IntentionNVC Library

In the Spotlight: Grief, Mourning & Loss


Without the capacity to mourn, we distance ourselves from our personal losses. From loss of relationships, of important people from our lives and our world. From loss of our dreams. From loss of our physical abilities and capacities. From loss of places that meant something dear to us. We cannot distance ourselves from loss without separating from life itself.
—Kristin Masters

Need a little help unearthing feelings or issues that have gotten tangled up with grief or loss? Check out Kristin Masters' gentle, healing telecourse, Dealing with Loss: Coming Back to Life. Her tender words may help you work through what is blocking your grief. All may listen to and enjoy the first session of this course. Listen just below...

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.

NVC Library Resources with LaShelle Lowe-Chardé

In times of stress, some part of you may still hold the belief that you can't be present for the stressor and survive. Some part of you may believe you have to go away. There are three things you can consider when attempting to intervene with the reactive pattern of shutting down: how you relate to the shutting down, access to self-confidence, and engagement. Read on for more.
Worthlessness and shame are linked to the idea of not belonging or being unworthy of belonging -- that is, a deep sense of belonging to life, to your sense of self, and to our earth. Compensatory strategies to win worthiness and belonging arise from here and effectively block the very thing it is pursuing. Transformation occurs when there is a critical mass of clarity about the harm of a particular way of thinking and behaving.
When someone responds with painful sarcasm, criticism, or dismissal you can respond with empathy, or with clarity about your intention, need and request. If you're unable to do this, later you can privately write what they said, identify the feelings and needs of both of you, then write possible responses. This can help you remember to stay with your intention and what’s true for you without getting caught in defensiveness or reactivity.
Interrupt cycles of conflict by creating a new ways forward. You can do this by connecting with the energy of the met needs you want in the dynamic; guessing the other person's needs; naming your needs; asking essential questions; identifying at least three different strategies to meet each need; and imagining the positive outcome.
When asking for respect it helps to first get clear about your interpretations of other's behavior. You can do this by asking about the other's intentions before believing your thoughts. You can also make a clear request for what specifically you want to see happen instead. Read on for more.
The pandemic asks us to examine the way we have always done things. It asks to try something new and notice what happens. This is an opportunity to ask why you have done holidays in a certain way and what needs it met to do it that way. Perhaps it is an opportunity to experiment and see what new things might arise. Read on for questions to ask yourself that might help you process your triggers, "should's", feelings, needs and dilemmas.
As you witness injustices in the world, tension, anger, hopelessness, despair and more, may rise up in you. These feelings may lead to reactive thinking that doesn't contribute to healing nor wise action. Mourning is a universal need. If your culture pushed away grief and its emotional expression, you may have habits that block your access to the aliveness of grief. Read on for ways to give grief the space and support it needs.
There are many layers of consciousness, knowledge, and skill that contribute to a successful negotiation. A successful negotiation is one where honor and connection lead to a way forward, and leads to a plan of action that considers and meets everyone's needs in that situation. Read on for three fundamental principles that help with successful needs-based negotiation.
Reacting is deciding what to do based on what someone else does. Responding is deciding what to do based on your own needs and values. When someone isn't responding the way you want, and you want to respond in a way that embodies your values, with warmth and patience, examine your reactions. Ask yourself how you can access compassion and action that contributes to the well-being of all.
When we're judging we're less able to access both what we care about and constructive next actions. Instead, create more internal space and agency starting with connecting to your feelings and needs; then feel your grief or disappointment; followed by getting curious about the other party's needs and context -- and then based on collective needs and the long term effects make requests or take aligned action that works for all.
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