Paul W. Johanson, Founder & Facilitator
Reading my bio won't change anything about your issue or teach you anything, but I'm flattered that you are interested.
Allow me to introduce myself by starting with a statement of my personal mission in the world. I've developed this over my past twenty years of engagement with the ManKind Project.
"I co-create a good, true and beautiful world by joyfully facilitating the dance of transformation."
In 1987 I walked across the US with my dog and got to know people from all walks of life up close and in person. I've been divorced and have two beautiful adult children whom I don't get to see often enough (and miss). I have worked most of my life as a gardener. I have a wonderful wife who taught me to have the courage to bring this work to the world. I've been facilitating deep transformation for almost 25 years. In the tens of thousands of hours that I've helped clear up intra-personal and interpersonal conflict, I have studied the patterns of emotion, belief and behaviors that keeps conflict alive. I've built my own home, orchard and production garden. I own a coffee house with my wife and employ nine people who feel like an extended family. My wife is the fun, drive and inspiration for it and I solve problems. I have two dogs and a cat and this work is my life's mission. I love it more than I can believe some days. Nothing is more satisfying than the moment when a person, or an entire group of people's eyes light up as they realize that what matters to them most is recognized, honored and essential to us all.
Being a natural introvert, at times I sometimes go into private “retreat” in order to consider issues that may arise during a process. In other words, I'm still learning and each of you is my teacher about the extent and power of the Values that make us all human.
I have degrees in: Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Integrated Liberal Studies (Critical Thinking and Analysis). I speak four languages well enough to cause laughter and smiles and one (English) which I use with reckless abandon. I used to see most groups I joined through the eyes of an "outsider" and thus have a keen interest in bridging gaps and welcoming people with widely divergent values than my own. This has always enriched my life. I have a spiritual practice that is in sore need of practice but fits my definition of 'woke' most days.
Above all I like to learn and I have a core drive to make the world a better place....having learned that the world may not be interested in me. Most of all I have a strong sense of humor about myself and humanity in general. I look forward to getting to know you.
Using this process in my life I have:
- Developed my sense of integrity. It has helped me have clear, strong and respectful boundaries in my business, social and family relationships.
-Turned moments of emotional neglect of my partner into an occasions for laughter as she identified our conflicting values making it easy to work together on our relationship and separate lives.
- Confronted bullying behavior hundreds of times with listening so deep that it took the will to fight out of the person confronting me.
- Convinced the executive board of a large non-profit organization to recognize how their own failure to assert their authority was the cause for organizational disputes that had torn them apart for decades.
- Lead an organization of tens of thousands of individuals, trained to assert their individuality to adopt an institutional statement on racism and oppression.
- Allowed conservative political and progressive liberal groups to come together to learn from one another and bridge political divides that are tearing our nation apart.
- Helped overly kind (empathetic, helping, self-sacrificing) friends and clients develop a greater sense of self-respect and confidence in their value.
- Helped overly assertive (think aggressive, overly objective, goal oriented, 'Type-A') friends and clients learn to empathize and thus gain the willing cooperation of others rather than rely on coercion.
- Facilitated a volatile exchange between Israeli, Palestinian and Americans in a social group so they could overcome their dread of political discussion and embrace ongoing dialog and mutual respect.
- Facilitated inter-cultural dialog between racial minorities and euro-Americans that brought them to mutual understanding of how to collaborate on making our nation more inclusive and welcoming.
I'm not a big fan of wordy websites that aren't blogs, so let's allow that to suffice for now.