The Story Behind SALT – TCM to NVC

image | mike & court

*It is with Mike’s permission that I share this.

In the summer of 2012 I met someone and my life was forever changed. We later became a self-titled couple known as, “TCM – Team Court Mike.” We shared many ups and downs, including some of the highest highs of my life and some of the lowest lows. We dated for about 5 years before finally calling it quits, despite many attempts to make it work. We’ve remained friendly, and today are one of each other’s greatest cheerleaders.

So how does this story of TCM relate to SALT? Because besides my parents, Mike is the one person – the true catalyst – that led me on a path of personal and professional growth. I believe with certainty that I would not be where I am today had our paths not crossed, and believe 100% that FIN Awareness would not be my desired lens through which to navigate life if it weren’t for him.

Mike grew up in a very nontraditional way compared to mine. He often spoke about of his younger years, which seemed to be shaped particularly by his father’s participation in self-growth work and “community.” Mike spoke in a way that I had never really encountered – direct, honest, authentic, real – intriguing and very attractive for sure! I remember sometimes feeling intimidated or threatened by the things he spoke of, because it sounded so foreign to my “mainstream” lifestyle. Even as a master’s level licensed social worker, I had never been exposed to some of the vulnerabilities, experiences, and insights that he had. This exposure helped me to see different, new ways of relating, challenged my judgmental nature, and personally stretched me.

Many times throughout our relationship I would struggle to explain my feelings or what I needed. He would sometimes say something to me like, “It sounds like you need —.” Or, “Maybe you could request that I —.” And, “Are you feeling — because you need —.” I remember thinking to myself, “Who talks like this?!” I would ask, “How do you know me better than I know myself?” Or say, “Yes! That’s exactly what I have been trying to tell you!” I was often baffled, not understanding how he “got” me when I felt like I could not even “get” myself. He shared that this was part of nonviolent communication (NVC), and suggested that I read the book. I only finally understood this way of relating when I read the book at the end of our relationship. Keep in mind that for him this way of communicating was “normal,” and for me, my world was just cracking open!

To learn more about my personal journey diving deeper check out #DIVEDEEPLIVEWELL.

Some of my personal goals include learning to better understand myself and others, and to lead a more authentic, nonjudgmental and empathetic life. I aim to share my learnings and resources with others, while simultaneously learning with this great SALT community. I hope that future generations can receive these tools earlier to help foster environments where heightened consciousness and peace thrive. May SALT curate many more curiosities for all who dive deep to live well. May you find some comfort here.

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