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  • Writer's pictureAlexis Goggans, PCC

Meet our Spring 2024 Fellow - Alexis Flanagan

We are happy to introduce you to Alexis Flanagan; a story-teller, facilitator, consultant, ancestral bridge and purpose coach, and CEO of ARVEL Group. She was also recently a student from our Fall 2023 Cohort and graces us again as our Spring 2024 Fellow. During her time studying with the IFCE, Alexis was a grounding, energetic and compassionate presence in our cohort. Her care for all Living Beings and talent for asking powerful questions made her a magnetic coach. She was also a highly engaged student, receiving the highest score in her Capstone Project and completing the bonus promotional package and business plan - showing her diligence as a coach and business owner.


Check out our latest blog to learn more about Alexis’ journey into ancestral coaching. She also shares what it was like to be a student in our Coach Training Program and what she has been up to since graduating.


Can you tell us about yourself?

I am a storyteller and a compassionate facilitator of transformative learning environments that move us towards collective liberation. I am a cultural worker, writer, painter, healer, coach, community organizer, and non-profit leader.As an Ancestral Bridge and Purpose Coach and creator of the Ancestral Bridging℠ brand, I founded and am CEO of ARVEL Group. I am also co-director of Resonance Network, a network of over 3,000 BIPOC, immigrant, women, femme, trans, and two-spirit people and their co-conspirators who are building a world rooted in mutual care, where all people live in dignity, and all beings can thrive.

My approach to coaching and consulting is rooted in 30 years of experience in organizational leadership, teaching across the lifespan, and facilitating transformative adult learning environments that prioritize the non-cognitive dimensions of learning – learning that is embodied (somatics), spiritual, and narrative. I believe, and research supports, that the principles of adult education and transformative learning theory are strongly linked to learning in coaching relationships.You can read more of my thoughts here on my blog.


Can you tell us about your work? ARVEL Group is my ancestors-inspired, spirit guided coaching and consulting practice. Opening my own connection to my ancestors grounded me in my life’s purpose to heal and transform ancestral wounds and plant new roots in fertile ground for future generations to thrive. Bold purpose changed how I live and work and blew open the possibilities I see for transformation in people, in movements for liberation and in the world. 

Why ARVEL “Group”? Because I don’t do any of this alone. ARVEL is a combination of my grandmothers’ names — Arleva + Marvel. I give thanks always to my ancestors and the folks I work with for supporting, guiding and cheering us on.


What motivated you to become a coach?

The day I renegotiated my fear-based relationship with my ancestors felt like my shaman had taken me by the hand, walked me over to my foregone beloveds, placed my hand gently in theirs and said, “here she is, y’all”. They’d been waiting for me—and I have never felt more loved, more warmth and more belonging.


Our ancestors are cheering us on as we re-member who we really are and find the confidence, clarity and resourcefulness we need to accomplish the things that matter the most to us. Coaching is the best way I know to unleash the greatest power to transform your life and future — you!


Who do you work with?

I coach badass, spirit-centered folk who want to connect with ancestral abundance and bold purpose so they can experience healing and liberation in their own lives and be about the super important transformative work they came to do in this world.


What services do you offer?

I provide consulting, and individual and group coaching. My coaching is all about partnering with clients to unleash the power within them, so they can boldly live a purposeful life and future. It’s like the words of Atul Gwande, “If you want to get GREAT at something, get a coach!”. 


As a consultant, I help organizations figure out what it would take for their staff, community, or group to move together towards a bold purpose. I guide organizations towards embodied, spiritual, and storied ways of knowing that allow everyone to arrive at a vision and create a plan, together. 

Why is your work centered with ancestors?

As a descendant of enslaved Africans in the US, I lived most of my life believing that the possibility of knowing and having deep connections to my ancestral lineages was stolen from me by colonialism and white supremacy. In the midst of transformative adult learning and leadership experiences, I discovered a path back to my severed roots and that process and journey filled me with a deep sense of purpose: to heal the generations before me, by how I live my life today, for the sake of the generations to come. I dedicate my work to supporting others on similar journeys of purpose.


Our collective ancestors are a source of infinite abundance and wisdom. The people, animals, plants, lands, waters, and stars that existed before us are with us and in us. Through reconnection with them, we can co-create healing, freedom and thriving for ourselves and future generations.


What are your core values and vision? I see the possibility of a world in which humans have healthy, thriving, reciprocal relationships with each other, the land, waters, all living beings and ancestral beings—where we all get to thrive in abundance, joy, love and ease now and into the future.

What was it like being an IFCE student? Any advice to future students?


I joined IFCE shortly after turning 50 years old. I had never done an online course despite years of working and facilitating virtually and was nervous about my ability to manage all the moving parts while working full-time. I felt very supported through the adjustment. Information and expectations were shared with students  multiple times in multiple ways and the instructors took the time at the beginning of each class to answer our questions about content or process each week.


Alexis pictured with the rest of her Fall 2023 Cohort

The journey through the content and process was transformational for me. I came to understand coaching to be the unnamed missing piece of what I get to offer to the world. I started the program with my own ideas about what coaching is but, over time, in many ways, I came to understand coaching as commitment to a way of being with people that aligns deeply with my core values and worldview. And, while I thought I knew how I wanted to use coaching in my career at the start, my clarity and sense of possibilities expanded week by week. This course helped me to see myself more fully and filled in gaps in my confidence to grow my practice as an entrepreneur. 


My advice to future students is to come in open and trust the process. Meet this opportunity with your whole self and the possibilities for who you become as a coach may very well surprise you. I am so moved and blown away by the evolution of the peers in my cohort – for me, it’s the greatest evidence of the impact of coaching and the quality of mentor and peer coaching students get throughout the entire course.


What have you been up to since graduation?


Since graduating, I have been growing my practice with new coaching clients who inspire me to keep doing exactly what I came here to do, as I support them to do the same. And I have been really excited to work with new genealogy research clients. Through this supportive service, they are finding meaningful information to help them build or repair ancestral connections, understand and integrate their lineages and the meaning they make of it all for their own purpose journeys. 


My focus over the next few months is completing the coaching hours I need for the ACC level credential with the International Coaching Federation, which I aim to have by the end of the summer.


Any final words to share?


I have referred and will continue to refer friends and colleagues to IFCE because of the transformative impact the program has had on me. It was the most intimate educational experience I have ever had and that authentic meeting of instructors and students in our full humanity and in rigorous practice and reflection together has made me a better coach, with confidence in my life and professional experience to resource what I offer to the world. 


Interested in working with Alexis?

I invite you to schedule a discovery session where we grab tea or coffee and talk by Zoom about your goals and motivation for pursuing coaching. Then we can see if we’re a good fit to work together. And there’s no cost and no obligation for those sessions.


A Note from our Founders 


Alexis is a talented and inspiring coach. 100% of her peers strongly recommended her coaching services after a review process. Alexis brings so much of herself to her coaching and our world. We appreciate all her contributions to our cohort and are excited she can share her wisdom with our current students. Please join us in following Alexis to see what comes next in her journey!


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