured here (L—>R) Aubrey Baker (cohort 12), Emily Hathway (cohort 1), Brenna McCarty (cohort 9), Jami Taylor (cohort 2) worked together with other LSCCs and members of our community to co-create this incredible event.

After being introduced to coaching, Emily felt like this was the first career she wanted to pursue. She was drawn to work with people from a culture of poverty, as well as people who wished to live with their senses more awake.  

Since receiving her certification, Emily became a staff member of Circles of Grant County, a nonprofit organization that connects individuals and families who experience poverty in a variety of ways to others who then walk alongside them as they move beyond poverty through the power of community. Emily is able to work with people from a culture of poverty as the Circles Coach.

Emily is an incredibly beautiful soul - she is greatly valued and appreciated in her relationships, and it’s apparent that she puts her heart into anything she believes in. She is wild and grounded and dedicated to her community. Emily is an absolute treasure.
— Christina Crump
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Emily has also started her own business and coaching workshops. She has worked with clients of all ages, including high school and college students, adults, and folks nearing retirement. The first workshop she created, Eyes to See, focuses on the ability to see and hear others, as well as how this gift can be used in community development. Emily also leads a workshop with Seth Harshman, which focuses on growing in awareness using the tool of the Enneagram.

One of Emily’s many strengths is her ability to recognize and draw out the gifts in others. I experienced this personally when she saw the potential impact my knowledge of the Enneagram could have on people and persuaded me to co-create a workshop with her.
— Seth Harshman
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Most recently, Emily released a themed coaching package called Rewilded. This 12 session package aims to uncage the parts of participants that they have knowingly or unknowingly decided are not allowed to roam wild and free, as well as awakening any brilliance that has been dulled. This coaching experience also includes unique resources for deepening learning between sessions.

Emily has continued to grow deeper in her involvement in the Marion community since living here for over eight years. She has a deep love and hope for this community. In addition to working with Circles, she partners with the downtown community in strategic planning with local nonprofit boards. In 2016, Emily and Megan worked with Marion Design Co. and other Marion natives to create the Marion’s core community values. Emily explains that she loves using coaching to “remind people that it is not about fixing a perceived brokenness, but it can also be about uncovering the assets and creativity that's already here and harnessing that to watch the community flourish.”

She leans in more to figure out what the needs of our community are and how those can be served– how those needs can be met from places of abundance, rather than driving or striving towards something out of scarcity or desperation mindset…Emily believes so strongly that Lark’s Song and the greater Marion community are full of abundance and gifts and creativity and goodness, so she lines up her actions and her relationships with those beliefs.
— Megan Gilmore
“Sneaky Good” slow medicine deliveries for our Lark’s Song staff.

“Sneaky Good” slow medicine deliveries for our Lark’s Song staff.

Emily has also worked as an instructor for the LSCC certification program. She explains, “There’s such a delight that happens when you get to reveal the power of coaching to people as well.” To those who are interested in participating in the LSCC training program, Emily explains that the coaching certification is not just a cool business skill, but “it’s very much a paradigm shift that allows you to engage the world so much more fully [and] stop tolerating things you have been tolerating and find places of flourishing that you didn’t know existed.” She also points out how coaching can integrate into any profession and enhance whatever work someone is doing. “Coaching is one of the most effective tools for harnessing the power of human relationship to move towards flourishing. This journey will transform your life,” explains Emily.

When I talk with Emily, she makes me feel like I am the only person in the world that matters in that moment. She has a way of simultaneously pointing out the most beautiful aspects of who you are while also empowering you to be the truest version of yourself. Emily Hathway embodies the phrase ‘free spirit.’
— Aubrey Baker
In December 2015, Emily traveled with four other LSCCs (Megan Gilmore, Erica Eyer, Levi Huffman, and Bria McCarty) to train 28 educational coaches in the Chilanga district of Lusaka, Zambia to prepare for the opening of Ceelelo School a year later.

In December 2015, Emily traveled with four other LSCCs (Megan Gilmore, Erica Eyer, Levi Huffman, and Bria McCarty) to train 28 educational coaches in the Chilanga district of Lusaka, Zambia to prepare for the opening of Ceelelo School a year later.

For more information on the coach certification program and to register, visit larkssong.com/overview.

Visit emilyhathway.com for more information on Emily’s work and emilyhathway.com/rewilded to register for her Rewilded coaching package.

(Written by Jaylan Miller)

Coaching & Systems: Will's Perspective

Will & Terrie at Experience-Assisted Coaching talking about Relationship Zones

Will & Terrie at Experience-Assisted Coaching talking about Relationship Zones

On February 1st and 2nd, the Cohort 11 of the LSCC training program participated in the fourth onsite: Coaching & Systems. This onsite focused on teaching the techniques and skills needed to coach a group or organization to reach their goals and develop their potential.

Will presenting during the Discover phase of Appreciative Inquiry

Will presenting during the Discover phase of Appreciative Inquiry

Will Smith is the Vice President of Sextons Creek Productions, a full-service creative studio, and the founder of Reformer House in Indianapolis. Will is the head of a team at Sextons Creek, and he found the information discussed in the Coaching & Systems to be directly and immediately applicable to his life. In addition to his personal relationships, Will explained that he would use the knowledge he gained at the onsite with colleagues and employees, as well as other companies to help them understand their purpose, mission, and voice. He explained, “I am a part of a lot of systems and every time we covered content it directly affected every system that I’m a part of.”

Mike, Will, and Megan learning how to regulate breathing by blowing bubbles

Mike, Will, and Megan learning how to regulate breathing by blowing bubbles

The community built throughout the course of the training program is a community unlike anything Will had been a part of, and one that he desires to continue after the program ends. He believes that this kind of community is sometimes a space that you find, but may also be a space that you need to create. Will described the cohort as “a community that encourages authenticity and encourages being your whole self, being all in, being present.”  

Embodiment of the team toxins

Embodiment of the team toxins

For more information and to sign up for The Lark’s Song Certified Coach training program, visit www.larkssong.com/overview.

Coaching & Systems: Seth's Perspective

Cohort 11 at Coaching & Systems

Cohort 11 at Coaching & Systems

On February 1st and 2nd, the Cohort 11 of the LSCC training program participated in the fourth onsite: Coaching and Systems. This onsite focused on teaching the techniques and skills needed to coach a group or organization to reach their goals and develop their potential.

Seth Harshman is a local Enneagram expert. Seth became interested in the LSCC training program after collaborating with Lark’s Song’s Emily Hathway on various Enneagram workshops. While working with Emily, Seth was inspired by the way she embodied the coaching assumptions, and was drawn to become an LSCC himself. After receiving his certification, Seth plans to work as a professional coach, using the Enneagram as a coaching tool with his clients.

Jami, Blue, and Seth at Experience Assisted Coaching

Jami, Blue, and Seth at Experience Assisted Coaching

The Coaching and Systems onsite focuses on various groups, including family systems. Seth explained, “At the onsite, we talked about family systems. You’re sitting there learning, but then immediately applying the learning to your own family. Really powerful even on a personal level, not even taking it and applying it to anywhere else yet.” The information discussed at this onsite not only provided Seth with the tools to coach groups, but also gave him practical advice for his family relationships.

Throughout the training program, Seth has experienced an exciting transformation within himself, in addition to the transformation he was seeing in those around him. The experience assisted onsite was particularly powerful for Seth. He explained that he “showed up and decided not to allow [his] typical inhibitions to get in the way.” He decided to do what Lark’s Song coaches call “sandboxing it,” or getting in the sandbox and playing full out, without fear of messing up. This experience taught him that he was more capable than he had thought he was.

Mike, Tom, and Seth embodying the team toxins at Coaching & Systems

Mike, Tom, and Seth embodying the team toxins at Coaching & Systems

To those who are considering signing up for the next cohort, Seth explained, “You’re not just picking up a set of skills; as you learn the assumptions that come with coaching, and eventually begin to inhabit those assumptions, you start to change because you are seeing yourself differently now.”

“That’s where the real coaching lies: The leadership that you give yourself first around these things, the changes that happen to you around these things, and then when you take those changes that are taking place in you to someone else, that’s where you are able to facilitate change in others.”

For more information and to sign up for The Lark’s Song Certified Coach training program, visit www.larkssong.com/overview.

Coaching and Systems: Jenna's Perspective

Story by Jaylan Miller Photos by Megan Gilmore and Jami Taylor

Story by Jaylan Miller
Photos by Megan Gilmore and Jami Taylor

On February 1st and 2nd, Cohort 11 of the LSCC training program participated in their fourth onsite training: Coaching and Systems. This onsite focused on teaching the techniques and skills needed to coach groups or organizations to reach their goals and develop their potential.

Jenna Keele, a senior Management and Psychology major at Indiana Wesleyan University, first became interested in the LSCC Training Program after experiencing the transformative power of life coaching during her first few years of undergrad. Two summers ago, Jenna served as an intern with Lark’s Song and continued to stay connected after that position ended. She then enrolled in the training program with Cohort 11.

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In this onsite, the coaches-in-training learned about systems theory and conflict resolution. Jenna explained, “I was able to learn more about my style of conflict, and how that often impacts the individuals that I am in relationship with, which will be extremely valuable as I am able to apply this learning to future conflicts and disagreements.”

When asked to share a few highlights from the training program overall, Jenna explained that it was difficult for her to pick just a few highlights. Jenna explained one thing she loved about the onsites was being coached by the other participants: “The experience of being coached by a variety of styles and skill levels has opened my eyes to appreciate how free and creative the coaching profession can be. There is not one ‘right’ way to do anything or to coach around any particular subject.”

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Another of Jenna’s highlights was learning from Lark’s Song professional coaches at the onsites.

“The coaches who lead the onsites are filled with energy and passion for this work, and they are quick to celebrate with the participants as they try out new tools and stretch their coaching range. They create an environment that supports growth and creativity, while continually offering new levels of challenge as participants learn and grow through the process,” she said.

After completing the training program, Jenna plans on coaching part-time, while continuing to participate in Lark’s Song workshops and events. She will also use the knowledge and experience gained in the training program in her personal and professional relationships.

Embodying the coaching assumptions is one of the ways Jenna will use her training with every person she interacts with.

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“I will continue to view people as creative, resourceful, whole, relational and filled with purpose.

I will trust that every person is uniquely created, and that they are capable of solving complex problems. And I will hold others accountable to the truth that they are ready to make changes that impact their life now. When I approach life through this lens, my relationships are filled with more meaning, and I also see myself as entirely capable of handling every challenge that crosses my path. It’s a very empowering posture to take, and I’m so grateful to be able to carry the tools to do so.”

Jenna urged those who are considering signing up for the next cohort: “There will never be a time that feels ‘right’ or a time that feels like you’re ‘more ready.’ This inner work is too important to pass up or put off, and you owe it to yourself and your world. Lark’s Song’s coach training program is excellent and so, so worth it! Absolutely do it. Do it afraid, do it unsure.”

For more information and to sign up for The Lark’s Song Certified Coach training program, visit www.larkssong.com/overview.

2019 Annual Leadership Retreat

Ruth, Evan, Emily and Ryan discovering and sharing the best in Lark’s Song and its people during our Appreciative Inquiry session

Ruth, Evan, Emily and Ryan discovering and sharing the best in Lark’s Song and its people during our Appreciative Inquiry session

Reflecting on 2018

On January 25th and 26th, the Lark’s Song staff and Board of Directors joined together at the Fort Harrison State Park for their annual planning retreat. The retreat began with a reflection on the former year. Lark’s Song’s theme for 2018 was the Common Flourishing of Shalom. At the start of the year, Lark’s Song committed to be patient, harmonious, interdependent, present, purposeful, visible, excellent, daring, responsive, generous, loving, curiosity-sparkers, and owners of peace.  

Team members expressed how they saw the common flourishing of shalom emerge in the organization in 2018: 

“We did life together like a relay race and honored and received the learning of others while generously sharing our own learning as well. We also delighted in the ‘space’ of resting, reflecting, and unfolding… not just creating and forward movement.”

“The way that our staff held space for each other to be real, full humans with good days and bad days.”

“It permeated every program and dimension of Lark’s Song that I was witness to. Every individual was approached with the core assumptions, which comes back to Shalom.”

The core assumptions include that every person is creative, resourceful, whole, and relational, every person is uniquely valuable, every person is worthy of being championed, every person is capable of solving complex problems, and every person is ready to live at choice.

On Friday night, our team celebrated the growth and impact we had in 2018. Lark’s Song hosted many events in 2018 including Made Wild, Growing Goodness, Co-Lab Confab, Superhero Camp, the Day of Aliveness, Power of She, LSCC Soul Care Skill Share retreats, and a Little Larks workshop. The Lark’s Song Certified Coach Training Program completed two cohorts, training a total of 22 coaches. The Ceelelo School began its second year and our Little Larks Well-Being coaches were chosen to present at the International Positive Education Network World Positive Education Accelerator (WPEA) and Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Summit. Lark’s Song also added Len Anspach to the Board of Directors as the Treasurer.

Through the many exciting changes and events in 2018, Lark’s Song continued to rest in shalom.

Planning for 2019

Our team switched gears the next day to discuss our initiatives for the 2019 year.

The theme for 2019 is Slow Medicine: A deliberate and intentional approach to healing that is intentionally measured, mutually respectful, and skillfully administered. Slow Medicine requires one to trust the process and outcomes of curious learning, attentive care, and practicing toward mastery.

We set out to engage in the transformative work of courageously co-creating a more fulfilled and flourishing world through the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) model. This practice involves discovering the greatness that is happening in Lark’s Song and around the world, dreaming about the future of the organization together, designing real prototypes and patterns that create rhythmic, sustainable practices and solve complex problems, and delivering a set of high priority initiatives for the next 12 weeks.

The staff and board members worked hard to create brave ideas and concrete plans for the next 12 weeks. Emily Hathway explained that she enjoys the 12 week plan over a year long plan because it allows our team to focus and be more productive. Aubrey Baker and Erica Eyer enjoyed how the retreat allowed them to work with people on our team that they do not normally work with. “It brought about a team cohesiveness,” Aubrey explained.

Members from our team left the retreat feeling good about the plan they had created, although it was hard work to create. Ruth Rice explained that it “felt like a workout,” but that it feels nice to have a good plan.

Emily described Slow Medicine as trusting the soundness of the truth that Lark’s Song carries as an organization. She feels as though it lacks desperation; it is not a sprint. Slow Medicine, according to Emily, is leaning into being more than doing.

Erica explained that Slow Medicine to her means “floating down the lazy river instead of treading water.”

Aubrey described it as “both a challenge and a way to rest in what we are already doing.” She believes that the yearly themes build on each other. Lark’s Song will continue to embody the shalom of common flourishing while trusting the healing slow medicine brings.

(Written by Jaylan Miller)

Nicholas Hindes, LSCC - The Lark's Song Impact Series

Nicholas Hindes is a Lark's Song Certified Coach (LSCC) from Cohort 4, who is using his certification to impact the Marion community in many unique ways. He says, “I am in the process of starting a non-profit that abolishes burnout in ministry and marriage. It’s for anyone who feels burnt out or tired in the service that they do. The coaching I’ve done primarily in the past year has focused on those two things [ministry and burnout]. It’s been a niche for me. I’m actually in the process of planning some retreats to provide a space for those who give so much to their community to actually receive and experience some refreshing, so that they can continue to give. This way that burnout and tiredness in their profession of helping others can actually be mitigated.”

Through his time with the Academy, Nicholas discovered many resources and powerful tools to use in his everyday life. Coaching in general has changed the way that Nicholas connects with others. When asked about the ways that the Academy has impacted him personally he responded with such wisdom in saying, “I used to fall into a victim and powerless mindset before The Academy. One of the greatest ways the Lord has spoke to me through The Academy was that I am not a victim. I am a powerful person.” The Academy is ultimately to receive your certification as a coach, but it can be so much more than that if you allow it. Our comprehensive, nationally approved program challenges you to build on your natural strengths through learning and applying professional coaching skills.

To those who are considering becoming a LSCC, “It’s worth the money. It’s worth the investment. You are making an investment in your certification and education so that you can invest in others. It’s worth it because you can be more effective in impacting the world on a greater scale. Whether the world is millions of people or your family, it’s worth the investment financially.” One word that Nicholas would use to describe his experience is equipped. The LSCC program is a 140-hour, CCE (Center for Credentialing and Education) approved coach training program that is designed to be completed in 6 months. The combination of the onsite education with the efficiency of online & virtual methods gives participants the practical application, feedback, experience and flexibility to leverage their learning. All cohorts have a maximum of 15 participants so that you receive the individual attention, supervision, and customization that you need.

To see more information on our unique coach certification program and register, check out larkssong.com/overview.

IPEN 2018 - The Lark's Song Impact Series

This June the International Positive Education Network engaged in the second annual, World Positive Education Accelerator (WPEA) and Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Summit. Individuals from around the globe came together to actively participate in brainstorming ideas for the sake of increasing well-being and character virtue through positive education. Educators, positive psychologists, parents, and college students alike are in great need for unity among the globe in order to make a long-lasting impact.

Speakers such as Martin Seligman, Angela Duckworth, and Laurie Santos spoke openly about research that is currently being done and what is anticipated to be discovered within the next few years. What’s different about WPEA from most conferences is the addition of Appreciative Inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry is a model used in order to activate change. Questions and prompts were given to each table, with the intention that each group would share their individual thoughts with people who have differing occupations, cultures, and worldviews. In order to create a prototype, one must completely remove themselves from comfortable and inward reflection in order to share ideas with those in their group.

Our very own Erica Eyer and Aubrey Baker were selected to present their idea on how to accelerate positive education by providing an arts workshop for disadvantaged families to find their unique impact on the world and have a creative outlet to tell their stories. Their conviction and bravery was recognized by close to 100 participants and their idea was voted the best to present from the main stage.

When Erica Eyer was asked how IPEN impacted your life and what did it teach you she responded, “IPEN was impactful because it showed me how special and unique Lark’s Song is. No one is doing what we are doing. Everyone is still in the talking phase about how to solve problems. Megan saw a problem two hears ago and decided that talking about it just wasn’t enough. Now there is a school in Zambia with a digital curriculum, camps, trainings, etc. Lark’s Song is truly leading this movement.”

You can learn more about IPEN and the WPEA here @ https://ipen-festival.com/

Superhero Camp - The Lark's Song Impact Series

“I am WORTHY. I am CREATIVE. I am UNIQUE. I am CAPABLE. I am READY!” Lark’s Song partnered with the YMCA in Wabash, IN this past June for a week of Superhero Camp. Volunteers from Lark’s Song joined forces with the volunteers from the YMCA to ultimately empower and recognize the strengths of almost 50 Little Lark’s.

During the five days, each child learned to identify the superhero that they already are, they learned about their superpower strengths, they learned how to fight their villains – like stress and “mind bandits”, and how to describe the problems they want to solve. They became equipped with real-life skills to increase their well-being across the board. Every day included stories, songs, exercise, time outside, games, meditation, snacks and other activities.

Superhero camp is so much more than what a description can capture. Erica Eyer, Little Larks Well-Being Coach, describes her biggest takeaway from Superhero camp, “My biggest takeaway from Superhero Camp this year was that this thing that we're doing causes magical transformations in kids. Time stops for a moment when a kid fully embodies that superhero Identity they created for themselves. They become this braver more confident version of themselves. For some kids, it's the first time they have ever been told they have value and purpose and it's really magnificent to watch them embrace their super strengths and superhero powers.”

Brooke Life has faithfully dedicated her time and energy to Superhero camp each year. She speaks highly about the impact that Superhero camp has had, not only in her own life but in the lives of the children she has had the privilege of leading. “Superhero camp has changed how I view kids. To know that these kids struggle with the same things that I do has impacted me to let them be where they are but also to walk along with them through that. Superhero camp has shown me how amazing kids are.”

You can find out more about the little Lark’s Program and future Little Lark’s Well-Being Programs at https://www.larkssong.com/curriculum

Global Education Initiative - Zambia 2015

December 2015 - Global Education Initiative trained 26 educational coaches through Lark's Song's Certified Coach training program. These coaches will teach in the Centre for Success School and other educational institutions throughout the Lusaka, Zambia region.

December 2015 - Global Education Initiative trained 26 educational coaches through Lark's Song's Certified Coach training program. These coaches will teach in the Centre for Success School and other educational institutions throughout the Lusaka, Zambia region.

In May of 2015, a research trip conducted by Lark’s Song in partnership with God’s House Ministries, based out of Marion, Indiana, revealed the following information:

• The greatest needs for education in Zambia are sufficient, standardized teacher training, and readily available teaching materials.

• Lark’s Song could meet these needs for the newly constructed Centre for Success School by training teachers and by delivering materials online.

Our Lark’s Song Global Education Initiatives team included:

(from left to right)
Megan Gilmore, MA, LSCC, ACC, CPCC, LCAC
Executive Director

Emily Hathway, MA, LSCC
Collective Coaching Partner

Levi Huffman, EdD, LSCC
Collective Coaching Partner

Erica Eyer, RN, LSCC
Lark’s Song Certified Coach

Bria McCarty, LSCC
Lark’s Song Certified Coach

26 teacher, professors, pastors, and other helping professionals from around the region of Lusaka, Zambia attended 5 days of intensive onsite training to become educational coaches through our Academy program.

26 teacher, professors, pastors, and other helping professionals from around the region of Lusaka, Zambia attended 5 days of intensive onsite training to become educational coaches through our Academy program.

The initial phase of this project was made possible in large part through a grant
provided by Blackboard, Inc. and the tireless work of our board secretary, Jill Morrison.
Additional support was provided by our generous partners listed below.

We anticipated training 12 educational coaches for the Centre for Success school in the
Chilanga district of Lusaka, Zambia. We were able to do this and train an additional 14
educational coaches from other schools within the Chilanga and Lilayi districts, as well
as university professors, pastors, and school administrators.

They received five days of coach training, a hot lunch on each day, and an Academy
field bag with 3 books, an educational resource packet, a learning journal, and pens.

Once open, the Centre for Success school will have the capacity to educate 500 children that previously had no access to primary education. Lark's Song is partnering with other agencies to make this possible through educational coaching and excellent content delivery via various technologies.

Once open, the Centre for Success school will have the capacity to educate 500 children that previously had no access to primary education. Lark's Song is partnering with other agencies to make this possible through educational coaching and excellent content delivery via various technologies.

On Sunday (our day “off”), we were able to serve the servant leaders, youths, and
children in the area by leading their church services, giving the gifts mentioned on the
back of this sheet, and supplying the Centre for Success school with enough learning
notebooks, pencils, pencil sharpeners, and first aid supplies for their first 100 students.
On our last day, we were invited into homes, schools, and to walk through the streets
of the Linda compound with our new partners - committed to courageously co-creating
a world where people (including children) purposefully choose life and aliveness.

In addition to the educational training that Lark’s Song was able to provide, We were also able to bring donated supplies for the people of Chilanga, including 894 school supplies, 42 balls, 758 playground and educational items, 3155 hair care and hair supplies, 271 undergarments, 22 shirts, 7 hats, 145 toothbrushes, 186 tubes of toothpaste, 216 packages of floss, 110 feminine personal care supplies, 1000 bandaids, 1000 units of bacitracin, and 1200 protective gloves. Thanks to all who donated these supplies for the teachers and students in Zambia!

A special thanks to our generous partners:
Blackboard, Inc.
God’s House Ministries
Indiana Wesleyan University
Brad & Lara Postma
Andy & Joni Gilmore
Doug Green
Shea Langenbartels
Claire Clark & The Claire Clark Beauty Lounge
Tim & Janet Andrews
Rene Lefdahl
Erin Davis
Roger & DeAnna Breedlove
Patricia Knapp
Karen Smith
Bethany Hight
Bruner Dental
April Goodwin
Anthony & Erica Eyer
Dawn Lagerkvist & American Health Network
Erika Horner
Doniece Leshore
Cheyenne Starner
Brittany Ussery
Carole Moore
Body and Sole Salon and Day Spa
Korie Lance
Amanda Foust
Bethany Harrell
Cathy Buck
Brittany Pearson

16 Questions for 2016

At Lark's Song, we kind of know how change works, and we're sure that many of you started the new year with grand aspirations and resolutions. But not many of you took the time to review the previous year for the purpose of awareness of discovery, so you could make clear and informed choices for your well-being in 2016. 

We are contemplating how to complete 2015 and start creating
for 2016 with wisdom as well, and we’d like to offer you this tool as a thank you for supporting us in this first year as a non-profit. It was beautiful and messy, full of successes and failures. Whether you’ve supported Lark's Song as a client, colleague, partner, coworker, friend or family member, we are incredibly grateful for you! There are many feelings that come up as we think about 2015, but when we think about the people that have co-created with us, the overwhelming emotion is gratitude.

We hope you will use the following as a tool, one without too many rules. Make it messy or precise, finish all of it in a day, some of it over the coming weeks, or none of it at all. As you use this tool to complete and create, keep the following in mind:

  • Live at Choice! No one else is responsible for your life and you’re not responsible for anyone else’s, so stop being held hostage by other people and their limits or expectations.
  • Be Courageous! Failure is actually an option! If you never fail, you are actually choosing to create an ineffective “life laboratory” in which learning and growth cannot take place. Stretch yourself to your maximum potential.
  • Be Creative! Don’t make rules where there aren’t any. If your life isn’t honoring your strengths, your values, or your purpose, then create one that does. That doesn’t mean that your life circumstances need to drastically change, but it probably does mean that your perspective or approach to them does.
  • Delight in the process! There are no rules here. You don’t have to answer all15 questions if you don’t want to. You can skip some, answer some today and some tomorrow, change the questions to fit you in a more personal way – whatever you like. Turn on some music, get something to drink, and enjoy this time.
  • Write your answers and share your responses with someone! This step takes commitment and courage. Writing something down is an act of commitment, just skimming over the questions will not help. You actually have to write something. Sharing your intentions creates additional responsibility foryou, but it is also inspiring to others and gives you the gift of accountability as you accomplish your goals. Step out of your comfort zone and try it.

Our wish for you as you enter 2016 is that you will live a year of creating courageously and choosing aliveness. Please feel free to share this resource with anyone that you have the same wish for.

(It may be helpful to have your calendar or planner for 2015 and/or 2016 on hand, as well as a journal or other resource for saving your responses.)

1. What were the successes, gains and breakthroughs of 2015?

2. What were your failures, losses and breakdowns of 2015?

3. What were your top 3 learning points from 2015?

4. As you lean back and look forward, what are you grateful for?  

5. What one person do you need to pay a gratitude visit to that impacted you in 2015?
(A gratitude visit consists of writing a specific and concrete letter of gratitude that is about 300 words long, setting up a meeting with the recipient, reading it out loud to them, and talking together for about 30 minutes afterwards about their impact and getting curious about what is next for them. Consistent gratitude visits have been shown to diminish depression and increase flourishing more than medication and therapy combined.)

6. What is one courageous choice that, if you made it, would dramatically change your life?

7. What are 2 simple things that you could do every day that make you feel more alive?

8. What is your theme or vision for the 2016?  
(This is where you get to imagine! Your vision is just a picture of something better, not goals or strategic action points. What does your picture look like? What do you really want for 2016? If you could sum up the year with one word, what would it be? 2016 – the year of _____)

9. What one thing could you produce in 2016 if you really cultivated your personal creativity?

10. What are your top 3 priorities for 2016?
(If you struggle with aligning priorities or coming up with goals, breakdown your life into categories and assess which categories you would most like to grow in throughout the coming year – professional development, relationship with spouse/significant other, finances, community involvement, personal/spiritual development, health and well-being, leisure and recreation, family and friends, physical environment, etc.)

11. What 2-3 character qualities would you like to develop in 2016?

12. How can you maximize your purpose statement in 2016?

13. What are you tolerating?
(Make a list! All the broken items, stacks, piles, irritants, half-done projects, etc.)  

14. What is one thing that you need to remind yourself of every day?
(How will you remind yourself? Get a painting, write it on your mirror, keep a card in your wallet, change the wallpaper on your phone?)

15. What actions do you need to take to 2016 to realize your vision and goals?

16. What accountability will you put in place to ensure your success in 2016?