None of us like to be told what to do. As living organisms, we all want to choose for ourselves: who we will be, what we will do, what our values will be, and how we will show up within our lives.
And yet choice remains elusive when we have internalized so many messages about how we should be instead of what is authentic for us; what is right and what is wrong instead of what we discern for ourselves; and norms of behavior that often mean we don’t even know what we truly want.
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, starting with liberating our own sense of choice by finding inner freedom.
Our purpose is “to integrate nonviolence into the fabric of human life through ongoing live experiments with truth focused on individual and collective liberation.” (Strange words? Read the detailed explanation here.) After nearly five years, we are ready to share the fruits of our work and what we have learned. The key question we are grappling with is how to liberate ourselves from patriarchal conditioning and rediscover what it might take for humanity to realign with life. We are also ready to ask, as widely as possible, for resources to flow towards us in support of the work. We are ready for bolder and deeper experimentation. For example, as BayNVC, our mother organization, is closing, we are passionately experimenting with how far we need to move from mainstream ways of functioning in order to align with our dreams of a full gift economy when the rest of society continues to function as it is.
And we are under-resourced.
We are confident that people exist who would be enthusiastic about what we are doing and will want to support it. Are you one of them? Here are the different ways that we can envision support coming our way.
Are you aware of individuals, communities, or organizations that are aiming to function in practical, visionary ways and who might want one or more of our experienced practitioners to offer them concentrated ongoing support, beyond a 3-hour introduction?
Do you have friends you could imagine inviting to this and other events? As individuals alone, we are very limited in our capacity to move effectively towards vision. When we come together with others, our capacity increases significantly, especially if we want to live in visionary ways. Who would you want to do this with in your neighborhood, family, community of interest, or anywhere else in your life? What would keep you from inviting them to come with you?
Are you yourself ready to join us and offer your passion, skill, and energy by taking on tasks (always within capacity!) and participating in projects that could use support? If you are unsure, come check us out by joining our growing community of NGL Friends here.
Do you have access to financial resources, directly or indirectly, that you could flow our way in support of what we are doing? This event is offered entirely on a gift basis. We are hoping that many people will participate and not give us anything, because they can’t. SO MANY events are not available to people who need them because they require money to participate. We are longing to remove barriers to access, as many as we know-how.
Simultaneously, we could imagine someone giving us $20,000 instead of anything resembling “market value.” This is a big step on the way to the vision of a world where resources flow to where the need is, without any money being involved: given the world we live in, we start with asking those who can to give us what would be seen as outrageous amounts of money, so that the people who want to do the work that we are doing can do so without having to earn money somewhere else.
Here are some of the questions I want us to explore together, along with whatever you bring to this event:
This event is part of an ongoing series of 3-hour interactive introductions to the learning, principles, and practices emerging through the work we are doing within the Nonviolent Global Liberation (NGL) community as we aim to fulfill our purpose.
Our intention is to offer digestible chunks of our work that are both practical and visionary. We are longing to make available to anyone, anywhere, the exciting discoveries we are making about what we can do together as humans when we restore, even in small measure, our trust in life. We also want to share what we are learning about the challenges that turning the tide entails. We are experimenting in many areas, including in particular:
Yes, we have been experimenting in all these areas at once.
We started with many principles and practices that Miki had already uncovered through her research, teaching, consulting, and writing. Now many of us are active participants even as Miki is still the main person articulating what we are learning together. This shift to a larger number of committed people increases our collective wisdom. For each of the events in the series, several people are planning to offer similar events afterward to increase capacity for themselves and for NGL as a whole. As more of us are able to share foundational and emerging NGL content as their own, with authenticity, responsiveness, and rigorous accuracy, we are deepening into a flow of modeling, coaching, and mentoring – leaders to apprentices, peer to peer, and apprentices to leaders. One of our goals is for Miki’s work to outlive her. Please support us as, both individually and as a community, we step closer to allowing that to happen.
Please register here to receive an invitation (with a zoom link) approximately 1-2 days before June’s session and make a contribution at any time via the PayPal button below. Thank you.
This NGL Intro is part of an ongoing series of monthly introductions to NGL. Here are the next few to mark your calendar:
If you have any questions, please email Heather Austin, BayNVC Program Coordinator & NGL Events Team Point Person
Miki Kashtan is a co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) and Lead Collaboration Consultant at the Center for Efficient Collaboration. Miki aims to support visionary leadership and shape a livable future using collaborative tools based on the principles of Nonviolent Communication. She shares these tools through meeting facilitation, mediation, consulting, coaching, and training for organizations and committed individuals. Her latest book, The Highest Common Denominator: Using Convergent Facilitation to Reach Breakthrough Collaborative Decisions (2021) explores the practices and systems needed for a collaborative society. She is also the author of Reweaving Our Human Fabric: Working together to Create a Nonviolent Future, Spinning Threads of Radical Aliveness: Transcending the Legacy of Separation in Our Individual Lives, and The Little Book of Courageous Living. Miki blogs at The Fearless Heart and her articles have appeared in the New York Times (“Want Teamwork? Encourage Free Speech”), Tikkun, Waging Nonviolence, Shareable, Peace and Conflict, and elsewhere. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley.