Tag Archives: Nonviolent Communication Awareness Campaign

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.

NVC Perspective of “Beyond Right and Wrongdoing”

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

Positions of Consciousness from an NVC perspective

Power Over/Under – Win/Lose or Lose/Lose or Power With – Win/Win
  • What type of mind world would you like to nurture in your thinking?
Scarcity verse Abundance
  • Not enough to go around, or more than enough to go around
  • Can’t have what you want of you can have what you need and so can others
Pain versus Joy/Relief/comfort/Pleasure/Vitality
  • Pain is context for life, joy and contentment are context for life
  • Result is addictions and numbing behavior or presence and self fulfilling behaviours
Conflict/Struggle versus Ease/Harmony/Peace
  • Life is a struggle, effort and hard work or Life is a gift with joy, aliveness and play
  • Pay for it, no pain, no gain or grow and enjoy it
  • Pain, alienation from life or sense of connection with all
Low Self Value versus High Self Value
  • Worthless verse self value and empowerment
  • Feeling false versus trust in oneself
  • Defective versus feelings of wholeness
Danger versus Safety
  • World is not a safe place versus world is a safe place
  • Low or no trust versus high trust in life
  • Wary vigilant or relaxed
  • Needs a safe environment versus operating on inner safety

AND MORE……

Join us at Oneness Wednesday this evening to find out more!  April is Nonviolent communication Awareness Month.  This evenings presenter is Laurel Collins and she will be sharing the topic – Beyond Right and Wrong Doing!

Find us at Church of Truth, 111 Superior Street at 7 p.m.

‘Power Over, Power Under and Power With’

A conceptual framework of Dr. Rosenberg’s, Nonviolent Communication is based upon understanding what he describes as ‘Partnership and Domination Paradigms.‘  Ideally with knowledge and practice of  nonviolent communication participants will move towards integrating the values of Partnership paradigms into their relationships.

Domination is life alienating  is dualistic thinking with power over, power under relationships.  It is hierarchical  head-based thinking and depends upon win/lose or lose/lose experiences.

Partnership is life enhancing and creates holistic relationships of power with.  Is is hierarchical based on function, heart-based on compassion and depends upon a win/win experience.

In Victoria for April’s Awareness Campaign for Nonviolent Communication the topic for tomorrow’s Church of Truth’s Oneness Wednesday will be , ‘Beyond right and wrongdoing.’ Presented by Laurel Collins.  Come and explore these concepts with us live and receive the support from a group and live practice opportunities.  It begins at 7:00 p.m. at 111 Superior Street.