Our Story


“Pathmaker, there is no path.  We make the path by walking.” 


“Caminante, no hay camino….Se hace camino al andar.”


-Antonio Machado


At Second Breath we believe that a fully expressed life of presence, impact, and joy is available to everyone. Unfortunately, often we find ourselves moving from one moment of life to another without much thought, stressed and preoccupied. Instead of life feeling spacious and meaningful, we can feel constricted and anxious. But as we learn to cultivate a vibrant inward spiritual journey, we discover a fullness of life that overflows to everyone around us.


The name Second Breath describes this shift. Often with our first breath we automatically react to a situation. The second breath provides an opportunity to pause, reflect, connect, and respond. It is the gateway into the present moment where we connect with God and our true selves so that we can live the free and full life that God intended for us.


For us, everything hinges on moving beyond mere intellectual understanding of God, faith, and love to actually experiencing them with mind, heart, and body. The best method we know for cultivating this shift is spiritual practice. Spiritual practice creates space for a shift to occur; a shift from fear to love, from braced to open, from anxious to trusting. Spiritual practice creates spaciousness within that allows a second breath to occur.


We began as a servant leadership school, expanded our focus on practice, and are trusting flow in our growth beyond home base.

Our teachers are always students; and many students have become teachers

The Servant leadership school was founded in 1991 by Reverend Tim Patterson who personally discovered the power of merging an inner spiritual journey with his outward-focused professional life as an Episcopal priest. After attending numerous courses at the school, Ruth Anderson, PhD, joined the team with Patterson to ensure that the school was able to offer the students the breadth and depth of teachings that were being requested. Reverend Greg Farrand followed a similar path, beginning his time with the school as student before joining the team in 2016 and assuming the role of Executive Director in 2021. Two more of our current staff members began their journey with Second Breath as students in the classroom.

Our roots are in the Christian wisdom; and this wisdom cultivates our curiosity

In addition to foundational Christian texts, our curricula and practices are grounded in the insights and wisdom of thinkers such as Henri Nouwen, Cynthia Bourgeault, Phyllis Tickle, Brian McLaren, Phillip Shepard, Thomas Merton, Richard Rohr, and hundreds of others. We have been fortunate to have many of these leaders support the efforts of Second Breath as national conference speakers, workshops leaders, and organizational mentors. We read widely with the openness and curiosity that comes from grounded practice often incorporating works from leading scientific, psychological, mathematical and thought leaders across many disciplines.

Our commitment in growth is to "Trust Flow"

Over the past three decades we have served the local Greensboro community and reached thousands in national conferences. We continue to trust divine flow as we grow our digital presence through our mobile app, online school, and virtual workshops. Guided by our core tenets, we believe in creating space for regular dreaming and discernment to determine our next steps.