Non Violent Communication
A couple years ago my Restorative Yoga teacher and great inspiration of mine, Judith Lasater turned me onto Non Violent Communication. Watching her speak with deep compassion and ease inspired me to do the same. So recently I took a weekend intensive in Seattle, WA to deepen my understanding of NVC and how I could integrate it into my daily life and the way in which I interact with others. It was em~power~ing on so many levels of my being and I left with tools that will guide me in better communication,to listening to peoples true needs, and having a deeper connection with myself and others by understanding my own feelings and needs.
I grew up in a culture that didn’t emphasis self-expression of ones needs or feelings. I’m sure most of you can resonate with that, regardless of what culture you come from. As a youth it was such a challenge to articulate myself. Most of the time I shut people out because I couldn’t express what I was feeling, or even knew that I could or would be listened to if I did… I thought perhaps it was a language barrier since I was raised speaking two languages. Ha! Later I realized that it was just me!
Ahimsa is a sanskirt word that translates as non-harming. It is under one of the 2 branches of the 8-Fold Path of Yoga philosophy called the Yamas and Niyamas. They are ethical guidelines for how we treat ourselves and others. Basically, non-violence starts with ourselves. For example, how do we speak to ourselves on a daily basis? Do we take the time to listen to what we are feeling and needing throughout the day? And are we meeting those needs, or running ourselves dry to the point of break down or hurting ourselves or the ones that we love? Ultimately how we treat ourselves will in someway reflect back to how we treat others and vice versa. As Ghandi has said,” We must be the change that we want to see in the world.”
~Practice makes Perfect~
One of the greatest things that we can do, which is similar to a meditation practice, is to check in with yourself throughout the day and ~pause~Allow yourself to be in whatever experience you are having in that moment ( helps esp in times of conflict, emotional upheaval or as a practice so that when under moments of intense stress this becomes your automatic button) Let it ~settle~ because eventually it will shift. As all things do. Then continue to notice. No judgement just ~let it be~Then check in again and ask yourself what you might need in this moment…more space? time? connection? nourishment? cooperation? This is a powerful practice and can shift your way of being with yourself and how you relate to others, profoundly and quickly!
Deep down nobody wants conflict, how do I know? Because Peace and Love is our true nature. And we’ll fight for it! Even if it means death…death to the old way of being that is!
“Declare it. Just the same way we declare war. That is how we will have peace… we just need to declare it.” John Lennon