Books 1 – 5 in The Sacred Women’s Circle series are now available through JudithAshleyRomance.com, WindtreePress.com and your favorite e-retailer.


October 6 - 9, 2016 Fall Home & Garden Show, Expo Center, Portland, OR

November 12, 2016 11 - 1 p.m. I'll be signing my books at Jan's Paperbacks, Aloha, OR. with author, Sarah Raplee. Join us!!!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Glasser Wisdom: Reducing/Eliminating Useless Judgement

Glasser Wisdom: Reducing/Eliminating Useless Judgement

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul. She is also on the Senior Teaching Faculty of The William Glasser Institute.

Dr. William Glasser first came to notice in the 1960’s due to his work at the Ventura School for Girls and the backwards of the V.A. Hospital in Los Angeles. I heard of Dr. Glasser in the late 60’s but it was 1978 before I took my first Basic Intensive Training. To learn more about this remarkable man’s life, I encourage you to read “Champion of Choice” by Jim Roy.


How do we eliminate or at least reduce Useless Judgement from our lives?

By remembering The Only Person We Can Control Is Ourselves.

If we remember this, we’ve reduced all Useless Judgement focused on other people.

That, however, still leaves ‘us’.

How do we reduce or eliminate Useless Judgement when it comes to us?

We do have control over our own behavior thus over our own choices.

This next week, keep track of your negative self-talk. Perhaps jot down the theme you see or hear as you go about your day.

You might also want to ‘catch yourself doing something right’ and congratulate yourself on your good judgement.

I’ve found that spending a few minutes before I go to bed to review my day is important. However, I focus on that for which I’m grateful. If you want to adopt that practice as the time you ‘catch yourself doing something right’, it's a perfect time to do so.

I do Not recommend that you review your negative self-talk at that time. Perhaps after dinner? Or when brushing your teeth? But not as you get ready to slip into your bed and fall asleep.

See you next Monday when we will check out how to move forward now that you know where to find your Useless Judgements.

You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.

Follow me on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

I’m also on Facebook

© 2016 Judith Ashley

Monday, September 19, 2016

Glasser Wisdom: Useless Judgement

Glasser Wisdom: Useless Judgement

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul. She is also on the Senior Teaching Faculty of The William Glasser Institute.

Dr. William Glasser first came to notice in the 1960’s due to his work at the Ventura School for Girls and the backwards of the V.A. Hospital in Los Angeles. I heard of Dr. Glasser in the late 60’s but it was 1978 before I took my first Basic Intensive Training. To learn more about this remarkable man’s life, I encourage you to read “Champion of Choice” by Jim Roy.

“Useless Judgements” What are they?

Useless judgements are those that, in some way, harm us. Here’s a partial list:

I’m too stupid to learn X.

I’m not good enough.

My spouse/kids/friends/neighbors are selfish/don’t care about my problems.

I’ll never be able to XXX.

S/he should do XXX.

S/he shouldn’t do XXX.

If I was a good parent my kids would always/would never XXX.

Or in more general terms:

Our negative self-talk.

Our critical judgement of others.

Our efforts to mold someone, to make them change.

If you read “The Ultimate Question” you saw the list of the Seven Deadly and Seven Caring Habits that Dr. Glasser created. Not only do the Seven Deadly Habits leech the joy from our relationships with others but as, if not more important, they suck the joy out of our own lives.

When you think of the term Useless Judgements, what comes to mind? Pay attention to where useless judgements pop up in your life. Where are you? What are you doing? Who is with you?

Next week I’ll share one way to eliminate or at least reduce the incidents of “Useless Judgement” in your life.

And for those of you who love spelling, "judgement" and "judgment" are both listed in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary on my desk.

You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.

Follow me on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

I’m also on Facebook

© 2016 Judith Ashley


Monday, September 12, 2016

Glasser Wisdome: The Good and Bad in Judgement

Glasser Wisdom: The Good and Bad in Judgement

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul. She is also on the Senior Teaching Faculty of The William Glasser Institute.

Dr. William Glasser first came to notice in the 1960’s due to his work at the Ventura School for Girls and the back wards of the V.A. Hospital in Los Angeles. I heard of Dr. Glasser in the late 60’s but it was 1978 before I took my first Basic Intensive Training. To learn more about this remarkable man’s life, I encourage you to read “Champion of Choice” by Jim Roy.

I hope you had fun with your “mission” this past week.

My guess is that most of you see the importance of judgement in our lives. I’m dealing with some health issues around food. It seems there are some foods I used to be able to eat that my body now takes exception to. I’m adding foods into my diet one at a time to see who the culprits are. Many judgements going on with each new addition including what to add next and then how does my body feel.

There are basics such as food that are ‘it depends’. For some, they do not have the luxury of deciding what to eat. They are grateful for ‘something’ to eat. That is where their judgement comes in. Going further down that line of thinking, for some, the decision is what they will do to get food. Some are hungry enough to steal food. Some will sell themselves for food.

Whenever I hear the words “I had no choice”, I translate that into, this choice was the best one given my options.

This ties into the Myth of Choice. Somewhere in our lives we come to believe that there is always a ‘good choice’ if we can just figure it out.

That just isn’t true. Staying with food for our example.

We go to the grocery store with a special dinner menu in mind and with a budget to stick to. As we browse the aisles we find that while all the ingredients are there, their prices aren’t within our budget. So, the special dinner menu we anticipated isn’t available if we stick to our budget or we spend beyond our means to get what we want. If the dollar amount in our budget is finite and there isn’t any room to wiggle, we have more decisions to make as to what we will include or not include. Every phase of this shopping trip takes judgement.

At this point we have even more choices. We can bemoan the fact that we don’t have the money to buy what we want. We can berate the grocery store for charging such high prices. We can see if we can shop lift one of the ingredients so we can afford the special dinner.

Each one of these is a separate choice based on judgement. Depending on how important that special dinner is to you, you’ll make your decision based on the importance of the dinner rather than the possible consequences.

Judgements that are helpful to us are ‘good’. That also means the consequences of that judgement or decision is positive.

Judgements that have negative consequences in our lives are ‘bad’. Sometimes we stay so focused on what we want, we do not pay attention to possible consequences. And, that can create problems.

Reread my post on “The Ultimate Question” if you are having relationship issues. You may find a way to make better or good judgements/decisions.

Where are you making judgements that have negative consequences? Do you see a pattern?

I’ll be back next Monday with more about how “Useless judgements” leech joy from our lives and create havoc in our relationships with ourselves and others.

You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.

Follow me on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

I’m also on Facebook

© 2016 Judith Ashley

Monday, September 5, 2016

Glasser Wisdom: Judgement: Can We Live Without It?

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul. She is also on the Senior Teaching Faculty of The William Glasser Institute.


Dr. William Glasser first came to notice in the 1960’s due to his work at the Ventura School for Girls and the back wards of the V.A. Hospital in Los Angeles. I heard of Dr. Glasser in the late 60’s but it was 1978 before I took my first Basic Intensive Training. To learn more about this remarkable man’s life, I encourage you to read “Champion of Choice” by Jim Roy.


Judgement or if you prefer, evaluation, assessment, discernment, comparison (actually there are even more names we use instead of ‘judgement’). For the sake of this post, I’m using the term ‘judgement’ to include any word that describes how we make decisions/choices.

If you read my “All Behavior Is Purposeful” post, you know that Dr. Glasser teaches that all we can do is behave and that all behavior is purposeful and it is our best effort at the time to achieve something we want.

How does ‘judgement’ fit in to this?

Everything we do is based on ‘judgement’. Here's a simple example.

Three friends are out exploring their city on a warm summer afternoon. They decide to stop at an outdoor café for something cold to drink.

First judgement: it’s warm

Second judgement: outdoor café

Third judgement: something cold to drink

They haven’t even seen the menu or ordered.

After seeing the menu they order lemonade.

Fourth judgement(s): checking out the menu, deciding on lemonade

Server brings three identical glasses of lemonade. The friends clink their glasses together in a toast to a fun day together and take a sip.

“This is great lemonade,” one friend says licking her lips.

“Oh no, it’s not sweet enough,” another friend says, her mouth puckering.

“You’re both wrong,” says the third friend setting down her glass and pushing it away. “It’s too sweet.”

This simple example translates to millions of judgements we make every day.

Your mission, if you choose to take it, is twofold. 

One: Pay attention to the myriad of decisions/judgements you make every day.

Two: Ask yourself: How can I live my life without judgement? No food is too hot, cold, sweet, spicy. No bed too soft, hard, etc. No commute too long. And then come back next Monday and we'll proceed with the good and bad in judgement.

Also, I strongly encourage you to click here and read “All Behavior Is Purposeful”. You may see your judgements in a whole new light.

You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.


Follow me on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

I’m also on Facebook

© 2016 Judith Ashley


Monday, August 29, 2016

Glasser Wisdom: The Ultimate Question by Judith Ashley

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul. She is also on the Senior Teaching Faculty of The William Glasser Institute.

Dr. William Glasser first came to notice in the 1960’s due to his work at the Ventura School for Girls and the backwards of the V.A. Hospital in Los Angeles. I heard of Dr. Glasser in the late 60’s but it was 1978 before I took my first Basic Intensive Training. To learn more about this remarkable man’s life, I encourage you to read “Champion of Choice” by Jim Roy.




When engaging with others, asking ourselves “The Ultimate Question” often creates an environment that supports positive interactions and relationships. What is that question?

“If I say or do (fill in the blank) will it bring us closer together or will it push us further apart?”

Connected with “The Ultimate Question” is the idea of “Caring” and “Destructive” Habits which you learned of in earlier posts.

If your relationships are going well (and the other person/people think that also), then most likely you are already using the “caring habits”.

When relationships hit bumpy areas, most likely one or both of you are using the “deadly habits” in an effort to “Make” the other person change or agree with you.

In Choice Theory and Reality Therapy terms we say that is “External Control Psychology.” Around the world the prevalent thought is that we can control others when in actuality that is a myth of gigantic proportions.

As I write this post, someone is dying for principles that are more important than living. And, as I write this post, someone is making the choice to change in order to remain alive.
Judith and friend, Robin Kramme making positive choices

We all make choices based on our internal sense of what is important to us, what we believe in, what someone we love or respects wants us to do. So, it may feel like we are doing something we don’t really want to do but the truth is, we’d rather do it than experience the result of not doing it.

I've certainly done my share of household chores, school assignments and even work-related tasks over the years. Have I wanted to do all of them? No.

But I did.

Why?

Household chores: grounding, deductions from my allowance, arguing with my parents and still being expected to do the chore were incentives for Me to decide to do them – not necessarily with a smile on my face and joy in my heart but my parents did not expect that. More than once I had part of my allowance deducted and I was grounded because I would rather have that consequence than do the chore.

School assignments: Many, many boring chapters read, endless papers written, inane or maybe insane projects completed over sixteen plus years because I wanted to graduate from high school, graduate from college, get a salary increase by completing additional educational coursework. And, being who I am, it wasn’t acceptable to me to have poor grades. (My parents’ message was “as long as you do your best”).

Work-related tasks: Paycheck! When things were truly not something I wanted to do, I reminded myself I had a job and most of the people I worked with did not and because I had the job, I was getting paid to write the report, to check on the person, to spend time in a filthy hoarder house, etc.

I invite you to begin to monitor your internal process by paying attention to what is going on when you do something you don’t want to do.

If that is true then why are you doing it?

And, what is the consequence if you don't?
Please ask questions if this doesn’t make sense to you. And if it does? I’d love to hear from you in the comments’ section.

Interested in learning more about training in Dr. Glasser’s concepts? Email me at judith@judithashleyromance.com or check out training availability at http://wglasser.com.

You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.


Follow me on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

I’m also on Facebook


© 2016 Judith Ashley

Monday, August 22, 2016

Glasser Wisdom: Love Is More Than A Feeling - Part Two by Judith Ashley

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul. She is also on the Senior Teaching Faculty of The William Glasser Institute.

Dr. William Glasser first came to notice in the 1960’s due to his work at the Ventura School for Girls and the backwards of the V.A. Hospital in Los Angeles. I heard of Dr. Glasser in the late 60’s but it was 1978 before I took my first Basic Intensive Training. To learn more about this remarkable man’s life, I encourage you to read “Champion of Choice” by Jim Roy.

Here are two more questions on the topic of “Love Is More Than A Feeling”

1.  1. When you look at the relationship disconnect, what are others attempting to get or accomplish with their behavior?

Relationships are tricky things. We have in our mind just how we want our relationships to be and when the other person/people don't show up as "they’re supposed to", we have a variety of ways to choose to interact with them. The more important it is to us for the others to behave a certain way, the more likely we are to eventually turn to one or more of the seven deadly habits.
Criticizing
Blaming
Complaining
Nagging
Threatening
Punishing
Rewarding to control (bribes)
When we engage in one or more of these deadly habits, there is something we want the other person to change. In our quest to have our vision of the relationship dominate, we can ignore what the other person's vision is.

However, when we put the relationship first and work together to craft one we are both satisfied with (yes, there may be compromise involved), we are more likely to be using the seven caring habits.
Supporting
Encouraging
Listening
Accepting
Trusting
Respecting
Negotiating differences

2. What are you trying to get or accomplish in those relationships where there is a disconnect?

I've yet to experience a disconnect in a relationship when I consistently choose the caring habits. Case in point: Over the years I've gained a reputation for being able to work with "difficult clients".

What do I do?

I employ the seven caring habits which also support a safe environment which is often a new experience for "difficult clients" who've been consistently coerced to change.

Judith
Want to learn more? I include Glasser’s Wisdom in my Sacred Women’s Circle series. I also offer a variety of trainings including the first four parts of the Certification in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy process.

Curious about how these concepts can be applied in your writing? I’ve created a series of workshops focused on issues writers face.

Interested? Contact me at judith@judithashleyromance.com or visit The William Glasser Institute website here

Please share your thoughts and ask questions!

 I’ll do my best to expand on Dr. Glasser’s concepts in my answers.

  You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.


Follow me on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

I’m also on Facebook


© 2016 Judith Ashley

Monday, August 15, 2016

Glasser Wisdom: Love Is More Than a Feeling - Part One by Judith Ashley

Judith
Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul. She is also on the Senior Teaching Faculty of The William Glasser Institute.

Dr. William Glasser first came to notice in the 1960’s due to his work at the Ventura School for Girls and the backwards of the V.A. Hospital in Los Angeles. I heard of Dr. Glasser in the late 60’s but it was 1978 before I took my first Basic Intensive Training. To learn more about this remarkable man’s life, I encourage you to read “Champion of Choice” by Jim Roy.

Dr. Glasser talked and wrote about the importance of loving relationships in our lives. He also talked and wrote about the reality that the only person whose behavior we have control over is our own.

It is a myth to think that we really can “make” someone do something. There are people every day who literally die for their beliefs and that has been true throughout history. It is at times convenient to say “I couldn’t help it” or “S/he made me”. When I hear those words, I know that isn’t actually true. (Click here for my post on external control).

The truth is more along the line of “I didn’t know how to say “no” because s/he is bigger than I am (or has more power as in could fire me, etc.) or it is easier to go along than to stand up for my beliefs or s/he might not like me anymore (in some circumstances we call that peer pressure).

      Looking at your most important relationships and using a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 being high/good and 1 low/bad, how congruent are the words and actions of the people you love towards you?

If there is a high degree of congruence, you are most likely very happy in this relationship. However, in general the more in-congruence, the increase is in unhappiness.

Rule of Thumb: if you like what's going on, keep doing what you're doing.
     
Problems occur when there is more in-congruence than we want. For example: you are a new parent and getting ready to go out for the evening. Your baby spits up on your shirt/blouse as you lean over to kiss her goodbye. Being covered in baby puke is seldom seen as a positive. However, most adults do not believe some action needs to be taken (other than changing clothes).

Another example: in your family the roles of husband and wife were clearly delineated. You and your new spouse talked about wanting more of a partnership, a sharing of household tasks. Months into your new arraignment, you realize you are the only one taking the garbage out. The next time the garbage needs to go out you say "It's your turn." If you're succinct that's all you say. If you want to make a point, you remind your spouse that since you moved into this place, they have never taken the garbage out.
           
Yes, even something this small and insignificant in the relative scheme of things can create bigger problems. If in your family, you saw that taking the garbage out was a sign of caring for the other spouse, you may not even realize that was your perception until you are the only one taking it out.
           
Baby spitting up? That's what babies do.
Do we like it? Not particularly but that's what babies do.
           
Leaving me to take the garbage out? That's a sign I'm disrespected or maybe not loved as much or?
 

Looking at your most important relationships and using a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 being high/good and 1 low/bad, how congruent are Your Words and Actions towards the people in your life you love?

      In general we find it easier to look at someone else's behavior than our own. To create a high level of         connectedness which can also be seen as unconditional love or unconditional acceptance, we must look at our part in the relationship.
           
     How I communicate my perception of the whole "who takes the garbage out" situation matters. Even the succinct "It's your turn" if said in a negative tone (critical, sarcastic, nagging, etc.) creates repercussions we may not want. If we add the history of who has and hasn't taken the garbage out, we are upping the ante and increasing the odds of distance between ourselves and our spouses.

Here we are, six months into the marriage, we are the only ones who are taking the garbage out and we thought we had an agreement of sharing household tasks. It doesn't feel like we are doing any sharing of this one.
           
A. Why is it important that your spouse also take out the garbage? What is "the other" meaning of that task to you? (See above for one example).

B. How and when do you bring the topic up if, after you've answered "A", you still this task handled differently? (Hint: neutral is best. One tactic that backfires in the long, if not the short run, is to bargain for control. "I'll fix your favorite dessert if you will..." 

C. In any relationship, establishing boundaries in communication is important. Basics are no threats, swearing, name-calling, etc.
           
   After dinner while you are both clearing the table and cleaning up the kitchen?
   During a commercial in a television movie or sporting event?
   While getting ready for bed? or getting ready in the morning?
           
What do you say to start the conversation?

   Sweetie, do you realize you never take the garbage out?

   Remember before we got married we talked about sharing household tasks? How do you think that's    going?

   The other day I realized a holdover from my family I'd like to share with you. My dad always took the garbage out and my mom always thanked him and gave him a hug and a kiss when he came back in.

Or maybe: In my family we always knew we were in trouble when we had to take the garbage out.
           
The purpose of this post is not to tell you what to do or even how to do it but to present some ideas that will provide a framework for you to think about the level of connectedness or disconnectedness in your relationships.

Next week we’ll explore ways to increase connectedness.


You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.


Follow me on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

I’m also on Facebook


© 2016 Judith Ashley