Seeing Yourself Clearly with NVC & Yoga

by  | Feb 25, 2015 |

Seeing Yourself Clearly with NVC & Yoga

Greetings from the post-travel netherworld: I’m back in the day-to-day of my Seattle life, and still feel expansive and “potentized” by my time in India. This a rich and challenging trip is inspired me and what I’m teaching here in Seattle this winter and spring….

traffic jam

During the three weeks of our travel, I focused on conflict, how it lives in me, how it manifests outwardly when I don’t own my “stuff”, when I don’t recognize my thoughts as evaluations and judgments and get lost for a spell. How do I find my way back to myself, to my heart?

The week-long Nonviolent Communication convention in Kerala we participated in was titled “Creativity and the gift of conflict”. Populated mostly by Indians and a smallish amount of internationals, the language of the convention was English–not my mother language and not the mother language of most of the attendees.

I can see how easily conflict arises from being of different cultural and religious backgrounds; I also know how easily conflict arises in me, often with those I am closest to in all ways.

So how do I go about the fact that the very essence of intimacy is inherently conflictual? That any two people are cross-cultural?

A couple of pointers that have worked for me: I cannot know about your reality unless you are willing to share it with me and I am willing to hear it. And if I cannot be with you and your reality, it is because I cannot be with something in me that has been stirred.

The way to be with something in me that is uncomfortable is to start with an awareness of it as it lives in my body, a willingness to hang out with that energy and get to know it, listen to it, give it space to be. Then there is more space for creativity to emerge, to begin to listen to another with more freed-up energy.


Travelling for 5 hours at a stretch in an Indian mini bus with 13 overheated women certainly provided grounds for practice. A daily routine of asana, meditation and self connection kept me (and my co-leader Barbra Esher) face-to-face (or heart-to-heart) with how our inner conflicts were reflected in our external conflicts.

When I know that I am in the medium, that I am the conflict, the door of possibility opens in relationship.

We’ll be going to Kerala again next January :). But in the meantime…I’ve created opportunities to teach this practice–without mini-buses. I’ll be pairing up with another extremely talented NVC teacher–Kathleen Macferran–to teach monthly workshops and a summer retreat.

We’re calling them “The Communication of Yoga: Compassion On & Off the Mat“. The intersection of Nonviolent Communication and yoga makes for an incredible venue to explore ourselves–through our bodies in a physical practice, our minds as we sit quietly, our whole beings as we’re guided through the exploration.

Friday, March 13 12:00 – 4:00pmTwist Yoga in Edmonds

Friday, April 17, 1:15-4:15pm: YogaLife in Seattle

Friday, May 22, 12:30 – 4:30pm: Aditi Studio in Fremont

Friday, June 12, 12:00 – 4:00pm: 8Limbs Phinney Ridge

Carrying on Marshall Rosenberg’s Legacy

10968500_10153808734601808_3423761194286852278_nI’ve been wondering what I could possibly write that would give a glimpse into the gratitude in my heart for Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication. I can’t find words to convey the strength of life stirring in me in the midst of sadness, gratitude and awe. Because of my time with Marshall, I see the world differently. I hear so much that is unsaid yet desperate to be heard. I have a clear sense of who I am and my purpose in the world. I have courage to do my best to make a difference, and deep compassion for myself when it doesn’t seem like enough. I wake up every day determined to carry on Marshall’s legacy of creating a world where everyone’s needs matter.

Some of Marshall’s favorite venues to share Nonviolent Communication were International Intensive Trainings (IIT), 9-day immersion experiences. I invite you to find one this year and immerse yourself in the dynamic legacy. Carry on Marshall’s work in the world. He’s passed the torch to us. Will you join me in the embodiment of this work and using it to create systems where all people can thrive? I’ll be at the next IIT April 3-12 near Portland, OR, where we’ll explore how to apply NVC to our own lives, entire communities and the world. I plan to honor Marshall by keeping the fire burning. Join me if you are moved to honor Marshall and his work in this way.

Kathleen Macferran, Certified Trainer
Strength of Connection Center for Nonviolent Communication
Office: 472 Grow Ave NW | Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
206.780.1021. Tel / Fax
Mail: PO Box 10009 | Bainbridge Island, WA 98110-0009