About RUPI

Founded in 2011, the Right Use of Power™ Institute (RUPI), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

RUPI was formed to further the reach of the Right Use of Power™ mission. We serve the general public, professionals, and members of the Right Use of Power™ Teacher’s Guild.

Our Mission

Our mission is to foster shared well-being through programs, tools, and resources to guide people to use their power with integrity.

Our Vision

We envision a world in which people use power with wisdom, compassion, and skill.

Learn more about the history of RUP

Watch this video featuring our Founder Dr. Cedar Barstow and faculty member Dr. Amanda Aguilera

Our Staff


Dr. Cedar Barstow

Bárbara Andrea Castro
-Training Director-

Ki Smith
- Administrative Assistant -

Cedar is a consultant and teacher on ethics and ethical issues. She has been designing, developing, and teaching this approach since 1994. Cedar’s background includes 30 years as a psychotherapist and 25 years as a teacher. She is the author of books and articles on ethics, counseling with elders, women and independence, and psychotherapy and spirituality. Cedar is also a Hakomi Experiential Psychology Trainer and a member of the Naropa University Adjunct Faculty.  She maintains a private psychotherapy and ethics consulting practice in Boulder/Denver and teaches both Right Use of Power™ and Hakomi nationally and internationally.

The Right Use of Power™ educational materials and exercises were developed by Cedar over a period of 20 years and dozens of trainings. These teachings have been influenced by many sources in Cedar’s background. She is particularly grateful for her extensive experiences as an administrator, therapist, and trainer of the the Hakomi Method of Experiential Psychotherapy, chair of both the Hakomi Institute International Ethics Committee (HIEC) and the United States Association of Body Psychotherapy (USABP) Ethics Committee, ethics expert contributor to GoodTherapy.org, consultant to numerous organizations, and ceremonialist with the Earth Song Ceremonial Dance Community.

Learn more about Cedar’s additional contributions to the world on her website, www.CedarBarstow.com.

Bárbara (she/her/ella), with an accent on the first “á,” was born in the lands of the Aztec warriors and currently resides in the lands of the indigenous Sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaking peoples.

In 2004 she was introduced to contemplative practices after an unexpected loss of a significant family member. Since then, she has incorporated/promoted a variety of practices in her daily life and work. 

As a Designer, Team leader, and Mentor, she has worked with start-ups, corporate institutions, and non-profits over the past 15 years. Her passion for emerging leaders, human beings, immigrants, and refugees inspired her to get certified by Naropa University in “Authentic Leadership”,  “SIY – Search Inside Yourself” developed at Google and MNDFL developed by Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams.

Barbara’s super-power is “connection.” One of her PURPOSES is to inspire humans to practice intraconnection and interest in others WHILE recognizing interconnection with all sentient beings.

Ki is passionate about working in community with others to support transformational healing of interpersonal and systemic suffering. 

Ki is a current student at Naropa University in the school of Counseling Psychology, earning her master’s degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology.  At Naropa, Ki is the Community Repair & Support Team (CReST) & Restorative Community Assistant, where she helps in the training and facilitation of restorative processes with members of the Naropa community.

Ki’s path to “power with heart” began at the start of her professional career in 2008, when she was working with children in psychiatric crisis, where she trained extensively in Dr. Ross Greene’s Collaborative Problem Solving model. The use of this model in a high acuity setting developed in her a deep understanding that truly, “kids do well if they can.”  Ki’s journey deepened in  2016, when she began studying Nonviolent Communication with trainer Kathy Marchant. Ki could see that training others in the language of feelings and needs was a powerful tool for healing and change, and realized this would become her life’s work.  She began teaching NVC at the Portland Insight Meditation Center with Co-Faclitator Doyle Banks in 2017.

In 2019, Ki encountered the Right Use of Power in a workshop on her very first day at Naropa, and she knew it was a critical missing piece to the puzzle of compassionate, skillful communication.  She now teaches an ever-evolving Decolonized NVC course entitled “Language for the Open-Hearted Warrior,” informed by the integration of these two powerful tools.

Ki is grateful to have ongoing mentorship and support from others in this work as she walks the path of the compassionate and wise “open-hearted warrior,” humbling knowing the journey is never complete.

Our Board of Directors

Cliff Penwell

M.A., English, with an emphasis on editing from University of Nevada, Las Vegas 
Senior Consultant, Dialogos International, LLC, Cambridge, MA.
Founding Faculty, Touchstone: Trusted Leaders, Trusted Spaces Executive Leadership Program 

I am Principal of OriginalVoice Consulting, LLC, and Senior Consultant with Dialogos International with over 30 years of experience as a master facilitator, retreat leader, consultant, coach, and leadership trainer. Throughout my career I have facilitated change processes and offered leadership training in diverse environments ranging from Fortune 100 companies to global-aid initiatives to nonprofit organizations. I have guided thousands of executives in dialogue sessions, leadership trainings, facilitator workshops, strategic planning, and diversity and inclusion initiatives. I base my practice—and my life’s work—on my ability to create contexts that are both safe enough to speak the truth and honest enough that outmoded habits of action can be transformed. I travel widely, offering large-systems organizational interventions, coaching, and leadership development. 

Charna Rose

M.A. Comparative Religious Studies, Naropa University
Rabbinic Ordination, Jewish Renewal’s Aleph Ordination Program

My grandfather used to say, “The future of the world rests at the tip of the tongue.” That inspired me to imagine a world balanced by right speech and respectful treatment of one another. As an undergraduate, I studied psychology and communication theory to learn both how the mind works and how communication patterns bridge the intra-psychic and interpersonal. Bringing this foundation into body/mind engagement, I immersed myself in the healing arts by being mentored by medicine women, clergy, and master teachers in the development of human potential.

Working in massage and bodywork for 20 years, I also studied at the Hakomi Institute, the Matrix Leadership Institute, and the Right Use of Power™ Institute. Starting in 2000, I began studying religious and spiritual life. On receiving a master’s degree from Naropa University in comparative religious studies, I enrolled in the Aleph Rabbinic School. Bringing a deeply ecumenical approach to religion, I am looking for how our sacred texts can assist us in ethical decision-making in and for our complicated world.

Reynold Ruslan Feldman

Ph.D. in English, Yale University, Author & Educator

As a “protired” university English professor, dean, and academic vice president, I have had a second career as a non-profit fundraiser, strategic planning and marketing consultant, and a third career as an author, tutor, and professional editor. I have just published my 10th book, which, like most of my books, has to do with wisdom for living. As husband of the founder of Right Use Of Power™ work, Dr. Cedar Barstow, I urged her to create this non-profit institute, which I incorporated and had named a federally tax-exempt organization. I am also an Advanced Right Use of Power™ Teacher, a member of the Guild, co-author of Living in the Power Zone (2013), and part of the Be PowerPositive (BePoP) team. As Board Secretary, besides my official duties, I have two goals: 1) to help the Institute continue beyond Dr. Barstow’s active career and 2) to expand its impact upon society, for if ever there were a time for better uses of personal, professional, status, and collective power, that time is now. Beyond all this, I am a linguist who has studied 12 languages and as a Jewish ethnic, Sufi practitioner, and active Episcopalian, a strong advocate for inter-religious cooperation and understanding.

Magi Cooper

A Certified Hakomi Trainer and Therapist in private practice, I facilitate Respectful Relationships and Relationship Violence-Prevention Programs for the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General in British Columbia. Since my first Hakomi training workshop with Jon Eisman in 1992, I have been committed to the spiritual principles and practices of Hakomi. Standing firmly in the principle of non-violence, I have been an advocate for domestic peace for over 20 years. I bring compassion, mindfulness, and loving presence to my work with marginalized populations as well as a deep understanding of Dr. Cedar Barstow’s work around the Right Use of Power™. With regard to the latter, I am a Right Use of Power™ Advanced Teacher, a continuing Board member, and one of the few RUP teachers authorized to provide advanced teacher training to others. I live on Vancouver Island, BC, and kayak in the surrounding waters. I work in both Canada and the United States.

Jeff Couillard

M.A., Environmental Management, Royal Roads University

I am the founder and chief facilitator at Attainability Group, a small consulting firm dedicated to building incredible teams of professionals in organizations big and small in a wide range of sectors. We focus on bringing Right Use of Power™ principles into organizations to improve employee engagement, develop leadership capacity, and achieve better client outcomes. From team development to conflict resolution, leading multi-disciplinary teams of professionals tackling the complex issues of addiction and mental health, to sharing stories on the TEDx stage, I’m focused on creating highly functional individuals, teams, and communities.

Rob Miller

Robert H Miller, Ph.D. is currently a consultant in the field of biotechnology, R&D, nutrition and Medical Foods. He is currently a Senior Advisor to the venture development company, Portal Innovations, located in Chicago, IL.

Rob was previously the CSO for the microbiome startup Kaleido Biosciences located in Boston and became the President and CSO of their Nutrition Division. He is a member of the Investors Advisory Committee for Venture Investors based in Madison, WI and continues to work with start-ups in the Boston area.

Rob had a successful 30-year career at Abbott Nutrition where he was ultimately responsible for global pediatric, adult, and performance nutrition product development, new ventures, medical affairs, clinical and preclinical research as the Divisional Vice President of R&D, Scientific and Medical Affairs at Abbott Nutrition. He was part of the Executive team managing the $7 billion global nutrition business. He was an architect of the global expansion of Abbott Nutrition, establishing R&D Centers at UIUC, Granada, Spain, Singapore, Shanghai, China and Bangalore, India. Dr. Miller was co-chair of the Abbott Scientific Governing Board from 2013-2016, overseeing the Volwiler Society, talent development and program efforts of Abbott’s 2,500 scientists for all Abbott Laboratories divisions.


Rob is married to the artist Anita Miller and they have 3 grown children and 2 grandsons.  He holds a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed a Staff fellowship at the National Institute of Health.

Sari Ajanko

I am deeply honoured to join the board and committed to assist and support advancing “The Right Use of Power” across the spectrum of professionals.
My professional career is rooted in hospitality management. Twelve years as a leader in the language service sector was an integral step of how to thrive in client-focused consulting services. Since 2008 I’ve worked in professional coaching and training services. In 2013 I became the founder and CEO of Diversitas Oy (Ltd). My company and client offerings are the vessel of fusing my passions, leadership development, professional coaching and personality models and maps. My mission has been to take the D & I discussions to the next level including the less visible aspects of diversity that we all share. My book on ”Leading multiplicity – Leader’s self-awareness as it’s core” (in Finnish) was published in 2016.
I am Professional Certified Coach (PCC) certified by ICF (International Coaching Federation), Certified Business Coach Master, Trainer/Mentor of Coaching & Leadership skills. I also hold certifications as a WholeBody Focusing Trainer and as a Enneagram Teacher in the Narrative Tradition. I always look for new concepts and modalities to make the training and coaching more impactful. I am excited about the potential of somatic therapies, currently progressing through certification with Hakomi Mallorca. 
I live in Helsinki beside the Baltic Sea, with my Canadian husband, Jim Grant, who is also a RUPI teacher, and our power pawsitive Office Manager Reiki (Shih Tzu).