We’ve just launched!

Love

Reading “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life

FullSizeRender (2)

Or should I say, “re-reading.” I heard great things about this book years ago, when it was first published in 2003 and when I worked at a spiritual bookstore.  They actually held groups or trainings there for many years. In the book written by Marshall B. Rosenberg, he states, “What I want from my life is a compassion, a flow between myself and others based on a mutual giving from the heart.”

Such an amazing book for revealing how we can use “nonviolence” in our daily lives. The work is based on Gandhi’s ideas with an introduction by Arun Gandhi, Gandhi’s grandson. When Arun was angry and  thirteen, his grandfather taught him how to face difficult life situations by using the principals of nonviolence.

Okay, I’ll be honest. I was a little turned off by the title, because I don’t think of myself as a “violent” communicator, who needs reforming. I never yell at people, I co-exist rather well with my friends, my adult children, sisters, and community members. Bu, occasionally, I do run into communication and relationship issues. Especially with my boyfriend, who when I am angry, I call my un-boyfriend. Can you believe that? Before we get started, I just want you to know I am right. (Just kidding)

Here are the summarize techniques found in the back of the book:

  1. Express how you are feeling using the “I am” sentence without blaming or criticizing.
  2. Observe what is not contributing to your well being.
  3. Observe what you are feeling (rather than thinking.)
  4. Figure out what you need or value.
  5. Clearly request what would enrich your life without demanding.

So easy. Right? In the heat of life, often we first need a cooling off period. Sometimes it helps  to journal, work the Twelve Steps, talk to a friend or counselor, and then begin the process of communicating. Don’t forget to listen with your heart to hear what your friend might need. With practice we can get better. You just might want to own your own copy and read the book.

Twin Pelican Chicks

FullSizeRender (2)

Pelican Twins! Well, my sister and I are not exactly twin pelican chicks, but we still have a lot of life in both of us. She was dancing this weekend on the East Coast and her husband filmed her. I saw the post on Facebook! I dance at my Jazzercise class most mornings. Did you know that people who dance fight dementia? Not that we’re worried about that at our age. I just know I feel great when I dance.

I drew the chicks above in my Drawing 2 class at Cabrillo College, our local community college last spring. I was very into learning how to draw birds, not a natural talent, but in the end I had so much fun.  This was my teacher’s favorite of all the drawings I did. But, his wife was expecting twins!

My twin sister, Laurie, and I are very close, despite the fact we’ve lived most of our lives apart. We were born at midnight, so we have different birthdays. No, we are not identical. I, yes, was born first. Unfortunately, my cord was wrapped around my sister’s neck, and she was born blue. Yes, she forgave me.

Laurie has always been so adventuresome and brave! I’ve followed her on some of her teaching travels to Brazil and Venezuela. Just a few short years ago on our birthday I followed her across a small bay to snorkel in the turquiose waters with lots of colorful fish. She has helped me overcome my shyness and timidity, and to do things I never thought I could.

Happy Birthday, sweet twin. We’ll talk again this weekend, and I’ll see you next summer. Can’t wait!

 

Happy, Oh God, It’s Valentine’s Day

IMG_2583

I know it’s a little late, but hey, we still have hours to go. I hope all you single people on the planet, I think its half of us, yes billions, have a truly great day. And everyone else.

Here in Santa Cruz, California, the weather has been like a beautiful painting, more spring/summer than winter. Yes, we worry, but we love these days. 76 degrees. Okay, did you notice how I changed the topic to a very safe topic? The weather!

Well, I must admit, even though I had a great Valentines Day and weekend, I still have/had this hysterical little girl (ten) within who is worried about all the classmates who didn’t give me a Valentine’s Day card in 1962. I’ve attempted taking care of her, multiple trips to See’s Candy, new earrings, and crazy texts to my boyfriend who can’t wait until this holiday is over.

Just for fun this morning, my boyfriend and I had a fight about Hilary and Bernie. I like them both. He, for some reason, wants to tell me all these very questionable stories, thirty plus years of them, spread globally by Hilary haters, about Hilary, my hero. Really, when she was in the White House, they, men and women,  just wanted her to bake cookies and serve tea 1800’s style. They didn’t want her to think or work on any of our many health or education issues.

I found this from Hamburger – “Hilary really is a paradox. In Gallup polling, Hillary Clinton has been voted the most admired woman in the world 17 times, yet The New York Times is on record as having called her the “most hated First Lady” ever. The media have referred to her has “nagging”, “controlling” and “conniving” but also as “loyal”, “fearless” and “intelligent.”

Just so you know, my still boyfriend and I have agreed not to ever talk about Hilary again. It’s our “H” word. He is now taking me out to dinner. Thank God.

And don’t you love this badass Hilary quote – “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession.” But paradoxically, you can now find Hilary’s chocolate chip cookie recipe online here – http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a4436/hillary-clintons-chocolate-chips-893/

So investigate Hilary for yourself and tell me what you find. And do have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.