Message from Myra
A month ago I called my friend Yolanda with a very heavy heart. “I am overwhelmed and stressed out,” I said. “I have so much to do.” With her permission, I’d like to tell you a story. Yolanda said that some time ago she fractured her ankle and was homebound for three months. Unable to move freely, her life slowed down. To her surprise, she was rather happy! She spent time with friends who visited her and she got in touch with gratitude for the many good things in her life.
This story evokes a longing in me, I so want to have more quiet time. For decades, I have been working more than is healthy for me. When I go on retreat, I taste the sweet nectar of quiet time, but then I go back to my daily routine of working long hours. Before I learned Nonviolent Communication (NVC) I used to resign myself to the stress of overwork. Now it is clear that the unpleasant feelings I experience are a clash of cymbals letting me know that there is something amiss: Attention! Attention! A need is unmet.
I am grateful to NVC for increased clarity to understand my feelings and enhance my life by paying attention to needs. From this perspective, unpleasant feelings are not to be (temporarily) relieved with clever arguments from myself to myself, or transcended with meditation. Instead, they are to be heeded as they lead me to a source of life – human needs.
My New Year’s resolution is to make more time for rest and relaxation in the evening. Below is a form I designed which I’d like to share with you in case it’s helpful.
1. What unpleasant feelings do you experience recurrently? <emI often feel overwhelmed and stressed out.
2. What actions stimulate these feelings? I work hard at my job then I come home and work on the IEC.
3. What need(s) are you meeting by doing this? I’m moving towards my need for freedom to do the work I love.
4. What needs are you NOT meeting by this action? My need to have enough daily rest and relaxation to restore my body and mind.
5. What can you do to meet all the needs above simultaneously? I can work on the IEC project every day and stop working at 8 pm to listen to music and do yoga.
6. What support can you set in place to help you reach this goal? I will write to Rachel about how many days I followed my objective every week and I will talk to Marge every other week for additional support, empathy and insight.
7. What will be the benefit of meeting this goal? I will have more energy. I will be happier. I can contribute more.
May 2011 be a year when we are able to meet more of our Needs.
Warm regards to everyone,
Institute for Empowering Communication