We are living in challenging and complicated times. Every day, we hear stories about the harrowing consequences of climate change, the suffering of people in war-torn countries, the extinction of the plants and animals on our beautiful earth, and the inability of our government to take care of the needs of its people.

How do we stay sane with our hearts open in such times as these?

My friend Joe Weston has written a practical guide for heart-centered conflict resolution and reconciliation. It is called Fierce Civility and joins his other book, Mastering Respectful Confrontation.

Joe does not simply wish for the world to become a better place. He offers specific guidance that helps navigate difficult conversations whether they be with family members, co-workers or community members. In the pages of this well researched book, filled with his own experiences, Joe provides clear guidance and exercises to learn the skills of Fierce Civility. which Joe says have the potential to rewire our minds, hearts and bodies away from polarization and opposition.

Joe writes that the main skills of the Fierce Civility Approach are the starting point.

1. The Power of the Pivot – quickly identifying and shifting out of stagnation and opposition.

2. Cultivating Inner Balance – practice to keep your nervous system in a somewhat regulated state in order to accurately assess any situation.

3. Meeting the Other Where They Are – a roadmap to track change and transition (and anxiety that it brings) in order to create a space of safety and trust.

4. Shifting from Defender and Aggressor to Nurturer and Protector – overcoming the fight-flight freeze response from tracking, defending or submitting to nurturing and protecting.

5. Non-judgmental Critical Thinking – utilizing courageous self-reflection to objectively gather all the necessary data in any given moment to take appropriate action.

Joe goes on to say, “Breaking this debilitating pattern requires more than niceties. We need a way to hold ourselves and each other accountable by living both fiercely and compassionately from a solid foundation that I call our “highest common guiding principles.”

This is just the beginning, and if you would like to know more about Fierce Civility, you can order Joe’s book from Amazon.com.

On March 8, Joe will be offering a TEDx talk in Youngstown, Ohio. He will be speaking about ‘Chronic Niceness and the pitfalls that come with abandoning our fierceness and authenticity’. For information on watching the live stream and replay, visit https://joeweston.com/tedx-speaker/.