All over the world, we live in difficult conditions. Very few of us are thriving, including those with significant access to resources. Especially then, we have been taught to look for security instead of community. Settle for convenience instead of joy. Strive for success instead of purpose. Seek fun instead of reverence. Lean on money instead of freedom. Earn our way instead of knowing that we matter. And aim to control instead of trusting the unfolding.
It is time to reweave humanity back into the flow of life.
- Are you eager to find an empowered option to respond to what is happening in our world?
- Do you feel ready to engage with others as you embrace individual and collective liberation?
- Would you want to find your own source of choice even in the face of challenges?
- Are you keen to reconnect with your innate human capacity for integration?
- Are you longing to release the constriction of scarcity?
This six-week course is designed to support a significant step in that direction.
If humanity is to survive this current period, we need to find our way to each other, to come together again. This means rediscovering what we have lost in the last many hundreds of years, restoring the capacities necessary for functioning in community with others, and reintegrating all we have learned from the past and the present into a livable future. Because so many of us, even in the global South, lead individual lives, we will need determination, skill, and support to recreate community.
We anticipate that most people who register for this course will come as individuals. In response to this, we are setting up the course to support much of the learning to happen in small groups of four people accompanying each other with all that unfolds as we unpeel the layers of what prevents us from turning the tide and restoring our communal ways of living. We call these groups liberation pods, and you can find out more about them below the description of each of the sessions.
This course is designed to be a six-week immersion for those who feel called to take tangible steps in their lives. Each week beyond the introductory session covers in depth one aspect of life which participants then have an opportunity to engage with within their liberation pods.
Given the level of interest in Miki’s courses across the globe, we are scheduling this course at a time that is most likely to be accessible to people in multiple continents: Sunday at 7:30am Pacific time, which is early afternoon in parts of South America, afternoon in Europe and Africa, evening in parts of Asia, and later in Eastern Asia. We hope you will choose to support this commitment to global reach by waking up early if you are in the Pacific time zone. We mourn that it is during most people’s sleep time for Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.
The course is comprised of six 2-hour sessions. The outline below is loose and may shift to adapt to needs, experiences, and situations as they arise in the course of our time together.
August 7: Why We Need Each Other: Shared Risk and the Commons THIS SESSION IS FREE!
It is only recently that humans have adopted our current way of life, in which we fend for ourselves individually and within nuclear families; in which so many of us consume things we do not need or could share with others; in which all land is owned; and in which about 75% of the world’s population depend on other people we do not know to grow our food. This session serves as an introduction to the history that got us here, to the commons movement, and to what it means to tie our fortunes together with others. Given this history and the strength of the familiar groove, this session also includes an exploration of why we need explicit agreements to align how we function with the vision of reintegrating humanity into the interdependent flow of life. You can get a flavor of what we might explore if you read “Material Risk Sharing for a Livable Future"
August 14: From Separation to Integration: Finding Choice within Togetherness
The first function we explore on the path to re-establish togetherness is the vast topic of how we make decisions. We all make hundreds of decisions all the time, usually without much effort or need to engage with others. Those kinds of decisions, the ones we make within a flow, are not what this session is about. The focus is on the unique human capacity for making complex decisions that require integrating multiple considerations, multiple perspectives, multiple needs, and multiple constraints. This is what our big brains are designed for. We have amazing capacity for integration which is mostly lost to us in the pervasive either/or mindset of patriarchal societies. If we are going to move in the direction of restoring and enhancing our capacity for collaborative living and functioning, we will need to rapidly grow our integration muscles. Key to this transformation is to have clear agreements about how we make decisions, to upskill ourselves to be able to engage across differences, to lean on trust as we seek to integrate input from and with others. In the process, we learn to deepen our sense of freedom so we can find choice within togetherness.
August 21: From Scarcity to Flow: Embracing Mutual Mothering
The second function we look at is how we engage with the flow of resources. The deepest root of our collective challenges is the depth of mistrust and scarcity within which we live. Restoring the commons challenges our deep-seated habits and invites us to trust again that flow is possible despite everything we have been told. This trust is not abstract or spiritual. It takes place on the material plane and is simple, practical, and exacting: it is the trust that whatever any of us do or do not do is a reflection of our needs and our capacity. Taking this awareness in deeply enough means we lose interest in fairness and equal share, and can begin to orient to needs, everyone’s needs, based on our own willingness and capacity, without any should, guilt, or resentment. This focus on capacity limits changes everything in the field we cocreate, serving as a deep antidote to patriarchal control, overstretching, and judgments of self and others. Integrating the capacity perspective makes possible a small kind of heaven as we step into what we started calling “mutual mothering” during one of our community experiments.
August 28: From Privacy to Transparency: Minding Everyone’s Business
The third function we look at is how we share information. We begin this exploration with the realization that we can only flow within the information that is accessible to us. In the ways that we usually function in modern, capitalist societies, we prize privacy and keep much information to ourselves. This effectively means that when any of us aims to make any decision in a way that cares for others, we are not able to do that well simply because we lack information. Walking towards transparency is one more aspect of the immense journey of releasing the habits that keep us both comfortable and separate from each other. This invites us into the courage to be more and more transparent about our experience, about our decisions, about our resources, about our strengths and limitations. It also invites us to cross the taboo barrier and ask for all of that from others. The intimacy that awaits us on the other end of this journey goes beyond what we have ever been told is possible.
September 4: From Avoidance to Collective Learning: Sharing Feedback for Liberation
In this session we look at the function of feedback as the natural mechanism of learning that is built into life. As individuals and as groups, we learn most pointedly from seeing the impacts of our actions on others and our environment. At this time in human evolution, we are not learning sufficiently how to course correct because we have interfered with feedback mechanisms at all levels and we are not seeing the impacts of our actions, both individually and collectively. No matter how thorough and clear our agreements are, we will need to also have agreements about how we face the discomfort of sharing with others the impacts of their actions on us as well as opening ourselves to hear and experience the impacts of our actions on others. Opening our hearts in both directions, when done with skill and trust, is another fast track to intimacy and ever more trust. This ends up becoming the primary pathway to enhancing our agreements and increasing our capacity over time.
September 11: From Problem to Opportunity: Increasing Capacity to Engage with Conflict
In this final session we focus on the complex contribution that conflict presents to our attempts to restore flow, togetherness, and choice to human life. Conflict is almost universally seen as a problem rather than as information about where our agreements are not sufficient to hold us. Conflict usually occurs when our feedback mechanisms are clogged and information about what is or is not working does not flow to where it could influence outcomes. In the context of a small group or community, conflict is often the result of conflict avoidance. Not every difference or disagreement becomes a conflict; it depends on capacity. When our capacity is high, we can solve more challenging puzzles without conflict. When our capacity is low, smaller challenges end up outstripping our capacity and leading to mistrust. This is why our approach to conflict focuses on increasing capacity in the field rather than seeing the pathway of bringing the people in conflict to a conversation as the primary approach. If we want to restore trust and to collect the feedback that’s within the conflict, increasing overall capacity may get us there without requiring people, when their capacity is low, to speak to or hear each other across lines of mistrust.
Although nothing in this course is mandatory, we anticipate that people will get a whole lot more from the course if they commit themselves to being part of a liberation pod. This is because what we are exploring is about interdependence and not primarily about individual development, and interdependence can only be explore sufficiently with others rather than alone.
When you register for the course, we will ask you to fill out a form letting us know your preferences in relation to how we would assign you to a liberation pod. You will have three ways that you can choose who to form a liberation pod with:
- People who are closest to you geographically;
- People who are spread out across the globe as much as possible;
- People who want to connect with others who share some characteristic (e.g. small business owners, activists, parents, trans people);
- Or, any other characteristic that is either selected from a pre-chosen menu or named by enough people to form a liberation pod.
We intend for the form to remain open until the 19th of August, and for the liberation pods to be finalized by the 2nd session on the 21st of August.
Liberation pods are invited to meet weekly to engage with questions that we intend to provide at the end of each of the sessions starting with the second one.