Kelli Cotner, CPCCCertified Professional Co-Active Coach
Adventurous with many interests, yet grounded and centered within her explorations, Kelli is creative, aware, direct, curious, compassionate and bold. Passionate and committed to deeper learning and wisdom through direct experience and “being,” she lives a colorful and experimental life. Kelli has always been drawn to, that place where true transformation occurs. By taking risks, falling down, diving deep and learning to trust her own process or experience, she has tested the waters many times in search for the meaning of life, coming to the conclusion that our life purpose is to live life awake and aligned with our personal core values.
Practicing the compassionate art of “staying with” uncomfortable feelings, she has discovered that edgy energy can be channeled into healing or life affirming actions through the power of wide awake self-expression. Kelli has a fascination with opposites and created her “Peace and Noise” theory. She believes that true inner peace and freedom isn’t just about cultivating calmness or sitting in silence through meditation or prayer. It’s also about making “noise,” your unique, authentic, heartfelt “noise” or expression for the world to hear. Inner peace is the freedom of giving yourself full permission to BE who YOU are and to live life truly awake and out loud so that others may do the same.
Born and raised in Texas, she was a wild, spirited child whose bold curiosity often clashed with rules and authority. Kelli’s first dream was to be a rock n’ roll star. Passionate about music, art and songwriters with a message, the Beatles, Dylan, and Patti Smith inspired her to explore and push life to the limits. Playing guitar, painting, racing mountain bikes and being the leader of the pack came natural to her. She attended the Art Institute of Houston and studied Commercial Art, joined the Army which only brought out her more rebellious side and explored the U.S. and Europe backpacking for a few years. The rock n’ roll lifestyle eventually lead her down a dark road and she got clean and sober in 1988. Kelli landed in Los Angeles and that became home for 18 years. During that time, she was a personal assistant for a famous comedian, supervisor for a women’s recovery center in East L.A., and eventually a case manager, street outreach worker and art director for youth at risk on the mean streets of Hollywood.
After 8 years of social work and at a spiritual and personal crossroad, she became a serious student of the Dharma, or the Buddhist teachings, which altered her life and is her spiritual foundation. She went back to school, received a degree in graphic design and started her own business which included creating a successful Buddhist/motorcycle/music/ T-shirt line.
While working in the creative arts, she yearned to be of service again and connect with people on a deeper soul level. She met a life coach hiking in Sedona and through his support completed the Core Coaching Curriculum at The Coaches Training Institute in January 2007 and CTI’s in-depth Certification Program where she gained the designation of “Certified Professional Co-Active Coach” in the spring ’08. Kelli then completed the rigorous 10-month Leadership Program offered through CTI in 2011.
She moved back to Austin and served 5 years as Program Director and President for the Greater Austin Chapter of the International Coaches Federation, which is the governing body of coaches around the world. Kelli is also a registered Integrative Yoga Therapist and incorporates the teachings of Yoga and meditation into her coaching practice. She is certified as a Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher and teaches people how to overcome anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks.
Kelli is currently enrolled in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction or MBSR teacher training program through the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her goal is to teach the transformational tools of mindfulness and meditation by offering the 8 week course to the San Marcos community and surrounding areas.
In 2016, Kelli and her partner created Dharma Ranch, a retreat center on 10 acres in San Marcos, Tx where she currently teaches meditation and various workshops.
In her spare time, Kelli loves to read, travel, landscape and play with her creative friends. Music, art, dancing, people, yoga and meditation are her places for encounter.