Dove with Branch
August 10, 2009 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 mother recently passed away a month ago. I am having a difficult time getting over the loss. My sister doesn't seem to be affected by it. She continues to attend social events and seems to be enjoying life much as before. How can she do this? Should I speak to her about her behavior and how disrespectful she is to mother? - Grace in MD

Dear Grace, Your sister might be able to give you some helpful tips for getting over the loss of your mother. We all grieve in our own way and our own time. The sooner we are able to Let go and get on with our life the better our life will be. When we have a loss if we want to have a happy life the object is to get over it as soon as possible. There is no required or expected way to grieve. You are entitled to grieve as long as you want but you should not be asking or expecting others to grieve in the same way you do. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My mother has never approved of my husband. She thinks he is not good enough for me, or to me. I knew this when I married him. He is good to me! I love him and love being with him. He drinks but only socially. My mother refuses to even speak to him because of this. She won't even let him come to her home but invites only me and the children. How can I get my mother to accept him? - Joyce in AZ

Dear Joyce, Your mother is entitled to choose whether she accepts your husband or not. It would be helpful if you could accept that. Let your mother know you are firm in your choice and that you love them both and ask her if she could try to respect your choice. That is about the best you can do. If you feel the need, ask her if she would keep her opinions to her self. Prepare to love them both and not let yourself be disturbed by your mother's honest feelings. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: 90022 Sheffler Rd., Elmira, OR 97437, or visit www.DeanOfPeace.com. to submit by e-mail.

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

What if we elected politicians whose job was to decide for the best interest of our society as a whole, instead of the people who voted for them? Unless we are among the lucky, powerful or rich ones who win the election we end up the losers in our present way of choosing representatives. This means that most of us end up losers while the system continues to work to the benefit of the strong and the powerful. When we have opportunities to reduce that power by such things as reducing lobbying influence or campaign spending we often fail to take advantage of that opportunity. We have learned to focus on "What's in it for me?"

The concern of the government and of those who govern should be primarily for our society as a whole. If it is not then it becomes divisive and wasteful. We will not have a peaceful and productive society until we focus on what is best for all of us, instead of what is best for us personally.

A good example of this is the desire to keep making weapons of war simply because someone will lose a job if we quit making them. Another good example is the concept many hold that if "Federal Money" is available then we should get it and spend it. We make our judgments based on the availability of the money rather than whether this is the most effective way to spend it. When we do this those who get the money win, and the rest of us lose. This is not a good way to run a society. Let's start electing representatives who are good at deciding for the best interest of all and who at least hold the interests of all that they represent above the dictates of their party.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

All of the stuff that happens around us is just the game of life. Accept it as such. You are always free to start playing the game differently at any time. Choose to play the game in a way that feels good to you - and learn to quit paying so much attention to things that upset you. Our most natural state of mind is contentment and joy. Believe that every experience will be a positive experience in your life. It is at the very least a lesson that is helpful to learn. If we look at things in this positive way, we can benefit from everything that happens to us. Be grateful for each life lesson, and for every opportunity to learn.

Realize that the lesson is happening for a reason and that if it keeps happening to you that you probably haven't learned the point of the lesson yet.

Cut some of the drama out of your thinking, "I can't stand it." But you can and you do. It is just an exaggeration. When we dramatize, we just increase the stress in an otherwise already stressful situation. We benefit by just accepting things, without adding to the problem by making things worse in our mind. We can add a lot of negative emotion when we dramatize. Things we don't want to happen are going to happen. You will feel much better if you accept them as they are. Once you are fully able to convince yourself that you can stand whatever comes along, you will eliminate the horrors in your life. You will be left only with inconveniences, big and small.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how you would like your life to be.

Tuesday: Think about what you would have to do to make your life the way you would like it to be.

Wednesday: Choose to find the good in everything that happens in your life.

Thursday: Resolve not to dramatize or exaggerate your experiences.

Friday: Resolve to learn from every experience in your life.

Saturday: Resolve that you can accept any experience in your life.

Sunday: Resolve that you can handle any experience 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
 

The World Emotional Literacy League in conjunction with World Without Anger and Lumbini Buddhist University has taken on the task of introducing emotional literacy training in the educational system of Nepal nationwide. In support of that program I will be conducting workshops throughout the United States and Canada. These workshops will provide an introduction to the emotional skills training program as well as an introduction to establishing emotional skills training programs in your local area. The program and my workshops are based on my textbook "Emotional Intelligence - Taking Control of Your Life."

I have taken on the task of supporting the teaching of emotional skills training in the educational system with the trust and hope, that many in your community will be able to share in the vision of this great work, and join us in this amazing project. We are promoting a "Sponsor a School" program to raise awareness and support throughout the U.S. & Canada If you have any interest in the program and/or having a workshop in your area. Contact me for additional information.

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