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Get to Know Me

Life & Experience

I share my story as an offering to help you decide if I seem like a good fit for you and your journey. Finding a life coach you like, trust, and work effectively with can be an intimidating venture. I hope this story and the pictures and videos on this site offer the insight you’re looking for into who I am and how I carry myself. I can tell you upfront that I like to bring curiosity, collaboration, challenge, playfulness, emergent design, and accountability to get the best results with my clients. 


My path of personal, professional, and spiritual development has taken many forms. I’ve learned grit, surrender, compromise, leadership, humility, honesty, and how to be of service throughout my ups and downs. 


My personal growth stems from more than a decade of self-reflection through collaborative journaling, publishing a hybrid memoir, studying and practicing self-compassion, and traveling solo through Europe and the U.S. I’ve gained professional experience through my psychology degree, an Americorps gap year, training with Outward Bound, and working as a wilderness therapy guide, and life coaching. My spiritual journey draws from journaling, multi-cultural ceremonies, existential inquiry, divination, and Daoism.


I was raised by my mother and my aunt in St. Petersburg, Florida. I had a typical rebellious phase after high school as the lead singer of a punk/ska band before I started to get my head on straight and enroll full-time at my local community college. I beefed-up my transcripts to get into a better school. I worked a few full-time and part-time jobs, joined a couple honor societies, and went off to study abroad in Spain for a summer, followed by traveling through Italy and Greece solo, before transferring to New College of Florida. 


At New College, I studied psychology and passed my dissertation on “Self-Compassion in LGBTQIA+ Individuals.” My time at New College radically challenged many of my beliefs about myself and the world, namely by studying and practicing self-compassion. It was then that I began to understand I could alter my internal dialogue–self-criticism and self-affirmation–by treating myself as I would treat a loved one. I spent a gap year volunteering with AmeriCorps as a corps member with City Year Denver. I completed 1,800 hours of service in a 5th-grade English classroom and took on extra roles, like being the liaison for our site’s largest donor and the Leadership Development Coordinator for my team while working part-time helping a house flipper. It was a difficult and solitary year for me. I struggled to connect with my peers, was chronically exhausted, and heartbroken from a previous relationship. By completing my service year, I earned a Segal Education Award which I used with my side-job savings and an additional scholarship awarded to me in order to pay for a 52-day instructor development course with Outward Bound.


The Outward Bound course was a major stepping stone in the trajectory of my life and career. I sustained a knee injury on the second day and finished the course in a knee brace. We backpacked in Colorado, crack-climbed in Wyoming, fasted during a 3-day solo, and completed a 2-week practical in Alaska by backpacking across a glacier and bushwhacking through Alaskan backcountry. While I gained a slew of technical skills, the greatest gift was a sense of peace I hadn’t felt before, a deeply-settling, calm connection which emerged from being immersed in nature. 


After the course, a friend and I embarked on a long road trip, touching all 4 corners of the U.S. that summer while my knee recovered: Alaska, Los Angeles, the Adirondacks, with dozens of national parks in between, ending in Miami and back to my hometown: St. Petersburg, FL. Back home, I struggled with my self-worth and feeling like I'd had a “failure to launch.” I was back living with my mother, working 60+ hours per week at a gym by day, and doing merchandising for Home Depot overnight. The few hours between shifts were spent car shopping, showering, sleeping, meal prepping, and looking for a way out.


After about 9 months, I took a long solo road trip to move back to Denver. I worked as a Lyft driver, Home Depot paint associate, and Denver Parks & Rec Counselor. Another 6 months went by. My knee recovered to about 80% and I made it into the week-long orientation/interview to be a field guide for Open Sky Wilderness Therapy. In 3 1/2 years I worked over 550 days in the field, over 8,000 hours of working with teens and young adults in crisis, backpacking through the Utah desert and Colorado mountains. 


Open Sky trained me to be an incredibly competent, confident guide for others. I learned a litany of therapeutic skills for coping, communicating, containing, reframing, redirecting, culture crafting, mentoring, and more at the individual and group level. The impact and reward of wilderness therapy is directly proportional to the amount of challenge it holds. Shortly after being promoted to Senior 4 Field Guide, I decided to step into a new chapter of my life; however, I wanted to do it with gravitas and intention. Towards the end of my time guiding, I began compiling a book of excerpts from 11 years of collaborative journaling. I keep my journals in open-format, inviting family, friends, and strangers to read and write in them. I do this because I believe that life is a collaboration of relationships and different perspectives, instead of a singular view of the world. I published the book after almost 2 years of intensive self-reflection on a decade of my life. In the process of publishing, I found a deeper connection to two much older texts.


The Dao De Jing and the I Ching expanded my spirituality and provided structure for the transition into my next phase of life. My last dozen shifts at Open Sky were scaffolded around the I Ching (YEE-chjing; “The Book of Changes”), the most ancient Chinese text––a book of divination––more than 3,000 years old. It is a text I’d worked closely with for nearly a decade already. The Dao De Jing (DOW-duh-chjing) came into my life in one morning at base camp during my last year of guiding. It's another ancient Chinese text, more than 2,500 years old, and a foundational text of Daoism today. The Dao De Jing captivated me, brought me into deeper relationship with my spirituality and inspired me to begin writing my own Dao De Jing, a unique conglomeration of translations, featuring a full index of every English translation since 1868 to present, and more. For my last several shifts, I held at least one ceremony for myself every day. I led one final orientation/interview for new guides. Then, I participated in my first Hanbleyca (on-BLEY-cha), a Lakota ceremony, to close my time at Open Sky in a good way.


To prepare for Hanbleyca, I’d participated in dozens of sweat lodges over the years, made hundreds of prayer ties, and set out on a 4-day solo backpacking trip on the Arizona Trail directly before the ceremony. Hanbleyca translates to “crying for a vision in the night.” It involves 4 days of sitting in a 10-foot circle, without human contact, food, or water. The idea is to give one’s body and one’s suffering to the spirits and pray for what you want. At the end of the ceremony, our guide invited us to continue our fast (in front of a beautiful buffet of home-cooked food). I decided to continue the fast for another 4 days (while drinking water). What I ultimately gained from Hanbleyca was a deeper trust in a higher power and an experience of unconditional love for myself.


That brings us up to speed before I became a certified professional life coach (CPLC) with the Transformation Academy. Of course, there’s much more than can be told here of the experiences I’ve had and the lessons I’ve learned. Suffice to say that my life has been driven by perseverance, intention, and service. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve been, the things I’ve done, all coalesce into a unique perspective on life. Now, I work with my clients on coping with change and transition, increasing productivity, communication and conflict resolution in relationships, spiritual exploration, and more. 


If this story, the pictures and videos I’ve created, the experience and skills I offer, and the programs I’ve designed pique your curiosity and you’d like to speak with me face-to-face, I offer free 30-minute discovery calls. My discovery calls are not designed to make a sale, they’re designed to help you and I see if we're a good fit as a coach and client, and to give you some clarity on what it is you’re searching for.

 
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My Experience

I'm proud to say that the bulk of my tool kit comes from almost 4 years of guiding in wilderness therapy. I worked with teens, young adults, and their families to find stability and direction using dozens of proven therapeutic models and techniques. 

I have my degree in research psychology from the honors college of Florida, New College, as well as extensive personal and professional development training from AmeriCorps. I've been a mentor to others all my life, tracing all the way back to my roots in Boy Scouts.

In recent years, I became a Certified Life Coach to bring my wide range of skills under one roof and offer a unique coaching experience to my clients.

 

The Highlights

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Humble

From a Young Age

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Grounded

When All is Chaos

Driven

No Rest for the Wicked

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Supportive

Helping Others Up

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Change the World.
One World at A Time.

My Chief Belief.

I used to want to change the world.


I used to think I had to do it all at once. I struggled to find my way of making an impact. Through endless wasted efforts I finally realized: “The World" is a group of individuals. Us. We. You. Me. Each person carrying within them their own, interior world.

I decided that helping one person change would be enough. And after one person, came two. After two, came three. And after three, came THE TEN-THOUSAND THINGS...I mean the hundreds of other people I've impacted... (sorry, Daoist quotes, force of habit). I reckon I'm somewhere in the thousands by now. Hallelujah!

Thankfully, I have already succeeded in my mission. Lives have been changed. Futures have been altered. I have made my contribution(s). Fortunately, I forget that from time to time and fool myself into thinking there's more to be done. Perhaps I just can't stand to be so still.


Enter - Point 2:

 

The Meaning of Life
is to Give Life Meaning

My Directive Duex

Well done! Mission accomplished...


Now what?


Yes, well...we hadn't thought that far ahead had we? 


As an early teen, I spent most of my time alone on long midnight walks, struggling with the meaning of life, asking the question over and over again: “What is the meaning of life?” Until finally, I found the answer in the question: “The meaning of life...is to GIVE. LIFE. MEANING!"


The meaning I choose is to serve others. The world I choose is filled with meaning and causality. My wish and my practice is to enjoy both the pleasant and the unpleasant parts of life. When darkness descends and my demons emerge from the shadows––let us have tea. When lightness returns to steal me from excitement, let me surrender to the danger of my creature comforts.


The Point is, there really is no Point, merely choice.

And so,

Should I become restless, May I choose to stir

Should I become winded, May I choose to rest

Should I become lonely, May I choose to connect

Should I become lost, May I choose to wander

 

Client Testimonials

Constantine's coaching changed my life! I was experiencing a lot of anxiety around my purpose when I found his services. I took his Dao De Jing program and did a 180 in those 81 days! Now I'm more balanced, confident in my path and striving financially. He's the real deal. Highly recommend!

K. F., former client

As a former commitment-phobe, Mr. Dhonau helped improve my confidence and held me accountable. His curriculum was highly beneficial, helped me organize my thoughts, and split one large goal I had been procrastinating on into small steps so it was more feasible. I would highly recommend his program to others, and think that when you take into account all of his assurance , support, and how accessible he was, LAUNCH is a true bargain.

R. W., former client

Constantine's teachings have been some of the most amazing influences to my journey and he's helped me align so many parts of my life! He has a way of unlocking doors you didn't know existed. I'm so grateful to have worked with him and 100% suggest his coaching for others!! THIS IS YOUR SIGN!

B. E., former client

I recently worked with Constantine on my MFA in Poetry applications and his support went above and beyond what I expected...He was also able to see the big picture of my work, identify themes, and provide feedback on how to more fully encompass my poetic niche...you will not find someone as talented, compassionate, and astute as Constantine. I am so grateful to have him on my writing team!

E. T., former client