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.
Have you ever gotten a fishing line all tangled up? You got so frustrated you just started yanking on the different loops of line, which of course made the knots and tangles even tighter and more difficult to untangle. Wouldn’t it be great if you could notice the minute you were starting to tangle things up in a discussion with your loved one?
Praise may disconnect us from our own confidence, intrinsic motivation, or discernment. It may lead to perfectionism, people pleasing, codependency, a tendency to criticize others or fix others, and more. Instead, without evaluative words we can sincerely share what we specifically liked about what they did, and what needs were met for us.
Join CNVC Certified Trainer Mary Mackenzie to learn a few of her tried-and-true simple Self-Empathy techniques, especially focused on the challenges of the holiday season.
If you dread family gatherings because of family tensions, you can find ways to excavate through piles of hardened judgments and hopelessness, build on your inner strength, and engage with family conflicts with open-hearted curiosity, greater presence, and connecting with what really matters to everyone.
Jori and Jim Manske offer a process they call "The Zero Step," encompassing the characteristics of warmth toward self and other, care for the vitality of both yourself and other(s), wonder/interest, vulnerability and empathy, which leads directly to connection requests and an openness to outcome.