SCSQUARED halfBy Mary Mackenzie, For the Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley in San Clemente

Isn’t it time to move beyond your inner judgments and start living your best life? Nonviolent Communication gives you the tools to take responsibility for what you need to live your best life. Following the four steps below, which are based on the principles of Nonviolent Communication, will help guide you toward this possibility.

Step 1: Own It!

The first step is to own your life experiences rather than blaming others. You can do this by translating blame into your feelings and needs. Instead of saying: “My boss is controlling. He doesn’t let me take the lead on anything,” try this: “When I go to work I feel bored. I need more opportunity to grow.” See the difference? It’s subtle and powerful.

Step 2: Instead of Judging, Experience

Previously, if I thought someone knew more about a particular topic than me, I judged them as superior. If I thought I knew more about a topic than others, I thought I was better than them. This often led to distrust, hurt feelings and a lack of real connection with the people in my life. Can you relate to this?

If so, try to experience your feelings and needs for what they are. For example, if you’re in a conversation where someone knows more about the topic than you do, instead of judging them as intellectually superior, check in and experience what you’re feeling by thinking: “I’m feeling insecure right now because I need acceptance and inclusion in the conversation.” Note: Say this to yourself, not the other person.

Step 3: Focus on What You Want

Do you spend more time than you like focusing on what’s missing in your life – rather than on what you want more of? Try shifting your focus. For example, if you’re talking with a friend who interrupts you, rather than thinking: “She is self-centered,” shift your focus to what you want, which could be, “I love it when I’m heard.” When you translate your judgments in this manner it creates a subtle and powerful shift.

Step 4: Remember, Your Best Life is a Living Concept

I believe that living my best life is a living concept that changes with the ebb and flow of life. Ultimately, it means living more inner-directed and thoughtful about where and with whom I spend my time. The result? More joy and ease in all my relationships and activities.

I will be teaching the basic principles of Nonviolent Communication at a workshop, Peaceful Living Through Compassionate Speech, on Saturday, June 25, at the Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley in San Clemente. You can learn more about the workshop at www.cslcv.org. Won’t you join me?

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