LaShelle Lowe-Chardé

LaShelle Lowe-Chardé

My name is LaShelle Lowe-Chardé. I am passionate about helping people express their deepest values in their relationships and creating clarity and connection with self and others. This passion started with my family of origin. It was as rich with love as it was with loud arguments, explosions of anger, fear, and chaos. Growing up with a heart full of love and a mind wrought with confusion, I was highly motivated to find clarity and create the life of beauty and joy I knew was possible. Ever since I can remember I have devoted myself to this search for clarity. At age six I had a vision of living in a monastery. At age eleven I started reading books on the life of the Buddha, the New Testament, the teachings of Don Juan, quantum physics, and whatever else I could find. This quest continued through adolescence and young adulthood and led to a bachelors and a masters degree in psychology. I then began work in public schools as a school psychologist.  In addition to nine years in public schools, I spent several years facilitating group healing work for adolescent youth labeled at-risk. During that same time I led leadership and teamwork trainings for businesses and organizations around Portland.

Along the way I found Compassionate/Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and began training with Marshall Rosenberg and other internationally known NVC trainers. I immediately knew that Compassionate Communication was the missing piece. It offers a deep and broad yet simple understanding of human nature along with a concrete set of tools to help us act and live from a place of clarity and compassion. For me Compassionate Communication is the hands and feet of spirituality.  In 2006, I was certified as a NVC trainer.  In 2002 I realized that my work in the schools and with youth had reached its end.  I left my position as school psychologist and spent a year living in Great Vow Zen Monestary.  Here I was able to do much healing work and deeply integrate NVC into my internal dialogue.  Now the inner voice of compassion arises as habitually as the old voices and of self-criticism and judgment did in the past. 

Beginning the next chapter of my professional life after my time in the monestary, I reconnected with my long time passion for working with couples.  In my work with couples I saw that another dimension of that work that I enjoyed, was supporting individuals in cultivating a compassionate relationship with self.  Relating compassionately to oneself and others in a personal relationship is now the focus of my work. I offer this work in local workshops and class series, on-line courses, and through national and international travel. As much as I love to offer trainings, I also love to be a student in them.  In addition to certification in Nonviolent Communication, I completed a three year training in Hakomi - Body Centered Therapy and introductory trainings in Emotionally Focused Therapy and with the Gottman Institute. I currently live and work in Portland, Oregon.  I feel continually blessed to be living in the great northwest where the lushness of nature is all around.  I am happily supported here by my partner and loving community of friends and collegues.

If you're unpleasantly triggered during the holidays you may find yourself responding in ways you don't like. Start by acknowledging how affected you are to bring in more curiosity, mindfulness and eventually, authentic and discerning choices.
Some arguments stay stuck because each person thinks it's about the content of the argument, rather than the needs each person is attempting to protect. When the needs get attached to the strategies a "no way out" scenario gets created. Instead, fully step into one another's worlds and connect to the feelings and needs behind the strategy each party is putting forth. Read on for six elements to creating empathic connection.
Shared vulnerability can build more intimacy, mutuality, being seen and heard, empathy, or community. Inviting shared vulnerability means earning another’s trust that you can consistently offer attentive, curious, and compassionate listening. Here are four strategies to invite shared vulnerability.
Misunderstandings can be painful. We can easily avoid this by checking what the other person understood from what we said, and ask the other person to do the same. Doing this is especially important when it comes to planning, shared decision-making, and when emotions are strong. Also, the more someone knows you, the more they think they already know what you mean -- which can get in the way of really hearing you. Here are a variety of ways to approach this simple strategy.
Effective and connected dialogue requires significant self-awareness, mindfulness, and skill. You can focus on any of these six areas that most often escape your awareness: anchoring and staying grounded; boundaries; thoughts and beliefs; stuckness or attachment; feelings and needs; and requests. Read on for a list of questions to help you focus on how to do that.
Finding your power in seemingly powerless situations doesn't mean denying what happened, your feelings, your needs, nor the behavior of others that didn't meet needs. It does mean reexamining those situations with the intention to compassionately look for your contribution and for clues to your hidden perceptual biases. Read on to learn about about finding these clues, and more.
For each reactive pattern there is a perceived threat to a tender need. Knowing these tender needs helps us figure out how to interrupt these patterns and creating new ways of perceiving and relating to life. In addition to knowing the need, knowing the healing response and the primary reactive behavior helps with transformation.
If you're stuck when making a decision with someone, it's likely that you've skipped hearing and connecting to one another's needs. Slow down and listen for what's really important underneath the content. This allows you to make decisions that are more fulfilling and harmonious.
In general, criticism is a reactive response discomfort. When someone criticizes, they are not yet able or willing take responsibility for their needs. All criticism is a tragic expression of feelings and unmet needs. When you meet that criticism skillfully you not only care for yourself, you can facilitate clarity, and constructive communication, about what the other person is truly asking for.
For this practice assume that reactivity is arising any time you are distracted and not enjoying something. Practice throughout the day by focusing for a few moments on something specific that you find pleasing. Notice the sensation of joy or pleasure in your body, and hold attention there longer than usual. This interrupts tension and contraction. Keep remembering to do this. When you go too long without directing your attention in this way, the practice becomes less accessible.
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Connection Central: Nonviolent Communication Articles (NVC)
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