Selene Aswell

Selene grew up mixed race, longing to belong to a place and a people, splitting her time between the deep South in Savannah, Georgia, and the Pacific Northwest, in the United States. She likes to joke that she is very good at culture shock. This paired with simultaneously being the baby of the family, the oldest sibling, and the middle child depending on who is in the room, has prepared Selene for a life of stepping into whatever leadership function is needed. 

After 7 years teaching and sharing gifts as a spiritual guide and healer, Selene paused this offering, due to the exhaustion of attempting to empower people and “change the world” without a systemic approach or a community cohold her and the work. When she asked to be shown what was her purpose, if not this offering, she had the following vision:


I am living in a community. We are a vertical column of light connecting the current reality on one side and the most vibrant possible future on the other. Our way of life functions to shrink the distance between the two, drawing this possible future closer and closer to life as it is now. We are not alone in this work. The vision zooms out to show a network of such communities around the world. Each community is a column holding a different aspect of the vision future, drawing it closer.


Not knowing how to find this community, Selene took a permaculture design course and started studying NVC. She discovered NGL unintentionally, by attending an NGL retreat in Poland, while seeking affordable NVC training and experience as part of her certification journey. Selene was shocked to hear Miki’s vision for NGL in the world was almost exactly her own that she had 3 years before! Though she was a retreat participant, not a coholder, Miki had an intuition to invite her into the Financial Gift Hub (FGH) of that retreat, saying that Selene belonged with NGL. About 6 months after that, Selene was supporting Emma on an NGL team, about 2 months after that she joined NGL as a full member. She had found “home”. NGL is the closest approximation of her vision and felt sense of a gift-based society that she has experienced so far.

Gift economy comes naturally to Selene. In the early years after graduating from college, many people coached her to “value herself” by charging for services. Her spirit rebelled against this capitalist programing, her very soul did not allow her to charge for spiritual guidance. She has been experimenting in gift economy in different forms off and on for 16 years. Selene has a BA in Community Building, is an NVC trainer certified by the Center for Nonviolent Communication, with 17 years teaching and coaching experience on a range of topics.

Life is now calling Selene back to renew her spiritual work, now informed and languaged by NVC, the NGL framework and her experience applying gift economy. There is a spiritual quality to her work expressing through her articulation and application of the maternal gift economy, influenced by her personal relationship with the Primordial Mother. Selene draws on this relationship to bring insights into dilemmas in her work or coaching.


Currently within NGL, Selene coholds Resource Flow and the Financial Gift Hub Design and Implementation Team. She holds the functions of FGH Entrusted Decision Maker and Gift Economy Coaching. Outside NGL, Selene offers public speaking, training, coaching, and modelling on the topics of gift economy, community living, NVC and the NGL framework.

Selene is currently exploring community living in Maine. She is deeping her understanding of herbalism as an empowerment liberation journey and as an anchoring into her body the experience of directly receiving the gifts of the Earth, while giving the Earth the gift of engagement. Selene very much wants to try a game of Dungeons and Dragons for play and imagination.

Related Offerings

Nonviolent Global Liberation Community