Free Yourself from Reactivity: 10-wk journey to choicefullness Mon Jul 11 @11am PST (Online)

Free Yourself from Reactivity: 10-wk journey to choicefullness Mon Jul 11 @11am PST (Online)

349.00 - 549.00
Would you like...
* more self-control and ease in challenging situations?
* freedom from reacting to imaginary bullets coming at you?
* skills for getting back to fullness after being triggered?

Join us for a 10-week series focused on self-connection through Nonviolent Communication (NVC) practices online through Zoom Starting Mon July 11 @11am-12:30pm PST. First session FREE. Please select the largest tuition possible to support other participants.
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Monday Dates: 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22, 8/29, 9/12, 9/19 (10 weeks)

Times: 11am-12:30pm PST, (2pm - 3:30pm EDT)

Optional: Providing 30 minutes for additional discussion and questions

Location: Zoom link provided with registration.

Materials: All registrants in the United States receive a Heart-Canvas (an interactive emotional compass) in the mail. The presentation slides are provided during the meeting. Zoom sessions are recorded and provided in member-only series webpage along with the slides PDF for download.


*** Free First Session Monday July 11 @11AM PST click to register here for Zoom ***



  • "I had an enjoyable journey experiencing a variety of tools that better connect me to myself with more self compassion. When I practice these tools, I often understand myself better and feel calmer. Some of the tools, such "Healing Honesty Role Play," lightened the emotions I carried from past events. By following James' well-defined steps, I plumbed below the surface truths that I already knew about myself to a more profound depth. I especially enjoyed the game of repetitively answering the question, "Please tell me. What does your heart really want?" It's quieting to reside for a while within one's heart. And the answers guide my day." Joseph Houska, Senior Counsel at Valle Makoff LLP

  • "James is a skillful online facilitator who was able to translate complex ideas into digestible lessons for weekly practice. Thank you, James, for sharing your generosity and wisdom ~ Catherine Etmanski (Victoria, Canada) 

  • "This course helped me find freedom. I don't feel tortured by other peoples' words and actions. Now it's apparent to me that they were trying to get their needs met, even if they didn't use an effective strategy. Any event in my life that causes bad feelings can be used as a tool to go deeper within to learn my feelings, my needs and my desires. From there I can nurture myself and ultimately see the humanity in others." Megan Heikes, Childcare and Elementary teacher, Cook County Schools 

  • I've done quite a bit of NVC reading and online video watching, however it's the in-person (even virtual) practice of the communication methods and techniques with others who aren't in my normal, daily life, that really grounds the practice and opened my eyes to gaps and opportunities to grow. Taking the class has been a huge step in my journey toward a more mindful, less reactive interaction with the world." Mike, recovering enginerd 

  • "James Prieto's class 'Free Yourself From Reactivity' was a great place to get reaquainted with NVC for me. The material was clearly presented and the exercises were authentic and powerful. James was also very generous with his time, and was willing to stay after class to answer questions, which was very helpful, especially as we were learning on zoom." Laurie Winestock - vocalist, designer and teacher 
  • "The breadth of material in this series was amazing. Even more so the skill with which it was presented by James Prieto. To anyone wanting to deal with reactivity, as well as learn how better to connect with one's self and others, I highly recommend both the series and James. I'm seeing changes in all my relationships, particularly my relationship with myself." Gwynne Pratt, Attorney, State of California
  • "I love James’s simple and clear style for setting up practices to bring each participant an experience of connecting to the compassionate energy of NVC. I learned a lot that is still coming into understanding as I’m in my relationships and able to know the exercises we did more deeply as real and applicable in my world, making life more wonderful. Thank you James!" Anonymous 
  • "James has put together an outstanding course for learning and practicing NVC. His skills are well disguised by his gentle, compassionate and humble approach. What appeared to be subtle and insignificant delivered a powerful and profound result in my personal life. I highly recommend James' NVC courses for anyone looking to come alive to relating to Self and others with a newfound depth of Empathy and Compassion." J.W., Hypnotherapist, Jungian based Inner Work Facilitator, Life Coach, Consultant and Author
  • “My experience with James and his NVC expertise has been a fun and enlightening journey! I’m in much gratitude for the multi dimensional teaching James brings to his full body yet simplistic teaching style of compassionate communication. I was open-hearted and wanted to dive deep quickly: this course was perfect for a spiritual experience of healing my souls need for connection, peace, & joy! James is a thoughtful, energetic, and intuitive teacher: I was especially impressed and appreciative of James’ out of the box thinking re: feelings & needs that incorporated a deepening connection to ones self, others, and Source/Spirit/God! Very grateful my friend recommended this course to me.” In much gratitude, Celia Hoenig, LMFT
  • "I highly recommend this course. I learned many tangible skills, strategies and ways of processing that are now central to my entire family's way of communicating. This has fostered a fundamental shift in how I will endeavor to communicate with loving kindness. I highly recommend this course to couples and families. I will also be able to use these practices in my professional work with clients! I hope you sign up and take this powerful course!" Anne Hockett, Founder You!Healing International
  • "Free Yourself from Reactivity was an enlightening next step in my NVC journey. I learned the process of developing my own self-management practice for Reactivity that is true to my needs. James chose appropriate material for each session that was a "curated collection" of his own vast NVC experience, going far beyond a Basic NVC Introduction. James made good use of Break Out Rooms and experientials." Sam Lebowitz, Pharmaceutical Engineer, Charlotte, NC
  • "I enjoyed every session of Free Yourself From Reactivity. It moves at a comfortable and engaging pace, and James' presentations are really clear, informative and well organized. He covers some really important and impactful communication and relationship skills, and covered a lot of territory without giving me the feeling of rushing. This course is a great introduction to NVC, and provides good amounts of practice time. James is a clear, highly skilled and very caring trainer! And he attracts interesting and caring people into his classes and community. Thank. you James!", Catherine Cooley, Principal at Peaceabl
  • "This 10-week class series, 'Free Yourself From Reactivity', has been the very definition of a Life Changing Experience for me.  Taking the time to really absorb the lessons and slowly integrate the NVC strategies has been far more beneficial than simply attending a short workshop or one-day seminar.  I have found that James' class series opened my eyes & heart to a new way of interacting with the world.  I would recommend this class without hesitation to anyone who found themselves struggling to express and/or cope with their feelings & needs." -- A.P.


Note: Zoom sessions main room recorded and available for registered participants through members-only webpage.


My Story

Not long ago, I used to get triggered often -- i.e. means that something set me off to react automatically. One day at lunch with colleagues, someone said something I didn't like and I responded in ways that I now regret. At another time in a work meeting, I reacted to hearing opinions that differed from mine. I'm embarrassed to think back to how that may have landed for them. I'm now surprised at how quickly I reacted without thought to the consequences.


After years of personal growth work, coaching and training in Nonviolent Communication, I've synthesized practices that help me stay grounded, present and clear headed. While I still occasionally get triggered, I've noticed the frequency of occurrence is hugely reduced, and my recovery time is much shorter -- within seconds, for most things, and within a day for the big ones. In short, I have tools to stay calm most of the time and to choose how to respond in difficult situations instead of reacting.


My Learning/Facilitation Style:

My offerings and personal NVC practice are inspired by many NVC trainers over 19 years; though primarily Marshall Rosenberg, Jim & Jori Manske, Mary Mackenzie and Robert Gonzales.

My active area of research relates to NVC and nature-based depth psychology as described by Bill Plotkin’s book titled “Wild Mind.” I created the “Heart-Canvas” as a tool for self-empathy. I also published a book on NVC Spirituality in 2010 titled “The Joy of Compassionate Connecting.”

What I’ve noticed about my learning style is that it follows more of a spiral than a linear process. That means that I find value in trying and experiencing a variety of things, integrating them into my daily practice over time. This includes training with a variety of NVC trainers and other modalities, as everyone seems to provide a unique perspective of our collective "language of life.”

Recognizing that this spiral is common to the learning styles of many others, I find it helpful to define a high-level outline for my classes, let participants try (and sometimes stumble through) a high-level process, and then spend time going deeper into the experience of each step.

For instance, I learned about “Zero Step” and “Layers of Empathy” 10 years ago from Jim & Jori Manske. As I look back at what they were teaching at the time, I now have a deeper appreciation and respect for the gift of those teachings. I’ve internalized much of what I’ve learned through years of practice.

Participants seem to enjoy the balance between structure and experiential learning. For a sample of my processes, check out the blog section of this website.

Another example, I experienced first-hand with Marshall Rosenberg the power of presence in empathic role-plays. I shared with him some deep old pain associated with the transition of my primary relationship and becoming a Dad. The experience was so cathartic that I felt a rush of energy released from my body. I’m still integrating that experience, waking up to how my own childhood affected my ability to show up as a partner and father.

The “8-steps to Stop Trigger Bullets” could be seen as that high-level outline for this course. There is so much more to learn, practice and grow behind each one of those steps. The more you practice, the easier and faster it becomes. Like Neo in The Matrix, at some point, it clicks and you’re able to see and stop the trigger bullets for what they are...



Unfortunately, most of us have been educated from birth to compete, judge, demand, diagnose, to do things out of guilt/shame, and to think and communicate in terms of what is “right“ or “wrong“ with people. Our "implicit bias" fosters the creation of "enemy images" of those who look and behave differently than us. When un-examined, "implicit bias" results in racism.

We also blame others for our feelings, as if they caused them. Even worse, we might blame ourselves for other people's unpleasant feelings. The habitual ways we think and speak hinder communication, and perpetuate a culture of comparison, guilt/shame and punishment. Without wanting to, even people with the best of intentions generate needless conflict because of the lack of clear boundaries of personal responsibility.

In our culture, we are taught to stuff emotions, to “suck it up” and “be tough” -- we value the intellectual mind while minimizing the sensory information from our bodies. We are often driven to be “selfless” in our giving, to give even when we don’t have resources available, and that our "needs don’t matter;" as a result, we create long lists of expectations of others that bring stress in relationships, all the time we experience disappointment, resentment, and anger without spaces to be heard and understood -- eventually leading to some form of violence to ourselves or others. Over time, this pattern repeats itself until something breaks.

Our own “inner critic” has a tremendous impact on our mood, and we aren’t taught tools for dealing with them. At work especially we are encouraged to wear a mask to pretend everything is okay even when it’s not. Conflict arises when different positions are expressed, people’s emotions get triggered and usually blame others for them. The loudest voices and bigger titles usually win. It isn’t safe to be real; instead we are encouraged to be “nice.”


A New Paradigm:

The inner practice of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) invites us to take personal responsibility for our thoughts, judgments, feelings, needs and to make clear and doable requests. We learn processes for translating our judgments into the heart of our experience. By getting clear on our feelings and needs, we find inner peace, clarity and sense of empowerment.

Communities and organizations that practice NVC have enough emotional safety that difficult conversations happen more frequently with better outcomes.

Universal human needs/values, which are the heart of NVC, include personal needs (e.g. autonomy, mastery, honesty, adventure) as well as interpersonal needs (e.g. caring, consideration, collaboration, community, equity, reciprocity, and forgiveness). Needs are often confused with strategies (what we leverage to meet our needs), resulting in conflict.

This simple -- yet powerful shift in our perspective and habits creates groundedness, self-empowerment and choicefullness -- replacing our tendencies to react impulsively. From a place of self-connection, we are at peace and better able to make choices that contribute to fully living.

NVC is a non-judgmental paradigm of relating that includes introspection, deep listening with empathy, and honest expression. NVC was started by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD in the 1960s. Today, NVC is taught around the world, and has been applied in a wide variety of contexts, including business and nonprofit settings. Formal studies have begun to document the benefits of NVC, which include organizational effectiveness, increased efficiency, and support for individual well-being. For more information, go to


Benefits of 10-week Series:

  • You will feel inner peace, contentment and happiness more often
  • The frequency and intensity of your triggered reactions will diminish with practice
  • You will learn tools to find and maintain self-connection, and to return more quickly when you're triggered
  • Your community and peers will notice more stability in how you show up


About the 10-week Series:

We will meet as a group once a week for 1.5 - 2 hours. Sessions typically will start with self-connection practices, followed by Zoom breakout rooms of 2-3 people for everyone to check-in. After re-connecting in the larger group, we'll dive into various self-connection practices based on NVC -- there's a combination of structured learning and improv learning through large room and small breakout room practices. Finally, we close out the group with a "check-out" of how we're feeling after spending time together. After closing the core session, a smaller group spends another 30 minutes of unstructured discussions and questions.

  • The presentation slide PDF is sent to participants at the beginning of the session, and available for download
  • Sessions are recorded and available to registered participants through the series webpage
  • All registered participants will have the opportunity to practice independently with others through a rotating practice buddy system (1 or 2 calls per week for 30 minutes)
  • Optional homework is assigned each week
  • All registrants in the United States will receive a Heart-Canvas (an interactive emotional compass) in the mail (shipping charges to be negotiated for those outside the United States)


Learning Objectives of 10-week Series:

  • Cultivate wholeness practices (four facets of the self)
  • Recognize when you're triggered into unconscious reactions
  • Identify your types of unconscious reactions
  • Discover strategies to interrupt reactions
  • Make conscious choices to take personal responsibility of thoughts, judgments, feelings, needs
  • Recognize and step out of your preferred role in the Karpman Drama Triangle
  • Identify the stories, judgments, implicit bias that you hold
  • Translate judgmental thoughts to uncover your personal truth
  • Iterate through your experiences to identify core needs/values
  • Transform regret into self-forgiveness and peace
  • Develop awareness and fluency of your universal human needs/values
  • Develop your own daily self-connection practice to free yourself from reactivity
  • Tap into your natural curiosity, creativity and insight -- listen for strategies
  • Create clear-doable strategies for meeting your needs/values

Zoom link provided with registration. Zoom sessions recorded and available for registered participants through members-only webpage.


 What participants would you say to someone considering registration -- that they didn't know when signing up?

  •   "the value of the practicing in the breakouts and with the buddies" (Mar 2021)
  • "If you want to learn more about NVC and to get valuable practice while learning, this is the class for you." (Mar 2021)
  • "The value in learning to recognize emotional enslavement, obnoxiousness and the VORTEX!" (Mar 2021)
  • "Aside from the material, which is an accessible and enhanced summary of NVC, the real value is in practice sessions and homework buddies where you get to practice these techniques away from often volatile and loaded situations with a partner or other daily exchange." (Mar 2021)
  • "It's simple, but not easy. The course provides a framework, but you have to develop the habit of not reacting in old ways." (Mar 2021)
  • "Series gives some practical tools that are immediately applicable. Getting more in touch with my needs has been very helpful." (Mar 2021)
  • "Its concepts break us out of the way things are usually viewed." (Mar 2021)
  • "How empowering and engaging the program was even on zoom and how much personal impact can happen in ten weeks" (Nov 2020)
  • "This is a highly effective approach to bringing about positive change at the the inner most level." (Nov 2020)
  • "If you want to understand why conversations and relationships don't go the way you think they should go or how you want them to, you will gain tremendous insight in deeply understanding why and the tools for progressing furthering." (Nov 2020)
  • "We worked progressively through understanding and experiencing processes that brought us into a deeper space of recognition around empathy, reflection and reactivity. The building of layers of practice really anchored and gave this 10 week series a chance to be a substantial ground for understanding myself and others in my life!" (Nov 2020)
  • " I would encourage them to take the series because it is a great introduction to NVC, well organized, provides good practice time and empathy buddy practice and James is a clear, skilled and caring trainer!" (Sep 2020)
  • "The fact that the class series takes 10-weeks is a very positive thing. It allows attendees to really assimilate the lessons of the course and begin to practice incorporating NVC in their lives little by little, which makes for a much more effective learning process." (Sep 2020)
  • "I would tell them that the [NVC] book is part of the journey but the class deepens the understanding and makes it tangible for day-today practice." (Sept 2020)
  • "For me, the Vortex of Submission was VERY enlightening. I tend to say Yes when I mean No, and sometimes vice versa. I learned that it is best not to get into the Vortex, And if I recognize that I am exit with grace." (Sep 2020)

Note: Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is not therapy -- not a clinical service. Nonviolent Communication is a "language of life" -- reference the book with that title by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD. The purpose of this training is to provide information and practices for NVC self-connection. While you're invited to bring real life triggers, we will only work with feelings of intensity 5 or less out of 10 (being the most intense) -- i.e. not working with trauma. Participants are responsible for their own personal safety.


Requesting $349 for 10 sessions (effectively $35 per session) -- special pricing available for "Low Income/Students". First session is Free - Register Here for Zoom information. You may also send money through PayPal to (as friend to avoid fee) or Venmo @Jaime-Prieto-8.


About the facilitator

James Prieto helps professionals communicate to connect through workshops, coaching and business consulting. He started his career in electrical and computer engineering, satellite communications, and Agile development. After several decades in the technology industry, he experienced the need for compassionate leadership and a collaborative organizational culture.

After discovering NVC in 2002, he began his interpersonal growth journey, and began facilitating NVC workshops and groups in 2005. After attending his first intensive training with Marshall Rosenberg in 2007, he was inspired to pursue his NVC trainer certification from the Center for Nonviolent Communication, which he completed in 2014. His NVC practice is also inspired by several trainers including Mary Mackenzie, Jim & Jori Manske, Robert Gonzales, Kelly Bryson and others.

He believes in the power of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) to transform individuals, relationships and organizations toward sustainable performance, well-being, and life fulfillment. James is a certified NVC trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), an Agile coach, and offers multi-day online and in-person workshops for connection skills development, and personal growth. He enjoys facilitating dynamic interactive workshops with experiential learning, blending structure along with organic back and forth -- covering the material using improv. He also consults for organizations interested in NVC, Agile development and compassionate leadership.

Click here for extended bio.

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Table of Contents
1. Services Provided
2. Prices And Payment
3. Shipping And Delivery
4. Guarantees And Warranties
5. Returns, Refunds And Complaints
6. Limitation Of Liability
7. Intellectual Property Rights
8. Future Changes
9. Governing Law

1. Services Provided
Consulting, Coaching, Training, Facilitation services are provided. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is not therapy -- not a clinical service. Nonviolent Communication is a "language of life" -- reference the book with that title by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD. The purpose of coaching and training is to provide information about NVC related practices. While you may be invited to bring real life situations for practice, we will only work with feelings of intensity 5 or less out of 10 (being the most intense) -- i.e. not working with trauma. Consulting clients, coaching clients and workshop participants are responsible for their own personal emotional safety.

2. Prices And Payment
Prices for workshops or events are listed in the website; promotional coupon codes may provide discounts to stated prices. Coupon use is required at the time of registration and may not be applied retroactively. Hourly service prices are negotiated and agreed by all parties and confirmed via email. Payment is expected before the scheduled session begins. Services scheduled may be rescheduled without penalty if done with a 24 hour notice; "no shows" forfeit payment. Hourly 1:1 sessions are not refundable.

3. Shipping And Delivery
Not applicable at this time.

4. Guarantees And Warranties
No guarantees or warranties are provided.

5. Refunds And Complaints
Requests for refunds are handled on a case-by-case basis, in a good-faith effort to acknowledge everyone's needs. The refund period for multi-week services extends to the first two sessions; no refunds are given the day after the second session. Refunds for services purchased online incur a 6% service charge to cover transaction and administration fees. Some trainings require changes to be notified some time before the event and are listed in the event description. Complaints should be directed through the Contact form on the home page; the consultant providing the service will communicate in integrity with the values of nonviolent communication (NVC). If an impasse is reached, and the stakes warrant, another NVC mediator will be used to facilitate a dialogue in addressing the complaint. Hourly 1:1 sessions are not refundable.

6. Limitation Of Liability
Liability is limited to the cost of the services provided. Not liable for any indirect damages that may occur.

7. Intellectual Property Rights
All materials provided in trainings, workshops or coaching sessions are for personal use only, and are copyrighted by Jaime "James" Prieto at Compassionate Connecting, with all rights reserved.

8. Future Changes
From time to time we may change the Terms & Conditions either because of changes in our business, or due to changes in governing law. If you opt-in to the mailing list, any changes will be included at the bottom of the next newsletter.

9. Governing Law
These Terms & Conditions follow applicable laws of the City of San Jose, the County of Santa Clara, the State of California, and the United States of America.
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