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Archive for April, 2010

mary-mackenzie-150I leave this afternoon for a 1.5 week training trip.  I’m leading a weekend retreat this weekend in Arizona and then leave for Washington State Tuesday to lead a 4-day retreat, followed by time with my elderly Dad.

I have noticed that whenever I am getting ready to leave for a trip, I feel a lot of stress and it would be easy for me to express myself in a grumpy or disconnected way.

Yesterday, I had a long list of things I wanted to get done and my phone rang way more often than usual, a couple people stopped in to see me at my office unexpectedly, and many of the things I was trying to complete weren’t getting done as easily as I’d hoped.  So, by 2:00pm I was starting to really experience the pressure of it and my jackals began to howl.

This is all so familiar to me.  Yet another time when if I choose to believe my jackals that I can’t get everything done, that people are interrupting me, or that there’s just too much…, I could fall into a heap of overwhelm and despair.

I could feel myself heading down this path and so I chose to give myself empathy several times in the day by saying or thinking to myself, “Ugh.  I would really enjoy more ease and flow.”  Followed by a few deep breaths and then reminding myself how much time I have before leaving.


mary-mackenzie-150I’ve been studying Michael Brown’s Presence Process and recently read this portion of his book, The Presence Process P. 260.  I love how clear this is:

He’s talking about choosing to live in presence on a daily basis and he says, “For example, when we are paying for our groceries we are either focusing on the stuff that we are purchasing or we are focusing on the cashier who is ringing up the items for us.  We are either fretting about the prices of the products in front of us or we are greeting the cashier warmly.  We are either worrying about whether we have got all the right things for the dinner we need to prepare or we are asking the cashier how his or her weekend was.  We are either opening the gap by focusing on the stuff in it, or closing the gap (to connection) by acknowledging the Presence on the other side of it.  It is this simple.  It is this obvious.  It is this easy.”

There was a moment when I was in a phone store and I opened my mouth and said something to the clerk that truly demonstrated that I wasn’t connected to his humanness.  In that moment I thought “So, you think it’s okay to NOT live your NVC principles because you’re frustrated and because you don’t know him and probably won’t ever see him again?  How is that living in integrity?”

In that moment, I made a decision to be committed to living my NVC values no matter.  Well, the truth is I do miss the mark sometimes as everyone does, but not nearly as often.  My intention stays firm, to live my values no matter what.  If I miss the mark, I give myself and other people empathy.

The daily living in my values is an ongoing commitment, moment to moment.

How about you.  What intention are you living?


mary-mackenzie-150Bringing Presence, Joy and Creativity To Your Relationships and Life
A Women’s NVC 4-Day Intermediate* NVC Vacation Retreat
with
Mary Mackenzie

August 4 – 7, 2010        Lake Arrowhead, California

When: Wednesday, August 4 to Saturday, August 7, 2010

Where: Peaceful Pines, Lake Arrowhead, California

“Creating Abundance In Love and Life”
is a unique opportunity to blend life-changing learning, vacation play, and relaxation time along the lakeside beauty of a National Forest.

A renowned leader in compassionate change, Mary Mackenzie, M.A., is Executive Director, Flagstaff Center for Compassionate Communication, Co-founder NVC Academy, CNVC Certified Trainer, Mediator and Author.

“Creating Abundance in Love and Life” is designed to facilitate deep growth and freedom from “scarcity thinking” that can get in the way of experiencing all that is possible.

If we trust in the Universe that there are infinite strategies available to us for having our needs met, we can be in the energy to receive and connect with others. Relationships, life and finances can shift – allowing for greater presence, joy, and creativity.


mary-mackenzie-150I’m sitting here staring at my computer wondering what to write.  The thing that is most alive in me right now is too embarrassing to write about, I say to myself.  “Pick something less revealing.”  Unfortunately, nothing has come to mind after staring at the computer for 10 minutes so here goes, warts and all.

I met with a dear group of friends for our monthly book club meeting this Saturday.  I got VERY triggered, my jackals were howling in my brain and finally I left rather abruptly.   During the 2 hour gathering I had tried self-empathy and I made a few requests that weren’t well connected to needs and one could even argue about whether they were clear, doable requests, but the point is I made an attempt at shifting the situation and my experience of it.  To no avail, though.  I left shut down and in tears.


mary-mackenzie-150Attend this 4-Day NVC Workshop in Bainbridge Island, Washington

Empathy as a Way of Being:
Four Transformative Days of Learning to Live a More Compassionate Life

An in-person NVC Academy Workshop in Bainbridge Island, Washingtonwith CNVC Certified Trainers Mary Mackenzie and Kathleen Macferran
Wednesday, April 28, 1:00-6:00 pm through Saturday, May 1 at 12:00 noon

Fee:  $350 (meals and lodging not included and managed by each individual)

Empathy As a Way of Being is designed for intermediate or advanced NVC practitioners who want to deepen their empathic presence.

Atttend this workshop and:

  • Take your empathy skills to the next level
  • Increase your self-compassion
  • Deepen your own persona healing
  • Find out what prevents you from giving empathy and learn ways to maintain your presence
  • Enhance your skills for empathic connection
  • Explore street empathy for natural flow in your connections

Requested experience level: Significant facility using NVC in your daily life.  Completed at least 20 or more hours of NVC training.

More information and registration

 


mary-mackenzie-150Yesterday was April Fool’s Day.  This is a day when people play tricks on each other.   My mother enjoyed playing little tricks on people so April Fool’s Day was one of her favorite holidays.  One year when I was a little girl we were at the dinner table on April Fool’s Day when Mom said to my father, “John, did you notice anything unusual today?”  “No” he said.  “ANYTHING DIFFERENT ABOUT YOUR UNDERWEAR TODAY?” “Oh!  Yes, I thought I had put them on backward and so I just dealt with it.”  My mother was disappointed.  Apparently, she had sewn the fly in his boxers shut the night before.  My father had noticed a dilemma but had assumed he put his boxers on backwards and so just adjusted to it for the rest of the day.  We all thought that was hilarious.

This funny little story has been running through my head for the last two days.  This morning I realized that I often respond to things as my father did.  If something goes wrong, I assume it was my fault in some way and I adjust to the current circumstances.

I recently got a letter from the IRS which stated that a mistake had been made in my 2008 taxes.  I was certain I’d made a mistake.  So, I took my letter to my accountant, apologizing.  The mistake was his, actually, and not mine at all.  I left his office elated even though I owed the IRS more money.

Why is this?  Why do I (and my father and so many people) assume that we are wrong?  Or even that anyone has to be wrong?

I think it’s a core belief that we aren’t good enough, or that we’re not worthwhile.  Each time we believe this old, outdated thought, we negate our true self, our beautiful, spiritual self that has value and purpose just because we are breathing.

I’m taking a deep breath just writing this now.  I remember watching my mother hang on to life, frail as a rail, unable to feed herself, or even talk but she had breath, precious, life-giving breath.  I realized then that as long as we breathe we are spiritual beings with value.

I’d like to remember this more often.  It’s so easy to get hung up on thinking I’m supposed to do something, be better, or create an improved model of myself.  Today I want to remember that I am already good enough and this present moment is all that matters.  When I remember this, there’s no need for right/wrong thinking.

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