Nonviolent Communication Intensive

Help Send Megan to the December 2018 NVC International Intensive Training!

Hi, my name is Megan Carmeli and I am raising money to attend this Nonviolent Communication International Intensive Training (IIT), taking place in Birmingham, England, December 2018.

This will be my second intensive as I work toward my goal of becoming an Nonviolent Communication Certified Trainer .  

First, what is Nonviolent Communication (NVC)? There are a substantial amount of misconceptions regarding what it is, so let’s start off with an explanation.  NVC is a system of communication that was developed by Marshall Rosenberg in the 1960’s, while he worked in the civil rights movement, and I feel his words say it best:

"Nonviolent Communication really came out of my attempt to understand this concept of love and how to manifest it, how to do it. I came to the conclusion that it was not just something you feel, but it is something we manifest, something we do, something we have. And what is this manifestation? It is giving of ourselves in a certain way.

To me, giving of ourselves means an honest expression of what’s alive in us in this moment...To give a gift of one’s self is a manifestation of love. It is when you reveal yourself nakedly and honestly, at any given moment, for no other purpose than as a gift of what’s alive in you. Not to blame, criticize, or punish. Just ‘Here I am, and here is what I would like.’ This is my vulnerability at this moment. To me, that is a way of manifesting love.

And the other way we give of ourselves is through how we receive another person’s message. To receive it empathically, connecting with what’s alive in them, making no judgment. Just to hear what is alive in the other person and what they would like. So Nonviolent Communication is just a manifestation of what I understand love to be."

Photo taken by Shannon Casey of the "altar" at the 2017 Bay Area IIT.  

Although NVC is quite simple, its applications in the world are vast: in individual mental health, interpersonal relationships, group mediation, parenting and all the way to international peacekeeping and government.  Here are a few examples of it’s real world applications:

--Sarah Peyton , in her work in Interpersonal Neurobiology, uses NVC as the basis for how to speak to the self with warmth and kindness, and as a tool to actually heal the brain.   

--In El-Dorado, California, it was found that participants who graduated from The Center for Violence-Free Relationships, which teaches NVC, had a 0% recidivism rate after 5 years , as compared to what was previously considered the most effective program, which boasted a 40% recidivism rate.  

--Connor and Wentworth examined the effects of 6 months of NVC training on 23 executives in a Fortune 500 company.  A variety of benefits were reported, including “conversations and meetings were notably more efficient, with issues being resolved in 50-80 percent less time.”

Personally, the first thing that amazed me about NVC was its sheer effectiveness.  People who are skillful in NVC have an ability to cut through the emotional clutter, in any conflict, and create strategies that benefit everyone involved.  Observing this phenomenon over and over again, it never ceases to leave me in awe, and it inspires me to learn, master, and teach this way of being in the world.

Last year, I was able to attend my first IIT, the focus of which was Power and Privilege.  I immersed myself during those 9 days, and came out the other side a greatly healed, more skillful, compassionate person.  I saw, for the first time, a glimpse of the world I want to live in, an interdependent world, in which everyone's needs mattered and were cared for.  Creating this world is my life's calling and I am dedicating the next three to five years to studying NVC and becoming a certified trainer.

Local Atlanta practice group doing a hands on exercise.

While I do a lot of practice here at home, by going to local practice groups, taking online classes, reading, and one on one practice, there is a lot of benefit in going to a 9-day intensive that I can't get otherwise.  Learning NVC is like learning a new language. Immersing myself for 9 days gives a depth of learning and growth that would take a lot longer through other means.

This year's Intensive will be in Birmingham, England, and will be focused more exclusively on NVC.  Here is the link if you are interested to read about it in more depth:

2018 United Kingdom IIT

In my perfect world, I would have the funds to pay for this learning without having to fundraise.  But unfortunately, I’m recovering from several years of illness and do not have a surplus of income coming in.  

I would not ask for help unless I thought that by learning these skills and how to share them, I could be of great benefit to the world around me.  Any little bit helps! And every little bit is appreciated from the deepest places of my heart!
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Megan Maxey Carmeli 
Atlanta, GA
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