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Jim

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This is the first in a series of workshops focused on key values that come up frequently in NVC. Tonight's topic was connection. We had an intimate evening talking about what makes connection important to us, what makes it challenging, ways we can get caught up in jackal thinking toward ourselves or others, and ways that help us reconnect to ourselves and people we want more closeness with. Even that person in front of us in the check out line at the supermarket can provide us an opportunity for connection if we are willing to reach out (thanks for that, Carol Ann). Another thought that seemed helpful was the recognition that when we get caught up in right/wrong, good/bad thinking it can seem like the only choice, but it might be possible to remind ourselves to consciously inquire "How would I see this from Giraffe consciousness (looking for understanding and connection)? Taking time to pay attention to our body's reactions, to more fully experience our own body-in-motion, to wonder if we are hungry, angry, lonely or tired, (HALT) and then address our physical needs can also help us connect to ourselves and others.

The following is the worksheet we used:

Connection is one of the core values underlying nonviolent communication. We can speak and/or listen in ways that promote connection, and the four steps of NVC (Observation, Feelings, Needs and Requests) are intended to support us in building connection. When we use the four steps in each of the three forms of communication (empathy, self-empathy and honest expression), we increase our chances to build closer connection.

What makes connection important to you?

What is it that helps you tap into the sense of connection? What stimuli are easy for you to interpret as connecting? Is there a request you can think of that is a way for you to experience connection?

When you are not experiencing the level of connection you seek, what feelings, thoughts and reactions rise up for you? Do you struggle with being able to make or receive connection?

Jackal thinking (Blaming, criticizing, judging, defending)

1.       Blame yourself: What thoughts, feelings and behaviours come up?

2.       Blame others: What thoughts, feelings and behaviours come up?

Giraffe consciousness (curious, open, attentive, secure)

1.       Connect to self: What are the needs you are trying to meet with your thoughts, feelings and behaviours? Savour the needs: explore and enjoy the ways connection shows up in your relationship with yourself.

2.      Connect to other: What needs are they trying to meet with their words, emotions and behaviours? Savour the needs: explore and enjoy the ways connection shows up in your relationships with others.
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