The Power of a Full YES!

I had a session with Marianne from, and she suggested that I may like to check out when my “full yes” isn’t on board, as a way to increase my energy and also my trust in myself, in relationships.

Has someone suggested something to you and you think “YES!”? That yes feels great. When I don’t have an enthusiastic, heart-felt yes it feels different inside me. It could be just a tiny bit of a “no” (you know the type you can ignore), and the rest of me says “yes”. That tiny bit of “no” may not get heard – in my case, quite often!

Only going ahead with something when the yes is full hearted, is scary for me. Sooo often there is a partial “no”. I plan to make it a practice to notice when I don’t have a full yes (for some people it is about having a full no, so translate if that is you).

As choice is something that has been identified as reducing violence, Nonviolent Communication aims at increasing our choices. This is one method.

I want to hear the part of me that normally gets ignored and my aim is to be safer in my connection with other people. I am really excited about learning to trust myself more!

A current example is with the Covid-19. I hear what the government, some medics, the NHS, family and some members of my community say – and yet there are parts of me feeling…kind of niggled…and so far I haven’t really listened to them, to their wisdom. I haven’t taken 5 minutes to ask myself what else is going on inside me, around the lockdown. I have jumped straight to my strategy, without checking out my feelings and needs. I feel sad as I am writing and I acknowledge this.

It helps me to remember that love and energy are related. That my fatigue (it may be depression, confidence or anxiety for some or an allergy or physical reaction for others) is related to connection and (Marianne believes) to my “full yes”.

Marianne suggested some steps to learning to live using full yeses, and it isn’t just “do it”. I have further split up her suggestions, to make it simpler, and added my own steps too. I hope this will help me and you not to expect to climb Mt Everest without the training and equipment! Here are the steps I am following if you want to try them out too. Please share below your experiences and any “equipment” you have found! We can learn together.

  1. Find a little notebook (so you can carry it around). Ask: How do I know when I have a half yes? What happens to me or/and inside me? What does my body experience, when part of me wants to say yes, but another part isn’t fully on board?  Notice, make notes, notice after the event if not at the time.

The aim is to research yourself. Eg when I continued with the yes part of me, what was my need? Did I know at the time? Did I panic? (Yes!). What does my no want?

In other words, get to know yourself around this. I recommend that instead of making any changes, you bring compassion or care for yourself, this isn’t about expecting to be able to climb the Mt Everest of full yeses! For me this is about the training, before I even attempt it. I am still learning this stage! Once you become good at this ….

  1. Draw up a list of 10 people you trust enough to say no to. Put the list in order of the easiest first, so the easiest is at the top. I think at this point I may need to give myself some empathy around my fear – to be in touch with what needs I fear missing out on, so I can tend them. Eg connection, harmony
  1. Start with the easiest person on your list. If you are confident enough to do so, let them know your intention before you start.

You could explain that you want to start to trust yourself, and so are choosing to do that through only saying yes when it is fully felt in your heart. You may want to explain how your new practice can help you relate better to that person. That you think it could be helpful for your shared connection.  Sometimes for me, if I continue with something I don’t have a full yes to, I will build up some resistance somewhere around that person, where I put a distance, imperceivably small, between us

  1. Next time you notice you don’t have a full yes, ask for some time to think. Get in touch with your feelings and longings on both sides (you have a mini-conflict inside here). Then negotiate for what will give you a full yes. (There are specific steps to asking for what you want, see links to On Line Resources or check on YouTube.)
  1. Feedback. After you have said “no” (or you stop, or ask for something they haven’t offered), you can ask for feedback from the other person. This will help the other person feel considered, and also help you to learn to do it in a more connecting way as I get better at it. And it is OK to say “Oh, I think I was a bit sharp, how was that for you? I would like to learn to be more gentle and I am still learning.” Or “I would like to know how the experience was for you…” or something similar.

Likewise, ask yourself for feedback. What went well, what was less comfortable? What do you want to do differently next time?

Marianne has a webinar called “5 ways to stand up for yourself” which you can find on her website, which may help you further.

Newly Single: Building Interdependency

A client recently lost her partner rather suddenly. She was fairly dependent on him for most things.

An old wall in Exeter, made of old worn red bricks.
What happens when you hit a wall?

She (let’s call her Silkie) had begun to be less dependent over the previous few weeks, knowing something wasn’t right, however, once she lost him she not only had grief to cope with, but much more. She would like to share how she created the support she needed, in an interdependant way, in case it helps others.

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Got Stuck using NVC to Restore a Conversation?

Harmony can be a temporary position and my aim is to walk towards it in a way that opens doors to more needs being met.

I always hold that a shift in a conflict arrives when using NVC resolution process, rather than searching for it, and I find that surprising, magical and beautiful. One minute it looks like there is no solution or harmony on the horizon, the next “Hey Presto”, people are happier than they were with their original prefered strategy. This article is for those who understand the process, and haven’t yet got to that shift.

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Would You Deepen Your Conversation if it Gets Sticky at a Social?

Having just had a very socialable time, at Christmas and New Year get togethers and parties, I wish I had re-connected with Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s prose beforehand. There are several paragraphs that really resonate with me, and I would like to say a bit about them and why. For those who don’t know me, this may help. The full prose is in the previous post. Let me know if you would inquire, of your temporary companion, about any of these!

“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.”

Well, if they are passionate about their work, it does interest me. Otherwise, I’m happy to skip paid work as a topic.

“I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.”

Yum, I really love to know this stuff, Continue reading

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.

I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are, I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool, and for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own. If you can dance with wildness, and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes, without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bare the accusations of betrayal and not betray your own soul. I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even if it is not pretty every day and if you can source yourself from god’s presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon — YES.

It doesn’t interest me where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied, I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer – Indian Elder.

Escape Your Chains

To keep up with Escape Your Chains’ events, please like/follow on Facebook.

Practice Group is every 2nd & 4th Wedesday of the month (and free to new comers). For more information click here for the page about Practice Group. You can sign up to come via Facebook or contact me if you don’t use Facebook. I can email you before each Practice Group to remind you when it is & send you the online link. Or if you leave a comment below asking, I will automatically get your email address.

Giraffe’s have very large hearts, can get a good view of things, and their saliva can disolve thorns. So Marshall Rosenberg chose them to represent the paradigm shift to speak from the heart, that he taught so many people.


Empathy Day

Please contact me if you are interested in this training for your group, organisation or company who want to go that bit further, and see the benefits of deepening your empathy skills to work with clients and patients.

NVC empathy is deeper than most levels of empathy as you can read below from a previous training for individuals.

Empathy is the key to relationships in my opinion: resolving conflicts, feeling more deeply connected, supported and safe. One of the most common requests that I hear is “how do I get good at empathy”!

Empathy is a way to step into someone else’s shoes, without trying to solve anything. Empathy helps us to unravel emotions too, so things become clearer, calmer and we get more space. Mmmm, delicious! Here is the opportunity to spend a day on empathy skills: further developing them and be surrounded by empathy.newport empathy day 21.3.15 There will be limited places and it is likely to be popular, so grab your place early!