“What makes Mindful-Interactions different from other training organizations?”
“We change the world one heart-moment at a time.” A heart-moment is a moment when the heart opens to hear itself responding. When we string enough of these moments together, the heart opens permanently. Then the world changes.
How do we do this?
1. We have a tested, structured program to ensure transformational learning occurs in 8 weeks or less.
2. We have defined 6 essential relationship skills: presence, observation, feelings, needs, requests, appreciation. When they know what to look for, people focus their attention.
3. We conduct sessions in small, supportive, intimate groups so people feel they are not alone- they are with friends.
4. We have structured “empathy buddy” meetings between sessions to build empathy skill.
5. We have live, in-group practice with real-time expert coaching so inspirational learning and transformation occurs in every session
Level I Course: Preconditions to Happiness Everyone would like to be happy. Most people say they would like to be happy all of the time. But in fact most people report that their happiness level is declining. And it’s been declining for decades. I believe this is because as we move farther into the complex distracting age of technology, we move further away from ourselves in the present moment. We have a very hard time recognizing what we are feeling and wanting. And when we don’t know what we want, we could make many choices that do not lead to happiness, joy, peace, or fulfillment. We look outside ourselves to find something that will satisfy us. But these external things satisfy us only temporarily. Then we are on the lookout again. What could be of lasting satisfaction? When we are finally able to discover what it is we are feeling and wanting in the present moment we may bring peace to the overactive mind. But how can we do that? How can we discover what we feel and what we need in the present moment? We create a space where our feelings can become known to us. We become open hearted. In the moment our heart opens our feelings make themselves known to us. Preconditions for Happiness teaches you how to do this. We show you how to come into the present moment, how to observe, notice what you feel, discover what you want, and ask for what would serve you and others. As you master these skills you learn how to be happy in this life!
Level 2 Course: Sacred Nonviolence In this course we continue to develop our skills of present moment awareness in the context of conversation. We notice how we may lose awareness in the middle of conversation, become pulled into our story or the story of another, become emotionally activated, and then remember awareness and regain presence by focusing on our body, our feelings and our needs. We practice observing ourselves in conversation. We practice stillness in conversation. This does not mean we cannot be actively engaged. But we are also maintaining a still presence behind the engagement. We practice empathy and empathic presence in the group under variable conditions of increasing intensity. We practice focusing on feelings and needs even in the face of crises situations. The instructor intervenes to make sure the group is staying with feelings and needs and not getting caught inside the stories people tell themselves. He helps people notice the subtleties that reveal how people are feeling. We practice honoring each moment in conversation as it arises. We welcome each moment as if it were a flower arising in the garden. We do not attempt to predict them in advance and we don’t favor one over the other. We don’t judge, give advice, or blame. We bring only empathic presence. We watch carefully what happens as we do this. We notice that stress evaporates from every situation where empathic presence exists. The group deepens its experience of itself. The members enhance their empathy skill through empathy buddy practice, through in-group coaching, and through the growing support experienced from the group.
Individual or Couple’s Coaching Many people wish to enhance their group learning with individual coaching or couple’s coaching. Within this more intimate setting a greater set of opportunities are available. For example, an individual can explore more deeply and extensively their individual responses to personal events in their lives. They can explore physical and emotional reactions in depth. They can also explore meaningful alternatives to challenging life situations.
Parenting With Ease An 8 week introductory course in nonviolent parenting, small group setting, highly interactive, real-time coaching. Every parent I know wants to be generous, loving, kind, wise, and provide every benefit that enables their child to succeed in the world. But then they encounter the real world! The stress of parenting can sometimes seem overwhelming. And when we become overwhelmed, others in our life react poorly- making difficult situations even more difficult. When we finally lay our head on the pillow at night we might have this thought: “Why did I ever think that I wanted to be a parent?!!!” In this course we help parents learn to parent with ease. We help you learn to stay in the present moment no matter what the external condition happens to be. This reduces stress and creates internal peace. We learn and practice the simple skills of observation, feelings, needs, and requests. We teach simple strategies to repair broken relationships and heal hurt feelings. Finally, we learn how to express appreciation and regret in ways that create deep connection. Through this course you become the parent you always wanted to be. Book: Marshall Rosenberg, “Nonviolent Communication, a language of life.” 2nd edition. Puddle Dancer Press. 2003.