Dove with Branch
January 02, 2012 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 love to keep and display gifts that people have given me from the past. Some of the gifts were given to me by old boyfriends. My husband is afraid that I may still have an attachment to them. I wouldn't even think of them unless he mentioned it. I do like the gifts and don't want to throw them away. Should I do it anyway, just to make him happy? - Gabriela in CA

Dear Gabriela, The real problem seems to be your husband's jealousy. He should be working on getting over his jealousy. A successful marriage depends on trust. If he is willing to work on the problem you could help him out by giving away, or at least putting away the relevant gifts. Perhaps a compromise, such as throwing out the gifts might be helpful if he agrees to work on his problem in return. Neither of you are perfect. Helping each other to get better is the basis of a good relationship. - the Dean

Dear Dean, We have been married for eleven years. Every holiday my wife insists that we have dinner with her parents. I would be happy if we take turns but she says she doesn't enjoy dinner with my family. How can I get her to have holiday dinners with my family half of the time? - Wendell in MI

Dear Wendell, She may not be willing to go to your family but that shouldn't stop you from going. If you feel strongly that you should share the family dinners and she refuses you can go alone when it is your parent's turn. If you give in to her demands for the sake of the marriage then you may not have the kind of relationship you desire. If you want a relationship that is equal and she wants to be boss then something needs to change. Try to work with her to find an answer. Just letting her always decide what the two of you do is not good unless you want it that way, and obviously you don't. - 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

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."

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.

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 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

 

Contact Information

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

 

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