Monday, January 31, 2011

Nonviolence, Consciousness Transformation, and Community

by Miki Kashtan

A little over a year ago I had a pretty significant crisis of faith, what some might call a dark night of the soul. This happened after 14 years of being on two parallel and mutually transforming paths: my personal dedication to living undefendely and working my way through fear, and my work of teaching Nonviolent Communication.

The crisis, simply put, was that I temporarily lost my faith that what I did could have a lasting effect on people’s consciousness. I knew, even in the midst of the anguish, that I was deeply privileged to touch people’s lives in significant ways on a consistent basis. I also knew that being moved and inspired was not quite the same as the choice to integrate this consciousness into daily living, into the fabric of how we make choices moment by moment, into what our lives are about.

I knew I wanted company in embracing the ferocious experience of a life given to the service of consciousness transformation, internally and in the world. Against the weight of my crisis I stretched my spirit into envisioning what this truly meant and what it would take to create this full alignment. Thus was planted the seed of what has now become an active and vibrant community of support for consciousness transformation.

Soon I had a list of core commitments (now numbering 17) that together comprised what a consciousness of nonviolence meant to me. In writing them, I wanted to honor the paradox that I see in using the word “commitment”: on the one hand, life is radically uncertain and we cannot know the future of our ability to make anything happen. On the other hand, the level of inner seriousness that “commitment” entails was important to me.

I wrote the commitments in a way that highlights and provides a constant reminder of our absolute need for support to do this work. Which is why I wanted a community, not just the commitments. I wanted a community that would extend well beyond what I had to offer in terms of experience, vision, leadership, enthusiasm, and energy. I envisioned a group of people willing to take a personal stand for truth and for love, and available to support each other in moving closer and closer to living a life of love and courage. I felt the desire to model this endeavor after Gandhi and Martin Luther King and the countless known and unknown heroes of nonviolence. This meant supporting both action and inner cultivation, as neither alone would be sufficient.

I launched the Consciousness Transformation Community, or CTC, on February 18th, 2010. What has happened in this year has gone beyond what I could have imagined. We now have 68 people from 6 different countries in a thriving, vibrant virtual community. The biggest surprise of this year was the delightful collapse of the very elaborate structure I initially attempted to put in place. I found it so liberating that a simple and organic structure I couldn’t possibly have thought of on my own replaced my original complex one through an emergent and dialogic process. Now any member of the community has full access to contributing anything they want. We have several options every week to connect on the phone, most of which are led by members of the community other than myself. We have an interactive website for connection, mutual support, initiatives, and discussions of all sorts. We reflect regularly on how we work together. Anyone is invited to take responsibility for the functioning of the community and to participate in decision-making. Lastly, contributions, both to the group and to me, are done entirely on a voluntary basis, as a gift economy.

Gandhi himself had a core group of about 70 people who worked with him, who joined in his “experiments in truth” and lived together in his Ashram. I have even more conviction now that those of us who want to live a life that rests on love, courage, care, and service need each other, because we are by definition going against the grain.

I asked people to share what being part of CTC means to them, so others could have a sense of it. One person said: "Even if I will never actually meet these people in-person, it is very reassuring and encouraging for me to be reminded that there are other people out in this world who are actively committed to living their lives in a consciously nonviolent way." We need community to know we are not alone, for inspiration, for mutual support. Another said: “This community helps remind me of my commitment to nonviolence and hold me accountable to that commitment.” Support sometimes takes the form of reminding us, in difficult moments, what we have committed to.

Our first anniversary is coming up. I want to share this bounty more widely with those who feel called to this particular experiment in truth. Four times a year we open our phone calls to guests. The next open call is this Tuesday, February 1st, at 10:30am pacific time. What is your own dream for your consciousness transformation? What is your dream of where you can contribute significantly beyond your personal sphere? You can join the call (email to get a call-in number and pin), or you can share your thoughts as comments here. I am celebrating what we have done, and have more faith in what is possible as a result of coming together to take a stand for nonviolence.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Feedback without Criticism

by Miki Kashtan

I have yet to meet a person who likes criticism. Instead, what most of us do is contract inside when we hear a criticism. Sometimes we respond defensively, sometimes we add the criticism to our pile of self-judgment, and sometimes we deflect and ignore what’s being said. In the process, we rarely manage to make use of the vital information and opportunities that useful feedback can provide: learning, better teamwork, or simply insight and understanding.

On the other end of this painful and familiar dynamic, it is well known that both in personal life and in the workplace most people dread giving feedback. Knowing how painful it can be for people to hear a criticism, and how rarely feedback leads to productive conversations or satisfying change, it’s sometimes difficult to imagine that giving feedback can have beneficial consequences. Add to that how few people have been trained in concrete skills for giving usable feedback, and you get a recipe for disconnection, resentment, or teeth gritting when time comes for performance evaluations or less formal feedback giving.

And yet feedback loops are essential for any individual and group to function at full capacity and potential. Knowing how our actions affect others and the larger whole of which we are a part can support us in learning when and how to change course to contribute to others around us.

Since all of us need feedback, let’s take a look at how we can offer it to others in ways most likely to create the effect we are hoping for: increasing performance while building trust and supporting goodwill all around.

There is much we can do to make our feedback digestible to another person, and to minimize the risk of being heard as criticizing. We can work on where we are coming from in offering feedback, and we can work on developing concrete tools that make feedback more useful to others.

Often confusions around feedback stem for a blending of two different motivations for letting others know of the effect of their actions. Becoming proficient in offering feedback takes us through learning to distinguish between feedback and personal trigger. Providing feedback is usually motivated by a desire to contribute to the learning of another person and to the functioning of the whole. Sharing a personal trigger is usually motivated by a desire to be heard, understood, or attended to. When we mix the two, we are likely to create confusion.

At least some of the time people hear criticism because it’s there. If we want to reduce the risk of being heard as criticizing, let’s indeed transform our judgments and evaluations. Instead, let’s look for, and communicate to others, what the behaviors are, why they matter, and what we want done about them. Here’s how this way of focusing helps feedback become more digestible.

The more we are able to point succinctly to specific behaviors instead of vague generalizations and evaluative statements, the more the other person can keep her or his attention on what we are talking about without getting caught in evaluative words. This diminishes the potential for defensiveness, and also prepares us for shifting our own consciousness away from judgments.

The more we are able to communicate why the behavior matters, the more the other person is motivated to want to do what’s asked of them. We can communicate what’s important to us personally, our own values and needs, or what’s at stake for the organizational whole. When we name the key elements that lie underneath our evaluations (and even judgments), we often feel relief and clarity. This, too, supports us in having feedback that’s less charged and therefore easier to hear.

Even when there is clear understanding of what the goals and values are, and what the significance of the requested change could be, many people can still find it difficult to digest feedback if it comes without specific strategies they could put in place to contribute to the desired outcome in terms of goals and values. Part of why this particular step can be so challenging is that we are called to trust that others would, indeed, want to support what matters to us and the whole. We are asked to shift from telling people what to do to a sense of partnership with them in moving toward shared goals.

No matter how thoughtful and clear we are with our feedback, we may still generate defensiveness or resistance if we are completely set on having the outcome we want, without regard for what the other person might want. Forging and sustaining a sense of partnership, especially in contexts where we have structural power, is no small task. The more we are able to show understanding for the experiences of others and the choices that others make, including understanding what might have led them to take the actions we found challenging, the more of a sense of partnership others can experience, along with more goodwill towards us. Similarly, if we are able to remain open to creating a solution together instead of being attached to a particular outcome, others can sense that their well-being matters, and are likely to be much more willing to stretch in our direction.

My hope is that as more and more people learn to offer feedback based on these principles, the overall dread of feedback giving can diminish, and feedback can be restored to its fundamental function: a method for people to work together to create environments where productivity flows, where trust and goodwill flourish, and where individuals thrive.

If you want to learn more about the art of providing feedback, you can still register retroactively to the 5-session Feedback without Criticism course I taught last fall. If you want to learn more generally about using Nonviolent Communication in the workplace, you can get an MP3 of a class I taught on the topic a couple of years ago. Looking ahead, you may want to explore the MCR full yearlong program starting this coming May, and the MCR conference in March. If you are curious, you can get answers to all your questions in one of two informational calls coming up in February and March.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Living under Occupation

by Miki Kashtan

Today I broke the law. I visited Bethlehem, which is off limits for Israeli citizens. I went to visit Zoughbi Zoughbi, director of Wi’am (cordial relationships) – Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center (

Last night I was looking for directions and could not find them. Who would have known that Google would display the familiar “A” and “B” bubbles and say “We could not calculate directions” for many points in the Palestinian Territories? Who would have known that many spots have two entries, one which says “Israel,” and one which says “Palestinian Territories?” Even when clicking on the latter, the map ultimately shows it all as Israel. Referring or not referring to the place as “Palestine” is a significant choice. All names here are political statements. No choice is innocent. Who will I alienate by my choices?

The meeting place Zoughbi suggested, the Everest Hotel and Restaurant in Beit Jala, is still accessible from both sides. Prior to the establishment of the wall, the Everest was a bustling business and a well known place for connection between Israelis and Palestinians. Today, when I got there, it was almost totally deserted. The road that goes by Beit Jala from Jerusalem goes through a checkpoint on the way to a variety of Jewish settlements. The turn to Beit Jala is only accessible from the other direction. One can easily not notice it even exists. Fewer Israelis are willing to find their way and take the small risk of going there. One more blow to cooperation between the two nations.

Even before crossing, the gap between the two societies is evident. The Arab towns, even within the borders of Israel, are usually built on the sides of the hills, caressing and snuggling the landscape. Open areas are terraced, and often punctuated with olive trees. The Jewish settlements are often perched on the hilltops, scarring the landscape, prominent. I find it hard not to interpret them as making a statement about who is bigger and stronger around here. I work hard to just notice, without interpreting, without judging, and to keep on loving everyone. The Jewish settlements and so-called “neighborhoods” out of Jerusalem have well-paved roads, clean streets, airy apartment complexes. The Arab towns only minutes away are run down and lacking in resources, requiring endless creativity on the part of the people living there to meet basic needs.

And then there’s the infamous wall. I had heard and read some about it. I knew of its existence and of the depth of resistance to its construction, even among many Israelis. None of this prepared me for the visual, on-the-ground effect of standing next to it and seeing the damage. Wi’am itself operates from within a remodeled old building which is right next to the wall. When Zoughbi took me on a ride around town in Bethlehem, the wall was all over the place, towering at about 20 ft or so, cutting right through major areas, reducing formerly upscale wide roads to narrow alleys with deserted businesses, and causing real estate prices to drop dramatically. Some businesses, homes, and farming lands are now on the other side of the wall, confiscated, entirely inaccessible. So much land has been taken, so many olive trees uprooted, that a grocery store owner told me for the first time they are even importing olive oil, a Palestinian mainstay product.

This side of the wall has hundreds of drawings and statements on it, mostly done by foreign groups, mostly about peace and human rights. I wonder what’s painted on the other side, and almost wish not to know.

All day long I wonder how the people of the settlements live with what they see. What kinds of stories can they tell themselves that make it OK to create a living prison behind a wall? Even though I am troubled by people living in these settlements to begin with, I also completely understand and appreciate their fear, their pain at family members and friends being killed through acts of terrorism originating in the Palestinian Territories. I know I want security and well-being for them, too. I still can’t see it, because security in and of itself could not account for places where a town is cut in half on two sides of the wall, or for the million indignities Palestinians suffer on a daily basis. Michael, Zoughbi’s brother, told me that in order to live one must suppress the pain, or else one cannot continue to exist. I think of the cost of suppressing pain. Zoughbi tells me of the deterioration of physical health in the Palestinian community which he attributes to the stress of occupation. His website tells of their work to address conflicts within the Palestinian community, and traces the roots of such conflict to the economic, environmental, psychological, and spiritual consequences of the prolonged occupation.

I am here for one day and my heart is crumbling. How do they survive this, day in and day out? Meanwhile in Tel-Aviv life goes on. It takes conscious and systematic effort if you live in Tel-Aviv to remember, to see the effect of the occupation, to be open to the suffering of Palestinians. Even if awareness is there, the sense of helplessness to do anything about the situation probably keeps everyone focusing elsewhere. I so wish for a vision, some way for ordinary people in Israel to be able to create change.

Towards the end of my visit I sit with Zoughbi, an intern from the Netherlands, and a local person who works at Wi’am. We eat hummus and falafel, and dip pita bread in olive oil and za’atar. Simple, scrumptious, familiar. Zoughbi reminds me that even in the midst of occupation and suffering life goes on. He appears happy with what the new prime minister is doing in this imaginary state without power and authority to run its business in full. People’s daily living conditions are improving some, and Zoughbi thinks that conditions are ripe to make peace. Will the Israeli government find ways of moving toward peace? I tell everyone at the table my conclusion for the day: I am impressed with anyone living under occupation who manages not to hate the occupiers.

Wi’am gets most of its funding from foreign foundations, and continues to invest in the building and its surroundings to create a haven for the local population. Outside, right in front of and next to the wall and an observation tower, overlooking a refugee camp, and under the gaze of a Jewish settlement, a playground was recently built, as well as a little garden with several sitting areas. Let life happen. Inside, I see many artifacts for sale created by jobless women as part of another Wi’am project. I bought an embroidered money pouch, a couple of books, and 10 copies of one of Wi’am’s cards. The card says “Let us transform garbage of anger into flower of compassion.” May it be so.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Don’t Take Yes for an Answer: The Power of Cultivating Collaborative Leadership

by Miki Kashtan

Nick (not his real name), CEO of a privately owned company, identified listening to others as one key area of learning for him. As we explored this challenge, we soon realized that truly opening to hearing others would require overcoming a habit of distancing and separating himself from people whom he perceived to be different. I offered him one of my personal practices: looking for 3-5 things I have in common with someone I experience as different and separate from me. Nick immediately thought of Dick Cheney as an exception, someone with whom he really didn’t have anything in common. I challenged him on this belief, and he succeeded in identifying several qualities they shared, the last of which was this statement: “We both like power.” What did power mean to Nick? Without any hesitation he said: “When you have power you rarely hear ‘no.’”

“Yes” as a Resource for Power
I define power simply as the capacity to mobilize resources to meet needs. One of the resources that people in power have is other people’s reluctance to say “no.” That’s where my perspective intersects with Nick’s. If someone is the boss, there is every reason for others to say “yes,” ranging from fear of consequences to genuine interest in supporting the boss’s vision. Hearing mostly “yes” provides enormous ease for those in power. I can see the appeal of being able to make things happen.

The Cost of Too Much “Yes”
Despite the appeal, in my own small sphere of influence I have been cultivating the practice of questioning people’s “yes” and encouraging others to say “no” to me. I have been recommending this practice to anyone in a position of power.

Considering the ease and apparent efficiency of people’s willingness to go along with the choices of the person in power, why would I recommend the often arduous practice of challenging the “yes?” What gets lost when the option of “no” is less accessible to people? In particular, is there any way in which the effectiveness of the person on top gets compromised? What is the significance of encouraging “no” for the functioning of the whole?

A work culture that operates on the assumption of “yes” compromises the deeper power of people at the top. Here’s why. Leaders need some amount of dissent for creativity and fresh thinking. Without hearing the truth about the true human cost of a path of action leaders lack critical feedback for making informed choices. Agreements based on fear of consequences are less authentic. When people don’t feel free to say “no” they are less likely to give of themselves fully and take ownership of the work they do.

Challenging the “Yes” Supports Organizations
When we recognize that we lose something when someone does something just because we have power, we can create a radically different work environment. As managers, when we honor people’s limits and let them know we care about their wellbeing, we unleash a level of goodwill that permeates all relationships within the group. When we express interest in people’s perspectives and experience, we contribute to creative relationships in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. When we include others’ concerns about decision we want to make, we increase ownership of the whole and responsibility for a shared outcome. When we are open to changing our mind in order to integrate feedback from others, we send a message that everyone is significant for the whole, and thereby contribute to much deeper buy-in. The result is not only more satisfaction. Empowering people leads to more distributed innovation, scalability, and – even if it may be surprising – more productivity.     

Steps toward a Collaborative Form of Leadership
What does leadership mean within such an environment? What do these principles look like in practice? What can you do today to open the door for new possibilities in your relationships with those you lead? Instead of following the impulse to control and direct everything, focus on providing the vision, the inspiration, and the creative edge that galvanize people’s capacity to contribute. You can encourage everyone to continually learn and adapt to changing conditions. You can guide the decision-making process to increase synergy and maximize everyone’s contribution. You can support people in finding their true potential and taking risks knowing they will be supported. Ultimately, collaborative leadership, at its best, is a way to restore meaning and humanity to our work life, for leaders as well as for everyone else.

If you work in or with an organization, and you want to learn more about collaborative leadership, you may want to explore the MCR full yearlong program starting this coming May, and the MCR conference in March. If you are curious, you can get answers to all your questions in one of the informational calls we have lined up (the next one is January 18th).

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tests of Courage

by Miki Kashtan

Until I read Michael Nagler’s The Search for a Nonviolent Future, I had no idea that some efforts to respond to Hitler nonviolently did take place, let alone that by and large such efforts were successful. The most notable of them is partially known to many: the successful effort on the part of Danes to save virtually all their Jews and smuggle them to Sweden. What is usually less known is the progressive and widespread nonviolent resistance to German occupation that Danes mounted as the war dragged on.

Denmark Rising: A Novel
Author Barry Clemson used these facts of history as the foundation for a literary project the likes of which I had never seen: a what-if novel about a full-on nonviolent resistance on the part of Danes right from the first moment of occupation. Barry didn’t veer significantly from the historical record. Almost all the characters in the novel are real-life people albeit with some embellishment and added circumstances. In addition, many of the specific acts described in the book took place, sometimes by fewer people than described, sometimes in more circumscribed circumstances or later dates than appear in the novel. The fundamental difference lies in the premise: whereas real-life Danish resistance started from the bottom up and built over time, the novel’s context is an already established upfront plan of action designed from the top and encompassing the overwhelming majority of the population.

The result is Denmark Rising, a document that defines an entirely different flavor of heroism from the popular image of the person who kills the “bad guys.” The people populating this novel, from Danish King Christian to the workers in a factory who risk flogging to delay and prevent the construction of a submarine for use by the German navy, all exhibit the double courage that defines the passage into nonviolence: the courage to overcome internal habits of reaction, and the courage to face the potential consequences that arise from standing up to those in power, especially when they are fully committed to subjugation of the resisters.

I read this book, and I recommend others read it, not because of its literary value. I wasn’t, in fact, particularly enamored by the writing style. I still found it hard to put the book down, because the story and the characters were so compelling, and the effect so profoundly inspiring. I had already seen and read enough prior to reading Denmark Rising to know that ordinary citizens rise up to extraordinary circumstances. What this book provides, in addition, is a level of detail that makes the vision of massive nonviolent resistance utterly believable. I couldn’t help wishing that it were even more true than it is, and hoping that, somewhere, someone with enough influence will read this, become inspired, and mount such a principled and comprehensive program. My own intuitive conviction that even war can be met with nonviolence now has a vivid story to back it up.

Police Adjective: A Movie  
At the other end of the spectrum of studies in courage I found a movie that I saw last night. Written, directed, and produced by Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu, this movie has a very simple plot: a police officer following a teenager who is accused of selling drugs, and facing a major moral dilemma along the way.

I think of this movie as a rare masterpiece, a profound and subtle exploration of core aspects of what it means to be human. The movie moves slowly in time, and contains very little action except at the very end. Because of the moral compunction that the main character has about his assignment, he is being presented with an incredibly difficult choice that might have life-changing consequences. Will he follow his conscience and stand up to power, or will he succumb to fear and give up?

How far would any of us go in following our own moral intuition? How much and how often and how far do we each give up on what we know is true for us in order to maintain food on the table, social acceptability, or any other kind of basic comfort? I don’t know of short or easy answers to these questions. I do have a deep sense that in some way our future depends on our growing ability to keep reflecting on these questions, and on our collective ability to learn how to move towards deep moral and personal integrity. I want to keep growing in these areas and inspire others to do the same. I want to keep wrestling with my own complicity when it’s there. I want to find, accept, and then stretch my limits so I can take bolder and bolder actions in the face of fear. I want to become ever better at encouraging others to do the same, because I want us to have a future we can look forward to and participate in wholeheartedly.

Note: The movie is available for instant watching on Netflix. You can also read an interview with Corneliu Porumboiu.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Why I Don't Make New Year's Resolutions

by Miki Kashtan
It’s Friday, January 07, 2011. I am flying over the Atlantic Ocean on my way to London and Israel where I am scheduled to be through the end of the month. This piece was going to happen last Friday. I had thought of it a few days earlier. It was going to be my piece for New Year’s Eve. Instead of which last Friday and for several days afterwards I thought my sister had a recurrence of ovarian cancer (which for now we think she hasn’t) and life took an entirely different direction. And by the time the medical scene cleared itself up I was already in high gear for this trip. Which is just one particularly glaring instance of the radical and irreducible unpredictability of life. Which is one reason why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. 

Relating to the Future
One of the deepest forms of learning and integration for me has been micro-practices, especially those that hinge on a turn of phrase. My first one was catching myself when I said I “had to” do something, and reclaiming my choice by expressing what I wanted that led me to make the choice I was making. Nowadays this practice is so integrated that I hardly ever even catch myself thinking it.

Some time ago I added a new practice: whenever I remember to do so, I replace language about the future with language about what I know in the present. As with so many of my other practices, the first thing I learned is the pervasiveness of our habit of predicting the future. Even a simple and innocuous line such as “I will call you back in 20 minutes” is a prediction which isn’t always borne out. Since taking on this practice I have become so aware of the many times that I say I will do something and then don’t. I don’t think of myself as particularly unreliable. In fact, ask anyone who knows me and you will discover (at least so I believe…) that I have a reputation for a high degree of follow-through. Nonetheless, once I started noticing, I saw just how often unforeseen, even unforeseeable circumstances, intervene in all of our lives. And so I don’t say “I will call you back in 20 minutes.” Instead I might say “I just wrote myself a note to call you back in 20 minutes.”     

If I can’t predict, let alone control, what will happen in 20 minutes, I find the idea of predicting a whole year hard to imagine. How can I, on the first day of the year, know enough to make a New Year’s resolution? I worry that I set myself up in this way, which brings me to my next concern: what happens when (more often than if) I don’t keep my resolutions?

Relating to Myself
My relationship with myself is of supreme importance to me, and especially the aspect of it that has to do with self-acceptance. Whenever I act in some way that’s not in line with my wishes, decisions, or values, I am presented with the challenge of relating to this gap. The template of how to address such a gap that’s been given to us in many of our cultures has been to judge ourselves. Someone asks for critical support and we say no – we are “selfish.” We take a cookie when we’ve decided to lose weight – we are “weak-willed.” The examples abound to a degree that makes them part of the landscape in which we live.

However prevalent such ways of relating to ourselves continue to be, I want to increase and increase my capacity to meet the gap between my actions and my values with self-acceptance. This is also what I have been teaching others. The basic premise is simple: any action that I take, no matter how much it aligns with my values, is an attempt to meet some basic human needs. If I can identify and connect with those needs, I increase my self-acceptance. With self-acceptance comes the possibility of learning and growth, which don’t tend to happen within the context of self-judgment. As I understand and connect with all my needs, I more and more learn to include in my choices both the values I have and the many other needs that might interfere. I love the creativity that arises from that kind of exploration.

To nourish this kind of openness, one of the earliest practices I took on was replacing “should” with language that connects to choice and to what I want. I have noticed that grounding my choices in my needs leads to more felt freedom than attributing them to external forces. This simple practice radically transforms my inner experience. I find more energy and willingness in me to do what I want, and more knowledge of who I am and what I value.

A New Year’s Resolution has the potential of turning into a major “should” and of leading to less self-acceptance. If, instead, I speak to myself about what I want for the coming year, I am more likely to re-ground myself in my original choice and find renewed energy to attend to those needs that led me to aim in this new way.

Not Anything Goes
One of the reasons, I imagine, that we choose to use New Year’s Resolutions, is because we want to take our intentions seriously. It’s as though the external validation that comes from using the language of resolution leads us to believe we are more likely to do what we say we want to do. I sense that letting go of this structure appears like giving up on making commitments, creating change in our life, or setting a direction. What’s the needs-based alternative?

For me the fact that we can’t predict or control the future and that our own needs and perspectives continually change over time doesn’t by necessity lead to internal deregulation. Instead, I see the process of reclaiming and understanding the needs that lead me to whatever direction I want to go in as providing fuel for creating the kind of change I want to see in my life. I see a long arc of those needs being balanced with the small arc of the multitude of needs-in-the-moment that arise as the future becomes the new present. I just don’t have to fight with myself about it. In the absence of rebelling against my own decisions, I can lean, in each moment, into my core values and the immediate needs of the moment, the original choice I had made and the conditions I face now. And then I choose again, informed more and more deeply by all I know about what I and life are.