Touch-positive Culture

California, here I come!

trainMy southbound train trip is fast approaching, and my excitement about it is building daily. I’m definitely looking forward to taking a break from Portland’s wintertime rain and cold … and I’m also really looking forward to expanding my Dream Into Change reach to more people and more cities! I am in the final stages of securing transportation and lodging, and now it’s time to turn my attention more fully to the connections I’m seeking to foster during my travels. Along those lines, I would love your help!

My itinerary is as follows:

  • Santa Cruz Sunday, Jan 6 – Monday, Jan 7
  • Los Angeles Wednesday, Jan 9 – Thursday, Jan 10
  • San Diego Friday, Jan 11 – Monday, Jan 14
  • Santa Barbara evening/night of Tuesday, Jan 15
  • Oakland/Berkeley/San Francisco Thursday, Jan 17 – Friday, Jan 18

Then back to Portland!

My intention is to offer my four-hour workshop (“So you grew up … What do you want to be NOW?”) in each location except for Santa Barbara. If you are interested in signing up for the workshop, and/or helping to promote it and/or willing to offer your home as a venue (in exchange for free admission to the $40 workshop) please let me know as soon as possible, by emailing me at

My other intention is to meet with as many people as possible in each city who are doing innovative work in one of my four main areas of focus: 1) veganism, especially in an educational, advocacy, or entrepreneurial role; 2) sustainable energy and transportation, such as bicycle advocacy or innovation or solar advocacy or innovation/entrepreneurship; 3) touch-positive and/or sex-positive culture, and/or ecstatic dance; and 4) Nonviolent communication (NVC) and/or restorative justice, including prison reform or innovative projects relating to incarceration and/or transition into society for inmates upon release.

I would love to talk with any of these folks to hear about their projects, and possibly also to interview them for this blog and help to spread the word about their work. So, if you know anyone who is involved in any of the above, again, please contact me at to let me know about them (and/or please forward my contact info to them).

This trip represents a very exciting beginning for me. I want to expand my reach beyond Portland. I want to work with people from all over the country – and indeed around the globe – to move our culture forward in all of the above ways. In the future, I plan to take more train trips, to other regions. Possibly my next trip could take me to Seattle, Vancouver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Toronto, and/or Montreal! The next one might include Boston, New York, Washington, and Raleigh, NC. Other future destinations include Victoria, BC; Austin, TX; Melbourne, Australia; and London, England. Yeah, I’m feeling pretty adventurous!

But first things first. In about a week and a half, my first great rail adventure will begin! I can’t wait to experience California, and I can’t wait to see some of you there!

All aboard!

Well, things are humming right along! I have been heartened by the feedback I’ve already received on this blog, even though it is still under construction and hasn’t been officially launched yet. I love hearing from people whose paths are in some way aligned with mine, or with whom my writings resonate.

I’m excited about the steps I’ve been taking in my own journey, as well as the steps I’m taking to help others via this practice. Most notably, I have just announced my first Dream Into Change workshop, and people are signing up for it! It feels very exciting to me … I can’t wait to see the kinds of life changes and dream-fulfillment progress all these folks will be helping each other to make! And, I’m excited to plan another offering of this workshop, probably in February, for those who couldn’t make it to this one. Eventually, I plan to find a way to offer these workshops online, so that people can participate from multiple geographic areas; I think that would bring an extra layer of richness.

First things first, though: I’m looking forward to this coming Saturday!

Meanwhile, I’m ecstatic to have purchased my 15-day Amtrak rail pass, and set my itinerary for my January California trip. I love train travel, and I have never taken a rail journey of more than three days (when I traveled across the country twelve years ago to attend my high school reunion in Virginia). This time around, I will be spending time in Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and the Bay area, before returning home to Portland. My hope is to offer the workshop in each of these cities as I pass through. I also want to do a lot of networking, meeting people in each city who are actively involved – especially in leadership roles – in any of my four main areas of interest: 1) NVC and restorative justice; 2) veganism; 3) touch- and/or sex-positive culture; and 4) sustainable energy and transportation. I’d love to have coffee or a meal with such people, and talk about the things they are working on. Perhaps do some interviews for this blog, as well. So, if you happen to know anyone in those cities involved in any of those topics, please feel free to share my contact info with them; I’d love to meet them! I’m especially interested in any San Diego connections, since I plan to live in San Diego from December through March, beginning in 2013. Also, if you know of anyone in any of these places who might be interested in the workshop, please feel free to forward the link to them. And, if you have ideas for how I could spread the word about it any of these cities, I would love to know!

I’ll sign off here. I hope you are all thinking about your dreams every day, and taking steps toward making them come true!

My dream

As I write this, it is the eve of my 40th birthday.  I am ready to begin the next chapter of my life, dreaming into my own change.  I am not a youngster anymore.  It is time for me to step up and bring my full self to bear on this world.  There is a lot in the world that needs changing.  I want to play the most powerful role I can to bring about this change.  The first step, for me, is to stand up and state my values.  Sometimes, in the past, I have kept quiet about them because I feared offending or  triggering discomfort for some people. But I now realize that we all get triggered sometimes, and that is part of life.  And in many social movements over the years, people really needed to get triggered in order for the change to come about.  And I really want to work with people in this practice who share my values (not necessarily all, but most) and my vision for a better world.  So, here are some things about me and what I stand for.

The bottom line:  I value compassion and respect.  For everyone.  This theme expresses itself in four broad areas, on which I want to focus my time and energy:

1) Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and restorative justice, as alternatives to conventional ways of communicating that are based on blame, shame, reward, and punishment.  I know that we humans are capable of so much more, and these tools give me great hope for moving humanity forward in this regard.

2) Veganism.  I know that animal products equal animal suffering, and I am not willing to play a part in animal suffering.  As a species, I believe we need to make the leap to living and eating compassionately and respectfully.  The fact that veganism is growing so fast all over the world right now gives me tremendous hope.

3) I am touch-positive, sex-positive, and polyamorous. I support everyone’s right to love whomever they want, in whatever mutually agreeable configuration they see fit.  I also think most people in our culture are tragically touch-starved.  Further, our culture is dysfunctionally dualistic about sex (simultaneously Puritanical and porn-obsessed, for example) and I believe we could all benefit from more connection, more supportive touch, and more heart-centered, conscious sexuality of many stripes.

4) Sustainable transportation.  I believe we need to move beyond our current model of single-occupant, internal-combustion vehicles.  I strongly support bicycling, bus and rail transit, and walking as alternatives to this paradigm.  Fortunately, this is easy to do, because let’s face it:  bikes and trains are cool!

Now … how do I plan to help the world – and more importantly, help you – to make changes in these areas?  I’m glad you asked!  I believe some of my biggest strengths are my optimism, my enthusiasm, my ability to connect with a wide variety of people and take in a wide scope of information, and my ability to support people as they discover and move toward their own dreams.

My intention with this Dream Into Change practice is to facilitate people’s journeys from where they are (for example, feeling stuck in a job that pays the bills, but does little to nourish the spirit or make the world a better place) to where they want to be.  For any given person, this might mean changing careers, beginning a new business venture, or perhaps starting up a significant “side project” and/or working to transform an unfulfilling work situation to make it more fulfilling.  These questions have been my personal struggle for the last 20 years, and I have found many different ways to approach them.  I want to share these ideas with clients and readers, and I want to collaborate with clients to identify their own values and passions, and collaborate to help them integrate their values and passions into as many hours of the day as possible, both in and out of work.

My vision is a world in which people direct their time and energy toward life-serving pursuits, for themselves and for others, with an eye toward the global picture.  I am very excited to help bring about this world, by working with individuals to turn their dreams into reality.

I hope you will follow me as I continue to dream into my own change here on this blog.  I will share periodic updates about my own journey, as well as interviews with people who are inspiring me by taking leaps of faith and living their own dreams.  I’ll also share links to other articles and items I find, relating to either following one’s own heart or to any of the issue areas I listed above, as well as other items that I find inspiring and I hope you will too.

Thank you for joining me!  Let’s Dream Into Change.