March, 2020         

Pema Chodron
For the third time in a row, I am choosing a Pema Chodron book title as the name of the newsletter. It seems that my journey in the last while has been quite elemental and mirrors her wisdom. This time, the lesson of starting where we are is simple: Wherever we wish to be or were in times past, the only learning that is available to us is right here, right now.

Openhearted Engagementopenhearted
The first weeks of my time in Stroud, England, involved staying in an inadequate Airbnb, with a varying cast of characters, all of whom participated in some conversations about the possibility, which previously seemed like a commitment, of creating a shared-risk community together. (Defining a shared-risk community is still to come.) These weeks were a roller coaster. Before getting to Stroud, we were almost certain that no community would happen, and we decided to focus on building a virtual one. Then, once we were together with others, the original excitement about moving toward community rekindled, and it seemed possible again. At times, it seemed as if we would be moving into a house large enough to be home for six adults and two young children. In other moments, our differences loomed larger, and yet, creating community in two separate units seemed possible. And then, in the end, the challenge of bridging our differences was beyond our capacity, and the entire search ended.

Emma and I, still committed between us to the continued search for a community of shared risk, were left in mourning and confusion. Where next, and with whom? It was both community and purpose that brought us to Stroud. Without community, and with the hoped-for large project with Extinction Rebellion also dematerializing, what made sense to do?

In the grief and the depletion that ensued, one thing stood clear, exactly the insight that Pema Chodron named. However much we didn't like what was happening, that was exactly what was unfolding, and there was nowhere else to be except with it. No immediate people to build community with, no immediate clarity about where purpose would lead us, and less energy than before, with enough concerns that made exploring a virtual shared-risk community no longer wise.

It was through openhearted engagement with all this that our next steps became clear. Rather than casting a wide net, looking toward existing relationships emerged as a path. Simple, small steps are slowly appearing. Purpose has led us to Glasgow, setting temporary root in a little house near Verene Nicolas, a close colleague and another founding member of Nonviolent Global Liberation, to explore what being in geographic proximity can do to our existing projects, and what Scotland has in store for our involvement. Community is leading us to learn from our mistakes, and to dig deeply into exactly what shared risk means in practical terms, with people we already know who are excited about the exploration even if not ready to step into it now. It's a relief, for once, to keep close to the known, without much effort, tending to relationships and existing projects, deepening my commitment to release my longstanding habit of putting huge effort into everything, and still adjusting to being a twice-foreigner in a new country.

A New Developmentdevelopment
On a parallel and quiet track, a new development unfolded. After years of recognizing that The Fearless Heart was an amalgam of things that didn't all belong together, the surgery is complete. This is the last newsletter that you will receive from The Fearless Heart. The next one will come from me, Miki Kashtan, housed on a new website aptly named The Fearless Heart will become what it had been designed to be: a repository of resources, home to books, posts, recordings, online courses, and more. In the future, you will hear from The Fearless Heart only when there is a new publication, and about available resources, most of them free of charge. There's nothing you need to do, as the same mailing list will be used.

Winding this newsletter down, I am reflecting again on the deep discipline of starting, indeed, where we are. These are not simple times. A growing disquiet about the state of the world, ranging from the environmental to the political, economic, and cultural, is affecting more and more people, and the physical impacts are already borne by the vulnerable.

When I finished the first draft of this newsletter, I felt dry, uninspired, almost empty. After some reflection and conversation, I now want to share an aspect of why: Many of you look to me for inspiration, for something to lift your spirits in difficult times. Many of us are called to serve as beacons of vision and possibility. What are we to do when our spirits are less resilient, more internal? I can see, in this moment, with great tenderness, why so many people who became the inspiration for millions chose to hide the challenges and focus only on what was working. Leadership comes with responsibility, and we lack models of vulnerable leadership to emulate. Now, writing these words, I am connecting with that form of leadership as part of my own calling: to be human, fully human, in doing this work and speaking of it. This practice means exposing all - the beauty and the challenge, the celebrations and the despair - when it comes. This is how we can contribute, even when depleted, to some of what's needed to turn around the massive challenges humanity is facing. This is part of how we may recover in time our humility, our embeddedness within the web of life, and our capacity to be with what is without aiming to control outcomes.

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 new NGL celebrations, personal reflections, and more.

Credits, not including portrait, from top:  "no confusion" by KlemenRobnik is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0;  "start," Shutterstock.
 Update on the Circle of Support updatecos
more info on COS here )
At present, we have 106 people who contribute online a total of $3,530 monthly to the Circle of Support, and a few others who contribute with checks, and we are nearing $4,000 in total. This is now a little over half of our goal in terms of number of contributors, and about two-thirds of our financial goal. 

We celebrate every choice to join or leave the circle, as we aspire to our sustainability goal of 200 donors and $6,000 per month. 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 with The Fearless Heart by forwarding information about the conference calls, books, or other resources.

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

Facing Privilege
Saturday, March 21, 11 am - 12:30 pm PT
Sunday, April 26, 9 am - 10:30 am 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

Questioning Money
Saturday, March 22, 1 pm - 2:30 pm PT
Sunday, April 19, 11 am - 12:30 pm 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

Overcoming Patriarchy
Sunday, March 1, 11 am - 12:30 pm PT
Sunday, April 19, 9 am - 10:30 am 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

Reckoning with Collapse
Saturday, March 7, 11 am - 12:30 pm PT
Sunday, April 5, 11 am - 12:30 pm PT
The Reckoning with Collapse calls are an opportunity for anyone to come engage with others who are, also, grappling with the overwhelming information and grim prospects that humanity is currently facing, most specifically with climate change, as well as a host of other severe crises. Info and register

Online at NVC Academy
Responding to the Call of Our Times 
Fridays, February 7 - December 11, 2020 (45 sessions)
Noon - 2:00 pm PT
This course now begins its 4th year in February. 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

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 Poland
May 20-26, 2020

In Ben Lomond, California
NOTE: Date correction of error in previous newsletters.
Aug. 20-26, 2020
Info and register

In Mexico (in Spanish)
Save the dates: Sept. 10-16, 2020

In Bali
Save the dates: Oct. 29-Nov. 4, 2020

On the East Coast
Save the dates: Nov. 12-18, 2020

NGL Friends
If you've been hearing about Nonviolent Global Liberation and wondering how you could get involved without having to go to a retreat, there is now a pathway. Read about NGL and see if being an NGL friend is for you here.  

In Israel
Creating Life-Serving Systems
in Hebrew, April 16-18
A three-day Intensive on Systems, with support from Arnina Kashtan  

When registration for this event opened, a swarm of people began registering, and within a few weeks the event was full. In an unprecedented move, Sharon Carmel, the organizer, canceled everyone's registration so that people could have an opportunity to engage with groups that work on a project together to come as a group. This will be entirely hands-on, starting with identifying purpose and ending with looking at how all the systems can address power differences through concrete agreements. Miki and Arnina will be supporting groups to discern when an issue can be addressed through agreements, when through individual inner work or interpersonal dialogue, and how to decide which way to go. Registration now opens in mid-March, only to groups. You can read about the event  here .

Other People's Events
The 17th Annual New York NVC Intensive 2020
July 12-19, 2020, In Stony Point, NY

With Kanya Likanasudh, Roxy Manning, Mika Maniwa, Jeyanthy Siva,
colleagues and former students of Miki's who follow a similar path to hers in sharing NVC.

This is a week-long immersion in self-awareness, authentic connection and open heartedness. Three of the trainers are former students and now friends and colleagues. I am excited to see a major NVC event with a team of trainers all of whom are people of color. I hope many will register and join the community of folks who go year after year.  Info and register

Opportunity to Support the
Empowering Palestinian Women Leaders Project

For the third year in a row, we are offering an intensive training to Palestinian women in Bethlehem. For the first time, this is not open to new women. We are learning from past years, and focusing on a smaller group of women who've already been part of this project in support of active leadership development beyond personal growth. As in previous years, there's no money coming to BayNVC from this work except the small administrative fee for donations. Click here to read about the project, our reflections on what has worked and not, and our new thoughts for how to move it forward. We already have more than $3,000 in donations from past year's donors. You can contribute here.
A Personal Request for Support
My sister Arnina and I are facing growing challenges in caring for our 91-year old mother, including mounting costs for care that is only very partially covered by the state. We have initiated a fundraising request on GoFundMe, and we would be deeply grateful to anyone who is open to support us with this, with any amount.
Here's the link.

The Fearless Heart PublicationsTFH
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. The first 6 packets of this material are now available here for download 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.

Invitation for Collaboration
Miki is working on a new book with Lisa Rothman, and they are opening it up for people to collaborate with them. Are you interested? If so, click here for more information and to let us know you are interested.

New Book from The Fearless Heart
We celebrate the release of Gina Simm's book Heart to Heart: 3 Systems for Staying Connected -  A Manual for Parents and Teachers , which is a guide to supporting children in learning how to sustain their humanity and open hearts in a world that's constantly telling them otherwise. Miki says:  "I've been encouraging Gina for years to take the step of converting her amazing work into a book accessible to others, and I am really elated to have it now available. It goes way beyond communication to create environments that actually support children in being part of shaping what unfolds."  It now features on the Fearless Heart website and is available through Gina's website Teaching from Your Heart , where you can also learn more about the book.

Project Manager for Miki's Workjob
We are redirecting our search for a passionate, visionary, and self-directed individual to join Miki's team and are now looking for a half-time project manager of all that she holds. If the idea of lending your capacity, inspiration, and gifts to supporting the realization of the deeper, more far-reaching potential of Miki's work stokes your fire and you have tons of initiative, a steady capacity to hold your own while maintaining relationship, and a deep commitment to collaboration, you taking on  this role  could be a gift for you, Miki, and others who support her.

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 unable to meet them without money, and people who want to contribute to the meeting of needs are also often required to have money to do so. The Circle of Support aims to support flow that isn't based on individuals' access to money. It is a baseline of steady support for Miki in boldly (and successfully) deepening and expanding her commitment to operating within a gift economy, allowing people to participate in what she offers regardless of their capacity to contribute money, and allowing people to contribute to this ongoing approach in small, manageable amounts.

We seek to reach our goal of 200 monthly donors, and to have a collective commitment of $6,000 per month, which will cover enough of the ongoing expenses associated with Miki's work to allow for expanding the gift economy approach to new areas. We are grateful to the 106 people who contribute online a total of $3,530 monthly to the Circle of Support, and a few others who contribute with checks, together nearing $4,000 monthly in total. This is now a little over half of our goal in terms of number of contributors, and about two-thirds of our financial goal.

Your participation, of any degree, contributes to this vision of shared responsibility and shared meaning. We invite you to listen into your heart: If you are inspired to join the Circle, we thank you. If you are inspired to make a one-time donation, we thank you. For one-time contributions, please click here and choose "The Fearless Heart" as your designation. If you are inspired to tell others 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.