Highest Ground Institute

Working to advance emotional literacy and promote best practices for developing self-mastery.

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About The Highest Ground Institute


The mission of The Highest Ground Institute is to facilitate the emergence of an integral approach to emotional intelligence that

  • encompasses a holistic and heart-centered view of being human;
  • fosters self-mastery, internal emancipation, and the ability to bring about everyday transformation; and
  • provides individuals with the keys to empowering and accelerating their personal growth and evolution on a sustainable and ever-expanding basis.
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We envision a world in which having a holistic understanding of how to be emotionally intelligent is commonplace. This integral emotional intelligence approach to personal development encompasses all four domains of human expression and how they interact: mind, body, emotions, and spirit or consciousness.


Our aim is to provide individuals with the knowledge, tools, and coaching necessary to empower them to be their best selves. In other words, to enable individuals to empower themselves to develop self-mastery, cultivate an unshakeable sense of their inner being, and operate more fully from their personal highest ground.


We envision working collaboratively with like-minded individuals and organizations to make integral emotional intelligence education and coaching more widely available. This includes expanding the community of people who are committed to fostering emotional intelligence and empowering them with practical ways of generating co-creative, “you and me” outcomes in their lives and in the world.

The Highest Ground Institute is committed to empowering individuals to achieve positive outcomes across all areas of their lives.

Here are some of the intended outcomes possible for our clients.

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Accelerate your personal growth, build a stronger foundation and ground of being for your life, and increase your sense of agency and ability to manifest the life you want.

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Master the ability to consistently shift problems, challenges, and breakdowns
into breakthroughs and opportunities for growth.

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Cultivate the art of everyday transformation by choosing to own your reactions and author your responses in ways that shift dysfunctional, reactive, adversarial dynamics to functional, respectful, mutually beneficial ones.

About Us

Shannon Howard headshot

Shannon M. Howard

Co-Founder, Managing Director

Spiritual teacher, personal development life coach, parenting mentor…

Spiritual teacher, personal development life coach, parenting mentor…

Lonnie Green

Lonnie Green

Co-Founder, Director of Programs

Counselor, workshop facilitator, public speaker, teacher…

Counselor, workshop facilitator, public speaker, teacher…

What Our Clients Say

“Shannon possesses an extraordinary blend of business and leadership development expertise, spiritual wisdom, visionary thinking, and heart. It is such a joy and pleasure to work with Shannon. Her insights have helped me tremendously. It’s a gift to have her Integral Emotional Intelligence training available now to everyone through her book. The core competency training and exercises can help you dig deeper into yourself, bringing forth greater happiness and positive transformation in your personal and professional life.”


“Lonnie has been an instrumental part of my life these past few months. Her gentle and loving ways of encouraging me to live in alignment with my heart and soul and take actions that are ‘above the line’ in my relationships have proven to be life changing. I can’t imagine going through these difficult times and transitions without her heartfelt active listening skills that have helped me understand myself in a more deep and beautiful way.”


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Everyone is at a unique place in their path of personal growth and evolution. Wherever you are is the ideal place from which you can grow and evolve.

We have developed a way of working with clients that is a combination of life coaching, counseling, and teaching. While our clients have reported that their work with us has been deeply healing and therapeutic, our approach is more proactive and instructive than traditional talk therapy.

Why People Work With Us

They are in the midst of a challenging breakdown  or are going through a difficult transition.

They feel called to focus on their personal growth and enhance the quality of their life.

We feel strongly that these reasons are not mutually exclusive, and we work to empower our clients to master the ability to turn breakdowns into breakthroughs while they are doing the work of inner emancipation.

We begin working with each client by clarifying their goals and creating a process that is custom-tailored to their individual needs. We strive to avoid applying band-aid solutions to problems and instead work to heal and transform the underlying dynamics.

When clients come to us in a state of disequilibrium, we work with them to recover their sense of equilibrium. This work is done within a larger context of empowering them to gain the emotional literacy, practical skills, and sense of their inner being necessary for deep change and sustainable growth.

Finding Your Highest Ground

Being emotionally intelligent is not a destination; it’s a moment-by-moment practice of constantly bringing yourself back to your most centered, grounded sense of self.

There are two basic paradigms or domains available from which to approach life at every moment: either adversarial (you or me) or nonadversarial (you and me).

You have a choice about where you operate from in life. You don’t have to be different from the way you already are. It is a matter of changing your perspective and choosing to take a more heart-centered approach to life by replacing old, habitual, and dysfunctional patterns with more functional ones.

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“Working with you has really helped me become conscious of many distinctions that have continued to transform my life on a daily basis as I apply them. One example of many of these distinctions includes the ability to own my reactions and author my responses. Witnessing my reactions when they occur and taking time to choose conscious heart-centered responses is like a spark that ignites a whole new way of experiencing life.

“The tools and pointers you teach have helped me recognize that life is a co-creative process, not something that is ‘happening to me.’ As this reality unfolds, who I think I am dissolves into the gratitude that fills my heart, and life is full of creative possibilities.”



Living Above the Line:
An Introduction to Self-Mastery