Pop quiz: You might like to try it before you read the book, and then try it after.
Basic Information: Children discover before the age of 3 how to get their needs met. Those who discover that having control works become lions. Those who find that pleasing others is the solution become the 3 types of pleasers. Those in whom anger predominates may become golden retrievers, those in whom sadness is the favored emotion become beavers, and those whose habitual feeling is fear become otters.
Systems Information: Systems theory says that the universe and life consist of systems, small and large, some interconnecting and some independent, and some of them smaller parts of larger systems. The general laws of all systems include organization, feedback, dynamic homeostasis, and circular causality.
Bill of Rights: I have the rights to: be myself, be happy, set my own goals and priorities,be safe and take care of myself, stand up to abuse, not be blamed, change and grow, express my feelings, ask for what I want, say no and be treated with respect.
Self Worth Skills: Base your self worth on something that doesn't change. Deliberately put positive thoughts into your monolog. Tag the toxic thoughts in your monolog, challenge them and replace them with the truth. Notice the ways in which you're acting as if you're inferior or unworthy, and stop doing those behaviors. Act as if you have self worth.
Self Care Skills: Eat well, and make sure you get good sleep. Take 2 tablespoons of brewers yeast per day. Use continuous breath to clarify your thoughts and feelings, and to recharge your energy. Feel your feelings. Keep yourself and your environment clean. Remember that all things pass. Use problem solving skills. Use your spiritual resources, if you're a spiritual person. Talk to your friends, use your personal support system. Learn anger-management skills and stress-reduction skills if you need them.
Progressive Relaxation: Lie down in your bed, relax, let the bed hold you up. "My feet are relaxing." Relax yourfeet, legs, hips, pelvis, low back, abdomen, upper back, chest, hands, forearms, upper arms, shoulders, neck, back of the head, top of the head, forehead, temples, eyes, nose, cheeks, upper jaw, lower jaw, thoat, and center of your head.
Continuous Breath: Lie down on your back. Put a pillow under your knees. Breathe without pauses. Breathe for at least forty minutes.
Going Into Trance: Lay down on your bed, face-up. Put a pillow under your knees. Relax your body. Repeat mentally,"I am sinking deeper and deeper into trance." Count backwards from 99. If your eyelids don't do it spontaneously, exert a slight pressure on your eyeballs with them. Go towards pleasure
Self Introspection Skills: Get in touch with FEELINGS by asking yourself where in your body that feeling is centered. Use continuous breath. Fantasize that you're sitting inside your body. Give the feeling a voice and listen to what it has to say. Feel into the feeling. Get in touch with THOUGHTS by watching your thoughts, and with continuous breath. Get in touch with UNCONSCIOUS MOTIVATIONS by holding yourself back from doing it a bit, and seeing what happens. Get in touch with DREAMS by training yourself to pause a moment when you first wake up to remember any dreams. Keep a dream journal. Perhaps you have lucid dreams.
Changing Myself: I change myself by changing my attitudes. I deliberately change the behaviors, and the attitudes follow. First I identify an attitude I want to change. Then I list the behaviors that are maintaining the attitude. Then I list the behaviors that would be maintaining the attitude I want to have. Then I refrain from the first list and do the second.
Opening to Pain: Allow yourself to be with your discomfort. Feel the way in which your mind or body resist the pain. Stay with it... gently but firmly. Loosen the ring of resistance. Notice any fear. Let the painful thought or sensation float free. Keep letting go of any resistance....
Letting Go: Observe thought itself. Let all images, thoughts and sensations arise and pass away without clinging. Just keep letting go of one thing after another.
Friendliness Skills: I listen when someone talks. I empathise with them. I find common ground. I'm playful. I'm open and available, vulnerable, self-revealing.
Nurturing Skills: Touching skills: The most important nurturing skill is touch. When an adult is sad or frightened, hold them as though they were a child. Hair stroking is soothing for almost everyone. The Verbal skills are: Not speaking more than you have to. Murmuring. Agreeing. Expressing sympathy. Active listening. Deferring debriefing. Encouraging feelings. Encouraging self worth. Praising. And later when it feels right, debriefing and problem solving.
Communication Skills: Basic communication skills are listening, empathy, questioning and summarizing. Listening means paying attention. Attend to what the other person is saying. Check with empathy to see if you understand what they're saying. Paraphrase in your own words. Questions are for clarification and challenge. Summarizing conveys more than the facts. Attitude and feelings are summarized as well.
The formula for communication is: "I feel ______ because ______. I want ______. Are you willing to do that? What do you want?"
Advanced communication skills are: Making "I" rather than "you" statements, Being specific, Keeping it simple and clear, Doing one thing at a time, Describing feelings, Perception checking, Spaciousness, and Lightness.
Assertiveness Skills: No criticism (blaming). No contempt (name-calling). No sarcasm. No threats. I avoid comparisons. I don't bring up the past. I keep agreements. I'm polite. I listen closely when it's my turn to listen. I check to see if I've heard correctly. I'm direct. I praise my loved one. And I accept compliments. I say what I feel as well as what I think. I apologize when I've hurt someone's feelings, and offer to make it up to them. Complaining is good. I ask for what I want. I say no to what I don't want. I stand up to abuse, by recognizing it, stopping it and asking for behavior change. I work for the win-win solution. I cultivate resilience, flexibility and adaptability.
Self Defense Skills: We live in a world where one must stand up to abuse. There are two kinds of self defense: direct and indirect.
Direct self defense has 8 principles:
1) Recognize abuse when it's done to you.
2) Stop the abuse.
3) Label the abuse, once it's stopped, to the abuser.
4) Ask for behavior change.
5) Talk about process rather than content.
6) If at any point the abuser escalates, you can either match their escalation or call a time-out. What you're matching isn't bad behavior but intensity level.
7) Whenever you need to, take a time-out. "I'll check back with you in an hour."
8) If the abuser won't stop the abuse, walk away, and the relationship is ended.
Indirect self defense is only used when direct won't work. It has 4 principles:
1) Pretend to give in and go along.
2) Notice what the abuser's weaknesses are.
3) Expose the abuser publicly, in front of the people whose opinion he cares about.
4) Use your knowledge of the abuser's weaknesses to defend yourself.
Questions can serve all these functions in an efficient manner.
Abuse and Defenses: There are 10 forms of abuse, and 10 defenses that don't work.
One of them is Melodrama: Melodrama is unique, in being both a form of abuse and a defense. It's the hardest to use self defense skills against.melodrama.
People who are afraid of real feelings fill their lives with melodrama instead. Most melodramas are based on betrayal, and can be recognized by the moment of surprise, the switch.
The most classic melodrama goes like this: The Persecutor attacks the Victim, the Rescuer comes in to save the Victim, and the Persecutor and Victim join together and attack the