Phases of the Moon, the newsletter of the Maine NVC Network
Volume Eight, Issue Two: Life Changing Moments

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's feature describes three life-defining experiences in Peggy Smith's life which led her to her current work as an NVC trainer.


Life Changing Moments
by Peggy Smith

In each person's life there are important moments that shape and guide us. Here are three such moments from my life. They have influenced me in countless ways and brought much texture and depth to who I am.


When I was a child my family spent four and a half years living in England. When I was about ten or eleven, we took a family vacation to northern France. My father insisted that we visit the American cemetery for the World War II invasion of Normandy Beach. I clearly remember the acres of neatly laid-out grave markers. I remember feeling heartbroken for all the people who loved and missed each of these people, and for the people who missed meeting them and having their lives enriched by that. I made a vow to learn ways for humans to resolve their conflicts without war.


Fast forward several decades. It's a Sunday morning, the radio interview show, New Dimensions, is playing on WERU-FM Community Radio. On the show that week is a man named Marshall B. Rosenberg. He is explaining his process, Nonviolent Communication. As the hour unfolds I find myself getting closer and closer to the radio. This man was saying exactly what I thought; I just had never put it so clearly into words. I was intrigued. I wanted to learn more. The next day I went to my local bookstore and bought a copy of Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. Now, two decades later, I'm a certified trainer of Nonviolent Communication, and experience the challenge and joy of bringing NVC alive for people of all ages and walks of life. This is the fruit of my intention set in a cemetery in France so many years ago.


For several years now I have heard about an NVC trainer who has a deep interest in neuroscience, Sarah Peyton. In December 2015, I arranged for Sarah to come to Maine for a three day workshop. What Sarah shares is the most exciting learning to come my way since first encountering NVC. Before she left, I booked her for a second visit; we had to wait over a year for an opening in her schedule. Those of us who went to the first event know why. Sarah has a depth of knowledge and a depth of empathy that nurtures her participants in heartfelt ways. She weaves the cutting edge of Interpersonal Neurobiology with the foundational work of NVC. Now I am beginning to grasp how the brain is transformed and healed through practices such as NVC.

From Sarah I have come to understand two very important things:

  • Our brains have something known as the Default Mode Network (often referred to as the Default Network or DMN). This is what the brain is busy doing when it doesn't have a specific problem to solve. For many of us that Default Network has become self critical or harsh. In this state it is called the Savage Default Network, and contributes to a lot of internal suffering. The good news is that by practicing NVC we can re-tool the Default Network to its original state, from which much of our creativity and problem solving emerge.
  • I am also learning about parental attachment styles and how they affect the brain development of children. Through these styles children develop Secure Attachment or some variation of Insecure Attachment. This affects our reactivity throughout our lives. The good news is that NVC and mindfulness can actually restructure our brains so those of us with Insecure Attachment have the power to cultivate Learned Secure Attachment, bringing whole new levels of harmony and joy into our lives.

These three events have touched my life deeply, forming who I am today. I feel inspired to meet each day knowing that I can do my small part toward building that world where war is not the way to solve human problems.


Suggestions for Practice:

  • Participate in Transforming Adverse Childhood Experiences, March 23-25, in Belfast, ME: a fantastic opportunity to experience Sarah Peyton's life-transforming insights in person! details here

  • Sarah's new book, Your Resonant Self, will be published in September, 2017. Be the first in your NVC community to read it, and spread the word. You can order an advance copy here.

  • Use Feelings & Needs cards at least twice a week for 21 weeks to super charge your feelings to needs connection.

  • Read one person's experience of life with a calm and quiet Default Network.

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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.

Coming up soon! Register today!
March 23-25, 2017, Hutchinson Center, Belfast, ME
Transforming Adverse Childhood Experiences:
What Neuroscience and Nonviolent Communication Have to Offer
with Sarah Peyton, CNVC Certified Trainer and internationally published author

Online registration, followed by online payment option here.
Link to payment page, if you need it at a separate time from doing the registration form: here.
Mail-in registration option (printable pdf) here.
PLEASE NOTE: Some people have been experiencing difficulties with the online registration process for this event. Our apologies. If you have had or are having such difficulty, please either utilize the mail-in registration option, or email the Registrar, Betsy, [aurelia37 at] for an email version of the registration. Thank you.


Level 1 trainings


Level 2 trainings


Registration is now OPEN for the 2017-18 program.

Details and mail-in registration form

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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.


Visit our Facebook page:

Nonviolent Communication, Mindfullness, Empathy and Presence








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Poetry Corner:


by Penthea Burns
printed with permission

It was oh-dark-thirty
When the first request
To rise sounded
A whimper
A bark
Whimper again

I rise
Bare feet on the cold floor
January morning
The day I was born
A day when I might sleep late

Three dogs dash
Into the front yard
My house faces west
The full moon is low in the sky
Horizon beckons it
"Come closer
Sink to my embrace"

My first gift

Dogs safely inside
I retreat to my bed
Dirigo follows
We spoon
Me under the down comforter
She atop
Her fur soft, silken
Her breath my lullaby
Her small frame against
My aching heart
Not a cure
A faithful companion
To beautiful grief
Of loving and letting go

My second gift

A heavy surrender holds my body now
Warm and comforted
A familiar *ping* breaks the silence
My smart ass phone – the little distraction
Carries birthday wishes and love
From my favorite angel
Who met me at the airport
Just last night
To deliver pancakes
For which she is famous
That I might enjoy on this birthday morning

My third gift

Plans to sleep late this morning
Are unfolding a different way
My hands don’t wish to stop
Stroking Dirigo’s fur
A pancake beckons
My full heart wants more
Of what this day has in store
We rise for real this time
Lingering on the stairs
To greet the sunrise in the east
And Trav’ler who lives in
The early morning light each day
Trav’ler who left earth
On this day two years earlier
Promising me
"You will always remember

My fourth gift
My fifth gift
And who can count now?
They come so fast
Nestling deeply
In the tenderest
Parts of me

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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