M4S1 Relationships, Mindfulness, and You

Module 4 Session 1

Relationships, Mindfulness, and You

February 5, 2019

In our session today, we began with a brief meditation, focused on the concept of mindfulness as a way to create and deepen a relationship with ourselves.

We dove into a 20 minute overview of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), including some of the foundational beliefs of the system. The hardest one for me is that when we make a request of someone, they can say yes OR NO! We have to know and accept this up front in order to be able to use the language honestly and empathetically. Honesty and empathy are considered the two “parts” of the model and the avenue for linking mindfulness to the process. There are many ways to use the NVC formula in an inauthentic or manipulative manner, but getting honest with ourself about what we need and value, being empathetic about the other person’s own needs, values, how they hear our request, etc. are required for this to truly be a “non-violent” form of communication.

We spent time breaking down the first part of the process, observation. We worked in partners discussing something someone does that we don’t like, then re-visiting that phrasing and removing judgment, speculation, etc. so that it became a true observation. With limited time I chose to break down this first step because the way we word that initial observation can really put someone on the defensive and make the feeling, need, and request, fall on deaf ears.

The full format might look something like this:
”When I see that _____,
I feel ________,
Because my need for / value of ________ is/not met.
Would you be willing to____________?”

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Here’s some more about feelings and needs to clarify and inspire your ideas for using this approach:

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My request is, that as an informal practice of mindfulness in action, you try out the NVC format when discussing something challenging with someone in the next week. Come prepared to discuss how it went!

After we finished our NVC time, we spent about 20 minutes on the yoga mat, listening to what our bodies might say to us. I asked you “if your body used the NVC format right now, what would she want to discuss? Now, hearing that, can you bring that to your practice?” After flowing for about 20 continuous minutes, we rested in savasana, then took a deep mindful breath together to close the practice.

Thanks for practicing with me! Happy meditating and NVC-ing, until next time!