Phases of the Moon, the newsletter of the Maine NVC Network
Volume Four, Issue Five: NVC and Social Change

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 NVC and Social Change.


NVC and Social Change

by Peggy Smith, CNVC certified NVC trainer

"Are you afraid?" asked my eight year old neighbor as she helped me gather seaweed for my garden.

"Of what?" I inquired.

"You know, the people at the jail. You work in a jail right? Aren’t you afraid having them all around you?"

I felt touched by her questions. So many perceptions and misperceptions we have of other people. So much fear stimulated. I assured my young friend that the men and I treat each other with much consideration and kindness. We went back to gathering seaweed.

For almost three years I have been offering Nonviolent Communication at a Re-entry Center in a neighboring town. These are men nearing the end of their incarceration in either Maine jails or prisons. The program was developed by the Sheriff so that the men could develop skills that would assist them in positively returning to their families and communities.

When the Center first opened a local NVC supporter, Michael Shell, pitched the idea of adding NVC to the courses offered. He worked there until he relocated with his family. Michael invited me to take over the program he developed and nurtured with passion. The men receive ten 2-hour sessions of NVC in addition to a variety of other offerings.

The work I do at the Center and other social change activities are the focus of an interview I participated in as part of Alan Seid’s NVC & Social Change tele-seminar, entitled A Path With Heart. You can listen to my interview HERE.

To hear recordings of 20 other NVC trainers interviewed during this telesummit, go to A Path With Heart, enter your name & email address, and follow the instructions in the email you receive. For a nominal fee, you will gain access to recordings and transcriptions of all the interviews.

Suggestions for Practice

  1. Explore the interview options that make up A Path With Heart tele-summit
  2. For a day notice how your life has changed (or might change) by deepening into needs-based consciousness. This is an aspect of social change.
    On another day notice places in your community that you think would benefit from the connecting power of needs-based consciousness.
    Talk with a friend about what you noticed. Consider, if you could not fail, what would your heart and mind like to do to strengthen needs-based consciousness within your sphere of influence.
    Reach out to the NVC community in your area to share your dream and ask for support. The newsletter team invite you to share your visions with us for possible use in a future edition of Phases of the Moon newsletter.

Peggy Smith is a certified NVC trainer living in Lincolnville, ME. A co-founder of the Maine NVC Network and principle trainer with Open Communication, Peggy loves living, teaching and coaching NVC.

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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.

June 8-9, Concord, NH
Level 1: Speak Peace In A World of Conflict

Taught by Peggy Smith / pdf icon details and registration


July 29 – August 2, Belfast, ME
Sustainable Communication: Theory and Practice of Nonviolent Communication

This 3 credit university course can be taken at the undergraduate or graduate level.
Learn NVC while earning university credit. Great for re-certification too.
Taught by Peggy Smith / pdf icon details and registration


Sept 2013 – June 2014 Maine NVC Integration Program
Opening My Heart – Opening Communication

An Intermediate NVC Experience
Now open for enrollment!
Led by Peggy Smith (Certified NVC Trainer) & Leah Boyd (NVC Mediation Program graduate)
pdf icon details and registration
Feedback from participants in the 2012-13 Integration Program:
"This is FAR more than I imagined."
"This is just what I was hoping for and more so!"
"The practices are so accessible and I am getting so many insights already."
"I am so grateful and looking forward to the home practice."


Oct. 4–6, Bar Harbor, ME
Awakening Our Passion, Living in Compassion:
The Embodied Spirituality of Nonviolent Communication

with Robert Gonzales pdf icon details and registration


Oct. 25-27, South Portland
From Conflict To Connection: the Fundamentals of Nonviolent Communication

Taught by Peggy Smith / pdf icon details and registration



Invitation to
Empathy Circles

WEEKLY: Mondays 10-11:30 am, Belfast
FMI contact Marshall or Carolyn:
Phone 338-0842

MONTHLY: First Friday of each month, 10am-1pm
at The Start Center, 37 Start Rd, Camden
You are welcome to come when you can. If this is your first time coming, please contact Linda beforehand:
Phone 322-2122 / email



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.


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.

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Start With Things
by John Snyder

start with things – not with ideas
things will not betray you:
everything wants to help a beginner

there is more spiritual power
in the fragrance of one rose in your garden
than in all the incense in India

study each thing as if it were
a lost volume of Dante – the one that
told what lay beyond Paradise

sooner or later things will begin
to sing to you, and much later
you will begin to hear their chords

you may want to know if you yourself
are a thing with its own chord –
your knowledge of roses may save you

used with permission of the poet

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Special Announcement of
Book Study Group Forming

Organized by Heather Halsey of Washington, ME

I would like the opportunity to explore, with a small group of thoughtful new friends, how NVC can be utilized to support increased clarity, honesty, and satisfaction at work. I would like to create a book discussion group (limited to 10), read The Empathy Factor, by Marie Miyashiro, and meet at my home for a potluck meal and detailed discussion of each part of the book.

In the first meeting we will introduce ourselves and discuss the first section of the book: Part 1: Understanding Empathy and Needs-Based Awareness. In the second meeting we will discuss Part 2: Making Empathy Actionable. In the third meeting we will discuss Part 3: Transforming our Workplaces. In signing up for this group, please commit to ordering the book and reading each section fully prior to the discussion. Discussions will be held at my farm/home in Washington, Maine.

During the first two sessions we will be joined by certified NVC trainer Peggy Smith, who is currently working directly with Marie.

Discussion 1: 5:30-7:30 on Friday, May 24

Discussion 2: 5:30-7:30 on Thursday, June 13

Discussion 3: 5:30-7:30 on Friday, July 12

To pre-register, contact Heather: email / phone: 207-230-2582


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