About Ryan Polly
My life has not been easy. I lost both of parents by age 18. I watched my grandmother die in front of me at age 12. I was raised by an abusive step-father. I was a “weird fat kid” who always got made fun of and bullied simply because I was different. I had my first child when I was just 16 years old. I have a chronic health condition. I have been homeless. I have been divorced.
In my mid-20s I came out as a transgender man and went through the medical and surgical process to transition from female to male embodiment. Despite this being a lifesaving move for me, I was rejected by many people including family members, friends, and my (at the time) faith community. I turned inward and made a decision that I didn’t need people and that truly I only needed myself and my children.
I was wrong.
Over the years I grew lonely, frustrated, and even more hurt. While I always knew that transitioning was the right decision for me, I couldn’t help but feel even more isolated. Even within what was supposed to be my own community (the LGBTQ+ community) I felt alone and rejected. It wasn’t until I began to work with spiritual practices, in a secular sort of way, (I was identifying as an atheist at the time) did I start to open up and begin to discover why community is so important.
There is something powerful about sharing experiences together. Perhaps that is why ritual blurs the lines between religious and secular and spans across the worlds wisdom traditions. Shared experiences, when thoughtful and with meaning, bring people together in a profound way and allows people to put down their guards and connect. And through this connection, people feel heard, understand, valued, and loved. When that happens, they are capable of powerful positive transformation and growth.
It is my belief that community is necessary to change our world. I have experienced it first hand and I have a desire to allow others the privilege of experiencing it as well. A place, free of judgment, to be yourself and to be loved.
It is my deepest desire to cultivate this community so that we connect, learn, and grow together. And while I may be seen as our leader, Community Inspired is a group effort. That said, for those reading this looking for more about my credentials let me share a little about my professional background.
I have had the privilege of speaking at dozens of events, teaching skills on resilient and authentic living. I have also worked closely with countless individuals through training and coaching, and have acted as a partner to executive leadership assisting in developing a culture of authenticity, resilience, and courage.
When you acquire the courage to learn and explore, the resilience to navigate adversity and the mindset to live and lead with authenticity, you will transform. Not transform into something unrecognizable, but quite the opposite. You will look into the mirror for the first time, and truly feel as though the world is seeing who you are — your skills, your achievements, your potential.
The effect of this reshapes your life. Your stress levels will decrease. You have more time and energy for what’s important. You comfortably respond to roadblocks and easily navigate new and changing realities. You are consistently learning, viewing problems as opportunities. You generate innovative solutions that get results and because transformation cannot happen alone, you contribute to and strengthen your community.
I am an ordained interfaith/interspiritual minister affiliated with One Spirit Interfaith and Learning Allianec. I hold the core belief that community, compassion, and love are antidotes to human pain and suffering. I identify as spiritual but not religious type and I have a deep respect for the worlds great wisdom traditions. Professionally, I have worked in the fields of higher education, leadership, and organizational development for the past 20 years. I have completed a Bachelors and Master’s degree with an education focus and completed a PhD with a transformation focus. I have also completed numerous advanced certifications in areas such as emotional intelligence, neuroscience, power and systems, coaching, and diversity & inclusion. In 2013 I was honored by the Association for Talent Development, Vermont Chapter, as a leader in Learning & Development and in 2017 a leadership program I developed and facilitate received a Global Award in Leadership Development by HR.COM.
When was the last time you felt connected and part of something bigger than yourself?
When was the last time you felt loved and cherished for who you are and what you offer the world?
I believe community is the answer. Join me here at Community Inspired. If you are in Vermont or surrounding areas, please come to our local events. If you are not, attend our virtual events. Grow with us. Connect with us. And together let’s change our world.