Surrounding the Patriarchal Field with Love
November 2021

Dear Friend,
The power of nonviolence rests on the courage to speak truth with love. Courage and truth by themselves can create change. We have seen regimes come and go. Revolutions have taken place that have deposed tyrants. We have witnessed nations standing up to colonizers. Still, without love, just courage and truth cannot change the patriarchal field that nonviolence aims to transmute. Without love, we can replace who is wielding power; not how power is used. Without love, we can only re-create that which we are trying to change. Without love, the humiliation in those who lost would mean that they would just wait for the next opportunity to change, in the other direction, who is in power.
I have seen this for years. On the individual plane, I have seen enough personally, across the globe, to know that love offers change where shame otherwise makes it impossible. And I have read and heard of much more. I have no doubt left in me that with sufficient love, if we can muster it, no individual is truly irredeemable. Beyond the individual, I was searching and searching for years for a concrete path forward and had found nothing other than the abstract principle of love, writ large. In this newsletter I want to proclaim loudly: I think we have possibly found an "in." This is a tough claim to make, because we have so little to show for it so far. And I am still willing to put a stake in the ground and say it: I think that the Vision Mobilization framework (which we call, simply, “the VM,”) is the seed of love that can be larger than the patriarchal field.
The VM framework, for both individuals and groups, operates at a level of description coupled with compassion. Its core principle is increasing capacity to move towards vision by creating agreements that are within capacity. This means everything is within capacity, starting from the vision all the way to the most mundane actions. In this, the VM framework is like NVC, from which it ultimately emerged, and which is woven into the VM framework directly and indirectly through The Compass.
When I was putting together my previous newsletter, we had barely started the VM course. With three trainers (my sister Arnina, Emma Quayle, and me), a host of assistants (Eddy, Fox, Heather, Keiko, Lena, Marcela, Menaka, Shua, Vesta), and a thick structure of information to support the participants (over 230 of them!), we thought we would sail through the seven sessions (times two, as we put on a second sister course, “The Compass for VM,” which was only available to those who were also taking the VM course itself, and recordings of which are included for anyone who signs up to engage with the VM course recordings and materials).
Instead, we encountered immense challenges. Most, though not all, in relation to gaps between what some people implicitly believed was going to happen in the courses and what we implicitly planned. A big lesson in how important being explicit is, how much more explicitness is just about always possible, and how likely we all are to not notice the implicit. Many of those gaps coincided with questions about the relationship between teacher and student, and the racial makeup of our team. This is where love, VM-style, started showing me what’s possible, even if at high cost to those doing the loving (and often others as well).
A few weeks into the courses, we started putting together a VM structure for attending to the power and privilege issues that arose. We invited the participants to offer comments and input into it that we would then integrate. Week after week, comments came in and we folded them into the emerging VM. Regardless of how they were phrased – and most of them were, to my sensibilities, full of right/wrong thinking and separation – we used our core strengths, as described within the VM structure itself, to find threads of vision, compassionately described limitations, mission elements, potential agreements, or anything else that would fit within the VM structure. This, to me, is love in action surrounding one of the most challenging areas of our current human situation: the question of what it means to undo millennia of patriarchy and, within it, centuries of colonization and racism, capitalism and class divisions.
The work is near its beginning. My exhaustion is supreme, as few have joined with me in this tender, fierce love. My joy and stubborn faith are even bigger. Anyone who is interested is welcome to see the results so far here.
Archimedes is famous for many things, including this quote: “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” Never mind that this would mean moving one kilometer on this lever to get the earth to move one millimeter; it would still move. This, now, is my image of the power of the VM framework: nothing is too difficult, too big, too overwhelming, too violent to be beyond our collective capacity to love it into softness. This capacity is currently not even fledgling. And the faith is precise: as the need grows, capacity grows with it; as the challenges become visible, creative pathways emerge to match their intensity. The story is not yet over. We may yet prevail and realign with life.
With compassion for all of us,

Miki

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 one more blog post, other pieces of writing, new recordings, vagabonding updates, the usual crop of inspirations, and more.
 

Picture credits: United States Sign by Fred Murphy CC BY-ND-NC 1.0; Signs by Fred Murphy CC BY-ND-NC 1.0; Info Flow by Leslie Becknell Marx with permission; Archimedes’ Lever by AdamStanislav OpenClipArt

Our experiment in the gift paradigm...
Miki's Circle of Support
The Circle of Support is a central part of Miki’s commitment to participate in the movement to restore the maternal gift economy: a pattern of resource flow that is based on needs and capacity; not on individuals’ access to money. The Circle of Support acts as a baseline of steady support as more and more of what Miki does in the world is offered without any paywall or exchange. If you want to learn more about gift economy, the Circle of Support, and our experimentations so far with alternative economies, we welcome you to our 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, people continue to join the circle while others leave. This last period, a few more people have joined than left, and the totals are slightly higher than last time. At present, we have 113 people who contribute a total of $3,925 monthly to the Circle of Support. That’s over half of our goal of 200 contributors, and just under two thirds of our goal of $6,000 a month. We feel blessed to have this much support at this time even as we hope to sustain ourselves more easily without dipping into our reserve.

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 the conference calls, books, or other resources.

Join the Circle of Support, or read more about it on Miki’s website »
Upcoming Events
The Compass: An integrative Roadmap Towards Personal, Familial and Collective Liberation
with Arnina Kashtan
Online Sundays, 8:00 - 10:00 am PT, November 21, 2021 - July 24, 2022
Sign up before November 11th to create more ease for the registrar, 
and receive a $100 or $200 discount depending on the track you choose
personal evolution or coaching/accompanying.

Do you yearn to relate to yourself and others in your life with more compassion, clarity, and connection? The Compass can support you in moving beyond multi-generational patterns of fear, anger, guilt, and blame by helping you discover, decode, and transform hidden internalized blocks, so you can celebrate the essence of who you are and enjoy an unprecedented sense of genuine openness, creativity, and compassion with yourself and others.

The Compass experience is so unique, it’s challenging to put into words especially via email. You might get a sense of it by listening to Juliana, a 2020/2021 Alumni, share her experience of The Compass, or by watching this two-minute video clip from one of Arnina's retreats (in Spanish w/English subtitles).
 
Intrigued? Then we invite you to join us on an eight-month journey of compassion, curiosity, and liberation with Arnina Kashtan and her life work "The Compass" which provides deep, long-lasting tools for compassionate connection with yourself and others. 

Click here for details about our program.

“My sister Arnina puts together so much — systemic perspective, compassion for trauma, deep understanding about how humans function, and more — into a comprehensive, deep, and fully accessible framework that supports dramatic shifts in the experience of being alive. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a passion for freedom.” ~ Miki Kashtan
Free Teleseminars
All teleseminar times below are Pacific Time:

Facing Privilege
Sunday, November 28, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm PT
No call in December
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
Sunday, November 7, 8:30 am - 10:00 am PT
Sunday, December 5, 8:30 am - 10:00 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

Questioning Money
Sunday, November 21, 8:30 am - 10:00 am PT
Sunday, December 19, 12:30 pm - 2:00 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

Nonviolent Activism for Liberation
Sunday, November 14, 9 am - 10:30 am PT
Sunday, December 12, 9 am - 10:30 am PT
The Nonviolent Activism for Liberation calls are to support activists in empowering themselves within their groups and movements to increase capacity to align means with ends so as to transform cultures of burnout, conflict, mistrust, blaming and shaming into environments of solidarity, trust, experimentation, and increased capacity to move towards the possibility of a livable future. Info and register
Online at NVC Academy
Film Screening: Women Daring Peace -
NVC at Work in Jewish and Palestinian Families 
On Sunday, November 14, at 9:00 am PT, NVC Academy is sponsoring a free viewing of Women Daring Peace, a film that shows Palestinians and Jews connecting and seeing each other in a whole new way with the help of NVC and two brave women. Following the viewing will be a Q&A discussion with the director and the film’s two protagonists, both long-standing personalities in Israel and Palestine. Come and witness how two women are contributing to peace by bringing their communities together. Info and register
Restoring Togetherness: Needs Choreography as a Path to Collective Liberation
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, December 13, 14, and 15 (three sessions)
11:00 am - 12:30 pm PT
There are no individual solutions to systemic collapse. A future for humanity means reweaving our frayed threads of togetherness into a fabric that is stronger than we could ever be in our individualized existence. This is what this course offers, as a deep exploration into three topics: 1) why capacity matters: freeing ourselves from patriarchal overstretching; 2) needs, impacts, resources: building blocks of integrative decisions that work for all; 3) needs choreography: leaning on all available capacity to dance together for liberation. Info and register
Vision Mobilization: Increasing Capacity for Organizations and Individuals Committed to Service - *RECORDINGS ONLY*
Arnina Kashtan, Emma Quayle, and Miki Kashtan 

At a time of rapid transformation and accelerating crises in the world, the three of us are joining together in offering our newest tools for the first time in a public setting. Since the last newsletter went out, we have worked with the NVC Academy to make the course financially accessible to anyone who feels called to contribute to the large vision of this work and for whom the current fee is a barrier.

The August 2021 live course filled beyond capacity, and we are now opening it if you want to participate via the recordings, with the possibility that previous course participants may be available to accompany you.

The course is designed for individuals, communities, and organizations with live demonstrations and tools for continuing the work on your own. It follows every part of the Vision Mobilization Framework, which you can learn about from the packet available here. Info and register
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, and registration remains open throughout the year. 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

Every month we have more “NGL Friends” joining. We’ve just gone over 200 people in that category. Friends are welcome to 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. 

Sabrina (NGL member and apprentice) and Fox (NGL friend and apprentice) have founded a new NGL Welcome Crew which has the purpose of creating a bridge to ease prospective and new NGL Friends' experience of landing within NGL. They run regular Welcoming Sessions where new NGL Friends can meet each other and ask any questions they might have. The next Welcoming Sessions are scheduled for November 7, November 8, December 5 and December 9. To find out more, or if you need support with with the NGL Friend sign-up process, contact them at welcoming-friends@nglcommunity.org
Read about NGL and see whether being an NGL Friend is for you here - and while you're visiting our site, sign up for the NGL News.

Support NGL's Gift Economy

The NGL Online community is a wild experiment in terms of use of resources of all kinds. In terms of financial resources, we pull together all money that comes in from any source, and distribute it in a collective process every four months. In our last distribution circle in August, we used the same process as last time. This was the first time I wasn’t there, entrusting BayNVC’s well-being to all the others in the circle to decide about. As in all distribution circles before, the resources available to us were fewer than the total of 12 requests made. This time around, several people received the full amount of their request, everyone else received at least their minimum, and BayNVC again received less than what is long-term sustainable for us, although we are still fine for now. 

We know it’s really hard to convey in words how wild indeed the experiment is. At present there are about 40 or more of us pouring energy into NGL, many of us many hours every week. Only 12 of us have put in financial requests, independently of how much time and energy we put in, independently of how much we have been able to bring in. We are active co-creators of a community that aims to function on a gift economy basis. We are fully committed to uncoupling giving from receiving.

Last year, BayNVC was awarded a grant from the Cotyledon Foundation (no website available), much of which was to support the NGL's gifting experiment. We just completed writing a report to the funder which you can see here. We now have a bit more clarity: it appears that 75% of the work within NGL happens without money going anywhere. None of the work happens through any exchange.

Money related to all of NGL’s projects flows into one collective pot of money, as a strategy to increase cohesion and reduce the chances of stratification within NGL. 
Like in many other places, the pandemic has dramatically reduced the amount of money coming in without reducing the amount of work to do or sustainability needs. In particular, within BayNVC, the fiscal sponsor and parent organization of NGL, we’ve dipped into our reserve. We now distribute money 3 times a year, based on requests for bare bones sustainability from those who really need financial support to stay engaged. 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.
Convergent Facilitation

The world is hungry for people with skills to guide diverse groups and stakeholders toward decisions that everyone can wholeheartedly embrace. Are you called to support others with collaborative decisions? See what we have coming up.

Introduction to Convergent Facilitation: Online Intensive
November 13 - 14, 2021 
We are thrilled that more than 130 people joined us at our May intensive, so we decided to do it again! Please invite your friends and colleagues. The Convergent Facilitation (CF) Intensive offers a comprehensive introduction to collaborative decision making. The skills you acquire will help you make group decisions more easily and effectively at home, in your work, and in your communities. This is an opportunity to learn the basics of the CF process and principles or deepen your practice. 
No previous experience with Convergent Facilitation is needed. Offered within gift economy.

Seeking a Convergent Facilitation Outreach Coordinator
We are looking for someone enthusiastic, experienced, committed, and self-directed to support Convergent Facilitation by leading our outreach efforts. We want someone with a strategic vision for how to drive attendance to our workshops and generate interest in Miki’s book, the technical skills to realize that vision, and previous experience. Here are more details. If you are interested, please contact Mona.

Weekly CF Coaching Calls
We are celebrating our one-year anniversary of offering weekly Convergent Facilitation Coaching Calls. Our first call was on May 11, 2020! This program provides ongoing support from experienced facilitators on real-life challenges you encounter as you begin to use and apply Convergent Facilitation. We ask that you take an introductory workshop or read the book before you attend. Find out more about this project and get involved on the CF Coaching Calls Program page.
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:
November: Commitment #10. Generosity
December: Commitment #11. Receptivity
January: Commitment #12. Discernment and Courage


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
Making Life Work - Online Self-Study Course

In the challenging times in which we live, many of us barely dare dream of a world that honors and seeks to meet the needs of everyone. This self-paced self-study course was born from that dream and it is available without a paywall, on a gift economy basis.

Created by Miki, the course integrates principles and practices that can move you in the direction of making this dream a reality, starting with your own life, exactly where you are. Both people new to NVC and those with extensive experience have appreciated this program. Learn at your own pace, with optional built-in support from others, as part of an vibrant online community practice now numbering 389.

Sign up for the course or learn more here.
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 25 packets, of which 7 are new as of this newsletter:


We anticipate a few revisions and 5 additional new ones in time for the January newsletter, including three in the “Sharing NVC” category and the remaining two in the “Restoring Togetherness” category. Miki’s plan is to complete the entire set by December 2022. All packets are available on a gift basis, with no paywall. 

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 re-create flow. We are celebrating that so far this year people have downloaded 1219 items in 787 orders, giving an average $7.59 per item. Of these, 431 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 learning packets page 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.

For options about how to access the book, including the possibility of an electronic version on a gift-economy basis, visit The Highest Common Denominator.

You can also view videos from the book launch here.
A New Calendar featuring Miki and Inbal's Work
I have missed my annual trips to Poland since the pandemic. So it was a totally sweet surprise to receive a package with what to me are stunningly beautiful calendars that the organizers of the Polish NVC Festival created, with original art, featuring the "Key Assumptions and Intentions of NVC."

The calendar can be purchased through their Foundation. If you are in Poland, you can visit their website. If you are anywhere else, then email is the only way to go. Contact them at krok1 @ 4kroki.org (space left to reduce spam), with the number of calendars you want, your address, and what you are choosing to give for each calendar (49, 59, 69, 79, or 99 PLN). They will let you know the shipping cost, which can be sent to them in PLN or Euros. All sales support the Festival.