Monday, January 30, 2006


Friday, as we prepared to make the journey to Oakland for the training, a couple of things happened that help me connect with some of my edges.

When Jori arrived home from work, she let me know that we had reservations at the Motel 6 that was near the training site. I felt crestfallen, my immediate gut reaction; soon after I "felt that" I could suffer through living in a Motel 6 for 4 nights. (Boy the journey from heart to head can be rapid!) I then felt concerned and worried, needing more information about the neighborhood the Motel 6 was in and also needing more information about options, including knowing whether or not the reservation was cancelable. Meanwhile my jackals were howling-I was telling myself I "should" be willing to stay at Motel 6, I "should" be concerned with "saving CNVC money". I sensed that Jori understood my needs for safety, ease, clarity, cooperation, and protecting resources. I also sensed a deep caring for my well-being and a willingness to find another option. I feel grateful for both the empathy and the openness I received from Jori. After a series of internet inquiries and phone calls, we found another option that we were both willing to live with. What I take away from this experience is a new level of understanding about the importance of my feelings in communicating to me the state of my needs and the promise that the creativity that springs from connecting to those needs contains the possibility of finding a strategy to meet the needs.

A little while later, on the way to the airport, I had another opportunity to work with the process. Again I am grateful for Jori's presence and empathy. We headed out to the airport with a bit of a "cushion" in terms of time. These cushions work for me to have a sense of ease and clarity. I prepared for the trip by printing a map off of (a resource that has been very valuable as we learn to navigate in this complex territory of multiple freeways). However, since this was my second trip to Burbank in the same day, I had a sense of confidence and told myself that I had the route memorized and didn't want to use the map. As we drove, I got involved in listening to Jori share about her day at work and we arrived at a junction of two freeways...I remembered the highway number with clarity, but I felt suddenly confused about direction-east or west? I chose one-the "wrong" one-wrong meaning that it was not a direction toward the airport we wanted to get to! I felt annoyed (with myself for not remembering and choosing incorrectly) but recovered somewhat when I saw that we could turn around within a couple of miles. The cushion had deflated a little, but it was still there.

Then, after we successfully got back on the freeway in the correct direction, something just didn't look right. My brain became addled, I felt flummoxed and made another wrong turn. As the cushion seemed to evaporate, I felt angry around needs of competence and clarity. I freaked out a little, ranting in displeasure at this "turn" of events. Somehow, Jori seemed to remain calm and present, helping to navigate us back on the right path while helping to engender a sense of safety and clarity. We eventually made it to the airport, having "lost" another 10 minutes or so. And we did make it to the flight with time to spare, so my cushion was bigger than I knew. The underlying resources that I required in those moments of near panic were a sense of self-acceptance and equanimity, an understanding that in spite of the present outcome that I didn't like, that the outcome contained within it the possibility of having needs satisfied. How I long to remember that in the moments when I "catastrophize."

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Speaking live from BayNVC in Oakland, CA where I am attending a sociocracy training with John Buck and others. I'm feeling intrigued and excited as the day unfolds, watching NVC/sociocracy in action. More later!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

More HeartMath in the news

Somebody at the HeartMath Institute is doing a great job of getting information about HeartMath in the Press. Today, the NBC morning show, featured HeartMath and there is more information on the MSNBC site: HeartMath on MSNBC/

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The heart of the matter

Greetings, friends,

I ran across this article today. I like that HeartMath gets a mention in the mainstream press! For those of you who may not know, HeartMath is a component of the Costa Rican Peace Army. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about HeartMath when we were in Costa Rica last November. I especially enjoy "Heart Breathing" when I need self-empathy or when I am sensing that someone else needs empathy. The technique is simple...just imagine that you are breathing through your heart. Some folks find it helpful to place their hand on their chest as they do this. For me, it is an aid in becoming present.


HeartMath in Star Gazette!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Jori and I took a wonderful hike with Lynn Baran today. Believe it or not, we parked on a street in a subdivision in La Crescenta,
and within 3 minutes, we were in this awesome natural area! The views from of La Crescenta and Montrose below inspired me and helped me to clarify my map of this new territory.
JANUARY 22, 2006

Dear Friends and fellow Trainers,

With some continued surprise I find myself currently taking on the
roles of the Executive Director of CNVC as Gary shifts his focus. I
feel deep appreciation for all that Gary has contributed to CNVC in
its growth and I am enjoying my continued connection with him as well
as his support. I am integrating much information and working to
steward CNVC during this interim time of 3-9 months, as the CNVC
Board and others define a plan for organizational restructuring,
leadership, and connectedness to share Nonviolent Communication
throughout our network and the world. If you want to participate in
leadership on a more long-term basis assuming roles of the Executive
Director of CNVC, or in serving on the CNVC Board I would like to
receive your resume at cnvc@...
(For more information on this request, note #9 in the January 2006
Board minutes, at )

I am letting my needs for contribution, connection, and learning
shape my work and play here. I am continuing to nurture my own
wellbeing throughout this process so I can have internal resources
and clarity to sustain this important work for all of us. I
appreciate the welcome and support of the staff here in La Crescenta
including their fulfilling my request for housing within walking
distance of the CNVC office so I can take care of my body and soul
with the personal space as I walk. My life partner, Jim Manske, is
also contributing buckets of support, feeding and nurturing me with
empathy and love that sustains me. His volunteer efforts at CNVC, as
well as his modeling his aliveness and joy with the many daily
activities he is doing in our transplanted life is an inspiration to me.

"Creating a world where people want to belong" has been the mission
of the work I have been doing for over 25 years with Jim, also a CNVC
certified trainer. I am particularly interested in finding ways to
increase the sense of belonging in connections with CNVC throughout
the world. We are already working to continue the training and
connection with the office staff, as a working model of living NVC in
community and service. I invite you to join me as I affirm, with
ever-increasing ability, the following intentions to:
connect to my own experience and take responsibility for my own
feelings and needs
respect others with compassion without taking responsibility for
their feelings
continue to open to what is actually happening and to possibility
respond with actions that value and fulfill the most needs

I am inspired being part of all we are doing in the world through
CNVC, including in its geographic projects of outreach in Eastern
Europe, Africa, and Asia, as well as its lusophone, parenting, social
change, research, scholarship, book distribution and freedom prison
projects. If it brings you joy, consider contributing toward our
shared vision of creating a world where our deepest values are
honored for All. (for more information on these projects or to
donate see )

Let's play together in this great adventure of creativity,
contribution, and growth!!

With the reverence and joy of life,
Jori Manske
Interim Director and Certified Trainer with the global
Center for Nonviolent Communication(sm)
2428 Foothill Blvd., Suite E
La Crescenta, CA 91214 USA
Phone: +1.818.957.9393
Fax: +1.818.957.1424

Friday, January 20, 2006


Greetings, Friends,

Today is our two week anniversary in Montrose. I'm feeling more settled in, finding the surroundings comfortable. Days have taken on a routine character. Jori's gone to the office by 8, we usually have lunch together at the apartment between 12:30 and 1:30, and dinner is served sometime between 6 and 7:30, depending on the needs of the moment. While she toils at the office, I generally stay home working on fulfilling sustenance, order, and contribution needs. Sometimes I go out foraging for food...or walking...or even a bike ride! Some days I spend a few hours in the office, too.

I'm celebrating big possibilites and the little joys of life. Here are a couple of examples.

"Big possibility #1": One of CNVC's greatest needs right now is ease for the office staff in accessing vital database information in an efficient manner. It seemed like great progress was made in that direction this week thanks to the efforts of Jori and others.

"Big possibility #2": Part of my dream while here in Los Angeles is supporting and seeding practice groups. I connected this week with two Religious Science ministers in Inglewood who want to bring NVC to the local ministerial community. I am meeting with them next week.

"Little joy #1": I have found a local grocery store with wonderful produce and a friendly, helpful staff. They always seem to have some special deal on "day-old" produce. I bought a couple of bags of yellow and red peppers for $1/bag. About 14 fruit, I'd guess. The other day, I threw them all into the food processor, pureeing them, then did the same with about a cup of cottage cheese. The cottage cheese became smooth and thick, so I added a little water to thin it. I put the whole shebang into a pot on the stove and gently heated it, adding some cooked chicken breast chunks, basil leaves, salt, ground pepper, and red chili powder. Wow, what a treat that turned out to be! Sweet, savory and satisfying!

"Little joy #2": I love to see Jori smile! Today, thanks to Jiva's efforts, her wedding ring finally caught up with us. FedEx delivered it this morning in time for me to have the ring waiting for her on her lunchtime fork. When she discovered it, her beaming smile lit up the dining room.

We're off on an adventure this weekend to Santa Barbara. Robert Gonzales offers a training there on Saturday, and we hope to connect with the Giraffe community and some family members that we haven't seen in a long time!

Watch the blog for opportunites to practice NVC! More soon!

Center for Nonviolent Communication offices in La Crescenta, CA
The suite is upstairs behind the fig tree

Front Door for CNVC, La Crescenta, CA

Jori's office, which double's as a training room. That's Gary Baran at the desk.

This is the little nook where I can plug in my powerbook when I want to work at CNVC.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Greetings, Friends,

As some of you may have heard through the grapevine, Jori and I have "landed" in Montrose for the next several months as Jori assumes the responsibilities of interim director for CNVC. I am enjoying my new life in California. I really like the neighborhood we are living in which is within walking distance of CNVC, the local library, and the shops and restaurants of Honolulu Street.

I think it might be fun to do some training, coaching and mediating, now that I'm settled in to our new place. I want you all to know that I am open to receiving your requests. My calendar is fairly open through the middle of February when I will return to Albuquerque for a couple of weeks. I would enjoy the opportunity to contribute to making your life more wonderful by sharing NVC with you and your community. I'd really like to hear from you what would most meet your needs. To "prime the pump", here are some possibilities that I have thought of:

1. Introductions to NVC at your church, office, place of business or community/social change organization.

2. Intermediate or Advanced Workshops on the following topics:
Deep Empathy
Profound Honesty
Connecting with Compassion (Relationships)
Mediating with NVC
Practicing Social Change
Foundations of NVC (7 sessions for Part 1 and 7 sessions for Part 2)
How to Form and Sustain a "Leaderful" Practice Group
NVC and Poker
NVC and Making Music
NVC at the Movies
Mindfulness and NVC
The Spiritual Base of Compassionate Communication

(For any of these workshops to "work", I would like to gather 8-12 people in a safe, comfortable space for 2 hours or more. I would enjoy receiving $100 per hour to acknowledge my contribution and help us to maintain sustainability.)

3. Coaching for Couples, Individuals, or Work Groups, Committees, Boards, etc in developing NVC Skills and Consciousness.

4. Mediation; my specialties include family issues, separation, divorce, child sharing, property settlement, land use, neighborhood disputes, etc.
(I have been a mediator since 1993)

My hourly requests for coaching and mediation work vary based on your ability to contribute.

I look for forward to our next connection! Our local phone is now working 818.541.9695
You can also leave me a message at the CNVC office: 818.957.9393
Or reply to


Greetings, Friends,

I wanted to give you all an update about what life in California is like for Jori and me. I am hoping to meet needs for connection, contribution and information.

Following some of the most remarkable practice groups I have ever experienced, we left Albuquerque Thursday afternoon, driving west. Thankfully, the sun was pretty far south, so the blaze was not too blinding. We enjoyed the time together; sometimes we talked, sometimes we quietly watched the scenery roll by, sometimes as I drove, Jori worked on CNVC stuff on her computer. We made it as far as Flagstaff before stopping for the night.

The next morning, after a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast, we continued our westward trek. The trip was uneventful except for a brief "opportunity for connection" with a member of the Arizona Highway Patrol. Did you know that you "should" change lanes to the left if possible if a police car is on the shoulder with its lights flashing? I didn't. I am grateful that the patrolman gave us only a warning (and a smile) before sending us on our way again. He said he was very close to retirement after more than 25 years on the job and he prayed he would make it a few more months "without getting shot of having to shoot somebody." I share his prayer!

We pulled into La Crescenta/Montrose about 4:30 in the afternoon. Montrose is about 7 miles north of downtown LA, in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains just south of the Angeles National Forest. It is far removed from the congestion of downtown. It has a "small town feel", not unlike the area around Tramway and Central. More like Boulder than my expectation of "LA".

We arrived at our new apartment greeted by 3 CNVC staff members busily putting furniture together for us. Our electricity was still not on, so eventually the team was defeated by darkness, but not before we had a bed to sleep in, a table and chairs, and a couch. We decided to walk down to Honolulu Avenue, the "old town" of Montrose. It is filled with shops, delis, banks, and restaurants. It reminds me of Nob Hill, but more pedestrian friendly. What a treat to be able to walk!

We spent the weekend getting our apartment livable, unpacking, etc. We ventured out to Burbank, about 20 minutes away, to get supplies at Costco. I am struck by both the efficiency of the freeway system here and the rapid pace of life represented by the 80 mph speeds most drivers seem to prefer! Lots of opportunity for self-empathy around my needs for safety, protection and well-being!

Jori started her life in the office bright and early last Monday morning after a 15 minute walk to CNVC. Talk about hitting the ground running! Her days have been filled with meetings, phone calls, and trying to absorb the "data dump" of exiting director Gary Baran. I spent the week in domestic mode for the most part, playing homemaker. Turns out I'm a pretty good cook! I feel gratified remembering the tastes and savoring Jori's gratitude for the support and the sustenance. Most days she would walk home for lunch, and we shared dinner together every evening.

On Wednesday, I facilitated the first training of the office staff, working on requests. Most seem hungry to integrate NVC into their lives and eager to learn and practice. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to connect and listen to some of the folks in the office, offering empathy and occasional advice (by request!).

Much of that first week is a blur now. Jori continues to ascend the learning curve of managing a remarkably complex system. Her life seems very full to me. I'm living at a much slower pace, and I'm enjoying the opportunities I have for self-connection and connecting with new folks. I'm not noticing much pining for Albuquerque, although every day images and remembrances of my friends and family there bubble to the surface for me to savor. My days have been filled with a quality of contribution unfamiliar yet strangely satisfying to me. I never would have imagined the joy I feel when presenting a freshly cooked meal to us, or the self-satisfaction of a clean and tidy kitchen. It seems that as I connect with the needs that are met even in doing the most mundane and ordinary task, I often feel a remarkable sense of contentment and even joy.

I have also enjoyed the power of requests. Some things about our apartment did not meet my needs for order or well-being. I wrote a "giraffe letter" to the landlord, and I am happy to report that he has responded by meeting or even exceeding my requests. I have enjoyed my connection with Billy, the handyman who has come like an angel to help me meet my needs!

I also have some pain that I am working with. Jori and I have usually shared "work". Although I support her work at CNVC indirectly, I am not in the office 8, 9 or 10 hours a day (thank God!) So, sometimes I deal with loneliness, needing connection. Sometimes I feel worried about Jori's well-being, indeed the well-being of CNVC. Having my ear so close to the rails is both enlightening and frightening, I guess. Another edge has been around "network connection." In the moment we have no local phone service or internet access. This will be remedied in a few days. I miss the ease and convenience of those "necessities" of 21st century life. I'm also working every day with gratitude; i find that Marshall is "right on" when he says that savoring the feelings engendered when a need is met fuels us for the moments when our needs are unmet.

I will upload a few pictures to this blog so you can get a glimpse of our apartment, CNVC's office, and some views from the Angeles National Forest where I hiked last Monday.

I would enjoy hearing from you if any needs of yours were met by this posting.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Forest of the Angels

Just north of Montrose, the Angeles National Forest offers an opportunity to connect with nature.

Stream bed in Angeles National Forest
Our apartment is upstairs on the right.