5 Practices for Deepening NVC
At the recent IIT in Santa Barbara, I offered a workshop in some practices to assist folks in integrating NVC Consciousness more deeply. Over the next few days, I intend to offer brief descriptions of the practices. I'd love to hear your responses and experiences.
5. Cradle of Compassion
In Marshall's suggestions for working with anger, his first step is to "Stop and Breathe". I have found it useful to practice this strategy when I'm feeling otherwise than angry. This has contributed to cultivating more choice when angry feelings and thoughts are stimulated.
To practice, find a comfortable sitting position with eyes open or closed. Set an intention to connect with yourself.
I like to enjoy a few deep, conscious breaths; then focus on my breath, noticing the rise and fall of my abdomen on the inhale and the exhale. Notice the feelings in the body.
If I become aware of a thought, I "label" it, then let it go, returning to my breath and the feelings in my body. By labeling, I simply mean to notice the thought, then say "thinking" to myself. If the thought persists or returns, I label it again. It is not unusual to completely forget that you are doing this process, especially when you are first learning. We habitually become entangled in our thoughts in an unconscious way. This practice is designed to add more choice to the thinking process.
I continue like this for 5-35 minutes.
At the conclusion of the practice, I enjoy connecting with any needs met and savoring them and attending to any unmet needs.