Bring your life into balance

Empathy works. It always does.

Offering my shoulders to stand on


I feel too excited to write a post. I am booked on a panel at SXSW, the biggest film and music festival in Austin. The panel is about responding with compassion to online harassment. (Thank you, David, for recommending me.)

I have about 15 minutes to speak and my mind is racing with ideas.

  • Key idea: “Every behavior is an attempt to meet precious, universal needs”
  • Secondary idea: “We might resort to protective use of force, if the other party is not willing to include our needs.”
  • Bring jackal ears.

    Jackal ears, Image courtesy David Nayer, 2014

  • Bring giraffe ears.
  • Edit feelings-needs list with David.
  • Make mind map and review with David. (Gosh! It is all about David!)
  • Renew business cards.
  • Practice in front of mirror.
  • Rehearse with David. (David who?)
  • Be ready to be invited to do SOMETHING REALLY BIG! Become famous? Get ready for TV!


I pause and focus on my breath. I check in with myself. TRUST. My key word for 2016. Can I trust that I have more than enough inner qualities to contribute? Can I trust my inner compass to focus on what the audience needs, how their lives could be enriched? Can I trust that I can cocreate a space with the audience, where we explore how to respond with compassion and empathy to online hatred? Can we combine our collective wisdom and walk away with insights beyond our imagination? Am I willing to be humble enough to offer my shoulders to stand on, so my audience can look beyond my offerings and see what is possible in our world? Just like others offered their shoulders? Marshall Rosenberg, Thich Nhat Hanh, my husband David?

I pause. I feel super excited about that. It is a different kind of excitement. Less frantic. Less mind boggling. More open. More tender. More from the heart.

You want help to offer your shoulders to stand on? Contact me, 512-589-0482 for a free, discovery session.

Thank you, David Nayer, for your excitement to collaborate on nurturing compassion and empathy in our community.

Author: Elly van Laar

I am a coach. I specialize in helping mission-driven professionals bring their lives into balance. I have a Master's degree in Political Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands. I'm currently in an ICF-coaching certification program. I love meditation, walking, gardening, biking, and hanging out with family and friends.

2 thoughts on “Offering my shoulders to stand on

  1. Haha, I inderstand your excitement about being on tv too! Who knows, now you might be interviewed about elderly care and your innovative ideas about it.
    Anyway, I feel super excited about it and am enjoying the preparation, both about what I am gonna say and publicity. I’ll keep you posted.


  2. YESSSS you are becoming famous. There was so much laughter when I just read your post and I understand your excitement. I would be thrilled also. I have had many dreams that I would be invited in talkshows on tv to talk about my interesting documentaries… ha ha! Enjoy this chance. HAVE LOTS OF FUN, show the online world that love and understanding are the only things people will help to enjoy their life at its fullest!


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