The work of VisionForce is based on an art form developed experientially by Michael Skye and his fellow practitioners/playmates over the last few decades. Michael’s journey to develop this work has been guided by his love for his family and his refusal to settle with the way human beings often deal with the challenges of inner guidance and interpersonal conflict.
Michael likes to refer to this work as a “martial art for the human mind and spirit,” dealing with the inner conflicts which arise in relation to our values and environment. It is not a moral diagnosis for what is wrong or a prescription for what is right, but rather an art form which yields insight, guidance and mastery through experience.
Michael’s work draws from a model of human consciousness which suggests that the conditioning most of us receive from our culture from the time we are born is designed to have us supplant the natural guidance of the human heart, mind and spirit with external authority structures. The internal guidance systems we find ourselves with as adults are contorted adaptations to the heavy forces of external guidance evident in artificial punishment and rewards; propaganda which often passes for education; socialization with guilt, fear, pride, etc., which we’ve received since birth. Michael’s work exposes the hidden dynamics of this external influence and it’s impact on our consciousness and choices.
The art form relies on reclaiming the word “Honor” from being a construct used to manipulate and moralize, and remembering it as a natural guiding force: a clear and peaceful feeling of the heart. The work has a lot to do with reclaiming a sacred connection to our hearts and our world, and includes logic-based tools such as the Inner Conflict Diagram and Honor Window which illuminate how various forces of our psych are compromising the vision, wisdom, compassion and courage of our hearts; as well as embodiment exercises and practices.
The work is based on three basic movement of consciousness: Facing, Standing and Seeing: facing and welcoming everything that is (with body and heart as well as mind), standing for the values your heart guides you to stand for, and seeing the heart-vision generated by facing and standing.
Like any martial art form, it is at least as much about “the way” as it is the movements, practices or forms. In short, the “way” is 1) standing with heart-based honor and 2) honoring. Such a path invites continual learning and growing, as those who’ve engaged in this work know, but isn’t it after all, just as the cliche says, about the journey not the destination?
The words used to describe this work fall far short of a direct experience of the work itself. Rather than an exacting summation of this newly emerging and ever-evolving body of work, what is written here is meant to function as a partial description and as an invitation to direct experience.
Michael likens his iStands and other workshops to his “dojo,” where he gets to step onto the metaphorical mat and stand for people just as he would his own family. He doesn’t regard himself as any sort of guru, but rather as a fellow passionate practitioner and co-creator of an emerging art form. He welcomes people who’s hearts call them to stand for a more beautiful world to come and experience the work, play with it and collaborate.