Posts Tagged ‘internet radio’

MAD, SAD, OR GLAD: THE OPTIONS

We all get angry from time-to-time. Sometimes our anger is righteous, that is to say it is justifiable and other times without valid cause. For instance, imagine your child is late returning from an evening basketball game. He does not call to let you know that the game went into overtime. You’re unable to reach him and become fearful that something awful may have happened to him. It was also agreed upon that he would call if he was going to be late. Your trust has been violated in addition to the fact that you are frantic (fear: a root cause of anger). Most would agree that anger under these circumstances is an appropriate response.

An unjustifiable cause of anger can occur when we have unfair expectations of others. For example: we expect that every family member share equally in the care of their elderly parents. If the majority of the burden falls upon one member for whatever reason, that person may become irate and resentful of the others. However, perhaps the others are not logistically able to assist equally. Or their relationship may not be as strong as the primary caregiver, thereby dictating to them that their obligations are not as compulsory. To expect that others share the same values, commitment or goals as we do is unrealistic. Unmet expectations lead to anger and bitterness.

I’ve found myself in the latter situation. As my parents aged, they needed more care. However, the sibling who lived closest to them supplied sporadic care at best. I chose to put aside a minimum of one day every week to be with them, caring for whatever needs they had at each stage in their life. Over the course of twenty years, their needs increased and at times I felt overwhelmed and exhausted. I had to make a choice: I could be mad at the other sibling for not being more helpful or I could be sad that she was missing such a wonderful opportunity to care for two of the most loving parents ever created. I chose to feel sad for her rather than mad. Anger is judgmental and poses a threat to my emotional and physical well-being as well as interfering with my ability to live a serene life. Sadness, on the other hand, does neither. As long as I do not allow it to consume me, being sad can soften my heart with compassion towards her and prevents bitterness from manifesting.

The second alternative is to be glad. While this might sound like an unusual substitution for being angry, it is a very valid one. Regardless of life’s circumstances, I am always given the opportunity to be joyful. I can view this perceived imbalance of responsibility as a chance for me to learn to be more understanding, patient, kind, forgiving, respectful, and non judgmental. After, who am I to demand like attitudes or behaviors from anyone? Who am I to impose my way on another? I am here to do what I believe to be right; to do what God expects me to do; to follow my heart and my life’s path. My sibling is not on the same journey as I and I must respect her right to do what she needs to do. In this regard, I can find appreciation and happiness in an opportunity to further my spiritual development.

One is always free to change how they feel simply by refocusing their attention in a different manner. I can focus on what I am unhappy about, I can judge and label the other party, I can claim that the situation is unfair and imbalanced, and I can also choose to feel angry and sorry for myself. Or I can view the other person from a place of sadness that they are unaware of what they are missing out on; that they are misguided or resistant to embracing a powerful spiritual opportunity; that they are not fully living from a place of love and generosity as they appear to be more consumed with their own lives than that of their parents. Changing my thought process, my internal dialogue – what I say to myself about them and the situation – allows me to avoid the anger that comes from judgment and replace it with compassion that arises out of sadness for their misguided actions. I can then refocus my thoughts on the valuable lessons I’ve just acquired, the spiritual growth spurt I’ve enjoyed, and the many blessings surrounding me that I am forever grateful for.

Mad, sad or glad: the choice is yours. Choose your thoughts; choose your feelings. It’s entirely up to you.

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DIFFUSING FAMILY TENSION

I’ve spent over twenty years working with families as a spiritual life coach. Many of my clients divulge painful or embarrassing situations that their families are struggling with, believing there must be something wrong with them since other families they know appear so well adjusted. I assure them that even in the most seemingly normal families there are often veiled matters of concern. Dealing with tension and strife in our family units can present unique challenges. In our social environments we can more easily disengage or remove ourselves from problematic circumstances. But when your sister marries someone who defines the very essence of drama, exiting may not be a logical option. Is there a way families can reduce the amount to tension between them? While we may not be able to completely eliminate it, we most certainly can take measures to make family interactions more enjoyable.

1. Always be polite and cordial to every family member, even those you may not be particularly fond of. Avoid ignoring or showing favoritism as it can easily lead to hurt feelings, jealousy, and resentment.
2. In disagreements, refrain from using the terms right and wrong. Leave your ego out of all discussions and respect each person’s position.
3. Don’t second guess other people’s motives for what they are saying or doing. If you are uncertain, either give them the benefit of the doubt or ask questions to gain further clarity.
4. Avoid engaging in hot topics. If someone initiates a discussion known to evoke intense emotions, redirect the conversation to a more neutral issue. Likewise in regard to fuel-injected statements, those comments that are designed to anger the other person: “You Always…”, “I Never…”, “You have a problem!” “ANY” Words: Always, Never, and You can be toxic in conversations. Ban them from your vocabulary.
5. If you have an issue with a particular family member discuss it with them in private. Do not invite others into the conversation. Respect their privacy. Remember: too many cooks spoil the soup. Be respectful by refusing to gossip or speak unkindly about the individual with others as well.
6. Never interfere with the relationship between one family member and another. If you do not care for someone, at the very least be tolerant of others who still do.
7. Leave the past where it belongs. Do not dredge up old issues or reopen past wounds. Address current issues only.
8. If you find yourself becoming upset with someone, stop and discern what is really troubling you. Very often it has nothing to do with the other party. They may be triggering an unresolved issue within you that needs healing.
9. Whenever possible and appropriate, use humor as a way of diffusing tension. -appropriate being the optimum word.
10. In any situation, we have the option of being an instigator, participant, or healer of family tension. Always choose the latter. Be the voice of reason, the peacemaker, the example for others to follow. And if for some reason you cannot contribute to the well-being of your family then at the very least do not contaminate it further.

Family members may not always cooperate with your efforts. But remember: you are not here for their approval, you are here to please God. In the words of St. Francis: “Lord make me an instrument of your peace.”

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html
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The 15 Minute Conflict Resolution Solution

I abhor arguing. It’s a waste of precious time and energy and robs me of my serenity. Conflict, however, is horse of another color. Conflict occurs daily in each of our lives. It simply means that there is a disagreement, a difference of opinion. My husband and I engage in disputes on a regular basis yet interestingly enough have had fewer than five arguments in our eighteen year marriage. Unlike popular opinion, conflict is not synonymous with fighting. I’m willing to engage in a discussion but will never allow it to escalate into a battle. Let me explain by first clarifying the words I’m referring to: conflict is two opposing forces; to argue is to give reason for or against something, to prove or try to prove (this often entails the need to be right); fighting seeks to gain authority over another by way of struggle, a hostile encounter between two parties.

Let’s take a closer look at each. Two people, each with a different set of beliefs, preferences, needs, or goals enter into a conversation: a wife dreams of traveling around the world while her husband wants to settle down and have a family – conflict. One person is raised Christian, another Jew, and yet another with no beliefs in a higher power form a friendship and share their beliefs – conflict. Conflict even occurs in nature: a sun shower, salmon swimming upstream to lay their eggs, a collision of warm air with a cold front. The difference between human discord and natural divergence is that in nature there is no ego to complicate matters. Humans have an inherent need to be right, to win in order to feel good about themselves, to raise their sense of worth. Nature on the other hand simply allows differences to occur and works within the context of its ever changing circumstances. Yet when two creatures of the human species disagree ego wages war on the so-called offending party, prepared to prove it’s superiority and claim victory over its opponent. What begins as a simple disagreement quickly rivals The War of the Roses.

But there is an alternative. Many disagreements can be readily resolved in a matter of minutes by adhering to the following fifteen minute protocol:
1. Allow each party sixty seconds (that’s right: one measly minute) to state their position. This prevents the dialogue from becoming contaminated with blame and excuses or veering off track. Total time: two minutes.
2. Each party is allotted thirty seconds to state their desired outcome, what they would ideally like to see happen. Total time: one minute.
3. Both parties must contribute a minimum of three possible solutions. This allows for six potentially workable resolutions. Each person is permitted three minutes. Total time: six minutes.
4. Together, extract the best components of each suggestion and determine which elements can successfully be incorporated into the final solution. Tweak if necessary. Total time: six minutes.

Approximately 13% of the total time focuses on the challenging situation leaving a whopping 87% to finding a workable and mutually satisfying remedy.
The advantages of a Fifteen Minute Conflict Resolution Solution is that by moving the process along quickly one dramatically reduces the chances that the situation will escalate into an argument or fight. The mind must remain focused on finding a solution rather than concerning itself with being right. Time is of the essence and one cannot afford to become distracted by ego. Putting this issue to rest allows both sides to move forward to the more enjoyable aspects of living. Short and sweet = complete. Pretty cool, don’t you agree?

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html
Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://www.iheart.com/talk/show/53-Anger-911-Radio/
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