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Getting Unstuck

What I mean by stuck, are those time when we are resisting and see no way of finding resolution, internally or in our relationships.  Things are not going the way we would like, no matter what we have tried.  What we are resisting continues persisting.  This manifests internally when we are "stuck" emotionally, and in our relationships when we do not seem to be getting our needs met.  Often when we are stuck, we are making a demand that life, ourselves, or another be different.  The demand may seem overt as in "I have to or you have to do this, or else!"  Or can be more subtle as in "I should or you should be or think in a particular way." 

The distinction between a request or a demand can mean the difference between freedom from suffering and being stuck.  When we make a demand, we are addicted to a particular outcome.  This limits our view and saps our creative energy and vitality to contribute to ourselves and others.  We are attached to a particular form in which out needs could get met.  This can often get in the way of the focus and energy that would lead to the fulfillment and happiness we would like.  The demands we make about how things have to or should be, limit our sense of ease, harmony and flow.

A request, on the other hand, is an offering of what might work to meet our needs.  When we make a request with Nonviolent Communication consciousness, we do so with an intention to connect with a sense of compassion, and with a connection to the underlying meaning of what we are wanting to happen. (In NVC we call this underlying meaning a "need".  See note below for how we define a need as used in NVC.)  The shift from demand to a request is a shift from "has to be this way" to a sense of curiousity and openness to possibility.  This shift enables our mind to do what it is naturally intended to do:  come up with ideas.  We even have a word for this when we are coming up with lots of ideas:  brainstorming.

So, here is a process to try to get unstuck:

1.  First, stop, breathe, and notice the feelings stimulated by the stuckness.
2.  Ask yourself:  What do I want?
3.  Ask yourself:  If I had that, what would I have?
4.  Repeat steps 2 & 3 until you come to something deeply meaningful and universal to all, your need.  (Need clarity?  See note below)
5.  If an inner conflict, go to #6.  If you are sensing the stuckness in a relationship, "putting yourself in the others shoes", go through #2-4 and make some guesses as to what might be going on for them.
6.  How else might the need(s) you connected with be met with more ease and flow?  If you are still noticing a sense of stuckness, repeat this process to uncover what else is vitally important that has not been addressed yet.

With warmth,

NOTE:  In the process of Nonviolent Communication, we call the underlying meaning our "Need".  And we define a need as something that is universally valued within all people, regardless of age or culture  A need, being universal, it makes no reference to any specific person (including ourselves) doing anything in any specific way.  Eg:  well-being, inclusion, growth, understanding, meaning, autonomy, love, safety, fun.

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