Celebrating change

Have you ever had a time when you anticipated the worst, only to discover a dramatic change for good?  I see it regularly with families.  People fighting one week often change to become peaceful, loving, and productive. How does this happen?  I believe they have learned to tap into what I call the fives C’s of Celebrating change:  Character, Commitment, Connection, Commincation, and Co-creative solutions.  Read more about these five C’s in the October Newsletter and listen in to our lively discussion on how they apply to our lives.  Just press the button to listen to the teleconference below.

MP3: 

Celebrating Change

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are in the middle of celebrating the fall harvest. We enjoy seeing the colors of the trees and the fruits of our hard work.  When I think of the harvest, I think of the successes I have seen in the couples and families with whom I work.  Every dream has seeding times, growing times, and harvesting times.

It is deeply gratifying to me to celebrate the harvest of families who have grown their relationships. This continues to be a source of inspiration, healing, laughter, and joy for me and helps to create the kind of caring community that is needed for well being and flourishing of everyone. I have discovered five well worth celebrating in creating 
successful change:  They are character, committment, connection, communication, and co-creative solutions.  Learn about these five aspects of change in my October newsletter.  Go to the seminars section and listen to the recording a lively teleconference on how these principles apply to your lives.

Celebrating Change

Lifetree News
Creating Prosperity with Harmony
Alice G. Vlietstra, Editor

October 2011

In This Issue:
1. Welcome
2. Five C’s for Celebrating Change
3. Conscious Relating
-
1.  Welcome

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are in the middle of celebrating the fall harvest. We enjoy seeing the colors of the trees and the fruits of our hard work.  When I think of the harvest, I think of the successes I have seen in the couples and families with whom I work.  Every dream has seeding times, growing times, and harvesting times.

It is deeply gratifying to me to celebrate the harvest of families who have grown their relationships. This continues to be a source of inspiration, healing, laughter, and joy for me and helps to create the kind of caring community that is needed for well being and flourishing of everyone. In this newsletter, I would like to share five C’s I have seen in families celebrating successful change.
 
2.  Five C’s for Celebrating Change

Character: 

From the ancient Greek philosophers to the recent work in Positive Psychology, one universal law of happiness and success remains. It was stated simply by Heraclitus   “Character is destiny.”  Character reflects those qualities we have within ourselves, as love, generosity, and wisdom, which honor our higher ideals in the best interest of all.   When faced with a challenge, we can choose to honor these values and grow or we can choose blame and shame. 

When we take responsibility, it leads to a deep sense of gratification and happiness, both for ourselves and others.  I find that when individuals and families bring in their problems, the character strengths that enable them to handle such are often right beneath the surface.  Take time to discover your strengths.  This will help you stay the course to create a more positive outcome.

Commitment: 

What is the major difference between those who succeed and those who do not?  I would say it is commitment, whether it is for business, marriage, or personal happiness. In a classic study headed by Linda Waite, a team of family researchers studied people who had described their marriage as “unhappy” or “very unhappy.”Of those who divorced, only 19% were happily remarried five years later. 
Those who stayed in the marriage, more than 70% were now happily or very happily married. This was true for the majority of the relationships as long as they did not have serious abuse. The relationships got happier not because the partners resolved problems, but because they stubbornly outlasted them. The effect of commitment is outstanding. 

Connection: 

The deepest connection that is needed for a successful relationship is your connection with yourself: mind, body, and spirit. You also need to know your values, needs, and desires.  Connecting within is critical for moving beyond power struggles.  Repeated patterns of conflict, most frequently, are not about the present but about old childhood patterns from the past. Because of the immaturity of the child’s mind, these patterns are often negative and limited. They do not reflect the truth about us, but rather the false assumptions of the child.  By connecting and naming them we can establish compassion for ourselves and others, put them in perspective, and replace them with our adult skills and strengths in the present. Then conflict can be used for learning and growth.

Communication:

Communication is most effective when it is positive.  As I have shared in the July newsletter, businesses flourish when the ratio of positive to negative statements is 3:1, relationships flourish when the ratio of positive to negative is 5:1. When our connections are positive, we are more able to acknowledge our strengths, to collaborate, to share resources, and tolerate minor infractions.    Positive emotions build upon the past and broaden our perspective. They help us to create solutions that work for all.

Co-Creative Solutions:

When you are more consciously aware of your needs and desires, your strengths, your vision and mission, you have the power to determine what a fulfilling relationship would look like.  We like to be in relationships where we can contribute our strengths to work together to serve a common goal.  Then small actions, the little things in life, can have a big impact.  Take time to celebrate them.

3 . Conscious Relating

Present day couples are searching for relationships that provide purpose and meaning as well as security.  They are searching for unions that honor individual uniqueness within the relationship.  Modern partnerships that are the most fulfilling are ones in which the couple shares a common purpose, has compatible values, good communication, and are mutually supportive (Guttmann, 2001).  Individuals want to be unique as well as connected.  The five C’s of celebrating change are opening a whole new territory of conscious relating that allows for more individual expression, peace, and harmony than we had before.  It is well worth the adventure of your discovery.  Join us to learn more about this process in our teleconference on Tuesday, October 25, 9:00 -10:00.  “The Five C’s of Celebrating Change” Check the sidebar for the number.

Warm Regards,

Dr. Alice

Does Divorce Make People Happy?  Findings from a study of Unhappy Marriages:  www.smartmarriages.com/does.divorce.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newsletter Name: 
Lifetree News

Celebrating Change

Lifetree News
Creating Prosperity with Harmony
Alice G. Vlietstra, Editor

October 2011

In This Issue:
1. Welcome
2. Five C’s for Celebrating Change
3. Conscious Relating
-
1.  Welcome

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are in the middle of celebrating the fall harvest. We enjoy seeing the colors of the trees and the fruits of our hard work.  When I think of the harvest, I think of the successes I have seen in the couples and families with whom I work.  Every dream has seeding times, growing times, and harvesting times.

It is deeply gratifying to me to celebrate the harvest of families who have grown their relationships. This continues to be a source of inspiration, healing, laughter, and joy for me and helps to create the kind of caring community that is needed for well being and flourishing of everyone. In this newsletter, I would like to share five C’s I have seen in families celebrating successful change.
 
2.  Five C’s for Celebrating Change

Character: 

From the ancient Greek philosophers to the recent work in Positive Psychology, one universal law of happiness and success remains. It was stated simply by Heraclitus   “Character is destiny.”  Character reflects those qualities we have within ourselves, as love, generosity, and wisdom, which honor our higher ideals in the best interest of all.   When faced with a challenge, we can choose to honor these values and grow or we can choose blame and shame. 

When we take responsibility, it leads to a deep sense of gratification and happiness, both for ourselves and others.  I find that when individuals and families bring in their problems, the character strengths that enable them to handle such are often right beneath the surface.  Take time to discover your strengths.  This will help you stay the course to create a more positive outcome.

Commitment: 

What is the major difference between those who succeed and those who do not?  I would say it is commitment, whether it is for business, marriage, or personal happiness. In a classic study headed by Linda Waite, a team of family researchers studied people who had described their marriage as “unhappy” or “very unhappy.”Of those who divorced, only 19% were happily remarried five years later. 
Those who stayed in the marriage, more than 70% were now happily or very happily married. This was true for the majority of the relationships as long as they did not have serious abuse. The relationships got happier not because the partners resolved problems, but because they stubbornly outlasted them. The effect of commitment is outstanding. 

Connection: 

The deepest connection that is needed for a successful relationship is your connection with yourself: mind, body, and spirit. You also need to know your values, needs, and desires.  Connecting within is critical for moving beyond power struggles.  Repeated patterns of conflict, most frequently, are not about the present but about old childhood patterns from the past. Because of the immaturity of the child’s mind, these patterns are often negative and limited. They do not reflect the truth about us, but rather the false assumptions of the child.  By connecting and naming them we can establish compassion for ourselves and others, put them in perspective, and replace them with our adult skills and strengths in the present. Then conflict can be used for learning and growth.

Communication:

Communication is most effective when it is positive.  As I have shared in the July newsletter, businesses flourish when the ratio of positive to negative statements is 3:1, relationships flourish when the ratio of positive to negative is 5:1. When our connections are positive, we are more able to acknowledge our strengths, to collaborate, to share resources, and tolerate minor infractions.    Positive emotions build upon the past and broaden our perspective. They help us to create solutions that work for all.

Co-Creative Solutions:

When you are more consciously aware of your needs and desires, your strengths, your vision and mission, you have the power to determine what a fulfilling relationship would look like.  We like to be in relationships where we can contribute our strengths to work together to serve a common goal.  Then small actions, the little things in life, can have a big impact.  Take time to celebrate them.

3 . Conscious Relating

Present day couples are searching for relationships that provide purpose and meaning as well as security.  They are searching for unions that honor individual uniqueness within the relationship.  Modern partnerships that are the most fulfilling are ones in which the couple shares a common purpose, has compatible values, good communication, and are mutually supportive (Guttmann, 2001).  Individuals want to be unique as well as connected.  The five C’s of celebrating change are opening a whole new territory of conscious relating that allows for more individual expression, peace, and harmony than we had before.  It is well worth the adventure of your discovery.  Join us to learn more about this process in our teleconference on Tuesday, October 25, 9:00 -10:00.  “The Five C’s of Celebrating Change” Check the sidebar for the number.

Warm Regards,

Dr. Alice

Does Divorce Make People Happy?  Findings from a study of Unhappy Marriages:  www.smartmarriages.com/does.divorce.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newsletter Name: 
Lifetree News

The Long Life of Character

Successful Relating
Fulfillment through Connection and Community
Alice G. Vlietstra, Ph.D.
October, 2009
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In this issue:
==============

1. Welcome
2. The Short Life of Materialism
3. The Long Life of Character
4. The Challenge
5. Announcements

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1. Welcome
=============
Welcome.  Fall is here.  In the Midwest US the trees are displaying their beautiful red, yellow, and orange colors.  It is the time of harvest, sharing, and celebrating life. 

The new harvest this year brings stories of people who are replacing their failed money serving mindset with the mindset serving life.  The idea that we might put life ahead of money, at first, may seem unrealistic, but not when you understand how we are wired. This is the focus of this e-newsletter. 

It will also be the focus of our upcoming complementary workshop November 10.  See the details at http://www.achieveprosperitywithharmony.eventbrite.com

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2.  The Short Life of Materialism  
==============

If you ask the average American, what do you need to be happy?  A TV watcher might say food, shelter, a car, and their favorite advertized items.  We do need a certain amount of food, clothes, and shelter to live.  A nice home is good and a bit beyond the bare necessities is nice.  But after the novelty wears off, we are left with an empty feeling.  Advertisers tell us we can fill the emptiness by shopping for more stuff.  This can keep the big corporations busy, but it may not make us happier.  What research shows, that in order to be truly happy, we don't need more stuff.  We need each other.    

Indeed, researchers, Kasser and Ryan, found that people who put money and materialism high on their list of priorities were at greater risk for anxiety, low self esteem, and depression.  Money-seekers also scored lower on tests of vitality and self-actualization. They state, "The more we seek satisfactions in material goods, the less we find it there." Why?  Our attention to material objects habituates with time, giving way to attention focused on more self-directed human goals. 

===============
3.  The Long Life of Character
===============

Beyond stuff, researchers find long-tem authentic happiness results from family, relationships, self-acceptance, and meaning. Scientists, using advanced imaging technology, report that the mere act of helping another triggers the brain's pleasure center and benefits our health by boosting our immune system and reducing our heart rate.  By contrast, negative emotions suppress our immune system, increase our heart rate, and prepare us to fight or flee.

Findings generally show beyond the minimum level of income needed to meet basic needs, participating in a cooperative caring community is a far better predictor of happiness and emotional health than the size of our paycheck or bank account. The desire of many Americans to create a society of healthy children, families, communities, and natural systems is no accident.  It is the expression of our deepest desires. 

Key to the experience of this kind of happiness is the development of character.  One of the first to identify the deeper qualities of happiness and success was the stoic philosopher,  Epictetus.  He observed that if there was one prime law to happiness and success, it was "Character is destiny." Freud made the same observation as do happiness researchers today. 

Developmentally, the healthy path to a fully formed consciousness is a progression from the survival based, self-centered, undifferentiated magical consciousness of the young infant to the fully mature, inclusive, and multidimensional consciousness of the wise elder.  It requires a balanced development of the higher brain based on reflection, community and caring with the primitive under socialized instinctual brain.  This occurs in the nurturing context of caring adults, families, and communities.   

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4. Facing the Challenge
================

The challenge is that a depersonalized economic system that has no attachment to place disrupts the bonds of community and family, making it difficult to promote the development of our higher character.  For example, leaving social learning of teens to peer groups, without adult leadership, limits the development of their morals.  We need to re-establish our local connections.  We can do this in our churches, synagogues, homes, and places where we can have local meetings.  Then we can take time to converse and become aware of the stories that have influenced us.  The women's movement provides an example of this effort. 

In the past the key to a woman's happiness was to fight the right man, marry him, and devote her life to his service.  A new gender story began with discussion circles in which women came together in their living rooms to share their stories.  Previously, if a woman did not conform to the prevailing story, she "had a problem."  As women got together, they discovered the flaw in this story. Soon, millions of women were spreading a new story that saw the feminine as a powerful force in transforming our earth.

The voluntary simplicity movement gives us another example of people discovering what really makes them happy.  You may discover that to be happy, you really do not need that much stuff.

The old story, "Money is destiny" has been a story of competition for scarce physical resources and survival of the fittest.  The consequence has been distrust, increased violence, hurt and pain.  It has ended up in an economy that is depersonalized and disrupts the bonds of community.  Do you want to keep this story? Or, would our rather get together to reexamine it as well as our essential nature? Are we really hedonistic little beasties or are we people who care?

The old truth, "Character is destiny," provides the grist for many cherished and long lived stories. Through them we discover what is important, share our compassion for each other, and what we have learned. They give us an opportunity to discover the true potentials of our human nature and a common vision of the world.  Add to this the communication technologies, now in place, that can meld our local conversations into a global one, ending isolation and competitive violence. We can change our human story from competition and exclusion to cooperation and inclusion.  Which would you prefer?

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Announcements
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Tuesday, November 10, 1-4:00 CDT Webster University. Change your story.  Explore, gain support and share.  Come to our workshop "Breakthroughs to Success:  Achieve Prosperity with Harmony."  We will have four speakers, myself, Sue Anderson who will help us with the challenges of stuff, Julie Hood who give us the
latest on critical internet technologies and Cynthia Isaac who will help us get moving and get things done.  It is NO CHARGE.  It will be held at Webster University.  Seating is limited.  Sign up at the link.
http://www.achieveprosperitywithharmony.eventbrite.com

Monday, October 26, 7:00 PM CDT Learn about new advances in Transforming Stress to Success."   Just Click this Link:
http://www.instantTeleseminar.com/?eventid=9535143

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© Copyright 2009 Alice Vlietstra.  All rights
reserved. The above material is copyrighted but
you may retransmit or distribute it to whomever you wish as long as not a single word is added or deleted, including the contact information.
However, you may not copy it to a web site without my permission.

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