About

One of the core principles I aim to live by and also bring to others is that a life grounded in purpose and values that are anchored in clear agreements flows more easily and fully. I am finally taking my own advice deeply, and am ongoingly attending to my own purpose, values, and agreements. This is work in progress, and I plan to be fully transparent as I work on it.

What’s next is to review how my values are anchored in and anchoring my agreements and make changes as needed; to identify my strengths and limitations and apply values to them to find agreements and actions that can support me and/or compensate for them; and to complete my instruction manual.

Last updated: Jan 6, 2020

Values

My values are derived from the modified NGL vision and the overall vision that is on the back cover of my book Reweaving Our Human Fabric: Working Together to Create a Nonviolent Future. They both appear towards the bottom of my vision page on this website.

As of Jan 6, and for some time to come, I am adding principles, intentions, and practices as I am discovering them under the corresponding value.

  • Global circle of care at the heart of all I do, encompassing the largest whole I can envision
  • Faith as an act of defiance, leaning into vision, trusting people and life, uncovering possibility despite all apparent evidence to the contrary
  • Reverence for choice in self and other, emerging from honoring capacity, sensing willingness, caring for sensitivities, and beholding the dignity of all that lives
  • Orientation to needs as the deepest expression of life and the source of our interconnection
  • Purpose-driven action as an expression of my being in orienting towards vision with full abandon, practical responsibility for what I do, and humility
    • Principle: Stacking functions within one action, especially in a direction that increases capacity, sharpens and concentrates the purpose focus of actions.
      • Intention: In my decision-making I aim to prioritize actions that can increase capacity around me by passing on what I do.
        • Practice: When I see something that is on purpose and that I have no willingness or no capacity to do, I ask others to do it who can, through doing it, increase their own capacity.
  • Unconditional generosity as a soft and bold orientation to restoring flow
    • Principle: Generosity can only continue to flow when there is enough nourishment and care for capacity limits
      • Intention: I aim to reverse my lifelong pattern of automatically giving more than receiving, especially in the area of financial resources, based on considerations of purpose
        • Practice: ?

Purpose

To identify, experiment with, articulate, and pass on possible pathways to shift our collective course towards restoring in full our individual and collective capacity to live in choice, togetherness, and flow within the means of the planet

With village-based leader, India, 2017

Mission

 

  1. To read, to engage in intellectual conversations, and to teach in order to deepen my own understanding of where we are as a species, why we got here here, and what is possible individually and collectively in moving towards liberation
    • Next main goal: to have enough structures of support for reading and conversation in the area of economics and gifting and in the area of disentangling patriarchy from sexual forms and questioning our very structures of desire.
  2. To conduct “experiments with truth” individually, in relationships, within communities I am part of, and as a practitioner working with others to distill as much visionary practical knowledge as possible
    • Next main goal: create a full flow of recording -> transcription -> Roberta digesting into writing proposals -> ways of prioritizing -> writing.
  3. To consolidate, codify, and share what I know and learn
    • Next main goal: to establish a plan of action with clear steps, with who owns what part of holding it, that includes deciding about books, articles, blog posts, curriculum, and more
  4. To continually inquire into and transform the systemic conditions within which I work that limit access to and co-creation with anyone, anywhere in the world as a way to restore resource flow in the world
    • Next main goal: complete and publicize the development of an approach to power, privilege, and leadership that is based in a liberation perspective
  5. To maintain pleasure as central to how I prioritize what I do and how I work
    • Next main goal: to fully integrate the agreement to use pleasure and ease as part of my selection criteria for what I focus on in my work
Relaxing at a retreat in Germany, 2015

Overarching Goals

I have two sets of goals. One is fine-tuned to specific activities within mission areas, building on the above main goals, which I keep elsewhere. The other is attending to my overall progress towards my purpose, which I share here.

  1. Complete the agreements, including in particular agreements about:
    • how to evaluate and review agreements;
      • Include questions about external accountability for when I have willingness and lack capacity to choose and/or to track agreements;
    • how to evaluate my progress towards purpose;
    • how to engage with my activities document;
    • how to think about, add or take out, and refine mission elements.
  2. Include a theory of change that captures the truth of what I do
  3. Build capacity in people who can deliver the work when I am not available
  4. Integrate more prominently transparency about how I follow purpose to support a shift from others following me/authority to others following purpose with me
  5. Continue to move towards teaching, reading, and writing being the primary ways I work, reducing meetings, collaboration on projects, and responsibility beyond my own work to a smaller minimum

Theory of Change

I ground my choices in the eternal humility of not knowing emerging from recognizing that I can’t know a linear path leading to the vision I am longing for. Wherever I am, whoever I am with, with whatever knowledge and resources are available to me and us, the question that guides choices is: looking towards vision, what’s the most aligned action I can take? Aligned, in this case, means choosing within purpose, within values, and within capacity. Going from here forwards in the direction of where I want to go, without knowing if we will ever get there, has the quality of shaping and co-creating rather than controlling.

Agreements

This is ongoing work in progress, currently still at an intensive initial set-up phase which I started in January 2020. Until the agreements are in flow, I anticipate revising them as often as I find it possible to prioritize this work. Once established, my intention is to review and potentially revise agreements either quarterly, or when a gap becomes obvious.

The agreements are organized based on the systems they are part of. See “Aligning Systems with Purpose and Values” on the NGL resources page.

Anything in burgundy is in need of revision or substitution. Anything in blue is a new agreement; a current experiment at closing a gap.

Existing

  1. Decision making
    1. When I have a clear, relaxed intuition about something, I got with that.
    2. When I don’t have a clear and relaxed intuition, and/or there are potential impacts beyond what I can take on myself, I rely on my recent evaluation of my actions/decisions within my theory of change, and adjust to proactively skew it in a direction I wasn’t sufficiently prioritizing until, eventually, there is sufficient flow within intuition.
      1. As of Dec 30, 2020, I am proactively skewing my choices in the direction of my value of “Reverence for Choice” and focusing, primarily, on assessing capacity. This means that if I take on something new, I actively seek to take off something else.
    3. When I have a “no” to something I want done, I look for others to do it for whom doing it would be on their purpose and increase capacity within a system we are all part of. This will usually means looking within NGL.
    4. I seek people’s input into decisions using advice process when it impacts others or when I intuitively think more wisdom will help.
    5. I am saying “no” to any new project outside of NGL, existing projects with XR, and the current project with iBme. (Project = something that requires tracking over time, beyond a one-off event)
    6. Decisions about my schedule are given to Isa and Heather (in long-term process to anchor fully)
    7. I fully follow my deep intuition, when I have access to it, even when it doesn’t make sense or goes against other agreements.
    8. After making a decision that is outside the usual flow of decisions, I evaluate it relative to my values, and name any stacking functions, synergies, and convergence that arise, as a way to fine tune my intuition over time.
  2. Flow
    1. Resources
      1. Schedule:
        1. Every Wed and Thu I don’t schedule anything during the day, and ideally also not in the evening, and they are dedicated to writing or big projects.
        2. I have 2.5 hours every week for small project work, so that my Wed and Thu can have more focus on actual writing.
        3. I have a day a month on the full moon in which I schedule absolutely nothing and completely follow my flow to support rejuvenation, especially through savoring beauty in all forms.
        4. Every month I add one day (one in Aug 2020, two in Sept 2020, etc.) in which I focus on teaching, reading, and writing (TRW days), until, come January 2023, my entire work life is oriented towards teaching, reading, and writing; my equivalent of “retirement.”
      2. Workflow:
        1. If I have something scheduled that is an appointment with myself, and I am in the middle of doing something else, I activate my flow chart.
        2. Otherwise, I apply the following logic:
          1. I get through new email.
          2. I attend to items I had previously marked in red as important.
          3. I respond to and/or file email backlog until it’s done or until I run out of the window or have something that someone is waiting for me to complete. [I want to have a clearer set of criteria that makes sense and that I can follow]
            1. While doing that, I focus as much as possible on learning what I can to align my agreements more with capacity and with values
          4. When done with new email and whatever fits within criteria yet to be developed, I go to a TDL that is outside email system, and engage in a combination of doing things I can and organizing it.
          5. I go to my tracking system folders to find a next action to take.
          6. I interrupt the above at any moment when there is a specific project/task that someone is waiting for and I am tracking.
          7. When there is enough quiet in the above, I write anything that isn’t on a semi-deadline, especially on Wed, Thu, and TRW days.
          8. At the end of the day I do a final review of all red-marked items to see what can’t wait to the next window of opportunity, send an email to my dailies, and then do physical exercise before going to bed.
        3. If none of the above yields sufficient clarity, I read out loud my vision and apply the core question of my theory of change: looking towards vision, what’s the most aligned action I can take?
      3. Money:
        1. I give money to individuals I care about based on following my intuition and natural generosity.
        2. I prioritize quality, relationship, locality, etc. over finding the cheapest thing possible.
        3. I don’t track money coming and going, instead trusting there will be enough for what I need.
        4. I lean towards a balance of giving more than receiving on purpose, partially aligned with values, partially because of an inner challenge about receiving more than giving, with the result that I overstretch.
          1. When engaged in financial gift hub distribution circles or similar activities, I move resources towards me or BayNVC when there is a clear purpose reason for doing it. 
      4. Body:
        1. When I have capacity to get food that works for me, I do. When I don’t, I lose power and eat less well.
        2. When in the company of others who eat less well, I relax some of the criteria I use for what to eat or not eat to adapt to their way of eating.
        3. I set up people to exercise with and/or seek support from others to track with me the commitment to exercising daily.
        4. I consume many supplements to reduce the chances of cancer recurrence and other issues and to support health in the present, including sleep.
        5. I walk at least once daily.
        6. I aim to drink 2 liters of water or other clean fluid daily.
      5. Support:
        1. Parts integrated into mission
        2. I have a purpose sessions with Emma and Verene every 3-4 weeks.
        3. I have a weekly session with Emma to focus on my vision mobilization structure.
          1. The purpose of this time: to support me in creating laser-like alignment with purpose and values within capacity
          2. The agreements we have for that time are:
            1. We have a meeting each week until I am coasting and organically integrating between the structure and living.
            2. Any time Emma is not available, I have this meeting with myself.
            3. Within these meetings, I follow Emma’s lead about where to focus attention
            4. Emma supports me by:
              1. Saying what she notices, especially anything that seems implicit or a deviation from my agreements
              2. Following her intuition
          3. Additional activities for during this weekly time:
            1. Choosing a value for myself for the week
            2. If the first meeting of the month, scheduling an extended opportunity to savor beauty during the coming month
      6. Liberation: Every time I read this line I pause to consider whether I have sufficient support to carry my liberation forward.
    2. Information
      1. I follow information pathways that come to me, and delete them when I am beyond capacity; I am completely willing to miss out on things rather than overwhelm my system with too much information.
      2. On TRW days, I schedule at least an hour of reading time. On the 1st TRW day of the month I have a time for nourishing myself in beauty, which means tending to emails that are not urgent and within which I want to benefit from the relationship and/or the content.
      3. I pursue courses and trainings for myself only in extreme and rare situations when there is a clear and strong purpose and after connecting with others about my choice.
      4. I make information and resources freely/easily available to others.
      5. I share my life daily with a number of people.
      6. I have the humility corner in my newsletter where I share truths about my own unfolding journey of liberation, including things I am discovering that are patterns or other ways I step out of flow, togetherness, and choice.
      7. I review and adjust ongoing commitments so I can reduce the level of commitment to others, giving love a different manifestation than frequency of contact.
      8. Whenever possible, I ask people to capture things for me and send to me.
    3. Feedback
      1. I make more explicit what feedback I want and for what purpose.
      2. I make explicit choices to limit my engagement with input and feedback and move towards my goals even when others aren’t fully on board. I do this in part by providing specific dates by which to offer input and that I then plan to move with whatever input I am able to integrate.
      3. I build feedback into each of my significant relationships, both work and personal.
        1. Action: to complete the above for my main relationships within BayNVC
      4. I ask for what people receive from each thing I teach.
      5. I have impact sharing agreements with Emma and anyone else I am living with or do an ongoing project with that includes intensive involvement and sufficient commitment to inimacy.
  3. Conflict
    1. I am engaging with less and less conflict to sustain my limits. I lack criteria for how to prioritize that. I aim to apply the use of force “algorithm” to my choices about conflict.
    2. I have a standing proxy.
    3. I have several close friends for consultations about conflict and feedback about how I attend to it. I set limits to feedback even within those explicit relationships.
    4. I have Claire and Pam when an inner conflict seems to point to deeper emotional or spiritual needs.
    5. When conflicts are within NGL I have a few people I lean on for support with how to navigate. Within my dailies, any two of us informally lean on another one to address a conflict.
      1. Action: Set up a pool of potential mediators for me when I have conflict

Identified Gaps

  1. Reliable support for creating pathways for people without resources to know they can have access
    1. Beginning work with Jihan to create many more pathways to access on a systemic level, not just about resources
  2. How do I track to focus on essence much more than on form; to be light on form, so things don’t get encrusted and dogmatized from what I share with people? How do I know when I do or don’t do that?
  3. More capacity in the area of scheduling support so that I can activate an agreement to let all scheduling be done by others except for recurring meetings, family, and friends.
  4. To attract and receive support from pools of supporters and collaborators in service to the purpose; sufficient support for each mission element

 

Instruction Manual

This is useful information to know about how to engage with me. It’s based on mapping my strengths and limitations and then applying my values and purpose to them. When the result can be integrated into my own agreements with myself, then the process is done. For some of them, having information available to others, so that we can create agreements that will work for others and for me, then I list them here.

For the moment, until I do this work, I am listing here, quite randomly, those bits and pieces that I discover empirically through engaging in experiments in truth.

  • I have a huge vision, and therefore, when I actually manage to get in touch with and express my mourning, it will be huge, too, as it is a function of the gap between what is and the vision. It’s likely, and often has, to overwhelm people and/or raise guilt or shame in them. What works is to ask me to make a concrete, present-time request of what I would like from those present. While I don’t have this integrated, and may never, I almost invariably have the capacity to do this when asked.
  • If I speak of something I am unhappy about, especially if I am sharing impacts, and it sounds like judgments, ask me to translate into rigorous need language to make it easier for others to take in.
  • Requests about intensity: Any time I do anything that is overwhelming in any way and you don’t know what to do or how to respond, remind me that it works better for everyone if I can make a clear and specific request. Almost invariably, even in the midst of deep agony, I will be able to do that. And then it will help. Sometimes it may take more than one attempt before we find a request that works. Key is that the request be something that is possible for you without having to have me, first, support you. When the request clicks, even in challenging moments the transition can be smooth. So, when I remember, it eventually works. Reminding me of this at a time when I am unlikely to remember to do it is all around helpful. And I imagine not super hard to integrate, since it’s clear language that you just need to repeat.
  • Supporting capacity around me:
    • The issue: when I assess continually how much capacity there is around me, I don’t leave open the possibility of my needs creating capacity in others, or in a group, even including me. It disempowers others by sapping the capacity through making people dependent on me: “We’ll leave it to Miki.” It also makes it hard for me to receive feedback because I am stretching so much of the time that it leaves little room to tolerate that this much stretching may not work; it registers as if I am expected to stretch harder. This pattern comes from choosing to do the opposite of what happened to me, and thus I took on giving care, even if it means going beyond limits.
    • Possible agreements: 1) any time you imagine that this dynamic may be going on, ask me to risk putting my needs on the table, even if not elegantly, even if initially this may create more tension; 2) when giving me feedback, remind me that it’s not intended for me to stretch more; only for us, together, to find a path that works.