LEVEL ONE 6-WEEK COURSE
I wanted to thank you for a really insightful course. I enjoyed the mix of theoretical information and practical/experiential exercises, which made the course very engaging- every evening I was surprised to realise how the time had flown! You helped create a sense of openness and trust in the group and I appreciated your sensitivity, dedication to the group and the way you stepped in to help each time one of us was unsure about the instructions or was in difficulty. (Valentina, October 2017)
In retrospect I thought the men’s/women’s circles very rewarding. I feel as a consequence that I have far greater visceral understanding, connection and movement around women’s issues. Yes quite a remarkable experience all in all.
I also liked immeasurably the session on money. I have engaged in what I might have considered far riskier projects since this session. If money cannot support life, what’s the point of it???? Love it.
But perhaps the biggest impact on myself was the sense of shedding a skin, a way of being or behaving. It did at one stage leave me feeling a stranger in a foreign land without a map or a guide. Indeed one morning I couldn’t answer the question why get up out of bed. I thought I had lost the will to live. In transition? Very definitely. So once again I am reminded if not downright awestruck by the enormous power of NVC work. I can’t quite see how it brings about these wonderfully powerful healthy impacts on people other than to acknowledge that it does.
The whole experience was powerful and moving. VERY glad I came. (2015 Summerfester)
COMMUNICATION FOR TRANSFORMATION, BANGALORE, JANUARY 2017
I felt I was heard for the first time ever. The course has given my life an other meaning. I am aiming to connect to my son and family through NVC. Shantigarbha and Gesine made this training most enjoyable and knowledgeable.
My needs of not judging and blaming self, and standing by myself with my needs was enriched. I am moving out with a proud me!!!
I learned that though I am sensitive of others’ feelings and needs, I freeze when it comes to identifying my own feelings and needs. The training helped me to open that up for myself, especially when Shantigarbha supported and listened in the Fight, Flight, Freeze activity.
I learned how to break down the hotch-potch of emotions to the embedded feelings and needs, and therefore pinpoint what could perhaps help resolve issues.
Feelings are feedback about met/unmet needs. By connecting with our feelings and the associated needs, we can gain harmony in ourselves and connect with whomever we come in contact with.
I feel grateful to have been part of this workshop. I am going back with inspiration to bring about change in how I connect.
LIVING BRIDGES, NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 2017
I was touched at the collective openness and sharing in the group. My needs for community, learning, fun, sharing, connectin and clarity were met.
I learnt that I have tools to form bridges with people I love. Difficult situations can be meditated upon with no one being blamed. Thus making meaningful, loving connections.
All of the exercises we did made us observe and learn self-connection at a deeper level. My interactions towards the end with a partner was very effective. It felt very fulfilling.
What touched me was the simplification of the chaos in me during this workshop through the specific examples and demonstrations. It enriched my life by fulfilling my needs for connection and acceptance.
I realised that self-empathy and self-care are the key to empathising with others!
Through the course I have gained an understanding that underneath my feelings are unmet needs. This caused me to have strong feelings that were initially quite uncomfortable but as we have progressed through the course I am also experiencing ways to connect with others and express those needs. It is the beginning of a process I can see will help me deepen and strengthen relationships both professionally and personally.
Caroline de Francesca, Bristol NVC Level One course participant
The exercise connected with embodied NVC, where we worked with a partner, I found fascinating. I was faced by my partner coming towards me, quoting my “trigger” sentence. I ended up going through this three times and it transmuted each time. First feeling was sadness, then anger, then a feeling of non-plussed i.e. the words not really bothering me. Interesting!
Chris Trow, Bristol NVC Level One course participant
I am very impressed with the Restorative Circle. Usually when we listen to others we think we understand what they are saying, but here what I found really interesting that we are replying back to them, You said this, this and this. So when they replied back, Yes that is what I wanted to say, you got the sense that that person was heard. Of course it will help in the healing process, but since I am also a representative from the peace ministry, in the course of the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) being formed and in the process of truth telling, I think this kind of dialogue can be really helpful.
Bharat Acharya, Nepalese Peace Ministry, “Healing and Reconciliation” participant.
I also found it very productive because this dialogue explores not only the pain but also what are the things that remain in society that are the causes of the conflict. So we could also find out that.
Balman Bista, Nepalese Peace Ministry, “Healing and Reconciliation” participant.
In this seven days, what I felt, or what I have learned is that we have so much pain inside us, so when others are telling their pain actually we are not trying to listen to their pain because we already have our own pain. But in these 7 days I have learned the skills how we can listen to others pain also, so that they also feel understood.
Kalpana Dhakal, Nepalese Peace Ministry, “Healing and Reconciliation” participant.
Shantigarbha, thank you for your support, openness and understanding. Since attending the course I have felt an unusual quietness, a stillness within my mind, a renewed joy for life. I now feel more willing to just be present rather than save the day. Hopefully I will be able to attend another course soon and spend some time in the environment of people who care.
Thank you also for leading such an inspiring and thought-provoking weekend workshop. I couldn’t have imagined just how much I would get out of it before I did the course and just how utterly compelling and life changing the approach can be.
As someone who has both delivered and attended lots of training workshops, I appreciate your authenticity and presence very much.
From participants of our Level Two: Deepening trainings
I really got so much from the Empathy weekend, especially when you coached me on the dance floor regarding my son. I went home and talked to him and asked what support he would like from me. He asked me to look after his son for an afternoon, so he could get some free time to prepare for his interview. And he got the job! There has been a very positive shift in our relationship since that weekend – for example, last night he phoned me to talk about a training course he is doing at work and spent almost an hour talking to me on the phone (normally it is a five minute “how are you” and “can you babysit” conversation). You really did have a big and positive impact that weekend and not only is my need for peace identified and being met, so is my need for love, respect and understanding. Thank you so much.
Watching Shantigarbha coaching [participant’s name] on the Dance Floor on Saturday felt like one of the purest learning experiences I have ever encountered – natural and gentle curiosity, sensitivity, companionship, walking together, connectedness, inquisitiveness, supportive, imaginative, no bullshit whatsoever. For me, this is one of the most joyous images I have ever observed, like Pooh and Christopher Robin in the Hundred Acre Wood in flavour. Now I know it’s possible to learn without competition, hope and fear, teacher/student roles, pressure and stress, right/wrong, and with a sense of walking together and putting our heads together.
Thank you greatly for being the person that I felt happy enough to coach me through all that painful stuff, on the Dance Floor, the tip of the iceberg! This week has been a bit strange – as in new. It’s helpful to know – especially after discussions on feelings over the weekend – that feeling sad is okay and to remind myself of that! I am whole and have this amazing human capacity to feel emotions of an amazing array! Love and Light to you
Mike and I are feeling full of growth in our ability to apply nvc! A huge thank you to you. For some reason, at this past workshop, we both learned that everyone’s needs are equal. In all the other studying we have done we never had the space to understand this point or just overlooked it. That alone has propelled us huge steps forward. I am bowing down to you both in gratitude!!!!!!
I realized that it is hard to listen to others if I am not able to listen to myself. I’m feeling angry and sad, and, at the same time, I am starting to listen to myself.
When we did the “Learning to love your inner jackal” exercise, you were able to help me to see more pieces of the puzzle than I had seen before. Now I’m feeling gratitude, lightness and hope of clarity, learning and growth.
Thank you for a fantastic weekend of NVC and for your energy in the process for me and everyone. I am still buzzing with the release of energy and refocus and joyful feelings of having a safe space to express myself in.
Foundation (Basic) Trainings
I realise now that in order to be heard, I need to listen.
A small seed has been planted in this training, which I hope will grow into a compassionate connectedness with other people and myself.
I appreciated seeing how even someone behaving really ‘badly’ could be seen as a person with needs, and then I felt some compassion for her.
I want to express my appreciation of your teaching NVC, it meets my need to develop as a more fully functioning human being, I have got a lot from the weekends and I hope to do more.
I did the foundation course in October. As time passes I realise how profound an effect the course has had on my perception of myself and the world. I hope you will keep me posted on future courses.
A short note to thank you for a weekend’s learning that felt exciting, emotionally challenging and thoroughly practical – guess that it came at a perfect time for me for what ever reason! What feels particularly rewarding is that I am finding useful bits creeping unawares into my conversations with people, as well as finding myself able to flag up things that I said /thought that seemed less than helpful, and for the present at least, listening far more carefully. Thank you very much indeed for helping that to come about. With very kindest wishes…
Thank you for the photo its great to have a reminder of such a heart warming weekend.
I am trying to keep up my focus on connection rather than outcomes and am managing most of the time with the children but still slip up sometimes. I have learnt from the course that it’s all about looking after my needs and then I can be the parent I want to be. It always goes wrong when I am tired hungry or am attempting to do too much.
I am so grateful to you all for the huge support you gave me. I felt very happy on Monday morning and have been telling everyone about the weekend.
In fact, I am at this moment feeling quite overwhelmed by how much change has already happened within our family in terms of how we are communicating and how much better we are connecting. My son Sam (4) has quite bad asthma. Although asthma undoubtedly has physiological causes, I believe that its root causes are probably emotional. During the training we talked about the fact that children have little choice, but they can choose not to sleep or eat. I wonder from my experience that they can also choose not to breath. Sam’s asthma began around the time his younger brother was born. He can’t yet fully express how his asthma makes him feel (and how frightening it must be) and so his way of letting me know is by shutting me out. During these times I feel that any connection between us breaks down and my response (which has been to get frustrated, angry, upset) just escalates the problem. And so today we started the day and I was mindful all day of using NVC language with Sam. He has responded so positively and I was amazed to hear that by the end of the day Sam was already expressing himself in terms of “I feel ….because I need ….” – and that’s without even attending the training! I now understand why it is called the “dance” – we have had some quite long and interesting conversations as we worked towards consensus. On every occasion we have been able to find an outcome which has met both of our needs. What has surprised me the most is that when I have communicated to him “how I feel and what I would like” – Sam has looked into my eyes with real empathy and been eager to find a solution to what he has clearly perceived to be our shared problem. I am ashamed to say that before today I totally underestimated the depth of the conversation possible with a four year old. For me the real sign that Sam had noticed the change was tonight when he asked me to put him to bed (he hasn’t done this for 18 months).
I found the role plays to be effective tools. The one regarding me getting angry at my daughter was particularly helpful with your ability to match my energy. I had a sense of being heard and complete and understood.
Learning and Healing
Thank you so much for the nvc course, I feel inspired to do so much more and maybe eventually do a training course. The language of nvc, for me, is like a key to freedom from being held prisoner by emotions. I now feel so free to experience, feel and express them without fear, guilt, anger and shame. I am much more aware of when reactive patterns are emerging. However I did slip yesterday when I remarked to a journalist friend of my daughter who works for The People, ” All newspapers are shite!” I have photocopied the article about Anger and Domination Systems and I’m distributing to people I think would be interested. I definitely want to do nvc with my group in Fife. The healing work I did with you Shantigarbha affected me deeply. I feel I have released years of pain.
Thank you both.
Year Programme participants
I wanted to thank you again for sharing that inner conflict dancefloor, and for the time and persistance you offered in supporting me. Those insights and learning this tool were the greatest gifts I came away with, and have already offered it to a friend to support her with a personal dilemma.
A wonderful program to facilitate learning, listening and expression. the course was conducted with great care, flexibility, openness and respect by shantigarbha, who helped us get in touch with our own needs and those of others in a safe, supportive, and often very fun environment. the way we spent our days showed me that nvc was a real, viable, livable option, and this brought me a deep joy and hope which I try to take with me into my outside life and everyday interactions.
When I expressed my pain and others in the group found it difficult to hear, I enjoyed that Shantigarbha checked with me what I was needing – to clarify and make sure he’d understood me and the others each time – this encouraged me to go deeper, trusting that I was being supported and that he was a resource for everyone else too.
Thanks again for your time. The ease I feel with my dad is very noticibly increased following on that powerful piece of perfectly timed work. Thank you for your gifts of time and attention and experience.