Family, Purpose, Land
March 2021

Dear Friend,
Going to Israel, where I am from, to be with my sister Arnina on her 70th birthday wasn’t an easy decision. These are not simple times for travel. Being in Israel, which I left because I didn’t want to have certain things be done in my name, has only become more difficult over the last number of years. And, based on previous visits, I anticipated being challenged to stay both focused on purpose and open to life.
In the end, I made the decision based on the strength of my relationship with Arnina and on wanting to be there for her celebration. It was the first time I went to Israel within my current context of ongoing co-holding of purpose in several configurations while vagabonding in Europe. Being part of these small groups means stronger support structures, and we created two forms of support to carry me through this visit. Both have yielded remarkable results.
One form is a mourning practice. Specifically, while here, I receive a mourning challenge almost daily. The challenge consists of a topic and a particular number of things to mourn about it. I share my mournings on that topic with the three people who give me the practice, and I receive quick responses as accompaniment. They then give me the next challenge. Mourning is one of my two core practices now (the other one being saying “no”). I find that this mourning practice softens me and opens me. I am so touched by the results, that I have literally cut and pasted many of these mournings, added some reflections, and made it into a blog post. The most personal challenge was the five mournings about what it was like to grow up in this culture, and how its harshness affected the young me.
The most intense, though, was the assignment of six mournings for what Israeli culture could have been and isn’t. Here’s one of them, so you know what I am talking about: “Israel could have become a place of spiritual awakening, grappling with some of the most difficult questions about human nature, the meaning of life, and more in the wake of unimaginable horrors. Instead, Israel became a place of hardening, closing off, religious fanaticism, narrow nationalism, fear of the rest of the world, and in parallel, contempt for the spiritual.” The last one I share in that post is from February 18th, my 65th birthday, about how modern patriarchal cultures relate to the process of aging. I am so grateful for mourning, this path of bridging softly the gap between vision and what is.
The second form of support was for Arnina and me, together, to apply the vision mobilization framework to our relationship and to this visit. This one is still unfolding. Two friends have been supporting us (in Hebrew), to articulate our vision, and, from it, our values and our purpose, and, next, to identify activities and agreements between us that will serve our shared values and purpose.
Of all this, I want to share (which feels vulnerable and significant) the purpose: “To co-hold the Kashtan vision and bring it to its point of enoughness.” The vulnerability is about “admitting” that being oriented towards vision runs in our family. Father, mother, and three daughters have all been consumed with the fire of some version or another of Tikkun Olam, healing and repair of the world as it’s called in the Jewish tradition, which we all find some odd home within. So far, none of us has reached enoughness.
Arnina and I, alive, vibrant, creative, committed, are here as the last ones in the biological line. Our father and youngest sister Inbal both left behind them unfinished projects. Inbal never completed the articulation of her visionary parenting designed to fully reboot our patriarchal, intergenerational trauma with an uncompromising commitment to full collaboration in decision-making with children. You can find some inkling about this in another piece I wrote called “How Children Learn about Others’ Needs.” Our mother, 92 in a few days, cannot stop trying, despite significant cognitive loss. I am the first in the family to recognize enoughness as a possibility.
Through this newly articulated purpose that Arnina and I discovered, I am offering this option to Arnina, to counter, softly, her anguish about all the things she won’t get to; to join, with her, in shifting familial narratives and finding peace and closure before we die; to pass on, wisely, to others what we will not finish; to know what is ours and what is not, and release the latter. 
None of it is easy. The material conditions of our existence remain precarious with the weight of expenses that caring for our mother incurs. This is the second year we have needed to reach out to friends, colleagues, and others who read our respective newsletters for material support. The family narratives, immersed as they are within larger patriarchal narratives of success and failure, are formidable challenges. We want to dedicate ourselves, fully, to continuing to bring our respective and gradually intertwining bodies of work to an ailing world while simultaneously moving away from the typical ways people usually sustain themselves. This gets harder the more we discover about how close to the edge human life is at this time of impending collapse, and how much we need to shift gears, deeply and quickly. We are also saddled by Arnina’s body pains since her early childhood, severe sleep issues, proneness to overwhelm, and unhappy comparisons and negative self-evaluations, which are heartbreaking to me – and by my own helplessness in the face of all that.
Still, with all this, I am, for the umpteenth time, in awe of the power of clear purpose to realign us. In the days since we discovered and named our purpose, there is more softness and clarity in our time together. We’ve been in each other’s lives for the entirety of my lifetime, a full 65 years. (Our picture here is from the early 1990s.) We have deep grooves of relating that we have been working on changing for some years. The change in this visit feels both subtle and deep. The vision mobilization work (now being carried forward by a growing number of people within the Nonviolent Global Liberation community, supported by Emma Quayle’s leadership and deep intuitive wisdom)  is emerging as a key pathway for discovering the particular way an individual or group can plug into the endless flow of life, and thereby to participate in the epochal, last ditch effort to realign ourselves with life while it’s still possible. It’s exciting to feel the strength of the vision mobilization within my own family, and to know that we have something so tangible to offer to quench the thirst for meaning and longing for increased capacity that more and more people are uncovering at this time.
In peace and reverence,


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, one more blog piece called “Needs Choreography and Mutual Influencing,” the launch of a new self-study course, a thick crop of inspirations, and more.

Credits, from top: Photo of flag by cottonbro from Pexels; Photo of Israeli checkpoint by SP flickr license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; Photo of tree by veeterzy from Pexels; Photo of pills and money by ImagesMoney flickr CC BY 2.0; Kashtan family photo
Our experiment in the gift paradigm...
Miki's Circle of Support
We aim to encourage the gift paradigm: a pattern of resource flow that isn’t based on individuals’ access to money. Within this, the Circle of Support acts as a baseline of steady support for Miki's choice to boldly (and so far successfully) venture more and more into operating within a gift economy. If you want to learn more about the existing paradigm, gift economy, the Circle of Support and our experimentation so far with alternative economies, we welcome you to visit the Circle of Support page on Miki’s website, or join the Circle here.

With immense gratitude and awe we have seen that, despite the hardships that have come to so many in these times, this time around we have more people in the Circle than last time even as a few people cycle in and out each month. At present, we have 122 people who contribute a total of $4,037 monthly to the Circle of Support. Both are roughly two-thirds of our goal of 200 contributors and $6,000 a month.

We celebrate every choice to join or leave the circle, as we aspire to our sustainability goal. Regardless of the total amount, we seek a broad base of participation both for the stability of this work, which increases when the circle is held by many hands, and for the affirmation of significance that your participation provides.

Is it your turn to cycle in? If so, 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 of engaging with Miki’s work by forwarding information about her conference calls, books, or other resources.

Upcoming Events
Free Teleseminars
All teleseminar times below are Pacific Time:

Facing Privilege
Saturday, March 13, 12 pm - 1:30 pm PT
Saturday, April 24, 1 pm - 2:30 pm PT
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

Overcoming Patriarchy
Saturday, March 27, 1 pm - 2:30 pm PT
Saturday, April 24, 11 am - 12:30 pm PT
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

Questioning Money
Saturday, March 20, 12 pm - 1:30 pm PT
Saturday, February 17, 8:30 am - 10 am PT
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

Reckoning with Collapse
Miki has decided to no longer hold these calls. The last one was on Feb 20th, and you can still find the recordings here. Here’s what Miki says: “These calls have been on and off challenging for me to pull off in a way that flows. It now seems to me that offering these calls, and making them work for people, is not mine to do. I hope people find other resources to sustain them in facing these difficult times.”
Online at NVC Academy
Responding to the Call of Our Times
Fridays, February 5 - December 10, 2021 (45 sessions)
Noon - 2:00 pm PT
This is the 5th year of this course. There’s a reason why some people have been coming for all the years of its existence. 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. As our social systems unravel, this is more timely than ever. Info and register
NGL doesn’t currently have any upcoming retreats. All of our work is online at present, and includes many calls where you can learn as well as many opportunities to contribute to our work.

NGL Friends

We continue to invite people to join us as “NGL Friends.” Every month we have more friends joining, now numbering 150 people in that category. Friends can join many calls, including coaching calls, conversations with guests, and team meetings. They also offer support with different tasks to the NGL Online community, contribute financially, and connect with each other for learning and mutual support. Read about NGL and see whether being an NGL friend is for you here.

Support NGL's Gift Economy

The NGL Online community is a wild experiment in terms of use of resources. There are over 20 of us in the core teams that sustain the community. We are co-creators of a community that aims to function on a gift economy basis. When money arrives, which now is reaching $1,500 a month, we aim to distribute it among us based on the same principles. We’ve also been fortunate to receive two small grants that have given much needed funds to individuals who otherwise would need to look for regular jobs and back out of all the work they do in support of NGL’s infrastructure and projects. In the last period we have shifted into combining all of NGL’s projects into one collective pot of money, as a strategy to increase cohesion and reduce the chances of stratification within NGL. In the absence of retreats, we don’t have less work to do, and our sustainability has become much more strained, including that of BayNVC, the fiscal sponsor and parent organization of NGL, as our resources have been depleted this past year. We now distribute money 3 times a year, based on requests for bare bones sustainability from those who really need them to stay engaged. In our last circle in January, we worked hard to prioritize needs, collectively and transparently, with only 70% of what was needed available to us to distribute. We did it. We want to keep moving closer to our vision and dream of full resource flow based on optimizing the movement of resources towards needs based on purpose and willingness. We are eager for the sustainability of all of us who pour countless hours over years to be able to lean on NGL for some of their sustainability instead of supporting NGL’s sustainability often at cost to themselves.

If you have the capacity to do so, please donate here.

Support an NGL Community Experiment in Portugal

This Spring a group of us is embarking on a 3-month community-living experiment in connection with Tamera Peace Research and Education Center in Relíquias, Portugal. We will be conducting a research and documentary film project while paving the next part of the road toward NGL community living. This project is a leap of faith in the direction of creating regenerative homes for those working towards the realization of the NGL purpose and for it to happen, we are looking for your support with the following pieces:

  • We need to find a house in the area: Though we have one possible lead, it is extremely precarious. If you think you may be able to help in any way, please see here for further details
  • Sharing the risk financially: Currently, we are making this project happen out of our own pockets and would love the risk to be shared further with anyone who has the means and shares our vision. If you sense a yes in you reading this, please see here for further details.
Maternal Gift Economy Salon
March 13, 9-11am PT 
With Miki Kashtan and Manasi Saxena

On November 27, 2020, a 700-people strong conference on the topic of Maternal Gift Economy: Breaking Through took place, featuring many women and inspired by the work of Genevieve Vaughan. This work continues with salons happening every two weeks. Miki’s topic is “How to Live a Gift Economy within an Exchange World?” based on experiments within NGL. Manasi’s topic is “Experimenting in Receiving while Giving,” based on the experiences within an organization she created in India to respond to needs under the pandemic. Registration is now open for these events, and every two weeks another pair of women lead another such salon. We definitely need more reminders that the idea that there is no alternative to market economy is just a myth.
Convergent Facilitation

More than 20 people a week are now attending the Convergent Facilitation Coaching Calls to receive ongoing support from experienced facilitators on how to help groups make collaborative decisions. Many of them attended the recent introductory workshop Roxy Manning and Lisa Rothman. Are you interested in becoming a Convergent Facilitator? See what we have coming up.

Introduction to Convergent Facilitation Intensive
May 22-23, 2021
With Roni Wiener and Magda Baranska
Now more than ever, we see the devastating consequences when stakeholders aren't involved in making decisions that affect them. This is a time of extraordinary challenge, change and opportunity. The world is hungry for people who have the skills to support a group to arrive at a decision that everyone can wholeheartedly embrace; one that is arrived at with surprising efficiency. Learn how! Save the date to attend Roni and Magda's intensive on May 22-23, available on a gift economy basis. If you’d like to be notified when registration opens, sign up here.

Convergent Facilitation Weekly Coaching Calls
With experienced facilitators, based on gift economy
Are you ready to serve in this time of extraordinary potential, challenge, and change? We are now offering weekly Convergent Facilitation coaching calls to support you with practice. These sessions are for people who are called to this form of service and who have taken an introductory workshop or read the book. Find out more about this project and get involved here.
Empathy Across Power Differences
March 13, 11am-1pm CET (Central Europe Time)

Miki’s session takes place as part of the Time for Empathy 2021 event in which people from various countries cooperate to offer online events connected to empathy and Nonviolent Communication (NVC). The event is online and lasts from March 7 - March 14. Our dream is to build the world based on understanding, inclusion, acceptance and dialogue.

Miki’s focus in this session is on how to surmount the challenges to empathic connection when there are power differences, which often create high stakes and low trust.

Find out more about the entire event and register here.
For Miki's March 13 session, register here.
A Personal Request for Support

My sister Arnina and I are immensely grateful and awed by the people who came forward to support us last year in our efforts to face growing challenges in caring for our 92-year-old mother, including mounting costs for care that is only very partially covered by the state. This year our expenses are lower than last year, as the state has authorized more support for her, and so our goal for the entire year is $12,000, for which we have set up a new GoFundMe page. So far, through Arnina’s efforts in Israel, we have $3,109, so we are now about $9,000 short for the rest of the year. We would be deeply grateful to anyone who is open to support us with this, with any amount.
The Fearless Heart Publications
Learning Packets
Miki worked for years with her sister Inbal Kashtan to develop learning materials about NVC, and has continued to develop new materials after Inbal's death. We now have a total of eleven packets, and anticipate having five more by the time of the next newsletter. Meanwhile, Miki has completed a massive full revision of the structure of the packets to incorporate the entire NGL framework, giving you a better picture of the scope of this project and what’s coming over the next period, as Miki aims to complete the entire set by August 2022. All packets are available on a gift economy basis, with no paywall. The packets are in four categories: Learning about NVC; Overcoming Patriarchal Training; Applying NVC in the World; and Sharing NVC.
Many people are skeptical about money coming in when we provide content without a paywall. Our experience is a resounding affirmation that there is enough care and enough trust to begin to recreate flow. We are celebrating that so far this year people downloaded 247 items in 128 orders, giving an average $6.96 per item. Of these, 56 people didn't give any money, and we rejoice in that. One person contributed $100 for 1 packet. This is the transitional world we want to live in, for as long as money exists: access for everyone regardless of how much money they have, supported by those who have the capacity to give more. 

Visit the page for packets here:

The Highest Common Denominator

What if you could bring together any group of people to find solutions that are creative, satisfying, work for everyone, and actually get implemented?

In The Highest Common Denominator — Using Convergent Facilitation to Reach Breakthrough Collaborative Decisions, Miki Kashtan introduces a novel decision-making process that is designed to build trust from the very beginning, to surface concerns and address them, and to turn conflicts into dilemmas that groups feel energized to solve together.

This book is now available for purchase. For options about how to access the book, visit The Highest Common Denominator.
Core Nonviolence Commitments
Learning and Support Community
Strengthen your commitment to nonviolence
With Helen Adamson and Claudia Sánchez
The first 3 Thursdays of every month (except August)
January 2021 - January 2024 (34 modules of 3 sessions each)
6:00 - 8:00 pm CET (Central Europe Time) Find your time zone

An ongoing series of independent units or modules, each one designed to support participants in engaging, in community, with one of the 34 Core Nonviolence Commitments. The series is for people who want to strengthen their commitment to nonviolence and increase their ability to put it into practice in their day-to-day lives. Prior NVC experience is highly recommended. You may register for the series at any time; once you are registered you will receive an email invitation once a month to RSVP, if you like, for the next module.

Upcoming modules:
March: Commitment #3. Risking my Significance
April: Commitment #4. Responsibility
May: Commitment #5. Care for My Life

Nonviolence is a way of being and living that orients, in thought, word, and deed, towards integrating love, truth, and courage in individual and collective action aimed at preserving what serves life and at challenging what doesn’t to transform itself so the human family can realign with life. -Miki Kashtan
We are now accepting scholarship applications!
Reducing Financial Barriers to Training in Nonviolence
We have been granted an opportunity to designate a small fund to offer support to members of marginalized communities to increase access to educational opportunities in the fields of nonviolence, including Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Kingian Nonviolence, and Nonviolent Global Liberation (NGL).

At BayNVC, we are painfully aware of the enormous systemic obstacles that block full participation in shaping and benefiting from training in nonviolence. One specific example is that the vast majority of people who participate in NVC training in much of the world are from white and middle class backgrounds. We hope this fund will be a small contribution to change in this area.

To see if this scholarship may be a support to you or someone you know visit the project here:

We are also inviting continued contributions from our community and anyone else who is excited about what we are aiming to do. Let us know if you want to participate, and let others within your communities know about this project so that we can continue to offer this support into the future. If you are inspired to make contribution, please click here and choose “Reducing Barriers to Training in Nonviolence” as your designation.