11/18 – Jan’s Paperbacks Book Signing – 11 – 2 p.m. One free Sacred Bundle kit with every purchase!

11/29 – All day Facebook Event with Arte Soleil.

12/02 – Author Event at Arte Soleil. Details forthcoming.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Are We Having Fun Yet?

By Judith Ashley

During February I’m blogging every Monday on one of Dr. William Glasser’s Four Psychological Basic Needs. Today I’m talking about Fun. Dr. Glasser said this Basic Need was the last to evolve as we developed. First we banded together (love and belonging) because that increased our rate of survival. Second those who honed specific skills such as tracking, weapon making, reading the signs of the weather, etc. to the point of mastery were accorded special standing in the group. Third the ability to follow a herd, to move and forage for food was essential to survival.

In my short story “Is He The One?” included in Windtree PressGifts From The Heart, my heroine, Sophia Denton uses Dr. William Glasser’s Psychological Basic Needs to sort through her feelings and find the answer to Jonathan’s proposal. She knows herself pretty well. Laughing and feelings of joy and happiness are important to her. She enjoys teaching high school, seeing students’ master skills, inspiring students to achieve and even excel. Laughing, a sense of lightness, of joy is important to her in her relationships. Does she have that with him?

Dr. Glasser points out that when we are young we have fun learning. The look on babies faces when they take their first steps or the wonder in a child’s eyes when they print a letter or can recognize their names is part of the joy (fun) of learning. Children also “play” house, school, store—a whole host of “games” where they practice the skills used in those professions. So having fun first became a basic need because of our need to learn the skills for survival.

My two longest friends love to shop. I’d rather clean house than shop and I’m not at all fond of that activity. Neither of them are into sports at all. However, I enjoy watching college football (Oregon Ducks) and enjoy track and field (probably because I was able to watch Steve Prefontane and other world-class racers run under the four minute mile when that was an amazing feat) and I dated a discus thrower for a short period of time. I like to watch the Little League World Series and the College World Series but I’m not big into professional sports.

I find it inspiring to watch people who are focused on being the best they can be. I’m encouraged when watching the coaches at the Little League World Series level teach sportsmanship because I’m disheartened to see it losing ground in college and professional sports.

Personally, fun is walking through my neighborhood, reading a favorite author and sampling the work of a new-to-me writer, spending time with close friends and talking about so many different topics my brain is active. My other “happy place” is at my computer. As an author, watching the story unfold on the computer screen is a joyful experience.

It’s question time!

1. When was the last time you laughed? Not smiled or chuckled or giggled, but laughed from deep inside you – maybe tears streamed down your face you were laughing so hard?

2. What ideas, memories bring a smile to your face? Why? Are those things you can still do? Or can you modify or build off them? Would they be as satisfying to you now as they were then? Why or why not?

3. Who do you have fun with? And if the answer is ‘no one’, if you shared what you do for fun, would doing it with other enhance the joy?

4. How often do you have fun? Do you save it up for weekends or vacation? Are you someone who looks for joy and happiness in the mundane activities of everyday life? Are you someone who needs an adrenaline rush to have fun? (Think Xtreme Sports for example).

Next week starts a new month. I’ll have taken a couple of classes from the awesome Maggie Lynch. I expect to have a lot of fun learning how to use Mail Chimp to create a newsletter! I’ll be back to share that experience with you.

I hope you’ll join me. And, please ask questions! I’ll do my best to expand on Dr. Glasser’s concepts in my answers.

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual
practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance. She is also on the Senior Teaching Faculty of The William Glasser Institute and schedules trainings leading to Certification in Dr. Glasser’s Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.

Learn more about her work with Dr. Glasser’s concepts here or check out The William Glasser Institute to learn about more educational and training opportunities.

Learn more about her writing and The Sacred Women’s Circle series at www.judithashleyromance.com


Monday, February 16, 2015

Freedom: What Does It Mean To You?

By Judith Ashley

During February I’m blogging every Monday on one of Dr. William Glasser’s Psychological Basic Needs. Today I’m talking about Freedom. Dr. Glasser said this Basic Need is often in conflict with the Basic Need of Love and Belonging because they can be seen as the antithesis of each other.

What does it mean to you to be free? Do you couch your response in terms of choices or movement? Do you have another frame of reference you use to describe your definition of this word?

In my short story “Is He The One?” included in Windtree Press's "Gifts From the Heart" available through Windtree Press and major e-retailers, my heroine, Sophia Denton uses Dr. William Glasser’s Psychological Basic Needs to sort through her feelings and find the answer to Jonathan’s proposal. She readily acknowledges they love each other but is that enough? Will she miss the independence she has now? Will he change and want to be ‘the boss’ in their marriage? Bottom line: How important is “Freedom” to her and will she be able to meet that need if married to Jonathan.

Dr. Glasser often used examples of freedom to choose when he talked about this basic need. Because he taught we ‘choose’ our behavior, it really does cover more than what we choose to wear or eat for breakfast.

I had a great conversation with a friend of mine today. The words “freedom” or “free” came up frequently as we talked over almost four hours! We've both had life experiences in the last few years that totally changed how we thought our lives would be. While traumatic at the time, we've both come to see those events as “freeing”. Jolted from the complacency of what our lives would be like, we've searched and at times scrambled to figure out how we wanted to move forward with our lives.

We all have ideals and beliefs that frame our lives. A death, divorce, loss of job or a natural disaster like an earthquake, hurricane or tornado can have devastating effects on our lives. These same events can also “free” us in that we have an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, find new relationships that are a better fit for us, experiment with a new life direction.

If you see “freedom” as meaning you get to do what you want, when you want, as you want without taking other people into consideration, that may bring you in conflict with people in your life who see their lives more through the love and belonging or power lens.


The challenge in understanding Dr. Glasser’s Basic Needs is to find balance between them. I may have a high power need (see my life and relationships from that position) but what about my relationships. How do I balance my desire for control of myself and at times of others with my desire to have close loving relationships with my spouse, children, friends?

Its question time!

1. What words come to mind when you think of the word “freedom”?

2. How easy is it for you to take “orders” or “direction” from others? What are the exceptions, if any?

3. In a workplace or a family, what can you do to ensure your own and other people’s need for freedom is respected and protected?

4. Can there be too much freedom?

Next week I’ll explore the Psychological Basic Need of “Fun”. I hope you’ll join me. And, please ask questions! I’ll do my best to expand on Dr. Glasser’s concepts in my answers.

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance. She is also on the Senior Teaching Faculty of The William Glasser Institute and schedules training leading to Certification in Dr. Glasser’s Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.

Learn more about her work with Dr. Glasser’s concepts here or Check out The William Glasser Institute for more training and educational opportunities.

Learn more about her writing and The Sacred Women’s Circle series at www.judithashleyromance.com



Monday, February 9, 2015

Who Has The Power?

By Judith Ashley

During February I’m blogging every Monday on one of Dr. William Glasser’s Four Psychological Basic Needs. Today I’m talking about Power. Dr. Glasser said this Basic Need is the most difficult to understand because we live in an “external control” society and we teach and support the myth that other people can control us.

There’s a commercial airing on television these days where the actor is striding through the airport, grabbing someone else’s coffee, etc. He is on his way to get his rental car. Why do I mention this commercial?

The actor’s lines go something like this “some people think I’m a control freak, I think of myself as a control enthusiast”. When I first saw this commercial I laughed. As I've seen it again and again and think of it through the “Power” lens of the psychological needs, I no longer laugh. The actor bypasses people because he doesn't want to engage with them and at the end, posed beside a car, he contemplates what being a ‘control enthusiast’ is and comes up with “sexy”.

If you've ever been at the mercy of someone who will do just about (or maybe anything) to gain the upper hand, to win, to be first, to “make you” bend to them, I doubt you see being a control enthusiast as ‘sexy’.

Unless—

Unless you are exerting internal control, using your personal power to enhance your life, making yourself into the person you want to be.

In my short story “Is He The One?” included in "Gifts of the Heart through Windtree Press, my website and major e-retailers, my heroine, Sophia Denton uses Dr. William Glasser’s Psychological Basic Needs to sort through her feelings and find the answer to Jonathan’s proposal. She readily acknowledges they love each other and they both want to do their best as high school teachers. Will Jonathan want to control her? Will he disregard her opinions? Since they both have their own apartments, how will they sort things out when living together and seeing the other person do something at best ‘differently’ and at worse ‘wrong’?

Bill said more than once that all the problems we have in the world are because of people working to

gain control over others. In my personal and professional life, I see almost all, if not all misery stemming from other people exerting control/punishment/coercion over others. Early in my child welfare career, I had a supervisor who planted tape recorders in the area where our desks were to try and catch us doing something wrong. Fortunately, he wasn't my supervisor for long! The person who replaced him would come and sit with us and ask us what we needed from her to be able to do our work, to be the best child welfare worker we could be.

One could say both were control enthusiast. I know which one I wanted to work for!

Of course the world would be a better place if everyone believed, thought and acted as I do! That is a core understanding those of us who've studied and worked with Glasser have. I can assure you that isn't going to happen.

So, how can you move forward and shift from external control/power to incorporate the concept of internal or personal power?

It’s question time!

1. What is happening when you try to “make” someone do what you want or how you want a task to be done?

2. What would need to be different for you to engage the other person/people in a cooperative effort to complete the task?

3. Can young children understand these concepts? Spoiler alert: Yes! My youngest granddaughter could explain pointing to a graphic Dr. Glasser developed to show his concepts, what was going on when she was upset. I will add that understanding is not accepting!

4. What would be different if you eliminated all punishment, coercion, criticizing, blaming, complaining, threatening or rewarding for control (bribing) from your relationships at work and at home?


Next week I’ll explore the Psychological Basic Need of “Freedom”. I hope you’ll join me. And, please ask questions! I’ll do my best to expand on Dr. Glasser’s concepts in my answers.

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance. She is also on the Senior Teaching Faculty of The William Glasser Institute and schedules training leading to Certification in Dr. Glasser’s Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.

Learn more about her work with Dr. Glasser’s concepts here or check out The William Glasser Institute to learn about more educational and training opportunities.

Learn more about her writing and The Sacred Women’s Circle series at www.judithashleyromance.com



Monday, February 2, 2015

Love Is More Than A Feeling!

By Judith Ashley

During February I’m blogging every Monday on one of Dr. William Glasser’s Psychological Basic Needs. Today I’m talking about Love and Belonging. Dr. Glasser said this Basic Need is the most important because there is an element of connections/relationship needed to best satisfy the other three psychological needs.

Yes, love is more than a feeling to me. We tell others “I love you”. We hear “I love you, too” said back. At times someone may say “I love you” first and we repeat back that we love that person “too”.

I write romance a blessing, a gift, a way to balance my life because for almost fifty years I worked as
a private guardian and geriatric care manager and/or in child welfare and/or in an emergency after hours capacity for vulnerable adults. My professional life has shown me all too clearly that there can be a gigantic disconnect between the words “I love you” and the actions we’d expect from someone who truly does love us. I am consciously choosing not to site numerous examples but I do invite you to think about where you may have experienced or born witness to that disconnect.

In my short story “Is He The One?” available through major outlets, my website and Windtree Press, my heroine, Sophia Denton uses Dr. William Glasser’s Psychological Basic Needs to sort through her feelings and find the answer to Jonathan’s proposal. She readily acknowledges they love each other (the feeling).

Her question is: Is that enough? While she, herself has not been abused, she is aware of the issue of domestic violence and child abuse. Committed to doing her very best not to get caught in that “but I love him” trap, she decides to delve deeper into the conundrum of love, to determine for herself if there is a disconnect between how she and Jonathan ‘feel’ about each other and how they treat each other.


Bill 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. 

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).

It’s question time!

1. 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?

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

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

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

Next week I’ll explore the Psychological Basic Need of “Power”. I hope you’ll join me. And, please ask questions! I’ll do my best to expand on Dr. Glasser’s concepts in my answers.

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance. She is also on the Senior Teaching Faculty of The William Glasser Institute and schedules training leading to Certification in Dr. Glasser’s Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.

Learn more about her work with Dr. Glasser’s concepts www.glasserconceptstraining.com or check out TheWilliam Glasser Institute for more information on training and educational opportunities.

Learn more about her writing and The Sacred Women’s Circle series at www.judithashleyromance.com