Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30pmJanuary 25th - March 15th
[image by Rita Lloyd of www.nurturingart.com]
For women ready to transform, blossom, heal and grow together - learning Compassionate Communication not just as a dialogue practice to transform our relationships, but as a soul practice to nurture, feed, and paint our own human hearts with kindness each day we wake.A new, kinder, more radically self-loving way of walking on the planet is possible.This series is based on the work on Marshall Rosenberg, PhD, and Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Together, we will:
** Create a safe and supportive space to hold one another for emotional support, and the unraveling of shame’s grip on your everyday lived experience
** Cultivate your capacity for empathy – with yourself first and foremost — and with others in your life with whom you find it difficult (or even impossible) to connect — lovers, partners, family, friends, co-workers, the whole shabang
** Increase your skill and capacity for compassionate communication in the moments you need it most! Practice compassionate truth-telling: expres yourself with full honesty, and yet with full heart, even in the relationships that form your achilles heels
Ultimately, this practice offers a deepening sense of self-love, and an invitation to step into greater authenticity and intimacy in all your relationships, including within the group. It’s not about being “nice,” fake, or walking on eggshells; rather, it’s about learning to show up fully, in your truth, and with compassion.
Many of us are limited in life by a sense of shame, isolation, and a belief that “our needs don’t matter” in relationship.
Without a felt sense of mattering, our relationships suffer. We face the false choice between speaking up and losing connection with others, or staying small and betraying ourselves, thus degrading the quality of our relationships with lovers, spouses, family members, co-workers, and friends alike.
HeartSpace is about healing the places where we have shamed our voices into the closet, and re-wiring ourselves for an innate knowing of our lovability and beauty.
So many of us were taught that our needs are something to be shameful about, something to be hidden and covered over with either the overconfidence of “I didn’t need you anyways,” or the under-confidence of “How can I please you, as you’re the one who matters?”
HeartSpace is about moving beyond this old dichotomy, radically reclaiming not only the existence of but the fundamental beauty of our needs, letting them motivate and inspire our daily words and actions, and letting ourselves learn to ask -- more and more often – for that which nourishes our bodies, minds, and spirits.
HeartSpace is also about claiming the healing power of our relationships with other women, finding allies to support us in deepening an unabashed sense of self-love, and cultivating our capacity for both authenticity and compassion in all our relationships.
Having a place to come, week after week, to learn, dive in, skill-build, question, and grapple with Compassionate Communication in a safe and supportive community setting can be a powerful, deeply nourishing experience for many women. Together, we create a strong container for us to go deep, to share, to reveal, to heal, learn, and awaken together from the conditioning which keeps our minds and hearts suffering and restricted. Together, we grow. Together, we are stronger.
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a tool for accessing our deeper truths and longings, but it Is not itself that deep reservoir of inner knowing and wisdom that resides in each of us, just waiting for us to listen.
A part of what this course is about is slowing down enough to listen, tuning in enough to hear our deepest voice and highest wisdom beckoning at our heart’s door. Again and again, you will be invited back to presence, back to a deep listening from which truth bubbles up and flows out like a clear river.
From here, we can become empowered communicators, with the power of both vulnerability and courageous clarity under our wings.
Using tools and practices from Nonviolent Communication (NVC), we will practice and become proficient at “compassionate truth-telling,” the art of expressing ourselves with full honesty, and yet with full heart, even in the relationships that form our Achilles heels.
We will cultivate our capacity for empathy – with ourselves first and foremost — and with others in our life with whom we find it difficult (or even impossible) to connect — lovers, partners, family, friends, co-workers, the whole gamut of human relationships…
The result will be stepping into greater authenticity and capacity for connectedness in all our relationships, including within the group, accessing a sense of choice in responding to life’s many triggering moments, and moving from a deep knowing of our inner “yes” and our inner “no,” with the words to convey both with clarity and grace.
Altogether, we will practice listening inwardly, listening outwardly, and expressing ourselves with both courage and care.
We will meet on 8 consecutive Wednesday evenings. All members commit to attending at least 6 out of the 8 weeks.
Each evening, arrive on time for a short guided meditation. Then we'll check in - sharing how we're feeling, and if we have any requests for support that evening. You don't need to know if advance what kind of support you'd like. Lastly, we'll divide the remaining time by the number of requests in the room. Typically, this looks like empathy from the group for individual members, role plays using Nonviolent Communication, or other creative healing exercises that are often improvised on the spot.
Each evening will consist of a combination of emotional support for group members along with NVC coaching and skill-building practice.
This group is limited to 8 to 10 women.
NVC (aka "Compassionate Communication") is a powerful practice that can be used for both personal healing and interpersonal communication, based on the deceptively simple notion that everything we say, do, and speak is an attempt to meet a human need. The more we can connect with our needs - rather than our judgments of ourselves and others - the more compassion flows naturally within and between us - and the more likely we are to actually get our needs met. For more information, visit www.cnvc.org.
Marina Smerling is a collaborative trainer with Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and a life coach who is deeply committed to our evolution through the composting of shame into radical self-love. Drawing upon a decade of training in Nonviolent Communication (NVC), coaching, and a wild love of self-expression, Marina specializes in supporting women in not just surviving, but thriving through their communication and relationship challenges. She is new to Gainesville from Berkeley, CA, and honored to share Nonviolent Communication (NVC) with the Gainesville community. Learn more at www.shamelessheart.com
"This group is jazzercise for your empathy muscle and both a playground and safe refuge for your spirit. Listening to Marina get her NVC on is like watching your favorite, relaxed musician on stage: that shit looks so natural one forgets that years of dedicated practice and study are at play. As for NVC itself, it's nothing short of life-changing; offering a practical roadmap of choice for how to perceive and react to both internal feelings and the world around us. NVC is seeing in color after a lifetime of black and white." - Christy, Participant
"It’s because of this program that I’m alive and have hope. Through working with Marina in a group setting, I am learning to love myself, know myself, be more authentic, own my emotions, and find ways to fill my needs." - Cyndi
“I can’t say enough how this program has changed my life and those around me." – Michelle, Social Worker
“Marina has helped me give voice to the wounded and shamed pieces of me through empathy and play, allowing me to be so aware of my own destructive self-talk. This woman has absolutely empowered me and inspires me to be the most open-hearted, uninhibited, and loving version of me. I hold so much gratitude for the gifts and tools she has brought into my life.” – Melanie
“What I most valued was the sense of safety and acceptance, the ability to show up exactly where I am and be accepted and not judged.” – Cynthia
“As a result of this program, I have learned to catch self-judgment more easily and get out of its trap.” – Kadambini
“This course gave me more confidence in my ability to know my needs and make requests, as well as the capacity for clearer, more effective communication in my relationships.” – Kaitlin, MFT Intern
“As a result of this program, I am welcoming back more aspects of myself, and seeing the beauty and love that permeate life, even in its challenging moments.” – Tania, Nanny
“Marina is the genuine article: authentic, vulnerable, compassionate and wise. She holds a solid space for others to move boldly forward and open their hearts to themselves. I adore her dedication to the simple idea that we are each precious beyond measure. Her work has opened my heart and allowed several miracles to happen in my life.” - Colleen, Writer & Multi-Media Artist
“I loved the vulnerability, the sense of trust and being seen, as well as the humor and playfulness of this group — it was so much fun!!” - Joni Loftin
January 25th - March 15th
Private residence in Gainesville. Address shared only with confirmed participants.
$300-$400 Sliding Scale
Payment plans available!
None, but you are encouraged to read Marshall Rosenberg's book, "Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life."
I am committed to creating safe and welcoming space for women of color and of diverse backgrounds and identities, shedding compassionate but direct light on our unconscious biases, and to creating space for both individual connection and awareness of social structures that impact large groups of women across the board. When one women suffers as a result of systemic oppression, we all suffer. If one woman's needs go unmet, all of our needs go unmet -- needs for inclusion, authenticity, and showing up with our full and unwavering humanity.
Women of color who are interested will receive priority in the registration process, and are encouraged to reach out.
All self-identified women -- queer, trans, and cis-gendered alike -- are welcome to join us.
Call Marina at 1-855-EMPATHY, or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
For more info, visit www.shamelessheart.com.