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The Art of Fine Metalwork and the Art of Empathy and Nonviolent Communication- woven together for you....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A little Empathy goes a long way...

I'm standing outside in the public playground/garden under the building where I live, waiting for a telephone technician, A mother witha baby stroller is just leaving and her older child, maybe two years old, is still playing with some leaves, totally absorbed as children are.

"I'm leaving!" the mother says and starts to go, turning the corner, where her daughter cannot see her.,
The little girl looks up, and starts to cry: Mama!
Mother returns: We have to go, come now, or I'll go without you!
The child's face is in the pile of leaves.
I'm going!
Child cries again and finally starts walking in the direction of her Mom.

I want to say to her: You know, she's not doing this against you...but I am silent.
The little girl reaches her mother and hands her a little something she found as a present
Mother for a split second: Very sweet, BUT, you must come when I call you! You must come!

I find I am really affected by this exchange. These few moments, for me, condense the way we so many times handle situations. I don't mean to sit here in judgment. I've BEEN ( and maybe still am) that Mother. An eternal, hands full, looking tired with two young 'uns Mother who hasn't got a clue what to do and just wants to get on with her day. I've BEEN that Mother who finally threatens her child...
and I probably was the child who was frightened into complying, not understanding her "crime".

My heart goes out to both of them,

And I know there is another way out of it. A peaceful way. A word or two of Empathy on the adults part could go a very long way. Something like: " Wow I see you really like those leaves, right?" and " You really want to stay here a little longer, yeah?"
 Sounds obvious and maybe a little too dumb to say, but in these two questions, so many underlying needs get met. First and foremost connection. The child feels hat she is seen, the Mother is WITH her child in her experience, and therefore may even relax a minute or two long enough to enjoy a special, magical moment with her child. And then she might say, I really want to get going, to which her child might still resist, to which the Mother may drop another: "It's hard to leave, isn't it?" So much is taught here...gentle consideration.

I'm not saying it's easy. That Mom needs a ton of Empathy sent her way in her predicament. And yet, it's possible.

This exchange won't take longer than the usual, and it will create ripples of peace and understanding that might reach out into generations to come.

I have used Empathy in many situations, and by no means all of them. My children are living proof that when their needs are heard and taken into consideration, they will grow up to be kinder more capable of compassion in a world that to this date, knows mostly the language of dominance and fear.

If you ever find that you're in a situation with someone ( children large and small) and it's not moving in the direction you want., try Empathy first and let me know if it works for you.

my darling and I
My love and understanding to you...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wisdom from an eleven year old sage...

I have tears in my eyes.

My son, Tom wanted to stop playing piano. He said: It's just not fun for me! This brought up a lot of stuff for me. And yet I did my best to listen with empathy. To get my own pre-conceptions out of the way.

I guessed his different feelings and needs. His frustration. He didn't want his teacher to be hurt, he didn't want to face the moment of saying "goodbye" to her.  ( He knows she really cares for him and thinks he's good) And yet I heard my self saying things like: "if you want to succeed at anything you need to practice a lot and it's not always fun" (mmmm, is that true? ) He answered: what has that got to do with it? (he's right. what does it have to do with it?)

We went over different aspects, I offered solutions, ideas,  but mostly I heard his tears and his heart crying out for something.

I know how you feel, I said
You do?
How so?
Well I remember that when I was a child and playing piano, I stopped because the piano was in the basement and I was soooo scared to be there, and even more scared to tell my Mom I was scared. And then, played flute...and then we moved to Israel, for me a new land, though my homeland, and all the support system of the school in the States was gone. And no one else in my new class played...and... and I stopped. Also I know about the pitfalls of being an artist in any field. How easy distractions come in. How easily I doubt.

I also noticed that I was trying to convince him to continue. I noticed tension in my body.

Suddenly I said: Ok Tom, you can stop. you know I won't force you.
Really? he asked , suddenly surprised.
Yes, really
I let go, I really let go. I felt it in my body. I felt him relax.

Came to the computer ( which is in the living room, where the piano is too), Started to read , tweet etc. Suddenly, out of the blue, Tom starts playing. After a few moments, he says:
I've decided to continue.
Yes, he said
I remembered that sometimes there are obstacles in life. I can either overcome them, or get stuck.

And with that , he resumed playing for another half an hour, happily

He is eleven.
All I can say is I'm humbled, privileged to have this soul as my child.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Guest post at www.mindfulground.com

Proud to be on  Carina from Denmark's website! Come check out my first ever guest post!


Would love to hear what you think!