“Self-Silencing”

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The Five Keys to Mindful Communication by Susan Chapman (Shambhala Publications 2012)“Self-Silencing” (from “The Third Key: Telling the Truth”)

An excerpt from Susan’s forthcoming The Five Keys to Mindful Communication

(Shambhala Publications, Spring 2012)

“In our conversations and our relationships the flash of the red light indicates that we’ve shut down.  What does this mean?  It means that we’ve closed ourselves off not only from the other person but also from ourselves.   This is what we mean by suppressing our truth, whi ch is the other half of the coin of acting out. To simplify this process, I’ve narrowed it down to two basic functions: mindless-heart, is when we mainly silence our intelligence. The second, heartless-mind, is the opposite, when we silence our empathy. In both cases the natural wisdom of our heart is cut off from our mind.

  • “Heartless-mind patterns include all the ways we suppress tender heartedness and our emotional sensitivity with opinions and storylines that justify cutting other people off.  When it is disconnected from empathy, intellect can turn into a weapon.
  • “Mindless-heart patterns describe the habit of heart — or emotionality — ruling mind. When it is disconnected from clarity and accuracy, the sensitive emotional energy of open heart can become chronically fearful (symbolized as yellow light) or toxic (red light).”
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Green Zone Conversations was started in 2009 by Susan Gillis Chapman and Greg Heffron to facilitate simpler and more natural communication using a mindfulness approach.