January, 2019

This newsletter is coming to you in the early days of 2019. This is a time in which
people regularly wrestle with "new year's resolutions" that they cannot sustain. Gyms
get new memberships, as people want to get healthy, and then actual participation drops sharply as the months unfold. Why do people feel guiltily motivated to make them, and why are they then broken? What can we do instead?

Honoring the needs behind the shoulds honoringneeds
Last month, part of my monthly conversation with the women from Palestine I've been supporting went exactly there: the internal conflict between a "should" and another part that is rebelling against the "should." I know this from myself from earlier times: telling myself that I should do something is almost guaranteed to create this kind of internal resistance. This is why these resolutions don't work. The Palestinian woman whose "should" we were looking at came to see that what she was fighting against internally was just her humanity calling to her: some basic needs that were screaming to her under conditions of occupation resulted in longings and behaviors that another part of her was judging. The path forward - solving her internal conflict in the same way that we would work out an external one: listen to the needs of that aching part that resists the should; listen to the needs and values deeply hidden within the harshness of the should; and then find a way to move forward that cares for all of those needs.
In client sessions, on calls, with friends, and everywhere, I saw again and again these past weeks how much we gain by tenderly opening to all that is true within us, around us, between us, and in the world at large. Two co-workers who had lost all trust regained large parts of it when one of them finally stepped into the full courage to say exactly what was weighing on her that she previously was hiding. A group of siblings found new ground to walk together when one of them expressed the fullness of her vision instead of criticizing the others. Honoring everything that is important to all concerned, not just what is convenient or easy to say or feel, we can create agreements - within and between us - that we are so much more likely to be able to keep.

I have been with myself and have walked with enough others to know, also, that support is always pivotal to keeping our agreements, even when they are wholehearted. The more outside the norm our choices and commitments, the more support we will need, because we will experience friction that makes it more of an effort. Integrity, in a global culture set up to go against life, is a constant struggle: what to do, what to say and how to say it, what to buy or not buy, who to relate to, how to respond to what happens, how to engage with money? Every single decision we make either supports the status quo, challenges it, or both. Without support, we won't be able to challenge it sufficiently to reclaim wholeness.

Integrity through the Core Nonviolence Commitments corecommitments
This month, in support of all of our individual and collective capacity to live in integrity, I am releasing the new version of the Core Nonviolence Commitments. These are blueprints for what a life of nonviolence looks like. Every single one of them calls on us to seek support to be able to live it. My recent blog post speaks specifically about how support bridges the gap between capacity and commitment.
One of the ways that I extend consistent support to all who wish for it is through the many free calls I offer (schedule and other info on these in the events section below). Life has changed, for me and for many who come regularly, since we started communing. Knowing this unexpected community is holding all this with me supports my own capacity to persist even in difficult moments.
What I have found for myself over the years is that living in integrity, while demanding, is also incredibly life giving. Once I crossed over into the willingness to expose myself to the impacts, both on me and on others, without shutting down, there is far less struggle, and clarity and energy flow more fully into what I do. I so long for so many more people to experience the possibility that, despite all evidence to the contrary, we can, individually and collectively, restore life. I sincerely hope that my writing, my presence, my work, and my vision will offer you support in the coming period.
in peace and hope,
P.S. If you want to hear more of what's been happening in the last couple of months, click here for both work and personal celebrations and mournings, including what I've been doing with activists, recent calls, and several videos that have recently inspired me.

Image credit: 1st image - CC0 from Pixabay; 2nd image - Photo by Asif Aman on Unsplash.
Update on the Circle of Support updatecos

In December, I wrote asking you to join me in the Circle of Support, our collective means to support Miki's work ( more info here). I feel elated to say that in response, 9 new people have joined, adding a total of $230 per month. To my surprise and pleasure, one of our new members was Stephanie Smith, who authored the "From the Team" this month! In addition, many of our existing members responded to our call for testimonials, and expanded the circle by forwarding the appeal email on to their friends, coworkers, and family. It feels so nourishing to have this level of investment in a new vision of economy!

This wave of initiative has brought us to a monthly total of 110 members contributing $3,573.82, which is more than halfway to our sustainability goal of $6,000/month. If you "meant to" join but haven't, please take a moment to do so now. If this isn't your moment to make a financial contribution, please consider telling the people in your life about your experiences with The Fearless Heart by forwarding information about the conference calls, books, or other resources.

As always, if you want help, whether because you want technologic assistance, because you aren't clear on what or how you can participate, or for any other reason, please do contact me at ezb@baynvc.org. As ever, thank you for increasing the sense of togetherness on this inspirational journey.

Be well,

elizaBeth Simpson
Resource Coordinator for BayNVC
"I want to be more kind and loving to my parents". Almost a year ago to this date, I read this resolution to a dear friend. The holiday visit to my parents' home a few weeks prior fluctuated between explosions of anger and joyful togetherness. This was common for my family, and it became poignant when I realized that my parents were undeniably aging. While I genuinely wanted to cultivate better relationships with them, my resolution became my command.
Stephanie and her father playing music at her mother's funeral. Photo by Richard D. Iyall, Cowlitz on Flickr. 

My mom unexpectedly died two weeks later. Our relationship drastically improved the last five years of her life, but I regretted some of the ways we interacted during our last holiday season together. I turned to my surviving parent with desperate urgency to be kind and loving with him. It quickly became clear that commanding myself towards kindness and love was like sitting on the couch while staring down a gym membership card to get fit. My empathy and care muscles atrophied, and I repeatedly injured myself carrying unrealistic expectations for our relationship.
Stephanie Smith is the Administrator at BayNVC. She welcomes connection from the NVC community. You can email her at stephanie@baynvc.org.
Upcoming Events events 
Free Teleseminars
On the Fearless Heart calls you can engage with Miki and others about her latest blog post, " Nonviolence: Commitment, Capacity and Community", earlier posts, or other topics of interest. Info and Register

Facing Privilege
Saturday, January 12, 9:30am - 11:00am
Monday, February 11, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Saturday, February 23, 10:30am - Noon
The Facing Privilege calls are an opportunity for people to engage on the deep questions that arise as we reflect on the topic of privilege.  Info and Register

Principle-Based Teaching Coaching Calls
Saturday, January 26, 10:30am - Noon
Sunday, February 24, 1:30pm - 3:00pm
The Principle-Based-Teaching calls are designed for people who have been integrating NVC for a while, who are now sharing NVC with others in various forms, and would like to engage with others and with Miki in deepening our collective capacity to bring NVC to the world in this particular way.  Info and Register

Saturday, January 19, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Sunday, February 3, 9:30am - 11:00am
The Questioning Money calls are an opportunity to grapple together with all aspects, both internal and external, of global capitalism and to move toward transforming it inside and out.  Info and Register

Sunday, January 6, 9:00am - 10:30am
Saturday, February 9, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
The Overcoming Patriarchy calls are for conversation, exploration, and active challenging of self and other based on the commitment to see and transcend all the ways in which we have internalized patriarchal thinking, to increase our collective ability to notice and act with choice.  Info and Register
Online at NVC Academy
Responding to the Call of Our Times
Fridays, February 1 - December 13, 2019 (46 sessions)
Noon - 2:00pm PT 
Registration now open for the third year of this course. Whether you are an "official" leader or not, this ongoing program will support you in freeing yourself to fully step into leadership in all aspects of your life and work, and play your part in making life work for everyone. This course remains open throughout the year and is easy to enter at any time, as it's not based on a set curriculum. Info and register
Notice of Cancellation: Collaboration in the Workplace
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Collaboration in the Workplace event at Impact Hub has been cancelled. We are working with Impact Hub to find new dates, most likely rescheduling for the summer. Please email us at nvc@baynvc.org if you have any questions or concerns.
Convergent Facilitation
In Oakland with Miki Kashtan and Roxy Manning
March 9-10, with optional deepening day March 11
If you work with groups that struggle to make decisions or collaborate effectively, this workshop is for you. Convergent Facilitation taps into a group's shared purpose and leads to decisions that everyone truly supports - without sacrificing productivity and forward momentum. If you have experience in Convergent Facilitation and would like to receive information about our train-the-trainer track, let us know here
Empowering Palestinian Women
5-day in person session for this ongoing project
March 28-April 1
Open to Palestinian women living in Palestine or Israel. If interested in participating, or know someone who could benefit from this opportunity to develop leadership capacity, email Amal Hadweh at amalfhadweh@gmail.com
These retreats are designed to create the conditions that would allow all of us who attend to take a next step in our understanding, capacity for interdependent living, practice, service, and contribution to support the possibility of nonviolent global liberation. You can watch the 2018 Poland retreat video here

In Warsaw, Poland
May 9-15, 2019
In Ben Lomond, California
Aug 15 - 21, 2019

In Mexico, in Spanish only
Save the date: Sept 15 - 21, 2019
Other people's events
Events by former students of Miki's who follow a similar path to hers in sharing NVC:

Living Peace Retreat with Oren Jay Sofer and Roxy Manning
February 15th - 20th, 2019
This residential retreat delves into NVC as an embodied practice for transforming our lives, relationships and world. Each day at the retreat includes teaching sessions, practice in smaller groups, empathy groups, participant-led offerings of arts and movement, and time for rest and enjoying the outdoors. The retreat curriculum is designed to meet the specific needs and interests of participants, including flexible workshops focused on skill-building in a range of contexts. Info and Register

BayNVC Immersion Program with Roxy Manning and Oren Jay Sofer
March - October, 2019 program
An 8-month training program consisting of one weekend intensive per month and ongoing opportunities for practice and connection to a lively learning community. BIP supports participants to deepen their understanding and embodiment of key principles and applications of Nonviolent Communication. (Participation in the Living Peace Retreat is recommended but not required).
Announcements announcements
Cover of Oren's new book!
Oren Sofer's new NVC Book
I'm happy to share with you a new book, Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication, written by my friend and former student Oren Jay Sofer. As I said in my endorsement, "Meeting the enormous challenges of our times calls for an integration of inner practices of mindfulness with outer practices of communicating with honesty, vulnerability, strength, care and empathy. Oren shows us a way to do just that." At the same time, he and I share a deep questioning of how much his book's focus on the interpersonal level of experience can be supportive of systemic change. If you read his book, Oren welcomes your input about the extent to which it manages to integrate the systemic perspective as a support for the ongoing development of his work. You may contact Oren through his website.

Canticle Farm
One of the organizations I am supporting (pro bono) is Canticle Farm, an urban farm, intentional community and living classroom working at the intersection of social justice, ecology and faith-based nonviolent activism. I deeply believe that the work they are doing in East Oakland, CA -- a community on the frontlines of societal unravelling in many ways -- is essential for bringing forth our shared values of nonviolence and systemic change. Their programs have grown beyond their current space and they are working to build a community kitchenguest rooms and workshop space   that will receive thousands of people each year. They have started a campaign to generate the funds necessary to make this a possibility. You can learn more a  canticlefarmoakland.org/renovation . I hope you will consider your capacity and willingness to contribute.

Tikkun New Website
I've been a writer for Tikkun Magazine since 2002. I deeply appreciate the complex and loving framework that Tikkun brings to the world, never settling for simplified versions of us and them, always challenging all of us to see a bigger picture of a spiritual orientation grounded in a vision so aligned with what I support with my work. Tikkun is embarking on a new phase - expanding their website, integrating more fully their analysis with activism, reaching out to a larger audience, and maintaining their nuanced intellectual analysis. Please visit their new website, and consider subscribing to the magazine.

A project of the NGL Community, Catherine Gautier-Downes, point person.
Jane Banfield from New Zealand is the person who coined this term. The core aim is to support a shift from a culture of trolling to a culture of peace and civility on the internet through people responding empathically and open-heartedly to messages of hate and challenge. You can find out more about the project here . We are planning to begin a pilot project in the coming months, and you can help us with just a few minutes of your time. We would love to hear of your experiences with difficult online messages. Please go to our Google form and give us the details for our learning about the phenomenon and for extracting principles that we can use in future training.

KGO Interview Found! 
Many thanks to John Gather for finding a downloadable version of my KGO interview, "How You Can Truthfully Impact CHANGE, Even Through Opposition!", from January 16, 2017. Thank you also to all of those who searched and suggested ways we could retrieve it. Now that we have it, we plan to upload it to The Fearless Heart website soon. 
We acknowledge, and want to transcend, the pattern of linking the meeting of needs to money, both in the sense that people who have needs are often required to have money in order to meet them, and people who want to contribute to the meeting of needs are often required to have money to do so. The Circle of Support is an intervention in this habit. It is our baseline of steady support for Miki's role in boldly (and successfully) venturing into a gift economy, with our blessing. It is a joyful leap towards offering this work as a gift to anyone who seeks it, with no "strings attached." 

We seek to reach our goal of 200 monthly donors, and to have a collective commitment of $6,000 per month, which will cover the financial expense of The Fearless Heart. We are grateful to be able to say that we now have 110 participants contributing $3,573.82 each month. We offer special thanks to the 9 people who joined since the last newsletter. Our largest monthly financial gift is currently $500, and our smallest is $10. We can't know which is the greater gift. Both are cherished.

Your participation, of any degree, contributes to this vision of shared responsibility and shared meaning. We invite you to listen into your role: If you are inspired to join the Circle, we thank you. If you are you inspired to make a one-time donation, we thank you. If you are inspired to spread the news about this work and why you value it (e.g. forward this email), we thank you. This is our collective work. We are grateful for your part in it.

Join the  Circle of Support now.

Note: If you would like to make a donation smaller than $10, please send a check written out to TFH/BayNVC, and sent to BayNVC, PO Box 22872, Oakland, CA 94609.