Kris Miner introducing herself

A big part of restorative justice, is relationships.  I have storytellers (or those I am helping to become storytellers) start with talking about themselves, their relationships.  So . . . this blog post is about me and my relationships!  The first person that needs mentioning is my daughter Kylie.  She and I live with our cat “Olive”.  Olive maybe the subject of an entirely seperate blog!  She’s cat-riffic!  Being Kylie’s Mom has been the most rewarding, challenging, wonderful and dynamic relationships of my life.  She really is a good kid and I’m amazed at her wit, humor and bold attitude towards life. 

I’m the oldest child, my Dad’s a third generation rancher out in South Dakota, still on the farm today.  He’s a great guy and if you’ve heard me speak you’ve probably seen his picture.  I even got him to a Circle – and I hope some of those teachers post a comment about that!  I’ll save that story for another post!

I’ll keep my close friends close, by not blogging about them before I ask permission!  The next GREAT relationship of my life is the one I have to my work.  I LOVE MY JOB!  I feel so fortunate that I found my “calling”  I love what I do.  The work of Restorative Justice just makes such sense to me.  It vibrates to the core of my being.  It’s helped me be a better human being.  I know that lives have been touched if not altered dramatically by this process.  I get big and little rewards every day for doing this.  I can’t say enough about how meaningful it is to see people heal themselves and each other. 

So I work on my relationship to my work constantly.  I look for ways to improve the message of SCVRJP, or services.  I read all I can on Restorative Justice and related subjects.  I heard you know a topic better really when you teach it.  So I teach at the University of WI – River Falls.  I REALLY LOVE that too!  Of course I teach “Introduction to Restorative Justice”.  We have our class in Circle.  I bet those of you that know me can’t believe I am 344 words into a post and haven’t mentioned Circles yet!  Next post!

I dedided to start the blog to give more away.  To share stories, to connect Circlekeepers and practitioners together.  So let me get to the task of announcing this!

Review a week – accomplish goals

I recently found a list.  I am so sorry I didn’t jot down my source.  I did paraphrase a bit so I think it’s okay to use it.  This is a list of things you should think about at the end of a week.  I thought I would share the list and do my week in review on the blog.  I hope you enjoy my stories and consider reviewing a week of your own.

1.) What things did I learn 2.) Life Lessons 3.) Life Improvements 4.) Success 5.) Opportunities for learning 6.) Challenges

1.) What did I learn.  This week I learned that you never know the impact of an act of kindness.  I was using a story and telling about a person that I extended a little time to.  I ran into that person later that day!  He’s been sober a year, it was a great interaction.  I was suprized he remembered my name and I was very happy for him.  I learned to provide people details when leading.  We have a task list for a community training, it looks like great planning for our teams first project.

I learned that volunteering can be like exercising.  You might not be thrilled to go do it.  You can think of other things “more important” to do at the moment.  But . . . like exercising, volunteering feels great once you’re done.  I did my volunteering this week and felt really great about taking an hour of my time and “giving” it to my community.

2.) Life Lessons.  I have a quote “when people show you who they are, believe them the first time”.  This is a life lesson, I thought I had learned.  I had to visit it again.  I had to argue with someone and the outcome was exactly the same.  Life lessons?  Do we take our whole LIFE to learn them?  I’ve let go of that relationship, moving on it just wasn’t for me.  I guess another life lesson is that relationships come and go, and that we are forever part of each other.

3.) Life improvements.  I’ve made a real effort at watching my calories in and getting exercise in.  It’s been a really good week.  I maintained my food journal, met my goals around calories.  A few more times on the treadmill or at the gym would be even better.  Our office is really improving!  The relationship with staff is dynamic and now we print out postage stamps!

4.) Success. My daughter and I both had articles in local papers!  She created t-shirts to welcome the new principal and was quoted in an article for an upcoming training.  I had a great meeting with our local mulit-disciplinary team.  We all rate the meeting 1-10 and everyone said 10!  Another success was leaving a meeting and hearing from someone “You do good work.  Really, keep it up”.  I really respect the person who said this so that makes it all the more worthwhile.  I also called a colleauge, to keep our relationship connection, found this person is a resouce and would love taking on a project that needs done.

5.) Opprotunities for learning My learning opportunity was when I almost had a new Blackberry meltdown.  I was so frustrated I finally called in for support, I would have never figured it out.  It was an opportunity to remind me . . . it’s okay to ask for help.  My independence can be stubborn, sometimes working against me than for me.  That was my opportunity this week.  I also had an opportunity to learn this week when I saw myself on video.  The first was a taping for our local cable access channel on Recovery Month.  I should have looked at the camera more, planned more what I was going to say.  I also got to see the Twin Cities Public Television Promo’s that are airing right now.  The DVD had 4 or 5 other people so it was easy to see how I compared.  I should have let my enthusiasm shine a bit more.  I was working on not saying “uhm”.  I hope you get to see either of these.

6.) Challenges The week’s challenges were mostly around my personal relationship.  I have to remember to not take things personally (The Four Agreements).  Life balance can be a challenge for me, I still need to stick to my workout plans, rather than letting work or a call from my daughter change my plans.  It’s so easy to skip going to the gym. 

So now that I’ve reflected on my week, it didn’t take that long.  I feel happier and by focusing on these memories or thoughts, I know I’m doing some “happiness” work.  Go to and check out the surveys and articles you’ll see what I mean.