• 13 Mar - 17 Apr 2024
  • online

5 Habits of the Heart with a Side of Empathy – Renewed Civic Conversations on-line

With a world that constantly implodes our hearts & spirits, we can find courage to move from a shattered heart to a heart that breaks open. This 6 week series explores courageous ways of being in conversation and community with 5 Habits of the Heart and Empathy practices from Nonviolent Communication.

“At the deepest levels of human life, we do not need techniques. We need insights into ourselves and our world that can help us understand how to learn and grow from our experiences of diversity, tension, and conflict.”   – Parker Palmer

Where do you get stuck?

In what ways have you experienced a sense of separateness or dividedness? 

What are you envisioning in your personal, community, and organization or congregation for this election year?

In order to contribute to collective healing, we must also be in relationship with and heal our own hearts.  This is not about how to get your point across or change The Other side.  Rather we move deeper into what really matters to us and the threads that bind us together.

This program is based on:

Five Habits of the Heart Curriculum ~
Parker Palmer’s Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit.
Courage & Renewal Touchstones® and Honest & Open Questions® are foundational practices that help us change our habitual patterns of fixing or changing each other that separates us from each other.

The 5 Habits of the Heart are:

  • An understanding that we are all in this together
  • An appreciation of the value of “otherness”
  • An ability to hold tensions in life-giving ways
  • A sense of personal voice and agency
  • A capacity to create community

Nonviolent Communication practices ~
Marshall Rosenberg’s Speak Peace in a World of Conflict and
Oren Jay Sofer’s Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication and
Jessie Chu’s Group Empathy practices.
NVC practices shape our communication in ways that creates a higher quality of interaction – allowing us to move more deeply into each habit.

Empathy – for self & others – helps us keep in conversation, even when we’re standing in a Tragic Gap of separation, polarization or dividedness – with that deep longing of bringing the best of human qualities into our daily conversations.  These practices include:

  • Compassionate presence
  • Self Empathy and empathetic listening
  • Listening to what really matters
  • Power with – Partnership Paradigm
  • Group empathy practices

The Cynefin model of Complexity reminds us that we are living in a time of great complexity, which rings true that the 5 habits are important guides for these chaotic and unpredictable times.

How we listen and respond matters.

Each session we will generally follow this schedule:

5:00 – 5:30 sharing of food, tea or munchies with others on line.  Sharing stories over food helps support our interconnectedness across our miles.  As the series progress, we may pair off or keep in small groups.  This can be part of Peter Block’s phrase, ‘relational activism” taking time to welcome each other and our stories, build a trustworthy space and create a sense of belonging.

5:30-7:30  generous time off video for self reflection and in break outs – activities include pairs, triads and large group, interactive exercises, videos might be used as third things along with readings and poems, and engagement with the Habit of the week.

7:30- 8:00  empathy practices and NVC concepts that connect with the Habit of the week and spending time practicing compassionate presence, self empathy and empathy for others

Accessibility is important. Sliding Scale is $ 36.00 to $ 198.00. contact Susan if questions – info@susankaplanmsw.com


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