This afternoon we met for an hour and practiced applying Classical NVC to a difficult issue. Of course we tried to find a medium intensity issue, but these things tend to get more complicated quickly. We have been meeting fortnightly since January and though we knew each other as teachers before we didn’t know each other as people so it’s wonderful how we have come together to form a small, supportive group.
I am feeling immensely grateful for Miki Kashtan’s Principal Based Teaching calls which really have encouraged me to believe that whatever comes up we can handle, if there is nothing to be said, say nothing, if there are ideas suggest them tentatively, but don’t worry too much about making plans. It is more important to meet people where they are at, to see, hear and be with each other in a new way. Don’t let the wanting to be right or fix it take over, but stick with the basics. We went back to the importance of intending to connect with ourselves and others and giving space for our judging and blaming, really letting ourselves be honest and accept how things are right now in their entirety before working on changing things. This is the opposite of how we usually judge a situation and if it is unpleasant take immediate action to fix it and then probably experience more frustration when this doesn’t really give the solution we were looking for.
We have also been practicing Focusing listening as a way to listen deeply without trying to change, fix, lead and solve. One person simply speaks from their body while the other person listens and reflects back. As you listen to your body images, feelings, words, bodily sensations all spontaneously emerge and some feel meaningful and very precious. It is as though your brain is listening to your body, a conversation within yourself which couldn’t be more different than the ‘self-talk’ we usually engage with, cajoling, nagging, threatening, blaming, judging ourselves and others. After only a few goes how I have described this seems to have made enough sense for people to do it and seem to gain something from it. Either by Focusing or using Classical NVC we can notice the discomfort and slow down, and offer ourselves kindness and receive support from others, to give space for all of the emergent properties of the situation, all of our needs and dreams and all of our grief and in doing so we find the situation is not as we first thought it was and so we now come from a new place to act.
Looking forward to our next meet up.
Also published on Medium.