We often picture love as romantic dinners, tender encounters, surprises, thoughtful gestures, helpfulness, and support. Admittedly these are the best parts. And yet, for me, loving is much, much more. It is also a radical commitment to take on all the obstacles—the fights, the anger, and the hurt; the stress, life’s uncertainties, and even our own insecurities in order to know something so sweet, so healing, so life-giving that our own lives would be incomplete without it. …Read More
Be Careful What You Hear During the Holidays
by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
reprinted with permission from Puddle Dancer Press
The holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Family gatherings, busy schedules, entertaining, and the bustle and pressure of expectations around gift giving. In this training excerpt, world-renowned peacemaker and author, Marshall Rosenberg, gives frank advice to keep our compassion alive by shifting our thinking.
If you want to enjoy your life, particularly during high stress situations, I would strongly recommend you never hear what another person thinks. …Read More
I recently was reading an email from Puddle Dancer Press letting me know that they have put Marshall’s book, “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” on sale. As I scrolled through the message I found a very helpful description of this work.
If you have ever had a hard time explaining NVC to others or wanted to encourage others to check it out, you might find this description very helpful too. After being involved for as long as I have been I also found it to be profoundly accurate. …Read More
I was with a friend recently and he was very upset. He had been working out of town away from his partner for months, and she had not answered his phone calls/texts for a week and a half. Before this break in communication, she had been with a group of their friends, and she’d mentioned a new guy in the group.
Being alone and away from home, my friend had plenty of time to gnaw on the situation over the last week and a half. “She said she’s busy, but who is that busy?”…Read More
Are you familiar with the Metta or Loving Kindness Meditation? The Metta is a heartfelt wish for our own well-being and the well-being of others. It is said in ever-widening circles. We start first by saying it for ourselves. This is my version:
May I be filled with kindness for my heart.
May I be well in body and mind, and safe from inner and outer danger.
May I be happy, peaceful, and free.
Hi from New Mexico!!
Although we flew in, Mike and I have been driving a bit. As we go from here to there I’ve been noticing how there has been a major shift in me—a shift from needing things to be just so, and a practiced willingness to see things as they are. …Read More
Although it certainly is helpful when the person I am communicating with has some Compassionate (Nonviolent) Communication skills, I find that I can usually connect with someone by what I call “translating” what they are saying to Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Translating means I guess their feelings and needs. If my guess isn’t accurate, the person will let me know, and then I can connect with whatever feelings and needs they are experiencing. …Read More
I would like to share a poem with you. It’s called “Peace is This Moment Without Judgment,” by Dorothy Hunt.
Do you think peace requires an end to war?
Or tigers eating only vegetables?
Does peace require an absence from
your boss, your spouse, yourself? …
Welcome to the New Year! For some of us, getting to January 1st brings a sigh of relief—the holidays are over and things can get back to normal. For others, it’s the New Year itself that might feel groundless: “Where am I going? What am I doing?” Of course, there are those who embrace it all without distress. However, if you are one of those who struggles with this time of year, I’d like to share an NVC practice that I think might be helpful.Read More
"I had a wonderful day at the prison." Those are my words almost every time I come home after volunteering at the Deer Ridge Correctional Institution (DRCI) in Madras. I get to see people light up with hope as they learn new skills, make a positive difference, and connect with themselves and others in a more compassionate/ nonviolent way.
Those of you who donate to the Center for Compassionate Living make the classes and the practice group possible, and your donations also support Pro-Social Communication Workgroup (PSCWG) projects. …
I'm honored to teach Communicating for Life classes at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution (DRCI) and have needs met for connection, learning, contribution, fun, and more during each class. Your donation makes these classes possible, so once in a while we highlight a few of the men’s appreciations to you, for the difference you make in their lives! …Read More
We know from Dr. Rosenberg’s work that conflict arises because there are unmet needs on the table. When conflict happens to me I instantly feel the physiological pinch of the painful negative emotions linked to these unmet needs. I do NOT like this experience. I’m pretty sure no one likes it. Both my psychological and physiological impulse is to make these feelings stop NOW.Read More
One of the men at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution talked about how he was frustrated—and kind of angry—about his knee. It hurt and it was making it difficult to do his job. He said his body used to just be there for him and now that he was older, it was not supporting him as it did when he was younger. I asked him if he had some sadness about his body losing some of its strength and resilience. “Yes!” he said…Read More
Bryn and I had an interesting talk recently about how it’s quite possible to experience negative feelings and unmet needs simply because our thinking includes assumptions, stereotypes, or expectations. Here’s my example. I recently learned that a well-known musician (whose songs I love) divorced his wife after 37 years of marriage, seemingly to date another woman. I was surprised and sad to hear this, and because I care about both of them, I wanted them to have the continued closeness that comes from being in a lifelong relationship. And, I was also angry.Read More
The weather is sunny and warm with a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. Do I ask myself if the weather should be different? Or is the weather just the weather?
A personal weather report might sound like…Read More
It’s apparently part of our human wiring to have a strong focus on what isn’t working, and comparatively a rather weak focus on what is going well. However, it turns out that we can change this through the practice of noticing and savoring the good stuff—those moments when needs are met. Using this practice, we become aware of the wonderful feelings that arise at those moments, and this creates a delightful loop of noticing and enjoying them more often. Even more wonderful, drinking in these good moments feeds the heart, mind, and spirit by filling up our often-depleted energy reserves.
Here are some practices you can try that support growing an awareness of needs met.Read More
Recently I was asked, “How do I offer myself compassion?” Before attempting an answer, I want to acknowledge that there can be big obstacles to offering ourselves compassion. Of these, we can include the fact that our negative emotions themselves are very good at capturing our attention—so much so that it may take hours or even days to notice the fact that we’ve been suffering.Read More
At a recent practice group, the metaphor of a tennis court came up during an exploration of someone’s feelings and needs about a particular relationship. We drew a picture of a tennis court on our white board and used it to get clarity about which side of the court is ours to play in a relationship. …Read More