Connecting with Spiritual Clarity
by Jim Manske
I’m training myself to cultivate a sense of Spiritual Clarity: in this moment, am I remembering the purpose of Nonviolent Communication? Do I want to connect with what is alive in me, my observations, feelings, needs and requests, right now? Do I want to connect with what is most precious to you? Do I want to enter into a relationship based on equivalence and characterized by compassionate giving and receiving? Do I know what I want before I open my mouth? What can I do, right now, to foster self-compassion, honesty and empathy?
This represents our fundamental autonomy: do we foster a sense of connection in the present moment by focusing our consciousness on observations, feelings, needs and requests? Or do we respond out of habit, playing out our cultural conditioning which dissipates our energy in life-alienated disconnection characterized by thinking about who is right or wrong, good or bad; who deserves what; who is to blame; or who should do what?
To dismantle the robot-like emotional patterns within us, we can choose instead to focus on Life-on the dynamic flow of feelings and needs. When we place our consciousness on feelings and needs, we liberate the energy of connection and contribution. We also open to the possibilities Life offers to enhance our well-being and the well-being of others. We become increasingly aware of the ebb and flow of Life as needs emerge, become satisfied, subside and emerge once again, in an ever-moving cycle.
We also learn to tend to the hurt and pain of unmet needs. Mourning, the process of connecting with and savoring needs, enables us to learn from our mistakes, our disappointments and our judgments. Connecting with the signals our bodies give us through physical sensations and emotions, our feelings provide a pathway to the deep structure of what is most important to us: universal human needs and values. From this place of self-compassion, we can shift, making space for healing, reconciliation, and transformation while opening to new options for meeting our needs in the present moment.
And, through the power of gratitude, we connect to the natural pleasure and joy that emerges when our needs our met. This awareness acts as a catalyst for manifesting the energy required to sustain us and thereby to continue contributing to the well-being of our loved ones, and ourselves and to the life-affirming transformation of larger social structure into dynamic systems connected to Life, to meeting needs.
This Spiritual Clarity awakens our hearts and minds to connect with the reality that our well-being is mutually interdependent.
To explore practices designed to support your integration of Nonviolent Communication, click here.