News & Articles

Empathy & Listening by Laura Berry

“Wow, you’re a good listener!” I used to get that a lot. However, I don’t think it was true. I’ve become a much better one. It’s not easy, but I’m striving to become an empathetic listener. Before I used to say things like, “Your boss is a jerk!” and  “It’s not you, it’s them.” And—oh yes—“I think he has a serious mental problem.” I probably told people exactly what they wanted to hear (no wonder they loved me). I had no idea I ...

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Poetry – The Barbed Wire Effect of Judgments

Poetry – The Barbed Wire Effect of Judgments

These are not flowers
for picking or smelling.
They are for
trapping, entangling.

Once caught, there’s a
binding, a holding.
As if in reality,
we’re lost without knowing.

About the moment of freedom
there’s a rebound,
a reaching out,
a catching again.

What does it want?

As I use my strength
to roll it up,
it recoils.
I untangle.

I stand and say
Now
once again
NOW

I pull it up
from the root,
untangle, and finally
roll it up.

Freedom

May ...

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Gratitude Practice

Last week I spent time in silent retreat lead by Donald Rothberg in North Carolina ~ and I want to share the gratitude practice he shared with us.

First and foremost, if you are reading this (meaning you are on my mailing list), you are probably on a spiritual journey and are already doing a significant amount of personal work in your life.  Practices such as gratitude can greatly enhance and support your personal work, possibly even accelerate your growth.

When you ...

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Speak Your Appreciation

It seems this is the time of year for counting our blessings.

My intention in writing this article is to support you in clearly expressing to others how your LIFE has been enhanced by their action(s).

Before beginning I want to bring to light two things:

  1. Every moment is an opportunity to feel grateful.
  2. How you actually speak your appreciation will determine to a large extent how the other person hears and receives your message.

I have heard expressions of appreciation that have sounded something ...

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Seeing Clearly

Seeing Clearly

“The first component of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) entails the separation of observation from evaluation.  We need to clearly observe what we are seeing, hearing, or touching that is affecting our sense of well-being, without mixing in any evaluation.”  (Marshall Rosenberg)

The more I work with untangling my observations from my evaluations (making meaning of things) the less I find that my observations have anything to do with my sense of well-being.  I am finding what is actually affecting is my sense ...

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Andrea Loved Into It

Andrea Loved Into It

I heard my friend Andrea talking one evening about how she loved her way to stop smoking.  I was so moved by what she said, I asked her if she would write her story so I could share it.

Here is Andrea Adams story:  Loving My Addiction  (July 20, 2012)

How’d I quit smoking?  I eased my hold on the hatred I had generated so long associated with my smoking habit and gradually learned to love into all things related to cigarettes.  ...

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Choice – Returning to Presence

Choice – Returning to Presence

We all get triggered.  Pema Chodron writes about the Tibetan word shenpa that she translates into getting hooked.  “Someone says a harsh word and something in you tightens: instantly you’re hooked.  That tightness quickly spirals into blaming the person or denigrating yourself.  The chain reaction of speaking or acting or obsession happens fast.  This is very personal.  What was said gets to you-it triggers you.  It might not bother someone else at all, but we’re talking about what touches your ...

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Freedom – What gives you a sense of Freedom?

Freedom – What gives you a sense of Freedom?

 

Happy 4th – Experience freedom today, and pass it on.

My very good friend (best friend – Cynthia), said something I think was profound today.

She said “You can leave this situation, and yes there would be a particular pain in the situation of leaving. Just the same, there would also be a particular pain in the staying.”

A sense of freedom washed over me.  I realized that it doesn’t matter.  Making one choice over the other choice isn’t going to make me ...

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Finding Freedom – A Do Over

June 2012

You can ask for a “Do Over” any time. Yes, it does not seem common, at least in our adult culture, to say, “Can I have a do over?” Sometimes I hear, “Can we start over?” However, if I am feeling some type of frustration already, I tend to hear the “we” as blame and I might begin unconsciously defending myself. Where as, if someone says “Can “I” have a ...

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Peace Matters News June 2012

The first six months here at Peace Matters have been wonderful for me.  Here are some specifics.

  • Heartland NVC Mediation Program – Mediate Your Life began its third year here in Kansas City.  This is the most transforming work I have ever been involved with.  Six participants returned for their third year, and five for their second year as well as 14 participants for their first year.  My friend Yonmi came from Seoul, South Korea to join us to learn our ...
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