Living Ubuntu

Finding Your "No"

Healthy expression of negativity, protest and anger

Summer Body Group: Finding Your "No"

"If you deny the power you have, it is just as bad as wielding it as a weapon."
- Barbara English, Living Ubuntu

Living Ubuntu Summer Body Group

Having a clear, strong "no" is just as important for standing against horror and injustice as it is for holding healthy boundaries in personal relationships.  Chronic negativity, or strict adherence to "all things positive" both reflect extremes and a lack of balance.

Our bodies clearly tell the story -- the back aches, tight shoulders, a tight clenched jaw that is unwilling to let go, a stubborn tension headache that keeps returning...

Without a healthy "no" what happens?

  • chronic impatience, always expecting the worst, road rage
  • know you're over-reacting but not being able to stop yourself (and then inevitably having guilt over it)
  • an inability to tolerate conflict and wanting to avoid people with "negative energy"
  • clinging to hope and always wanting people to look on the bright side of things
  • forgive and forget way too quickly
  • wind up doing a bunch of stuff you didn't really want to do (and then feel resentful about it)

For those who over-rely on anger and also those who run from it, learning the power of a grounded "no" is essential.  Yet, what makes it so difficult?  This is what we will be tackling in our next Living Ubuntu Body Group this summer.

What will we cover?

A healthy "no" doesn't necessarily need to be an angry "no".  Feeling inner sensations to recognize one's limits is a starting place.  Grounding the anger is essential so as to be able to genuinely allow it to move through you, without it coming out in an unhealthy way, for you or someone else.

As a foundation for expressing negativity, protest and anger in a healthy way, this series will emphasize:

  • Grounding.  What does it really mean to be 'grounded'?  This will be explained and experienced through exercises.
  • Self-expressive body centered methods.  These issues are not just in our minds, but are held within our bodies. As the body lets go of accumulated tensions, it is easier for the mind to follow.
  • Connection with ourselves and others.  We cannot heal alone.  Often it is the combination of being connected to our self while also feeling connected to someone else (i.e. a safe witness) that allows us to fully express what we have been holding.
  • Exploration of belief systems.  Early life experiences and cultural conditioning influence the way we relate to these issues.  We will examine how these internalized messages play out in our lives.

This somatic workshop series will be both psycho-educational and experiential.  If you have futher questions, please do not hestitate to contact us.  

Presenter, Barbara English LMFT

Barbara EnglishBarbara English is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist with over 20 years of experience in the field. As a Certified Bioenergetic Therapist, she works from a mind-body perspective, and utilizes relational somatic methods as part of the process toward healing and a sense of wellbeing. Much of her training has focused on Early Development, Infant Mental Health, and healing after abuse or trauma. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of Living Ubuntu.

We need a strong "no" to have a genuine "yes" and it is anger that sometimes finds its perch on top of our deepest heartbreak and pain.  We must get through the anger to find the wound underneath that is in need of healing.  This requires feeling safe enough to allow for the vulnerability that is inevitably there within all of us.

Barbara's growing discontent with the limits of private practice, combined with increased awareness of mass trauma as a global epidemic, motivated her to start Living Ubuntu. With an approach that seeks to unite trauma recovery and human rights issues, part of her work includes leading Orange County for Darfur.  She is a 2009 Carl Wilkens Fellow with Genocide Intervention Network.

Dates and location

We will meet for a total of six sessions.  All sessions are on every other Sunday afternoon.  Below are the dates.

Sunday, June 26
Sunday, July 10
Sunday, July 24
Sunday, August 7
Sunday, August 21
Sunday, September 4

Orange County, CA
(the address will be sent to all registered participants)

Each session is from 2:00p - 4:30p.

$25 each session, or $120 for all 6 sessions

This is a not-for-profit event.  No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
If there is any financial hardship to pay, please contact us.

Note: For maximum benefit and group cohesion, we strongly encourage attending all sessions. 


Here are the registration guidelines.

  1. While this group will help participants learn to stay within their own limits, it will nevertheless deal with intense emotional issues.  We would like to have a conversation with you before you register in order to make sure this group is a good match for you. 
  2. To create a safe, secure space, we can accomodate no more than 10 participants.

If you'd like to attend, please get in touch with us.  Simply call us at (949) 891-2005, or send us a message.  Thank you :)


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.  Or call us at (949) 891-2005.

June - Sept 2011
Orange County, CA
presented by
Living Ubuntu
A 'no' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.
- Gandhi

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Please wear soft, flexible clothing that does not restrict movement. Session content and participation in somatic exercises, while safe and effective, could lead to physical or emotional upset. Each participant needs to stay within their own physical and emotional ability.