Dove with Branch
November 29, 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 already a grandmother and my mother is still running my life! She suggests things like what I should cook for dinner and even what I should wear when I go shopping. She will even tell my husband that he should be wearing different clothes to work. I respect my mother but how do I get her to stop giving me advice? - Greta in NJ

Dear Greta, The first thing to do is to think carefully about whether you want her to stop giving you advice. If you just let her speak her mind and continue to make your own choices you don't need to be upset by what she says to you. Your other options run all the way from explaining that you feel ready to make your own choices now, to breaking off regular contact with her. It may be difficult to get her to change. Think carefully about learning to tolerate her behavior before you make a choice that damages an otherwise good relationship. - the Dean

Dear Dean, We live in Illinois and each summer we try to spend some time at each of our family homes in New Jersey. We enjoy our three weeks there a lot but we have a problem with my wife's parents. They plan too many events for us that it doesn't leave us enough time to do all the things we would really like to do. How can we find more time on our own without insulting them? - Bill in IL

Dear Bill, If you are going to make your decisions based on whether you insult them or not this may be difficult. I suggest you listen and accommodate them if you can make that work for you. Explain that you have other prior commitments when it won't. You can respect other's wishes and accommodate their good intentions when it works without letting them take control of your decisions. If being nice and just explaining your need or desire to do what you choose and let them keep trying to be helpful doesn't work for you, then perhaps you, your wife, or both of you, need to have a "heart to heart" with them. - 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

Most of us believe it is important to be right. We think it is bad to make mistakes and we don't want to be bad so we refuse to think that we might be making a mistake. When we think someone else is making a mistake we think it is important to correct them. Some of us even like the feeling of superiority we get when we are right and the other person is wrong. After all, in this society those who know all the answers have all the power.

When we do this we devalue the importance of relationships. Isn't a loving relationship more important than the accuracy of facts? If your partner tells someone you went out to dinner last Saturday is it important for you to correct her because it was actually Friday? Most people have learned to feel disturbed when someone corrects them. Why do we want to create this tension when it serves no purpose other than our need to be right?

Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? Do you want others around you to be happy? Ask yourself if there is some need other than your need to be right before you correct someone and you will avoid a lot of unnecessary conflict in your relationship with them. This applies especially to your mate. Let them be wrong unless doing so creates some kind of real problem. When you do have to make corrections always be loving about it. People who give love enjoy life much more than those who are perfect. People who get love from you will enjoy you much more than those you have shown the error of their statement.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

If you don't want to be angry at the world and what is happening in the world, then you need to make your world one of preferences. You can think: "This is the way I would like the world to be." And, "I will work to make the world the way I want it to be." And, "I enjoy doing this, this is my bliss, this is my way to change the world."

On the other hand, you could choose to carry a heavy negative charge on your emotions by thinking, "If the world isn't the way I want it to be, it is wrong." One of the keys to erasing anger from your life is, to delete the "musts" in your picture of the world. Be ready to accept the world for what it is. You can work to change the world when you are in disagreement with it, but accept it as it is for now.

Think of it as a world that you have a chance to improve, because you have a wonderful vision about how it could and should be. If you choose as your bliss working to make the world a better place, you will be better equipped to succeed by having a greater understanding of both yourself and the world.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think about other people in the world, and why they think differently than I do. I try to put myself in their shoes.

Tuesday: I accept the idea that it is okay for others to have different values than I do.

Wednesday: Today I think about the things in the world that I would like to be different.

Thursday: Today I think about which of the things in the world that I want to become involved in changing.

Friday: Today I select the things in the world that I am going to work to change.

Saturday: Today I think about what I must learn in order help create meaningful change.

Sunday: Today I become involved in creating meaningful change in my world.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of Life Without Anger 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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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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web: lifewithoutanger.com
 

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