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Listen Up!

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Here are the rules, as stated by the Lundberg’s in their book, I Don’t Have to Make Everything All Better.

1 Listen by giving your full attention.

How well are you able to tune out other distractions and truly listen to others? If you really want to know, ask them.  Be prepared for a reality check.

2 Listen to the feelings being expressed.

This really takes tuning into the emotions that are expressed verbally and non-verbally.  Are you adept at understanding the body language of your family members?

3 Listen to the need being expressed.

This takes listening quite a bit deeper doesn’t it?

4 Understand by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes as best you can.

How did your child feel about being called names on the play ground? What do they feel that they need? How would you have felt had it been you?

I’d recommend making a list of these four listening goals and put it in a prominent place in your house or even carry it on your person! When we’re learning new skills, it’s important to keep them in front of us so that we can recognize where we are currently and remind us of what we are trying to accomplish!

Keep going! You’re doing great!

Jacque

7 Steps Seminar Coming!

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To those of you who have attended the Lioness at the Door 7 Steps to Family Wellness, seven-month seminar, may I ask a favor of you?

Would you think for a bit about the most important take away you had from your experience in seminar and share it in a comment here?

God willing, we will start the 2017 series this month and I’d love for those who are thinking about registering, to hear your favorite or most life-changing lessons.

Our 2016 groups were stellar and I love all of you!

Here is a sneak peek at what you will find in the 7 Steps Workbook:

“Now, if you’re a champion at hearing negatives, believing negatives, and feeling crippled and then paralyzed by negatives, you will have to understand that this process of learning to take control of your mind, or rather to redirect it over and over until the negative default habit is curbed,will actually make chemical changes in your body and you may encounter resistance to this new way of thinking.  Not to mention that since you have believed these untruths for so long, the truth may sound downright fake and utterly wrong!  That is, of course, more nonsense!  We are God’s children, full of promise and infinite value possessing the power to choose and to learn from our experiences.  It follows then that to progress, to move forward, we have to become our own best advocate, hear the blatant lies we have believed, and proverbially kick them to the curb!  We are Lionesses!  We are family leaders!  This is the battle to fight; the interior battle for peace within. Then we can begin to tackle other problems in our personal and family terrain.”

No more being victimized by negative thoughts. No more!”

That is a good reminder for me today. I hope it is good food for thought for you too.

If you know of someone who would thrive in seminar, please spread the word! I look forward to another growing year with another great group!

Jacque

Build Your Team

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Ok sisters, I have a little “what I learned the hard way” piece of advice.

I wholeheartedly believe that we must be in charge of our own health.  It’s a philosophy that is relatively new, as compared with my parent’s generation, who unquestioningly trusted and listened to their doctor, and may have been discouraged from “doing their own thinking.”  (Maybe this hasn’t been your family’s experience, but it seems to be a pretty good summary of those in the previous generation that I know.)

It must have been quite a comfort to think that any time something was wrong with you or a family member, all you had to do was visit your family doctor and they would take care of the problem. If this has been your experience, I’m happy for you!

My personal experience has led me to needing and therefore being open to many alternative therapies, some of which are extremely simple and safe and keep one from over using antibiotics and pharmaceuticals in general.  It really appeals to me to do all I can with diet and exercise, simple supplements and doing all I can to be mentally and emotionally well as a holistic approach to managing my own health.

But there have been a few things that have been beating me up the last few years and my, shall I say maverick attitude, has cost me some time and money and not a little grief. I don’t think that I have fully understood the benefit of having a primary care doctor as a hub for whatever medical professionals you may need.  Part of the problem is that I’ve been in between doctors (one who understood my modus operandi had to retire unfortunately, and one is about to retire).  And it has meant that I’ve been trying to orchestrate testing and appointments on my own, with no clear referring physician to back me up.

Now that I have found a doctor who has quickly gained my confidence and who has really made some things happen for me by ordering tests and making appointments, I am amazed at how quickly things can move toward a resolution.

So here’s, my advice:

If you don’t already have a really good primary care physician, please find one.  You never know when you will need someone to go to bat for you. A good primary care doctor will organize testing, make referrals and appointments for you, interface with specialists on your behalf, if need be, and just generally have your back.

I am so grateful to now have a team of doctors who are watching out for me and communicating with each other.  It is a wonderful feeling to have that support.

Take good care and best wishes as you build a team to help you be as healthy as possible!

Love,

Jacque

 

Subjectively Speaking

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It really is amazing that we all live on the same planet, and in some cases have almost everything in common, like parentage and upbringing, and yet our individual, personal, emotional (or subjective) experiences are unique!

And looking at things from that vantage point makes it clear that validation is the lifeblood of our closest relationships.

If I think I know how someone feels or sees things without expecting to need to take the time to listen to them, chances are, I won’t get it right.

If my child falls and cries in an attempt to communicate with me, and I say,

“You’re alright, stop crying!”

I may have missed a chance to listen, assess the damage and let the child problem solve, even if it’s just to manage their emotions after being frightened or shocked.  It seems that the common reason for parents to shush a child out of crying is linked to their fear that the child will become a “cry-baby” or maybe they are just passing on what they were taught, that sad notion, that it isn’t good to show your emotions.  Or maybe they are concerned that if they show empathy in that moment that the child will dramatize their pain and become an annoyance.

What actually happens, most of the time, is that as soon as a child senses that someone cares, and they have been heard, they stop.  Little people don’t generally have the attention getting gimmicks of their parents and they don’t think like adults at all.  You notice that when a child has an illness, they will function as much as they can with no pretense or dramatics for attention getting.

I heard a young father comment that when he understood that all he needed to do was to ask his little sons if they were ok when they were hurt and crying, he changed his behavior from trying to toughen them up and tell them not to cry, to simply listening to them and helping if necessary.  And amazingly he said, their moments of crying shortened and their relationship grew.  He could see that they felt loved and had a greater sense of their father’s love.

Think of the times someone asked how you were doing. If you trusted that person and honestly told them some of the things that were challenging to you, did they say,

“Oh that’s nothing, why would you worry about that?”  Or,

“Well in the long run, that sounds like a good thing, so quit worrying!”  Or, maybe they said,

“Well, don’t forget there are always people worse off than you!”

And maybe you took a mental note not to trust them with your feelings when or if they ask again.

Then there are the times when someone just responds with,

“Wow, that sounds tough.”

And those magic words make you feel as if your experience is valid and that you matter to them.  That’s the key! They don’t have to try to fix anything or come up with a great solution, or offer the twisted, pseudo-validation of letting you know that you’re making a big deal out of nothing in an attempt to make you feel better!

It is simple, but makes all the difference.  To be heard and given the gift of validation is priceless.  It takes so little time and energy and yet can change the world for an individual when they hear that-

they are of worth, their feelings matter and someone really cares about them.

Heaven help us all to master the art of listening to our loved ones!  Everyone needs a place to belong!

Happy day to you.

With love,

Jacque

Here Goes…

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I promised a rant.  Can you bear with me a minute?

Our country is sick.  And most of it is preventable.  You know what I’m talking about; the obesity, diabetes and heart disease for starters?

What is up with us?  Is it our entitlement attitude about so many other things that oozes into our unhealthy habits too?

A friend was telling me of an experience she had while visiting in Europe years ago.  It’s a story I’ve heard several times from several people actually.  The common theme is, seeing a food that looks really good, like a dessert they’ve had before, only to find when they take a bite that it isn’t sweet!  The shock!  To taste a luscious looking cheesecake, only to find that it tastes more like cream cheese than sugar.  Or the pastry-looking things displayed in a store in Japan that don’t taste anything like the sweet-treats we have here.

No, our country is so sugar-soda-high fructose-white flour-caffeine-aspartame-jelly filled-sugar coated-rancid-refined-artificial flavor-artificial color-stimulant- pill fixing crazy that we think the rest of the world is missing out!

In other places, they don’t market junk food to kids.  It’s not allowed because parents are in charge of what children eat, not children.

In other places, the basic every day foods that are consumed are staple foods, high in protein and basic nutrients, not whatever one can throw together in ten minutes because cooking isn’t worth our time and energy.

Of necessity, families eat a simple meal together in many poverty-stricken areas of the world, but we can’t find time to eat together because we are too busy earning just a little more, often so that out children can be involved in one more activity. And this problem of giving up family meal time for other pursuits has extreme negative ramifications on the well-being, the bondedness, the belonging that our children need most! In my opinion, (and statistics bear this out), family meal time is the great anti-drug. In fact, it’s the anti-gang, anti-drinking, anti-antisocial campaign most parents would value if they knew it was as close as their dinner table. (And for all those social and emotional benefits, serve frozen burritos if that’s what you can do, but serve them with love and with a positive dinner conversation!)

At some point, we’re going to have to accept responsibility for the preventable problems that are not just killing us, but that are keeping us miserable for years before we die! And that just might mean getting used to eating things we’re not used to eating, and skipping the sugary, refined, artificial so-called foods, so that “normal” food can taste good again!

I’m most likely preaching to the choir.  But this part I will say to you.  Next time someone wants to make you feel like the strange one for caring what your children eat, for making planning, cooking and eating meals together a priority, for saying no to more activities and “opportunities,” and for that matter, saying no to your children when they want to adopt unhealthy habits or stretch themselves too thin…

just you know, it’s not you that’s being extreme!

We’ve got some teaching to do, and it won’t get done if we feel shamed or intimidated by a well-meaning, but often misled mainstream, of standard American diet pushers, and priority permissiveness. Life is challenging enough without knowingly upping the ante.

Hope your kids enjoy their kale chips after school!

Love ya, and thanks for listening!

Jacque

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