When NVC “Doesn’t Work”

“NVC doesn’t work. No matter what I say, people still won’t behave the way I want them to.” I imagine that words like these might spring from a deep longing…

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Avoiding the Judgment Trap

Recently, someone said to me, "I hear that when people really get into NVC they become judgmental about other people's language." Unfortunately, this concern reflects a trap that students of…

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Restorative Families Network

Restorative Circles (RC) are often thought of as a system for addressing conflict in large institutions, such as the criminal justice system, or in schools. Yet, I am coming to…

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NVC Consciousness

Our way of being -- the intentions, attitudes, and quality of the energy that we bring to an interaction -- is more important than the particular words we choose to…

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Notes from Arizona

I just returned from my fourth week-long retreat with Robert Gonzales, who I regard as a pioneer in illuminating the spiritual underpinnings of NVC. I experienced the latest retreat as…

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Suffering is Optional

"Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional." The accuracy of this truism with ancient roots depends on how one defines "suffering." I find it useful to think of "suffering" as…

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Aspirations and Invitations

The standard recipe for the "four components" of NVC is Observation-Feeling-Need-Request (OFNR). Today I'd like to invite you to try on a variation on this: Observation-Feeling-Aspiration-Invitation (OFAI). This isn't intended…

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Trauma and Sanctuary

Do you ever find that events trigger emotions (or seeming lack of emotions) that lead you to do things you wish you wouldn't, or to fail to do things you…

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A Shift Toward Living Fully

Recently, I’ve discovered a way of orienting to my inner life that seems to have the potential of producing dramatically more satisfying outcomes. A common way of orienting to our…

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