Monday, February 20, 2012

Just play

You know there are moments in life when something you have known in theory finally becomes integrated. You get it on a deeper level. You know it your mind, in your heart and in your whole being. One such moment happened to me when I was pregnant. I was feeling exceptionally happy and stable in my moods and said I think this state will go away after birth so it's not real life. At this moment gina who is one of my nvc teachers replied by saying that this moment is real life. Until that time I knew it in theory but had not realised how much time I spent away from present moment awareness. Her response helped me see how often I had missed out on moments of joy, of calm, of peace as well as moments of loneliness and fear and just how precious these moments are. Present moment awareness helps me stop and pay attention and savor this all too brief period when my daughter is so full of fun and play. It helps me become aware of both the wonderful feelings that come with me telling myself that my needs are met as well as the more uncomfortable feelings when I tell myself my needs are not met. In both cases I and most people I know can rarely get to the needs because we are off worrying about the future or the past instead of paying attention to exactly what is happening right now. Nvc frees me up to pay attention to both the comfortable and uncomfortable present moment reality because underneath it all is a human need and in the end discovering that need is always wonderful. If I am happy because I ate well then great. If I am lonely because I want more connection that too is wonderful, I can now take responsibility for that need because I know it's there. The best part is that the simple act of knowing the need exists helps somehow get it met. I hear myself say things that we typically say to children, you are just playing, or you're a big girl now as though being big is somehow better than being exactly the size you are and I love having the option to question myself without blaming myself and to commit to living my life as much as possible in the present moment. The nvc way of giving feedback is really supportive of that goal because instead of expressing an evaluation we attempt to describe what need was met. For example instead of saying wow what a big girl you are when she tries to put her pants on her head I might say I really like your determination, or that you want to learn to dress yourself. The chance to reflect upon and really integrate present moment awareness has been a blessing for me and is one of the reasons I want to teach nvc consciousness. I am thrilled that so many people have enjoy my blog and am really enjoying the opportunity to share what to me has been a life changing material.

Monday, February 6, 2012

the source

A few people have asked me where I studied NVC so I have compiled a list of resources for anyone interested in looking into non violent communication further.

Non violent communication is strategy that supports life. More and more people are looking for ways to reconnect with life and training in empathy is one way to do that.

For me the journey began almost ten years ago, Pierre sent me a website:
I looked into it but was not ready at the time. Later on I picked up a book called Arretez d'etre gentil et soyez vrai from Thomas d'ansembourg. What happened next still amazes me. I started using the concepts at work and at home and immediately saw results. The feedback encouraged me to read more and I read several works over the next two years by Marshall Rosenberg and others. I took an introductory course in 2006 and still remember two things from that course: A question I often ask myself : what would make life wonderful right now? and a role play with a woman whose father often said racist things to her. Non-violence, non judgement, an open heart is doable when the other person is someone you like or are sympathetic to but what about that person who does and says things that you really disagree with? The racism role play really shocked me because it made me realize that underneath ideas and values that I disagree with is a person, a human being who is trying to meet his or her needs to the best of their abilities (in this case it was a need for security and comfort) and that by speaking to the needs rather than to the strategies we can connect with that person and perhaps have some influence with them.

I continued reading and in 2007 signed up for a three year course with Groupe conscientia, three wonderful CNVC certified trainers who have extensive experience teaching NVC. I am very grateful for their support and their willingness to teach in a co-constructive manner. Co-constructive teaching means that the students have the opportunity to really try out and interact with the material being presented. My teachers prefer working with real situations and therefore we were often asked to apply NVC concepts to real life situations.

Training in non violent communication is helpful for my relationships with others but where it really helped me was in my relationship to myself. Most people (myself included) deal with painful emotions by cutting themselves off from emotions in various ways. The problem is that we then have no access to painful experiences but we also lose access to joy (hence the rise in depression). I cherish a memory from my training: We were asked to introduce ourselves and several people introduced themselves as someone who is happy. One of my breakthroughs was that I had been so pre-occupied with getting my needs for security met that I had for some time forgotten how to play. Underneath some pretty painful stuff I managed to connect with a desire to be more joyful and playful in my life. This has made my life rich and wonderful in many ways. It was only after this that I finally (after two years of wanting a child) got pregnant with Evelyn.

So here is a list of ressources:

You can get all of Marshall Rosenbergs books as well as other authors work from Puddle dancer press:

For my french friends:

The center for non violent communication:

My teachers:
Marcelle et Robert: Groupe Conscientia:

NVC Academy:

NVC and parenting:
Victoria Hart and sura Kindle (NVC and parenting):
Inbal Kashtan:

The freedom project(Teaching NVC to incarcerated people):
Restorative circles:
NVC in europe:
NV in eatern Europe:

I hope these resources are helpful to all those who have taken the time to read my blog.