Welcome, friend.

Hi, I'm John, a retired lawyer, peacemaker and spiritual teacher.

I write and speak to stop the fighting and empower others to build the kind of lives they want to live, and the kind of world needed to live them in. I also offer consultations to those who want insight and perspective on how they might get where they want to go and overcome the things holding them back.

To help, I share an inner approach to our outer affairs that can help you break through to a better tomorrow. It involves:

Living Life on the Edge

The law of this universe is free will -- choice by sentient beings over how they create, process and interact with their reality.

That freedom of choice has been usurped, impaired and eroded in so many ways -- just think of your last interaction where one person tried to impose their will upon another. Love is the means to reconcile those choices, a recognition that everyone has the right to go their own way, and the motivation to find a way to do that.

Too many, however, find domination and control their preferred way to interact with their environment; they have learned the power of the dark side to manipulate things to their advantage. All of us have learned this, and adopt it to one extent or another.

Business ethics and corporate social responsibility

ethics photo: Business Ethics Projects businesethics_zps7f0ae343.jpgSometimes the simplest, most obvious choices are the ones we don't want to make. So we keep looking for alternate possibilities and generally focusing on what we think we want instead of what life serves up for us.

I should know. It happened to me. And often still does.

By now you probably know I practiced law for over 35 years. My perspective was as a small business owner providing a service to other individuals and small businesses. I pursued their claims, fought their battles, negotiated their transactions, provided perspective and insight, resolved their conflicts, steered them through problems, and planned their estates.

That all stopped in 2013 when an extended stay in ICU for pancreatitis and sepsis nearly took me out and left me with an even longer period of recovery. No more law. No more spiritual teaching. No more writing or speaking on peace or making a difference.

It was if the old me died off, and a new one was born.

Finding Your Inner Strength

These last couple years have been challenging ones. My illnesses and hospitalizations took their toll. My recovery was even more so, demanding so much more from me than I thought I had to give.

Yet somehow I found a way, even when I didn't have the strength to go on.

My therapist called it inner strength. Many times he talked to me about it, serving as witness in those moments where I somehow marshaled the will and determination to continue on when I had long since exhausted my limited strength and energy reserves.

John Dennison's Icebreaker Speach to Toastmasters

It's been a while since I was on the platform as a public speaker. In case you didn't know, I got sick and spent several months in the hospital with a long rehab afterwards. It's still going on.

I thought it best to get back on the horse and ride, and what better way than with Toastmasters? So I joined a local club a couple weeks ago and it's been fun -- though way too early in the morning (7:00 a.m.) for my taste.

The first speech members have to give is called an Icebreaker, telling them something about you. After much thought, I named it after Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi." In it I talk about appreciating your life, especially the things we all take for granted.

It's my story. From trying to change the world, to losing the ability to speak and be heard, it's the first time I talk about my ordeal. It was quite emotional, not that I had intended it to be.

It was good to start talking about it. Maybe one day I'll even be comfortable enough to work it into my speeches, and share some of the tools I used to get back and the lessons I learned from it all.

They taped it, and here it is. I hope you'll give a listen.

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