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 life of presence, impact, and joy is available to everyone.


Unfortunately, it’s easy to find ourselves moving from one moment to another without much thought – stressed and preoccupied. Instead of life feeling spacious and meaningful, we can feel constricted and anxious.


But it doesn’t have to be this way.


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. The second breath is a gateway into the present moment where we connect with God and our true selves.


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 the spaciousness necessary for a second breath to occur.


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, Ph.D, joined Patterson to ensure that the school was able to offer 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, incorporating works from thought leaders across many disciplines.

Our commitment in growth is to "Trust Flow"

Over the past three decades we’ve served the local Greensboro, NC community. As we grow our digital presence through the Second Breath app, online school, and virtual workshops, we continue to trust Divine flow. Guided by our core tenets, we believe in creating space for regular dreaming and discernment to determine our next steps.


We produce quality work in all areas.
We share our perspectives, even when disagreement is uncomfortable.
We are invested in and responsible for our work at Second Breath.
We practice and bring this consciousness to our work.
We treat them as such.
We are open and curious even with daunting concepts, ideas, and situations.
We trust that there is wisdom and divine within all of us and create the space to build on the insights of one another.
We are co-creating with the Divine and sense what is working, not working, and may work.
Clear is kind.
We believe in the importance of risk-taking and iterating towards excellence. Do your best; when you know better; do better.
We recruit, inspire, and provide clarity so people can flourish in their giftedness.


A weekly reflection and guided audio spiritual practice delivered to your inbox every Tuesday.