Phases of the Moon, the newsletter of the Maine NVC Network
Volume Six, Issue Two:
Building group creativity through the heart of NVC

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.


NVC & Dynamic Facilitation, a Perfect Match

by Leah Boyd

Like so many people, I have spent years participating in groups. So often we start with an inspiring vision only to encounter communication challenges that leave us stuck and frustrated. For me, these experiences stimulated a yearning for authentic communication and to better understand group process. I wanted to believe there was a sustainable way to collaborate and cooperate in service to a shared purpose. It was this longing that first led me to Nonviolent Communication. I remember to this day the thrill that raced through me when I read on the NVC brochure, "Would you like authentic connection with others while remaining true to yourself?" YES, exactly!

Throughout my NVC journey I have continued to be deeply curious about group process. I admire groups of people attempting to do something beautiful together in the world and I long to contribute to their success. I have sought out learning and apprenticeship opportunities in processes that are in alignment with NVC consciousness to enhance my understanding. In this ongoing search I have had the great fortune to train in something called Dynamic Facilitation (DF), also known as the Choice Creating Process. DF was created by Jim Rough as a way to address seemingly "impossible to solve" problems, by transforming conflict into creative experience. DF has been described as "a highly effective and agile way to welcome task groups into a co-creative ‘flow zone’ – where participants create practical and innovative solutions while building trust, empathy and authentic community."

According to Rosa Zubizarreta, facilitator and author of From Conflict to Creative Collaboration, the foundational skills required for using the Dynamic Facilitation approach include:

As I see it, the basic skills of Nonviolent Communication are a perfect foundation for successful use of the Dynamic Facilitation process. Through our NVC training, we learn to listen well to what's being said and to be curious about the underlying needs. We understand that we can listen carefully for understanding and reflect what we've heard with care and accuracy, whether or not we are in agreement. In addition we have the self-care tools of self-empathy and requesting empathy from others as ways to foster personal self-awareness.

Some of the many needs that I experience as being nourished by DF are: To hear and be heard, understanding, clarity, creativity, collaboration, contribution, choice, mattering, expression, empathy, trust, to be seen for our true intentions and mutuality. It seems to me that first and foremost, DF prioritizes and protects the creativity that naturally results from welcoming all viewpoints. Using a few guidelines that are simple yet profound, the DF facilitator holds a space where the expression of divergent views is encouraged. In fact, DF recognizes that the honoring of diverse views leads to the natural emergence of elegant solutions.

I would like to share a few ways that training in DF has impacted my work as an NVC mediator as well as my day to day life as a practitioner of NVC. Experiencing DF has allowed a certain type of courage to blossom in me. It is the courage to trust the part of a conversation or mediation where we aren't yet in agreement, and to not be in a rush to get everyone "on the same page." Rather, I now am much more likely to draw people out, to ask them to say more and to invite more divergent ideas. And when it appears we're starting to get into agreement, I'm much more likely to ask people to take a moment to check in and see if there's anything else to bring up, rather than rushing to get the agreement on paper. In casual conversations with friends or family, I'm noticing how contagious the subtle and covert use of DF principles can be. I see that when I start drawing people out and model a true interest and ease in hearing all the different views, others in the conversation start moving in that direction, too. Toward the end of one animated family discussion, my nephew said, "This is like Wikipedia, everyone puts in their piece and we end up with a better definition!"

Practice Suggestions:

  • Read From Conflict to Creative Collaboration, by Rosa Zubizarreta
  • Attend the FREE Dynamic Facilitation webinar being offered by Rosa on Feb 21 from 10:00am–noon. Register here.
  • The next time you become aware that you are hearing a viewpoint that differs from your own, experiment with asking the person to say more.
  • Learn more about Rosa’s work Check out Rosa's most recent newsletter, complete with two short videos, here.
  • Attend the DF training in Maine on March 27-29.

Here’s what a few NVC trainers have had to say about Dynamic Facilitation:

In closing, I will say that in my experience Nonviolent Communication and Dynamic Facilitation are in harmony both in underlying consciousness and in practical application. I am delighted to continue to deepen my skills in both areas in the hope of fulfilling my original passion to assist and participate in sustainable group processes. For me, that's the juiciest thing of all!

Leah Boyd is a mediator, facilitator and communication trainer, offering her services through her businesses Peaceful Purpose Mediation Services and Clarity Services, LLC. She assists Peggy Smith in offering the Maine NVC Integration Program, and is a candidate for certification through the Center for Nonviolent Communication. Leah serves on the board of the Maine Association of Mediators and, through that association, is delighted to bring Rosa Zubizarreta to Maine to offer DF training on March 27-29.

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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.

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

Taught by Leah Boyd / pdf icon details and 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 pdf icon details
Please note this weekend is now fully enrolled.
Please email if you would like to organize a similar weekend in your area.


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


March 27-29, S. Portland, ME
Dynamic Facilitation: from conflict to creative collaboration

a 3 day workshop with Rosa Zubizarreta and Bruce Nayowith
FMI & registration pdf icon


Special Announcement

Marshall Rosenberg, the originator of NVC and the founder of CNVC, passed from this life on February 7th. He passed peacefully at home, with his wife Valentina and all his children by his side.

I know no way to describe the impact this man had on so many people – for his work and for his being, and for the extraordinary power the balance between these two unleashed. He was a beloved teacher to countless people on every continent, people whose hearts were touched and shone with the possibility his work made tangible.

To many of you reading, he was also an inspired and inspiring colleague who changed the course of your lives and brought an inestimable sense of meaning and the potential for transformation to every area of your world. And who, at each moment, did this with utmost simplicity, humility and humanness.

In great mourning, and with the most profound reverence and soaring gratitude for the spirit he released in us, and whose light we carry forwards,

      – Dominic Barter, President, CNVC Board


by Thich Nhat Hanh

The moment I die
I will try to come back to you
as quickly as possible.
I promise it will not take long.
Isn’t it true
I am already with you
as I die each moment?
I come back to you
in every moment.
Just look,
feel my presence.
If you want to cry,
please cry,
And Know
that I will cry with you.
The tears you shed
will heal us both.
Your tears and mine.
The earth I tread this morning
transcends history.
Spring and Winter are both present in the moment.
The young leaf and the old leaf are really one.
My feet touch deathlessness,
And my feet are yours.
Walk with me now.
Let us enter the dimension of oneness
and see the cherry tree blossom in Winter.
Why should we talk about death?
I don’t need to die
to be back with you.


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.

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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


Visit our Facebook page:

Nonviolent Communication, Mindfullness, Empathy and Presence







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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