Focus on “The Process” more than “The Results” – by Kind Communication

KindCommunication.orgRe-posted From: http://KindCommunication.org/2014/10/16/what-are-you-responsible-for/

Process or results, what do you focus on?

Most of us focus on results.  We live in a culture that really emphasizes results.  Focusing on results means you are focused on the resolution of a problem, or getting what you want accomplished.  Results are tangible things we focus on.

So when you are focused on achieving your preferred resolution, “my partner will start spending more time with me on the weekends”, that is focusing on results.  Another kind of result might be “my parents will accept me for who I am”.  An example of focusing on personal results might be “I will no longer be crippled by anxiety” or “I will love and accept myself fully”.

But you don’t actually have control over these results.  All of them require not only your energy and dedication, but they also require the energy and dedication of others.  They may even require the right set of external circumstances to fall into place before that result will manifest itself.  Even the personal results.

Just to explore this a little further let’s take “I will no longer be crippled by anxiety”.  Not only does that require your own effort, but it may require that you have a supportive network of people in your life.  It may require that you don’t experience any new large traumas in life which leave you with new phobias or fears.  It may also require a change in your environment which may be difficult to pinpoint or difficult to change.  It may even require that you are “in the right place at the right time”, a very mysterious condition indeed.

So when you focus on the results you really are focusing on something that is outside of your personal control.  Process goals on the other hand are things that you actually do have control over.  Focusing on the process means that you are focused on doing what you actually can do to move towards a particular result.

In Nonviolent Communication, we really are focusing on the process rather than the results.  In NVC are goals are “to communicate my feelings and needs/values to this other person”, or “listening to the other with compassion”, or “making requests of the other person”.  This is a challenge to our whole cultural conditioning.  Our culture focuses on getting results.  NVC focuses on doing what you actually can accomplish.  And in doing that you let go of those things you can’t actually control.  All of a sudden your partner’s anger isn’t your responsibility to fix or resolve.  All you can do is either listen to them with empathy, or express to them how you feel and what your needs/values are when they are angry.

This isn’t naive thinking, this is reality.  All that you have control over is how you behave.  And so if you focus on the process, rather than the results, you may find that you have more energy to put into your actions, you have more satisfaction with what happens in life, and that you have less disappointment about unmet expectations.

But that’s not why I wrote this article.  If it was, then this would be a results orientated article.  My process goal in writing this article was to write something that was alive in my heart and mind in this moment.  And I accomplished that process goal.

KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.

Don’tFallacy.Me Logic Game: Beta Testing Begins!

DontFallacy.Me

Don’t Fallacy Me is a free, collaborative, multiplayer mind game! It provides a statement, then you select the clearest fallacy in it.

There is a large set of fallacious statements submitted by players like you, with their best attempts to name the most obvious fallacies included. There are optional discussions for each crowd-sourced statement to allow for debates and corrections to poppable fallacy answers.

Players can optionally choose to associate the statements they post with any of the uploaded photos, leave it as random, or even upload your own (graphic templates are provided).

There is also an ‘official’ set of hopefully straight-forward examples of each fallacy, which might be best for beginners. Fallacy descriptions and these beginner examples copied from Michael Labossiere‘s, 42 Fallacies.

Top 100 high score lists are also kept for best gaming sessions and for player career totals in each of the three difficulty modes described below. Read more here on the About Page.

Don’tFallacy.Me was created by Wiki World Order. This collaborative logic training game aims to improve critical thinking and aid in the revival of the trivium method of learning. Please explore, participate in, and support independent and constructive sources of news, research, and entertainment.

Beta Testing Announced!

I think I’ve finally gotten this little site to at least the ballpark where I would like to launch it. So it time to invite anyone interested to help me test it out and provide feedback on how it could (or needs to) be improved. No special access needed or anything, just browse to Don’tFallacy.Me. I encourage you to try playing the game as much as you find it interesting, and perhaps create a username, add some fallacious statements to the crowd-sourced collection, or join/start discussions.

How could this site create more value for you and help to the world? I’ve started with a few specific questions for beta players here, http://DontFallacy.Me/discuss/?feedback=1 . After a few months of feedback from my core communities, I plan to integrate any appropriate changes then promote the game more widely to the world. Thank you so much for participating and/or being an early adopter!

DontFallacyMeBro.com & Trivium Fish

To help promote this more once this beta testing period is complete, I’ve created the first couple silly things (for which feedback is also warmly welcomed via the link above). The first is just a splash page based on phrase and illustration which struck me and stuck with me until realized… DontFallacyMeBro.com

DontFallacyMeBro.comLater, after pondering the required order of questions involved in the trivium, I felt like making another graphic, a Trivium Fish… http://DontFallacy.Me/fish

Trivium Fish

What Are You Responsible For? – by Kind Communication

KindCommunication.orgRe-posted From: http://KindCommunication.org/2014/10/16/what-are-you-responsible-for/

You are only responsible for one thing: what you do.

This seems simple and clear, and yet I find that a lot of people are confused about what they are responsible for.  Namely, many people I talk to think that they are responsible for how others perceive them, for how others feel, meeting others’ expectations and ideals, as well as for the circumstances of one’s life.

When I coach people on communicating with someone they’re upset with I hear “but then they’ll feel sad/angry/scared/upset.”  And I always respond “Yeah, they might…but that isn’t your responsibility.”  

How others react to what you do is really their responsibility, it isn’t up to you.  And when you try to take care of others’ feelings, in other words take responsibility for others’ feelings, you’re preventing yourself from having an authentic relationship with this other person.  You’ll get so caught up in the “responsibility game” that you won’t feel free to just be yourself, which will lead to high stress, feeling unseen and unheard, and suffering.

In fact, if you censor yourself for the sake of the other person’s feelings and preferences, then you are responsible for lying, making yourself small, and for being fake.

And there are other people who try to reject any sense of responsibility at all.  ”He made me do it” or “I had to make that choice, there was nothing else I could have done.”  I also coach people who try to escape any sense of responsibility, nothing is ever their fault, and their life circumstances force them to act in certain ways.  This is also a mistake.

When you try to deny your responsibility for your own actions, instead of becoming free, you actually lose your power and become trapped by your own story.  Having responsibility for your own actions is empowering, it gives you choice and choice means you have autonomy and power.  If you tell yourself that you have no choices, that others and circumstances force you to act in a certain way, then you have no autonomy and thus no power.

And so you have to strike a balance.  I am responsible for my choices and actions, but I am not responsible for how others react to me nor am I completely responsible for all of my life circumstances.  Taking on more responsibility than that makes you lose your freedom to be yourself.  Taking on less responsibility than that means you’re giving up your freedom to have choice.

And so really responsibility and freedom go hand in hand.  You really can’t have one without the other.  And this terrifies many people.  Its why many of us run away from recognizing how free we really are.  Responsibility is a scary concept.  But it is hard to be truly happy if you do not embrace your inherent freedom.

KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.

Why Do We Disengage? – by Kind Communication

KindCommunication.orgRe-posted From: http://KindCommunication.org/2014/10/02/why-do-we-disengage/

Disengagement is the number one problem in communication.  Whether it is between parent and child, boss and employee, coworkers, friends, or significant others.  When one person disengages, compassionate communication quickly becomes difficult to near impossible.

Disengagement takes many forms.  Most of you probably saw that word and thought “walked away, left the conversation”.  And that certainly can be one form of disengagement.  Other forms it can take are attacking the other person, attacking oneself and stonewalling.  And you may be able to imagine a few other forms too.  Disengagement is basically any time one person stops the flow of open, honest, compassionate dialogue.

And why do we disengage?  And how can we counteract it?

Let me lay out just three reasons we disengage and how to counteract them.  The first is shame.  Shame is the feeling that I am bad, wrong, or unworthy.  And all sorts of things can trigger shame.  It can be something as aggressive as criticism or as banal as making a mistake.  Either way when someone feels shame they disengage to protect themselves.  They will either attack the other person, start attacking themselves, stonewall, or even just try to escape the conversation.  Shame can be hard to address because people usually don’t vocalize “I feel shame”, shame is so powerful that people don’t want to admit to the experience of it.  So some questions for you to determine if shame is at play: are they avoiding making eye contact?  did you just criticize them or give them critical feedback?  did you just catch them making a mistake?  If the answer is yes to any of these three and the other person is disengaging, the reason is probably shame.

The best way to address shame is to remind the person that you care about them.  Spend time trying to rebuild connection with this person.  What do you admire about them?  Can you see something positive in what they were trying to do?  Have you ever made a similar mistake?  Share your answers to these questions with them, and try to rebuild your connection, to show them you care and are on their team.

The second reason we disengage is that we view the other person as a hypocrite.  We don’t see the other person as living in integrity with their values.  Basically, we see them as being dishonest, and as long as you perceive someone as dishonest you are very unlikely to be open, honest, and compassionate with them.

Obviously the first precaution against this reason for disengagement is to be honest.  To live in integrity with your values.  Don’t say one thing and then do another.  And of course sometimes we can do that, and someone else can still perceive us as being a hypocrite or dishonest, so what then?

Try to talk about it.  Try to ask them “I’m concerned that you think I’m not being fully honest, is that true?” or even simply “why are you mad at me?”  When people perceive you as being dishonest they are usually more than happy to point it out if you give them the chance.  When they do point it out, don’t take it personally!  When someone points out some way they see me not living in integrity or not being honest, I usually am tempted to go into shame and feel criticized.  The result of that is then I disengage and the cycle of disengagement continues.  So you have to work hard to stay engaged, and see them pointing out some sort of hypocrisy as the moment to try and regain connection by clearing it up.

Finally, the third reason we disengage can be simply biological.  Are you hungry?  Thirsty?  Tired?  Stressed?  It can take some energy to stay engaged especially in difficult conversations.  So it is important to stay mindful to how our bodies are doing.  If your physical energy is drained, your emotional energy will go soon.

The best way to deal with this is to be willing to take breaks when talking about tough topics.  Don’t feel like you have to “power through”.  Take breaks to have a snack, take a nap, or just relax.  Don’t use this as an excuse to sweep the issue under the rug.  But do take care of your body; it truly is the foundation to everything else.

KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.

Scarcity & Contentment – by Kind Communication

KindCommunication.orgRe-posted From: http://KindCommunication.org/2014/09/21/scarcity-contentment/

Scarcity is the belief or mindset of “never enough”.  You know you’re being affected by the mindset of scarcity anytime you think “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not perfect enough” or “I’m never loved enough” or “I’m not successful enough” or “I’m not thin enough” or “I’m not smart enough”, etc.  And this mindset of “never enough” births fear, shame, jealousy, greed, prejudice, comparison, and arguments with what is.

For me, the solution to the mindset of scarcity is the mindset of contentment.  Being content is knowing that “it is enough” and that “I am enough”.  If you can be centered in knowing that you are enough, and what you have is enough, then you aren’t tricked into thinking you need more, you aren’t tricked into comparing yourself with others, you aren’t tricked into being scared, greedy, or jealous, and you aren’t tricked into picking a fight with what is.

And I’d like to be clear about something.  Both scarcity and contentment are mindsets; they are ways that we see ourselves and the world.  And they are also practices.  They are formed, reinforced, and made permanent by daily practices we engage in.  This is something I help many clients with, forming daily practices that foster contentment and eradicate scarcity.

I had this moment of clarity the other night about how scarcity works in me.  I was biking home from seeing some friends.  And I saw up ahead one of my guilty pleasures…taco bell.  In that moment I could tell that I didn’t need any food.  And I knew I had food in my fridge at home.  But it was a Saturday night, and I wanted that pleasure of eating a quesadilla.

As I’m biking I hear this thought “come on Alex, tonight won’t be complete without a taco bell run.  You’ll really feel so much happier and content if you get a quesadilla.”  And I relented; I turned in and got the quesadilla.  And then just 10 minutes later when I was home and eating it I heard another thought “oh gosh Alex, did you really get taco bell?  You don’t have enough self-control.”

And then it dawned on me, scarcity was behind both of those thoughts.  When I got the quesadilla, it was my greed to keep wanting more fun and pleasure because somehow I hadn’t had “enough” yet.  I wasn’t practicing contentment.

When I got home and felt shame, I was telling myself that I wasn’t enough.  Since I don’t have the “right” amount of self-control I am not “good enough”.  Again, I wasn’t practicing being content with who I was in that moment.  And so it was scarcity that both pushed me into stopping at Taco Bell, and it was scarcity that was beating me up for it.

If I had taken a moment to acknowledge “I had a fun evening, it was enough” or even “I have food at home that is enough” I wouldn’t have gotten that quesadilla.  And later when I noticed that I was telling myself I was “not good enough”, I did center myself in contentment.  I stopped and said out loud “I am enough just as I am.”  And after that I was able to enjoy my Taco Bell shame free.

And while you may be thinking this is a silly example, I have seen scarcity ruin relationships.  I’ve seen partners, friends, parents, and kids be wrecked with shame, fear, greed, and pain all because they don’t think they are enough, or what they have is enough.  And in their pain they disconnect from the other person, either by lashing out or withdrawing.  And if this issue of scarcity isn’t address slowly that disconnection becomes permanent.

I have also seen contentment save relationships.  That once a person recognizes that they are enough, or that what they have is enough, they let go of anger, fear, resentment, jealousy, greed, and arguing with what is.  A new peacefulness comes over them.  They are calm and centered for the first time.  And if contentment is practiced daily that new peacefulness becomes permanent.

So which do you practice?  Scarcity or Contentment?

KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.

Interconnectedness – by Kind Communication

KindCommunication.orgRe-posted From: http://KindCommunication.org/2014/09/08/interconnectedness/

Your entire experience is a web of interconnections.

What you do impacts those around you.  What others do impact you.  You are currently reading these words on a screen which was built by someone else.  That computer was then transported by another person to the store from which you bought it.  People at that store stocked that computer and maintained it until you purchased it.

From the air you’re breathing you are extracting oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide.  That tree outside your window is then absorbing the carbon dioxide and producing oxygen.  Your lungs and the tree are an interconnected system which you rely upon to survive.

When you realize how interconnected you are to the world and the people around you, you will treat them with more kindness, compassion, care, and love.  When you can see that you are not an island in and of yourself, you will notice that your joy and contentment is connected to the joy and contentment of everything around you.  “A happy spouse/child/parent, makes a happy home”.

A terrific way to cultivate this awareness of interconnection is through meditation.  I have included an audio of my favorite mediation from Marsha Lucas’ Rewire Your Brain for Love.  Consider using this meditation as a tool to increase your awareness of the interconnectedness of all things.

KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.

Five Tools to Practicing Compassion – by Kind Communication

KindCommunication.orgRe-posted From: http://KindCommunication.org/2014/08/24/five-tools-to-practicing-compassion/

I want people to have more compassion in their lives.  Most of us were never taught intentional practices for compassion.  Being compassionate (often misconstrued by culture as “being nice”) was often just an ideal set out before us.  Another way to make us feel “not good enough” and unworthy.

So below, I’m going to lay out five tools I use to practice the skill of compassion.  Please don’t hear “you must do all these things”.  I really imagine this list as an invitation for you to just pick one new tool to start practicing on a daily basis.

Meditation.  This is on probably every list of “compassionate practices” you’ve read.  That’s because it works.  Twice a day, sit for 20-30 minutes and put your full attention on your breath, a mantra, a piece of holy scripture, or even just one positive word.  More and more scientific studies are coming out confirming that meditation reshapes our neural pathways in such a way that it increases brain activity in areas associated with self-control, compassion, empathy, and reason.

Forgiveness.  Forgiving isn’t forgetting.  And sometimes it takes me weeks before I am willing to forgive.  I normally can’t forgive someone until I’ve allowed my emotions to be fully expressed and validated.  But the longer I hold onto those painful emotions and that enemy image of the other, the harder it is to forgive, and the less compassion I have, not only towards that person but also in general.  To make this a daily practice, sit down at the end of each day and write down something someone did that hurt you.  Give yourself permission to express all the emotion you have about that.  And I really mean all the emotions you have about it.  You don’t need the other person to be present to do this; you could do it alone or with another loving and supportive friend.  After you’ve expressed your emotions return to what you’ve written down and try to say out loud “I forgive you”.  If the words sound forced or hollow, you probably need to express some more emotion.  If you experience a peaceful release then you know you’ve done it.  Give yourself permission to star certain items and return to them on future days or weeks if you’re still not ready to forgive.

Self-Empathy.  This is a big one.  Truly connecting with my own feelings and core needs, values, or desires really helps me have more compassion.  This can involve translating my self-critical messages into feelings and needs.  Like when I hear that inner critic in my head say “You’re not working hard enough”, I translate it into “I feel scared and anxious that I am not going to accomplish enough and that I’m not being efficient.”  Self-empathy can also just involve taking a moment to acknowledge when I got hurt throughout the day and connecting with the feelings and needs I had in that moment.  This is not just an intellectual exercise, it must move beyond that or else you won’t get the desired effect.  Again carve out intentional time each day to sit down and do this with either your self-criticisms or with moments where others hurt you.

Empathy towards others.  This is the act of connecting with the feelings and needs in another person.  Again, this is not just an intellectual exercise, and if it doesn’t get past the place of “analyzing” then you are really only connecting with the mental image of the other person you have constructed in your head. Think about those people in your life that get under your skin.  Think about the specific actions or words they say that drive you nuts.  Try to imagine and connect with the feelings and needs in those words or actions.

Expressing gratitude.  Another popular tool on lists such as this.  You need to actually express thanks and appreciations to others.  A simple “thank you” really won’t suffice.  Share with the other person how you felt and what needs, values, or core desires their action really fulfilled in you.  This helps both of you have a deep understanding of how you were positively impacted by another person’s actions.  So make it a regular habit to express gratitude with your friends, partner, or family.

KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.

Admit When You’re Wrong – By Kind Communication

KindCommunication.orgRe-posted From: http://KindCommunication.org/2014/08/10/admit-when-youre-wrong/

You are not perfect.  You make mistakes.  Sometimes you’re wrong.  Sometimes you’re the one who went over the top or went too far.

And that’s okay.

In fact I encourage all my clients to have the courage to be imperfect.  Any time you try to be something you’re not (like perfect, or always right, or always nice, or always polite, etc) you are being fake.  And others can tell.  They may not know exactly how you’re being fake, but they probably feel some uneasy.

Think about times when you’ve been around someone who is pretending they are something more, something better, than they actually are.  How did you feel?  I generally feel skeptical, uneasy, anxious about that person seeing my flaws and lauding it over me, and I feel annoyed.

So hiding your mistakes doesn’t work, and people actually like it when you can confess your errors.  I’m not saying go around and treat every person as a private confessional.  I am saying that when you drop the ball, say something you regret, or did something reckless, to just admit that to whomever else was involved.

When I admit that I’ve done something I regret I am always surprised by how much more at ease I feel, how the other person seems more relaxed, and how much more readily the other person confesses to their own regrets of how they’ve acted towards me.  In that moment, I am giving both myself and this other person permission to be imperfect, to be just two humans doing the best we know how.

In the heat of the moment you might be too angry to admit when you’re wrong.  You can always have a redo, where later you come back and apologize.  This is always better than nothing.  And the more you practice admitting when you’re wrong, the easier it’ll be to admit it in the moment.  And that’s where some really miraculous things can happen.

Sound difficult?  It is sometimes.  Most of us have been deeply conditioned to try to be perfect, to try to do it right all the time, and to try to be nice & polite.  So the very thought of admitting we did something wrong brings up not only fears about the judgments and power this other person will hold over us, but also the judgments and power this inner critic, this inner parent figure, this inner authority figure, will hold over us.

It’s okay.  Admit when you did something wrong, and then notice how in this unguarded place forgiveness and compassion finally have room to enter.

KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.

Three Rules to Pausing Difficult Conversations – by Kind Communication

KindCommunication.orgRe-posted From: http://KindCommunication.org/2014/07/27/three-rules-to-pausing-difficult-conversations/

“How do I talk to my partner when I’m just so mad at her??”

You don’t.

When you get really upset, when you “see red”, when the only way you can express yourself is through yelling, that’s when you are triggered to a strong fight reaction.  And anytime you are triggered to your fight, flight, or freeze reaction your ability to communicate is nearly impossible.  So I always recommend to people that at the earliest sign that a conversation is about to “go south” to pause the conversation.

There is no shame in taking some time to calm down, collect your thoughts, and prepare to engage in a difficult but constructive conversation.  And I’d like to share my three rules to effectively pause a conversation.

First, always say “I need some time to calm down” even when you don’t.  Sometimes you can tell your partner is really worked up, and sooner or later will say something that you experience as hurtful.  Don’t hope that they will be able to control themselves, or will pause the conversation.  If you can tell that your partner is struggling, just step in and pause the conversation.  But if you say “you need some time to calm down” or even worse “you need a time out” you can expect that your partner will get even more upset.

Second, set a time for when you and this other person can check-in and potentially continue the conversation.  Setting a time to check-in will help your partner not feel like they are being abandoned.  And never use a break as a means to sweep an issue under the rug.  Whenever an issue doesn’t get resolved it just keeps popping up, sometimes dressed in some new disguise, but it’s still the same problem.  Research says that we need at minimum 30 minutes to calm down from an extremely angry place.  But depending on the issue and circumstances it could take much longer than that.  So before you both split, set a time when you can check in and see if you’re both ready to resolve the issue.  If at the check-in time one or both of you are still not ready to talk, then set a new check-in time and go back to taking a break.

Finally, use the time to actually calm down.  Don’t spend the entire break ruminating on all the terrible things your partner has said in the past, or how hurtful or mean your partner is, or making a laundry list of all the times this other person has let you down.  If that’s how you spend your break, then when you return you won’t be calmer, instead you’ll just have more ammo.  So spend that time doing something that’s truly relaxing.  Listen to music, go for a walk, receive some empathy from a friend, exercise, meditate, take a nap, watch some TV, read, journal, take a bubble bath, do whatever it is that helps you calm down.  Ideally, you even want to spend some of this time remembering all the things you love about this other person.

By following these three rules you will be able to avoid saying those things which cannot be unsaid, you will be able to choose a time and place when both you and the other person can speak calmly and with compassion, and you’ll actually resolve issues instead of just “letting them go”.

KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.

Three Signs You Need a Vacation – by Kind Communication

Re-posted From: http://KindCommunication.org/2014/07/15/three-signs-you-need-a-vacation/

Ahhhhh……I’ve just returned from a short weekend camping trip.  I feel so relieved, relaxed, rejuvenated, and refreshed.  And as I reflect upon the weeks leading up to my camping trip I notice three signs that I needed a vacation.  And the last one surprised me.  I’m going to keep this short since I just returned, and I hope these can be help you figure out if you need a vacation too.

First, I was having a hard time staying motivated.  I’m sure everyone knows moments where they are “supposed” to be working, but you just can’t find the energy or the focus to actually do it.  Often you may view this as “lack of discipline” or worst, outright “laziness”.  But could this lack of energy and focus be your body’s early warning sign that you need some rest?  Your body is a wonderful tool which gives you a lot of helpful information.  So when your body gives you a message that your mind doesn’t like, don’t try to overrule it.  Listen.

When we see kids that are “cranky” we naturally assume that they are tired and need rest.  When we see adults that are “cranky” we naturally assume they are mean people.  When did the link between irritability and the need for rest become separated in our minds?  If you notice that your temper is getting triggered easily, that you’re stressed by the slightest wrinkle in your plans, or that small annoyances are blown out of proportion, then you could really use some rest.  Don’t judge yourself for your irritability; treat yourself to some rest and relaxation.

Potentially the most surprising sign that we need a vacation is that we’ve become addicted to work.  I am a big fan of productivity and accomplishment.  Potentially too big a fan.  Have you ever been jumping from big project to big project without even a thought to taking a break in between?  Have you ever been so focused on getting work done, that you’ve neglected other aspects of your life?  Work and accomplishment can be so addictive that we lose ourselves to it.  And while riding the wave you may feel like you have boundless energy, the constant stream of work is taking its toll.  So make sure to build in time to savor the completion of a big project, take time to appreciate and celebrate, and take time to rest before the next big one.

A final note.  You may define a “vacation” as taking a trip to some exotic or fun-filled location other than your home.  I want to suggest that this definition may be a limiting one.  You could define a “vacation” as any time you take to truly relax.  Many people waste their relaxation time worrying about the future, brooding over stressors, or being lost in the past.  Vacations are these moments where we are completely in the moment, usually because the moment is a novel one.  But you can be completely in the moment and relaxing in your hammock in the backyard, or on your living room sofa, or out on the town.  The healing power of vacations doesn’t come from where they happen, it comes from having time to be in the moment and truly relax.  Don’t let lack of time off, lack of preparation, lack of transportation, lack of destination, or lack of funds stop you from taking a vacation right now.

KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.