ITP Community Spotlight on Michelle Fontaine


Learn more about Michelle Fontaine and the experience and insight she's gained as a long-time practitioner and member of ITP San Rafael.


How did you become involved in ITP? And what group are you currently a member?

Many years ago I noticed and was intrigued by a flier about Integral Transformative Practice posted on a community board at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. I joined ITP because I was new to the area and wanted to find a community of like-minded souls. I also hoped to find a few new friends, which I most certainly did! I’m currently a member of the San Rafael ITP group where I enjoy the company of people I’ve been friends with for many years now.

Within your practice, what insights have you experienced that have made the biggest impact in your daily life?

The decision to go back to school and to earn a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (an institution which also explores and supports extraordinary experiences and spiritual inquiry) felt like a natural progression for me because it was informed by the work I’d already done in ITP. Now as a licensed psychotherapist, I can say with certainty that my day-to-day work with clients has been improved by my experiences with ITP in two major ways. The first beneficial impact has been that I have more confidence in myself and the second is that I have a greater lexicon/understanding of the language used to describe our human potential in the dimension of soul. I’m able to weave aspects of our ITP practices in the dimensions of body, mind, heart and soul into the work I do because they’ve become a part of me. I’m convinced that ITP has made me a more successful therapist and because the ripples of our energy extend outward. I believe that my clients have benefited as well.

Have you experienced any extraordinary transformations supported by your practice?

When I was in my late twenties, before I joined ITP,  I had two out-of-body experiences. Both have profoundly shaped the way I see Life. In the first one, I saw through the ego. I laughed until there were tears rolling down my cheeks at the thought that we so often believe ourselves to be this small, mental aspect of the human experience. In the second out-of-body experience I was shown that God (fill in whatever word most resonates with you instead) resides within us all. This has given me a deep trust in the unfolding of Life and in the greater intelligence inherent to It. Because the ITP community has a genuine curiosity and a deep respect for experiences of this type, I am comfortable sharing them without any real concern about how they might be received. Actually, they have been celebrated! By sharing these experiences and learning about  similar extraordinary experiences, I have felt supported and am better able to more deeply integrate them into my being and my daily experience of being.

You participated in an ongoing study of ITP by Stanford University researchers exploring the practice of affirmations. What was your experience sharing and supporting this research and did you have any personal realizations during the project?

To see extraordinary experiences and paranormal research being done in our institutes of higher learning brings me a lot of joy, so I’m happy to participate. Hopefully, by sharing our personal experiences we will be helpful in the efforts to legitimize them in academia.

What is one affirmation you currently have/or had that has been particularly helpful and transformative in realizing your own extraordinary capacities?

I can’t say that any of my affirmations have specifically brought about an extraordinary experience, but they have contributed to healthier habits in my experience of body, mind, heart and soul. The ability to “change our mind” makes it clear that what we tell ourselves has an impact. It’s taken quite a long time for this to become a widely held belief, but back in 1949 Neuropsychologist Donald Hebb said, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” Affirmations offer us a way to create desirable neural pathways. I would also say that my deeper acceptance of extraordinary capacities and the fact that they’re potentially available to all of us at any time has helped me to see the mundane, so-called ordinary aspects of our lives as being quite extraordinary in and of themselves.

Have you participated in any recent ITP workshops or online gatherings and if so, which have been the most helpful in our own practice journey?

During this awful, long lasting pandemic and time of deep political stress, the angels who have offered and who continue to offer the Kata online via Zoom are such a blessing. The Kata always shifts my body/mind into a place that is better than it was before the Kata, every time. Deepest gratitude and thanks to you, you know who you are!