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Peaceful Living Blog

NVC Academy Co-Founder and CEO Mary Mackenzie shares her thoughts monthly in our Growing Roots newsletter. Read and enjoy Mary's current and past blog posts from her deep experience as a CNVC Certified Trainer for more than 20 years.

Life Is Not A Problem To Be Solved

Life Is Not A Problem To Be Solved

Mary Mackenzie

Skill Level:

All Skill Levels

Time Investment:

2 minutes

Date Published:

Welcome to June. It’s the beginning of summer in my area of the world and I usually find myself moving at a slower pace; spending more time outdoors and with friends, more time reading and gardening. I really enjoy the beginning of summer especially because the sun brings just enough heat to feel good, but not so hot to be uncomfortable.

This year, to my surprise, I have been called to review my first book, Peaceful Living: Daily Meditations for Living with Love, Healing and Compassion, which turns 20 next year. It was originally published in 2005, two years after I was certified as a trainer through the Center for Nonviolent Communication.

Wow. It feels like a lifetime ago to me!

In my review, I came across this meditation. It’s one of my favorites because it’s so short and to the point, yet it says so much – and because it’s a reminder that I think we can’t hear too often:

July 14

Life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced.
—Søren Kierkegaard

We Don’t Need to Fix Other People

When empathizing with someone, we listen for their feelings and needs and don’t try to fix their problem for them. The very process of giving someone space to talk about their issue without our judgment, to be truly understood by us, and to be deeply heard is very healing, enough so that most people will organically find their own creative ways to resolve their issues. 

Rely on this process and you will lose all desire to fix people’s problems. Instead, you will learn to trust their ability to resolve their issues. All it takes is your presence and your desire to hear their feelings and needs. Amazing!

Be aware of opportunities to listen to someone without trying to fix their problem today.


We don’t need to fix people. Our role is to listen empathically. More often than not, when we do this, people will come up with their own solutions. I have seen this play out countless times over the past 20+ years. I’m so grateful for it. Even though it feels so natural to me, I still see it as magical.

I’m curious to hear from you. Do you have a favorite meditation from Peaceful Living that you’re willing to share with me? If so, please click HERE to tell me the date of your favorite one. I imagine hearing from you would meet my needs for connection and inspiration and serve to remind me that this 20-year-old book has had a valuable impact. Also, I’m thinking about starting a year-long course with Peaceful Living as its base, and what you offer might be helpful to me as I develop the course.


This June, consider committing to empathy more, suggesting solutions for others less, and see what transpires within you and your relationships.

Sending a warm hug to you… 

CEO and Co-Founder, NVC Academy
CNVC Certified Trainer