Phases of the Moon, the newsletter of the Maine NVC Network
Volume Six, Issue One: How to be an Ally

Our newsletter appears approximately once a month. 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. As this month's feature, we offer a link to a video,
5 Tips for Being an Ally


How to be an Ally

As Marshall Rosenberg often said, we who live in Western culture are living within an oppression paradigm, a paradigm of "power over" and "power under." We are all struggling with the pain caused by the underlying values of that paradigm: scarcity, blame, shame, fear of death, commercialism, etc.

However, some deeply entrenched social institutions and political systems do not impact everyone equally. Some systems and institutions specifically target and impede the rights and well-being of certain people and groups, e.g., People of Color, women, people with physical and mental challenges, people who speak English as a second language, people living in poverty, LGBTQ folks, and others.

One result of this systemic oppression is that people in marginalized groups often spend a great deal more energy than others attempting to support needs such as well-being, safety, ease, physical sustenance, power with, shared reality, and autonomy, to name a few. Those who do not experience such challenges may not even be aware that they are in a position of "privelege," by not having to face such struggles; they also may not be aware of the degree of struggle marginalized groups experience.

This video suggests several ways to focus our attention and actions on giving support to people and groups who are impacted by systemic oppression in ways that we ourselves may not experience or encounter, in fact may not even be aware of. These strategies can also be useful in giving support to anyone who is responding to experiences or history that we do not share.


"An ally is a person who wants to fight for the equality of a marginalized group that they're not a part of."

For reference, here are the 5 tips covered in the video:

  1. Understand your privelege.
    Privelege means "there are some things in life you will not have to experience, just because of who you are."
  2. Listen, and do your homework.
    i.e. understand what rights you have that others may not have.
  3. Speak up, not over.
  4. You'll make mistakes; apologize when you do.
  5. Ally is a verb.

If you feel moved to explore this topic further, click on the "SHOW MORE" link below the video for a list of helpful references and resources.


Video: 5 Tips for Being an Ally


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.

Jan. 17 & Feb 21, 2015, Lewiston, ME
Clear & Compassionate Communication for Mediators

Taught by Leah Boyd / pdf icon details and registration


January 17 and 18th, 2015, Falmouth, ME
Authentic Communication

Authentic Communication immerses us in the experience of connecting rather than disconnecting. Here we learn the art of presence and how to comfortably show up for what is happening in and around us, honoring ourselves and others.
Workshop Leader: Andrea Ferrante, Transformational Coach, who is a certification candidate with CNVC.
pdf icon details & registration


February 27 – March 1, 2015, Nobleboro, ME
Bringing Mindful Speech To Life
Fourth annual weekend of mindfulness

with Dharma Teacher Peggy Smith, and Theodate Lawlor,
Members of Thich Nhat Hanh's Tiep Hien Order
Please note this weekend is now fully enrolled. Please email if you would like to organize a similar weekend in your area. pdf icon details


March 21-22, Blue Hill, ME
From Conflict to Connection

This is a fundraiser for WERU Community Radio
Taught by Peggy Smith, CNVC certified NVC trainer
pdf icon details and registration



Invitation to
Monthly Empathy Circle

Meets first Friday of each month
at Open Communication office
243 High Street, Belfast, ME
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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In lieu of a poem this month, we offer an NVC song, Beyond Right and Wrong, by Sabine Mariss.


Visit our Facebook page:

Nonviolent Communication, Mindfullness, Empathy and Presence







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Paid Announcements

Clarity Services, LLC
Now Accepting Clients

Helping groups of people think together collaboratively and effectively
Free 30 minute initial consultation:
1-877-833-1372 / email


Open Communication

welcomes individuals and couples, who want NVC-based support, to meet with them at their new office in Belfast, ME
Please contact Peggy:
207-789-5299 / email


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