Tag Archives: Listening

I was reminded of how sympathy can influence not being seen or heard

For me it is an experience of one merging their pain with an others.

Going into sympathy reflects merging old pain together with an others circumstances.

Let me explain.

In a circle with Dr. Marshall Rosenberg in 2004, he began demonstrating a deepened empathy pattern and I found myself curious about how some of us in the circle were independently holding the space and others where crying in sorrow.  I asked an advanced trainer who had worked with Dr. Rosenberg for many years about the differences in experience.  I was told that those who were not sobbing  didn’t have a similar pain as the person who was receiving empathy.  Those who were  had that same abuse in their lifetime that stimulated old pain.   Fortunately this intensive was to transition from moral judgments and right and wrong thinking.  This explanation was shared with clarity and as a matter of fact.  What I learned was that those identifying with the pain had an opportunity to heal themselves in witnessing the resolution in the person who was receiving empathy from Dr. Rosenberg.  The key was to feel their pain rise up and let their thoughts rest.  The skill was to resist  going into their own story that would hijack the circumstances away from the speaker.  I call this the ultimate witnessing ability.  (This is when you can stop yourself from hijacking someones story away from them and making it about you.)

Empathy practice, the NVC way, is to fully hear what someone is saying without interpreting it back through your past experiences and personal perspectives.  The only way someone is going to feel seen and heard is if you are able to listen to their words while being attentive to what you are hearing.  The following ways of habitually listening are not empathetic, instead they challenge the speaker.

  • Comparisons – telling your perspective or someone elses
  • Being an authority
  • Moral Judgments – no right and wrong, not speaking to what’s wrong with someone
  • Assessments
  • Diagnosis
  • Labeling
  • Criticizing
  • Coming up with solutions
  • Asking questions – your job is to listen, not understand

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, Author or Nonviolent Communication
NVC – Nonviolent Communication

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Awareness Through Communication

 1st Level – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
 2nd Level – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
 3rd Level – Integration (Embodiment)

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by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog Renee Lindstrom Live
Copyright 2007 – 2020 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Public Service Announcement: If someone is suicidal don’t fix, listen!

Some days a Feldenkrais® Session will become a talking session depending upon the need in the moment.  Recently a student came in experiencing trouble with their shins, calves, knees and ankles.  As these physical areas began to free up, this parent began sharing their concerns for one of their adult children’s depression.  The adult child had bouts of serious depression and this time was fearful themselves that they would cause damage to themselves.

Generally I simply listen.  This time  hearing only strategies to make it better,  I thought about this adult child’s needs that were not being considered or even identified and spoke up.  I suggested to this parent that perhaps this adult child simply needed to be listened to.  No strategies, no fixing, no story telling.  I suggested that perhaps they needed someone to  be willing to be uncomfortable in their discomfort and be able to sit in this quagmire with them.  Someone in this much pain has a need for safety and to be fully accepted as they are in the moment.  Someone this agitated needs to find an anchor, someone who will just be there.

I coached them on how to listen with empathy and heard back they got the value in this.  They too had a time in their life where they didn’t get their needs met for being seen and heard!

We continued with our movement exploration and found that the areas affected became increasingly more flexible with this deeper understanding and acceptance.  This parent needed support too for their needs of safety!

Empathy Mirror

Empathy is an elixir.  It has not been abundant in our culture. Empathy calms one and reconnects them to their own value.  When someone is not able to value themselves, others can provide them with reassurance that they matter by being mirrors reflecting back acceptance, love and appreciation using basic listening skills!

Renee’s own father committed suicide after a long struggle of not getting his needs to be valued met.  A man who was sensitive to the illusive communication that wasn’t being spoken and troubled by the dishonesty in what he was hearing, over time became isolated.  During his darkest hour his wife, children and family ignored his pain and suffering.  He longed for solitude and by pushing everyone away to gain it, realized his biggest fear – being alone.  He turned to Renee who tried to find a hero for him however none came forward, rather they withdrew.  Overwhelmed and 1/2 province away he lost his battle.

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Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Value-Based Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000, Founder of Greater Victoria Peace & Intercultural Celebrations since 2010 & Greater Victoria Labyrinths since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Calendar Founder – 2014 & 2015


Green relationshipsAn attitude of green is the commitment to practice listening to what is meaningful inside and the willingness to hear others before drawing conclusions. Green isn’t one side trumps the other..   Green is inclusive, it isn’t exclusive.  It holds everyone and everything equally.   Our values are not in conflict, our solutions are in conflict.

Green meets humanities needs. It is a space within that connects us to the value of life and the willingness for balance in giving back so everyone and everything thrive’s.  It is a natural cycle of giving and receiving that turns as the turning of night and day.  Imagine the moon and sun falling out of balance with one becoming dominate and one lesser than.

It requires tolerance and balanced lifestyles to increase mindfulness and patience to make better choices and find ways to resolve differences.  Some ways to consider achieving effective day to day balance and enrich life for those times that seem helpless follow:

Setting intentions for next year!

Three points for success with setting your goals and keeping them:

  • include a balanced view of all your life areas while setting your goals:  heath, wealth, fame, love, creative, future, community, career, personal development, ecology
  • connect to the roots of your desire for a meaningful incentive to stick to them
  • create an environment for success
How many times have you set goals on December 31st only to fail in the first week of January?  This year plan for success now!    Explore programs & workshops 

Balance between

mind (solving puzzles) &

mindfulness (spaciousness)

Maze Labyrinth Hearts

A maze is a puzzle and can be confusing. It reflects challenge and requires mind solving focus versus mindfulness! Have you considered how mindfulness supports and balances mind solving skills? Too much challenge can create limited focus and panic. A pathway that leads to mindfulness creates open space for increased brain power for meeting and navigating challenges!

Communication & Movement for Mindful Awareness for Adults

4 Personal Commitments for effective ‘Green Communication’

1.  Self Reflection:

  • identifying felt sensory awareness (sensing, feeling, emotions)  while noticing thoughts, opinions, believes and interpretations and letting them go

 2.  Speaking honestly:

  • about how you are affected and not what you think

 3.  Willingness to set aside differences:

  • hearing how others are affected  (conflict is at the level of  belief, thoughts, opinions and personal interpretations)

4.  Identifying and connecting to values before solutions:

  • After first three steps, then and only then,  develop solutions based on every-ones input and ideas.

  The Practice of Empathy Nature

Empathy Nature

will develop a state of mindfulness and increases conscious awareness
increase communication efficiency
reduce life draining experiences and increase productivity

What are your values

Explore a simple and insightful practice for integrating a personal culture of  values.  Using a traditional style circle of communication that nurtures mutual support, setting goals safely and respectfully.  Build skills for social change. NEW FOR 2015 Personal Calender & Agenda –  Integrating Values Daily!  Talk and Walk Values to get your needs met more easily!

Read more now
Children’s Educational Programs for Schools & Families @ www.cultureofvalues.com

The 4 Commitments of Green Movement

The goal in this style of movement is spontaneity.  This is achieved through these four commitments.

1.  Commitment to Stop and Check in

Commitment to slow down and stop

2.  Transition from thinking to sensing

Mindful focus on  your inner sensations from the inside out

3.  Exploring with curiosity

Curiously explore your movement actions and reactions

4.  Practice to integrate

This movement is a system that increases inner wisdom of all aspects of self.  It is not a first aid nor a philosophical path.  It is reuniting of whole movement interrupted through the generalized and institutionalized educational system.

Movement Options:



  •  Labyrinth’s  – pathway in to heart center connection and back out


Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication,  Empathy,  Values Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000, Labyrinths of Victoria since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Grassroots Calendar Founder, Vice-Chair of World Children’s Summit on Peace & Nature in 2015


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an amazing, spontaneous, kinesthetic moment of connection – being together with the divine in each of us

A powerful facet of listening/speaking is to develop
the skill of going into resonance with someone else’s feelings,
in an empathic manner. Meaning, ‘staying with’ the other person to be able to reflect back what they are saying, even if it is their own words repeated. The goal is to experience the feeling that rises between you when they truly feel heard. That is an amazing, spontaneous, kinesthetic moment of connection – being together with the divine in each of us.  read more

Personal Mentor/Coach, Educational Programs:  Business, School,  Organization
by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement since 2000
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A shift happens through listening and being heard

The outcome of really listening and likewise being heard, is a shift. People appear to become grounded, more calm and able to express possibly for the first time with a sense of inner strength and autonomy.

Personal Mentor/Coach, Educational Programs:  Business, School,  Organization
by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement since 2000
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Steps to truly hear someone for the purpose of deepening a connection

  1. Listen with an intention to connect deeper to another – a heart connection
  2. Regardless of the topic, observe what inner responses come up for you. Recognize these as though in a Buddhist meditation-begin to notice your responses as personal responses without judgement and go back to what words you are hearing.
  3. Notice if you want to share your story or if you want to give advice and STOP.  Simply let it go by without acting upon these urges.
  4. If there are a lot of words coming at you, ask for a pause to try to tell back what you heard. Explain you want to hear what they are saying.
  5. Reflecting back what you have heard, may create a response that takes them to another topic. This is an opportunity to track. Developing tracking skills will allow you to come back to the main trigger point in the future with more ease and not being taken down the garden path to some other situation.

read more

Personal Mentor/Coach, Educational Programs:  Business, School,  Organization
by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement since 2000
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Clear communication seems as elusive as the pot of gold

Speaking/listening, or a lack of it, has caused many of us a considerable amount of trouble. Clear communication seems as elusive as the pot of gold, perhaps because we were not educated in the topic as a child. As the new ‘children of light’, begin to find themselves in positions of power, it could actually be put on the top of the school curriculum, but for now…we’re on our own ……………read more 

Personal Mentor/Coach, Educational Programs:  Business, School,  Organization
by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement since 2000
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