Cacao is known for its heart opening energy and its warm loving effect. Lately we have been practicing with a communication tool that fits right in as another puzzle piece for living from the heart. Both increase true connection and heartfelt conversation.
Do you know (or use) Nonviolent Communication?
It's a communication tool that has the potential to profoundly enrich life. We have been practicing this for the past few months and are amazed by its effect.
Nonviolent communication (NVC) was developed by Marshall Rosenberg and he refers to it as the language of the heart. Rosenberg believed that humans are compassionate beings in their core - joyfully contributing to well-being of themselves and others.
But if that's our core, why do we see so much of the opposite? The world is full of violent acts. Rosenberg spent his lifetime researching this and went on a quest to understand, transform and prevent (verbal) violence.
For ages we've been living in a system that involves power structures. This creates a certain way of thinking and language use. The language we use supports the system we live in, and thus the way we learn to communicate tends to hold a lot of dominance structure, power-over tendency and judgements, making some superior over others.
How can we transform this?
This is were NVC comes in as an amazingly effective tool. What we think is so great about NVC, is that it's practical and simple (simple doesn't mean easy).
It builds on using 4 elements consistently in communication - observation, feelings, needs and requests.
Let's practice. Pick a situation that was challenging for you. Then take the following steps:
What did you observe in this situation? Observations refer to things we see or hear, the same way a videocamera would register something happening. A true observation carries no judgement, interpretation or morality. Solely state the facts.
What do you feel in this situation? Make sure you take responsibility for your own feelings instead of blaming the other for it. Notice the difference between: 'I feel sad' vs 'I feel like you don't love me'. The first one keeps your experience yours (that's the goal), the second blames the other for your experience (creating a trigger). Have a look on this webpage for an overview of the many feelings we can experience.
What is your need in the situation? What is most alive in you at this moment - what is your true longing? Express your need without any strategy to getting it fulfilled. Getting clear on what your need is, makes clear what is really important for you. Find an overview of many possible needs here.
End with making a request. Without a request based on your needs, it is unlikely that they are met. Essential to making a true request is that the other person has the space to say 'no'. Otherwise it wouldn't be a request but a command. A true request often leads to compassionate giving from the other. Compassionate giving means that whatever we give, we give willingly and joyfully.
Practicing with these 4 steps can be an amazing experience. Very sensitive topics can turn into a source of deeper connection. Eager to learn more? Rosenberg wrote a good book and explains about NVC in numerous podcasts/videos. Wishing you lots of heartfelt conversations, we leave you with this beautiful quote from Rumi ~