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David Cunningham on the Power of Language to Renew Our Lives

November 12, 2009 Language is so much more than the words we say to describe our lives. Language shapes our emotions and, for better or worse, how we see the world.

“Really effective communication requires dealing with what is being said versus what is added to what is being said by our view of life,” says David Cunningham, a communications expert and program leader for Landmark Education (http://www.rlang.com/2009/09/17/david-cunningham-landmark-forum-leader-discusses-potential-of-staycations/ )

In a recent interview on Conversations with Michael Stone on KVMR, David explained how improving our ability to listen helps free us from self-criticism and doubt to create more caring relationships.

David, a Senior Program Leader has provided tools, through Landmark Education courses (http://www.landmarkeducation.com/intro ), to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide that have created breakthrough results in their lives. He has also worked in the fights against AIDS, world hunger and child abuse, having served as a director for the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse.

Miscommunication is at the heart of many of our problems as individuals and as a society. So we must learn to create breakthroughs in how we communicate with others, David says.

Our language shapes how we experience the world. So do events from our past. For instance, if you grew up in a household where you heard constant criticism, you might find that you often misinterpret things other people tell you as critical even when they are not meant to be.

“What gives you your experience of life or evokes your emotions are not the events in life themselves but the interpretation you have of those that the mind does automatically and so fast that you don’t even notice it,” David says. 

So how can we change our way of listening so that we genuinely hear what others are telling? David offers a few tips:

Understand the relationship between language, emotions and our interpretations of events.

 what is being said from your interpretations. This is why in order to truly recover from traumas such as childhood sexual abuse, people must learn to separate what happened to them from feelings of shame, self-criticism and worthlessness. 

Know yourself.  The way other people treat you does not determine the quality of your life. Distinguish who you are at the core of your being from your experiences, and live in that “domain of being.”

Discover unrealized potential. Consider that language can be used not just to discuss the world around us, but to create new possibilities and relationships. 

Hear David Cunningham on Conversations with Michael Stone on KVMR athttp://www.davidcunningham.presskit247.com/media_coverage. To learn more about David Cunningham and Landmark Education, visit http://davidcunningham.presskit247.com/ and www.landmarkeducation.com. Michael Stone’s Web sites can be found at www.arewelistening.net or Conversations@KVMR.org.