Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines, Voices, Vivacity

Raise your hand if you feel there's not enough gratuitous, needless, and random violence in the world. Hmmm, not seeing a whole lot of hands out there. I thought as much.

Valentine's Day is not exactly the first holiday that pops to mind when thinking self-defense training. But it could be.

In all my classes, you use your voice. You also raise your voice, deploying words like NO and STOP and LET GO and BACK OFF. These are not exactly your positive relationship-building, Valentine-inspiring words. But they are important words to use at the right time.

If you are like virtually all my students, you want to recognize when someone means you ill. You want to have what it takes to say NO to people and events that will negatively impact the quality of your life. And you want to be someone who makes a difference.

You want to be able to say NO some of the time so that you can more confidently, more assuredly, and more enthusiastically say YES to people and events that will engage you, that will offer you growth as a person, that will provide exciting challenges. You want to say YES to good friends and productive opportunities. You want this world to be a better place, and you want to contribute to this work-in-progress.

One of the foundations of this work is in the relationships you forge with others, particularly those closest to you. True, February has become a "Hallmark Moment." But we do not have to wait for marketers to tell us when it's OK to treat one special person extraordinarily well for one evening. If I were Supreme Ruler of the Universe, Valentine's Day would be a Day of Service (similar to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in January) focusing on bringing vivacity and gusto into our spheres of influence.

My challenge to you for today: come up with one way you can make somebody else's today a tad better.

Sincerely, Joanne

PS - As my Valentine's Day gift to you, I've created a new handout on healthy relationships. Feel free to download it and share with family and friends.

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