Phases of the Moon, the newsletter of the Maine NVC Network
Volume Two, Issue Eight: Integrating NVC through Daily Practice

Our newsletter appears once a month around the time of the new moon. Our purpose is to contribute to the NVC learning of people who have taken at least an NVC Level 1 workshop, and help us stay connected as we endeavor to deepen a culture of peace within ourselves, our families and the world. We believe a Level 1 offers so many new ways of thinking that additional support for learning and integration could be helpful.

We endeavor to make each edition informative, connecting, inspiring and fun. Please let us know how the newsletter might contribute to your NVC well-being.

This month's theme is Integrating NVC through Daily Practice. This issue focuses on daily practices that can aid us in shifting from judgmental right/wrong thinking to nonviolent consciousness, moving from disconnection toward connection.



Daily Practices for Integrating NVC Naturally

by Peggy Smith, CNVC certified NVC trainer

Attending an NVC introductory workshop often inspires us to move toward needs-based consciousness. This way of thinking is a major shift from the right/wrong, good/bad thinking that we have been raised with. It takes time and conscious effort to build new neural pathways in the brain to move NVC from an inspiring theory to a way of life.

With two days of training we have not yet had enough practice in using the four-step framework of NVC: Observation, Feelings, Needs, Requests. (OFNR) It is useful to take 5–15 minutes several times a week to think about a situation and apply the OFNR framework to it.

There are other ways that I can purposefully shift my thinking and speaking to strengthen NVC thought patterns. Remember, NVC is more than a four-step formula; it is an attitude of compassionate self-responsibility. For concrete actions that anyone can incorporate into their thoughts and speech without sounding NVC-ish, consider the following chart.

Daily Practices for Translating Judgmental Thinking into Compassionate Thinking

Judgmental Thinking

Compassionate Thinking

Why Translate?

I can't I don't want to, I won't
I choose not to
I haven't learned how to
To acknowledge choice
I feel that
I feel like
I think, I believe
I have an opinion
It seems to me
To distinguish between thoughts and feelings
Why? What?
And other probing questions
Are you feeling. . .?
Are you wishing. . .?
To connect with what’s alive right now
It’s right, wrong,
Good, bad,
Smart, stupid
I judge it to be..
I believe it is. .
To acknowledge subjectivity of my perception and judgment
It / you / he / she makes me sick.
It makes me happy.
I feel sick.
I feel happy.
To own my feelings.
Never, etc.
Give specific situations:
When. . .
To acknowledge limitations of my knowledge and avoid judgment of a situation
Slightly revised from The Compassionate Classroom: Relationship Based Teaching & Learning
by Sura Hart & Victoria Hodson / website

It has been my experience that by consciously incorporating each of the six strategies for compassionate thinking presented in the chart above, my mindset builds the internal attitude that supports the integration of OFNR. In this way, NVC becomes my primary way of thinking, sounding natural and connecting when I choose to speak it out loud.

For the next six weeks, work with the chart in the feature article. Each week pick one of the translation suggestions from the chart and make a conscious effort to practice it. When you find yourself stating something using judgmental thinking, take a moment to restate the sentence using one of the translation choices.

It is important to remember that by becoming aware of the judgments we use in our everyday speech, we build our internal freedom to make other choices. I find it helpful to acknowledge that I just worded something in a way I don’t enjoy and would like to take a moment to restate it in a way that resonates with my values.

Some examples might be:

  • "I can’t go with you."
    Restate: "I am choosing not to go with you because. . ."
  • "I feel that it is wrong to label people."
    Restate: "When I hear you call him passive aggressive I feel (sad, anxious, upset) because I believe that labels make it harder to connect to others."
  • "That’s a selfish way to behave."
    Restate: "I think that is selfish behavior."
  • "When you don’t follow through with your commitments it makes me feel (frustrated, mad, annoyed)"
    Restate: "When you don’t follow through with your commitments I feel. . ."

When I chose to work with the Daily Practices chart, I found NVC far more than a formula for speaking. It has been a way to perceive and experience my own empowerment. If you choose to try this practice, the newsletter team would enjoying hearing what comes alive for you as a result. We endeavor to make each edition informative, connecting, inspiring and fun. Email us


Further Practice

  1. At the end of each day take 2 or 3 minutes to review that day and notice when you made a change based on the Daily Practices Chart. Offer yourself an appreciation for the effort and focus is takes to change. If you think of times you didn’t implement that week’s focus, take a moment to make a change now so you are better prepared for the future.
  2. Join an NVC Practice Group or take an NVC course to keep your skills growing.
  3. Have an empathy session to explore the joys, celebrations and challenges of implementing the strategies presented in the Daily Practices Chart.
  4. It’s summer, be sure to pick a few strategies for nurturing the needs of fun and play!


I have deep appreciation for CNVC certified trainers Sura Hart & Victoria Kindle Hodson for all they do to develop curriculum for NVC, and the practicality of their needs-based writing. Please read one of their contributions: Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids, The Compassionate Classroom, or The No-Fault Classroom. The chart that is the core of this month's feature is slightly modified from their work. (Books available here)

Peggy Smith is co-founder of the Maine NVC Network and founder/principal trainer with Open Communication
Contact Open Communication for a presentation on NVC for your organization or business.

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Upcoming Trainings

Trainings listed here are in the Maine region. If you wish to list an event, please follow our guidelines for submission. Please note that both certified and non-certified trainers, (who are willing to follow certain requirements of the Center for Nonviolent Communication, may be leading the posted trainings. Listing here does not imply endorsement by the Maine NVC Network of the trainer or the event.

August 8–12, Hutchinson Center, Belfast, ME
PAX 495: Sustainable Communication

NVC 3 credit course in UMaine Peace Studies Dept.
Advanced Topics in Peace & Reconciliation
Combined NVC level 1 & 2 with full 3 credits

Do you know of students home in Maine for the summer who would enjoy getting 3 credits for a week long course in NVC? Do you know of educators, counselors, social workers or health care professionals looking for credits for recertification? Please let them know about this opportunity.

Taught by Peggy Smith / pdf icon details and registration

Sept. thru Dec., Belfast and Falmouth, ME
Intermediate Immersion Group with Peggy Smith, certified NVC trainer

Pre-requisite a minimum of 4 days of NVC training with a certified NVC trainer.
3rd Saturday of each month in Falmouth
3rd Sunday of each month in Belfast
9:00 – 1:00 each session
details: Falmouth / Belfast

Sept. 9-10, South Portland, ME
Bridges of Connection: Using Nonviolent Communication to Enhance Our Efforts

Taught by Peggy Smith & Karen Groat
This workshop will be focused for mediators, lawyers, social workers and school personnel.
details and registration

September 9 (evening), Sept. 30 (evening), and Oct. 1, Portland, ME
Bridges of Connection: Using Nonviolent Communication to Enhance Our Relationships

A Level 1 workshop with Peggy Smith, certified NVC trainer
details and registration

Talk at the Common Ground Country Fair
"Thinking Nonviolently - Building a Future"

by Peggy Smith, representing the Maine NVC Network at the Social Political Action Speaker's Tent
Two opportunities to hear the talk:
Friday, September 23, at 1pm & Saturday, September 24, at 5 pm


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Poetry Corner

Almost A Conversation
by Mary Oliver

I have not really, not yet, talked with otter
about his life.

He has so many teeth, he has trouble
with vowels.

Wherefore our understanding
is all body expression—

he swims like the sleekest fish,
he dives and exhales and lifts a trail of bubbles.
Little by little he trusts my eyes
and my curious body sitting on the shore.

Sometimes he comes close.
I admire his whiskers
and his dark fur which I would rather die than wear.

He has no words, still what he tells about his life
is clear.
He does not own a computer.
He imagines the river will last forever.
He does not envy the dry house I live in.
He does not wonder who or what is it that I worship.
He wonders, morning after morning, that the river
is so cold and fresh and alive, and still
I don’t jump in.

- Evidence, p. 30



Do you want to receive emails about upcoming NVC trainings and other NVC events in and near Maine?

Join the Maine NVC Network
Yahoo Group

The group is moderated and is only used for announcements of regional workshops and other Maine NVC Network events. Inclusion in list serve announcements does not imply endorsement by the Network.


Arctic white otter breaking clam shells with paws before eating them

Call for Volunteers

The health of the Network depends on the joyful efforts of all who yearn to bring nonviolent consciousness to our region.
To learn more, email our volunteer coordinator.

Upcoming Opportunities

MOFGA Common Ground Fair
September 23-25, Unity, ME

Enjoy three hours of life-serving presence at the Nonviolent Communication booth and receive one day free admission to MOFGA’s Common Ground Fair. As a volunteer at the Maine NVC Network booth you will connect with fair goers, hand out information about upcoming workshops and answer questions about NVC. The rest of the day is yours to delight in the fair. Slots fill up on a first-come basis. The booth has three tickets for each day.
Email to volunteer

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NVC Practice Group
Announcements & News

New NVC Study / Practice group forming
in Bar Harbor, ME, area this September

This group will be open to people wanting to learn NVC with no prior experience. For more information please contact Sandy or Burt Haggett:
207-288-0085 / email

Drop by and visit the Network booths at

  • Brunswick Peace Fair August 6, Brunswick, ME
  • Common Ground Fair, Social Action Area Sept. 23–25, Unity, ME

Outreach Committee Request

The Outreach Committee of the Maine NVC Network is looking for a few people with interest and expertise in getting the message and work of NVC onto the radar of more of the citizens of Maine. We are looking for more presence for NVC in all sorts of media, and through personal contacts in professional organization, in each county of the State. We would love to hear from you! If you are willing to serve as a valued consultant, join the committee or have questions, please email us.


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