What We Say Matters
Have you ever tried to tell someone what you want only to feel misunderstood and frustrated? Or hesitated to ask for what you needed because you didn't want to burden the other person? Or been stuck in blame or anger that wouldn't go away?
Judith and Ike Lasater, long-term students of yoga and Buddhism, experienced dilemmas like these, too. Even though they had studied the yoga principle of satya (truth) and the Buddhist precept of right speech, it was not until they began practicing Marshall Rosenberg's techniques of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) that they understood how to live satya and right speech.
In What We Say Matters, Judith and Ike describe their journey through NVC and how speech becomes a spiritual practice based on giving and receiving with compassion—everywhere, all the time—whether at home, at work, or in the world. Their writing is deeply personal, punctuated by their recounts of trial and error, success and failure, laughter and challenge—even in writing this book! They guide you through an introduction to NVC with clear explanations, poignant examples, suggested exercises, and helpful resources. With practice, you'll learn new ways to:
- extend empathy to yourself and others
- distinguish between feelings and needs
- make requests rather than demands
- choose connection over conflict
- create mutually satisfying outcomes
"What We Say Matters shows how speech can be a spiritual practice. A language of the heart has the power to create a world of connection, peace, and compassion in our own lives and in the whole human family. I am excited and inspired by how Judith and Ike present the NVC principles from the context of yoga philosophy and Buddhism in a way that is simple, clear, and practical, yet filled with depth and wisdom. I highly and enthusiastically recommend this book." —John Kinyon, trainer and meditator, The Center for Nonviolent Communication
"As a longtime Buddhist student of NVC, I am grateful for the clarity and wisdom of the material presented in What We Say Matters. I was inspired and encouraged by their personal stories and am excited to experiment with the practical suggestions and exercises. When I imagine the people who will read and use this book, I feel hopeful that we can all contribute to creating a more peaceful world." —Marcia Miller, co-owner of Yoga on High, Columbus, OH
"When I read Judith and Ike's book, I feel happy, as though I have friends who speak to me and for me (rather than at me or down to me) and who will coach and counsel me through the intricacies of communicating more clearly and carefully, heart to heart, so that we may flower in each other's presence. Thank you for this offering, a treasure that helps me to unfold inside." —Edward Brown, Zen teacher, author of The Tassajara Bread Book and
"This book reminds me of conversations around the dinner table at Judith and Ike's house, exploring ways to deepen our consciousness and more fully love this one precious life. Now everyone is invited to be at that table." —Kit Miller, Director/Celebrator, Bay Area Nonviolent Communication