Do the best you can

What if.....

The soul doesn’t separate, the ego does.

The soul doesn’t need security, the ego does.

Every form of religion could support the ego and focus on (a false sense) of security, through means of control, separation, and discrimination to the point of violence - which feeds fear and therefore more followers seeking its “comfort.”  I fear many religions do.

Every form of religion could support the soul and focus on understanding our ego’s desires and our soul’s desires.  They can teach us to listen to the soul, to seek the collective soul, to use our ego’s triggers as a way to uncover our longings to understand, love, and connect to the point of unity - which feeds compassion and therefore more followers seeking its “comfort.” I fear many religions don't.  

I'm sad that within

Read More

One Love, as if.

Every moment we respond.  Stay awake and respond with 'one love' as a guide to the decision-making until there is no perception of a dominant race, religion, gender, class, sexual orientation, or species.

One is one.

You can't divide, marginalize, or decide if this is THE reality.  You can only decide how you live in response to this notion.
Acting as if this is not true does not make it not true.  It only causes more suffering.

It is.
We are.
One Love.

What love and joy would come if we all live 'As if?'

breathing into the dream

I sometimes perceive that we live in a place that honors competition, scarcity, individuality, isolation, belonging and belief based in fear.
I dream of a global community of compassion, equality, love, unity, and spiritual expansion.

I am grateful for the communities, places, people, and moments where this dream is realized.

I hope to breathe the cosmic breath into the places I perceive are not there yet.

Grace in, peace out

2 people in love + 23 years of communication breakdown + 1 hour of communication training = peace and understanding

If I hadn't witnessed this myself, I'd say, sure, that's all it took?

In the past month, I have had the pleasure of working with a couple who were seeking some help in saving their marriage.  I offered to teach them a few communication skills based on

Nonviolent Communication (Compassionate Communication), the work of Marshall Rosenberg, PhD.

When they came to me, they told me that they've been married 23 years and that they love each other.  They were just so tired of arguing that they were ready to give up and move on.  I was happy to share what I know about NVC because I believe that understanding and accepting the basic principles went a long way to saving my marriage in 2008 and since.  In the years that followed my introduction to NVC, I have had hours and hours of training and hours of teaching it in a multi-week workshop with Bren Hardt, a certified trainer.  I currently participate in three practice groups.  I would have thought that change for newcomers to NVC might not happen until after several hours of training.  This couple proved me wrong.

On our first meeting, I described the basic principles of NVC:

We all have the same needs.

Everyone's needs matter equally.

We are all doing the best we can, with the strategies we know, to get these needs met.

Our conflicts arise from the strategies that we use (not from "who we are").

When we can find the needs behind the strategies we can connect and work together to find new strategies that are supportive of everyone's needs.

There are other principles, but I stopped there to let these sink in and see if they agreed with these statements.  Then I listened carefully to the strategies they use to communicate.  I was searching for what needs might be behind their most typical arguments.

I guessed that the needs to be heard and the need for safety were in conflict with the strategies each were employing.  I asked them individually if these were the needs behind their strategies and they shared an "aha" moment.  We sat quietly for a while, slowly unpacking the strategies and how each one had relied on that for years and how the physical appearance of these triggered the other.

I gave them a homework assignment to simply put the list of needs in prominent places in the house or to carry it around.  I asked them to notice their body sensations that alert them that something is triggering a feeling of an unmet need and ask them to get use to identifying that need.  I asked them to come up with a signal, even if they cannot verbally respond to each other, just to let the other know that they are being heard, they just might need time before responding.  Next we discussed the technique of reflective listening.  This is a practice that is best done when the person reflecting the other person is calm and genuinely wants to connect.

Here is a link to another post that describes how to do reflective listening.  

This has been very helpful in working with toddlers and teenagers too.  My guess is, anyone, that really values being heard and struggles to get that need met would benefit from the listener using this technique.

I was so inspired by the connection they had in hearing and accepting the basis of NVC.  Within an hour of meeting them for the first time, I witnessed them sharing hope and inspiration.  They told me that they had argued 3 times on the way to that appointment.  A week later after practicing and getting familiar with their own needs and each other's, they told me they hadn't argued since.

We continue to meet periodically and we'll work on transforming some of the core beliefs that are responsible for common triggers.  We just wanted to share this in case it can inspire others to take the time and make a commitment to allow NVC to open doors.  Maybe an hour of looking at your current strategies and learning new ones can bring you closer to someone you love.

Life is too short to forget who you are,

fight with your partner,

yell at your kids,

or misunderstand your friends.

Grace in, peace out

Brooke
Contact me to schedule a consultation.

for more information onNonviolent Communication, visit cnvc.org

Houston NVC Community, Power of Compassion, houstonnvc.org

The needs list shown at the top of this post comes from Jim and Jori Manske, certified NVC trainers.  Visit their website at

radicalcompassion.com

 

 

A Holiday Plea - Give it and receive it, don't judge it.

art by Chase
I was about to jump off Facebook for the holidays when I realized, maybe I should just ask for what I want before I go....
Would it be too much to ask if we stop talking about and publicizing issues that polarize and divide us for a week or so? How about we focus on what brings us together and agree that each of us brings a unique way of sharing it?  We really have no need to tell each other the best way, how, why, when or where. We've been told we don't need to be the judge.
How we each bring it IS the best way. 
We give and receive it through our own lens, each one of us with our own human limitations.  Can we stop focusing on the lens, and focus on the subject?

Lose sight of your own eyes and focus on the prize.

LOVE is the subject and the verb.  Adjectives and adverbs please take the back seat, at least for a while.

Acting 'as if'

Below is a post from last December.  I thought about this as I put together a presentation on the "Cloud of Unknowing" which primarily addresses our inability as humans to describe and comprehend God.  
A few years ago, I had lunch with a friend who was grieving the loss of her mother.  She asked me several questions about my spirituality.  I had been away from organized religion for many years and had recently been dealing with a lot of what I call "grown up" issues.  I considered myself spiritual, mostly feeling connected to sacred mystery when roaming around in the woods where I grew up.  In college, I lost my desire to connect with organized religion because I sensed subtle and sometimes blatant inconsistencies with Jesus' teachings on forgiveness and inclusiveness.  For many years, I considered myself spiritual but not religious.  My dear friend and I found ourselves debating the potential for anything larger than us existing.  Our debate settled on something very simple.  Regardless of if we can agree on what does or doesn't exist beyond our understanding, why don't we just act "as if" there is something greater than us, surrounding us, within us, that wants us all to be connected, to bring our best selves to this shared oneness.  What would life be like if we acted "as if?"

Tis the season to prepare, act, love, and live as if.....