Todd Phillips has been working in the field of coaching, mentoring, facilitation, compassionate communication, and creative expression for more than 19 years. He received his initial ontological coaching certification from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in 2002, where he has since returned and taught as an expert in his field.
Todd was trained in Non-Violent Communication in 2003 and is actively involved in practicing and promoting this method of communication and peace building. Todd believes that deeply compassionate listening and speaking are important tools to restoring balance and trust in our relationships, our communities, and the world.
He is a co-founder of Restorative Resources Santa Cruz, a non-profit organization that promotes a method of community building and conflict resolution that emphasizes restoring balance and wholeness through a process of listening, connection and equally shared power. He used this process with organizations, non-profits, and each year for 7 years trained the students, faculty and parents at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School to integrate Restorative Practices into their community.
In 2014 Todd co-founded MomentumCommunity. Momentum is both a community of artists and a transformational growth program. As participants, each artist dedicates themselves to a project that is calling them out and forward into fuller expression. Experienced coaches guide each artist. Artists support each other as a community. Art is created. Transformation happens. As a transformational growth program, Momentum is about each participant saying YES to a future that they envision for themselves, and moving through everything in the way of achieving that vision through the power of commitment, community support, mentorship, accountability and grace.
Todd is a huge proponent of self-expression and human development through play! He has been learning, teaching, and performing improv with Um…Gee…Um since 1997, making up skits, musicals, and stories on the spot. He served as the Musical Director for many years, and has also functioned as Artistic Director. What Todd loves about improv is that it requires us to walk boldly into the unknown and be fully present in the moment of discovery while taking risks, listening, cooperating, and letting go of survival strategies. This is fundamental to Todd’s philosophy of what it takes to live an exceptional life as the magnificent beings that we already are.
Somatic integration and embodiment are key areas of interest and focus in Todd's life. He believes that shifting habitual protective bodily stances and physical reactions is fundamental in allowing us to be expressive, creative, resourceful and spacious beings. He is dedicated to the study and practice of somatic integration, awareness and release through practices such as contemplative movement, Real Play, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, movement improv, feldenkrais, contact improv, authentic movement, and dance. Todd teaches classes and workshops in Restorative Practices, Compassionate Communication, Improvising with your Survival Mechanism, Healing through Movement, Stress Reduction, Full-bodied Living, and a form of body based improvisation he calls theTao of Play. He bridges his healing movement practices with his desire for play and authenticity by performing with the Somaddics, a body-based improv troupe where he and his fellow players improvise and create evocative dreamscapes through movement, sounds, narrative and wordplay.
Todd has also dedicated much of his life to the exploration of what it is to be male in American Society, seeking alternatives to the practices of competition, domination, exploitation, and violence that characterizes misconceptions of what is masculine. Starting in 1992, he spent 15 years as both a participant and dedicated leader of the California Men’s Gathering, leading workshops and gatherings of up to 200 men through experiential insight-oriented activities and rituals. He is also involved with the Mankind Project, which supports men to lead lives of integrity, authenticity, and service.
At the University of California, Santa Cruz, Todd was fascinated with social history and the emergence of cultural movements. He studied Asian history with an emphasis in comparative religions, focusing on how people in different cultures and times saw themselves, made meaning of their lives, constructed their realities, and ultimately what choices they saw and didn’t see as available to them. This was the beginning of his study of Taoism and Buddhist thought, which emphasize the conscious cultivation of presence and awareness, and the unfolding nature of life.
Todd spent two years living and traveling in Southeast Asia after graduation, further exploring the paradigms and languages of foreign peoples and deepening his commitment to being a global citizen. He believed that by distancing himself form the defining influences of American culture, he would fall more naturally into his own true human nature. His journey has taken him on many adventures including bicycling across the US and twice across Mexico over 3 summers as an HIV/AIDS educator, trekking the Himalayas, multiple explorations of Brazil (even buying an apartment there!) and many other adventures that fed his curiosity, expanded his awareness, and exposed him to new paradigms and perspectives. He speaks Spanish and basic Mandarin and Portuguese.
Todd is passionate about promoting the dignity and humanity of all peoples, and since the late 1980's has worked to support HIV education, to reduce the stigma of HIV, and for the rights of HIV positive people. He has co-facilitated workshops for the State of California, and in 2008-2010 implemented a mentorship program and a wellness program for clients at the Santa Cruz AIDS Project.
Todd has dedicated his life to the Spiritual Transformation of himself and others and to providing tools for living that encourage the practical application of Universal Spiritual Principles to all of life’s circumstances. In 2011 Todd graduated from a 4 year program in spiritual principles and practices through Inner Light Ministries, whose aim is healing through the energy of love.