Cultivating Courage Through The Portal Of Vulnerability
"Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky, but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy ."
The practice of Nonviolent Communication, also known as Compassionate Communication, founded by Marshall Rosenberg Phd is accomplished through the portal of our vulnerability. It requires that we honour and express how we are feeling and what we are longing for. The expression of vulnerability in our culture at present is seen as weakness. Therefore the practice of NVC is 'counter culture'.
The experience of being vulnerable is one of uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. The tendency is to armour up or numb to stay protected. However, vulnerability is the birth place of love, belonging, joy, innovation, creativity, intimacy, connection and change. To live this way is the definition of courage. There is no courage without vulnerability.
"Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work a future. To be courageous is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences. To be courageous is to seat our feelings deeply in the body and in the world: to live up to and into necessities of relationships that often already exist, with things we find we already care deeply about; an unknown that begs us on and always has begged us on. To be courageous is to stay close to the way we are made."
"And as we transform our inside voice, we start to change our outside voices too, bringing new life to our families and communities."
Presence is the place we inhabit when we no longer attempt to fix, sort, label, advise, judge or analyse our experience. I love to reside in this place of 'just being', with my own experience and others. An unfolding of life then becomes possible and a capacity to be with all that arises in response to our life's circumstances. Often this leads to a place of mourning for all the ways we were not held with delight as little ones, for all the losses in our lives, and for all the ways we attempt to show up in life that may be far from our dearly held values.
NVC is about compassion, especially self compassion. When we turn towards ourselves with compassion, we can mediate our experience which then opens up new choices for us and new capacity for growth and contribution.
NVC requires a re-membering of our innate compassionate nature, and a trust in the validity of our own experience. The purpose within the self empathy process is to uncover our needs, what we are longing for.
The Anatomy Of Connection
"A sense of being comes not from unconnected individuality but from a sense of relation to others. "
"The latest developments in neuroscience unveil the extent to which humans are wired for connection, belonging, and resonance with other humans. The urge to connect is so strong that our nervous systems are capable of acting as our own compassionate self-witness. Neurobiology has recently proved that the human brain is capable of being distraught (scared, anxious, depressed), while simultaneously observing ourselves with compassion as a loving parent or partner would. This ability to be both experiencing and holding the experience is the key to maintaining inner calm in the face of life's challenges."
When we discover what we are longing for we are already in connection with all living things through a 'needs' consciousness. In his work with conflict throughout the world, Marshall Rosenberg found that the key to peace was the capacity to hear one another's needs, and because needs are universal a sense of being separate dissipates and judgement, blame and 'power over' no longer become necessary.