Is it my Ego or my Soul talking?

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I help brilliant leaders manifest and multiply their brilliance. I help men in transition find their next level of embodiment and authenticity. I help creatives and world-makers ground their wild potential in the soul, the sensate and the real.

What you wonder about, I believe in. What you secretly desire, I nudge you to have more of. What you imagine for your life, I insist you create. What you think you have to offer this world, I challenge you to give. What you long to embody, I invite you to become.

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Check out my media page, where you can listen to my podcasts, watch my videos, and get my take on everything from depression to dancing in the kitchen.

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From The Blog

The Epidemic of Numbness in Men

Dec 21, 2020

Many of us numb out to get through life, but with men in particular, this is an epidemic. It’s not just that we were never taught how to feel, but part of our fundamental programming was to numb out — if you fall down and skin your knee, you suck up your tears and rub some …

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The 5 Types of Critical Voices in Men

Dec 07, 2020

Men are often held back by multiple, mental, critical voices that hijack our reality. We think they are us, when really they are just one part of us. They are not bad. In fact, they’re actually trying desperately to protect us and keep us safe. They come online as we walk through the world, and …

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Why Men Who Have Money Crave Meaning

Aug 26, 2020

In the world of soul and purpose, the currency isn’t money, it’s meaning Growing up as men in America, we were taught that our value as humans is defined by our ability to control outcomes– through power, money and influence.  But more of us are discovering that living a life based on the ability to dominate …

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3 Moments that Cracked the Guy Code

Apr 26, 2020

I never wanted to be a man. I never wanted anything much beyond the beauty of nature, the silence of my own thoughts, and the privilege to be loved. But this innocence was stripped from me, slowly, in stages that culminated with my forced adoption of at least the presentation of masculinity. It didn’t start …

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The Mantrum Survival Guide

Mar 05, 2020

Abstract: In this long article, I hope to illustrate how men emotionally collapse (part 1), explain what is happening for a man when this occurs, including the larger historical + cultural context (part 2), examine the external impact of a man’s collapse on the world around him (part 3), reveal 3 ways to deal with a man in …

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Boyhood Without Rites of Passage

Jan 30, 2020

“If you don’t initiate the young, they will burn down the village to feel the heat.” –African Proverb It was a time of intense contrast. How to make sense of it all? It was almost like the world was getting bigger and clearer – while at the same time getting harder to understand, with more conflict, …

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If You’re a Man and You Think a Trans Man Isn’t, You Haven’t Done Enough Men’s Work

Oct 25, 2019

I am not perfect. I lead men’s groups, but I come with all kinds of biases. I grew up inside a white, cis-gendered, hetero, middle-class, Saturday-morning cartoons John Wayne “American” version of what is gender, and what is a man. Gender was what’s between your legs. Gender was how you throw a baseball. Gender was …

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Excuses Are Like Puppies

Oct 15, 2019

“I can’t afford that …” “I was thinking of going to Thailand this winter, so …” “I promise I’ll get clear on my commitment after …” “We’re just slammed at home right now …” “Sorry I’m late …” Excuses are like puppies. Totally attention getting, and not very powerful. When a man gives an excuse, he’s trying …

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Eulogy for Edward Scott Van Winkle, 4/15/1943-8/22/2019

Oct 02, 2019

I’m here to say a few words about my Dad. Before I do, I want to say a little bit about the way he died. In the weeks before my Dad ended his life, I had been trying to sit down and write him a letter to say goodbye. I knew he was getting ready …

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Men’s Work Doesn’t Work

Aug 13, 2019

When a man first encounters “men’s” work – does an MKP retreat, reads a David Deida book – there’s a simultaneous tendency to bring more intensity to relating with women. As if the book and the talk and the seminar unleash a latent capacity in him and he feels more powerful, more potent, more present. Which he …

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Talk + Workshops in Carbondale

Mar 21, 2019

I gave a talk the other night in the Kiva at True Nature Healing Arts in Carbondale, Colorado. It’s sweet for me to feel the relationship with that space and that valley grow. I feel a lovely kind of crush sparking inside me for new people and places, including the Roaring Fork. Even as I …

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Following the Soul

Jul 01, 2018

Making sense of it all not analytically, but with a downward opening. Feeling in the dark, the next open room of context that makes sense of all the previous. Mostly just feeling right and most most of all feeling particular and specific. Deeply me, not from a long time ago, but honoring all that with the best and …

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What is Soul?

Apr 28, 2018

From the Soul-Tree Podcast with Ryan Holsapple

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Last advice I read

Apr 04, 2018

“I remind myself, in order to understand what is happening now, I must be prepared to forget what I have understood before.” Dhyana KJ

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My Last Facebook Post

Mar 23, 2018

This boy has a beautiful heart. His heart knows how to love. You could even say his heart /knew/ how to love, even before he was born. In the other world (the one we live in before we are born into this one), this boy spent all of his time loving things. Rocks, bugs, trees, …

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Grief is the space between what you have and what you wish you had

Feb 21, 2018

Grief is the space between what you have and what you wish you had. It is a rite of life. Gratitude is the space we make in ourselves in order to receive blessings. Write down what you’re grateful for. Grace is blessing, and the source of blessing. You have no right to it, and yet …

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I love the way the night comes on slowly

Feb 09, 2018

The deer are already adjusted to it … they have the forest in their bodies … we were coming home from a long walk at dusk … me and the dog … i let her loose, she was eager to be off the leash … in only a moment, she was away, galloping … i …

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Your present experience does not contain the full view

Feb 08, 2018

Your present experience does not contain the full view of all the prospects of becoming that are available to you in this moment. Like rooms, you see only the door that obscures the realms beyond – shadowy, ecstatic, dull or transformative – no way to know. Therefore, a proper mantra for this life might be …

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Artists are lovers

Feb 05, 2018

Artists are lovers. They are in love with a kind of reflection of their primal soul that they glimpse when they exert both the capacity and the courage to bridge the distance between longing and longed for. This distance, called pain, is the reason most people aren’t artists, and the reason most artist’s aren’t very …

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There’s this subtle difference between entitlement and gratitude.

Dec 08, 2017

GRATITUDE There’s this subtle difference between entitlement and gratitude. Subtle but immense. I think I am working my way out of the one into the other. Like, when good things happen, the meaning I make of it is “Of course it did. That’s the way the universe works.” Conversely, when something doesn’t go my way, …

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Dec 07, 2017

Look at the world and all the ways you are not invited. All the closed doors are churches, and inside, the pain-song of every hungry mouth. As you turn from that coldness into the non-mirrored and ugly portion of your own decay You start to make things from what people think is disgusting and sad …

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I feel like I spent my 30s arguing with myself.

Dec 07, 2017

I want to write about intimacy. I feel like I spent my 30s arguing with myself. Now, I think I finally have enough awareness to be able to stop decide to allow open presence to listen have a kind of embodied faith in the movements that follow continue to allow embodied presence – soul presence …

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Embodying the self – embodying YOUR self, YOUR body – as a priority – is embodying the shadow.

Dec 04, 2017

Embodying the self – embodying YOUR self, YOUR body – as a priority – is embodying the shadow. However you were abused, abandoned or rejected, the message to the body-psyche was: not safe to be you. Not here. Not now. Not ok! Today, all the people that trigger you are holding pockets of this original …

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A powerful realization that finally landed for me in 2017

Dec 03, 2017

A powerful realization that finally landed for me in 2017: I no longer chase people. I used to chase people So badly wanted to be liked wanted to be seen I felt CONVINCED if they only knew me saw my brilliance they would realize they were making a mistake! in not liking me Anyway this …

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Dec 03, 2017

AMATEUR PROBLEMS His only problems are the three devils in his coffee: critic, craver and crowd-pleaser trained like vipers on his craft. If they can’t get him to eat a cookie he’ll eat his own work he’ll not work at all even or offer up swill as fine ale to the bar crowd. Any of …

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Dec 02, 2017

We are in the dark about how this works Or even what this is or what works even is Yet with each rotation the vessel comes into view I can feel you and me are making a bigger thing Even though half of me and half of you Is behind the skin feeling too clumsy …

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Dec 01, 2017

TRUST I trust you To follow your love Ply right from wrong To listen I trust you To feel hurt When something Cuts below the tightness I trust you To bring your longing To the cup at the edge Of the world After all you’ve seen Who wouldn’t Trust you With pain? Even so To …

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Reflections After Depression Post

Nov 30, 2017

I made a really personal post the other day. One part of me is embarassed about it. It generated so much care towards me. A lot more than I imagined it would. I really appreciated this unexpected stream of good will. But I thought the hard part was pressing post. It turns out, the hard …

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Nov 29, 2017

NOT TO RE-LITIGATE 2017, BUT TO BE CLEAR GOING FORWARD To those of you Republican and Democrat Libertarian and Green Who tell yourselves It’s OK because with Hillary We’d already be at war She is a lot of things Disingenuous, ambitious And yes, a woman But if the bombs fall On Pyongyang and Tehran And …

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Nov 28, 2017

IF YOU WOULD BE SEED do not rush your fruit you were not planted for markets or profits and not for parades when your time does come and it will let your outer part soften, rot and leather around you eventually the stem will give like a child running off to play with the others …

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Depression Post from Facebook

Nov 27, 2017

[[ UPDATE: To those people reading this now and feeling concern + care, thank you! I am so blessed to be connected to so many good people. Even just posting this was healing – in some invisible way – and, in the hours and days since, I have availed myself of numerous coffees, walks and …

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Nov 26, 2017

Be now a student of light and learn from crafty masters: How to pull on the thread of being and so glitter as a story everyone knows How to let your relaxation become a hidden engine that invites magic to roost nearby How to regard your shelves of old misidentifications as a library exploding with …

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Today I want to give myself love, ease, patience and the knowing that it’s really all OK.

Nov 25, 2017

Today I want to give myself love, ease, patience and the knowing that it’s really all OK. Can there just be a Saturday? Even in the evolution of my soul, even in the revolution of the world? Can there just be this breathing, and my belonging to it, as a shell on the beach? For …

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Self Knowledge

Nov 24, 2017

The more I step into my power lately, the more I have the experience where I find myself realizing – remembering – seemingly for the 1000th time…

I only ever really learn a lesson or “get over something” once I take complete responsibility for the ways I was off in the situation. Once I am able to “give away” my hurt and bear the easy weight of self-responsibility, there’s a fluidness and a sense of rightness that (I am sure) feels a thousand times better than winning at being a victim.

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My inner critic runs on psychological fuel made of un-tended

Nov 24, 2017

2 quick realizations: 1) I defend my right to be a victim. How hilarious is that?!?! 2) My inner critic runs on psychological fuel made of un-tended, rising emotion. The more I self-parent, negotiate my inner needs, and find emotional expression, the less of a need he has to come out and defend me. When …

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The world really is waiting for what you alone know

Nov 22, 2017

The world really is waiting for what you alone know and all the ways that you know it. Trying to think will only make the Gods lose interest. You always try to impress people when what’s real has way more nutrition than whatever you can invent. Your only true virtue lies hidden like a geode …

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God: You think a lot but you rarely speak to me DIRECTLY.

Nov 19, 2017

God: You think a lot but you rarely speak to me DIRECTLY. Me: I know. I should pray more. God: I only speak in prayer. Me: But it scares me, to go on this journey. To make space in my life for true sacred prayer and speech. God: You will go on this journey or …

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Nov 15, 2017

Give up delicacy Eat hardship This is what will make you strong Decide to face what is dark, wet and strange in your life Deal with what you find on its terms All things have a truth you should know Take comfort in decay Take shelter in story Reside in the harsh stockade of public …

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Today I learned that if I want to live my soul awakening …

Nov 14, 2017

I feel silly admitting this. Today I learned that if I want to live my soul awakening … … while simultaneously writing about my learning … I actually have to learn and grow every day. It’s funny, this is news to some large part of me. This must be that thing they call humble pie. …

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That’s How the Light Gets In

Sep 20, 2017

The place we know we are lost or blind is the place we will heal the world through the doorway of our own bitter, lamented poverty, for in that poverty is a kind of blessed innocence and compassion that comes out the other side and into others as divine honey – a sliver of God …

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Shine light on everything.

Jul 27, 2017

Photo by Robert Bengston + Inspiration Campaign

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The Healthy Masculine

Jul 15, 2017

The healthy masculine creates a container for growth. The stronger and more clear the container, the wilder and more detailed the flourishing within it. We are in a time of immense growth (feminine) hence there has never been a more pressing need for the healthy masculine. Not to contain it, like it needs to be …

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Devotion vs. Enslavement

Jun 06, 2017

Men that are trustable get that service is part of the package of being a man, an adult human. They awake to this (initially) bitter truth, and learn to choose a master, proactively, again and again. In everything they do, they are co-creators: of vision, mission, organization, family or community. Their devotion becomes their liberation. …

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May 09, 2017

My friend died. He had been sick for a while, over a year. It was expected, especially of late. What I didn’t expect was how much I would MISS him. I have been thinking about him every day. Things occur to me, I’ll see something beautiful, a storm cloud, a moth, a blossom, and I’ll …

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Mar 27, 2017

I love bodies. I love curve, curl and crunch. I love breath, and hands, and awakeness, blinking. I love the cool, giving floor along the plain of my foot, finding new terrain in each peach-petal step. I love our heads, our hair, our necks, and the way we extend from here into the beyond here, …

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TO WHITE PEOPLE, when a POC points out your privilege, asks you to stop, and you feel hella defensive:

Mar 07, 2017

Look, your ancestors’ ancestors’ ancestors’ were close to Native American people of 500 years ago in that they were connected to land and a kind of migration/cyclical/seasonal-as-time geo-temporal spirituality, but something happened and they (your ancestors) got hit with a thought that broke their heart and created the concept of time, and the verb “to …

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How to Talk to a Republican

Jan 18, 2017

I realize this morning that I can be so judgmental. Often times, I size people up in my head early on in a conversation, and, if I determine they are of x category or y disposition, I file them away in various subcategories under the broader phylum of “beneath me.” This sense of superiority keeps …

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Jan 15, 2017

I just had this revelation. I have been so hung up on going “against” things, standing “against” things, thinking that I was doing the world a favor by standing against the things that are “wrong.” Even after years (years) of reflections from the universe about how this strategy fails to generate results, I persisted. I …

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White men

Nov 09, 2016

We’re going to have us a little chat. You may not want to yet. That’s fine. I’ll start without you. As my friend Brendan says, “it is long past time” for us to begin this dialogue. What’s the subject you ask? Our privilege. Our blind, inherited, skin-tight, culturally-woven, grief-externalizing, woman-suppressing, nature-fearing, don’t-topple-the-apple-cart-of-our-fragile-hold-on-reality, “grab em by …

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Oct 07, 2016

Time in New Mexico with a truly amazing teacher. Learning to put in, feed, and help make something bigger than me. Learning to accept, feel, and metabolize the misunderstood grief that always wants to go to violence and stories of separation and blame. Learning to accept myself and others, all the imperfections and janky situations …

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Aug 16, 2016

Language is the prison Body is the doorway Music is the gatekey

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Jul 05, 2016

I’ve been feeling chaotic lately. Driven. Distracted. Fired up. Depressed. Purposeful. Lost. (sometimes all together, although mostly one at a time) Various versions of up and down. Watching the wheels go round and round. Today I pulled out my mandala. My “map” of my psyche, with all the parts, good, bad and ugly represented. It’s …

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Jun 25, 2016

What I desire are the knowledges of deep places. The fast notes of the brass flute, cold and dry. Like tusk and moon, granite and stem, pollen and polyp. Make a hard thing against my skin. If I will not let things go Then show me they are not enough – what I cling to …

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May 23, 2016

I came home the other day to find that all of these honey bees had gotten inside. They were buzzing up and down the large windows of the kitchen, trying to get out. Someone had left the back door open, and the nearby Hawthorne tree being in full bloom, some of them must have happened …

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May 10, 2016

I am sitting outside, in the evening, enjoying a smoke after a long day. My closed-up eye is bugging me (allergic reaction to comfrey – long story). As the tobacco comes on, I look up at the sky and find a single star, and I hear myself ask this star for a message. “Do you …

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May 03, 2016

How do we compete while staying true? How do we keep up without losing our inner narrative? How do we run without running away? How do we stay relevant? It seems to me that most of us are not setting the terms of our overall narrative. Most of us – myself included – are playing …

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Apr 25, 2016

I am thinking of the ways we return to, the paths we beat daily with our foot steps. Whether we go for a morning jog, enjoy a cup of coffee by the window or outside the cafe, or spend those first minutes of the morning reading or meditating. These are the things we do that …

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Apr 19, 2016

I have always felt like I’m special. Maybe everyone does. I mean, when we’re little, we’re all special little ones, aren’t we? It’s a beautiful thing. I think I got my specialness from my Dad. He made me feel special in a particular way. He wrote me a long letter telling me how much he …

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Success Stories

Working with you has been a true pleasure. You have a wonderful gift to give, and true capacity for bringing out greatness and causing breakthroughs. I would not hesitate to recommend you to others looking for coaching. We are truly grateful for this opportunity to have had coaching sessions with you.

Karen Abe
Karen Abe

I really feel the wind at my back… I feel safe in myself even when I feel unsafe in my surroundings. I feel as though I am perceiving things more purely- more as they are, not as I believe them to be. I feel more psychologically flexible… More like the man that I wanted to be… I feel connected – to my ancestors, to my heart, to the Mystery, to my goals and vision for my life in this world. I feel even less able to compromise my integrity for the easy way out. I want to be respected by my children, and their children. I love my father. It’s game time.

Alex Antonucci
Alex Antonucci

You really listened and were with me fully. You heard me, you connected, you knew what I was talking about. You didn’t project your own stuff, your own past on me. You were clean, you did your own work – by far the greatest thing.

Craig Holliday
Craig Holliday

The time I spent with Pieter was one of the most transformative moments of my life. The work we did was medicinal. Pieter helped me find my edge and gave me the space to explore, take comfort, and expand. He truly cares about our role as men in the world. It can be hard at times to be a man in this world. As men cannot simply shut off our testosterone-fueled evolutionary instincts, but we cannot ignore our present day calling to be more tender and open-hearted. Pieter has found a way to allow these ideas to live in harmony inside of us. He understands that movement of the body is essential for creating the space we need to live in harmony with ourselves.


Pieter is an incredible facilitator of growth and integration. His insight and guidance encouraged me to ripen into a better version of myself and to show up as a stronger husband and father. Pieter has a unique offering of holding space and helping others cultivate heart, mind, and spirit in an embodied way.

Noah Goldstein
Noah Goldstein

One of the most genuinely poetic, astute witnesses I’ve honestly ever come across in my 47 years.

Christiane Pelmas
Christiane Pelmas

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