My name is David Johnson. I live on the island of Maui in Hawaii, though I was born, raised and spent the first 40+ years of my life in the UK. In my late twenties I spent 7 years living in a Buddhist community studying meditation with a Tibetan Buddhist teacher. I use techniques that I have learnt studying Buddhism, coaching and in men’s work to help people gain confidence in themselves and in the lives that they wish to live.
I identify as an introvert and highly sensitive person. I have always felt different in some way. When I was younger I had no reference for my personality type, I just knew that I was at my happiest reading, spending time in nature and in my own thoughts. I was a late developer and when my peers started socializing after school, I felt left out. Coupled with not understanding my personality, I became quieter and shy.
My adult years have been about understanding who I am, what I want to do in the world, moving out of my shyness and building confidence. I can be, probably am the quieter one in the room, and if I know you, I can happily talk until late at night.
Below I share a bullet pointed snapshot of my life, both a short and long version. Through the articles on this site, my hope and wish is that you will get a flavour of who I am and how I view and experience the world.
If you have any questions or are interested in working with me, please head over to the Contact page.
Over on this page are a some words from people who have worked with me.
Here is the short version of some of the hats that I wear:
- I am a Life Coach, and trained with the Co-Active Training Institute.
- I am an INFJ personality type.
- I work with Introverts and Highly Sensitive People.
- A niche of my coaching practice is working with men who identify with one or both of these personality types.
- I am a Buddhist, the foundation of my practice being the Gelug-pa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
- I sit in a men’s group that meets on a regular basis.
- I co-facilitate Men’s Mentoring circles in the local jail here on Maui.
- The group of women and men volunteers is called in Hawaiian, Ka Ipu Ha’a (in English, The Humble Vessel).
- Ka Ipu Ha’a’s website is here.
- An article about my life’s journey appeared in The Maui News.
Here is the slightly longer version, in the order that it has happened:
- I was born in Bristol, England.
- As a kid I lived in Seattle, USA for 1 year, and Jamaica for 2 years.
- In my teens, I taught myself to program a Commodore PET that use to sit on my parents’ dining room table. My uncle lent the computer to me from his place of work.
- I have an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, BSc.
- In my early 20’s I spent three years traveling, including a short trip home to “refuel”, through New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, India, Nepal and China. Those years changed my life.
- I have practiced Buddhism, particularly within the Gelug-pa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, for 30 years.
- During the early part of those years, I lived in a Buddhist Community in South Wales for 7 years, where by Tibetan Buddhist teacher lived.
- I built an award winning ecological house next door to the community and lived there for 10 years.
- That little corner of Wales where I spent 17 years of my life is still very dear to me.
- I have a Master’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology with a concentration in Ecopsychology, MA, from Naropa University.
- While studying on that Master’s program, I met my future wife.
- On getting married I moved to Portland, OR and had a wonderful 8 years there, living a very urban life, walking and biking everywhere.
- I graduated from Co-Active Training Institute’s Certification, CPCC, program.
- Reading about the personality traits of Introversion and High Sensitivity, I closed a bit more of the circle of understanding about who I was and how I ticked. As a man, I was particularly interested in how men who identified with these personality types, navigated through their lives.
- My wife had lived on Maui for 18 years and during our time in Portland, kept a house there. So we visited at least once a year. After 8 years in Portland we moved back to Maui and 2 years later moved into a new house that we built.
- In 2015 I went through a workshop with the ManKind Project, and in doing so felt as though I had filled in a missing piece in my life, men’s work. As I have heard a number of times over the past few years, “For centuries men have been sitting in circles…”
- Towards the end of 2017 I started a monthly men’s group for men who identify as Introverts and/or Highly Sensitive.
- I recently appeared on the Micro Monday podcast, Episode #59, being interviewed by Jean MacDonald.