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Upcoming Events

In Irvine: Birthday Party Sun. May 19 at the Center for Living Peace includes FREE Parenting intro 12:30-2 and FREE Compassionate Communication intro 2-3pm. No RSVP needed. 4139 Campus Drive.

In Irvine: Compassionate Communication every Thursday 7-9pm. A short topic each week, then we practice Compassionate Communications on real life situations. Led by Terry LePage at the Center for Living Peace. Register at the door; $15. For more information call 949-400-3379 or email Terry.
5/9 Debbie facilitating
5/16 Listening skills intensive
5/23 Balancing my needs and your needs
5/30 Saying "no" compassionately
6/4 Self-talk: Mourning instead of suffering

In Encinitas:NVC Workshop:How to Stay True to your Purpose while Committing to Relationship. Facilitator: Nicole Pallai Green. Intro evening - May 8th, 7:00 – 9:00pm – come check it out to see if you want to sign up. May 11th, May 18th, May 25th, 1:30 – 4:30pm. At The Soul Lounge, 670 Quail Gardens Lane, Encinitas CA. Check out for workshop details and a video about the course.

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

In Santa Monica: Nonviolent Communication Practice Groups with Gail McManus: Wednesdays 7:15-9pm, and 2nd and 4th Tuesday evenings 7-9pm. Newcomers welcome. Please contact Gail at 518- 653-2957, or Private sessions also available.

In Long Beach:Learn & Practice NVC Series:
Most Thursdays 6:00- 8:00 pm. Facilitator: Bellonda Bixby 714.319.4779 -or-

In Irvine: Compassionate Parenting Tools: Intensive Intro. Saturday June 9, 1:30-4:30pm. As below, but 3 hours, without child care. Introduce your spouse, friends, or relatives to Compassionate Parenting!

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.. Download the flyer here. For more information call 949-400-3379 or email Tova. 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. Stay tuned for summer dates.

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

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, certified trainers, trainings, and resources. NVC Academy offers NVC telecourses and audio and video archives. NVC World has links to NVC resources of all types.

Compassionate Communication and Parenting Tips

Communication Tip: What if We Took Peacemaking Seriously?
As the repercussions of the Boston bombings still echo in our collective consciousness, calls for action can be heard. Young people can be so easily led into hatred and violence, and it only takes a few people on the wrong track to derail many of us... at least temporarily. What types of action might prevent further violence?

There is an instinct in us to protect "our own" and to defend against "the other." But "the other" perceives our defense as attack, defends/attacks in their turn, and the cycle of violence continues. This instinct to protect is triggered by anxiety and fear. Compassion and peacemaking do not just happen. We must consciously choose them when our instincts tell us otherwise. In our connected global community, no one is truly "other;" we just think they are.

I don't pretend to have the answers, but I wonder... What if every high school taught Compassionate Communication? What if Empathy Teams and Expression Forums were available in every community for the lonely and disaffected? What if we celebrated young mens' efforts to be powerful in their world and offered them meaningful and constructive ways to do so? Closer to home, what if we made a point to know the person next door and to show we care? What if we who understand the Partnership Paradigm talked about it at dinner parties, about how it's shifted our own relationships? What if we talked about how the real enemy in terrorism is fear and haterd, and reacting in fear to terrorism means that terror wins? What if we knew and demonstrated that practicing compassion in the face of violence requires courage and skill?

"Those people" won't understand our point of view, we suspect. But almost all people respond to human connection, honesty and empathy. If we build relationships with them despite, or maybe because, they do not yet understand our commitment to peacemaking, "those people" might start to understand our point of view.

Parenting Tip: Limits- A Scaffolding of Support
In Compassionate Parenting, limits are a "scaffolding of support." They are shaped to meet the needs of your developing child, your family's values, and your environment. They are evolving as your child grows, and as you better understand all the needs. Someone else's limit might not fit your child or your family's needs and values.

In the Dominant Paradigm, limits must be inflexible, or you're "giving in." We understand the need for reliability: a firm limit to test and learn from. But we also recognize that special circumstances arise, and some limits just don't fit. So when we shift the scaffolding, temporarily or permanently, we tell the child what we are doing and why (what needs we seek to meet.) Finally, we creatively apply other means than punishment and rewards to hold our limits. Empathy and connection are our favorite tools.

Does all this sound hard? It is. Does it sound mysterious, even impossible? It's not! Fiind out more about Compassionate Parenting from the resources on the left, or join us for a class!

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

-Martin Luther King


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

Mission of Open Door Communication
To share Compassionate (Nonviolent) 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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