The Compassionate Life – The Art of Nonviolent Communication with Jo McHale
Speaker: Jo McHale, MPhil, CPsychol, Certified trainer in Nonviolent Communication
In the way that many of us express ourselves we may be said to perpetrate mini acts of violence every day: doing harm through the violence of the way we think and the words we use. Blaming, criticizing, contempt – even apparently small acts of disrespect such as rolling our eyes or making sarcastic comments can have a negative impact. The opposite of this is what Mahatma Gandhi described as ahiṃsā or the complete absence of violence in thought or deed, and its replacement with the intention to give and receive compassionately.
In the 1960s, whilst working as a clinical psychologist in the US, Marshall Rosenberg began exploring what is it that disconnects us from our true compassionate nature – and conversely, what enables some people to stay connected to their compassion even in the most trying of circumstances. His explorations of comparative religions, philosophy and psychology and his own lived experience, gradually came together in the process he called Nonviolent Communication (NVC).
NVC describes a process for communicating authentically and compassionately and offers a transformative way of dealing with conflict. It provides a framework that shapes the way we talk to one another. But more than this, NVC is the outward manifestation of a way of being that recognises our interconnectedness and universal human-ness.
In this presentation Jo McHale discusses NVC and how it can guide us towards living a compassionate life. She writes: “I have been immersed in learning about NVC and sharing the process with others for 25 years. NVC helps me make sense of my reactions and enables me to transform them into thoughts and deeds that are life-serving. From this position, I can regulate my reactions and emotions, mourn my transgressions without shaming myself, re-build and deepen my relationships, empathise with others and re-connect with the quality of life that I want to lead.”
Tickets: £10 for an invitation on Zoom
“Ahiṃsā, rightly understood, is the ultimate weapon; it turns one’s enemy into a friend, thereby banishing the possibility of further conflict… it is important to understand that the same life flows in the veins of all creatures.”