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Empathy for Educator and Chooser

I woke up groggy this morning, not really motivated to do anything. Feeling confused, not having the mental clarity I wanted; I had enough resources to consider doing yoga. I thought to myself: “Would I be willing (WIBW) to do yoga?” As I got my body moving and breathing, I had the insight to roll out my Heart-Canvas to explore what’s happening. I wrote the following in my journal:

Observation: I spent several hours last night watching YouTube videos instead of going to bed. Before I knew it, it was after midnight. This morning I woke up groggy, fuzzy headed.

My Heart-Canvas after giving empathy to my Educator and Chooser

Educator Empathy: Feeling regret that I didn’t get the rest I was hoping for, now I’m disappointed I don’t have the aliveness and clarity of mind that I’d like.

Chooser Empathy: Last night after getting home, I was energized after going to NVC — met needs for play, belonging and community. I also spent a few minutes checking in with friends afterward (connection). For some reason, after going home, I was drawn to watch videos. I went unconscious to meet my needs for stimulation, humor.

The red glass gems above mark the heart energy of my Educator, while the blue glass gems mark it for my Chooser. In my journal, I usually only write out the “Observation” of what happened and/or any inner judgments — i.e. when pressed for time, I don’t have to write out the sentences because the feelings and needs are shown visually in the Heart-Canvas; I just insert a picture in my iPad Notability app.

The Educator is the part of me that generates lots of self-judgment, disappointment in my choices — my Inner-Critic that speaks loudly because it wants me to learn something from the experience. Empathy for my Educator reveals the heart behind all the judgment.

The Chooser is the part of me that motivated my actions in the moment; I did the best I knew how to meet some of my needs. I didn’t have visibility into the future to see the effects of my choices. Empathy for my chooser reveals the needs that are likely to show up next time I’m in a similar situation.

Based on what I learned about myself in this journal entry — that late at night, after a full day of community and connection, that I will likely want to meet my needs for humor, stimulation — and that a part of me believes my needs connection and community will be met through watching videos. I can make better choices to meet those needs for more enjoyment at less cost — for example, next time I’m in a similar situation, I might:

  • Read a book
  • Go for a walk outside
  • Call a friend
  • Listen to calming music
  • Calming Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Journal
  • Take a warm bath or jacuzzi

I’ve demonstrated another application of the Heart-Canvas. The applications are endless. I’d love to hear how this post landed for you. Are you willing to share?

I’m grateful to Marshall Rosenberg, who created Nonviolent Communication and taught me this process for self-empathy.