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EmpathyIn the Spotlight: Empathy


"Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing."
– Marshall Rosenberg, PhD

"I cannot say it enough. Most of us rarely feel truly heard and understood. Empathy, the simple act of hearing someone and focusing your attention on them, can be incredibly healing. Try to listen for the feelings and needs behind someone’s words. This isn’t always easy, but the results are remarkable."
– Mary Mackenzie

"With empathy we don't direct, we follow. Don't just do something, be there."
– Marshall Rosenberg, PhD 

During September, Empathy Hacking: The Art and Science of Empathy Guessing  with Dian Killian is freely available for all to listen to and enjoy. See just below.

Understanding and Transforming Anger

Article  • 6 - 9 minutes • 01/2021
Beginner Skill Level
Article
6 - 9 minutes

Anger can alert us that a need may be threatened. When anger lives in someone as a well-worn habit, it arises from a place of dissociation from one’s heart and is entangled with misinterpretations, a deep sense of threat, a history of pain, and social conditioning that isn’t life-serving. Read on for how intention, mindfulness, and specific actions can change that habit.


Express Anger with Responsibility

Article  • 3 - 5 minutes • 9/2019
Beginner Skill Level
Article
3 - 5 minutes

Anger can bring in judgment and blame. Instead, use anger and frustration to identify what’s important and express what matters to you in a collaborative way.


How to Meet Hurt and Pain From the Past

Article  • 2 - 4 minutes • 6/2019
Beginner Skill Level
Article
2 - 4 minutes

Past hurt and pain can get triggered even when it doesn't have much to do with the present. When that happens we can gain perspective by self reflecting, engaging self empathy, grounding an "anchor", noticing the present-moment safety, naming needs and making requests.


The Mobilizing Power of Anger

Article  • 3-5 minutes • 06/2020
All Skill Levels
Article
3-5 minutes

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.


Anger’s Two Kinds of Reactivity

Article  • 6 - 9 minutes • 10/2015
Intermediate Skill Level
Article
6 - 9 minutes

There's reactive anger - the sudden outbursts of words, temper or action that create a nervous system response in another. And then there's the anger that's a reaction to someone's anger -- a nervous system startle-response. Instead of either of these, we can learn to heal with empathy, look for unequal power dynamics, take responsibility to make repairs, and shift into the clean, life-serving, fully expressed anger and love.


Responding to Anger

Article  • 5-8 minutes • 05/2018
Beginner Skill Level
Article
5-8 minutes

When someone wants to speak angrily about another, do you want to move away, try to calm them, argue, set a boundary, or offer empathy? What supports you to stay self connected? You can set boundaries regarding listening so that you're less likely to defend the other party, or attempt to talk your friend down from their judgments, thereby escalating the situation. Disagreements can also ignite curiosity and celebration. Read on for more.


Anatomy of a Trigger: Change Your Focus and Improve the Outcome

Article  • 7-10 minutes • 10/2017
Beginner Skill Level
Article
7-10 minutes

When you or anyone is upset, what could underneath the trigger?  There may be more than is immediately visible.  This article invites us to explore what it looks like to inquire deeper, take self-responsibility, examine our assumptions, attachments, interpretations, and "certainties" that could be hidden behind the needs that are aching to be attended to...


Grief and Mourning for the World

Article  • 5-7 minutes • 10/2020
Beginner Skill Level
Article
5-7 minutes

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.


Angry and Taken Advantage of

Article  • 4-6 minutes • 6/2018
Intermediate Skill Level
Article
4-6 minutes

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.


Nonviolence in the Face of Hatred

Article  • 14 - 21 minutes • 11/2017
Intermediate Skill Level
Article
14 - 21 minutes

When Anita's sister reveals that the Ku Klux Klan broke into her home and dragged her out into a field towards a burning cross, Anita's commitment to nonviolence is challenged. Here, Miki highlights practices and lessons from her story of inner struggle -- including an insight about how, even in extreme polarization, our freedom and healing is wrapped up in others' freedom and healing.


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