Posts Tagged ‘conflict’

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Why a group of veterans with PTSD allowed 60 Minutes cameras to record their gut-wrenching therapy sessions and air them on national television; then, Bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell objects to critics who say he fails to credit other people’s works; also, In an interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes, author Malcolm Gladwell critiques his bestselling book, “The Tipping Point”; and, On the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, former Secret Service agent Clint Hill remembers his emotional interview with Mike Wallace in 1975.



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“Leadership, I must fully admit, was provided primarily from women in the Senate,” McCain said after the bipartisan deal was announced.

Pryor said that people sometimes like to joke about women in leadership, but he is a huge fan of his female colleagues after watching them negotiate. “The truth is, women in the Senate is a good thing,” he said. “We’re all just glad they allowed us to tag along so we could see how it’s done.”

“The 20 women in the Senate have formed such strong friendships of trust, even though we come from different places, that I’m very hopeful as we go forward with Patty Murray, head of the Budget Committee, Barbara Mikulski, head of Appropriations,” Klobuchar said. “Those relationships are going to make a difference as we get into what matters, which is the long-term budget.”

huffingtonpost.com article & video

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We will be meeting on Monday 5/23/11, 7:30-9:30pm

Our topic will be

– verb (used with object) 1. to hold in low regard; think unfavorably of.
– noun 2. lack of esteem;  disfavor; low regard.
Origin: 1585–95; dis + esteem

I came across this term in Guilt, Anger & God: The Patterns of Our Discontents, C. FitzSimons Allison, 2003:

Another characteristic of the civilized person is disesteem, the lack of self-esteem, or even self-hatred.  Civilization must not only restrain, it must give ideals . . . and the higher the ideals, the greater the judgment. . . Under such arduous demands, I look in the mirror and do not like what I see . . . Disesteem is the easiest of all personal factors to underestimate, and there is no one who does not suffer in some acute way from its pervasive ache.

Many point to childhood experiences, which is were we first learn our civilization culture, as the potential building blocks of low self-esteem. Were you validated as a child?  Were there expectations you felt were unreasonable or impossible to reach?  Was there a lack of discipline in your household?  Were you compared unfavorably to others?  How were your mistakes or failures handled by your parents?  Your achievements?  What feelings did any/all of these situations create in you?

Parents/elders are just people, just like us, with strengths and weaknesses – anyone raising children of their own learn this lesson.  But children can place their caregivers on tall pedestals.  To obtain ‘love’ from a parent, some of us learn some rather peculiar behavior and thinking.  Even after a parent is gone or out of our lives, we internalize the ‘lessons learned’ and they inform our behavior today.  Often this is buried very deeply in our unconscious and hard to access.

To explore your personal self-esteem issues:

  • Identify the critical voice within you?  What is its repeated message to you?
  • How do you feel in response to this voice?  What reactions does it trigger in you?
  • From whom does this voice come?  Who does it represent to you?
  • What does it mean to keep this criticism inside of you? (e.g. does this possibly represent an emotional connection with your antagonist?)
  • Do you see a ‘closed loop’ created in this type of thinking, fulfilling the very thing addressed by the critical voice?
  • Can you differentiate the critical voice from yourself?  Would it be possible to have a conversation with the voice to understand it better?
  • You developed your critical voice for a reason – to help you survive in the world.  What is it trying to protect you from?
  • The disesteem within you is not your enemy, but your protector.  Unless it is satisfied that you are safe, it will exert a forceful control over your decisions.  How can you reassure it that you are safe as you enter areas IT feels are too dangerous to explore?

I look forward to meeting with you on this topic!

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We will be meeting Monday 3/28/11 from 7:30-9:30pm.
Our topic will be fear.
Fear is a pervasive part of the human condition, but its expression can take on a myriad of different forms. We can experience acute fear, in the moment, in response to a physical situation we are confronted with; accidents/disasters, extreme places (vast expanses, steep cliffs, confined tunnels).  This is perhaps the most useful and natural encounter with fear. Our bodies shift into a flight-or-fight response and operate in a subconscious way to get us through it.
But as modern humans we are confronted with many other kinds of fear which is less rational, less useful and more difficult to deal with. As our consciousness evolved so did our fears.  As we moved from total-now consciousness into consciousness outside of the present, we could begin to fear things not immediately in front of us. We developed the ability to feel attachment to something and fear changes in the future. We are faced with a deeply uncertain world today, full of unrest, looming crisis and  seemingly unrelenting natural and man-made catastrophes.
Media sources push some kinds of fear on the evening news, while not addressing things we perhaps should be fearful of. Emotional fear, outside of the moment can be like a cancer. It can slowly eat away at our ability of our mind to rest in peace and happiness. We may live in a fantasy world projecting our fears outside so that our perceived world becomes a scary fear filled landscape.
  • What kinds of fears do you struggle with?
  • What fears do you have that you think are really legitimate?
  • What fears are unexamined, old patterns that maybe once served but that should really be thrown out to free up inner space for peace, enthusiasm and joy?
  • If you didn’t hold on your fears as legitimate, what would happen?
  • Where did you learn to fear these things?
I look forward to meeting with you!

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We will be meeting Monday, March 14th.
From 7:30-9:30pm
Our theme will be boundaries.
We set them, we break them, we seek them, we push them.  The process of growing forces us to confront and establish boundaries. Boundaries are what give us a sense of self, individuality and autonomy.  Boundaries are also set by the external world, constraining our expression, movement, and complete freedom.  The boundaries of our bodies are skin, a permeable membrane protecting us from the raw experience of the world directly on our nerves. The boundaries of our emotional space are somewhat less clear, feelings can invade our interior life flowing past a blurry boundary between yourself and other.  And our minds are even less bounded, and yet still we have a sense of where we end, where the unknown hazy universe must exist beyond. Social interactions have implicit negotiations around boundaries, from partners to strangers in public spaces we are faced with the need to create and feel out invisible boundaries. Boundaries may represent limits we are uncomfortable crossing, or zones we create to feel safe. Our lives consist of dynamic interweaving of boundaries constantly shifting and changing.
Boundaries are edges, membranes where most of the activity, the growth and change happens. Shifting boundaries represent opportunities for new possibilities, but frequently come with discomfort, pain and fear. The maintenance of boundaries may forces us into conflict as the world around us seeks to settle into new relationships.
  • What boundaries are you working on changing?
  • What are boundaries you’ve worked to establish, that you fight to maintain?
  • How do your inner boundaries manifest in external expression?
  • What does boundary mean for you? What value do you place on boundaries?
  • What growth have you experienced at your boundary edges?
  • How do you think about the world beyond your boundaries, what is its character?
I look forward to meeting with you

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We will be meeting Monday, 2/21/2011.
Our theme will be conflict.
Conflict is an inevitable part of social relationships. To live and interact with others will push us into situations where what we want, need or feel is different that those we live with. This difference will result in a pushing of wills, one against the other. It may be softly, or it may become physical and violent. Often our greatest conflict is with those we are closest with.  We may be able to maintain civil, respectful, peaceful relationships with those who are more distant, but when it comes to close relationships we are more easily stirred to confront our differences.
Our own personality will drive how the conflict arises and how it is resolved, if it is resolved at all. We may prefer to be conflict avoiding and strive to quickly diffuse conflict. Or we may feel that the measure of our commitment is the level of fight we bring. We may feel conflict is productive and helps clear the air, or we feel it’s damaging and negative.
How is it that the natural disagreement which arises when two people spend time together can take on such opposite perspectives?
  • For you is conflict something you step up to, or shrink away from? Why? What would happen if you did the opposite?
  • How can conflict be productive? What makes good conflict?
  • How can conflict be harmful? What makes it so negative?
  • How can we become skilled at conflict, so that we can avoid the negative and produce the positive?
  • Our conflict style may change with different opponents, how so?
  • What is your “natural” fight style? How does it change with your lover? Your boss? Your client?
I look forward to meeting with you!

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