This HEN newsletter is going to be quite an unusual one!

This is my 21st year writing this newsletter and it’s been quite the ride. There have been many changes in the world, and around me, and in my own life. Yet, through it all, I would have HEN. Each month, I knew I needed to write this newsletter, for you, and also for me. Each month, I would look up at the cycle of the moon and smile to myself thinking it was soon time to write this!

I feel so happy, proud and grateful that throughout these 21 years, I’ve not missed a full moon yet! And, I feel so glad that I still have those same happy feelings about writing for you… and…

It’s time for a change!

I’ve been musing about this change within the newsletter over these months and consulted with a few people close to me in my circle. And, the voice prompting me forward would not be silenced.

So, it is with some trepidation, and honestly some excitement too, that I want to share with you what I have in mind in terms of transitioning HEN. Here’s what I have I mind:

1) I have noticed over the years that the more stressed we are, the more conflict there is. There is a symbiotic relationship between stress and conflict. I got to know that intimately when Judy Zehr and I wrote our “Hold On To Yourself: How to Stay Cool in Hot Conversations.

2) As someone who has paid attention to environmental issues for decades, and having researched and wrote an article a month for over 20 years on the subject, the time is now. When I first co-founded the food security group in my neighbourhood so long ago, those who connected together knew what we were facing. But now, it’s hard to escape fires, floods and increasing heat. It’s affecting our lives, our pocket-books, our health, our food supplies and the very fabric of our existence. That goes for us and for other sentient beings on this planet. 

3) I see a symbiotic relationship between stress, our environmental deterioration and conflict. And, I want to make a bigger contribution.

For all those reasons, as well as simply wanting a change, I’ve decided on a new way to deliver you HEN! This is it:

1) You will continue to receive a connection from me at every full moon! It will focus on the “H” in HEN. The “H” stands for Health and I’ve always thought of each of the subjects in HEN as having a link to conflict. That will remain. Each month you will receive your full moon newsletter and it will have only one article: dedicated to the subject of well-being and its relationship to conflict! 

2) Because of that sole emphasis, the title will evolve from HEN to HOTY – to stand for the title of the book Judy and I wrote: Hold On To Yourself – can you see the acronym! I want you to see “HOTY” in your email subject have a smile or even laugh when you see it because I believe we need more lightness at these dark times, not less. I also want to focus on this area of support, resiliency, inner peace, nourishment and self-leadership at these trying times because I believe we need to be more self-compassionate now than ever. Lastly, I’ve found my own development as a conflict consultant is leading me to the conclusion that we all need to hold on to ourselves as the foundational work in conflict. 

3) The “N” portion of HEN, Negotiation, will also stay, also in another form. That topic will arrive at the new moon (also known as the dark moon). One reason I decided that was because it makes the newsletter come in smaller chunks (so quicker to read). I also like tuning into the timing of the new moon as well as the full moon: the dark moon is a time to reflect and set intentions. It seems a lovely time to assess how we’re doing with our relationships. So full moon will be HOTY and a focus on you. The dark moon will be the “N” in Negotiation and a focus more on your relationships in conflict.

4) This new moon newsletter, dedicated to Negotiation, will come with a different look and from a different sender: The On Conflict Leadership Institute (OCLI). 2 years ago, I started the OCLI with colleague Gordon White. We were just finishing up our second season of our On Conflict podcast, with its emphasis on leadership that season. We learned so much about the strong connection between leadership and conflict that we wanted to build on it. So, we started the Institute. Now, a few years later, Gordon has stepped back from the Institute, but it wants to live! So, I’ve decided to start up a newsletter for it again. The newsletter will go to those who have taken the “How to Have Difficult Conversations” course – which is the foundational offering at the OCLI. And, it will go to you!

5) You will have the option of opting out of either or both of the newsletters if you want (or unsubscribing) as always.

6) As to the “E” in HEN – the Environment – I do think that is our bedrock issue as a species. I believe we can feel it in our bones; we are in danger. The antidote, for me, is to keep calm and connected to our inner resources (HOTY) and keep engaging with the “other” (On Conflict Newsletter). I may also allow the theme of the Environment to come into the full moon and/or dark moon newsletters. We shall see how this all unfolds. 

7) This transition will happen gently. I will talk about this again – in the August HEN. And, by wonderful synchronicity, there are two full moons in August! So, we will have 3 full moons to make this transition together!

Thank you so much for your support and readership over the years. You mean a lot to me. 

And, I welcome your replies, as always. 

“When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment.” -Pema Chodron