Tag Archives: Dr. Marshall Rosenberg

Announcing the passing a great worldly influence

marshall-rosenbergI am so sad to receive this news: Dr. Marshall Rosenberg has passed away on Saturday, February 7th.. It was recently discovered that he had late stage prostate cancer. He passed peacefully at home, with his wife Valentina and all his children by his side.

A beautiful man and mentor that connected me to the language of my heart! May the world remember him for his gifts.


Views of Anger from different vantage points

In a group dialogue I listened to a secondhand  viewpoint on anger from someone who had attended a workshop.  This view was  that anger could be focused in a way that wasn’t from a source of ego, yet simply to cut through it (ego).

Reflecting,  I had  memories of reading this message in Rinpoches dharma teachings and  witnessing  this skillfully in action, by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg,  and experiencing it unskillfully from another teacher.

The person sharing in our current group seems to  attracted to this topic and that it was relevant to her in the general topic we had been asked to discuss.  This filled me with  curiosity on how to marry these two together.

Coming back, what about anger?  I shared above how one person used skillful means in the process of cutting through the anger with no ego and one who had not achieved this skill, yet thought they had.  I believe the difference in these two experiences is that one person had the skills of empathetic listening (of themselves and for others) and one did not.  The second person carried an authority of knowing something and was not interested in others perspectives.  My experiences was their only interest was being their teacher.   Both these teachers had their own journey of experiencing and learning therefore, in my opinion, neither were right or wrong.  It was simply them!

What is the key to healthy anger?  The hint in the last paragraph – empathetic listening!  My perspective is that developing the ability to listen to your anger and go through it’s protective layer to what is alive underneath will release the current charge or grip of it.

The beauty of it is this experience is can  become a new skill to resolve anger issues of the past and for new issues.  You may even begin to recognize that you are NOT triggered by the same old events.

Another key lesson is  soon as you are honest with yourself and accept your anger without judgement it becomes the basic skill for hearing anger in others with deepened empathy!

I understand anger as   being an emotion to notice some action needs to be taken. Anger, therefore in this sense, is the protective use of force.  An example could be a child crossing the street.  It is anger that will increase adrenalin and provide the force to get there in time and out of harms way!

I wonder if skillful use of anger without ego then is anger without being attached to an outcome and therefore it is spontaneous (not a result of old issues and aggression.  A flash in the frying pan action, if you will, that will release the tension of the moment and result in a healthier outcome when combined with the right techniques to process and move forward with mutuality of all sides!

Social Change from an NVC Perspective

Wednesday, April 18th was Victoria’s third Nonviolent Communication (NVC) presentation to bring awareness and the benefits of NVC into our community and this nights focus was on Social Change.  April was dedicated to NVC awareness at the Church of Truth Oneness Wednesday’s and for me it was important to bring the spirit of the person that introduced this form of connecting to the planet.  A person who was social change long before there was a label for it.    Therefore the introduction began with a focus upon my perspective and understanding of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg that is based upon hearing him share his fabulous experiences.  One way Dr. Rosenberg enjoys to teach is through modelling and sharing the process (his process)  that developed and shaped his understanding and therefore his concepts.

NVC as I heard him share,  is a result of Marshall’s inner question and a passion for social change in education.  It began with his perspective based upon his cultural and education background which he took on the road and developed his own deepened conscious understanding over many years of being in the “hot seat” of experiences, being a voracious reader and connector to those initiating change in the areas of  history, cultural patterns and how humanity perceives information and connects.

Dr. Rosenberg wrote a book about his perspective of how the US educational system could better serve children’s styles of learning.  It was his belief and area of passion for social change.  Dr. Rosenberg was a psychologist and held the position of Dean at a few different university institutions in the US.  He also had his own personal practice.   All of which he gave up to become a cab driver.  Why?  He answered his own office telephone one Saturday afternoon and heard the hesitancy of the mother calling in about her son and the limitation she had of the financial burden.  Dr. Rosenberg in that moment had a need to contribute in a way people could afford with ease.

The name – Nonviolent Communication,  became the title of his method for connecting from a local community needing a title for one of his workshops.  Dr. Rosenberg took this on the road and began to travel into communities inviting him as long as they took care of the arrangements.  He would show up and give workshops, presentations and always hold separate space and time to work with individual healing of differences either in families, groups and organizations with a style of mediation and resolving conflicts.  He’s traveled throughout the world and inspired may citizens in many countries.

The connection to our community that expanded into British Columbia was through Towe Widstrand who arranged for Marshall to give workshops for our Provincial  Government Employees.  Towe has gone on to head Dr. Rosenbergs’s Eastern Countries interests.

I believe Marshall was willing to explore differences with a desire or longing for social change.  He went beyond his original opinions and perspectives and deepened his own consciousness.  Along the way he began showing those around him a bridge, one way of celebrating the differences between individuals that demonstrated going beyond the limitations of personal habitual responses.  A bridge that begins with taking personal responsibility for exploring one’s own conflicted inner emotions and identifying the sources of these emotions.  Why? In my opinion to replace the habits of automatic behavioural responses and waking up to successful ways of connecting for the purpose of moving beyond the effort of struggle, pain and conflict.

What part of social change in my life brought me to NVC – short for Nonviolent Communication?  I was on the Board of Directors of a Buddhist Dharma Centre.  I had turned to Buddhist Meditation for finding peace and inner connection and connection to others in relationships.  I had a strong connection to the environment, nature and animals, as this was where I was safe, comfortable and found the most peace.  While in this community during Retreats, Meditation trainings and practices there was an experience of expanding inner connection and connection to the environment.  During the actual practice there was an experience of loving kindness in relationships.  In the day to day operations, and relationship behaviours I began to experience it as one of the most violent relationship environments I was entrained within.  The explanation I received was the more enlighten you became, the more depth of pain you felt and therefore the deeper the violent behaviour.  This did not meet my needs for authenticity or integrity.  This led me to NVC and into a Western dogma that I could begin to practice and integrate as my comfort allowed.

My intention for the evening was to guide participants through an experience of the dance we call NVC.  My hope was of  inspiring curiosity and to motivate a deeper exploration that could be the beginning of  celebrating our differences  to see beyond enemy images, and connect at the level of our humanism – our values.

In our group sharing at the end of the evening I heard back from a participant that they felt they had an experience where by they connected to the beauty inside them.  A wonderful testimony to this method of communication!

Renee Lindstrom, passionately shares ways for connecting to the beauty with in each of us for the purpose of finding ease in connecting to ourselves and others.  She is a past director on the board of the B.C. Network for Compassionate Communication and is currently focused upon the creating local Awareness for the Gandhi, King, Chavez Seasons for Peace and Nonviolence.  Renee can be reached by email –  renee@insideawareness.com.