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Some Ideas for Using the Feelings & Needs Cards

Practice Exercise •  4 - 6 minutes • 
Beginner Skill Level
Practice Exercise
4 - 6 minutes

This guide features three activities that use feelings and needs cards: two verions of "Feelings and Needs Poker" and one for "Self-Empathy". Great for practicing alone, with a partner, or in a group.


Observing: Practicing the distinction between "observation" and "observation mixed with evaluation"

Practice Exercise •  1 - 2 minutes • 
Beginner Skill Level
Practice Exercise
1 - 2 minutes

Recalling Krishnamurti, Marshall referred to the capability of distinguishing observation vs observation mixed with evaluation as "the highest form of human intelligence." Read on for an exercise to help practice the skill of observation in combination with mindful walking.


Crafting Connection Requests

Practice Exercise •  2 - 3 minutes • 
Intermediate Skill Level
Practice Exercise
2 - 3 minutes

Try this four step exercise for making connection requests to support understanding, and to learn what effect your words had on the listener. In this exercise you'll choose a situation where you have clarity about what outcome will really work for you (your solution request), but where you imagine your desired outcome may not work for the other person, and/or are not sure there is sufficient connection for mutual trust.


Engagement And Happiness

Practice Exercise •  4 - 6 minutes • 
Intermediate Skill Level
Practice Exercise
4 - 6 minutes

When we are completely involved in an activity for its own sake we are in engagement. Here, the ego falls away and time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one. Our whole being is involved, and we're using our skills to the utmost. Read on for activities that could stimulate engagement, a list of subjectively experienced elements of engagement and a list of what supports engagement.


Somatic-Based Empathy

Practice Exercise •  1-2 minutes • 
Beginner Skill Level
Practice Exercise
1-2 minutes

Use this interactive empathy exercise to track the relationship and shifting of body sensations, feelings and needs as you note them out loud.


Getting Past the Parenting "Shoulds": Compassionate Parenting Starts With Self-Acceptance

Practice Exercise •  3 - 5 minutes • 
Beginner Skill Level
Practice Exercise
3 - 5 minutes

Without self-acceptance any attempt at growth and transformation, even while parenting, can easily become a path to self-judgments and another yardstick against which to measure ourselves as falling short. Instead, we can practice 1 minute a day or more, or while doing other tasks, to develop the self-compassion and self-acceptance needed to grow both new habits and our capacity to meet our children with calm and compassion.


Working With Anger: An Exercise

Practice Exercise •  2 -3 minutes • 
Beginner Skill Level
Practice Exercise
2 -3 minutes

Fully connecting to the deeper need under the anger can transform and release the anger, without requiring the other person to do anything differently. From there, you can reach an understanding of the other person's experience, feelings and needs underlying the actions that stimulated your anger to re-establish connection with your own and the other person's humanity.


Time And Money: Reflection Questions and Exercise

Practice Exercise •  4 - 6 minutes • 
Intermediate Skill Level
Practice Exercise
4 - 6 minutes

Use these reflection questions and exercise to practice moving from a place of scarcity to empowerment and conscious choice regarding money and time. The exercise will ask you to identify your thoughts, feelings, and needs. And it will ask you to identify both what to mourn and what next actions you want to take. It includes a feelings and needs sheet.


Reactions To Conflict Exercises

Practice Exercise •  1 - 2 minutes • 
Beginner Skill Level
Practice Exercise
1 - 2 minutes

With these exercises you can practice identifying the reactions to conflict, such as fight, flight, freeze, the posture taken, what you see, hear, smell, touch taste and what needs are at play. They will also bring in curiosity about what next step may help. One of these exercises prompts you to journal some of these things this week.


Understanding The Difference Between Life-Serving Boundaries And Threats

Practice Exercise •  4 - 6 minutes • 
Intermediate Skill Level
Practice Exercise
4 - 6 minutes

When someone's behavior costs us, we may attempt to negotiate as much as possible. After some rounds of this, if there's no change we may reach a tolerance limit. So we may set a boundary for self care and clarity about what's unworkable. But depending on intentions and the way its said, this may or may not be a punishment to get even. Here, clarity about intentions, feelings, needs, actions and dialogue may support us.


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