February 1, 2015 ~ Risking Significance (‘How To’)


What’s Up Next?


February 1, 2015 ~ Risking Significance

We’ll explore a mindfulness practice towards risking our significance, even if initially only incrementally, by utilizing a self-connection process that first encourages us to become aware of our (oft subconscious) beliefs (a.k.a. interpretations/evaluations) and then opting to, instead, orient our actions in alignment with core “Needs” (see also: Living Energy of the Needs).

Commitment #3: Risking My Significance – by Miki Kashtan

Risking My Significance: even when I am full of doubt, I want to offer myself in full to the world. If I find myself thinking that I am not important or that my actions are of no significance, I want to seek support to come back to my knowledge that my presence and my gifts matter.

Miki Kashtan’s “Risking Significance” practice:


What would change in your life if you trusted that you matter? Here are some examples:

1) Make a pact with yourself to offer your ideas and gifts even when you don’t fully trust them. Make it concrete by choosing a certain number of times a day or a week that you commit to doing it.

2) Share your celebrations and mourning with people in your life. Expand and deepen with those you already do so, and add new people to the circle.

3) Reflect or journal on your experiences: how did you feel? In what way did your offering support the purpose for which you did it? How was it received? How did you respond to the way it was received? Also, track yourself over time to see if risking your significance gets easier with practice. If not, bring tenderness to whatever is holding you up from doing it with true willingness. Fully accepting that aspect of you can make it more possible that such willingness will find you over time.

Core Commitments | The Fearless Heart

New to the Core Commitments? Read Miki Kashtan’s Introduction to this series ‘All-in: fully committing to a life of nonviolence’ before getting started.

For those who’ve been on the call before, we’ll utilize the guided self-connection process — to delineate between our thoughts/beliefs and [the living energy of] our needs — a streamlined version can be viewed in the graphic at the link beneath:

ZENVC’s The Yoga of Self-Connection (PDF format)
[see also:  Shift Happens (PDF format)]

Coming Back to Life with Nonviolent Communication, Focusing …

By Gina Cenciose

Excerpt:  …In NVC, one of the ways we use our power is by taking action to meet needs. Being able to take effective action entails having the belief that we can transform our lives and have access to that transformation. That is why looking deeply at our belief systems and our unconscious thinking (which also entails looking at needs) will often offer us insights into our current limited strategies and provide us the opportunity to stretch into what we envision. We also often hold grief, fear or other emotions somewhere inside of ourselves that are blocking us from taking full effective action… (continues)


Do you wish to rise?  Begin by descending.  You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds?  Lay first the foundation of humility. ~ Saint Augustine

In prior years (e.g.February 17, 2013 ~ Is Love an Art? | Street Giraffe), we’ve explored the concept of Love mostly as it relates to interpersonal communication/dynamics.  An alternate consideration of love is to determine what we love (our ideals/values, etc.), in terms of what we’re willing to invest our time and energy in or place ourselves at risk for (alternatively, to contemplate the myriad of ways in which we’ve been beneficiaries of love and how to potentially pay-this-forward).

 Scientific American: World Has Not Woken Up to Water Crisis Caused by Climate Change

NYT:  Angelina Jolie on the Syrians and Iraqis Who Can’t Go Home

Khanke, Iraq — I have visited Iraq five times since 2007, and I have seen nothing like the suffering I’m witnessing now…For many years I have visited camps, and every time, I sit in a tent and hear stories. I try my best to give support. To say something that will show solidarity and give some kind of thoughtful guidance. On this trip I was speechless… (continues)

 WaPo:  Drought helped cause Syria’s war. Will climate change bring more like it?

Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell are co-founders of the D.C.-based Center for Climate and Security, a think tank focused on the interactions between climate change and security issues. In recent years, they’ve published a number of reports looking at the environmental roots of both the Arab Spring and the ongoing civil war in Syria… (continues)

Bill Moyers – Spotlight on Climate Change

Drought Helped Spark Syria’s Civil War — Is it One of Many Climate Wars to Come?

Climate change is already hurting the world’s most vulnerable populations. Those who live in areas hit hard by drought, severe storms or rising seas and can’t relocate because of economic or social factors bear the brunt of our planet’s increasing volatility.

One way the changing climate has already made itself known is through a devastating drought — and ensuing food shortage — in Syria; it created a powder keg, and played a significant role in sparking the country’s civil war. We can expect to see similar scenarios unfold in the future.

Moyers & Company’s John Light spoke with Francesco Femia, co-founder of the Center for Climate and Security — a think tank with an advisory board consisting of retired military commanders and international affairs experts — about how climate change serves as a “threat multiplier” in volatile regions such as Syria, Egypt and Pakistan, and what America’s role should be in a world in which climate change increasingly exacerbates — and causes — international crises.

John Light: What’s been going on with Syria’s water resources over the past several years?

Francesco Femia: Essentially, a massive, five-and-a-half-year drought. From 2006 to 2011, 60 percent of Syria’s land experienced, in the words of one expert, the worst long-term drought and most severe set of crop failures since agricultural civilizations began in the Fertile Crescent many millennia ago. That, on top of natural resource mismanagement by the Assad regime — subsidizing water-intensive wheat and cotton farming and unsustainable irrigation techniques — led to a large amount of devastation.

There are some quite frightening numbers. Herders and farmers in the north and south had to pick up and move. Nearly 75 percent of farmers in the northeast suffered total crop failure. Herders in the northeast lost around 85 percent of their livestock, which affected about 1.3 million people. That was happening before the civil war in Syria broke out.

Many international security analysts were saying, right up to the day before protest broke out in the small rural town of Daraa, that Syria was immune to the Arab Spring and to the grievances that other Arab publics had brought to bear on their leaders. And that clearly wasn’t the case… (continues)

Featured Response

  “There is a small window of opportunity in terms of time. I would say no more than five to ten years — and that actually is being optimistic — [to] take the courageous, bold steps that we need to take to shift our planet in an energy revolution…”
Kumi Naidoo on Moyers & Company

“We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it.”
Governor Jay Inslee

Where greenhouse gases come from, in one graph

Check out this cool graphic that shows where climate pollution comes from, by source and sector.

The brutal logic of climate change | Grist

Excerpted from a David Roberts post:

The growth of emissions is making the task ahead more and more difficult. The longer we wait to start shrinking emissions, the faster we’ll have to shrink them to stay under budget. Here’s a visualization of what that means — some sample reduction curves with varying peak years (the four different lines are based on the four main IPCC scenarios):

Peak emissionsClick for larger version. Image: Kevin Anderson, “Beyond ‘dangerous’ climate change

As you can see, if we delay the global emissions peak until 2025, we pretty much have to drop off a cliff afterwards to avoid 2 degrees C. Short of a meteor strike that shuts down industrial civilization, that’s unlikely.

See also:

Hope and fellowship:  Remember, there is no “too late” here, no “game over” — it will be a tragedy to shoot past 2 degrees to 3, but 4 is worse than 3, and 5 is worse than 4. Being unprepared for any of those will be much worse than being prepared. The future always forks; there are always better and worse paths ahead. There’s always a difference to be made.

When we ask for hope, then, I think we’re just asking for fellowship… (continues)


Yes, the U.S. can reduce emissions 80% by 2050 — in 6 graphs

A new report looks at how America can get on course to avoid dangerous climate change. There are multiple pathways to that goal, but we gotta start now.

EPA: Keystone XL Pipeline Will Impact Global Warming – US News

WaPo:  The countries most vulnerable to climate change, in 3 maps

Tropic of Chaos – Democracy Now!

Christian Parenti on Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change & the New Geography of Violence

Did Climate Change Cause Syria’s Civil War?

Syria: What’s Behind the Conflict

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