Posts categorized “Sensing”.

Owning your needs

We all have needs, there is no denying it. Every action we take is based upon a strategy to get those needs met. The real question here is how aware are we of our needs? In my own life, and in the family and the culture that I grew up in, needs were things to be denied. There was empowerment to be had in being self-sufficient, in not needing much at all. This is admirable, but when there is a need for consideration, respect and care in an abusive relationship, or when there is a need for clarity and communication in an unclear, messy work situation, donʼt you think it would be good to know what your needs are very concretely? Read More »

Owning Your Feelings

If someone is mean to you, gets angry at you for no good reason, how would you feel about it? You might feel calm and pitying towards the angry other, or instead you might feel upset. How you feel or react depends on alot of factors. Those factors are tied up with how you are triggered, depending on your past experiences, your biography, and how you have learnt to react. So you see, your feelings, or your reactions in that moment, really are not as dependent upon the other as you might think. Read More »

Four levels of responsibility

We live in a world shaped by habits of retribution – that punishment and blame are morally justified. We habitually blame others for how we feel, and blame the world for what happens to us. It is not in our cultural vernacular to claim ownership for our lives.

We allow others to be in control, and to tell us what to do. Our health care industry is rampant with mental models of blame – its the virus, its the disease, its genetics – and disempowerment – doctor’s orders, if the doctors can’t fix it, nobody can fix it. Our justice system is built upon the premise of punishment and blame and guilt, right and wrong. This is very convenient, because we don’t have to take responsibility when we have experiences that are outside of our understanding or of our comfort zone.

If we would be willing to take up the reins of our own lives, to step outside of the personal paradigms made up of what we are taught, what we are told, what we have been given to believe, the first thing that will be asked of us is to take responsibility for that which we have re-claimed. With autonomy, with independence, comes responsibility.

There are four levels of responsibility I want to address, though no doubt there are many additional ways to think about this. I have chosen these four, to build upon each other and form, together, a holistic picture of what responsibility is, and what it requires of us:

1. Owning your feelings,
2. Owning your needs,
3. Owning what happens to you,
4. Owning your biography.

Over the next four weeks, I’ll be posting about each level. Stay tuned. Every Monday night.

The Shadow, or, The Guardian of the Threshold

Do you know what a shadow is? Sometimes it is called the shadow-side, that part of us that is ugly, dark, maimed, and terrifying. Some people believe it is an expression of the dark side of humanity, that we are stuck with and must learn to deal with, that all the ugliness we see in the world is the result of our shadow. Read More »

Connecting to the need

(This article is based upon the work of Marshall Rosenburg, founder of Non-Violent Communication. If you wish to find out more about NVC concepts and practices, read his groundbreaking book: Non-Violent Communication; A Language of Life.
You can also find many more resources and information on the website of the Center For Non-Violent Communication:

Connecting to our needs is an integral part of coming to know ourselves better, and finding healing from our stuck places. Needs, as the method of Non-Violent Communication defines them, are life serving, life affirming qualities that matter deeply to us. Needs are things like understanding, purpose, self-expression, or autonomy. In making a practice of connecting to our deeper needs, we develop a capacity for self-awareness, especially in times of difficulty and struggle. Knowing what we are actually needing in any given moment gets us very present to what really matters to us. Read More »

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