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You'll understand why these folks are smiling...
when you explore the iStand Experience yourself.


Fellow Visionary,

You and your vision have a vital role to play in the creation of a world that works for everyone.

And you know it.

That's why here at VisionForce, we refer to you as a 'visionary.'

Whether you're an entrepreneur, a social entrepreneur, an activist, an artist, an inspired parent or teacher doesn't matter.  Your age and cultural background don't matter. 

What matters is you see something others don't see, and you know you can make a difference with your idea or your vision.

But the visionary path can be a very lonely, painful and dangerous one.  Gandhi was referring to this when he said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Gandhi was killed for walking a visionary path, but most often it's just the vision that dies.  And, of course, the spirit of the visionary often dies a slow death amidst the struggle.

It doesn't have to be that way.  If I have anything to say about it, your vision won't die--and neither will your spirit.

My name is Michael Skye, and I'm the founder of VisionForce, and developer of iStand Dynamics.

If you're new to VisionForce, know this one thing:

I am your ally.

I'm Standing For You And Your Vision


If you consider yourself a visionary as I do, I bet I know some things about you.  21 to be exact:

21 Things I Know About You:

1 - You are one of the few who can’t turn your back on the opportunity you have to do something great in this lifetime. You’re committed to doing something great–something born of your own vision (your vision for your life, your family, your company, your community or humanity).

2 - You’re frustrated in a world that rewards conformity and tolerates mediocrity. You’re compassionate to the situations of others, yet you’re unsettled by the way conformity and mediocrity has human beings staying small.

3 - You know that what stands between you and the better world you envision is really but one thing: your own limits. And you know those limits are but an illusion. Thus, you are committed to transcending your limits to be the change you seek in the world. Deeply committed.

4 - Thus, human development is not something new to you. You eat it up. You don’t just have an intellectual fancy for human development ideas, you do the work, you take the action.

5 - Having been someone who takes action to transcend your limitations, you see how much more is possible–not just for yourself, but for the world at large. The more you see yourself transcend your own limits, the more you see is possible for all of humanity.

6 - This vision, you know, is more than a dream. People in your life may see you as an idealist, a dreamer, a rebel or maybe even a nut. But their opinions of you are based on their own fears to live from their own vision–and you know that. So you don’t give much credence to their doubts and fears.

7 - Yet it bothers you. You give so much in life, you sacrifice, you work, you commit at such a high level that you may often find yourself alone, disheartened or even in despair. For you have no comfort zone to retreat to. You can’t pretend you don’t see a greater vision. You won’t pretend. You won’t turn around and live a “normal” life.

8 - Until your dying day, you will keep standing for the vision you see–for what you know to be possible. You are a visionary–a revolutionary. The world is born by those with your courage, your will, your love. There you stand, you can do no other.

9 - You know that if more people could but see even a little more of your vision (or their own), it would change their life. It would change the world. You sense something is deeply missing from traditional self-improvement methods. You don’t want to just succeed inside the prevailing system–you want to change the system or give birth to a new one. And you know that takes an entirely different set of tools for thinking, being and communicating.

10 - Words like “change,” “revolution,” and “transformation” don’t scare you. “Bring it on,” you say. You welcome the new, the different, the complex.

11 - You likely have very few people you can talk to who really “get it”—who deeply understand you. Or at least it sometimes feels that way.

12 - The idea of arriving at a final truth or solution annoys you or humors you. You know it’s a fallacy that the fearful cling to. To be human, you’re sure, is to be alive with the quest and the question, learning and evolving continually. The thought of pretending you have the answer repulses you.

13 - So you don’t try to sell people on your worldview. You don’t have a need to change their beliefs. You are comfortable in the question, in the unknown. That is your home. It’s where you live every day.

14 - You know fear. You seldom ignore your feelings. Rather, you face them. You feel them. And yet you don’t define yourself as them. You define yourself by your actions.

15 - You just keep stepping out there. Sometimes you’re clumsy. Sometimes you fall. Sometimes you let people down. But that’s what it’s like in the unknown, forging your own path! Why can’t more people see that? Why can’t they see YOU? Why must they jump to conclusions and judgments upon seeing you fail? Can’t they see you fell because you dared to climb? Can’t they see that you fell again only because you got back up the last time?

16 - Ah, but it’s not about whether they see you or not, or you wouldn’t be on the path you’re on. You gave up managing their image of you long ago. There’s no freedom or power in that. You know who you are, and that’s enough to move forward.

17 - Still, it hurts sometimes when close friends and family don’t see who you are, and they judge you. In a world where being true to your values and vision is often called, “selfish,” it can be a difficult and lonely world for the visionary.

18 -Especially, because you refuse to judge in return. It would be easier and more comfortable to judge those who judge you. That way you don’t have to take their criticism seriously. But criticism is the air you breathe. You want feedback so you can grow, so you can be capable of more and more love, more and more commitment, more and more courage.

19 - Many may never understand how your undying commitment to your vision comes from your love of humanity and your commitment to what can be. But you won’t compromise your vision just to please the fearful. Rather, you sacrifice their approval to be true to your vision. You’ll impact their lives and their children's lives by being true to your vision, even if they never know it.

20 - You think sometimes of the day when you “arrive,” and the world finally understands why you’ve walked the path that you have. And still, deep down, you’re not climbing the mountain because you know you’ll make it to the top. You climb, because it’s worth climbing. You choose the steep mountain, the treacherous one, because there’s something worth standing for.

21 -You are a visionary.  You are someone who refuses to deny your fundamental human capacity – the ability to see a vision of what does not yet exist, to feel called to bring that vision into reality, to take steadfast action and continue to create solutions as you encounter obstacles… to inspire others to stand with you and create with you, etc.

You Are Not Alone.

You are not alone.  And we are not alone.  There is a rapidly growing number of people around the world, who are seeing their unique opportunity to make a difference as never before, and who refuse to let anything stand in their way.

At VisionForce, I've gotten to work hand in hand with many such courageous visionaries, who are taking it upon themselves to "be the change" and create what they envision. 

Being surrounded by such people on a daily basis has given me an unwavering faith in humanity. 

I am absolutely convinced that the quality of our lives--present and future, individually and collectively--rests in the hands of those who dare to own their natural power to bring forth their visions in the world.

That's why I've given my life to stand for such people.

I know first-hand what it's like to stand in the face of everything, to bring forth the vision of my heart.  And over the years, I've gotten to stand for others as they make their visions real despite the most challenging of circumstances (I'll share some of their stories in a moment).

I believe there is an amazing future for you, your loved ones and many others that will only exist, if you choose to let nothing stand in the way of bringing forth your vision in the world. 

But it's important that you know the challenge that lies ahead.  So, what I have to say next may be a bit controversial.  Please understand that it comes from my unwavering stand for you as a visionary being.

As A Visionary, You Are Dangerous

If you are your own authority, courageously living your life by your own inner guidance, you will often be perceived as a threat to “the system” and the powers that be. 

It makes sense that in order for the institutions Big Government, Big Business and Big Religion to guide us to peace and prosperity, they simply can’t have everyone thinking for themselves and following their own vision. 

Any human being operating at his or her full capacity—as a visionary—is a threat.  Jesus, Galileo, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr.—all threats to the status quo and the powers that be--all lost their lives.

The world has always been a dangerous place for those who’ve dared to walk a visionary path.  But the paradox is that to survive and prosper in the rapidly changing world we live in today requires a visionary mind and spirit (And those who’ve been trained to blindly follow and obey authorities are quickly becoming the greatest threat to our collective peace and prosperity).

Q: What Is The Life Expectancy of the Visionary Spirit Inside You:

A:  5 – 30 years from the time you’re born.

The Life Cycle of The Visionary Inside You

As a child, you have strong visionary tendencies:  You have big dreams of what you’d like to be and ideas of how we might like to “change the world.”  Anything is possible!

But children who follow their own minds are not easy to manage in a classroom, at work or in society, so naturally, you are conditioned to learn how to follow, obey and fit into the system, so you can get a job, pay taxes, obey the law, etc.

When your values or vision conflict with authority’s values or vision, that’s when the real training happens:  You are punished and often made to feel guilty or ashamed.  Perhaps you’re diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and given drugs so that you sit in your seat and pay attention to the teacher. 

You learn to fear getting the wrong answers and failing, which while it prepares you to be a “good” rule-following employee, soldier or citizen; it leaves you fundamentally ill-prepared (and even dysfunctional) for life in the unknown as a visionary, where there are no “right answers” and the failure is an essential part of the learning process.

Fear, guilt and self-doubt start to eat away at your confidence, your vision and passion for life.

If you make it through 14 years or so in the public education system with your big notions in tact about who you’d like to be or how you’d like to change the world for the better, you’re called an idealist, a dreamer, naïve or foolish.  You haven’t yet “grown up.”

You head out with your big ideas or dreams of starting a business, playing your music, authoring a book, starting or joining a movement, etc.

You experience the emotional challenges in being a ‘visionary,’ and at some point you give in to the pressure, give up the dreams and go along with the masses, who seem to have had it right all along.  Having given up on the foolish notions of youth and learned to be a good, responsible adult, you’re all grown up now, because your conclusions now match what the masses seem to have known all along:

-          “I, as one person, don’t really have that much power to make a difference.”

-          “People are lazy and irrational, and nothing’s really going to change.”

-          “The best I can do is be a good member of society: a good citizen, a good employee, a good parent, etc.  And the way you do that is follow the system.”

-          “Dreamers and rebels who think they can change things are naïve and foolish, and are wasting their time.  Those trouble-makers should ‘get a job’ and follow the rules like everyone else.”

A part of you suffers for the rest of your life, knowing in some way you gave in or gave up.  I believe Thoreau was describing this, when he said,

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.”


So after all these years of conditioning, if you’re very lucky, you haven’t given up hope.  You may in fact still be fighting for your life—a life guided by your own vision.  If that’s the case, life is not easy for you. 

You're not content fitting in and being 'good.'  You're striving for greatness.

Goodness vs. Greatness

From the time you were young, you’ve had to live among well-meaning parents, teachers, bosses and others who have been trying to train you to be “good.” 

In addition to rewarding and punishing you to modify your behavior, some of them even told you what to think.  Put the “right” ideas in a young person’s head, and they’ll be “good”—or so their thinking went.

Many of these authorities paid lip service to integrity, but when our values or visions conflicted with theirs, what we learned was obedience.  The difference is night and day:

Obedience vs. Integrity

Obedience:  doing what authority says to do; acting in line with authority’s values, even when they conflict with your values

Integrity:  doing what you say you will do; acting in line with your values, even when they conflict with authority’s values


Perhaps you remember the day in 2006 when thousands of high school and middle school students across the U.S. stood up and walked out of their classrooms and marched into the streets to make their voices heard on the immigration issue?

Teachers, principles, police, parents and other authority figures freaked out.  What was going on?  Who was in charge?  It was a real crisis for many of the authorities.  Some were outright authoritarian in their position: 

“The students are supposed to be in school.  They shouldn’t be leaving under any circumstances.  I’m sure they just wanted to get out of class.  They need to learn how to follow the rules and obey authority, that’s how our system works.  Those who disobeyed should be punished.”

Others were more understanding, yet condescending in their position, essentially patting the young revolutionaries on their heads:

“Well, I know you want to take a stand for what you believe in, but you need to stay in school.  It’s the law and those are the rules.  If you want to make a difference, you can do it after school on your own time, as long as you don’t break any laws.”

Punishments followed, some students were even jailed.  Few parents argued with the authorities.  After all, they rationalized, their children did break the rules and laws. 

I was outraged.

Not because of my position on the issue, but because these young people were being punished for taking a stand.

What does the young person learn by staying in school, when her heart is calling her to take a stand?  She’s going to learn she’s too scared to stand for what she believes in. 

She’s going to learn that it’s more important to go along with the majority and authority, rather than to think and act from within.  If your heart calls you to take the stand, and risk the consequences, take the stand.  Stand up! 

Rosa Parks broke the law and the rules, when she refused to take a back seat on the bus.  Was she a bad citizen, a good citizen—or a great citizen? 

Had Rosa Parks, Gandhi, Galileo or America’s Founding Fathers and Mothers had a little more “goodness training,” the world would be a different place.

By trying to train you to be good, the authorities throughout your life disconnected you from your natural instincts for greatness. 

Being Visionary Is Your Birthright!

Think of a wild stallion, a majestic lion, a magnificent eagle.  These great animals are born with certain powers that give them their "greatness."

Now think about human beings.  Our claim to greatness is vision.  Vision gives us confidence, power and purpose.  Vision gives us the power to venture into the unknown, to blaze new trails, to create what never existed before.

A man or woman without vision is like a great stallion without its legs, a lion without its roar, an eagle without its wings.

Take away any animal's natural power to guide and protect itself--take away its sight, hearing and smell and what happens?

It becomes afraid, reactive, and hesitant.  It no longer has its natural power to guide itself, and it will start seeking comfort and safety.  The once great animal will die a little more each day.

Now teach the animal that it is wrong to be strong, to be great, to act in accordance with its nature.  Punish the stallion for running free, the lion for roaring and the eagle for flying.

Before long, the once great animal is not just fearful, violent and reactive... now it is also ashamed of its power, ashamed of its natural greatness.

What would it be like to be such an animal?  Wouldn’t your life become one of sadness, resentment, self-doubt, outbursts of anger, fear... quiet desperation?  

Take vision away from a person, and even teach him that it is wrong to follow his or her vision, and what happens?  

Some of us become fearful, self-doubting and timid.  Others become depressed.  Many of us seek escape with addictions to food, sex or drugs.  Others resort to anger, hatred, or violence.  Some become irrationally selfish, doing things that hurt themselves and those they love.  The sad fact is that without our natural vision, we are psychologically wounded and never come to experience the deep inner peace and satisfaction we deserve.

Is this "human nature?"  Or is this suffering the product of our training to follow and be obedient, when our inner guidance conflicts with the powers that be?

The World Can Be Hostile To Visionaries Like You

A fish out of water can’t live too long.  Just the same, if you’re surrounded by cynics, critics and people who have lost their vision, it’s hard to powerfully walk your visionary path. 

On some level, many people want you to fail, not because they are mean people, but because, if you fulfill on your dreams, they are going to feel even worse that they gave up on their own.  Not only that, they’ll feel more internal pressure to try again, but that would mean facing a lot of fear—and facing the same critics you’re facing.

It’s uncomfortable for many people to be around you, because you haven’t given up hope.  Far from it, you really believe things can be different.

Why I'm So Passionate About Being Your
Visionary Ally?

I know what it's like to head down new roads, guided only by your own vision, or a feeling in your heart.

I grew up in a very loving, devout Mormon family, where choosing not to walk the "right" path held eternal consequences.  For years in my late teens, I feared trusting my own mind and heart for fear of eternal damnation.  And when I finally chose not to go on a Mormon mission and pursue the Mormon path, I spent a year feeling the clouds of shame and guilt hanging over my head.

I feared that in the eyes of my father and my extended family, I had not chosen a path of honor.  And I was suffering.

The suffering with fear, guilt and shame disappeared the following Spring.  After a day of intense questioning, facing my fears and doubts head on, I took a stand and chose to fully trust my heart--regardless of the consequences.  It was then that a new path emerged for my life.  A path of honor--defined by me.

Over the years, I've fought to protect that sacred path, and my sacred honor, and it hasn't been easy.  I know how hard it can be to stay true to your heart and follow your vision--in the face of a world that so often judges, criticizes, doesn't understand and doesn't seem to care.

Two Essential Traits You Must Develop to Survive and Prosper as a Visionary in the 21st Century

Essential Visionary Trait #1:

The Visionary Alliance Builder

I'm not talking about being able to build a team, form partnerships, etc.  That's easy enough.  What isn't easy is building such strong alliances with other individuals that they are willing to face anything to stand with you as your ally for your shared vision. 

I'm talking about building an alliance of visionaries, not followers, each of whom have their own powerful visions and opinions, and are standing as your ally no matter what. 

They're not standing with you, because of your charisma, because they fear you or because they are being paid.  They are standing with you, because they feel so deeply connected to your heart.  They are your ally--and they would settle for nothing less.

Few people ever know what it's like to have one true ally, let alone five or ten or more.  Most visionaries are alone on their path.  Often times, not even their spouse or partner fully stands with them as their ally.  Sure, they may have people who tell them they understand, believe in the vision, and are willing to help.  But it's conditional.

They're not bad people, they simply don't have the skill to be an ally.

How Many True Allies Do You Have Standing With You? 

You'll know when the going gets very tough.

Do you have the skill to maintain your alliance during the toughest of times, when they're afraid, when they lose the vision, when they're half-way out the door and judging you?

I invite you to consider that your skill in building alliances and growing them to be stronger and stronger is an invaluable and necessary skill you must learn, if your vision is to be fully manifest in the world.

Everyone has their triggers and breaking points.  When relationship situations get tough, most people choose a path of compromise.  They either cut the other person out of their life, or they tolerate the person.  Both paths lead to mutual suffering and compromise the honor and vision of both people.

The Visionary Alliance Builder grows the strength of his or her alliance through conflict!

Just as the Kung Fu Master must confront conflict and risk being hurt to attain mastery, attaining mastery as a Visionary Alliance Builder can only happen in the throes of  personal and interpersonal conflict. 

Few are ready to master this most valuable skill, because they are unwilling to be hurt.  To the extent that a person cannot be fully present to one's painful emotions, one will never have the ability to build deep alliances visionary alliances that last.

My path to mastering this skill began when my parents got divorced, and I took it upon myself to bring my family back together and keep them together through the years.  My Mormon upbringing had instilled in my the value of families, "Families are forever," and I refused to believe that we could not transcend our differences, no matter how painful.

My path continued as I took it upon myself to raise my two younger brothers and a young man who became my brother in law--allowing myself no excuse to turn away from them, ever.

The iStand methods have been "field-tested" all of my life, as gradually I took it upon myself to be an "ally" to everyone I met.  Such a path is an endless journey fraught with deep pain as well as profound joy, honor and love. 

There were many many lonely years early on, but now my life is rich with so many deep relationships that it's beyond words.  Having allies, in my opinion, and the ability to form alliances, is more valuable during difficult economic times than having mass financial wealth. 

When money devalues, the market changes or your business fails, what then?  If you're surrounded by allies, your life is wealthy regardless of the circumstances.

Being a Visionary Alliance Builder starts with becoming a Sovereign Context Creator. 

Essential Visionary Trait #2:

The Sovereign Context Creator

In whose presence do you lose your vision?  Who are the people you don't share your vision with?  Who do you feel less powerful around? 

Other people can drain or cloud our vision, especially when they are emotional and acting as if the way they see the world is true.

Imagine this scenario:  You walk into a room full of people, who are convinced you are not a person of integrity and you are the source of their problems.  They are upset at you and have formed conclusions about what you should do.

How do you act?  What do you say?  What do you do?

Imagine this scenario:  A partner on your team, who you feel very close to, becomes very upset when the team fails to achieve its goals.  He blames you, gives plenty of evidence and leaves the partnership--after telling everyone else on the team what he thinks of you.

How do you act?  What do you say?  What do you do?

How the majority of people will act, what they will say and what they will do is governed by the given context (or storyline) - in these scenarios, the context is the way these people are seeing you and the situation.

Whether you feel shame and guilt in their presence, or anger and self-righteous, your emotions will be in reaction to the context they created.  You may create your own opposing context (storyline), and argue with them or ignore them, but your context is still in reaction to theirs.

Most highly educated, successful and even 'enlightened' or spiritual leaders, teachers and luminaries fall subject to

Your Vision Is Vulnerable

As a visionary, it is invaluable and absolutely critical to be sovereign when it comes to creating the context that you live your life inside of from one moment of the next.  What you feel, think, say and do is ALL governed by your context.

If you lose yourself or your vision in the presence of people who are upset at you, are threatening you or who seem to have higher status than you, you're doomed.  The people who would otherwise stand with you will not trust you.

But how can you be confident and certain when you are in the unknown?  How can you have people trust you, when you don't always know where you're going?

Weaker-minded people will follow you, if you act authoritative, but visionaries and leaders won't trust you for a second.

How do you trust yourself amidst the chaos, the failures, the wild adventure in the unknown?

How can you stay true to your self-invented code of honor and vision in the presence of other's judgments?  How can you act as a leaderless samurai warrior (of the peaceful kind) in the 21st century?

These Are The Next-Level Skills That The Future Demands

In my opinion the uncommon skills required to be a Visionary Alliance Builder and a Master Context Creator are more valuable than most of the other "success" "leadership" skills you can ever learn. 

You can attend dozens of workshops to learn to become more successful or a better leader.  You can also engage with your spiritual practices to become more peaceful, compassionate presence in the world.

However, most of what you learn or practice disappears, when you break down under pressure. 

How many people who call themselves spiritual teachers act irrationally in the face of judgment, fear or other emotions?  How many outwardly successful people do we see act irrationally in their private lives?

When there is a lot at stake, most people do not have what it takes to IMPLEMENT the skills they learned to be more successful, more confident, more spiritual, etc.


What Is The Most Powerful Way I can Stand For You As Your Ally?

I can't tell you how to build a financial empire, how to become the top person in your company or how to do many other things. 

There are a few things at which I excel. 

1 - working with visionaries like you to step fully into their power as Sovereign Context Creators.

2 - working with visionaries like you to become a masterful Visionary Alliance Builder.

Have you ever thought you couldn't do something--it just seemed impossible--but a masterful instructor knew you could do it? 

There's a great gift in working with such an instructor.  When you hit a wall in your development, and something seems impossible, this person can stretch you far beyond your limits.

That's who I'd like to be for you, if you'll let me.

Working with me, your idea of your own power will stretch so far that it will scare you. 

Your idea of what is possible in your relationships will be blown out of the water.

But You Must Be Willing To Face Everything
And Avoid Nothing

Only when you're willing to let go, and fully face your own power, will you actually have access to it.

That is my invitation to you.  If you are willing to face and not hide from your own power for one full week of your life, your life and your power to bring forth your vision in the world will never be the same.

Over many years of working hand in hand with visionaries far out on the "skinny branches," I've developed a week-long intensive called The iStand Experience. 

Many, if not most, participants call it "the most powerful experience of my life," not because the event is powerful--but because they experience their own power in ways they never thought possible.


At this week-long intensive, you'll

Ø      Engage in a game worth playing, an “impossible mission” with global and historical consequences,

Ø      Forge alliances with bold, unwavering, skillful visionaries and action-oriented leaders,

Ø      Access the powerful inner solidarity and sovereignty that can only come from a willingness to “face everything and avoid nothing,”

Ø      Practice martial arts-like mind-body-spirit processes to presence clarity in the face of the unknown, honor in the presence of doubt and fear, vision in the presence of calamity or darkness,

Ø     Learn a skillful means to live by your code and standards in the face of crumbling institutions of moral authority,

Ø      Dive deep into the exploration of what it means to live a visionary life in the 21st century, and experience new vision for self and humanity.

Ø      Engage with your most pressing life and leadership questions and challenges in a powerful space of reflection, interaction and transformative learning.

Ø      Learn to generate profound vision in any moment--vision anchored in reality.

Ø      Access far more of your untapped leadership and visionary abilities, and experience new dimensions of courage, compassion and vision.

Ø      Redefine yourself powerfully in terms of what you stand for in a way that integrates and naturally aligns mind, body and spirit.

Ø      Practice "Vulnerability As Power," and experience new ability to access love as your source of power and courage.

Ø      Learn and practice powerful new methods for liberating yourself and your community from the walls of judgment that divide and separate us (go far beyond resolving conflict to profoundly honoring the other side).

Ø      Experience compelling, dynamic vision that calls you into new dimensions of being and inspires even your perceived adversaries to stand with you.

Ø      Connect with the wisdom and vision of an extraordinary community of leaders and change agents.

Ø      Leave with a new community of visionary allies spanning the globe.


To attend an iStand Experience, you must demonstrate one thing:  an uncommon level of courage and willingness to bring your vision into existence. 

Who Participates In A VisionForce iStand Experience?

They come from all continents, cultures and backgrounds.  They come to face the mountain—the great mountain of crises that now threaten our lives, our children’s lives and our collective future on this planet.  They come to face themselves, each other and the issues that few dare to face.  They bring their dreams and fears, their ideas and doubts, their weariness born of struggle. 

They are mothers, teachers, activists and entrepreneurs.  They are sons, students, artists and pioneers.  They are mid-level managers, musicians, writers and missionaries.  They are warriors in spirit.  They are visionaries in action.  They come, because they can’t turn away now.  They feel called from within to bring forth the vision of their heart. 

And so they make their journey here—to the iStand Experience.  To face everything and avoid nothing as they stand for the manifestation of their vision.  This is their time to replenish body and soul, and to prepare for the challenges ahead.  They will exercise mind, body and spirit, practicing powerful new methods for “being the change.”  Most will leave calling it one of the most powerful experiences of their lives.

And they will go on to stand for peace and prosperity in the world, for freedom and dignity, for health and well-being—for what matters most to them.  And people will listen.  People will feel seen and honored in their presence.  And people from all sides will feel called to stand with them. 

And the world will change.

Expect to engage with a culturally diverse group of inspired visionaries from around the world (ages 18 and up), who are each exploring what it means to "be the change" in the 21st century. 


VisionForce presents...

The iStand Experience
Next Date To Be Announced.  Austin, Texas

A 6-day intensive for visionary leaders,
entrepreneurs and emerging world-changers.
(previously the "VISIONFORCE BOOT CAMP")

"Inside this by-application-only, once-in-a-lifetime event, you'll find common ground and form powerful alliances with other visionaries, and be equipped with proven tools to inspire and activate lasting change in the world..."

  • As of May 12, only 36 seats remain—first come, first served.

  • This once-of-a kind event is intended to spark a movement, and may never be presented in this format again (No video or audio recordings will be made available.)

  • Carefully restricted and limited admission ... you must be able to meet the criteria spelled out below (no exceptions).  

  • Includes everything revealed at our highly acclaimed VisionForce Boot Camps (the precursor to the iStand Experience), hailed as “the most powerful experience of my life" by industry leaders, respected trainers and facilitators, fortune 500 executives,  ... plus a full extra day of alliance building.

  • Featuring the proprietary, breakthrough iStand technology, including expert facilitation of the Inner Conflict Diagram, Judgment Window and more ... plus the instructional materials to conduct these processes in real-life situations as a visionary leader.

  • Upon completing this event, you will join the ranks of visionary leaders and entrepreneurs around the world, who have graduated from this event and now comprise the global "VisionForce."  These are the first people to call, when it's time to move your vision forward.


Can we really create a world
that works for all of us?

For the first time in history, we may have the know-how, the creativity, the technology and the wealth to transcend the many crises facing the world today. 

Yet do we have what it takes to transcend the fears and ideologies that keep us separate?  Do we have the courage to look within and face ourselves?  Do we have the compassion to open our hearts to the world?  Do we have the vision or the faith to carry us?  Do we have the skills to work together?

In the program that many participants call "the most powerful experience of my life," you'll learn a uniquely effective modern-day martial art for the human mind and spirit that yields profound access to the courage, compassion, vision and skill it takes to lead a truly visionary life. 

Click here to request an application.

About the retreat:

Powerful, deeply engaging, interactive, fun and unforgettable, The iStand Experience is an intensive, integrative six-day learning experience where participants engage in running, yoga, breathing exercises, silent reflection, one-on-one coaching, logical diagrams to facilitate new paradigm shifts and thinking processes, individual work with the course leader in front of the room, and hands-on practice and demonstrations in the use of VisionForce's iStand Dynamics

Retreat Schedule & logistics: 

Held on the grounds of a spiritual retreat center in Austin, TX, the retreat begins on Tuesday afternoon at 2pm, and continues through Sunday at 4pm.  Breaks are scheduled regularly throughout the days, including two 90-minute meal breaks and on Friday, a special evening dinner celebration.  All meals are fresh, vegetarian cuisine. 

You are invited to arrive a day early and stay a day later for a week-long retreat and optimal rest (Additional room and board fees apply).

Program fee:  $2495*

*Watch for Early Bird discounts for our last 2008 event this fall!  This may be the last iStand Experience we offer until 2010, due to a shift in our business model.


  • Six days of intensive on-site training, consisting of:

    • Real-life training in iStand Dynamics

    • Six nights (Monday through Saturday) of dormitory-style lodging at the spiritual retreat center where the retreat is held

    • Up to seven days of exquisite, fresh, lovingly prepared vegetarian cuisine

    • A self-paced exercise program

    • High-quality yoga sessions taught by a Master

    • Plenty of time to reflect and integrate the lessons

    • Opportunities to mingle, network, and bond with powerful Visionaries from all over the world

  • Three 75-minute Tele-Workshops before the event

  • Five dynamic and stimulating 75-minute Tele-Workshops after the event

  • Nine weeks of personalized support from our dedicated Assisting Team

  • The opportunity to register for and participate in dozens of post-Experience trainings and tools

    Apply now below:

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More details:
See the Frequently Asked Questions below, call 1-877-844-6667 or send an email to iStandTeam [at]


"...the single most powerful experience I have ever had..."
Mary Winterbottom, Educator, Washington D.C.

Frequently Asked Questions


"Evolutionary! In 3 Days I have taken more control of my life than I thought was possible in half a lifetime." 
- Alex Hunter, Entrepreneur, Denver, CO

Why "The iStand Experience"?

Up until very recently, we've referred to this program as a "boot camp" for world-changers, because of the high level of commitment required to participate and the life-transforming results.  However, perhaps unlike a military boot camp, this experience is fun and profoundly honoring of the individual.  And while participants attend sharing a commitment to "face everything and avoid nothing to stand for humanity," individual participants determine the level at which they engage at this event.  There is no drill sergeant to obey, no one to follow.  Instead, what you'll find here is a safe space to share openly among fellow visionaries.  In fact, the tools you'll learn here are all about honoring self and others at profound levels, and unlike military boot camps where shaming people is part of the process, we model honor every individual as an individual.

We are in the process of transitioning into calling this program The iStand Experience.


"I walked away from boot camp with a vision for myself and the world that I had never seen before.  This was a unique and priceless awakening to a new paradigm in humanity's development." 
- O.T., Boulder, CO

What is the methodology behind The iStand Experience?

iStand Dynamics-- the simple, practical methods for thinking and communicating used at Boot Camp--is the result of Michael Skye's pioneering work with interpersonal and especially intrapersonal conflict.  iStand Dynamics is a human development platform that facilitates profound vision and conscious evolution

Unlike many theories and methods, iStand Dynamics, is elegant in it's simplicity and explanatory power for understanding human behavior. Tools such as new thinking processes, logical diagrams and honest reflection allow participants to face what they've not been facing in their life in a way that calls them to stand for their life and what matters most to them.  Participants say it's like practicing "a martial art for the mind and human spirit."

Drawing on many traditions, yet strikingly original, the iStand tools have been evolving at a rapid pace, thanks to both the progressive open-source development model that VisionForce employs and the VisionForce program participants, who contribute generously to the ongoing development of these transformative tools.

"As a PhD, I have studied numerous and complex theories of human development and human evolution.  Yet I was intrigued the first time I saw Michael Skye's Model of Inner Conflict...  I wish I'd had this understanding 10 years ago--not just for my own benefit, but for the benefit of my clients.  Michael is not another 'me too' in the field of self-development.  He is a pioneer on the cutting edge." 
- M. S., Portland, ME


Who facilitates the iStand Experience?

Michael Skye

The iStand Experience is facilitated by Michael Skye, Deborah York and a committed team of training assistants.

As the founder of VISIONFORCE and lead developer of iStand Dynamics, Michael Skye has trained visionary leaders - from social entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 executives to conscious artists, parents, teachers and other change agents.

Deborah York, a life-long student of spirituality and passionate Yoga instructor for over 23 years, brings the wisdom of the ages to the experience.  Deborah has been instrumental in developing The iStand Experience over the years, continually standing for deeper integration of mind, body and spirit.

Michael, Deborah and the entire assisting team  are champions of the human spirit, and stand for you in a profoundly moving, empowering way.  Together, they provide an entirely safe, open space to explore the deepest parts of your self, and emerge a new being.

Deborah York


Who should participate?

We are looking for passionate people willing to "change the world," starting with their lives and the world around them.  Change agents of all kinds: visionary mothers, conscious capitalists, social entrepreneurs, progressive educators, conscious artists of all kinds, positive revolutionaries, impassioned students... and anyone else still "crazy" enough to believe we can change the world. iStand participants are life-long seekers of wisdom and personal growth, who already lead courageous lives contributing to others.

This is a high level training in living a visionary life as someone who can bring about incredible results with others and effect profound, positive change in the world.

"I am finally clear on my unique purpose and mission in life, and I am walking my own path. Using Michael's iStand technology, I have also formed lifelong alliances with professionals and entrepreneurs from all over the world...  And this is just the beginning."  
- James Davis, author and consu
ltant, Idaho Falls, ID

What happens during The iStand Experience?

 The iStand Experience begins with the application process. Once you have decided that you are willing to face everything and avoid nothing to stand for humanity's future as a sustainable, fulfilling, and just presence on the planet, you take an application.

The application is designed to engage your core values - what you stand for, what obstacles you face, and what you see for yourself and the planet inside of your stand.

When your application is approved, you pay your tuition and room and board fees, which vary based on location.  Once this is complete, you are given a document with instructions for how to prepare for the iStand Experience, and you are set up for an Orientation Call, during which you will be introduced to the communication tools used during the Experience.  When your orientation is complete, you may begin interacting with other participants before the first conference call.

The official interaction begins with a series of conference calls that take place on the weekends.  These calls are led by your iStand Leader, and consist of interactions based on distinctions that will be covered extensively during the retreat.  During this portion of the Experience you will be going within to further inquire about your core values, where you have compromised in your life, and you will be sharing these experiences with other participants. 

There are three weeks of pre-retreat calls, and then the retreat, and then five weeks of calls after the retreat.  These pre- and post-calls are critical to the iStand process, as they take place in the midst of your life, where the iStand dynamics make the most difference.

Here is a play-by-play of the retreat itself:

You arrive on Wednesday morning or mid-day at the location. 

After a 3-hour Breath and Body Foundations workshop, which incorporates breathing techniques and an introduction to yoga, you'll retire to your room, and dress for the 1-hour evening Reception, catered with fine vegetarian cuisine and hors d'oeuvres.  After mingling with the other participants, you'll engage in a 3-hour Orientation session.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, you go for a self-paced run at 5:00 a.m. There's no pressure--if you can't run, then you're free to walk. We give special instructions on how to use the run as a tool for transformation (you'll never approach exercise the same way again!).

After the run, you return refreshed and awake for "conscious yoga." The yoga we practice together at the retreat integrates body, mind, and spirit to prepare everyone for a rigorous day of visionary training.

The iStand technology you will practice is an original art form which:

  • Does not delve into past traumas or involve any kind of regression therapy,
  • Explores the underlying mechanisms of inner conflict, which compromise our values and our vision--and slowly kill our spirit,
  • Removes hidden barriers to becoming fully conscious of one's values and vision, and naturally acting in line with them,
  • Exposes the core conflict of human consciousness, in a way that gives the human development professional and the layman alike a uniquely simple and powerful model for understanding human behavior,
  • Develops your capacity to live in the unknown with unforeseen courage, compassion and vision.
  • Offers simple, powerful tools for navigating new territory in line with one's vision, and for evolving consciously as visionary leaders,
  • Has you powerfully creating the future, while grounded in the present.
  • Presents a much larger context for taking inspired action in the world.
  • Awakens you to honor as a guiding feeling and way of life.

During this retreat, you will venture into uncharted territory with your iStand Leader as your guide and iStand technology as the vehicle.

You will explore the nature of consciousness, challenge yourself beyond measure, and face your darkest shadows and brightest light. Then, on Day 5, you will participate in 6 implementation workshops to deepen your practical understanding of iStand.

The result? A new relationship to life itself.

Though the 5-day retreat is a transformative experience in itself, the real challenge comes after you return home. That's why there are five weeks of calls after the retreat. 

These five weeks of conference calls and interaction with other participants comprise an intimate coaching program, which will allow you to integrate the iStand technology even more deeply in your life as you take the many bold actions inspired by your newly emerging vision. 


What kind of results do people see or produce after The iStand Experience?
At one of our retreats for world changers in 2004, a young man from Turkey realized he stood for social justice. He would go on to describe his realization as far more than an intellectual insight–-it was a deeply emotional, physical and spiritual awakening for him. Through his being, he felt called to stand for social justice, and a vision was born.

Within months after that event, he founded 20/20 MultiMedia and began sharing his vision for giving a voice to conscious hip hop artists, who could use their medium for positive change. A few years later, a feature-length documentary starring some of the biggest names in hip hop is about to be released internationally.  It is a visionary film with a powerful message and a call for hip hop artists to stand and own their power to bring about positive change.

This man’s name is Emjed Hammas; his company is 20/20 MultiMedia, and his film is Business As Usual: The Exploitation of Hip Hop.  Here's what he had to say recently about his iStand Experience 3 years ago (click play below):

Positive revolutionaries, authors, musicians, change agents, educators, artists, activists, entrepreneurs, parents, students, CEOs . . .

All who participate in The iStand Experience become so deeply connected to their values, that they take a stand for what matters most. And a vision is born which calls them into heroic action - a vision which demands their personal evolution. They become shaped by their stand and their vision, and their relationships, companies and communities are transformed.


Will this event and these tools help me financially as an entrepreneur?

Vision empowers entrepreneurs to venture powerfully into the unknown, while inspiring many to venture with them.  While the iStand Experience does not specifically address entrepreneurship, business or finances, many graduates go on to start businesses and/or multiply their income.

"Thanks to Michael Skye's Boot Camp, my progression in my business exploded beyond my wildest dreams. I have successfully started 5 new businesses in 2004 so far. Most are in the 5 figures a month range.  A few are ready to hit 6 figures a month..."
- John Matterson, 28-yr-old entrepreneur Vancouver, BC, Canada


Will this event help my marriage or relationship?  Would it be good to bring my spouse?

Watch the video below of Tracey who attended with her husband.


When do I need to be onsite for the retreat?

The retreat begins on Wednesday afternoon with a Breath and Body workshop from 2-5pm, and ends on the following Sunday afternoon at 2pm.  We strongly encourage arriving a day early and departing a day later, making the retreat a full seven days.

Everyone is required to attend all sessions of the retreat.


Where is this event held?

The retreats have been held at the Ancient Yoga Center (a retreat facility at Barsana Dham, an ashram) just southwest of Austin, TX.  In the future, iStand retreats will be held all over the world.

For retreats in Austin, we will help those arriving on out of town flights coordinate rides to and from the airport. The three-letter airport code is AUS.



Is it just for men?

No. VisionForce offers a variety of ways to access the personal power necessary to move forward as an effective change agent in the world.

Along with online and home study programs which introduce the concepts, our most life-changing tool is a 9-week program with a 5-day experiential, residential, intensive retreat that has world-changers create community with each other, call themselves to stand for their boldest vision and actually see how to make it real, and access the depth of their hearts to create profound relatedness to others in a way that engages people to join in creating that positive future. There is a mix of yin and yang from morning runs and taking powerful stands, to yoga and heart-connecting exercises.

While it is intended to be physically, emotionally and mentally challenging, it is not to break your will or make you follow orders, on the contrary, this experiences brings you into deep realization and activation of the visionary command that is at your core. It draws forth your best self and calls you powerfully into action.


Is it a religious program?

Many find it a profoundly moving experience, and may refer to parts as spiritual or transformational, but there is no religious doctrine or practice that is followed or promoted. There are no beliefs to subscribe to, only the willingness to honor our human experience, regardless of our beliefs and backgrounds.


How physically fit do I have to be in order to participate? If I can't do all the yoga positions and exercises will I get the full benefit?

At a recent retreat we had a participant who had arthritis in her hip and was waiting for hip replacement surgery, and she had an amazing experience. With her doctor's blessing she adapted the exercises to her own abilities, did powerful breathing exercises while others were doing the morning run, and did as much of the yoga as she could. She found that she was able to do a lot more than she expected and built personal strength through embracing the intention to exercise and explore her inner world. We don't want physical restrictions to prevent participation and still we encourage people to challenge what they have told themselves are their limits.


I am really getting a lot from going through the VF101 and Visionary Mind programs. Is this a decent substitute for participating in The iStand Experience?

While you get a lot of benefit from VF101 and Visionary Mind, The iStand Experience is at a whole level beyond either of those programs.  Many who participate will already have participated in VF101 or Visionary Mind, just like you.


Are there ways to sample this work before applying?

You can purchase Visionary Mind and start your VisionForce training at home.  We also offer free tele-seminars, and there are plenty of people around the world who can introduce you to the iStand technologies.


Do I have to share intimate details of my life with other participants?

The space created during this process is one where it is safe to share, where everyone is profoundly honored and respected at all times, and all participants have agreed to keep others' details confidential.

The iStand Experience is about the present and the future, so we don't do any kind of therapy or work with the past.  Participants should not only be very mentally and psychologically healthy prior to participating; they should be individuals who regularly invest in their personal growth.


What is the best form of preparation for the retreat? Is there anything that you ask attendees to do or have before arriving?

Yes, there are many things you can do to prepare, and much of this we'll share once your application is approved. We'll send you detailed information at that time. 


How much time do I need to budget before and after the retreat to fully take advantage of what you have to offer?

Everyone who is accepted will be sent a document with a variety of suggested ways to prepare for the retreat, including exercise, recommended movies and reading material. Those are all things you can do as much as you want on your own time before the retreat begins. The three pre-retreat conference calls are also an excellent opportunity to prepare yourself for the rigor of the retreat.  Each week participants are required to join in on one of the two scheduled calls hosted each weekend.

After the retreat are five more weekends of conference calls. It's an intimate coaching program, which will allow you to integrate the iStand technology even more deeply in your life as you take the many bold actions inspired by your newly emerging vision. Through weekly phone calls, insightful emails and dialog via our discussion group VisionForce and your fellow graduates support each other in integrating your new practices into your life.


I know some people in Austin that I could stay with, could I save on the room and board by commuting from their place?

No. The iStand Experience is designed to be an immersion experience, and during the retreats in Austin, everyone will stay together at the ashram. Attendance at all sessions is required.



This sounds intense! Perhaps too intense for me right now. Can I just buy the CDs or tapes later?

We will never release to the public ANY recordings of The iStand Experience. Just as no one can become a Navy SEAL by watching a video, there is simply no way anyone could ever "get" The iStand Experience by simply watching or listening to it without being there. The retreat is an experiential learning event that requires your active face-to-face participation, group interaction, live feedback and coaching.


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