Nonviolent Communication

Years ago I attended a training on nonviolent communication given by the founder himself, Marshall B. Rosenberg.

To me words and the power they hold was eye opening. How we use our words, tone, and phrasing matters and to deny that doesn’t seem a luxury any of us can continue to have. We need to understand and accept how and what we say has a ripple effect, negative or positive. We are responsible for our actions, words and deeds. Even our body language and other choices we make speak volumes to those around us. If we are  aware, and open to noticing then we can self-correct if we are being negative or violent in some capacity. Aging deliciously means no matter our age, we can always learn and recalibrate.

Imagine if our focus in our schools, workplaces and fun places included learning and practicing kinder and effective means of communicating with one another? In a matter of a few years, making such a change, we could have large effective change. Yet change is one person at a time, so that might be the best starting place, huh?

Below is a snippet from Center for Nonviolent Communication website:

When our communication supports compassionate giving and receiving, happiness replaces violence and grieving!
CNVC founder, Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is based on the principles of nonviolence– the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart.

NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. NVC also assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs, and that each of our actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs.

People who practice NVC have found greater authenticity in their communication, increased understanding, deepening connection and conflict resolution.

The NVC community is active in over 65 countries around the globe.

 Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing, and right-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there.
– Rumi

Me too!

Check it out:   Center for Nonviolent Communication


“We expect a change without making a change. “

I heard this recently and had to share it.

We expect a change without making a change.

It has struck a chord for me, especially these days.

We expect a change without making a change. 

May we be the change we want to see. I’m not sure there is any other way to have true change, in anything. Change is about changing our minds, changing how we “think” about something.  Marianne Williamson, author and spiritual leader, says our emotions come from our thoughts, not the other way around. It takes just a nano second but we have a thought first and that thought leads to how we will feel.

We have the ability to change our minds about anything, even those things that make us miserable. Our thoughts and minds are powerful, as we all know.

Humans have the capacity to change their minds. It ain’t easy but we have the capacity, and the capability.

We expect a change without making a change. 

Fun Test

What motivates you? And I don’t mean food!

There are lots of personality and motivation tests we can and probably have taken over our lives.  A few years ago, as part of a Board retreat for a non-profit,  we thought an ice-breaker would be fun since we didn’t know one another nor our working styles. We  knew we would be spending hours together in the year ahead meeting and planning, and knowing more about one another in an objective sense sounded good.

The Color Code theory is that we each have a primary motivator and a color is attached.  Either we are motivated by Power (red)  Intimacy (blue), Fun (yellow) or Peace (white). Naturally we all have a mix of motivation, yet one type will be dominant.

I was skeptical but I thought it would be a bit of fun, a way to get us talking and on the same page. I found it illuminating.

For example, the Reds (motivated by power) in the room, shared how they can get focused on the goal, getting things done is most important but sometimes a “Red Color Code” person may steamroll over other people because they are so focused on what they want or are trying to accomplish. For them it was eye opening and it had them review how to manage an upcoming project differently. Yet it also showed the value of a Red to have that energy and power to get things accomplished.

And if Reds have Blue Color Codes ( motivated by intimacy) in their life then the Blue might soften the Red’s goal focus and help Reds to slow down a bit to engage with people and experience the value of that. (Actually Blues can do this for all the types.)

I won’t drone on ……But if you’re curious, check out the Color Code Test.  It’s fun and it’s free! And it might be illuminating.

Color Code

Non-Monetary Wealth

I’ve become intrigued with some new realizations about wealth. Realizing if wealth isn’t more fully circulated, society suffers. If we continue to circulate wealth in the same circles or entities for generations, or segregated economies  don’t have the same benefits and access as privileged populations then we need to make ways for  circulating and investing and loaning wealth into new circles to change that practice.

If we care to be part of healthy change, how do we invest our money or chose pension plans that are part of helping shift patterns, essentially get the money out of Wall Street and into Main Street? To me this is an aging deliciously topic so I am bound to share more as I research and learn more.

Today I read the recent issue of Yes! Magazine, The Good Money Issue.Yes! magazine I am interested to learn more about public banks, non profit investment firms and financial cooperatives. Directing resources to socially responsible organizations and initiatives seems a smart money wave for those interested in diversity, growth, fairness and supporting dynamic, healthy communities.

Also, the idea of non-monetary wealth struck a chord for me in an article written by Vicki Robin, “Revaluing Money: The natural wealth of community that really can solve problems.” She writes of time wealth,  having time to think, do, visit friends, volunteer, travel etc. With that time wealth she also developed a wealth of skills like gardening, building, plumbing, fixing etc. And building close friendships, which takes time and attention to show up in the good and tough moments, celebrate wins, make the effort to stay in touch, and be there for one another. Investing in community is a form of richness and wealth, to volunteer, to help on clean up days, know your neighbors, and attend the important community events.

Naturally these choices and people have to matter to us, yet over a lifetime we invest in our lives. We can invest our time and energy in people and activities we care about in ways that do enhance our natural wealth, well beyond the monetary.



New Beginnings

New Beginnings

We can start afresh everyday. Whatever we did or said yesterday, we can start afresh today. We can start our day with our best intentions, words and deeds. It is a minute to minute choice and practice for sure. A personal inner awareness to notice our internal voices and tone. One is ego/fear and one is love/spirit. We all have both inside of us and they co-habitate. We are all made up of shadow and light. We can be nice, we can be harsh. We can be generous. We can be miserly. Nothing is black or white. We are all things. And we can choose and recalibrate.

Now sometimes we can have great intentions, for our hearts and our day. We feel full of love, back the car out of the driveway, and another driver whizzes past. We feel our mood shift as we scream at the other driver. Our good feelings take a wobble, and maybe we felt we  shifted away from our original good intentions. Instead,  we could shrug, laugh at ourselves, and get back to our good intentions. Or just notice how our mood changed because noticing is 50% of self awareness. Noticing does matters.

New beginnings can be anything, be it a personal commitment to oneself, or a time like the New Year or Solstice to take stock, or as part of a move to a new home, new relationship, whatever you consider a new beginning. Create your own meaningful way to acknowledge and honour it. You might want to light some dried sage to “smudge” your new home, or write down and burn what you want to let go of for your new beginning.

Some research says human cells get fully replaced with new ones every 3 months. That way I guess we all can be new beginnings! Or new beings? We can start anew every day. Ahhhhhhh.

Vision Boarding :)

Do you know about vision boarding or creating a vision board for yourself? Years ago some friends and I got together to create our individual Vision Boards early in the new year as a way to help manifest what we sought for ourselves in the coming year.

We each had a board or poster surface of our choice, surrounded by magazines, markers, glue, and other decorative supplies of our choice. We were to go through the magazines and just cut out pictures or words or letters that appealed to us. Somehow it is believed that in the non-thinking manner, we will gravitate towards something that helps us create what we say we want. And we aren’t talking monster trucks and endless trips if that is more fantasy than ones’ life or life’s passion, but certainly material things will factor in. And so will the picture of friends smiling and drinking tea together. That might represent a feeling you seek in the coming year.

Once we are surrounded by our cut-out pictures, words and letters, we look at what it might tell us, and start to arrange it to make sense for us and our vision board. We may be surprised by what our cutouts tell us, like how important travel is, or a dinner table surrounded by friends, or to get the promotion in Paris. We cut, arrange and paste. As we finish up, we take time to share with those in the room, what was our experience as we put our vision board together, and what it tells us for the coming year.

Vision boards are to be hung somewhere in your home where you will regularly see it and be reminded of your Vision for yourself. It seems taking the time to vision your year ahead, putting it down concretely, the act gives your mind and heart the message. I have friends who brought their previous year’s vision board to the current session. They could point to the ways their vision board had delivered their vision. Well, my friends had delivered, but the vision board reflected what they themselves wanted and then created for themselves.