What’s Up Next? Sunday, January 1, 2017 ~ Reflection & Renewal

Street Giraffe is a free tele-practice group that gathers on the first Sunday of each month to build ‘street [giraffe] cred’ – cultivating presence to enhance self-expressive versatility.  


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FYI ~ We’re moving to streetgiraffes.com

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“NVC is an awareness discipline masquerading as a communication process.”

~ Kit Miller of the MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence


What’s Up Next?

Sunday, January 1, 2017 ~ Reflection & Renewal


Inquiry:  Do you have any New Year’s dialogic intentions?  Such as a quality of NVC consciousness that you are drawn to, perhaps wanting to cultivate and more skillfully integrate (by this time, next year)?  How might you go about this (what ritual might support you as a practitioner)?

Image result for eating soup cartoons wiki commons

Hint:  Try reviewing the Self-Assessment Matrix (see more, below) to see if any one skill jumps out at you.

(e.g.  ‘Presence’)

Presence:  Being attentive to what is happening right now. Not lost in thinking, emotional reactions, etc.

  1. Unskilled (Unconsciously Incompetent):  Unconsciously lost in the past or the future; identified with thinking and doing.
  2. Awakening (Consciously Incompetent):  Becoming aware of the difference between being alert to what is actually happening and being lost in thought.
  3. Capable (Consciously Competent):  Able to witness thoughts and feelings, and to respond rather than react; able to bring oneself back to alertness when aware of having been lost in thought.
  4. Integrated (Unconsciously Competent):  Relaxed alertness to what is happening in each moment, with a deep sense of purpose and choice; openness to what is, with resourcefulness, interdependence, and a perspective of past and future.

For simplicity’s sake:

Matrix co-creators Jim & Jori Manske have suggested these five skills  as “easy ways to integrate NVC, anywhere/everywhere”:  

  • Presence

  • Observing

  • Feelings Awareness 

  • Needs-Consciousness

  • Gratitude

Notice how each of the skills above can also be complementary in our capacity for growth with another skill — e.g. distinguishing between observation and interpretation can lend itself to cultivating presence (wanting-fully-without-attachment) or sensing into our ‘feelings awareness’ can naturally flow into a heightened state of ‘needs-consciousness’ etc.

These skills are further delineated by clicking on the chart beneath:

Four Competencies of NVC (Consciousness) ~
Unskilled, Awakening, Capable & Integrated:

Self-Assessment Matrix

Listen to a (free) recording of one way to use the Matrix here.
See also:  Strength/Edge Worksheet

Matrix small

Via CNVC.org:  This document comes in two sizes, they contain the same information.
The large version is on eight pages and the other version is on four pages.

Pathways to Liberation Self Assessment Matrix v1 2.pdf
Pathways to Liberation Self Assessment Matrix v1 2 large.pdf

I’ve structured much of the tele-conference to reinforce some of the rituals that I use to buttress my NVC practice (& capacity for ‘presence’).  For example, the four stations of Joanna Macy’s spiral (which serves as an outline for the call’s format) closely parallels the Mediate Your Life Practice honed by Ike Lasater and John Kinyon of Mourn, Celebrate, and Learn (MCL) (an NVC mediation process).  Similarly, I’ve adapted their Breath/Body/Need self-connection exercise (Breath, Body, Inquiry) which routinely gets employed, on our call, in both an abbreviated and a more lengthy form.

One way that I’ve also found it useful to lean into a growing edge is to begin with something simpler, such as Mourn/Celebrate/Learn or Breath/Body/Need (or Inquiry) and then once that practice is under one’s proverbial belt, to expand upon it.  So, for example, one could tack on a repair action-step (along the lines suggested by IPNB guidelines for secure attachment/trust), or even the option of brainstorming possible repairs, at the conclusion of an MCL process.  Similarly, to deepen the process of Breath/Body/Need, one could intermingle some of the skills of Focusing, such as getting a ‘felt sense’ (and/or handle).  Or of utilizing Inner Relationship Focusing’s (IRF) ‘presence language’…

Here’s an example of an intention/ritual that I’m currently engaged in attempting to ingrain (as fodder for thought for your own exploration/integration)…


Free Resources For Powerful Change, Focusing Resources Free Library

Inner Relationship Focusing [PDF] – “Presence Language”

Identified Language vs. Presence Language

Identified Language:
“I am angry.”
“I am terrified.”
“I feel so frustrated by what she did.”

Presence Language:

“I’m sensing something in me is angry.”
“I’m sensing something in me is terrified.”
“I’m sensing something in me feels so frustrated by what she did.”

Image result for renewal

“If you want to know what the soup smells like,
it’s better not to stick your head in it.”
– Eugene Gendlin

File:Viejos comiendo sopa.jpg

If you’ve ever encountered the modality of [Inner Relationship] Focusing and wondered how it might complement self-connection/self-empathy, here is link to a video clip of Gina Censiose on Embodying Our Needs (Embodying Our Needs (rather than needs as a ‘story-we’re-telling-ourselves’).

Be sure to watch the video clip above, if you please, however here is an appetizer:

“I’m going in with a full quality of presence to myself and saying to whatever is there, ‘yes, I want to hear you’. Whether my mind thinks it’s garbage, it’s worthless, other people won’t like it. I will treasure it, in the moment, right now… And that I think allows for that space to unfold. There is a kind of inner relaxing where things will come up because they’re not being judged as bad or this isn’t acceptable. Doesn’t mean I have to share it with other people. But it means that when I am with other people I will be aware of these parts of myself and holding them lovingly and not projecting them either unconsciously onto other people by saying a sweet OFNR that is not at all true or that I’m trying to be nice by using OFNR — and that is obviously a beautiful learning curve in NVC — at the beginning you try OFNR and you see it doesn’t work (people do a two day intro and say, ‘hey, it didn’t work’) …Well, if the intention or reorientation of your heart hasn’t changed, it’s not changing your language that will change anything in life…It’s not the phrasing, it’s never the phrasing, it’s your intention.” ~ Gina Censoise

For the excerpt above in its fuller/video context, click here: http://www.nvctraining.com/media/GC/TP-key-diffs-200812


(Scroll down past the “iGiraffe” &/or pause-button for further musings as to next Sunday’s tele-practice theme)


Two Questions

 “OFNR” (scaffolding of NVC consciousness)

 The 2 Parts and 4 Components of NVC

NVC Model

Two monologues do not make a dialogue.
~ Jeff Daly

Hold on to your anger, and use it as compost for your garden. | Thich Nhat Hanh


Principle-Based-Teaching Coaching Calls

During the teleconference we’ll ‘compost’ material from our daily lives…

A Few Tools in Our Toolbox:


“An NVC practice as ‘dustpan & brush’…”
~ Kit Miller

The Spiral – Work That Reconnects

I.    Opening to gratitude
II.  Honoring/owning our pain
III.  Seeing with New Eyes
IV.  Going Forth

Art by Dori Midnight

Flowers, Tears & Lightbulbs Journal

Four inquiries to consider (prior to our call, if possible):

File:Reticulated Giraffe at the St. Louis Zoo (2005).jpg

  • What is working about your [NVC] practice? (opening to gratitude)
  • What gets in the way of communicating mindfully? (honoring our pain)
  • What is your vision for speaking and listening with equanimity? (seeing with new eyes)
  • What next step(s) can you take to enhance the quality of connection you seek? (going forth)


“The process of learning an art can be divided conveniently into two parts: one, the mastery of the theory, the other, the mastery of the practice.” Erich Fromm

Our Toolbelt


(Identifying and working with a stimulus)

“How To” Colloquialize

 ‘Streetify’ Expressions of Feelings & Needs

ZENVC Journal (PDF format)

pen on paper: 'Dear diary'

Seeing with New Eyes
(Discovering NVC-‘Principle-Based’-Growing-Edges)

Self-Assessment Matrix – [PDF]

Matrix small

Going Forth

Giraffe and Jackal ears exercise | CNVC

Image result for nvc four ears

Three [Dialogic] Choices:


Three Layers of Empathy

Hart’s Communication-Flow-Chart

ZENVC’s Communication Flow Chart




Image result for renewal

Three Steps to Make Your New Year’s Resolution Stick


Additional Complementary Modalities/Resources:

FYI ~ If you participated in Sarah Peyton’s (free) IPNB/NVC tele-seminar on Conflicting Sacred Vows in December you may also be interested in this email from her assistant, Gloria

Gloria <lifefocused@gmail.com>

If you enjoyed this exploration and are intrigued by the idea of how cutting-edge neuroscience can contribute to deepening our empathy and/or 
Nonviolent Communication practice, this email is a special offer for a discounted price for the next year (11 months) of Interpersonal Neurobiology/Empathy teleseminars. If you register for the series before January 8, the special discounted price is $120 (a savings of 50% over the time-by-time purchase price).
Click the link below to register for the upcoming year using this special offer!

Here is the plan for the 2017 line-up:

IPNB and Empathy Teleseminar in January, Tuesday evening 1/17 at 7pm Pacific time:

DISORGANIZED ATTACHMENT: Understanding and Healing with Empathy (90 minutes with optional 30 min Q&A afterwards)

The heartbeat of secure attachment is a dance of relational connection. We get to count on one another for responsiveness, presence and aliveness.  
When trauma enters the family, this heartbeat is interrupted. The basic element of human interaction, contingent timing, gets turned on its head.  And disorganization comes into the scene, accompanied by dissociation, numbness, alarm, suspicion, jealousy, hostility, rage, violence, and the embodied sense that we must expect the worst to be safe. The default network is coopted for defensiveness and obsession, and unpredictability is the basic unit of relationship. As we bring empathy into such a system, things can start to change. Join Sarah for an exploration of the journey of healing for any bubbles of traumatic attachment that may be floating around in your system.Led by Sarah Peyton.  $20 per drop-in (and/or recording of) phone session, one session monthly, 7-8:30 p.m.Pacific time, upcoming sessions on:

·         February 28  (Heart Rate Variability and Empathy)
·         March 28 (Working the Layers: the Gradual Healing from Disordered Eating)·         April 18 (Migration, Moving, Home and Empathy)

·         May 30 (The Precuneus and the Sense of Self: Differentiating Self from Other)

·         June 13 (Brain Waves and Empathy)

·         July 25 (Asperger’s and Autism: How Empathy can Contribute)

·         August 8 (Safety: How to Claim it With Resonant Empathy)

·         September (Glial Cells, Memory, Brain Fitness and Empathy)

·         October (Addiction, Habits and Free Will: Empathy for Choice and Decision Fatigue, with a nod to the Basal Ganglia)

·         November (Power and Privilege: Neuroscience and Empathy)

And possible teleseminars in 2018:

·         January (The Writer’s Mind: The Importance of Empathy and Neuroscience)

·         February (The Right Hemisphere: Home of Empathy)

·         March (Money and Empathy)

Click the link below to sign up for the January 2017 teleseminar, DISORGANIZED ATTACHMENT: Understanding and Healing with Empathy

Additional questions?  Please contact us at streetgiraffe@gmail.com

This entry was posted in Focusing, Giraffe Consciousness, NVC & Other Modalities, Practice Resources - Kinyon's NVC Mediation, Practice Resources - Sarah Peyton, What's Up Next? and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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