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Marcia Christen

Language of Report: 
English
Year of Report: 
2014
Share My Report With: 
General Public (Including Certified Trainers and Certification Candidates)
A. Approximately how many training days did you have this year?: 
35
B. Briefly list the groups and organizations you worked with this year as a trainer.: 
Sunfield Waldorf Farm and School, University of Washington Nursing Program, University Unitarian Universalist church, YMCA of Thurston County, Women's Correctional Center fo Washington, and the Bodhi Center.
C. Approximately how many people did you offer NVC training to this year?: 
187
D. What are you celebrating about your training experiences this year? What was significant for you? What touched your heart?: 
Hearing the personal stories of healing people had within themselves and healing they had in their relationships. I am especially touched by a woman in my practice group who lost her husband to suicide and she shared how she finally learned self-empathy enough to be able to empathize with him and why he chose to end his life. Also stories of healing within families is especially meaningful. I am celebrating the hope people expressed and the power of creating safe, empathic spaces.
E. Would you share some difficult experiences you had while training this year and how you handled them?: 
In this prison one time this year the women began raising their voices above which I enjoyed (especially since it was in an room that echoed in segregation). We chose to let them speak until there was a gap to be able to empathize. They requested that we let it go and so we did. I wouldn't say I am pleased with the way it was handled however at the end they expressed some learning and were touched by a poem I read. Another time a woman expressed great distress and even some anger about not getting the material I was presenting expressing that I was going too fast. I empathized with her and the rest of the class commented how helpful that was to hear.
F. How do you teach the spiritual basis of Nonviolent Communication in your workshops and training programs? : 
I attempt to bring in the spiritual aspect by concentrating on the consciousness of NVC again and again. I try to bring in the preciousness of Needs, that they are life, or the divine. I also emphasize WHY the aspects of NVC are important, not just the how, in this way returning back to the consciousness, the spirituality of NVC. I try to bring in these aspects in a way that fits the audience, using language they might identify with.
G. Please describe your social change goals...: 
My hope is that by sharing NVC with individuals, schools, and organizations that not only are people internally transformed, but also that they then transform relationships interpersonally and work on systemic change. One of the areas of impact I see as potentially huge for social change is the family. By restructuring the family system into a shared power/collaborative system, this could ripple out to other systems and create great social change.
J. Please describe your efforts to create, or join, an NVC circle or organization.: 
I am part of the Northwest Compassionate Communication network. I have spearheaded our quarterly and monthly meetings. I am part of the Trainer Certification Community Program with Kathleen Macferran. We continue to struggle with NWcompass to find times to meet consistently. We enjoy celebrating and mourning together and getting together to connect and collaborate. We are evolving and continuing to look at the needs we're serving. Challenges are staying connected. I long to have us present ourselves as a united group with a vibrant web site where we are also involved with other highly visible organizations with similar missions. I would like to see us expand our exposure so we can continue to share NVC and just work independently. The learning and challenges in 5 years at the Trainer Candidate Community Program have been large. I was quite challenged when people were in conflict or expressing intense internal pain needed for healing during the training weekends. My challenge was in not speaking my truth and speaking up. This led to some additions to our Restorative System offerings which I am pleased about. And it led to some clarity about the group and what the mission is and how we can support people through their personal healing journey
K. Summarize participants’ evaluations, and how their feedback resulted in new learning or growth for you this past year.: 
I had some feedback that people wanted more time using the Grok cards. I often feel a bit rushed in my perception to fit into time frames of the organization I'm at or the venue I'm using. This feedback was helpful for me to consider fewer exercises with more time devoted to the exercises and the debrief afterward. At the prison I received feedback that some of the participants were tired and unable to follow meditations at the end of a day. I learned a lot about my desire to contribute and "cram" as much in, even when there is feedback that the energy is low. I realized that next time I would like to shift to a moving exercise to meet the energy or bring in a game to help with attention and contribute to fun.
L. What are your current growing edges or challenges as a trainer that you will be working on in the future?: 
I continue to work on my facilitation skills in a group - working with requests of a group and "kick back' from people expressing frustration. I usually empathize and this feels connecting. I would also like to express and be transparent that I am wanting to convince out of my need to contribute and be seen as competent. In the Trainer candidate group my edge has been making requests and expressing my honesty. I have asked for support from them with this and I am growing. I would like to continue to look at how to have exercises and activities be the main focus so that these bring forth learning rather than me explaining and talking more than I like. I would like more body learning integrated into what I do so that participants have a felt sense of the consciousness. I also will continue to expand my use of principle based teaching so that why is emphasized in balance with the how. I would like to continue to expand my coaching practice as I have greatly enjoyed it.
M. If you found opportunities to work with other trainers this year, please share the most meaningful experiences for you.: 
Working with Kathleen Macferran on a class on Radical Acceptance and the use of NVC tools to integrate this was very meaningful. We were able to support each other as we learned and grew together and with the participants. I enjoy learning how she works with people. I also enjoyed my work in the schools with Donna Kramer with the support of the NW Compass trainers. I really stretched by supporting facilitated conversations and one on one connection sessions with the faculty and the staff of a school that were in conflict. I enjoyed planning and collaborating with Donna to live the consciousness while also guiding and teaching with her. I appreciate learning from her how to stay with what was alive in the room and 'switch gears' from the agenda created by the school.
N. Is there anything else you would enjoy sharing with the CNVC network?: 
I appreciate all the trainers and staff and board at CNVC for the dedication to this work. I appreciate all the support on the email group. I am so grateful to be a part of this community and to be able to share this work and consciousness that has been so dear to me.
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