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Defy the Rules


Today, we would like to celebrate our Senior Coach Hildie Dunn, who leads our Boston Design Your Life Weekend. Known for her tremendous capacity to love and find the spirit and meaning in any situation, we thought we would share some pearls of wisdom from Hildie with you.

Introduce yourself to those who may not be lucky enough to already know you.
I am Hildie Dunn, and I am a Senior Coach at HGLC. I first came as a client and made huge shifts in my life, quickly. That’s how I knew this methodology was for me. So I became a coach. I live in New Jersey and have three grown wonderful children. Oh, and I’m a twin!

When did you first get into “personal development”-type stuff?
I have spent my life studying self-help. My first revelation was the poet, e.e. cummings. He doesn’t follow rules, and doesn’t speak from a medium that someone else set up for him. He taught me about independent thinking and honoring MY thoughts. It is up to me to make my own rules, based on what is right for me. That was a revolutionary concept for me.

Who else inspired you?
My dad. He was teacher and counselor, and when I was a kid, in the room where he taught religious studies in my church, he painted the question “who am I?” on the wall in black paint. He really wanted his students to answer that question for themselves. That question had me get curious about who I was, and find my own answer and say it proudly to the world. I had never thought about it before, or that that even was a question someone could ask themselves.

Of course, it’s no surprise that I ended up in a company with a methodology that will change the world by asking people who they are!

And also not surprising that you are leading Design Your Life Weekends.
Completely. I get continue my fathers work, but with my own twist. I ask my clients who they are and what will make them happy. What I love about the DYL Weekend is that it builds a community that is centered around being curious about yourself.

What is special about being in a group?
Speaking in a group makes you more vulnerable, and being more vulnerable, as we know, changes everything. It allows you to give up your shame and embarrassment, and takes away the need to hide it. Being vulnerable allows you to accept love and caring from a world that sees you for exactly who you are. And you, in turn, get to support other people.

What was your favorite DYLW moment?
That’s a tough one. This could change, but for me it’s usually the morning of day 2. It’s because people come in having had an important conversation with someone who is meaningful to them, and their eyes are wide open. You listen to everyone else’s stories, and you say to yourself “I want that too.” I love seeing the wheels turning for people about what they can have in relationships.

How do you feel when you prepare for the DYL Weekends?
Everyday it gets closer excitement builds for me. I know what happens at the end, and I am so excited for my participants, knowing what is coming for them. I am a little nervous also, because it’s so important. I know the difference I am going to make, and I feel very responsible to do it. I am leader, and it’s my job to say “I know you’re a little scared, but come on!” I read everyone’s homework, and figure out what I want for each person. It’s always a thrill to imagine everyone’s dreams coming true.

What is your wackiest DYLW moment?
(Pause) It must be the morning I got really lost. First, the Lincoln Tunnel was closed. Then, my navigation stopped working. I called Samantha for help, and couldn’t understand her directions. Here I am, teaching people how to navigate their lives, and I can’t navigate through the city! I really understood what it felt like to be lost, and not know where to go. It was frustrating, and I was freaking out that I was going to be late. I realized I needed to stop my own internal dialogue, quiet my mind, take a breath, trust myself and make a plan. I actually did the whole methodology in that moment! I went to a nearby construction site and found someone to help me, and he was exactly what I needed. It turns out, I was actually only a block away. Isn’t that how life usually is?

What parting advice would you give someone who wants to do a Design Your Life Weekend?
Just enjoy the process. Be curious, instead of worried and scared. Have fun doing something different. At the end of the day, just do it. It’s like jumping into a pool of cool water. You can dip your toe in all you like, but until you jump in, you really can’t experience it.

There you have it folks, our very own, beloved, Hildie Dunn. You can catch her at an upcoming Design Your Life Weekend.