These are some approaches and models that I resonate with a lot, got trained in and use in my work – mostly eclectically combining and integrating them.
Nonviolent Communication is an approach to communication, to human relations and to Life in general, that was developed by Marshall Rosenberg (that I was honoured to learn from directly) in the early 1960s and has been cared for and spread around the world through the Center for Nonviolent Communication (www.cnvc.org). In general, NVC (Nonviolent Communication) is about three key elements, the first being about exploring how we can empathically connect with another even when they don’t have the capacity to express their heart clearly. The second is about expressing ourselves honestly and clearly, yet in a way that makes it possible for another to connect with our heart. And the third, perhaps the most important one, is about finding and maintaining genuine inner self-connection, which often has to do with healing our wounds and finding inner peace, in which we can fully embrace ourselves and joyfully engage with the world and with Life. I am certified trainer and mediator with the Center for Nonviolent Communication.
I have been trying to support groups to better collaborate and to use their inner potentials for evolution - for involved individuals as well as for the larger whole - for decades and I used approaches of “classic” group facilitation that I learned from events and trainings that I attended with the IAF – International Association of Facilitators. Yet, the approach of Art Of Hosting (AOH) lifted it all for me to a much higher dimension, where the facilitator/host is not trying to lead the group from A to B, but rather opens the space for a new, deeper meaning to emerge and to be sensed in by the whole group, harvested and put into practice. Approaches and awarenesses of AOH have immensely improved my ways of designing trainings I lead, and of designing and carrying out facilitated – participatory large-group processes.
Contact Improvisation (CI) is a form of dance/movement that started in a postmodern dancing community around Steve Paxton in the early 1970s, focusing on following the body (instead of the mind), presence in the moment and surrendering to the flow that emerges from the point of contact between movers/dancers. What at first was a dance technique, primarily exciting for professional dancers, was soon embraced by a much wider community of people that wanted to explore movement, improvisation, embodiment, touch, flow…
For me CI has been and still is such a profound discovery and an ever-growing field of exploration that I regret I did not come in touch with it 25 years sooner. I use it as an approach to embody many spiritual and relational principles and as a portal to get from our dualistic minds into our bodies and further on towards a greater integration, freedom and intimacy; intimacy with ourselves, others and Life.
I see an incredible potential and power in people sitting in a circle, sharing their hearts and minds, crying and laughing together, and listening attentively to the new meaning emerging from the centre and articulating itself through every single voice. I am deeply grateful to Kazuma Matoba, whom I see as my main mentor and an incredible source of mind-blowing inspiration. And I owe much of my learning to many other people, among whom I am most grateful to Marjeta Novak, Ann Linea and Christina Baldwin, from whom I started to learn how to humbly follow the wisdom of the circle, be it through the approach of Bohm Dialogue, the approach of The Circle Way or other approaches.
There are also other approaches to life that have had a profound influence on me and also on my work, like Enlightenment Intensives, Diversity and Intercultural studies and trainings, Soto Zen, Aikido…, yet the above explained ones are the ones that shape and inspire my work most directly.