Anger can result in violence or in a movement towards positive change. We can see this happen in the push for racial justice. When you perceive anger as a form of violence your nervous system becomes activated. Your perspective narrows and old conditioning can take over leading to overwhelm, defensiveness, hatred, or violence. Read on for four ways to to respond to our own or others' anger in a way that mobilizes desired change.
When conflict or criticism occurs, we can notice two layers of meaning to create connection: the content and the needs the speaker is holding. When we are able to recognize this --and ideally engage open-heartedly, with curiosity, make clear requests, imagining what they want, no matter how their expression was framed -- we have more opportunity to support the longevity of our relationships, and to decrease our loneliness when together.
When we're received with resonant understanding painful moments can lessen their charge and became part of the whole tapestry of life -- important but no longer able to hijack us into the eternal re-run of pain. When held this way, we can touch the memories with our attention the way one touches a newly repaired tooth with the tongue, searching for the old roughness, the old wound, but not finding it.
Attraction to others is neither good nor bad. Although it's pleasurable it doesn’t necessarily help with wise discernment. When it arises, it's up to you to engage in wise discernment about how you manage it. This guide provides practices and points of focus to engage your own attraction in a way that holds more choice about what will meet needs for yourself and others, and what role attraction plays.
Trainer tip: Empathy is about being present to a person’s feelings and needs. It is acknowledging another’s experience, not necessarily agreeing with it. If you have a different opinion than another, empathize with her first. Then, state your feelings and needs with regard to the situation.
One way to understand trauma is it means we got a blow greater than our nervous system can tolerate – then we move into hyperarousal, and then hypoarousal or dissociation. This cycle can continue long after. Here, we're not able to fully process emotional cues, information, our body, and others. It's important we consider re-writing the cultural paradigm of separation so that our trauma doesn't get marginalized.
Trainer tip: If you are in a relationship (whether personal or work related) that you are not happy with, consider talking to the other person in an effort to connect about both your needs. Talking about it doesn’t guarantee that you will like the resolution, but not talking about it guarantees continued unhappiness. Read on for more.
When something happens that we don't like no amount of resentment nor magical thinking will make it disappear. Instead, we can mourn to dissolve our own resistance, resentment, and numbness of resignation. Mourning can allow us to feel pain with acceptance, and without needing to be okay with what happened. Acceptance can bring us to a place where even all the anguish in the world is fully, part of life.
When someone expresses upset about our actions, and we focus on our intention being seen and understood (e.g. "I didn’t mean to hurt you”) it doesn't support the speaker in being heard more deeply with care. Here we'll explore this dynamic in a way that supports more clarity and the possibility of greater personal liberation. Read on for more.
Trainer tip: Comparisons are a form of judgment. The minute we compare ourselves to other people, we are setting ourselves up for pain and discouragement. We are setting them up too, and erecting a barrier between ourselves and them. Instead, notice how you feel about other people’s assets or foibles, and what needs come up for you. Read on for more.