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.

At present, I am working on my agreements with myself, both continuing to document what is currently in place, and shaping what I want to add where the current agreements aren’t enough to both meet me where I am and support me in aligning better with my purpose and values, especially having articulated my values, for the first time, thus needing to see how the agreements might shift from that.

I also plan to add a theory of change.

I use all of this material now, regularly, for prioritizing the many activities on my plate in relation to my mission, for setting smaller, more tangible goals for each of them, and for tracking my actual movement, which I review every two weeks.

Purpose

To mobilize my conceptual clarity, visionary thinking, integrative framing, and commitment to nonviolence to share with others what I learn about what it takes, in this time of global crisis, to restore 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 and to engage in intellectual conversations to deepen my own understanding of where we are, why we are here, and what is possible individually and collectively
    • Support: various conversation partners
    • Next main goal: to have more female intellectual friendships
  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
    • Support: sending emails at the end of every day to a group of “dailies” reflecting on my day, and when needed, asking for support with specific elements
    • Next main goal: to have a reliable way of capturing and writing about the learning, and to then get support with what and how to convert into writing pieces
  3. To consolidate, codify, and share what I know and learn through books, articles, blog posts, online courses, coaching calls, workshops, retreats, and more
    • Support: Emma and Roberta as co-holders and coordinating support of others
    • Next main goal: to establish a plan of action with clear steps, especially in relation to writing
  4. To make the work accessible to specific marginalized groups as a way to restore resource flow in the world
    • Support: ongoing regular calls with various friends and colleagues working in this area
    • 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 continue to move towards the fullest possible personal liberation including, in particular, to relearn to put my own needs on the table explicitly as I integrate and converge with others
    • Support: weekly mourning circles; a core group of friends available for deep coaching, exploration, and conflict support; monthly calls with Erin regarding my 3-year vagabonding “retreat”
    • Next main goal: sufficient integration of capacity to put my needs on the table, expose impacts on me, and honor my limits; so that I can gain freedom to move without waiting until I integrate all feedback
  6. To continually improve capacity to accurately identify supporters and collaborators in service to the purpose, including in particular sustaining a strong team supporting my work
    • Support: periodic check-ins with Emma, Roberta, Isa, and Jeff as relevant to focus area
    • Next main goal: have purpose, goals, and agreements for the team
  7. To make pleasure central to how I prioritize what I do and how I work
    • Support: checking-in with Lisa about this on a bi-weekly basis
    • 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

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.

  • 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
  • Unconditional generosity as a soft and bold orientation to restoring flow

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. Anything that’s a clear yes or a clear no and impacts only me I decide, otherwise I engage with others to help me decide. Here are some considerations within that: When there are more items which are all on purpose, I use a method for prioritizing other than purpose, since purpose cannot differentiate between them. The discernment I aim to make is based on flow, ease, and fun.
    2. I seek people’s input into decisions using advice process when it impacts others or when I intuitively think more wisdom will help.
    3. 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)
    4. Decisions about my schedule are given to Isa and Heather (in long-term process to anchor fully)
    5. I fully follow my deep intuition, when I have access to it, even when it doesn’t make sense or goes against other agreements.
  2. Flow
    1. Resources
      1. Schedule:
        1. I don’t schedule anything by myself except for personal friends and family (in process while Isa is stepping into responsibility over time).
        2. 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.
        3. I have 2.5 hours every week for small project work, so that my Wed and Thu can have more focus on actual writing.
        4. I have a day a month in which I schedule absolutely nothing and completely follow my flow to support rejuvenation.
        5. Every month I add one day (one in Aug 2020, two in Sept 2020, etc.) in which I focus on teaching, reading, and writing, 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, it takes top priority, even if it’s only scheduled with myself.
        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]
          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.
          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. 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 I notice that I am enacting this pattern, I name it to whoever I am doing this with, and ask for us both to put in full our needs on the table and choose together how much each of us will give with the full picture of both. (This is not going to work in all relationships, so over time I want to find criteria for when to do this, when to simply name that I am doing this without dialogue, when to challenge myself to ask for more without requiring a full togetherness dialogue, and when to absorb and continue as I do now, from choice.) 
        5. I have complete willingness to be fully transparent, though no one has ever asked to see the full picture.
      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: integrated into mission
      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. I like to read and I don’t make it a consistent part of my life beyond what I read on the computer.
      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.
      4. I ask for what people receive from each thing I teach.
      5. I have a purpose sessions with Emma and Verene every 4 weeks.
      6. I have impact sharing agreements with Emma and anyone else I am living with or do an ongoing project with that includes intensive involvement.
  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 lean on the Conflict Engagement team within NGL. Within my dailies, any two of us informally lean on another one to address a conflict. Otherwise, I rely on my own capacity because I haven’t prioritized having someone who I know is willing to serve in mediation role when I have conflict with others.

Identified Gaps

  1. Time to read
  2. Reliable support for creating pathways for people without resources to know they can have access

    1. BayNVC is in the process of establishing a clear and consistent scholarship fund.
    2. Beginning work with Jihan to create many more pathways to access on a systemic level, not just about resources
  3. Accountability for putting my needs on the table, sharing impacts, and honoring my limits
  4. Accountability for how I choose and engage with supporters and collaborators
  5. Consistent ways of bringing pleasure into my life
  6. Evaluating decisions based on pleasure
  7. 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?
  8. How do I manage to shift a deep pattern of consciously or not prioritizing things that someone is waiting for over my own longer term goals, especially writing, so that those end up being bumped?