On April 12, I had the opportunity to speak
to an issue near and dear to my heart:
"Creating A Village To Support Our Children:
Meeting Our Basic Human Needs," for the
Holistic Moms Network in North Andover.
Our lack of emotional literacy training in
the culture overall contributes to an
environment where "need" is considered a
"four-letter word," rather than a birthright
or essential experience. Emotional and
spiritual needs don't usually even make the
radar, and today, even food, clothing and
shelter are more challenging for too many people.
I believe conscientious parents both want and
deserve support--for their own human needs,
and for their children's. If we become more
emotionally literate, perhaps we can get to
the root of the "bullying culture" that seems
to be predominant and growing rapidly today.
Two articles in this month's newsletter
address this concern: Beyond Blaming the
Victim: Getting to the Root
of Our Bullying Culture and Emotional
Risk-Taking, Emotional Intelligence and
We are doing another EKP Community
Clinic on Sunday, May 23 from 11
am - 5 pm in Newton. All slots are currently
full, but we are taking names for a waiting list.
Tammy Robert, a member of the EKP
community, is bringing EKP to RI, hosting a work
shop in her Pawtucket home on Sunday, June 20
from 1 - 4 pm. To attend, contact Tammy
There will be another 1/2 day EKP workshop,
Healing and Nourishing Your Heart on
Sunday, June 27 at Healing Moon in Norwood, MA.
At the March Keeping A Vital Heart
the idea of inviting EKP community members
to be "helping hands" in our EKP Community
Clinic at the Spirit of Change Natural Living
Expo in September emerged. If you would
like to be part of our team of "helping
hands" at the Expo, please let me know.
In an effort to create more ways to connect
with community members, dialogue and share
ideas, I have created a new blog at
up for new posts and please add your thoughts
to discussion threads.
You can also become a fan of
HealingHeartPower on Facebook. By signing up
to be a fan, you will be notified whenever a
new blog post is published.
The third article in this issue, Exploring
introduces a new book by author Suzann Robins.
Your comments and feedback are always welcome!
Beyond Blaming the Victim: Getting to the Root of Our Bullying Culture
It seems that bullying as a topic is
getting more and more airtime in the media
these days. But sadly, while it is more visible
at a superficial level, the deeper roots of
bullying, and therefore, the deeper solutions
remain largely invisible.
Why are bullies who are charming, humorous,
or clever viewed as attention-magnets for
approval-seeking peers, rather than kids
behaving badly? Why do so many teachers and
staff throw up their hands and say, "well
there isn't physical violence," when verbal
assaults are plentiful and even physical
affronts are visible if only they are noticed?
Very often, when a child is being bullied and
they DO go to an authority figure, they are
told that "kids will be kids," to ignore it
or to go back to class. Somehow, the
listening lacks the recognition that if a
child seeks help ONCE, there is a real
problem to address.
Children learn that if they seek help and no
help is granted, it is pointless to keep
speaking up. Secondly, if a child who is
being bullied keeps reporting their
experience, they are viewed by their peers as
a "tattle tale," which only exacerbate the
Third, WHY must the child who is being
bullied bear the full responsibility for
reporting and solving a problem? Why can't
teachers and administrators, and even other
students, take a more conscious and proactive
approach and NOTICE the bullying happening in
their classrooms and hallways, and nip it in
the bud BEFORE it gets out of hand?
As I watch news shows present the latest news
on the "bullying frontier," I am saddened by
what I can label a "blaming the victim,"
mentality, where administrators say, "but the
victim never said anything to the teachers or
the principal, so we had no idea," or the
families of those being accused of bullying
claim they were clueless of the plight of the
"victim," or the behavior of their own children.
Bullying is a systems issue, not a squabble
between several peers. If bullying is
happening, the roots lie in the classroom,
the family, the educational environment, and
even society at large. Bullies "get away
with murder," as kids and proceed to move to
larger stages, like corporations, and even
the U.S. government. Madoff and those
responsible for the collapse of the U.S.
financial system are bullies who have grown
to play in larger ponds than the classroom.
And somehow, their actions are viewed with
the same invisibility as the less developed
actions of school-aged bullies.
On a television news program, I was struck by
the "passing the blame," mentality expressed
by administrators, bullies, and parents of
bullies, rather than a recognition that there
were real, systemic problems that needed a
collaborative solution to solve. One school
made a "bullies list," where kids got to name
names, and those with the most citings were
publicly noted. Sadly, the kids who made the
bullies list became the next bullying
targets, because who wouldn't bully a bully?
But isn't this twisted logic?
And punishing bullies by taking away recess,
having them followed into the bathroom, and
basically shaming them, does not help either
the kids or their families, teachers and
peers explore WHY bullying behavior started
in the first place. No one asks what changes
might need to be made to truly change the
backdrop or what kinds of education and
counseling might be needed to change the
individual kids' behaviors.
Parents blame the schools for not addressing
issues, but don't ask themselves what they
might be doing to contribute to the bullying
problem. Might a child's bullying behaviors
at school not reflect what is going on (or
not going on) in their home environments?
What ever happened to skills like
introspection and taking personal
responsibility? Without emotional literacy
training, I am afraid some of the most
fundamental skills needed to be a healthy
human being might never be cultivated.
Finger-pointing, blame-shifting, ignoring,
denying and focusing on the parts, not the
whole will only deepen the bullying groove
for our children and our world as a whole.
Until we start to look at personal
responsibility, interdependence, and what
helps an individual develop a grounded sense
of self that allows a child to stand up for
fairness and respect, rather than being lured
in by an intense need to "conform" to
"belong" to be "okay," we will be lost in
space and time. Schools don't seem to have
time for emotional literacy programs, but as
a result, they end up spending countless
hours dealing with the effects of emotional
illiteracy. Countless young lives are shaped
and even harmed by the emotional illiteracy
and lack of containment that characterize our
schools, families and culture today.
If we are going to solve the bullying
problem, we need to get to the root of the
matter, and involve kids, parents, teachers,
administrators and other community
organizations. We need to look inside and
see who we are and what we really believe in.
And we need to develop the courage to speak
up when things aren't right and stand up and
fight for what is right, just and fair.
If we begin to build emotional literacy
skills in our schools, communities and
families, we can rebuild the environments
that we live in, work in and are governed by.
This needs to be a collaborative effort. And
if we recognize the value of emotional
teamwork, we can truly change things for the
better for all!
©2010 Linda Marks
Please share your thoughts...
Emotional Risk-Taking, Emotional Intelligence and Social Integrity
My son, Alex, participates in a wonderful
community called Boys to Men. The community
consists of adult men who recognize the value
and even essential contribution of mentoring
teenage boys as they transition from boyhood
to young adulthood. A key part of the
mentoring work includes developing a
connection to their sense of integrity,
courage, respect, compassion and leadership.
What is very sad is that many adult men have
never had the opportunity to spend time with
or relate to, in either the short-term or in
an on-going way, men who can model these very
qualities. As a result, they never have the
chance to fully develop into integrated men,
who have the emotional space to pass the
torch on to the next generation.
Jeff Kidman, the MA leader of the Boys to Men
program, made the comment that boys need to
engage in "emotional risk-taking," not just
physical risk-taking. Every time a man takes
an emotional risk, he grows spiritually and
emotionally. And he also models and helps
create a climate of emotional safety that
empowers boys to take emotional risks as well.
Creating a climate that is safe for emotional
risk-taking, that includes emotional support,
and accountability for one's commitments,
behaviors and actions, not only helps
individuals develop emotional intelligence,
but also helps a group of boys and men
develop a sense of social integrity.
Today's society fosters so much isolation and
disconnection, we struggle to develop and
maintain personal integrity, never mind
create and sustain a sense of social
integrity. If we can build emotionally safe
spaces that empower boys and men to be real,
vulnerable, accountable, responsible and
community-minded, we can transform the fabric
of society and remove the space that allows
and perpetuates a bullying culture.
Jeff pointed out that kids need something to
push against so they can get stronger
internally in their sense of self. Just like
going to a gym, where we exercise muscles by
lifting weights or running on a treadmill,
which helps us build physical fitness and
strength, having relationships and social
spaces that offer healthy limits,
consequences and accountability build
emotional fitness and social strength.
Although I am a mom, and the wrong gender to
be directly involved in the weekend programs
for boys and men, or the monthly Journeymen
group, I can surely offer my behind the
scenes support for such a powerful,
impactful, valuable and needed program! And
I can also offer my appreciation for people
like Jeff and his comrades, who are growing
this work here in Massachusetts, and
elsewhere in the world!
©2010 Linda Marks
The Northeast Boys to Men Community will be
holding a RItes of Passage Adventure weekend
for boys who are 12 - 17 years of age, August
13 - 15 near Brattleboro, VT.
For more information, contact Jeff Kidman at
Share your thoughts on this article...
A new book by Suzann Robins
I met my colleague, Suzann Robins, in two
worlds we both travel in: the world of body
psychotherapy and the world of integrating
sexuality and spirituality. It seems fitting
that her new book, Exploring Intimacy,
represents the juxtaposition and
integration of these worlds. Suzann also
integrates these two more contemporary bodies
of work and world views with more traditional
schools of thought about psychology, health
and human development.
The subtitle of the book is "cultivating
healthy relationships through insight and
intuition." I might add my own subtitle:
"developing an integrated framework to
understand the evolution of relationships,
energy and connection in today's world."
Suzann does a remarkable job of outlining an
evolutionary timeline of the history of
thought, the history of medicine and the
history of holism, and brings them all up to
date with an understanding of energy
medicine, emotional intelligence, intuition,
gender energy and the spiritual dimensions of
intimacy and sexuality.
At the very center of human experience and
human relationships is our life energy, a
vital force that seeks movement, connection
and expression. I love the way Suzann
defines emotion or "e-motion," as "the actual
energy charge in motion," and also a basic
part of a sixth sense, intuition, and "and
intuitive intelligence that formulates ideas
about other people and our reactions to them."
She continues, "Perceptions formed through
our sense of intuition relate to our ability
to 'read' another person's energy fields,
which is different than how a body is
positioned in space. We detect location,
orientation, and movements of the body
through the nervous system, especially
visually and within the semicircular canals
of the inner ear. Reactions to others occurs
within the internal systems of the body's
mind. Different streams of information
combine to send signals to the brain."
The more levels of perception we are
consciously aware of, the more completely and
subtlely we can read other people, express
ourselves and relate and connect with others.
When we add the less commonly acknowledged
lenses of the heart and the kinesthetic felt
sense to more commonly acknowledged lenses of
visual cues, sounds and thoughts, we gain a
more complete experience of ourselves and others.
When we add the energy dimension to human
psychology, we unite an understanding of the
body and the mind. When self-actualization
expands to include the transpersonal as well
as the personal, Maslow's hierarchy of needs
can be updated to provide a more
comprehensive progression towards an
For the past two years, I have taught a class
at UMass Boston on how to create mutually
empowering relationships. We look at the
history and evolution of relationships since
the founding of the United States, explore
the wide variety of approaches to counseling
that have evolved over the past several
decades, and in the case of tools from other
than Western cultures, longer than that, and
try to describe a contemporary model of
healthy relationships that incorporates the
challenges we face as we grown beoynd our
past models in a climate of constant change.
Suzann's book could be a wonderful textbook
for my class, skillfully integrating past and
with an eye towards the future, and
encouraging us to know ourselves both more
broadly and deeply, so we have the space and
perspective to more deeply connect with
others as well.
This book is fascinating for students and
practitioners of psychology, energy medicine
and counseling, and provides a template for
what it means to be a human being, on ones
own and in relationship.
Exploring Intimacy: Cultivating Healthy
Relationships through Insight and Intuition"
by Suzann Panek Robins
Rowman and Littlefield, 2010
©2010 Linda Marks
Add your thoughts on:
Would you like to learn how to do EKP?
Applications are being accepted for the
2010 EKP Apprenticeship Program. The
apprenticeship group meets once a month for a
weekend training session beginning in
September 2010. For more
information, contact LSMHEART@aol.com or call
Linda at (617)965-7846.
If you would like to apprentice in EKP and
get involved before September, you may want
to consider participating in a half-day EKP
workshop or a special seminar for current
The Thursday night EKP Therapy Group
has room for another member. If you would
like to be
part of a committed long-term group using
EKP, this is a very special group. An
and one EKP session are required to apply.
Linda if you are interested at LSMHEART@aol.com
Sunday May 23 will be an EKP
Clinic Day featuring free 60 minute EKP
sessions facilitated by EKP apprentices.
To sign up for a session, contact
EKP comes to Rhode Island on June 20.
"Healing and Nourishing Your Heart," will
take place from 1 - 4 pm in Pawtucket.
Contact Tammy Robert for more details
Linda will be presenting "Healing and
Nourishing Your Heart" at Healing Moon in
Norwood on June 27. Contact Trish for
more details. TheHealingMoon@aol.com.
On Wednesday, September 1, Linda will be
giving a presentation for the Worcester
Holistic Moms Network. The topic will be
"What DO We Really Need?" For more
information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in being part of an
on-going EKP group that meets once a month,
let me know. We had run a Sunday EKP Process
group for many years, and could consider
forming another one, if there is interest.
Whether your schedule is too busy for a
weekly group, or you live far enough away
that a monthly session is more sustainable,
if a monthly group would best meet your
needs, we can try to put one together.
EKP opportunities in Newton include:
- Being a guest client in the Student Clinic
- On-going Thursday night EKP Body
Psychotherapy Group (which currently has a
waiting list for new members)
- Apprenticing in EKP
If you would like a Healing the
workshop near you, or have a group of people
who you would like to bring EKP to, please
To find out more....