In this 8-week series, we'll explore the four facets of the self through the practices of cultivating wholeness from the book Wild Mind, combining the various portals to the facets of the self for expanded experiences of who we are and the resources available to us in every moment. We will also identify and befriend the main subpersonalities -- the fragmented parts of our selves -- as a means of integrating them into our wholeness. This is an experimental series that combines the works of Nonviolent Communication with Wild Mind.
Wednesday Dates: 8/11, 8/18, 8/25, 9/1, 9/8, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29
Times: 12pm - 1:30pm PDT (3pm - 4:30pm EDT)
Optional: 1:30pm - 2pm PDT is provided for additional discussion and questions
Personal Work: 1 - 2 hours a week required for outdoor practices
Optional Reading: 1 - 2 hours a week for reading the book Wild Mind (series focused on connecting within Plotkin's "Horizontal Plane" -- sessions generally correspond to chapters in the book)
Location: Sessions online on Zoom; link provided with registration. Personal work to be done outdoors in a wild, semi-wild place.
Note: Zoom sessions main room recorded and available for registered participants through members-only webpage.
"It’s time to take another look at ourselves — to re-enliven our sense of what it is to be human, to breathe new life into ancient intuitions of who we are, and to learn again to celebrate, as we once did, our instinctive affinity with the Earth community in which we’re rooted. We’re called now to rediscover what it means to be human beings in a wildly diverse world of feathered, furred, and scaled fellow creatures; flowers and forests; mountains, rivers, and oceans; wind, rain, and snow; Sun and Moon. It’s time to take an ecological and holistic look at the human psyche, to make a fresh start with Western psychology." - excerpt from "Wild Mind" by Bill Plotkin
"Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a way of focusing our attention on what's alive in order to facilitate compassionate giving and receiving." -- Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D.
"Our human psyches possess astonishing resources that wait within us, but we might not even know they exist until we discover how to access them and cultivate their powers, their untapped potentials and depths. Wild Mind identifies these resources — which Bill Plotkin calls the four facets of the Self, or the four dimensions of our innate human wholeness — and also the four sets of fragmented or wounded subpersonalities that form during childhood. Rather than proposing ways to eliminate our subpersonalities (which is not possible) or to beat them into submission, Plotkin describes how to cultivate the four facets of the Self and discover the gifts of our subpersonalities." - excerpt from the "Wild Mind" by Bill Plotkin
Escape the flatland of yawning interactions!
Bring conversations to life through the connected self you always wanted!
After years of practicing NVC, identifying my feelings, connecting with my needs, I’d still find times when I behave in ways that don’t match my values -- when I was overcome with an intensity of feeling that overrode the “good compassionate” person I was trying to become.
I discovered Bill Plotkin’s “Nature and the Human Soul” in 2012, where he lays out eight stages of maturity, and I came to realize that I needed more work for growing out of adolescence into adulthood. It wasn’t until I came across Wild Mind that I came to understand and value wholeness — how the human experience has at least 4 dimensions, and I was focusing mostly on my North — my Nurturing Generative Adult, the part of me that’s compassionate, acknowledges and accepts differences (including my own), and wants to contribute meaningfully to a better world. This is the part of me that practices Nonviolent Communication (NVC).
Furthermore, I realized how diagnosing and healing areas of my life seemed pointless and never ending because my ego didn’t have a stable place to go. In reading, and in participating in Animas Valley's Wild Mind intensive in 2018, I began to grow into the cocoon of cultivating wholeness — how parts of my East (Innocent, Sage, Trickster), South (Wild Indigenous One), and West (Dark Muse Beloved) also needed attention. Without practices to support my growth, my sub-personalities, which cause much of the discord in my life, needed to be acknowledged, embraced, thanked, and promoted into retirement. My many wholeness practices give me richer life experiences, broaden and strengthen my sense of self, thereby allow me to make better choices.
In short, I've been developing my NVC skills and participating in personal growth journeys with Animas Valley -- both of which have helped me to get out of my matrix-box of engineering to dedicate my life to contribute to a more compassionate world. I see an opportunity to exponentially impact the world by bringing these two paradigms together.
My hypothesis is that NVC role plays with our various parts, as identified by the Wild Mind four facets of the self, will help us befriend our subpersonalities and contribute to wholeness -- discovering the connected self you always dreamed of. Would you join me in this grand experiment?
Dream of Organizational Collaboration for Social Change
I have come to realize how NVC compliments Wild Mind (and Animas Valley Institute), and how Wild Mind compliments NVC. My vision is to establish a relationship between CNVC and Animas Valley, as they both have similar missions for social, spiritual and environmental sustainable change. Mainly that NVC offers a conversational connection piece that Animas needs, and Animas Valley offers an embodied nature-based life-change piece that CNVC (and the world) needs. My sense is that both organizations would be more effective together than apart.
* Nonviolent Communication -- A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. | The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC)
* Wild Mind - A Field Guide to the Human Psyche by Bill Plotkin, Ph.D. | Animas Valley Institute
Series Desired Outcomes
During the online session, you will be guided to identify and connect with different facets of yourself, and then engage with other participants from these facets.
You will need access to a wild or semi-wild area for nature-based practices each week, which happen outside of our Zoom group time. Participation in the series requires a commitment to also engage in the outdoor practices (minimum 1 hour each week).
This intermediate offering is for those who have some skill in NVC, you have read the book Nonviolent Communication, participated in NVC groups for at least 6 months and you are comfortable with the following:
* owning and taking responsibility for your inner experience
* reliably distinguish between observations and evaluations
* familiarity with feelings/needs
* you must be able to identify different parts of your self as guided by the facilitator (e.g. identify the part of you that is critical of a decision you made), or at least be willing to act out a part out in order to get value out of this series.
* accessing embodied feelings
* familiar with needs consciousness
* know how to give yourself empathy, identifying feelings and needs (self-attunement)
* are comfortable and skilled at giving empathy to others
* are able to express yourself authentically with compassion
* have the ability to make clear/doable positive action requests
Approach for Weekly Sessions
1. Council check-in circle around nature practices and experiences (from previous outings)
2. Theory: Wild Mind model of four facets of wholeness and corresponding sub-personalities
3. Online Practice: Engaging our facets of wholeness or sub-personalities in Zoom breakout rooms
4. Define and Discuss nature based outdoor wholeness practices
5. Outdoor Practice: Solo practices in nature (1 - 2 hours per week)
Cultivating Wholeness Practices
* Befriend your Enlightened Inner-Giraffe — embodied feelings/needs, NVC consciousness, an empathic presence that knows what's true for you, expressing yourself with compassion
* North: Nurturing Generative Adult — compassion, contribution, meaning
* South: Wild Indigenous One — full embodied feeling
* East: Innocent/Sage/Trickster — presence, knowing, understanding, play
* West: Dark Beloved Muse — creativity, imagination
Befriending our Sub-Personalities
* North: Loyal Soldier
* South: Wounded Child
* East: Addict, Escapist
* West: Shadow
Note: The purpose of this training is to provide information and practices for Nonviolent Communication combined with Wild Mind. While you're invited to bring real life triggers, we only work with feelings of intensity 5 or less out of 10 (being the most intense). Participants are responsible for their own personal safety.
About the facilitator
James is a nature enthusiast, author and Certified NVC Trainer. He’s been involved in personal growth programs since the mid-1980’s, participated in many workshops, retreats and 12-step recovery. He began his journey into nature based spirituality in the late 1990’s. After publishing his book “The Joy of Compassionate Connecting - The Way of Christ Through Nonviolent Communication” in 2010, he participated in a Franciscan-inspired men’s rites of passage in 2011. He continued his growth journey through Mankind Project New-Warrior training and integration groups. He participated in Animas Valley Institute’s “Wild Mind Intensive” in Feb 2018, and had his first 12-day Vision Quest in the Anza Borrego desert in Feb 2020 (just before the COVID lockdown). He’s currently an Animas Valley apprentice in the Wild Mind Training Program (WMTP). He’s passionate about the intersection of Animas Valley inspired work with Nonviolent Communication as a way to contribute to “The Great Turning” ► a thriving compassionate world. Click here for extended bio.
Cover Art by Doug Van Houten
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a few words from satisfied clients
Founder, Caldwell Allen Consulting
"This class with James gave me practical skills to deal with challenging conversations in my personal and professional life. My favorite takeaway was self-empathy. Learning that I could apply NVC for myself was eye opening! I highly recommend courses with James!"
Professional Actor & Acting Coach
Founder & CEO of Seeker Health, Author of New Startup Mindset
"I highly recommend James for organizational culture communication training and coaching. He's an outstanding facilitator and coach. I’ve experienced his facilitation skills in corporate and in community. He led an empathy workshop for our employees, and his work was extremely well received and effective in building trust and compassion among our team. He tunes in to the needs of his audience and delivers both content and an experience that are centering, inspiring and effective."
Founder and CEO at Stealth Startup
"I've attend his workshops as well as 1:1 training on using NVC. He's incredible, his listening skills as well as ability to exude empathy is very infectious. He is an excellent teacher, very passionate about bringing NVC. His ability to manage a crowd is truly admirable - driving home points on empathy in time-bound workshop -presenting conflicting situations among a very interactive and diverse crowd, while still driving his agenda within strict time limits. I highly recommend working with James."
Senior Engineer at ZOLL Circulation
"James led the workshop effectively; several men described it as 'life changing', and as having a profound impact on how they view their personal relationships. James effectively managed our group of 50 men, including a number of strong and vocal personalities firmly but with great compassion. I highly recommend James Prieto."
Senior Counsel at Valle Makoff LLP
"Have you ever understood something intellectually, but then had someone cause you to experience that understanding, so that inexplicably your understanding is not just in your brain, but in your bones? Mr. Prieto helps me in that way..."
Senior Project Manager at W-Trans
"He was a very effective leader, organized, provided very useful handouts; he led the seminar with a nice blend of instruction, demonstration, and practice sessions, with an emphasis on the practice sessions. I recommend him to others who want to enhance their team's collaboration skills."
Sr Staff Software Engineer at Accuray
"His teaching style is masterful, he's extremely effective in any size group from 1:1 to over 50. He facilitates learning by creating rapport and an open and accepting atmosphere. His explanations are clear, concise, insightful, wise and so easy to absorb."
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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 codes may provide discounts to stated prices. 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 24 hours notice; "no shows" forfeit payment. 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. Refunds for services purchased online incur a 10% 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 mediation will be used to address the complaint. 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 copyrighted and for personal use only. 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.