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Things I’m Working On

Self-Improvement, Pregnancy, and the New Year

Photo Credit: LoveBug Studios on Flickr

We all know that pregnancy brings about many changes, both physical and emotional, but the biggest one I have noticed this time around is a sudden preoccupation with self-improvement. It happened before I actually got pregnant, really. Since Annabelle was born, I have given myself a great deal of grace. I didn’t get Christmas cards out last year, but that was okay. I had a baby after all. There are dark corners of my home that I deliberately avoid, because I don’t want to have to think about cleaning and organizing them right now. Being a new mom is challenging, and some things fall by the wayside. It’s no big deal. Really, you can name just about anything, and I’m behind on it: emails, exercise, sleep, coursework, writing commitments, cleaning. Some weeks I find that I’ve fallen behind on showering. Continue reading

Value Judgments Can Be Valuable

This post is part of a series I’m writing on Nonviolent Communication, or NVC. Other posts in the series include:
Nonviolent Communication: An Introduction
Giving From the Heart

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Photo Credit: niznoz on Flickr.

Nonviolent Communication is perhaps the most life-changing book I have read to date. A surprising byproduct of studying the book’s concepts has been a new found sense of compassion for myself, which I believe is a crucial step on the path to being a more compassionate person in general. I can be extraordinarily hard on myself, but NVC has given me a whole new perspective on some of my very human tendencies. While my desire to change and improve upon the things I do not want to be has not diminished, my ability to accept myself as I am today has grown by leaps and bounds. Continue reading

Nonviolent Communication: An Introduction

A Peace Rose. Photo Credit Maia C. on Flickr.

I mentioned several weeks back that I had been reading, and really benefiting from the book Nonviolent Communication: A Language for Life. At this point, I would still call it the most valuable book I have ever read. It has been so useful for me that I asked around my network to see if anyone was interested in going through the accompanying workbook with me week by week, to take our practice of the book’s concepts a bit deeper. I didn’t want this to become another beautiful idea that I brush against in a fleeting moment. I really want these concepts to transform my default methods for communication, so I’m keeping at it.

Each week, as I have time, I’m going to try to write a bit here about a chapter, section, or concept related NVC in hopes that by sharing it with you, I’ll gain a deeper understanding myself. To start with, I’ll share a bit of an introduction, focusing on some of the important concepts from the first chapter of the book.

My husband asked a question that I imagine a lot of people who hear about NVC would like to know: “I don’t think that my communication is violent. What would constitute “violent” communication?” Rosenberg would tell us that, even if we don’t feel we’re speaking violently, the words we use can be hurtful to others. To quote:

I call this approach nonviolent communication, using the term nonviolence as Gandhi used it-to refer to our natural state of compassion when violence has subsided from the heart. While we may not consider the way we talk to be “violent,” words often lead to hurt and pain, whether for others or ourselves.” Continue reading

Making Space For Children: My Beef with the Swimming Pool

I’m starting a bit late, but for the rest of November, I’ll be participating in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), which means I’ll be posting something every day, rather than taking weekends off as I usually do. I have been toying with the idea of writing a Nonviolent Communication-related post every Sunday, since I’m going through the workbook with a small group at the moment, so this is a great opportunity to jump in and do that. Not much else should change, but you may see some slightly lighter content every once in awhile. Overall, I’m hoping it’s a good writing exercise for me.

NaBloPoMo 2011

 

Today’s post fits into that lighter category, and hopefully you can forgive me if I get a bit ranty, but I have a beef with a local swimming pool and I’m curious to know your take on the issue. Continue reading

Finding Out Who I Am

Welcome to the I Love Me! Carnival!

This post was written for inclusion in the I Love Me! Carnival hosted by Amy at Anktangle. This carnival is all about love of self, challenging you to lift yourself up, just for being you.

Please read to the bottom to find a list of submissions from the other carnival participants.



Like many mothers and many people, really, I can be awfully hard on myself. Don’t get me wrong – there are things I do well and I know this, but I’m frequently compelled to focus on my imperfections rather than my strengths. Just when I was in a place of reflecting on the state of my life and finding myself to be especially lacking, I participated in a great discussion in which my friend Amanda led me to an “a-ha!” moment.

Amanda walked us through an exercise she had participated in during a recent class, encouraging myself and a few others to write down the names of a handful of people we admired. Then, she had us write down the qualities they possessed that we thought were particularly admirable. Of course the people most of us chose had several things in common with one another, which we noted. We listed the qualities that appeared multiple times and used these to come up with a brief list. As we went through this exercise, I found myself reflecting even more on how far I had to come in developing these noble qualities in myself.

Then came the conclusion of the exercise. Continue reading


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