What could be, more often than not, overlooked when we think about or represent NVC or Marshall Rosenberg's work? This article busts some commonly held ideas and approaches to NVC. It challenges us to widen the lens of what it really means to be "life-serving", or speaking and hearing the "language of life". And it also speaks to how thinking can deepen feeling and relatedness...
Our world is facing stressful times. And the more stress you experience, the less resourced you can become. But consider that you're not messed up, but rather, the challenges you bear is a response to manufactured environments and culture that are more hostile than they are kind towards our human souls and bodies. And so, let’s be clear. Let’s be discerning. Let’s be compassionate. Let’s pay attention.
What's my intention? What needs am I trying to meet? What do I want the other person to know or understand? How can I say it in a way they are most likely to hear? These are four questions we can use in preparation for an important conversation. Read on for more on this, plus four accompanying practices.
The less blame and criticism, the easier it is for others to hear us. From this perspective, it’s in our best interest to come from curiosity and care. This way differences can bring us together and help us know one another. The more mutual understanding, the easier it is to work together and find creative solutions. Read on for more on this, with a story about how a black man inspired 200 members of the KKK to leave the organization.
For this practice assume that reactivity is arising any time you are distracted and not enjoying something. Practice throughout the day by focusing your attention 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.
Conversation can become more satisfying with depth. Depth is occurs when connection unfolds towards a depth of intimacy, presence, attunement, sensing -- and silent attentive connection where another is attentively seen and heard. Inviting this level of sharing in conversation relies on at least three major elements: attentive silence, the desire to connect and be known, and focus on present moment experience. Learn more about this way of engaging.
An anchor awakens parts of you that can access a bigger perspective. Also, it can reduce your reactivity, increase conscious relating, and support self-compassion. An anchor helps you get a little bit bigger than the reactivity you are experiencing so that you can access a wiser discernment. It is simple, and can be done anytime and anywhere. Learn to direct your attention to develop your anchor in self-empathy.
When someone expresses upset about our actions, and we focus on our intention being seen and understood (e.g. "I didn’t mean to hurt you”) it doesn't support the speaker in being heard more deeply with care. Here we'll explore this dynamic in a way that supports more clarity and the possibility of greater personal liberation. Read on for more.
Given all that we are facing today as a society and a species, amongst some of the things we need is a well nourished heart. To nourish our hearts we need to discern where to wisely put our attention. Here are three practices to reclaim your attention, and replenish your reserves, so that you have the inner resources to do the work that is calling you. They are: train the mind, nourish the heart, and stay connected to purpose.
When someone's in immense pain and uses words that are hard to hear, see if you can bring in as much attention and compassion as you would to someone who was cut with a sword. Focusing on what's important to them, and not so much on how it was said. This may support greater understanding and healing. Otherwise, we risk prioritizing needs, norms, and inequities of the dominant culture, over caring for people who bear the invisible brunt of such norms.