How do we show up when it matters?

Over the last weeks as urgency has grown around COVID-19, I keep finding myself thinking of a particular day in high school. I was 15 years old and a sophomore. I wasn’t terribly confident, but I was social and liked well-enough. I had friends across

Beyond Praise: Expressing Gratitude

There seems to be a widespread assumption that praise is always a good thing. It is not uncommon for teachers to be told to praise a child every day. Some are even evaluated on how close they come to this standard. Many books on parenting

Parenting for Connection

When I was a boy I received a King Kong action figure for my birthday. At that time I really liked King Kong and this gift was very special. While playing with my toy I soon found out that my little brother (around 3 years

Viewing Needs through an Equity Lens

At a retreat, I supported a conversation between two men who had experienced a break in connection. One man of Chinese and European descent – let’s call him Chris - shared the pain he experienced growing up in a primarily European community. He shared the

Don’t Believe Everything You Think!

  When we speak with one another in English, we have a remarkable tendency to use the word “feel” to describe what are actually our thoughts. For example, have you ever said something like: “I feel like you did that on purpose!” or “I feel I’m a

Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Speaking

There is a saying in many spiritual traditions, “Only speak if you can improve upon the silence.” Personally, there are plenty of times when I’d rather simply be quiet. There’s also a time and a place to speak up—when we need to set limits, seek

3 Things Motherhood Has Taught Me About NVC

Eight months ago my husband and I welcomed an adorable baby boy whom we named Sol. Transitioning into parenthood has been a whirlwind -- lots of changes and novelty as we navigate this new territory. There has been a lot of learning about life, our

How to Find Balance with the News

More and more these days I find myself dreading looking at the news or the notifications on my phone. Whether it’s a domestic shooting, a tropical storm, or the rainforest in flames, it can feel overwhelming to stay abreast of what’s happening yet impossible to

The Radical Act of Reclaiming Attention

Given all that we are facing today as a society and a species, the need to have honest conversations about things that matter is paramount. Communication skills are an essential ingredient in this arena, but I don’t think they’re sufficient. To stay balanced and clear

This Thing We Call Empathy

I know it is not the question, “Are you feeling   x , because you need   y ?” The way I think NVC approaches empathy is not with the particular meaning of ‘feeling what another feels,’ like an empath does. This meaning of empathy is showing