I've been taking some practice sessions in Nonviolent Communication with residents of Pacific Gardens the last few weeks, another example of the rock-polisher effect of cohousing.
The goal of NVC, as it's known, is to make life wonderful for yourself and for others. Yeah, right, you're saying - if I believe this is possible, I must believe pigs can fly.
And I have to admit, that was my attitude when I first heard people at Pacific Gardens discussing it. Nonviolent communications seemed just too airy-fairy, plus downright impossible to achieve.
After all, everybody wants to win, and hardly anyone ever concedes that their point-of-view isn't the absolutely correct one - or to be more honest, I hardly ever do.
But if so many of my Pacific Gardens friends felt this was valuable, and since the winner-takes all approach didn't always seem to work that well, maybe it was time for me to take a closer look.
I went to an introductory workshop, and was hooked. I had to dig deep into myself to discover the core values and needs that were the bedrock of my connections with other people.
And this has led to all kinds of discoveries about myself, and the people I relate to in my everyday life. Instead of leaping into the fray, I am learning how to stop and think about what causes me to react.
Who knows? I may eventually acquire some patience if I keep at it. This barnacled old rock keeps getting polished here at Pacific Gardens!