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Peaceful Living
Daily Meditations for  Living with 
Love, Healing, and Compassion 
by Mary Mackenzie 

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Live More Authentically and Peacefully than You Ever Dreamed Possible - In this gathering of wisdom, Mary Mackenzie empowers you with an intimate life map that will literally change the course of your life for the better. Each of the 366 meditations includes an inspirational quote and concrete, practical tips for integrating the daily message into your life. The learned behaviors of cynicism, resentment, and getting even are replaced with the skills of Nonviolent Communication, including recognizing one's needs and values and making choices in alignment with them.

Peaceful Living goes beyond daily affirmations, providing the skills and consciousness you need to transform relationships, heal pain, and discover the life-enriching meaning behind even the most trying situations. Begin each day centered and connected to yourself and your values. Direct the course of your life toward your deepest hopes and needs. Ground yourself in the power of compassionate, conscious living.

Discover the life-enriching benefits of Peaceful Living:

~   Create an empowered, purposeful life free of fear, shame or guilt
~   Deepen your emotional connections with your partner, colleagues, family and friends
~   Hear the needs behind whatever anyone does or says
~   Transform judgment and criticism into understanding and connection

About the Author: Mary Mackenzie is a Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC); Executive Director of Peace Workshop International , a non-profit peacemaking organization, and Co-founder of NVC Academy. She teaches transformational thinking, speaking, and listening skills to individuals, couples, and families to empower them in their relationships. She also works with organizations to facilitate organization-wide restructuring or to enhance their current processes. Click here for more information about Mary Mackenzie.

Excerpts from Peaceful Living by Mary Mackenzie.  

May 13, 2005

"The fountain of beauty is the heart, and every generous thought illustrates the walls of your chamber." ~ Francis Quarles

Making a Connection 
in a Difficult Situation

I often hear this question in my work: “What is the single most important thing I can do to defuse a conflict?” My answer is always the same. “Hear the feelings and needs of the people involved.” Whether there is the potential of physical or emotional violence, the most effective method I have ever found to defuse a conflict is to listen deeply to the underlying needs of the people in conflict. Nothing is swifter, more direct, or more healing.

Imagine how you would feel if your partner told you that she had invited her family to visit for a week during your vacation. You could be furious with her because you thought you would spend your vacation differently. Perhaps you only get two weeks of vacation a year and you really want a break. In exasperation you say to her, “How dare you invite your family to share in our vacation without discussing it with me? Did it even occur to you to consider my needs or to include me in the discussion of this?” She replies, “It sounds like you’re angry because you wanted to do something else on our vacation and you would have liked to be involved in the decision.” “YES! How could you make a decision that affects my life so greatly without discussing it with me?” “So, besides being mad that I invited them, you’re also baffled about why I did it.” “Yes. I’m baffled and frustrated.” You begin to calm down because you know she has heard your needs. Then she asks, “Are you also kind of hurt because you wanted to spend time with just me?” “Yes. And, I really wanted a break. I wanted quiet time with you. I was so looking forward to it.” Now that she thinks you have been heard fully, she shares what’s going on with her. “I’m feeling really sad. I didn’t know that you needed the down time so much. I know that you like my family, so when Mom asked if she could come, I just said okay. Now that I see how upset you are because you want quiet time with me, I would like to revisit this. I’m open to changing my plans if we can create a vacation that works for both of us. Would you be willing to brainstorm this with me for a few minutes?” “Sure.” Within moments, anger is defused and the opportunity exists to create a solution that will value both people’s needs. It’s miraculous.

Be aware of opportunities to defuse conflicts by reflecting the feelings and needs of the other person.

October 20, 2005

"All serious daring starts from within." ~ Eudora Welty

Peace Workshop and Addictions

People often ask me how Peace Workshop works with addictions. There are no easy answers and there are many twelve-step programs that help people overcome their addictions. Remember that everything we do is an attempt to meet needs. Peace Workshop complements what people learn in other programs by helping them focus on finding new strategies that will better meet their needs. When looking at addictions, consider what needs the person is trying to meet. I’d guess that behind all addictions is a desire for ease, comfort, relief, and protection from painful emotions or life situations. Each person’s situation is different, but the underlying needs are the same. The addictive substance, then, is the strategy people use to meet these needs. Most times there are other strategies that will meet them more effectively.

Behind every addiction is a person in pain. Empathizing, listening to someone’s feelings and needs, can bring great relief to the person and to your relationship. Rather than saying, “You shouldn’t smoke so much,” consider empathizing and say, “Do you worry that you will be under a lot of stress if you try to quit smoking?” You might be surprised by what you will learn if you enter into a conversation about the feelings and needs of the other person. Even if she doesn’t stop her addiction, you may both feel much more connected. There are no easy answers, but the more we can connect with the needs a person attempts to meet through their addiction, the greater their opportunity for recovery.

Consider the needs people are trying to meet through their addictions today.

For more information about Peaceful Living, please contact Mary Mackenzie at (562) 856-9417 or click here to email.

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