"It's so, so powerful for me to do [Compassionate Noticing]. I'm usually on such alert mode, and with this I relax in a way that's almost impossible for me to do on my own. I have such a feeling of wellness afterwards, like a glow. This feels amazing, it works! Thank you SO much, this is so healing for me." -- Christina C., Portland, OR
Compassionate Noticing Mindfulness Practice (CN) is essentially an "NVC observation practice" that offers a pathway to becoming fully at home and consistently available to ourselves, other people, and All of Life from moment to moment … regardless of the circumstances.
When we Witness our experience while simultaneously allowing ourselves to HAVE our experience, just as it is — without adding any meaning or interpretation, and without any agenda or intent to change anything during our practice — we significantly expand our capacity for presence and choice, especially in those moments when we typically fall into automatic, unconscious, avoidant, or other disconnected ways of being that don’t reflect who we really are or the values that we are committed to embodying.
While this practice is focused on being with our experience just-as-it-is, paradoxically, Compassionate Noticing Mindfulness Practice often diminishes and even dissolves our most challenging pain (both physical and emotional).
We also find that Compassionate Noticing Mindfulness Practice:
- Deepens our everyday self-awareness, self-understanding, and self-compassion
- Builds our experience of shared humanity, acceptance, belonging, and being okay just as we are (earned secure attachment)
- Expands our capacity for presence, calm, and peace, regardless of circumstances (earned secure attachment)
- Dramatically increases our capacity to manage upsets in ways that embody and enact our values
- Helps dissolve enmeshment and codependence, and build healthy boundaries by giving us a space where we are supported to hear what others are experiencing without “needing” to do anything about it* (In fact, we’re specifically asked NOT to “do anything” about it. As a recovering helpaholic, this was an life-changing experience, revelation, and liberation for me, personally.)
- Diminishes our tendency to automatically blame either others or ourselves for what arises in us
- Remarkably enhances our ability to Be With others just as they are, without feeling compelled to try to fix or change them
- Creates a comfortable, easy pathway to greater presence, authenticity, connection, and genuine intimacy
- Turns our insula back on, which allows us to feel our bodies and our emotions again — which reawakens our empathic capacity and our felt sense of connection to ourselves and others. (The insula is the brain structure that protects us by turning off our ability to feel our body sensations/emotions that we don’t have the capacity to process, or that we’re shamed for having.)
- Helps us tell the difference between our actual felt experience and the meaning we add to that (the stories we tell ourselves; our interpretations, opinions, evaluations, judgments; etc.)
- When used to express to others what we’re experiencing, CN acknowledges that the other person might be having a different experience, and allows room for everyone’s unique experience. This creates a deeply respectful, effortless pathway to experiencing greater authenticity, connection, and intimacy with others
* Provides a potent space to practice simply “letting” others have their own experience, without “having” to fix, comfort, or rescue
Compassionate Noticing was originally developed by Eric Sucher of Portland, OR.
For complete details or to join us, please visit www.thrivinglifenvc.org/compassionate-noticing
* If you've ALREADY joined us for Compassionate Noticing in the past, please feel welcome to join us at 12:30pm.
I first encountered Compassionate/Nonviolent Communication (NVC) in the late 1990s.
Learning that feelings were pointing to needs met/unmet was like a lightning bolt for me; it was the missing piece that finally made everything make sense. I'd always believed that Thriving was our birthright. NVC showed me that our feelings guide us to the Life-Needs that are our pathways to thriving.
NVC also helped me understand that my anger was just letting me know I had long-unmet needs aching to be met. There wasn't anything wrong with me, and I didn't have to feel ashamed of my feelings. I just needed to learn how to answer the Call to Thriving.
But it got even better. In 2013, I learned essential elements of Relational Neuroscience and Attachment Theory that, when integrated with NVC and my Thriving Life principles, finally explained some of the stuff I'd been struggling to understand for decades, like:
* why we can't "do NVC" when we're upset
* what "stress" really is, and why it's so dangerous for both our physical health and our relationships
* why compassionate, authentic, resonant community is essential for our well-being, and is central to our capacity for growth and genuine fulfillment
* what really, truly dissolves our automatic reactions and restores authentic presence and choice
* why it's so dangerous to have compassion for others without also developing healthy boundaries and care for ourselves
* down-to-earth ways we can expand our capacity for presence and authentic choice, regardless of circumstances
* how to connect with our deepest authenticity and natural power and genius, and become free to make the difference that only we can make in the world
This work has helped me come home to being human, and given me the unspeakably precious gift of being able to share "this being human" with you and others in a way that fulfills all my dearest dreams for authentic, attuned connection.
I live and practice everything I teach. My deepest passions are profound authenticity, compassion, and responsive accountability, offering a deeply safe, gentle living model of how we -- as both flawed and transcendent human beings -- can co-create a deeply nourishing world and relationships that recognize the practical realities of being human, while truly honoring and supporting everyone's thriving.
There is no pain that we can't turn into food for the heart and medicine for the soul, if we just keep practicing what works, in human connection.
I'm been so blessed to be a part of our Thriving Life community that welcomes everything we are -- from what is most magnificent to us, to our "warts and farts and ugly crazy parts" -- to be fully Seen, Gotten, and Celebrated.
Welcome home to this journey into Thriving!
and blessings on us all,