At our second evening of sharing Victoria’s April Awareness campaign for NVC as an experience for shifting a planet into peace, we had the pleasure of having local Victorian Laurel Collins as guest presenter. Laurel chose the topic, “Beyond right and wrongdoing, ” as the focus of her presentation.
Laurel shared her unique experience and passion behind her own connection to Nonviolent Communication and why she was choosing to commit another 4 to 5 years of study to write her thesis with a focus on this dialogue process and consciousness.
She successfully expanded and deepened our understanding of the process that Judi Morin began last week introducing to us in this style of communicating. The take away from last week was the stories we tell ourselves in our thinking process that keeps us from connecting to each other. Each person has their own unique perspective and Judi was able to demonstrate this through an exercise. Her role play was to demonstrate how these internal arguments play in our head and keep us from knowing what is truly going on for us and expressing in a way to be heard.
Laurel expanded our awareness of the four basic steps in an NVC dialogue. Observation, Feelings, Needs and Requests sometimes called OFNR. She connected us to the stimulation we and others may feel upon our choices of words in the sentences we articulate as NVC practitioners. Sentences such as, “I am feeling ……,” “I am needing…..,” and “Would you be willing…..” She gave us ideas of how to structure sentences differently to give us more choice in our NVC conversations. Experiencing NVC feeling and needs literacy Laurel connected and shone the light on the developing consciousness that grows naturally and organically when you practice nonviolent communication. She cautioned us that as beginners in the initial stages of learning the four steps and practicing them as a practitioner we may develop our own right ways of doing Nonviolent Communication. She explained how this may be an alienating experience for many and that being right in how to do NVC practice may become the focus rather than connecting. Basically taking right and wrong thinking into our NVC practice.
We enjoyed breakout exercises that gave us an experience of sharing times when we said something that we would have liked to have said differently. The intention was to share what needs might have stimulated what we have said. In my breakout group no one had any burning desire to share an issue. Therefore playing with what they did say to identify their feelings and discover the . underlying needs there was visual discomfort at being the center of attention and in this process of sharing. One person did share a very hot issue for them that demonstrated the delicate layering of issues in conflict that creates a blow up. It was a powerful moment of connection after separating out the issues and bringing the connection within to a personal inner experience.
Coming away from our evening I am reminded that this is a practice and a choice to commit to. One that we will be exploring for our lifetimes to become more conscious in our relationships and grow more quality into them.
Laurel demonstrated that in choosing to speak with a sentence structure of NVC principals we naturally begin to create an experience in our world that has abundance, joy, support and connection . In changing our language we support shifting our view from struggle and pain into possibilities and potential therefore a shift in our own experiences.
Everyone enjoyed this nights presentation and Laurel’s articulate style and connection in sharing the illusive qualities of Nonviolent Communication.
Next week on Wednesday, April 18th, I will be presenting and the topic will be on “Activism for Social Change” and on Wednesday, April 28th, Michele Favarger will be presenting the topic of “Resolving Conflict.”
Please join us at 7 p.m. – the Church of Truth, 111 Superior Street
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