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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
“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.”
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.
BY Jaylan Miller | Writing Intern