About/360: All the Way Around

I thought I’d put all this information in one place, for easy reference. Let me know if there’s something else you think should be here, and I’ll add it. I’ll also be updating and revising as things evolve, so check back.

You’ll learn plenty about me all throughout the website. Still, here’s an outline of the things people might expect to find on an About page:

  • Grew up in Pennsylvania, city-born / country boy.
  • Attended University of Pennsylvania, School of Engineering and Applied Science, pre-med, didn’t graduate because bipolar disorder kicked in and threw me off the rails.
  • Bunch of jobs, brief marriage, bunch of relationships, moving all around. Earned a living as a freelance advertising copywriter and graphic designer. Wound up in Montana in the early 1990s.
  • Along the way, studied Neuro-Linguistic Programming and hypnosis, trying to get a handle on my mood swings.
  • Discovered something unexpected about feeling that opened the door to Feelingwork and all that’s here on the website. Moved to Seattle in 1994 to explore it further.
  • Unlocked the prison of bipolar disorder in 1995 and left it behind.
  • Went back to school, finishing a BA in Natural Science and Consciousness Studies at Antioch University Seattle. Continued, completing an MA in Whole Systems Design, finishing in 2002.
  • Continued to develop Feelingwork and study the feeling mind. Self-published the book, The Feeling Path, in 2011.
  • Met my awesome partner Spring Cheng in 2012, and we’ve been together ever since. Co-founded Resonance Path Institute with Spring. Currently living in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle.
  • The journey continues.

My intention with this website is to invite both client, student, and peer relationships. Out of those relationships my intention is to gradually foster a community. The following policies are meant to serve that end, and may be adjusted as we go.

COMMENTS: It’s very easy for website comments to devolve if not carefully monitored and managed. I have no interest in managing the kind of superficial interaction that characterizes most asynchronous online communication, especially when it is anonymous. (For example, I am not active on social media. At all.) Consequently, there is no place on the site where you can enter comments. If you’d like to engage in conversation with me, take a look at the section below on Community. Or reach out to schedule a feelingwork session with me.

PRIVACY: There is nothing on this website that collects any of your information. It is possible that if you visit Google, Facebook, or other places with the same browser you use to visit joeshirley.com, those entities will be tracking your visit here. But currently I’ve not placed any such tracking on the site itself, and there is no place where I am requesting any of your information, even for so much as a contact form. Instead, connecting with me requires that you type my address into your email application and send me a message, one person to another.

NEWSLETTER: I will not be collecting your information to send you a newsletter. My energy is going into creating a robust collection of resource material on the website. I’d like for you to have enough interest in what I’m sharing to come back on your own accord, when it feels relevant to you, rather than have me fill your inbox with more stuff not to read.

IMAGES: Much of the photographic material here comes copyright-free from Unsplash.com, a wonderful resource to get to know the work of some fantastic photographers.

FEELINGWORK MATERIAL: All of the feelingwork images were drawn either by me or the person doing the mapping. I want to express my gratitude to all the people who gave me permission to share their feelingwork images, notes, and even transcripts of their sessions. I’ve stripped or camouflaged identifying information to preserve their anonymity.

MY REQUEST: I am deliberately refraining from social media, search engine optimization, advertising, or any other mainstream channels for getting the word out. Instead, I’m counting on you to tell people you care about and respect about what you discover. My intention is to go back to basics: simple word of mouth. I want the discoveries about the feeling mind and the power of feelingwork to spread only as far as people care enough about it to share it personally, verbally, with a small handful of close people. If this work is valuable to you, consider for who else it might also be of benefit, and share with them. Thank you.

PRIVATE SESSIONS: While the experience of doing feelingwork can lead to powerful transformation, it is groundbreaking work that does not yet fall into the domain of conventional therapy. Because I have chosen to invest my time in developing feelingwork, and because I perceived conventional training tracks as obstacles to that intention, I have not obtained any kind of psychotherapy certification. (My masters degree is in Whole Systems Design with an emphasis on facilitating transformational group experiences.) Consequently, you will be unable to use insurance to pay for sessions. I do, however, adhere to more conventional standards of confidentiality. I will not share anything about your work with anyone without your explicit permission.

CAUTION: Feelingwork is extremely powerful. This kind of power can be very helpful and it could also be dangerous for some people. Please do not engage deeply with this work without at least one strong and reliable support person in your life, and preferably a solid family or community of people to whom you can turn if need be. If you are taking medications for mental health, please maintain close communication with your provider. If you are currently engaged in psychotherapy, please consider including your therapist in your explorations.

This work lies fully outside conventional approaches to mental health. As such, there has been no conventional evaluation of its risks. Please proceed only if you agree to take full responsibility for your own safety.

If you are intrigued, inspired, agitated, or otherwise moved by something you read here, I invite you to reach out to have a direct communication with me. We can start by email, and if that seems to be leading somewhere, schedule a Zoom meeting. I am also intending to open an online community for support, study, and practice of feelingwork and other related methods. It will be called The Enteleos Community, and you can read more about it on the website at Enteleos.com.