Leader Biographies

leadership

ConneXions Workshops Leader Biographies

Here is some background about the people who have helped create this workshop.
Bob Jones

About Bob Jones

Ever since I wound up in a highly dysfunctional job at Microsoft in 1990, I have been looking deeply into the mirror of who I am. I got trained as a Gestalt Therapist and certified as a personal coach, but my roots in computer programming were so deep that exploring my heart was a big challenge. In 2000, a therapist I was working with referred me to The Mankind Project (MKP) and I took their New Warrior Training Adventure in November of 2001. Now, 15 years later, I can report that this training saved both my marriage and my life. After I took the New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA), I sat in circle and learned how to go deep with other men. I learned how to help them look into their own shadows and I came back to staff subsequent NWTA events 40 times. I learned to lead the Primary Integration Training (PIT) which teaches men to develop the tools, skills and self-awareness to create a safe space for us to help each other become better men. In fact, I have taken just about every training that MKP has to offer. We do a wonderful job of helping men connect deeply with each other, but I saw a hole in our teachings that spoke very clearly to me: we don’t teach men and women how to simply connect with each other deeply and authentically. I created the ConneXions Workshop to address this challenge. I have drawn heavily on my experience with The Mankind Project, Buddhism, Gestalt, Spiral Dynamics, Integral Theory, The Karpman Drama Triangle, Zen Meditation, and many other disciplines and practices, but I do not hold myself up as anything but a fellow traveler on the road to deeper self-awareness. And I must have done at least something right because I have been married to the same woman for 41 consecutive years and our relationship is stronger and deeper today than it has ever been. I also have a pretty good relationship with each of our three children and with each of my four siblings. I now spend much of my time reading, thinking and learning about how to deepen authentic connection with others, with myself and with my own sense of purpose. I hope you will join me in this exploration by taking my workshop.
  • Emotional Maturity Growing up is about developing Emotional Intelligence (understanding of human emotions) and Emotional Maturity (EM), the ability to use and apply Emotional Intelligence (EI) to connect more deeply and authentically with yourself and others. Peter Vajda ...
  • Shame and Guilt I have staffed over 40 Mankind Project New Warrior Training Adventure weekends and helped initiate over 1,000 men into mature manhood. The theme that I see over and over is some variation on, “I am ...
  • Getting Clear There is a process we use in our men’s work called a “Clearing”. In this process, we separate data, judgments and feelings, then look for shadows that may cause us to project an unhealed wound ...
  • Data, Judgments and Feelings In resolving conflict, it is useful to separate or parse the active elements involved in the conflict. These elements can be broken into four groups: Data – the facts of the situation. The “objective truth” that ...
  • Judgment The difference between a judgment and a discernment is really quite simple. A discernment is something I see dispassionately and clearly without any emotional charge. I may or may not be correct in what I ...
  • The Victim Triangle The Victim Triangle The Victim Triangle (also known as the Karpman Drama Triangle) is a simple but profoundly useful way of looking at dysfunctional relationships in action. I was introduced to this model by Garth Alley ...
  • Self-Awareness How is being aware different from being conscious? The term “Consciousness” has been defined as “Anything that we are aware of at a given moment“, however there is no real consensus among philosophers and psychologists about what ...
  • Conflict Resolution My wife and I have been married for over 40 years, and we have had countless conflicts in that time. And we are still happily married and quite in love with each other. What’s our ...
  • Integrity Accountability is about keeping an agreement I make with someone else. Integrity is about keeping an agreement I make with myself. Accountability is external to myself while integrity is internal. Wikipedia defines Integrity as “The quality ...
  • Forgiveness In more than 40 years of marriage, I have made plenty of mistakes. My partner may have made a few too, but that’s for her to decide, but if I think she has made some ...
  • Accountability A number of years ago, I was traveling to a Mankind Project New Warrior Training Adventure on Vancouver Island in Canada with three other men who were helping to staff the weekend.  We got to ...
  • Shadow Shadow is some part of me that I hide from you and even from myself. In Star Wars lingo, shadow is referred to as “The Dark Side”. Both Freud and Jung defined shadow, but they ...
  • Empathy vs. Sympathy Sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow or pity for the hardships of another while empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another. Although compassion is often welcome, sorrow and pity do not enhance connection. All ...
  • Interview With Bob Jones on Voice of America I was interviewed in early March, 2016 by Alise Cortez in her “Working on Purpose” show on the Voice of America. We talked about my life as a programmer and my experiences with the Mankind Project. ...
  • Let’s Talk About Fear… Let’s talk about “Fear.” How can Fear help? Here’s how: Facing Fear is the key, if only for today, of moving forward. We need to face up to Fear. So, first, let’s talk about Fear. Our Fear could ...

For More…

Click here for my deeper bio. For my personal website, visit rhj4.com.

howard-staples-pic

About Howard

I am dedicated to returning to our true nature in harmony, connected in oneness, and true freedom of the spirit. In other words, I commit to releasing our past conditioning and to returning to unconditional Love and Joy. This truly becomes a reality with an allowing yet grand vision for all of humanity. While this all sounds wonderful, please note that I continue to deal with attachments, fear of lack, judgments, and numerous other ego rackets. When these rackets arise, I promise to communicate authentically and compassionately in order to return to the possibility of miracles for everyone. Fifty nine years ago, I was born into a family of ten, on a farm in the Saskatchewan prairies. For me, the best of life was outdoors exploring, while the social conform I grew into could be best described was “Work hard, shut up, and behave”. It took me until my early 30s to recognize that my emotional shut down and lack of all intimacy was crushing. I was hard-working and financially successful as an engineer, yet extremely isolated and lonely. I had not cried, gotten angry, been truly joyful or been able to express love and passion for about 20 years. As I got into personal growth at 31, the floodgates of emotion opened. I took to that torrent, like a duck to turbulent water. Over the next ten years, I began to thrive socially. I met the love of my life, Miriam. We had two kids. I created an intentional community in Langley, BC. Plus, I slowly reduced my engineering work to engage in more socially progressive ventures. I called myself the “recovering engineer”. In the meantime, I learned a few life lessons that have been enriching. One is that I am actually very good at helping others who are dealing with emotional shut-down in various ways. Perhaps this is similar to the recovering alcoholic who is best at helping other alcoholics to recover. By my 40s, I also realised that my spiritual path can only really be deepened when teaching and learning with others. I have received particular benefit from Buddhism, A Course in Miracles, Psychodrama, Gestalt and Rebirthing, so these tend to be the practices that I draw upon the most. However, I continue to also be welcoming of any and every practice that works to return to peace and spiritual freedom.

About Ipswa

I am a Great Granddad with attitude… helping built an Inclusive, Sustainable, Culturally diverse, Spiritually Fulfilling and Socially Just World for Everyone! I co-create this world of Fierce Light and Love by inspiring others to live lives of vibrancy and fulfillment. I live my life fiercely with meaning and value and hope that it inspires others. To me Fierce light is the active resistance to the destructive forces ruining our planet our communities and our families. Each of us has this light and wonder to share.I work from a World Conscious perspective which is an indigenous worldviews of healing and wellness a kin to trans-personal and Eco-psychology. I have a diverse background in many areas but prefer to spend my time in community building and support of others making a difference in our lives. As an aboriginal scholar I work to inspire communities of conscious choice, relationships and Culture as a means of indigenous survivance and vitality. Survivance is more than mere survival—it is a way of life that nourishes Indigenous ways of knowing and being its is a Vibrant life worth living and remember. To me indigenous means to have a deep connection to ones place, family, culture and Heart. I believe we are all indigenous at the depth of our soul. I believe that it is the disconnections and wounding of our society that cause the most suffering pain and illness in our current communities. I believe that most of us long for more Joy, love and wonder. Please consider me for any counseling, ceremonies and workshops or facilitation you might need in your community. Yours respectful Ipswa Messcacakanis Grandfather Little Coyote

About Cyndi

I work in performance development for major corporations, such as Microsoft, Boeing, Alaska Airlines, Textron, Lexis Nexis, TD Bank, Iron Mountain, and Amazon, to name just a few. I bring seasoned leadership to the ConneXions Team with a multitude expertise in training design, delivery and assessment. I received my Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Business Administration from Washington State University, and I’m a committed Cougar Fan (Go Cougs!) even though I attended graduate school at UW to receive my Learning Design and Application Degree. I am a lead trainer, instructional designer, and program manager. With over 15 years of experience, I’m highly skilled at working alongside and building connections with people of all ages and backgrounds. On a more personal note, I’ve been a student of “being human” all my life. I began my quest for self-discovery when I was 20 after seeking the help of a therapist as I was transitioning out of a toxic relationship. I learned about The Drama Triangle, Corrective Parenting, Psychodrama, and other therapeutic modalities of healing. I was hooked on becoming a better version of myself and a better partner in my relationships! As of today, I have attended many workshops and conferences, read countless self-help books, meditate most days, and have been involved in a women’s circle for 12 years. I’ve studied with healers here in Seattle since I was 28, learning things like body energy work, cranial-sacral therapy, massage, breath work and Reiki. I’m in a committed relationship with a wonderful man. Our five children are making their own way in the world. I practice astrology and read tarot; some days I’m pretty good at it. When I first met Bob, and learned about the ConneXions Workshops I knew I had to be involved. The concepts and practices taught are applicable to every human on this beautiful planet. We are all connected whether we want to admit it or not. Why wouldn’t you want to learn how to connect more deeply and authentically with the people in your life? I know I do. Every day I learn. Every day I grow. Every workshop, you teach me.

About Sharon

Sharon’s reverent love of the body infuses her teaching. She artfully combines the healing awareness of yoga therapy with the restorative alignment of the BackMitra and the exploration of tensegrity all within the enlivening practice of a flow-style (vinyasa) Hatha yoga. Through Sharon’s innovative teachings of experiential anatomy, students discover their reverence of the body as a gateway to deep inquiry. With twelve years teaching experience, and multiple certifications, Sharon’s love of yoga translates into on-going in-depth personal studies as well as developing teacher trainings. She teaches a training for Restorative Yoga Therapy and has created a three Level training program for BackMitra Magic. She partners with Brigitte Longueville to host an annual retreat in Zipolite, Oaxaca and offers a variety of yoga workshops in BC and Mexico.  Studying with advanced practitioner Gioia Irwin, Sharon is currently completing Vijnana Yoga certification, a comprehensive program of Hatha Yoga that integrates the classical limbs of pranayama, asana, meditation and study of yogic texts with Eastern Taoist practices and an extensive exploration of embodied anatomy. Sharon maintains a private yoga therapy practice and teaches on-going classes in Greater Vancouver. As the in-house yoga teacher at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club for the past 9 years she has led Yoga & Golf workshops with Golf Pro Ginny Golding. Sharon’s warm and collaborative nature has given rise to yoga and drumming workshops for women with Sandi Millman of Drum Mama Studios. She recently taught The Anatomy of Movement for Mylene Bergeron’s Deep Flow course accredited by the Vancouver School of Body Massage and is currently assisting Leila Stuart teaching the Anatomy of Yoga, an 800 hour intensive training in Yoga Therapy. Sharon’s yoga journey began more than 30 years ago, with the discovery of a small book on yoga by Richard Hittleman. Inspired to learn more, and impelled by a huge spirit of adventure, Sharon left Canada to travel the world. Five years abroad led her overland across the African continent, to meditation retreats and ashram life in India, and from trekking in the Himalayas, to living and studying shiatsu in Japan. Blessed by many remarkable encounters, the journey was externally magnificent in exploring and photographing the beauty of the earth and her people, and internally significant in igniting the spark of spiritual life. Over the past decade, Sharon has been passionately practicing and studying yoga and devoted herself wholeheartedly to the path. She is deeply grateful to teach as she learns, and share this path with others.

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