How often do you label, judge or criticize others?
I ask this not to spark self-shame or blame!
This is the type of language that we are conditioned and socialized to use in a culture that thrives on separation.
It creates space between us. It creates us vs. them, me vs. you. It creates disconnection.
It also teaches you to not relate responsibly to your experiences. It can disempower you by making your experiences and how you relate to them someone else’s fault and completely out of your control.
“This type of life-alienating communication is rooted in views that stress an idea that human nature is evil and deficient and needs education to control our inherent, undesirable nature.
This kind of language leaves us wondering what is wrong with whatever feelings we are experiencing and needs we may have. We learn early on from hearing this sort of language to cut ourselves off from what is going on within us.”
“Yoga, then, in constraining thought, aims to make thought (and therefore also one’s behaviour) reflect the true nature of the person. And persons, in Patañjali’s view, are intrinsically pure, benign moral beings whose essence is antithetical to immoral action…
Persons in their true form… are not harmful, covetous, deceitful or unrestrained in their interaction with others. People only act this way when they do not understand their true essence.”
Yoga offers a direct response to domination/disempowerment culture. One expression of this response is the practice of Nonviolent (Compassionate) Communication.
Because underneath diagnoses lie a situation of unmet Needs within you, sparked by the actions of another person.
So when you are drawn to judgement, a person isn’t acting in harmony with your values. And instead of blaming, shaming or judging them for that (aka outsourcing responsibility, further disempowering yourself), you can take responsibility for your experience (aka practice Yoga).
read more about YOGA, nonviolent communication AND ANTI-OPPRESSION WORK here
Once you know what your unmet Needs are, you can take responsibility for how you’d like to have those Needs met.
For example, you could make a request of
- the person who originally didn’t meet your Needs,
- another person, or
This is the freedom of working from the basis of Needs: there are so many strategies to choose from! When you get caught up on one particular strategy or outcome, you are no longer practicing Yoga.
Yoga focuses on Right procedure, not Good outcome.
However, just because Yoga focuses on right procedure, doesn’t mean that good outcomes don’t come! It just means that they are not the driver of the practice.
Yoga posits that when we are devoted to the Sovereignty of all people (which is the Right procedure), Good outcomes will naturally follow. You don’t have to try to control and manipulate people and other things outside of yourself, which is impossible anyways. You just have to take self-responsibility, and the Good – whatever it is – will come.
In this case, the Good is connection with other humans!
It is this expression of Right procedure – the process of NVC – that we will be focusing on during the four-week Masterclass Series on Compassionate Communication.
We start TODAY!
PROMO ON NOW: If you register for two spots at once, you will receive 25% off the second spot! Work on this skill with a friend! With a co-worker! With your romantic partner! Use code: ’empathybuddies’ at checkout.
(And if you have already registered and want to bring a friend on board, just reach out to me and we will make it happen!)
If you are feeling the call to give this a try, please join us! Ask any questions or register today 💚
This post is inspired by the work of: