Category Archives: Relationships

Examples of NVC, Compassionate Communication

down the drain

Over the years – and especially when we were sailing – our family has done a LOT to curb our local impact on Mother Earth’s water supply. In Connecticut the storm drains all run into the Connecticut River and that runs into Long Island Sound – which will be a dead body of water of we don’t wake up soon and start changing some little habits!

Here is a quick list of a few of the things we have done:

We stopped using our disposal almost completely (and yes I have stuck my hand down there to pull out food that has slipped by) and started composting. The high nitrogen levels produced when decaying food mixes with the sewer is very harmful for the rivers and waterways.  The overgrowth of algae will starve a body of water of sunlight and oxygen.  Our sewers and storm drains wash into the river then right into Long Island Sound.

We certainly DO NOT “treat” our lawn to any chemicals – all of this washes into the river and the same result happens. We have beautiful green grass in May and part of June and then it turns tannish green – LIKE IT IS SUPPOSED TO! This is our lawn in November but this is pretty much what it looks like in July August September October – then it gets covered in snow.


We stopped using paper towels completely and now use cloth towels to clean up spills and wipe counters. And we have traditional cloth napkins at the table. They are such a waste of paper – and the paper processing plants use so much water and chemicals.  It is really harmful to those local areas. Instead we use wet towels like these Handi Wipes


We don’t use dryer sheets – they take a VERY long time to biodegrade, we use dryer balls instead. And we have the occasional static cling but nothing major.  Certainly nothing I would want a dryer sheet in a landfill for thirty years for!!!

dryer balls

I am hoping my cousin  Laura can make me some of these felted wool dryer balls


So one of the last places where I just thought I couldn’t find a solution for was my clogged shower drains…

My husband and I both use Dr. Bronner’s Soap.  Which if you are a fan you know is very thick and can cause a little build-up in the pipes.  Well after two or three days of standing in scummy shower water I reach for the (flinching here folks)…Drano… I KNOW! I KNOW!!! I am embarrassed to even write it! But what kind of person would I be if I did not confess my home-making sins and share the VICTORY I found it two very simple ingredients:


Baking soda and white vinegar. Now to my husbands defense – he has been saying for years – “Try baking soda and vinegar” But have I done that? No.

It’s OK – enough beating myself up. Because yesterday I put a cup of baking soda on top of the little drain cover, then poured over about a half gallon of vinegar and ten bubbly fizzy minutes later I had a clear drain and a clear conscience!!!


So don’t overwhelm yourself with having to do ten things differently! Take it easy! One thing at a time!  Some of the changes we have made in our life have taken years to become habits. Just start living small with one little change. Maybe you are ready to switch to cloth Handi-wipes and ditch the paper towels? Or maybe add a small compost bucket to your countertop?  Every little change makes a difference.


I may not be an extrovert, but I play one on Facebook…

I have a mind that tells me I know what everything means, literally – I don’t think I ever have to look anything up and I basically think I could teach all the college courses I take – it’s pretty bad.

SOOOOoooo I thought I knew what being an introvert was…and I sure wasn’t one of those…ya’ know…a hermit, a hoarder, someone that does all their shopping online and has food delivered all the time.

However, I recently came across this great comic which described very clearly the difference between an introvert and an extrovert.


Who would’ve thunk it? I am a TRUE introvert! Scary, since I have so many commitments with people, teach yoga and a lot of my life revolves around being with and serving others. Hallelujah and Praise God that I have a husband and family who totally get me and when Mama needs to go home…Mama needs to go home. Ya know what I mean?

For instance, yesterday I went out to a breakfast gathering with friends and expended a lot of energy talking. Then I came home and had lunch at home with another friend and we spent a good couple of hours sharing and talking. Then…that was it.

It was 2:00pm and I was fried. I couldn’t even speak.  I took a nap, watched football, took another nap and made hand gestures and grunted to my sweet husband who just laid next to me and was quiet. He knew I was re-charging my battery. (I often visualize Seven of Nine in Star Trek the Next Generation having to plug herself in at night – that is totally me.)


I used to beat myself up for tending to “isolate” and, for years I had quite a different picture of who I thought I wanted to be.  But now after reading Dr. Carmellas lovely little cartoon above I am SOOO grateful I know how I operate!

So I crack myself up when I scroll through my Facebook posts and blog, because to any outsider I am clearly and extrovert…but to those who “know” me, they understand this is my way of connecting and sharing of myself without expending the actual energy.  Facebook and other social media have opened up a world of connection to me. One of my best teachers is Dr. Marshall Rosenberg and his teachings on Non-Violent Communication.  He has helped me to learn how to identify my needs and meet them through means that work for me. One of my BIGGEST needs is connection, and for years I would use strategies to meet my need for connection which totally wiped me out.  Now I know I can meet my need for connection while conserving my emotional energy.

When I finally “got” myself I became a much better manager of time and energy.  I am sharing this with all of you in the hopes you don’t wait any longer take a good look at how you gain your energy and fill up your cup. If you are an introvert like me don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for quiet time to fill up your cup!