Our Guiding Beliefs and Values

Humans have an unparalleled opportunity: our brains are infinitely creative, which is both good news and bad news, depending upon how we use this unique resource. The brain is constructed so that it is constantly making meaning in an attempt to make sense of the world. This is true all the time for all of us, even at this moment. Meaning is not something that inherently exists; it is something that we continuously create, whether we’re conscious of it or not. If it is an unconscious process, we are like slaves to our impulses and to our environment; we are like automatons. If we can stop, take a breath, and become aware of what’s happening from the inside out, we can consciously choose how we respond to inner and outer stimuli. Eventually we might notice that our thoughts are not reality; they are representations of reality, our stories about reality, what we use to create our experience of reality. We can pay attention to our thoughts and consider their merits, then choose a course of action which is consistent with who we believe we are and what our life is about (knowing all along that this is our best interpretation of what we perceive). We come to recognize that we can choose or create our sense of purpose and that this is an on-going, creative process that evolves over our lifespan, through each chapter in our life.

Discontent occurs when our expectations are not met, when we resist what is “true” in this moment, and when we persist in our resistance or in our clinging to expectations. This is not to say that expectations and resistance and clinging are good or bad; it is simply a recognition of what conditions lead to discontent and stress. If we feel strongly enough about the justification for our expectations, we are more willing to live with the resulting stresses from pursuing our expectations. Using awareness and creativity, we can become more skillful in how we engage with reality. Life becomes an experiment where we play simultaneously with fulfilling our purpose and with letting go where we have little or no control. Contentment becomes a choice, a process of continuously re-committing ourselves to the contrasting experiences of real life. It is a dynamic balance of giving oneself and being receptive and open.

  • William Frey
    William Frey

    Born and raised in northern California outside Sacramento, William Frey grew up in the Boy Scouts, enjoying monthly backpacking excursions into the Sierra Nevada mountains and attaining the highest rank of Eagle Scout. He learned the importance of leaving the land unblemished and how to think responsibly. During his high school years, he was elected to the regional youth leadership team for the United Methodist Church. He pursued a long-standing interest in music by studying classical guitar, performing in various folk and rock groups, and writing reviews for music periodicals. He graduated from California State University at Chico with degrees in psychology and chemistry, and years later earned another degree in medical technology. In the meantime, he took a break from college life and danced professionally for several years with Ballet Binghamton in upstate New York. Over twenty years ago, he and Patty moved to North Carolina where Will was employed by UNC Health Care Systems. He is currently the Assistant Manager of Organization & Professional Development in the Office of Human Resources at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an instructor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for the UNC School of Medicine. William is a certified professional co-active coach, as granted by The Coaches Training Institute and recognized by the International Coach Federation, and holds a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis on Training and Development. He received formal training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Nonviolent Communication, conflict resolution, various forms of meditation, a variety of communication skills, and group facilitation. His programs have been presented across the southeastern United States, and his clients have included The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University’s Fitness Center, Elon University, and Meredith College. He is the author of the monthly blog Stress Tips and the book Ease into Freedom: Keys for Reducing Stress and Unlocking Your Potential, and is co-author of several research papers. His hobbies include gardening, walking, and continuing education.

    “In recognizing how I can create my own life, I choose to play with commitments to practicing unconditional kindness, exploring peace as an ever-present possibility, and relaxing into the vast open space of freedom of choice. This has been an incredibly fortunate birth, and I strongly feel the desire to give back, to share, to help others in their search for true contentment.”

  • Patty Frey
    Patty Frey

    Patty remembers quite vividly her first yoga class. It was in a tiny yoga studio in New York City in the late 1960’s. She loved the feeling of being relaxed and centered and at the same time energized. She knew right then and there that she found her path and that her life was forever changed.

    Patty’s mission is to help people achieve optimal health and well-being through yoga, coaching, and workshops. She is a certified yoga teacher and registered with the Yoga Alliance. She received extensive training in yoga, meditation, stress management, and holistic health from the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, where she resided for 1½ years and received her first teaching certification. Patty is also a Certified Professional Co-active Coach, as granted by The Coaches Training Institute and recognized by the International Coach Federation.

    Patty brings compassion, creativity, intuition, and a deep commitment to her work. Her passion is integrating the modern technology of Co-active Coaching with the ancient system of yoga to allow for the deep inner work of self-discovery and transformation. She also facilitates workshops and retreats for women as they make their way through the various stages of life.

    A native New Yorker, Patty now lives in rural North Carolina with her husband, Will. She rejuvenates herself by spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, traveling, dancing, singing, and sparking her creative juices. She is most grateful for the opportunity to create the space for people to find inner peace and optimal health.

  • “[I particularly liked] the honesty, the realization of who is truly in control of my emotions without feeling guilty. Program was great!

    anonymous Conflict Resolution participant