Five finds of the fortnight: Edition 36
Announcing a two-day NVC workshop in Mumbai, Aug 20 & 21
A fortnight ago, a journalist from the Times of India contacted me; she was writing a piece on NVC and its relevance in social change work. When the story came out, I was pleasantly surprised to see quoted a participant from a workshop I offered for social changemakers about five years ago—and she shared how NVC supports her in the work she does with survivors of domestic violence.
She said: “Before the NVC training, my capability to empathize often spread me out thin; I mourned with them, when I should have showed them the possibilities they could not see. Being asked why they attempted suicide is not what a survivor needs to hear. Many refuse to eat, or even talk. Previously, this was draining, but now I dialogue with them, validate their pain, earn their trust and chart out a future with and for them based on their needs - not their family's or society's.”
I’m glad to see this because it reaffirms my trust in the ripple effect; knowing that the work I’ve done contributes to change, long after the workshop is over.
I’ll be in conversation tomorrow with Janki Ravani (of House of Happiness) on Nonviolent Communication—join us if you’ve wanted to start exploring NVC.
This is a free event; sign up here to receive the joining link.
This week’s newsletter has resources on anger—a topic I’ve been exploring lately, thanks to Sarah Peyton’s book, “Your Resonant Self.”
Drop me a line to let me know if you’ve found these resources supportive!
1. Quote of the week
Anger is valuable as an alarm clock that wakes us up to present needs that are not being met, while acting out of anger habitually creates a heavy-handedness in which our actual needs are unlikely to be met. Anger becomes a problem when it becomes habitual because as an emotion it has limitations and uses a great deal of energy without providing much direct benefit. Used as a wake-up call, anger can point toward a source of healing. Anger becomes an inner friend inside you when you realize that it is trying to help you to see what it is that you love that you are missing as you learn to better tend to it with care, courage, and curiosity.
~ David Weinstock
2. Image of the week
3. Video of the week
A few years ago, I asked Liv Larsson the question: “Is anger bad for you?”
Watch her response here.
4. Article of the week
An extract from Sarah Peyton’s book, “Your Resonant Self”:
Anger is about what is at stake and what is being threatened in the moment. It can be a spark that starts in the nervous system and roars into a flame, and it can burn down the emotional house. It has a bad reputation because people have received so much harm from angry people misusing their power: domestic violence, bullying, and abusive or scary parents, religious figures and supervisors. Despite anger’s destructive power, it is meant to help us survive, as part of the fight response. We are fighting for what the brain and body believe is a good reason, often based on staving off grief and fear. When we find out what the reason is, the anger becomes less intense. Sometimes it is even possible to defuse the anger by asking, what is frightening me or making me sad?
The least helpful manifestation of anger arises when people seem to believe that if they can figure out who to blame, they can make things turn out differently next time (“You’ll think twice about that in the future!”), and then things will be better. People will often try this tactic with themselves, calling themselves “stupid” or “idiot” in the hope of self-improvement.
But blame-fueled anger can create a negative response in the self, the family or the social circle. At best, people can have hurt feelings, and at worst, there can be a trail of broken relationships and terrified family members, and even physical injury and death.
As we begin to notice and strip away blame, we can move toward using the energy of anger without weakening social and emotional havoc. There is a purity in the intensity of expression that anger brings when it is cleaned of blame.
5. Upcoming event alert
I’m offering an introductory NVC workshop in Mumbai this August. If you’ve been meaning to formally learn NVC, this would be a great place to begin.
Dates: August 20& 21 (Sat & Sun)
Timings: 10 am - 6 pm
Venue: Hotel Suba Galaxy, Andheri
Fee: INR 17,000
Sign up now, or share this with someone who may benefit.