June 27, 2012 § Leave a Comment
AKA How to Name Your Needs in a Way that is Loving, Respectful, and Empathetic
In our own humanness, we have a tendency to express ourselves on a day to day basis that is violent, combative, and pushes others away.
There are so many ways to communicate in this life that it’s sometimes difficult to know what the best way is, if any. After being married to Mr. Trever O’Brien for over four years, I know that communication is extremely important and something we often try to work on. It’s definitely been the key to our “success.”
Looking back at my own personal mapping–that is, all of my life during childhood–I’ve been watching adults model communication styles that are power, manipulation, struggle, ego, control, and blame among others.
All and all, these communication styles fall under Violence.
They hurt the mind, body, soul, and spirit. That hurt causes an endless amount of issues as we grow up. Yep. We all have issues. That doesn’t mean we can’t heal those hurts by meeting our current needs.
That’s the glorious thing: Our needs can be communicated through Nonviolent Communication (NVC) in a way that is beneficial to meeting those needs.
We miss the mark with each other and step into violent communication when we don’t name our specific need. Without that specific goal in mind, without it being out on the table, we are destroying our relationships and connection with one another rather than building them up.
Let’s put it this way: We have to know somewhere deep down inside that using aggression by flipping someone off while driving will never get our needs met or cause us to feel any happier. And in the end, that’s the hope that each one of us desires.
To get our needs met.
We need to get back to the root of simply knowing the real need of our hearts and naming it. It’s as simple as that. Forget the “I feel” statements. You really just need the trash taken out. I need the trash taken out, would you mind ________________ . (Watching the kids while I do it, taking it out for me before you have a shower, helping me take it down because I have two bags now.)
Where do you start?
• Work through any underlying mind clutter.
• Get to the root of the anger and/or depression.
• Be clear about your own needs before expressing them in a violent manner.
• Make sure you’re regulated (here’s some great tips on self-regulating)
Now you’re ready to define and name your need. As simple as this task may seem, it makes a world of difference in your every day life. It’s a practice of mindfulness, of walking in light. Name that need. You’ll be the better person for it.
December 30, 2011 § 1 Comment
If you’ve got too much going on, constantly feel busy, or like life is passing you by…perhaps it is, but it doesn’t have to be that way. No one ever said you had to be “this” productive or get “that” much done. Granted, there definitely is a western mentality that behooves you to do as much as absolutely possible. Yet maybe there’s a better way to live.
A more relaxing, enjoyable, enticing, beautiful, zen way to live. A way that is healthier for your mind, spirit, emotions, and health. Or more so, you as a whole. And it’s not as hard as you may think.
By following a simple rule, you’ll slim down your load of obligations by properly prioritizing what’s really important to you. Sound impossible? It doesn’t have to be. It does, however, cause you to really figure out what your life is about. Rather than filling it with this, that, and the other thing, how about slimming it down to 5?
Focus on 5 can be cross-applied to every aspect of your life. That’s what I love about the simplicity of it. You can have five work goals, five relationship goals, five spiritual, physical, mental, or chores-for-the-day goals. Whatever you want to call um, you can just make it five.
No one ever said you had to do more than that. No one even said you had to do five. But let’s just fantasize what those five would be if you could just do that.
In my life personally, I have five focuses at a time and I don’t add more to my plate unless something is taken away. At the moment, those 5 are: Family, Relationships, JennyLvoe.com, Creative Consulting, and Prepping for Baby. When Baby arrives, I’ll replace the focus on something else, while Baby will then fall into the “Family” category. Maybe go back to learning about website development, learn a language, or something else entirely!
The other area that I consistently use this philosophy in is in my daily chore life. I only allow myself to write down five to-do’s. I’ve found that I’ve never had to do more than five a day as long as I complete all five that are on the list.
I also make sure things don’t get on the list that don’t need to be. For instance, when someone emails/calls/texts me, I reply. When I go to the store to get something and bring it home, I organize it and put it away immediately. I pick up things, dust, vacuum, sweep, etc. as messes are made and needed cleaning, rather than letting it pile up and having to add it to my list of five. This technique works about 90% of the time. When it doesn’t work, I’m being lazy or I’m sick. And pretty soon it’ll be because I’m trying to figure out how to raise two people, instead of just one. Ha!
And of course, this works in your professional life. You never want to spread yourself too thin by wearing too many hats. You benefit others the most by knowing what you love and accomplishing what your strengths are. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or you work for someone else, it’s important to know what you’re good at and what others expect of you. Sticking to five main work obligations and five tasks a day will keep work from becoming too overwhelming.
If you’re feeling like you can relate to any of the above, perhaps it’s time for a good purging. Our minds can become too cluttered with stuff and our material stuff can overburden our souls. Start with your mind clutter and write down what’s taking up too much space. Let it go and only stick to five tasks a day. Then move on to your possessions; declutter and reorganize. These steps will help you feel like a new person. Focus on five. You can do this! It’s a New Year and there’s always space for a new, slimmer you!
Happy New Year!
Community Discussion: When you day dream about just “five”, how does it make you feel? Are you up for the challenge? What would your five be?