Spoken Words can Nurture Life,
Spoken Words can Destroy Life

essay by Barbara Helynn Heard

"Aia ke ola i ka waha; aia ka make i ka waha.
Life is in the mouth, death is in the mouth."
traditional Hawaiian saying

Part 3: My Communication Training Resources 

I have been helped to develop life affirming communication skills from many resources which are available to us all. I share with you here many of the fantastic resources which have helped me learn to use my words to sustain unlimited healing potential. I highly recommend them all!!!

Please feel free to contact me to learn more about my experience with any of these fabulous people and organizations.

The descriptions I've given here all come from my memory and may not be 100% accurate.  I'm open for updates or corrections.

  • Center for Non-violent Communication founded by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, active nationally and internationally 
    • CNVC teaches this specific communication pattern: When (xyz action described in neutral terms) I feel (xyz basic emotion). I need (basic human need). Would you be willing to (xyz specific request)? 
    • For example: “When I see your clothes on the floor I feel anxious because I have a need for order. Would you be willing to tell me what you heard me say?” 
  • Compassionate Listening Project, founded by Leah Green, offering workshops nationally and internationally.  CLP key principles are:
    • Cultivating Compassion for ourselves and others;
    • Developing the Fair Witness by remaining open in conflict situations;
    • Respecting Self and Others by developing boundaries which protect yet include;
    • Listening with the Heart - allow divergence and find a deeper point of connection;
    • Speaking from the Heart with language which reflects a healing intention.
  • Mastery Systems, Bob Stevens founder, workshops offered nationally 
    • Teaches many, various and wonderful language techniques to help people use words to connect on a heart level 
  • The Verbally Abusive Relationship, book by Patrica Evans 
    • Describes about 10 different communication patterns that can easily shut people down, and suggests various ways of responding to change the energy of the conversation 
  • Warrior Spirit, founded by Dr. Jeff Alexander 
    • Leap of Faith is a powerful, experiential workshop which alternates controlled and safe yet very real physical conflict with discussion. In this workshop I learned both to say NO! and to say YES! 
    • Voice of Power is a powerful and playful, experiential workshop that explores physical aspects of speaking in public. Expect to have FUN! in this workshop! Expect to laugh a lot in this workshop! And, expect to easily speak from your heart in group and individual settings after taking this workshop. 
  • Landmark Education, a school of life that offers workshops internationally 
    • The Landmark workshops helped me know myself better and helped me begin to relate to my then teen age children as people rather than as simply my responsibilities. Landmark workshops also helped me learn to hold my head up and look at people, even strangers, when I walked down a city street and to enjoy admiring comments from men rather than fearing them. 
  • Changes Parent Support Network - a self help program with a handful of branches in Washington State 
    • The Changes program is modeled on the Tough Love program for families challenged by “acting out” teens. They work on the premise that parents identify and then change one of our own limiting behavior patterns in order to strengthen our families. 
    • My own stand for changing my behavior during the three years I participated in Changes was “I will not avoid conflict”. Some other common stands include: “I will not give in to my kids’ demands”, “I will not neglect my own self care”, “I will not take my anger out on my family”. There are many more stands. I don’t know how my family would have made it through some particularly challenging years without the support I received from Changes. 
  • Self Identity through Ho'oponopono, (SITH) an organization which gives workshops internationally
    • These workshops teach ways to practice ho’oponopono – Hawaiian practices of living to support health and healing and to serve the highest good. The spiritual cleansing practices taught in these workshops were originally developed by the revered late Hawaiian elder and healer, Mornah Simeona. These techniques create peace and healing for ourselves, our families, our communities, our ancestors and the entire earth. The techniques are 100% focused on working on ourselves. 
  • Article by Joe Vitale  
    • This two page article was developed into the book "Zero Limits".  Both the book and the article describe a simple and seemingly miraculous use of the ho’oponopono cleansing process as taught by SITH. After reading this article I was immediately able to easily use the two primary word tools described in this article in ways that helped me immensely. 
  • The New Feeling Psychology by Joe Shirley
    •  Joe has developed a process that uses both imagery and words to explore and then shift the binding effects of problematic emotions (anxiety, anger, fear, loneliness, lethargy, boredom, etc) on our bodies. He originally developed this process to free himself of the disabling affects of bipolar condition in his own life. He now teaches this fun and powerful healing system to others (including me) who need help at times freeing themselves from heavy, life limiting emotions in order to freely experience full joy in life.  
  •  Somatic Unwinding®, classes by Karen Clay, LMP in Washington State
    •  o Karen offers individual therapy and workshops in Seattle Washington in which we explore our bodies accompanied by descriptive, poetic words that Karen offers. I attended her classes weekly for about five years and her work gave me new ways of perceiving and freeing my body.. One of my favorite saying she uses is “Let your feet spread like pancake batter on a griddle”. 
  • John Calvi, Quaker healer and massage therapist and workshop leader. John lives in Vermont and works nationally 
    • John provides his services wherever and whenever he is spiritually led to work. He has worked extensively with people with AIDS and with victims of sexual abuse and with victims of individual and corporate torture. He has taught massage, self care and relationship tending workshops for both massage therapists (AMTA) and non massage therapists. He is a Quaker and offers many workshops within the Quaker community. 
    • John has lived in an unusual way for many decades: He does not charge for his work, but rather lives on gifts. 
    • John founded and leads the organization QUIT dedicated to ending torture worldwide 
  • Boundaries, Solutions for Life – Seattle area psychotherapist Jovana Casey (aka Joan Casey) 
    • Jovana helps people remove ourselves from the victim-persecutor-rescuer dance. She offers private therapy live in Seattle or worldwide via phone or Skype, in which she helps clients (like me!) change the energy of relationships and situations that limit our lives. She does not offer empathy based counseling, but rather active energetic change experience. 
    • Jovana also offers potent and fun experiential personal growth workshops, although she is currently (2010) on sabbatical from this aspect of her work. 
  • Managing with Aloha, a book by Rosa Say. Rosa also offers management training
    • In a very easy to read way Rosa describes inspirational successes she has achieved implementing a caring, value driven work environment in the hospitality industry in Hawaii by creating a value based management style and structure. Intentional use of words is an important part of this process. I’ve applied some of the techniques Rosa describes in my own life and work. I especially the way she seems to personally embody the values she writes about. 
  • Mana Lomi® massage & ho’oponopono classes taught by Dr. Maka’ala Yates, D.C 
    • Dr Yates is an indigenous Hawaiian healer who has been active in this field for over 30 years. In addition to teaching Mana Lomi®, he leads internal cleanses and teaches ho’oponopono workshops. I have studied Mana Lomi® from Dr Yates since 2003, and now teach Mana Lomi® classes myself under his guidance.  He is also the founder and owner of Indigenous Botanicals.
  • Outward Bound – an outdoor education program with schools in various parts of the country including Maine, North Carolina, Minnesota, Colorado, Oregon and more. 
    • Although Outward Bound does not specifically teach word skills I include Outward Bound here because attending Minnesota Outward Bound in both 1972 and 1974 changed my life. 
    • Attending MOBS led to me to discover that I could physically achieve far more than I had ever even dreamed might be possible. Discovering that I could run, swim and paddle for miles, that I could carry a canoe by myself and that I could stay in the woods alone (this was the most difficult part for me) without food for 3 days led me to challenge many other limiting beliefs I’ve had over time about my abilities. 
    • My Outward Bound experience helped me develop the confidence to do new and big things. 
    • Living outdoors in nature for a month is – I find no words grand enough to describe this experience!!! I loved it and it changed me forever! 
Thank you to the many, many people and organizations who have contributed to my personal growth and to my well being!!!

To all my readers, I leave you with my love. Do please contact me if you have questions or would like to hear more about my experiences with these wonderful teachers of heart and words.

E malama pono ~ take good care.

Barbara Helynn Heard
Copyrighted 2010 Barbara Helynn Heard
For more information visit www.lomilomi-massage
Email barbaraheard at msn dot com
Phone 1-206-323-5871 Seattle, Washington


All materials are copyrighted. If you would like to post articles on your website or use it as training material, permission is granted as long as all contact and credit information remains intact. Thank you.



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