Neuroscience and NVCIn the Spotlight:
NVC & Neuroscience


Gaining an understanding of the neuroscience of the left and right hemispheres of the human brain can deepen your practice of Nonviolent Communication.

Some of the possible benefits include:

  • Discover that your own brain makes sense!
  • Develop skills for emotional self-care and resilience
  • Reach new levels of self-compassion
  • Learn what resonance is and how to bring it home to the self
  • Understand and integrate the importance of accompaniment
  • Learn to connect to the deep longings and values that lie within your speech and which common habits of speech create disconnection.
  • Gain an understanding of the relationship between your body sensations, your emotions (feelings) and your needs.

Sarah Peyton is offering a new program integrating NVC with neuroscience in 2020, Your Resonant Self Immersion Program: A Revolutionary Online Retreat. Check it out!

And, listen to the first session from Sarah's recent course, Your Resonant Self: Transforming the Critical Inner Voice, just below...

Miki Kashtan

Miki Kashtan

CNVC Certified Trainer, author and co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) and the North America NVC Leadership Program, from Oakland, California, USA

Miki Kashtan is a co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) and Lead Collaboration Consultant at the Center for Efficient Collaboration. Miki aims to support visionary leadership and shape a livable future using collaborative tools based on the principles of Nonviolent Communication. She shares these tools through meeting facilitation, mediation, consulting, coaching, and training for organizations and committed individuals. Her latest book, Reweaving Our Human Fabric: Working together to Create a Nonviolent Future (2015) explores the practices and systems needed for a collaborative society. She is also the author of Spinning Threads of Radical Aliveness: Transcending the Legacy of Separation in Our Individual Lives, and The Little Book of Courageous Living. Miki blogs at The Fearless Heart and her articles have appeared in the New York Times ("Want Teamwork? Encourage Free Speech"), Tikkun, Waging Nonviolence, Shareable, Peace and Conflict, and elsewhere. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley.

“Miki, I really admire the way you are able to be so present in the moment and are able to respond so well to what you see and sense. Just watching you in action makes this course worthwhile to me." 
               —S.G., Litchfield, Connecticut, USA

”Miki's workshop was exceptional in giving an overview of the work, while calmly meeting the emotional challenges everyone brought to the table.”
              —Class participant

Website: BayNVC

NVC Library Resources with Miki Kashtan

A chosen, interdependent world… In most cases, that's sure not the world we live in today, is it.  But it could be the world we live in tomorrow. And you can choose to be part of bringing that better world to life – to be part of a gradual, joyful transformation – simply by using the dynamic, living power of Dialogue.

 The first session of this course is available for all to listen to and enjoy.

  • Enjoy powerful, personalized coaching and support
  • Bring nonviolence more fully into your personal leadership style
  • Step into your power, and learn how to use it creatively and collaboratively
  • Engage productively with others in moving toward a shared purpose
  • Bridge the gap between your vision and the reality of life
  • Transform the legacy of separation, powerlessness, and scarcity into a livable future for all

What specifically is leadership? And why do so many people step back from it? Listen in as Miki shares her experience and thoughts around changing the paradigm of leadership, as well as the role – and challenges – of using NVC when working for social change. Check it out.

We can see throughout many examples in history that when we look for "who" is at fault, and thereby seek social change through shaming that person (or that group), it tends to lead to disastrous long term consequences. Even if it works in the short term. Instead, if we want to end cycles of violence we can seek to understand systemic causes and context of individuals' behaviour. And from there, look for solutions that stem from this understanding.
The more we can stay present with our hurt, and own our interpretations, we are more likely to express what's important to us without blame and also to become resilient. From there, the listener can have more space to offer their full presence and empathy. Read on for more.
The “mind” or our “ego” are often depicted as a static entity, an unchangable part of human nature, and as obstacles or negative parts of ourselves to overcome. This view creates maligning, a split within us, while remaining invisibly part and parcel of authority-based societies --the dominant culture and institutions into which we are born. Instead, I want to advocate an integration of reason and emotion, mind and heart, plus self and others.
Why is it so difficult to not take things personally? It's because everything reinforces the sense that whatever is being said is indeed about us – both from without and from within. However, we can get better at not taking things personally with a practice of shifting our focus by being open to multiple interpretations, understanding that our reaction is about our own need, and noticing how the other person’s words, no matter how they sound to us, are an expression of their needs. We can then be more present and available to navigate the situation.

During this session, Miki defines internalized oppression and explores ways of coping with it. Curious to know how YOU may have unconsciously agreed to internalized oppression, and how the role you are playing in life might be supporting it? Listen in.

We can choose our stories of interpretation, and how to respond. And while stories of self-sufficiency can (to a degree) give us more influence over our own lives, they don't erase oppression, war, nor climate change. When stories omit a lens that includes impacts of interdependence, oppression, and structural inequities, stories can also keep us disconnected and blocked from compassion for self and others -- and perpetuating an oppressive status quo. However, with this lens we can make greater compassion and collective liberation possible. Even as the outcome is unknown.
By focusing on NVC process and practice without factoring in the interdependent, systemic dimension we unwittingly diminish the power of NVC. We reinforce the dominant paradigm, rather than challenging it -- making NVC one more tool for compliance. NVC principles can turn against its own purpose in cruel ways. NVC could also empower social change. We'll need our attention on this matter if we are to contribute to transforming the oppression we face and our collective march towards extinction.
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