At our bi-annual 8 Limbs Teacher Meeting in May, Chiara Guerrieri treated many of us to an introduction to Non-Violent Communications, also known as NVC. In one hour she gave us the basic tenets of this burgeoning method of relating to others. It was fascinating, and such a powerful practice to learn as teachers – communication is the name of our game.
The big takeaway I received was this: when humans have their needs met they are generally happy and content; when they don’t, they tend to be mad, sad, or scared. Simple, but essential. And oh so helpful. I remember really getting this when my eldest was a baby. She cried when she had a need. If the need was met she would stop. This is the way of the babe, but it doesn’t stop when we learn to talk.
The problem is, we don’t always know what we want or need, or how to ask for it. We’ve had years of conditioning and advertising that pull us away from that most basic of understandings. So we lose track of our needs, and then wonder why we’re discouraged, or impatient, annoyed or embarrassed.
Next time you feel fussy, or someone around you is reactive, stop and ask yourself: what need is present? What do I need? What do they need? You’ll find it turns reactivity into connection, and disappointment into relief. In classes and retreats I like to ask it more than once: What do you need? What do you really need?
In May many of you made donations to Nepal relief efforts. THANK YOU! 8 Limbs donated $1 to Mercy Corps for every drop-in class purchase the week of May 4-10 ($1200!). When we give charitably to help others in need we also meet some of our own basic personal needs: the needs for empathy, contribution and consideration.
This month we have several amazing opportunities to focus on communication. Jenny Ferry facilitates her Intro to Soul Sex to invite consciousness into that most intimate of connections. And Chiara will offer The Communication of Yoga to extend NVC to the 8 Limbs community.
Happy Solstice, Happy June, and Happy Communicating!
Posted by: Anne Phyfe Palmer
This post is part of the 8 Limbs June 2015 Newsletter. To subscribe visit our website and select “Join our Mailing List.”