July, 2017
"So what can I do, as an individual?"
In my classes, in conversations with friends, and on the many free calls I conduct these days, some version of this question keeps showing up. It's a way that people express how hungry they are to move past the separation, scarcity, and powerlessness that have become the soundtrack of modern living. The longing for a world that works for all is more and more present everywhere I go. It's powerful, insistent, and forward moving. In the context of more consciously taking on patriarchy as the root cause of where we are in our world -- the foundation on which more commonly named systems such as white supremacy or capitalism were erected -- I am  ever more eager to find a response to the question. 
Miki and friend in Prague in June
Beyond just an answer, I want to find ways to step outside of the patriarchal norms within which we have become accustomed to live and which we use to evaluate everything, including our actions to transform patriarchy itself.
On the recent Overcoming Patriarchy call, the third since I started them in May, a direction shaped itself which I now want to share with those of you reading this newsletter. Once we noticed, together, that patriarchy rests on an incessant drive to control that of which we are afraid, it became clear that one clear step forward, in any circumstance, with anyone we're with, and with full embracing of the consequences that we may not like, including risks to our very life, is to embrace the triple path of tenderness, vulnerability, and mourning.
What the three have in common is that they sidestep any attempt to control or be "strong" in ways defined by patriarchy. They are antidotes to separation, cruelty, shaming, and fighting. 

Tenderness, towards self and other, allows us to metabolize our own and others' failures to live up to our values and to recognize our embeddedness within systems that dramatically constrain our options and capacity for choice. 

Vulnerability breaks down the cycle of escalation that responds to harshness with erecting protection and distancing. Sharing our vulnerability in the face of distance and judgment breaks down barriers and allows the magic of connection to surface again. 

Mourning is the gift that allows us to combine parts of ourselves and even to come together in community when separation, breakdown, and even harm happen. We can mourn instead of fight, punish, or shame ourselves and each other.
I am now adopting this triplet as one of my core principles for responding to difficult times, and I invite you to join me. In this context, I want to highlight the brave and unusual work of Edwin Rutsch and invite you, on his behalf, to participate in the Empathy Tent. Edwin and a small group of individuals have gone to demonstrations and zones of conflict and invited people on both sides of political divides to participate in in-person or online empathy dialogues. He's now been featured on Fox News and Breitbart, and continues to show up with empathy in response to sarcastic and actively nasty attempts to discredit what he stands for and to make fun of him.

However far he manages to get with these efforts, it's an example of bringing tenderness and vulnerability to a zone of conflict rife with posturing and put-downs. What would be your way of responding to life around you in this way? How would you approach your legislators differently, if you do that kind of activism, if you took seriously the idea of bringing tenderness, vulnerability, and mourning to your efforts?
In my recent blog post I am inviting you to consider another aspect of this path forward. In my endless quest to find ways to engage with and move beyond the separation of privilege, I offer you a way to move towards more responsibility if you are in a position of privilege. The only way I know to embrace more responsibility from a position of privilege, perhaps from any position, is to increase and increase our capacity for self-warmth and acceptance, precisely what tenderness and mourning can provide. This is how the practice of vulnerability has made me so much stronger rather than weaker, as common norms assume.
More and more of us are recognizing that the times we live in are not "normal". As someone people turn to often to seek inspiration, I take my role seriously. When I imagine more of us embracing the soft qualities of tenderness and subverting the hard-edged qualities of our times, I have much more faith in the chances of surviving these times and finding again our place within the web of life that sustains us all. 

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 news about my recent trip to Europe, the global governance project I am involved with, and more. 
Image credits: Top: Protest in Beirut to Demand Domestic Violence Legislation, by Joelle Hatem, Flickr  (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 2nd: Miki with baby at NVC workshop in Czechia, by Eva Malířová and Tereza Čajková with permission. 3rd:  Mourning by Matt, Flickr, (CC BY-NC 2.0). Bottom: Empathy Tent by Edwin Rutsch with permission.
Online with the NVC Academy
February 10 - September 24, 2017, 12:00-2:00pm 
Leadership isn't always about the position you hold. Whether you are a CEO, parent, waitress, board member, spiritual leader, mail clerk, manager, volunteer, or teacher, you always have the challenge and opportunity of taking responsibility for the whole. This program will give you the opportunity to approach life from the driver's seat, able to respond to what life presents with heart-felt care for all.

This  can still be joined without any loss since it's organic, in the moment, and with no curriculum... and it's cheaper again than it was 2 months back. 
CNVC International Intensive Trainings
October 6-15 
CNVC Formación Intensiva Internacional
with Alan Seid, Fabiola Fuentes, Arnina Kashtan and Miki Kashtan
At Fundación PuntoZero, Putaendo (103 km north of Santiago)
Learn more and register...

San Francisco Bay Area, USA
Focus on Power, Privilege, and the Body
December 1 - 10 
9 Day residential training, Menlo Park, CA
with Roxy Manning, Jeyanthy Siva, Sarah Peyton, Bob Wentworth, and Miki Kashtan
Learn more and register...
2018 in Asia: Save the dates!
India, January 6-13 and South Korea, January 22-24
The Art of Facilitation - Retreat with Miki
in the Santa Cruz Mountains, N. California

Spots still available and it may sell out!
Convergent Facilitation Trainings with Miki
in Chicago and Cleveland 
November 9
Convergent Facilitation, one day training, Cleveland, OH. Details TBA.

November 11-13
Convergent Facilitation, 3-day training  in Chicago.

Working for Transformation without Recreating the Past
in Rochester, NY
November 3-5
Working for Transformation without Recreating the Past: A Workshop for Change Agents. With Miki. At the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence. Not yet available for registration.

Free Teleseminars

Sunday, July 16, 10:30am - noon
Monday, July 17, 5:30 - 7:00pm
Sunday, August 20, 10:30am - noon
Monday, August 21, 5:30 - 7:00pm
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, "Privilege, Responsibility, and Nonviolence," earlier posts, or other topics of interest. 

Sunday, July 9, 5:00 - 6:30pm
Saturday, July 29, noon - 1:30pm
Sunday, August 6, 9:30 - 11:00am
Friday, August 18, 6:30 - 8:00pm
The Facing Privilege Conference Calls are an opportunity for people to engage on the deep questions that arise as we reflect on the question of privilege. 

Principle-Based Teaching Coaching Calls
Saturday, July 15, 11:30am - 1:00pm
Sunday, August 20, 1:00 - 2:30pm
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.
NVC Family Camps on Gabriola Island, B.C. and around the world 

NVC family camps were started by Miki's late sister Inbal Kashtan and are now sprouting in many places, more than we even know about. Here we share specific information about an NVC family camp that features our very own Rose Slam! Johnson as one of the facilitators.   Info and Registration here.

For information on other NVC family camps around the world, your best bet is to search online, as there isn't one central location for all of them.
Share the celebration of Miki's work in the world. We invite you to consider being part of the Circle of Support to help us make a current fundraising match!