Interview with Kathleen

Finding True North

Are you looking for True North during these times of unprecedented change? Is your inner landscape searching for solid ground? With so much change in my inner and outer worlds, I’m surviving by taking time to listen to my heart and from that place walking with integrity to the best of my ability. My friend and colleague, Mary Mackenzie, and I will be exploring how to find strength and courage in a turbulent world Sept 8-10, 2017, in a lovely CA retreat center. Join us to discover what matters most to you and how your next steps can help you get there. More information:



Is life asking you to change the story of who you are? Are you asking what’s possible? Are you yearning for sanctuary to find meaning in the changes within and around you? Mary Mackenzie and I are hosting “Life Transitions: Rediscovering the Spark Within” from Sept 15-20, 2016 in Seabeck, WA. This retreat will offer understanding of the cycle of transitions and practice developing strong skills to move through transitions with courage, strength and grace. Join us! There are a few more spots left.

To learn more about the retreat and facilities: click here

To register:



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

Guest Blog by Aimee Ryan- Life Transitions

Open letter to anyone who ever has, is, or may some day go through a transition in life (that’s right human race, I’m talking to you),


I come to you with a special opportunity to join Kathleen Macferran and Mary Mackenzie for a 6-day experiential workshop – Life Transitions: Rediscovering the Spark Within.


Why is this a special opportunity?  So many reasons, but here are some of the highlights:


  • As the philosopher Heraclitus noted, “the only constant in life is change.”  That means that if we’re going to flow through life with even a modicum of grace and ease, we need to be able to find self-connection and groundedness in the midst of the turmoil. This retreat is aimed at supporting you on that journey and giving you the skills and tools to find your spark and that place of inner peace, regardless of outer circumstance.


  • Mary and Kathleen are two of the most heart-connected, authentic individuals I’ve yet to meet and I can’t stress enough what a life-changing delight it is to spend with them. What’s even better is how they balance each other, each bringing something unique, and how their different styles complement this work so beautifully.
  • Kathleen and Mary have been offering weekend workshops on this theme for the past couple years and because they’ve been getting such rave reviews, they’ve decided to go big and do a longer, more intensive workshop. I brought Mary and Kathleen to Missoula, MT for a weekend workshop on this theme last May, and participants loved it.  The people who came represented a huge range of life transitions – some working through career changes, others focusing on intimate relationships, or life purpose, or healing from physical/mental/emotional dis-ease – and each one left with a deeper sense of themselves and their process.

Here’s a little more…


This retreat applies Nonviolent Communication (NVC) principles and processes to understanding and working through transitions (big or small). Mary and Kathleen have found this workshop works well for those with no NVC experience as well as those who have an integrated NVC practice.


I hope this was enough to get you excited about joining us. If it turns out you can’t make it (you’ll be missed!), it’d be such a gift if you’d be willing to pass this info on to others who you think might enjoy attending.  


Here’s a little 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 me at


Much love,


(retreat organizer and Kathleen/Mary super-fan)


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 (, 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

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.


Kathleen Macferran

CNVC Certified Trainer

Guest Blog by Chiara Guerrieri- NVC and Yoga

Naming the Feelings in the Body…About Mom

Hello! I had a great realization recently of how my practice of yoga combined with skills from NonViolent Communication help me navigate through some complicated feelings I experience every May.

…It’s not just Mother’s Day this time of May; it’s also my mom’s birthday, and this year she’s turning 82. My mom to me is like the towering, gorgeous Empress tree in my front yard. I named the tree after her, Fosca, and it is in bloom every year at the time of her birthday: big, bright, far-reaching, beautiful, and messy with blossoms.

As I am appreciating the blooms on the tree, this thought crosses my head: “It sucks that my mom is not here to enjoy this with me.”If I just leave the statement as is, I’m pretty much stuck inside of my head. What are my options? Here’s where NVC comes in; I’m going to start by naming the feelings in my body.

First, I notice the contraction in my body, and I pause. I take a breath and I say to myself, “That’s an evaluation.” …READ MORE

There is so much we can do to make it easier to connect with what we’re feeling, respond with clarity and honesty, whether it’s within ourselves or with our dear ones. Come join me on this journey!


AUGUST 22-28
The Communication of Yoga: Montana Retreat at Feathered Pipe RanchExplore compassion on & off the mat with the practices of Yoga & NonViolent Communication, at the stunning Feathered Pipe Ranch. If you value inner freedom and seeing choice in your interactions with others, you’ll thrive at this week long retreat in rolling hills and sacred beauty of Montana.

IMPORTANT NOTE! We need 4 more people to make this a reality. For those of you waiting to decide, the time has come! This is an amazing opportunity to luxuriate under the big skies of Montana and steep in the sweet connection of yoga with Non-Violent Communication. 
Register by May 15 or contact me as soon as you can.

Fri May 22 | Aditi Wallingford | 12:30-4:30 pm
The Communication of Yoga: Compassion On & Off the Mat

Yoga & Nonviolent Communication series in which you can discover ways to act more in alignment with your self, so you can move in alignment with others. Also on June 12 at 8Limbs.

JULY 27 – AUG 2
Breitenbush Yoga Immersion Retreat
Deepen your personal yoga practice or improve your yoga teaching. Relax under old growth trees or lounge in hot springs in this gorgeously inspiring setting.

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