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The Connection Practice

The Connection Practice

“Before directing the lightning in the sky, we must first harness the storms in our own hearts.” – Roberto Brenes Mesen

The Connection Practice – A Skill Set for a More Connected World

The Connection Practice unites empathy and insight to maximize social and emotional intelligence, building resilience and enhancing performance.

a Maximize your social and emotional intelligence.

Connect with the beauty and insights of your own heart.

Reduce stress, develop greater self-confidence.

Gain skills for deeper levels of empathic connection.

Learn to communicate with your best social and emotional intelligence! Empathy for yourself and others comes through consciously connecting to feelings and needs. Experience “heart-brain coherence” – a state of flow in which our bodies, minds, and emotions are in sync, leading to insights, more harmonious relationships, and less stress. The synergy of empathy and insight helps us solve problems and resolve conflicts efficiently and creatively. Develop deeper self-confidence and improved performance.

The full Connection Practice course:

  • Three weekend workshops: Creating Connection in Yourself, Creating Connection with Others, and Restoring Connection with Mediation
  • Highly experiential
  • Small group and 1:1 practices, including biofeedback
  • Course manuals
  • Created by Rasur International, winner of Ashoka Innovation Award

In businesses, nonprofits, and faith communities, these skills create stronger relationships between employees or community members, resulting in harmonious and productive environments.  A Unity minister wrote, after members of her congregation took the training: “Whenever issues arise, this unique method efficiently unites our empathy and insight to handle them with ease, harmony, and creativity. This way, it accelerates our individual and collective evolution.”

20% of proceeds go to Rasur Foundation International to further the training of schoolteachers in the Connection Practice. For more information: 828-545-9681 or

3-hour experiential short course available!

Minimum: 4 people. Donate according to the value you receive.

To schedule a short course for your friends and family, faith community, workplace, etc. please contact Cathy Holt here.

 Watch this introductory video about the Connection Practice!

To learn about bringing the Connection Practice to your community group, church or business, contact Cathy.

Watch testimonials from participants in Connection Practice workshops.  Click here.

Read comments from previous participants here.

Coaching in the Connection Practice

We all need help at times with a communication challenge, and we have “blind spots” especially with family members where there are old patterns at work. Whatever the relationship problem, heart-centered communication can help! You’ll receive gentle guidance in creating conversations that offer empathy to the other person and avoid triggering words that imply any fault or judgment.

Free “Get Acquainted” first phone call.

The Connection Practice for Schools

In schools, annual reports show that bullying, conflicts, violence and misconduct have decreased.

In six lessons, students (grades 3-6) learn to give empathy to one another. They then do so for a few minutes each day using Feelings and Needs cards or the Connection Process Game. This allows emotions to be expressed and named, decreasing stress and promoting conflict resolution. Students learn how to get “in sync” with the heart, breath, and brain, a process known as “Quick Coherence.” Once emotions are cleared, more space is freed up for learning. Students learn to:

  • Resolve conflicts efficiently and effectively, resulting in harmonious classrooms
  • Achieve maximum brain function for more creative problem solving
  • Release negative feelings, resulting in greater clarity
  • Develop deeper self-confidence that leads to higher performance

Lessons of the Connection Practice Curriculum:

  1. Feelings and Needs
  2. Quick Coherence Technique
  3. Heart-Brain Insight
  4. The Connection Process
  5. Empathy Circle
  6. The Connection Process Game

Use of the Connection Practice in schools creates a heightened sense of belonging, which has been shown to prevent conflict, improve academic test scores and reduce dropouts.

History of Success

Costa Rican Schools: In 2004, the curriculum was introduced in Costa Rican public schools. By 2005, this work won the Ashoka Changemakers Innovation Award: Building a More Ethical Society, chosen from 79 projects in 32 countries. Now nearly 1,500 teachers have been trained, impacting over 40,000 students in Costa Rica. Annual teacher surveys revealed:

  • Aggression and violence, intolerance and conflicts had diminished.
  • Misconduct reports decreased from 16 to 9 per month.
  • Students learned to resolve conflicts on their own.
  • The relationships among teachers and with the principal improved significantly.

US Schools: In 2012, the Connection Practice Curriculum at Oakley Elementary, in Houston, was deemed a success by the principal, teachers and students. Please see the video, St. Rita School in Fort Worth was the next success.

In Melbourne, FL, Diamond School Director Doreatha Field, wrote: “We work with at-risk teenagers with social/emotional challenges and learning disabilities. After the teachers introduced the process to the children, there were ‘tears and release’…both males and females dealt with past emotions and pain, that the students said ‘nobody ever let me talk about.’ …the feelings and needs cards are such a rave that the students ask each morning ‘Can we do our cards today? I need to talk.’ Music to our ears…”

Teacher in-service training: Six hours, frequently done in two three-hour sessions; for teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors. (Cost: $350 per six-hour class)

20% of all income from the classes goes directly back to Rasur Foundation International to support the teaching of these skills to school children and others.
Rita Marie Johnson, founder of The Connection Practice, Rasur Foundation International

Rita Marie Johnson, founder of The Connection Practice, Rasur Foundation International


Rita Marie Johnson, founder of Rasur Foundation International, created the Connection Practice (classes and coaching). Her vision: A world where every person practices the art of connection and passes this gift on to the next generation.

Cathy trained with Rita Marie Johnson and is now certified to offer The Connection Practice for schoolteachers, businesses, nonprofits, church groups, and individuals, as well as 1:1 coaching.

Want a class for your organization? Contact Cathy: 828-545-9681 or