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Upcoming Events

In Irvine: Compassionate Communication every Thursday 7-9pm. Newcomers and drop-ins welcome. A short topic each week, then we practice Compassionate Communications on real life situations. Led by Terry LePage at the Center for Living Peace, 4139 Campus Drive, across from UCI, between Lee's and Focus Dance. Request $15 or what you can contribute. Register at the door. For more information call 949-400-3379 or email Terry.
2/7 Core Principles of Compassionate Communication
2/14 What You've Always Needed
2/21 Repairing Ruptures in Connection
2/28 Basics- New and Review
3/4 Making CC a Daily Practice

In Aliso Viejo: "Compassionate Connecting" led by James Prieto. Tuesdays in February, 7 -9pm. RSVP requested.

In Santa Monica: Nonviolent Communication Practice Groups with Gail McManus: Monday and Wednesday evenings 7:15-9pm. Newcomers welcome. Please contact Gail at 518- 653-2957,

In Irvine: Compassionate Parenting Tools Wednesdays 10am-12pm. Learn ways to handle strong emotions, foster connection and cooperation, and parent without punishing, shaming, or bribing. Drop-ins welcome. Led by certified parent educators Terry LePage, Tova Pusl and Monika Larsen at the Center for Living Peace, 4139 Campus Drive. Download the flyer here. For more information call 949-400-3379 or email Terry. Check out the FAQ and the class schedule too. $25 per class; sliding fee scale available upon request. Quality child care included. You may bring young children into the classroom as needed. Register at the door. This class will be ongoing during the school year; 3/28 is a vacation day.

Parenting Tools is also being offered in Long Beach, Anaheim, and Seal Beach. Email Tova for current schedules.

Parenting Classes around Southern California including weeknights, and Saturdays, in Spanish and English, are available from Echo Parenting and Education.

In San Clemente: "Cultivating the Peace Within Us"- the Basic Alternatives to Violence Project Workshop, Sat. March 16 and Sun. March 17. Treat yourself to this workshop purely for personal growth, or make it your first step toward facilitating AVP workshops in the community, schools, and prisons. Contact Susan at or rosalia at to register. See for info about the program.

Workshops and Groups in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara with Rodger Sorrow and Anne Walton: see for current offerings.

Other resources: The International Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) lists NVC practitioners, trainers, trainings, and resources. NVC Academy has a wide variety of NVC telecourses and audio & video recordings of past courses. NVC World has links to NVC resources of all types.

In the New York Times:
"Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice?"

Compassionate Communication and Parenting Tips

Communication Tip: Going Formal
I first learned Compassionate (Nonviolent) Communication as a very structured way of speaking. My artificial-sounding talk did not go over well with some people. I painstakingly explained to them my need for competence and connection, and requested their patience. As my fluency grew, so did my ability to use natural language. These same people hardly realized that I was reliant on Compassionate Communication in my interactions with them. I still "go formal" when I'm journaling, rehearsing a challenging conversation, or when I'm with a fellow practitioner and we want to be crystal clear.

Behind the formula of Compassionate Communication is an attitude or consciousness of nonjudgment, honesty, and empathy that does not require words. For some people, trying to "get the words right" takes them far from this heart-centered attitude. When I lead groups, I now teach a less formal process. Still, words matter. Those who think of themselves as already compassionate find that the tools I teach empower them to be more reliably compassionate and to communicate their care more effectively. I need help maintaining that attitude, so Compassionate Communication remains a daily practice for me.

Parenting Tip: The Need for Attention
Have you heard adults saying dismissively of a child, "she's just trying to get attention," as if getting attention were a bad thing? Children need attention to thrive; they are learning how to be human by interacting with other humans. Caregivers need time to do other things. So the need for attention often goes unmet, and we get annoyed by our child's attention-seeking behavior. Can we remember to give short doses of our FULL attention? We can let the child lead, or find an activity that we both enjoy. Lawrence Cohen's "Playful Parenting" is invaluable for parents who are wondering how to engage their child in play that is fun for all, and valuable for the child's growth.

Childrens' demands on our attention are probably made worse by the isolation of so many families today. Can we make room in our lives to connect with other families, and with adults who may have more love to give than people to give it to? Rugged individualism may be the American way, but it's no way to raise kids. I know neighbors who take turns cooking dinner for both families during the week. Empty nesters at church or down the block are sometimes happy to entertain a kid and make him feel special. Reaching out to a new famliy you run into may yield a new joy. All these relationships take time, which was what you thought you didn't have enough of when your child kept asking for your attention. But they also offer connection and trust, which help relieve anxiety. Then somehow we have more time to be present to our children.

What are the conversations you've been unable or unwiling
to have-- with your boss, colleague, employee, customer;
with your husband, wife, parent, child; or with
that if you
were able to have, might change everything?
Susan Scott

Terry LePage, M.Div, Ph.D.
Open Door Communication

Mission of Open Door Communication
To share Compassionate Communication and related life-serving tools with people from all walks of life in Southern California by:
1. Offering workshops, mediation, and coaching,
2. Establishing practice groups and mentoring resource people to multiply impact, and
3. Facilitating supportive relationships among practitioners.

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