October 2, International Day of Nonviolence & Empathic Action (Tele-empathy meeting)

by Milla — she=he

[For the previous meeting: Click here] Below you can read the subjective, and fairly long notes taken from a meeting that occurred on August 14:

Note: For more up to date and precise information (links to web forms etc) please go to International Day of Nonviolence and Empathic Action (facebook)

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There were about 10 persons present at the beginning of the second tele-conference for organizing a 50 hour global tele-empathy line on October 2nd, the International Day of Nonviolence & Empathic Action.

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I thought the facilitation of this call was very clear and connecting. We were informed that we could press 6 to mute our microphone, and 7 to unmute. We were also told that we could sign up to a text chat, that was going on simultaneously with the call, where we could ask questions, comment, or ask for assistance. And then we started off by having a check in round where people were saying what was going on for them in the moment, and if they had anything to say about IDEA (The International Day of Empathic Action) and tele-empathy. Someone expressed excitement about the project and wanted to know how things had progressed since the last call. Someone was interested and curious about the technical aspect of the empathy-call. — Conscious evolution and large system changes were mentioned. As well as wishes to find compelling ways to engage people who would not at all relate to things like this. — Someone was working on an ‘intention tree’, and shared that checking interest within the french speaking nvc-community to organize a parallel empathy-line seemed to be challenging, and was guessing that it might take a year to get things going on the french side.
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An agenda for the call was presented:
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– Updates about the global 50 hour tele-empathy call for Oct 2.
– Updates on other, local, events for Oct 2.
– General updates
– How to work together as a team/ which groups.
– Publicity – How to reach out and get participants/facilitators/hosts/people who help organize from now until then
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TELE-EMPATHY
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Since the last call in July, there had been discussions about how many hours the empathy-line would be open. Two years ago it was 24h. Last year it was 36h. The intention for all the years, has been to have it as a 24 hour event all over the world. Someone had checked, and said that 50 hours would cover October 2, in its entirety across the world.
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There was surprise expressed to this amount, and it was explained that this number comes from the existence of a virtual time zone adding 2 hours to the 48 that it apparently takes to complete an entire day all over the world. [Added info: Prior to 1995, International Date Line split the country of Kiribati. The result was that the eastern part of Kiribati was a whole day and two hours behind the western part of the country where its capital is located. In 1995 Kiribati decided to move the International Date Line far to the east- which placed the entire country into the same day.]  After this curious fact was shared, it was decided to invite people in Kiribati to the empathy-call.
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It was said that 50 hours is a lot, but that people were hoping to cover Oct 2nd globally, and if need be it’s always possible to scale back to less hours.
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A part of the dilemma with finding facilitators, has been to find people who are certified trainers or something equivalent to that, so the strategy this year, is for people to self-identify that they would be capable of being an empathetic presence, and that 2 or 3 persons could do it together. [Example sentence given of what self-selection might look like during the conference: “I’ve only had three empathy classes, but I have confidence not to give judgement, advice, criticism, and suggestions. I can just be with them.”] The time slots would be peer lead. The sign up sheet is designed for many facilitators to sign up for the same time slot, and it’s also possible to list the languages each person would be comfortable offering during their shift.
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Someone asked if the facilitators would have a choice in whether they want a co-facilitator. Wishes for peer supported facilitation was expressed, since last year, some persons who signed up, did not show up on their shift. So it was viewed as important to have back-up.
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Someone thought it might be worth to first see how many sign up for facilitation, and then work out the issue about co-facilitation.
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It was said that there are people who would sign up if they knew that they would have support. Co-facilitation was mentioned as optional, as a possibility, that it could happen, not that it would happen. Before it had been suggested that the first person signing up would be primary facilitator, second person a back-up. Now it was mentioned as something for the people facilitating to work out by evaluating themselves.
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There’s been a test version of the facilitator invitation-mail with limited circulation, sent around for signing up and feedback. Attached to this invitation, is a link to a web form to register as a facilitator where you can fill in your preferences and what experience you have. For the actual time slots there’s a link to a doodle which spans the 50 hours – and by selecting the time zone, you can see the slots in your local time. To get event info and updates there’s another web form.
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It was said that the facilitators can contact one another after receiving an email with the final info, containing contact-email so they can connect and co-ordinate. The message with the final info would probably also contain information on a line open for facilitators where they can call in and have togetherness, in the same way as last year.
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The blessed facilitator chose at this point to invite, especially, new people to ask questions, or add something, and also asking if anybody was lost and wanted clarity.
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Someone asked if the calls were limited to the local area of the person facilitating or if people could call in from anywhere in the world. The answer was: From anywhere in the world. It was said that the same system that was used for this conference call would be used for the tele-empathy line, and that people can access it through hundreds of local numbers, and also through skype.
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People need to find the number on a drop down menu, showing the closest call for you. If they want to know the price of the call they can get this information by calling their service provider – i.e. the company providing service for their phone.
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Someone commented on the length of the numbers, and that it was difficult to know what number to call. The response to this was that the numbers are in the international format, including the national numbers. If you’re inside the country, you don’t dial the international code.
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Someone asked if there’s a FAQ (frequently asked questions) for people wanting to participate. The response was that at the moment the system is still being built, and that there will be calls/tele-conferences for all of the facilitators’ technical and other questions, to support people who sign up. The person who asked for a FAQ, said that from her personal experience, there are many things that would fall into subcategories, and if they are put in a FAQ both for participants organizing and people who want to facilitate, and if encouraged to read this before getting on the call, it can cut back the time clarifying things, and would make for a lean meeting with unnecessary explanations.
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The same person continued to say that she was deeply moved and excited and impressed by the work done so far by the three persons taking initiative. She found the expertise, the attention, and the use of social media very inspiring.
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Another thing asked for was to put dashes between every three numbers to make it easier when phoning in. The person expressed a passion to make things as user friendly as possible, visually as simple as possible.
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Information about the text chat planned to run parallel and separate from the tele-empathy line was asked for.
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Facilitators signing up for the tele-empathy can choose to sign up for either a call or text or both. A text chat was asked for to include people for whom skype or a call would not be a functional option. A person was looking at the technical possibilities for this, with a main concern of not wanting too many people chatting at the same time for the sake of clarity in the communication.
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After this there was a short update from a person who had been looking on the web for different nvc organisations in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada, and as well had sent emails to individuals practicing nvc, with not much feedback. She was a bit disappointed with the low response, but waiting to see if maybe more people would get in touch later. She was suggesting that it might be helpful adding a link about IDEA from the cnvc site, when getting in touch with people you don’t know, since they might not be familiar with the trainers in the u.s, and in her experience, people might be more open to answering this way.
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Someone took on the task of reaching out to more language groups.
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Wishes to reach out to cnvc was expressed, – to contact office people, for contact information to key people in different languages, to distribute information, and so on – and someone offered to do this.
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OTHER EVENTS
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People can register to a website alerting about local events, around the world, all year round. It’s possible to receive alerts only on events that happen in the area where you live. It’s also possible to share events.
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There was talk about worldempathy.org. The people having the site were no longer interested in paying the expenses, and were looking for someone interested in taking over. The current costs were said to be around 137 dollar per year. The site was said to have about two-thousand hits per month. There was a talk of whether it’s useful taking over the site or using another option, which would be to have the resources (needs cards etc) hosted on another site, and linking to that space. Some decision was wanted on what website to use, and who will host, and who will pay. It was said that there are other useful aspects with the site – videos, articles – and that migrating the information would be time consuming. There was some talk about technical issues and then a request and decision to discuss this and what strategy to go along with outside this meeting.
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HOW THE TEAM WILL COMMUNICATE, WORK TOGETHER, AND ARRANGE THE NEXT CALL
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This part was not very clear to me.
The things mentioned was to create an email list, sending updates to people, with the intention to minimize the email flow. And also to create a group on google for people who want to communicate in between – a separate group for supporters and facilitators.
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After this there was a check out where there was gratitude expressed for the people joining and staying for 90 minutes, catching up, and giving feedback.
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Then there was space for an “After Party” 🙂
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A handful persons stayed on, asking questions, and sorting out some practical things.
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Someone asked if there had been any Palestinians participating last year – the answer was no – and some contact information was exchanged to enable a possible connection.

Daniel & Milla. August 4, the first recording.

posted by Milla — she=he

The recording below is missing the last three minutes. It took me 2-3 days figuring out how to upload a jpeg image and an mp3 file on youtube. I don’t know why the last minutes aren’t there. If anyone can support me with how to get longer mp3 recordings, between 20-45 minutes (easily) available online somewhere for listening, you are welcome to contact me through email: milla.ahola@gmail.com or even better, on skype: feministsister

I’m really struggling with depression/stress/anxiety at the moment, so I would find practical help like this, very useful (helpful, supportive).

August 4, the first recording:

The first recording failed – it turned out the program on the computer only keeps one minute of audio – so, we started with another one. In the first recording I asked Daniel to describe the conflict process between us, and my short sum up of that goes something like this: First not wanting an intimate relation with me, and then not wanting to have any relation with me – finding the talks we had lacking meaning.
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Since I felt rather lost what to start talking about in order for the conversations to have any meaning for me, I suggested when we started over, for Daniel to read an online text chat that I had had a few days earlier with a stranger on NVC Link, a messenger-system where people can ask for empathy, chats and practice. I had ended up doing a role-play with someone called Chris, and both Chris and I had been playing the part of Daniel. I was curious how Daniel would read this text, so the second recorded talk started after Daniel had read this chat.
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[Daniel 0:33] “Yeah, I think it’s kind of like a good model of how our conversations were going for a really long time, when I was trying to block you, or something, so yeah, I think I recognize myself” … [Daniel 1:35] “it was fairly interesting to read, because, it’s like, yeah it gives, I guess it puts your perspective into it, that like, how does it feel to be blocked. Like, this kind of putting, like, putting up the wall or something, and then, not being able to get through that”
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[Daniel 4:13] “I was really glad I think, when we like, when I just blocked you completely, and didn’t even have these frustrating conversations, because they really didn’t have a point, I shouldn’t have had them. I feel some regret about having a lot of these conversations, like I should have just blocked you, and not like, ehm, like do this double messaging”
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[Milla 8:20] “So, maybe it’s important for you to be heard, in that you kind of, you see that, eeh, what you were choosing to do to protect yourself and your own space”.. [Daniel 8:30] “Yeah yeah, that was..” [Milla 8:32] “..was not really working, and also that you could see that it, it could also, uuh, cause, or like, have an effect on how I was experiencing..” [Daniel 8:48] “Yeah..” [Milla 8:49] “the situation” [Daniel 8:50] “..yeah yeah yeah. I think I can see both, pretty clearly”
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[Daniel 9:01] “And, I might add, on like, your analysis, or like your reflection on, on how you see like, my goals, like, of peace and being at peace, and whatever, like, this is, like, blocking someone is not my idea of peace, ehm, it’s just like, I don’t know, maybe a choice of, I don’t know, it was, the, like the least, the the, the option that was, like, minimizing the damage, for me. So, in a way, like we earlier talked about, like me describing myself as, like, selfish, and then we had some kind of conversation yesterday about this or something, and yeah, so that’s, I see this as selfish, and at the same time useful for me, like, but I can also see how it’s not considerate towards you, like, so I would say that it’s maybe not striving for peace, but rather, like, minimizing the damage”
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[Daniel 11:13] “at that time, I don’t think I was seeing any ways of how I could be considerate, but retrospectively, eeh, I would say yes, ehm, I could have been more considerate. I guess it was kind of a limited state of mind.” [Milla 11:43] “So, you were feeling really alarmed, or you didn’t see that you had many options, or just like, trying to to, to end this distress as fast as possible, or as quickly as possible” [Daniel 11:59]  “Yeah, this is not a state of mind I would like to have, it’s not, it’s not pleasant, and it’s not, not eh, it’s not good for anyone. It’s kind of a lose lose situation”
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What’s surprising for me to hear in this conversation is when Daniel is saying that there’s been a willingness to connect and talk with me from last autumn, when I myself from the moment I suggested we would talk about EMC [after exchanging 20-30 sms’ when starting to talk again] experienced the behavior I role-played with Chris. Daniel is explaining this with the statement below [not talking about the whole period, but only the last three months of silence before contacting me again]
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[Daniel 19:30] “Ah, if you mean, if you mean, by the three months that I prioritized on my school, I don’t count it as, well, technically, technically the blocking, deciding just by myself to discontinue the conversation, yeah, that’s the same. Ehm, it’s just personally not the same for me, maybe because of, eh yeah, because that was because of school and not because of not wanting to talk to you anymore. That’s why I contacted you on my own after I finished school. So, for me, I see it for myself, I see that completely different from the earlier thing, but I understand how you, I understand how you, how you recognize the same strategy in blocking, like, meaning, unilaterally deciding about when a conversation ends or starts”

Conflict handling process between Milla and Daniel

posted by Milla, made by Daniel and Milla

The sun and the earth with its magnetic fields. Trying to get a perspective on things.

After 5 days of talking there’s an agreement. It will start with a skype conversation in December, and continue from then on as is, or with possible adjustments after evaluating how it’s working out for us:

Conflict handling process between Milla and Daniel

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  • we are going to have skype conversations

  • Daniel will notify Milla by SMS about the possible times for talks in advance (meaning at least 5 days)

  • Daniel will send an SMS monthly to inform Milla if he cannot find a computer

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  • the talking time will be shared equally: Milla talks, Daniel listens, then Daniel talks and Milla listens

  • the person listening is given space to reflect on what they hear the other person say throughout the talk

  • we try to stay away from expressing own opinions and ideas while reflecting (meaning not starting to give advice or state what is right or wrong about what is said)

  • the focus and the space is for the person talking

  • the reflection is there to check whether there is an understanding and it is up to the person talking to decide if they feel heard or not

  • after the talks there is feedback time for both to express how the talk felt like

  • the length of the talk is 90 minutes comprising of 2 rounds each 25 minutes with 20 minutes of feedback time following them

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  • if someone is triggered during the interaction, this person can choose to end the talk and postpone it or ask for time-out

  • postponed talks will be continued at the following occasion

  • if there is a time-out, the suggested time is 10 minutes, but it’s up to the person who asked for it, to decide how long the break will be

  • after the time-out the person who asked for it, suggests who will be heard first, if we can´t agree on who comes first, then we decide randomly (for instance by flipping a coin)

Conflicted (Daniel / Milla) Part 3

by Milla — she=he

Receiving and sending sms’ about talking.

I sent this sms yesterday:

[16:10:22] Do any of these times and dates work for you? Tue 2.8, after 16. Wednesday 3.8, after 13. Thursday 4.8, after 16.

Today there was some more:

[16:22:23] So wanna meet somewhere in the center around 18:00?

[16:27:09] Tomorrow would be better for me. Need to get up early. Could we meet wednesday 13 o’clock? Do u have any preference of where to meet?

[16:30:07] Ok how about at the Paavo Nurmi statue near the HJK football stadium and olympic arena?

[16:40:15] Ok c u by the nurmi statue at 13 o’clock wednesday. If it’s raining i think there’s a police station near by, i will stand under the roof and wait for you there.