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Mindful Communication Practice Series


Monday evenings in Berkeley
November 4th - December 9th

A group for those who:

* Long for a warm, safe, supportive community in which to show up as we are, and be allies to one another’s growth and healing

* Seek support for navigating relationship challenges – whether with intimate partners, friends, or family

* Want to relate more compassionately to oneself, allowing for all the inner voices to be heard and integrated into a more coherent whole

* Seek “hands-on” communication tools to cultivate more mindfulness, compassion, and ease in everyday life

Based upon the work on Marshall Rosenberg, PhD, and Nonviolent Communication, in this group, we will:

* Create a safe space to support personal healing and mindful exploration of the needs underlying our experience of conflict

* Cultivate our capacity for empathy – with ourselves, one another, and – via role plays – with others in our lives with whom we find it difficult (or even impossible) to connect

* Practice the art of listening so as to hear the heart beneath others’ judgments, evaluations, and diagnoses

* Move out of old patterns of shame and blame that keep us small, stuck, and in fear

* Strengthen our capacity for clear and compassionate conflict resolution

* Cultivate deeper self-acceptance

This practice offers a deepening sense of self-love, and an invitation to step into greater authenticity and intimacy in all your relationships.

It’s NOT about being “nice,” fake, or walking on eggshells; rather, it’s about learning to show up fully, in your truth, and with compassion.

Words from past participants of my practice groups:

“Nourishing, soulful, heartfelt, profound… more fully in myself as a result.” – Jon Cotton, Nutritionist

“Marina is one of my favorite teachers I’ve ever come across, not just because she knows her stuff as an NVC teacher, but because she walks her talk as a courageously vulnerable human being that creates a sacred safety for everyone in the room by being deliciously transparent herself. She’s the real deal.” – Scott Grace, Author, Speaker, and Life Coach

“Marina is tender and nurturing, yet also very no nonsense. She always stays focused on bringing the work back to you, in very creative and insightful ways. She also gives you hard and fast tools to take with you back out into the ‘real world.’ “– J.S.

“This group has been so helpful for me. It’s not only giving me tools for communicating with others, but perhaps more importantly, giving me insights into my own inner world and the ongoing dialogue that takes place there. It has been also been greatly supporting my client work in my private practice. The permission and encouragement to focus on needs is really life changing.” - A.R.

“I feel like these meetings are a place where I can go to see miracles and am using them to make miracles happen in my life.” - Ken McNamara


No prior experience with Nonviolent Communication is required. Just bring your body, your spirit, an open mind, and a willingness to experience "needs consciousness" first-hand.


Monday evenings, November 4th through December 9th, 7-9pm.

Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, 1924 Cedar Street in Berkeley

$120-$240 for the series, sliding scale.


Marina Smerling is a former attorney and current relationship coach and counselor, who draws upon nearly a decade of practice in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) to help us speak our truth with heart. She is also the co-founder of WiseHeart Lawyering, which trains attorneys in mastering effective communication.

For more info, please visit


Call 1-855-EMPATHY, or send an email to Marina at marina at shamelessheart dot com to express your interest. Kindly share your phone number, as I like to have a short conversation with each incoming participant to make sure that this group feels a good fit for you.

Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you!

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  • Cheryl

    Marina -- is the first meeting at the Unitarian Church? (I thought you might have said something to me about the first meeting being somewhere else)

    November 3, 2013

  • alyssa

    Marina is a heartfelt & wonderful leader. Highly recommended!

    1 · October 25, 2013

    • Marina

      Such a love you are, Alyssa. Thank you.

      1 · October 25, 2013

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  • Marina +7
    Event Host
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