Your social media and your restorative justice elevator speeches should vary.

Lets start with social medai:

You can connect Facebook and Twitter, so your tweets are your Facebook.  I did that for awhile, but felt I had two purposes for each.  Facebook, is me, it had to be I got deactivated last fall, for acting too much like a business.  I wish I did better with the St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice Program Fan Page.  I try to make that the volunteering hub.

By: Twitter Buttons

I do have my Tweets, on the face of the blog, check those when you are here.  Sometimes I link to articles on both facebook and twitter, sometimes not.  For example I haven’t had time to talk about the Illinois implementation guide, and a link to it is on Twitter.

I have to figure out how to get videos in my blog, each time I do one, I don’t do them much.  So I am more likely to just link it up on Facebook, much easier.  If I feel like I have a quick thought, I do a tweet, you only get 140 characaters there.  I do like knowing my tweets are seen on the face of my blog.

So many social media aspects for me (I forgot to mention, LinkedIn) and I’ve got profiles on Ning and I am connected there to community of Teen Talking Circles and Nonviolent Communication.  Be careful there, I was doing some reading, while considering to date someone younger, and I may accidently have joined another network there.

My point is that the various aspects of your social media, should be a little different.  Of course who you are and what you are promoting should remain genuine and consistent.  The core values remain.

That is how I feel about Restorative Justice Elevator speeches. (just had a cool moment, googled “restorative justice elevator speeches”, clicked the top link, it went to my own blog post!).  When you have adult ADD (self-diagnosed attention deficiet disorder) in the middle of typing your blog, you suddenly search the phrase.

Now I just took a quiz, and here is my result:


Serious ADHD Likely!
    The tip for other bloggers, if you run off to research something else, just ‘save the draft’ and when you need to post, you can pick up one of the started ones.  You have to make who you are work for you, and that is one way I let my ADD work for me, running off from another task, back to the blog!
 
Social Media – and Restorative Justice Speeches
I was asked about how I got so good at explaining Restorative Justice.  My answer was two things:  listening and relationships.
 
Its a pretty common question, “What is Restorative Justice?”, especially common to me.  I talk to Wal-Mart greeters and women with newborns.  I say a little, then I listen.  I try to gauge next what aspect to lead with.  My choices range from the support of victims, the accountabilty of offenders, the use of storytelling, the aspects of healing, the impact on me as a practitioner.  It also depends on what I might know about a person (school administrator, teacher, probation agent, victim-witness advocate).
 
The common ground values of Restorative Justice remain consistent.  So like the varieties of social media, the variety of your restorative justice explanations should vary.
 
I can’t believe I got an 18 on that ADHD quiz! 

Volunteer gratitude, a community member responds to the “we were bored” explanation.

You can’t do Restorative Justice without community members.  I believe they bring in collective wisdom.  I train our volunteers on aspects of Restorative Justice, and request they show up with their best selves.

I focus on Restorative Justice Accountability as being:

  • acknowledging you caused harm
  • understanding that harm from anothers point of view
  • recognizing where you had choices
  • take steps to make amends
  • take action to change

The common theme in a group incident emerged as “we were bored”.   By my assessment and other statements in the Circle, these were a decent group of young people, referenced as “straight-laced”, “good kids”, “student leaders”.  Parents expressed shock, when learning what the group had done.  The kids really were owning up to bad decisions.

The “bored” piece struck a community member.  She pushed back on that one.  She very lovingly informed the group, that the community doesn’t owe young people something to do.  The explanation about communities with even less resources, not having young people harm others was a solid example.  I watched the younger faces for a response, as soon as I grasped what the community member was speaking to.

Once again the power of knitting people together at the beginning of the circle paid off.  I could see respectful acceptance of this suggestion.  I also saw a set of eyes lower down, it seemed in realization that ‘boredom’ was not acceptable.  The community member rounded back to reinforcing the young people, acknowledging them for being in the Circle, taking responsibilty and talking over what had happened.  She offered ideas for repairing the harm, she had a connection in the community that made perfect sense.

I am so thankful for Restorative Justice volunteers.   People willing to volunteer and not know exactly what they are going to hear or respond to.  It takes a special person to be willing to hold both sides of an issue in a ‘grey’ space.  The black and white of right and wrong needs to be set aside.  That alone takes a unique skill set.  Its like remembering to love our kids, and remember we don’t like their behavior. 

The volunteers I work with at SCVRJP, give of themselves.  The storytellers, the circlekeepers, the conference facilitators, they find a way to be real and honest.  The more they step up to the plate, the bigger and better our program becomes.  Each Circle teaches something, facilitator or participant volunteers grow with each experience.

I was recently provided some observations about our program.  The feedback was an awareness of how close knit our volunteer team is.  I knew they were close to me, I have relationships with all of the volunteers.  To hear that their connections with each other, and with SCVRJP are evident and important, really made me happy. 

I strive to operate a program that has a life of its own.  The personality of SCVRJP should always reflect restorative justice values.  To have our relationships showing strong, gives me something to really be thankful for this holiday season.

Restorative Justice is a Social Justice catalyst!

I had the good fortune of speaking on a panel.  The focus was social justice, we were given the task to define this, and explain it relevant to our Pledge of Allegiance ” . . . with liberty and justice for all . . . “.  I was in the middle of the line up so I got to hear what the speakers before and after me had to say.

A simple comparison about Charity, and Social Jusitce made sense.  If I give you food, because you have none, or clothes, housing etc.  I am giving you what I choose for you to have.  That is charity.  When I focus on changing the structures that impacted your hunger, poverty, homelessness then I am doing social justice.

The notion that charity is dictated by the giver was interesting.  Even though I had a life experience of trying to give a homeless guy a burger and he said “No thanks, I just ate”.  I didn’t find the disempowered homeless guy.  I also give change at stop lights.  Some people judge and tell me they will use it to buy booze.  “So”, I say, “he’ll be happier”.  Does not giving change cure the alcoholism or mental health issue?

When I was invited to be part of Tuesday Talking Circles – for the UWRF Social Jusitce Series, it was important that ‘action’ be part of our collaboration.  This made sense, and I immediately went to the final Circle stage – Taking Action.  This means we end the Circle with a committment of change, how we will move ahead differently.

When I work with young people and teach them Restorative Justice, they self identify an issue and want to address it.  We’ve had community potlucks about issues in the park, we’ve addressed racial teasing and we’ve looked at school-wide implementation of Restorative Justice.

When you are involved in a conversation, really involved, you learn about your personal power and influence.  You want to to step up and use that in your community.  The conversation in restorative justice becomes the outcome.

I was leading a Circle and wanting to get to the plan because of the clock.  We had gone over time.  The Circle, didn’t want loose ends, they wanted the plan.  They wanted a concrete plan.  Having the experience of reading groups, I saw this, and offered up the specific number of community service hours and other specific actions.  Immediately accepted with 100% consensus.  It was a reminder for me, to allow the group to be greater than the leader.  Another interesting note as we closed out.  Everyone was happy EVERYONE else was part of the solution.  Everyone liked the plan and everyone liked the Circle.

And just as we change things to repair harm, we can address things that lead to social injustices.  We all have equal value and we should all get equal opportunity.  I love that restorative justice provides that equality in the process.

Blogging keeps me grounded, it forces me to practice what I preach.

Chatting with a friend, who is active on Facebook.  She said when you post what you are doing for the day, it helps you keep accountable to doing it.  I related to that, and experienced it recently, one degree deeper.  I’ve been challenged to live by a blog post I authored.

The last post, before this one is, “we are as strong as our weakest relationships”.  This post was a call for people to be better than they are.  “Conflict is an opportunity for growth” I wrote.  Life is SO much easier “said” than “done”.  Here I have stated that a measure of who we are can be determined by our weakest links.  Good golly, I don’t write it unless I believe it.  (my view might change later) I’ve told boyfriends, “the words are the easy part”, and what I mean is, “actions speak louder than words”.

So I need to buck up and take my own advice.  I need to not blog on my conflict, I need to focus on growing from it.  I need to find my own trust, honesty, respect and accountability to a situation.  To my currently most conflicted relationship.

I’ve felt lost for a few days.  Today is really unrestful.  I feel confused, tense and uncertain what to do next.  Overwhelmed by work tasks, concerned about my role with the management of SCVRJP.  I’ve got about a dozen blogs in my brain and on my heart.  You can only write one at a time.  And to get over feeling lost, I need to know where I am at.  Blogging lets me know where I am at.  Blogging is a chance to have the talking piece and share.

Lucky for me, its recommended to talk about your personal life it blogs, it makes you real, genuine, transparent and trustworthy.  Problogger, even idenitifies the types of personal stories to tell.

How do I become as strong as my weakest relationship?    I need to handle that with aplomb, meaning grace, confidence and composure.

So to practice what I preach . . . I need to be strong in the weak places. 

This blog is called Circlespace, for the magic that happens in the space between people, when we are in Circle, holding values and speaking and listening in turn.  I need to ground myself in Circlespace.

We are as strong as our weakest relationships.

Consider for a moment your most conflicted relationship.  Who are you at conflict with right now? Today, at this moment.  The person maybe part of your inner circle of connections, your child, spouse, friend or coworker.  Maybe you have a more distant relationship that is in conflict, a boss, an ex-wife, an old boyfriend.

Conflict is an opportunity to grow.  I’m going to call relationships in conflict as ‘weaker’ relationships.  Those that are most difficult.  The blog post today, is targeted at taking a look at having relationships in positive values, regardless of conflict.

I recently posted the Facebook update:      Kris Miner is pretty sure divorce is one heck a character builder or breaker.

This prompted the question, was recently divorced.  I laughed, no divorced since 1997.  Two things prompted me to post this on Facebook.  I experienced someone close to me, unable to move on past a divorce.  Carrying past resentments into present/future relationships.   I also learned of another friend, saying goodbye to marriage and beginning the process of being a divorced person.

Divorce is the end of a relationship, and usually lots of conflict.  The divorced people then have to move on into a co-parenting arrangement.  Difficult, very difficult.  Parenting is a role that defines us as people.  Parenting makes you a Dad or a Mom.  Our hearts our wrapped up in our parenting and we are trying to remove our hearts from the person we are divorcing.

Maybe it’s not fair of me to use divorced people to illustrate this: 

You are as strong as your weakest relationships.

True strength is using positive relationship values in conflicted places.  When we use faith, trust, humility, respect, love and kindness we are better people.

There was a Tweet, that contributed to my facebook post.  A quote by Napoleon Hill “Your personality is your greatest asset or liability.  It embraces everything you control: mind, body and soul”

Restorative Justice advocates use the phrase:

We should never be defined or judged by the worse thing that’s ever happened to us, or the worse thing we’ve ever done.

 Taking our conflicted relationships and using positive values makes us better for everyone.  Restorative Justice allows people the opportunity to address these conflicts.  Victims can address offenders, offenders explain themselves to community, community supports both victims and offenders.  Internal conflicts are put to rest when addressing them in restorative justice.  Same goes for our lives.

When you heal a battle with someone else you become better for the people you aren’t in conflict with.  Time and time again stories in Circles that touch people the most, are stories of triumph over hurts.  The most powerful conferences I have facilitated include a piece of healing. 

When we heal our scars, they become our strength.

Learning by teaching, and teaching Circle allows equal growth.

I love my college students, the ones I have taught for 3 sessions of Introduction to Restorative Justice and one semester of Advanced Restorative Justice.  What I appreciate most is that I have grown as a professional by teaching.

I have had fun.  My love of Circles drew me to teach at the college level.  I use the Circle process in teaching.  Recenlty I had students submit written responses about what they thought of being in Circle.

Collective responses to the Intro to RJ Quiz – what do you think of using Circle process in class

  • Is great, it gives us an opportunity to connect with one another on a more personal level, it gives us a chance to feel like we are part of something, everyone is included . . . in class I think we take it seriously, and find out it is not so bad after all . . . the biggest thing, it lets you contemplate your own life silently, and think about the good times and the bad times, and the process goes to show that many people have had similar experiences, we are not alone, we are all in this together.
  • Extremely useful, if we learned in a tradition setting using power points I don’t think anyone would walk away truly understanding what it is that RJ aims to do.  I can completely see that the activities we do would help victims.  I am so glad I have the opportunity to learn of the process and see real life examples of its success.
  • It brings a sense of community within the class.  It brings value to everyone’s perspectives and opinions, I like how open everything can be
  • It is the most effective way to actually learn about it.  Its hare to relate the learning process without actually participating.  Its hard to teach a feeling, thus participating in the process provides the opportunity to experience this feeling.  Incorporating students with in the process and the relationship to these concepts and values is active.
  • Great learning experience, opens communication for every voice to be heard and creates a feeling of community.  It creates a community of peers and your able to hear different perspectives, ideas and personal experiences, I really enjoy the circle process format for class.
  • I do not believe our current class structure is working well for the purpose intended by the class, I do not enjoy doing the class as if we were doing a RJ circle.  I think there are too many students, with too little to tie us together.  I see kids studying working on homework or drifting off.  I can’t really blame them.  We have no investment in each other.  What reason do we have to feel like or be like a community.  I appreciate the opportunity to get to know people and be forced to change my assumptions, I enjoy new ideas, and being challenged with new knowledge.  This class does not present me with any of those opportunities.  I believe the structure of the class needs a little more work to be able to really benefit everyone.
  • I like the fact it is used with criminals and to teach our class.  If we didn’t use the process I don’t think we would get a good understanding of how it is affective.
  • I love the fact we are learning the process by going thru it.  I think it is better to be hands I.  I learn more by doing than taking notes, so I think this is great.  If someone asks I could tell them exactly what it is and how it works.  The class evokes so much emotion at times it lets us feel some of the things that a person actually going thru RJ may feel.  We can put ourselves in their shoes to get a better understanding.  I think it has helped us gain respect and knowledge for RJ.  I think it is effective.  There is nothing I would change about this class.
  • I believe it is beneficial to do what we are learning about.  I have enjoyed learning while doing.  I’ve never had a class where everyone was able to “connect” with each other.  I like how we share our feelings, personal lives and anything we would like to bring up.  I thought it was awesome to see other classes passing plates.  I will never take another class as hands on as this class, the circle has been a great experience.
  • I believe we are in the circle to show we are all equal and no one is better than anyone else.  We get to see each other, this is very important because you can tell a lot by a facial expression.  I believe if all my classes were more like the circle everyone would be more involved in the class lecture and would be intrigued in coming to class every day.
  • It would be nice if it would work better so everyone gets the chance to talk and have an opinion without feeling like when you oppose some else’s view your head is going to get cut off after you speak.  If we could figure out how to teach and learn I think it would be a great idea to do this in the classroom.  It would be hard to learn this concept any other way.
  • At first I was questioning the validity of the class, now I am starting to see how it could be helpful.  It is a refreshing change from the day to day note taking and power-points.  I think students would fall asleep less if they had more substance in their classes.
  • I love the whole concept and idea, it is really fun and so much different than a typical class.  You really get to know people, people have changed since the first day of class and how much more open they are now.  Being in circle and participating each day teaches more than any powerpoint or lecture ever could.  I am really enjoying this class and very happy that I took it.
  • Its not like the rest of my classes.  We’re partaking in the very process we are learning about.  I think is beneficial to use.  We are not sitting taking notes on how others benefit from the circle process.  We discuss what we thing about RJ in a free and open manner.
  • Passing another classmate from RJ is like passing an old friend from high school.  Having another class with someone from RJ is like having class with a close friend.  These are a few examples of why the circle process is a beneficial way to learn.
  • It is very interesting and unique, the circle process allows the students to see what they are learning and decide for themselves.
  • It is cohesive and complementary.  It is valid in strengthening community relations, as well as correcting invalid behavior.  If the course wasn’t established like a circle group, then trying to explain its functionality would be difficult in a formal setting.
  • My initial impression was pessimistic, before you explained why, I felt back at summer camp.  When circle was to build trust and relationships my impressions changed.  Every session we have makes me realize even more how circle allows the class to feel included and pay real attention to what everybody has to say.  Criminals can hide from others, and have to re-build community relationships.  The circle brings in a reality effect – you feel involved, part of the community, and therefore it makes you feel accountable for what you did or said.  I believe circles should be used in every class as a tool of discussion giving everyone an equal opportunity to express themselves.
  • I really enjoy the face our class is conducted in Circle, we learn the true power of circles.  We can begin to see how victims and offenders are changed when they finally have their voices heard.  It illustrates how a persons opinion over a certain event may change or be stronger after listening to everyone elses opinion.  The power of truly listening to everyones story.
  • The process serves us well and works very effectively.  I like doing it because it helps to get people interacting and getting whatever they need off of their chests.
  • Using circle is very unique and pleasant was of operating class.  It is a great way to share ideas and open up to your classmates, very unique offers student to get close to one another.  I like how it is very trusting and easy to share ideas and person experiences without feeling judges.  I think students grades will increase by using the circle process more in classrooms

Restorative Justice is about change and transformation.

In Bikram Yoga, (my blog links, one with a video) the poses are held for 30 or 60 seconds.  As you feel your body tense and you are struggling to hold the pose (in the 104 degree room).  The teacher will say “change”.  As smoothly as possible, you move to the next position or the pause stance before the next position.

I’ve only been doing Bikram Yoga for 5 months now, so I am still fairly new to the practice. It was early on in Bikram, that this started to impact me, the use of the word “change” so often in 90 minutes.  I often view small meaningless this events as having significant lessons for life.  Being a blogger has allowed me to move these moments ahead even further and share them as stories.

In Bikram, you “change” because the teacher gives you the direction.  One simple word, “change” and everyone in the room takes the same action.  We put our arms down, bring our feet side by side.  We transition without hesitation between what we were doing and what are going to do.

Gosh, could life be that easy?  Someone says “change” and we all just do the next best thing.  Check out this video for an example of this in nature.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V71hz9wNsgs]

A common theme I hear among my restorative justice practitioner friends, is the impact on themselves when doing Restorative Justice.  I know it changed my life, for the better.  It deepened my views on spirituality and clarified my own values.  Its given me a context for positive relationships.  You can’t do this work of promoting change without changing.

It’s obvious we are seeking change in offenders.  We want to have harmful behavior stop.  I believe all real change comes from the inside.  You’ve got to get to the heart to change on the inside.

Victim change comes in the form of changing your relationship to the crime and the perpetrator.  Other change I’ve seen is the victims relationship to systems and community.  When law enforcement officers participate, the view of them changes.  Not just only by victims, but usually community members and offenders.

I love the change in community members, after experiencing restorative justice. There is a real sense of committment to the community, by giving the time, so much is returned to the heart.  A sense of honor, value and pride for really helping people out.  It deepens and connects people to a sense of belonging.

I believe we as practitioners have a huge influence over the success of the process.  You have got to believe in the power and the potential for change.  You don’t know, what you don’t know.  So you’ve got to be getting to know change.

Become aware of how to set the tone for it.  Become aware of how to see it in the hearts of others.  Become aware of how to get others to see the potential in others.

I was given a magnet once, a post Circle training gift.  I love the sentiment, and I think “light” could be “change”.

You do the impossible every day.  You warm people with your own brilliant light, and make them believe it is they who really shine.

Our motives, our fears and walking in light vs dark.

This might be a bit of an ‘arm chair’ quarterback perspective.  Here’s my belief and my blog post today:

You remain motivated by fear, when you continue to walk in the dark.

I just started reading Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior, by David Hawkins.  It was one of those odd occurances where something is brought to your attention by two completely different unrelated sources.  I haven’t gotten very far into it, but it placed a post it on my brain.  The notion that we need to operate from internal motivations.

 A core belief, given to me my others – is the notion that there are really only two truths.  Love and Fear.  Everything else falls in between.  Meet people where they are, and move them more towards love.  Examine your own behavior, actions and attentions, and move them more towards love.

If we are all interconnected.  Again, one of my core beliefs, then the way we treat someone else is the way we treat ourselves.  The way we treat someone in our worse relationship is the way we treat everyone.

Think about a time you had conflict with someone.  A co-worker, a friend, a significant other.  Did you carry that with you anywhere else?  Do you tell your spouse when you have conflict at work?  Do you tell your friends about conflict with your spouse?  It’s all related and I think we are all as strong as our weakest relationships.

It takes self-awareness and introspection to make real, sustained and lasting change.  You have to examine your motives.  Honestly, who has time for that!?  We usually just respond, react, live our lives.  Complain about this person, that person, it’s them, them, them. 

That is walking in the dark.

Walking in the dark, is to not give light to your own personal responsiblities and accountabilities.  To walk in the dark is to be void of empathy for others.  To walk in the dark is to ignore your own power and motives.

How do we bring in light?  I think about victims and restorative justice as an example.  Victim that walk in the light, take the human experience of hardship, pain, suffering, grief, undeserved and unjustified loss and turn the light on.  They may start with self-blame, and ask what did I do to deserve this.  They might even think that they did something to deserve it.  It’s not true, no one deserves to be harmed.  Walking is movement, and its one thing to turn on the light, and another to start to walk in it.

We bring in light simply by the willingness to do so.  Think about looking at your behavior with the lights on!  What it the whole world saw you at your weakest moment?  When you have yelled at your kids, been short with your spouse, or failed to point out to the cashier she didn’t ring up that item.  Would you do something to undo the wrong?  It takes love to tranform it.

You have to give yourself the same love and compassion you need to find for others.  Because if there are only two truths, if you are not ‘loving’ then you are ‘fearing’.  Turn the light on your own behavior, love yourself and then walk thru the journey of life in love and light.

Book Review: Taking Restorative Justice to Schools – J. Holtham

Taking RJ to Schools

Taking Restorative Justice to Schools, by Jeanette Holtham is the most recent addition to a School-Based Restorative Justice advocate or practitioner’s toolkit.  The book is a brief, concise and comprehensive review of Restorative Justice in the School setting.

In the hands of an administrator, the authors “real life experience”, voice was apparent.  I read the book from start to finish, immediately.  I took the book to a recent meeting, and placed it in the hands of a school principal.  The school staff, picked up on the book acknowledging that teachers are busy with checking for head lice.  The other feedback was an appreciation for books on Restorative Justice being brief.  A reality that as we bring more restorative justice to schools, outsiders heading in, we are starting to get it from our friends on the inside.

The outside/inside reference is just speaking about where a schools program emerges.  I encourage everyone to form a partnership matching internal and external leadership.  Programs that have started outside with the goal of coming into schools bring lots of experience.  Internal school staff wanting to implement have all the insider information on bringing trainings, language and structure to successful implementation.

Regardless where a program begins, students are part of the process.  On page 9, Holtham says

 “Youth take to Restorative Justice like kites to flying.  They are ideal candidates for its benefits.  Kids instinctively resonate with the concepts of fairness and justice.”

I appreciated this quote and here in the midwest, we say “like fish to water”.  It really makes sense if you think of Restorative Justice as the air or water, kite or fish being the participants.  You see this is the whole approach aspect to using Restorative Justice, is making part of the culture and community.

I appreciate seeing the growth of school-based restorative justice in the United States, I feel fortunate to be part of a social movement.  Check out this book, it’s a good read!

 

Having a process to repair harm is really important.

Often times, the process of participating in a Circle or Community Conference means a lot to community members and victims attending.  I am often times impressed with how having the discussion, removes a great deal of weight in the room.  Weight off the shoulders of the offender, for the harm caused.  Weight off of the heart of the victim that was harmed.  Community member reinforce things by adding stories and wisdom to the mix.

The interation with other people around the incident, is really empowering to people.  In Belinda Hopkins new book, Just Care she reminds readers the restorative encounter is to restore connection, develop empathy and restore self-worth on both sides.  Hopkins says that parallel emergence of accountability and responsibility also emerge.

The way I do talking Circles, with 4 stages, and the Restorative Questions at stage 3 (addressing issues) fit right into the purpose of restorative encounters as described by Hopkins.  The first two stages, restore connections and develop empathy, the third stage promote accountablity and responsibility and the final taking action stage, allows for people to take increased self-worth.  It is not hard to see or understand why restorative outcomes are more positive than traditional methods.

I wish that I could be “Circle-Kris” all the time.  “Circle-Kris” trusts that her needs will get met, and when I am in Circle I am really connected and tapped into my purpose.  I am respectful.  It’s not like I haven’t ever, complained or processed a painful situation.  I suggest people be mindful of the Circles intention.  It would be rare to speak of my birth mom in an underage consumption circle, yet in a women’s circle, I was able to tap that story and speak of it for my healing.  When I am in Circle I have a way of making the process the ‘authority’.  I don’t call out negative behavior, I let the process and use the process as needed.  For example, if someone is blurting out, I just wait for the talking piece and ask the next question.  I frame it positively, and ask something like “how does it feel when you get to speak without interruption?” or “how do you keep in a listening attentive space for others, instead of responding with comments or body language”.  To explain this questioning, here is an example of a question that would NOT work.  “Who’s not respecting the talking piece?”.  Which would be shame based question, and a question that does not provoke internal inspection (which increases self-awareness).

 I’m not Circle-Kris all the time.  I have moments of frustration, short fuse and unperfect explanations.  This leads to conflict and Boyfriend and I are not good at resolving conflict.  We don’t have a method.  We don’t get together and talk it over.  We don’t use a Circle.  We just usually break-up.  It seems we’ve taken that route again, he hung up on me Saturday Morning, its Sunday evening and I’ve not heard from him.  I’m not calling him.  I’m sure future blogs will keep you posted.

As I finished reading the Hopkins book, and was trying to figure boyfriend things out, it occured to me how very important things like restore connection, develop empathy and restore self-worth on both sides, would be.  Boyfriend and I might not be on the verge of another break-up if we found a way to implement a process to repair harm.