JOYFUL TIMES EZINE
Resources and Inspiration for Discovering Inner Joy
Issue #5 - 2003
The purpose of the Joyful Times Ezine is to uplift the spirit through inspiration and information. To this end we will emphasize the positive and focus on the good that is taking place in this world.
We can create joyful times in our personal world by directing our thoughts and feelings. Seeing or feeling the perfection we want in our lives and in the lives of others has been called the highest form of prayer. This can lift us into the "high joy vibration" and through the "law of attraction" joyful times will result. Our motto is "joy is an inside job."
Pegi Joy Jenkins Ph.D. - Founder of Joyful You - Joyful Child, Inc
Letter from the Editor:
Welcome to the fifth issue of "Joyful Times Ezine"! We are an extension of Joyful You - Joyful Child, Inc. (website at www.joy4u.org ) It is a nonprofit organization founded in 1990 by Pegi Joy Jenkins, Ph.D.
This issue's focus is LISTENING. Our lives become so busy we may feel we don't have always have the time to listen to our children. Many of us don't recognize the value listening has on building a child's self-esteem.
Frank Linder's article in the BIG PICTURE PARENTING section challenges us to build a listening foundation, with 5 techniques that will benefit both involved, and give the children's words respect and value.
Vivienne Silver-Leigh agrees with the value in listening in our RELATIONSHIPS section. She challenges us to listen with emotion. And to notice more than just the words when you listen to someone.
Several of the children's books this issue suggest we take a walk and listen to Nature. You'll find them in the BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS section.
I have been challenged to life-changing experiences over the past 3 years by a different kind of listening. I was drawn by the words in an a newspaper ad about a "plum painted table..." "listening deeply..." and "come alive!" to take a course by a local Minnesota Career Counselor and Writing Instructor, named Laurie Mattila. She teaches a course called DISCOVERY WRITING. This course has opened up my heart, eyes and ears to learn to listen to MY voice. It has also helped me to nurture the things that bring me pleasure and joy... and to make time for them. DISCOVERY WRITING concerns "Listening-Exercises" which invite us to slow down, take time to write down truths or questions of our heart, and then listen deeply for more.
I was so surprised that in each of the exercises - SOME of WHO YOU ARE shines through no matter what the subject you are asked to write on, or the question you are asked to answer, or the style of writing you are asked to explore! Each exercise is done in a spirit of discovery and when you are still enough and open enough to listen to the "inner you" that speaks to your heart; the discovery of OURSELVES is realized. Discovery Writing has taught me not to judge my creative attempts -just to BE creative and enjoy the journey.
To learn more about Discovery Writing or if you would like to try one of Laurie Mattila's exercises on your own; go to www.discoverywriting.com and click on Listening-Writing Experiment. At the end of the first experiment you can click on the purple words: more opportunities for listening-writing. Laurie also offers a free newsletter - just click on Free Online Newsletter on the same web page.
This month LISTEN WITH JOY and be open to how life speaks to you.
We welcome your comments and suggestions. Thank You!
Finding 'joy in the journey,'
Table of Contents:
Listen in (a suggested viewing) by Joy Smiley
Engage your ears, eyes and heart to Monday through Friday emails of "meditations" which are uplifting and often thought provoking. They are another quiet way to start or end your day. You will be reminded to stop for just a few minutes and listen to the voice inside you that wants to encourage you. The subscription is minimal in cost (less than $15.00 a year or around 6 cents a day) and well worth the price for beautiful slide scenery, peaceful music and positive words! To subscribe - go to www.greatday.com
or to view a sample meditation slide show click on the link below (or cut and paste it into your address bar):
A little child whispered, "God speak to me." And a meadowlark sang. But the child didn't hear.
So the child yelled, "GOD SPEAK TO ME!" And the thunder ROLLED across the sky. But the child didn't listen.
The child looked around and said, "God, let me see you." And a star shone brightly. But the child didn't notice.
And the child shouted, "GOD SHOW ME A MIRACLE!" And a life was born. But the child didn't know.
So the child cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are here!" Whereupon God reached down and touched the child. But the child brushed the butterfly away and walked away unknowingly.
Take time to listen. Often times the things we seek are right underneath our noses. Don't miss out on your blessing because it isn't packaged the way you expect.
*This "Take Time To Listen" story was forwarded by email. If a reader knows the author -please submit information to firstname.lastname@example.org and proper credit will be given.
Big Picture Parenting
Listening To Children
-by Frank A. Linder, M.S.,C.R.C.,Ct.H.A.
The early years of childhood are when a child will develop a level of self-esteem that may be with them throughout their lifetime. A child who has been listened to is much more likely to develop a positive self-image than one who has not been heard. Listening to children gives them the feeling that what they think counts and that they matter. Children need to be heard.
Use the following listening techniques to address the special needs of children:
This portion of an article was reprinted with permission from the National Federation of Neurolinguistic Psychology. For more Keys to Listening Well, (including Guidelines for Good Listening, Common Obstacles to Listening, and Listening in Hypnotherapy) visit http://www.nfnlp.com
You may also be interested in their monthly ezine concerning the latest techniques in therapy and self-development. For free subscriptions email email@example.com
Listening With the Heart
by Vivienne Silver-Leigh
Did you ever get lessons in listening at school? No, nor did I. Teachers expected us to listen to them, to the facts they told us about the subjects in the school curriculum. We learned very basic listenin;, writing down notes on what we hear, or what teachers wanted us to remember. But as adults we need listening skills for different purposes; to understand and develop our relationships, as well as to listen and be listened to, with warmth and empathy. But no one teaches us these skills.
So we struggle along somehow, although in fact there are classes in active listening if you look around. My first counseling training gave me an introduction to this subject, where I learned that a truly empathetic listener uses certain techniques, aiming to be aware of what the person talking to you is really feeling deep inside. Techniques plus a warm attitude can go a long way towards developing true empathy. Listening at a deep level means listening with the heart as well as applying techniques.
Think about the person who has really listened to you recently. What they did was to understand your feelings, to make you feel accepted, and they did not judge you. I remember the first time someone did that for me - a lovely aunt, a warm and accepting person - listened to me when I was 17, pouring out my adolescent miseries. She listened from her own inner sense of caring, really hearing beyond my words, and she did not laugh at me or criticize me. Now, many years later, I remain grateful for that accepting relationship.
More of us should practice developing the three qualities which Carl Rogers, the great American Psychologist of Humanistic Psychology, considered essential in any therapeutic relationship: unconditional acceptance, being genuine, and empathy.
Rogers' research evidence showed that when these three conditions are offered in listening, and are perceived by the one being listened to, the receiver "finds himself painfully but definitely learning and growing."1
According to Mearns and Thorne, "What is required is listening which hears the person rather than the content."2 One of the skills needed to develop empathy is that of reflection, saying carefully what you think the other person has tried to convey to you, picking out the feelings behind the words, not merely parroting them back again.
Many people in this country have been taught that it is wrong to be too emotional, or to express their feelings; that rationality is better. Academic achievement and worldly success were often valued above feelings. Rational words and self-analysis flow from people in torrents, almost overwhelmingly. To help myself listen empathically, I need to remember that there is often deep unspoken pain and yearning for understanding behind all the words.
'Emotional literacy' is the term given by Claude Steiner to the ability to understand your own and other people's emotions.3 To become emotionally literate you need to:
Children's feelings need acknowledging even if you do not approve of them. If a child says, "I'm afraid of the dark", and gets the reply, "Don't be silly", that is ignoring his/her real feelings. If you find yourself continually shouting, nagging or not getting a response from children, it might be helpful to change our approach, and try listening with empathy. For example, "I know you don't want to get up and go to school, but I am worried that you are going to be late and get into trouble." This response expresses your own emotions and accepts theirs.
We are happier when our relationships work well, and this contributes to good health. Of course creating new patterns of behavior takes determination and practice, and becoming a listening parent or an empathetic friend is not an overnight job. Starting with the loving intention to really hear the feelings of someone talking, not just the words they say, combined with some idea of the skills it takes to do this, all of us can become empathetic listeners, if we choose to do so.
This article "Listening from the Heart" by Vivienne Silver-Leigh was originally published in Positive Health Issue 69. October 2001 and portions of it were reprinted here with full permission from the Editor and Director Sandra Goodman, Ph.D. Please visit their website for over 1000 searchable articles on the latest news on complementary medicine and natural health at www.positivehealth.com . You can also buy single issues of "Positive Health" magazine or subscribe at great discounts.
Activating My Inner Joy
How I Activate My Inner Joy
by Ruth (retired in Middle America)
I activate my inner joy by looking beyond my struggles at the little pleasures each day brings:
Please send in YOUR entries to fill this spot next month! We are looking for the way YOU, our readers, activate your inner joy.
Global Good News
NEW MORNING , for a New Day a review - by Joy Smiley
Do you dread the alarm clock each morning? Do you have a hard time getting out of bed and getting started? Are you looking for a positive way to start each day? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the negativity in the local and national news of TV and radio?
Instead of being discouraged with all the things you have no control over, would you rather be inspired in your own journey?
I have found a way to do just that! You can bring global good news into your own home 6 days a week. I suggest you start each day with the "NEW MORNING" television show hosted by Timberly Whitfield on the Hallmark Channel 7-730 M-F EST/PST, and Sundays 8 - 3:30 EST/PST (available all over the world thanks to cable tv and dish networks - check your local listings).
If you don't have that half-hour available, or if you are more of a computer person, there is another alternative to this global good news program. You can view the same information at your own convenience on your computer at www.newmorningtv.tv (note - the last extension is ".tv" not ".com").
It is an upbeat show that is based on a daily themes such as; balance, turning points, play, courage, expectations, creativity, truth, animal teachers, support, clarity, truth, dreams, journey, or wisdom keepers. The format of the show takes stories from people in all walks of life from your next door neighbor to those from other cultures and many religious beliefs. Their stories remind us that what life has taught them can be experienced in our own lives when we allow ourselves to be fully present, open, paying attention and listening with our hearts to what each new morning brings.
If you decide to go to the web version - you will be able to view the show of the day AND all shows for the past two years which are archived. Here is how:
I believe if you approach this show with a joyful heart - it will find a valuable place in your routine. Spread the Global Good News!
Adult Relationships and Parenting Books
The Joyful Child: A Sourcebook of Activities And Ideas for Releasing Children's Natural Joy by Pegi Joy Jenkins, Ph.D.
Chapter 5 - is dedicated to "The Joy of Listening Within". The author helps us to see that the stormy stuff takes place on the surface of our lives, but if we go beneath the surface to the depths, we will find calm, and stillness, and peace and joy. There are many listening and meditation exercises to do with children in this chapter.
Chapter 6 - is "Joyous Self-Talk" reminds us how we can help children to hear joyous messages through the words we each say to ourselves. Pegi reminds us to take a look at the "makes me" language, the "should" language, and others... and how to turn them around to something more positive through 16 activities.
Chapter 7 - is "The Power of Songs and Quotes" encourages us to collect and create songs that bring joy into our lives. The author points out how words set to music - can take a message to our subconscious even in our sleep.
Chapter 8 - is "The Power of Stories and Storytelling". Reading to your children can be one of the ways you first begin to share the listening experience. Children are not only entertained - but also informed and challenged and stirred to action through listening to stories.
An Unknown Woman (A Journey to Self-Discovery) by Alice Koller
This is a story of a woman who was unhappy with her life - and decided to get away from it all and spend the winter alone on Nantucket Island to listen to her heart. It is a book of hope and inspiration that will invite you to do some honest self-examination of how much you listen to your inner voice. I encourage you to find this one in the library or at a used book store. It is worth the read!
Hope Through Heartsongs by Mattie J.T. Stepanek
You may have seen this young man on Oprah - or one of the morning news programs. He has struggled with muscular dystrophy and much loss. Yet, he listens to his heart and writes poetry that is beyond his years in wisdom and encouragement. It will make you smile... it will make you cry... to read his words aloud and listen to how your own heartsong responds.
Listen Buddy by Helen Lester/illustrated by Lynn M. Munsiger
Buddy bunny was born with very long ears - but that doesn't make him the best listener. The confusion of not listening very well is funny at first - but then Buddy learns the importance of listening and his life is changed forever. If you have a little one whose ears march to a different drummer - this may be the book to lead you all through laughter to a new truth.
The Listening Walk (a Lets-Read-and-Find-Out Science Book) by Paul Showers/illustrated by Aliki
A father and his little girl go for a walk together and identify all kinds of sounds along the way. This might inspire you to want to do the same with your children.
The Other Way To Listen by Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall
The beautiful illustrations of this Caldecott Honor Book will draw you to look a little closer at the small things all around you. You can't help but smile at the choice of words used by a wise old man, as he shares his knowledge of listening to nature with a willing young boy.
Larry Learns To Listen by Mary Murray and Karen Poth
Larry the Cucumber gets into a mess because he doesn't read directions and he doesn't listen when his friends try to help. He learns that NOT listening can have poor consequences. And there are things we need to listen to every day.
Listen To Me by Barbara J. Neasi/illustrated by Amy Wummer
A little boy just wants someone to hear him. And he finally feels special when he learns that Grandma is available to listen when Mommy and Daddy get too busy. This is an easy to read book that your child might read to you.
Crocodile Listens by April Pulley Sayre/illustrated by JoEllen McAllister Stammen
We are led to wonder why a crocodile just sits by the bank of the river and doesn't move and doesn't eat... but just listens. The suspense leads to a wonderful answer about the importance of listening and loving.
Gabby by Steven Cosgrove/illustrated by Robin James
Gabby's constant talking and babbling is driving everyone away (even her friends). She becomes lonely and sad till someone takes the time to listen, understand, and explain how to be a better friend by listening more and talking less.
Joy Inspiring Products, Services, Classes
Joyful You - Joyful Child, Inc. will consider products, services and classes to be advertised in this section. Email us for the guidelines or look for them soon on our website at www.joy4u.org
This issue we feature
- JOYFUL CHILD SONGS (cassette) $8.95
A collection of lively, uplifting songs from several singers designed to get us in touch with inner joy. Includes the "Joyful Child Theme Song."
This item may be ordered of the www.joy4u.org website (which now has a new and protected shopping cart as a standard feature.)
- JOYFUL CHILD SING ALONG (cassette) $8.95
Simple and familiar childhood melodies with new words to familiarize children with universal principles. Good for background while playing, eating or driving.
This item may be ordered off the www.joy4u.org website (which now has a new and protected shopping cart as a standard feature.)
- Connecting with Children: 144 How-to Ideas for People Who Love Children by Connie D. Allen, M.A. (booklet) $8.00
Are you looking for inspiring, effective ideas on how you can more joyfully connect with your child? Whether you are dealing with a big challenge or have only a few small concerns, the ideas in this booklet are sure to increase the joy and connection you feel.
Most people have difficult situations with children because they have gotten into unproductive patterns relating with their child. These challenges often start as small problems that become greater over time.
"Connecting with Children" by Connie D. Allen, M.A. will help you resolve these difficult situations and have more joy with your child. For more information (including ordering, shipping and handling and payment options) please go to: http://www.joywithchildren.com/Products/booklet1.html
- Joy With Children (Free Email Newsletter)
Connie D. Allen, M.A. has a newsletter "Joy with Children" which produced twice-monthly and is available by free subscription. Topics she covers in her newsletters include:
If you desire to have a better relationship with your children/students, Connie is offering a free 11-page workbook filled with information and exercises about the three most important principles you will need. The free workbook is included when you subscribe to Connie's free newsletter at: http://www.joywithchildren.com/ezine/sign_up.html
Quotes to Ponder
"No one ever 'listened' themselves out of a job." -Calvin Coolidge
"A person who talks fast often says things she hasn't thought of yet." -Caron Warner Lieber
"Nature has given to man one tongue, but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak." -Epictetus -Greek Philosopher
"It takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen." - Homer Simpson/TV Cartoon Character
"Gossip is hearing something you like about someone you don't." -Earl Wilson
"The wise old owl lived in an oak; the more he saw the less he spoke; the less he spoke the more he heard. Why can't we all be more like that bird? -Edward H. Richards
"The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -Hubert H. Humphrey
"Much silence makes a powerful noise." - African proverb
"When you are arguing with a fool, make sure he isn't doing the same thing." -unknown
"Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer." -Dali Lama
"If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear." -A.A. Milne
"One of the most valuable things we can do for one another, is to listen to each other's stories." -Rebecca Falls
"Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them." -Eudora Welty
"If you want your spouse to listen and pay attention to every word you say, talk in your sleep." -Anonymous
"To keep your marriage brimming, with love in the wedding cup, whenever you're wrong admit it; whenever you're right, shut up." -Ogden Nash
"The most valuable gift you can give a child is to listen to the big and little things in his life. Begin early, so that the lines of communication will be open during the teenage years." -Kimberly Keith
"To talk to someone who does not listen is enough to tense the devil!" - Pearl Bailey
"To meet everything and everyone through stillness instead of mental noise is the greatest gift you can offer to the universe. I call it stillness, but it is a jewel with many facets; that stillness is also joy, and it is love." -Tolle Eckhart
"To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the 'music', but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower that the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself; so you can slow your minds hearing to your ears' natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning." - Peter Senge
"She put the shell against her ear. Then rising from her knee, she closed her eyes, and, pressing hard, she listened for the sea. I knew she heard the water roar; she glowed with childish pride. To hold the ocean in her hand was more than she could hide. She ran across the sand to me; I listened for awhile, then tucked the shell within her hand and nodded with a smile. I thought that she could learn from me, but who am I to tell? She brought the ocean home today; I only brought a shell." -Darrell T. Hare
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