May You Choose Love and Light in 2018!

Monday, March 30, 2015


Last month I posted about relationships and at the end of the post listed four questions.

You can read the original post here

You can read the posts covering the first questions here.

Today I'm following up on last week's post as well as the earlier ones by taking a look at the last two questions and The Ultimate Question's Seven Deadly and Caring Habits.

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?

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 are 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

Rewarding to control (bribes)

When we engage in one of 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.

Negotiating differences

I've yet to experience a disconnect in a relationship where I continually employ 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.

Want to learn more?
Check out my Glasser Concepts Training website at or visit The William Glasser Institute website here

To learn more about my writing life here

Always remember: Your Choices Today Determine Your Tomorrow

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Ultimate Question

When engaging with others, asking ourselves “The Ultimate Question” often creates an environment
Judith Ashley
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 I’ll share in more detail next Monday.

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.

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.


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.

Between now and next week monitor your internal process when you do something you tell yourself you don’t want to do. 

Why are you doing it? 

What would the consequence be if you didn't?

Next week I’ll share Dr. Glasser’s  Seven Deadly and Seven Caring Habits.

Remember: Your Choices Today Determine Your Tomorrow 

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Check out my Glasser Concepts trainings and workshops at

Monday, March 2, 2015

Love Is More Than a Feeling - 2

My February 4th post :Love Is More Than A Feeling" ended with four questions. This month we'll explore those questions and answers using Dr. William Glasser's Choice Theory and Reality Therapy as the foundation for possible answers.
Judith and Friends

Why these four questions? Because if we step back and honestly answer them, we can see our relationships with others differently. Even after over forty years of knowing of Dr. Glasser and over thirty-six years of involvement with The William Glasser Institute, I use these questions when I want to figure out what is happening in my relationships, especially if something doesn't seem to be going "right".

Sometimes it's a challenge to answer these four questions honestly much less have a conversation with the other person about what your perception is of what's going on.

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?

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 ?

2. Looking at your most important relationships and using a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 being high/good and l 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. 

The conversation continues next Monday. If you have questions, please ask. If you have examples of how you bring up for discussion sensitive or difficult subjects, please share.

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 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