The Troll, The Neti & NVC

We all spent a weekend in Seattle in March.  I attended the Radiant Relationships 201: Basics workshop with Holly Eckert.  The workshop was based on Marshall Rosenberg’s principles of Non Violent Communication (NVC).  His book, Nonviolent Communiction, focuses on how we communicate, whether as individuals or as nations.

The NVC approach includes an observation of the situation, the expression of a feeling and a need and a request for an action to resolve the situation.  I read the NVC book twice before attending the workshop.  The concept sounded great, but it was really hard to put it to use it in daily life.  After taking Holly’s workshop I feel so much more ready to use NVC.

Holly just wrote an NVC-based book called Graduating from Guilt.  She is an amazing workshop facilitator.  Holly physically embodies NVC.  She generously shared her own personal successes and challenges with NVC and she graciously supported everyone’s progress with learning and integrating NVC during the workshop.

Rob took the workshop last November and now we can use NVC at home.  It is very helpful that we can now “practice” NVC with each other and strive to maintain a little more peace around the home.  As a result, we are both much more comfortably with and confident in using NVC outside the home.  Of course, now that I have learned the basics, I want to move on to the next round of workshops with Holly….

While I learned a whole new way to communicate, Henrik and Rob explored Seattle on a tour inspired by Larry Gets Lost in Seattle, which is from the Larry Gets Lost series.  We checked the book out from the library last fall and we still have it.  The book features Pete and his dog, Larry.  They get separated and each travels past the major Seattle landmarks.  We had been to Pike Place Market and had seen the Space Needle on previous visits to Seattle.  But, there was one especially fascinating landmark that was introduced in the book that captivated Henrik’s imagination: The Fremont Troll.

Larry jogs past the Fremont Troll on his search for Pete and as soon as the words had been uttered, Henrik had been introduced to a whole new entity.  What was a troll?  Did it move?  Did it live under other bridges?  This line of questioning went on and on.  During the day it was fine, but then the troll questions crept into nighttime.  Could the troll get into his bedroom?  He started losing sleep.  We added a new step to the bedtime routine that involved going to the basement and getting a “nice” monster to spend the night in the living room and keep any bad monsters, or trolls, away.  We started planning a trip to Seattle to visit the troll.

Visiting the troll answered many of Henrik’s questions and it also introduced a few new ones.  Henrik took a lot of pictures of the troll.  He walked a complete circle around the troll and took pictures from every angle.  There are more of Henrik’s photos on Flickr.

(henrik's photo)

(henrik's photo)

He was really fascinated with the VW Beetle the troll holds in his hand.

(henrik's photo)

(henrik's photo)

Henrik also got to see the Hammering Man at the Seattle Art Museum, the Waiting for the Interurban sculpture and the Ballard Locks just like Larry.

(rob's photo)


We checked into our hotel that evening and realized that Henrik had come down with a cold.  I think he slept about 5 hours that night and I slept even less.  I had packed a few homeopathic options with me, but he was so mad that his nose was stuffy that I knew we needed more help.  I wished we had a neti pot.  I wrote about using a neti pot with Henrik here.  The following night we had dinner on Capitol Hill and we walked past Rainbow Natural Remedies, which is in the former Rainbow Grocery space.  They were open and they carried neti pots from Baraka.

Rob’s neti is from Baraka and it is really nice.  Mine is from the Himalayan Institute.  We did have a run last winter when we were all sick and were having to run boiling water through the netis between uses because there weren’t enough to go around.  I was feeling pretty desperate with the prospect of facing another night with no sleep.  They had a beautiful green color I had never seen before.  We bought the neti and splurged on their Infused Salt Rinse too.

The neti helped Henrik sleep with limited interruptions.  And, the salt with its essential oils helped clear up his cold very quickly after we got home.  I had really thought that the Infused Salt Rinse was kind of a hoax.  I have seen the tangible result of the mechanical action of flushing congestion out of the sinuses.  I didn’t believe that the essential oils would actually further improve the neti’s work.

I got sick a couple weeks after Henrik and I tried the infused salt.  My congestion cleared in about three days when it usually takes me about seven days to clear out when I am sick.  I still put a few drops of eucalyptus on our pillowcases at bedtime when we have colds, but I am now also a total believer in the Infused Salt Rinse in the neti pot.

I learned about new ways of clearing out congestion in relationships through NVC and in our sinuses with the neti and the Infused Salt Rinse.  The next time you run into congestion, whether in your sinuses or your relationships, reach for the neti or NVC to help you move through the obstruction.