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Journal with Compassion

By Rodger Sorrow CL Trainer

If we want to reap the benefits of Nonviolent Communication, it requires that we practice, practice, practice.  My three favorite strategies for practice or increasing fluency and building skills are empathy buddies, journaling and practice groups.  Journaling has the advantage of being the one that we can do almost anytime and anywhere by our self. 

Journaling is a way to practice and deepen our self-empathy.  We can slow the process down, notice our jackals and translate them to needs.  With practice we become quicker and the process easier to connect to our selves.  There are a variety of formats that work well and my preference is that jackals, observations, feelings, needs and requests are included. 

This is a list of possible topics or areas to explore with journaling.  Enjoy the practice.

1.   Gratitude; noticing anything that brings me joy

2.   Appreciation for myself

3.   Moments of stuckness

4.   Moments of withdrawal or shut down

5.   Moments of anger

6.   Moments of discomfort

7.   Moments of uncertainty

8.   Moments when my heart is shut down

9.   Moments when I’m not present

10. What’s wrong with me?  This would be judgments of self

11. What other people do that I hate.  These are my judgments of others.

12. Fears; What I’m afraid other people think about me.

13. With-holds; this is those things that I am afraid to express to others

14. Regrets, this a list of those things I’ve said or done and wish I hadn’t.

15. The Beauty and Living Energy of a Need

16. Celebrations

17. Resentment

18. Mourning – acknowledging needs not met

19. Conversations from the past with a parent or loved one that aren’t complete

20. A recent Conflict

21. The feelings and needs of someone I have been mad at

22. Appreciation and gratitude for someone I want more connection with

23. Learning; what insight I gained

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