Drawing from Buddhist and yogic precepts, this practical guide offers tools for becoming a better, more compassionate communicator at home, at work, and in the world
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
About the Author
JUDITH HANSON LASATER has taught yoga since 1971. She holds a doctorate in East-West psychology and is a physical therapist. Dr. Lasater is the president emeritus of the California Yoga Teachers Association and is one of the founders of Yoga Journal magazine. She trains yoga teachers in asana, kinesiology, yoga therapeutics, and the Yoga Sutras, and she leads workshops and retreats throughout the US and abroad. She is a pioneer in the teaching and practice of Restorative yoga. Dr. Lasater writes extensively about yoga. Her feature articles, columns, and essays appear in numerous books, magazines, and anthologies. She is the author of eleven books on yoga.
IKE LASATER, JD, MCP, helps organizations and individuals develop the capacity to collaboratively clarify and achieve their objectives. He also acts as a private mediator, facilitating conversations and connection among people in conflict. He co-founded The Yoga Journal with Judith Lasater in 1975.
“What We Say Matters offers an approachable yet nuanced gift—a guide to speaking from our truth and listening with our hearts. Each page is filled with wise insights, relatable stories, and profound practices that, if even a fraction of the human race were to dabble with, have the power to transform the world as we know it.”—Aimee Ryan, Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication
“This book provides a friendly road map for those seeking to improve their conversations and deepen relationships. Judith and Ike have given us an inspiring and practical guide to creating a better world together.”—Oren Jay Sofer, author of Say What You Mean