March, 2018

On one of the recent Responding to the call of our times sessions, I was speaking with a climate scientist about her great passion for bringing tools like Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and The Work that Reconnects to other climate scientists, and the challenges she faces in doing so. Unlike her, most of the scientists she deals with are uncomfortable with expression of emotion and other aspects of these bodies of work that they deem "irrational." What can she do to bridge this divide?

This is one of an endless array of big and small questions that arise when we begin to take seriously that we are in a time of crisis in human evolution, and that the choice of so many millions of us, across the globe, to "just live our own individual lives" is contributing, collectively, to the disintegration of our delicate web of life. This conversation was happening in the context of each of us finding our strengths and challenges as we step into more of our power to care for the whole, without waiting for others to do it. (For more on this, see my recent article in Nonviolence Magazine , " Nonviolence is Taking Responsibility for the Whole.")

Bridging divides with loving imaginationbridging
I spontaneously began embodying an imaginary scientist like the ones she described, and engaged the group of 70+ people in imagining how they would respond to me. While, as that scientist, I liked some of their responses, I was surprised to see that none of them fully embraced me. Somehow, I experienced all of them as asking me to come to their world - of passion; of unquantifiable "connection" (whatever they meant by that strange word); of appealing to human emotions, which, in my role, I thought of as dangerous - instead of coming to visit my world, even for a few seconds. I then offered the group what I believe would have connected with the skeptic: letting him know that they heard his deep commitment to finding tools that he was confident could bridge the gap with the public. Just when I said that, the real climate scientist in the room was surprised to recognize that she, too, wanted that. The tools they wanted were different. The aim was identical.

It is through imagination that we cross the apparent raging water that separates us from those who are at odds with us. The wider the gap, the more imagination is needed to discover the human being on the other side: like us, with the same needs, same basic desires, and different worldview or beliefs about what works. Once we have the bridge, we can work together on creating solutions that work for all of us to practical problems we share. Across our different worldviews, we can find our way to imagine each other's experience and engage with it as we look for the path forward that takes us somewhere together. This quality, that imaginative leap, is modeled beautifully in a recent Ted Talk, where Valerie Kaur speaks of " revolutionary love" and what she learned about crossing lines of separation and hatred, even towards people who killed a dear family friend because of being a Sikh.

Interdependent leadershipinterdependent
Do you find this kind of imagination challenging? Or is imagination and bridging gaps with others one of your strengths? In my recent blog post, you can find clear, practical steps to find and capitalize on your strengths, and set up ways of compensating for your challenges. I'd like to imagine a whole host of us engaging in this work and moving together, trusting that, amongst us collectively, there will always be someone who has the talent, skills, willingness (or even passion), and availability to do everything needed to find a path into the future. We cannot do this alone, and we cannot leave it to others. Let's step into the discomfort and mystery of imagining that we can, each and all of us.

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 a breakthrough I facilitated in Florence last month, my trip to Korea, and more.

Image credit:  Top: from Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash; 2nd: from on Unsplash.
Free Teleseminarsevents
Sunday, May 6,  1:00 - 2:30pm
For years, Miki has been examining and questioning the assumptions of the global capitalist economic system in which most of us live and discovering and inventing other possibilities. These calls are for all people who want to grapple with all aspects of this economic system both external and internalized. Our hope in holding these calls is to grow our capacity to make choices within our sphere of influence, even if only internally, that challenge the norms of fairness, deserving, merit, economic security, material resources as measuring value, and everything else that is part of the modern economic narrative and structures.
More info and link to free registration.   

Sunday, March 25, 10:30am - noon 
Sunday, April 22, 10:30am - noon
Monday, May 14, 5:00 - 6:30pm
You are invited to join Miki and others in the next   Fearless Heart Teleseminars.  On these calls you can engage in conversation about her latest blog post, "Stepping into Leadership: the Magic of Self-Acceptance ," earlier posts, or other topics of interest. 

Friday, March 23, 5:30 - 7:00pm
Sunday, April 8, 9:30 - 11:00am
Sunday, May 6, 9:30 - 11:00am
The Facing Privilege Conference Calls are an opportunity for people to engage on the deep questions that arise as we reflect on the topic of privilege. 
Principle-Based Teaching Coaching Calls
Monday, April 9, 9:00 - 10:30am
Sunday, May 13, 9 - 10:30am
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. 
Online at NVC Academy
Responding to the Call of Our Times
Fridays, February 2 - November 30, 2018 
(44 sessions)
Noon - 2:00pm PT
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: A Path to Efficient, Collaborative Decision Making
Sunday, August 12 - September 23, 2018 
(5 sessions - first session free)
7:30 - 9:30am PT (early so many countries can join live)
The first ever on-line course on Convergent Facilitation!  Info and register. 

Mobilizing for Nonviolent Global Liberation
These retreats are designed for all who want to take a next step in understanding, capacity for interdependent living, practice, service, and contribution to support the possibility of nonviolent global liberation.

Warsaw, Poland 
June 4 - 10 

Ben Lomond, California, USA
August 23 - 30  

Working for transformation without recreating the past
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.

In Israel (in Hebrew only)
April 10, 17, 24
In the UK (residential)
June 12-14
At the Rowe Center in Massachusetts (residential)
Oct 26-28
(under the title Reweaving Our Human Fabric)

Empowering Palestinian Women Leaders
Empowering Palestinian Women Leaders: From Inner Freedom to Social Transformation
April 12 - 15, Bethlehem
In English with Arabic translation 
Amal Hadweh, NVC Lead Palestinian trainer from Mideast NVC joins Miki in a 4-day intensive training and interactive coaching designed to empower Palestinian women leaders in community-based settings to capitalize on their potential to create ripple effects that can shift power relations within the Palestinian community along both gender and class dimensions.  For further information, contact Amal Hadweh.
You can also donate to this project here . Please choose Palestinian Women's Training in the drop down designation.
Integrating Power and Love - San Francisco, CA 
Integrating Power and Love: Collaboration and Leadership in Difficult Times
Save the Date - May 19 and 20
This is a workshop for you if you are ready to explore what leadership that supports and deepens collaboration can look like and what this would mean in your own life, work, and organizations.
Other people's events
Events by former students of Miki's who follow a similar path to hers in sharing NVC:

Nonviolent Leadership for Social Justice Retreat: NVC and Race, Ethnicity and Social Class in North America
July 29 - August 5, Moraga, CA
An intensive immersion into the heart of nonviolence and social transformation, calling together a community of committed practitioners working to manifest a nonviolent future.  Info and register.

Leadership Program Summer Retreat
Deepening Learning in NVC. Generating Ideas for Sharing, with Roxy Manning, Aya Caspi, Cathy Bucher and Talli Jackson
June 17-24, Aptos, CA
Renew your understanding of applying, facilitating and exploring NVC. Kids welcome! Info and register.

Nonviolent Transformation through Body and Movement
In Poland, in English
A four-part series, two of which are led by former students of Miki's, exploring how body-based practices can support nonviolent social change in ourselves, in our relationships and in the world. Info and register .
We almost reached our goal for the Circle of Support: we now have 95 donors contributing, in total $2,850. We have an ambitious goal for 2018: we want to double the number of donors to 200, and reach $5,000 a month by December. The Circle of Support is our baseline of steady support for Miki's bold and successful venturing into the gift economy, and we want it to keep growing so more and more of Miki's work will be simply gifted, without any strings attached. It's the world so many of us want to see.