Phenomenological Origins

My epistemological chain of custody is my story about experiences - including those originating in the lives of my ancestors and all of their relatives including the entire web of life. My worldview, is the way I perceive the world. My perception is woven in my neurology with feelings, thoughts and sensations. It is woven with all of the external sensory intercourses with the nature, people and world around me.  I am my experiences. Every idea, thought, preference, skill that affects my cognition and awareness I attribute to my experiences. 

 

My offerings to the world are rooted in the many people who have nurtured, guided, inspired, taught, lead, coached, encouraged, critiqued, healed and educated me. This is my best and ongoing attempt to represent, acknowledge, thank, respect and honour those whose wake has directly and indirectly created the person that I am and I am becoming, shaping how i perceive and sense-make the world.

Ancestors

I come from Sweden, Wales, England, Ireland and Senegal.

 

The Winn family name originates in Carnarvonshire, Wales in the 1200’s. Winn means pale or white.

 

I am 5th generation Californian. My family names include Freeman, Chapman, Scott + Ray.

All the names and people I come from have mythologies and origination stories. Virtually none of this oral story was passed down - all memories of the lands we came from have gone behind mists.

William D. Lindsey has written 4 essays published in the Journal of Arkansas Historical Society  about my great great grandfather James Russell Winn who had a lifelong open marriage with Margaret Shackleford - most likely a freed slave from a Georgia plantation. They lived through the Civil War in Arkansas. Their last son, Powhatan, inherited the family plantation. In 1899 he was shot in the back and killed while on his land. Powhatan is my great great grandfather. His mother Margaret had to have been 100% Senegalese, and, I surmise her parents were some of the last people to be taken from west Africa in the late 1800s.

0-13

My mom Cheryl Winn (neé Scott) and dad, Darrell Winn. My mom was a naturalist. My dad is a theatre artist – he designed lights and sets and worked my whole life growing up as the Production Supervisor for the Dramatic Arts + Dance Department at UC Davis.

 

My parents gave me every opportunity to be myself and learn about the world. Two things I am most grateful for – they did not teach me prejudice of any kind and they always told me I could do anything I wanted. My grandma Illa was an incredible role model – she loved gardening and dancing.

Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America. I come from a scouting family. I was an active Girl Scout by the age of 5 until 15. I learned how to camp, mark trails, tie knots, sing songs, lead meetings, sell cookies, develop merit, be of service to my community. My mom was my Girl Scout leader. My dad has always been passionate about Boy Scouts – running troops, camps or regional administration. I am a lifelong member of Girl Scouts.

My hamster fluffy. My french lopped-ear bunny Thumper. My dog (Westie) Penny.

Mrs. Bell in 3rd grade, Mr. Newman in 5th grade, Mr. Roach in 6th grade.

Mrs. Kessler, my church choir director taught me how to read music.

My childhood best friend, Pamela March. We watched every horror movie known to earth, played atari.

14-26

1987 Rukomechi, mana pools, zimbabwe

Grateful dead 1988

My friend Ivan Franks took me to my first Jerry Garcia Band show on Halloween at the Henry J Kaiser in Oakland.

 

Then two months later he took me to the Grateful Dead New Years shows at the Oakland Stadium. As you could imagine, everything happened, my mind quadrupled! I developed my love of dance and creative movement going to Dead Shows.

 

I remain a loyal Dead Head. These experiences gave me an incredibly meaningful sense of belonging through the music and friendships.

That August I went on my first trip - ever. I knew nothing about the world. We went to Zimbabwe. My mom took me on a safari with her Zoo Docent friends. I had my first encounter with wildlife, met my animal totem and experienced my domesticity for the first time.

1989

first holistic Healing

Dr. Wu, (a chinese doctor earning a Ph.D. in microbiology at UCDavis when I met him) introduced me to Chinese medicine in 1990; in exchange for acupressure on my back from him I agreed to practice Qi Gong. This was my first somatic experience. I had debilitating back pain for over a year and went to the doctor many times. After a few months practicing Qi Gong with the aid of the massage, I was able to feel my body begin to move with less pain. It was remarkable. At that moment I also possessed the understanding of allopathic and naturopathic.

My first community development course was taught by, who -  as it happens is a totally epic human being -  reknown Dr. Isao Fugimoto Professor Emiriti at UC Davis. Dr. Fugimoto introduced me to the ideas of empowerment and social justice. There is this famous idea in “development” that it is better to teach a man to fish than give him a fish. I still have a keen recollection of a lecture on this subject and being completely transformed by a brilliant critique of this development presumption/statement unpacking all of the assumptions and histories created with this sentiment. Very surely, this was the beginning of my meta-critique of Development [sic]. These were the first conversations I ever participated in on the subjects of colonialism, social justice and community development. This was absolutely the moment that I first put together the context of the ethics of my individual self and the society that I live in and the privilege that I possess. Simultaneously, I developed the beginning of my critique of the West and the ongoing deleterious forces of global development.

1990

first community development class

1991-93 School for international training

Attending  School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT was an incredible experience – I was lived with students from all of the world who were attending SIT to study English. This was a pivotal life experience. There were only 25 students in my very bespoke World Issues Program - also from countries worldwide. From homogenous Davis, I experienced cultural diversity for the first time and it was wondrous and meaningful.

 

I was introduced to systems thinking, Donella Meadows, sustainability, global development economics (IMF, World Bank, economic structural adjustment, food aid), UNCED.

 

Above all, I am grateful for learning an independent study / learning methodology and a process for self-evaluation that I have used continuously.

 

SIT taught me how to be a world citizen by  consciously developing intercultural human relations skills.

Dr. Gloria Rudolph taught me that gender extends far beyond our biology; gender is socially constructed. She insisted that all understanding comes from her mantra: problem-cause-solution; she taught me to identify the system roots of any problem before thinking solution.

 

Dr. Nikoi Kote-Nikoi was my first and most potent academic advisor and professor of international development economics.

 

Not only was his intellectual direction keen in terms of global economic development, he taught me the most important lessons about not romanticizing poverty or indigenous peoples. These were hard things to learn as I had to unfix the unconscious bias of everything I thought about myself and the world. With great regard for his admonishments and encouragements, I became very well-equipped to be a net positive contributor to global society. Nikoi taught me how to present ideas academically and how to form a theory and use words efficaciously.

 

He pressed on me the importance of not romanticizing poverty, indigenous people or the other – perhaps one of the most important caveats I have ever received.

 

Four important words I learned from Nikoi that made me a great writer: eschew, tautological, pedantic, verbose.


Dr. Jeff Unsicker told me that I was “prolifically exuberant” and as such I was not accepted into an academic program. I was so upset about this for years. Wow – this was such an engine for personal growth and self-reflection, for years actually, and I am really grateful – ultimately – for being exactly who I am! And, to be able to have a personal perspective on one's decorum and how to craft one's personal presentation.

 

My friends from SIT: Beth Gates, Kevin DeGabriel, Geoff Dorn, Merede Graham, Alix Berry, Zane Redman, Kurt Kaler, Norman Howard – all made huge impacts on my life. Merede had to leave the planet way too early and I miss her.

1992-93 Bulawayo, zimbabwe

I spent my senior year of college living in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. I had an internship working for Mrs. Gladys Maseko at Africa Community-Based Development Initiatives.

Mrs. Maseko kindly welcomed me to her organization and gave me a powerful impression of leadership, dignity and courage. I got to be on the front lines helping bring global development knowledge to Zimbabwean professionals right during the time of UNCED. It was amazing to be a young person in a post-colonial recently liberated African country brimming with racial polarization getting to witness Mrs Maseko, a woman leader ahead of her time, all at the modern birth of global sustainability!

 

She gave me immeasurable insights into North-South relations; I realized that there is no such thing as joint action and mutuality while the hegemonic powers of colonialism are extant. These insights fundamentally influenced my early philosophical views on Development [sic]. This was also the first time I began to consciously think about “decision making”.

 

While I lived in Bulawayo at the Sibanda's house on the Victoria Falls Hwy, I had one single friend: Bukhosi Ngwane.

 

It was a lonely time being a young white girl from America. He taught me so much including how to ride the bus and all of the necessary etiquette to be courteous. He was instrumental in teaching me about race; it is a strange thing to look back on, but I became white while I lived in Bulawayo. For my entire life, my friendship with Bukhosi has utterly influenced my sensitivity to race relations, privilege and power.

I was standing in the hours-long line at the post office in Bulawayao when I saw a small flyer for  Fambidzanai Permaculture Training Center just outside Harare, Zimbawe. This is how I learned about permaculture. Since I was studying Zimbabwe land tenure and issues related to agriculture, it appealed to me.

 

This was the first time I was introduced to the idea of a holistic design science. I was introduced to the idea of “Holistic Decision Making” based Allan Savory’s (from southern Rhodesia) idea of Holistic Range Management.

 

Savory’s 7-Step Holistic Decision-Making process was a watershed idea in what became a serious trajectory of study and ultimately to the creation of a large body of work on the subject of decision making for sustainability.

 

This course radically shifted my thinking about development (especially learning the 3 ethical postulates of permaculture). I have lived by these postulates since 1992. People often confuse Permaculture Design with a way of growing food - it is not! Permaculture Design is about optimizing human culture through place-based community.

Care for Earth

Care for People

Reinvest

Surplus + Revenue to

Care for People by Caring for the Earth.

Permaculture Ethics

1992 permaculture

1993 First

Nia class

I took my first Nia class in Portland, OR at Body Moves! This class was a profound moment for me by experiencing vigorous cardio movement without having an asthma attack – this may have been my first physical experience of liberation. This was the beginning of my somatic learning journey and has influenced my comprehension of holistic decision-making and my sensitivity towards consciousness as a body phenomenon and not only a mental construct. Right away I knew I wanted to practice Nia forever!

jakarta, indonesia 1994-95

For about 8 months I lived on Jl Cilandak X in Jakarta Seletan with a group of friends from SIT. We all got jobs teaching English - it was an immense experience living in Indonesia. I hung out with an amazing group of young people from USA, UK, Indonesia and the world in one of the biggest and most polluted cities on the planet. Battling mosquitoes at night, we used to play wicked card games for hours.  We had a pembantu housekeeper named Yatmi. Having a housekeeper was an amazing thing - brought forward cultural assumptions about privilege, about worth, about human dignity. This was a big teacher. Being a young woman from California in a very Muslim culture was profound; I was often harrassed by young men; sometimes it was scary. I learned alot of things while I lived there that were otherwise impossible to know from my hometown growing.

I learned how to eat rice with my hands and was exposed to all kinds of interesting paranormal metaphysical phenomenon.

Saya bisa bersuap nasi. 

Living in Jakarta was often challenging. Getting to and from classes meant braving the streets of cars, busses, motorcycles, bajais and people going in 18 million directions. Trash in the street was a massive phenomenon plus dirty water ways and filthy polluted skies - so it was an experience of often being uncomfortable. This helped me grow in necessary ways.

I went on an amazing trip with my mom up the Tanjung Puting Rv in Borneo. We visited the famous Camp Leakey Orangutan research center. We saw first hand the devastation of the forest for cyanide gold mining. It destroyed me. I haven't bought gold since.

Portland, or 1995-1996

1995-1996 Mayor’s Office of International Relations in Portland, OR. I worked for Mayor Vera Katz (Sam Adams, Chief of Staff). I had a full-time internship. I had my first real experience facilitating community relationships. I coordinated Portland’s nine sister cities. I also learned considerably about politics and international diplomacy.

Full-Time Internship

Mayor’s Office of International Relations

I worked for Mayor Vera Katz (Sam Adams, Chief of Staff).

 

I had my first real experience facilitating community relationships. I coordinated Portland’s nine sister cities.

 

I learned considerably about politics and international diplomacy by preparing all of the cultural briefings for the Mayor.

Nia Practice

I fundamentally changed my body and life practicing Nia.

 

I took Nia classes twice daily mon-fri and weekend mornings because I loved it! In 9 months I lost 30 lbs and changed 3 dress sizes. I finally felt my body get strong. 

 

During this time, Carlos Rosas (now AyaRosas) transmitted an incredible sensory understanding of the dreamspell calendar.

Living the Dream!

 

Meanwhile, I lived in very artistic loft space and most-likely a totally illegal living space above an awesome blown glass artistic studio in Old Town Portland. It was this great Portlandia moment of the 1990s - bohemian and austere.

Graduate school - UCDavis 1996-1998

Graduate School, UC Davis, Community Development

My idea was simply to study this emerging idea of sustainability just a few moments before sustainability was a subject taught at schools. I had many amazing professors there including Dr. Stefano Varese (Native American studies, who chaired my thesis committee) and Dr. Bernadette Tarallo. My master’s thesis explored the intersection of sustainability, autonomy and cultural resources. I first had  to identify the meaning of sustainability, which took me on a 500 year odyssey into the Western paradigm to trace the evolution of the concept. I applied this understanding to a case study of Pueblo nations in New Mexico using permaculture design to effect cultural autonomy so that they could maintain and sustain cultural resources.

​​

permaculture design course 1998

Permaculture Design course Traditional Native American Farmers Association (TNAFA) at  Picuris Pueblo, NM radically shaped my ideas on sustainability.

 

While I grasped the importance of autonomy and sovereignty as  necessary conditions for cultural sustainability - this was only a mental extrapolation before I took this course. I was studying permaculture as an autonomy strategy in graduate school; with the addition of this course I was able to discern the importance of development as process (living systems) vs development as project (teleological systems).  This experience translated into the major part of  my Master’s thesis at UCD. I am so grateful to Miguel Santistevan who introduced me to TNAFA, Louie Hena (Picuris Pueblo) and Clayton Brascoupe (Tesuque Pueble).

 

During this course I met the self-proclaimed Keeper of the Corn. I learned from him that there are 2000+ varieties of corn and every corn has a unique human creation story, which meant as the Keeper of the Corn, he must keep the cultural seeds alive in order to keep the biological seeds also alive. This was a huge understanding for me in terms of what it means (at least potentially) to sustain cultures. This was the first time that I understood culture as a living phenomenon through seeds that are planted. I began to glimpse the multiplicity of cultures and not just an homogenized "indigenous" culture.

aikido 1997-98

I practiced Aikido three days a week for two years. One day my sensei told me that at the moment it is time to find a practice partner, that I should every time run to the best student in the class to practice with; he said that it was my job to get there first so that I could learn from the best. Learning about O Sensei radically influenced my ideas of leadership, personal mastery and human dignity.

teachers

I have very special gratitude for:

Dr. Ted K. Bradshaw – the most brilliantly enthusiastic teacher I have ever had.

Ted loved inquiry and he loved teaching! Ted gave me the opportunity to write a peer review article with him (published in the Journal of the Community Development Society), introduced me to the Community Development Society and enthusiastically endorsed my thinking. Ted’s class on Community Development theory is where I initiated my largest body of theoretical work: Holistic Decision Making Mandala. The mandala is a visual representation based on life systems science of what thinking looks like that yields sustainability outcome.

Ted was my foremost mentor.

The last time I saw Ted, he gave me an incredible book, Ripples from the Zambezi (1999) by Ernesto Sirolli. He said I had to read it and he was absolutely right. Sirolli’s work is outstanding. Ted told me that I am a “networker”; he truly endorsed me and my work on sustainability. He was one of the first professors at UCD to  explore  this topic. I remain sad that he left the planet well ahead of his time.

 

Dr. Frank Hirtz – the quintessential professor – full of philosophical tenets, probing questions, incredibly adroit thinking and a theoretical mind with a great gift at facilitating high-level learning among his students.

Frank (from Germany) introduced me to incredible European systems thinkers – Ulrich Beck (read Risk Society) and Niklas Luhmann; these authors had a profound impact on me and my embodiment of systems thinking. He helped me radically evolve my theoretical compositions and ability to engage in rigorous dialectic. In every academic skill, Frank helped me advance my efficacy. While Frank was not on my thesis committee, he furthered my thinking significantly - especially building off of the theoretical foundations I received from Dr. Kote-Nikoi.

My best friend in graduate school, Miguel Santistevan, taught me to greatly respect corn.

1996    Joseph Malki + Dr. Roger Apodaca

Joseph introduced me to James Miller’s work on living systems, which is where I learned about nested systems and holons. Conversations with Joseph prompted my futuristic idea of Agropolis – the next future of technologically advanced land-based communities that would form organically in response to the collapse of globalization.

Dr. Roger Apodaca self-identified Comanchero-Mexican-Vietnam Vet-Mathematical genius, lectured me for hours and hours sitting in front of Cafe Roma in Davis. I received precious dissertations on “political correctness”, “to supplant”, fascism, cultural autonomy, physics, indians, hegemony, military strategy, mathematics, gestalt and philosophy. Dr. Apodaca was a potent mentor.

Barry Kulmann, Blacksmith at the Iron Rose Forge, was my very good friend and teacher in art history, martial arts and blacksmithing.

jose + lloydine Argüelles

Around 1997 I met Dr. José Argüelles + Lloydine Argüelles. Having grown up in Davis, I had known about José for a long time because his art class at UCD in 1970 created the first Whole Earth Festival - an annual event that was a cornerstone experience in my adolescence through college.

 

Despite any of the obvious later critiques of José, at the time reading the Mayan Factor was my entry into a new vista of inquiry. The summer of 1998 after taking an archaeology course at an ancient Maya settlement, I took myself on a self-study tour of ancient Maya culture visiting southern Mexico pyramids. This led to an invaluable education about the link between  the Gregorian Calendar and the genocide of Europe’s indigenous peoples.

 

Dr. Arguelles, but in particular Lloydine who became a dear dear friend and ally, were instrumental in shaping the facets of my extant relationship to time. I remember Lloydine telling me her “Aha!” at the Museum of Time in Europe when she perceived how mechanical clock time fundamentally severs the human being body from natural time, (i.e., where the lions, trees and universe dwells,) and that until that rift is resolved we cannot in fact be in harmony with nature.

From the Argüelles' I learned about the epic Russian artist and philosopher Nicholas Roerich; the Pax Cultura has been a beacon in my epistemological journey ever since.

They also introduced me to the work of Russian scientist Vernadsky who wrote a 1926 book called The Biosphere and coined the term Noosphere (meaning the mental idea sphere that envelopes the earth). And from here, they introduced me to the great French scientist Teillard de Chardin who radically furthered Vernadsky's concept of Noosphere.

Roerich Pax Cultura

pax cultura.png

azienda pira pora 1998

During a 3-month homestay / work exchange with the Colace Familiy on their agriturismo in Zambrone, Calabria, I foraged for wild mushrooms, learned how to make pasta, harvest olives, make vino, salumni, ricotta, bread and permaculture farming techniques.

At Christmastime I witnessed the annual pig slaughter – it was amazing. This was the first time in my life I witnessed an animal dying in a natural family-based food cycle. The next day we made a pork sugo.

 

I learned considerably about healthy rural economic development. I have since been inspired by agriturismo as an convivial development idea.

 

Io ho imperato una poca della lengua italiana.

notable books + authors from this period

  • Tools for Conviviality (1972) Ivan Illich

  • For the Common Good (1989) Herman Daly and John Cobb

  • Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual (1988) Bill Mollison

  • A Fate Worse Than Debt (1988) Susan George

  • The Wretched of the Earth (1961) Franz Fanon

  • Noam Chomsky

  • Donella Meadows

  • The Development Dictionary (1992) ed Wolfgang Sachs

  • Risk Society (1986) Ulrich Beck

  • Niklas Luhmann

  • Development Betrayed (1994) Richard Norgaard

  • Das Kapital, Karl Marx

  • Mayan Factor (1987) José Argüelles

  • This Holy Earth (1915) Liberty Hyde Baily

  • Wendell Berry

  • Herman Hesse – especially Siddartha

  • Carlos Castenada – specifically earliest books

27-40

2002-2010

green festivals

This was a great experience, in large part because I got to work with Dr. Kevin Danaher, co-founder, Global Exchange.

We had incredible conversations from the political economy of southern Africa to the emergence of the Green Economy. During the Green Festival experience I met largely all of the major thought leaders, populist authors and business leaders working in the United States on sustainability (social justice, ecological balance, sustainable economics). Kevin is truly a great collaborator and awesome public speaker. This was a highly formative professional relationship.

I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with Greg Roberts - Green Festivals producer whom I had originally met in the 1990s when I worked for Whole Life EXPO. Greg is the keenest professional mentor I have ever had. I think he is a genius; excellent sales mind and incredibly skilled at weaving diverse interests.

Georgia Malki. who directed the event, was an incredible tour de force - her entrepreneurship and business creativity inspired me deeply.

 

Alisa Gravitz is one of the very best leaders in the US civil society - her keen intelligence and perspicacity were impressive. I am really fortunate to have worked for her. Denise Hamler and Alix Davidson are two of the most hard working and dedicated social justice advocates and leaders making a lasting difference in the world.

I had great opportunities to meet some of the most passionate, forward-thinking solutioneers on the planet and present them to audiences across the United States – those who stand out include Dame Anita Roddick, John Perkins, Congressman Denis Kucinich, Dr. Cornel West, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Paul Hawken, Dr. Mark Anielski, Dune Lankard, Winona LaDuke, Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Amy Goodman, Lawrence Lessig, Chuck D, Mutabaruka, Dr. Gunter Pauli, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, Dr. Sharif Abdullah, William McDonough, Paul Stamets.

Last but not least, the creative team at Ranch 7: Kate Brouillet, Laurie Gibbs and Kernan Coleman. I think they are some of the very best in the industry. Working with them taught me about project management, how to work with graphic designers and how to think about designing ad copy.

2000 somatic synergy: Healing, yoga, nia

For two years (1999-2000,) the esteemed Dr. Kenneth Morris

treated me for asthma with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Ken was an outstanding healer and helped me heal from life-long asthma.

 

By addressing my body as a whole system, he was able to neutralize my allergies fundamentally eliminating asthma from my day-to-day life. Much of what is told to us as “can’t be healed” is just a thought-form that prevents legitimacy of other thought-forms being true.

This is when I learned that mind-body medicine is efficacious. I also learned that allopathic medicine is absolutely limited.

 

I started yoga practice for real around 2000 with Tim Thompson + Monkey Yoga Shala in Oakland, CA.

Everything I may know about yoga, I learned from Tim. Tim's ability to connect mythology, philosophy and movement is profound. Also, Ashtanga Yoga is really difficult and helped me get alot stronger.

 

I am extremely thankful for the 200+ hours (at least) I spent in his studio practicing there through 2008 until I moved to Portland, OR. While I never became a yoga superstar, Tim more than anyone influenced my attitude about what it means to be a movement teacher.

2000 White Belt Nia Intensive

I thought the White Belt would help me deepen my practice. Beyond any reason, I chose to become a Nia teacher, which was dreadfully scary as I was still rife with body image issues. This was a watershed choice. This intensive marked the beginning of an incredibly fecund relationship with Debbie Rosas.

"What does

business

have to do

with the body?"

May 2002

I asked Carlos:

"Why is Principle 11 called Business and Marketing? What does business have to do with the body? All of the other principles connect directly to the body."

 Carlos replied,

I think you need to answer your own questions.”

At which moment I was initiated (although unbeknownst at the time) on a learning journey that has become an incredibly potent tool for conviviality.

I created a body-centered business philosophy. By 2009, I understood most of the tenets of this philosophy. I took an awesome course led by Peggy Taylor and Gifford Pinchot on Cortes Island called Creativity + Right Livelihood. I thought alot about the Buddhist notion of Right Livelihood and somehow had the inspiration to look up the work Sacred. I was surprised to find such a cool definition on Free Dictionary.com and this pulled all of the pieces together for me.

 

 

Nia Technique adopted my philosophy in 2010 as Principle 11

Creating a Sacred Livelihood

The business of My Body and My Life.

Between 2010 - 2016, I worked very delightfully with Debbie Rosas to develop their somatic session for the White Belt Intensive. Ultimately, this work led Nia Technique to further refine its body-centered principles and focus on creating meaning and at this time the company stopped teaching the body-centered business philosophy that I created.

2002 jane lorand green mba

2005-08

solstice grove

2005-2008 Solstice Grove Living there was a life highlight and highly transformational experience; an evolutionary community in Marin owned by Jim Fournier.

Conversation thematics: quantum theory, astrology, human design, mythology, science, industry, sustainability, magic, healing, enneagram, permaculture, community process. While living at the Grove I created the concept “Transformational Profiling” – why use one symbolic system when we can use the intelligence of them all?  The peer-to-peer learning at Solstice Grove was evolutionary and in every sense of the word profound.

I have gratitude for all of my mates during that cycle:

Amira Diamond, Troy Lush, Jim Fournier, Jenny VanWinkle, Steven Green, Michael Gaio, Andrea Vecchione, Palma Vizzoni, Matt Sluder, Anna Corona, Danny Brent + the hundreds of epic dream characters that were constantly migrating through.

During the time of the grove, thanks to Palma, I had the tremendous benefit of meeting Jojopah Maria Nsoroma. Jojopah carries Dagara medicine; she is adept at perceiving through the veils of the what is isn’t world. Ritual and ceremony with her have had palpable and enduring impacts on my psyche (body-mind-emotion). Through this relationship I was able to come to understand the importance of feminine sovereignty. Jojopah was a catalyst for me to choose above all things the willingness to learn about myself and to eschew the workings of the victim. Eventually, inspired by working with her and in conversation with one of my best friends, Danny Brent, I created “The Little Lam(b)”: Learning About Myself Beautifully.

Planetwork was a huge part of my life while living at the grove. This is an outgrowth of the genius of Jim Fournier – a person whom I have deepest respect for and life long gratitude. 

Identity woman

Through Planetwork I met an ally and friend, Kaliya Hamlin aka Identity Woman. Kaliya is remarkable in addition to a long string of endorsing adjectives; she has been a stalwart educator on Internet technology, philosophy of identity and civil society values vis a vis the Internet and technology. I have indirectly taken entire graduate level course from her on these subjects that I find to be of immense value in comprehending the rapidly changing world we live in today.

2002 Dr. Jane Lorand, co-founder of the GreenMBA.

 

There are not enough superlatives to extoll the greatness of Jane Lorand. She transferred more potent cognitive skills to me than any single other person, book or experience. Her impact on me, who I am today and who I am always becoming is without equivalent. Jane’s knowledge transfer and tutelage is present in absolutely everything that I do. By the time that Jane and I met, I already had nearly a decade invested in the idea of holistic-decision making; Jane took this to another level by teaching me how to use the model for making well-reasoned judgements. Jane taught me the value of knowing how to ascertain my intellectual standard of reasoning.

 

Most importantly, she gave me a great gift: HIGHER PURPOSE. Jane was the first person to suggest that I could have a purpose and then she taught me how to discern purpose.  All of the work I did for Nia creating Principle 11 is fundamentally an applied praxis of the methodology that she taught me. Jane, importantly, also introduced me to Rudolf Steiner. Jane introduced me to Alfie Kohn‘s work on motivation, Dr. Deming‘s thinking related to leadership, Dr. Everett Rogers book, Diffusion of Innovation.

These authors + Jane’s interpretation of their work have significantly affected my understanding of the world, my thinking about business and my analytical skills.

bainbridge graduate institute 2004-05

I transferred to Bainbridge Graduate Institute to complete my MBA. I loved this experience and the community among students and faculty.

This is where I learned about Virginia Satir from Libba Pinchot and Manfred Max-Neef‘s work on needs and satisfiers from Dr. John Ehrenfield – a superstar guest professor and expert on induduring my time at BGI.

Satir’s circle, which we used as a culture generator at BGI, opened a world of understanding to me in terms of the value of appreciation and organizational systems, relationship dynamics. Max-Neef has forever radicalized my notion of need; this overlayed with Jane Lorand‘s teaching about authentic business and the creation of true value fundamentally informs my thinking about the energy container called a business.

Peggy Taylor, founder Power of Hope, helped me identify my creative source on a guided meditation in a course called Creativity and Right Livelihood on Cortes Island (2009). This course led me to investigate more fully the Buddhist idea: Right Livelihood. This led me to the word sacred, which became the focal point of the body-centered business philosophy that I created later that year.

I was very happy to meet Drs. Alexander + Kathia (now X) Laszlo. They were my systems thinking teachers. I had studied Ervin Laszlo in graduate school - so it was incredibly meaningful to meet his son and further my systems knowledge.

Dr. Mark Anielski was also a fantastic teacher - he taught my ecological economics class. I also got to promote his as his book The Economics of Happiness (2007) at the Green Festivals.

I’m grateful to my key learning peers from BGI: Candace Chin, Aly Tibbets, Rick Anderson, Josh Billeter, Mickey Lee, John Anderson.

culture of future 2008

I met Jody Turner, Principal Culture of Future.  Jody became an instant mentor.

 

She is incredibly gifted blending and crafting the worlds of big business, design, spirituality, vision and leadership.

 

I have profound respect for her.

2009 Dr. Bruce mackenzie

2009 Dr. Bruce MacKenzie Jane Lorand introduced us.

 

Bruce radically advanced my understanding of systems thinking and gave me amazing collaborative thinking tools.

By now I had been to 15 national parks in southern / eastern Africa. I had seen vast splendors of wild, tasted with eyes and nose the majesty of African bush. Only on this trip we had a truly “national geographic moment” – seeing leopards is extremely difficult and seeing animals on a kill 30 ft in a tree – mostly doesn’t happen!

2009 chobe river national park

2011 home ownership

Full of potential and possibility of homeownership! By the skin of my teeth I was able to buy a 100+ year old house on Mt Tabor in SE Portland.

 

Brimming with happiness - this is before I understood what it means to be house poor and what it means to take care of an antique house. Although, it has been fully worth it. I have learned tremendously about managing my finances, my stress triggers, sense of autonomy I can have and responsibilities required to by a landlord.

planetary dance training 2011

2011 Tamalpa Institute in Mill Valley I studied with Anna Halprin to become Planetary Dance Ritual Facilitator.

 

Anna Halprin is amazing – she embodies movement creativity in all realms from the inner personal to the outer social – she is a cultural architect.

 

I am extremely honoured to have studied with her.

Bunnylupe 2011

All of my adult life I wanted a dog. I wanted a dog so bad sometimes it would make me cry. All of the places I rented had bans against pets! Finally, I became a homeowner, fell in love the greatest guy in the world and then very soon after we got BunnyLupe aka T.A.C.O (totally and completely obstinate!).  Caring for the little animal fills my heart with meaning.

notable books + authors in this period

  • Natural Capitalism (1999) Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins

  • The Fifth Discipline (1990) Peter Senge

  • Punished by Rewards (1993) Alfie Kohn

  • Profit Beyond Measure (2000) H Thomas Johnson, Anders Bröms

  • Dr. Deming (1990) Rafael Aguayo

  • Fritjof Capra

  • Ervin Laszlo’s “ “ self reference process

  • The Road to Serfdom (1944) F A Hayek

  • Leadership and the New Science (2006) Margaret Wheatlley

  • The Spell of the Sensuous (1996) David Abram

  • Diffusion of Innovations (1995) Everett Rogers

  • How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work: Seven Languages for Transformation (2002) Rogert Keegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey

  • Lawrence Lessig – Remix, Free Culture

  • Avalanche, Brugh Joy

  • Long Life Honey In The Heart (1999) Martín Prechtel

  • The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic (2012) Martín Prechtel

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