Road Rage, and the third option

Category : Changing perspective, Healing your body, Inspiration, New rules, Transforming your relationships

One of the most clear examples of anger out of control is in the case of road rage.

Picture the scenario: a person cuts you off as you are driving on the highway. You look over at them and they shoot you a nasty look. Then escalates to them flipping you the bird. You are thinking, what is going on here? He speeds off and you are left shaking your head and stewing over the fate of humanity, or worse.

Then a few miles later you pull over at the rest stop and go in. As you are walking toward the bathroom you see the person waiting in the Starbucks line.

Now, what are your options? Our society has evolved to really steer us to one of two options. The first and probably most common is to just ignore the person. Fear of them having a gun or being violent takes over and we swallow any emotion we have and we move on.

The second option is to approach them and say something that gets stuff off our chest. “Hey, how about toning it down out there, you are going to kill someone being reckless like that!”

What about a third option? The one where we walk up to the person, look them in the eye and calmly say, “I saw that you were upset out on the highway, I know it gets kind of hectic out there, I wanted to see if you were OK?” If the third option is used with sincerity, eye contact, and a composed demeanor, can we see how it could diffuse tense situations and make the world a better place?

Would love to hear your comments and idea’s around this.

Valentines Day reminder- Presents vs. Presence

Category : Changing perspective, Inspiration, Transforming your relationships

As Valentines day quickly approaches, there can be an increase in anxiety. I have heard many talk about the pressure that they feel to “do Valentines Day right”. One woman I knew said that the MINIMUM effort she expected was dinner, flowers, chocolate and a gift. That was break even! That’s rough!

Is rough because the expectation has taken one of the main ingredients out of the process and that is the THOUGHT. It’s the thought that counts has become a cliche because…..its true! It is the thought that counts.

I would even go one further. That the single most important thing on Valentines Day has nothing to do at all with presents. I has everything to do with Presence. Presence in an extra long hug. Presence in long, relaxed, loving eye contact. Presence in really mindful gestures of service like making a ceremony out of presenting your partners morning tea or coffee to them. Presence in listening without distraction.

The experience of exchanging Presence with your loved one might be so enjoyable and satisfying that you’ll decide to make it an everyday practice.

How to say No in Giraffe

Category : Changing perspective, Inspiration, Transforming your relationships

Photography By Myles Aronowitz/Lush Photography

Photography By Myles Aronowitz/Lush Photography

Last week we were wrapping up an amazing panel discussion called Evoking the Goddess. I was the moderator and after a steady start the panel really came alive, with heart felt testimony and inspiring stories. The audience was leaning forward with good questions and insights, really adding to the inspired energy in the room.

We had planned for an end time of 9:15pm, and because one of the panelists had to be elsewhere right after the event I was feeling a sense of urgency to end on time.

I probably allowed one or two more questions than the time allowed so when another person in the audience said “Can I ask one more question?” My answer of NO! didn’t contain a whole lot of kindness and compassion.

My office mate Mike Murphy (a long time student and teacher of Non Violent Communication) was sitting right near the person who asked the question. He heard someone justifiably comment to her that my response was not particularly gentle (paraphrasing).

The next day Mike and I were talking about the event. He relayed his experience on the exchange and then dropped this gem on me.

He said, “Do you want to know how to say No in giraffe?” I knew something good was coming.

We have four foot giraffe in our office because the giraffe is the symbol of Non Violent Communication. It has a 26 lb. heart, observes from above the fray, has no natural predators etc.

“You speak from your own needs, so the answer to the question in Giraffe would be about what you as the moderator needed”

Wow.

Feel the difference between these two:

Q – Can I ask another question?
A – NO!

or

Q – Can I ask another question?
A – I need to wrap this up now because we have panelists that have time constraints, but there will be ample time for discussion after we finish.

With NO! it can have so much collateral damage. With stating my needs, that’s it. Everyone is whole.

For more info on how to speak in Giraffe go to http://www.cnvc.org/

The Gift of Time

Category : Changing perspective, Transforming your relationships

One of the greatest gifts you can give in a relationship, is to give your partner guilt free time… by doing something for yourself.

Here is a scenario. Your in a relationship for a while, your lives are busy, so you try to carve out as much time with your partner as you can.  Many times this turns into a zero sum game where any free time spent away from them is time that you’ve “stolen” from your partner.  You pass up fun times with friends or more importantly, learning and growth activities for yourself, so as not to lose any “time equity” at home.   You can hear this in the dour tone of a friend when you ask him to come with you to a seminar that you know would be great for him,  “No, I can’t, been traveling a lot for work.  Have to be home that night.” As if you awarded points for home nights, regardless of the quality of the night.

Now if your partner is also doing this you may be well on your way to a stagnant standoff.  “She never gets to go to seminars so I can’t very well go myself.” you think.  It’s as if you both have come to an agreement to hold back and not do anything new without even checking with each other or consciously feeling into it.

What to do?

Someone needs to make the first move.  I was in this scenario years ago and my girlfriend broke the spell by signing up for a nutrition course that had her away pretty much one full weekend a month.  While this was great for her,  an incredible thing happened for me.  I felt like I was handed a full Saturday and Sunday each month to do or create anything I wanted.  The time felt like it had a different texture.  One Saturday I walked the length of Brooklyn by myself with no agenda.  Loved it.  Not exactly the type of thing you do if you are keeping a secret point total in your head for how good your home attendance is.  “Hey honey, I’m gonna go walking, I’ll be back in six hours”  Can you imagine?  It was possible because of the gift of time she gave me that weekend.  And we were both much better off for it.