September 11, 2016

Thoughts on communicating under conflict

 

I love the work of Brene Brown.

Her famous TED talk on the power of vulnerability moved me to tears. Today I received a facebook post with words from Brene that reminded me of why I lead ELT with Deborah.

Brene Brown writes:

“Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small…you believed your armor could help you secure all the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging…Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging.”

In October we will be diving into how to communicate under conflict.

Fear of others not liking or loving us hit home reading Brown’s words. Being a nice, sweet little girl was part of my upbringing. When confronted with a dispute, it took years to voice my anger and feel powerful, but this did not really improve my relationships.

In ELT becoming conscious of how we embody emotional-thought patterns is step one, identifying triggers, needs, feelings and working with the stages of non-violent communication is another layer. It takes work to face and shift our armor, often held in our tissues as fear, anger and positions of self-righteousness.

Developing new patterns of movement behavior when responding to others under conflict involves speaking clearly about our needs and making requests from a compassionate heart. Shifting to a new way of communicating is an embodied practice. All practice takes repetition and clarity of purpose.

Learning the process of how to communicate without silencing either person’s feelings is a doorway to love and belonging.

The biggest conflicts erupt from our closest relationships, the ones our hearts are most connected to. In the heat of a conflict I have found my inner judgment carries the biggest hammer and it requires softening to create a new internal response. When I feel my anger transform from within my body by applying compassionate communication with embodied consciousness, an inner peace wells up from deep inside. It takes practice and a willingness to let go of a lifetime of embodied “protections”, but it is worth the effort.

Come and shed your armor, sharing our shift-changes with love and tenderness in Sebastopol, California!

Judy Gantz, MA, CMA