Have you glimpsed the potential of NVC, but are forgetting or finding it hard to use in everyday life? Or have you been practising NVC for a while, but still wish you were more in your heart and less in your head? Are you daunted, trying to do things differently in a world that seems harsh and exhausting? Do you spend a lot of time online or alone, and are longing for community, whilst perhaps being a bit wary of it?
These 5 days offer a supportive space to learn and practise NVC, in an embodied way, in good company, whilst having fun, with time to relax and restore in nature.
It is an invitation to grow your confidence and competence in NVC and leave with greater capacity to meet whatever life throws at you with courage and love - including tough-love. You may end up more ok with yourself, more real, or readier to make changes at home or at work that feel aligned with who you are.
“The retreat provided an intense experience of living empathically within NVC. I learnt a lot but also experienced tremendous love and compassion from the leaders and the whole group. The combination of NVC practice and theory, along with the dancing, provided an amazing workout for mind, body and spirit and I left feeling renewed and inspired.”
— Andy, London
What to expect
A group of about 12 people spending the mornings practising NVC. We will work with dyad enquiries, reflective and communicative exercises and NVC kinaesthetic ‘dance floors’ (as developed by Gina Lawrie and Bridget Belgrave).
There’ll be a dance session each afternoon where you get to embody different aspects of NVC through movement. If you’ve never tried ‘conscious dance’ before you are especially welcome. No experience is necessary – you cannot do it wrong! And all ages, body shapes, abilities and fitness levels are welcome.
You’ll have the option to meet daily in small groups for an ‘empathy exchange’. This is a chance to be heard without judgment for anything at all and to practise listening to others with empathy.
To keep costs down and NVC practice up, we’ll be cooking meals for ourselves :-) Menus and ingredients will be provided and you’ll be asked to cook a couple of simple vegetarian meals, alongside a couple of others, with the support and ‘supervision’ of an assistant.
There’ll be plenty of time between sessions when you’re not cooking to rest or walk in the beautiful surrounding countryside. We will have places where you can enjoy silence to support self-connection.
There’s also the option of a sauna and outdoor fire.
“Cath created a safe and accepting environment that enabled me to be much more aware of my needs as they arose. I have noticed that I have been more aware of my feelings following the course, and am more consistently expressing my needs as they come up through the day.”
— Kate, London
Theme: The Surprising Purpose of Anger & the Freedom of Sorry
For many of us anger is frightening to experience and receive. For some it’s exhilarating and others barely feel it in a direct way. For many of us it’s a normal and inevitable part of life and sometimes necessary and appropriate. For example, when we witness someone being bullied, the energy of anger can give us the courage to intervene in service of safety, care and inclusion.
But without building our awareness and inner resources, anger can destroy relationships and be the source of tremendous hurt and harm, benefitting no one.
In this workshop we’ll see how to transform the energy of anger into powerful life-serving actions. Gandhi famously said of anger, “It fuels you to move forward and get to a better place. Without it, we would not be motivated to rise to a challenge.”
As well as gaining resource to be with anger, our own and other people’s, we’ll also build capacity to step into the surprising power and liberation of saying sorry when our words or behaviour have fallen short of our values.
Our discoveries will unfold in a supportive compassionate community. The dance sessions are an integral part of deepening our embodiment of NVC.
“Gained the tools and techniques to manage from being slightly irked right up the spectrum to ruddy furious! Honouring the feelings and then calling in the antidote through finding and meeting the needs that are not being met.”
“Embodying NVC has made me feel like it’s more a part of me and I have become so much more confident and comfortable using NVC in everyday connections with myself and others. ”
— Bridget, France
Who can attend?
Some NVC Training is required. People come with a wide variety of experience and support each other. No ‘conscious dance’ experience necessary. Every body is warmly welcome. Whatever your age, body shape or fitness level. Whatever your ethnic or class identity. Whatever your first language or nationality. However you identify in terms of gender and sexuality. And if you are impacted by mental health, neurodivergence or disability I am committed to exploring together how this event can be accessible and welcoming to you.
Board & accommodation
All food & drinks are provided. Participants will prepare and cook meals (see ‘what to expect’ above) which will be simple, vegetarian and mainly organic. We can cater for special diets but PLEASE inform us of your needs IN ADVANCE.
You’ll be sharing a room with 1, 2 or 3 others, or have your own private space in a partitioned dorm. There are 2 single rooms, allocated on the basis of need. You can also sleep in your own camper van.
Eden Rise Retreat Venue, Sandwell Barns, Harberton, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 7L J
Fixed cost: £300 (to be paid in advance and as confirmation of your booking)
The fixed cost covers the basic expenses of running the retreat including accommodation, food, drinks, handouts, basic expenses for Cath & your NVC and meals assistant.
If it’s easier for you, please pay a £150 deposit to secure your place, and the remainder one month in advance of the start date.
If you sleep in your own camper van the fixed cost is £235.
Sliding scale contribution: £200 - £600 (to be given at the end of the workshop)
The sliding scale covers Cath’s request for all the behind-the-scenes organisation & administration, as well as her facilitation.
One partial bursary place is available in acknowledgment that some people experience financial hardship that puts this kind of experience out of reach. I want to make it available to everyone, so for one person per workshop, I am willing waive the sliding scale of contribution to me, and ask only for the fixed cost of £300, which covers the basic expenses of running the event. I know it can feel very vulnerable to ask for support, especially when coming from a culture in which independence is highly respected, so I encourage you to get in touch if you could do with financial help to attend. I will use a lottery system if more than one person applies and make the offer 8 weeks before the start date.
Train to Totnes
Short taxi ride (about £10) to Eden Rise
If you drive there’s parking space
If you cancel then I am willing to refund you in full minus a £50 administration fee as long as I can get someone to take your place.
If I’m not able to replace you then the cancellation cost is the full amount you have paid (for board and accommodation). I am open to considering waiving this fee in exceptional and unforeseen circumstances.
In the unlikely event that I cancel then I’ll refund your course fees in full, but not any travel or accommodation costs that you have incurred.
See website for pictures