3.10.2012

120 Day Challenge: I Appreciate People Journal

i appreciate people journal

Last fall I started another 120 Day Challenge that I didn't share with anyone. Coincidentally, it ended the day before Valentines Day, which I thought was the most delightful surprise about love and gratitude.

Instead of being thankful for things, I choose to write once a day about a person I am grateful for and use Marshall Rosenberg's chapter on appreciation from his book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life as a model.

One of the most unique aspects of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is the belief that our habitual approach to expressing praise and appreciation can be life-alienating and often used as method for influencing others rather then truly connecting.

In NVC the method for expressing appreciation has three parts:

1. What actions of the other person have contributed to my well-being?
2. What feelings resulted from having my need fulfilled?
3. What needs of mine have been met by this person's action?

NVC Appreciation = person's action + resultant feeling + need that was fulfilled

Here are some examples from my journal: 

Dear Elaine,
Thanks for being so friendly and talking to me during choir practice today. Your laughter and conversation helped me feel comfortable and allowed me to be at ease in a new environment.
Many Blessings,
Beth

Dear Sophie,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the design of my Om charm. Your feedback prompted me to be creative again and this brought me feelings of happiness.
xoxo
Beth

Dear Tax Man,
Thanks so much for holding the tax workshop and providing so many clear answers to my questions. I am feeling more confident about running my business in Nevada, which provides a level of security I needed.
Thank you!
Beth

It should also be noted that in his book, Marshall Rosenberg explains that appreciation can be expressed without extensive language if you feel truly connected to the feelings and needs underneath: "The sequence of these three ingredients may vary; sometimes all three can be conveyed by a smile or a simple 'Thank you.'"

Nevertheless, moving forward from my 120 Day journal of appreciating others, I hope to learn how to express it verbally in the moment to people when it's actually happening as well as begin to truly receive it when others are offering it to me.

6 comments:

  1. Hello Beth! I live in Italy and created jewelry. I love watching American blogs because I stimulate the imagination and help me to learn. I write because I was very surprised to have found a collegamente with CNV in your blog. I know her very well and I collaborate with a friend of M. Rosenberg living einsegna CNV in Italy. For years, I write and illustrate books of CNV. How nice! I subscribe to your blog and I'll leave my name so they can see that what you say is true.
    A hug!

    Monica Rinaldini

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  2. what an incredible exercise... i must get this book...how empowering to be open to each interaction & to find connectedness with others... this seems to heighten ones self awareness to an even greater level... and inject each day with a positive outlook...
    i do believe you will be speaking at TED someday!

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  3. What a good idea.. I bet by seeing your gratefulness in print has enhanced how you are today... :-)

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  4. Chris, seeing it in print was definitely really useful for me. I like this visual learning.

    Mary Jane, you'll love this book!

    Monica, how wonderful to meet another artist who loves NVC. I look forward to the connection :)

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  5. I must have this book! I'm so glad to be back online and in the blogosphere, I just know the universe sent me here to read this message today when I need it most. Thanks, Beth! Namaste.

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  6. I'm so glad the universe had us meet up this week!

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I'd love for you to share your ideas and stories on my blog! Please know that I may not always be able to e-mail you a direct response, so be sure to check back to my blog and continue the dialogue. Many blessings for connecting with me through word and image :)