My Need for Love

Once again, Love has come into my life! And yes, I’ve been surprised and overjoyed by the depth of its expression in me.

Before I share the juicy details, I’d like to first explain how I experience Love. Although I use the word love culturally as a feeling, such as I “love” the beach, my family, my friends, sunsets, and asparagus, the deeper expression of Love lives within me as a need. When my need for Love is touched, the experience of it is deepening, enriching, and rather than being a static experience connected to a person, place or thing, Love as a need connects me to the heart of our human existence. We all have a need for Love, yet not everyone “loves” the water—or asparagus—as I do! Love as a need is a universal experience. When Love is touched, I (we) experience a connection with our common humanity.

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Conversations….What are they Really?

I’ve been hearing a lot about conversations lately. It’s most likely because I’m offering a class on the 17th  of March about having challenging conversations in the workplace and the topic is on my radar these days! 

Recently, Dan Haile, an Executive Coach in Nashville, in his monthly newsletter cited an article called The Neuroscience of Strategic Leadership. Reading this was the third time the topic of conversations caught my attention. The other two ‘co-incidences’ were provided by Deb Palmer George, Palmer Solutions, during a phone conversation about neurobiology and language and my new hero, Sarah Peyton, Certified Trainer with The Center for Nonviolent Communication,where for 10 days in February I took in with curiosity every word about Interpersonal Neurobiology and the languaging of NVC.

So what is so interesting about conversations?

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I’d like to share with you a meaningful experience I’ve had this week at the conference: participating in a Truth Mandala. The ritual exercise known as the Truth Mandala provides a tender, truthful practice whereby grief is experienced and witnessed in the presence of a loving group (of note, the Truth Mandala is just one way to carry out grief work; there are many other techniques outlined in the book The Work That Reconnects).

To quote Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown’s explanation of the Truth Mandala from their book, Coming Back to Life:

“This ritual exercise provides a simple, respectful, whole group structure for owning and honoring our pain for the world, and for recognizing its authority and the solidarity it can bring. The practice emerged in 1992 amidst a large, tension-filled workshop in Frankfurt, on the day of the reunification between East and West Germany; since then it has spread to many lands. To many participants, it has been the most significant experience in a workshop, if not in their lives.”

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My Relationship with Anger

In beginning a new year, it’s been a tradition of mine to inventory the year ending. As Jim and Jori Manske, certified trainers with the Center of Nonviolent Communication, taught me years ago, the inventory begins with inquiring into what went well the year before and what didn’t. This is a wise suggestion, otherwise many of us would never get to celebrating what went well! I begin this blog with how both merged from the same situation.

First, a little background information.

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Why Nonviolent Communication?

I am often asked, of all the systems and modalities out there, why did I choose to devote myself and my work to Nonviolent Communication (NVC)?

The simplest answer is because living in the awareness of nonviolent communication has given me another way to hear and interpret messages that are difficult to hear.  NVC provides the necessary tools to live peacefully with myself and others.  

In my experience and learning, there are two ideas that induce violence in ourselves and in the world around us: scarcity and separation. These two ideas originate within us, emanate outward from us, and manifest in the world.

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