NVC for the Holidays
Quick Connect Newsletter December 2016
Sent Wednesday, December 7, 2016
NVC Quote
“Is there anything more fun than to contribute to others’ wellbeing?
~ Marshall Rosenberg
 We at PuddleDancer Press wish you and your loved ones a happy, peaceful, compassionate and fulfilling holiday season.
What You'll Find in this Month's Newsletter:

NVC, Me, and the Election - by Kathy Simon
Five Tips for Enjoyable Family Gatherings - By Neill Gibson and Beth Banning
Cooking Up Peace this Holiday Season - By Jan Henrikson

Other Good Stuff:
NVC Cartoon
Facebook and yahoo NVC resources
Quotes by Marshall Rosenberg

4 Book Specials:
Peaceful Living - by Mary Mackenzie
Being Genuine - by Thomas d'Ansembourg    
Eat by Choice, Not by Habit - by Sylvia Haskvitz
Practical Spirituality - by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Scroll down to see all...
“Once you can clearly describe what you are reacting to, free of your
interpretation or evaluation of it, other people are less likely to be defensive when they hear it.”​​​​​​​  
​​​​​​​~Marshall B. Rosenberg

Featured Article
This article was written shortly before the election. We hope you will see value in it.​​​​​​​
NVC, Me, and the Election
by Kathy Simon

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 the stranger.  I’ve looked to my elders for insight, as I’ll mention, below.

And as someone who tries to “live NVC,” I have looked to NVC. I’m glad to say that my NVC practice is helping me cope, process my emotions, and live in line with my values.  Not that I think I’m doing a stellar job at any of it. But in the midst of what I experience as a huge mess, and given my own resources and limitations, I’m somehow finding my way.  So I want to write about NVC, me, and the current political context, to share some of what I believe NVC can offer all of us at this time.

Kathy Simon has been practicing NVC since 1995. She has led the Living Peace retreat and the BayNVC Immersion Program since 2009, and she especially appreciates the chance to work with a small, warm community of dedicated practitioners. Along with the Immersion Program, Kathy also leads NVC trainings for organizations and works privately with individuals, parents, and couples to find more ease and authenticity in their communication. A former high school English and drama teacher, Kathy supervised student teachers at Stanford University and co-directed the Coalition of Essential Schools, a nonprofit school reform organization. Kathy is the author of Moral Questions in the Classroom and co-author of other books on education and school reform.  Kathy holds a B.A. in Literature from Harvard and a Ph.D. in Education from Stanford. Kathy’s wife, Inbal Kashtan, of blessed memory, was a co-founder of BayNVC;and  they have an 18 year old son. You can reach Kathy by email at:  kathygsimon@icloud.com

“All people ever say is: THANK YOU (a celebration of life)
and PLEASE (an opportunity to make life more wonderful).”​​​​​​​ 
​​​​​​​~ Marshall B. Rosenberg

Holiday Specials
Special #1 The Perfect Holiday Gift

366 inspirational daily meditations to ground you in the power of compassionate, conscious living.

In this gathering of wisdom, Mary Mackenzie empowers you to change the course of your life for the better. With each of the daily meditations, you'll learn new ways of viewing familiar, everyday situations and discover tools to transform those situations into opportunities for connection and personal growth.

Peaceful Living goes beyond daily affirmations, providing the skills and NVC consciousness you need to transform relationships, heal pain, and discover the life behind the most trying situations. Begin each day centered and connected to yourself and your values.

In each meditation, learn practical skills to:

  • Create an empowered, purposeful life free of fear, shame or guilt
  • Deepen your emotional connections with your partner, colleagues, family and friends
  • Live authentically by honestly expressing your feelings and needs
  • Ground yourself daily in the values of compassion
  • Free yourself from destructive emotional patterns
  • Be your best spiritual teacher

Mary Mackenzie is a certified NVC trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), is the creator of the online NVC Learning Academy, and the executive director of the Flagstaff Center for Compassionate Communication, a nonprofit peacemaking organization. She teaches transformational thinking, speaking, and listening skills to individuals, couples, families, and children to empower them in their relationships.

Sample Meditation

Due to inclement weather Peaceful Living (the print version) is not available at our fulfillment center in time for holiday shopping. It is available from Amazon at their pricing. Our regrets that we are unable to offer this beautiful book at our special PDP holiday pricing. We can, however, offer it to you at $3.95 as an ebook

List Price: $19.95 
eBook 3.95

from Peaceful Living
by Mary Mackenzie

My goal is to change the world one heart at a time.
- Mary Mackenzie

Inspiring Social Change

People ask me all the time how they can change a situation. Activists who work for peace and social change want the answer. Many of us are looking for the big over-arching answers. We want the quick fix. If you want social change, act in harmony with the values toward which you are working. "Be the change you seek," as Gandhi put it. If you want peace, work toward peace; don't rally against war. Don't spend your days working for peace while harboring enemy images of people who support different causes than yours; don't go home and spank your child or yell at your partner. Be peace. Living from your values does not mean that you are perfect. When you act in ways that aren't in harmony with your values, own up to it and try to do it differently next time. Set a course that is in alignment with your values and do your very best to stay headed in that direction. This is social change. For today, make a conscious effort to be
that which you want in your world.

“What are the characteristics of a healthy relationship?
1. Accurate empathy, 2. genuineness, 3. unconditional positive regard​​​​​​​
~ Marshall B. Rosenberg 
Article #2
Five Tips for Enjoying Your Family Gatherings
by Beth Banning and Neill Gibson

Are you wondering how your next family gathering will turn out?

Is it tough to relate to some of your family members? Do you sometimes leave feeling drained and wondering why you went at all?

It can be different this year. Imagine walking into your next family get-together feeling excited about being there and knowing that you will leave feeling happy about the whole experience. 

This is all possible if you know what to focus on.

Learn Five Tips to Make This Year's Family Gathering The Best Ever

Beth and (Neill) are committed to helping create a world that works for everyone. Their vision is a global culture that embraces the values of abundance, prosperity, and inter-reliance--one that promotes "the evolution of everyone. Their goal is to make a significant contribution to this shift by offering concrete, practical skills that help people exchange ideas and resources in harmony with their most deeply held values, and by living the principles and practices they offer through their work. If you'd like to find out more, please visit them at: www.focusedattention.com
 “When I am critical or judgmental—what is the need being expressed?”
~ Marshall B. Rosenberg
Special #2​​​​​​​

Most of us walk through life with thinking and language that stands as a concrete block between what we want and what we actually get. We stand alienated from ourselves, unaware of what we're feeling, what we want and how to get it. We function on autopilot, putting our personal and intimate relationships dead last behind work, family and other life responsibilities. ​​​​​​​And we react to loved ones, family and coworkers in ways that further alienate us, keeping us from experiencing the quality of relationships that we all deserve.

Being Genuine brings Thomas d'Ansembourg's blockbuster French title to the English market. His work offers you a fresh new perspective on the proven skills offered in the best-selling book, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. ​​​​​

Drawing on his own real-life examples and stories, d'Ansembourg provides practical skills and concrete steps that allow us to safely remove the masks we wear, which prevent the intimacy and satisfaction we desire with our intimate partners, children, parents, friends, family, and colleagues.

With this fresh, new perspective on communication learn to:
  • Safely remove the masks we hide behind
  • Overcome past prejudices and conditioned beliefs
  • Purge your thinking and language of anything that generates conflict
  • Accept responsibility for your feelings and actions
  • Transform the fears that block us from connecting with others
  • Create the space you need to connect with loved ones or colleagues
  • Practice unconditional love each day

Based in Belgium, Thomas d'Ansembourg is a former lawyer and legal advisor, and has worked for over a decade managing support to at-risk youth. First published in French in 2001, Being Genuine is now a European bestseller with more than 200,000 copies in print. Being Genuine has also received the 2003 Festival of Authors of Psychology of Nimes Award.

List Price: $17.95 
Book 4.95
 eBook 3.95
Special #3

Eating is a basic human need. But for those caught in cycles of over-consumption, emotional eating, and yo-yo dieting, it can often be a misguided stand-in for other unmet needs, like emotional fulfillment.

When we’ve reconnected to our actual nutritional needs, however, consumption habits turn into choices, leading to greater personal freedom.

Combining expert dietary wisdom with the consciousness of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), this handbook teaches you how to Eat by Choice, Not by Habit by changing the way you see food and your food choices. Rather than a prescriptive fad diet, readers learn to dig deeper to the emotional consciousness that underlies our eating patterns.

"Face Your Stuff, or Stuff Your Face"
- AnonymousFind practical strategies to break out of unhealthy eating cycles by becoming aware of your real needs in the moment. Learn to enjoy the tastes, smells and sensations of healthful eating once again.

Sylvia Haskvitz is a registered dietitian and certified trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication. She has offered seminars to numerous organizations including Head Start, Child and Family Resources, Health Net and St. Mary’s Hospital. Her monthly column, “Finding the ‘Right’ Words,” is published by Tucson West Publishing. Her essay, “Enemy Images” was recently published in the book, Healing Our Planet, Healing Ourselves. She has also directed and produced a weekly radio program and hosted a television show. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

List Price: $10.95 
Book 3.95 
 eBook 2.95
“Don’t hate the circumstance; you may miss the blessing.”​​​​​​​
Marshall B Rosenberg 
Special #4

Many of us crave a richer and more meaningful connection to the Divine, and at the same time find it hard to apply the dictates of our faith, like turning our other cheek, avoiding judgments or loving our enemy.

According to Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D., our most basic spiritual need is to contribute to the well being of others and ourselves.

His brief, unscripted reflections on the spiritual basis of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) will inspire you not only to connect with the Divine in yourself and others, but to begin to create a world of empathy and compassion, where the language we use is the key to enriching life.

Discover an intensely satisfying and joyful spiritual experience that begins with you.

In these rich pages, learn how NVC can help you achieve a more practical, applied spirituality.

Practical Spirituality will help you:
  • Strengthen the connection between your actions and your spiritual values
  • Let go of enemy images and moralistic judgments, to connect to our common humanity
  • Overcome cultural conditioning that blocks empathy and promotes violence
  • Care for your own needs-a crucial first step toward willingly giving to others
  • Connect with others from a place of compassionate energy
List Price: $8.95 
Book 2.95
 eBook 1.95
“NVC clearly distinguishes three components in the expression of appreciation:
1) The actions that have contributed to our well-being;
2) The particular needs of ours that have been fulfilled;
3) The pleasurable feelings engendered by the fulfillment of our need

~ Marshall Rosenberg

Article #3​​​​​​​
Cooking Up Peace this Holiday Season
By Jan Henrikson
The rumors persist, but Julia Child never actually dropped a turkey on the floor and put it back in the pan on national television. Her unabashed jubilation over food and all kinds of cooking adventures makes it feel entirely possible, though.

In the movie, “Julie & Julia,” Child is in ecstasy eating food, preparing it, sharing it. Her husband oohs and ahhhs over each taste she offers him.  

The same is true for Julie Powell. Powell is the writer who embarks on a quest to create one of Child's recipes a day for one whole year. Her husband and friends seem to melt the moment her duck or chocolate soufflé rolls onto their tongues.

Appreciation, connection, joy. Isn't that a common wish, especially for the holidays? Sumptuous food, a smiling, satisfied family. The sense that we're each contributing something and are appreciated for our creations: whether it's pumpkin pie or graciousness.

But our most common holiday settings: the kitchen, the dining room table, can easily become mine fields. You are happily talking and stirring your special Thanksgiving stew, when Aunt Esther unexpectedly salts it. “Everything tastes better with more salt.”

You smile, but you'd actually like Aunt Esther to turn into salt. You offer to help your sister, the hostess, clean up. She thanks you and then criticizes your every move.

According to Sylvia Haskvitz, author of Eat by Choice, Not by Habit, becoming aware of family patterns around cooking and eating may shift your culinary experiences from frustration, irritation, or anger to real celebration.

Instead of eating your words, Haskvitz suggests saying something to Aunt Esther like: “I feel discouraged when I see you salting the stew without checking in with me first. Some of those eating with us are not using salt and I was hoping everyone at the dinner would be able to enjoy the stew. How are you taking that in?”

As for Sister, how about: “When you say I left soap on the glass and I'm using the wrong towel to dry the dishes and there is still some dirt on the counter, I feel frustrated. I really want to support you so you're not up until midnight and I want some reassurance that my help is appreciated. Can you tell me how this all lands with you?”

Now leave the Aunt and Sister alone and take a moment to recall some of your own childhood experiences. Was your brother considered the cooking maven, you the klutz?

Did your mother work and expect you to cook for your siblings? Or did she shoo you out of the kitchen? One woman's dad rushed into the kitchen every time she picked up a knife for fear she'd chop off a pinky. He hovered over her, seeing disaster at every stir of the pot. Today she's anxious when anyone else tries to help her cook.

Healing from such experiences often takes self-empathy. Take the woman with the hovering father.

“I'm guessing the woman would have liked to have been trusted to take care of herself, says Haskvitz. “Likely Dad was wanting safety and well-being for those he cares about.”

In her quest to strengthen our healthiest relationships with our body and food, Haskvitz teaches classes in cooking and compassionate communication.

Ten or so people gather to prepare a meal together and talk about “people's emotional needs around food. We acknowledge their fears, what keeps them from wanting to be in the kitchen.

There is a lot of pain from past messages about food and eating. Cooking, eating together, sharing our food and eating history and receiving empathy helps us heal and makes being in the kitchen fun again.”

Class member Chris Amoroso grew up in a home above the neighborhood grocery store his family ran. “Our meals were with one ear on the store bell while we were eating so it was nothing to wolf down our meals in minutes. Even when I was older. I learned to eat really fast.”

Once while home late, he sat down to eat with one of his five kids. “I was wolfing down my food, talking, when my daughter said, ‘Dad, time's up.' That caught my attention. I'd been eating for two minutes and I was almost done.” For him, cooking a meal with others was revolutionary. “For me to have the meal be more than feeding the body, more of a soul experience and coming together in a group --it was like a symphony. We had this combined wisdom in the room. Everybody was learning as we were moving along,” he said.

To create your own holiday symphony, “Stop the beat-up from your past memories and connect with your longings, your hopes and needs right now,” says Haskvitz. “Pause when you get triggered. Go inside to get clear on which need is stirred up in the moment. Once you have that awareness, you have an abundance of choices on what to do next. This is true freedom and joy!”

Explore this topic more with Eat by Choice, Not by Habit by Sylvia Haskvitz, or contact Sylvia at 520-572-9295 to learn more about one-on-one coaching to transform your relationship with your body and food.

Jan Henrikson is the editor of Eat by Choice, Not by Habit written by Sylvia Haskvitz. In between writing, editing, and coaching other writers, Jan eats as joyfully and mindfully as possible.

© Sven Hartenstein.(used with permission)