Spirit In Action

Change IS coming. WE can make it GOOD.


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If ever we needed to vote…

If we just complain about the cabal/illuminati/shadow govt running things in ways we don’t like, nothing will change. But if we get out and get active, if we vote and if we work to create real change from the ground up in our communities whether thru political activism, or other ways like permaculture, Transition Town initiatives, community gardens, helping at risk youth-whatever YOU are good at and love doing that can improve your community-don’t hesitate to get out there and DO it!

cadesertvoice

A must see by Rev. Barber…

As Civil Rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said so well at the Democratic National Convention this summer:

“My dear friends, your vote is precious, almost sacred,” Lewis said. “It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union.”


 
 

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Resistance Resisters | Derrick Jensen | Orion Magazine

Resistance Resisters | Derrick Jensen | Orion Magazine.

 

ANOTHER 120 SPECIES went extinct today; they were my kin. I am not going to sit back and wait for every last piece of this living world to be dismembered. I’m going to fight like hell for those kin who remain—and I want everyone who cares to join me. Many are. But many are not. Some of those who are not are those who, for whatever reason, really don’t care. I worry about them. But I worry more about those who do care but have chosen not to fight. A fairly large subset of those who care but have chosen not to fight assert that lifestyle choice is the only possible response to the murder of the planet. They all carry the same essential message—and often use precisely the same words: Resistance isn’t possible. Resistance never works.

Meanwhile, another 120 species went extinct today. They were my kin.

There are understandable personal reasons for wanting to believe in the invincibility of an oppressive system. If you can convince yourself the system is invincible, there’s no reason to undertake the often arduous, sometimes dangerous, always necessary work of organizing, preparing to dismantle, and then actually dismantling this (or any) oppressive system. If you can convince yourself the system is invincible, you can, with fully salved conscience, make yourself and your own as comfortable as you can within the confines of the oppressive system while allowing this oppressive system to continue. There are certainly reasons that those in power want us to see them as invincible. Abusive systems, from the simplest to the most sophisticated, from the familial to the social and political and religious, work best when victims and bystanders police themselves. And one of the best ways to get victims and bystanders to police themselves is for them to internalize the notion that the abusers are invincible and then, even better, to get them to attempt to police anyone who threatens to break up the stable abuser/victim/bystander triad.

And meanwhile, another 120 species went extinct today.

(To read this article click the link to go to Orion Magazine)

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/5340/


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Beyond Hope by Derrick Jensen

Beyond Hope

by Derrick Jensen

Published in the May/June 2006 issue of Orion magazine

Photograph by Stephen Wilkes

THE MOST COMMON WORDS I hear spoken by any environmentalists anywhere are, We’re fucked. Most of these environmentalists are fighting desperately, using whatever tools they have—or rather whatever legal tools they have, which means whatever tools those in power grant them the right to use, which means whatever tools will be ultimately ineffective—to try to protect some piece of ground, to try to stop the manufacture or release of poisons, to try to stop civilized humans from tormenting some group of plants or animals. Sometimes they’re reduced to trying to protect just one tree.

Here’s how John Osborn, an extraordinary activist and friend, sums up his reasons for doing the work: “As things become increasingly chaotic, I want to make sure some doors remain open. If grizzly bears are still alive in twenty, thirty, and forty years, they may still be alive in fifty. If they’re gone in twenty, they’ll be gone forever.”

But no matter what environmentalists do, our best efforts are insufficient. We’re losing badly, on every front. Those in power are hell-bent on destroying the planet, and most people don’t care.

Frankly, I don’t have much hope. But I think that’s a good thing. Hope is what keeps us chained to the system, the conglomerate of people and ideas and ideals that is causing the destruction of the Earth.

To start, there is the false hope that suddenly somehow the system may inexplicably change. Or technology will save us. Or the Great Mother. Or beings from Alpha Centauri. Or Jesus Christ. Or Santa Claus. All of these false hopes lead to inaction, or at least to ineffectiveness. One reason my mother stayed with my abusive father was that there were no battered women’s shelters in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but another was her false hope that he would change. False hopes bind us to unlivable situations, and blind us to real possibilities.

Does anyone really believe that Weyerhaeuser is going to stop deforesting because we ask nicely? Does anyone really believe that Monsanto will stop Monsantoing because we ask nicely? If only we get a Democrat in the White House, things will be okay. If only we pass this or that piece of legislation, things will be okay. If only we defeat this or that piece of legislation, things will be okay. Nonsense. Things will not be okay. They are already not okay, and they’re getting worse. Rapidly.

But it isn’t only false hopes that keep those who go along enchained. It is hope itself. Hope, we are told, is our beacon in the dark. It is our light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. It is the beam of light that makes its way into our prison cells. It is our reason for persevering, our protection against despair (which must be avoided at all costs). How can we continue if we do not have hope?

We’ve all been taught that hope in some future condition—like hope in some future heaven—is and must be our refuge in current sorrow. I’m sure you remember the story of Pandora. She was given a tightly sealed box and was told never to open it. But, being curious, she did, and out flew plagues, sorrow, and mischief, probably not in that order. Too late she clamped down the lid. Only one thing remained in the box: hope. Hope, the story goes, was the only good the casket held among many evils, and it remains to this day mankind’s sole comfort in misfortune. No mention here of action being a comfort in misfortune, or of actually doing something to alleviate or eliminate one’s misfortune.

(to read the rest of the article click the link below to go to Orion Magazine)

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/170/


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Intro to NVC

I’m not sure if this is going to work, so if the links in this article don’t work, please go to the original on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_Communication to access all the resources, references and links in the article.

I wanted to share NVC with you because I think it is an important and helpful tool in the process of co creating the new world. Instead of conflict and resistance we now have a tool to find the middle path, the win win solution, the heart centered growth in relationship, in community and love instead of conflict leading to hate or violence.

I will be sharing more articles and links to NVC trainers and videos as soon as I can, but this article has a ton of resources you can get to from links within it, so you don’t have to wait for me;-)

Nonviolent Communication
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Marshall Rosenberg lecturing in Nonviolent Communication workshop, Neve Shalom ~ Wahat al-Salam, Israel (1990)
Nonviolent Communication (abbreviated NVC, also called Compassionate Communication or Collaborative Communication[1][2]) is a communication process developed by Marshall Rosenberg beginning in the 1960s.[3] NVC often functions as a conflict resolution process. It focuses on three aspects of communication: self-empathy (defined as a deep and compassionate awareness of one’s own inner experience), empathy (defined as listening to another with deep compassion), and honest self-expression (defined as expressing oneself authentically in a way that is likely to inspire compassion in others).

NVC is based on the idea that all human beings have the capacity for compassion and only resort to violence or behavior that harms others when they don’t recognize more effective strategies for meeting needs.[4] Habits of thinking and speaking that lead to the use of violence (psychological and physical) are learned through culture. NVC theory supposes all human behavior stems from attempts to meet universal human needs and that these needs are never in conflict. Rather, conflict arises when strategies for meeting needs clash. NVC proposes that if people can identify their needs, the needs of others, and the feelings that surround these needs, harmony can be achieved.[5]

While NVC is ostensibly taught as a process of communication designed to improve compassionate connection to others, it has also been interpreted as a spiritual practice, a set of values, a parenting technique, an educational method and a worldview.

Contents
1 Applications
2 History and development
3 NVC Theory
3.1 Overview
3.2 Assumptions
3.3 Intentions
3.4 Communication that blocks compassion
3.5 Four components
3.6 Modes
4 Research
5 Relationship to spirituality
6 Relationship to other models
7 Responses
8 Organizations
9 See also
10 References
11 Further reading
12 External links

Applications
NVC has been applied in organizational and business settings, [6] [7] in parenting, [8] [9] [10] in education, [11] [12] [13] [14] in mediation, [15] in psychotherapy, [16] in healthcare, [17] in addressing eating issues, [18] in prisons, [19] [20] [21] and as a basis for a children’s book ,[22] among other contexts.

Rosenberg has used Nonviolent Communication in peace programs in conflict zones including Rwanda, Burundi, Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Serbia, Croatia, Ireland, and the Middle East including the Occupied Palestinian Territories. ([23] p. 212)

NVC has been combined with HeartMath[24] meditation to form a practice called BePeace which serves as a peace building and social and emotional skill building curriculum being taught in public schools throughout Costa Rica,[25] in the U.S. and in other countries.[26]

History and development
Nonviolent Communication training evolved from Rosenberg’s search for a way to rapidly disseminate peacemaking skills. NVC emerged out of work he was doing with civil rights activists in the early 1960s. During this period he also mediated between rioting students and college administrators and worked to peacefully desegregate public schools in long-segregated regions.[27]

According to Marion Little (2008), the roots of the NVC model developed in the late 1960s, when Rosenberg was working on racial integration in schools and organizations in the Southern United States. The earliest version of the model (observations, feelings, and action-oriented wants) was part of a training manual Rosenberg prepared in 1972. The model had evolved to its present form (observations, feelings, needs and requests) by 1999. The dialog between Rosenberg and NVC colleagues and trainers continues to influence the model, which by the late 2000s, placed more importance on self-empathy as a key to the model’s effectiveness. Another shift in emphasis, since 2000, has been the reference to the model as a process. The focus is thus less on the “steps” themselves and more on the practitioner’s intentions in speaking (“is the intent to get others to do what one wants, or to foster more meaningful relationships and mutual satisfaction?”) in listening (“is the intent to prepare for what one has to say, or to extend heartfelt, respectful attentiveness to another?”) and the quality of connection experienced with others.[28]

Rosenberg’s work with Carl Rogers on research to investigate the components of a helping relationship was, according to Little, central to the development of NVC. Rogers emphasized: 1) experiential learning, 2) “frankness about one’s emotional state,” 3) the satisfaction of hearing others “in a way that resonates for them,” 4) the enriching and encouraging experience of “creative, active, sensitive, accurate, empathic listening,” 5) the “deep value of congruence between one’s own inner experience, one’s conscious awareness, and one’s communication,” and, subsequently, 6) the enlivening experience of unconditionally receiving love or appreciation and extending the same.[28]

Influenced by Erich Fromm, George Albee, and George Miller, Rosenberg adopted a community focus in his work, moving away from clinical psychological practice. The central ideas influencing this shift by Rosenberg were that: (1) individual mental health depends on the social structure of a community (Fromm), (2) therapists alone are unable to meet the psychological needs of a community (Albee), and (3) knowledge about human behavior will increase if psychology is freely given to the community (Miller).[28]

Rosenberg’s early work with children with learning disabilities is noted as showing evidence of his interest in psycholinguistics and the power of language, as well as his emphasis on collaboration. In its initial development, the NVC model re-structured the pupil-teacher relationship to give students greater responsibility for, and decision-making related to, their own learning. The model has evolved over the years to incorporate institutional power relationships (i.e., police-citizen, boss-employee) and informal ones (i.e. man-woman, rich-poor, adult-youth, parent-child). The ultimate aim is to develop societal relationships based on a restorative, “partnership” paradigm and mutual respect, rather than a retributive, fear-based, “domination” paradigm.[28]

Rosenberg has identified Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration for the NVC model. Rosenberg’s goal has been to develop a practical process for interaction rooted in Gandhi’s philosophy of “ahimsa” which translates as “the overflowing love that arises when all ill-will, anger, and hate have subsided from the heart.”[28]

NVC Theory
Overview
Nonviolent Communication holds that most conflicts between individuals or groups arise from miscommunication about their human needs, due to coercive or manipulative language that aims to induce fear, guilt, shame, etc. These “violent” modes of communication, when used during a conflict, divert the attention of the participants away from clarifying their needs, their feelings, their perceptions, and their requests, thus perpetuating the conflict.

Assumptions
NVC trainers Inbal and Miki Kashtan characterize the assumptions underlying NVC as:[4]

All human beings share the same needs
Our world offers sufficient resources for meeting everyone’s basic needs
All actions are attempts to meet needs
Feelings point to needs being met or unmet
All human beings have the capacity for compassion
Human beings enjoy giving
Human beings meet needs through interdependent relationships
Human beings change
Choice is internal
The most direct path to peace is through self-connection
Intentions
The Kashtans further offer that practicing NVC involves holding these intentions:[4]

Open-Hearted Living
Self-compassion
Expressing from the heart
Receiving with compassion
Prioritizing connection
Moving beyond “right” and “wrong” to using needs-based assessments
Choice, Responsibility, Peace
Taking responsibility for our feelings
Taking responsibility for our actions
Living in peace with unmet needs
Increasing capacity for meeting needs
Increasing capacity for meeting the present moment
Sharing Power (Partnership)
Caring equally for everyone’s needs
Using force minimally and to protect rather than to educate, punish, or get what we want without agreement
Communication that blocks compassion
NVC suggests that certain ways of communicating tend to alienate people from the experience of compassion: ([29] ch.2)

Moralistic judgments implying wrongness or badness on the part of people who don’t act in harmony with our values. Blame, insults, put-downs, labels, criticisms, comparisons, and diagnoses are all said to be forms of judgment. (Moralistic judgments are not to be confused with value judgments as to the qualities we value.) The use of moralistic judgments is characterized as an impersonal way of expressing oneself that does not require one to reveal what is going on inside of oneself. This way of speaking is said to have the result that “Our attention is focused on classifying, analyzing, and determining levels of wrongness rather than on what we and others need and are not getting.”
Demands that implicitly or explicitly threaten listeners with blame or punishment if they fail to comply.
Denial of responsibility via language that obscures awareness of personal responsibility. It is said that we deny responsibility for our actions when we attribute their cause to: vague impersonal forces (“I had to”); our condition, diagnosis, personal or psychological history; the actions of others; the dictates of authority; group pressure; institutional policy, rules, and regulations; gender roles, social roles, or age roles; or uncontrollable impulses.
Making comparisons between people.
A premise of deserving, that certain actions merit reward while others merit punishment.
Four components
NVC invites practitioners to focus attention on four components:

Observation: the facts (what we are seeing, hearing, or touching) as distinct from our evaluation of meaning and significance. NVC discourages static generalizations. It is said that “When we combine observation with evaluation others are apt to hear criticism and resist what we are saying.” Instead, a focus on observations specific to time and context is recommended. ([29] ch.3)
Feelings: emotions or sensations, free of thought and story. These are to be distinguished from thoughts (e.g., “I feel I didn’t get a fair deal”) and from words colloquially used as feelings but which convey what we think we are (e.g., “inadequate”), how we think others are evaluating us (e.g., “unimportant”), or what we think others are doing to us (e.g., “misunderstood”, “ignored”). Feelings are said to reflect whether we are experiencing our needs as met or unmet. Identifying feelings is said to allow us to more easily connect with one another, and “Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable by expressing our feelings can help resolve conflicts.” ([29] ch.4)
Needs: universal human needs, as distinct from particular strategies for meeting needs. It is posited that “Everything we do is in service of our needs.”[30]
Request: request for a specific action, free of demand. Requests are distinguished from demands in that one is open to hearing a response of “no” without this triggering an attempt to force the matter. If one makes a request and receives a “no” it is recommended not that one give up, but that one empathize with what is preventing the other person from saying “yes,” before deciding how to continue the conversation. It is recommended that requests use clear, positive, concrete action language. ([29] ch.6)
Modes
There are three primary modes of application of NVC:

Self-empathy involves compassionately connecting with what is going on inside us. This may involve, without blame, noticing the thoughts and judgments we are having, noticing our feelings, and most critically, connecting to the needs that are affecting us. ([30] ch.4)
Receiving empathically, in NVC, involves “connection with what’s alive in the other person and what would make life wonderful for them… It’s not an understanding of the head where we just mentally understand what another person says… Empathic connection is an understanding of the heart in which we see the beauty in the other person, the divine energy in the other person, the life that’s alive in them.. It doesn’t mean we have to feel the same feelings as the other person. That’s sympathy, when we feel sad that another person is upset. It doesn’t mean we have the same feelings; it means we are with the other person… If you’re mentally trying to understand the other person, you’re not present with them.” ([30] ch.5) Empathy involves “emptying the mind and listening with our whole being.” NVC suggests that however the other person expresses themselves, we focus on listening for the underlying observations, feelings, needs, and requests. It is suggested that it can be useful to reflect a paraphrase of what another person has said, highlighting the NVC components implicit in their message, such as the feelings and needs you guess they may be expressing. ([29] ch.7)
Expressing honestly, in NVC, is likely to involve expressing an observation, feeling, need, and request. An observation may be omitted if the context of the conversation is clear. A feeling might be omitted if there is sufficient connection already, or the context is one where naming a feeling isn’t likely to contribute to connection. It is said that naming a need in addition to a feeling makes it less likely that people will think you are making them responsible for your feeling. Similarly, it is said that making a request in addition to naming a need makes it less likely that people will infer a vague demand that they address your need. The components are thought to work together synergistically. According to NVC trainer Bob Wentworth, “an observation sets the context, feelings support connection and getting out of our heads, needs support connection and identify what is important, and a request clarifies what sort of response you might enjoy. Using these components together minimizes the chances of people getting lost in potentially disconnecting speculation about what you want from them and why.”[31]
Research
NVC lacks significant “longitudinal analytical research” [5] and few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of NVC training programs.[28] To date, there has been little discussion of NVC in academic contexts. Most evidence for effectiveness of NVC has been anecdotal or based on theoretical support.

As of 2011, six Master’s theses and Doctoral dissertations are known to have tested the model on sample sizes of 108 or smaller and generally have found the model to be effective.[2][28][32][33]

Allan Rohlfs, who first met Rosenberg in 1972 and was a founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication, explains a paucity of academic literature as follows:

Virtually all conflict resolution programs have an academic setting as their foundation and therefore have empirical studies by graduate students assessing their efficacy. NVC is remarkable for its roots. Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. (clinical psychology, U of Wisconsin) comes from a full time private practice in clinical psychology and consultation, never an academic post. NVC, his creation, is entirely a grassroots organization and never had until recently any foundation nor grant monies, on the contrary funded 100% from trainings which were offered in public workshops around the world. … Empirical data is now coming slowly as independent researchers find their own funding to conduct and publish empirical studies with peer review.[34]

NVC has reportedly been involved in producing dramatic changes in forensic psychiatric nursing settings in which a high level of violence is the norm. NVC was adopted, in combination with other interventions, in an effort to reduce violence. The interventions were said to reduce key violence indicators by 90 percent over a three year period in a medium security unit,[35] and by around 50 percent in a single year in a maximum security unit.[36]

Recent research appears to validate the existence of universal human needs. [37] [38]

Relationship to spirituality
As Theresa Latini notes, “Rosenberg understands NVC to be a fundamentally spiritual practice.”[39] Marshall Rosenberg has, in fact, described the influence of his spiritual life on the development and practice of NVC:

“I think it is important that people see that spirituality is at the base of Nonviolent Communication, and that they learn the mechanics of the process with that in mind. It’s really a spiritual practice that I am trying to show as a way of life. Even though we don’t mention this, people get seduced by the practice. Even if they practice this as a mechanical technique, they start to experience things between themselves and other people they weren’t able to experience before. So eventually they come to the spirituality of the process. They begin to see that it’s more than a communication process and realize it’s really an attempt to manifest a certain spirituality.”[40]

Rosenberg further states that he developed NVC as a way to “get conscious of” what he calls the “Beloved Divine Energy”.[40]

Some Christians have found NVC to be complementary to their Christian faith.[39][41][42][43] Many people have found Nonviolent Communication to be very complementary to Buddhism, both in theory and in manifesting Buddhist ideals in practice.[44][45][46]

Relationship to other models
Marion Little examines theoretical frameworks related to NVC. The influential interest-based model for conflict resolution, negotiation, and mediation developed by Fisher, Ury, and Patton at the Harvard Negotiation Project in the 1980s appears to have some conceptual overlap with NVC, although neither model references the other. Little suggests The Gordon Model for Effective Relationships (1970) as a likely precursor to both NVC and interest-based negotiation, based on conceptual similarities, if not any direct evidence of a connection. Like Rosenberg, Gordon had worked with Carl Rogers, so the models’ similarities may reflect common influences.[28]

Suzanne Jones sees a substantive difference between active listening as originated by Gordon and empathic listening as recommended by Rosenberg, insofar as active listening involves a specific step of reflecting what a speaker said to let them know you are listening, whereas empathic listening involves an ongoing process of listening with both heart and mind and being fully present to the other’s experience, with an aim of comprehending and empathizing with the needs of the other, the meaning of the experience for that person.[47]

Havva Kök notes an overlap between the premises of NVC and those of Human Needs Theory (HNT), an academic model for understanding the sources of conflict and designing conflict resolution processes, with the idea that “Violence occurs when certain individuals or groups do not see any other way to meet their need, or when they need understanding, respect and consideration for their needs.”[48][49]

Chapman Flack sees an overlap between what Rosenberg advocates and critical thinking, especially Bertrand Russell’s formulation uniting kindness and clear thinking.[50]

Martha Lasley sees similarities with the Focused Conversation Method developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA), with NVC’s observations, feelings, needs, and requests components relating to FCM’s objective, reflective, interpretive, and decisional stages.[51][52]

Responses
There is little published critique of NVC. However, researchers have noted that NVC lacks an evidence base beyond the copious anecdotal claims of effectiveness and similarly lacks discussion in the literature of the theoretical basis of the model.[3][5][28]

Chapman Flack, in reviewing a training video by Rosenberg, finds the presentation of key ideas “spell-binding” and the anecdotes “humbling and inspiring,” notes the “beauty of his work,” and his “adroitly doing fine attentive thinking” when interacting with his audience. Yet Flack wonders what to make of aspects of Rosenberg’s presentation, such as his apparent “dim view of the place for thinking” and his building on Walter Wink’s account of the origins of our way of thinking. To Flack, some elements of what Rosenberg says seem like pat answers at odds with the challenging and complex picture of human nature history, literature and art offer. [50]

Flack notes a distinction between the “strong sense” of nonviolent communication as a virtue that is possible with care and attention, and the “weak sense,” a mimicry of this born of ego and haste. The strong sense offers a language to examine one’s thinking and actions, support understanding, bring one’s best to the community, and honor one’s emotions. In the weak sense, one may take the language as rules and use these to score debating points, label others for political gain, or insist that others express themselves in this way. Though concerned that some of what Rosenberg says could lead to the weak sense, Flack sees evidence confirming that Rosenberg understands the strong sense in practice. Rosenberg’s work with workshop attendees demonstrates “the real thing.” Yet Flack warns that “the temptation of the weak sense will not be absent.” As an antidote, Flack advises, “Be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others,” and guard against the “metamorphosis of nonviolent communication into subtle violence done in its name.”[50]

Bowling Green State University Professor Ellen Gorsevski, in assessing Rosenberg’s book, “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion” (1999), in the context of geopolitical rhetoric states that “the relative strength of the individual is vastly overestimated while the key issue of structural violence is almost completely ignored.”[53]

PuddleDancer Press reports that NVC has been endorsed by a variety of public figures.[54]

Organizations
The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), founded by Marshall Rosenberg, has trademarked the terms NVC, Nonviolent Communication and Compassionate Communication, among other terms, for clarity and branding purposes.[55] CNVC certifies trainers who wish to teach NVC in a manner aligned with CNVC’s understanding of the NVC process.[56]

While CNVC offers some trainings,[57] most Nonviolent Communication trainings are offered by trainers either acting independently or sponsored by NVC organizations which are allied with but with no formal relationship to CNVC.[58] Some of these trainings are announced through CNVC.[59] There are numerous NVC organizations around the world, many with regional focuses.[60][61]

See also
Alternatives to Violence Project
Marshall Rosenberg
People skills
Restorative justice
Teaching for social justice
Active listening
Four-sides model
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_Communication