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What Are You Choosing to Bring Into the New Year?

Dear friend,

Welcome to 2021! I'm celebrating the possibilities of this New Year and I hope you are too. Just this afternoon, I led a group of NVC enthusiasts from around the world in a 20-minute meditation to welcome in peace and healing to all living beings. It was utterly soothing to me.

Please feel free to take 20-minutes and listen to it now.

Tensions have been high in my life, and I know I am not alone. I feel a kind of rawness inside, and a longing to replenish my emotional and spiritual tank, so I have added one more new thing to my daily spiritual practice: 30-minutes of Yoga before my morning sit. I'm somewhat amused by how something so physically challenging for me has become part of my spiritual practice – and yet my internal call to keep it up is strong…

And, I have deep trust in my internal call.

I know peace is not possible if I do not hold peace in my own heart. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, "We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves." And so I am committed to focusing on filling up my emotional and spiritual tank, knowing that it is my contribution to myself, my loved ones, and anyone I come in contact with.

This is me taking responsibility for my contribution to the world.

It comes with a reminder in my head which asks over and over:

Mary, do you want to contribute more anger, resentment, and disconnectedness to the world, or do you want to contribute more connection, peace, and compassion?

It is a moment-by-moment choice.

Sometimes I meet the moment in ways I am satisfied with… and others – not so much. Just last week, after 50 minutes of Yoga and a 30 minute sit, I was in my car at an intersection and I nearly flipped off someone on the street who was using a megaphone to loudly speak to a young man who was wearing a mask while crossing the street. I heard him say: :

"Take off your mask. Be a man. Don't believe the lies!"

It is so easy to place blame on others and to see their actions as wrong, isn't it? The so-called bad person changes depending on one's perspective.

Yet, I so firmly believe that all actions and words are in service to needs. The man with the megaphone was possibly wanting choice, freedom, shared reality, and respect.  The young man wearing the mask was possibly wanting respect, safety, choice, and care. My needs were for care, respect, safety, and shared reality.

Each of us chose behaviors in support of needs. Sometimes, like my own desire to flip off the man with a megaphone, our actions become tragic expressions of unmet needs. Tragic because it is entirely unlikely I could meet my needs for care, respect, safety, and shared reality if I flip someone off!Can I still have compassion and love for myself, even when I respond out of integrity with myself? Even if I had flipped off the man with a megaphone? Even when I am so raw inside?

Yes,  because I know that if I don't show compassion for myself, it will be one more way that I am contributing greater dis-ease and dis-connection to our world.

My mantra for 2021 is this: I am for compassion. It means compassion for myself and compassion for others. It is a practice, not an end point. It is about taking full responsibility for the ways I contribute either peace or divisiveness in my world. And it is most certainly about humbly embracing my humanness.

I am for compassion. What will you be for this coming year? Whatever it is, may you experience many moments of joy and peace throughout 2021.

With an open and humble heart,

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. ""Do I Stay or Do I Go?." Miki Kashtan ~ Responding to the Call of Our Times: 2020 NVCfest. Hear Miki work with a participant looking for environmental sustainability within an existing system. Miki offers guidance around creating bridges
for applying NVC principles instead of techniques when engaging with groups or organizations. Check It Out Are you striving to work for change from within an existing system? Change it up! Check out Miki's 2021 course, Responding to the Call of Our Times, which begins February 5th at 12:00pm Pacific (California) Time. The first session is FREE!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 Beginning this January. All times listed are Pacific (California) times. "What I want in my life is compassion, a flow between myself and others based on a mutual giving from the heart." —Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD

New Year's Peace Meditation: FREE
Mary Mackenzie
January 1  •  3:00 - 3:20pm PST
Our annual peace meditation has been translated into Spanish!
You can listen to the Meditation Recording Now!

Radical Self-Compassion
Arnina Kashtan, Sarah Peyton, and Mary Mackenzie
Meets one Wednesday per month
January 20, 2021 - January 12, 2022  •  7:00 - 9:00pm PST

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

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 / PDT

NVC Multimedia Library. The world’s largest online NVC training library. In the Spotlight: In the Spotlight: Loving Yourself. Kathleen Macferran's "What Would Be Possible If I Loved Myself?" is a great way to begin a new year. Regain your self-worth, experience greater freedom of expression, learn to truly celebrate who you are, and more. The first session is available to all, even those who are not Library members. Listen. What's New? "Your Resonant Self: Transforming the Critical Inner Voice."
Sarah Peyton can help you learn and develop skills for emotional self-care and resilience, and help you discover that your brain DOES make sense. You must be a Library member to access this resource. Listen.

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