A nomadic catalyst for personal, social and cultural transformation, I support individuals and groups to create a foundation of authentic connection and trust by encouraging effective collaboration and self-connection, honest expression and empathic listening, passionate power and compassionate care.
I do this through Training, Facilitation, Coaching, and Mediation as a Certified Trainer with The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) and a member of the Cultural Catalyst Network (USA), Permalab (Portugal), HeartSpace Collective and Arise to Succeed (Ireland).
Laboratory for nomadic changemakers
Here I present a little about myself and my journey to give a fuller sense of what I offer.
I am passionate about connection, in particular exploring new ways to connect with others. Whether it’s someone I’ll never see again, a colleague, a new friend or deepening existing connections. To breathe new life into them through increasing transparency, vulnerability and empathy.
This is what makes my life open, expand and move forward. This is what I am excited about sharing with the world; how do we think, speak, listen and act such that we bring more connection into our lives.
I am delighted to be supported in doing this by so many encouraging teachers in so many inspiring practices. I will reflect on how they have influenced what I offer in the following biography.
"Donal was ALWAYS full of ease, clarity, flow… It was very easy to have mutual understanding with him"
- R. K -
“Donal's simple clear facilitation, where he was comfortable, connected and tuned in to himself, as well as us contributed hugely to my experience. His very obvious experience in living what he teaches was the other great contributor”
- L. M -
“Really helpful to see the NVC way modelled so well by Donal – clear, empathically attuned and a gentle and encouraging way of delivering the information”
- M. O -
“You have really been a Milestone in my Journey to selflove! Your insights in NVC have really changed my way of relating to others and myself and the love and compassion you showed me touched and transformed me deeply!”
- M. A -
Since 2003, I have been facilitating groups of all shapes and sizes, in all corners of the world, using various methods to encourage authentic wholehearted connection; build community; support people to find ways to create the life they want; move toward greater freedom by unlearning our unhelpful patterns; develop skills in leadership, agency and self-responsibility; create space for individual and interpersonal healing; and explore new ways of experiencing and enjoying each other, our world and ourselves.
During recent years, I have focused primarily on teaching Nonviolent Communication (NVC), finding this to be the most necessary, accessible and beneficial of my practices. . I do this through private and public trainings, weekly practice groups, and daily sessions at festivals, retreats, and camps.
I also support various groups, organizations and communities through:
Creating constitutions and agreements
Developing, organizing and facilitating events
Healing and reconciliation
Dissolving enemy images
Transforming judgmental, blaming and critical thinking
Setting up systems for transforming conflict
Giving and receiving feedback
In addition to Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of NVC, what I share has been inspired by a great variety of international trainers, some of whom are referred below.
In 2010, I began intensive studies of NVC and community living in Auroville, India with Jason Stewart. I continued in Australia, during my certification process with assessor Cate Crombie. At the same time completing the year-long Embodying NVC Consciousness Training (ENCT) with Linda Rysenbry, Dorset Campbell-Ross and Shari Elle (who became my personal coach). I also studied with Liv Larsson, a specialist in anger, guilt and shame, as well as mediation.
Then during a 3 month residential apprenticeship in the USA with Karl Steyaert and the Cultural Catalyst Network, I further integrated the practices of Open Space Technology and Restorative Circles, Systems and Community Building. I simultaneously studied other applications of NVC such as Convergent Facilitation with Miki Kashtan and Roxy Manning, in intimate relationships with LaShelle Lowe-Chardé, in prisons with Fred Sly, for social change with Robert Krzisnik, Kristin Masters, Marjeta Novak and Kathleen Macferran and through the lens of interpersonal neurobiology with Vika Miller.
Recently I have enjoyed collaboration and mentorship form Gina Lawrie, Co- creator of the NVC dance floors.
Other major influences who I am yet to work with in person are Dominic Barter, Robert Gonzales, Susan Skye, Bridget Belgrave and Sarah Peyton.
A significant inspiration for my approach to leadership and facilitating workshops has come from 13 years of learning, working and practicing with the Tribal Spirit, Earthsong and Unicorn Communities, in particular John Bowker.
I strive to share this transformational work with continual integrity, respect and heartfelt gratitude for the contribution of my many teachers and inspirations. You can find out more about them at the links page
Eclectic skillset infusion
I am committed to exploring and sharing ways in which we can meet the needs that have tended to be neglected due to social and cultural conditioning, and/or traumatic experiences. This exploration has brought a vast diversity and richness to my life and to those with whom I have worked and played. Thus I have developed an extensive skillset of various practices which infuse into what I offer. These practices are listed below according to which of those needs each primarily serves to meet.
* Play, Fun, Joy, Laughter, Spontaneity, Freedom and Movement - with Cooperative games, Laughter Yoga, Ecstatic dance, Circus skills, Theatre / Drama Improv, Community music (especially drumming and singing)
* Intimacy, Touch, Closeness, Affection - with Contact Improvisation, Synergy, Kaleidoscope Community Yoga and other Connection activities
* Empathy, Deep Connection, Emotional expression and Healing - with Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Re-evaluation counselling, Listening from the heart, T-Group, Circling, Focussing, The Work of Byron Katie, ZEGG / SD Forum, and Family Constellations
You can see the latest short clips about me and what I offer at the videos page