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  • 8

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Welcome to the Robert Gonzales Training Legacy. Here you can learn more about Robert and the powerful teachings he dedicated his life to. NVC Academy is proud to house and share with you the complete body of his life's work. We invite you to explore, learn, and help keep his legacy alive!

Robert's passion was in the spirituality of the Nonviolent Communication (NVC) process. He saw NVC both as a process that helps people connect more authentically with themselves and others, and as a spiritual practice and way of living. The worldwide NVC community mourned when Robert died in 2021. He left behind a legacy of work that emerged from a lifetime of inquiry into the intersection between spirituality and human communication. More about Robert.

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Trainer Tip

1 - 2 minutes

Trainer Tip: Autonomy is not a need, but rather a way of living. We always have choices in life, even if none of them appeal to us. Becoming aware of our choices and taking responsibility for them leads to greater joy and empowerment.

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Trainer Tip

1 - 2 minutes

Trainer Tip: It can help us bring joy into our lives to connect to the needs we serve for doing things. While our activities may not always be fun, understanding their purpose and their value to our lives can help us shift the energy behind the action and have a more positive experience. Consider the underlying needs activities meet, and decide if they are worth it to you.

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More from Robert Gonzales

Practice Exercise

4-6 minutes

Confidence, flexibility, creativity and equanimity may become more possible when you would like someone to meet a particular need, can trust that you can meet that need with someone else, and can accept a “no” to your requests. You can allow grief or disappointment to arise, and naturally turn towards a relationship in which those needs can be met. In some cases this may lead to the dissolution of a partnership or friendship.

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Trainer Tip

1 - 2 minutes

Trainer Tip: The surest way to enjoy life is to do things that meet your needs. If you don’t enjoy a particular activity, consider the need you hope to meet by doing it. For instance, for each item you want to do consider the needs you're trying to meet. Connect to the joy of that need. Then for each ask: “How would I feel if I delayed finishing this item?”. Consider which items you want to continue, pause, or reprioritize. This can help increase life enjoyment.

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Practice Exercise

4 - 6 minutes

Marriage can be seen as a limit on freedom. Ideas of compromise collude with this view. Instead, notice when your "yes" to your partner is laden with obligation, duty, guilt, fear, or an attempt to win love or approval, and how it's not a truly free "yes". True freedom is different from compulsion, and doesn't conflict with other needs. When have you experienced true freedom? What conditions support your access to freedom?

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Practice Exercise

5 - 8 minutes

Notice situations where you're attending to another and giving up on your needs with resentment or a sense of submitting. You can also watch for “shoulds,” obligation, and black-and-white thinking around the support you offer. Is there a sense that if you don't carry out a particular action something bad will happen? If so, identify the needs at hand and brainstorm a variety of strategies to meet them.

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Trainer Tip

1 - 2 minutes

Trainer Tip: When faced with doing a task that doesn't seem fun try saying to yourself something to the effect of “I do this activity because I value...”. Complete the sentence with related needs, then ask yourself if you still want to complete the task. This can take the demand out of the tasks. Next, choose accordingly. This can teach you about, or give you more access to, true choice in life.

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Trainer Tip

1 - 2 minutes

Trainer Tip: Today, when you tell yourself that you "have to" or "should" do something, notice what you feel and experience - is it a sense of duty, obligation, guilt, shame, overwhelm, constriction, heaviness? Then consider the underlying needs you are trying to meet with the activity. This can shift the purpose and intention with an energy that motivates our actions can bring empowerment and joy to our lives.

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Practice Exercise

1-2 minutes

For this exercise choose a situation in which you have said a “yes” to someone‛s request but you didn't experience your “yes” as given freely or joyfully. Then explore judgements, feelings, needs, and alternate strategies that come up in relation to your “yes”, your “no”, and in relation to what the other person might be experiencing.

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Practice Exercise

1 - 2 minutes

Ever have a hard time saying "no" to someone, or feel obligated to say yes? Here's an exercise that can help you notice where you are placing yourself as someone who "has to" say yes; the needs in the other person making the request; what you want to say "yes" to (regarding your needs and theirs) by saying "no"; what prevents you from saying "yes"; plus your request and how you might express it.

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