Phases of the Moon, the newsletter of the Maine NVC Network
Volume Seven, Issue Nine:
NVC & Social Change, Part 3

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

In continuation of our current focus on Social Change, this month we feature an article on Transitioning from Domination Culture to a Culture of Peace.


Transition Zone

by Betsy Terrell

Early in my NVC studies, I attended several of Peggy Smith's Level 1 workshops. At that time she was introducing the class with a chart which was titled "Which Game?" On one side was a list of words representing goals, motivations, and strategies under the heading of "The Game of Naming & Blaming." On the other side was a corresponding list of words under the heading of "The Game of Giving & Receiving."

As I came to realize that NVC was not a "magic formula" that would automatically change my life and relationships just by using the "right" words, I began to understand that this process of learning and integrating NVC represented, to me, a deep shift of consciousness, a complete change of world view.

Around this same time, I read Marshall Rosenberg's article on Anger and Domination Systems. Also, I was aware that many people all over the Earth were talking about and working toward a "paradigm shift," aspects of which seemed to me to be pretty clearly described in Marshall's article.

Knowing that consciousness shifts of this magnitude rarely if ever take place in a flash of eureka, but rather in a gradual, slow, incremental, 3 steps forward-2 steps back, sort of way, I began to think that the chart could be improved by the addition of a middle column, describing an intermediate zone of function, one that was neither Naming and Blaming, but also not fully and purely Giving and Receiving; a transition zone, a zone of practice and growth toward the "new" future paradigm of peace and mutual understanding.

What resulted is shown below.

  • To be right
  • To assign blame
  • To have power over others
  • To compare and maneuver for position; try to be "top dog"
  • To value connection over being right
  • To learn compassion
  • To live sustainably
  • To heal wounds and change patterns
  • To create community
  • To share power and cooperate
  • To work together for the benefit of all
  • To meet everyone's needs
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Obligation
  • Duty
  • Desire to understand
  • To practice authenticity & empathy together
  • To be more fully alive
  • Enthusiasm
  • Enjoyment
  • Embodying my innate values
  • Sharing, cooperation
  • Compassion and interbeing
  • Use manipulative strategies such as guilt-tripping; expect others to know what I need/want and give it to me without my asking; violence (physical, verbal, attitudinal)
    • Judge and analyze
    • Blame and criticize
    • Make demands – use rewards and punishments
  • Listen without empathy: agree or disagree, advise, lecture, scold, argue, sympathize, analyze, educate, prescribe
  • To practice presence and mindfullness
  • To use NVC to help transform our thinking and communication
  • To use triads for increasing awareness and intentionality
  • To practice forgiveness
  • To use restorative practices to increase connection
  • Take 100% responsibility for my own life and allow others to take 100% responsibility for theirs; make and keep agreements; equitability and sustainability
    • Observe, see, hear
    • Share my feelings and needs
    • Make requests – look for the yes behind the no
  • Listen with empathy: translate into feelings and needs; take responsibility for my triggers instead of projecting

with appreciation to:
* Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle Hodson, The Compassionate Classroom
* Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Life
* Peggy Smith, Open Communication
* Gina Cenciose, Embodying Empathy
* Poppa Neutrino & Capt. Betsy, Floating Neutrinos

One of the ways this chart has been, and still is, useful for me, is that it lets me examine for myself where I am functioning in any particular interaction. More awareness allows greater freedom of choice. If I notice I am acting/reacting from the Domination Culture, I can choose a thought pattern or behavior from the Transition Zone, especially if I am unable to shift immediately to a behavior from the third column, the Culture of Peace. I've also found it very useful to check in reflectively from time to time and assess where I have observed myself being/doing most of the time. This allows me to notice my progress and growth and also see areas in which I can make better efforts, as well as mapping HOW to make those efforts.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share this chart with the newsletter audience, and invite anyone with questions or comments to email me at

Betsy is a lifelong mindfulness practitioner who added NVC to her practice about a decade ago.

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.

Level 1 trainings this autumn:


Relational Health Certificate Program, October 2016 – March 2017, Belfast, ME
3.6 CEUs / 36 contact hours
Peggy Smith will be teaching a session in this course.


Bringing Mindful Speech To Life
Sixth Annual Mindfulness Retreat
January 27-29, Nobleboro, ME

led by Dharma Teacher Peggy Smith, and Theodate Lawlor,
members of Thich Nhat Hanh's Tiep Hien Order
This retreat fills early, so if you are interested, register now.
Online registration, followed by online payment option here.
Printable pdf flyer with mail-in registration option here.


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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.


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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Poetry Corner:

by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.


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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