Bio: Born in San Diego, I spent some of my younger years in West Virginia's back woods, on the Erie Bay of Pennsylvania and along the Red River in Bossier City, Louisiana and was so fortunate to be surrounded by a large, warm and caring family. During my short tour in the Air Force as a photographer, I roamed the arroyos around Sandia Peak near Albuquerque, New Mexico, camera in hand, discovering baby owls, herds of mule deer, and unbelievable sunsets of cerulean blue with hot orange running down from a canvas of clouds to soak into the desert sand. With beauty and adventure all around, decades slipped by before I began to realize the real treasure I had...myself.

Moving beyond those decades, today my passion is assisting others (who are interested) to find their own niche of self awareness and its inner governance, and spreading methods and practices in the world which directly contribute to this discovery. (example) In simple terms, this comes down to unlearning some of the conditioning one accumulates as they move through life, replacing these with more harmonious layers of interaction. Images of both self and others rise to a higher understanding and value. Communication, affirmation and trust become more fluid and natural, and conflict is managed more easily. Overall, this takes "community building" beyond being a buzz word or cliché to being the foundation of what it means to be human and social.

Starting around 1993 in a more peripheral association with AVP (the Alternatives to Violence Project), my life is now intertwined with AVP as a network of organizations which share my values and which facilitate this much needed attitudinal shift worldwide. You too can take part in the healing of our world in visible, measurable ways. For more information, visit the web site for our local volunteer nonprofit group, AVP - Antelope Valley:  (Thanks, Doug Couch, AVPAV Cofounder)

Fun stuff: In the early 70s, I began gathering basic family tree information. Today, genealogy is a non-serious hobby, and yet it turns out it is one with benefits. In 2008, I created a web site with a dynamic database allowing family to add or edit family information. Over the years, this has become a way in which family across the country have drawn closer. New cousins and branches of the family have been found. My mother was orphaned at a young age, and her youngest sister, an infant at the time, was adopted and disappeared from the family, leaving her 11 brothers and sisters to but tell the story and wonder how their baby sister had done in life. In July 2012, a daughter of this aunt of mine discovered some partial adoption papers and began to search the web for clues. Discovering my site, she found a notice that we were looking for her mother. After 84 years, she was reunited with her birth family and some happy tears were shed. Although the lineages are often uncertain or at times perhaps invented by people in the distant past, or even mythological in nature, the lineages now go back some 6,000 years to the fabled Adam and Eve. True and accurate or not, it has been a fun journey through time, causing me to have a deeper appreciation of family and history. When I hear about the Mayflower, for instance, I think, "Oh yeah, one of my umpteenth great grandfathers was on that voyage for his second trip to the Americas." And I chuckle to myself, "How cool is that?" For more information, visit our family site, named after my maternal grandparents...(you will not be able to see details on living persons without a member account):

© Doug Couch