Alan KirkIt is said that life happens when we’re making other plans; so my approach is to not get too caught up in plans; instead I favor being present and engaged with life as it happens. Thus, when Ann and I started a family, I stayed home part-time with the children for most of 16 years, not wanting to miss the experience of being on the cutting edge of new life. I see our kids as two of my greatest teachers in the art of being present and seeing with new eyes.

My career has been more a matter of what has unfolded on the journey rather than a driving passion or a grand plan. The central theme has been in the field of community development, with a focus on communication, group facilitation, and conflict mediation. I have worked with local and state government programs in Oregon and have also volunteered with community programs, schools, and churches. My interest and skills in conflict mediation have led me to serve as a trainer and also to serve on the boards of two community mediation programs.

My abiding interests these days include men’s work and spiritual exploration. These have worked hand-in-hand in healing life wounds and opening to greater joy in life. I restore balance in my life by being outdoors, gardening, hiking, camping, and cross-country skiing.

Over the years Ann and I have combined our training, facilitation, and communication skills in workshops and publications on communication, parenting, conflict management, cultural diversity, and spiritual inquiry.