"The Work that Reconnects helps people discover and experience their innate connections with each other and the self-healing powers of the web of life, transforming despair and overwhelm into inspired, collaborative action."
― Joanna Macy
“When we are in contact with our feelings and needs, we humans no longer make good slaves and underlings.”
― Marshall B. Rosenberg
THE WORK THAT RECONNECTS
The Work that Reconnects (WTR) was created by root teacher Joanna Macy in the late 70’s and it has since evolved through community work and contribution by facilitators around the world. It is designed to help us transform despair and fear into inspiration and a sense of empowerment, in other words; The Word that Reconnects helps us come back to life. To root us back into connection with ourselves, other beings and the surrounding sensuous world WTR uses dialogue, embodied movement, art, play and ritual in a diverse way, creating a safe environment to feel and be seen in these difficult times. We often don’t want to feel grief or despair, thinking that “going there” will prevent us from acting for the good of the world. WTR offers a different response: feeling makes us who we are, and through it we can develop a different kind of hope- an Active Hope. Active Hope gives us strength and inspiration and courage to face these times of planetary crisis. The WTR gives us tools to build active hope, to be able to go forth with new/ancient eyes, to build communities and to be able to play our role in the collective transition to a more sustainable and peaceful world where all beings can thrive.
Constructive or Non-Violent Communication (also NVC) is a skill and value set developed by Marshall Rosenberg. It is based on the idea that we're all essentially well-intentioned but our culture's model of dominion controls our thoughts, reactions and interaction with each other. Unlearning this is the key to understanding our needs and inner experiences and communicating them honestly and clearly to one another without judgments, analysis or labels. We also learn to see and respect others' needs. This is how we create a new culture that is based on cooperation, connection and caring instead of domination and violence like the one we live in now often does. To learn NVC we practise not only through theory, writing and words but also do bodily exercises such as roleplays and rehearse these skills diversely to be able to embody a new kind of consciousness of communication, both in our inner talk and within our relationships with others. For me, the continuous learning of NVC has been one of the biggest gifts that I have received and I wish for a world where children would learn it already in schools and daycare and politicians would use it in parliament. This wish is one of the reasons I want to share it to others as widely as possible.
WORKSHOPS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH
I facilitate Active Hope workshops for Children and Youth and NVC workshops for small children. I adapt my workshops according to the age group. To small children I teach NVC with puppets and stories but also much collaboration and play. With older children and youth, they already have worries and anxieties around climate crisis or other things. Anxieties are often not seen in the outside and many might be indifferent to climate issues. How ever they might have worries about other things in the world, which in the end, are all related. They need tools to be able to face these feelings. With creative ways they can address these often difficult and scary things from a safe distance, through a role, artistic expression or music.In these workshops and all workshops that I do, the underlying thread is respecting and allowing what ever is alive in the group, feeling gratitude and building hope.
What is facilitation? It is enabling collaboration. It is holding the group so that the wisdom in the group can be expressed and heard. With a skilled facilitator the group can collaborate more efficiently, make decisions and consider the diversity of the group.
I can be asked to be an outside facilitator for groups. There might be a need for this when there is a challenge in groupdynamics and it is hard to reach a decision for instance. I have studied different kinds of facilitations, mainly convergent facilitation with Lisa Rothman and Roxy Manning. Often different communities want to use consensus decision making or other collaborative ways but lack the skills and decisions seem to be hard to reach and take loads of time. Convergent Facilitation
allows it to be possible to 1)take into account different views and needs 2) reach a common decision and 3) do this efficiently. I can also hold a workshop on facilitation to teach about facilitation in general.
I am a musician, puppeteer, activist, Constructive Communication Coach (RVO and facilitator of The Work That Reconnects. NVC, WTR and art have all been calling to me as pathways to meaningfulness. All have changed my life to an extent. I am not ready in any measure and yet I know I have learned enough to be able to share what I know. I have a deep knowing that connection to our feelings, sensitivity and collaboration are vital in these times. We are creating a new world, maybe rebelling against norms and it is important to have and share all the skills necessary to make a change. I am constantly inspired by the beauty and wonder of life. Creating safe spaces where all feelings are welcome is important to me. You can find more about my theatrework here: www.niveltamo.com.
I also believe in changing from exchange economy back towards gift economy. I want to support low-income communities and offer my skills through gifteconomy. For businesses and wealthy organisations I have included a sliding-scale pricing to create ease but for non-profit organisations or communities, whose values are aligned with mine and whose work is healing the planet I am requesting a gift that is smaller of these two.
a)what you can afford to give
b)what you give with joy
Suggested prices for businesses:
Day workshop: 500-800€ +travel
One hour workshop/speech:200-400€ +travel
2 days workshop: 800-1200€
VALUES AND PRINCIPLES
1.All voices matter
I believe we are all equal and that all voices matter. I see my responsibility to act in ways that ensure that the full wisdom in any group I'm in (whether I'm facilitating or not) is heard. That means acknowledging and facing issues of privilege, including/especially my own.
2. Beyond humans
I believe we are not only equal among humans but also among all species and all life. I believe there is an interconnected web of life underlying everything and everyone and with my being I also want to act in ways that give a voice to the more than human experience.
3.Staying open, even when it hurts
I intend to stay open to all of myself and not close and contract my heart, even when I’m in pain. But when I do, I want to ask for support to be able to have empathy for myself and find myself back to openness and vulnerability.
I want to stay in and encourage others to radical self love in the form of self-care, self-empathy and self-acceptance at all times. When for some reason I don’t, I want to ask for support to find my way back to self love.
I believe that everything we do is an intent to fulfill needs. I intend to remember this to be able to keep curious, empathic and open to myself and others when I/they act in ways that don’t seem to make sense to me. When I find myself judgemental, I intend to seek support to find out my underlying needs behind the judgments and the behaviour.
I intend to remember and bring to focus the domination based patriarchal system that we live in and through it have more compassion and understanding to individual behaviour. By wearing the systemic lense glasses, we can shift our seeing from individualistic to systemic perspective and collectively be able to make the changes necessary for a better world.
I acknowledge that I need other people and they need me. I believe in building resilient and interdependent communities and even when I find it tiresome and difficult, I want to commit to the communities that I’m in by giving them my time, energy and skills.
8. Taking responsibility
I want to take responsibility for my feelings, needs, words and actions. When I have acted in ways that have had a negative impact, I want to ask for help to be able to acknowledge and mourn and learn and integrate. I want to see conflicts as opportunities and be open for feedback.
I believe in Nonviolence. I intend to stay nonviolent in my thoughts, actions and words and through nonviolence be the change that I want to see in the world. When I think, speak or act in ways that are violent, I will seek support to be able to come back to nonviolence.
10. Being fully myself
I want to be able to be authentically and fully myself in all situations and not change according to social norms or expectations, whether my own or others. When I find myself making myself smaller or bigger than I am and feeling shame or guilt, I want to ask for support to reclaim my connection to myself.
I believe that we are wild animals and connection to our sensuous, bodily, cyclical being helps us be more in flow with gratitude, the present moment and connection with all beings. I intend to rewild myself and support others in practices of rewilding.
I want to remind myself to feel gratitude for all the blessings that I receive each day. When I find it hard to feel connected to myself or others, I intend to root myself by practices of gratitude and the support of others.