Mike Morrell
Mike Morrell is the Communications Director for the Integral Theology think-tank Presence International, co-founder of The Buzz Seminar, and a founding organizer of the Wild Goose Festival. Mike curates contemplative and community experiences via Authentic World, Relational Yoga, the ManKind Project, and (H) Opp, taking joy in holding space for the extraordinary transformation that can take place at the intersection of anticipation, imagination, and radical acceptance. Mike is also an avid writer, publishing consultant, author coach, futurist, and curator of the book-reviewing community at TheSpeakeasy.info. He lives with his wife and two daughters in North Carolina. You can read Mike’s ongoing exploration of Spirit, Culture, and Permaculture – and receive his free exclusive updates – at MikeMorrell.org.

Practicing the Presence of People
Who are you? Who is this stranger – or friend – standing next to you? Dive into fun, highly interactive group exercises that explore the present moment as well as the stories we all bear – getting to know yourself better while at the same time learning to see and appreciate more about everyone you connect with. This space of “practicing the presence of people” becomes a safe space for taking risks, playing outside our comfort zones and discovering more about ourselves than we typically do in our everyday lives. Just as contemplatives and mystics go beyond their ordinary awareness to experience an expanded sense of communion with God, we’ll practice Jesus’ second great commandment and see the Divine show up in our neighbor’s face. Mike Morrell and David Bollt set a tone that’s equal parts fun and profound, creating a container where anyone willing can go beyond small-talk and social awkwardness. Show up if you want to dig deep into whole-being presence!

Adoption Panel: Truth, Story, Healing, Commonwealth
In this panel, Teresa P. Pasquale, Craig A. Steffen, Mike Morrell, and AnaYelsi Velasco Sanchez share a candid look at what it’s like to deal with parental and sibling loss while being raised by parents who were not biologically related to them. Being separated from our biological tribe — either physically or emotionally — can have a profound affect on our view of our world, authority, ourselves and even how we think of God. Sharing reflections from childhood to adulthood, the panel discusses loss, grief, joy, birth family, adoptive family, chosen family, and a pursuit of healing and wholeness. Together, they explore how all that happens in our lives provides the material for finding meaning as we live into our unique authentic stories.