I have been taking time to read books lately, which is a kind of luxury I sometimes neglect despite how nurturing reading can be for me. In a moment of extreme stress and tension, I picked up two books that are reminding me of courage, self-care, authenticity, how even flawed we are loveable and FUN. They have both had an immediate impact on me, and that is what I would like to share with you.
Years ago, Marshall Rosenberg said, “Anger can be a wonderful wake up call to help you understand what you need and what you value.”
I have been sitting with this phrase during these devastating months of 2020, pondering what it is that each of us needs and values, and revisiting what exactly it is that I need and value. What comes up for me is connection. Compassion. Empathy. Clarity. To be seen and heard for our outrage. And for life to be equitable for us all.
But it isn’t.
Incidents of racism and discrimination – from tiny, easy-to-miss interactions that can traumatize in their repeated nature, to sudden and horrible killings – occur daily in our streets, our homes, where we work, in our places of worship, and our schools…
We have an undeniable problem, and we have work to do. We all have work to do.
Black lives matter.
We at the NVC Academy stand in solidarity with those who are protesting nonviolently across the world. We yearn to see an end to the violence and systemic racism that has had a chokehold on our country. The NVC Academy team chooses to educate ourselves on issues of racism and privilege and to offer educational opportunities to others.
As an individual, here are three things that I am doing to take action TODAY, and I hope you will join me:
- Donate to your local Black Lives Matter organization, the global Black Lives Matter Foundation, or any other organization that is taking action in alignment with your values
- Donate to local non-profit organizations that are run by or support people of color
- Make a point to seek out and do business with companies, corporations, banks, or shops that are run by people of color
Here are a number of resources that you may find helpful in expanding your own understanding of the issues related to systemic racism and privilege:
- How to Be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi
- White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo
- The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
- So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
BOOKS FOR PARENTS WITH KIDS
- These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids
- 15 Books About Race and Racism for Kids to Start the Dialogue at Home
PODCASTS / VIDEOS
- Scene on Radio does a lot related to race and racism. Check out their series, Seeing White.
- Ten Percent Happier is now doing interviews related to race and racism, such as You Can’t Meditate This Away (Race, Rage, and the Responsibilities of Meditators)
- Jane Elliott on Her “Blue Eyes / Brown Eyes Exercise,” and Fighting Racism
- Nonviolent Communication: Confronting Racism with Compassion
- Connecting Across Differences: Finding Common Ground with Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime by Jane Marantz Connor, PhD, and Dian Killian, PhD
NVC MULTIMEDIA LIBRARY
- Awareness of Marginalization Can Support Connection, with Bob Wentworth
- Moving from Fault to Cause: Looking for Systemic Solutions to White Supremacy, with Miki Kashtan
- NVC Conversations about Privilege and Power-Over, with Dian Killian
- How Can Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Be Helpful in These Transformative Times?, with Roxy Manning, PhD
- Empathic, Powerful Responses to COVID-19 Inequities, with Roxy Manning, PhD
- Power Relations and Connection Across Differences in US Society: An NVC Perspective, with Roxy Manning, PhD and Inbal Kashtan
- Neither Rioting Nor Colluding: Powerful Speaking to Create Social Change, with Roxy Manning, PhD
I hope this list is supportive to you, and that you will join me in taking some kind of action today.
We have hundreds of years of history to rethink, and creating systems that truly value everyone is beyond most of our imaginations. Quick solutions seem impossible and naïve to dream of. And yet, I know individual action makes a difference – and doing nothing leaves me feeling even less hopeful that things will shift. I acknowledge that the actions I take today may not be seen or felt in my lifetime, yet they do have an impact and will be felt in the future.
As I write this, I am looking out my office window into my new yard and garden. A garden that was planted by parents of a friend of ours. Yesterday I ate the first tomato that they had so lovingly planted and nurtured. The birds are singing and I see many butterflies flying about. Tomorrow is Saturday, and I plan to spend time harvesting artichokes, lemons, amaranth, and rosemary.
This moment is very peaceful, and I am so grateful for it.
The nature center where I walk regularly has been closed and just opened up. I took a walk early this morning with my friend Debra, and it was such a simple, once taken-for-granted kind of walk. We didn’t hug (but I got to kiss her dog), and we had a nurturing, heart-to-heart talk. I am so grateful.
I have been playing cards with my siblings and a friend online. We play Pinochle, sometimes well and sometimes not so well (ha!), and that part doesn’t matter at all. We get to enjoy each other’s company. Gratitude.
Blessings to our friends who let us rent this home in the midst of COVID-19.
Blessings to the people who bought our condo.
Blessings to the healthcare and frontline workers whose work is saving lives every day.
Blessings for the peaceful moments that come around even during hardship.
Blessings for gratitude.
Blessings to you, too. Blessings and gratitude for being part of our beloved global NVC community. I hope you have many moments of peace and gratitude… and I hope you remember that you matter and that you are lovable.
May our new NVC Academy courses this month continue to support and nurture you.
We at the NVC Academy are holding you so tenderly in our hearts these days… Each of us is deeply aware that you and other members of our beloved community may need additional support during the coming months…
I want to invite you to count on us: we are here for you.
First, we are now offering several courses designed to help trainers upscale their ability to teach online, and supporting trainer teams in hosting large NVC gatherings. The NVC Conference – usually held in Southern California each spring – was the first of these events. Last weekend we hosted it on Zoom, and it was phenomenal: well over 300 people from every corner of the world registered!
Second, we have added newlive courses as well as crafted and curated resources that can help you navigate, rethink, and transform any challenges you may be facing. We hope these offerings provide you with a sense of support:
Help with stress, anger, fear, depression, rethinking this crisis, taking action (and more).
- Apart and Together: Responding to Opportunity in Extreme Times
This crisis is an opportunity to shift habits, join forces, and respond freshly in ways that seemed impossible before.
- How to Stay Calm during a Pandemic
Take a look at emotional-physiological regulation, self-empathy for fear and anxiety, and meaningful engagement.
- And much more, including meditation, course recordings, and articles!
NVC Multimedia Library Resources
- Using NVC When the Going Gets Rough
Discover the unexpected benefits of intense, overwhelming emotions.
- Fearless Loving and Living
Master fear, transform scarcity, graduate to a gifting / receiving economy, and more.
- Embracing Your Emotions: Honoring the Wisdom of BIG Emotions
Check out this POWERFUL course recording!
Live NVC Courses
Join us at one of our next live Zoom courses: registration is now open.
- Your Resonant Self Immersion Program: A Revolutionary Online Retreat
Maintain your inner calm in the face of life’s challenges (starts May 8).
- Jump In Now: Facilitation Basics
Clarify and accentuate your personal teaching style. Build a strong NVC network and support system (starts May 21).
- And much more.
- Financial Integrity
Create a relationship with money that is clear, empowered, purposeful, and stress-free.
- Living with the Power of Gratitude
Rather than finding yourself at the mercy of challenging events, learn how to become a co-creator of life and a healing influence!
- Dealing with Loss: Coming Back to Life
Unearth and process the feelings and issues that get tangled up with loss.
We hope you enjoy these resources, and find them to be of support.
In the meanwhile, may you experience nurturing… may you have moments of inner peace… and may you remember that you are loved.
Wishing you health and well being…
Whoosh! That’s how the effects of Covid-19 feel to me right now.
I am in the midst of a flurry of activity: canceling in-person courses and retreats while simultaneously helping NVC trainers from across the world to expand their online training – all in an effort to support our global NVC community.
At this challenging and potentially scary time, I am reminded of something Krishnamurti said to his followers in one of his infamous speeches…
I am sitting at my desk staring at my computer. I want to write a note to you that is cheerful and upbeat, and I am struggling to match that kind of letter with authenticity.
The truth is I have been feeling especially discouraged lately.
Here in the USA, we have just come through a grueling impeachment process to remove our president from office. And on top of that, we are in the midst of a presidential election year… I find I am listening to candidates make their case for why we should vote for them while not feeling confident that either of the major political parties will endorse a candidate that speaks for me.
Then I read about world events, which included the coronavirus outbreak which is affecting thousands of people across the world… the fires in Australia that are affecting thousands more people and millions of wildlife… global warming and its effect on all life… the depth of pain and suffering across the world… and the first year anniversary of my dear friend Jenny’s death – which may seem very small by comparison and yet holds deep grief for me.
Some days I feel utterly weary and worn down…
Brrrrr. Are you feeling winter? I am. I just missed a week of work due to the flu, and I am still feeling a little punk. As I sit down to write this letter, I realize a lot of things that are important to me are taking the back burner. Things like working out, any number of tasks around the house, and my work “to-do” items. Instead, I work for a few hours and take a nap. Eat a meal, take a nap. Work for a few more hours. Take a nap…
It’s slow and steady and completely focused on my body’s need for healing.
In a way, I’ve enjoyed it. Not the flu symptoms, of course, but this opportunity to be so clearly tuned in to self and health. In this state, it’s pretty easy to decide what the priorities are because my body is so screaming for healing. For instance, I don’t feel only a little tired for nap: my eyes are struggling to stay open and sleep must happen… NOW.
It is also much easier for me to say no to someone when they ask me for something that stretches my willingness. Right now it is easier to prioritize, and easier to surrender to my inner call for health and wellbeing.
I would like to get better at living this way without having a health issue. How about you?
To me, that would look like:
Happy New Year!
January always brings me a sense of hope. It can be bitterly cold in some parts of the world, and yet even then the days begin to get longer and there’s a noticeable increase in sunlight for many of us. And that increased sunlight feels so nourishing on my face and body, like a soft touch from a dear and wholly predictable friend.
As we venture into 2020, I am reminded to come up to that light and imagine what I would like to do this coming year, instead of focusing on (or grumbling about) the dark and cold days…
For many of us in the world, autumn has arrived in its full beauty and darkness. The leaves turn magnificent colors and then fall, leaving a barren tree and a dark landscape. The days are shorter and colder. Warm sun is harder for some of us to find, and impossible for others.
I’m very connected to the changing seasons, and so I feel some of the beauty and darkness within my own internal landscape. It manifests as a great desire for more sleep… snuggling on the couch with my family… open days on my calendar with no appointments or expectations of myself… canning applesauce… and ample time to meander, change course, or take a nap.
For years, I called my autumn mood depression because I had much less desire for projecting outside my small circle and less patience for busyness. Now I call it …
A week or so ago, I traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona, USA – where I had lived for over 20 years – to participate in the final memorial service of my dear friend, Jenny. Three of her beloved friends and I went to her favorite place to hike in Flagstaff. We brought bunches of her favorite flowers, readings, and songs we thought she would enjoy and slowly walked the trail, stopping to add something – a word, poem, song, or whatever came to us as we moved – and then had a picnic lunch with some of her favorite foods. It was a glorious and beautiful fall day in Flagstaff. The pictures featured here are two of the many pictures I took that day.
Sigh. It was both a beautiful and gut wrenching experience.
The main thing I walked away with is…