I believe all systems should be life support systems.
Originally from England, I have lived in Scotland since 1989. I am married and monogamous while enjoying a fluid ‘self-fashioning’ understanding of my own sexuality and identity. I often find labels too limiting to describe my experience. I have 3 children all now grown up. Since 2003 I have worked part-time as a Community Development Worker in Gorbals, Glasgow and before that with families experiencing poverty at Braendam Family House. I was first introduced to NVC in 2006 and have been fascinated and learning ever since.
I am actively involved in creating the NVC community in Scotland by organising community gatherings, delivering training and supporting practice groups.
I see NVC as having huge potential to bring about social change. I am drawn to be part of that; longing for a more equal, power-with, life-serving society. For me and others the capacity to create change depends on inner clarity and inner resources; I believe we cannot achieve one without the other. With years of experience of using NVC in a community which experiences structural powerlessness I have learned the importance of ‘empathising before you educate’ and trying to find the delicate balance between the two. I appreciate how those who are often perceived as having few resources are often stretched in their giving of empathy every day in a way I am not, because of our relative privilege and environments. I also see how NVC can be used to alter the structures that impact people, like creating a culture of feedback as a gift and of speaking truth with care in organisations, in the way meetings are run, and in supporting people to ask for what they want. I see every time we enter a conversation as an opportunity for social change.
Over the next few years I intend to develop restorative work in community to support them to resolve conflicts peacefully, community led work, building the NVC community relationship by relationship, resourcing individuals with skills for self-compassion and needs- based consciousness through trainings, practice groups, community gatherings and creating spaces where we can have difficult conversations that matter. I aim to be an example by how I live; a minimum of loving lightness to all those I interact with and a willingness to speak my truth with care. One goal is also a commitment to continued learning, exploring and personal development in order to better serve my social change goals.