Posts Tagged ‘Austin’

Michael's Journal, News | 1 Comment | October 11th, 2007

Michael was recently interviewed about the VisionForce Boot Camp by internet radio host, Bryan Carlton Flournoy, on his show Making It All Click. Please click the play button to listen or use the link to download the MP3.

MP3 File

A visionary musician from our March Boot Camp has moved here to Austin from Boston. His story is here:

Returning from a beautiful yoga class today, I was searching for words to express the evolving nature of the work we do inside the VisionForce Boot Camps. And I found myself calling it “spiritual exercise.” Instantly, upon hearing those words, it just felt right.

Indeed, more and more, people are reporting having profound spiritual awakenings inside our Boot Camp, and yet, we have never presented it as spiritual work. We don’t present any religious or spiritual beliefs inside this work, preferring to keep it cleanly open “technology” that any individual from any paradigm or persuasion can use to live more powerfully.

I’ve been reluctant over the years to even use terms common to conversations about spirituality, because for so many people, such terms have predefined meanings. Thus, using those common terms can have people misconstrue what we are offering.

However, it is now feeling right to own this term, “spiritual,” in relation to this work. Having been profoundly influenced by a broad range of thinkers, some of the greatest of whom were skeptic, agnostic, atheistic, etc., such as Ayn Rand, I am sensitive to how people might interpret spiritual references. Everyone can relate, however, to the realm of human experience identified as “the human spirit,” or the realm of our experience that relates to our highest values, our highest sense of self, our deepest connection to others, our heroic endeavors in the face of incredible adversity, etc.

The challenge of introducing work (products, processes, programs, etc.) that is profoundly spiritual in this sense, without calling it such, has been a challenge from a business and marketing experience. I’ve also been reluctant to enter this realm of languaging, because of what that might mean for my life and for the business… everyone, it seems, has an idea of who a “spiritual teacher” should be, and many people will not learn from a “spiritual teacher” who does not match their preexisting values and beliefs. Many spiritual teachers are very authoritarian and positionary, and call for blind faith and obedience from “followers.” Many teach (and preach) from fear with threat of guilt and punishment–externally imposed guilt and fear being two of the most limiting and destructive forces for anyone who aims to be the least bit “visionary” or highly “conscious.” Then, there’s the fear and guilt that sometimes arises for me when I imagine taking on such a serious context for my life. I am called much more to the life of being the laughing Buddha… I’m just a guy who has something to offer, and after seeing the kind of vision I have seen, cannot go about living life without sharing what I have to offer.

You could say that I’ve seen and been called forth onto my path in life by “spiritual vision.” I hesitate to use this term here, because I don’t mean to imply that God gave me a vision… what I can say is that I saw a vision– a vision that spoke to my heart (or spirit) so powerfully that I could not turn away. And so here I am, offering my gifts to anyone willing to receive, FAR before having “arrived.” I’m learning very very fast, but it’s the painful learning experienced by the person who heads out into the unknown without much preparation. So, I’m learning by screwing up, and being criticized from all angles. The “preparation” I could do prior to heading down my path in life is a trap–a trap that in today’s authoritarian paradigm keeps most people from walking their path.

We’ve been so conditioned to compromise the calling of our heart or spirit in order to be accepted and respected in the eyes of authority and majority that we often can’t even FEEL the calling of our heart. So conditioned do we become that we often don’t even notice our deepest suffering, that sense of quiet desperation becomes accepted as a natural part of life. We medicate it, escape it, suppress it–but all of this, too, compromises our spirit and brings more suffering. Escaping or avoiding our suffering and the calling of our heart compromises the “spiritual vision” that we would EACH otherwise SEE and FEEL as human beings–or spiritual beings. Each of us COULD BE experiencing our life’s purpose in the same emotional way that we might experience being on a “Mission From God!” I don’t mean to imply that we should take on an ultra-serious, burdensome, self-sacrificial approach to life, but that we can have the powerful sense of mission that comes from “Spiritual Vision” that would have us naturally actualizing our highest potential and making our visions manifest. What I am referring to as “Spiritual Vision” here is accessible by anyone–the VisionForce work opens up direct and immediate access to that at a deep level.

…just took a moment to chat with a friend and told her that I am inclined to start calling this work spiritual exercise, and how referring to this work as spiritual has at times scared the crap out of me. Her reply was, “All the work we do is spiritual… but only the brave ones call it that.” Interesting. (Jessica, you should put that in your book of quotes!)

So, I’d like to begin to present the VisionForce work from a spiritual context here, starting with this blog post. In fact, I am going to speak with pretty universal language, so for those of you who usually speak from a more “advanced” lexicon for spirituality, I invite you to listen for how the VisionForce tools could help you take your own spiritual practices to a deeper level. Especially listen from the universal human dilemma of how we live true to our highest values in a world where everywhere we turn, we face the judgments and demands of people who have differing conclusions about what’s right and wrong. I invite you to listen for something NEW here, even though much of the language I am using to communicate this is not new.

More over the coming days… (stay tuned! and leave your Comments!)

P.S. Registration is open for the November 2007 Boot Camp. Learn more here.

News, Visionaries, Visionary Culture | No Comments | September 18th, 2007

Thanks to Antonio, we have more bootleg footage from the Dinner of Honor at the March 2007 VisionForce Boot Camp!

Keith’s impromptu lyrics were his way of honoring everyone with whom he had shared the Boot Camp. He starts singing to individuals towards the end of this first video. (Oh, and those are bottles of sparkling cider on the tables, as this is an alcohol-free event!) We seem to have some incredible, visionary musicians at every Boot Camp. Of course, artists are, after all, visionaries.

Keith, we’ll cherish this memory forever, and we hope to have you on our Training Assistant team for November… bring the guitar! ;)

News, Visionaries, Visionary Culture | No Comments | September 13th, 2007

I think one of the most beneficial things we can do as visionaries, who are risking so much and working so hard to create a better world, is to get plugged into what other visionaries are up to.

FLOW is an organization that is undertaking some very visionary projects, which, if successful, will change the world in which we live.

I invite you to listen to this interview I recorded earlier this week with Michael Strong, Chief Visionary Officer of FLOW, and allow yourself to explore the depth and scope of the FLOW vision. Michael founded FLOW with Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey, right here in Austin. Michael and his team travel the world, sharing their vision and building bridges to a future all of us would be excited to raise our children in.

Closer to the end of the 60-minute audio are suggested actions you can take to get involved in the FLOW community.

MP3 File

Visit the FLOW web site and get involved with this inspiring organization that is hard at work putting structures in place to support all of us who are working hard to make this world a better place!

VisionForce has offered to do something special for those who contribute $50 or more to FLOW’s Peace Through Commerce initiative. Send an email to us at support [at] visionforce [dot] com after contributing and we will email you our Vision Force 101 download with over 14 hours of MP3 audios with live coaching in some of the VisionForce concepts and processes. Those who choose to donate $10,000 or more receive a special invitation from FLOW to participate with FLOW at a higher level. (listen to the audio for more details)

News, Visionaries, Visionary Culture | No Comments | September 10th, 2007

Boot leg footage from the Dinner of Honor at the March 2007 VisionForce Boot Camp, here is Audrey singing a heart-riveting rendition of I Hope You Dance (Sung much better than by the author, Lee Ann Womack, in my opinion):

News, Visionaries | No Comments | May 29th, 2007

If you're interested in being one of the 40 world-changers at our upcoming VisionForce Boot Camp, you'll want to listen to this audio recording of a recent conference call.

MP3 File