Dove with Branch
May 11, 2015

Insights From

the Dean of Peace

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

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I work in San Francisco but I live in Novato. I really enjoy my work, but the commute is miserable. Sometimes it takes over two hours to get home from work. My family is suffering because I arrive home late and in a bad mood. Do you have any suggestions? - Frank in CA

 

Dear Frank, The basic rule in dealing with life's problems is - accept it, change it, leave it, if not then accept it, or experience misery. You have gone directly to the last step. Go back to the second step and look for solutions such as moving, changing your or your family's hours, or working at home. If that doesn't solve your problem then consider finding another employer or work that will fulfill your needs. If that doesn't work find a way to accept the commute. Perhaps you can find some way to enjoy this period such as listening to educational or music CDs, taking a course, or writing a book. For the well being of both you and your family find a way to avoid the misery. - the Dean

 

Dear Dean, When I was young my stepfather sexually abused me for years. This was never dealt with or reported to authorities and my mother still lives with him. The problem is that I am still greatly disturbed by this and it is messing up my life. I have no money for counseling. What do you suggest? - Cindy in NJ

 

Dear Cindy, You can afford counseling because there are places where you can find free counseling. Check with your church, city or county offices or simply look in the newspaper or phone book for what support services are available in your area. As long as you are unable to forgive and feel victimized by the event you will not be able to enjoy a happy present life. What happened is in the past, and you live in the present. It is not necessary to allow the past to mess up the present. You will be able to stop suffering as soon as you learn how. It is time to learn that you are no longer damaged. - 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

As individuals we always make choices according to our beliefs. If we believe that the world is a dangerous place, and that everyone is out to get us, then we act accordingly. And the world will respond accordingly. Things will always end up being the way we think they are - just because we think they are that way. When we don't believe that we can have the things we want, then we won't have them. When we think this way we create for ourselves an un-enjoyable life.

 

Most of us want to have peace in our life and in the world as well. The problem is we view the world as a place where others want to take advantage of us or rule over us. Many others see the world in the same way. As a result we end up distrusting the motives of others and believe we have to defend ourselves from them. Most people want to be loved but don't act loving! All we have to do to have a peaceful world is to believe and act as if that is what everyone wants.

 

When someone does a bad thing, what we really want is that they never do such a thing again. If we search together for a new way of responding we can solve this problem. When we believe that they must be punished for their act; and respond accordingly; they take it as an act of aggression, and vow to continue the fight. When they learn to trust our peaceful motives they will respond with trust and we can then solve our differences in a loving way.

 

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We know our opinions stem from our thoughts, not from external truth. So, perhaps we shouldn't go to battle over our truths as we so often do. Although deeply held, your truths are not necessarily those of others. When you come to terms with this reality and place feeling good above the need to be right, you'll be taking a giant step toward eradicating the angry conflicts in your life.

 

The need to be right is also the need to prevail. We live in a competitive society, and we like to be winners. Part of being right is winning the conflict. Realize this, and know that your desire to be right is your ego trying to win another contest. Reframe your thinking to accept the idea that we are all in this together. Expect that others will think differently and that their perception of events will not be the same as yours. Accept their differences with joy. If we were all the same it would be like living in "Pleasantville," the movie about life in the suburbs where everything is the same - dull, and colorless.

 

So how might you change your way of looking at things to take into consideration someone else's perceptions - and to wind up with a more harmonious result? Imagine someone using a cell phone in a restaurant where you are having dinner. They are chatting away somewhat loudly and this upsets you because you think they are making too much noise and being rude. But what if you came up with a new way of looking at the same situation - forced yourself, in other words, to perceive this unpleasant situation in a new, more pleasant light. That light might look something like this. "I'm going to imagine that this cell phone person is simply having a conversation with a real live dinner guest, and he is speaking as loudly as he is in fact speaking on the phone. I wouldn't be disturbed by the live conversation scenario - so why should I be disturbed by the cell phone exchange?" In this example by changing our perception of the event, we have succeeded in changing our response to it - from angry to accepting.

 

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I listen to peaceful music.

 

Tuesday: Today I release stress.

 

Wednesday: Today I speak in a calm and loving tone of voice.

 

Thursday: Today I praise someone for their efforts.

 

Friday: Today I use words that lift and inspire me.

 

Saturday: Today I speak my truth, honestly and from the heart.

 

Sunday: Today I commit an act of kindness toward our planet.

 

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

 

Contact Information

phone: 541-935-3647
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