About John Shapiro & Evolving Alternatives

About John Shapiro

Photo of John

Hi! I'm John.

I find great joy and satisfaction in helping folks discover their own alternative ways out to stuck situations... Evolving into more connection, vitality and love.

As a coach:

I love being a part of my clients' growth and evolution. Seeing them take steps towards more authenticity and freedom in their work, financial situations and lives.

I've been coaching folks in the more specific field of music since 2004, and since 2014, I have broadened to include other areas I feel passionate: career, financial, transition, leadership and small business. I utilize tools from a broad array of training I've received in mindfulness, coaching, leadership, group dynamics and a bunch of other awesome stuff.

As a mediator:

I love helping folks empower themselves to constructively resolve their differences. Seeing my clients go from escalation to talking to each other, and often to resolving ongoing conflict, helps reduce suffering and allows more freedom and a sense of moving forward with their lives.

I've been mediating since 2014, when completed my 40 hour mediation training and became a volunteer with Jefferson County Mediation Services, both in the courts and the office, with domestic and civil cases. I've also done various trainings in Restorative Justice and some other dispute resolution models. And I draw extensively from my mindfulness and compassionate communication trainings.

As a consultant:

I love helping groups, businesses and organizations unstick and bloom into more aliveness and purpose.

I haven't done a ton of work in this area yet, and I'm planting the seeds here. I have extensive training in Authentic Leadership, mindfulness, group process, and other areas that I look forward to bring to full fruition when the time is right. Practically, I've run a successful small business since 2004, created a nonprofit along the way, and have worked in numerous groups and projects over the years.

And some more standard bio stuff:

Education wise, I've done a ton of continuing education: Certificates in Mediation, Authentic Leadership and MatrixWorks: Groups as Living Systems. And other training conflict resolution, power & privilege, compassionate communication, political leadership, and mindfulness. I hold a B.A. in Music from Naropa University, and also attended Berklee College of Music and University of Colorado.

Business wise: I've run a successful music instruction small business since 2004 in Denver, CO, teaching private singing, guitar, piano & bass lessons, during which time I developed awesome, innovative, practical methodologies for teaching voice and guitar. I've been an active social entrepreneur, creating various greater good projects since 2008. And have been doing this awesome coaching-mediation-consulting gig since 2014. And once upon a time, I worked as a software engineer, contracting with clients such as HP, Visa and Bank of America.

In the creative department: I'm an artist that's been involved in many creative projects over the years including co-writing/producing an original theater piece, recording original music and creating & performing with various bands, and a member of a Playback Improv Theater Group, and most recently, I was in a fun acoustic band called the Unsiblings.

And some personal tidbits: I live in the lovely Highlands neighborhood of Denver, Colorado with my lovely Maine Coon cat, Momo. I enjoy Vipassana mediation retreats, the beautiful rocky mountains, including my hometown of Crested Butte, and travel adventures.



Continuing Education

Family Constellations Facilitator Training (2016) - Healing Family Trauma - Boulder,CO

An eight week program with Jack Blackwell covering the basics of family constellations group work and theory.

Evolutionary Leadership Mastermind (2016) - MatrixWorks - Boulder, CO

A six day certificate program with Mukara Meredith and staff focusing on leadership, group facilitation, neuroscience and mindfulness.

Restorative Justice Training (2015) - The Conflict Center - Denver, CO

A three part training program to become a restorative justice facilitator by The Conflict Center staff.

Basic Mediation Training (2014) - Mares-Dixon & Associates - Boulder, CO

A standard 40 hour course focusing on basic aspects of mediation with Judy Mares-Dixon and coaches.

Enlightened Feminine Leadership Program (2014) - MatrixWorks - Boulder, CO

A six day certificate program with Mukara Meredith and staff.

Sociacracy Workshop (2013) - Storm Integrated Solutions - Lafayette, CO

A one day workshop with Gregory Rouillard in sociacracy: an alternative governance model.

Social Justice Playback Theater Training (2012) - One Action, One Boulder - Boulder, CO

A ten week training with Kirsten Wilson focusing on power and privilege awareness and communication through improvisational theater.

Political Leadership Fellow (2011) - Center for Progressive Leadership - Denver, CO

An intensive nine month political skills fellowship program with CPL staff, covering campaigning, organizing, messaging, fundraising and political systems theory.

Restorative Activism Workshop (2010) - Open Path Trainings - Boulder, CO

A weekend workshop with Scott Brown focusing on healthy, integrated activism.

Alternatives to Violence Program Workshop (2010) - New Foundations - Denver, CO

A community AVP one day workshop with Bruce Thorn-Weber focusing.

Authentic Leadership Program (2010) - Naropa University - Boulder, CO

A four month certificate program equivalent to six graduate level credit hours with Susan Skjei and staff covering numerous topics related to emerging and alternative leadership practices.

CoHousing Conference (2010) - The CoHousing Association of USA - Boulder, CO

A five day conference with various workshops on communication, conflict resolution, etc. with various teachers.

Third Side Workshop (2004) - The Third Side - Lakewood, CO

A weekend conflict resolution workshop with William Ury.

Volunteer Service

Volunteer Mediator (2014-Present) - Jefferson County Mediation Services - Golden, CO

I serve as a professional volunteer mediator for domestic and civil cases in the mediation office, as well as in the housing and small claims courts.

Volunteer (1994-2010) - Rocky Mountain Vipassana Association - Boulder, CO

I served as a volunteer in various capacities including kitchen manager, student manager and web designer.

Patient Volunteer (2006-2009) - Denver Hospice - Denver, CO

I served in various as-needed capacities as a part of a hospice care team assigned to patients.

Volunteer Big Brother (2002-2005) - Big Brothers, Big Sisters - Denver, CO

I served as volunteer big brother for a teenage boy in the program.

Accredited Education

B.A. Music | Minor: Early Childhood Education (1996) - Naropa University - Boulder, CO

About Evolving Alternatives

What's an Evolving Alternative?

Perhaps, you're looking for an alternative to your soul sucking job. Your own personal evolution.

Or you think there has to be a better, cheaper, faster, more evolved way out of conflict than litigation. An alternative: Mediation

Or your group is breaking down. Surely there are alternative ways to evolve and thrive.

And here's an example close to my heart:

Democracy arose as an evolutionary form of government... An alternative to authoritarianism and aristocracies, with the promise of greater fairness, equality, justice, opportunity and empowerment. The heart of its intent is to serve greater good, at which it often fails, yet continues its evolutionary journey...

And an evolutionary journey through some of my favorite quotes (with some commentary):

"The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new." ~ Pema Chodron

(As much as I'd like this to not be true, I find my ears are closed so much of the time, which...)

"Whatever is rejected from the Self, appears in the world as an event." ~ Carl Jung

(gets me into trouble. My blind spot in me shows up as something or someone that shows me, and then...)

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." ~ Albert Einstein

(I try to fix it using what I already know, instead of finding... yep... evolving alternatives, but...)

"Our fears are like dragons, guarding our most precious treasures."  ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

(like everyone, as much as I hate to admit it, I'm afraid of some stuff. So I often don't claim my gifts, but...)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." ~ Anais Nin

(I remember these wise words...)

"Your task is not to seek for love, but to find and dissolve all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." ~ Helen Schucman

(And what it's really about...)

"I was born when all I once feared... I could love." ~ Rabia al Basri

(And the heart of the next step. An alternative path. An evolving.)