A very simple yet effective exercise that may help those in your NVC Practice Group. The goal is to let go of current judgments or judgmental attitudes we are holding, which are no longer serving us, which trigger painfully unmet needs. Also to release judgments which are not helping us to accept others as they are and are blocking us from feeling joyful and free.
1) Invite everyone in the group to take 5 to 10 minutes to reflect on and write down a list of 5 to 10 things they’ve judged in the past and then over time came to accept or even like. Try to pick things you never ever imagined you’d change your mind about. For instance:
A) I judged square-toed dress shoes for men as pretentious and ridiculous, for years, then finally bought a pair and grew to like them
B) I judged my friends for being fickle and uncaring about the planet when they would upgrade to new mobile phones every year, then finally upgraded mine and can’t imagine going back
C) I judged computer engineers and programmers to be ivory-tower geeks who are determined to make life miserable for the rest of us…then started to learn how to use the technology and really appreciate all I can do with it
D) I judged my parents as overly cautious and nervous for being afraid to drive at night, then I aged and saw how hard it can be to see clearly with night vision and I let go of that judgment completely
2) Invite everyone to write down a list of current judgments or jackal attitudes they’d like to let go of. Have a look at your feelings and unmet needs for each jackal attitude on your list. Give yourself some empathy for the pain of those unmet needs, and if there’s time let the group practice giving you silent empathy and/or reflective listening empathy for each current jackal attitude on your list.
3) For each current jackal attitude or belief that you hold, imagine yourself in the distant future, at a time when you’ve let go of it due to new information, a change in circumstance, new understandings, and especially for new levels of compassion or empathy for those you used to judge. Note how it feels, and what feelings come up for you. Do you prefer feeling this way? If so, experiment with staying in that nonjudgmental consciousness for a day at a time, and see what happens.
4) Report back to the group at next meeting to see what has shifted for you with regard to specific jackal attitudes and judgments.