Dove with Branch
November 10, 2008 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My daughter disobeys and refuses to follow my rules I set down for her. I sometimes get so upset at her that I scream at her, and have even slapped her on a few occasions. I am ashamed of myself. How can I stop this behavior? -Grace in GA

Dear Grace, You and your daughter have both learned strategies of responding that are not effective, and self-defeating. It seems impossible to stop because they have become an automatic response pattern that happens whenever you are "provoked." Just like when you buy a new car with different controls or get a new computer operating system you can learn a new response pattern. This is a serious problem. If you can't do it on your own or with the help of my book I suggest you seek counseling. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My sister and I have fought for years. We are very different and find it hard to see the other's point of view. We are middle aged. It is difficult to even talk to each other. I feel it is time we get over this and find a way to get along. How can I go about this? - Paul in TN

Dear Paul, You can start by accepting her as perfect just the way she is. Learn to think that it is okay that she has different beliefs and goals in life than you do. The next thing is to tell her that you have come to understand and are truly sorry for the way you have acted toward her. Next find time to show her that you care by visiting and being friendly whenever the opportunity arises. Do not beg forgiveness or push for togetherness. It will happen when she realizes that things have truly changed. - 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 our collective consciousness.

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

Failure always gives us the opportunity to try something else. One of the greatest challenges is to learn to accept not achieving our goal. We can learn to look at such disappointments as a signal to re-evaluate our goals and the methods of getting there. We can even look at it as an opportunity to pursue different goals.

Our perceptions are not facts. They are mirrors of our thoughts in that we choose what to focus on, and our belief system determines how we interpret the information. We get different interpretations because we have different beliefs. To change our interpretations we must change our beliefs.

The important thing to remember is that how we perceive a conversation with a loved one, the behavior of others, or our own personal performance depends on our unique frame of reference. If your perception produces a warm feeling great! But if it is upsetting, it is time to stop and review your perceptions to try to determine why you are upset. If you want your perceptions to deliver different results, you must make some changes. Learn to accept feeling upset as a signal that you are in need of a "perception adjustment."

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: When someone speaks to you notice how you feel about what they say.

Tuesday: Notice how you feel when someone disagrees with you.

Wednesday: Notice how you feel when a goal or desire is not realized.

Thursday: Think about what belief you have that makes you feel upset.

Friday: When your response is upsetting think about a way to feel about the same event that is not upsetting.

Saturday: Create a new belief that will allow you to feel positive about the upsetting event.

Sunday: Resolve to always find ways to create positive feelings about all of the events in your life.

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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