My 8-year old daughter asked me: ‘Daddy, what do you do for a living?’ I answered: 'What I do? I support people in understanding how to deal with each other in a way that supports connection and love between them. I teach that and I’m learning and practicing it too, each and every day’. I see a smile on her face. ‘Are you still learning, daddy?’ ‘Yes, every day!’, I said and I enjoyed the wonder I saw on her face.
Writing this piece is challenging for me. I didn't use to have any longing or idea of what I wanted to become. And, thinking about ‘who I am’, I fear I might be labeled as something, which would only describe a certain part of me (or not…). I prefer to be seen as whole and unique, just like I want to see you as you are, without judgement.
Yes, I took off having a career, like I thought I should, working for 20 years full time, first employed, later as an entrepreneur and free lancer. I also
contributed by working as a board member of a charitable organisation.
If I would summarize what I have done, I thing it would come down
to: I love people and I love growing and building together. My ongoing longing to understand myself deeper was my motivation to start a course in nonviolent communication. Who am I? Why do I do things as I do? What do I feel and what do I need in this one and unique life that I’m given? I only have one life and I want to take care of it wholeheartedly. NVC was a huge gift that came on my path. My goal is to share NVC with as much people as possible. Not because I think it’s the only truth; no, because I experience that it works. Every day I start a new adventure, and I feel grateful to be able to live in a way that serves and inspires myself and others.
So I am.. Bart Achterberg, 45 years old. I am curious who you are….
How can I live a life of wholeheartedness, true to myself, vulnerable and honest? How can I live those qualities, while living my life in the world, as a parent, partner, teacher, trainer, friend, daughter? For me, NVC supports me in keeping this inner conversation going on; it’s a way to stay in touch with the flow of life inside of me.
I feel very grateful to my first mindfulness and NVC trainer; through her, NVC came on my path, while I was recovering from a serious burn out and depression. NVC taught me how to give words to experiences, feelings and needs, allowing them to be just like they are inside of me. I got (get!) to know myself better! And it works like medicine, too:practicing NVC prevents me from surpressing feelings and unawareness of needs. in other words, it enables me to support myself in preventing going back into a state of depression.
Here I describe my first deep experience after I got in touch with NVC. It’s an experience of wholeness that I will always remember ‘It’s as if I’m standing on the top of a mountain. I see a blue sky, an endless horizon with oceans of space below it, filled with countless colours and forms. I feel deeply fulfilled with the beauty of what I see. I feel free. I feel intensely connected to myself, to humanity and the world as a whole’.
Seeing the countless possibilities to live life and to give meaning to it, gives me an incredible experience of freedom. Learning to give words to my feelings and needs allows my body to integrate it even more. I get in touch with my inner compass and learn to speak and act in alignment with
my compass. It does not come easy; it’s like learning how to ride a bike and learn a new language; I fall and get up again. NVC is a never-ending, life-long practice.
I’m super passionate about NVC, because I notice how it enriches my life. This is why I want to share NVC with you! I am as passionate about NVC as I am about yoga. That’s why I work as a yoga teacher, too. In my workshops I integrate NVC and Yoga, using yoga and meditation as a way to get in touch with the body and deeper layers in ourselves, while NVC teaches us how to give words to those deeper layers, creating more depth to the yoga experience. I experience that practicing Yoga and NVC deepens the practice of both. The practice of NVC allows myself to take my yoga practice of the mat, into the world. For more information about my back ground please check my LinkedIn profile: