Finding Our Voice, Transforming Helplessness

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. My parents tell me I was a gregarious child. “E-A-T-O-R-E-N,” they would spell aloud at the dinner table, trying to redirect the stream of questions that bubbled

Why don’t they get it?

Does this seem familiar?  You’re in a meeting. Maybe it’s a workshop around equity and social justice issues, maybe it’s your community group holding a planning meeting for their next event. Pat makes a suggestion, and folks keep talking, ignoring the suggestion, proposing others. When

When Curiosity Killed the Rat

Recently I presented a workshop in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) to a group that wanted to learn how to talk across a political divide. During Q&A, the participants cut straight to the chase: “What is the one most important thing to know about NVC?” they asked.

When NVC Backfires

When I first learned about the concept of needs at a local communication workshop in my early 20s, I was astounded. I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh -- I have needs!” However, my ensuing attempts to use NVC with family and friends didn’t always go

Tips for these uncertain times

The events that have unfolded since the election continue to stimulate a huge amount of fear in me and those around me. I’ve had many sleepless nights since November, stemming from my children wondering if Trump’s election meant half the country did not like people

Giraffe Juice: The Necessity of Joy

A workshop participant once asked Marshall Rosenberg, “There’s so much pain and suffering in the world. Where do you find the energy to keep traveling and teaching?” In response, Marshall said with a characteristically wry smile, “It’s the ‘Giraffe juice’ that keeps me going.” You probably

Reclaiming Your No

This message is for those of you who struggle with a two-letter word: “No.” I’ve been in the Just-Trying-to-Say-No club most of my life.  I know all too well the challenges of mustering a “no” from these lips when my pulse is rising, my chest contracting, and

Switching on NVC

“I love NVC but I always forget to use it in the moments when I most need it.” Over the years I’ve heard variations on this statement from many workshop and practice group participants. A related question I frequently hear is “How do you stay calm

NVC, Me, and the Election

Dear Friends, Like so many of you, I’m stirred up about this election. I have felt anxious, afraid, sad, hurt. I have been seeking sources of guidance wherever I can. As a Jew, I look to Judaism, particularly what I take as its central message: love