3.21.2011

Conference Notes: Part 1: Relationships

What a weekend!  I'm still feeling the effects of going to bed at midnight and waking up at 6am (I haven't woken up that early for the past six months!), but it was good to get away.  Funny story.  Before I left, my oldest said, "Mom, don't get mad at this, but it's kind of fun when you leave."  I laughed and said, "Guess what?  It's kind of fun to leave you, too!"  :-)  It was cute.  We all had a great weekend. 

The conference was great.  I'm glad I went, I took home a few gems, and it was great to meet a few people and see some amazing youth (giving me hope that I'm doing the right thing for my family).  I enjoyed wonderful time and conversations with my parents and my sister, saw Jimmer the horse, and laughed a lot!  I just wish my pregnancy state hadn't made me so tired and that my mom's wonderful & delicious baking didn't give me so much heartburn (due to pregnancy) the whole weekend.  :-) 

So, what did I learn?

Today I will just share some things I learned from James Ferrell, President of the Arbinger Institute. 

First, I learned about asking the right questions.  Instead of asking "What are we going to do about...."  we need to ask ourselves "HOW are we with . . . "  It seems like a simple semantics issue, but think about it.  HOW? is a very powerful question.  How am I going to solve this problem rather than what is the problem?  How is my relationship with my spouse rather than what am I going to do about his socks on the floor every day?  :-)  How am I going to get my daughter excited about math instead of what do I need to teach her?  Ferrell says knowing the HOW is just as important as knowing the WHAT.  HOW is the foundation of our relationships, our time, and our lives. 

The other gem I took home from Ferrell was this question:  "Are we spending most of our time each day dealing with things that are going wrong OR helping things to go right?"  As mothers, are we putting out more fires than we are starting (by way of inspiring and leading our children)?  Making a checklist of where we are truly spending our time will help us to see if we are reacting to our daily lives OR living our daily lives.  Love that!

The final thing I learned was that I need to watch how I view my children.  What parent doesn't, at one point and time, look at their children as objects rather than people?  Children (and others) are often viewed as something to teach, something to train, a product of ourselves, or even something "in the way."  We need to view all people as just that . . . PEOPLE.  When we are looking at ourselves as either ABOVE or BENEATH others, we are building on the wrong foundation (this made me think of President Benson's talk on pride).

Bottom Line: 
EVERYTHING IMPORTANT IN LIFE ALWAYS HAPPENS IN RELATIONSHIPS.
How are we doing with the relationships in our lives?

The next day, I had the priviledge of hearing a blind man speak at church where he touched on this same principle, but in a more spiritual sense.  He said, "I may not have physical eyes, but we all have spiritual eyes.. . . Because I can't see your physical person, I get to see each of you through spiritual eyes and I feel your spirit." 

Imagine if we could all have that same perspective in recognizing one another as spiritual beings.  Wow!  How would we act differently?  How would we treat one another?  How would we think of ourselves?  As I'm always saying, "It's all about relationships."  Let's make them great!

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