Archive for 2009

Empathy is the First Step in Making Up

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

This week I found the best video I have seen in a long time. It is a beautiful illustration of the power of empathy to change the world, one relationship at a time. The movie is called validation and is a bit of a play on words – the setting points to free parking validation but the main character validates people using empathy and compliments to help them smile. I enjoyed it very much, it is very uplifting for anyone that likes to be encouraged (I don’t know anyone who doesn’t!).


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I was inspired by the movie and attracted two different experiences that same day which emphasized the miraculous emotional healing that empathy can provide in relationships.

My wife Candice had been outside in the heat (yes heat, this is Phoenix in Nov) with one of our kids at a field trip with 47 1st-3rd graders that day (during her moon cycle), so she was a bit out of sorts. All the kids seemed to be asking her for things at once while she was getting dinner ready and she was trying to tell me about her frustrating day.

I really didn’t want to hear about it, but I made a conscious decision to show empathy by repeating what she had said in my own words – “You’ve been through a lot today and you just want a break, with some peace and quiet.”

Candice instantly lit up and gave me a big hug, then she didn’t say anything more about it – I was amazed!

Later while eating dinner Nickalus (who is 2) came to me crying:

“Bupaheay!
Bubahed!!
Bupaheyad!!!”

Finally I got the idea – “Oh, did you bump your head?”
“Yeaaah…” (as he nodded emphatically).
“That’s a bummer.” I replied, at which point he promptly calmed down and walked away. 🙂

It was as if I waved a magic wand and mended broken hearts with my words! Incredible!

I found an interesting book yesterday which uses empathy as part of the initial steps in the advice given to help people get their ex back. If you watch the first video on the page describing the Magic of Making Up, you’ll see how empathy is used in that situation – though it goes a bit further in agreeing with the other side of an argument, but the essence of showing an understanding of their position is really empathy at work – like magic.

How to recover from too much Halloween Candy

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Halloween Candy

Candice took the older three kids trick or treating for the first time this year, and they had a great time. Luckily it was on a Saturday so we had family over and they all went together, then watched a Scooby Doo mystery movie afterward (it goes with the spooky theme).

Of course during the movie they had their candy “loot” spread all over the floor in the TV room, and were happily gorging on assorted chocolate and sugar sweets. Near the end of the movie Kayin began doubling over in pain, screaming that his stomach hurt. So I put some nutmeg in a cup of water and gave it to him to drink. He said it helped and stopped screaming, and said he was fine as long as he had the cup with him. He was about to resume his feast when I reminded him that he already had too much and took his basket away for the night. 🙂

The next day Demitri broke out in a rash of little red bumps all over his skin so we felt good about putting away (not quite throwing away yet, but we’ll get there!) the rest of the candy in all three baskets. Demitri needed some rest so we put him to bed early that night after Candice gave him some herbs to help clear the toxins from his body.

The Key to Flexibility is Untimed Stretching

Monday, October 26th, 2009

This post has moved to http://www.lifetimegymnast.com/the-key-to-flexibility-is-untimed-stretching – please go there for gymnastics updates.

How to Overcome a Mental Block

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

This post has moved to http://www.lifetimegymnast.com/how-to-overcome-a-mental-block – please go there for gymnastics updates.

Born to be Free

Monday, October 5th, 2009

We had a birthday party for our youngest child yesterday and something happened which reinforced the middle name we gave him.  Candice had bought a birthday cake that morning and I put it on the counter by the stove pushed against the back wall in a corner of the kitchen.  About an hour later, while I was outside cleaning up the yard, Candice came out of the house holding Hani out by his arms while he wiggled like the whirling dervish that he is, and said:

Hani - Born Free

“This is why you don’t put cake on the counter!”

While Candice was on the phone, Hani had come to her holding the cake upside down (luckily it was in a plastic container he couldn’t open) and shaking it, saying “Cake!  Cake!” – apparently he had moved a chair from the table across the room to the counter right where the cake was in the back corner, then just climbed up and retrieved his prize.

Hani’s middle name is Fungasa, which means “liberate yourself”.  I took his picture (above) a few days ago while he was practicing his Harley style of freedom. 🙂

You can get help finding your own freedom here.