Archive for the ‘Visionaries’ Category

Visionaries, Visionary Culture | No Comments | October 28th, 2012

I filmed the following interview with a handheld iPad on the fly, while visiting a visionary elder and friend, Michael Richards in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The way he moves in this world fascinates me. I capture just some of his amazing story below.

Visionaries | No Comments | July 12th, 2011

Two VisionForces iStand alumni talk about standing up for conscience in the face of military intimidation. Stand With Honor‘s Thad Crouch interviews Gerry Rihs, a Swiss Conscientious Objector. They discuss a possible VisionForce iStand for fellow Soldiers of Conscience. Perhaps in 2012?

I’m working on a rather unique learning environment that I’m very excited about, and will be sharing more soon (This is the “think tank” or “exploratory force” I’ve discussed lately).

I remember a time about 10-12 years ago discovering a visionary dude with a great talent at cranking out visionary tools to support people who were becoming coaches. He died a few years later before he got to see the huge impact he’s made. Today it seems everyone wants to be a paid life or business coach. He’s now regarded as “the father of personal and business coaching.”

I’m speaking of course of Thomas Leonard.

Well, influenced by him and others, I’m desiring to create a environment for mutual learning and co-creating in an effort to crank out tools/concepts/skills/etc. to support the Rising Visionaries.

In a sense I wish to do for the Rising Visionaries what he did for Coaches. By “Rising Visionaries” I mean those of us who are waking up to the ways in which our thinking, our culture, our systems are far less than what would be optimal for human life on earth, unsustainable and even headed for crisis. (I have material coming out to define and describe the “Rising Visionary”)

It’s in this spirit that big questions come up regarding the coaching industry, the human development industry, the “American Guru” industry. Part of what I’d like to do is point out big traps that many of us Rising Visionaries, rEvolutionaries, evolutionaries, evolvers, inspired change agents, crazy adventurers (or whatever we choose to call ourselves!) face on our paths to create the change we seek.

And I’m not too interested in what’s already being widely talked about regarding conscious evolution, and “changing the world.” I’m more interested in what people are *not* talking about. I’m interested in facing what few people are facing. I’m interested in exploring the more “dangerous” and “kinky” conversations!

And I’m very very interested in supporting those who are standing up to the powers that be, but realizing that real change is going to come from taking the initiative to recreate their world–literally–and are engaging in Creating Working Alternatives–rather than fighting inside against the opposition trying to change the system.

In this regard I’ve been inspired my ancestors who left religious persecution in Switzerland to come to America. I’m inspired by my Mormon pioneer ancestors who crossed the plains in covered wagons and settled in Utah to create a new life. I’m inspired by the character, John Galt of Atlas Shrugged, who created a new civilization in Galt’s Gulch. I’m inspired by the humans in the movie The Matrix. Etc., etc.

For example, I’m talking about…

- supporting the mother of seven children who’s afraid to leave the cult compound with her children and start a new life in a small mountain community where are children are home schooled and unschooled, so they can develop their natural brilliance and be self-reliant and community-reliant.

- supporting the business executive in the big city who just lost his job and his retirement savings, is questioning the game he’s been playing all his life, and thinking about turning his backyard into a permacultured heaven.

- supporting the potential whistleblower who has information that can break the monopoly power of the Federal Reserve, but who will need emotional support, a safe place to live and a way to start over.

- supporting the recent college graduate who’s just become disillusioned with Obama and the whole political game, and is seeking to get an alternative education in creating sustainable communities, even though he owes his parents and the government thousands and thousands for his university education.

- supporting the financier who has just moved to Brasil, who’s had visions of ways that human beings can live with deep trust, honoring relationships, peace and honoring care for our environment, and has chosen to stop fighting the system and go to an ex-pat community in the mountains for Ecuador to experiment with new economic models.

- supporting the former soldier who realized the shenanigans and crimes of the US military, and the injustice being foisted on young soldiers when they realize that their conscience conflicts with their military orders, and is helping to build an oasis for these Soldiers of Conscience.

- the musician who’s music is written to uplift and inspire those who dare to be the change in our world, and who’s music is not being played on the radio, because he’s not going to make the compromises the music industry requires, and is instead inventing ways of traveling the world supporting other inspired change agents!

I have already been supporting such people (in fact many of the above are based on real people I’ve been supporting), but I desire to support them and YOU(?) at the NEXT LEVEL! And I and my people have been experimenting with some really FUN and POWERFUL ways of supporting each other in Creating Our World!


How can I support My People at the Next Level? How can I support My People in even kinkier, more fun, more sustainable more connective ways??? These are the kinds of questions I’m asking myself!

And I have some ways in mind (and you probably do to!)… and I’m inviting you to come play with me and My People! I desire to connect with people who desire to go deep into freedom and connection.

More soon!

News, Visionaries | No Comments | May 20th, 2010

Here’s a video I filmed of a courageous young man, who took a stand last year, publicly refusing orders to deploy in the face of his First Sergeant. Just released publicly on the VisionForce initiative, Watch his story!

News, Visionaries | No Comments | March 12th, 2010

While driving with Thad Crouch today, he told that a man I’d met last summer at the National Assembly to Honor Freedom of Conscience had passed away two days ago. His name was Gene Stoltzfus, the Founding Director of Christian Peacemaker Teams, and he’s someone I aim to be like.

I had been looking forward to getting to know Gene better, because his life as a visionary peacemaker is nothing short of incredible and deeply inspiring. As I stand with Thad Crouch and the upcoming iStand for Soldiers of Conscience this June (still not publicly announced), I was hoping to learn from the rich, deep, hard experience this man has had.

Thad has known Gene about 15 years, and told me how this man had been a Conscientious Objector to the Vietnam War, and that he had chosen to perform his alternate service in a curious location: Vietnam. Even though he was a pacifist and refused to fight, he went to the war zone to do his service.

Later in his life, Gene, a Mennonite, was present in a church gathering, where another man asked this bold “What if” question: What would happen if Christians devoted the same discipline and self-sacrifice to nonviolent peacemaking that armies devote to war?

It was then that Gene took a stand and co-founded Christian Peacemaker Teams based on the visionary idea that “disciplined and trained teams of people could be put together into highly charged, critical situations and they could make a difference.” Talk about standing boldly in this world!

Since its beginnings, CPT members have been engaged in such situations in Chiapas, Mexico; Haiti; and other locations in North America and around the world. Current CPT locations include Colombia, the West Bank and Iraq.

Gene was at the heart of those who planted and nurtured the vision for teams of peacemakers partnering with local communities in conflict zones to build justice and lasting peace which has grown into CPT.

To get a sense of who Gene was, listen to this audio.

He speaks about using a “language of invitation,” verses speaking in shoulds, etc., or what I would call Visionary language vs. Positionary language.

What a beautiful man. I only wish I’d gotten to know him in person. I am coming to know by knowing those whose lives he has touched and the legacy that is Christian Peacemaker Teams.

Gene, thank you for your years of humble service on behalf of all of us, that we may one day live in a world that stands united for peace, with reverence for human live and dignity. Thank you for standing in the face of incredible fear, pressure, doubt and who knows what else as you personally headed into conflict zones, and met with real people dealing with the kinds of fears, anger and violence that many of us never really touch. Thank you for standing for the ones, who are not being heard. Thank you for being a man who leads from the front, who is willing to walk his talk, and honor his conscience. Thank you for being an example of what is possible for all of us, and standing even in the face of being supported by only a small percent of people in the world and in your own religious community.

I can barely begin to imagine the rejection you’ve faced. The fear you’ve faced. The anger of people, who aren’t really angry with you, but you’re the one standing in front of them. The frustration and disappointment you’ve faced when hope seems lost, or results or promises go unmet. I aim to stand as you stand, and I pray I may stand as courageously and with as much commitment. I promise to carry forth the torch of peace in our world, standing as you’ve stood.

Gene Stoltzfus, I honor you. May you rest in peace.

We’re the proud Executive Producer for Shawn Madden’s Garden of Dreams… have a listen to a rough cut:

You’ll want to save this one, share it, sing it, dance to it and replay it!

News, Visionaries | 1 Comment | September 22nd, 2009

For time immemorial, we’ve honored those who are willing to go to war, risk their lives and kill others to fight for their country, for their life and liberty.

At the same time, history honors great soldiers of conscience, who risked their lives to stand for something peacefully: Gandhi, Galileo, King, Jesus, the unknown protestor in Tienanmen Square, Iranian protestor Neda, the list goes on…

Yet every day, soldiers who dare to defy orders from their superiors, when it conflicts with their conscience, are shamed, imprisoned, dishonored and even killed for disobeying orders.

This Saturday, I’m taking a stand to honor soldiers who dare to follow the orders of their conscience first, especially those who are standing for peace, and I invite you to join me and spread the word.

I’ll be speaking at the National Assembly to Honor Freedom of Conscience in Austin, Texas, about an hour outside of Fort Hood in Killeen, TX, the largest US military base in the world. For more information, click here.