The state of the economy is bringing hardship and stress or affecting almost all of us in some way. That most likely includes you - and also includes us. We want to offer you resources to support you - and also to ask for your support.
With the aim of contributing to you, we offer you this special, content-rich bulletin, dedicated to NVC and money. Here you will find suggestions for NVC processes to help you connect with yourself about the effects of financial stress on your life and support you in making choices about giving that line up with your needs and values. These are our gifts to you, our attempt to contribute to you in the way we know best: by sharing NVC - the work that has brought us together.
We also hope to inspire you to give to us even if you are generally reducing your spending at this time. You can choose to make a donation, volunteer your time, bring us to organizations you know, give your friends gift certificates of our classes for the holidays, and more. You can also decide to make NVC a priority in your life this year and sign up for our classes or longer programs yourself! Doing so now can contribute to your peace of mind about your commitment to yourself, and to our financial well being.
The work of BayNVC is as vital as ever. Indeed, stress tends to create more challenges and conflicts, and our skills are sought after by individuals, couples, schools, organizations, and communities facing increased strife and reduced capacity. The level of challenge we are experiencing on a societal level offers all of us an opportunity to stretch - not only financially, but also spiritually - to recognize that we are all interdependent, that we are intricately involved with all of life.
Particularly now, we invite our community to stretch to ensure that BayNVC will survive and fulfill its mission of working towards creating a world where everyone matters and people have the skills for making peace.
I've been inspired by how and why people choose to give to BayNVC. A scholarship recipient in our Leadership Program volunteers her time at BayNVC and also donates $11 each month. She shared her reasons for volunteering and for stretching her very limited financial resources to donate as well:
"BayNVC gives me far more than I can ever give back. No other place I know is as generous in trying to accommodate people who don't have the means. What I donate doesn't come close to what you give me. I feel such a desire to contribute for all that I'm given. To meet the need within myself for contribution to BayNVC may take my lifetime."
On the other end of the spectrum of financial giving, one of our Seventh Generation donors shared: "When I give to BayNVC, I feel like I'm giving to myself. I am contributing to my granddaughters' generation." And another donor who contributed $10,000 said: "This is the most effective and strategic use of my money that I can think of."
What about you? Have you benefited directly from our programs? Do you know others who have? Do you want BayNVC to remain a resource to all of the individuals and organizations in the Bay Area, and around the world who seek to expand their inner resources and bring more peace to the world - regardless of their financial means? If your answer is yes, please, take a moment right now to show your support by making a donation.
We hope you will choose to partner with us in these challenging times. We are seeking to raise an additional $40,000 this year to enable us to continue our work and to offer the tools of peace to all who seek them. Please give as much as you joyfully can.
With gratitude for your support,
For the BayNVC team
P.S. Check out BayNVC's new videos - we find them inspiring! Click on "favorites" on the right of that page to see more options.
P.P.S. If you're a parent of young children in the Bay Area, consider joining one of the upcoming performances of an NVC-inspired children's play this weekend!
NVC Support for the Effects of Financial Stress on Your Life
Resources to Support YOU!
NVC Support for Making Full-Hearted Choices about Giving
Resources to Support YOU -
Most people respond to challenging economic times by reducing spending, even if they themselves are not severely affected. Reducing spending is a way of taking responsibility for the resources we have and of anticipating what we might need in the future. Yet even in the midst of economic challenges, many people also choose to give.
you are struggling with the choice about giving money, or with how to
decide where to give, we invite you to use NVC to connect with your
deepest needs and to make a choice from this place of joy and self
connection, rather that from any guilt or a sense of obligation. Coming to a decision from a place of self-connection can contribute to inner peace, self-acceptance, and joy -- whatever choice you make.
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Support for Financial Stress - Resources
1. An NVC perspective on living life fully
One of the first things we lose when we have a hard time is perspective. Perspective on ourselves, our situation, and life. Our habits take over, old stories play in our minds, and we may find ourselves challenged to remember what matters to us most, what we value, how we want to meet life.
Many people find NVC's Key Assumptions and Intentions, which offer our summary of NVC's perspective on life, to be an inspiration, an anchor to return to in tough times.
2. Self-empathy as a foundation for joyful living
If you've been exploring NVC for a while, you've probably already experienced how much connecting with yourself more deeply can contribute to you. The NVC process of self-empathy invites us to open into an exploration of an area of our inner lives. The motivation for such exploration is not to change external reality but to transform our inner experience. Our assumption is that the quality of connection we have with ourselves can transform our experience of life. Then we can see more clearly what is within our power to change externally as well.
The basic practice of self-empathy includes observing thoughts, judgments, physical sensations, images, etc., and using them as clues to our underlying feelings and needs. Self-empathy can also include making requests of ourselves or exploring requests we might make of others.
We want to offer you two self-empathy journals that take this process deeper, supporting a movement toward self-knowledge, self-acceptance, inner peace, and freedom:
Layers of Self-Connection can support you in discovering your deepest needs.
Facets of Self-Connection can support you in finding different ways to relate to your needs.
you are familiar with these two processes, you can use them to deepen any other exploration, such as connecting more
deeply with the needs behind anger, self-judgments, etc.
3. Self-judgments and shame
Self-judgments can be a source of tremendous pain, even depression. Many of us experience a steep rise in self-judgments when we are under stress. Yet self-judgments can be used as a clue that we have unmet needs, and therefore as an opportunity to nurture ourselves with more self-connection.
When we judge ourselves about specific actions, we can connect with needs not met by the action we took (mourning), connect with needs we were attempting to meet by the action we took - whether or not they were actually met (self-compassion), and even connect with needs that give rise to the judgment (self-connection in the moment). The Mourning and Self-Compassion journal will guide you through this process.
When we judge ourselves about specific qualities or overall "limitations," we can engage in a slightly different process, including connecting with the needs and dreams that lead to the judgment, and transforming comparisons, "should," and any other inner contraction into connection with feelings and needs. Look for the Working with Our Limitations journal to support you in this process.
4. Working with anger
Some of us respond to stress with anger or judgments of others. Anger is usually an indication that our needs are not met, that our attention is focused on thoughts and judgments instead of on our own or the other person's needs, and that we are not connecting with ourselves to understand our needs or the other person's needs.
We can transform anger internally, shifting from either acting out of the anger or suppressing it, into investigating the thoughts, needs, and feelings behind it. The Self-Connection: Anger journal will guide you through that process.
5. Taking responsibility for our actions
Living from "shoulds" and "have to's" saps much of the joy of life. Taking responsibility for our choices can support us in regaining a sense of power and recognizing the choices we do have in how we respond to life. This is a foundation of returning to joy.
The Taking Responsibility for Our Actions journal can support you with this process.
6. Celebration and gratitude
In challenging times, it is particularly important to make time for celebration, gratitude and appreciation, to help us notice what is going well, nurture our own and others' well being, and infuse more joy into our lives.
To express gratitude and appreciation, focus on making observations without evaluations and on the needs met by the actions you appreciate. You can read Inbal's article about NVC appreciation instead of praise, and use the Gratitude and Appreciation journal to help you articulate your gratitude and appreciation to others.
Consider sharing gratitude and celebrations of needs met daily - toward yourself, and to the people close to you.
We hope you enjoyed the articles and journals you chose to explore. You can make a difference in our capacity to continue to share these and other resources by making a donation.
We also invite you to join us for our upcoming classes, workshops and programs.
Support for Choices about Giving
Continued from above...
The key to taking actions joyfully has to do with connecting with the underlying needs behind our choices. So if you consider the question of whether, how much, and to whom to give money to this year, ask yourself these two questions:
1. What am I thinking of doing? (Do I want to make financial contributions? To whom? How much? Do I want to refrain from making financial contributions?)
2. What are my reasons for wanting to do this?
If your reasons for any action (or inaction) include guilt, shame, obligation, fear of consequences or desire for reward, consider pausing and exploring:
What are the needs underneath any guilt, shame, obligation, fear or desire for reward that you might experience?
Take time to connect with those needs. You may want to engage with the Deepening Layers of Needs journal to get more insight and self-connection. You can also explore the journal Opening to Yes, designed to support you in reaching a "yes" or a "no," and Miki's article about this topic, The Heart of Our Yes.
Then consider again: Do you want to give money? What are your motivations now?
If you find multiple impulses or voices within you related to the choice to give, consider opening your heart to each part of you to discover what needs that part is holding, deepening the layers of self-connection with each set of needs. By taking the time to hear each part, you will be contributing to your relationship with yourself, building trust that all parts within you matter, and finding a path to decision making that truly holds all your needs with care.
We at BayNVC are certainly hoping for your financial support, yet we have a commitment to our mission, which includes inviting all people to experience the gifts of NVC. In this case, we want to support you to live fully in line with your values, to give out of the joy of giving, because you see how it would meet your needs - or to choose not to give. We enjoy so much the experience of receiving when people give to us out of free, open-hearted choice. To paraphrase Marshall Rosenberg, "when the giving is free, there is no telling who is the giver, and who the receiver." We want you to experience joy in giving to us and in receiving our gratitude.
Perhaps this exploration can be part of your gift to yourself this year - a gift of self-connection and growing joy.
And if you find that you do indeed want to gift BayNVC, we welcome your contribution with great joy and gratitude.
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