Where Do I Have Agency When It Comes To War?

Where Do I Have Agency When It Comes to War?

My dear friend, spiritual director and Nonviolent Communication (NVC) colleague, Pam Winthrop Lauer attended a call with one of my NVC teachers, Miki Kashtan.

Where Do I Have Agency When It Comes To War—Antidote to Helplessness: Notes from a call with Miki Kashtan written by Pam Winthrop Lauer

A woman from Poland asked Miki Kashtan recently how not to give in to helplessness in the face of war. I found this coaching from Miki inspiring and empowering. We can make a difference even when we feel we have little or no power to affect a situation. You can also find the link here to go directly to Pam’s newsletter.

My first level of power is internal

I have choice in how I relate to myself. I can be compassionate with my capacity limits and mourn the conditions that are outside my control. Both of these – self-compassion and mourning – will help prevent my energy from being wasted in resisting reality.

Think about your options and your limits

Take time to understand what you are able to do and drawn to do, and how best to go about it.

Do the things that you can do whole-heartedly

Stretch past the level of what’s comfortable but not past your actual capacity.

It’s a human strength to come together in hardship

If you are drawn to helping people come together, remember that despite years of conditioning to be separate, it is a human strength to come together in hardship

Be whole-hearted in what you do

The antidote to helplessness is to be wholehearted in what we do and to know that we did what we could – no less and no more. When you go to assess what you did, look not at the outcome but rather at whether you did what you could in the fullness of your humanity – and then release what you couldn’t do. I would add – have some trust that regardless of your perception of the outcome, whatever you do from love will have positive ripple effects that go well beyond what you will ever know.

From a coaching call by Miki Kashtan on February 27, 2022.* For more about Miki Kashtan and her work, see below.

If you need support or coaching, Pam is a supportive, kind and empathic person and works with clients from around the world.

Personal Coaching for Difficult Conversations, and Spiritual Direction with Pam Winthrop Lauer

Are you longing to have the skills to stay connected during difficult conversations? Or to stay connected during tense written exchanges? Consider working with me to apply the wisdom of Nonviolent Communication to the situation. Do you need clarity about your calling at this time in your life? In spiritual direction sessions, I support you to hear the voice of your own soul. NVC coaching and mediation, and spiritual direction sessions, all begin with a free one-hour consultation to see whether what I offer will best support you. Contact me by phone or e-mail to set up your free first session. I will meet you with practical wisdom and an open heart.

Pam Winthrop Lauer is a spiritual director and Nonviolent Communication (NVC) trainer based in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Pam Winthrop Lauer wpdj@usfamily.net 651-328-1166

*These are not Miki’s exact words, but my notes and my understanding of a short portion of the call. You can listen to the actual call here. Miki Kashtan is a practical visionary pursuing a world that works for all, exploring the application of the principles and tools of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) to social transformation. Learn more about Miki and her work at mikikashtan.org.

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Thank you, Pam.