Motivational Monday

Jun20

Dignity is another one of the values we hold at Peace Learning Center. Again, turning to Merriam-Webster for a definition, it reads, “the quality of being worthy of honor or respect.”  Like respect, we can decide to give ourselves our own dignity.   We decide we are worthwhile, we decide we are worth honor, we decide we are worth respect.  Allowing yourself dignity leads to knowing you are worth the world.  Every person on this earth deserves to think they are the bees knees.  It’s important to always be your own cheerleader because you’re worth it all.

I think dignity goes along with self-love.  Look around, there’s a million ways to “improve” your looks. There’s a website for every which way to better yourself, but in all these ways, you are who you are.  At the end of the day, it’s you and yourself.  Regardless of what you look like, or how you act, you should be happy with yourself.  I know I’m not the funniest person in the world, but I think my jokes are great.  I’ll provide my own laughter after a punchline. Sometimes I would not mind being a few inches taller, but I also dig my shortness for group photos. At the end of the day, I find peace with myself and I love myself.

I say self-love, but I don’t mean to become a narcissist and declare yourself higher than anyone else.  When you learn to love yourself and realize your worth, it shows.  When you allow your light to shine, people see it.  People see you respecting yourself, and when you see the respect someone demands for themselves, they get it.  Hold tight to your dignity, everyone deserves it, everyone starts with it.  Do not lose it, do not rob it from someone else, and do not give it up.

Motivational Monday

Jun13

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One of the values we hold at the Peace Learning Center is respect.

Respect is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “understanding that someone or something is important, and should be treated in an appropriate way.” When we respect ourselves, we decide we deserve to be treated well. We decide we deserve to be treated kindly. When we respect ourselves, we also acknowledge the way we would like be treated. Not everyone will give you the respect you deserve, but there’s nothing stopping you from giving others respect.

Although perspectives differ, backgrounds vary, and not every opinion is agreeable, everyone deserves to be given respect. You do not have to agree with every opinion you hear, but you also do not have to start an argument over it. When you give someone respect, you’re giving them space to voice their opinions. Nobody should have to keep their voice down. Your voice is a part of who you are, your voice allows you to convey who you are, and nobody should ever be deprived of being true to him/herself.

When you give someone respect, you give them a platform for confidence.  It can give someone the confidence he/she did not have before; the confidence to say what is on their mind, the confidence to do what is right or even the confidence to openly give someone else respect. Here at the Peace Learning Center we encourage respect, we help to build the platform for the voice inside to be kindly  shared.  In our groups, we exercise how to listen with respect and how to respond with respect.  Respect is a two way street, and when one person gives respect, it allows for the other person to return it.

Family “Rules”

Oct22

Family “Rules” We Live By

Our house has a revolving door.  Our friends, neighbors and kids friends are always stopping by and sometimes stay for a day or two or….more.  I often wonder why these individuals like to “hang out” at our house. 

My ego says “WOW! We must be great parents and friends!” So I went on a quest and asked why our home is their “landing hub” and here’s the answers I received: Your house is so calm and peaceful. There’s no judgments made here. I feel like part of your family. It keeps me out of my parent’s “messes” and makes me feel calm. I love that you always do things together and I feel included.

This made me realize that the rules we try to live by in our home are working – although, admittedly, we aren’t always successful at following them ourselves. We’re not perfect, but we try and that has to count for something, right?

So, here are some of the family rules we live by, not in any specific order, that I’d like to share with you. We don’t have all the answers, I just know these work for us in our home.

GIVE: It doesn’t have to me money or material things. Give your time and share your talents.

WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK: We all have tasks that need to be done on a regular basis, so no point complaining about them. Just get them done and crossed off your “to do” list so you have time for fun with friends and family.

BE THANKFUL: We don’t have things we’d love to own and we have our daily struggles, but we are still thankful for each other and the things we do have. There is a saying taped to our fridge that reads, “When you complain about the bad things that have happened to you today, think about all the bad things that DIDN’T happen to you today.” When you truly think about that, you’ll realize how good your life really is. We are blessed.

FORGIVE: Easier said than done, but do it quickly and move on. Not worth the negative energy to hold a grudge. Besides, no one likes the awkwardness of it all.

CHEER AND SUPPORT: Lift up your children, spouse and friends by offering support and cheering them on. We all need a “way to go” now and then or a positive push when there’s doubt in what we’re doing.

LOVE: Seems simple right? We don’t express or show love enough. I’m guilty of it – are you? Tell your children, spouse and friends that you love them. Show them by doing little things that cost nothing but a few minutes time; put a note in a lunch box, secretly tape a love note to your spouses steering wheel, do one of their chores, make their favorite dessert, hug them and hug them, actually say the words “I LOVE YOU” and then hug them some more!

I hope you choose to follow at least one or two of our household rules. They don’t cost anything but a moment’s time. It’s these little things that make a house a home, and the world into a more loving, peaceful place to live for us and the future of our children.

Written by Lisa Jones, PLC’s director of human resources and operations.

Family Bonding Time

Jul17

Children learn how to behave by watching their parents interact with each other and in society. Family bonding time is an excellent way to model behaviors for your children and teaches them how to communicate with family members, friends and society.

In my house, our family bonding time is Sunday dinner followed with a game.  During dinner we go “round robin” style asking questions and talking about each one. “I don’t know” is not an option when we ask questions like:

  • What was the best thing that happened this week and why?
  • What was the worst thing that happened this week and why?
  • What is something new you’ve learned this week?
  • What did you do to help another person this week?

This really opens up communication for us, allowing us to praise the good things, learn new things and actually “hear” what’s going on in the lives of our family as well as reinforcing the importance of helping others.  We try to keep it light so no one feels frustrated, angry, or closes up and doesn’t share.  As parents, we get to impart life experiences and wisdom by asking guiding questions to help our children make better choices and think about the decisions they make.  Without even realizing it, our parental frustration and worry level goes down because our children open up and communicate with us.  We are bonding, we are learning what’s happening in each others lives, and we’re displaying behaviors that can be used in children’s lives.

Once dinner is over we play a game.  It gets loud with laughter, fun and a little bit of teasing – sometimes our children have friends over to join us.  We’re still bonding, still learning, and, depending on the game, still instilling positive “rules” for today’s society – no cheating, no skipping, no bad language, no bullying, no negativity, no stealing, etc.

By 9 pm our tummies are full and we’ve had a great family bonding night full of information and fun. Then, I look forward to next Sunday night!

Email me at LJones@peacelearningcenter.org if you’d like to share what you’ve done to bring family bonding time into your household.

Written by Lisa Jones, Director of Human Resources.

11 Foods that Reduce Stress

Jul05

Real Comfort Food: 11 Foods that Reduce Stress

We’ve all heard of comfort food, but most so-called “comfort foods” tend to be loaded with carbs which only provide a temporary calming fix that wears off quickly and makes your mood worse in the long run.

So, instead of indulging in mashed potatoes and gravy when you’re feeling stressed, try choosing your snacks and meals from this list of truly calming foods to help get through your days feeling focused, balanced, and better able to handle conflicts with ease:

  1. AsparagusYoung woman eating bowl of fruit salad, portrait
  2. Avocados
  3. Berries
  4. Cashews
  5. Chamomile tea
  6. Chocolate
  7. Garlic
  8. Green tea
  9. Oatmeal
  10. Oranges
  11. Walnuts

To read more about these foods and the science behind them, click on the title to read 13 Foods That Fight Stress on Prevention.com.

Summer Adventures

May19
Even adults have fun during summer programs at PLC!

Even adults have fun during summer programs at PLC!

While summer camp opportunities might be declining for many children, there are still so many unique summer camps and other adventures at PLC and beyond that await exploration!

Click here to read an Indy Star article featuring 45 local camps for your kids to enjoy! Or, if you’re up for an adventure this summer, be sure to to read this article about 12 Adult Summer Camps that will Awaken your Inner Child.

I remember going to summer camp and dreading it when I was a child. Camp was the same thing every day…. arts and crafts, taking a hike, playing tag, eating a peanut butter or bologna sandwich and a banana for lunch, and then “hanging out” with volunteers watching over us, or “babysitting,” until the day ended.

Summer at the Peace Learning Center. Wow, how times have changed! They make me wish I could have a “do over”. So much to do, so much to see, so much to learn!!

Summer at the PLC….. I love the sound of those words as much as I love to hear the buses and vans pull into our parking lot. Excited youth get off the bus, ready for a day of fun. The hustle and bustle of it all. Enthusiastic voices and laughter ring through the building as youth participate in learning activities, nature hikes and more.

There is nothing quite like a child telling you with wide eyed wonderment what they just learned, saw or experienced. It’s a joy to see them feeling confident about themselves and practicing what they’ve learned during the course of the day.

I am proud of the PLC facilitators for instilling pride, confidence and skills these youth can take home and use on a daily basis in their own lives, creating a more peaceful place in their world.

So, we hope you will join us this summer by either supporting or attending an unforgettable camp experience!

This blog post is written by Lisa Jones, PLC’s Director of Human Resources and Operations.

Peace through Service

Apr16

So this month’s topic is “Peace through Service”. I can tell you personally that when I do service work, the whole experience is rewardinelephant loveg, unforgettable and brings a certain peace to my heart.  This got me thinking about how other people feel when they do service work, so off to Google I went, searching for the answer.  I found the majority of people feel that service is very rewarding.

“There are different types of community service work…I am a social worker by choice…it is community service work…and it has led me on many strange adventures…I love being of service to my fellow human beings. It makes my heart sing and grows my spirit in ways I would never have imagined…”

“To work in the community without getting anything in return is very rewarding and brings on blessings from on high, it also makes you feel ten feet tall when you see someone smile after you have helped them do something they could not have done themselves. There is no amount of money that you could get paid that would equal that feeling. It is pure joy”.

“I feel healthier physically, and I feel better inside knowing that I made a difference in my community”.

Michael Steger, a psychologist at the University of Louisville, KY conducted a survey of 65 undergraduates to see what made them happier; meaningful activities such as service or pleasure seeking, self-serving activities.  The results found that the individuals who did service were happier, saying service made their lives feel more purposeful.  Those who sought self serving activities, found they weren’t any happier than before the survey.

Well…. It would appear from personal experience, testimonials and surveys that service will make you happier, your life more meaningful, more rewarding and yes, more peaceful. 

This doesn’t mean it has to be “community” service.  It can be something as little as letting someone skip in front of you in the grocery line, paying someone a compliment that makes them feel better about themself, buying the person’s meal behind you in the drive-thru lane, holding the door open, picking something up that someone else dropped, a smile, listening to a stranger vent about their day, reading a story to someone, etc.  I consider service to be anything I can do to make someone else’s life a little easier, a little nicer, a little less stressful.

There are lots of places in need of service.  Even PLC needs volunteers to help! Most non-profit agencies need service volunteers or you can click on these links to search for current volunteer opportunities:  

http://www.uwci.org/volunteer

http://www.volunteermatch.org/

http://www.helpindyonline.com/

This blog post is written by Lisa Jones, PLC’s Director of Human Resources and Operations.   

Grow Yourself – Cooperation

Feb19

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COOPERATION

The meaning of this word is “The process of working together to the same end.”

Wow! Rather a “loaded” definition wouldn’t you say?

If you really think about it, no one would be where they are today without the cooperation of other individuals who’ve come and gone through their lives.

Does cooperation and teamwork go hand in hand?

Working together isn’t always easy is it.  There are differences of opinions of how “it”should be done.  Personal feelings get in the way, conflict erupts, compromises are made, someone doesn’t feel heard, someone is not pulling their weight, intimidation, cultural differences, intergenerational differences….The list goes on and on and on.

Sometimes “it” gets accomplished in a very smooth way and everyone walks away happy, with a sense of pride and accomplishment, learning from each other’s experiences, knowledge, education, and maybe even making a new friend along the way.

Sometimes “it” doesn’t get accomplished because of all these differences and everyone walks away unhappy, angry, upset, and blaming others.  This is where the PLC can step in and help. The PLC offers workshops on conflict, intergenerational understanding, team problem solving, diversity and more. Click here for more information on these workshops.

Here are some tips to help you be a more “cooperative” individual:

 1).  Be Present – Be in the now: Be open and honest.  Have clarity about yourself and what talents you can “bring to the table” and what you can “take away from the table”. Be willing to take a chance and be mindful.

2).  Involve Others: More brains are better than one. “Individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean” (author unknown). Ask questions, praise others ideas and input.

3).  Be Compassionate: Learn about the interests of others and respect them. Treat everyone as if they were already a friend.

4).  Recognize that Success is Unlimited:  You are not in a competition. Remember that others success leads the patch to your success.    

This section is written by Lisa Jones, PLC’s Director of Human Resources and Operations.

Being Grateful

Nov21

snoopy grateful

BEING GRATEFUL

How can I tell you I’m grateful for every little thing in my life and have you believe those are not just words? How can I tell you that my life changing experiences made me thankful for everything I have and that I “pay it forward” daily? Would my sob story make you a believer?

There are lots of websites that will tell you 10 ways to be grateful, 16 ideas to help you be thankful, 20 ways to teach your children how to be grateful. For me personally, it comes from the soul. It comes from your experiences. It comes from your heart. I have the following poem taped on my fridge – it’s beautiful and for me, it’s a gentle reminder for when I have a self-pity party or whining about silly things. I hope this poem makes it to your fridge as well. Have a wonderfully fun Thanksgiving that is filled with memory making moments, fun and of course…gratefulness.

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

~Author Unknown

This post is written by Lisa Jones, PLC’s Director of Human Resources and Operations.

 

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