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Author: Gesine Schrader

Are you sometimes afraid to speak your truth?

There have been moments in my life when I wanted to speak from my heart authentically and – if possible – also to take care for the connection. However, I didn’t know how to do this because I felt emotionally trapped. I chose to stay quiet to avoid conflict. I felt afraid of speaking “my truth”, because there was an inner voice that told me, it’s not safe to say what’s alive in me. If I kept quie...
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The silent treatment

A few days ago I read a Facebook post about two types of silence, when there is conflict. One increases trust and connection; the other decreases it. In the first kind, you let the other person know what’s alive in you, and tell them that you need some space to reflect and self-connect. In the second kind, you withdraw from the conflict without speaking, and leave the other person wondering what h...
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The gift of gratitude

Open grave strewn with flowers
On Saturday I accompanied Shantigarbha to the funeral of his Buddhist teacher, Sangharakshita — founder of the Triratna Buddhist Order and Community. It was the first time I had participated in a Buddhist funeral ceremony. Sangharakshita was 93 years old, and had started the community 50 years ago. The community has grown over the years and is now spread over six continents, so people came to t...
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Susan’s gift

I want to leave you something, something better than words or sounds. Look for me in the people I’ve known or loved, and if you cannot give me away, at least let me live in your eyes and not in your mind. Merrit Malloy (Extract from a poem called Epitaph.) Grief is present in us for different reasons at the moment. On the 17th of this month, we lost an NVC friend called Susan. The above is part o...
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NVC Summerfest with a new twist

At the moment the core team and I are very engaged in preparing for the Summerfest, which will happen in two weeks. We are looking forward to being close to nature, being with like-minded people, spending time together with different generations and sharing the values of NVC with a wider community, including dealing with conflict. While we were discussing the content and structure of the camp, we...
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The Significance of Self-Empathy

At the moment we’re running our 6-week Nonviolent Communication (NVC) courses here in Bristol. There are lots of things I enjoy about the courses. One example is what happens after I’ve introduced the Tree of Compassionate Connection. I use the Tree to share the idea of self-empathy as the first step to ground ourselves, to create an inner space, from which we are able listening with empathy. Part...
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NVC in Partnership

Four months ago, a couple called Bodhi and Veena came to one of our OWLs (one-week long Nonviolent Communication (NVC) workshops) in Himachal Pradesh, India. When I met them last week at a follow-up event, I was very touched by their story of how NVC enriched their lives, and asked them if they were willing to share it with all of you, the wider NVC community. They were ha...
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NVC tips for surviving and thriving this Holiday Season

I met a friend one morning in early December. We talked about Christmas coming up, and about how many people find it stressful. I asked him what, if anything, he finds challenging about it? His response was that it's spending time with relatives, particularly those he's grown apart from. After I had empathized with his hopelessness and frustration, I asked him if he would like to hear some NVC ...
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