Craving my Cocoon

 

I’m in the neutral zone. That’s William Bridge’s term for the second phase of transition. I’m tired, confused, lethargic, and tasks that used to be simple seem complex and effortful. It hardly feels neutral in the neutral zone.

Fortunately, I’m aware that this stage of transition requires self-care and reflection. Even though my days seem less productive than they might otherwise, I know my soul is doing some important work to recreate my life and that this phase will open up into a thrilling new beginning. Knowing that and having some practices I can rely on every day will get me through this stage with grace. Spending time in my cocoon now will serve me well.

Mary Mackenzie and I were recently in Hiawatha, IA, facilitating our “Meeting Life Transitions: Rediscover the Spark Within” workshop. I was so moved by the roomful of people that arrived as strangers, but by the end of the first night were offering each other compassionate presence as they courageously shared transitions around life, death, health, work, identity, relationships, and families. We don’t have to go through these transitions alone or without guidance. There is a flow to life that we can shape and participate in.

If you’d like to explore how to navigate life transitions in a beautiful part of the world with supportive community, join Mary and me Sept 15-20, 2016 in Seabeck, WA.

Here’s a summary of the details (click here for a flyer):

  • Dates:  September 15th – 20th
  • Location: Seabeck Conference Center, just outside of Seattle on Hood Canal (we’ll be staying in the Spruce building)
  • Price: (until 6/1): $925 (single occupancy) / $800 (double occupancy).  This includes tuition, lodging, and all meals…such a sweet deal!
  • Bonus: 25 CEUs available thru CNVC for LSW, MFT, and RN

 

If you have questions about the details above, or if you’d like to chat about if and how this retreat could support you, please feel free to contact Aimee at aimee@explorecoreconnections.com.

Life Changing Upside Down? Navigate Transitions with Grace

My world is spinning with transitions: the New year arrives and the old year is memorialized in calendars, new moments bring new possibilities, feelings come and go, new thoughts arise and old ones fade. Relationships change form, retreat from or move toward connection, old habits give way to new ones and familiar patterns fall short of the newly awakened inner call.

All these transitions in my life ask me to honor that which is changing, and to face with courage and grace that which is emerging. Navigating transitions with strength and clear choice is what Mary Mackenzie and I are passionate about. We invite you to join us for a nurturing five-day exploration of how to embrace life transitions in ways that lead to the thriving, vibrant life you know is possible.

This practical, affordable residential retreat will be held on the beautiful Hood Canal, at the Seabeck Conference Center (http://www.seabeck.org), in Seabeck, WA. Gorgeous scenery, good food, and exquisite company will make this event a time of renewal and learning. Please join us!

For more information,  click here or contact Aimee Ryan at 406-461-5135 or aimee@explorecoreconnections.com.

Want to learn more about NVC? I’m happy to share a great resource!

Dear friend,

I want to “toot my horn” for my good friends at the NVC Academy, and their NVC Multimedia Library. I’m thrilled with the materials and resources they continue to collect for their members… And what a marvelous resource tool it is for any of us who’re studying Nonviolent Communication!

What makes it so useful? Here’s what appeals to me:

  • Contains the history of Nonviolent Communication, as founded by Marshall Rosenberg
  • Holds seminal works by most of our veteran NVC trainers, as well as the work of generations of trainers who’ve come afterwards
  • Resources from today’s NVC trainers are added regularly
  • Comprehensive NVC study guide you can delve into at your own speed

Best of all for MY busy life, it’s open all the time and I don’t have go anywhere. If I want to start my day sitting in the morning sunshine with a cup of tea and Jim and Jori Manske, I can do that.

How sweet is that!

And yes, you’ll find a dozen or so of my courses in the Library, too, such as “Integrating NVC,” and “Stoking the Fires of Joy.” Just click here to see my collection!

Speaking of the Manskes…

If you join the NVC Academy’s Library THIS WEEK, you’ll receive FREE ADMISSION to “Thank You!,” a gratitude-focused telecourse Jim and Jori Manske are offering on Saturday, Nov 28 at 4:00pm PST and Sunday, Nov 29 at 11:00am PST. You’ll learn how you can create more joy in your daily life… eradicate any fear of asking for what you want… and welcome feedback, regardless of how it’s given!

And last but not least… gifts of gratitude drawings will be held during this course – including a FIRST EDITION of Marshall Rosenberg’s book, Language of Life and a holiday meditation course with Mary Mackenzie!

Wow, what a fun offer – I hope you’ll check it out!

Having a well-stocked library that’s readily available makes studying NVC such a pleasure. I don’t think there’s another resource quite like it anywhere else in the world.

Warmly,

Kathleen Macferran

CNVC Certified Trainer

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.

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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

International Intensive Training- Pacific NW US April 2015

Center For Nonviolent Communicationsm
Presents an 
INTERNATIONAL INTENSIVE TRAINING
USA – Pacific Northwest   April 3—12, 2015

The Proctor Farm

Program: This International Intensive Training (IIT) is a 9-day, Nonviolent Communication “immersion experience.” It is a residential workshop led by a team of experienced CNVC Certified Trainers.

The purpose of this IIT training is to offer people the opportunity to live the process of Nonviolent Communication in community over an extended period of time, in order to develop Nonviolent Communication knowledge, skills and consciousness. One exciting focus of this specific intensive training is exploring how individuals and teams can influence systems, cultures, communities and organizations, to become settings where all people can thrive.

Kathleen MacFerranTrainer: Kathleen Macferran,  Kathleen holds a vision for a peaceful, just and sustainable world. She has worked as a Certified Trainer for CNVC since 2003 and serves as an assessor with CNVC by supporting trainer candidates through a community-based certification process.  Offering communication and conflict resolution exploration is a passion of hers having worked with organizations and individuals including businesses, schools, colleges, community groups, faith-based communities, hospitals, families, prison inmates, and correctional and law enforcement employees. Kathleen is on the faculty of Seattle Central Community College where she offers courses in Conflict Management.

Kathleen enjoys exploring ways to engage with conflict in life-serving ways through the development of restorative systems. She serves as a lead trainer for the Freedom Project of Seattle, an affiliate organization of CNVC that strengthens community safety by supporting the transformation of prisoners into peacemakers. Kathleen offers trainings in concrete skills of nonviolence leading to reconciliation with ourselves, our loved ones and the community. For over 25 years Kathleen has explored ways to restore harmony to communities. Her experience includes two decades as a music conductor and leader of a nonprofit organization, and seven years as a public school teacher. Her website is www.StrengthofConnection.com. You can see Kathleen’s 15 minute Ted Talk here.

Karl SteyaertTrainer: Karl Steyaert

Karl is passionate about co-creating learning experiences and communities that contribute to peace, justice, and sustainability. With over 20 years of experience teaching and facilitating groups, he has helped catalyze learning in settings ranging from university classrooms to ecovillages and urban gardens. As a Certified Trainer in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Karl leads trainings in conflict resolution and communication across North America, Europe, and Asia. In addition, he facilitates Restorative Circles, a community-based approach to restorative justice grounded in NVC, and collaborates with Kathleen Macferran in supporting CNVC trainer candidates through the Trainer Candidate Community Program (TCCP). In addition to his work with NVC and conflict resolution, Karl is actively involved in co-creating communities that embody values such as sustainability, transformational learning, and consciousness. He is also dedicated to the practices of aikido (a nonviolent Japanese martial art), yoga, Buddhist meditation, permaculture, integral theory, and play. Karl’s website is www.findflow.org

Robert KrzisnikTrainer: Robert Krzisnik, MSc. Psych., has been working for 25 years (which of course cannot be true because that would mean he is already old) with individuals and groups as psychotherapist, trainer, team coach, complex meeting facilitator and conflict mediator in a wide spectrum of environments: from corporate to educational to personal and spiritual retreats. While all his work is infused with the spirit and the approach of Nonviolent Communication, he is also a dedicated practitioner of Art of Hosting practices, and an explorer of inter-cultural communication. In Nonviolent Communication he is most passionate about its spiritual aspects, as well as its use in conflict mediation (between individuals, within groups and between groups).

Since his early teenage years, Robert has been eagerly exploring the spiritual realms of Self and the Whole, as well as existential questions of life, through numerous inward journeys and travels around this wonderful world. He is also an eager practitioner (in beginning stages) of Contact Improvisation.

He lives in Slovenia, a small country in Europe, but his heart is still in a country he grew up in and which sadly does not exist anymore – Yugoslavia. His website: www.humus.si/en

Trainer: Kristen Masters was a diversity trainer working on social justice issues with runaways, battered women, and prisoners when she first found NVC. She was looking for ways to interrupt the downward spirals of violence that created these conditions. NVC became not only a tool but a lens through which she began to see the world in new ways.

The day that her friend (and CNVC trainer) Jean Morrison saved her marriage….well, Kristin’s giraffe ears perked up, and she was completely “sold”. NVC was invaluable as Kristin and her partner raised and homeschooled their daughter, who is now 15 years old. She can’t imagine parenting (or being in any relationship), without the support of a living practice of empathy and honesty, and a richly supportive community. Thankfully, she has this in abundance in her home in Santa Cruz, California, US.

Kristin lights up when she is applying NVC to social change, diversity issues, and leadership development. She draws heavily on Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects, applying this framework with an added richness of NVC principles. She is honored to be part of the team that holds the Leadership for Social Change retreat annually, focused on compassionate communication and critical awareness across lines of race, class and ethnicity.

She has embarked on extensive work with Robert Gonzales’ Living Compassion approaches, applying NVC and inquiry to inner work. She leads this in the full range of her own style, hoping to share the sense of empowerment and freedom that can come with an embodied self connection and conscious choicefulness. Kristin is dedicated to a participatory, experiential teaching style, that peppers in song and play, while also inviting space for a deep inner connection. Her long association with singing in Threshold Choir has created a personal soundtrack of self empathy songs. Music helps her stay connected to the love inside and between all of us.


Venue:

Ananda Center at Laurelwood is a 501 3c Educational Nonprofit Organization located on 225 acres 25 miles west of Portland, Oregon on the West Coast of the United States. Gardens, orchards, abundant wildlife, rolling hills, inspiring views, and the close proximity of Bald Peak all provide a setting conducive to expansive thinking, creativity, and a sense of harmony with life.  The campus, retreat and conference center provides facilities to groups looking for an uplifting, rural setting for exploration, growth and sharing. Ananda Center at Laurelwood is a place where divine joy, friendship, respect and growth thrive.

Within minutes of Laurelwood Valley two small college towns offer coffee shops and restaurants, while plentiful opportunities beyond the campus for hiking in natural areas and wildlife refuges, exploring the coastal beach towns of the Pacific Northwest are all just over an hour away.

For more details, including the all-vegetarian mostly organic meals, cozy and carpeted rooms, and large and open classrooms, click here:http://anandalaurelwood.org/stay/

Travel:

Expansion Hall: Most mapping or GPS programs will direct you to the administration building on Laurelwood Road. Guest Check-In and the Green Hill Cafe are in Harmony Hall. From Expansion Hall, continue west to Academy Way (on left past the gymnasium), turn left on Academy Way (before the Seventh Day Adventist Church and LACE Center), follow the road up the hill to the large 3-story building with a green roof. Follow signs to Guest Parking and Registration in the foyer of Harmony Hall.

For map and driving directions, click here:http://anandalaurelwood.org/about/directions/#sthash.bQCyR8I6.dpuf

By Plane

Fly into Portland International Airport. Ananda Center at Laurelwood is 36 miles from the Portland Airport, approximately an hour by car.

Transportation options from the airport:

  • Take MAX (light rail) to the Beaverton Transit Center (BTC) and arrange to be picked up there for $35 each way. The MAX Red Line terminates at the BTC and takes about an hour.  Ananda Laurelwood is a half-hour drive from there. MAX costs $2.50. The station is located in the airport. It runs every 15 minutes from 4:44 am to 11:49 pm.
  • Car rentals are available at the airport.
  • Groups can self-organize to arrange shared shuttle buses from the airport- more information upon registration

By Train

Amtrak does arrive in downtown Portland and is served by MAX (light rail) as well.

Participants are asked to wait until their registration in the IIT has been confirmed before booking travel reservations.


Fee: Total IIT Fees consists of a tuition fee of $2,340 plus accommodation fee – as outlined in the table below.

Early Bird Discount: Receive a $351 discount on tuition (15% off tuition) on payments received in full by 1/3/2014 (3 months prior to start of IIT). Tuition Fee Payable to CNVC under this option is $1,989.

Receive a $234 discount on full tuition (10% off tuition) on payments received in full by 2/3/2014 (2 months prior to start of IIT). Tuition Fee Payable to CNVC under this option is $2,106

Other discounts: If you are a registered certification candidate with CNVC or have attended a CNVC IIT before, we offer you a $351 discount on tuition (15% discount off tuition) (not to be combined with other discounts). If you are associated with a partner organization for this IIT, we offer a 5% tuition discount.

IIT Options and Fees (For a 9-Day Training):

Accommodation Type Accommodation Fee

Per Person

Enrollment Fee Total
Hotel-Style (Double) $900 $2,340 $3240
Camping TBD $2,340 TBD

Total IIT Fees consists of a tuition fee of $2,340 plus accommodation fee – as outlined in the table below – both payable to CNVC.

Three all-vegetarian, mostly organic meals per day included in accommodation fee. Shared participant kitchen and refrigerators available.

How to register:

  1. Click here to fill out the online IIT Application Form, please follow the instructions in the form to make payment:
  2. Applications sent before March 3, 2015 need to include full or partial payment, with a minimum of $100. The balance is due on March 3, 2015 . For applications sent on or after March 3, 2015, please include full tuition fees.
  3. CNVC usually acknowledges your application within 5 business days; please contact the IIT department if you did not receive an acknowledgment within this time
  4. If you would prefer a written application contact the IIT department and we will mail you one.

For questions please contact the IIT Department at 505-244-4041 or e-mail IIT

IIT Nick Name:

Pacific NW US IIT

Date:

Fri, 2015-04-03 18:00 – Sun, 2015-04-12 13:00

People
CNVC IIT Administrator:

Elin Searfoss

Yoga and Compassionate Communication

I wish I was going on this trip to India to explore yoga and compassionate communication! For more informations: http://chiaraguerrieri.com/wordpress/2014/10/deeper-travel-india-2015-4-spots-remain/

Do I make a Difference? Shifting Anxiety to Choice

I woke up feeling vulnerable and anxious and decided to embrace and open to the sensations that were there. A flood of memories came back—years and years of teaching, conducting, parenting and the wondering if it had made any difference at all. “Are people’s lives any different? Are the horrors of the world diminished in any way by how I’ve lived?” I asked myself. “Was I so immersed in what I was doing morning to night thinking it was all so important and wasn’t able to see that all that effort didn’t mean much after all?”

 

Sinking into the sadness, some shame, disappointment, and hopelessness leads me below the turbulent waters where I notice the yearning to live a life that has meaning, that contributes to others, that makes a difference because I show up with love. I want to risk my significance based on a full-bodied sense of integrity and authenticity, not reacting to external expectations.

 

Allowing my body and heart to sink into that hunger, to give my full weight to it in the present moment, I notice another fear at the thought that some beloved people in my life may not understand or support my choices. A wave of sadness come over me thinking the consequences may be that I fall from grace or lose being held with positive regard by those I care about.

 

Breathing into the fear of loss, I relax into how much I care, how much I love others and want to deepen sacred connection. I feel relief knowing that I can choose to offer unconditional positive regard to others, no matter how they respond to me. I can create the qualities I cherish. Can I offer that acceptance and care to myself as I step more and more into my own authenticity? I’m willing to try.  Hearing my own “yes!” connects me with the flow of Life moving through me and the power of being connected to meaning and purpose. I don’t know how to answer the question “Do I make a difference?” but I do trust that living each moment with a willingness to risk my significance for the sake  of connection and love may help me live my way into the answer.

Kathleen’s TEDx Talk released!

Houses of Healing: Kathleen Macferran at TEDx Monroe Correctional Complex

Kathleen Macferran on stage at TEDx - Monroe State Prison

This TEDx event was full of heart and inspiration for me. In this talk I’ve shared some of the experiences that make prison work so meaningful for me. I hope you find the stories relevant and inspirational in the video below.

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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