Relationships

The Crazy Idea I Didn’t Know I Believed

LightIt wasn’t until a job training that focused on “positive discipline” for children that I realized I was walking around with an insane idea that greatly affected my relationships.

A slide in the presentation read, “It’s a crazy idea, really: to make children do better, they have to feel worse.”

Have you ever unknowingly operated from this crazy idea?  I know I have.  When I care about someone deeply and want their behavior to change, for their benefit or my own, I make them feel bad about it.  It sounds harsh, and consciously of course I wouldn’t try to make a loved one feel worse.  But up until this idea was exposed to me in such a clear manner, I was making people feel worse when trying to “help” them.

Human beings do this all the time, and not just when disciplining children.  We do this with our spouses, siblings, friends, and co-workers.

Jane Nelsen, author of the Positive Discipline series, talks about the deep roots of sprouting behavioral issues in children.  But how can we react when encountered with an adult close to us whose behavior we want to change?

That question cannot be answered in one small post.  But there are a few essential steps before you go about trying.

Firstly, take a look at the “man in the mirror.”  Ask yourself what parts of the issue bothering you, do you contain within yourself.

Then completely accept the other person as they are, and forgive them.

Lastly, become utterly present.  Let go of the unhappy story you are telling yourself and instead focus on the feeling of your hands and feet.  Feel the inhale and exhale of your breath.

While this won’t necessarily change someone else’s behavior, it will change yours.  Whatever you do in a state of presence will be positive and productive for everyone.  Of course the consequences of this presence will not be known until it is tried and tested.  I will attempt these steps the next time I feel the impulse to change someone else’s behavior through the old, criticizing manner. Comment and let me know how it goes for you!

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consciousness, spirituality

How The Mind Convinces Itself It’s Correct

This morning at work I experienced technical difficulties with the projector.  It was the last day of class, centered around the movie “Lilo and Stitch,” and the projector had always worked fine before.  After several minutes of unsuccessful troubleshooting, and with class about to begin, I felt reaction rising up inside of me.  I was frustrated and about to freak out.

The reaction I experienced was brief and subsided as I made the decision to have an enjoyable last day, and ask for assistance. Yet, however brief, the pull of reaction was strong, and it was to an inanimate object in a low-pressure situation.  How strongly can egoic reaction pull a person in when the unfavorable situation is caused by another person?  When other people act in a way that causes the voice in our heads to start condemning, we experience the beginnings of a reaction caused by the ego.  Some people manage to live mainly through egoic reaction, and over time it deadens all of life, leaving the person unable to enjoy any situation and experience their true nature.

I love this video because it is so clear, and beautifully manages to snap me out of the voice in my head.  The truth to which Eckhart Tolle speaks here, can have the power to completely change any life that has been taken over by reaction.

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