Tuesday, January 3, 2012

An Invitation

by Miki Kashtan

When I look back at my life and examine decisions I’ve made, starting this blog stands out to me as a decision that required a great deal of courage and which catapulted me to a new level of visibility and therefore exposure to the possibility of contributing to what I value. In the very early days I didn’t post anything before having someone read it. I was afraid to expose myself and my thinking. Over this period, just shy of two years, something has shifted quite permanently. By and large, I write and post, without worry. I feel stronger, more willing to risk, more trusting of myself. The times when I feel the need to have someone read before I post are fewer and fewer, limited to when I write something vulnerable, or when I make outrageously radical points.

Now I am poised to take a new step in putting my thinking out in t
he world. The NVC Academy, where I’ve been doing much of my teaching in the last few years, is putting forth a new course with me based on this blog. I am quite excited about this idea, for several reasons. This new course continues for an entire year, and meets once a week. The opportunity to work with the same group of people week after week gives me an enormous sense of hope and possibility; we can truly get to know each other, support each other, learn what excites us and what challenges us, and use the blog and our discussions to support everyone in moving towards their dreams. I also delight in the challenge of having a regular schedule for posting blog entries instead of making it haphazard. And I love the concept of each week’s discussion in some ways influencing the following week’s topic. I am envisioning this as a deep collective immersion in one topic after another, somehow co-creating a journey for all of us, shared by all and unique to each.

The NVC Academy has its own network of enthusiasts where this course is being publicized, and meanwhile I’ve felt shy about putting the word out to this community, my faithful readers, those who read the blog consistently and who are engaged with the ideas I put forth. It took me until now to get over this hump and decide to issue this invitation to you. I know only some of you, and many more participate in this “community.” From time to time I look at the tiny little pictures of people who follow this blog, and give free rein to my curiosity. I so want to know who each face is, why you decided to join my blog, especially since most of your names are entirely unfamiliar to me. I want to know all the stories. I want to experience the beauty of each connection. And, yet, precisely because I don’t know you, I still have had some trepidation about addressing you directly and inviting you.

With this extended preamble, here’s the invitation.

I am doing a yearlong weekly course, every Tuesday starting Feb 7th, 5:30-7pm Pacific Time, that follows closely the blog. Each week I plan to post a piece specifically with this course in mind. Those who sign up for the course through the NVC Academy will also get reflection questions ahead of time to engage with whatever’s in the writing that speaks to you (or doesn’t). Then we come together during the weekly meeting, discuss, support each other in being on whatever path we want to be on, and grapple with the questions and experiences raised by the piece and the handout. Would you like to be part of this experiment? You are invited to come check it out. The first call is open to everyone (though you still need to register). It would be a treat for me to have you participate, which would give me the opportunity to talk with you on the phone directly and transcend the one-way relationship that leaves us separate and isolated from each other.