November 9, 2007

Today we completed our training and the fullness I feel in my heart is hard to explain. I am already dreaming of returning to Afghanistan and what it possibly would be like to help implement a certification process in this region for NVC Trainers.


The funeral for the 6 parliament members who died during the bombing two days ago happened today here in Kabul. It blocked roads and a couple participants did not make it our Celebration Completion. One man traveled anyway to simply come to offer his good-by and gratitude to us. It has been these types of gestures of genuine connection that have deeply touched my being while here in this vast mountain range called Afghanistan.

In our gratitude circle to end the training the woman who is the head of Women’s Affairs in Afghanistan shared that she was truly grateful for all learning. She expressed, “Before this training I had difficulty forgiving some things that had happened in my past. I feel that I am now able to forgive some people that I haven’t been able to forgive before because now I can understand their needs.” In this spirit of gratitude, or as we sometimes call Giraffe Juice, I wish to express some sincere thankfulness to my team members…our small fellowship of four.

Jiva, Jiva, Jiva! I recall a day several months ago walking into your room in our distant home of Shasta and saying, “We’re going to Afghanistan!” And without hesitation you said, “O.K.” And every step of this journey is lit with our friendship, laughter and tears. The day we discovered we needed to raise $5,000 more dollars just to make the training actually happen…you’re steadfast hope and willingness not to engage my hopeless jackal gave tremendous support and momentum for this even to actualize. In the midst of preparing for this trip you also held ground for The TEMBA School. You offered support to Lori and Greg as well as offered me at least 50 empathy sessions about if my “crazy” plan to transfer TEMBA would even work. Not to mention in the midst of fundraising for this project showing up for each every TEMBA student, Operational Circle Meetings, Parent Meetings and playing with Tosh. I can’t even imagine being able to name every observable of showing up for TEMBA, simply know that you brought ease, joy, harmony, laughter, community, mutuality and support. The Alien movies definitely met my needs for fun and play! I recall the morning of the Children’s Day when our hearts exploded to shatter our egos. I so love our honesty with one another and appreciate you articulation to what’s alive…it gives to me a real sense of integrity and trust. Watching you lead the exercise, “Imagine Your Perfect Life”, with 4o Afghan children filled me with ecstatic joy. I loved witnessing you fullness holding space for so many willing humans and the delight on the children’s faces as they jumped up to name human needs. During the five-day training when you came into the office when Jesse and I were finishing our discussion and said, “I have an idea,” I felt excited inside knowing that when I hear that particular tone of voice something really great is about to happen. And to arrive back to the room and all the participants are working on role-play to practice asking for what they want to make their projects happen connected me to absolute satisfaction with our work. It brought me such peace and ease. So many moments stand out in this training as the pinnacle of our work together and deepening our friendship that I intend spend the rest of our lives remembering and reminding you of each and every one. But one more I’d love to mention here is you dedication to gratitude. And when I heard you say, “What’s most important to me right now is what’s in the room,” helped reel me back in and become present to the gifts that you were cultivating from the group for our Harvest session. I am thrilled to be on this incredible journey with you…I mean the journey of life.

And Nagmeh! The depth and quality of this training would never of happened without your presence and translation. I won’t be able to say that that enough. I was so impressed with how you were able to keep up with my words and movement on the children’s day. I move FAST and at every turn you were there to be my voice and bridge to each every on of the 40 children. I feel amazement at your ability to surrender to the situation and be the voice for so many. During the five-day when I shared Dominic Barter’s story of the woman who took tea with her son’s killer and you stopped translating so you could cry as the beauty of the reconciliation so deeply touched you soul I felt so aligned with your heart…that connection, your tears and your translation gave to me inspiration, beauty and integrity. When I think about how we shared despair about feeling into what women go through in this culture and our own cultures I feel sweetness for the companionship and understanding. I look forward to more and more work…and especially play together.

My beloved partner, Jesse. Innumerable bows of gratitude. When you ask me what would I like to hear before I fall asleep each night I feel such warmth to be held by and belong to such a love it feeds my fire to continue this passionate work in the world. I love rising each morning knowing we face the day together. When you led the children to explore with color I felt pride and honor because of my desire to contribute art to the children’s experience. Your freedom with lines and colors in own work flowed into your words to give the children space to begin their own journey with drawing. When I think about you exchanging smiles and playing with the eldest deaf boy from the school I feel heartened because that image embodies the joy I want every child in the world to experience. During the five-day training when you led the visioning piece and brought a stillness to the room for people to connect to their own truth for projects I felt content because I want so much for people to share in creating what they want. When you shared your experience of your work in San Quentin in response to a question I felt a simple happiness because it connected me to empowerment. When we laugh, observables will remain anonymous, I feel shear delight in being alive. I vow to continue our walk in the dark together.

This blog entry is long enough for now. I really could go on and on with the remarkable moments and accounts of contribution that Jiva, Nagmeh and Jesse have made to make this one of the biggest growth experiences of my life but I will pause for now.


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