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PHONE      1.855.EMPATHY or 1.855.367.2849
  EMAIL       marina [at] shamelessheart [dot] com


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Gainesville, FL

1 (855) EMPATHY

Life and communication coaching for women.

Fight Better. Love More. Compassionate Communication for Couples Daylong.


Once or twice a month, I hold special workshops and events. Check this page for upcoming events or view past events!

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Fight Better. Love More. Compassionate Communication for Couples Daylong.

Fight Better. Love More.
A Daylong in Compassionate Communication for Couples.

Relationship conflict sucks. Those moments where our heels are dug in, our partner has seemingly transformed into “the villain,” and we feel like we have to defend our position at all costs. We get angry and lash out, or we put up 10-foot walls and shut down, but secretly we long to be understood, to be forgiven, and to love and be loved. Deep down, we know that the relationship is worth more than being right, but we just don’t know how to get there.

Don't miss out on this uniquely powerful workshop for couples, exploring the movement from breakdown, to healing, and to restoration of trust and connection in our intimate relationships.

Facilitated by a couple with 20 years of Compassionate Communication experience between them, and who has themselves grappled with, stumbled over, and integrated its tools into their love life, this daylong promises an authentic space where participants can bring their real, undefended and messy selves to the table so that we can learn how to fight better and love more.

Because the truth is: conflict in intimate relationships in normal. It’s the fertile ground that contains the truth we need to grow. When we learn not to try to side step it or stuff it under the carpet, but to approach it with curiosity, a whole new world can arise between us and the person we love.

Through commitment to curiosity and vulnerability, we discover what's true within and between us. We find a way out from behind our walls, and back to one another's hearts.

Join other couples for an exploration of the real-life *stuff* that keeps us apart, disconnected, angry and resentful.

Walk away with:

* Understanding of what lies the root of your relationship conflict

* A sense of empowerment around de-escalating conflict

* Ways to express your pain that don’t hurt your partner, and that also honor your needs

* Powerful practices to seed connection, healing, and restoration of trust

Together, we will explore what it means to love, how to move through heartbreak, and how to find our way back to deep and nurturing connection.  Because conflict is inevitable. But how we choose to respond can make a world of difference in our love lives.


Single, partnered, queer, trans, and folks of all relationship styles and formations are welcomed to join us!


Limited to 20 individuals.

Cost is $97 per person or $185 per couple. You may register for yourself or for you and your partner together at


Marina Smerling is a communication 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

Leif Stringer works with individuals, couples, and organizations to deepen their capacity to weed through the language of disconnection and discover the beauty and power of their shared human values. He serves as a counselor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, educator of social-emotional learning and communication skills for graduate students at Thomas University and Dragon Rises College of Oriental Medicine, and consultant for work communities to shift from a culture of power-over to a culture of power-with. Learn more at