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Tory Blue

Language of Report: 
English
Year of Report: 
2013
Share My Report With: 
General Public (Including Certified Trainers and Certification Candidates)
A. Approximately how many training days did you have this year?: 
76
B. Briefly list the groups and organizations you worked with this year as a trainer.: 
"United Way of San Luis Obispo County", “Pacific Beach Continuation High School”, “Lopez Continuation High School”, ”Transitions of San Luis Obispo County: Youth Treatment Program”
C. Approximately how many people did you offer NVC training to this year?: 
101
D. What are you celebrating about your training experiences this year? What was significant for you? What touched your heart?: 
I am continuing to enjoy my growth and expansion as a facilitator and just as a human. I had the opportunity to support the growth and learning of a group of dedicated students in an ongoing weekly group this year. I had worked previously with each participant in various ways including a 6-week intro series, a 6-week intermediate series and various individual sessions. Participating in facilitating and witnessing the growth in skill and consciousness of these participatns was inspiring and uplifting. I watched each person grow in understanding and capacity for self-compassion in noticeable ways. Here is what one participant expressed as a result of participating in the weekly group and individual sessions: “I am more able to observe events, situations, and people (including myself) with less evaluation, and when I do evaluate, I recognize that my thoughts are just that, my evaluation, and not a cosmic truth. Because of this shift in consciousness, I am more relaxed and experience less tension. I am also more present in my life in general; that is, I can observe with more clarity, and less stories and judgments surrounding my experiences. I am kinder to myself, and to others more often, as I am able to search for feelings and needs rather than play right/wrong games. Sometimes.” “My relationships with people, including myself, are less problem-prone, and more gentle. Sometimes. I am more often free from blame, shame, and guilt. I have hope for continued growth and growing ease in my life. I am experiencing more self-honesty, willingness to see what I really do, rather than trying to put forth some image of myself. I am comfortable with what I would have previously considered flaws and weaknesses and dark aspects of myself.” In addition to my ongoing group I continued to share NVC with at-risk teens, I had the opportunity to deepen further in my facilitation skills. At a couple of points when I was about to give up, I stayed, worked on my triggers and brought in support. Bringing in a co-facilitator added to the support and learning and took the work to a new level. What touched my heart the most was the feedback I received from the teens in the last couple of series offered at a Continuation High School. One teen told me “If it weren’t for this class I would be in jail. Now, when I get angry I don’t just punch the guy. I think about it and make a choice.” Another teen said, “I have never been listened to like this before. I feel like you care and are really interested in what matters to me. Because of this class I am no longer suicidal and I come out of my room (at home) and talk with my parents. I silently listen to what their needs might be.” Hearing things like that made all the work I have done with the teens and others worthwhile.
E. Would you share some difficult experiences you had while training this year and how you handled them?: 
The most difficult experience I had this year was handling the inner self-doubt that came up when I had an especially challenging teen group sessions for two weeks. Half the class was listening and engaging as best they could while the other half made remarks whenever someone shared, didn’t put their phones away when I asked them to, talked to each other when I asked questions and many other things that were frustrating to me and my co-facilitator. The way I handled it was I got persistent about finding out if each student really wanted to be there, connecting with what was working for them and what wasn’t and then planning the agenda to meet needs in a very structured way. This helped but it was still difficult to connect with both the people who were engaged and the ones who still seemed not able to stay still to connect. So I split the group. One half went with my co-facilitator and the other half stayed with me. It worked very well. We figured out afterwards that small groups worked better when the kids needed loads of attention – had lots of pain they were holding inside. Giving them a safer environment supported them to open up and feel safe to express themselves vulnerably and be heard in a way they never had been heard before.
F. How do you teach the spiritual basis of Nonviolent Communication in your workshops and training programs? : 
I like to start my sessions with a ‘remembering’ such as a reading from Marshall or another spiritual teacher like Pema Chodron. I also start most sessions with a guided meditation with the intent to support participants to connect with themselves first before engaging in the class. I also often emphasize how the consciousness of NVC is not in the words.
G. Please describe your social change goals...: 
Pema Chodron says that one of the most difficult challenges for spiritual teachers in the west is penetrating the all pervasive cultural belief that they and everyone around them, is essentially ‘bad’. From my own experience personally and as an NVC facilitator I have to agree with Pema. I notice when someone brings up a trigger that I was part of, I often have to swim through the internalized belief ‘that I did something wrong’ before I can really hear them and not take it personal. I see this tendency arise in my students frequently and I see this pattern as a major block to the momentum of real change. With all this said, when I think of social change, I am convinced that until conscious light and understanding is shed on this it will continue to erode any social change we want. This major inner block, when melted away will open the gates to a new paradigm that allows us to hear ourselves and other without making anyone wrong. I know this may sound simple but this is a major focus I hold to disintegrate this tendency. I see this as a lynch pin that when pulled will allow us to enter into another paradigm.
J. Please describe your efforts to create, or join, an NVC circle or organization.: 
I am part of a team of five that has been working together implementing the sharing of NVC to at-risk teens via a State Innovative Grant. I also have enjoyed taking on an aspiring NVC Trainer assistant with me for this project. The team of 5 consists of myself, another Certified NVC Trainer, Bob Metz, the director of United Way and two others. One thing I enjoy is how well our strengths compliment one another to make us a strong, effective team. This is also my joy as I realized this dynamic has allowed each of us to offer our gifts without pressure each of us to be ‘everything’. While two of us are supported to focus on facilitating, another focuses on networking, another on gathering data to report outcomes. One of the challenges is the additional skill set I need to use and deepen when I have someone less experienced assisting me in facilitating. Having an assistant, I not only facilitate the group but I am also mentoring and navigating sharing the facilitation.
K. Summarize participants’ evaluations, and how their feedback resulted in new learning or growth for you this past year.: 
The participants evaluation's helped me to get a more accurate picture of what was actually happening. I noticed that this helped me to streamline effectively as things have progressed. Also, regarding sharing NVC with teens, feedback has helped to validate the sense I had that their experience of NVC was making very significant differences in their lives.
L. What are your current growing edges or challenges as a trainer that you will be working on in the future?: 
My biggest upcoming growing edge is taking my work of offering NVC to a whole new level as a business. I see myself learning and growing in the area of how to do a business and keeping connection to the heart while learning how to make enough income, with consistency, to support myself well. I see myself moving through blocks around money and continuing to learn how to value myself and what I have to offer in a whole new way that serves myself and my clients more effectively. In addition to this, my growing edges continue to be internal. I continue to work on owning my gifts, believing in myself, cultivating gentleness toward myself and my need for empathy. I notice as I expand my offerings of NVC in the outer world I continue to be shown where I need to work internally.
N. Is there anything else you would enjoy sharing with the CNVC network?: 
I am amazed to be on this everfolding path as an NVC Facilitator. The experience is beyond anything I could have ever imagined. One thing I am appreciating is that over time things are unfolding, opportunities are growing along with my inner growth. If I knew what I was taking on when I started I may not have taken it on. However, the unfolding is more gentle as it happens over time and not all at once. I am so grateful for this. Both my huge growth AND the gentleness that time offers.
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