Greetings artists, visionaries, entrepreneurs, pioneers, and creatives…
I’ve always been fascinated by how adults learn in life and how change happens, and I pursued this question through research at the University of Chicago where I was mentored by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, The New York Times Bestselling Author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. I received a PhD from the University of Chicago and was awarded an Outstanding Research Award from the American Educational Research Association for my research. I went on to co-author several articles with Mihaly and to teach at a variety of prestigious places, including Pacifica Graduate Institute and the Esalen Institute.
But something was missing.
My academic training could only take me so far…because when you open new terrain, you are — by definition — doing something new. While I have solid academic credentials, a series of mystical experiences changed the course and direction of my life and work, ultimately guiding me to develop Doorway Sessions. We humans have a way of learning and knowing that allows us to learn from a vast, intelligent dimension… that lies beyond the perception of the linear mind.
1. Official bio
2. Lectures, podcasts and interviews
3. Media interviews about my book Getting Messy
4. Personal story
1. Official Bio
Kim Hermanson, PhD is an author, coach and educator who currently serves as adjunct faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute and Meridian University. Her books include Getting Messy: A Guide to Taking Risks and Opening the Imagination and Sky’s the Limit: The Art of Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey, which received an Independent Publisher Book Award. She has also co-authored book chapters and articles with Anthony S. Bryk, president of the Carnegie Foundation, as well as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of The New York Times bestseller, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, who said this of Kim’s current work: “Not since Carlos Castenada’s books 40 years ago have I had such a strong reaction to anything written. This is very powerful stuff.”
Kim has previously taught at Sophia Center at Holy Names University, University of California Berkeley Extension, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and the Esalen Institute. Her PhD is from the University of Chicago, where her doctoral research earned her an Outstanding Research Award from the American Educational Research Association. Kim worked as a corporate computer scientist in the field of artificial intelligence before a series of mystical experiences changed the course of her life and launched her calling to expand our human ways of learning and knowing.
In her unique Doorway sessions and classes, Kim has guided hundreds of people to tap into Source Energy and unleash their most vital creative powers. These energies bring a transformative shift, catalyze breakthroughs and answer whatever the person is going through on a wholly new level of creative expression and healing. While our spiritual and psychological difficulties are of the mind and psyche, metaphor is an entryway into the Deep Creative that lies beyond the linear mind.
INTERVIEWS and BOOK TALKS…
2. Lectures and interviews about Doorway Sessions
3. Media interviews about Getting Messy
4. Personal Story
When I was 26 I worked as a corporate computer scientist for a large corporation in downtown Chicago. One weekend, I flew with my boyfriend to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to see the fall colors. Late at night as we cruised down the highway at 65 miles per hour, a car crossed the center line and hit us head-on. I did not lose consciousness, but I was critically injured—I had no feeling below the waist and I knew my back was broken.
After being transported by local paramedics to the local county hospital, I had to wait several hours for an air ambulance. I was scared, traumatized and in a great deal of physical pain. Eventually, a nurse walked in and when she saw my condition, she whispered in my ear, “Imagine that you’re floating on a cloud.” So I closed my eyes and imagined myself on a light, soft cloud. Almost instantly, my body shifted into a place of peace and calm.
I was eventually airlifted to the Mayo Clinic where doctors told me I’d broken T-12 and displaced my spinal cord by 40 degrees. They gave me less than 5% chance of walking again.
But remarkably…within several months, my body regained full functioning. I healed much quicker than was thought to be possible by experts at the Mayo Clinic and today, no one would ever guess at the extent of my injuries.
I believe this accident was my first real experience of the power of metaphoric energy and how central it is for shifts, breakthroughs and healing. Metaphor is how potent shamanic earth energies can express through us.
A few years later…
I interviewed for a faculty position at Meridian University and during the interview, the President of the school asked me what I wanted to teach. Instead of responding to him with curricula that I was already prepared to teach, to my great surprise Spirit spoke through me and said that I would be teaching a course on metaphor. The President of the school promptly agreed and I was stunned.
I knew nothing about metaphor as an academic subject.
As I conducted research for the course, I was led by Spirit to remarkable out-of-print resources and books that taken together, suggested there was a realm of deep beauty that lies under the surface of human consciousness. We humans can’t access this dimension through our ordinary ways of knowing and I developed a deep longing to see beyond my ordinary vision and perception. I spent these months gazing at the world around me, trying to find “the way in” to this compelling — yet imperceptible — place.
As if in response to my plea, when the course ended I had a life-changing mystical experience. Upon waking from an ordinary dream, I found myself in the backyard of the home where I grew up…but nothing about this was ordinary. Everything around me—land, trees, flowers, creatures—was pulsing with exquisite, otherworldly beauty. I gazed in wonder at this stunning sight, before being forcefully yanked into the air and pummeled through the sky toward distant mountains.
As I got closer to the mountains, I could see that they weren’t “real” — they were an “image” of mountains painted on something like a huge billboard. I was being pushed/pulled at a high velocity towards it and I was afraid…it looked like I was going to slam into it and die. But just at the last second before slamming into the billboard, I was yanked onto a train that was going through a tunnel in the mountain. I looked out the train windows and again I saw…the amazing, pulsing energy—behind the billboard facade. When I saw the exquisite beauty again, a voice very clearly said, “third space” and I was bolted back into ordinary reality.
Since the age of 13 I’ve had a number of powerful mystical experiences, but the urgency and clarity of this one was very different.
I was being Called.
I knew without a doubt that I was being asked to open this dimension for others.
What we humans “see” is the artificial facade (the “billboard”). We can’t perceive the beautiful, dancing energy because we’ve been taught to perceive the world cognitively…through our minds.
But our minds can’t perceive this realm; only our sensory bodies can.
Metaphor is a direct way in…to a realm of Source Energy and breathtaking beauty that lies beyond our customary ways of knowing and perceiving.
This is the place where creative breakthroughs happen.
Most importantly, these shamanic Source energies urgently want to heal our world.