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Why I Build, Part One

Written from my farmhouse in Iowa on January 17, 2020 as we prepare for a huge snowstorm


About six years ago, I was walking on the streets of Chicago. I was downtown on Michigan Ave coming south toward Millennium Park, and a thought struck me. I realized that if I was coming from a speaking gig, that would make me happy and fulfilled.


You see, I had started my company 4 years earlier, tried out my business plan and found some challenges that needed to be sorted. I stepped into a couple executive leadership roles at theatre companies in Chicago and found that wasn’t a great fit. So, then what? Well, apparently I had something to share and it involved returning to my original calling of ministering to the world, sharing a gospel...but of what?


So, I set out on a course to figure that out. I mapped out my life from beginning to then, chunking it out in 4-6 year increments, identifying the things that had happened, and naming the lessons I learned. I then tried to see how those learnings could be packaged in ways that I was passionate about, I was good at, and the world needed right now. I have tried a few approaches, and I think I am ready to launch full steam into this beauty. So, here goes.


I believe that we are at our best as a people when we can:


Live our natural lives


Manifest our visions and cultivate our gifts


Bring these together with others toward common purpose


Restore communion with ourselves, each other, and the natural world.


These first three have interesting tools and pathways to draw upon. The self-help industry offers pathways toward “living our best lives.” The creative arts and entrepreneurial worlds offer pathways toward “making our dreams a reality.” Social movements as well as pre-school attempt to understand how we might “play well with others.” At best, these worlds do not speak a common language. At worst, they offer conflicting pathways. This disconnects us from each other, depending on what pathway you follow. It also disconnects us from ourselves as we pursue one pathway and have to let considerations of other aspects of ourselves go. What would it look like to bring these paths together? These paths have not always been separate in us as humans. So, we need to seek restoration.


All of this can be unpackaged deeply and expansively, but I’ll leave it at that for now. This is part of the learnings, part one of the lessons. The discovery. Next comes creation.


For those with niblings or youngers near the Creston, Iowa area - join my first venture into potion making with Create Creston this Saturday. Roundtable and creative discussion for artists, locals, queerdos, and weirdos to follow at noon - an opportunity for feedback, communion, and celebration.

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Jonny Stax Presents Inc.

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