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Self Care: Courage in the Midst of Life

Dear friend,

I have been taking time to read books lately, which is a kind of luxury I sometimes neglect despite how nurturing reading can be for me. In a moment of extreme stress and tension, I picked up two books that are reminding me of courage, self-care, authenticity, how even flawed we are lovable and FUN. They have both had an immediate impact on me, and that is what I would like to share with you.

The first book is Brené Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection. This is one of her older books. I have only made it to page 15 because there is so much that I am contemplating already! Specifically, Brené's book is supporting me in the midst of COVID-19 and all the uncertainty that I (many of us!) are carrying, and it is reminding me of the true importance of engaging in a robust Self-Empathy practice. Here's what Brené says:

"I now see that owning our story and loving ourselves… is the bravest thing we will ever do." (pg 14)

I could not agree more! Actually, taking time to notice the judgments and resentments about ourselves and others that are running through our heads and the discomfort, hurt, anger, or fear we may be feeling takes courage. It takes courage to shed light on our inner darkness.

And with that courage comes healing.

Brené Brown further says, "Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable." (pg 6)

I know this first hand because I spent most of my life fiercely protecting myself at all cost. I am not ashamed of this as much as I am sad about it. I clung tightly to safety as the most absolute and only important thing – even when my life was no longer in danger. And with that singular focus, I was utterly and completely lonely to the bone.

My daily Self-Empathy practice revealed to me how tightly I held onto safety at the exclusion of other needs. At some point, I was able to let in that I also valued love and connection and intimacy and fun and so many other precious needs. I moved into mourning that I had spent my life thinking either I experienced safety OR fun, intimacy, love, nurturing and so many other needs.

I no longer wanted to make the either/or choices I had strapped to my life: I wanted to experience all my needs. That was when I began the process of living in the possibility that I could live a full life that included safety, love, nurturing, intimacy, and so much more.

And then joy became a regular part of my days as my life became richer, more peaceful, and more fulfilling.

Brené Brown again: "Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light." (pg 6)

I found developing a daily Self-Empathy practice to be a very powerful way of experiencing this kind of transformation. If you would like to deepen your Self-Empathy practice or begin one, consider taking my online Self-Empathy course that begins September 17.

The second book I am reading is a novel that has made me laugh out loud several times and also bring me to tears. It is both delightful and heart wrenching! Her words remind me that we are all quirky in our own way. We all do things we regret. We all are flawed. We all have less to offer others when we are in stress or challenge. And we are all lovable, no matter what. The book is Pizza Girl and it is the author, Jean Kyoung Frazier's debut book. It is especially touching to me that Ms. Frazier seems to be in her twenties!

This book is also reminding me that humor and heartfulness fit together like water and sand, peanut butter and jelly; both are necessary components for thriving!

Wishing you joy…

Mary Mackenzie
CNVC Certified Trainer and Co-founder, NVC Academy

p.s. You may now also read these monthly letters on my blog!

end of this section Monthly Gift. Jackal vs Needs. Mary Mackenzie. Excerpted from 2017 Telethon. When asked to talk about Self-Empathy to a professional group with no NVC background, Mary devised a quick and easy new practice: Jackal vs Needs. It takes the basics of NVC and turns them into delightfully clear and straightforward questions! Check it Out. Like what you heard? Ready for more growth? Maybe it is time to dive into a deeply transformative exploration of Self-Empathy! Check out Mary's upcoming course,
Self-Empathy: Healing from the Inside Out, which begins September 17th.
end of this section COur 7th Annual Celebration. NVCfest. NVC Academy. November 20 to 22. Three days, thirty plus sessions full of connection, community, learning, and fun. end of this section Enjoy a weekly boost of NVC! NVC Reflections with Mary Mackenzie. Now you can receive thought-provoking, weekly excerpts from Peaceful Living, Mary's daily meditation book for living NVC – consciously. Sign Up. end of this section Courses and Events Beginning in September. All times listed are Pacific (California) times. The objective of NVC is not to change people and their behavior in order to get our way; it is to establish relationships based on honesty and empathy which will eventually fulfill everyones needs. –Marshall Rosenberg

Self-Empathy: Healing from the Inside Out
Mary Mackenzie
Thursdays, September 17 – October 22 • 12:00 - 2:00pm PDT

Ongoing Courses
Connection Based Parenting
Ian Peatey and Monica Reu
Registration open: register any time! • SELF PACED COURSE

The "Let's Work Collaboratively" Coaching Program
Dian Killian
Wednesdays, through December 16 • 9:00 - 10:30am PDT / PST

Responding to the Call of Our Times: A Leadership Coaching Program
Miki Kashtan
Fridays, through December 11th • 12:00 - 2:00pm PDT / PST

Taste of Compassionate Leadership:
Monthly Video Conference ~ FREE:

Jim Manske, Jori Manske, and Guest Trainers
Meets the 4th Saturday of most months • 4:00 - 6:00pm PST

end of this section NVC Multimedia Library. The worlds largest online NVC training library. In the Spotlight: Conflict Resolution. Coping with conflict? Check out the first session of Jim and Jori Manskes program, The Heart of Conflict. In this session they share connection exercises, tips on mediation, a conflict observation demonstration, and more. This complimentary resource is available to all, even those who are not Library members. Listen. Courses and articles are added every month! This month you could learn about the Mobilizing Power of Angerby trainer name? Or, perhaps Lonely Together or Mourning Our Way to Acceptance by trainer name would interest you more. Whatever you are seeking, you will find articles and more right here. You must be a Library member to access these materials.  See Whats New

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