v. The shifting of one's energy field, causing personalized enlightenment, healthier thinking, and lasting refinement.

Wednesday, December 14

A Family of Two

I grew up in a family of 10. I am one of eight children. More closely approaching the age of marriage, I ponder more what it would be like to live in a family of two. Throughout time that's how most families have started out--just a wife and husband. When individuals think about getting married, I wonder how many talk about starting a family as if a family is only begun once the baby arrives. I suspect these couples miss out on a wonderful opportunity. Once their children are grown, and they're back down to two, are they still a family? When throughout marriage and parenting, if the husband/wife relationship is not valued above being parents, those individuals often find themselves at a loss of what to do with all their extra time as empty nesters. Some lose themselves in work. Some travel the world. I wonder just how many fall back in love with their spouse? This aught to be a time anticipated and prepared for. One of the many joys in this life I observe is seeing an elderly couple, who have gained an abundance of wisdom from persevering parenting and life's challenges together, holding hands and smiling as if they where newlyweds.

Marriage: According to Darwin

Children — (if it Please God) — Constant companion, (& friend in old age) who will feel interested in one, — object to be beloved & played with. —  —better than a dog anyhow. — Home, & someone to take care of house — Charms of music & female chit-chat. — These things good for one's health. —Forced to visit & receive relations but terrible loss of time. —
W My God, it is intolerable to think of spending ones whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working, & nothing after all. — No, no won't do. — Imagine living all one's day solitarily in smoky dirty London House. — Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire, & books & music perhaps — Compare this vision with the dingy reality of Grt. Marlbro' St.
Marry — Marry — Marry  Q.E.D.

Not Marry
No children, (no second life), no one to care for one in old age.— What is the use of working 'in' without sympathy from near & dear friends—who are near & dear friends to the old, except relatives
Freedom to go where one liked — choice of Society & little of it. — Conversation of clever men at clubs — Not forced to visit relatives, & to bend in every trifle. — to have the expense & anxiety of children — perhaps quarelling — Loss of time. — cannot read in the Evenings — fatness & idleness — Anxiety & responsibility — less money for books &c — if many children forced to gain one's bread. — (But then it is very bad for ones health to work too much)
Perhaps my wife wont like London; then the sentence is banishment & degradation into indolent, idle fool —

(These notes record Darwin's speculations about the prospect of marriage and his future life and work. They were written before his engagement and marriage to his cousin Emma Wedgwood in January 1839. The note has been conjecturally dated to July 1838. Darwin's notes on marriage are transcribed and annotated in Correspondence vol. 2, appendix iv.)

It being proved necessary to Marry
When? Soon or Late
The Governor says soon for otherwise bad if one has children — one's character is more flexible —one's feelings more lively & if one does not marry soon, one misses so much good pure happiness. —
But then if I married tomorrow: there would be an infinity of trouble & expense in getting & furnishing a house, —fighting about no Society —morning calls — awkwardness —loss of time every day. (without one's wife was an angel, & made one keep industrious). — Then how should I manage all my business if I were obliged to go every day walking with one's my wife. — Eheu!! I never should know French, — or see the Continent — or go to America, or go up in a Balloon, or take solitary trip in Wales — poor slave. — you will be worse than a negro — And then horrid poverty, (without one's wife was better than an angel & had money) — Never mind my boy — Cheer up — One cannot live this solitary life, with groggy old age, friendless & cold, & childless staring one in ones face, already beginning to wrinkle. — Never mind, trust to chance —keep a sharp look out — There is many a happy slave —

Friday, November 25

Yelling Through the Brick Wall

Break FreeGood communication is the foundation of a strong relationship. Clear communication is a skill to be practiced and talent to be maintained.

Good communication is difficult in large part because there are an exponential amount more ways to mis-communicate. There are four gates a message must open for direct transmission between two communicators. If I'm talking with you, the gates are as follows:  what I mean, what I say, what you hear, and what you understand. The challenge of opening these gates can be described as a game of Telephone or gossip, where the message is often altered many times in the passing of it along to another.

It's nearly impossible to read someone else's mind. So, how does one successfully unlatch these gates of passage? One advancement is accomplished by repeating back what you hear, paraphrasing your interpretation of the meaning, and inviting the other to correct if necessary. Listening is just as, if not more, important in our conversations. It is wise counsel to communicate so clearly that you cannot be misunderstood.

A word of caution:  sarcasm is often highly destructive, making our goal of clear communication more difficult. It's like building a brick wall in place of the gate between what I mean and what I say.

The easiest and most productive communication is accomplished with congruency in words, action, and meaning--say what you mean and do yourself what you say. Congruency is being sincerely honest with yourself and others. The development and application of these tools can enable even your whispering to be heard.

Thursday, November 24

Cycles of Experience: A+BC=X

Want to know how to change your experience, especially when life presents a crisis? Mathematical logic tells us that all you have to do to change the outcome is change any variable in the equation. Consider the equation A+BC=X.

A=Actual event, the facts
B=Behavioral response
C=Cognition(s), the meaning or interpretation we give to the facts
X=your total eXperience
Our personal perceptions are framed by our total experience.
Variable A is constant. The facts don't change.
Variables B and C are inter-dependant, or that any change in Cognition effects Behavior and your eXperience, and any change in Behavior effects Cognition and your eXperience.

For example:
Perceiving the facts of an event or interaction to be ill-intended, our likely behavior will be in defense, self-protection, and  possibly revenge and backbiting. This total experience will conclude in distress, relationship-destructiveness, or other such negative effects. Our total experiences build up over time to compile a library of evidence discouraging change. Depression and hopelessness often are a result of our perceived library collection of negative experiences.

This cyclic equation can also be a positive one. Compiling a library of positive total experiences results in a happy life. If perceiving the facts of an event or interaction to be well-intended (often noted as being optimistic or giving the other person the benefit of the doubt), our likely behavior will be one of reciprocating the perceived kindness, motivation for understanding, and other desired results. The total experience then ends in a positive, encouraging experience of joy and relationship building.

Faith and fear cannot exist in the same place at the same time. It is common to fear the unknown. Those who find themselves trapped in a library of negative evidence most likely feel they do not experience much success. Thus, success is unknown. Can you believe that a lot of us actually fear success?!

I recognize that disappointment and discouragement are at times a part of life. But if we remember that we have a choice in variables B and C, we are in control of our total experience. We can be in control our lives. We may not always control what happens, but we can control how they effect us much more often than we do. Consciousness, accountability, and intentionality are key. You have the power to change your experience and your life. You have the power to rule your world!

Mom, when is Daddy comming home?

Every time you play a game of Hangman, a family of stick-figures loses a father—and we account it as no big deal. Why? How are we killing off our fathers for real? Why should this be a bigger concern than many pay attention to?

Research proves that fathers and mothers are both critical for the most effective parenting.

See Consequenses of Father Absence

The very structural function difference between a man and woman helps to explain why it would be primarily the role of the father/husband to provide. Because men's brains are one-topic-at-once oriented, they are more able to be at work mentally at the same time they are physically, and home mentally at the same time as they are physically. While women's brains are like a big ball of wire. When given both work and home responsibilities, more especially in a dual-income home, work-to-family- and family-to-work spillovers are twice as likely to occur for women. They also cause major exhaustion problems, leaving less energy to put toward organizing harmony in the home and strong family relations. From birth we see evidence of major differences between the genders. A small girl will often instinctively pick up, coddle, and nurture a doll. With boys, we a familiar with a different behavior. He is often likely to be more defensive of it or a territory around it. This is part of God's perfect plan.

Saturday, November 12

Technology: A Blessing?

YES! The leading usage of the Internet is for Genealogy and Family History. Modern society is dependent on technologies other than the Internet as well. Some examples include transportation and medical research advancement. Clearly technology has improved convenience for easy access information, as well as efficiency and quality of daily living. Or has it?

Is technology truly a blessing? The second largest usage of the Internet is for addictive pornography. Chat rooms and other forms of networking, such as Facebook, are sadly often an easy escape for individuals to build seemingly harmless relationships outside of their marriage. Facebook and networking are mostly beneficial;  problems arise when they become a resource of validation and support of any kind taking priority over marital intimacy. This especially becomes the case when there is disharmony in the home, in the marriage, and low-levels of committal self-control applied. One's spouse aught to be the very first individual sought to help meet our needs. One's spouse also aught to be the very first individual we seek to help meet other's needs. One of the basic human needs is to be needed, to feel important and valued. We have an innate desire to make a difference. There is a reason God commanded husband and wife to cleave to one another (Matt 19:5; Mark 10:6-9).

Why has infidelity increased with time? The answer to this question is the same reason the adage 'It takes two to Tango' is a myth. Infidelity begins in one's heart and or mind. Affairs occur probably just as often, if not more often, by means other than physical betrayal, including psychologically, visually, and emotionally. The media often distorts our perception of reality. Danger lurks when we foster the thought "Why can't my husband/wife be more like...?" With time and development of technology, availability of alternative means for immediate gratification are escalating.

Yes, technology is truly a blessing, a tool for excellence.  Just as tools can be used as helpful instruments or as weapons, all  blessings come with greater amounts of responsibility. A successful marriage is work. A successful marriage is also the greatest of all the joys ever accounted for. Though difficult at times, it is a work worth all efforts exerted.

For marriage tips and help from an expert, visit CommunicatingLove.com

Saturday, October 29

Preparation for Parenthood

The most successful parenting is prepared and intentional parenting.

Many of the patterns and  routines established in the first year as newlyweds are likely to carry on throughout the duration of the marriage, for better or worse. Because life is busier when children arrive, it is important to build a strong relationship with your spouse before welcoming little ones into the home. Establish such patterns and habits you wish to perpetuate and continue nurturing your marital system all the while your family grows.

There is a reason children come one pregnancy at a time. A new family addition disrupts homeostasis, requiring conscious adaptation. It is wise for a mother to involve her husband throughout the pregnancy, at birth, and in partner parenting (not merely letting him take over when she is worn out). It is important to include the man as much as possible so that he will continue to feel appreciated. As soon as possible after your special delivery is brought home from the hospital, a couple still needs quality time together alone.

Children are a great blessing!

Thursday, October 27

Nugget of Perspective: Character

“Duty does not require perfection, but it does require diligence. It is not simply what is legal; it is what is virtuous. It is not reserved to the mighty or high in station but instead rests on a foundation of personal responsibility, integrity, and courage. Doing one’s duty is a manifestation of one’s faith.”
—Keith B. McMullin, (“Our Path of Duty,” Ensign, May 2010, 14)

“I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.
I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.
I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”
Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Saturday, October 22

Girl, can't get a date?

One primary focus for many young women who enter college is in hopes to find a marriage companion. A common observation I hear these girls make is that those who claim they will not be ready for marriage until they finish school are seemingly often the ones who find a mate before those who are actively seeking. While this is not always the case, why might this pattern repeatedly prove itself? Consider the nursery story of Little Bo peep:

Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep
And doesn't know where to find them.
Leave them alone and they'll come home,
Bringing their tails behind them.

While the following stanzas of this rhyme infer other principles, these particular four lines illustrate that one is more likely to find what they are looking for when, for a time, they set their stress aside. Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, the silent deeds you do and activities you participate in to better yourself and those around you is a better indicator that you are a wise pick than if you were to make yourself known through telling people how wonderful you are. “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20; 3 Nephi 14:20; D&C 137:9). In other words, you can tell more about a person’s character by what they do than by what they say (Matthew 21:28-31).

One of my favorite parables comes from the movie Three Ninjas: Knuckle Up. At the beginning of the movie, the wise grandfather asks his three grandsons, ninjas in training, “What does a flower say when it blooms?” It is at the very end of the movie that his grandsons begin to understand. They respond to their teacher-grandfather:  “Nothing, it doesn’t want to tell everyone how beautiful it is--it just wants to be beautiful.”

This is difficult for a girl who longs to be noticed and cherished--to be patiently improving herself. She may ask herself, ‘Am I not good enough?’ I say to you blooming girls, take courage! Perhaps your man is still developing his talent for admiring true beauty in real flowers.

Saturday, October 15


     No matter how one tries, gender is inseparable with identity. The feminists and sexists of modern society who are working to diminish traditional gender roles claim to be pushing for equality of rights. Such individuals have a sad misinterpretation that sameness defines equality, when in fact it doesn't. I agree with equality of opportunity, yet working together supports that differences are good. Uniformity of the sexes, and more specifically changing the standards so everyone qualifies (just as with the 'No Child Left Behind' act) , will keep us from progressing. Every individuals is blessed with qualities and talents, and we are to help one another in their weakness. Having a weakness does NOT make one weak. Why do individuals feel they have to prove themselves? Because they fail to see the whole. 1 Corinthians 12:21 lays this truth with clarity: "the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you." I add: neither can the right hand say to the left, I have no need of you. Yes, one hand is still functional without the other, but is is better to have two--and not two left hands! One is not better than another, and both is better together. Why don't we just be are best selves? We all have things we are better at doing than others, and others have things they are better at doing than ourselves.

Who will fill the role and responsibility of womanhood and mothers if females do not? 

Who will fill the role and responsibility of manhood and fathers if males do not?

There are only two genders, male and female, and they complement each other to form the whole. 

Let Us Be Men -- D. Todd Christofferson

The Women in Our Lives -- Gordon B. Hinckley

"THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed." (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

Friday, October 7

Cultural Diversity: good or bad?

Do we define our culture or do we let our culture define us?

From Merrium Webster's Medical Dictionary: 'culture' (n.)
-"the integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thought, speech, action, and artifacts and depends upon the human capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations
-"the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group"

Since the family unit is one form of social group, we discover the existence of 'family cultures.' If you want to shape society, shape the family. It is in the home that we lay our foundations.

The great British prime minister Winston Churchill said, "We shape our environments; thereafter they shape us."

I add:  And they have the potential to shape us as well as our posterity for many generations. It is in our families that children learn from a young age what is acceptable, how to interpret non-verbal cues, and even definitions of words. Development of moral conduct and personal interests begin in the home. To belong, to feel needed and loved or accepted, is a basic need of mankind. We tend to associate with those who we have most in common. We long to be validated; when we receive approval in a particular belief or action, we most often allow such truth, lie, or preference to become a part of us.

Change is a necessary part of continued healthy development. While some changes are not always the best, it is to our advantage to at times be challenged in those things we once accepted. It is when we no longer feel validated externally or internally that we initiate personal change in the respective interest. If challenged where a dramatic change would be required, the individual often becomes stressed to frantically find new sources for validation. If none can be found then the individual either may either experience negative emotions or choose to accept the challenge for accommodation.

Cultural diversity:  good or bad?
It is common for individuals who experience a 'culture shock,' as with immigrants, to feel at first overwhelmed and confused. However, when personal family upbringing of what is right or wrong is questioned, individuality is strengthened, having to decide with whom they now agree on a specific subject and to what culture and traditions they wish to carry pass on to future generations. Those who choose to change a particular family tradition or behavioral pattern is called a transitional character.

So I suppose the real issue is that individuality must be kept in its proper place. We are here on earth to learn from and teach one another; at the same time, we are also here to support and encourage one another.

What experience or thoughts do you have to share about family culture and what relationship it has with our personal identity?

Friday, September 30

Perception Reframing: a means to World Peace

“Satir (1964) goes back to the family-of-origin causes and helps the clients to “reframe” (i.e., consider less negative motivations for the behaviors of others) their childhood experiences into more positive and generally truthful memories and then teaches congruent and value-building congruent and value-building communication styles that raise self-esteem”  (“Family Systems Theory”, Chapter 5 of Exploring Family Theories by Suzanne R. Smith, Raiann R. Hamon, Bron B. Ingoldsby & J. Elizabeth Miller).

This definition of 'reframe' is an important aspect in describing the importance to see through new lenses. When we individually review our past with a present perspective, we are enabled to see a more encompassing view of all attributing factors to a particular event or situation. When we reflect, without reliving, our present environment cultivates a third-person perception, which makes it possible for important discoveries of the most effective ways to change the self.

Family Systems Theory (FST)--focusing on social systems and how their interdependent parts maintain order--is one example. Family therapists often utilize this theory to harmonize homes. Although we have all been given opportunity to choose for ourselves our actions, our choices often are influenced by and influence the choices of others in return. When we begin to notice this, we also begin to notice our influential role in our families for better or worse. When we improve ourselves, we improve others, especially on the most basic and foundational levels of energy and example.

The family is the most fundamental unit of society*, thus we are assured that our choice to positively 'reframe' ourselves will in fact influence our families, the societies in which we live, and to any extent the world at large. You want World Peace? It starts within the confines of your own heart and mind--You have a grand position of power!

*A Proclamation to the World:  The Family

Monday, September 26

Nugget of Perspective: Repentance

"The invitation to repent is rarely a voice of chastisement but rather a loving appeal to turn around and to  're-turn' toward God. It is the beckoning of a loving Father and His Only Begotten Son to be more than we are, to reach up to a higher way of life, to change, and to feel the happiness of keeping the commandments. Being disciples of Christ, we rejoice in the blessing of repenting and the joy of being forgiven. They become part of us, shaping the way we think and feel."                             -Neil L. Andersen (“Repent…That I May Heal You,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 40)

Saturday, September 24

Inform Your Mind!

It is critical in today's society to be well informed, to actively participate in the shaping of tomorrow. It is not enough to rely on merely what others tell us. Though we can certainly be positively influenced by others, we ought to act, rather than be acted upon. We have the blessing of modern technology. With increasing accessibility to information, especially by means of the internet, also in our laps lay the escalating weight of responsibility and accountability. To be informed, we must open our eyes and ears to continually fill ourselves with a reservoir of knowledge. To be well informed requires practiced discernment in assertively answering the question:  'What is truth?'

Research is one example of both the need and means to becoming well-informed. Did you know that 95% of all statistics are made up on the spot? My friend shared with me the funny thing about that question is every time someone tells him that, they quote a different percentage. It often is work to verify something as truth; however, President Thomas Jefferson [1743-1826] said it well when he proclaimed, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."

The following are just a few of the many simple things to look for when identifying the validity of statistics:
-How recent was the study conducted? How was the data collected? We have greater need for quality research today kept up to date than ever before because times and trends are changing ever more rapidly than in times past.
-Does the source show the study to have been conducted scientifically? Was the study peer reviewed? Were the results repeated with multiple studies?
-What is the name of the URL? Ending in .gov or .edu is a good indication of valid data; still, be careful how the data is compared.
-Is the graph visually skewed to play with the mind, as to persuade viewers to believe their interpretive bias?
-(This is one of my favorites.) Did you know anyone who eats chocolate, their heart stops and they die?Well...eventually, because mortals are prone to die and usually they are not considered dead until after their hearts stops. Correlation does not necessarily indicate causation!

In doing a bit of my own research, I came across www.gapminder.org This website has peaked my interest in  research. Filled with innumerable data, the site is set up for the user to compare worldwide trends in economy, society, education, energy, environment, health, infrastructure, population, and work.

Research can be fun and it is well worth the time. However you decide to inform your mind, we as a people need to be grounded in truth if we are to save ourselves, our neighbors, and unite to save our nations.

Sunday, March 6

What is Perception Reframing?

Perception Reframing is the shift in one's energy field when that individual receives new information or views an idea or event from a new perspective. This shift is similar to an epiphany, except much deeper and life altering. Our perceptions create our reality. They are formed by experiences, and our interpretation of those experiences. Many are formed before conception. Most occur without conscious awareness. Perception is the driving motive behind all human behavior.