- What if we raised a generation so that they learned to be “conflict literate?”
- What if we students in business, management, law, and even medicine learned how to turn conflict from a liability into an asset?
- What if all of us at diverse faith-based schools taught about other systems of belief?
- What if we created in every community a public space designed for dialogue?
- What if we developed news media that were a laboratory for negotiation and dialogue?
- What if those of us in education learned and applied the tools of the Mediator?
- What if we voters supported political candidates who ran campaigns that strengthened communities rather than dividing them to get the most votes?
- What if we encouraged the U.S. Congress and other national legislatures to have an Office of Facilitation?
Make sure you have periods of downtime and alone time. Become centered. Practice meditation, the most desirable tactic, or at the very least find time throughout the day to shut your eyes in a quiet place and take some deep breaths until you feel relaxed and centered. The best breathing technique, which we mentioned in connection with the workplace (this page), is to breathe in to a count of 4, then breathe out to a count of 6.
Remain active. Getting up and moving around throughout the day stimulates the vagus nerve, one of the principal pathways of the autonomic nervous system. Yoga is even more stimulating and is the best activity for switching from sympathetic overdrive to heightened parasympathetic activity.
Seek positive outlets. In this case, the word positive means anything that makes you happy. Making time to be happy is a whole-system strategy, but that’s dry and abstract. Happiness is the philosopher’s stone for turning a stressful situation into a healing one. In psychological terms, this is why the best way to build a happy life is to build happy days.
Rely on emotional support. Modern society is more and more isolating, which was true even before the Internet and video games greatly accelerated the problem. There is no substitute for emotional bonding, and one thing almost always found in happiness studies is that the happiest people spend an hour or even more per day being in contact, either personally or on the phone, with friends and family who mean the most to them.
Escape if you must. This is generally the hardest choice for most people, who will endure stressful situations long after it is evident that escaping and walking away is the right choice. Aggravated situations like domestic abuse are actually acute stressors. Significant life changes like divorce or switching careers must take many factors into account. However, on an everyday basis you should give yourself the freedom to walk away from heated arguments, malicious gossip, rude e-mails, perpetual complainers, worrywarts, and anyone who is openly criticizing you.
The Healing Self: A Revolutionary New Plan to Supercharge Your Immunity and Stay Well for Life by Deepak Chopra
Understanding and tolerance of other cultures is not a weakness, not a sign of inadequate patriotism, not an indication that we are rootless “citizens of nowhere.” In reality, it reflects our preparation for the world of tomorrow, where we will become ever more mixed as peoples, even as we study, value, and preserve our collective cultural heritage.
What will resonate with you about nurturing relationships ( including coach /mentor) in your own life will not necessarily be the same as what resonated with me. However, below is a summary of my key learnings about nurturing relationships that continue to clarify and enrichen my transition from confusion to self- discovery.
“Somewhere in our brains we carry a map of our relationships. It is our mother’s lap, our best friend’s holding hand, our lover’s embrace—all these we carry within ourselves when we are alone. Just knowing that these are there to hold us if we fall gives us a sense of peace.”
– Barbara Fredrickson, Psychologist
Clarity propels an organization. Not occasional clarity but pervasive, twenty-four-hour, in-your-face, take-no-prisoners clarity. Most people never perceive that this is lacking in their organization, but 90 percent of the time it is. Just open a few random emails on your company account, activate your brutal-vision, and read. The muddying messages are rampant. If people were brutally honest in their emails, the time we spend sorting through our in-boxes would surely decrease by half.
Please don’t be fooled by me. Don’t be fooled by the face I wear, for I wear a mask. I wear a thousand masks, masks that I’m afraid to take off and none of them are me. Pretending is an art that is second nature to me, but don’t be fooled, for God’s sake don’t be fooled.
I give you the impression I’m secure and that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without, that confidence is my name, coolness my game, that water is calm and I’m in command and that I need no one, but don’t believe me, please don’t believe me.
My surface may be smooth, but my surface is a mask–my every varying and ever concealing mask. Beneath it dwells the real confusion, fear and aloneness. Beneath lies my smugness, my complacency but I hide this–I don’t want anyone to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear being exposed. That’s why I frantically created a mask to hide behind– nonchalant sophisticated facades to help me pretend– to shield me from the glance that knows– but such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only salvation and I know it. That is if it’s followed by acceptance. If it’s followed by love, it’s the only thing that can liberate me from myself, from my own self built prison walls and from the barriers that I so painstakingly erect. It’s the only thing that will assure me of what I cannot assure myself, that I’m really worth while, but I don’t tell you this, I don’t dare–I’m afraid to.
I’m afraid that your glance will not be followed by acceptance and love. I’m afraid you’ll think less of me and you’ll laugh and your laugh will kill me. I’m afraid that deep down, I’m nothing and that I’m just no good and that you’ll see this and reject me. Continue reading
At the prodding of my friends, I am writing this story. My name is Mildred Hondorf. I am a former elementary school music teacher from DeMoines, Iowa.
I’ve always supplemented my income by teaching piano lessons — something I’ve done for over 30 years. Over the years I found that children have many levels of musical ability. I’ve never had the pleasure of having a protégé though I have taught some talented students.
However I’ve also had my share of what I call “musically challenged” pupils. One such student was Robby. Robby was 11 years old when his mother (a single mom) dropped him off for his first piano lesson. I prefer that students (especially boys!) begin at an earlier age, which I explained to Robby. But Robby said that it had always been his mother’s dream to hear him play the piano. So I took him as a student.
Well, Robby began with his piano lessons and from the beginning I thought it was a hopeless endeavor. As much as Robby tried, he lacked the sense of tone and basic rhythm needed to excel. But he dutifully reviewed his scales and some elementary pieces that I require all my students to learn.
Over the months he tried and tried while I listened and cringed and tried to encourage him. At the end of each weekly lesson he’d always say, “My mom’s going to hear me play some day.” But it seemed hopeless.
We are shaped by the people who surround us. Our joys are more pleasurable when they are cherished by our friends, our successes more enjoyable when they are applauded by those whose opinions we care about, our protests are less lonely and our indignation less unsure when shared by our supporters, our hatreds more corrosive when goaded by fellow zealots, our sorrows less burdensome when borne with our family.