I see often see postings saying “Don’t give advice” or “People don’t want to hear your advice”. Why is this?

When someone is triggered or mourning an event, they often need “to be heard”. They have not asked for advice, they have not asked you to tell them about your experiences, they just want “to matter, to be seen and to be heard”.

If you are listening to fix someone, you are meeting your own need “to matter and to contribute”. You are likely not really listening. A part of you is figuring out how to help them or how to fix the problem. They don’t want that. This might seem really frustrating to you as you are up in your head judging the situation and figuring out how to solve it. This is why I say you are not listening from the heart to how they feel and to their need.

I think so many of us have been brought up believing fixing the problem is a way to connect to others and be compassionate. Giving advice is OK as long as you clarify, “Would you like my advice?” By this question, you are offering the person the opportunity to choose. There is nothing wrong with giving advice if it is requested, it is just not useful for the person who wants “to be heard” and have justification that “they matter”.

In Nonviolent Communications we accompany the person in a state of presence, listening for their feelings and needs with a heart to heart connection. We call this NVC Empathy.

Note-   I italicized the universal needs in this blog so that they stand out

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.

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