Dove with Branch

April 7, 2008 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Hello!

SEWA-Nepal has successfully completed the first phase of the program to introduce emotional intelligence training as a part of our educational system. It has been so successful that they now have the opportunity to introduce the Emotional Intelligence training program in all of the schools of Nepal as soon as they find the funding to do so. (see www.SEWA- Nepal.org) In Nepal a little money goes a long way. The cost to educate a student is less than $10.00 US. If you would like to help in launching this great effort in our world schools you can contribute by sending a check payable to Dean Van Leuven Trust Account to PO Box 535, Elmira, OR 97437, indicating it is for SEWA-Nepal and I will send the funds to them by wire transfer. I hope you will feel moved to contribute to this great cause.

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I am considering marriage to a man who has two teenage children. I like his children and they like me but his concept of discipline is very different than mine. He lets them get away with things and doesn't punish them when they violate the rules. Also he will not let me discipline them when they refuse to obey, even if he is not present. Should we still get married when this issue in unresolved. How do we go about resolving it? - Rebecca in MO

Dear Rebecca, You shouldn't get married until this issue is resolved. The two of you need to have a discussion so that each of you will understand the other's views on parenting. You then need to devise a plan that will work for both of you. And you both need to agree to support the plan and to fully support the other parent's efforts to carry it out. Any discussion or disagreement must not be in the presence of the children. You might start with the question of whether you are going to teach the children responsibility, or just to obey authority. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My husband's children are unruly and are always picking arguments with me and my children. My husband supports his children and thinks mine are snobs. How can we solve this problem? - Sandra in San Antonio

Dear Sandra, You don't have a family. You have two families living together under the same roof. I suggest you solve this problem now, or you may need to find an additional roof. Your problem is very similar to Rebecca's. You and your husband need to get together and decide how you are going to parent, and then do it in a way that is supported by both of you. It is important that you think of your step-children in the same way you think of your own. Family is the issue, not blood. Who you live with is your family. It is up to you to have the kind of family you want to have. Happy families require love and respect from each to all. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: P.O. Box 535, Elmira, OR 97437, or visit www.DeanOfPeace.com. to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

Gradually those governments who want to take power over their own, or other people by force, are finding it more difficult to do so. This change to being governed only with our own informed consent comes gradually as our awareness as individuals increases. We must become aware enough to make choices, and elect only those who make decisions that are in our own enlightened self-interest. In order to have peace within our own society we have come more and more to realize that we ourselves must be peaceful. Only when we come from a place of peace will we be truly concerned about peace for other people. Only when we change our own personal way of being, to peaceful and joyful living, will we be able to create peace and joy in the world. The world will always be acting in a way that is an out-picturing of the general level of consciousness of the people.

Today we still worship and admire the rich and famous. When we do this we are giving our power to others. I often wonder if we make a great mistake in our society when we provide limousines for our leaders to ride around in. Doing so tends to devalue our own personal self- worth. When we set them above us in some way we are giving them power over us. When we take a closer look at the rich and famous we see that being rich and famous does not automatically give a person the sense of peace and well being that they seek. Being rich and famous does not of itself produce joy.

Those who have achieved the goals of riches and fame are often among those who are the most troubled and lead the least peaceful lives, especially when their riches and/or power were inherited or came without learning the necessary skills to manage and care for them. They often admit that their achievements have not brought them the peace and serenity they desire. As many of us have already learned, the answer to peace does not lie in riches or power but somewhere else.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

If you find something funny you are not looking at it in a negative way. When we look for the humor in every situation and respond with humor whenever possible, we tend to blunt the tendency to feel negative about something. Instead we transform it into a positive emotion. When we do this we change the negative situation or the event, whatever it may be, into a positive event from our point of view.

Humor can also be thought of as a way of re-appraising a situation. Because you have thought of something in a humorous way, you have changed it into an emotionally positive event. You have intentionally placed yourself in your positive emotions when you chose humor as a response. Also, this allows you to send the information to the thinking center of your brain in order to develop an effective reply. Thinking about something instead of just reacting, tends to remove or reduce the emotional impact.

When you respond with humor you are able to actually shift from a negative emotion to a positive one just by the way you perceive and react to the event. Thinking it is funny when someone cuts in front of you in traffic will change your emotional response. By using humor, you're telling yourself that you refuse to take things too seriously. Humor reduces the seriousness of your thought. It shows that you can laugh at your failures. Humor laughs at our failures, but in an accepting and tolerant way. It helps you see the other side of things.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I treat all animals kindly.

Tuesday: Today I give thanks for the children of the world.

Wednesday: Today I hold peaceful loving thoughts for the world's leaders.

Thursday: Today I take time to sit and be peaceful.

Friday: Today I give life the light touch.

Saturday: Today I take time to enjoy and appreciate my family.

Sunday: Today I re-label my "mistakes" as lessons.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of A Peaceful New World and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at: www.DeanOfPeace.com

Additional Notes
 

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