Marcia Christen

Language of Report: 
English
Year of Report: 
2012
Share My Report With: 
General Public (Including Certified Trainers and Certification Candidates)
A. Approximately how many training days did you have this year?: 
37
B. Briefly list the groups and organizations you worked with this year as a trainer.: 
Individuals Parents Inmates of the Women's Correctional Center of Washington Trainer Candidates with Kathleen MacFerran Freedom Project Sunnfield Waldorf School Kitsap Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Cedars Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
C. Approximately how many people did you offer NVC training to this year?: 
160
D. What are you celebrating about your training experiences this year? What was significant for you? What touched your heart?: 
What I am celebrating is reaching out to more people this year. I am inspired by the learning that takes place and the meaning of this work that people share. I especially am moved by the work in the women's prison and the openness and shift that occurs there. I am celebrating that when 24 women were "triggered", expressing anger during a class, we were able to stay with the needs and find a solution that brought connection and trust. Very powerful! What touches my heart is the willingness people have to look at themselves. I am especially touched when parents and teachers share how meaningful NVC has been in helping them support the children in their lives! I am very excited to have begun a relationship with a Waldorf school where I'm working with parents, teachers, students and the Head of School.
E. Would you share some difficult experiences you had while training this year and how you handled them?: 
The episode in the women's prison was very challenging to have such a strong energy in the room of trigger and anger, and to be in a prison while it's happening. I am thankful that I looked to my mentor and we sent each other a message with our look that we were going to stay with the Needs and we didn't know what to say exactly, but we trusted the process. I also began speaking my vulnerability and deciding how to step into my power purposefully when speaking with the group during this. I am sometimes challenged in workshops when people give feedback that they do not believe they can use NVC. I am mostly saddened that how I'm offering it isn't contributing to learning and I have found that going back to choosing between self-empathy, empathy and honesty is very serving. Connection has brought understanding.
F. How do you teach the spiritual basis of Nonviolent Communication in your workshops and training programs? : 
I am trying more and more to model what I have learned from Miki Kashtan through Principle Based teaching, to weave the why into all of my teaching and to gauge the audience and what words for "spirituality" would be connecting. If it is a person who has expressed their spiritual practices, then I can connect this to their practices. I often share my own experience of how NVC is my spiritual practice and how it can support any spiritual practice. I teach the consciousness of NVC in many ways, hopefully coming back to it as the touch point for teaching every part of the 4 pieces of the language component and in every part of the principles.
G. Please describe your social change goals...: 
I hope to contribute to social change through reaching people one person at a time. By sharing with parents, I hope to bring the consciousness to families. By having teachers in my class, I hope to bring the consciousness to schools and administrations. By sharing NVC with people who work in organizations I hope to spread the consciousness within organizations. My dream is that through one on one connections in classes or when I am in the world in any capacity that this has a ripple effect out to organizations. I love when there is someone in the class who is inspired to share what they've learned with people they live with, work with or organizations they are a part of. I sometimes seek organizations that already life the principles, spiritual organizations for example, because it is often easier to gain access and begin change from the inside out. What I do is in harmony with the vision and mission of CNVC because it is working from within to change that spreads. I hope that in future as I become a more experienced trainer that I will be able to increase my capacity to offer trainings to organizations such as the local hospital whose mission is to provide empathy. I continue to be excited about offering NVC to parents and teachers as a way to influence how the next generation is taught about compassion.
J. Please describe your efforts to create, or join, an NVC circle or organization.: 
Because I live in a rural urban area, with few NVC trainers within an hour, I am working to create an NVC community in my area by offering workshops and practice groups. I have had some practice groups for 3 years and hope to keep adding to the practice groups to build a community. I have also joined the NVC trainers circle in the Seattle area and am very excited to be meeting and learning from the trainers in our area (Northwest Compassionate Communication). We are hoping to offer a Regional training together in 2013!
K. Summarize participants’ evaluations, and how their feedback resulted in new learning or growth for you this past year.: 
Some participants enjoyed my care and authenticity, the choice to use this consciousness and the language. Often people want more practice. They like my activities and handouts, and always ask for more practice. From this I've been trying to add more practice during my series and also to offer practice groups.The practice groups have been places I've experienced a lot of learning and community building. I also believe it is easier to integrate NVC when there's also a framework, so I'm trying to find a balance that works. I also have been trying to give less information before an activity, and yet enough to guide it. Then I'm letting the exercise debrief bring out the principles or the learning. I will continue to grow in this way. I am often amazed how comments or things I say can really be a turning point, even things I'm not as mindful about, yet are supportive, so I am paying a lot of attention to all aspects of how I show up and what I say, and what I model.
L. What are your current growing edges or challenges as a trainer that you will be working on in the future?: 
I am often working with the balance between planned curriculum and going with what's alive. The more experience I have the more I have a mindfulness about choosing what I choose. I am learning how to incorporate the why in whatever is happening and then loop it back to principles. I continue to be challenged by people who don't resonate with the principles or want to challenge them. I feel myself tugged into "proving" instead of being with and really hearing how they are. Empathy for them is coming much more naturally now, and yet I often do feel initial contraction because I am so wanting to contribute to them learning a consciousness that can bring so much more peace and harmony in the world. I find it especially challenging when people are very attached to their judgments, even after empathy. Statements such as "But they are evil!" I can empathize for a while and then I begin to judge them as wrong and want to show how NVC is right and I am saddened by this. A lot of support and empathy outside of classes has been helpful. Also guessing what's behind this is coming easier. They often are in scarcity and believe if they empathize and are compassionate with the "evil" person then what they value will be lost. It still is difficult to hear judgments that they believe are truths.
M. If you found opportunities to work with other trainers this year, please share the most meaningful experiences for you.: 
I have worked with other trainers mostly in the women's prison and it is always rich. Especially when I was with Kathleen Macferran when the entire room of 24 women were triggered and expressing anger. I am so appreciative of the team that goes into the prison and the support. I also was quite touched by my experience being part of Family Camp. I assisted Ingrid Bauer in the parent realm and it was meaningful to learn from her along with Barb Larson and Doug Dolstad with how they hold conflict, process and the camp. The learning was rich. We even had a number of days of a restorative circle at Family camp where I learned a lot about holding people with tenderness and care during such a difficult time.
N. Is there anything else you would enjoy sharing with the CNVC network?: 
I am thankful for all the work that the CNVC network does behind the scenes. I feel supported in my work and I am so appreciative to be able to continue working with the Trainer Candidates with Kathleen Macferran and Karl Stayaert. My learning goes in leaps and bounds when I get to share training and witness how they live this consciousness with workshop participants and trainer candidates.
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