Sunday, February 14, 2016

March 24-26 DPS Workshop in Pensacola, Florida

I am excited to announce that I will be offering a three-day intensive workshop on Dramatic Problem Solving at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Pensacola, Florida March 24-26, 2016.
The workshop will explore the DPS facilitation method that combines the amazing work of Augusto Boal and Theatre of the Oppressed with facilitation strategies and techniques from the field of Conflict Transformation to create dialogue, performance and action for individual and social change.
The 21 hour course will culminate with a forum theatre performance on Saturday March 26.
The cost of the workshop is $150 per person.
For more information please write to Steven at

Friday, September 4, 2015

Ready, Not Ready

I sat looking at a blank wall with two figures on it. Both were shadows. Both were me. One was dark. One was light. the dark one was covering the left side of my shadow, the right side of my body. The light one was open on the right side of my shadow, the left side of my body. I could see the shadow on the wall. Yet, I know that it does not exist as any real thing. I accept that it is a perception. A trick of shadow and light. But, in the end, what are we except tricks of shadows and light. Having this realization brought me to a greater place of feeling that we are beings and nothingness. We are here and gone. Duality.
So, when I face challenges and do not know what to do, it is not something I should be very upset about. And sometimes I know just what to do. Even about the same challenge. I am ready. And I am not ready. The most important thing is to know that it is shadow cast on the wall. That the sun or the candle or the light will shift and new shadows will come and go. All things will pass and all things will stay. I have been deep into Buddhist nature lately and am seeing things for what they are and aren't often. This is really helpful in accepting and letting be what is. 
And so, I am ready and not ready for whatever may come to me tomorrow or even tonight. 
Having wonderful moments of laughter and touch and present feelings. 
Here is my poem for today:
Ready, Not Ready

I, sitting alone
with overlapping shadows
ready, not ready

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Seeking the Obverse

Today I had the great pleasure of sitting and presenting an idea for a program in Nonviolence training for prisoners in Costa Rica to the Minister of Justice, Cecilia Sanchez Romero. The conversation was interesting and results are forthcoming. But, on returning to think about what is the cause of all of this violence that is getting everyone thrown in prison, I began to sketch a graph about how structural violence is linked directly to direct violence and how both are found at the individual and community level. It was so easy to think of the hundreds of causes of violence, both structural and direct. And I was thinking to build a case to support a holistic approach to transforming violence when it occurred to me that I was falling into a trap of wrong attention. I was focusing on the thing I wanted to eliminate. I was not focusing on the obverse, the other side of the coin. The new graphic display that shows the mechanisms, behaviors, and outcomes of peace and nonviolence. Looking at the society and discovering where they already exist. Seeking the obverse and delving into a new societal structure based only on the increasing of these things. And that by turning our attention away from violence and towards peace, we will get there much easier and with much less confusion about what to do. So, here is my poem for today:

Seeking the Obverse
Holding the coin in our hand we think
we know it so well
the faces and the sides
the edges and the grooves
Holding the coin in our hand we can
only look at one side
at a time the other side is there
waiting to be discovered
Flip to the obverse
Be the other side.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


What a welcome home to Costa Rica! A week with an amazing group of 33 of the most wonderful people I have every met. This is why I love clown trips, the quality of person, the openness of heart and mind that you find in someone who is dedicating a week of their life to clowning and caring for people in places that they don't know is simply spectacular. I have made great connections, great friends, and deepened my understanding of my own heart.
I made great re-connections with three of my favorite people in the world, Patch Adams, Mark Enslin, and my dearest, dearest clown mirror friend Dario Solina!!! They are such an inspiration for me to do exactly the work I want to be doing in the world.
So, I begin here today with the commitment to post something about my journey each and every day here. This is the perfect picture. Patch is feeding me his rubber snot like a baby bird. My job was to be the receiver of his love/snot. Going to all limits to achieve the ridiculousness of this humanity so we may laugh and feel good about being alive in a world where there is such a need for love and laughter.
So, I am receiving all the love in the world. I am open. I am worthy of all the love that Patch and everyone else has to give me.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Landing back in the USA

Sitting in the Unitarian Universalist Church on Pensacola Boulevard yesterday for their Sunday morning service I was struck with a moment of revelation that has happened to me several times in the past few months. The revelation is, "Hey, I'm living in the United States." I am no longer from the US, I am the US. I am the culture that pervades here. When the pastor presented a video about the sweeping of the continent by the US and the invasion of all the indigenous lands it was a video I had seen, it was a story I had heard, it was a story I had told. But, it was the first time I had seen and heard the story while sitting int he United States among the people, as one of those whose story this is. In his song "Democracy is Coming to the USA" Leonard Cohen describes America as "the home of the best and the worst." This line has been going around and around in my head as I have tried to resume my life here. There is so much that is advanced and good about this place and at the same time so much that is tragic and wrong. I have been looking around trying to find my place, my calling, and the work that I will do.
Community is diverse and dispersed here. Finding one's way as a newcomer takes time. But DPS is ready to launch in the USA. The first DPS workshop will be happening in January. I am teaching about Theatre of the Oppressed to my students at Newpoint. The path is emerging. There is now pathway to peace, peace is the way. 
I am looking forward to the challenge of using the best to make the worst visible and inching the change along. 
I am going to be using this blog to describe the process of creating a life of conflict transformation practice through art and dialogue. I hope that it will be useful. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

DPS Workshop in Costa Rica June 15 to 21

I am very excited to announce that we will be returning to Costa Rica to offer a full workshop in the Dramatic Problem Solving method of facilitation for conflict transformation. This is a dynamic, interactive week long workshop that will help you understand how the process works by participating in the process and experiencing both professional and personal growth. 
DPS combines the interactive theatre practices of Augusto Boal with the theory and practice of the field of Conflict Analysis and Resolution. We also incorporate the positivist and humanistic approaches of appreciative inquiry and strengths based change. The workshop has the participants embark on a multi-day study of issues of personal importance while exploring how the DPS techniques can be used to transform them.
This workshop is useful for anyone who works with groups, especially teachers, social workers, psychologists, facilitators, activists, performers, and program administrators.
The workshop takes place in the idyllic setting of Barking Horse Farm where we will explore the nature that surrounds us and enjoy the beauty of the rainforest.
The workshop costs $750 per person and includes airport pick-up and drop-off, lodging at the farm, all meals, and a DPS manual.
For more information please contact Steven Hawkins.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

DPS joining with Barking Horse Farm for exciting Costa Rican Adventure

Join us

Make a Difference Rain Forest Trek

10 Day, 9 Night Personal Transformation Adventure on HorsebackThrough the Incredible Rain Forests of Costa Rica.

This is a very exciting combination of Natural Horsemanship, Community and Environmental Awareness, and Personal Development through facilitation. I am very excited about this new approach to helping people change and understand their place in the wider world.