The Education for Living (EFL) program consists of a set of three sequential courses. Together, they are called EFL or EFL Core Courses. In addition to EFL courses, ICLF offers a variety of short courses, some open only to persons who have taken at least one EFL course, thereby being in the “Larger ICLF Community” of close to 450 people; others open to the general public, including some teens under 18. We are asking the larger ICLF community for bios, testimonials and a photo. Here are some of the first responders.
Bio: Kristin is 47 and lives in Portland, OR with her husband and their animal family. She has worked in both the corporate and nonprofit business worlds and has spent the past eight years or so on more of a spiritual path—focusing on meaningful volunteer activities, spiritual growth and study, shamanism, past life soul regression, and volunteer roles with local neighborhood farmers market, tree planting, waste prevention and shelter animals.
Testimonial: I feel like my entire life has been a journey of following a healing path, and ICLF’s courses have been a significant part of that. I first took Stage 1 in 1999 and again in 2001 with my husband, followed by Stage 2, RP and the Self-Trust and Wholeness course. All of the courses can have a powerful impact on your life. For me, it boils down to how the courses helped me see clearly how my own beliefs and stories were limiting my life and how I have the power to make choices to act in ways that are empowering and freeing rather than limiting. Once we can identify our own stories or limiting beliefs, we can get a bit of leverage on them so they do not have to run the show. Then we can learn and experiment with new ways of being, new choices to make rather than the old ones that keep producing the same results in our lives. Today, I feel free, confident and happy to walk in the world, which is in contrast to how much of my life I used to walk in fear, self-doubt and a sense of unworthiness. I use the lessons and tools of the EFL courses each and every day and feel grateful and empowered for having them in my life.
Leah Pitka & family
Bio: Leah lives in the Iowa City area with her husband and two sons. She participates in ICLF courses as a student or staff member as often as she is able. She says it was initially very difficult for her to justify to herself taking time away from her kids to take her first ICLF course back in 2009. She says, I was overwhelmed with the work of life, and felt confused about how to be more effective at work, at home, and in relationships when I was so buried. I felt trapped, angry and tired from all my obligations. When I was uncomfortable enough to set aside my guilt, fear, and fatigue, I took the chance that I might learn something new and signed up for Stage 1.
Testimonial: And I learned more than I could have imagined. My possibilities opened up as I realized I could choose to let go of my fears and embrace freedom instead. I didn’t know I was holding myself into the box I felt trapped in! What a gift to myself, to my kids, to my husband, for me to learn to live more authentically! I finally inhabit my life now, instead of watching things happen to me and feeling like a victim. I’m still in awe of how simple but powerful these workshops are. I am so deeply thankful to my friends who recommended them to me.
Bio: Jimmy Pinkham is an Emeritus Professor of Pediatric Dentistry of the University of Iowa. He was a department head of Pediatric Dentistry for four years at the University of Louisville and 17 years at the University of Iowa. Among Dr. Pinkham professional experiences were serving as president of the American Society of Dentistry for Children, the American College of Pediatric Dentistry Diplomates, and the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honorary Dental Society. He had numerous appointments to publications focusing on pediatric dental issues including more than 20 years as associate editor and editor of The Journal of Dentistry for Children. For avocation, Dr. Pinkham was associated for more than 20 years with a national adult education organization and led over fifty 14- week trainings in Kentucky, Indiana, and Iowa. Jimmy is married to wife Carol and they have two children, Tylila and Beau. Jim, who was born a Tar Heel, has accepted the fact that he has raised two Yankees.
Testimonial: To become involved in ICFL training (which at the time was EFL training available mostly in Louisiana), I hitch-hiked on the enthusiasm of several friends, people who I knew and respected and who were very successful people. Professionally their credentials spoke very favorably for them; personally I felt fortunate that our lives were connected. They did not want me to miss these experiences even if they had to fly me South, which they did on several occasions. The training was what they had promised: unique, powerful, life changing, and profound in a way that you knew life would never be quite the same; you were never going to be quite the same. And I was then and am now profoundly grateful. That was more than two decades ago, and we old alums all agree… the training shows up in life as much today as then. I “gave” the training to my wife and children. There are times in life that you need to be a hungry fish. Don’t swim around and around the bait, just bite it. There is no hook. The surprise to the new participant promises a life of more meaning, personal resiliency, and perhaps most importantly, joy.
Bio: Michael Hetra is a PhD candidate in Film Studies, University of Iowa. He very much enjoys teaching at college and university level, singing, classical music, musical theater, challenging himself to be, and to live in the present, and making declarations to grow as his own person.
Testimonial: A few words to describe my experience in taking the Stage 1 and 2 courses offered by the Iowa City Learning Foundation: challenging, insightful, joyful, and transformative! These courses provided me with so many important, everyday tools to improve my communication with others in a variety of settings and situations, and to really push myself to grow as my own person in the world. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to take these courses with a diverse range of amazing individuals, from the coaches and staff to fellow course participants, whose collective camaraderie, shared life experiences and challenges, and dear friendship I will always cherish.
Bio: A native of Iowa City, Ashea Sparrow strived to stay connected with her community by working for the non-profit Iowa City Hospice and by volunteering as an ICLF Board member and email liaison for ICLF. She has recently moved to the big city of Minneapolis with her sweet puppy Loretta to pursue a new career as a Montessori preschool teacher.
Testimonial: My time with ICLF has been invaluable. I’ve always described the courses as accelerated life learning with unwavering support. The lessons I learned through the courses really came into effect with effort and patience. This for me took a few years. LOL. I am blessed with new friendships that have grown from being a part of the classes and serving on the ICLF Board, and will forever be grateful to ICLF and the education that it provides.