Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another excerpt from Serenity

What do you mean, you don’t accept negative programming?

Cartoon by Chuck Vadun, used by permission.

Excerpt from Serenity, Conari Press, by Jane Nelsen (available at

The Brain as a Computer
The brain is like a computer (not really, but you’ll get the point) that requires software to be useful and a person who understands how to operate it. Using your programmed thought system is the same as using old, outdated software full of bugs. And it can be as frustrating as trying to operate a computer without understanding the basic principles or reading the instructions. Both produce unsatisfactory results, to say the least. You are now reading an instruction manual to gain an understanding of the principles that can help you eliminate or bypass old, outdated software in your thought system. 

Many people do not realize that their thoughts and beliefs from the past are not them, just as software is not the computer. I have seen several versions of a cartoon showing a person smashing a computer because it wouldn’t work properly. When we take our illusionary thoughts and beliefs seriously, we are using as much sense as the cartoon character. We forget that it is not our hearts and souls that are full of bugs. It is our thought system that is full of bugs and we smash ourselves instead of fixing our software. The wonderful part of this analogy is that simple awareness (understanding) is all it takes to fix our software—to eliminate the bugs that keep us from experiencing our inherent joy.
If you are like many who first hear this principal, your mind may be going crazy right now be-cause you are trying to figure it out from your thought system instead of your heart. As Einstein said:

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

Computer buffs know what happens when they try to feed new information into a software program not designed to understand it: the computer beeps and flashes error messages, or even worse, “fatal error.” A software program simply cannot accept what it is not designed to accept.
Your brain often does the same thing with new information that could be very useful to you. When you try to filter this information through your thought system, it beeps and says, “Wrong!” Fortunately, you have something a computer does not have—a heart full of inner wisdom to let you know what new information is useful to improve your life and relationships and what information is not useful. However, you don’t have access to your inner wisdom until you dismiss your thought system—which happens automatically when you truly understand the principle of thinking as a function. Dismissing your thought system does not leave a void; it clears your channel to your inner wisdom so your thinking ability can be used to express your natural good feelings and messages from your heart.

It is such fun to hear from someone who has been touched by one of my books. Today I received the following email:

I came by your book "Understanding" in 2002/3. [now titled Serenity]

I still go "off course" and have to re-read the book sometimes and try to get quiet again, however, I would like to congratulate you on writing what I believe to be one of, if not the best book to date I have ever had the pleasure to read.

Ray, UK

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Power of a Hug: Some Success Stories

  It is such fun when "real parents" share their success stories with Positive Discipline Tools. One of my favorites is 

Just last night in another parenting class the Parents Helping Parents Problem-Solving Steps, the role-play was about a three and a half year old having a tantrum.  The second role-play demonstrated the power of the hug without words.  The child was unable to continue the tantrum.  When processing with the person who role-played the child, she said she believed her mom cared about her and she felt safe.  The tantrum was diffused.
                        Jan Morris, CPDA

Just yesterday I had an almost 3-year-old having a tantrum in the school parking lot because I had cleaned his face. I was fending off his blows when I thought to pick him up and I held him close. He snuggled into my shoulder and melted in my arms.....isn't Positive Discipline wonderful???
                      Susan Lehman, CPDA

Holy Cow: It Worked. This morning, the scene in my house was practically identical to the scenario we role-played last night [during parenting class].  My daughter (4.5) woke up early and we had a very nice time together, getting dressed together. Then I woke up little brother (2) and the whole scene changed: They both wanted their breakfast in the "green bowl".  We drew straws for it, and John ended up with it and Sara burst into tears.  I gave Sara extra brown sugar to soften the blow (perhaps not positive discipline ;-)) that stopped the crying, but she proceeded to yell, "You are an idiot, John, I hate you John, John is a buttass."  John is then crying, "Mama, Sara call me Buddyass." I decided to try the option that we tried last night of "speaking less and using body language" (which I was frankly skeptical of, but having acted last night, it came to mind).  I removed Sara's dish from the table.  She immediately began to scream, "Give it back, I want my food," and, "I am going to spill your coffee."  I honestly can't remember if I said anything, but I went and hugged her a nice long hug and a kiss. She said, "I want my food," but with a smile this time. I gave her back her breakfast, and we all had a peaceful and pleasant breakfast together. Wow!
      Christine, Positive Discipline Class Participant

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cartoon and Excerpt from Serenity

My book, Serenity, has gone through many incarnations.  The publisher decided to leave out the cartoons that were in the last edition. I love them and have decide to post them in my blog and on my website. I hope they are as insightful (great reminders) to you as they are to me.  :-)

This cartoon is almost correct. Since the kingdom of heaven is within, happiness is even closer than your back yard.

Cartoon by Chuck Vadun, used by permission. Excerpt from Serenity, Conari Press, by Jane Nelsen (available at