Posts Tagged 'nvc'

Big Changes – an Update

Hi ūüôā ¬†How are you?

Well, I’ve not posted in a long time, and there was a gap between my last post and the ones prior.

In short, there are big changes afoot, and nothing has seemed post-worthy to me in a long time.

What changed?  Why, thank you for asking!

In short (again?), I spent 20 years of my life trying to contribute to the evolution of consciousness. ¬†“Let’s change the world for the better!” said my eternally optimistic idealist.

Then something shifted in me.

I realized that Great Order revels in Experience, and in that, All colors of the rainbow are going to manifest and express themselves.  Trying to change the world is like trying to force the whole rainbow to get yellow instead of being what it is.

Suddenly, there’s nowhere to go. ¬†Nothing needs to be ‘fixed’ or ‘changed’. ¬†Evolution Is. ¬†Great Order, Is.

“What about dying babies and mass murderers,” you ask, aghast? ¬†Sure. ¬†What about Corporate abuses of power, Political corruption, human corruption for that matter? ¬†What about Nibiru and the coming Ice Age and devastating freak weather threatening our crops, our food production and our very survival? ¬†What about that awful Rap music?!!

*sigh* ¬†Do what you need to do, until you can’t do it anymore. ¬†If you need to resist gays, or Republicans, or Liberals, or fear of death or whatever, then you¬†haven’t yet learned that what you resist persists. ¬†That’s ok. ¬†Keep doing what you need to do until you can’t do it anymore.

Me, I’ve realized that the Face of Love (God, Source, Emergence) has universal core values under every Creation, and I’m more interested in seeing how Emergence chooses to Express Herself/Myself and to grok the underlying core value (and support That, which obsoletes distorted expressions) than to push against things in the ever re-cycling “revolution” attitude where the oppressed become the new oppressors.

Yes, it’s true that not all of Creation is Life Serving. ¬†Yes, it’s true that I still tend toward Life Serving choices for the most part.

But I also see that nothing is universally “right” or “wrong” – even water can kill you in certain contexts. ¬†I do what I can to interrupt¬†“should-ing on” myself or others, and¬†look instead to support the Core Values. ¬†In those Expressions of Self I see only Love. ¬†Sometimes, Life makes Love¬†As War. ¬†It just Is.

So instead of should-ing or pushing against it, I now see all of Great Order in terms of Her vibrationally opposing sine waves, antinodes and nodal points.  Nothing is fixed, everything is in motion, evolving, being magnitized toward its resolution (nodal point) or into more vivid Autonomy and Experiencing and Self-Expression and Uniqueness (anti-nodes).

We don’t have to push the river to get it to bend a certain way – the river will find her own resolution.

Does that mean I sit on the couch all day and eat BonBons? ¬†No, I knit. ¬†Ha just kidding. ¬†No, I’m not advocating non-action. ¬†Chop Wood / Carry Water still applies. ¬†My 3D aspect still earns income to direct 3rd Dimensional energy as I wish. ¬†I still actively engage¬†my 4th Dimensional and Long Body growth / evolution. ¬†I still act, when needed, in protective use of force if that is called for. ¬†If I’m cornered I still pull out Kali to Kick Ass. ¬†I still create when I am moved to create.

However, I¬†also¬†don’t add to the ambient noise of human activity just because my immature shadow-aspects have a knee-jerk reaction to spit forth. ¬†I’m more aware of the ambient field, the scattered noise, the distortions, and the reality¬†that all Expressions are inherently full of Distortion (points away from the nodal point, looking for resolution).

So now my choices are coming out of a different Being.

Thank goodness. ¬†It’s way less stressful here.

And if this doesn’t make sense to you, that’s ok.

So yeah. That’s where I’m at.


– Maya

On Control, Core Values and Hidden Motives

I’m very grateful to Teri Murphy for conversation we’re having right now about the role of core values in how we see ourselves, each other, and the world – and in how we express ourselves.

She’s given me permission to post a question she asked me, and my response, in hopes that it might serve others.

You’ll find it, below.

Thank you again, Teri, I’m so deeply cherishing this dance with you.

In deep gratitude,


On Nov 21, 5:45 pm, “Teri Murphy” wrote:

> As I’ve been watching this communication process unfold, I am intrigued
> but perplexed about the role of stating one’s core value as a part of
> it.
> So often we all use one value as a cover for another that is repressed
> or more self serving. So for example, I did not include in my list of
> reasons for liking the current arrangement that I value control or
> cachet. I believe I have considered the extent to which these may be
> influencing my perception of the situation. But how can you succeed by
> offering a strategy which addresses the face values which may be only a
> minor part of actual motivation?
> Curiously,
> Teri

Reading your question, Teri, what surfaces in me are 2 distinctions:

1. Strategies versus *core* values (and a question that helps reveal
core truths)
2. The multiplicity of living, breathing needs (core values)

First, strategy versus core values.

When I hear someone say, “I want control,” I know they’re talking
about a strategy, not a core value.  How?  First, I realize that when
we want control, it’s TOWARD something else.¬† What do we want control
toward?  Creating our joy?  Protection?  Space to self-express?  We
want control as a means FOR something else = it’s a strategy.

To help me understand the core value behind a strategy, I might ask,
“If you/I/he/she got that, what might it give you/me/him/her?”

Money is another example.¬† I “value” money.¬† But it’s not a universal
CORE value.  What do I want money for?  If I got money, what would
that give me?  For one, I like the freedom and choice money gives me.
I also like how money lets me express and enjoy my joys.  So freedom,
choice and expressing my joy – these are my CORE values.

Mind you, it’s true that most of us are not taught to be consciously
aware of our or others’ core values…more on that in a moment…

And, it’s also true that sometimes one core value is a strategy for
another core value – here’s an example:

Let’s say I decide I want control so that I can have and live my
freedom.  What will that freedom give me?  Hmm.  When I look, I
realize that this freedom gives me a sense of power to be at choice.
If I got that choice, what would *that* bring me?  Hrm.  I see that
having choice, I’d get to live my bliss.¬† Aha, so my core value is
living my bliss.¬† Now when I ask myself again, “If I got to live my
deepest bliss, what would that bring me?”¬† I
get …stillness…silence…and utter equanimity, calm and peace.
This is how I know I’ve reached my core value.

In my opinion, one skill in Self-Line development is “personal
responsibility”, including being able to answer the question, “What is
my *core* value?¬† What are my soul/heart’s deepest motives here?”

In any case, as our culture gets increasingly more awake, conscious,
and en-lightened, the nature of the light of a core values
conversation is that it reveals shadow and it reveals truth.  Next
comes personal responsibility and our ability to respond to each
other.¬† But that’s another convo.

Next, let’s talk about the complexity of being alive.

1. CV’s rooted in shadow – Some core values can be stimulated by
unhealed residual pain, the voice of our divine Spark asking for
resolution so that our fullest Light can shine more brightly. For
example: if a woman were raped, she may have a high, high, highly
screaming need for space and self-protection.  These are core values,
but in this case the core values are “up” because of shadow – because
of unhealed pain / residual trauma – the system is begging for release
and healing. I can often tell when a core value is rooted in shadow
when it has a tone of demand, urgency, or emotional charge.

2.  Some core values are free of personality shadow, and are simply
pure expressions of Grace emerging through the body mind. I can often
tell when a core value is rooted in Grace when it is clear, simple,
and free of emotional charge – it has a power and a stillness that is

So awareness and conversation rooted in core values both helps reveal
our Divine nature and also helps reveal opportunities for healing.
In either case, it’s Divine.

3.  We all have multiple sets of needs going on all at once (core
values).  Some may be louder right now than others.  But you can see
that you have a “multiplistic inner community” if you’ve ever had an
inner conflict.¬† “Go to work and meet my needs for security, or stay
home and meet my needs for rest?”¬† This is two sets of core values.

Most of us are taught, and embody, power-OVER.¬† “Forget work, I’m
staying home today.” (Powering the need for rest over the need for
security.)¬† Bosses tell employees, “Do it or I’ll find someone who
will.”¬† Parents do it.¬† “Get dressed NOW because I told you to.”
Corporations do it, “Our profit and bottom line – the cost to the
environment or employees is not our problem.”¬† Few of us are ever
taught the kind of love that says, “All needs MATTER and get attended
to.¬† Period.”

Most of us are not ever taught the A+B of both/and…the A+B of being
able to hold both sets of needs equal and relentlessly attend to
BOTH.  One way I like embody this A+B (power WITH) is in this
question:  How can we A in a way that also B?  How can we B in a way
that also A?   How can I give myself security while also caring for my
needs for rest?  How can I rest today in a way that also cares for my
sense of security?

If we were never taught power-with, how do we EVER learn to
consciously get *awake* to our core values (needs)?¬† If we can’t do
power-WITH within ourselves, how can we EVER do it with others,
authentically and with our true hearts?

How do we ever learn to relentlessly attend to ALL needs, including
those in the multiplistic inner community of other?

Do some people around me have core values I know they’re not conscious
of?  Sure.  So I do my best to reflect them and help surface them

Do some people state one “value” while really holding another set of
values unspoken?¬† Sure.¬† But when actions and words don’t match, this
becomes self-evident.¬† It’s also far less likely that people will
“manipulate” situations (say one thing while meaning something else)
when they experience the fact that they don’t HAVE to manipulate
anything to get their needs included and cared for; as long as they
are IN the conversation they WILL get their needs attended to.

Do some people speak to one core value or need while a whole pile of
them are part of their humanity?  Sure!  But so long as the core
values are all being attended to, they won’t scream for attention.¬† If
a core value starts screaming for attention in the form of emotional
upset, and if we uncover the need giving rise to the emotion and care
for that core need, life solves itself.

I hope this adds something to the “core values” salad that will help

5 Ways To Replace Conflict with Cooperation

Do you think you know what it takes to reduce conflict, or to replace conflict with cooperation?

While you may think you know what you know, if you recently felt frustrated about someone’s behavior, left a community group or ended a romantic relationship, argued with a family member or colleague, or thought someone was “being a pain in the a**”, then your experience shows that you may NOT have mastery here.

You may not know what you DON’T know, or have not yet embodied, in effective, competent, powerful habits of conflict resolution. Even the partisan split in our country is a testament that, in our country, we are not embodying these skills.

Transforming conflict to cooperation takes more than I-statements and a willingness to boldly confront each other. It only takes one round of, “I think you’re being a jerk,” or “I think you’re just trying to control everything,” to turn I-statements and “respectful confrontation” into a resentful divide.

How do we address issues in ways that result in sincere cooperation instead of conflict?

Most of us are trained that, when we are frustrated, scared or experiencing pain, we should look to see what is causing our dis-ease and do whatever it takes to stop the offending party from perpetrating the offense again. We’re trained to diagnose the perpetrator. Why is he or she the villain they are?

Finding the source of a problem is useful to help fix it.

However, when we finger-point, blame, label and diagnose why people do what they do, the result is conflict and divisiveness. People get defensive, or return the finger-pointing. Frustration, resentment and distrust escalate.

Or worse, instead of being WITH each other and coming to win-win outcomes, we often choose “the law of two feet” and just go somewhere else.

How can we have both WIT-ness and WITH-ness? How can we both objectively see issues with equanimity and also find win-win resolutions that support us staying WITH each other?

Here are 5 ways you can replace frustration, drama, conflict, opposition and divisiveness to easy, drama-free, win-win solutions:

1. Discuss facts, not conclusions. Conclusions, diagnoses, assessments and labels provoke debate. “He’s just controlling,” “No he’s not.” To help get the experience you want, focus only on the facts, “He didn’t do what he said he’d do.” Here is another example: “You’re being uncooperative,” “No I’m not!” Instead, name just the facts, “I noticed you arrived at 8:10am instead of 8am.” Here’s another example: “She’s being vindictive,” Maybe, maybe not. Try instead, “She voted ‘no’ after saying she would vote ‘yes’.” What actually happened? What did you physically see or hear? Stay with that, and then go on to numbers 2 and 3.

2. Focus on what you most deeply value; don’t talk about the other person or what they should be or do. Instead of, “Stop arguing with me,” try, “I want more cooperation between us than this.” Instead of, “He’s testing me,” try, “What I really want is more support around the house.” Instead of, “You should stop complaining and get a job,” try, “I want confidence you will get what you need.” What is the benevolent core value underneath your thinking? What does your heart most yearn for, for yourself? Name it.

3. Make an action-request, right now, that would feed what you most deeply want, right now. Instead of, “Stop arguing with me,” ask for something that CAN be done right now. “I really want confidence I’m heard, could you please take two breaths after I speak?” or “I want to trust my point is received, could you tell me what you value about what I said before you respond to it?” Instead of, “He’s trying to test me,” try, “I really ache for more support around the house, could you help me fold clothes for 10 minutes right now?” Instead of, “You complain all the time,” try, “Could you tell me what you would prefer instead?”

4. Understand and reflect core values before responding or trying to fix anything. If cooperation isn’t happening, odds are the other person is not getting the felt-sense that you’re on the same page with them. Can you name 3 of the other person’s innocent, benevolent core values? Can you actually feel the benevolence and innocence behind their behavior? If not, go back and reflect the other person’s heart until you really feel it. “If you got your way, is it that you hope it would protect your family?” “Is it that you’re worried and want your own space?” “Are you upset because you want care for your concerns?” What beautiful core value is most deeply motivating them right now?

5. Reach to get your core values reflected and felt before trying to fix anything. Can the other person accurately name 3 of the core values behind what you said? Do you have the felt-sense that they experience the benevolent innocence of your values right now? If not, go back and ask them to reflect your heart until you feel them open to your concerns. “Before we try to solve this, I want hope that we’re on the same page. Could you please tell me what I want that you think is worthwhile?” Or, “I want confidence that you’re holding my concerns equally. Could you tell me 3 things you hear I care most about?” Remember to stick with core values, not the strategies to fulfill those values!

When we’re in debate, conflict, argument or opposition to each other, we inadvertently reach to protect ourselves and fortify our position. In our emotional charge, we drift into our thoughts, beliefs, and assessments of other, trying to find the right path to fix the problem. The problem is, these habits aren’t very effective.

Instead, when we simplify conversation to just the facts, core values, do-able requests, and a mutual felt-sense of the true value in each other’s benevolent concerns we increase the likelihood of connection, compassionate cooperation and win-win resolutions. When we walk together toward a mutual point of joy, I call this, “Procession”. Walking together is as much about heart and heart-connection as it is about intelligent insight and awareness.

Who are you in conflict with, quietly or not-so-quietly? What core value would you like to experience more of? What can be done in 10 minutes that would feed that core value?

Where can your embodiment of these skills bring greater cooperation and less conflict?

For more information, or for help to resolve a situation you’re facing, call to schedule a Free 1-Hour Consultation – 1.877.535.5438 Mon-Thurs 12pm-4pm.

Among the other areas of professional, spiritual and personal development, Maya Gail Taylor coaches individuals, couples, families, parents, leaders and professionals on generative thinking and win-win communication skills. Get measurable results! For more information, or for help to resolve a situation you’re facing, call to schedule a Free 1-Hour Consultation – 1.877.535.5438 Mon-Thurs 12pm-4pm.

8 Ways to Resolve Conflicts Peacefully

This is taken from a magazine clipping – unfortunately I don’t know the magazine or the author of this clip! Please tell me if you know the source!

Hopefully you’ll find it inspiring anyway!

For more info, check out this page.


8 Ways to Resolve Conflicts Peacefully

  • Remember that all human beings have the same needs, such as acceptance, support and independence.
  • Check your intentions to see if you are as interested in getting their needs met as you are your own.
  • Notice if you are making a request or a demand.
  • Instead o saying what you DON”T want someone to do, say what you DO want.
  • Instead of saying what you want someone to BE, say what action you’d like the person to take.
  • Before agreeing or disagreeing, tune in to what the other person is feeling and needing.
  • Instead of saying no, say what need prevents you from saying yes.
  • When upset, think about which of your needs are not being met, and how to meet them, rather than focus on what’s wrong with other people.

What is a Reflection / Empathy Guess?

Another excerpt of an email conversation!


in our conversation last night, i found myself tripping up on
offering you a reflection of your feelings vs telling stories.

a classic, textbook reflection / empathy / mirroring is simply 2 parts:

Feeling + Need + ?

(hehehe..3parts, it helps if it’s a question, not a statement).

Ex: are you (feeling) concerned because you need to trust you’re safe?
Ex: are you (feeling) flustered because you’d like clarity?

If it’s a statement, you revert to education rather than inviting the other to check in with themselves. The idea behind empathic reflections/mirroring is not only about mutual understanding; it also helps the speaker get self-connected and reduce emotional hijack. But if you say it as a statement (ex: “Oh i get it you’re concerned b/c you want to be safe” the other person may not take it well “stop psychoanalyzing me!” or “don’t tell me who i am!!”). Keeping it as a question helps them hear your guess as just that – a guess – which helps them to self-connect while they check out the guess.

Meanwhile, the whole “Are you Feeling because you Need XYZ” — this crap gets canned and corny really quick, so once we get the F/N base, we can go a bit more colloquial:

Ex: so do i get that you’re upset b/c you really want companionship?
Ex: are you frustrated b/c you’d prefer to have more confidence i hear you?

One of the tricks of empathic reflection is NOT getting yourself caught into it. This is NOT about you, this is NOT about including you. Ex: “are you frustrated because i interrupted you” is not an empathy guess, it’s a mistake of you confusing strategy (what you did) with need (what stimulates the other person’s frustration). Instead, try “are you frustrated because YOU really want to be heard?”

This also helps us, as listener, get out of the blame-game, because we’re not confusing us with the internal experience of the other.

replace “are you irritated b/c you want me to not interrupt you”
with “are you irritated b/c you dearly want space to speak”

More colloquial flow comes when we get the concept beyond the form:

“Yeah, part of what i get is that when you’re not getting the kind of companionship you want, it’s frustrating for you and you feel lonely…you really WANT that companionship….is that right?”

Here i have the Feeling (frustrated, lonely) and the need (companionship), but it’s completely outside the form of “are you F b/c you N…?”

Here’s another:

“I imagine it’s confusing for you to not know what to do, because you’d really like the clarity and the sense of understanding how to move forward. Is that right?”

Again I have the Feeling (confusion) and the need (clarity, understanding), and it’s still in the form of inquiry (“is that right?”), but it’s totally out of the form of “F + N + ?”.

The common habits we’re trained include lots of slippery slopes. One, is we mix up “feel like’ and “feel that” with “feelings”. When we start with “feel like’ or “feel as if” – whatever comes next will be a thought, an image, a story. “I feel like she’s being an idiot”. That’s not a “feeling”, feelings are internal emotions separate from others. I can feel sad, happy, delighted, irritated, confused, anxious. These are “feelings”. “I feel like this just isn’t going to work” isn’t a “feeling”, it’s a thought, an assessment, a conclusion your mind has come to. When we talk about our thoughts, assessments, and conclusions, we risk putting forward points for debate. When we talk about our feelings, we’re merely stating internal states; who can argue with that. “I’m feeling sad.” “No you’re not!”


So by talking about feelings (not thoughts, stories, or assessments) we make it easier for others to hear our deepest intentions without distraction.

Likewise, we can go a slippery slope on the Needs bit, too. Ex: “I need you to shut up” is not a need, it’s what i want as a strategy. Anytime we follow “need” with “you/him/her/me” or say “need to”, odds are we’re ending with a strategy. Just like thoughts, when we talk about strategies instead of underlying universal needs, we have room for combat, debate, argument.

Ex: “I need you to clean your room” / “I don’t want to!!”
instead, try “I dearly need order” (now we can collaborate on a strategy to meet your need in a way that works for both of us.

When we talk, think, and ask questions in terms of NEEDS inquiry, we have a powerful tool for creativity and resourcefulness; I like to say there are 10K strategies to meet a need. But when we talk in terms of thoughts, strategies, and assessments, we quickly paint ourselves into a corner that’s hard to get out of.

Ex: “I just feel like this isn’t working” (doesn’t give me options, does it?)
Ex: “I am SO frustrated – I really want this to be easier for us!!” (now you can make a request that will help things get easier) “Can we just take a breath and hold hands for a few minutes while we think up ideas?”

So – bottom line:

Empathy guess / reflection / mirroring in TIA consists of 90% needs-awareness, 10% emotional awareness (cuz it helps us more powerfully express the depth of the yearning).

Ex: Are you F b/c you N….?
Ex: Are you delighted because you’ve had so much play this week?
Ex: I imagine you’re sad, cuz you want more support, huh?
Ex: Is it that you’re bewildered b/c you’d really like to get a handle on what’s going on? (“get a handle on” is colloquial for “understanding”/”clarity”).

Does this help you make more sense of what i’m hoping for when i say i need “reflection”, or “empathy”?

Exercise on Increasing Joy

Here’s an exercise I offered in one of my teleclasses toward cultivating Gratitude and Celebration. In this case, the exercise is applied to self-acknowledgement. And how many of us couldn’t use a bit more acknowledement from time to time?

For me, gratitude and celebration isn’t just about feeding my high of joy – gratitude and celebration are subtle-body life blood. If our passions, our deepest purpose, and our desire to contribute are the soul that unconsciously keep us waking up in the morning, still we need to nourish our energy cup to have the strength to continue and to press on in the face of daily challenges. As I increase my frequency of letting my subtle-body fill with the impact of my gratitude and celebrations, so too do I have increased energy and capacity to move forward, to press on, to climb even to the top of the peaks of Mount Everest.

Click here to listen – it’s about 20min long.

In hopes it serves you!

Win/Win in the Inner Community

Win/Win in the Inner Community – Who what?

Ok – have you ever had one of those moments where 2 parts of you want 2 different things?

“Oh I really want to stay home today; but man am I exhausted.”
“I care about her and I see she wants to go out. But I want my freedom!”
“I really want to contribute to my child playing, but I have to get to work!”
“I know I feel guilty about making so much money while others can’t afford health insurance, but that’s just the way the world works!”

We as human beings have the incredible capacity for adaptation. Unfortunately, one way we adapt is by powering one side of ourselves over another side of ourselves – in fact, abandoning part of us in favor of another part.

We don’t actually think about our choices as, “Ok I’m going to choose to abandon part of me in favor of another part,” but bottom line, that’s what we do out of not having other options. Here are some examples:

“I know I’m exhausted, but forget that part – I have to go to work – I have to make money and cover my a** with my boss.” (choosing my desire for stability over my desire for self-care and rest)
“Sure a part of me cares for her…but in this case I’m going to put my freedom first.” (choosing my desire for autonomy over my desire to express care)
“I can’t do this; no play with Billy right now – work wins.” (choosing income stability and contributing economically to my child, over my contributing to my child now in play or in acknowledgment)
“Ok Bob, keep your nose down, and I’ll just do the best I can. I can’t take care of the whole frigging world.” (choosing self-care over the part of me that cares about the wider circle)

Although tragic (in that we abandon part of ourselves for another part), this is a common, natural response when we have (what I like to call) a “crisis of imagination”. If we had another option, we’d use it. But we’re all doing the best we can. In each of these cases, when we abandon one part of ourselves in favor of another part, what we’re really saying is “I don’t have clarity on how to move forward in a way that takes both sides into account.”

So we just pick a side. “Life is about sacrifice,” we tell ourselves, pushing the other side under the carpet. “Sometimes you just have to compromise,” we rationalize.

Until recently, this triage of choosing one side over another has served us. It has been a fundamental, critical survival and coping mechanism. It’s given us answers. It tells us what to do. Boom, done.

More recently, however, what we’re noticing is that this self-abandonment seeds dozens of other troubling, and highly costly consequences:
– depression
– apathy
– chronic irritation
– stress disorders
– rebellion (mid-life crisis is often about the supressed side resurfacing and taking power over the supressor-side)
– chronic (and costly) health issues

What’s worse, what we do to ourselves (in self-abandonment and habitually using ‘power over’ as a means to cope) we also do to the world around us:
– parenting, “What I say is all that matters, do it or else. Forget what you need. Behave.”
– management, “If you don’t do what I say when I say it, I’ll find someone who will. Comply.”
– education, “We want control and order, so sit down, shut up, and regurgitate what you’re told on test papers. Be Good.”
– government, “Your situation, voice, and needs don’t matter; the red-tape, rules, and regulations are the final word. Conform.”

Everywhere we go, there we are. In the same way we wind up accomplishing one set of needs (ex: order, movement, or confidence/safety from trying to assert power/control), we ultimately also create environments of resentment, rebellion, apathy, distrust by not integrating all of the needs on the table.

So fine. Powering one set of values over another creates problems. What do we do about it? I mean, if I *had* a solution that were more effective, more fun, and less costly, then I could use it, right?

Here is one solution: I’m going to call it the Both/And solution. Here’s what that might look like in math:
A + B = C?
B + A = C?

In other words – If I take both A (the needs I’m inclined to shove under the carpet) and B (the needs I’m choosing to meet by doing that), instead of carpet-sweeping one of them I’m going to put them both together and ask myself a question – C.

It goes something like this:

How can I do A in a way that also takes care of B? or
How can I do B in a way that also takes care of A?

This A + B is what we call “power with”; both/and. This is very different than doing our habitual A OR B, either/or, which we call “power over”.

Here’s what “power with” might sound like in the examples above:

– “Wow I’m exhausted; I also have work. How can I give myself peace with my boss IN A WAY THAT ALSO takes care of my need for rest?” OR “Woof, I’m tired. How can I give myself rest IN A WAY THAT ALSO will protect my income at work?”

Notice that as we ask the question – the solution may not appear immediately. However, we cannot get what we do not ask for. By simply asking the question, and being willing to hold onto the question, we open up possibilities.

– “Hrm. She wants to go out… How can I express my care for her IN A WAY THAT ALSO gives me the freedom of choice that I want?” OR “Hrm. She wants to go out. Ok – How can I get a sense of my freedom IN A WAY THAT ALSO contributes a little bit to her desire for companionship?”

Often, the answer will show up in the form of “partnership”. Ex: “Hey, I have a dilemma. I care about you, but I also want some freedom tonight. What could WE do that would take care of both of us?” In this example, not only does it hold both sides of you (your care and your freedom), but it also fulfills your intent for expressing care for the other person. You’re saying, “I know I don’t have a solution yet, but I’m not going to abandon any of this. Let’s work together to find a solution.”

– “Eek…I’ve 10 minutes to get to work and Billy’s playing. Ok – How can I support Billy playing IN A WAY THAT ALSO gives me what I need in integrity about getting to work on time?” OR “Uh oh, 10min until work – How can I fulfill my intention around work IN A WAY THAT ALSO contributes to Billy’s play?”

Sometimes unexpected answers will appear – “Hey Billy! I have a game!! Last one to the car is a rotten egg!!!” Now you’re cultivating BOTH play AND your hopes for integrity around your work schedule. Or “Huh! If I’m 3 minutes late I can deal with that. I
don’t need to yell at Billy and yank him away from play after all.” Or, “Hrm. I care so deeply about my son’s wellbeing that I’m going to collaborate with him, show him that he matters, and enroll his support. Hey Billy, could you help me? I’m scared about being late to work, I’m afraid the boss will yell at me. Could you and I play in the car on the way?”

Sometimes the answer comes not in the form of an immediate solution, but a conversation we can have today that will generate a solution tomorrow or a month from now or a year from now.

– “How can I provide for my prosperity IN A WAY THAT ALSO accounts for the prosperity of others in my organization?” OR “How can our company provide Health Care IN A WAY THAT ALSO contributes to the company’s bottom line?”

You may not have an answer today. But I absolutely guarantee that if you make this intention a company policy, as a leader you will gain respect even if it takes time for the solution to appear. I also guarantee that what you focus on, you attract, and if you concentrate on the question long enough, and ask for others’ recommendations, a solution *will* surface.

What if it were possible to suffer less and thrive more?
What if it were possible to get the system doing what we want in ways that were more fun and less costly?

What if A+B=C? is the formula that provided 10, 20, or 50% greater success, more of the time?

What if cultivating A+B with ourselves could impact the planet at large, without one ounce of cost?

In the integral community, some people bash A + B as “green swamp”. They are afraid that if we start collaborating with others to find workable solutions that include everyone all the time, we’ll spend all of our time negotiating and “holding the question” and never get anything done. It’s true, I have seen people take A + B to the dysfunctional extreme. Have you ever been in a meeting where everyone wants to be heard and we leave the meeting without ever getting anything done?

Again, Both/And comes to the rescue. When we combine our skills from “power over” (let’s make the best decision we can, and DO something), but in a way that includes an A + B perspective (I will not meet one set of needs at the expense of another), what we have is a capacity to decisively choose a direction that accounts for both sides as best we can. When we add to this a heap of flexibility, when we give ourselves room to adjust the plan as we go if we find a better way, what we have is both inclusion and movement. The net result – results with a more system-inclusive approach.

Moving from an either/or framework (first tier) to a both/and framework (second tier) provides solutions that account for more of the system, more of the time. That system may be two sides of myself, or us, or our groups, or the Material Plane at large. In any case, Both/And results in solutions that are more effective, more fun, and far, far less costly.

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