Beyond Feelings it is the Unmet Need that Deserves and Desires Empathy

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Beyond Feelings it is the Unmet Need that Deserves and Desires Empathy

“Sometimes someone isn’t ready to see the bright side. Sometimes they need to sit with the shadow first. So be a friend and sit with them. Make the darkness beautiful.” ~ Victoria Erickson When feeling frustrated, angry, sad, overwhelmed, or any other unpleasant emotion, it’s because a need is not being met. A child disgruntled at school may have an unmet need to move. A parent overwhelmed may have an unmet need of relaxation. A person struck with anger may have an unmet need of safety. Anger is their response to not feeling safe. The feelings are signals for a very important human need not being met.  Acknowledging someone’s feeling is a beautiful gift. Saying, “I can see how sad you are”, or, “This is really painful, isn’t […]

The Disease of Being Right

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The Disease of Being Right

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” ~ Rumi It’s well known that when children are abused, emotionally or physically, often, if not usually, they believe it’s their fault. They did something wrong. This was true for me. I took to heart the various abuses inflicted on me when young. It was if a sword was pushed deep into my heart. The deepest wound is to the human heart, a wound that perhaps can never fully heal. It was not just that I believed I did something wrong, but more so, I believed that I was inherently wrong. There is a distinction here, an important one. We are not human doings, after all, but human beings, deeply […]

One Simple Question to Help You Avoid Misunderstandings

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One Simple Question to Help You Avoid Misunderstandings

“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci Assumptions and misunderstandings are a natural part of relationships. Communication is, after all, complex. Like relationships, it is not straightforward. There are plenty of reasons why we would mishear or misinterpret what the other person is saying, and veer off our desired course of discourse. Here are a few… 6 reasons we misunderstand “Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.” ~ Bob Talbert Skill deficiency – Few of us have ever received communication training. We have been taught how to spell, count to 10, and to know who shot whom in 1910; we have been trained to run a database, create a business plan and file a […]

Hold the Agenda of Others ~ A Practice of the Heart

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Hold the Agenda of Others ~ A Practice of the Heart

What if for one day you allowed everyone to be as they are? My recent article, 4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems, was so well received that I wanted to offer a follow-up article that expanded on the topic, while offering some practical tools. The tools are intended to support you to practice the principles outlined so that you may free yourself from the need to be responsible for other’s challenges or general circumstances. The practice is simple, but not necessarily easy: Where possible, practice not having an agenda for others. Note that I wrote “Where possible”. I am fully aware that there are many places where we do need to have an agenda; for instance, if you are parenting, teaching or […]

Liberating Yourself and Others from the Need to Agree ~ Entering the Dance of Connection

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Liberating Yourself and Others from the Need to Agree ~ Entering the Dance of Connection

One of the most beautiful things we can experience is a connection with another person. Being able to connect is a gift in that it gives each person the opportunity to safely open and share their authentic feelings, desires and concerns. However, often when one person meets another with an agenda, the connection is broken because he is no longer open to what the other has to say. He is not meeting her in her reality, but rather attempting to align her with his own. To align without agreement is to communicate, “I don’t agree with you, and I am still with you.” I am here for you and with you, and I am willing to open to your world even if I am not […]

Your Presence is Enough ~ Giving the Gift of Your Self in Conversation

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Your Presence is Enough ~ Giving the Gift of Your Self in Conversation

When I teach listening skills, my participants struggle with simply being still and present when someone else is sharing something personal with them. It is not enough, in their mind, just to be with them. They must at least nod, or verbally acknowledge the other person in some way, and make them feel that they are being attended to. We must do in conversation, not just be in conversation! This need stems from a deep and old belief that who we are being is not enough. Our presence, and the gift of our spirit, is simply not enough! When we realize how powerful we are, we don’t doubt the gift of our presence. By resting more fully into our deeper Self, we can rest more fully in the conversation. Spaciousness is created […]

4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems

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4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems

We are well conditioned to believe that it is our job to fix others and solve their problems for them. If we see someone struggling or uncertain, we are quick to race in and save them from their challenges. We have been trained to see this as an act of care, a gift to another. But is it really?  What is it that we may be assuming and impeding by jumping in and acting as the savior? Perhaps it is more about our thoughts, needs and feelings than theirs. Reason #1: People are more capable and resourceful than you think We are born with much more inherent capacity and resourcefulness than we know. Unfortunately, we don’t realize this because we have been treated otherwise our […]

Finding Middle Ground ~ 3 Steps to Creating Consensus & Connection

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Finding Middle Ground ~ 3 Steps to Creating Consensus & Connection

To find middle ground, we must be willing to accommodate another perspective, and leave the ground we stand on. Finding middle ground is not always easy because needs are often so diametrically opposed. And yet when we realize that people, more than anything, want to feel heard and understood, finding middle ground can become a simpler process. Here are three steps you can take to find middle ground: 1. Be Calm This is essential. Your calm state creates a sense of openness, and a feeling of safety for others to express fully without fear of judgement or reaction. 2. Acknowledge the Other’s Position People are more likely to loosen their stance if they feel heard and valued. People want to feel that their position is […]

4 Keys to Conscious Communication

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4 Keys to Conscious Communication

Even though we communicate all the time, for most of us, we have never received any training or education on how to communicate. We fumble our way through many messy conversations and relationships without the skills gleaned from being a student of conscious communication. Being a student begins with knowing that we communicate not only with our words, but also with our movement and energy. A slight shift in our body language can convey a new message. And our energy, how we are being, can create subtle ripples of influence that are intuitively received by others, and that impact the tone of our words. We become conscious communicators when we are aware of our words, body language and energy in every interaction. Aware means being […]

22 Keys to Intuitive Living

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22 Keys to Intuitive Living

“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.”  ~ Howard Thurman Intuition is… the knowing/sensing of something beyond time, space, reason, the use of prior knowledge and the five senses. It is the gateway to your soul. 1. Permission When you wake up in the morning, start your day by giving yourself permission to be intuitive. Remember, intuition is your natural state; therefore, you do not need to work at it, but rather allow it to express itself through you […]