Wellbeing Wednesday: Advent Gratitude Practice and Giraffes and Jackals for Better Communication with Yourself and Others


I’m delighted that I thought to put tinsel around poor Rudolph’s fixed antlers. It was my Yuletide effort at Kintsukori (the Japanese tradition of fixing broken ceramics with liquid gold so the item becomes more valuable and beautiful at the broken places).

And I like my new practice of popping in a tiny gratitude (seriously simple – I’m using shreds of post it notes) at the end of each day in the run up to Christmas.

In the video above, I also talk about Marshall Rosenberg’s wonderful Non-Violent Communication model. Used in hot spots around the world as well as in families, neighbourhoods and relationships, it’s about identifying and honouring our own needs and wants as well as listening to others’.

I talk about it in my book, 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing (READ MORE…) and regularly share the tools with clients

And, having been working with it for about 15 years, I still struggle to express my own needs and wants. Part of me would love to have an emotional translator and interpreter walking through life with me so we could all keep pausing and checking in with each other as to whether we’ve understood.

Rosenberg uses the giraffe to represent compassionate communication because it apparently has the biggest heart of any mammal. When we speak ‘giraffe’ in and out, we have compassion for ourselves and others. This doesn’t mean being a pushover but being able to assert ourselves and speak our truth with love.

The jackal has worse PR and is used to represent what so many of use fall into. Blaming, harsh, cruel language, either directed at ourselves for having whatever need or want or outwards (am drafting this in front of Prime Minister’s Questions and would SO love to have all our elected representatives think more about the greater good and express their arguments from a kinder, more collaborative place).

Even noticing, ‘Ahh, I could have been more Giraffe’ can be helpful (as long as we’re noticing that with self-compassion rather than ‘FFS, What’s WRONG with me?!’)

As always, you might want to journal some of your reflections around this week’s video and blog and, if you’d like to share any, I’d love to hear your thoughts either here, on my social media (links on this page) or by email (eve@selfcarecoaching.net).

Big love,

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

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