Freedom from Core Beliefs


Mini Online Course: Starts 3rd July

Friday 10 am UK time.

I will be sharing one of THE most powerful ways I have found to build my capacity in the world… bringing presence to and releasing Core Beliefs. We start this Friday, with a mini online course you can design yourself.

All are welcome if you have some experience of NVC.
You’ve heard me say that learning Nonviolent Communication requires healing AND learning skills.

This Friday we will support someone with some healing AND we will learn how to release some stuck parts of ourselves.

What are Core beliefs? a well known term in therapy- a place where we are stuck….even if we get empathy for an issue if you find it coming up again you probably have a rooted core belief or schema. A schema through which you view the world. Usually short I statements for eg. ‘I am unlovable’, ‘I am defective/ there is something wrong with me’ or ‘The world is unsafe’. However, here is the rub, you don’t just view the world through this lens, you also take action from this belief AND collect evidence that your belief is true ignoring evidence to the contrary. Here’s an example from my own life:

A core belief I uncovered was “I am unattractive’, this meant I did not even try and flirt with anyone! Thankfully, I became aware of this, I found a way to release it and found love!


Note: I will run this course again if asked!

Photo by Basil James on Unsplash

Reluctant Leadership

women holding banner saying We are the ones we have been waiting for

“We are the ones we have been waiting for” the sign says- but what if you don’t want to be? What if we are practising reluctant leadership?

Because we know being a leader these days is raw, gritty work standing up and suggesting a different way forward based on our deepest values- those that connect us. As a Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Trainer, I find myself being asked to speak- people even give me a microphone and write down what I say. I know I am sharing what I have learned so far and I’m glad it supports people. I didn’t set out to be a leader, and now I see that it is essential work for us all as we head for climate breakdown. Leading the way towards a world that works for all finding along the way that we all need healing from the trauma of our past and the generations who have lived through war, famine and separation.

There is steady flow of huge numbers of powerful people who do not want to change how it is now- or who want even more separation and they pull in the other direction,

Standing up to this and being in our pain and inviting others into theirs is exposing. Being vulnerable and naked emotionally and leads to cold sweats, binge eating and no place to hide from what’s going on for you… I don’t think it’s just me.

I know now why women don’t do it so often- because we cannot rely on our structural and physical power- we have to dig deep and go against ideas of how women should behave.

I often read that women are not in positions of leadership because they lack confidence…. for sure and let’s dig further into the idea that it is all about confidence as if we could flick a switch and just be confident like men.

BEFORE we even try and find the confidence we need to find the spaces to practise, to try and to mess up and to become…. we don’t often have these spaces…. In nursery’s/ kindergartens I went into I watched children painting. Usually the board was in the corner of the room next to the taps, there was often a long process of putting aprons on and and negotiating space, water, paints, brushes- which the adults if they were wise, left the children to sort out. Then there was freedom to create with no judgement. Creations were labelled- by the children and left to dry and take home. Somewhere along the lines this stops happening and art becomes about comparison and a ‘lesson’. I wonder if we do the same for other things? For sure leadership in girls is called bossy and research suggests that the labelling has a negative impact on women in the workplace even though men also show behaviours that are labelled bossy.

How to be a leader? how to do something we’ve only ever experienced in a patriarchy….. this is unknown territory- we all lack confidence to do this- if someone says they know how to be the kind of leader we need this century I do not believe them. We are all trying to find new ways and one thing I’ve learnt is that there is no ‘way’ just trying, messing up and learning at this moment in time.

That is not to say I don’t see leadership I admire- I do and I watch and learn.

This kind of leadership is also about teams, support, and what to do afterwards, where to go with all that comes up after stepping into leadership … because we want to do it our way and not with armour plating, but stepping up and being seen is dam HARD on our systems and we haven’t yet created the space to grieve, celebrate and be proud….

Our confidence will grow when we do it- mine has…. But I am the reluctant leader and still hide….at the same time I started delving into leadership I started exploring my addictions and the numbing I do….. still diving deep and being my own leader just now.


Some reading on Leadership I am enjoying or are in my pile to read this summer:

Brené Brown Dare to Lead, The Tao of Leadership John Heider- I had to get it on Kindle as out of print, Margaret Wheatley’s work, Frederic LaLoux and Reinventing Organisations and Otto Scharmer and Theory U .

What are you reading or exploring on this topic?


The Disappearing Trainer

figure with top half fading into mist

With a sigh of relief and recognition, I enjoyed reading Robert Kržišnik’s blog post exploring our needs as trainers and facilitators. I aspire to be the kind of trainer who is a bridge for a short while in people’s lives. A bridge that supports them to find NVC and arrive in a new place. I’d like to be myself as a trainer and someone who recognises when my tanks are low and when I need a top-up of empathy, care flowing my way, rest and a reality check. (Note to the reader- sometimes I fail). Rest contributes so much to my being able to show up I see rest as resistance – as building my ability to change the way we are with ourselves and each other.

Over the years I have explored what supports me to avoid being a leader who is needing recognition, empathy or love from their participants and I suspect it takes constant awareness and feedback from a caring community as Robert suggests. Also a degree of self care and awareness, space to breathe and check in at the very minimum. The cost of not paying attention to this area is to steer far away from the vision of a world that works for all- ie we will repeat the same errors of the past- our blind spots and trauma being passed on.

I want to make a distinction offer clarity – I do of course have these needs for empathy and recognition – what Robert is alerting us to is not needing it from participants during a training. That is – not being in deficit and seeing it in subtle or not so subtle ways. I cannot nor do I wish to, turn off my need for empathy, for example, it still lives in me and I want to be alive to it. want to live with this need sufficiently cared for or nourished as much as possible and to walk into the room as a trainer having done my work. The same for my need fo recognition or love.

To offer more in this area of being a trainer it has also been in my awareness recently about making sure I do not disappear. I carry many roles as a Trainer in Nonviolent Communication, obviously often the trainer- the leader, the expert in Nonviolent Communication- eek!, for the past two years the assessor …for years I also walked into rooms with the label of Psychologist.  I say carry for it is and can be a burden – and can get ‘sticky’ and people generally see me through one of these labels like a lens. I end up with a longing to be seen for me- just me, not the roles I have, the skills I have developed, the mistakes I make as I step into leadership, the areas of my life not healed or hidden from me. All of which seem to be amplified as others see me step up- then I start to lose myself
If I do not spend time with people who just see me- then I start to disappear somewhat. The antidote is to hang out with my mum, with my partner, with friends who know me in different roles- who see me and accept me just as I am.

Photo by meriç tuna on Unsplash

NVC Dance Floors and Me

I use the Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Dance Floors as one of the main tools I use to support learning and integration of NVC for myself, with others in teachings and also in my partnership when we get stuck. This post is written in gratitude for the work that Gina Lawrie and Bridget Belgrave did to develop these jewels! Thank you both.

I often the story of how I stood in a wet rainy car park outside my office in Manchester many years ago and engaged in a conversation with a colleague. It wasn’t a heated conversation but I was practising staying with her…offering my presence. I noticed that my feet were moving ‘as if’ I was on the dance floor… tracking myself and her…. ‘wow’ I remember thinking, ‘this NVC stuff has gone in deep!’

I really enjoy one of the Dance Floors that doesn’t get used much, the ‘Yes / No Dance. Many people new to NVC don’t even consider that they can use the power of being connected to their needs to make a decision.

Other ways they can support are with Anger, Guilt, Shame or Depression, with Regret and with transforming the Pain of Unmet Needs to the Beauty of Needs
Many trainers around the world use the Dance Floors and if you come to one of my workshops I will dig one out that I think fits the issue you are wanting to explore. An inner process – ie self empathy- exploring your inner world or  an outer process, a conversation you’d like to practise.

Find out more

You can find out more about the NVC Dance Floors by going to You can also buy an NVC Dance Floor App here.

Read an Introduction to NVC Dancefloors (PDF)