Learning to Manage Conflict for Peace and Happiness


Do you find yourself frustrated in conflict situations? Do you have trouble identifying a way to communicate and it be well received? In this 2 week course, you will learn what your conflict style is and what that means for you and others. 

The Friendly Style Profile is a 20 item conflict style inventory that surveys your personality strengths and excesses in both types of situations - calm and storm. In this course, you will identify what your conflict style(s) are, what the characteristics of each style are, and receive suggestions for managing your style.

Gaining knowledge about each of the conflict styles will help you gain self awareness, adjust your self in conflict situations to more easily reach mutually agreeable resolutions, and help you bring out the best in others when in conflict. If you know the conflict style of those you spend most of your time with, you can adjust your communication to minimize conflict situations. When we understand more about those around us, we are also able to offer more grace and understanding. 

Conflict is inevitable in all aspects of life! Managing conflict is instrumental in bringing peace and happiness. 

The new class: “Calm vs. Storm: What's your style?

Are you the calm or the storm? This workshop will help you identify your personality style by creating a fair and honest picture of yourself. It will increase your understanding of yourself and others and encourage you to use these insights to improve your relationship with others. You will better understand your strengths, vulnerabilities, habits, and preferences.

Register today!

Three Reasons to Work After Retirement

I will be offering Finding Part Time Work in Retirement through Nashville Community Education where you will learn how to access your skills and then find and apply for part-time jobs!  -Bonita

Bonita- Finding Part Time Work

Extra Income - Social Connections - Sense of Purpose

Want (or need) to work after retirement? The growth of the economy in Nashville has resulted in employment opportunities in fields from hospitality to logistics. 

The New Retirement Generation

Baby boomers are ignoring the traditional retirement age of 65 and working in retirement. Thirty two percent of those aged 65 to 69 are now employed. In addition, nineteen percent of those aged 70 to 74 are still working. It is expected that these numbers will grow.

Three Reasons to Work After Retirement

Income, connection and a sense of purpose are three reasons for continuing to work.

  1.  Income to help pay the bills or pay for life's pleasures.

  2.  Social interaction that provides a sense of community.

  3.  A sense of purpose and a new self-identity. 

If you are interested in working after retirement but want to learn more, the session will help you assess the skills you have to offer an employer. You will then determine which job postings match your skills.

If you need help with applications, the session will provide information on completing online application forms and short resumes along with a hands on experience applying for jobs.

Register Today! Class Start: February 6

3 Things That Can Help You Decompress Your Stress


Checklist= adopt a Qigong practice, get your Reiki on, teach somebody something you love :)

1) Allow yourself to explore the ancient practice of Qigong.

Some have referred to Qigong as "medicinal movement" (see Dr. Mercola's article using this term here ). If you have a hard time settling your mind, when you add your desire to meditate to good posture and proper breathing, you find that the mind will settle on its own. That's just getting started in a Qigong practice; there are so many physical and mental/emotional benefits to be gained from Eastern healing exercises like Qigong, Yoga and Tai Chi- and positive results are shown over and again in medical research. Most Qigong movement classes are inexpensive, and you don't have to buy a lot of equipment to begin; once you get going, even 5-15 minutes a day can produce dramatic stress relief, so why not give it a try?

I am excited to announce that I am being given the opportunity to teach a free mini Qigong course for three weeks on Wednesday evenings at the Madison Community Center in January. This class is only a short term commitment and is coming up fast- come out and bring a friend to experience this with you.

If you are unable to find room in your busy schedule for this class, don't fret- more chances are available- check out the newest classes offered at Nashville Community Education. Registration for their Spring Session is now open online, or you may call them at: 615-298-8050. The dynamic staff at NCE is dedicated to the pursuit of lifelong learning and continues to expand their reach throughout the city. I know of two great energy healing classes that are being presented among their super interesting course selections during the spring 2019 session at the Cohn Adult Learning Center and in Madison. Look on page 14 *hint, hint*.

2) Make self-healing part of your "Ideal" life. Allow yourself to consider that self-care is healthcare.

Reiki Natural Healing can be a simple and powerful part of a self-care routine and it is easy to learn.

We all have the capacity to do healing work, whether the aim is to become a professional healer, or to use our super powers informally to help the people around us, our pets or ourselves. It isn't even hard, once you allow yourself the possibility. The only requirements for beginning Reiki training are a sincere desire to learn it and an open Heart/Mind. Like many of the Eastern Healing Arts, the first thing a student learns is to heal him or herself.

What is Reiki like? Here's a perspective on what Reiki is like:

Carla Trujillo, Sedona based Reiki Master/Teacher

The Reiki Ideals form the ethical backbone for Reiki practitioners worldwide. There are many variations translated from the Japanese, but the actual origin of these principles remains debatable and hence, a mystery. Their meaning taken together is a powerful practice of self-healing. William Lee Rand, a well-known Reiki Master has written an article on the possible origins of these principles, if you would like to read it here. The first level of Reiki training usually includes memorizing these precepts and using them as part of a healing meditation, but, I like to encourage students to personalize them, once they begin to understand the intent behind them. Words spoken from the truth in your very own Heart are always more powerful. The guidance from these values is not meant to suggest that we can eliminate anger, worry, cruelty, or ingratitude- these are all emotions that are very natural for each of us. The trick to happy living, or to be more content with life's circumstances, is to learn how to "touch and release"- acknowledge when these emotions come up, but don't get hooked in for too long.


3) Use some of your time to teach somebody something you love to do. Allow yourself to trust in the value of the things you share and believe in.

As Booker T. Washington once said, "Living is the art of Loving. Loving is the art of caring. Caring is the art of sharing. Sharing is the art of living. If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else."

There are at least two reasons why I love teaching:

1) It helps me deepen my learning and practice. I probably learn more from my students than they do from me in many ways.

2) I love seeing other people be as profoundly affected by these healing practices as I was from the beginning and continue to be every day.

For the past 5 years, I have had the wonderful privilege of being able to share the practices of Qigong movement and Reiki Natural Healing. Volunteering at Fifty Forward and teaching for Nashville Community Education has given me great opportunities. I am so grateful for both organizations and their outreach to serve the best and highest good for the whole community of Nashville, Tennessee. If you are interested in teaching or volunteering with either group, click their links to find out how to get involved. You'll be very glad you did.

"When one teaches, two learn." Robert Heinlein

Preview of Making Comics

Students will learn how to plot, plan, and prep an eight page mini comic, on the topic of their choice. Learn how to make daily journal comics, create recipe comics, or tell a short story in this immersive class. No drawing skills necessary - artists of all skill levels are welcome. Materials are provided. A final class on March 7 will meet at Wake Up Comics inside Groove Record Store for a comics and zine exchange!

Note: Open to ages 16+ (no parent necessary) or ages 13+ if a parent registers as well!

Thanks to @wakeupcomics for sponsoring our final class and some materials!

Want to learn more about Visual Storytelling in Making Comics? Read instructor Becca Hillburn latest blog post, Learning How To Tell Stories Visually with Becca Hillburn.

You can also register for the class Making Comics. The class begins 1/24 at Cohn School.

Learning How To Tell Stories Visually with Becca Hillburn

Learn how to turn your story ideas into scripts, your scripts into thumbnail sketches, and your thumbnail sketches into finished comic pages in this six-week course!

If you've always wanted to learn how to make your own comics, or are interested in learning more about visual storytelling, Making Comics is a perfect introductory course designed to get you producing comics. Over six weeks, you'll learn about scripting, planning and designing your characters, environments, and panels, the ins, and outs of the comic production process, traditional inking techniques, and assembling your comic into a printed mini-comic for exchange. For students interested in a deeper dive, there are additional materials for the course from the instructor available online via blog posts and YouTube videos.

Comic Book

During this class, we’re going to cover the basics of human anatomy for cartooning, an introduction to perspective for constructing backgrounds, and an exploration of traditional inking materials such as technical pens, brush pens, inking nibs, and brushes.

Comic Books

Even if you're already making comics, this class provides an excellent opportunity to meet other comic artists, create comics in a friendly setting, hone your skills, and seek critique. Feel free to work at your own pace in a welcoming environment, or work along with the structure of the class.


Not an artist? Fear not--this class is geared to be useful for beginners as well as more experienced artists. If you need additional help or resources, I’m available via email during the semester, and there’s a Facebook group to facilitate critique and growth during and even after class.

Class ends with a mini comic exchange--every student will get a copy of their classmates' comics, learn a bit about zine and mini comic culture, and find about about further opportunities for creating comics.

The next class Making Comics starts on January 24th.

Comic Books

Contracting for Equity with Metro Business Assistance

metro women businesses

“Do you know what Chuck Berry said?”

One of my favorite movies is Ocean’s Thirteen.

In an iconic scene, Don Cheadle’s character asks casino boss Al Pacino,

 “Do you know what Chuck Berry said every night before he sang one, two, three, four?” 

A clearly perplexed Pacino is silent until Cheadle—counting down his four fingers as he goes—replies,

 “Pay me my money…in cash!”

I’ve worked in government contracting for 20 years.

I could talk for hours about equity and the responsibility we have to ensure a fair purchasing process.

I could cure your insomnia with facts and figures about supplier diversity and the importance of certification.

I could tell you how, statistically speaking, doing business with metro leads to more opportunities in the private sector.  

But in 20 years of working with Nashville’s entrepreneurs, I’ve learned you prefer a more direct approach.

So why should you care about doing business with Metro Government? Or Metro’s minority business programs? Or becoming a certified as a women-owned enterprise?

Like Chuck Berry said…pay me my money.

Last year, Metro Government purchased approximately $832,000,000 of goods and services. That’s 832 million very good reasons to care about government contracts. Not sure how to get started? That’s ok! Sign-up for one of our “Getting Government Contracts” classes offered on January 31st, April 16th or May 7th.

Metro Government has spent more than $450,000,000 with small, minority and women-owned enterprises over the last decade. That’s 450 million reasons to care about minority business programs. Upcoming changes to these programs will affect both minority and non-minority contractors. Want to know how you can make these changes work for your business? Sign-up for Contracting for Equity: Understanding Metro Government’s Minority Business Programs” offered on February 12th.

Around 10 percent or approximately $82.5 million of our total procurement spending last year was with small, minority or women-owned businesses. Do I even need to say it? A key aspect of doing business with Metro Government is getting your business certified. For women-owned businesses, one certifying entity is the Women’s Business Enterprise Council-South (WBEC). Join our Business Assistance Office and WBEC-South on March 7th (the eve of International Women’s Day, appropriately enough) forLunch & Learn: The Benefits of Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification,” to find out why certification is such a valuable tool for government contracting.

The Metro Business Assistance Office is excited to collaborate with Nashville Community Education, Griffen & Strong, PC and WBEC-South to bring you these capacity building opportunities. We hope you’ll take advantage of them and look forward to seeing you in the classroom!

Written by instructor: Michelle Hernandez Lane, Class: Contracting for Equity: Understanding Metro Government’s Minority Business Programs”; “Lunch & Learn: The Benefits of Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification”; “Getting Government Contracts: How Your Company Can Do Business with Metro Nashville”


Fall in Love with Mastering Your Meal Planning


I recently launched “Mastering Meal Planning” with Nashville Community Education this Fall to help people overcome one of their most frustrating food problems, meal planning.  Here’s what we learned in the 2-class series.

  1. WHAT TO PLAN FOR: A compass is rather useless without a map.  And when it comes to meal planning, it’s important to plan for healthful, balanced meals since we know what we eat has a direct impact on our health and overall well-being.  As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I teach my students how to achieve this simply.

  2. HOW TO EFFICIENTLY RESEARCH RECIPES: Let’s be honest. Recipe research can quickly become a black hole.  You might log on to the internet to find a new chicken recipe and 2 hours later you still haven’t found the one!  In “Mastering Meal Planning,” we learn how to work with our taste preferences and food priorities to help guide our recipe research so that it’s quick and productive.

  3. HOW TO OVERCOME MEAL PLANNING PROBLEMS: Life will always happen and throw off even our most well-thought out plans. In the last class, we discuss potential problems that could arise with meal planning and develop realistic strategies to ensure our plan still happens.


Lindsey is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist from Nashville, TN.  She graduated from the Dietetic Internship program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and prior to this, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  She is a weight management expert, meal planning master, and TN Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nashville Media spokesperson.  Lindsey is passionate about helping people ignite the healthy that makes them happy and you can follow all her food-filled adventures at @themealplanningmethod!

Mastering My Meals

Mastering Meal Plan

One of my favorite aspects of directing Nashville Community Education is being able to take classes when my schedule allows. This Fall I participated in Lindsey Joe’s Master Meal Planning. In two short nights, Lindsey taught us a step-by-step process to plan meals, helping save time and money while eating a little healthier.

Lindsey covered everything from making grocery lists, how to work with your schedule, creating “master meals,” and SO MUCH MORE!!! Some students struggled with finding the motivation to cook and prep meals, some were stressed by grocery shopping, and some just wanted to save time and stop food waste. For all of us, Lindsey provided patient, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic support. At the end of class, Lindsey gave us a binder full of meal plan templates, recipe cards, pouches for coupons and more! The binder was a great motivator to get started on our meal planning journey.

Personally, I love cooking and shopping, but I struggle with making realistic meal plans on Sundays, that I actually follow through with during the week. I always think I’ll want that kale and quinoa salad on Thursday night until Thursday night rolls around, my day has been long, and I suddenly want pizza or takeout. Then the ingredients waste away in my fridge, while I cave into my cravings. Lindsey helped me realize that I needed to be honest with my tastes – I love hearty, comfort food. I can alter appealing recipes to be healthier by making substitutions for more nutritious ingredients or adding veggies where possible. Thanks to her guidance I’ve actually been following my new meal plans, cooking more food, spending less money, and feeling more energized!

I am looking forward to working with Lindsey again in the spring when she’ll be teaching Master Meal Planning and a new series, Preventing Diabetes(which I plan on attending!). Make sure to follow Lindsey (The Meal Planning Method) on Instagram for lots of helpful tips and treats!

Mary Beth Harding, Executive Director

Yoga at Home with Nashville Community Education

If you have had the chance to take yoga with NCE you know we have some pretty awesome instructors. As you take the yoga lessons that you learned here, we want you to enjoy them also at home. Two of our Yoga instructors, Mary Beth Harding (Also our Executive Director) and Winnie shared their favorite tunes to practice to at home!

Take a listen to our Yoga at Home playlist!

Also, we have LOTS of Yoga classes this fall.

Gentle Yoga- Instructor Allie King (Dates: 9/18/2018 to 11/13/2018-Tu 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM)

Hatha Yoga I- Instructor Mary Beth Harding (Dates: 9/18/2018 to 11/13/2018-Tu 07:15 PM - 08:15 PM)

Stretch and Restore- Instructor Betsy Nenni (9/19/2018 to 11/14/2018-We 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM)

+ Mary Beth shares Yoga at Home tips for waking up in the morning and going to sleep at night on Instagram!

Morning Yoga with Mary Beth

Bedtime Yoga with Mary Beth