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9/27/16

Letting Go of Anger, Part 1



We live in a painful that inflicts anger producing situations. How you respond determines your emotional, spiritual and physical well being. According to Dwight L. Carlson, M. D., anger and psychological problems are directly connected. Dr. Bernie S. Siegel asserts that anger and physical disease have an unswerving correlation. My experience tells me that anger and relationship difficulties are one and the same. Anger is a spiritual issue.

Here are a few thoughts on letting go of anger.

Be willing to change. Change is an inside job. Each person is self-determining and your approach to life is exactly what you want it to be. If it were not, you would change it. Relating to people in anger is a misguided attempt to control them to get your way. Since it does not really work, be willing to use a different approach.

Take personal responsibility for change. Just wanting something is not enough. It takes desire and discipline to determine destiny. Discipline is being personally responsible for your thoughts, your judgments, your prejudices, your words, your tone of voice, your facial expressions and your actions. Taking personal responsibility may, on occasion, mean literally biting your tongue. Because you have a thought does not mean you have to express it.

Insights into change. We easily lie to ourselves by thinking if we want something badly enough it will happen. And so we see ourselves as changing, when in reality we have rearranged our prejudices and put a new face on the same old problem.

Do not allow your emotions to rule. Emotions are fickle, often false, and always fast fleeting. When emotions rise, thinking plummets. When emotions rise, blood flow to the brain decreases resulting in irrational thoughts and irresponsible behavior. The more emotionally involved you are, the more aggressive the behavior. The more emotional attachment the greater the propensity for hurt. The more emotions are involved the more hasty the reaction.

Not all needs are unmet. Sometimes we feel we have been wronged when we have not. Sometimes we feel we have a right to be angry when we do not. We feel our needs have not been met when they have. Because you wanted steak and got a hotdog does not mean you have been treated unfairly. Because you overslept and was late to work does not mean the world is out to get you. Sometimes a person feels he has no way out when there are solutions. Because expectations are so high, if they are not met precisely, a person feels wronged, hurt and devalued. When emotions are overly involved, the pain and injustice becomes distorted.

Be objective. Take yourself out of the middle. Replace feelings with thinking – rational thinking. Carrying a chip on your shoulder lends to a slight infraction being taken as a personal affront. Instead of viewing others as out to ruin your day, accept human frailty for what it is; selfish and imperfect - your as well as theirs. Get honest and analyze the problem.

Begin to notice and put these suggestions into practice. We will look at more strategies next week. Share your ways of letting go with us.



9/20/16

Overcome Being Overwhelmed



Overcome being overwhelmed by recognizing the pattern. This pattern includes exaggerated thinking – “I have a million things to do” – confused emotions – “I’m so stupid” – relentless mind chatter and physical sensations of fatigue, frustration and fear.

Knowing that you want a change is easier than knowing what to do. We are intelligent beings. We are also emotional beings. When overwhelming emotions take over, thinking takes a holiday.

The secret to keeping our total behavior of thinking, doing, emoting and physiology is found in breathing. Slow. Deep. Purposeful. Deliberately. Allow incoming oxygen to calm the passion and send blood flow to the brain to re-engage rational thinking.

Think rationally about your to-do-list. Yes, several things demand your attention but it is nowhere near a million.

Gracious thinking about your self-esteem. You may have made a less than stellar choice, but you are not stupid.

Conscious, focused breathing calms the body’s systems to respond humanely. Use it for you to lessen opposition. Gently give it to your perceived adversaries. Without fanfare, allow him to take a minute to calm down. Do not demand answers.

In heightened emotions, we do not have answers anyway; we only have rationalizations that cloud rather than clarify. Or defenses that destroys rather than build.

The higher your energy level the more efficient your body – your total behavior. Focus helps you to prioritize your choices to pursue and to eliminate.

We become overwhelmed when we take things personally – as though we are the savior of the world – and it’s all about us to do or die.

We overcome when we come to terms that the stress from the situation is more about our own thinking than it is about the actual tasks at hand. That is not to discount the responsibilities of work and home and community involvements. It is to say that trying to do – or think about and plan for – at the same time is humanly impossible. It is too confusing; mind-boggling,

Go for excellence by doing the best you can do while in a state of calm learning. Let go of the paralyzing, stressing idea of perfectionism.

Don’t Cope. Overcome. Once you buy into being aware and put the awareness into practice, you become empowered - which is the highest form of power/control there is - internal rather than external; control of self rather than control of others.  When we are in control mode, our forced control over the others backfires into making them push back with equal or greater force (whether that force is aggressive or passive). When we give up control techniques we are in a much greater position to influence the offender to the positive.   


9/13/16

An Attitude Shift



In Science 101 we learned the structure of atoms. The nucleus of the atom contains a mix of positively charged protons along side of neutrally charged neutrons. Surrounding the nucleus of the atom is a cloud of negatively charged electrons.

Everything inside the nucleus of the atom is positive or neutral. Everything swirling around the nucleus of the atom is negative. I suggest the core of our God-given humanity is to be positive or neutral. But, like the atom, the world-swirl surrounding us is negatively charged.

The negatively charged electrons affect the structure of things. Science continually discovers new mysteries of the atom; seeing as true things never imagined (i.e. an atom can occupy two spaces at the same time).

Insight is a mysterious function that makes a huge difference in the way we view things. Insight can transform the negative into neutral or positive. Insight gives meaning in the midst of the negative swirl of life.

You are not as unhappy as you might think you are. You are in charge of your own happiness. Trying to parlay it to others is futile – as in expecting someone else to make you happy. They can contribute to your enjoyment of life, but you alone make yourself happy. It is done through finding inner joy even in the midst of difficulties.

Not all my needs have gone unmet. From the day of my birth until this present moment I have been surrounded by love (whether I recognized it or not). I have been nurtured and cared for. I (we) have had adequate - actually more than adequate - food, shelter, protection, supplies, money; the things we often mistake as necessities of life. How about you? Are your needs as unmet as your down-days project?

All we can give or receive is information. Receive information at face value without construing hidden agendas. Only give information that is truthful, respectful and for the good of all.

It is okay to not know. We are finite individuals and the scope of information is unfathomable. The more we learn about humanity, technology, space, minerals and on and on the greater the knowledge disparity grows. Over and above what we know is the expanse of our imaginations.

Choose to not be offended by disagreements. In any given exchange one brings to the table the totality of his life experiences. Are there UFO’s? What about life after death? How did they build the pyramids? There are too many variables – real and imagined - to be upset by one’s slant of the subject. Regardless of the view taken, his worth as a human being is neither diminished nor added to. When one is right or wrong, that is all s/he gets to be (not superior or inferior).

Be open to life. In childlike wonder embrace shifts with “Oh, yeah, I don’t know why I didn’t see that before?” Epiphany is an intuitive leap of understanding brought about through ordinary but striking occurrence. Epiphany is the awareness of the Divine at work in and through the mundane of life.

The law of gravity holds sway over all of us. Drag is the force that opposes movement through water or holds you down from jumping. It takes lift and thrust to overcome pull and drag. Not only can it be triumphed in aviation but also in our thinking.

Have a shift in attitude by attending Take Charge of Your Life Seminar at Central Texas College, Killeen, TX.  Take Charge of Your Life, Fall 2016, Page 6

9/6/16

Fun Filled School Days



Dr. William Glasser, founder of The Quality School, believes that nature gave us a gene that craves fun, and that this fun-need is satisfied through learning. Think about it. Children are born explorers, wanting to know what is out there and testing everything to see what it looks like, tastes like, feels like, sounds like or smells like.

The philosopher Socrates saw education as a spontaneous process. Although school definitely has its place, learning has more to do with living and experiences than with books and classrooms. Teachers are planters of ideas and cultivators of a person's own imagination. All a teacher can do is give information and explain its application. What you do with that information is up to you. Let's embrace it.

Attitude is a major player in successful learning. Education prepares one for an unknown future so develop a personal taste for learning and encourage your children to love learning. Our technological has grown exponentially because we, as a nation, refuse to settle for the status quo.

There is a direct correlation between a poor attitude and low achievement. A negative attitude breeds frustration and produces stress. See learning and life as a challenge to be met and overcome. Watch your self-talk. “I enjoy learning. I will understand this. I feel good about increasing my knowledge. Math is fun.”

Learning is not only obtaining knowledge but also knowing how to use that knowledge and how retrieve it at a later date. A disinterested student might question, “Why do I have to know this anyway?” Knowledge will make you a more interesting person and the world a more interesting place.

Learning is fun. Reflect on your most fun filled days. It is probably because you were learning something. Perhaps you were improving a skill, enjoying nature or improving an interpersonal relationship. Bottom line, you were learning. And enjoying.

Each person is wonderful, special, unique and important. The trouble comes when we expect others to treat us like we are wonderful, special, unique and important. The more you we see your good qualities and the more you see what is good about others, the more often you will perform accordingly. And life will reward you accordingly.

Make your school days quality by wanting to learn and by always doing your best. Get a good night’s sleep so you will be refreshed and ready for fun. When needed, be sure to ask your teacher for help. The teacher is your friend and co-partner in learning.