You have more power than you think.
When you change, everything changes.
Recently I gave a 30-minute presentation on Conflict, Creativity, and Compassion for Creative Mornings Portsmouth. (Here’s a two-minute introduction.) It helps to add a little creativity and compassion to conflict, don't you agree?
I get inspired by what I teach -- how to use the energy of conflict instead of fighting it. How to work with your opponents and turn them into partners for problem solving. How to think a little differently.
Here's the entire 32-minute presentation:
Conflict doesn't have to be fraught with stress and tension.
It's one of the reasons I love using aikido to teach about conflict. Aikido teaches:
- how to get out of the way of the attack and blend with it.
- how to join the energy.
- how to re-direct the energy verbally.
For example, I'm using aikido technique when someone says, "That's a stupid idea," and I say, "Wait, what do you mean? Why don't you like it?" That's a simple example of getting out of the way, blending, and re-directing.
I use aikido when I listen for understanding.
Instead of judging the other person, I become curious. Curiosity invites energy instead of blocking it. With curiosity, we learn to be compassionate and creative with conflict, and we regain power under pressure.
It also helps to be compassionate with ourselves. You're doing the best you can, and so am I. Remembering this is the beginning of compassion.
As Anne Lamott's Pastor Veronica said, "The world sometimes feels like the waiting room of the emergency ward, and we who are more or less OK for now need to take the tenderest possible care of the more wounded people in the waiting room, until the healer comes. You sit with people," she said, "you bring them juice and graham crackers." So it's up to the ones of us who can see that to do the helping. And to not take ourselves so seriously in the process.
While I also teach aikido as a martial art, I think I most enjoy connecting with others off the mat, applying the principles of aikido to everyday human interactions. I had a wonderful time delivering this brief presentation to the Creative Mornings group. They were wonderfully attentive and curious about how to use aikido in daily conflict.
You can also view the video of my presentation on the Creative MorningsPKX website, and while you're there, explore. They're a great group, and they have satellites all over the world, maybe one in your back yard.