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, 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

Monday, August 8, 2016

Glasser Wisdom: External Control - Does It Ever Work? 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.


I remember clearly when Dr. Glasser told a story about a friend of his who taught criminal justice classes at a university. His friend attended a conference and even though he’d been warned about the importance of being careful when going in or out of his room, the professor found himself face-to-face with a robber.

The robber had a gun and demanded the professor’s wallet.

The professor refused.

“I’ll give you my money,” he said pulling out cash and handing it over, "but not my wallet."

The robber grabbed the money and ran.

As the story goes, the professor didn’t even give him all of his money.

Faced with an armed robber, he did not do as he was told. Not only did he not give him all of his money, he didn’t hand over his wallet.

Why? Because of the hassle of getting a new driver’s license, credit cards, etc.

Each of us has at least one story to tell, perhaps not of facing an armed robber, but a time and place where we were asked/told to do something and we didn’t.

Each of us also has numerous stories to tell where we did something we weren’t thrilled to do. Often in those circumstances we say to ourselves and anyone else within ear shot that we ‘have to do this’ or ‘XXX made us do this’.

When we do this, we denied our choice in the matter.

How does denying we have choices help us?

I don’t think it does but I observe people every day use Dr. Glasser’s Seven Deadly Habits to try to control the world around them (and even themselves).
Criticizing
Blaming
Complaining
Nagging
Threatening
Punishing
Rewarding to control (bribes)

The challenge is that there are times it “appears as if” they work. The student sits back down. Your spouse takes care of the task. Your children go to bed with no complaining. Your mother-in-law agrees with you. We all can give examples where one of these deadly habits "works".

Are you someone who criticizes yourself for not doing, being, having, etc.?

Does it work?

Sometimes? Why only sometimes?

Even rewarding with a bribe which at least can have a positive element to it, doesn’t always work.

When you think about problems, whether in your own life or in the world, it generally boils down to negative relationship.

Glasser’s Seven Caring Habits: (I first talked about the Deadly and Caring habits in a 2015 post. For more examples and ideas you can read it here).
Supporting
Encouraging
Listening
Accepting
Trusting
Respecting
Negotiating differences
are ways to create and maintain positive healthy relationships.

Next week we’ll explore “Love Is More Than A Feeling” and what that really means.

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 1, 2016

Glasser Wisdom – All Behavior is Purposeful 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 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.

What I’m going to talk about over the next month or so is the impact Dr. Glasser and his concepts have on my life. Yes, “have”.

My tag line for my Glasser work is “Your Choices Today Create Your Tomorrow.”

Break that down to the title of this post “All Behavior is Purposeful.”

That translates to everything you do is your effort to create something for yourself.

As you start to argue that isn’t true for you, I encourage you to stop a moment and take a look at what you are going to use as an argument against that concept.

Deep breath.

What exactly is it that you are putting forth? Describe it in what you were doing, what you were thinking at the time, how you physically felt in that moment and what was going on in your body? When you have that clear in your mind, what did you want to happen with that choice?

My guess is that you wanted someone or something else to be different. Perhaps you wanted your child to stop whining. Or maybe your dog to “come”? Your boss to say “thank you” after you worked extra hard to finish the project on time. It could be that other drivers were more polite or perhaps it’s just customers in general if you deal with them daily.

And, that someone could be you. What was it you wanted to do that you didn’t?

An example from my own recent life:

I’ve had on my list to make dental and dermatology appointments since the end of last year. It is now August. Most weeks I wrote on my weekly list “Make appointments”. I made other appointments in the meantime but not dermatology or dental. It may seem like a simple task. Pick up the phone and make the call—however, I didn’t have a dentist or a dermatologist to call. Before I could make the appointments I first had to find a provider that took my insurance.

Some of you are rolling your eyes at my procrastination or whatever you call it.

What’s important to note—All Behavior Is Purposeful. So what was I gaining (positive) by not moving forward?

I’m on the computer for hours a day but I’m writing. I’m not someone who clicks around on the computer searching for much of anything. Also, I really, really, really do not like to go through the telephone tree and listen to all the commercials for the company in order to talk to a customer service person. (The commercial of the guy saying “customer service” over and over? I’m laughing and crying at the same time-been there too many times).

What I gained from not moving forward was I didn’t have to deal with telephone trees, computer automated systems, waiting for minutes to talk to a real person, much less clicking around on the computer. So that was the “purpose” behind my procrastination.

The scales tipped when I calculated the amount of money I’d spent on dental insurance so far this year. And by the time you read this, I will have seen my new dentist!

We make choices to support ourselves and to support others. We also make choices in our efforts to control others. More about that next week.

Judith
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, July 25, 2016

Shields

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women's Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul.

In 2004 I was in an automobile accident that scrambled my brain. If I was in a quiet place, I was okay but my brain could not deal with noise and busyness. During this time, I tried to work as much as I could. My daughter-in-law would drive me to the office and come pick me up a few hours later. Because my thinking was slow if not scrambled, a co-worker began advocating with my supervisor for me to be fired.

Added to the daily struggle to accomplish basic tasks (showering, dressing, fixing a meal), this layer of stress was affecting my health and my performance at work. I did have my Shield of Protection but I wasn’t comfortable taking it to the office.

My sacred women’s circle sisters created these smaller shields for me. Easy to transport, easy to hang in my cubicle, easy for me to focus on their protecting energy when I needed to.

These shields are to me like another person’s lucky penny, four leaf clover or rabbit’s foot. I also have a small bag of protection stones in my car. One never knows when a bit of protective energy might come in handy.

In each of my Sacred Women’s Circle novels, the heroine faces a challenge. She either has her personal totem or her protection stones with her. And sometimes, she has both!

Do you have any talisman you carry with you or keep nearby?


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, July 18, 2016

Shield of Life

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women's Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul.

In 1994 I attended a William Glasser Conference in Dublin, Ireland. There I met colleagues from the Balkans. The Balkan War was raging and their once peaceful lives were in chaos. When asked what The William Glasser Institute could do, they said they needed support.

Funds were donated and used to purchase diapers and formula and other necessities like soap and shampoo that were in short supply.

A group of us went a step further and organized a small conference on the shores of the Adriatic Sea in Rijeka, Croatia. We paid our own way and raised additional monies to put on the conference for those who could come. In addition we volunteered to lead workshops and provide whatever counseling services were needed. Our group was received by the Mayor of Rijeka, one of our members was interviewed on a national radio program. A highlight was the evening the government minister for prisoners of war and torture victims spoke to us.

Shield of Life
I had a chance conversation with a professor at the local University. He invited me to speak to one of his classes. I also led a group discussion with a small group of women who’d braved Serbian fire as they drove from their homes in Dubrovnik (that had been bombed that morning) up the Dalmatian Coast to the conference. What an honor that was!

When Zagreb, the capitol of Croatia, was bombed (we were about 50 miles away), I went to breakfast and found colleagues I’d had dinner with were missing. No one talked about where they were. They’d just vanished—called back to the war.

That morning we were also ordered to leave the country. That was difficult but knowing that our being there actually put them at more risk than if we left. We were an easy target and to kill ten US, Canadian, Irish citizens along with Croatians who were leaders in their country was tempting.

The Mayor sent his van and driver to take us across the border into Slovenia and on to Bled. Traveling through border check points where the guards were armed was an event I’ll never forget. We were in Bled for a couple of days waiting until our flights back home left.

Sitting in an airport waiting for a flight with military tanks on the runway, armed soldiers carrying automatic rifles patrolling the concourse—I’d never had any of those experiences.

When I reached my home I was compelled to do something more.

Shield of Life with added feathers
Because of that trip I’m very aware of how quickly deep and abiding relationships can form in times of trial. I still hold in my heart many of the people I met over two decades ago. I still feel an instant connection when I see any of them at conferences. One of my favorite experiences was at the Edinburgh, Scotland conference when most of the women I’d met in Croatia were there. Tears of joy, of gratitude on both sides—they’d rebuilt those lives that had been so traumatically disrupted.


This is my Circle or Shield of Life. While the flowers are silk, everything else is natural (well, actually the silk flowers are made from the spinning of silk worms). Feathers do not always survive and so I've added two feathers before taking this picture. The black feather in the upper right quadrant is one I picked up in Scotland in 2008. What's magical is that when I got home, there was the exact same feather by my driveway. In fact this might even be that feather instead of the one from Scotland!

What life altering event have you undergone?

How has it changed who you are?

What have you done to honor that experience and that transformation?

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