Hypnosis was the key to unlock an ability I already had

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I love facilitating Open Space events. Sometimes called “unconferences”, they are different from regular conferences in that rather than having a few rock star presenters and a bunch of people in the audience, the presentations and discussions are created that day, at the conference, by the attendees themselves.

It requires a very different facilitator skillset than a regular conference, because a huge part of the process is establishing a rapport with the individual attendees. It’s my job to create an environment where they can realize they have valuable experiences to share and a supportive space to share it.

Unfortunately, I…

You can travel efficiently or you can travel light

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I remember what I was doing when I first learned of the idea of digital nomadism. I was sitting behind a desk, working for a school district bureaucracy, literally surrounded on three sides by cubicles and backed by a wall of VCRs, digital recorders, satellite relays, and CRT monitors blocking the only window.

At that time I thought that there had to be something better. I had fallen right into the lure of the Four-Hour Work Week and the Art of NonConformity and I was pretty convinced that I could, with just a few strategic moves, be one of those…

Life lessons my grandsons taught me playing Mario Kart

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My middle daughter and I had coffee the other day, and she told me a new story about my grandsons. They are cousins about three years apart, and often play together. Harvey, the older, is more of a “big brother” role while young Victor tries to keep up with and impress his cousin.

One day they were playing “Mario Kart”, a cartoon racing video game. They were using the split screen mode, so Harvey’s perspective of the race course was on the top half of the TV and Victor’s was on the lower. Controllers gripped tightly, they were having a…

If it feels like an insult you should figure out why

Image of the Author by Michele Serchuk; used with permission

Recently I shared a link on social media to a post I wrote about being a fat man in a yoga class and the feelings it brought up. In the article, I referred to myself, as I often do, as a “cis man.”

I was aware that several of my friends might not want to read posts about body weight, and along with the content warning I offered to screen anyone who asked from posts like that. Much to my surprise, a buddy of mine — another former active duty Marine — asked to be shielded from future posts like…

Check your power dynamics with a version of “The Rock Test”

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Listen to this article read by the Author

One of the most popular articles here on Medium is “The Rock Test” by Anne Victoria Clark. This semi-sarcastic and unfortunately-needed article was designed to help heterosexual men who were confused about how they were allowed to act in the professional workplace during the age of #MeToo.

It was a simple visualization exercise: Treat all women like you would treat Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

When you start with consent, your wildest fantasies can come true

Image by Karen Smits from Pixabay

Consent is what makes kinky sex possible.

It’s easy to make a blanket statement like that, because we already have a word for kink or sex without consent: assault. There are laws and social pressures (thank you, #MeToo!) that make that eminently clear, and while they are far from perfect, they are improving. Even if some segments of western society need to be dragged kicking and screaming out of cultural adolescence, progress is being made. It’s easier to learn about, talk about, and participate in the vast spectrum of kink and sexuality than ever before.

The key ingredient that makes…

How to prove those silly meditation stillness yogis wrong

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There needs to be an article titled “18 Ways to Punch the Next Person Who Suggests I Try Mindfulness” — anon.

This comment made the rounds among my friends. It a critique of the way businesses have been using “mindfulness training” to get more productivity out of their workers (as opposed to reducing workplace stress by improving working conditions or raise wages). It really all came down to ““Capitalism sucks” and I won’t argue with that.

Punching outside of the context of boxing or Nazis is usually something to be avoided. …

Surviving the gauntlet of self-image and fear

Image of the author, by the author

The night before the class, I tried to rationalize not going to yoga. I’m a cis white guy, and I keep hearing about how we’re taking up more than our share of space. I imagined a whole narrative where women had found this class as their safe space from the perceived male gaze, and that my presence there — a big burly bearded and tattooed guy puffing and sweating on a mat — would be disruptive.

My partner is very perceptive, and didn’t try the direct approach. “I would have trouble with any kind of feminism that keeps you from…

Jealousy makes a lousy motivator

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“I could never be polyamorous. I get too jealous.” If you’re poly, you’ve heard this more than once. Personally I just nod my head and agree with the speaker, silently wishing them luck in their entirely-free-from-jealousy monogamy. I also made the assumption that poly people simply don’t get jealous, even through the first several years of open relationships.

Since none of the partners of my partners — my “metamours”, as they are called — ever made me feel insecure, I assumed I was immune. “If she wants to be with me, she will be,” was what I always said when…

It is not that hard to make it fun for everyone

Image by GDJ via Pixabay

I remember the first time I played Munchkin. It was in a cabin some friends had rented, one of those luxury retreats, and my girlfriend and I were enjoying a weekend of wine and geeky conversation away from it all. One of our friends had brought a fun new card game he’d bought, called “Munchkin.”

Munchkin was created in 2001 by Steve Jackson as a spoof of the entire sword-and-sorcery genre, and role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons in particular. …

Gray Miller

Author, Visual Facilitator, Former Marine, Grandpa. Editor of LoveLifePractice.com & more.

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