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.

We all have out own aesthetic as far as beauty is concerned (what we consider beautiful, pleasing to the eye, well balanced etc). However none of us can argue about the beauty we see in nature. And for this reason walking in a forest, climbing a mountain, walking by the sea shore or just sitting in a garden surrounded by trees and flowers enables us to appreciate nature. We can feel touched by the power of nature. It provides a gentle, healing to our restless soul. It unites us in a purpose and we see we are all connected. It uplifts a heavy heart. Within the stillness of nature lies a power to heal and to renew faith in the world and in humankind.

So today spend a few moments of silence connecting to nature in some way. I can assure you that it will lift your spirits. It does mine.

matan sunset
Why did Marshall Rosenberg call it “Nonviolent Communication” ?

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4 tulips

 

When I think of my intentions for 2019 so many things come flooding into my head. I am overwhelmed and I try to order all these ideas by dividing them into need categories, thinking that this might cut down on the number. For example, the need for connection with others and with yourself, physical self-care, learning, adventure, accomplishment, ease, fun and discovery. I looked at the list and said to myself, wow so much I want to do and experience in 2019, how will I manage it all?

So then I tried to list ways to cut down on things I did not want to prioritize. This was not easy as I found I had only a couple of things I was willing to ditch and even then I really wanted to continue with volunteering for this group or that group. And so I decided I would not take such a central role in the organizing of these events.

Time, this is the big obstacle in life, How do we spend our time so we have a sense of true purpose, sincere contribution, real accomplishment, and job satisfaction? Pondering on this, I realized that my real need for 2019 was to be more present in the many and varied activities I participated in. To stay present to what the universe is offering me in the moment. To live it fully without regrets and to enjoy it all, even in the chaos and muddle around me, this is my intention for 2019.

Stay PRESENT!!!!

Live in the moment.

 

lake and mountain

Clarity- is it hard to impart in an email or electronically?

I have just read a note thanking a group of us for hosting a celebration. It was long and detailed. To be honest I stopped reading half way through and could not tell you what he wrote.

However, there were a couple of words that really resonated for me – ”thank you for the community, the support and the love” – this resonated but I thought the rest  was just padding. Was this just my interpretation or was there really a lot of bla bla?

What I am suggesting is that we are clear what we are thanking someone for, we can explain our feelings and why we are grateful for an action, saying what need it has met – support, appreciation, the opportunity to be heard, but don’t go on and on. In my opinion, it muddies the water and the gratitude gets lost in all the words. We get confused with the thoughts and their meaning. Look for clarity.

Keep it so simple   ….KISS that way the message will get through with clarity.

the gazebo

How do we hold our expectations? Do we hold them lightly or do we hold them close to our heart and expect great things of ourselves and others?

I am going to suggest that holding them lightly is a way to ensure more happiness, ease and pleasure. This is because if we expect too much of ourselves or of others we can be disappointed and let down by the results. We ourselves tend to feel deflated, sad, annoyed, frustrated and this energy can be transmitted to the others. If we have high expectations of someone else- a family member, a child, a friend they will feel the negative vibrations if they fail to meet our need in some way.

We don’t know what will happen and we don’t always know why things happen the way they do. So lets enjoy the unexpected and celebrate it. Bask in the wonder of our universe, the day to day joys connection with others bring and be present to take in the full experience.

 

the dock on the pond VermontI am noticing that I am able to make very conscious choices as to how I behave in certain situations.

Yesterday I went to the dentists. Now if someone asked me what Hell would be for me I would say sitting in the dentist’s chair having my teeth cleaned. I find the experience violent and I use this strong word for a reason. To start with the way the hygienist suits up with mask over the lower half of their face, gloves, special goggles all ready to work on you. The instruments they use are drills and chisels. The drills have a high-pitched sound, which penetrates my head and grates on my nerves and the chisel scratches my teeth carving into them. The gel for freezing the gum tastes decidedly toxic, the television is turned to Dr Phil with subtitles dealing with child abuse and loud rock music plays in the background. All this is going on as the hygienist pokes around in my mouth jabbing, prodding, scraping, drilling and cleaning my teeth.

So I made a conscious choice (thanks partly to my recent meditation classes) I would go into my meditative state, close my eyes, breathe deeply and relax. And the amazing thing was that I was able to do this with all this violence going on around me. I willed myself not to react but instead to zone out and chill. The experience was not pleasant but I was able to keep calm and speak in a neutral tone to the hygienist when she said I needed more regular cleaning.

I made a choice to focus on my breath, soften my muscles and relax. It worked!!

 

 

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