Eps 174: Learning to be a more mindful communicator with Oren Jay Sofer

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Today’s guest is Oren Jay Sofer, the author of Say What You Mean – A Mindful Approach to Non-Violent Communication. He leads retreats and workshops on mindful communication at meditation centres and education settings around the US. Oren is a graduate of the IMS Spirit Rock teacher training program. He holds a degree in comparative religion from Columbia University, teaches in the Insight Meditation community and is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and a certified trainer of non-violent communication. Oren creates mindfulness training programs for a number of organizations including Mindful Schools, Kaiser Permanente, and 10% Happier. He lives in Richmond, California. Join us!


“If we can’t actually listen to each other and have a meaningful conversation when we disagree, it’s impossible to work together to address the challenges that we’re facing”


“We can’t wait for the opportunities where presence is needed to practice presence.”


“Even when we can’t meet our child’s needs we can help them to know and recognize that their needs matter to us.”


“Our feelings are a reflection of our needs.”


What you’ll hear in this episode:

·       Being in response vs reaction

·       Communication as a way of navigating conflict mindfully

·       3 foundations for successful conversations and effective communication

·       The role of presence in communication

·       The ambient stress of raising a child

·       Owning our responses in times of stress

·       Exercising self-compassion in relation to parenting-related stress

·       Integrating moments of awareness into your day

·       Creating daily rituals into mindfulness

·       Mindfulness as a way to mitigate cumulative stress

·       Mindfulness as a way to be present in our relationships

·       Mindfulness as awareness and a way to raise our baseline kindness and presence

·       Preparing for parenting with mindfulness through practicing

·       Practice as a way of creating a new way of being


·       Creating awareness of the impact of our actions on others

·       Discussing our needs instead of blame

·       Being realistic about our ability to meet all of our child’s needs

·       Intention in communication and mindfulness

·       Approaching communication from a place of curiosity and care

·        Curiosity as a way of being

·       The need for intention to be genuine

·       Feelings of a reflection of needs

·       Increasing emotional literacy to enhance communication

·       Helping children to problem solve as an alternative to “consequences”

·       Connecting before correcting

·       Conflict as an opportunity for learning

·       Where to start when you realize you need to improve your communication

·       Learning to pause, be curious and consider the needs of others

·       Connection through perspective shift


What does Joyful Courage mean to you?

So I think what joyful courage means to me is it’s rooted in the recognition that the places that we struggle, the places that we’re scared of the places that we feel pain actually hold the precious gift of our own freedom and when we recognize that having the courage to turn towards those places and to actually include them in our life and learn from them becomes a process that’s joyful because we know why we’re doing it. It’s not just about “I’ve got to trudge through this” but we’ve experienced to some degree and have a deep faith that there’s there’s actually a gift waiting for me on the other side.



Say What You Mean book

Parenting From Your Heart: Sharing the Gifts of Compassion, Connection, and Choice (Nonviolent Communication Guides)

Text “guided” 44222 to sign up for a short ebook and free guided meditation series


Where to find Oren:









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