One of the first sayings I heard Marshall Rosenberg say when I attended his nine day workshop in 2009 was ”What is alive in you “
When I first heard this question I was confused – my answer was something like:
“Well my heart is beating, I am breathing and my brain is working and I am hearing you”.
But as I became more familiar with NVC I realised that what Marshall meant was what are you feeling? I had never given any thought to this before. I guess I had never considered this before. I did not have a large vocabulary of feelings and was definitely not comfortable expressing them. I did not know how they impacted my being – what the physical manifestations were and I guess I was frightened of how I would respond. So I ignored them, pushed them down and told myself they don’t matter.
Becoming conscious of my feelings on a moment-to-moment basis has been quite a journey. Most of the time I am resting in a comfortable space, some of the time I am more alive and I am more playful. Asking myself what is alive in me regularly helps me check in and find out what is happening. I am becoming more mindful and aware of times when I am bored, afraid, sad or annoyed. I take a conscious note of my bodily sensations. I name what is happening and then name the feeling. In this way I am able to choose how to deal with a potentially tricky situation.
I am trying to live more from my feelings than from my thoughts and I am learning to discover what is alive in me.