November, 2019        

When we walk towards instability and the unknown, the unknown can end up being worse than we anticipate. If you haven't read previous newsletters of mine, then here are the bare bones context for what I am writing about. First, after leaving my home at the end of March and staying for a 4-month stint at Canticle Farm, I am now fully without a home, unwilling to engage individually with the capitalist housing market. Second, BayNVC has undergone a difficult and still unfolding set of transitions that have been extremely challenging for all involved.

Vagabonding in an Unraveling World unraveling
Credit: Stefan Huber
And... while I was thinking that come the end of December I would be joining three other women in Edinburgh to form the seed of the first live-in NGL community, this plan is now majorly halted. And... I have been co-designing with a friend a most unusual 3-year joint retreat where she will be sitting in one location, meditating, and I will be vagabonding  for the same amount of time, with intricate and complex ongoing communication between us to co-hold this with and for each other. Slowly, I am taking in that this likely means no settling into long-term home for me for three years. It was meaningful for me when a revered teacher likened me to an Anagarika, though I am not even a Buddhist, in my case probably referring to my willingness to leave home and stability behind in the quest for truth. And... other relationships have wobbled in various places, challenging core wounds within me and leaving me in self-doubt I have not experienced in decades. Specifically, in two areas: Can I trust my discernment about collaborating with people? And, how do I overcome my lifelong habit of over-absorbing impacts on me and thus rendering them invisible, without in the process creating new impacts on others and on me? 

Then there is the global context within which this ongoing unraveling is happening: the systems that we have collectively created - at cost to basic life on planet Earth; to children's lives and by extension to all of us; to the global majority at whose expense the comforts of the global north are sustained; and to women and men everywhere - are now crumbling, fast in some places, very slowly in others. The level of suffering I am aware of - in Latin America, including Cuba, a country I recently fell in love with and wrote about; in Gaza and the West Bank, what would be Palestine if the world held UN agreements with sufficient commitment; in Syria, and now most especially in Rojava, the autonomous federation of the Kurds that I have been working on visiting this coming spring; in all of Africa and much of Asia; and, increasingly, in the US, Canada, and Europe - is only growing, and my capacity for mourning and softness towards my sensitive organism, those suffering impacts, and those whose already embedded and invisible suffering pushes them to create suffering for others, is not keeping up.

Resourcing Ourselves and Others possibility
This much I know: this will continue to happen, and, if anything I read and hear about is even remotely true, for more and more of us on our ailing planet. There's no way around it that I can see: all of us need to learn how to resource ourselves more fully to meet growing challenges. And at least some of us need to learn how to resource ourselves sufficiently - through more active mourning, more solid communities, more grounding in mystery and vision, more courage to speak truth with even more love, and more willingness to make ourselves receptive to what life brings to us in the form of mystery and magic to sustain us - so we can offer sustenance, healing, vision, and a sense of possibility to those around us who are less able to resource themselves in these ways.

Etty Hillesum
This is clearly my current journey. It's been more challenging, more rigorous in its demands, and more consuming and surprising than anything I could have planned. And it's resulted in pulling in more unexpected support from living people, the voice of my beloved no-longer-living sister Inbal, and other life forms; becoming ever more transparent and accessible to others in my moments of distress; and an even greater com mitment to nonviolence. Inviting you all to join in this journey seems almost outlandish, since I can't imagine it's very appealing. And yet this is what I am called to do: please, friends, join me in saying "no" to what we have come to know as a stable, secure, life. I end with Etty Hillesum's words as her life was coming to its close during WWII, shortly before she was sent to Auschwitz: "I want to be sent to every one of the camps that lie scattered all over Europe, I want to be at every front , I don't ever want to be what they call 'safe. '"

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 teaching in Cuba, opportunities to participate in my writing, the next chapter in my vagabonding life, and more.
 Update on the Circle of Support updatecos
more info on COS here )
Life is still cycling! In the last month, 98 people have participated in the Circle of Support, contributing a total of $3,904, which is a decrease of $166 per month from our last newsletter. 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. If you would like to find out about other ways to support COS, please email me:  [email protected]

Upcoming Events events 
Free Teleseminars
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
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

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

Principle-Based Teaching Coaching Calls
As of August 2019, Miki is no longer holding these calls, but a facilitated learning community is actively forming. To find out more email Lynn Thomas.

The Fearless Heart Teleseminars
As of October 2019, Miki is no longer holding these calls. 

Online at NVC Academy
Convergent Facilitation: A Path to Efficient, Collaborative Decision Making
with Lisa Rothman and Aya Caspi
Mondays, November 4 - December 2 (5 sessions; 1st one free)
4:00 - 6:00pm PT
Miki is very pleased that her friends and colleagues Lisa Rothman and Aya Caspi are teaching an online course on Convergent Facilitation now that she is no longer teaching it. If you are ever in a position to make decisions in a group, sign up for the first week, which is free. Convergent Facilitation is a highly efficient decision-making process Miki developed from the principles of Nonviolent Communication and codified in close collaboration with Lisa. It enables you to quickly get to what's truly important for everyone and use that information to find solutions that can work for all. Info and register

Nonviolent Facilitation as a Path to the Future: Bringing Vision, Integrity, and Care to Group Leadership
with Miki Kashtan
Wednesday-Friday, December 18-20
10:30am-noon PT
This course is Miki's year-end offering for 2019. Miki hopes to show you how focusing on transparency, intuition, tracking what matters, and attending to challenges within a group are essential skills for any facilitator who wants to embrace and apply nonviolence when facilitating. Facilitators can help groups stay together instead of fracturing; bring marginalized voices to the foreground; and demonstrate humble, collaborative leadership. This course is different from and not a substitute for the Convergent Facilitation course that Lisa and Aya are teaching, as it is focused on general group facilitation, not on how to make collaborative decisions in a group. It highlights how you can support a group in focusing on all the principles that Convergent Facilitation is based on.  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
save the date: May 20-26, 2020

In Asia
July 2020, dates TBD

In Ben Lomond, California
save the date: Aug 14-20, 2020

In Mexico and on the East Coast
Fall 2020, dates TBD

Special Event
The Compass: An Integrative Roadmap Towards Personal, Familial and Social Liberation
with Arnina Kashtan 
Nov 18, 2019 - July 27, 2020, online 8am-10am PT weekly or bi-weekly
(depending on chosen track)
Do you yearn to relate to yourself and others in your life with more ease, clarity, and togetherness?

The Compass is Arnina's unique methodology that 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.

Intrigued? Discover more details here

A note from Miki: "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."  Info and register  

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

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 them know you are interested.

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.

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 required to have money in order to meet them, and people who want to contribute to the meeting of needs are often required to have money to do so. The Circle of Support is an intervention in this habit. It is our baseline of steady support for Miki's role in boldly (and successfully) venturing into a gift economy, with our blessing. It is a joyful leap towards offering this work as a gift to anyone who seeks it, with no "strings attached."

We seek to reach our goal of 200 monthly donors, and to have a collective commitment of $6,000 per month, which will cover the financial expense of The Fearless Heart. We are grateful to be able to say that we now have 98 participants contributing $3,904 each month. Our largest monthly financial gift is currently $500, and our smallest is $10. We can't know which is the greater gift. Both are cherished.

Your participation, of any degree, contributes to this vision of shared responsibility and shared meaning. We invite you to listen into your role: If you are inspired to join the Circle, we thank you. If you are you inspired to make a one-time donation, we thank you. If you are inspired to spread the news 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.

Note: If you would like to make a donation smaller than $10, please send a check written out to TFH/BayNVC, and sent to BayNVC, PO Box 22872, Oakland, CA 94609.