Learning NVC brings us to a place where in every single conversation, we hold capacity for needs to be realized and met. With a recent coaching client, Dian heard her while she talked about an upcoming project at work and everything she “should” do to get it done. Coaching her in self-empathy led to the woman’s realization that when she took away the “shoulds,” she was able to see what excited her about the project and created actionable steps that she could accomplish that day. What had been weighing her down was the “should” – the logic of absolutes and domination had been keeping her from connecting with her sense of joy about her work.
Want to try a version of this practice? Try this exercise…
1) Write down a “should” that you have. For example, “I should be paying more attention to my bills and finances—look, I got another late fee on my credit card this month!!” In making this statement, notice the experience in your body—if you are anxious, tense, or restricted and where you notice those sensations (in your chest, back, arms, etc).
2) Now listen underneath that “should” for what your feelings and needs might be. For the example above, you might be feeling anxious and concerned, wanting sustainability, peace of mind, and an efficient use of your resources. You may also want to see yourself as responsible and aware.
3) Pick one need that has the most “juice” for you and imagine a moment when that need was fully met. Take in the energy and “nutrition” of that need, as met.
4) Check in with yourself and you body again. Do you feel now a greater level of relaxation and ease? What choices or requests might you make of yourself at this moment? If you are noticing a level of tension still, see if there are other thoughts, shoulds or judgments around this situation. If you’re not noticing any, ask yourself this question: “What would give me peace about this situation?”
5) Regardless of the feelings, needs and strategies you come discover, take a moment for loving kindness and compassion for yourself. What needs were you meeting or saying yes to by focusing on other tasks and activities when the bill was not paid this month? Take a moment to appreciate the other needs you value in your life and also are meeting!! Did you find this exercise helpful?
We appreciate your feedback…please comment below or contact us and let us know what you learned from this exercise!