How did the book come about?
In about 2004 I attended a social change session with Marshall Rosenberg – I think it was at the International Intensive Training (IIT) in Bangalore. He asked us to create a 20-year social change plan. Mine was focused on sharing NVC more widely in the world. I chose writing as my medium, as I had previously been a publisher and editor of an arts magazine.
What was your inspiration?
Rumi says, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” That’s where I got the title of the book from.
In Rumi’s field, we get connected with each other in the space that opens up when we let go of our ideas of good and bad, right and wrong. ourselves, we are also connected to the people around us.When we feel safe and connected to ourselves, we don’t need to use these labels. When we are connected to the people around us.
How long did it take to write it?
I spent the first few years writing preparatory articles for magazines, to develop material. In 2008 I began writing something of book length. It took me several ‘false starts’ and a process of clarifying that empathy was my topic area, but by 2011 I had a book to show. It got recommendations from well- known NVC trainers and prominent Buddhist teachers.
Then I began to search for a publisher. Little did I realise what a journey was ahead! I began with USA publishers. One publisher spent seven months ‘reviewing’ the manuscript before turning it down 🙁 Later, I found an agent, who was 100% confident that she could place it – she couldn’t. After a couple of years, I gave up on a USA publisher and turned my attention to the UK. In 2013 I found a Buddhist publisher – Windhorse Publications – that was willing to dialogue. Working with various editors took another four years until finally, the manuscript was ready in 2017. Windhorse set June 2018 as the publication date.
How do you feel now that the book is out?
In one way, I feel exhausted to realise how much of my energy has gone into this. At the same time, I feel elated and amazed to hold the book in my hands! Here’s a video of the first moment when the books arrived 🙂
What do you wish for the book?
I’d love empathy to become a household word. I’d love the book to contribute to a more compassionate world. And I’d love to hear your feedback when you’ve read it!
Link to the book:
I’ll Meet You There: A Practical Guide to Empathy, Mindfulness and Communication
You can read the first chapter using the above link, and order the paperback and e-book versions