Dove with Branch
March 15, 2010 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, I am a young grandmother. Bonnie has been my best friend since fourth grade. We have gone out to dinner every Friday night since we graduated from high school. Nothing has changed except that she has new friends and she wants to join their Friday night bowling league. She wants to have lunch on Thursdays instead. I am free then but I don't think I should have to give up my Friday dinner as our friendship has priority and seniority. - Marilyn in VA

Dear Marilyn, Even though humans are social people all of our adult relationships should be voluntary. If someone wants a relationship to be a certain way they should be free to be that way (within the law). We can't control what others do. When we demand them to be a certain way we just set ourselves up for disappointment. Your choice is to accept the changes. Come up with an alternative that works, or end the relationship. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My daughter has married a man who doesn't provide for their family. He is unable to hold a job. She works full time and still has to do all the housework. My daughter does everything and never complains. I no longer want this no-good in my home but my daughter won't come if he is not invited. What should I do about this? - Sandy in VA

Dear Sandy, Invite the whole family to your home on appropriate occasions. Visit your daughter (and the children) at her home and elsewhere when you can. If your daughter loves this man you must accept him to continue a loving relationship with your daughter. You do not have to love him but accept him as what he is; the man your daughter loves. Allow your daughter to make her own choices and accept them. If she is happy with her choice don't try to make her unhappy - 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

In the past our efforts have been primarily a resistance to war (ban the bomb). We have not found war good and we have been fighting a campaign against war and its horrors instead of going on a search for peace. Gandhi was successful in uniting and mobilizing his people to free them from the oppressive rule of the British. Once that immediate problem was solved the Hindus and the Muslims turned on each other and broke his heart. The people of India united to solve a common problem but they were not able to forget the perceived differences between themselves and live in peace. The path looks more promising for the work of Martin Luther King Jr., because we are still making measurable progress on racial equality. However many of us would like to see us moving forward at a faster pace.

Until now, perhaps no other path was possible because we had not yet developed a sufficient amount of peace in our individual hearts to be able to experience peace in the world. Remember, no matter how much we think we might want something we are still going to out-picture the kind of world that we feel on the inside. The answer to our problem will not appear until we have sufficient awareness to understand it. The answer is already there, we just haven't seen it yet.

Theoretically this shift in awareness could happen overnight. However, from my experience I believe there is still a lot of work yet to be done. When enough of us are able to find that elusive peace in our heart then the change will happen rather quickly.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Once we habituate behavior, we find it is difficult to change. Once we create or accept responses based on our negative emotions, we often hold onto them and have difficulty giving them up. Once behavior becomes habitual, avoiding it becomes a challenge - even when we know it's the right thing to do. Acting in the way we always have will obviously feel "natural" to us. But when we commit to and make a plan for changing that behavior, so that a new positive way of responding can take its place, that new behavior will soon become "natural."

With hard work and practice, we can change our behavior. Forcefully, vigorously, and powerfully work at creating better thinking, healthier feelings, and more productive actions. Do this now, not later. For most people, it won't take very long to no longer feel negative about many things. But keep working on change, you will always continue to improve, even if you never become absolutely perfect at responding in the desired way. And remember that increasing the effort you put into changing will shorten the time it takes you to do so. < p align="justify">

Rehearsing a desired behavior is almost as good as doing the real thing. By repeating an action again and again, you create a new path in your brain and use it until the new response becomes habitual. Scientists refer to this as creating a new neural path. In this sense the brain doesn't know the difference between "real" and "rehearsed" behavior. The process is similar to that of memorizing a poem or improving on your golf swing. The more times you practice (or rehearse) the poem, the swing, or the positive response, the closer you get to that behavior becoming automatic.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about something that always upsets you. Determine the belief you have that makes you feel that way.

Tuesday: Create a new belief that will allow you to no longer be upset when the same event happens.

Wednesday: Rehearse, practice and establish this new belief until it becomes your natural response.

Thursday: Think about someone whose behavior frequently upsets you. Determine the belief you have that makes you feel that way.

Friday: Develop a new way of thinking about that person's behavior so that it will no longer upset you.

Saturday: Rehearse, practice and establish this new belief until it becomes your natural response.

Sunday: Resolve that whenever you become upset that you will search for the reason and then change the belief that is causing you to feel upset.

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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Past issues of this newsletter are archived on my website.

I welcome your suggestion or comments. If you have a question that you would like addressed in the Ask the Dean? column feel free to send them to drdean@lifewithoutanger.com

 

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