Phases of the Moon, the newsletter of the Maine NVC Network
Volume Six, Issue Six:


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. Email: newsletter at

This month we continue our series featuring celebrations – how NVC has changed our lives, creating more freedom and choice. This issue we share two celebrations sent in by readers. If you would like to share a celebration of NVC in your life, please email us: newsletter at


Our first celebration comes from Portland, ME resident, Rebecca Stephens, describing an experience she had at home.

Early one Saturday morning I was cheerfully washing dishes, eagerly anticipating the day’s plan of spending time with my mother. In our division of chores, my mother usually washes the dishes, but she had been tired for a couple of days, I had the time and energy for the task, and I imagined she would enjoy the support.

I heard her on the steps, and turned to greet her with a smile. Instead of "hello" or "good morning", she said, "I wish you wouldn’t do that!" The expression on her face and tone of her voice added weight to the statement.

I turned back to the sink, feeling my cheerfulness drain through the soles of my feet as a surge of protest roared through my whole body. I wanted to tell her how utterly unfair she was being. I wanted to coach her with a sarcastic, "Thank you would suffice!" However, by some gift of grace, I remained quiet, found my breath, and remembered to check in for feelings and needs.

I feel hurt, irritated and angry! I have the beautiful needs of kindness, recognition of my intention, and consideration. In the wake of this brief check-in, a genuine wave of curiosity emerged. Having cared for myself, I truly wanted to know what was happening for her in that moment.

A little while later, when she had her coffee and we were both settled, I asked what she was thinking as she was coming down the stairs and saw me washing dishes. She revealed that washing dishes reduces stress when she doesn’t feel well. Instead of feeling supported, she was grieving the loss of this small source of comfort. And she intended no criticism of me at all – she was simply communicating her own distress in the moment.

And just like that, my hurt, irritation, and anger dissipated, I was filled with gratitude, and my heart softened with love for this complex woman who is also my mother. Instead of proceeding into the day in a tense silence (which we have done plenty of times), we regrouped and truly enjoyed each other’s company.

Rebecca Johanna Stephans is a Kripalu certified yoga teacher with 21 years of teaching experience.  Her intention in teaching yoga as a holistic physical and spiritual practice is to help students illuminate patterns of suffering and access their natural capacity for wisdom, strength and ease.  Rebecca also teaches Partner Yoga. She offers private lessons, and designs yoga sessions for retreats and meetings.  She has been studying Nonviolent Communication and Mediation since 2012, including two years of the Maine NVC Integration Program with Peggy Smith and Leah Boyd, and one year of Mediate Your Life with Ike Lasater and John Kinyon.

Our second offering is from Litchfield resident, Melanie Orange, describing an experience she had at work .

The patient was distressed and asked to talk to me. He spoke about several things that were upsetting to him including interactions with various other staff.

I was able to listen to him and repeat back some of the feelings he was expressing, which allowed him to then either correct me and clarify or affirm that I had understood him. For example, I said to him, "You are feeling angry, agitated, sad, and disappointed because the meeting was cancelled." He then clarified that he was feeling sad and disappointed, but not angry and agitated.

He then continued on with what he was discussing and I would listen. While providing this reflection I was able to "get into" Chair Four and after identifying his feelings then try to tie them to his needs. When I would say to him something such as, "So I hear you saying you felt sad and disappointed because that person cancelled their meeting with you.  You had been looking forward to the meeting and cancelling it did not meet your needs for trust, consideration, and support." Once again, he would then either tell me if those were the needs he had, or he might correct me and say he had a need for trust and consideration and had been looking forward to connecting with the person.

I found this to very effective as it seemed to very much calm him and bring him from an irritable state to one of being able to laugh and be relaxed.

I also found a calmness within myself as I was not planning on how to "solve" his problems or offer advise; it helped me to focus on what he was saying, instead of having my own internal dialogue about what I was going to say. It allowed me to be very present in the moment with him and truly listen.

Thinking about this interaction, I feel enthusiastic, happy, and appreciative due to the needs for effectiveness, purpose, and connection.  It was wonderful to be able to utilize NVC and have such success. It happened very naturally and was a genuine and authentic experience.

Madeline Orange has participated in an NVC Level 1 workshop with Peggy Smith and the Bringing Mindful Speech To Life weekend with Peggy Smith and Theodate Lawlor. Madeline lives with her husband, 2 dogs and 15 chickens. She has an MS in Nursing and a BS in Criminal Justice. She has been part of the team that is bringing NVC to Riverview Psychiatric Recovery Center. Madeline looks forward to the day when NVC skills are taught to young people throughout our region.

Practice Suggestions

  1. Admit to yourself how you are actually feeling.
  2. Notice that the mind is thinking. What judgments are you becoming aware of?
  3. When you become aware of a judgment, ask yourself, "Are you sure?" Pause and breathe.
  4. Look over a deck of needs cards or a needs list and identify what needs are trying to be heard through your thoughts and feelings.
  5. Pause. Let yourself appreciate how important that need is.
  6. Think about the other person. Remember that they have that need also. Pause. Notice what comes alive within you.

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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.

There are still openings left in this exciting workshop! Sign up today!

December 9-11
Transforming Addictive or Criminal Behavior –
What Neuroscience and NVC Have to Offer

with Sarah Peyton
FMI / Online Registration


Jan 14, 21 & 28, 2016, Auburn, ME
Clear Communication at Work

Three 4-hour sessions taught by Leah Boyd
To register call 755-5100


February 26- 28, 2016, Nobleboro, ME
Bringing Mindful Speech to Life

With Peggy Smith & Theodate Lawlor
A weekend of exploring Mindfulness, meditation and Nonviolent Communication
FMI: email peggy at


Feb 25, Mar 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31, 2016, Turner, ME 
Clear & Compassionate Communication Level 1

Six evening sessions taught by Leah Boyd
FMI / registration: 207.225.3270 / MSAD 52 Adult Ed


February 26-28, 2016, Norway, ME
Clear &am; Compassionate Communication Level 1

  taught by Leah Boyd
Registration:  1-877-833-1372 / Peaceful Purpose


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Poetry Corner:
a poem by Warsan Shire

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered


Visit our Facebook page:

Nonviolent Communication, Mindfullness, Empathy and Presence







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  • Monthly Empathy Circles:
    • Belfast, ME
      Second Friday of each month, 10am-1pm (formerly first Friday)
      Open Communication office, 243 High Street, Belfast
      You are welcome to come when you can. If this is your first time coming, please contact Linda beforehand: Phone 207-322-2122 / email: chezcote at

    • Augusta, ME
      Empathy group open to all, 1st Fridays at 10:15
      contact Annie Lunt: 207-623-0427 / email: all at

  • Authentic Communication Groups
    Falmouth, ME

    with Andrea Ferrante, trainer and coach
    Two groups meet biweekly, one on alternate Wednesdays; the other on alternate Mondays.
    Authentic Communication Groups are coaching groups designed to open you up to an approach to living that offers greater peace, personal empowerment, and conscious connection to that which sustains and enriches life.

  • See also the Practice Groups page.


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.

Paid Announcements

Clarity Services, LLC
Now Accepting Clients

Helping groups of people think together collaboratively and effectively
Free 30 minute initial consultation:
email: leah at


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:
email: peggy at


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