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Living Compassion Weekly Tips Series – Week 41

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“Don’t fill the air with a lot of words. Rather, create a flow where the other person can tell you what they need to know.”

– Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication:
A Language of Life

Living Compassion Tip — Week 41

Heart in Your Hands

Imagine this moment: You’ve been practicing your making a request with a loved one. You observed a situation that just happened, figured out how you felt, attached a need and made a clear request. Now you stand with your heart in your hands waiting for a response.

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg writes, “After we’ve openly expressed ourselves and received the understanding we want, we’re often eager to know the other person’s reaction to what we’ve said.”

We are curious about three things:

1. What the listener is feeling
2. What the listener is thinking
3. Whether the listener is willing to take a particular action

Sharing can leave you feeling vulnerable. In fact, the saying, “holding your heart in your hands” infers anxiousness. That anxiousness can keep us from being open to hearing what the other person has to say, no matter what it is.

With this definition, we can recognize that the listener’s reaction is only a small piece of the whole experience. Your willingness to be vulnerable, to share with an open heart, is also a huge piece that can be satisfying in and of itself, regardless of the response you receive.

But “hold your heart in your hands” can have another meaning: No matter what response we get, we have offered our words from our heart. Our heart has literally flowed through our words.

Mindful Practice for the Week

This week, focus on sharing from your heart. Put your anxiousness about the response you might receive aside, and focus on the satisfaction and joy you can experience by sharing freely from the heart. Enjoy your week!