Just in case anyone wonders where I have been in the blog-0-sphere, here is a report — I now have about a dozen wordpress sites underway! Admitedly, not all of these are active at all times, but they all demand my attention from time to time! There are a few that folks who follow this blog might be interested in seeing, so feel free to jump on over to another blog if you are so inspired! Here is the list!
- Peace & Power – My blog tour starts with this website/blog that I am thrilled to introduce! The book “Peace and Power” was first self-published by Charlene Eldridge Wheeler and me way back in 1984! Now the book is published by Jones & Bartlett in their textbook line-up, but its applicability is much wider than this! So I developed the website/blog to provide a more accessible summary and overview of the process for almost anyone, anywhere. This site also opens the door for interaction and discussion, which I hope will become much more active over time! So if you are so inspired, take a look at this site and add your comments – I will respond!
- Advances in Nursing Science. This has become perhaps my most active blog .. every week or so I feature one of the articles in ANS with a message from the author(s). Over the past several weeks we have featured articles from our recent issue focused on “Peace and Health” — even if you are not a nurse, I am quite sure you will find one of those featured articles really interesting, and inspiring! We are just starting to feature articles that appear in the current issue that focuss on “Innovations in Health Care Delivery.” Very timely, given the turmoil we are experiencing here in the US with the new Affordable Care Act!
- From the Editor’s Pen - This blog is administered by my friend and colleague, Leslie Nicoll, who is the Editor of “CIN: Computers, Informatics Nursing“. This is the official blog of INANE: International Academy of Nursing Editors.” When, about 3 years ago, Leslie asked me about becoming an author on this blog, I was delighted because the world of blogging was totally foreign to me and I jumped at the opportunity to learn! It was not long before I started this, my own blog! On the “Editor’s Pen” we post information about our members and general information of interest to nursing editors.
- INANE in Maine 2014 - Another fabulous blog administered by Leslie Nicoll! This one is home to all things related to our conference coming up in August 2014 – to be held in Leslie’s home town of Portland, Maine. Leslie is the host of this conference and I, along with several other Editors, am on the planning team. We have set a goal of having a completely paperless conference – perhaps one of the first ever! Even the program is going to be paperless, using a mobile device app! We will have some signage in the hotel on paper, and perhaps some paper napkins .. but otherwise, we are going all electronic! This is an example of a website/blog – the site has pages that contain everything you need to know about the conference, including registration, abstract submission, and a gateway to contribute to the Suzanne Smith Development Fund. I am a contributor to this blog — either Leslie or I post something about the conference every couple of weeks.
- Lesbian Nurse Stories Project - This is another website/blog that is home to this new project to collect stories from lesbian nurses. The site gives information on the background of the project, describes the approach that we are using, and information for narrators who might contribute their stories to the archive. This project just got underway so the blog itself is not very active yet, but it does a report of the team’s recent get-togethers in Denver and in Washington, DC!
- NurseManifest Blog – This blog is co-administered by myself, Jane Dickinson, Carey Clarke, Mona Shattell and Olga Jarrin! This is a site to watch, because over the next few weeks, it will be transformed to the website that is now NurseManifest.com in order to bring the website and the blog together under one “roof”. The new site will include all the features of the current site, but will also have some new features such as practical information about ways to transform nursing practice.
- Nurse Educator Praxis - This is another blog that our NurseManifest team administers – focused on issues and approaches for transforming nursing education. This blog will remain independent of the NurseManifest website/blog, but it is fully integral to the intents and purposes of the NurseManifest project.
In addition to these blogs, I usually have “transient” blogs for courses that I teach, and there are two private blogs that I want to mention – even though they are “private”!
- Mémé Stories for Sophie and Elodie – I started this blog several month ago because of how much my granddaughters love hearing stories about my life, and especially about their Dad when he was a child! They also love seeing pictures of these “ancient” times! It occurred to me that I should start writing some of these stories, and that if I did this on a blog I could use some of their favorite pictures to fill in more of the story than we can usually cover in our times together!
- LGBTQI Nurse Authors – This blog has a different “twist” — it is a virtual support group for nurses who are seeking to publish articles on LGBTQI topics in nursing journals. Mickey Eliason and I administer this blog/support group .. it emerged from discussions among nurses at the GLMA meeting in Denver in September .. nurses who were becoming discouraged about getting their work published. We set up the blog and have been spreading the word for anyone who is interested. We “require” that anyone who joins the group needs to be actively involved in asking for and giving constructive feedback on their ideas and drafts of material they are developing for publication. We also post general information about publishing so that folks who are not familiar with some of the basics of publishing can become better informed and better prepared to enter a world that can be very daunting, regardless of the topic! We will be sharing more about this experience of using a blog site as a support group in more public venues .. so stay tuned! And if you are interested in the group, let me know!
I am delighted to unveil the new Peace & Power web site and blog! Many folks who read this blog already know about the book Peace and Power that I have authored since 1984. Now, the web site adds two important dimensions to what the book offers.
First, now many of the conversations that happen face-to-face or on email can begin to happen worldwide! I have received many emails over the years – emails that I file in a folder named “amazing emails!” These are often messages sharing stories of ways that someone has used the process, or found the process helpful. Often they contain questions that address some of the most persistent challenges in groups, and the challenges of shifting to the ways of “peace and power.” Now these stories and questions can be entered into the comments on the web site. And I will use these comments and questions as “prompts” for blog posts on the site. I hope you will consider following the blog, and participating in the discussions!
Second, the site provides a digital “handbook” of the essential elements of the group process – easily accessible on any mobile device that has access to the internet. The process of “peace and power” seems totally simple and easy … and yet I know from my own personal experience how hard it is … as in my last post – “peace” is not an easy thing to do! When I first learned this process, one of the things that we did over and over was to review why we were attempting to do things the way we did them — why we used rotating chair, or critical reflection, for example. And, we constantly reviewed the “how” of doing what we did so that our actions matched our words. Charlene Eldridge and I first wrote the book so that we could share some of these insights with others who were not familiar with the process, and had not experienced it. The book has valuable detail and information about the process and lots of great examples, but the web site provides a nutshell version of the ways of peace and power, along with reminders of the values that are the foundation of the process.
I invite you to visit the new site, and participate in the online conversation!
The words are so easy .. “let’s just all get along.” But the actions are so very hard. My thoughts have turned to this human dilemma recently because I have (finally) developed a web site/blog for my book “Peace and Power.” And then there is the very contentious, exasperating and tiring clamor that goes on in the U.S. government these days, not to mention the tensions around the world. Some days it seems like the best thing to do is to dig a hole and just ignore all of it. But of course, even though it seems like the larger political scene is far removed from our individual every day lives and there seems little that we can do, ignoring what is going on that larger world does nothing to change that world either. So for me, it seems that the slogan “think globally, act locally” has a lot to offer, and so turning attention and energy to ways to create peace and harmony in our personal lives at least plants a seed of possibility in the world.
“Peace and Power” is a process for group interaction that is intended to do exactly this .. plant a seed of possibility for getting along to together in groups where everyone participates, everyone thrives, and everyone shifts to ways of dealing with conflict where everyone reaches an understanding of one another, and can be at peace with one another despite our
Cover, 4th Edition
differences. This last sentence illustrates the problem — it represents what most people want in their lives, and it sounds so wonderful and so appealing. But at the same time most people also assume that making that ideal real is next to impossible and pretty much out of reach. In my experience, the reason that the ideal seems so out of reach is that people have not learned how to “practice peace.” We have learned how to “practice war” even in families where we have early lessons in relating to others. It is just so much easier to strike out, to let anger run amuck, to manipulate in order to get the satisfaction of getting our way.
But I believe that many people, maybe even most people, have also learned the ways of peace – how to respect other people’s wishes and desires, how to negotiate conflict so that everyone wins, and how to comfort one another when things are tough. These ways of being together take time, and energy. Settling conflict takes time to sit together, to talk, and to reach understanding. It is harder to take turns than to impose one’s will on others. It is harder to exercise the discipline of self-control than to strike out in anger.
“Peace and Power” is built on the ideals of “getting along” together - an ideal that would well serve all people of the earth. ”Peace and Power” approaches are not a magic solution, nor are they the only ways of bringing the ideals of Peace into reality. But these approaches do provide some ideas and guidelines for action that can shift daily practice. I am excited about the web site and blog because it gives you the opportunity to engage in discussion around the challenges of making these changes day to day. Visit the blog, and share your ideas!
There are several things about the Occupy movement that have intrigued me over the past several months, one of which is the practice of hand signals that has developed. These hand signals are not totally unique to “Occupy” – some of them are familiar to folks in Quaker communities, hearing impaired communities, civil rights movements, and others. Now, because of the world-wide use of these non-verbal signals that communicate in any language, and promote group cooperation and respect, these signals have a powerful potential to influence how “business” is conducted. Here is a video explaining the basics:
Of course part of my interest in this particular aspect of the movement is related to my long-standing commitment to create ways of working in groups that are based on principles of Peace and Power. We have used a few hand signals in these groups, with the intention of turning away from practices of verbal interruption and out-shouting one another to gain the “chair.” The practice of hand signals, used in a context where everyone present understands what they mean and respects what is being communicated, literally turns things around in a positive, respectful way. We can all make this shift, in any group setting! I believe it will start to happen!
Yes, I admit it … I am a political junky, and also unabashedly what today is being called “liberal” and/or “progressive.” But fundamentally, these labels are, like all labels, much too restricting to really pinpoint my views, much less anyone else’s. When I really examine the system of values that drives my political opinions, I have to point to the values that shaped me in childhood, which were plainly and clearly known as “christian.” Today, I especially detest that particularly label because it has come to mean something entirely different from what I gleaned in my upbringing! The cartoon here pretty much sums up what I mean …
Long ago I abandoned my childhood affiliation with formal religion, but the values that are at the heart of not only christianity but all major religions, and loudly professed by many, are consistent with the values that shape not only my opinions, but my actions, to the extent that is humanly possible.
One of the values that was taught to me in my early upbringing as a value/action that is among the “worst” is that of hypocrisy. Among my very favorite stories that I heard over and over again was the story of Jesus overturning the tables of the Pharisees who were selling their goods at the entrance to a temple. Please don’t hold me to this little story as accurate, or get into details such as what was supposed to be going on in the story — the important thing here is that I took away a lesson that hypocrisy is one of the worst things in the world! What I got from the story was that the guys (maybe some gals) selling their wares were professing to be righteous, but their actions defied their righteousness. And in fact, this symbolizes in my mind what we are today protesting in terms of the corporate practices that have created our vastly unjust economic system.
So this promises to be a truly banner year! None of us are free of our own indulgences that are clearly in the realm of hypocrisy, and it is not something limited to one political party or another. But the blatant hypocrisy of many who loudly proclaim to be “christian” and then support policies and actions that are so totally non-christian — this is something that I simply cannot abide. Many are also speaking out on this issue, and in this year that is following on the heels of the “year of the protester” it is my hope that we will see more and more exposure of the many hypocrisies that damage our nation and our politics.
So with the fundamental values peace and love, here’s to a fabulous 2012! May it bring lots of discussion that raises the bar in terms of what we expect from our leaders, our politicians, and our movers and shakers!
For many years I have been thinking about the challenges of Peace & Power, and other forms of participatory democracy, and the “Occupy” movement has intensified my thinking about all of this. I live right next door to a vacant lot in Oakland, California, where last week-end the “Occupy” group tore down a fence last week on Saturday night, then early Sunday morning the now-infamous Oakland police peacefully removed the small encampment. We watched it all from our living room window but even more intriguing to
me were twitter, Facebook and blog posts about some of the things happening just before, and during the week-end attempt at taking over the vacant lot. The lot is only 3 blocks from the Frank Ogawa Square outside of city hall, where the police had evicted campers a week before, with not-so-peaceful outcomes. You can read one of the most vivid blog accounts of the experience here – and follow the 26 comments left in response to Rebecca’s description .. it is all packed full of insightful and interesting perspectives.
When word spread that the Oakland general assembly (GA) had decided Continue reading
Ever since the “Occupy” movement started, I have watched, with some amazement, reports of the process that they have developed for the “participatory democracy” that is evolving, and especially their approaches for the General Assemblies! Belief it or not, what is evolving is a version of “Peace and Power” for very
large groups, and I am ecstatic! Of course I would be surprised if anyone involved has actually seen “Peace and Power,” but the important thing is that the ideas that many of us in my circle of friends and colleagues have been using for years are in fact part of a much larger ideal and vision!
For folks who are not (yet) familiar with my long-running book “Peace and Power,” you can peek inside on Amazon! The cover here (and on Amazon) is the 7th edition, but the 8th edition will be out in January!
The video below caught my eye today – it explains the main features of the processes they are using. The “Peace and Power” ideal that is particularly important to notice is that of shared and rotating leadership, and how they are working with shared responsibility and integrating anyone who steps up into the “leadership” process. This is an ideal that baffles most folks in the traditional hierarchies in which I have worked throughout my career, and is met with utter skepticism! But in my heart, I know it works, and brings about Continue reading