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Radical Self-Compassion
By Dian Killian
 
Love Harder
I'm often in a kind of prison cell,
Because I don't always love myself that well
Gonna break free from that shame and blame,
Free myself from that ball and chain…
Gotta love myself, love myself, love myself harder…
from "Love Harder,"
by DK & the Joy Machine
I continue to be impressed with the power of empathy; how transformative
in and of itself it can be...     Keep reading this article below >>
 
 
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Inspiration
 
Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. talks about the keys to prevent all forms of conflict and violence in this 10-minute video.
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NVC Quote of the Month

"NVC helps us connect
with each other and
ourselves in a way that
allows our natural
compassion to flourish."

"When our communication
supports compassionate
giving and receiving,
happiness replaces
violence and grieving!"

"NVC shows people how
to create peace within
themselves and at the
same time how to create
connections with other
people that allows
compassionate giving to
take place naturally."

 
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Radical Self-Compassion ... continued

I see this regularly with myself, with my coaching clients, and in leading workshops and trainings. We have all been taught, so earnestly and repeatedly, that we change things is by critiquing; you identify what's "wrong" and then you fix it. 

I think this is one of the biggest hoaxes going. I don't think self-criticism ever got me to make any changes in my life or gave me any greater peace, competency or effectiveness. It just made me more discouraged and miserable.

And I see working with others, how it also brings them into a downward spiral; how it drains us of energy, hope, and vision. I now believe this is probably the greatest form of social change I can help generate in the world: supporting others in their simply having more loving kindness for themselves.

Feeling as Observation
When I am discouraged or sad, it can be easy to go into familiar stories: "What's the use?" "I'll never get it right!" "It's pointless." "How could I have done that?!?" Yuck! None of this feels good, including in my body. It's what I'd call toxic stories.

Yet if I can drop down out of the stories, into what I'm simply feeling (as hard and scary as that can sometimes seem), this is what will give me transformation and relief: to notice that I'm feeling sad or hurt or discouraged... and be okay with it.

If you think about it, this is the simplest form of observation (the first step in the NVC model and a power-house in itself). I find it helpful to connect with the needs that are up for me. Now I also like go into what I call deep, radical self-compassion; simply speaking to myself with the same gentleness and kindness that I'd want from a trusted friend: "It's not always easy to make the best decision; it's hard at times, even when you want to be effective…"

Sometimes, when what's triggered is old stuff, it also helps to look around my situation right now and remind myself that it's okay. "It's a little scary... and you're sad about it… and you're okay. You're safe."

Even what can seem mundane in the present moment can stir up old hurts and traumas that are not even fully conscious. So I like to acknowledge how I'm feeling, connect with the needs up for me (be it understanding or acceptance, or being seen for my intentions or another need), to speak kindly and compassionately to myself about it, and remind myself of where I am now: it's a beautiful sunny spring day, I'm out here in the park (or wherever I am): my present situation, in this moment, is safe.

When Balance has Been Regained
When I am in that place of equilibrium, when I have some peace and my system is soothed, then I have much more capacity for making a request of myself:  Are there any actions that I want to take about this now? I break that "looping" cycle of repeating in my mind the same stories, and the same blame. I gain perspective and can better focus on an action that is not re-active, but truly grounded in my own truth.

Being passionate about self-compassion and sharing these practices that I've been fine-tuning for a decade, I'm very excited about the kinds of programs I offer these days. One is a two day workshop on radical self-acceptance followed by a two-day program on Somatic-Based Empathy (a deep healing and NVC practice based on somatic awareness and empathy). I'd love to see you at one of these in the future. You can learn more about them at the website in my little bio below.

Ready to Try It?
Want to start practicing some radical self-empathy right now? The next time you notice going into a story or judgments, pause and notice:

  1. How does it feel in your body, when you think of that story or judgment? Are you clenching or tensing up?

  2. Drop out of the story. Notice what you're feeling. Stay with the feeling; even if tempted to go back into the story. Speak to yourself the way you would to a young child you care about, or like a best friend who's really listening. "Yeah, I'm really scared right now... " or "I feel so frustrated!!"

  3. Thinking about the situation (observation), go into radical self-acceptance, again speaking to yourself with gentleness and kindness. "It's hard sometimes when X happens…"

  4. What do you need? You may wish to check the needs list. Or just consider what's "driving" this situation for you–and what do you long for? Is it understanding, patience, acceptance, relief... or some other need?

  5. You may wish to journal about what's coming up for you to speak with an empathy buddy about it, as a way to externalize (express / release) your experiences

Thanks for reading! And I hope to see or hear from you soon… and friendly reminder:
Love yourself harder!

(Reprinted with permission from http://workcollaboratively.com)

 

Dian Killian, Ph.D., is the co-author of, Connecting Across Differences, 2nd Edition, and a certified trainer with the international Center for Nonviolent Communication, founder and director of The Center for Collaborative Communication. Dian has designed and led workshops in the United States, Europe, and Asia for diverse organizations including the New York Open Center, the 92nd Street Y, the New School University, Kripalu, the Insight Meditation Society, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, New York University, and the U.N. Development Program.

 


"If I can drop down out
of the stories, into what
I'm simply feeling, this is
what will give me
transformation and relief."

 

"When I am in that place
of equilibrium, when I
have some peace and
my system is soothed,
then I have much more
capacity for making a
request of myself."

 

connecting acros- differences

Connecting across
Differences, 2nd Edition
by Jane Connor, PhD
Dian Killian, PhD

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New Title Specials Continue thru Sept.

 

Nonviolent Communication:
A Language of Life 3rd Ed.

By Marshall Rosenberg, PhD

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  • A New Chapter on Conflict Resolution and Mediation

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NVC Companion Workbook 2nd Ed.

By Lucy Leu

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Nonviolent
Communication
3rd Edition

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Your Price: $12

Save 40% off list price
through Sep. 30, 2015

Nonviolent
Communication
Companion Workbook
2nd Edition

List Price: $21.95
Your Price: $13

Save 40% off list price
through Sep. 30, 2015