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

NVC & the Healing Journey

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


Once again in this issue we highlight how NVC has been part of someone’s healing journey. This issue’s guest contributor, Alicia Hafford, of Augusta, demonstrates how labels limit us. As Alicia grew up on the streets of Augusta, she began to define her life by the multiple diagnoses and labels others placed upon her. After years of drug abuse, being angry at the world, and focusing on what was wrong, she looked for something different. Today she sees her strengths and what she has to contribute to the world. For almost three years, Alicia has been an active participant in her journey of self-discovery and learning to love herself. She works and volunteers at the LINC Wellness & Recovery Center in Augusta, Maine, and the Maine Association of Peer Support and Recovery Centers, where she practices her love of Nonviolent Communication. Alicia is the proud mother of two young ladies and one granddaughter, Theia, the apple of her eye.

To Be Continued

by Alicia Hafford

A year ago, I would have started this by describing myself as being a reformed criminal, a recovering addict that had mental health issues. For a long time I believed these labels defined me, and when I believed these things, that’s how people treated me.

This is not how this story begins!

One day, after being homeless for almost five months, I discovered LINC Wellness Center. I figured at this point in my life I didn't have a lot to lose, so I took a chance and started to go there regularly. There I was able to have compassionate and kind conversations in a warm, caring and kind environment. There I wasn’t judged or made fun of. There I discovered – I was the secret ingredient!

I redefined how I had come to know myself. I was almost 45 years old and the thought of being something other than what I had created for myself– seemed impossible and scary. I learned that our culture has been stuck in blame, whether it be on myself or towards others – at this point I had become an expert at blaming.

When I was introduced to Nonviolent Communication I learned about empathy, feelings and universal human needs. I thought, "Feelings? Oh I have three of those – mad, sad and glad. Needs – I don’t think I have many of those other than food, shelter and water." I learned that I experienced more than just three feelings. In fact, in any given situation, I experienced many feelings and needs. Before, I believed by limiting my feelings and needs I would keep myself from getting hurt ... boy was I wrong!

I’ve also taken Intentional Peer Support, and it’s similar to Nonviolent Communication due to its core values of connection, worldview, mutuality, and moving towards what we want. Connection is – seeking to understand what’s happening in me and not assuming what is happening for someone else. Worldview is – how we all have come to know the world. Mutuality is – when I challenge and negotiate power in relating. Moving towards is – focusing on my hopes, goals and dreams, with a vision that has a clear focus on what I want and is stated in the positive.

Then there’s my second bible, Pathways to Recovery, a self-help class I am now facilitating. In it I discovered I had many strengths, such as – I’m strong, eager to learn, tenacious, loyal, dependable, brave, funny, – just to name a few. Now, having a renewed sense of self, I’ve created plans for all eight dimensions of wellness that Pathways teaches. I have taken this self-help class three times. During each class I have chosen a different domain. The first class, I was homeless, so I focused on housing and I created a step-by-step plan on how I would find an apartment. I found a place within a month. The second time, I had not worked in over 26 years, so I focused on meaningful work. I applied for and got a part time job at LINC, and I’ve been there over a year and a half. The last time I took Pathways, I focused on wellness. I created another step-by-step plan, for cutting back on the amount of cigarettes I use each day. I have a plan for getting a gym membership at the YMCA and getting to a healthy weight. My focus remains on breathing with ease and living an active, healthy life.

Life is very different now than when I began this journey almost two years ago. Three months after being at LINC, I was asked to run for Secretary of the Maine Association of Peer Support and Recovery Centers, and now I’m running for a third term.

It has definitely been hard work, and a daily practice of challenging my habits and how I view myself and others.

I am more than worth the effort.

My life still has its challenges, and I have the ability to approach them with empathy and compassion. I know I can face anything that comes my way! I see myself as a person who has experienced addiction, criminal charges, intense times of grief and sadness, due to life’s challenges. I have had many labels put on me, and some I have put on myself, like mother, friend, aunt, cancer survivor, and so many more.

The only label I have now is ALICIA.

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Registration is now open for the 2016-17 Maine NVC Integration Program
Read what past participants have said about this life-changing course!
details & registration form

Special Offers for early registrants:

  1. The first six people to register will receive 1 FREE hour of NVC coaching/empathy from a trainer.
  2. Everyone who registers before June 1 is eligible for 2 FREE hours of NVC coaching / empathy from a trainer.

These two offers can be combined to earn 3 FREE hours of NVC coaching.


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.

April 28, May 5, 12, 19, Turner, ME
Clear & Compassionate Communication, Level 2

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


May 23-27, Orono, ME
PAX 470: Sustainable Communication:
the theory & practice of Nonviolent Communication

3 credit University course; can also be taken for graduate credits.
Flyer, with registration info / Syllabus


June 11-12, Brunswick, ME
Clear & Compassionate Communication, Level 1

Leah Boyd
details and registration

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  • Monthly Empathy Circle:
    • 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: chezcote5 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.

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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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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:
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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