The Power of Raw Needs

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September 2022

Dear Admin,

On July 26th, three days before getting to the UK, where we are now, we learned that the legal pathway we thought we had for being able to stay here for a year fell apart. At the time, we were at an in-person gathering with other people from the Nonviolent Global Liberation (NGL) community who are based in Europe. I was already quite exhausted from previous logistical challenges and from the challenges that we were facing at the gathering. And I had been stretching to keep going believing that we were just a few days from going to the UK and, two weeks later, in Scotland for a year and finally being able to rest from vagabonding. That was not to be any longer.

My response was a loud wail that continued for some minutes. I am grateful for all my years of practice that made it possible for me to release all kinds of patriarchal conditioning that would otherwise interfere with this direct response. I felt the truth of life flowing through me. It was an unbearable moment, following years of ongoing challenges of many kinds. Showing the impact on me felt accurate and necessary. 

This, and other ways that I made my needs and impacts on me visible at that gathering, created a turning point. For the first time in a long, long time, maybe ever!, there is a level of mobilization surrounding me, our pod, and the work I and we are stewarding that is feeling adequate to the task. (See the Celebrations and Mournings section for a bit more on this.) 

This is not the only time something like this has happened. Ten years ago, BayNVC went through a financial crisis when cumulative debts that had not been tracked finally surfaced, to the tune of $120,000. I was advised by every single person I spoke with not to name it, and to do fundraising based on some splashy project or another. I refused to accept this advice. I chose instead to reach out to anyone in the entire international NVC community that I had access to with the full truth about what had happened and what we needed. Within six months, the entire amount was covered through donations, an NVC summit that was put together in support of us, and a series of miracles of different kinds, all arising from people responding to the need. 

When we emerge into this world as completely dependent beings, we have no difficulty making our needs known, and we trust the power of doing that to invite others to orient towards us. Raw needs are powerful. We are wired to respond to others’ needs, because that is how we survive when our way of living is evolutionarily accurate: through an ongoing interdependent flow of responding to needs. 

This is not how we live now, and I mourn this deeply. I only saw my father cry once, for example. Almost always when I see someone cry, they apologize. We are told not to be too emotional, not to express needs too strongly, and not to draw attention to ourselves. In this way, we perpetuate the isolation within which we live, and reproduce the conditions that leave us unable to thrive. 

When we arrived here, in this house that was meant to be a haven for a year, we discovered that some of its basic functioning was not operating. When we brought it to the attention of the owners, the communication quickly spiraled into a very adversarial situation. (See my blog post, "Nonviolent Resistance in the Face of Hostility: Walking towards Conflict with Care for All" for details.) My assessment of at least part of why this happened is because while we made our needs known, the owners accept the normative ways of being and are not actually telling us what is going on, which means we can’t hold the dilemma of our situation, clearly very difficult for all, in the human togetherness that allows for creativity and togetherness. I am still hoping this will change, and the story remains open.  

Our systems flow resources to where resources already exist, through exchange. I want to restore the ancient ways, the ways of mothering, that flow resources to where there is need, based on willingness, and with the fewest unwanted impacts possible. For this, needs must be known, so that they can, once again, have the power to shape what ends up happening through interdependent engagement, which is what we evolved for. I want us to relearn, individually, collectively, and systemically, how to trust, surrender to, and realign with life’s flow. If there is any chance of getting there, more of us will need to boldly and gently model what it’s like to show who we are, what we need, and what we have to offer, even when others don’t. This has been the gift of these last few depleting weeks: that when we do it, at least some of the time, others respond in the ways that we long for. 

In gratitude to life,


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 details of how we are supported, links to new writings and recordings, and more.

Picture credits: Road Closed signs photo by Joey Childs from; Wailing child photo by Keira Burton from; Outreached hand photo by Pixabay from; Helping other up photo by Julia Larson from  

Miki's Upcoming Events

Online at NVC Academy

Responding to the Call of Our Times

Fridays, February 4 - December 19, 2022 (45 sessions)

Noon - 2:00 pm PT

The 6th year of this course continues and deepens every week as more people within the group spontaneously step into their own leadership, even within the session. The experiment of shifting to the gift economy brought over 350 people to the course, about 60% more than have registered last year. We know that many of them would not have been able to attend otherwise. The course remains open for the whole year. Watch the video as several people share what this has meant to them. There is deep magic in the community that forms, too, as people mobilize to change lives within and around them. 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. Even as so many more people registered this year, the total income generated, a substantial amount of what sustains both the NVC Academy and BayNVC, is still below what we received last year. We are calling on all who can to give here what can be given without stretching or resentment, even if you are not joining the course. Info and register

Liberation for All: Integrating a Power and Privilege Lens

into Basic NVC Training

With Miki Kashtan, Menaka Neotia, and Aurélia Saint-Just

Monday through Thursday, December 19-22 (four sessions)

8:30am-10:00am PT

For many years now, many people within the NVC community have grappled with how to engage with questions of power and privilege. This mini-intensive course takes on this question and covers a wide range of topics to support those who share NVC with others, and everyone else, in making sense of the social divisions in our world and how they influence all of us. Each day focuses on a different topic for a rich tapestry: Power and Liberation: Caring for All of Life Using NVC; What’s Power Got to Do with Observations, Feelings, Needs, and Requests?; Staying within Capacity: Practices for Attending to Power Differences; Talking about Power and Privilege: Matching Our Approach to the Purpose at Hand. This course is offered on a gift basis with the goal of making it accessible to all who want to attend while also being sustainable for those offering it.

Info and register

Monthly Coaching Calls for Activists

Nonviolent Activism for Liberation

  • Sunday, September 11th, 10am - 11:30am PT
  • Sunday, October 2nd, 8:30am - 10am PT 
  • Sunday, November 6th, 8:30am - 10am 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

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

Even as the numbers continue to drop out of the circle, we remain deeply grateful to those who stay, some for many years, and those who are still joining. At present, we have 89 people who contribute a total of $2930 monthly to the Circle of Support.

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 her events, books, or other resources. 

In the coming weeks, we are planning to provide instructions for those who want to continue supporting the work through NGL.

Join the Circle of Support, or read more about it on Miki’s website »

Nonviolent Global Liberation

One of the foundations of our work within the Nonviolent Global Liberation community (NGL) is an unwavering trust that a different way of living is entirely possible. Instead of living in scarcity, separation, and powerlessness, we see the possibility of living in flow, togetherness, and choice. Not in the sky, not in an afterlife, and not somewhere else: here, now, with each other, in ever widening circles.

Monthly Introductions with Miki

We are inviting everyone to taste from this vision in an ongoing series of monthly introductions to this framework, each with a different focus. They are generally on the third Sunday of every month, with a rotating time scheme designed to work for multiple time zones over time.  For more information about these events, visit the NGL Intros landing page.

These events are also fundraisers for NGL. 

To support our work, you are invited to donate here.

From Avoidance or Judgment to Giving Feedback

that Supports Learning

Sunday, October 16, 8-11am PT / 4-7pm Lisbon (local time here)

In order to close the huge gap between where we are now, individually and collectively, and the luminous beauty of living in flow, togetherness, and choice – here, now, with each other, in ever widening circles – we need to be learning all the time how to grow capacity to live in that way. 

This means giving and receiving feedback. Lots of it. Feedback is life’s natural, elemental, and constant form of learning. This event aims to support us in giving each other the feedback about the impacts of our actions we all long for and need without the criticism we all dread. Info and register

Save the dates for upcoming events

Transforming Judgments as Liberation from Suffering

Sunday, November 20, 2022, 5-8 am PT / 1-4 pm UTC (local time here)

Liberation for All: Bringing Tenderness to Conversations about Power and Privilege

Sunday, December 18, 2022, 11am-2pm PT / 7-10pm UTC (local time here)

Needs, Impacts, and Resources: Making Decisions that Care for More of Us

Sunday, January 15, 2023, 2-5am PT / 10am-1pm UTC (local time here)

De-accumulation as a Path of Liberation

Sunday, February 19, 2023, 8-11am PT / 4-7pm UTC (local time here)

Making the Invisible Visible: Putting All Needs and Perspectives in the Picture

Sunday, March 19, 2023, 6-9am PT / 1-4pm UTC (local time here)

Supporting Leaders with Feedback in Service to the Whole

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 11am-2pm PT / 7-10pm Lisbon / 6-9pm UTC (local time here)

NGL Intros Landing Page

NGL Friends

NGL doesn’t currently have any in-person events. All of our work is online at present. Every month we have more “NGL Friends” joining. We’ve just reached 255 people in that category. Friends are welcome to join 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. We’ve often heard from people that just watching how we run our meetings is offering them a lot of learning and inspiration. 

Sabrina (NGL member, from Germany), Fox (NGL friend and apprentice, from Ireland) and Yanae (NGL friend, from Hong Kong) are the 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 Welcoming Sessions where new NGL Friends can meet each other and ask any questions they might have. 

There are no Welcome Sessions currently planned for September. To find out more about joining NGL Friends, or if you are having difficulty with the sign-up process and need support, contact them at

Read about NGL and see whether being an NGL Friend is for you 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 39 packets available for download. With the setbacks in Miki’s life, there is only one new packet this time and 9 left to complete. At this point, four packets that require research and support from others will likely be incomplete by the end of the year, and Miki is still planning to complete 5 others. When they are done, we intend to send everyone who’s ever gotten any of them a revised version of what they have downloaded before, and to do that annually.

The new packet this time is “Introduction to Applying NVC in the World,” which completes the NVC category with 12 packets.

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 downloaded 1385 items in 705 orders, giving an average $5.85 per item. Of these, 404 people didn't give any money, and we rejoice in that. One person contributed $115 for just one 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.

Reweaving Our Human Fabric: Working Together to Create a Nonviolent Future

Imagine: A future world in which we all value people and life and participate in a flow of generosity. A world where sharing our gifts and the mundane tasks of life are both done with wholehearted willingness, free of coercion. A world where attending to everyone’s needs is the organizing principle.

Miki Kashtan weaves together vivid social science fiction stories that bring that world to life with compelling nonfiction about how to get there.

“Her matter-of-fact style in the stories makes what for most people is unimaginable seem what it should be – the norm.”

– Michael Nagler, peace scholar and author, The Nonviolence Handbook

For ways to access this book, visit Reweaving Our Human Fabric.

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 a vibrant online community practice now numbering 582.

Sign up for the course or learn more here.

Other People's Events

The Heart of Parenting: Cultivating Compassion

 for Ourselves, Our Children and Our World

With Arnina Kashtan and Heather Austin

Saturdays, September 3, 10, 17, and October 1

8:00 am – 10:00 am PT (Check your time zone here.)


Sign up now and receive the recording of the first session upon registration.  

You are invited to register with a 20% discount using the code ‘HEART20’ here.


In this introductory course, my sister, Arnina, and our friend and colleague, Heather Austin, share practices and principles for cultivating more presence, awareness, compassion and resilience so parents can show up in ways that are more deeply aligned with their values and increase their capacity to contribute to the change they want to see in the world.  Info and register


“Collaborative parenting is a small way of influencing 

where our world goes, a little like activism.” ~ Miki Kashtan

The Heart of Parenting Monthly Workshops

First Saturdays, beginning November 5th

8:30 - 10:00 a.m. PT (Check your time zone here.)

Arnina and Heather will also be offering monthly parenting workshops for those who wish to explore more of this learning in community over time. If interested, save the dates and sign up here to receive details later this month.

In the meantime, click here for free parenting resources.

Conflict Engagement Coaching Calls

with Mariam Gafforio

Repressive conflict patterns in the dominant culture and low capacity for integrative conflict responses mean that we are likely to experience intense, often escalating conflict at many scales: interpersonal, organizational, and systemic. On previous calls, we have talked about addressing harm outside of criminal legal systems, internalized conflict avoidance, giving and receiving feedback with care, what we can do when polarized "culture war" conflicts show up in smaller contexts, and much, much more. Register to join us, and bring any dilemmas or questions you have about conflict for coaching and co-thinking from Mariam.

NVC for Liberation Series #2:

Restoring Togetherness within a Field of Separation

with Verene Nicolas and Menaka Neotia,

with support from Kevin Dancelme and others

Wednesdays, November 2 - 23

9am-noon UK time / 11:00-14:00 CET

14:30-17:30pm IST / 11pm - 2am NZ

Timing is not ideal to attend live for US audiences; recordings will be made available.


NVC is rarely taught as a practice of liberation from the legacy of patriarchy, capitalism, racism and all other authority-based structures. This group of people from NGL are offering the second part of a 3-part introduction to NVC anchored in a systemic framework. Their vision is to make NVC a practical pathway to dismantle the inner structures that condition war and militarism, impacts on climate and the destruction of ecosystems, social inequality and all other forms of control and command. This new series will primarily focus on how NVC can help transform isolation, conflict and separation in groups and families by moving towards togetherness and integrating our differences. 

Registration Landing Page

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.

Framing for Integration: CF Skills Course

What could you make possible if you told a different story? 

There's still time to catch up on the recordings and join this course with Roni Wiener that started in June and runs until January 2023. Click here for more info.

Invitation to support our material needs:

To support the material needs of those who contribute in various ways to the CF learning community for the rest of 2022 we estimate that we will need another $3000. If you have the willingness and capacity to give please do so here. We share our financial needs with you in this way to further uncouple giving from receiving while still being able to care for our material needs.

What we need the contributions for:

  • For us to build a CF apprenticeship program to bridge the gap between knowing some CF and being a skilled CF facilitator - you will hear more about this in 2023!
  • For CF coaches to offer regular open coaching calls (including public access to the recordings) Register at the Convergent Facilitation website.
  • For us to take care of the weekly CF Newsletter and the website to inform the community about what is being offered. You can Sign Up for our CF Newsletter to receive CF tips, updates, information about workshops, Coaching Calls etc.