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Summary of April 28 -- Compassion

Com passion -- Carol Ann defined this as "passion together", and that fit the quality of connection and enthusiasm that developed in our evening together. We drew on several exercises from Thom Bond this evening (an NVC trainer in New York). To begin, we moved into pairs and talked about something that we had some passion about, and our partner focused on listening with "compassion" as a warm-up before checking in.

Then we worked with the first exercise called a "Compassion Shift". On a sheet of paper, each person wrote a statement we didn't enjoy hearing above a large "T" drawn on the top half of the page. The statement could be something our partner, boss or friend said, and it could also be something we said to ourself. Under the left hand side of the "T", we wrote the Feelings that we felt hearing the statement, and under the right hand side we wrote the needs that were stimulated. Then, we drew another "T" on the bottom half of the page and wrote the feelings and needs that we guessed the speaker had when they said the statement we didn't like. Finally, we checked into our body and noticed if there was any shift in connection or understanding or compassion.

The second exercise involved the distinction between compassion and saving. Again in pairs, each speaker chose a topic where it would be easy for the listener to want to rescue the speaker. The task was for the speaker to listen with compassion, then use self-compassion to calm the self while listening, reminding oneself "This person is always doing the best they can with the resources they have", and that "the biggest gift you can offer is acceptance of where they are in life and faith they will continue to evolve".

The last exercise involved listing 10 things that life was giving you right now. For example, people, air, a beating heart, comfort, love, food in your stomach, your stomach, your eyes, your sense of smell, your nose, your brain, your mother, your children, your ability to think or read. Then write down the needs that these things meet. Read the two lists, tune into your body, and if you feel appreciation, say or think "Thank You". Repeat for 2-3 minutes. A simple, but rewarding self-compassion experience.
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