Using Nonviolence Consciousness to Transform Negative Images or Experiences

Friends: November 1; 6-8pm; Unity Santa Fe As we navigate a more peaceful path of nonviolence consciousness, we may notice occasional enemy images of a person (or experience) that can develop if we have not had the opportunity to sufficiently empathize with our unmet needs surrounding our interactions with this person or situation. Enemy images are like persistent, stacked judgments of another person, such that we cease to see the person's humanity and instead see the person as a label, a diagnosis, or a problem of another sort. For example, we may have a relationship with someone who habitually shows up in a way that reinforces some past pain in our lives, and therefore we associate the person in front of us with that pain; we may relive the pain often and it's easy to create an enemy mental image of this person, complete with automatic hostile feelings in our heart. Or, we may be in a relationship with someone who themselves contribute to us feeling less than wonderful about ourselves, and thus we can begin to harbor resentment or even blame. This person could be a colleague, a boss, a friend, even a family member - it is someone who inadvertently or advertently stimulates pain in us that can leave us experiencing a sense of hopelessness and even powerlessness in that relationship. Oftentimes, when we create an enemy image of someone, it usually is because an old wound of ours is targeted, such as a wound around worthlessness, or abandonment, or belonging, or acceptance .... I'd like to offer an opportunity to use nonviolence consciousness as a way to unattach ourselves from our perceptions of the other person or experience, which may contribute to us having more freedom and joy and lightness in our lives. While nonviolence consciousness can't make others behave in a way that can enrich our lives, it CAN help us to understand ourselves better, understand the other person who is effecting us better, and allow us to create positive shift. I have found, time and time again, that empathizing with ourselves when we are in pain, and empathizing with the very person or thing that stimulates our pain and contributes to us making an enemy image, followed by honest and responsible communication that ends with a do-able request, is a proven and effective way of overcoming disconnection and moving forward. This evening is devoted to deeper work and my request is that if you are called to come to session, please be prepared to work deeply and honestly in the whole group and in break-out groups. A brave request, but I trust our community to increasingly become a resource for one another so that we may invite our authenticity, and our healing, forward. In addition, those interested in participating might like to refresh themselves with basic empathy and honesty skills, and feelings and needs literacy, all of which can be found in Marhshall Rosenberg's seminal work entitled "Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life" and/or by visiting, which is a tremendous resource. If you are considering coming but have questions, I can be available ahead of time to do some work in support of your journey. I can help you sift through which enemy image to bring to the evening workshop. One tip I can share now: a way of noticing an enemy image in the making is when you persistently use words like "always" and "never" to describe that person to someone else .... During the course of the two hour session, graciously held at Unity Santa Fe (see website, we will explore one or two very hot enemy images we have of another. My intention and plan is to organize the session as follows, with some additions or changes along the way as emerging needs present themselves while we are together: -creating a safe container for our deep work together, which will involve an opening circle that sets our intention and contributes to a sense of trust and care for one another; -naming the enemy images in circle - you can use alias names to protect confidentiality, or even simply use descriptives; -working quietly with our enemy image (journals helpful); -roleplaying in the larger group or in break-outs, which involves empathizing with yourself and your enemy image, and speaking honestly with it; -transforming with personal empowerment, accountability, and action through requests of self, the person triggering your pain, or another. I hope some of you will consider joining me in this adventure of the heart! With warmth and care, Terry


Unity Santa Fe
1212 Unity Way
Santa Fe, NM
United States
35° 42' 28.8936" N, 105° 58' 0.8004" W

The Center for Nonviolent Communication
9301 Indian School Rd NE Suite 204
Albuquerque, NM 87112-2861 USA
Tel: +1.505.244.4041 | Fax: +1.505.247.0414 | US Only: 800 255 7696

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