Speak Compassion

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Monday, November 1, 2010

giveGreater Challenge 2010

by @ 8:35 am. Filed under Conflict Resolution, Joe's Rants, Nonviolence, Nonviolent Communication, Restorative Justice, Site News

As many of  my readers know, I stopped blogging so much because I was able to move on to a new and exciting job doing what I love and care about.  I took the job of Associate Executive Director of Community Mediation, Inc. (CM)  You can guess on your own that I have already begun infusing Nonviolent Communication into much of the work that we are doing.  Since I know many of the folks who read this website also support the work I am trying to do and my hope of training a whole city in conflict management skills, I ask you to help my new organization with this local challenge to raise money.  No matter where in the world you live, change has to start someplace, why not CT?  Give and help support the work we are doing……

In the past few months, CM has been in the schools teaching New Haven youth peer mediation skills.  We have been to various agencies like Madonna Place in Norwich, Public Allies in New Haven, The Children’s Center in New Haven and New Haven Family Alliance presenting workshops based on Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication.  We helped to organize and present at the Seventh John A. Speziale Alternative Dispute Resolution Symposium titled, Achieving the Goals of Criminal Justice: A Role for Mediation.

We are currently working with New Haven Police to present community dialogues that will introduce citizens in each district of New Haven to the new NHPD Police Chief, Frank Limon.  We are also working with the New Haven Juvenile Review Board (JRB) along with New Haven Family Alliance to provide mediation at each of the JRB panel hearings.  We are  working to start new programs, expand our mediation services and train more people in our community in mediation, conflict management and facilitation skills.

We cannot do all the great work we are doing without support from you, the community.  The Community Foundation has started a new website to make it easier for you to support us.  They have also issued a challenge to the community to find 50 people willing to make a donation more than $50.00 to make us eligible to get an additional $25,000 to continue and expand the work we are doing.  We ask that you help us with this challenge by making a donation through the new giveGreater website for us.  Your money goes toward making New Haven, Connecticut and our world a more peaceful place.

 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Speak Compassion Fan Page on Facebook

by @ 10:37 pm. Filed under Site News

I finally created a fan page for this blog on Facebook.  I did this because, like most writers, I am hoping to up the readers who are following and enjoying this site.  Feel free to click here to visit the page and become a fan of “Speak Compassion”. I also ask you to share this on your page to help spread the word.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Comments

by @ 6:52 pm. Filed under Site News

I have heard that people are having issues leaving comments.  If you are having a problem, please contact me at joebrummer at joebrummer .com

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Communicating Compassionately in a World of Conflict – Philadelphia, PA

by @ 11:01 pm. Filed under Nonviolence, Nonviolent Communication, Site News

Here is a flyer for the Pre-conference workshop I am doing on Nonviolent Communication called, “Communicating Compassionately in a World of Conflict.” for the Society for Public Health Education’s (SOPHE) 60th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA on November 5, 2009.  The workshop and larger conference will be held at the Sheraton Hotel, Center City Philadelphia, PA.

Please pass this information on to folks you know that may be interested.  It is not required that participants register for the full conference. They can register for just the pre-conference workshop for just $65.00.   Please help me spread the word widely about this presentation.

Flyer: Communicating Compassionately in a World of Conflict

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Presentation at the Society for Public Health Education Annual Meeting and Other Updates

by @ 11:09 am. Filed under Joe's Rants, Nonviolent Communication, Site News

I have not been keeping up with this blog the way I would like because I have so many other things in the works.    I have another offering of “Communicating Compassionately in a World of Conflict” being presented on September 18, 2009 in New Haven, CT.   This day long workshop is designed to introduce participants to the ideas and process of Nonviolent Communication.  The cost requested fee for this workshop is $99.00 and you can register at www.community-mediation.org.

A few months ago, I submitted a proposal to present Nonviolent Communication at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE).  The proposal was accepted and I will be doing a 3.5 hour pre-conference workshop on November 5, 2009 at the Sheraton Center City Hotel in Philadelphia, PA.   This workshop is open to the public and there is no requirement to sign up for the full conference.  The cost of this workshop is $65.00 and registration information is on the SOPHE website.  The title of the workshop is “Communicating Compassionately in a World of Conflict” and is a shorter version of my day long workshop re-focused for those working in the health education field.

I am excited about doing the SOPHE conference and I have a great workshop planned for those who attend.  We will explore the basic model of NVC and how to use this model when approaching difficult conversations about sensitive health topics that often bring up shame, guilt, embarrassment or even anger from those we wish to help.  By using the model of NVC to help connect with the needs that are behind each health behavior or strategy, we are able to explore new strategies that meet those needs at less cost to one’s health.   By focusing on the intention to connect to a person’s needs rather than working to change their behavior we are able to be present for them in ways that do not judge, blame or make demands.  For example smoking is a strategy that meets different needs for different people.  It may meet the need for companionship or calm.  It may meet the need for acceptance and inclusion for some people.   By exploring with clients, the needs met by smoking in a meaningful dialog, we are then able to explore new strategies to meet those needs at less cost to one’s health.   dsc_0010.JPG

There are many other exciting things happening for me.  I am excited that I am continuing downsizing my life.   My partner and I started with a 1900 square foot house filled with items and spaces we just didn’t use.  We moved down to about 1100 square feet after giving lots of donations to Good Will and having a tag sale.  We have now moved down again to an 820 square foot cottage where we really have room for what we need and that is it. It is liberating in many ways not to have to worry about “stuff” and on the other hand it is a lesson to live in such small settings.  I do still remind myself of the quote by Gandhi to “live simple, so others can simply live” as it is a reminder that many others have much less than me.  I want to be grateful for the things I have even when they are not perfect.    The beautiful part of this is that we are just a short walk to the beach on the Long Island Sound and have been enjoying the seagulls crying, the wonderful breezes off the water and long walks on the beach searching for sea glass.  I have learned it is not about finding pieces of sea glass and it is about the relaxation of looking for sea glass that is important.

I also just finished leading a 2-day staff retreat for one of the local nonprofits in New Haven, CT.  The first day was an introduction to NVC and some basic conflict resolution mixed with team building exercises.  Day 2 was spent doing some strategic planning, more NVC learning and some team building games.  I am excited to know this nonprofit agency will be more giraffee like than it was before.  The participants seem to enjoy the retreat and I enjoyed facilitating it.  I hope to do more work like this in the upcoming months.

I continue to write for “get” magazine in Rhode Island and just published a piece on ex-gay exorcisms.   My September article is about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and I am about to start working on an article about health care reform for October.  Keep your eyes open for those if you live in Rhode Island.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Speak Compassion

by @ 11:22 pm. Filed under Site News

Yup, that is it!  The new name of this blog is now: Speak Compassion.

After learning NVC and drastically revisiting the way I see words and their meanings.  I no longer feel comfortable making the claim that I have the truth or that someone else is a liar.  So the name “replace the lies with truth” is history.   While many years of this blog have documented my spiritual growth, I hope this too is a move toward living a life more congruent with my values of nonviolence and peace.

I chose this title because it really does reflect where my life is going and I want this blog to go there with me.   I have spent many a night thinking about what to do with this site and have decided that so much of my journey is here, why not let people read it.  I also purchased the web address www.speakcompassion.com to go with this upgrade!

This new name also solidifies my goals to present information and news from the heart.  It pushes me to make sure my words come from a place of compassion and a wish for change that comes from the heart!

I would appreciate your responses to this change, so please leave me a note as to your thoughts, both good or bad…..

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rename this blog!

by @ 10:21 pm. Filed under Site News

I have been pondering the name of this blog and wanting to change it.   At the time I chose this name, I bet it worked for me but those days have changed.   Now, when I read the name, “replace the lies with truth” I feel apprehensive as I don’t think I have “the truth”, in fact, I criticize others for claiming they have the truth.  None of us really have the truth….as Gandhi said, Each of us hold a piece of the truth and the untruth….

I also feel uncomfortable with the idea that this title currently claims others are lying.  Now, after studying Kingian Nonviolence, Gandhian Nonviolence, Satyagraha, mediation, conflict resolution and facilitation, I don’t think that the current name of this blog is productive to having real discussion and dialog.  I have my doubts this title is a reflection of what I really hope will happen here.

So as my mind has grown, and my thoughts have grown, I would like this blog to grow as well.

I would like a new name that encompasses my feelings about nonviolence and gay rights.  I also plan to start changing the focus of this blog to interpersonal communication and nonviolence.  I have strong feelings about the lack of conflict resolution skills we teach our children.  I plan to change the focus of this to address that as I think it will help end future “culture wars” as we will equip folks with the skills they need to solve conflicts before they become wars.   I would like a name that promotes what I really write about and what I care about.  I would like new name that is fair to all that come here and read….

Please give me your suggestions for a new name…….

Friday, June 27, 2008

Live Simply, So Others Can Simply Live

by @ 10:22 pm. Filed under Joe's Rants, Nonviolence, Nonviolent Communication, Restorative Justice, Site News

A while back I told you about my desire to live a more simple life.  I really want to change the set up of my life to be more in tune with what I value in the world.  A large part of that was selling my house and getting a smaller place.  I have in fact managed to do just that.   My partner and I have sold our house in Rhode Island and we are moving to another state where we will have a small 2 bedroom apartment.  Being only a half mile from my partner’s new job, we will be able to ditch one of our cars.  We can use either public transportation, car pool or get a bike.  Any of these choices will help to reduce our carbon footprint on the earth, but also allow us to save money on car upkeep, insurance, gas and energy.  We are both excited about this and even more enthusiastic about how doing this together has been rewarding to our relationship.

Downsizing from a 1900 square foot house on 2 acres of land is liberating.   We will be making a nice donation to the Salvation Army, and giving away some other stuff to help out friends in need.  I am learning that stuff is just that, just stuff. Our new apartment is around 1000 square feet.  We won’t have room to continuing lugging around all this stuff.  It is time to let it go.  Having less stuff means for me, that I can appreciate the things I do have.   It means enjoying the solace of knowing that I haven’t got a bunch of stuff taking up space that I don’t need.

It will also be much cheaper to heat and will require less cleaning, this leaving more free time for us to do other things.  I am relieved that I can spend my time on things that make me feel alive like photography, music, writing, and friends.  I have always loved the quote from Howard Thurman when a student asked him what career he could choose that the world needs.  Thurman replied, “Don’t ask yourself what it is the world needs.   Ask yourself what makes you come alive and do that.  What the world needs is more people to come alive.” I am looking forward to doing just that.

Since we are mainly moving because my partner has taken a teaching position at a University, I won’t have a job when we get there.   I have more than a few friends in Rhode Island who respect my work here and who have offered to make some calls to help me get a job in my current field, but I am actually content with not having a job right away.  As I grow closer to 40 years old, I have really been taking inventory of my life.   It goes back to the quote above by Thurman.  Am I really doing with my life that which will make me come alive?  I don’t know that I am (I also don’t know that I am not.)  What is beautiful is that this current situation has put me in a place where I don’t really have to jump into any decisions about it.  I can take some time off to think about it.

I really want to teach peace to others who need it.  I want to do art festivals and sell my work.   I want to take Yoga and learn Thai Chi.  I want to spend more time doing mediation.  I would value knowing that I am working for the love of the things I do, as opposed to just doing them because they pay for the stuff I can get.  I would rather have the smaller house and more time to live.  It means enjoying the stuff I have in my life rather than having a life to get more stuff.

I recently presented my first workshop in Nonviolent Communication for a behavioral health treatment organization.   I had the participants fill out evaluations about the workshop to give me some feedback on what came alive for them while attending.  The answers gave me great inspiration.  I was happy to see that what I had done had really met some needs for others.  I was even more warmed to see the workshop left others feeling happy.  I followed this with a guest appearance on a cable access program where I had a chance to talk about mental health advocacy,  the importance of voting and then explained the process of Nonviolent Communication as it was developed by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD.  I haven’t seen the tape of the show, but I know that it is airing on Rhode Island cable access for all of July.

This wonderful experience has been followed by the news that I may be going to the International Intensive Training in NVC in December with Marshall Rosenberg.  I am very excited as this meets my need to immerse myself in this process, so I can really master it.   NVC is way of speaking that connects people to what is alive in them and others.   It is also a conscientiousness that helps us live a life that contributes to peace, not violence.  I am energized by the idea and the possibilities of that.

To add cherries on top of the sundae of other exciting things going on around me, I got a phone call today inviting me to serve on an advisory panel for a restorative justice mediation program representing the victim perspective of crime.   This is a wonderful way to take my experience of surviving a violent crime and turning that pain into the beauty of change, of living Gandhi’s suggestion that we should be the change we wish to see in the world.

That brings me to my final thought today.  I realize I have not been writing as much here on the blog.  I also haven’t been covering all the exciting events happening in the news for GLBT folks.   I have shyed away from giving anti-gay advocates that otherwise would be unknown, anymore of a platform than they have alreay tried to create for themselves.   I don’t want to contribute to their popularity.  It is a fine line to draw between drawing attention to their misinformation and giving them attention that feeds their drive to spread more misinformation.  I think some thrive on the attention we give them.    I will remain uneasy about how to proceed with that, but want to make sure the things I do contribute to the well being of others, not make it worse.

I will be posting updates on the move and on my new adventure.   I will also soon have more time to look at the other stuff I have not been posting about and deciding if I should post on it some more.   Stay tuned….

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Address Book Mishap

by @ 7:28 pm. Filed under Joe's Rants, Site News

In the process of trying to sync my phone to my Outlook for my T-mobile Dash, I had an oops.   If you were one of the many people in my address book, please send me your contact info again as all has been lost.    I would request the best would be to send me your contact card from Outlook!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Planet Athesim

by @ 10:20 am. Filed under Atheism, Site News

I have recently been added as a syndication at Planet Atheism.   I would encourage all of you to check out some of the thought provoking posts over there.   Since I know not all my readers are non-believers, and I know you may not agree with all the thoughts discussed over there, they are still thought provoking, science promoting, cool things to discuss.

Welcome to those readers who have stopped by from Planet Atheism.

Website Repaired! Maybe!

by @ 8:05 am. Filed under Site News

I have awaken this morning to find a notice on the Ipower website that they did some repairs to the SQL Database.  It appears for now, that this site is running better.   The speed and download issues seem to be corrected, if not pretty damn peppy!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Add of Feed Burner

by @ 8:07 pm. Filed under Site News

I have added Feed Burner to the site.  While I am not sure it is working correctly, time will tell.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Site news and Additions

by @ 9:51 am. Filed under Atheism, Site News

I am still having some issues with Ipower and the SQL Server. This is causing the blog to load very slow at times. I got an email this morning saying they are in the last legs of adding some additional hardware to fix the issue. I hope it is repaired soon!

On a happier note, I have added and been added to the Atheist Blogroll. So, welcome to all those visitors who found their way here via the list!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wishing Our Happy Blogger, Adam Kautz a Happy Birthday

by @ 12:01 am. Filed under Site News

Wish Adam the very best on his birthday!  We thank you for all your work here on the blog!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

SIte News

by @ 10:25 am. Filed under Site News

This is the second time I am writing this post, because the database or my host is having issues.   I am aware the site has gotten very slow and pokey.  I use ipower hosting who for many years, were great.  They have really gone down hill and their once patient and helpful tech support folks have become arrogant and unhelpful.

I am currently looking to move the blog away from ipower but that doesn’t sounds easy.   I will keep you updated.

Please let me know if it has been slow for you to look at this site.

-Joe

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"Be the change you wish to see in the world"
Mahatma Gandhi

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