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HeartTalk: A Communication Playshop

With Marina Smerling

Saturday, Aug 17, 1:30-4pm

30 Hiller Drive, Oakland, CA

Do you:

      • Struggle with how the heck to show up as you, authentically as you are, when you also want harmony and peace?
      • Tend to forget everything you’ve ever learned about conscious communication when the proverbial shit hits the fan, particularly in close relationships?
      • Fear either losing connection with the other person, or else abandoning yourself in order to get to a place of harmonious connection?
      • Excel in taking things personally, particularly upon hearing others’ less-than-flattering judgments or evaluations of you?


HeartTalk is the art of speaking from and listening to one another’s hearts, and is inspired by the work of Marshall Rosenberg and Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

HeartTalk is fundamentally different from the habits of sympathizing or offering advice that we often fall into, and in which we often miss the other person’s heart and put the focus back on us. HeartTalk puts our attention back on the other person, and helps them to feel heard and received, whereby they are more likely able to open up and hear us. It likewise allows us to speak in a way that the other can hear – without judgment, and by taking self-responsibility for our feelings.

Throughout my life I have struggled with taking things personally, being distraught and broken by criticism, as well as questioning my “right” to speak up and express my feelings openly. After all, who would value and take seriously “little old me”?

Nearly a decade after discovering and diving into NVC, I am pretty dang at ease in “uncomfortable” or “awkward” conversations.  I trust my ability to hear people’s hearts beneath their less-than-kind words. I’ve ever learning on life’s journey, but more often than not, I feel empowered to speak up and ask for what I want, and to trust that I can connect with the other person whatever unfolds, and whether I receive a “yes” or a “no” to my request.

In other words, these are invaluable tools, and I want to share them with you.

In this workshop, you will:

      • Hands cupping a stone with a heart engraved in itGet “hands-on” practice with empathy and creating connecting conversations
      • Gain clarity about the role of universal needs in our everyday thoughts, words, and actions
      • Learn to distinguish empathy from sympathy, advice, or story
      • Learn to listen to others in ways that help us to hear the heart beneath their judgments, evaluations, and diagnoses of us and the world.
      • Move beyond the patterns of shame and blame that often have a stranglehold on our communication
      • Learn when to listen and when to speak up
      • Gain tangible tools for conflict resolution
      • Rediscover that – lo and behold – we’re more alike than we are different, and that, when we get on the same page in our communication, downright miracles can happen.


These tools can help you to relax into greater confidence in tricky conversations, be able to express your feelings and needs both clearly and with heart, and be better able to understand and connect with others, even when it gets ugly.

Folks who dive into this practice are ultimately likely to experience less fear of conflict and more overall confidence in their relationships, and to enjoy a deeper capacity for intimacy and closeness with friends, lovers, and strangers alike.

Here are some 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.

Who is HeartTalk for?

This communication workshop is for lovers, partners, single people, dog walkers, cat-haters, circus performers, your neighbor’s great-aunt Millie, and you.

In other words, it’s for anyone who’s ever been in relationship with other human beings, ever had a conversation, ever gone out on a communication limb and screwed up a little – or a lot.

Kinda like
And me
And all of us

Experience HeartTalk first-hand, and register today for our upcoming playshop.

Pay only $15 if you register in advance. $20 at the door.

Questions?  Call 1-855-EMPATHY, or write to me.

Saturday, August 17th, 1:30-4pm @ 30 Hiller Drive, Oakland, CA

Register for HeartTalk today!

1 ticket Add to Cart  View Cart

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