The email went something like this: “Hi, my name is Judson Webb. I was referred to you by a friend because of your trauma and psychodrama specialties. I would like to speak to you about a project I am developing and wonder if you would be willing to do a Skype call to meet and discuss it.”
I was suspicious yet intrigued.
Who could this guy be? What does he want with me? Is he legit? Is he running one of those fake, draw-you-in-and-get-your-personal information schemes?
But, on the other hand, it could be a great work opportunity! I put it out to the universe that I am ready for something different professionally.
My many different parts and their many different voices all active at once. I have learned, thank goodness, to let things sit when this chaos is going on inside me, so I took a few days to respond. In that time I realized I had to find out what this was all about. So we set up a time to Skype and made it happen.
On the screen, half way across the world, was the kind yet intense face of a man who seemed about my age. I was a bit surprised by his dark goatee and West Texas twang. He neglected to tell me he was from the US. I just knew he was living in Sweden so I assumed this was his country of origin. (you and I both know what happens when we assume!) No blonde hair and blue eyes here. He introduced himself again, then began enthusiastically and intelligently sharing this idea he and his wife had been batting around for a while.
Because of their history of personal success in 12 Step programs and Kjersti’s family involvement in Initiatives of Change, an NGO focusing on international peacebuilding, that started out as the Oxford Group, they came up with the idea of a new self-help 12 Step program. This program targeting and viewing the continuum of aggression and violence as a process addiction. “Working the steps”, Judson purported, “will cultivate inner peace and this will result in the creation of outer peace. World peace is a lofty goal, I know, but it is the goal. We believe, as AA does about alcoholism, that a personal and internal transformation is necessary in order to positively impact others.” He added the vision of offering interdisciplinary retreats, workshops, and trainings based on the 12 steps and including modalities such as psychodrama/sociodrama, theater arts, contemplative practice, and conflict resolution theory in order to prepare participants for the role of peacebuilder.
A couple of weeks after the Skype call, I was still mulling over whether this guy was legit and if I wanted to take a risk in moving forward with him. “I got an email and had a Skype call with this man named Judson Webb. He wants me to be a part of this peace project he is doing. What do you think?,” I asked my friend Cindy over a bowl of tofu and rice at Pei Wei. “Oh my God!” was the response. “He is one of my best friends! I am going to be involved with this too! Let’s do it together!” There was no turning back. If Cindy said he was okay and was in, I was in. It’s a small world, isn’t it?
Well, that was all back in the spring of 2014. Since then, several 12 Steps for Peace Skype meetings have started, we have hosted and facilitated two Global Peace Exchanges (7-9 day residential experiential retreats) in Sweden, and the basic text for the 12 Step program will be published later this year.
The Peace Exchanges were life changing for me. Meeting and working with people from literally all over the world has been an honor and a dream come true. With the polarization happening between humans here in the US and around the globe, innovative programming and training for peacebuilding is critical.
So, without further ado, I am proud to introduce Judson and Kjersti (pronounced Sheshtee) Webb, co-founders of the Aveer Institue and The 12 Steps for Peace: An artist for over twenty years, Judson holds a BA in Theatre and an MFA in Contemporary Performance both from Naropa University. He is an inter-disciplinarian having engaged many fields of independent study, including Transpersonal Psychology, Buddhist Contemplative Practice, and addiction/recovery. Judson’s current work focuses on training public speakers, performers, peacebuilders, and private individuals in how to discover and apply mindfulness, confidence, and spirituality to both their private and professional lives.
Kjersti Webb has has had extensive training in the physical theatre lineages. She is co-designer of the Global Peace Exchange, co-founder and facilitator with the Aveer Institute. She currently serves as an artist in residence for Dalakuben in Falun, Sweden where she uses the arts in cultural integration projects.
For more information about the Aveer Institute and registration for the 2017 Global Peace Exchange, go to www.aveerinstitute.com. The next Global Peace Exchange is scheduled for August 11-20, 2017. We would love to have you join us! For more information about the Aveer Institute and registration for the 2017 Global Peace Exchange, go to www.aveerinstitute.com. or contact me directly at 520-404-8466.
3 spaces left! Monthly consultation group 4th Monday of the month 9:45am 60 dollars per person per session Contact Adena at 520-404-8466
Please check out my guest blog posts describing Covert Emotional Incest and the key components of recovery. This is a four part series. 1. http://rachelgrantcoaching.blogspot.com/2017/05/surrogate-spouse-another-form-of-abuse.html
Peace begins with a smile – Mother Teresa
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. – Buddha