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Parenting: turning conflict into cooperation

parent holding child at the beach
A constant power struggle What do we want for ourselves and our children? When we ask this question in our parenting workshops, we always hear the same answers: respect, care, cooperation and responsibility. Sadly, the picture we get from people talking about their daily parenting lives is different. We hear of parents in conflict with their children around everyday activities. Whether that's ...
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Building community after isolation

This year we cancelled our annual NVC Summerfest and instead we attended a self-catering NVC Camping Space as a way to explore building community after isolation. To support 'social distancing', the campsite provided each household a toilet, a tap and a pitch that was ten metres distant from the adjoining ones. So, physically we were protected. But how are we doing emotionally when we keep phys...
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Crisis, what crisis?

In 2015, nations pledged to limit global warming to 1.5–2 °C above pre-industrial levels as part of the Paris climate accord. But those governments are largely failing to meet their commitments, and emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases continue to rise. Even under the most optimistic assumptions, current national commitments have put the world on a path to around 3°C of warming ...
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protestor holding a black lives matter sign
We live in Bristol, UK. Recent events have prompted us to learn more about the city's history. Ships from Bristol transported enslaved Africans to the Americas in the 18th Century. In response to George Floyd's death in the USA there was a Black Lives Matter protest in the city centre. Protestors pulled down a statue of Edward Colston, who made his wealth from the slave trade. As a symbolic act,...
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Loneliness in Lockdown

For some people Lockdown has meant a lack of physical contact and closeness. Of course touch is an important physical need for most people, and lack of physical contact usually implies a lack of touch. However, Jung's insight into loneliness, expressed in the quotation above, suggests that loneliness comes from a deeper level than having people around you or not. Perhaps we can make a di...
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Is there life on Zoom? Lockdown reflections

Photo: Sandie Clarke on Unsplash How are you doing under lockdown? Are you furloughed or working from home? Or are you an essential worker, going out each day to keep the infrastructure going? I guess that we're all scared, to varying degrees. Some of us, like my mother and sister, are in high-risk groups. They just want to keep their lives. Others, like myself and my partner, don't see ou...
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Last night I attended the Eco-Crisis Practice Group at the Bristol Buddhist Centre. The theme was how do you engage with the climate and ecological crisis in a sustainable way? People shared how they oscillate between anxiety about the future and diversion, indifference and shut-down. The Buddhist tradition suggests that compassion is the only sustainable fuel around. Everything else saps your en...
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The Age of the Gift Draws Nigh

At the end of each module of this year's NVC Year Training, we've gone through a ritual that is new and unfamiliar to the participants. We transparently share our expenses, income and hopes for sustainability with the participants. We invite the participants to consider what value they put on what they have learned on the module - if resources were no obstacle, what would you give? Then we invite...
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Just listen!!

Last month we started our NVC Year Training with the theme of Building Community. On the first module, for various reasons we encountered intense conflict. Once we had introduced the idea of transforming conflict one participant found the courage to propose that if someone had an issue with another participant, they could speak to that person directly, one-to-one, rather than in front of the group...
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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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