Sitting before the calm and safety of a still pond, you have chosen to take time to pause in the moment. You begin to listen, to notice. You attend to your thoughts, your emotions, and, ultimately, your body.

You develop a new relationship with your body, your soma, discovering and then working with whatever your perceived barriers may be. You are also more aware of your moods and emotions, and your language. You are willing to look at what has gotten in the way of you being able to do so, and you know now what you need to do differently.

You declare your commitments, your goals. You live into your declarations -- what you want for your life. You begin to experience your life from a new and expanded perspective.

You choose to do the work to become embodied – to live within and through your body.  From this place of embodiment, you have a grounded awareness as well as the skills to create and fulfill on your commitments.


Tom McSteen chose the path of being a life coach from the perspective that our organizations and communities can create the world we desire only when they have the ability to design from a new perspective or paradigm; and, in turn, this will happen only when we, as individuals, have the skills and abilities to look at our own lives differently, and to design our life from a place of embodiment.

Tom has the following certifications: as an Associate Certified Coach, by the International Coaching Federation; as a somatic coach, by the Strozzi Institute; as an ontological coach, by the Newfield Network; and, as a voice coach, by Full Voice. See Services for more information on these modalities. 

After completing a twenty-nine year legal and compliance career in Minneapolis in 2016, Tom relocated to Northern California to establish Still Pond, starting a second career to assist others to live powerful and purposeful lives.

In addition to his coaching practice, Tom is the founder of Sacred Discourse.


You come as you are, already a complete and whole person. And, you want to change, shift, or create something in your life, and you want the support of someone to do that.



Somatic & Ontological Coaching

Consider these two premises as a way to understand what somatic coaching may provide. The first premise is that our body, our soma, is where everything happens. While some may speak of body, mind, and spirit as distinct components, as one example, somatic coaching sees all three as one. The second premise is that somatic coaching works in, with, and through the body; for example, one aspect is to increase awareness of what our body may be speaking to us, while another is to engage in specific practices in order to support desired changes.

From a belief that our bodies remember everything that has happened to us in our life, we are ourselves the best possible source of change – and sometimes the block to the change we desire. With somatics, we do a deep dive, discovering what is in our body that wants to teach us what we need to know, and then using our bodies to live into the person we desire to be. Somatic coaching includes a variety of physical practices as well as bodywork.

With ontological coaching, we look at how you are “being or existing” in the world, with an eye toward changing or shifting your being or existence. We look at this “being or existence” at the intersection of our linguistic capability (language), our expression of moods and emotions, and how we live in our body. By changing or shifting, we expand our ability to create the world we desire.

So, with this integration of somatic and ontological coaching, we will together look at what is occurring for you, identify any moods or emotions that may be surfacing for you, and be more aware of what may be happening in your body as you describe a situation. In turn, you will see whether shifts or changes in any or all of these domains may be beneficial for you.


Voice Coaching

We all have access to multiple voices -- and the capacity to expand our range of voices for greater effectiveness and fulfillment in our world. Working with either musical notes and/or the spoken word, we discover what our voices can do!

Based on Barbara McAfee’s Full Voice methodology, we expand our five vocal elements – Earth, Fire, Water, Metal, and Air.  For example, someone who feels challenged to speak in a boardroom or in front of a group discovers capacity to call on the Earth and Fire voice for groundedness and passion. And, on the other end of the spectrum, someone who might be described as a bulldozer in a group learns how to convey messages more softly with a Water or Air Voice. These are just two quick examples of the possibilities to be discovered as we explore our voice.

I offer Voice Coaching on its own as well as a component of my somatic coaching.


Immersion Coaching

Immersion Coaching will be for you if you wish to move from a conventional weekly/bi-weekly coaching engagement to one in which we are in an intensive collaborative relationship. Usually more short-term than a regular coaching relationship, Immersion Coaching may be for you if you are desiring intense focus on a particular goal or vision. Immersion Coaching provides a high degree of accessibility, accountability, and challenge.

With Immersion Coaching, we set up the arrangement together, as it will be highly tailored to your goals and commitments. The foundation of Immersion Coaching will be the somatic and ontological coaching described above; the difference is in both your level of commitment and engagement as well as my level of accessibility and collaboration. Essentially, Immersion Coaching requires a tight partnership with great accountability, which can include daily contact.


Team Coaching

All individual coaching services can be adapted to team development, depending on the goals and needs of your team. Team coaching can take multiple forms, from teaching somatic practices to a team version of Immersion Coaching.

Imagine a team that centers together, that is aligned to a common declaration or commitment, and that is aware of each team member’s commitment for personal and professional growth. Imagine a team that encourages discussion of moods and emotions, knowing that they affect a team’s effectiveness, particularly when unspoken. Imagine a team that uses common language, that can make powerful requests as well as accept powerful declines.

As with Immersion Coaching for individuals, Team Coaching is designed collaboratively with all members of the team, following an intake and assessment process to understand your team’s goals and challenges.