March, 2019

Like all my newsletters, this one has a "Celebrations and Mournings" section. This time, that section is spilling over. One of the celebrations is so big that it's the main thing I am writing about here: more and more of the work that we do here at BayNVC is happening within a flow of trust and generosity involving more and more people and having growing impacts. It is also affecting my own life in dramatic ways.

Liberation from scarcity liberation 
Like most of us who live in patriarchal societies, I've lived much of my life with a semi-permanent sense of scarcity. It seemed like a natural part of life. Some day I hope to write the personal story of several significant losses that turned into milestones along the journey of liberation from scarcity, which I rarely experience these days. For now I will say only that the unfolding of this process doesn't necessarily result in having more, because we do live in a finite world and "more" can't be infinite. The shift comes from relating differently to what is there, learning better how to match available resources to needs, and surrounding the inevitable losses with tenderness. Such liberation cannot be done alone. As I wrote in my recent post, one powerful pathway to releasing scarcity involves acknowledging finitude and making decisions together with others when facing it. It has been my consistent experience that this results in feeling aligned with a mysterious sense of flow all around.

Two twin practices have increased the flow for me and around me: giving without restraint and asking without limits, ready to receive a no. I want to provide three different examples of what I mean.  

  • The Fearless Heart has committed to this year's plan for the Empowering Palestinian Women Leaders project, with a budget of $34,000, knowing that the money would need to come from the generosity of people besides the participants. Supporting the community-based Palestinian women who are called to participate is a core commitment now, and we are lovingly taking the risk. In February, with generous support from everyone we asked into the process, we were able to seed our call for support with $12,000 in matching funds. Since making this broader call on March 1, we have received $4,315 of the total we asked for. We celebrate this and ask you to support us with your donation, if you are able and willing, to bring us to our full budget. Many of the donations we have received in the last year were $50 or under, but they all added up to a powerful contribution. Some of our donations were larger than we dared ask: over $20,000. You can find more information about this project, including how to support this work, here.
  • The Nonviolent Global Liberation community and retreats operate almost entirely within the flow of gifting, with the exception of room and board costs for the retreats. While the retreats have so far sufficiently sustained themselves on the material plane, the financial contributions within the online community have been far less than the combined sustainability needs of those of us doing the work. And still, there is no sense of scarcity. In terms of the work that needs doing, it's all done through voluntary commitments, without any tallying of who has done how much. In terms of finances, decisions about what will happen with the small amounts of money relative to the needs have been made in full transparency and collaboration. So far it's been clear where the money will go, without any one person making that kind of decision. And people are continuing to contribute time and energy, with full willingness, knowing that it's unlikely there will be money to contribute to their sustainability in the near term. Meanwhile, we are working on ways to increase the financial flow. When I was invited to present on the gift economy at a conference in Colombia to honor the publication of a Spanish translation (not yet generally available) of For-Giving: A Feminist Critique of Exchange, a book by Genevieve Vaughan, I chose to illustrate the principles with concrete examples from this community.
  • Starting in 2002, my late sister Inbal and I created an amount of learning materials that continues to amaze me. One of Inbal's wishes, for years, was for us to find a way for these materials to become useful and available to the public. We never figured it out together. In the last few months,
     I found a way to do it, and began the work. With this newsletter, I am officially releasing to the public the first six of the thirty-three packets of the work that we started and that I have continued to develop. (Twenty-one additional ones are in progress and available to people in the Nonviolent Global Liberation community. And six more require foundational work to even start.) Beyond just celebrating that this work is finally flowing, I am also celebrating that it's made available on a gift basis -- anyone can have access to the packets regardless of money, while, at the same time, money is being asked for. Curious to see? Here's the link to the work that Julie Lawrence has done to make it technologically possible - nothing simple about this task. And, in another illustration of the theme of this piece, Julie is gifting her work to BayNVC.

Attending to the flow flow 
This is not all. Because no amount of examples can fully capture what it's like to be part of the BayNVC staff or the Nonviolent Global Liberation community, the actual felt sense of the flow we are witnessing and co-creating. Or the delicious experience of having asked for and received money to create the All Voices Fund, which seeks to address the historic and current gaps that keep people who have been marginalized from fully engaging in principles of nonviolence. As I am writing this, the All Voices Fund has received its first request for financial support, and we are heartened that we could say YES. The joy of giving is immense. The mourning of how little we can do is just as immense. The family of life is in dire need, and recognizing and opening to experiencing that need is part of what creates the flow.

The future is forever unknown, one of the conditions of mystery that life is made of. I said earlier that a dramatic change is happening in my life, and I want to close with that. After thirteen years of living in the same place (the longest in my entire 63 years!), I am moving out. At the end of March I am off to Palestine, Israel, and several stops in Europe. Immediately after I leave, all my things will be packed and put into storage. I don't yet know where I am going other than I am committed to staying in the Bay Area and to being part of an intentional community here. I am jumping into the unknown, allowing my need to be part of the flow, and surrendering to the outcome. For decades now I have wanted to find a way to live in community with people I know and love. Now I also want attending to the flow of resources to be an integral part of our community life. Within the Nonviolent Global Liberation community, which is either transient or virtual, I am finding seeds of such possible life for me. I surrender, without knowing whether these or other seeds will blossom into my next living arrangement.
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 my recent trip to Colombia, why I ended a project I was working on, what's happening with NGL, and more.
Update on the Circle of Support updatecos 
I continue to feel grateful to the members of the Circle of Support, our collective means to support Miki's work ( more info here). Eight new people have joined since the last newsletter, adding over $100 per month towards our goal, bringing us to a monthly total of 118 members contributing $3,654.66, more than halfway to our sustainability goal of $6,000/month.

If you've 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.  

In community,
elizaBeth Simpson
Resource Coordinator
Heather and Leonie at Art of Facilitation Retreat 2017
I feel immense joy, gratitude, and awe working with such a collaborative team of compassionate, inspiring and supportive people. One of the things I value and appreciate most about working with the BayNVC team is that I am invited and encouraged to be my whole self at work. All of our meetings (whether one on one, small groups or the full team) begin with check-ins where we have space to share how we are doing emotionally, mentally and physically.

At BayNVC, authenticity is celebrated, vulnerability is held with great tenderness, empathy is always available, honoring individual capacity with compassion is the norm, support is routinely offered, self-care is constantly encouraged, and trust is the foundation of our team culture - dramatically different from typical workplaces!
Heather Austin is the Event Coordinator at BayNVC and welcomes connection with the community.  She can be reached via email at
Upcoming Events events 
Free Teleseminars
On the Fearless Heart calls you can engage with Miki and others about her latest blog post, " Can we Un-Skew Resource Distribution?", earlier posts, or other topics of interest. Info and Register

Facing Privilege
Monday, March 18, 5:00 - 6:30pm PT
Sunday, March 24, 10:30 - noon 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

Principle-Based Teaching Coaching Calls
Saturday, March 23, 3:00 - 4:30pm PT
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, March 16, 1:00 - 2:30pm 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

Sunday, March 17, 11:00am - 12:30pm 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
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
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. Info and register
Empowering Palestinian WomenEWPL
5-day in person session for this ongoing project
March 28-April 1
5-day intensive training and interactive coaching focused primarily on responding to the specific context, experiences, and unique challenges of the women present. Open to Palestinian women living in Palestine or Israel. If interested in participating, email Amal Hadweh at
Working for Transformation without Recreating the Past
In Israel, in Hebrew
April 11-13
Workshops for change agents: Practices to support embracing nonviolence in thought, word, and deed; methods for making decisions that work for everyone; dialogue skills to bridge differences; tools for understanding and engaging with your own and others' power and privilege; and models for visionary organizations and leadership. Info and register
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

on the East Coast
Save the date: Oct 25 - 30, 2019
Other events in Europe
Following the NGL retreat in Poland, a small group of us  will continue our travels in Europe. We will host events with local  Extinction Rebellion and other activist groups supporting the  development of skills in collaborative leadership. Our confirmed  locations are Berlin (19th May), Brno/Prague (23rd May), Vienna (24th or  25th May). This trip is still in the initial stages of organizing. If you would like to sign up to receive more information when it becomes available, please fill out this form.
Other people's events
Events by former students of Miki's who follow a similar path to hers in sharing NVC:

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.

ONLINE Nonviolent Communication Lab with Aya Caspi
March 20 - May 2, 2019 
Wednesdays Noon to 1:30pm PT
This program is designed to integrate the consciousness and practice of nonviolence, and weave them deeply into the way we each show up with ourselves, in our relationships, in our communities, and in our work in the world.

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 118 participants contributing $3,654.66 each month. We offer special thanks to the 8 people who joined since the last newsletter. Our largest monthly financial gift is currently $500, and our smallest is $8.25. 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.