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Inspiration and Encouragement for Your Personal Growth Journey

Stories and learnings from my own personal journey into deeper compassion, healthier relationships and nonviolent living. Please feel free to leave comments and questions on any posts; I love being in conversation with you.

How to Listen Without Getting Defensive

How to Listen Without Getting Defensive

It’s rarely our first instinct to listen without getting defensive.  Defensiveness is a natural response designed to protect us in situations where we may be concerned for our safety.  However, when we become defensive, we close ourselves off to our hearts.  We become unable to access the vulnerable part of us that can actually shift and de-escalate conflict.  Additionally, we become cut off from valuable insights and perspectives from others, ultimately sabotaging effective communication and connection. The key to stepping out of our heavily reinforced habit of defending ourselves in conflict lies in focusing on two internal resources:  our intention and our attention.

The Simple Sweet Spot Between Giving and Receiving

The Simple Sweet Spot Between Giving and Receiving

Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin, inextricably linked in the fabric of human relationships. When we give, we often experience a sense of purpose, connection, and contribution. However, if we give excessively without replenishing our own resources, we may feel drained and resentful.
On the other hand, receiving can be a beautiful act of vulnerability and trust. It allows us to accept support, nurture, and care from others. Yet, an overemphasis on receiving without reciprocating can lead to a sense of entitlement and disconnection from the larger community.

Balancing Rules and Freedom

Balancing Rules and Freedom

In our complex world, balancing rules and freedom can be a struggle:  we can find ourselves caught between the need for structure and the desire for autonomy. When it comes to the paradox of rules versus freedom, NVC offers a unique perspective. It suggests that both rules and freedom are expressions of fundamental human needs, such as safety, autonomy, respect, and connection.

How to Handle Criticism From A Supervisor

How to Handle Criticism From A Supervisor

Listening to the criticism from a supervisor can be one of the most painful things we experience at work. In our deep desire to escape that discomfort, we might rush to judgment or hurry to defend ourselves.  What we’re usually longing for is a resolution, and in our rush to resolve things, we can miss the power that comes from sitting in the tension of multiple perspectives. 

How To Increase Your Self-Love: 7 Ways to Get Grounded in Your Goodness

How To Increase Your Self-Love: 7 Ways to Get Grounded in Your Goodness

Self-love is such a fundamental aspect of our well-being, but what does it actually entail? If you’re anything like me, you might find yourself prioritizing others’ needs, juggling multiple responsibilities, and tuning into everyone else’s feelings and preferences. It can be easily to fall into old patterns and inadvertently neglect the most important relationship of all – the one we have with ourselves.

Making Peace with Pain

Making Peace with Pain

I had a realization this week that although a relationship can be painful, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unsafe. Unpleasant feelings get our attention on our needs and on tending more consciously to our well-being.  However, they are not inherently “harmful.” When I feel hurt, or feel pain, I am not always necessarily being “harmed.”