Author Archive

A Fresh Start on Motherhood (with much thanks to NVC)

I knew I’d accomplished a serious milestone this past Christmas when I received a gift from my mother that touched me perhaps like none other ever has. The little wooden statue of a woman holding her child up in the air was immediately symbolic of so many positive things to me. As soon as I held it, the tears just came, and came. Why all the…

The Power of Empathy (Part II) – Connecting with a Teacher

After having a breakthrough empathic conversation with my son (see previous post: “The power of empathy in connecting with a child”), I thought he felt much relief and that most of his troubles were behind him. That wasn’t quite the case, however. The following morning he declared that he hadn’t slept well at all and that he had pain in his stomach again (from the stress).…

The Power of Empathy in Connecting with a Child

Today was a special day – a real breakthrough it felt like. Since learning “nonviolent communication” (NVC) skills, I’ve been empathizing quite a bit with my children (9 and 6.5). It’s obvious that it has real power. When they feel HEARD, they know they are being seen, they say more, they trust me more, they enjoy our relationship more, and I believe it boosts their self…

Empathy – the world could use more

This is a very powerful video with ending question:  “If you could feel what they feel, would you treat them differently?”   <iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/cDDWvj_q-o8?feature=player_embedded” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

The Stories We Tell Ourselves (and why we shouldn’t always believe them)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted to my blog. Funny this, given that I had such a spurt of activity at the end of 2012, getting away from dreaming and thinking and actually moving into the realm of DOING. I’m realizing, one doesn’t just “kick” the old patterns. Life is about cycles – those on the outside and those on the inside. Those on the…

Resolutions for Developing Positive Habits? It Starts with Inner Awareness

Another article posted online (http://www.amsterdam-mamas.nl/stories/this-month/developing-positive-habits) and here . . . I’ll admit it – there have been many a January when I conducted an online search on something like “create positive habits” . . . only to find a wide variety of suggestions, best strategies or top ten tips that sounded promising, but in reality didn’t help lead me to much change. I’m motivated to share what has helped…

Connecting with Others (or, my new strategy for getting through holiday & other social gatherings)

I’m not one for small talk. I wish it came easier to me, like when I was a teenager and spent hours and hours on the phone, talking about I-don’t-know-what. Or maybe it wasn’t so menial . . . perhaps I was very in touch with my (overflowing, hormone-driven!) feelings and enjoyed connecting with my girlfriends on very fundamental levels. Now a few decades later, I…

Peaks and Valleys of Full Attention-Giving

This past week, I’ve been amazed at how difficult it’s been to live up to my personal pledge to give my partner and children full attention via silent empathy. It didn’t seem such an enormous challenge, but it has been. Finding the undivided time is the killer for me. Do I need to break my other pledge to be more spontaneous and PLAN for it? In…

Silent Empathy – a powerful tool for enriching relationships

  It was exactly a year ago, when I got some honest feedback – all one has to do is simply ask a child – and realized I still had serious work to do. We were sitting together at the same table, engaged in the same Sinterklaas-related artwork as this past week. Our conversation was on the subject of Zwarte Piet names. In Holland, much like…

“What about me, my needs, do I matter?”

Do these existential questions lie behind so much of what we do and say every day? I’ve come to believe that they do, and that changes how I see people, how I relate to them, and how I respond to them. (Not to mention myself!) A woman with whom I spoke recently shared a very personal story with me, and afterwards let me know that she…

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