What I really care about is people, connection, friendship. I lived in many different Countries and I always found a "new family", but here in Vancouver surrounded by people I found silence. A silence that comes from loneliness, distance between each other and fear. No one looks at each other in the street, in the elevator, in the skytrain. I was standing in the street in downtown, I stopped, everything was going so fast around me and I just wanted to scream, to shout...I realised I don't want to be dried out or tamed but that silence, this is not me, is not how I like to live my life. People are afraid to communicate, to say something wrong. It is so intense when you come across someone in the street and your eyes meet for a brief second, a smile makes us part of the same world, our lives touch, those seconds make me feel so warm. Some days those moments keep me going, keep me believing in people, in friendship, make me believe that soon someone will break their rules and connect with me again. If only we were able to take the chance to find our voices again, cry out our fears, welcoming someone new, we could change so many lives without medicine.
I am deeply involved in learning and sharing compassionate communication (or nonviolent communication) and interpersonal neurobiology with others as a way to improve the quality of connection and understanding with myself, my friends and the larger community. Being able to identify my emotional reactions and the needs or values that drive them help me communicate more clearly with others, especially when I develop an understanding of how language impacts us. In addition, beginning to learn about the function of our brain and nervous system as a socially influenced whole deepens that understanding and communication with others (or myself). In a supportive, knowledgeable community I can help change the way my brain processes information, so I am making conscious choices instead of unconscious reactions. I can literally build my brain’s functioning to become more whole and integrated. For me, the experience of real connection, trust, love and community was shut down early in my life, and only reawakened and continues to grow as l learn and practice compassionate communication and bring empathy to old memories I experienced as traumatic. To learn that I matter, and belong, and that contributing and supporting others also meets my needs has been transformative, and I want to share this experience with others.