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Author: Shantigarbha

I’m a secret rebel

This week Shantigarbha has been using his skills as a Nonviolent Communication (NVC) trainer to support Extinction Rebellion in London. Here's what he learned. 1. I'm a secret rebel! I've been nonviolently resisting power over me since I was four years old. 2. It's a relief to be doing something. After so many years of looking on helplessly as climate change accelerates, it's a blessed reli...
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Parenting – how I would like to exercise authority

Making giant bubbles at Summerfest 2019 Spending nearly a week with 50 children of all ages at this year's Summerfest brought up some thoughts around parenting different kinds of authority. In the last blog post Shantigarbha mentioned the lake as a hazard and our process to find community agreements. We discussed the risks of the lake and how to protect the lives of the children. Mainly adu...
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Creating community at the Summerfest

We've just returned from the fifth NVC Summerfest, full of the joys of living in community. We feel enriched by the warmth of connection, and fulfilled with community meetings, dancing, singing, drumming, and sharing NVC. Wow! Learning, fun, community and play all in one place! Part of creating community is clarifying a sense of purpose. The vision of the Summerfest is to create a world wh...
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Clowning – more than silly and stupid

A couple of weeks ago I attended a clowning workshop. My intention was to feel more at ease when I'm in front of a group or a camera. I love play and humour and at the same time I find it stressful to deal with my anxiety.  I really could feel an urge to change this issue and I was eager to find out how can I enjoy myself while standing up front. After some research, I came across clowni...
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You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

I'm committed to non-violence, personally and politically. Looking to the past for inspiration, Gandhi turned non-violence into a powerful political instrument. More recently, Extinction Rebellion has done the same in relation to the climate crisis. Gandhi encouraged us to be the change that we wish to see in the world. This means transforming our inner world to be in alignment with our va...
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Internationality as a way of life

One of the key distinctions that we talk about in Nonviolent Communication is the difference between dependence, independence and interdependence. Dependence is when we meet our needs for safety and being valued at the cost of choice and freedom. Independence is when we meet our needs for choice and freedom at the expense of safety and being valued. Interdependence is when we meet our needs for ...
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Gift Culture

When it came to money, I remember Marshall Rosenberg saying, "Never do anything for money!" and "Find what you love doing, and ask people to support you to continue doing it." I still feel tickled and curious about his challenge to find worth in a different place than money, and to contribute to life in a sustainable way.   One of the communities that I belong to is the South A...
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Happy New Cheese!

Yesterday Gesine and I had a business meeting to review the financial sustainability of this year's work. There have been fewer participants at key events, and at times we’ve reluctantly dipped into our savings. I was reminded of a parable I read almost twenty years ago, Who Moved My Cheese? in which people get used to a regular supply of their favourite “cheese”, whether it's money, security ...
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A vision of nations

From where I'm sitting, we're passengers in the longest car crash in history. It's more than two years since we heard the referendum result, while we were on a residential Nonviolent Communication weekend. The group, as usual, was strongly international. The weekend turned into a mourning circle, with Brits and non-Brits shedding tears over the loss of a sense of belonging to something larger....
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Farewell NVC Summerfest 2018

Yesterday we had our final debriefing with the Summerfest core team. We had a chance to review feedback from everybody who came, including ourselves. As a team, we were very happy with how the Summerfest went this year — the sun shone, the venue was beautiful, the food was great, there was plenty of fun, a strong sense of community, and deep learning! We weren't aiming for perfection — not that...
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Empathy Archery

Empathy is a respectful understanding of another person’s experience. Since I’ve been learning how to empathize, I've often got it ‘wrong’. What I mean is that the person I was listening to told me, either by a shake of the head or by a ‘No’, that my empathy guess hadn’t landed. I had the sense of firing arrows towards a distant target, and most of them falling short or going wide. At those moment...
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The Difference Between Empathy and Compassion

A couple of weeks ago my partner Gesine came back from an NVC discussion evening. Compassion had been one of the topics. Gesine told me that one woman talked about a conflict with her daughter. The woman was very sad about it, especially as she wanted to model to her daughter a different way of dealing with conflict. She wanted to bring more compassion into the world. The conversation had got Gesi...
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