nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Some things I'll be doing

This weekend, I'm going to an Alternatives to Violence workshop. As I understand it, it's a way of dealing with people which is respectful of both them and oneself. It's a Quaker thing.

The shackles of violence can be transformed into wings of peace. There is a Power in the human spirit that strives for justice, understanding and freedom, transforming souls and transforming the world. It has been manifested in the actions of ordinary individuals and in the epic struggles of peoples seeking a world of kindness, dignity and respect. It has been manifested in the lives of Gautama Buddha, Jesus, Francis and Clare of Assisi, Ahmadou Bamba, Jane Adams, Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Martin L. King, Cesar Chavez and Arnulfo Romero. It is waiting to be manifested in our lives too.




Date: September 26 - 28, 2008

Friday, September 26: 4:00 pm-8:30 pm
Saturday, September 27: 9:00 am-6:30 pm
Sunday, September 28: 9:00 am-2:30 pm

2615 N. 4TH Street, Philadelphia, PA

There are, available to all of us, powerful, effective ways to deal with conflict,
develop healthy relationships, and enhance the safety and well-being of all.

☼ Rediscover the power of respect and affirmation
☼ Practice responsible, honest and constructive communication
☼ Explore the value of building a nurturing community
☼ Delve into the challenges and rewards of cooperation
☼ Experience creative problem solving and conflict transformation

Teachers, Social Workers, Community Organizers, People of Faith,
Police, Parents, Youth, and… Anybody seeking real alternatives to violence!

Registration: On or before September 12. Space is limited.
Fees: Advance payment: $10.00. At the door: $15.00
The workshop fees are set to cover costs of materials and snacks. Scholarships are available.

Information: Jorge Aráuz. Tel: 215 421 5811; email:
Note: This is a cooperative workshop, where everybody contributes to the group’s experience.
A commitment to participate throughout the weekend is required.

The Alternative to Violence Project (AVP) is an independent, non-sectarian, world-wide community of volunteers dedicated to the search of healthy and constructive ways to address conflict. This workshop is sponsored by the Fairhill Friends Ministry, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

I'm interested because I think it might be a good way to defuse my depression-causing self-criticism, and because I'm apt to be spooked by people who might get angry at me. If it means I'll no longer be comfortable with cursing out the current administration, I think the price will be worth it.

Here's the weird one. I've been reading Steve Barnes' Dar Kush for some time. He pushes what he calls The Five Minute Miracle-- as I understand it, spend one minute every three hours doing deep relaxed breathing and thinking about achieving excellent results in your relationships, finances, and health. The truth is, I can't get myself to think about what I really want in any important sense.

After a while, I came up with a variant. A minute of deep relaxed breathing at least several times a day while thinking about something that's true, has a strong emotional charge, and has some chance of improving my life.

One of those things was "I can find out what I want". And I won 2 months of life coaching from someone who specializes in helping people figure out what they want. The surprising thing wasn't that I won-- so few people bid that I had something like a 2/3 chance of getting those two months. The surprising thing was that the sister of someone who's involved with the Delaware Vally Pagan Network offered two two-month coaching prizes for the summer social last month.

Some other things I've thought about during those minutes are "No one is keeping score", which had a surprisingly strong emotional charge, "What I'm feeling now is true but not the whole story", and "I am the source of my emotions, they don't cause me". Oh, and (after a dim sum lunch which left me feeling knocked out because I shouldn't have finished up with my favorite sticky rice) "Feeling like this is not a privilege".

And something that should be staring up again in Philadelphia in about a month and sounds like a lot of fun: DanceDancePartyParty. It's women getting together for an hour and a half a week to dance. The rules are No booze, no boys, no judgement, and one description included no talking. I'm hoping that people get together to hang out afterwards. This happens in a bunch of cities, not just Philadelphia. Link thanks to Kate Harding's Shapely Prose.

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