Monthly Archives: November 2016

Staff Sergeant William J. Rice on Open Conversations 12-01-2016

Click here and select 12-01-16 to listen to an archive of this broadcast.


Proud to welcome Staff Sergeant William J. Rice to Open Conversations at a special time, this Thursday from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Pacific time, on KKNW Alternation Talk 1150 AM. Remember you can also stream the show live online at As an Army Ranger and Combat Medic Staff Sergeant Rice will be sharing how he has lived his passion and purpose through the military.


Staff Sergeant William J Rice was born to a U.S. Navy Serviceman father, Chief Petty Officer (Ret.) Anthony Rice, and a Filipino mother, Elizabeth Ross Rice, on the U.S. Navy Base Subic Bay, Philippines, while his father was serving abroad with the U.S. Navy. His Grandfather, Richard Ross, served in the U.S. Marines during WWII where one of Corporal Ross’s tours took him to the Philippines where he met Teodora Olivas, who is Staff Sergeant Rice’s grandmother in the Philippines.

As the son and grandson of military men, Staff Sergeant Rice and his family lived all over the world, stationed in places such as Hawaii, Japan, California and the Philippines, to name just a few. Staff Sergeant Rice grew up daydreaming about being a combat soldier in the military. He used to play “Army” with his cousin, Jamie Rice, who later joined the U.S. Marines to add to the Rice family military traditions.

On Staff Sergeant Rice’s 20th birthday in 1996, the same year his father retired from the U.S. Navy, he joined the Air National Guard which was soon followed by his active duty enlistment in the U.S. Army.  His Military training started in the U.S. Air Force, where his military specialty was as an aircrew member in the world-renowned work horse of the U.S. military air fleet, the C-130 Hercules.  While in the Air Force, Staff Sergeant Rice’s training consisted of Loadmaster course, Aircrew Level C Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape course and U.S. Paratrooper Airborne schools.

While in the Air Force, Rice served in Bosnia flying U.S. Special Forces and Army Rangers to a small war torn village called Tuzla in Bosnia where the NATO Stabilization Force’s took control to begin its campaign for peace in that region of Bosnia.  He realized that while being a Loadmaster fulfilled his patriotic duty, he was not fulfilling his dream of being a combat soldier.

It was Staff Sergeant Rice’s 51st flight mission with the U.S. Air Force from Germany to Bosnia, when he realized his life’s work was not to stay in the air and drop off the soldiers to fight but to follow the troops off the plane into combat. In late 1997 Staff Sergeant Rice requested a conditional honorable discharge out of the U.S. Air Force to Join the U.S. Army and that was granted.

While in the Active Duty U.S. Army, Staff Sergeant Rice was placed in the Transportation Corps under the XVIII Airborne Brigade, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. There he was on the ground with the Infantryman where his heart wanted him.  Staff Sergeant Rice (then Private First Class Rice) was deployed in 1998-1999 to The Republic of Nicaragua in Central America for a humanitarian crisis. While in Nicaragua Private First Class Rice dealt with medical trauma emergencies throughout this tour. ssg-rice-nicaragua-1998

Not knowing how to treat seriously injured victims and soldiers, as his military training only gave him basic knowledge of first aid, and watching people die in his arms, at that time he recognized another calling and added U.S. Army Combat Medic to his credentials.

In November 2001 Staff Sergeant Rice reenlisted to be a U.S. Army Combat Medic. During his reenlistment contract preparations Staff Sergeant Rice made sure his enlistment contract demanded that he attend not only the Combat Medic school but also attend the prestigious U.S. Army Ranger School in Ft. Benning, Georgia. This is an intense 61-day combat leadership course oriented toward small-unit tactics. It has been called “the most physically and mentally demanding leadership school the Army has to offer.” He was then sent to more advanced schools the Army needed him to attend. The U.S. Army Expert Field Medical Course, Combat Team Medical Trauma Course Trauma AIMS Course (specializing in Advance Airway, IV Therapy) and Medical Trauma Simulation Courses, to name a few.

In all of his career, Staff Sergeant Rice was able to continue his civilian education and obtain a Bachelors of Sciences Degree in Environmental Sciences using the Montgomery GI Bill and support of his Commanding Officers and fellow soldiers.

In becoming a Combat Medic and a Ranger, in his 20 plus years with the Army, Staff Sergeant Rice has served all over the world, including going back to Bosnia for a second tour which gave him a completion of his Air Force Tour, two tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where he served as senior medic at Camp VI, the highest level detainee prison, and in Kuwait. He received numerous decorations including the Army Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Unit Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal 3rd award, Humanitarian Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal 3rd award, Presidential Unit Citation 2nd award and the Army Superior Unit 2nd award, just to name a few of his decorations. ssg-rice-iraq-2006

Experiencing firsthand the humanitarian efforts of the US military, Staff Sergeant Rice has a unique perspective of the great good that can come of military service. Injured in one deployment and Critically Injured in another, Staff Sergeant Rice has been transitioned into the Wounded Warrior Transition Program where he is preparing for his retirement from his years of faithful service not only for his country but for his families military tradition. He says now it’s time to start his new career, whichever path that may take him.

Staff Sergeant Rice believes in finding that path.  He will be going back to college in a career not yet determined in addition to his Bachelors of Sciences Degree. In his free time Sergeant Rice is an Alumnist with Wounded Warrior Project and mentor to the younger Army Soldiers, Airman, Marines and Navy Corpsmen during his volunteer time with the Wounded Warrior Project and other VA organizations.


Go Fund Me Campaign:

Thanks to all who have donated to Open Conversations. To contribute to the cost of broadcasting Open Conversations, which is for everyone and free to listeners, please follow this Go Fund Me link. Your contribution is much appreciated.

Sincerely, Holly

Holly Holmquist is a Day Minister, Spiritual Mentor and host of the radio show Open Conversations on KKNW 1150am. Holly offers private mentoring sessions, classes and workshops. Listen to past Open Conversations shows, see blogs and read about Holly’s ministry at







Rick Gage on Open Conversations 11-20-16

Click here and select 11-20-16 to listen to an archive of this broadcast.

Excite to welcome personal branding guru Rick Gage to Open Conversations this Sunday November 20 from 3-4 pm Pacific. Tune your dial to KKNW 1150 AM or stream Open Conversations live on


Over the last 35 years, Rick Gage has worked for some of the largest, most prestigious companies in the world including: AT&T, Digital, EDS, Oracle, Hitachi, Siemens and Wipro.  His clients have included a long list of visible, distinctive companies including: Microsoft, HP, AT&T Wireless, Nordstrom and World Vision.

Rick climbed the corporate ladder to Vice President with responsibility as many as 1800 people in as many as 50 countries.  He was, in his own words, “a driven, classic workaholic”.  He loved building high performing teams and creating a positive, people oriented culture.  His passions for creating community and helping people reach their highest potential found ample avenues for expression.

But the obsession with work took its toll and in 2008, Rick reached a breaking point.  His achievements were no longer rewarding.  He felt there had to be something more.  So, he took a leap into the unknown with an extended sabbatical, that he says changed and saved his life.

In his time away from work, he set out to explore how he could live and work differently.  He approached is as a focused intense project.  His plan was to spend 60 days to decide how he would live differently and then 90 days on how he would work differently.  He laughs when he talks about it because, as he says, “only 30 days in – it became clear that these were really one big topic and it would be a journey that would extend through the rest of my life”.

In this journey, Rick has found a new way of being in the world.  He describes it as a vibrant collaborative process with the intelligence of the universe that guides him each day.  It’s a spiritual practice and mental habit pattern that grounds each day in “what’s mine to do, today”.  Sometimes Rick describes it as “living with nothing and no one against me”.  His face lights up when he talks about it and the powerful, transformative experiences that have shown up for him.

One of his passions in the last few years has been personal branding.  He has been a coach and mentor for hundreds of people inside and outside of the corporate world.  He loves helping people discover their uniqueness and develop opportunities that align with the deepest truth of who they are.

A few months ago, he took another leap into the unknown, setting an intention to move away from a traditional “full time” job in Management Consulting.  While he continues to work part time in the corporate world, he is also expanding his work with individual coaching clients and sharing more broadly the wisdom he’s gained from his own journey.  He looks for co-creative ways to express his passions in support of his life purpose: to build communities in which spicy consciousness thrives.



Undamn it. Prayers for our Country.



I first published this article in January of 2009 just after Obama was elected. This information is just as important today with the election of Trump. Regardless of what political party is in office we can all rally around our country, praying for our highest and best.

Blessings, Holly

Undamn It
By Holly Holmquist

With our nation in a sensitive transition period as the result of irresponsible lending and spending, now is the perfect time to reflect upon the personal choices we make to support positive solutions. How we as a nation traverse the rocky roads ahead, our progress and outcome, is absolutely affected by the energy we as individuals contribute to our atmosphere and communities. That energy comes from our choices, personally and as a collective whole. This includes what seeds we choose to plant through conversation and correspondence.

As a holistic worker I have been blessed to learn from many different teachers, and experience many different healing situations. One year while attending a holistic conference at the Dome in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Master Teacher Starr Fuentes was asked a question about the common phrase “Damn it.” Starr responded by saying that if a situation is not working that means it is already damned. If you want a solution why would you continue to damn it? “Undamn it.” Send it your grace and your blessings and watch as the situation begins to turn around.

Everything in the universe holds and distributes energy from the conversations we have with neighbors and friends to the letters we write and the e-mails we send. Before we push send or offer an opinion, it is our Spiritual responsibility to reflect upon the constructive manner of the message or opinion we are about to share. Does the message offer positive solutions with an eye on progress or are we simply feeding into judgment, conflict and criticism. It is easy to get caught up in outrage and fury and continue to damn a situation. Unfortunately every American has been affected in some way, shape or form by the current state of the economy. However the state of our nation is a result of the energy previously dispersed. The way to shift that tide is by altering those attitudes that are not working for the best interest of the collective whole and distributing a new and improved energy that suits our newly found purposes. These times call for us to be even more focused on positive, helpful and healthy solutions.

Everyone shows their patriotism in various ways; some never miss an opportunity to vote, some fly our nation’s flag on special holidays or year round, while others feel their patriotism calls them to various lines of service from the military to the Red Cross. A wonderful way to support our country and show your patriotism is through positive thoughts and prayers along with positive word of mouth. When times are tough we have a tendency to point fingers in blame and the current politicians, regardless of political party, become our favorite scapegoats. Regardless of which party or person holds office, our good energy will help guide them in making appropriate decisions far more than our negative projections. I recognize that there is no way to please all of the people all of the time. Even if I am not a big fan of who is in charge I am still very conscious of my intention to send positive energy to our country therefore I send positive energy to those who are currently leading it. That is one of the beautiful benefits of being an American; if we do not care for the policies of the current leader we will have the opportunity to help vote them out in the next election or on a positive note, if we like the candidate we can vote them back in. However for the time being they hold the job and therefore need our collective support to succeed.

If you were to dam a river you would be placing barriers in it’s path that prevent it’s flow. In any life situation negative energy and thoughts only contribute to blocking the positive flow. Without positive energy there will be no viable solutions. Lets unite in consciousness and open ourselves as well as our nation to positive flow. Ask yourself, “What can I do to contribute positively to our country?” Next time you are tempted to share an opinion that holds animosity ask yourself, “How can I turn this into a constructive message, one that yields hope for change and encourages healthy growth?” Each night bless those leaders that run our country in whatever way you choose or practice. Help to “undamn” the economic despair we are experiencing by sending your grace and blessings. We may not always agree on how to do things, however, we can all be united in our energetic support of a healthy and happy outcome.

Imam Jamal Rahman on Open Conversations 11-06-16

Click here and select 11-06-16 to listen to an archive of this broadcast.

Excited to welcome Imam Jamal Rahman to Open Conversations this Sunday Nov 06, 2016 from 3-4 pm Pacific Time on KKNW Alternative Talk 1150 AM. You can also stream the show live at

About Imam Jamal:

Jamal Rahman is a popular speaker on Islam, Sufi spirituality, and interfaith relations. Along with his Interfaith Amigos, he has been featured in the New York Times, CBS News, BBC, and various NPR programs. Jamal is co-founder and Muslim Sufi minister at Interfaith Community Sanctuary and adjunct faculty at Seattle University. He is a former co-host of Interfaith Talk Radio and travels nationally and internationally, presenting at retreats and workshops.

He is the author of Sacred Laughter of the Sufis: Awakening the Soul with the Mullah’s Comic Teaching Stories and Other Islamic Wisdom; Spiritual Gems of Islam: Insights & Practices from the Qur’an, Hadith, Rumi & Muslim Teaching Stories to Enlighten the Heart & Mind; The Fragrance of Faith: The Enlightened Heart of Islam; and coauthor of Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith; Out of Darkness into Light: Spiritual Guidance in the Quran with Reflections from Jewish and Christian Sources; and Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi, and an Imam Jamal’s passion lies in interfaith community building. He remains rooted in his Islamic tradition and cultivates a “spaciousness” by being open to the beauty and wisdom of other faiths. By authentically and appreciatively understanding other paths, Jamal feels that he becomes a better Muslim. This spaciousness is not about conversion but about completion.

Since 9/11 Jamal has been collaborating with Rabbi Ted Falcon and Pastor Don Mackenzie. Affectionately known as the Interfaith Amigos, they tour the country sharing the message of spiritual inclusivity.

Imam Jamal, originally from Bangladesh, has an abiding faith in the power of heart-to-heart connections to encompass differences and dissolve prejudices. He enjoys programs that celebrate life and unity through delight, laughter, and food. He has a private spiritual counseling practice serving individuals and couples, and is available for interfaith weddings and ceremonies. Jamal offers a variety of classes and workshops, including the popular “Blush of the Beloved,” a course in spiritual deepening and discernment drawing upon the practices, insights, and wisdom within Sufism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism.

Holly Holmquist is a Day Minister, Spiritual Mentor and host of the radio show Open Conversations on KKNW Alternative Talk 1150 AM in Seattle, WA. Holly offers private mentoring sessions, classes and workshops. Listen to past Open Conversations shows, see blogs and read about Holly’s ministry at