I'm an integrative identity coach and culture change agent.
A born teacher, I guide people to transform their lives for better health, more happiness and success. I'm happiest coaching groups of people toward change in a supportive group setting and I also coach individuals.
I combine 20+ years of expertise with integrative health & identity development to provide INTEGRATIVE IDENTITY COACHING, guiding clients toward improved self-awareness and reduced stress management with better well-being and mindfulness. I also provide interpersonal tools like compassionate communication and listening skills to nurture radical resilience in community with other people.
YEARS OF EXPERIENCE.
I began as a classroom teacher and health food store hippie. Several degrees and certifications later, I'm still teaching--outside the classroom and all over the world.
POSSIBILITIES OF PEOPLE TO HELP.
Our current world population. A big goal but I'm off to a good start. And each person I impact changes the lives of many others.
BUCKETS OF EXPERTISE.
- Integrative Health
- Intra/Interpersonal Development
- Inclusive Cultures
- Change Management
panelist at IEEE N3XT Event, Pittsburgh, PA
PODCAST Guest Appearances (click image to listen)
Published or featured
Surprising Health Problems that Come from Working Too Hard at New York Daily News
7 Ways to Get Over a Winter Slump at FASTCOMPANY
Do I Say 'I Love You' Too Much for a Guy? at HUFFPOST
guest speaker for CreativeMorningsBOSTON
guest speaker on The Mystery Box Show
Dillan DiGiovanni is an internationally-certified Integrative Nutrition coach, speaker and writer leading a revolutionary conversation about the powerful synthesis of well-being, self-awareness and identity development for interpersonal and professional success.
Dillan's inspirational message and very presence make him a teacher every person can learn from. His lifelong journey includes changing his nutrition and lifestyle habits as well as his career, religious/spiritual and sexual identities. From all this change, Dillan understands the human experience at a profound level and shares his experiences and wisdom with audiences and individuals to know who they are and what they truly need to thrive and how relating to others with compassion and kindness is part of true success.
Dillan has worked with leaders at companies like WeWork, Microsoft, IDEO and General Assembly. His authentic, dynamic presence is engaging and inspires people of all identities. He's also a two-time TEDx speaker. He recently moved back to his home state of New Jersey after living in New England for over a decade. He loves 80s music, his favorite movie of all time is The Karate Kid and he would definitely beat you in a lip-syncing contest.
LONG BIO (you've been warned):
Born and raised in New Jersey in the 80s, I always felt out of place among my family and peers. I spoke up to racist jokes at the dinner table and envied the boys' school uniforms in Catholic school. A middle child in a divorced family, I was often told I was "too much" from an early age but channeled those feelings of rejection and sadness into creative outlets, making art and writing constantly. I spent a lot of time alone and sought out deeply cathartic movies and books to fuel my understanding of the human condition.
I attended an all-female Catholic school on full scholarship due to my lower-middle-class upbringing. When life pressures piled up, I developed an eating disorder as a coping skill and forever changed my relationship to food and my body. I lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time and was so weak, I had to quit the basketball team. It was a rough time full of mood swings from inadequate nutrition, but my academic performance never suffered which led to my acceptance to a dual-major Elementary Education program at The College of New Jersey. My eating disorder faded as I thrived under stellar mentorship.
In 2000, I began my professional career as an 8th grade Social Studies teacher but quit three months shy of earning tenure due to my fear of being out about my sexuality. I shifted to work as an administrative youth advisor for the progressive Unitarian Universalist Church of Princeton while also working full-time at local health food stores. These were my "health food store hippie" years, when I learned about alternative healing modalities like homeopathy, herbs and I consumed a great many organic jelly beans.
In 2005, I broke out in adult-onset acne but healed myself with the help of an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, who is still my coach to this day! That experience, like my eating disorder ten years earlier, profoundly impacted my relationship to my face and self-image. The acne healed up almost immediately --almost like a miracle. Shortly after that, I accepted a full-time position working for the UUA headquarters in Boston. I left behind Home as I knew it in New Jersey and began a decade-long geographical and deeply personal transformational journey.
My work at the UUA included extensive training in multiculturalism and I was able to internalize my identity development and know myself as a white person living in America. I also designed curricula and led trainings and planned events to support adults in nurturing their own identity development.
In 2009, frustrated with organizational dysfunction at the UUA, I sought out a Plan B and enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I immediately realized my true passion and calling and organized a mutual departure from the UUA in December 2009 to start my health coaching practice. I hit the ground running and was immediately successful.
Then in 2012, I took a huge leap of faith and made the decision to physically transition my gender identity. I'd been wearing men's clothing full-time since 2007 but felt it was time to make a grander transformation. My journey through that process is well-documented in my own blog here and my archived writing at GoodMenProject. I had also enrolled in graduate school at the same time to complete my Master's degree, which I had begun in 2001 but had dropped out. Doing the gender transition and self-designed graduate program at the same time was intuitive genius. One process informed the other and helped ground me when my life felt completely destabilized and I felt totally disoriented.
My gender transition was a turning point unlike others in my life. Whereas for most of my life I'd coasted by and even thrived by breaking rules and being different, this decision cost me profound losses and unplanned, difficult changes. I was alienated by my family and then by my live-in partner and friends who were unable to support me through that profound grieving process. My business was impacted due to stigmatization and pigeonholing based on my new expressed identity as a transgender person. My unique circumstances of destabilized home environment, unpredictable career as an entrepreneur and limited relational resources contributed to my depression and anxiety and even ideation of suicide.
But I held fast to my health coach identity and persevered!! For the next four years, living visibily and vulnerably as a middle-aged transgender person, sharing my journey on full display on social media, I overcame daily microaggressions while successfully negotiating key client contacts and speaking engagements. I walked my talk and focused on building resilience from within which included impeccable nutrition, more sleep and attending Buddhist retreats for advanced mindfulness study. But I exhausted my internal resources and eventually retreated to the woods of Vermont for extended solitude to heal. It was in Vermont where my grieving process helped deepen my empathy and my awareness of the ways deep trauma impacts each person differently and similarly. I began to form a new approach in my coaching practice.
I began combining all I learned and experienced, personally and professionally, to develop new programs and talks and published articles. I saw the synthesis of identity development, well-being and self-awareness emerge as the path toward nurturing unshakeable resilience. I realized how few people know themselves well enough to engage effectively with others and take care of their minds and bodies to achieve true happiness and success.
And this is my new mission. From the rubble of my own life "falling apart" and putting it back together piece-by-piece, I share my real-world advice for being a healthy, happy person and a helper in ways that actually make people feel heard and seen so their lives work better. This is good for those people and great for the whole world!
My life continues to unfold and is full of daily challenges to navigate but being on the other side of what I've lived and learned, I feel confident that I know what to do.
I share the best of what I know and understand to help others.
Credentials & Education:
Master of Education, Integrative Wellness, Leadership and Change in Individuals and Cultures: Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
Bachelor of Science in Education, Secondary Major in Art: The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ
International Association for Health Coaches (IAHC)
State of New Jersey, Standard Teaching Certificate