Fostering Healthy Friendships


Learn how to develop and maintain solid friendships using the Friendship Circle format which will help you to feel a sense of connection as you fulfill your heartfelt dreams.  

In this dynamic and practical workshop you will learn how to organize and facilitate a safe space where participants can learn practices which can lead to profoundly satisfying and fruitful friendships including:

*Eliminating the walls of resentment and unforgiveness

Open up your heart by becoming increasingly authentic and vulnerable

*Build trust through keeping agreements and making amends

*Express deep appreciation

* Listen empathically

*Give and receive loving feedback

*Work out conflicts in way that yield closeness and connection

This workshop will be especially beneficial for anyone who is passionate about thriving while at the same time contributing to the well being of the world including:

*Animal rights activists


*Activists in any social movement

*Members of intentional communities

*People searching for meaning and connection


Kim, Sky, and Patricia have been experimenting with and finding great success in using the Friendship Circle Format to deepen their friendships.

Kim Broniman: Life coach in training. Writer. Publisher of the blog

Scott Masters: NVC practitioner and facilitator, inner child workshop presenter, leader in the Adult Child of Alcoholics community in San Diego. Founder of the Born to Bloom Center. Mission Circle member of Vegan Utopia Ecovillage,

Patricia Mikkelson: Co-Founder of Vegan Utopia Ecovillage, practitioner of NVC for 30 years, facilitator of groups for the past 48 years, student of intentional communities for 43 years. Passionate animal rights activist and member of Direct Action Everywhere.

The class will be moderated by:

Rob McNeil: A financial controller by trade,in his spare time he pours his energy into the animal rights movement in London, Ontario area.  Rob is active in leadership in a variety of animal rights organizations including DxE, Anonymous for the Voiceless, and Save. He is a Vegan Utopia Ecovillage Mission Circle member.


The Need

Creating small groups of friends where people can feel a sense of belonging and safety is helpful to the success of any movement. There is a great deal of conflict and people exiting activist groups because this is lacking.

Leaders in the animal rights movement such as Wayne Hsiung, lead organizer of Direct Action Everywhere, and Clare Mann, Vegan Psychologist,  have stated that healthy community building is essential for the success of any movement. Friendships are the building blocks of community.

In the book, Rebel Friendships, he author, Benjamin Shepard "explores the way friendship infuses social movements with the social capital necessary to move bodies of ideas forward. Such innovation is rarely seen in more institutionalized social arrangements. Rebel Friendships offers a new take on the ties between friends who are connected through affinity and efforts aimed at social change."

Join us as we experience the exhilaration and joy that comes from fostering healthy friendships and thus creating healthy communities where everyone can thrive.

The Big Picture

Presently, a growing number of people are interested in helping Vegan Utopia Ecovillage get off the ground. We are working to create the Vegan Utopia Learning Center as Vegan Utopia Ecovillage's first project. We will start online, but are already planning the week-long Vegan Friendship Camp as an onsite learning center project.

Our first series, starting with Fostering Healthy Friendships, is a part of our Building Healthy Communities series.  We are planning on implementing these skills in every aspect of community life and are practicing them among ourselves.

Our philosophy about learning:

People learn in different ways. We want to support all learning styles. Learning by doing is important to us. Here are some  ways we engage you in the process:

*Practicing--through visualization, journaling, and doing exercises with class members

*Reflecting after practice--sharing what  have learned so we can all expand our knowledge

*Questions and answers

A follow up questionnaire will be sent out so we can learn more about the students and draw upon the wisdom they have even more deeply. We want to keep improving and expanding our knowledge base.

A handout with resources and class outline will be available for students who sign up.

We will gladly accept donations for the class into our GoFundMe campaign which we are working on getting completed. This will help us raise money to pay for legal fees so that the Vegan Utopia Ecovillage can be owned by the community and be secure for the generations to come. No one will be turned away.

Facebook event:

May 15, 2019 at 6pm - 7:30pm
Conference Call
Patricia Mikkelson ·

Will you come?

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