When I was 14 years old, I decided I wanted to be a motivational speaker.
I didn't even know why or how. It was just a gut feeling.
Over the past few decades, I now realize it was my calling. I use life experiences to learn how to love myself more and thrive so I can pass what I know onto others.
WHY I DO WHAT I DO:
I think every person, no matter their identities, strives to know and be their true selves. The struggle for this is what makes us human and it's the cause of the tremendous suffering we experience and pass on to others. Transcending this takes tremendous work and courage. It's the work I've chosen for myself and my life so I can lead other people through the process of self-acceptance, patience and eventual understanding for others. I live my work out loud, changing and transforming multiple times over and sharing my journey so people see I walk my own talk. Through professional training and personal experience, I really "get" what people experience in the process of becoming fully actualized to achieve inner peace, confidence and real connection to one's purpose to achieve true success. When you value yourself, you take care of yourself more and true success follows. When you know who you are, you can truly BE yourself. You learn to exchange joy and love with others and build a better world.
This is a lifelong practice. We all can start where we are.
Dillan is an Integrative Nutrition health coach turned life coach leading a revolutionary conversation around personal identity as the path to self-acceptance to build a better world. As someone who rejected the social constructs of sexuality and transformed his spirituality multiple times over several decades, Dillan has managed the ups and downs of judgment, rejection, misunderstanding, ignorance, and his own lack of self-acceptance. What he found on his multi-decade journey is that the only way to find joy, to feel confident, and to build resilience is to fully embrace who you are, live in integrity with that truth, and stop trying to “fit in,” “measure up,” or meet the expectations of others.
In his almost-40 years, Dillan has witnessed oppression, the impacts of being a societal “misfit,” and how personal identity is often a barrier to authentic human connection, keeping all humans in a state of separation and misunderstanding. His career path planted him in the world of spirituality, personal development, and wellness. He began as a teacher, then became a youth advisor at a Unitarian church where he climbed the ranks to leadership positions. He found the Institute for Integrative Nutrition along the way where he trained to be a health coach.
It was with this education, and in this community, that Dillan began healing the relationship he had with his own body. He had been battling an eating disorder on and off since childhood and, as he aligned with his purpose and work as a health coach, he began feeling that his body was getting in the way of who he wanted to be for himself in the world. He had never "felt" female or male and began exploring the possibility of transitioning his gender identity and social presentation. Fueled by this lifelong, deeply-repressed desire, he took the leap, underestimating the impact it would have on not only his sense of self, but also his relationships and his career.
After years of sharing his process so publicly, Dillan hit a bit of a rock bottom. Instead of succumbing to depression and suicidality, he immersed himself in spirituality and self-coaching to ground himself to do the inner work to heal the PTSD he experienced when he was rejected from family, friends, and his then-partner. He also sought to transform his experience of being exploited and stigmatized professionally when he announced he was transgender. While he continued his highly successful health coaching practice, he felt a call for reinvention; for work that aligned with a bigger purpose and vision. Having healed himself through healthy habits: meditation, whole foods, sleep, exercise and even self-imposed isolation, he managed to finally reach a point of deep self-acceptance within himself. It was through this process of integrating his many life experiences and transformations that Dillan recognized the most powerful remedy for all human suffering. Today, he is on a mission to teach people how to shift the way they relate to themselves in order to better relate with others.
Despite his often challenging personal transformation, he has also achieved incredible professional success, bootstrapping his coaching business from its inception in 2009. He has worked with dynamic, innovative companies life Diesel/Bloc/Forge Baking Co., ACTBLUE, IDEO, Brooklyn Boulders, MIT, UCONN and many others. He has spoken at Propelify Innovation Festival, CreativeMorningsBOSTON, The Mystery Box Show, TEDxUCONN, IDEO, Rutgers University Medical School, TEDxSomerville, WORKBAR, and General Assembly.
Dillan is unlike most personal growth guides—he’s experienced what it's like to be Catholic, athiest, vegan, meat-eater, Buddhist, poor, financially stable, woman, lesbian, man, and transgender. He's only ever been white and mostly able-bodied except for that time a doctor told his mother he might die from his heart murmur.
He’s undergone multiple transformations—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And he’s lived through the greatest fears most of us have—being rejected by the people we love most for being our true selves. He has built himself back up time and time again, and he understands the challenges that exist in the modern human experience. This, combined with his calming demeanor, kind heart, and inspirational voice makes him a teacher every person can benefit from, especially those struggling to accept and be who they really are. He has the power to help bridge the gap in human misunderstanding.
Dillan loves 80s music more than just about anything else and he drinks coffee and always needs to eat more greens.
His BS and MEd degrees make him a critical thinker and his certification as a health coach helps him be a better listener and guide for others. He attended The College of New Jersey, Lesley University and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.