Dove with Branch
July 21, 2014

Insights From

the Dean of Peace

 

Notes from the Dean's Desk
Dear Peacemaker,
 
      Welcome!
 

This weekly newsletter is available free by subscription. All copies are available on my website.

 

If you enjoy this newsletter and know someone who you think may enjoy it as well, please feel free to share it with them.

Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My daughter has married and moved to another state. The only contact I have is Christmas and birthday cards. I ask her to call but she doesn't. I miss her very much. What do you suggest? - Teresa in MA

 

Dear Teresa, The lessons she learned growing up apparently did not include keeping in close touch with her mother. Perhaps this is because you taught her to be independent. Now is the time to give her whatever love she will accept, and appreciate the person you have taught her to become. You can try to find a positive way to be in her life, but do not offer beyond what she is willing to accept. Perhaps unfortunately, our society does not include an obligation to care about our parents. - the Dean

 

Dear Dean, I make collages and like to hang them on my walls. My husband says that he does not like collages and refuses to allow them to be displayed in the home. We seem to be OK with everything else. He says that some of my pictures include old boyfriends and he doesn't want to be reminded of them. I have no love attachment to old boyfriends but I like be reminded of my fond memories which sometimes include them. Should I put away the old collages or replace some pictures just to make him happy? - Chandra in CO

 

Dear Chandra, Yes, no, and maybe. It isn't necessary to eliminate your collages just because of his problem and he needs to work on getting over his jealousy. To have a successful marriage he needs to learn to trust. On the other hand a little compassion may be in order. Perhaps a compromise, such as putting the old pictures away and creating new ones 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 part of a good relationship. - 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

It is a part of our nature to be violent. It is also a part of our nature to be angry, fearful, controlling, cheating, greedy, and all those things we associate with the unpleasant world that many of us see ourselves as living in. On the other hand it is also a part of our nature to be loving, caring, peaceful, sharing and joyful. We humans have the free will to be whichever of these things we choose to be at any given moment. In any given instance we always choose whichever of these things that our beliefs tell us we should choose. We choose what we do because we learn and believe that it is what we should do. We get angry simply because we should get angry in a certain situation. If we had learned to look at this same event or circumstances differently, we would have responded differently.

 

What if instead of judging each event by how we believe it should be, we change to judging it by the results it produces? If we look at things this way, then when things don't turn out the way we want we are not left with a feeling of being violated! Instead we would spend our energy looking for a new way to respond to the event that is in line with our greater goal of living peacefully and in harmony with others.

 

This is something that will not happen overnight, but can be and must be learned if we are to live in a peaceful world. The system of trying to make us all think and act the same has been tried and failed. This new way of thinking is the hope we have of making life joyful for all.

 

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 you will search for the reason and then change the belief that is causing you to feel

 

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 conduct workshops throughout the United States and Canada. These workshops 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."

 

If you are a charitable or religious organization and would like to reprint any of my articles please contact me for permission, which will be cheerfully granted.

 

If you know someone who might be interested in using any, or all of my regular newspaper columns please pass this information on to them. Or send me their e-mail address, or telephone number, and I will be happy to send them the information.

 

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

If you wish to no longer receive this newsletter please send a reply which includes "unsubscribe" and the existing subject line in the reply.

The subject line and the address to which it was sent must be included.

 

Contact Information

phone: 800-359-6015 fax:541-935-9361
web: lifewithoutanger.com
Join our mailing list!