Dove with Branch
December 27, 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, Each year at Christmas we are committed to drive to my parent's home in Idaho to have Christmas with my parents. They live in Bonners Ferry and often the roads are treacherous. The trip is very stressful for us and we really would rather not go but feel obligated. Is there a way to deal with this that would not be so stressful? - Margie in AZ

Dear Margie, You can find a solution that is not stressful by simply deciding to choose (or create) one that is not stressful. You have many to choose from. For example you may decide to have "Christmas" with your parents at a time of the year that is less hectic, when you have more time to visit, and the roads are safer. Perhaps they can come and stay with you. You can decide to go anyway and give up the worries. The possibilities are too numerous to list. - the Dean

Dear Dean, Every holiday season we spent so much on decorations that we had little money and energy left for Christmas. We enjoyed our display being the envy of the neighborhood, but the cost seemed too high both in money and loving energy that is the point of the season. This year we put up a simple display from the materials at hand and spent our time enjoying the neighbors displays and complementing them on their artistry. We found our Christmas much more relaxing and joyful. - Sarah in IL

Dear Sarah, Good for you! When we find ourselves doing things to be envied instead of to give love it is time to reevaluate! - 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

One of the problems I see is that we continually buy into our own solutions to problems. We see a problem - run it through our belief system - collect the facts we think we need to make a decision and then go with it. The problem is that once we have made the decision we tend to accept it in our minds as the only "right answer." We put all of our efforts into implementing it, and into defending it whenever it is questioned by others. We often make ineffective decisions simply because we haven't considered all the facts; or because things don't work the way we think they will.

What if we made the solutions we decide on only tentative? What if the final test was always, "how is this working?" When we give up the emotional attachment to our belief that we know what the right answer is we focus on finding the best answer. Let's trade the need for the feeling that we are doing the right thing for the need to find the best solution.

This will produce better results for us and others around us. It will greatly reduce the emotional conflict in our life. It can also produce a great sense of satisfaction to know that we are always open to finding the best answer, and that we have always given it our best. A sense of knowing we have the "right" answer often leads to stress because of the perceived need to defend our answer. A sense of knowing we are searching for the best answer leads to reduction of stress because are no longer resisting alternatives.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

As we grow we are taught certain ideas of how the world is - by our society, and by those around us - our parents, our teachers, and our friends. We take all of this in and form our own idea of how the world is. We then form expectations of how things should happen in order to fit with our own special idea of how the world is. When things don't happen that way; when reality doesn't match our idea of what the world is or what we think it should be; we get fearful or angry.

We need to realize that our idea of how the "world is," is only our ideal world, as we see it, not the real world at all. If what is happening in the world doesn't conform to your idea of what should be happening, then take it as a clue that your ideal world does not actually match the real world. If you could accept the idea that what is happening in the real world is appropriate for the present state of the world, then you would have nothing to be angry about.

To change the world we start by accepting it as it is. It is a little bit like buying an old house and then fixing it up to make it our dream home. We start by accepting it for what it is now. We then go to work making it what we want it to be, and keep at it until the change is complete.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about something that a neighbor or associate does that upsets you and ask yourself why you are upset..

Tuesday: Think about this problem in relation to the bigger issue of living together in peace.

Wednesday: Think about the problem from your neighbor or associate's point of view.

Thursday: Consider possible positive solutions to the problem.

Friday: Look for a way to solve this problem to both you and your neighbor or associate's satisfaction.

Saturday: Choose the solution that you think will be the most effective.

Sunday: Implement the solution you have chosen.

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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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

 

Contact Information

phone: 800-359-6015 fax:541-935-9361
web: lifewithoutanger.com

 

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