January 6, 2013 ~ Being Intentional in the New Year

“The law of flotation was not discovered by contemplating the sinking of things but by contemplating the floating of things which floated naturally and then intelligently asking why they did so.”
~ Thomas Troward

One way to conceive of Nonviolent Communication is as an intentional paradigm shift from the typical (often depicted as ‘jackal-world’) communication patterns in which we were culturally indoctrinated or habituated to something else (i.e. mindfulness training which includes the four components of Observation, Feelings, Needs, and Requests — otherwise known as — the long view and generous-heart of ‘giraffe-speak’). 

Consider a moment when you became more intentional, perhaps with reference to NVC as your prism, whether when you first discovered it, when you became a more dedicated practitioner of the craft, and/or cultivated a particular orientation or skill.

  1. For inspiration, review experiences you’ve had with practitioners, instructors/certified-trainers, or those embodying the kind of (NVC) consciousness you may aspire to.
  2. Identify the person you admire, by name and/or the occasion, by description.
  3. Then write a specific characteristic about each that you loved — Miki Kashtan’s precision with wording, Robert Gonzales and his attuned, leisurely pacing, etc.
  4. Next consider that the traits that you value in others likely reflect things worth appreciating in yourself as well. Not every trait you’ve listed will be one that you, too, possess, but several may overlap.
  5. Circle any qualities you might recognize in yourself — even if they manifest slightly differently than in others — and write your version of them in the petals of a flower.
  6. What you like about yourself may feel more tangible and true if you think about the trait in action. Next to each, jot a specific memory.  Try to recall a specific example of a turn of phrase that seemed especially satisfying or apropos or a time you possessed a palpable sense of spaciousness, amidst trying circumstances.

Now consider how one might cultivate any admirable traits gleaned from the exercise above…


Done on purpose; deliberate.
deliberate – wilful – willful – purposeful – intended

The Power of Intention – Four Steps for Setting an Intention

First Steps:

1. Get clear about something you want and write it down.

2. Share your intention with someone in a way that will supportively hold you accountable to taking action.

3. Do something today to demonstrate your commitment to your intention.

4. Acknowledge that you did what you said you would and then, take the next step.

Additional Resources:

Jeremy Dean: “Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick”

Thumbnail image for 10 Step Guide for Making Your New Year’s Resolutions

10 Step Guide for Making Your New Year’s Resolutions

31 December 2012

Are you tortoise or hare? For New Year’s resolutions it pays to go slow and make sure you get there.

Continue reading →

Psychologist Jeremy Dean is the author of Making Habits, Breaking Habits and the founder and author of the popular website PsyBlog (psyblog.co.uk) – more…

Related Links

Making Habits, Breaking Habits | Psychology Today

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