Continuing the Legacy

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Carleen Glasser, wife and partner of the late William Glasser, M.D., worked by his side writing and lecturing for nearly twenty, productive years. Dr. Glasser enthusiastically, shared every new idea he had with her. Theirs was not only a very happy marriage, they were inseparable partners. She had the honor of editing eleven of his most recent books and they co-authored four books together. During that time, Carleen, having an Education/ Counseling background, also created Choice Theory related children’s workbooks, class meeting lesson plans and an online course for teachers. Dr. Glasser included her in almost all of his many speaking engagements around the world as a co-speaker and role-player. That they enjoyed each other and the work they shared was quite apparent in the many videos that were made of their talks and role-plays.

Now, Carleen is dedicating her life to the preservation of her dear, late husband’s legacy. She is teaching what he created, the new Reality Therapy based on Choice Theory, the Psychology of Personal Freedom, to as many people as are interested. She is an enthusiastic presenter, who is passionate about these ideas and has a unique base of information to share which could only come from one source, William Glasser, himself.

Learn more about Carleen Glasser at our Mental Health & Happiness Summit, October 10th.


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Kindness Always

One Million Acts Of Kindness is a goal. A goal for each person to individually perform One Million Acts Of Kindness in their life. Can you imagine a greater goal for one’s life? It is a constant mind-set of kindness every day of your life for the next fifty-five years. Doing for others and kindness in your heart for everyone. It is my wish that you will dedicate your life to a charity… finding the passion in your heart for something or someone in need.

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As a father of three college age kids I am concerned for the world in which all kids will live. A great way to create a safer, more caring world is for everyone to start their lifetime goal of One Million Acts Of Kindness. So I bought a bus, had about sixty family members, friends and neighbors help paint it and began a ten year journey with my Boston Terrier, Bogart, to college campuses across the country hoping to convince as many of you as possible about this much needed movement for this world. I love you guys too much to sit back and not do anything about this. Let’s start a kindness movement in this country today to change the direction this world is headed!! You are the change that this world needs.
—  Bob Votruba, http://www.onemillionactsofkindness.com/

Learn more about this amazing man and his journey at our Mental Health & Happiness Summit, October 10th.


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Birth of a Vision

By Dr. Ken Larsen (Originally published on September 25, 2014)

I received an email one morning not too long ago.  It was from an excited Kim Olver.  Kim was excited over a vision, a dream, an idea that seemed to have been born fully formed in her fertile mind.

A summit.  A gathering of like minds with gifts to share.  Gifts that have benefited many through books, articles, and interviews.

vision

These gifts that Kim wanted to bring together to share with the world were gifts that contributed to the mental health and happiness of others.  She wanted to find a way to make those gifts more available to more people.  What seemed like the perfect way to do this would be to bring these people together over a 24 hour period and broadcast interviews with these gifted people.  Broadcast in the most ambitious sense of the word.  Broadcast to the whole world!

Kim did what Kim does very well.  She shared her vision with others she knew.  She enlisted the help and support of people she needed to bring the dream into a waking reality.

She believed it could be done, even if she didn’t know exactly how it could be done.

The team she pulled together investigated possibilities and resources.  The team examined many possible ways to make this Summit a reality.  Kim and Dr. Nancy Buck went to work to recruit guest speakers who would contribute the essential component of the summit: people with recognized gifts in helping others achieve mental health and happiness in their lives.

The pressure was on to bring the dream together to coincide with World Mental Health day on October 10th.

After some trial and error, the technology available through Google’s “Hangouts on Air” emerged as the medium of choice to carry the Summit around the world.

The work of recruiting speakers and others, the challenge of organizing and planning, and the tireless work of team members are awakening Kim’s dream into reality.  The Summit on Mental Health and Happiness will be presented during the entire 24 period of World Mental Health day.  The Summit will be free, online and emanating from several points around our world, making it a truly global, cross cultural event.

Be a participant and a witness to this pioneering effort.  Register so you can tell  your children and grandchildren you were part of the birth of this wonderful vision to connect us around the world through insights into achieving mental health and happiness.

For more information and to register about this FREE summit go to http://www.mentalhealthandhappiness.com/MHHsummit2016.html

 

Loving What Is

By Dr. Nancy Buck

One of the biggest causes of mental upset and unhappiness comes from our own making. Every time we resist what is actually happening right now in real life we make our own distress and mental discomfort.

You wake up to discover that it is a rainy day. You were hoping for a sunny day to enjoy your morning walk. Boy that is annoying! You’re really trying to get into the habit of getting outside everyday to walk and quiet  your mind. And now you can’t go!

What a perfect evening you had planned. You and a friend were going to have a lovely meal together then go see a movie. You were really looking forward to this. But your friend calls to cancel at the last minute. Now what? You’re fun evening is destroyed. Can you ever rely on this friend to come through?

Oh my gosh. You realize you’re getting sick – again! How many colds does that make for you since the fall? Does your body ever cooperate? You’re really being conscientious, taking special care of your diet, your exercise, your work out routines. And still you keep getting sick.

These are just a few examples of what may happen when what we get is very different from what we want. Upset, frustration, anger and disappointment are not unusual feelings.

But remaining in this same emotional spot long after the disappointment is over then becomes a choice. And with that choice comes the persistence in resisting what is actually happening now. Ever heard the expression “What you resist persists?”

The longer we hold on to our upset, disappointment and frustration about reality not turning into what we planned and wanted the longer we will continue to feel upset, disappointed and frustrated.

What can you do instead? Accept what is.

How? Get curious and see if you can discover the “silver lining” in the new reality of what is.

Need better instructions to follow this idea? Watch the movie Silver Linings Playbook. The whole movie is about our hero learning to make the best he can from some unhappy, disappointing changes and challenges in his life. Once he begins to accept what is actually happening now in his life, he discovers unexpected silver linings!

Want to improve your mental health and happiness? Start looking for your silver linings in your disappointments. When you are open to the possibilities you are more likely to discover unexpected treasures.

 

Life’s Lemons

By:  Maria E Trujillo alias Manual DeVie

Growing up I had my share of life’s lemons. I did my best to make what I thought was the best of it. Following the old adage I attempted to make lemonade out of lemons.

However, my batch of lemonade was filled with toxic mixers that I added. I used my own negative thinking and faulty beliefs combining it with and unhealthy and dysfunctional relationships.

It’s difficult to learn how to make a healthy batch when I wasn’t born into a family with a healthy skill set. In fact, I learned to operate as an ostrich and to sweep problems and difficulties under the rug.

Courageously I entered a new class in lemonade 101, more commonly known as couple’s counseling. Our counselor followed the structured couples counseling session advocated by Dr. William Glasser. As a couple we never made it past the crucial fourth session. This is the session where we each needed to make a commitment to continue. That ended couple’s counseling.

lemonsI knew there were always going to be lemons in my life. I knew I wanted a healthy batch of lemonade. I wanted to learn how to change and use my own healthy mixers to make a healthy batch of lemonade. I continued forward with individual counseling.

With the help of this counselor who practiced Reality Therapy using choice theory psychology I found a better recipe for making lemonade. I have gained healthy skills in the process.

These skills include knowing which lemons are worth squeezing and which are best left for the compost pile.

 

The Caring Habit of Listening

By Kim Olver

As a healthy relationship habit, listening isn’t just about hearing another person, waiting for them to stop talking so you can jump in with your “words of wisdom.” Listening is about doing your best to understand another person. Try to stand in their shoes, be in their skin and see the world with their eyes as best you can. No one can have perfect understanding of another. That would mean you would have to actually be that other person, but we can work at doing the best we can.

Understanding doesn’t mean you have to agree. You can see it from another’s point of view and still maintain your own perspective as true for you. One example is a wife who speaks to her husband about his excessive drinking. She believes his drinking is having a serious effect on his health, particularly his achy joints and his liver. He explains to her that he has a lot of anger that he doesn’t understand and that drinking helps him contain that anger. She is able to understand his perspective without agreeing with him. It helps her be more understanding of the reason he drinks.

Another example, involves an incident when I was sixteen. I remember asking my mother if I could stay home from school. She asked if I was sick and I replied, “No, I’m not sick but I can’t go to school with this huge zit on the end of my nose. Everyone will stare at me!” My mother’s response: “Kimberly Marie, get ready for school. You won’t even remember this five years from now.” Well, I’m 53 and I still remember it, Mom.

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This is not to say I think my mother should have allowed me to go stay home from school. What I wish is that she would have listened to me to understand how devastated and desperate I was feeling. She might have even shared about a time she had a pimple and it wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be. Almost any response would have been better than having my perspective completely disregarded. (The funny thing is, in one way my mother was right. I don’t remember my classmates reactions that day but I do remember my mother not really listening to me.)

Do you have any stories about a time when someone didn’t listen to you? Or maybe you have a story about a time when someone did and it really made a difference. Can you be the person today who really listens to someone important to you to understand their point of view?

Anxiety

By Dr. Nancy Buck

Isn’t that a funny thought? How can you have anxiety? Is that anything like having brown eyes or red hair? Or is it closer to having a one-car garage or a cell phone?

If you have anxiety where do you get it? When you’ve had enough of it, could you return it?

Have you ever read a scary book or been to a horror movie? Did you leave with anxiety? Did the story give you anxiety? I remember reading a very frightening book in the light of day and needing to stop reading because I was so frightened. I didn’t finish reading the book until I was no longer at home alone. Somehow reading the book with another person in the house was going to keep me from the perils of the villain on the page!

Here’s the miracle I want to share with you. You don’t have to have anxiety anymore. It is not an immutable part of your brain or DNA. You have the ability to change anxiety into some other more pleasant, productive and effective feeling. (But if you enjoy your anxiety and believe it serves you well you don’t have to change anything.)

How? By changing your actions or your thoughts you will change your feelings.

Just like I put the book down and stopped reading the frightening story, I changed my actions and changed my feelings.

Here are some ideas:

• If you’re anxious about money, you could balance your check book even it that means you are in the red. Now start dreaming of the life you want when you have all the money in the world. This won’t permanently change your money worries, but you will fell less anxious while you’re dreaming.

• If you’re worried about turbulence during a plane flight you can start singing calming or distracting songs. You can actually sing quite loudly because the increased turbulence often means greater “white” noise in the plane so no one will hear you.

• If you enter a room filled with tension and discontent you can start smiling and introducing yourself to people you don’t know and saying hello to the people you do know.

Right now you can make a plan to help yourself. What is the next event where you expect to feel anxious? How could you change your actions or your thoughts? Maybe you’re feeling anxious even as you read this blog. Stand up and read, or hum your favorite song under your breath as you read, or spin your chair – now spin it again.

I understand that these strategies will probably not take your anxiety completely away. But I promise you will feel less anxious because of what you do and think. And the more you practice the better your skills and more effective you will be at diminishing and eventually vanishing your anxiety.

Where do you think the above three suggestions came from? They are my own strategies from the anxiety moments in my life. And the more I practice the less I have anxiety and the more I become calm.

Why not give this a try? What do you have to lose but your anxiety?

Epigenetic and Choice Theory

By Mona Dunkin

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

chicken

 

The chicken and the egg are interdependent. The egg-laying chicken and the developing egg each have a viable part to play in the on-going production of breakfast and casseroles.

Here is another round-robin-riddle. Which came first, the theory or the theorem?

question

The developing-egg theory is, “I have a pretty good grasp as to what the outcome will be of my idea” (i.e. based on previous experience, the creative cook has a fairly good idea of how a newly developed recipe will turn out).  A loose definition of theory is it is a not-as-yet proven.

Encarta Dictionary defines theorem as “a proposition or formula in mathematics or logic that is provable from a set of axioms and basic assumptions.” Theorem is experiments getting closer to text-book-weighed-and-measured fact.

Boiled down, epigenetics is the science of gene/cell development. A 13-year Human Genome Project (HGP) involving scientists from around the world discovered that each individual cell in our body pretty much has a life of its own.

Epigenetic Scientist Bruce Lipton calls it “The Biology of Belief”; meaning that our cells turn-on or turn-off depending on what we believe.

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“Sure, I would love to have a doughnut.”

 

And the whole body goes into pre-programmed operation. The brain values the delicacy, the mouth salivates to receive the morsel and the genes turns “on” to store fat.

“No, thank you, I’ll pass on the doughnuts.”

And the whole body musters strength to re-write previous programming. The brain values a nutritious salad, genes turn “off” to keep from storing fat – thereby improving your health – and your waist thanks you.

I love it when theory becomes fact.

Dr. William Glasser, founder of Reality Therapy, called it Choice Theory. Consciously or carelessly we choose how we behave…

  • which translates into having chosen what we do
  • which greatly influences how we feel
  • which is embraced/disputed by our thinking
  • which genetically becomes who we are – mentally, physically and relationally.

Always has. Always will. And now science is proving it.

 

Just ask…

By Dr. Barnes Boffey

Good mental health means always growing and changing to meet the reality of the world in front of us. To do that, we have to bolster those qualities of character which comprise who we are. If, for example, we hope to be strong, patient, courageous and honest, we must tend to these qualities as one would a garden. They must be weeded and fed and watered. One way to do that is to ask the spirit in the universe for help in being more of each of these things.

The dilemma comes in the fact that when we pray or wish for more courage, for example, we are coincidentally asking to be put in a situation where we will experience fear so that the courage can grow. When we ask for patience, we are unwittingly asking to be put in a situation where we feel stressed and impatient – in that stress and impatience is the opportunity for our patience to grow in strength and quality.

The universe tends to give ushandsholdingworld what we ask for, and if we are unaware of what comes next when asking for positive characteristics, we may become discouraged and think we have been abandoned. Many people feel financially insecure, and it is not unusual for people to ask to feel more financially secure. In the paradoxical universe as it exists, that request may lead to a time of even more financial worry; in that state of worry, we are offered the opportunity to face it head on and become more hopeful and at peace about our financial worries.

The universe is a generous in so many ways, even with unseen opportunities. And, what I ask for is so much less than the universe is willing to give me.

Alone Time

By Maria Trujillo alias Manual DeVie (originally posted 2/24/14)

Home alone. Whaaaat?

dancingtigerYa know what that means….time to dance like no one is watching!

With wind chill temperatures averaging in the minus 20’s and a house filled with children suffering from the chicken pox, it was easy to understand my excitement at the first taste of freedom I had had in days. As I watched the school bus carrying my now well children come and go my mind quickly started calculating how much time I had and what I wanted to do with this glorious time to myself.

There was no burning desire to accomplish anything. My power need was satiated. My love and belonging cup was overflowing with all the mommy care that had been going on.

It was more about having the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted. I smiled at the mere thought of it. I had a day of freedom and fun all to myself!

For me that meant music. I could listen to the music I like at the volume level I want. I had only to please myself.

Spinach is a hard sell in this house. I do have one rule that I apply only to myself though. No woulda, coulda, shoulda’s allowed. That would be like trying to fill your cup knowing you picked one with a slow leak. Ah, the joy, mental health and happiness of being home alone!