August 12, 2015
Every other month, my newsletter is focused in some way on my experiments in gift economy. I've been inspired by the notion of a gift economy for almost as long as I've been inspired by Nonviolent Communication (NVC), and the relationship between the two keeps becoming clearer and clearer to me. 

DIY Artists, by Anna Lena Schiller, Flickr, cropped, CC license

Indeed, two of the key assumptions that the practice of NVC rests on, as captured by Inbal and me, are directly related to the vision of an economy based on the flow of generosity:
Human beings enjoy giving: We inherently enjoy contributing to others when we have connected with our own and others' needs and can experience our giving as coming from choice.
Human beings meet needs through interdependent relationships: We meet many of our needs through our relationships with other people and with nature, though some needs are met principally through the quality of our relationship with ourselves and, for some, with a spiritual dimension to life. When others' needs are not met, some needs of our own also remain unmet.
My experiments have been immensely rewarding and challenging, often both at once. One of the core challenges has to do with the constant vigilance about remaining open to the possibility that there won't be enough of a flow of resources coming to me while having full faith that it might. Expanding my faith, while challenging, has been immensely rewarding. It's becoming clearer and clearer to me that the obstacles are immense, because we live within a system and norms that continually pit us against each other.
On my end, I continue to scheme about ways to give and give without limit. In this newsletter, you will find several opportunities to receive what I offer to the world as a gift. One major one, the second of three in-person opportunities to take a workshop with me this year, is directly about the topic of how to ask for all you need and remain open to dialogue about it. It's so wonderful to be teaching about this while I myself am expanding my capacity to ask for what I need without reservations. Aspects of this capacity are also the topic of my recent blog post about asking for support. You can also click here to read the happenings in the last month, including celebration of supporters, training and facilitation work, news from the BayNVC team, and more.
A laugh made of water, by Hamed Masoumi. Flickr, CC
Sustaining this fountain of giving that's flowing strong through me requires resources. I am finding tremendous joy, ease, and a sense of "rightness" about offering my work without exchange. So much so, that I am offering freely more than is currently sustained by the contributions to the Circle of Support. This is by design, however vulnerably: I want to give more than I receive as a way to inspire more people, so that the Circle of Support grows and grows until it can sustain all of my teaching. Yes, if you didn't know already: my goal is to offer all of my public workshops without any cost to anyone, supported by the Circle of Support. I hope you will consider joining. The Circle of Support is a group of people who contribute monthly, forming a reliable core. I've heard from many people that they want to contribute and yet a monthly contribution is not right for them. If you are one of them, you can click here and choose a project to donate to in support of our work.
I want to conclude with a quote from another "giver" - my friend the poet Bernadette Miller. Bernadette describes the power of acts of generosity, both divine and human. Simply put,
"... they offer a sweet alternative to the competitive spirit
that kills our capacity to recall that we live
as we give our all to the beauty that birthed us."

(Note that some of her poems are freely available  here, or through emailing her and receiving them periodically: bernadette.milly at goddard dot edu. May her gentle reminder support all of us in giving and receiving fully. 
In hope and peace,
Miki Kashtan

Images: Top: DIY Artists, by Anna Lena Schiller, croppedBelow: A laugh made of water, by Hamed Masoumi, from his Children of Fountain series. Both Flickr, CC license.

Sunday August 30, 10:00am-5:00pm 
The Humanist Hall, Oakland

When we do manage to ask for what we want, we rarely tell people why it's important to us, and we often make demands out of fear of hearing a "no." The focus of this workshop is on learning how to ask for what we want, remain open to "no", and maintain the connection with the other. Register here. 


Facing Privilege Conference Calls 
Saturday August 15, 11 am - 12.30 pm PT
Friday, Sep 18, 4 pm - 5:30 pm PT 

A series of free monthly calls at different times to accommodate a variety of people. These calls will provide an opportunity for people to engage with themselves and with others on the deep questions that arise as we reflect on the question of privilege. Register here.

The Fearless Heart 
Monthly calls. The next two are:
Sunday, August 16, 10:30 - 12:00pm
Monday, August 17, 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Join Miki and other readers of her blog to discuss whatever she has been writing about there. The Fearless Heart blends theory, deep spiritual wisdom, vulnerable sharing of personal insights and experiences, radical vision, and practical tips for everyday living. This series is free.  More info here.

 Read Miki's Books
Reweaving Our Human Fabric  


Imagine: A future world in which we all value people and life and participate in a flow of generosity. 

In her new bookMiki weaves together vivid social science fiction stories that bring that world to life with compelling nonfiction about how to get there. 


Read three of the stories for free, starting here!


Start a book reading group and give copies to the group. OK, you do have to buy them first, but at 40% off for 5 or more from us