Dove with Branch
November 6, 2006 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Hello! - Dean Van Leuven

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I could have been “Confused College Student’s” roommate. I had been controlled so much at home I was never free to make my own choices. It felt so liberating to be free to make my own choices! I was having so much fun I never wanted to stop and I didn’t; not until it wasn’t fun any more. By then I had a terrible price to pay, I was broke, pregnant, hooked on meth, and my boy friend had moved on to someone else. But my roommate could not have stopped me, no matter what she said. I was made to follow the rules at home and I felt I just had to break free. Now I am busy repairing my life. I wish there was a way I could have avoided this. – Sorry Now

Dear Sorry Now, There was! But it was dependent more on your parents than on you. They taught you to obey authority rather than to develop responsibility. When we learn only that we must obey authority, we learn to resist it. We have a strong urge to break free at the first opportunity. If you had learned how to - and been allowed to make effective choices in your life as you were growing up - you wouldn’t have had to learn the hard way. Be thankful you have finally learned this lesson. Thank you for sharing your lesson with us. – the Dean

Dear Dean, My son’s wife doesn’t want my son to visit or spend time with me, and I am not welcome in their home. My son refuses to do anything about this and I never see him or talk to him any more. I miss him. How can I get him back in my life? Carla in Sacramento.

Dear Carla, It would appear that your son has been forced to make an unpleasant choice. He has chosen to abide by his wife’s requests because he has chosen a life with her. The first thing you must do is accept this as his truth. Can you change it by being a person your daughter-in-law will accept in their life? Perhaps! It is certainly worth the effort if you want them in your life. You can perhaps repair the relationship with unconditional love. Demands and guilt are not likely to produce effective results. Accept the outcome for the sake of your own life. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: P.O. Box 535, Elmira, OR 97437, or visit to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

We listen to the news of what is going on in the world. We read the newspaper and get more of the same. We study history and see that this “man’s inhumanity to man” has been going on forever, and it continues today. It is easy to draw the conclusion that this is our destiny. History will continue to repeat itself. That this is the human condition is an easy conclusion to draw.

If we look closely however, we see many reasons for hope. We have the desire to change. We have the capacity to learn. We have learned many lessons from our past mistakes. We now have more democratic governments than we did before. We still have too many wars, but they are more about freedom and less about conquest. Almost everyone is becoming educated to some level. We are learning how to make better choices for ourselves. We are learning to produce a higher quality of life for most people.

As more of us recognize the value of love, we move from that place of personal greed to caring for others. We do this because we realize it makes our own life better. We still act in our own self-interest. It is however an enlightened self- interest recognizing that ultimately we cannot be happy by harming others; and that this is an abundant world with plenty for all when, we learn to share. Perhaps the most important lesson is that sharing is good because it produces abundance and it produces love.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

It is good to be attached to our positive goals. This attachment is part of the power that helps us attain those goals. Such attachment, however, should be limited to continued focus on seeking your goal in a positive way. If this goal, or your pursuit of it, is no longer positive, then attempt to shift it back to being positive. If you can’t, then release it. Seeking a goal that is no longer positive - or seeking it in a manner that is no longer positive - produces negativity in our lives.

It is never good to be attached to our negative or hindering goals. As with our positive goals, our attachment creates the power to attain them. One of the skills we need to learn is to let go of those things that produce negativity in our lives.

Review your goals in all areas of your life and identify those that are upsetting you. Just like a smoker who would like to quit, we hang on to things that we think we just must have in our life, even though we know they are hurting us. Try to figure out why you are pursuing your negative goals so that you will gain new insight about your own motivation, and therefore be able to let go.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Review all goals in your life relating to the personal aspects of your self. Make a positive list and a negative list.

Tuesday: Review each item on the negative list and see why you still want to keep it.

Wednesday: Review all goals in your life relating to how you are with others. Make a positive list and a negative list.

Thursday: Review each item on the negative list and see why you still want to keep it.

Friday: Review all goals in your life relating to your work. Make a positive list and a negative list.

Saturday: Review each item on the negative list and see why you still want to keep it.

Sunday: Release all those negative goals you no longer desire to keep in your life.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of A Peaceful New World and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at:

Additional Notes

My Phone Seminar for this week is: Changing Your Emotional History

We make decisions based on how we feel about what has happened to us in the past. Learn how to change your emotional history by changing how you feel about things that have happened to you.

You can schedule a phone seminar for the days offered. You can schedule them at your convenience for any day Monday through Thursday between 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM Pacific Time by calling 800-359-6015 or e-mailing at least 24 hours in advance to arrange a scheduled time.

The price is $15.00 for a one hour seminar. If you subscribe to my free newsletter “Insights from the Dean of Peace” you are entitled to two free phone seminars to use at your convenience.

If you are a charitable or religious organization and would like to reprint any of my articles please contact me for permission, which will be cheerfully granted.

If you know someone who might be interested in using any, or all of my regular newspaper columns please pass this information on to them. Or send me their e-mail address, or telephone number, and I will be happy to send them the information.

Past issues of this newsletter for the year 2006 are archived on my website.

Remember if you want the free e- book and phone seminars you must subscribe to this newsletter at the website.

I welcome your suggestion or comments. If you have a question that you would like addressed in the Ask the Dean? column feel free to send them to


Contact Information

phone: 800-359-6015 fax:541-935-9361
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Dean Of Peace | P.O. Box 535 | Elmira | OR | 97437