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the Presence Point

We were so thrilled to have Sarah Lipton present a workshop called "Empowering Empathy" at our annual Wellness Conference. Our audience, comprised of individuals living with mental health challenges, family members and friends, as well as mental health professionals, all found her message inspiring and useful in their daily lives. Sarah provided tips and tools for helping us become more present in our bodies so we can better engage and empower the empathy inside us. One participant remarked that Sarah, “Renewed my faith in the world.” We’re grateful that she shared her message with us!

Amy Perry, NAMI Vermont (National Alliance on Mental Illness of Vermont)

In her work with our leadership team of 40 over the last six months, Sarah has shined a light on many areas for our staff. She has facilitated group growth in practicing presence, active listening, having difficult conversations, and thoughtful expression. Her knowledge borne of years of experience is accessible and applicable. Sarah has helped us realize that it is okay to bring our own unique selves to work every day, and this is a fact to be celebrated!

Molly H. Bumpas, MEd, CCC/SLP, BCBA, Program Director, Sd Associates, LLC, Williston, VT

Working with Sarah and The Presence Point has been ground-breaking in my leadership journey. Through the waves of my professional and personal life, Sarah has been a positive and supportive presence. Her strategy of leadership from within has empowered me to see myself as the center of my universe, which is far from how I viewed myself before we met. I have learned to resource myself, to look inward when times get tough or when I get stuck. By doing so, I harness my own energy that I can then share with myself and my team. I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with Sarah, and I encourage others to look beyond traditional leadership training to explore how The Presence Point fosters thoughtful, connected and engaged leaders.

Tori Jones, Inside Sales Manager, SunCommon, Waterbury, VT

Sarah is very skilled in empowering her clients to rouse the powers of stillness and intuitive self-reflection. Using the awareness of commonplace feelings (your feet on the floor, legs on the chair), she guides you to deeply look at your feelings, goals, motivations, and abilities in the same gentle, positive, friendly, yet ordinary way. By showing you how to develop a practice of making your inner workings accessible, you begin to see quickly what is helpful, and what is maybe getting you stuck. You can approach your opportunities and obstacles in a dignified and elegant way.

Jim Katz, Northgate Software, Inc., Boston, MA

Sarah did an excellent job guiding our team through a recent team-building workshop. Despite many challenges, MIFH really shines, but medical work is still overwhelming. It was, therefore, quite helpful to have a few hours devoted to looking at how we are taking care of ourselves and each other. To take the time to acknowledge group strengths is actually quite strengthening! Learning breathing exercises and how to acknowledge each other with a smile and a nod helped demonstrate how we can increase awareness of support without having to 'do' anything - which is necessary in an already stressed environment. Since the workshop, I have noticed folks going out of their way to smile at each other, stop and check-in and acknowledge each other’s hard work. In short, Sarah was upbeat, bright and enthusiastic (but not overly so) and it was a warm, engaging, re-energizing workshop. This hit the mark!

K.J. Nurse Practitioner, Montpelier Integrative Family Medicine, Central Vermont Medical Center, University of Vermont Health Network

The work I have explored with Sarah through her mapping process has revealed new pathways of thinking, professional opportunities, and skills necessary to manage the transitions I am facing. I have found the exercises meaningful and illuminating, and Sarah's skillful leadership has helped me uncover new passions, abilities, and interests. I am excited to greet this new phase of my life and career, and know I am capable of making a great transition, thanks to all I have learned from The Presence Point.

Sandy Barry, Portland, ME

Being with Sarah is a transmission. Those in leadership positions are conditioned to think they need to have the right answers, the plan, and the way forward. However, The Presence Point challenges individuals and organizations to take an approach that is more radical. When we encounter a person who is naturally vibrant and aware, we are compelled to look to them for direction. But how do we become this kind of person? Sarah works not by building up her clients' credentials, but through helping them train in fearless authenticity, which includes a willingness to be vulnerable. Her approach teaches that, in fact, vulnerability is a fundamental ingredient to inspiring and leading others. To work this deeply, many people require a mentor and guide. Sarah's warm and gentle style supports people to make this kind of daring leap.

Sara Lewis, PhD, MSW, University of Oregon

It’s time for YOU! Sarah Lipton’s presence-centered contemplative training and leadership mentoring has changed the way I perceive myself and recognize where I am, helped me clarify what I want and prioritize my actions, and has taught me to appreciate my achievements with joy and confidence. I've worked with Sarah for nearly a year and am so grateful for her support. Sarah has become my most trusted personal and professional resource.

Shawn Shouldice, Public Relations Strategist at Capital Connections, Montpelier, VT

Working with Sarah has been a great blessing in my life. Her approach helped me navigate a challenging business opportunity as I merged practices with a retiring financial advisor. The complexities associated with differences in substance and style, in relationships with clients and staff, and even business development models between my partner and I were staggering, Sarah's unique approach to mentoring, involving contemplation and life mapping, helped me to work through priorities, identify support structures and capacities, and close doors on those areas of my life and practice that were blocking progress. She helped me identify my core objectives, which allowed me to reshuffle priorities and chart a purpose driven path forward. While the answers are inside ourselves, and maybe I could have worked through it on my own, I could not have done as quickly and clearly without Sarah's mentorship. The end result of our work together was a highly successful retirement transition of my former business partner, strengthened relationships with clients and staff, and a concrete view of ideal clients and practice strengths that allow me to grow in healthy ways, well into the future. If you have a major leadership transition in front of you, working with Sarah is one of the best things you could do.

Gabe Lajeunesse, Financial Advisor, Montpelier, VT

It is fascinating to me how each time I sit in the experience of Sarah’s six step meditation it feels both familiar and new at the same time. These steps have a beautiful way of meeting me exactly where I’m at in that particular moment…one session it may be the nourishment of landing back into my body, another time it may be the joy of reflecting on how much has shifted through our work together or the inspiration for full expression of my next dream. I am so grateful for this valuable and insightful tool!

Jenny Dunham, Dunham Brothers Painting, Cabot, VT

Sarah is my Leadership Mentor, but what she does is much more than helping me be a better leader. She helps me find perspective on my various projects, generate a positive and kind attitude to my many activities and to myself, and most importantly reminds me of the importance for staying present in my work life and personal life. We have all seen coaching that integrates mindfulness, but Sarah's expertise in this is outstanding. The benefits are vast and powerful. I highly recommend her to anyone who wants to do what they do much much better.

In my meetings with Sarah, I get a feeling of an expanded space. It's as if my mind has more room to move than before we talk. Through practicing with her, just being where I am, I can see new possibilities in that space and new directions to go. The claustrophobia of my working environment dissolves, and I get a glimpse, however fleetingly, of my own freedom. Then Sarah provides a way to practice being where I am so I can get back to that space and freedom when I need it most.

Jim Infantino, Slabmedia, Boston, MA

Sarah's leadership mentoring skills are exceptional. She has a unique ability to draw out insights through conversation, art, guided meditation, and creative exploration of past and present relationships in business. Ultimately, my sessions with her resulted in a new, more creative direction for my business. As a side benefit, we are continuing to work together collaboratively on projects that involve storytelling through different forms of digital media.

Lee Purcell, Owner, Lightspeed Publishing, LLC

Sarah was instrumental in “heart storming” with my partner and me to develop a logo for our Acupuncture business. Sarah’s in-the-moment presence and attention to what we most wanted to convey with our logo was unwavering. We came away with the perfect product!

Amy Wheeler, The Acupuncture Works, St. Johnsbury, VT

Sarah Lipton has been a compassionate and sharp mentor to me. She can guide people into their own wisdom with genuine friendly leadership. Her sunny disposition allowed me to hear her advice even when I wasn’t particularly open. The best advice I received from her was: “You have to let things fall apart.” On that occasion, she gave me permission to feel where I was and accept my experience. Her technique of bringing mindfulness of the body into daily life has uplifted some grey situations for me, enabling me to have more attention in my life, and at the same time experiencing the brilliance of my surroundings.

Emma Cataford, Gampo Abbey, Nova Scotia

I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with Sarah on numerous occasions. In her leadership role, she has impressed me more than once with her ability to face challenging situations with a calm presence and strong integrity. Sarah carries an energy that has beautiful depth and understanding, which she compliments quite nicely with her excellent organizational skills and extensive knowledge. I highly recommend her, she is a great asset and resource to everyone she works with.

Mary Mulally, Hunger Mountain Coop, Montpelier, VT

I have known Sarah and her work in my capacity as the President of Shambhala. We are a global network that offers contemplative practices for people from all walks of life, interested in creating enlightened society. We needed an online community news magazine to serve our worldwide members. Once “Shambhala Times” was developed, we needed a creative, inspiring and determined editor-in-chief to spearhead it. That person was Sarah. To do that, she had to create an international team of volunteer correspondents, editors and photographers.

That meant reaching out, guiding, encouraging and sustaining a whole team, essentially by phone, skype, email and social media. She was not able to offer any inducements, like money or awards. She had to make this happen on the strength of her leadership, the warmth of her personality and the delight people felt in working with her and contributing to the project. The results have spoken for themselves. We started with a handful of articles and photos. Today, a new feature story appears six days a week, and the site is visited an average of 10,000 times a week. True to the original inspiration of a community news magazine, at least 98% of all Shambhala Times 2,645 stories have been by local community members. I need say nothing more. Sarah’s leadership speaks for itself.

Richard Reoch, London, UK

The class I took from Sarah focused on embodiment—being present in my body in order to more directly and fully experience my reality. This focus was perfect for me because I am a person who spends most of my time living up in my head. I have been involved with academics all my life, first as a student and for the past twenty years as a teacher, and this profession has enhanced my natural tendency to spend a great deal of time THINKING about the world and breaking it down in terms of academic disciplines and concepts and theories. My habitual pattern is to intellectualize my experience rather than actually FEELING my experience as it happens. Sarah’s Presence Point class was very challenging for me, but also extremely enlightening. It was wonderful to dedicate time and take part in activities that encouraged me to simply FEEL my body and how it interacts with the world. Throughout the class, Sarah was an energetic, compassionate and knowledgeable teacher and leader. I would recommend her services to anyone wanting to develop the capacity to experience the world more fully and richly.

J. Bradley Materick, Burlington, VT

Sarah has an innate capacity to nurture when she talks or just sits silently listening to you with her full body. It feels like her special style of empowering invokes by itself the pulsation of your creative heart, which suddenly wants to sing and dance and express itself without the usual restrictions. Sarah is not afraid to feel, a quality so rare in our modern society of safe formality. And that’s why in her presence you let yourself feel, and shake off the blockages of daily routine and discover new ways to celebrate life, or, in other words: to be a leader.

Ella Reznikova, Barnet, VT

Whenever I am around Sarah, I find myself softly able to be more grounded, present in my body, and able to open my heart. I’ve always knows that I could come to Sarah with my most difficult and intimate personal challenges, and that her gentle approach will help me touch my own wisdom. She acted as the officiant and advisor for my marriage, and was integral to leading all of our guests (and us!) to be be able to relax into one of the most precious moments in my memory. She’s incredible!

Dr. Sarah Kimball, Boston, MA

Sarah lives affectionately and generously in ways that had the effect of disarming me. Sarah asked me to help her with some difficult problems at one point, and no matter how I floundered and thrashed, she found ways to lift me up to do a little better. On the one hand Sarah is warm and affectionate. Her way is to be with people as a dear friend. To be her friend is a gift. On the other hand, her presence in front of a group or room full of people is potent and on-point. The warm, approachable woman who makes anyone feel welcome and dear is also a powerful speaker and facilitator. Sarah has the gift of being genuinely humble so that her message has real power – I am lucky to have her as model of being simple, humble and powerful all at once.

Joe Snowdon, Boston, MA

Sarah has been my meditation instructor now for many years, and in many ways has become a leadership mentor for me in my life. I have seen her wisdom and brilliance shine through while she has journeyed with me through the vast terrain of my own mind as I navigate the world. She has warmth, but also the sharpness to cut through confusion. She has vision and clarity, but also spaciousness and a sense of joy and fun. Working with her is pure joy, and leadership through presence is something she is expert in. I highly recommend her – she is excellent at what she does. She will help you tap into the well of goodness and presence inside of you – the place where true leadership is born.

Dr. Angela Borges, Boston, MA