Thursday, January 26, 2012

Communication Styles and How They Work

Communication Styles and How They Work By Peggy Grose Have you ever noticed how your own style of communication often triggers a corresponding, negative or positive reaction in others- children and adults? Coming on strong, scolding, demanding and criticizing evokes defensiveness and resistance and generally regbellious responses, even from adults. Speaking in a non-threatening, non-demanding voice works better for all concerned. Our oldest son Edward was a rebellous teen. We couldn' tell him a thing. He was irresponsible, unappreciative, and combative --you name it. It seems as if we were always on his case. In his senior year, he volunteered in a city department in the afternoons, working on the “Think Trees” project. At a reception one evening for parents, his supervisor reported that he was one of his best interns. He said, “Edward is so conscientious! He gets here on time and gets right to work. He gets along with the staff and his ideas have been valuable.” We looked at each other, wondering, “Is this the son we know?” You see, away from our parental, authoritarian, constantly-on-his-case approach and disapproving style, he thrived. We were doing him more harm than good. Here’s a suggestion: Try to speak in modulated ways, using a “You’re o.k.” tone, rather than a "You’re not o.k. tone". Be as courteous to your own loved ones as you would to a colleague or friend. Avoid scolding and criticizing. Decide what change you’d like to see and ask for it. Negotiate if necessary. Listen to them. O. K. O.K.—you’re still in charge. They’re still your kids. But even if you are the parent, you can speak to them adult to adult. The same goes for your spouse, co-workers, neighbors, in-laws. Give compliments, celebrate small and great successes, praise effort, and forgive. Remember, the more we push, the more others push back. Listen to yourself. .
How to Talk so They’ll Listen Alice wanted to talk to her husband, Sam, about the way he went around with a toothpick in his mouth. She knew from experience that he could be defensive. She could already hear it in her mind: “What difference does it make? I’m not hurting anybody.” And he would be perfectly right. This is a values issue. It’s not hurting or hindering anyone. It’s simply bothering Alice’s somewhat more-polished taste. She rightly cares about how her husband is perceived. So, she gently brings it up in a way that will most likely get the results she wants. “Sam, Honey,” she says, “I know this is no big deal, but the toothpick in your mouth annoys me. You are a good-looking, well-put-together guy and the toothpick takes away from all that. Would you just toss it when it’s done its job?” Now Sam can’t come back with the argument that it doesn’t matter, because Alice has covered all that. “O.k.,” Sam says, “I’ll try to remember.” And Alice thanks him. What if he doesn’t remember? What does Alice say the next time she sees the dreaded thing hanging there? Perhaps Sam gave Alice permission to remind him. Perhaps a gentle remember is acceptable. She might ask, “Help me understand this.” After that, it’s nagging. There are worse things that husbands could do! Here are some pointers in how to get what we want and need without harming the relationship: 1. Ask yourself, “Is this something that is harming or hindering me, or is it simply a matter of taste?” Then, decide whether or not to mention it. 2. Approach the subject when everyone is in a fairly good mood and rested. 3. Set it up as a behavior issue and not a character issue. Bring up one request at a time. 4. Don’t bring up the past or something that cannot be undone (his or her sorry relatives. the dent she put in the car last week). 5. Don’t ask for something the other person cannot provide. 6. Avoid blame. 7. Express appreciation for changed behavior. 8.Be equally willing to accept suggestions from others. nr
COMMON, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNITY, COMMUNION DEVELOP THE ART OF SKILLFUL INQUIRY BY ASKING SKILLFUL QUESTIONS Some time this week, make a list of important questions that you might ask another employee in order to know who that person really is. Here are some examples: How and why did you choose the work you do? What part of your job brings you the most satisfaction? What is disappointing about your job? Please tell me one thing you are hoping for. What have you been disappointed about recently, either personally or professionally? What can I, or others, do to help make your work more satisfying? Other questions ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Then, listen, without judgment or criticism, and with a receptive mind. Imagine that you will be enriched by learning what is “going on” with this interviewee. Suspend assumptions to more fully understand another’s perspective. People don’t care whether or not you agree with them as much they want to be heard.

How to Talk about Religtion and Politics without Losing Your Head

How to Talk about Religion and Politics without Losing Your Head by Peggy S. Grose A friend once told me about a time in law school when each student was to take a certain case and prepare an argument from one side or the other. After their presentations, they were instructed to prepare the same case, but to argue it from the opposite viewpoint. The students were astonished at how passionately they took each position, based solely on choice. He said, “I realized then how fiercely I tended to hold on to my own viewpoint, at all costs but, when I made the decision to look at the other side, I was just as passionate about that one.” Sometimes, an opinion is sort of like a suit of clothes that we don each morning. “I like this outfit so much that I won’t wear anything else. This suit is me. It’s who I am, my Self. It feels comfortable, safe. I don’t want to hear about what else may be on the rack.” But, of course, we are not what we’re wearing any more than our opinions are who we are. Neither has to be permanent. We can choose to change or hold onto our opinions and still keep them separate from who we are. Dr. Jerry Jampolsky, author of the book, Love is Letting Go of Fear, and founder of the Centers for Attitudinal Healing, wrote that negative emotions are mostly fear of not being loved. So, if there is no boundary between our opinions and who we are, then, surely we will react defensively to protect our Selves when dealing with controversy. Little wonder there is so much venom in the air. We don’t want to be found wrong. Long-held notions, even if proven wrong, are hard to let go of. Here are some suggestions 1. Let’s examine and re-examine our leanings, read and study and discuss, expanding our universe. Trying to understand where the other guy is coming from is hard, but it would contribute to a more peaceful world. Remember that he has a right to his views, which are just as precious to him as yours are to you. 2. If you want to promote peace and understanding, ask questions, but don’t cloak them as a challenge; state them out of the desire to understand. Listen to her insights. Listen without interrupting, and without hostility. Help the speaker make herself clear. Nod, not in agreement, necessarily, but to indicate that you hear. That’ll ease any potential hostility. If you don’t understand, ask again. You can think of this as an experiment. 3. Remember, many people think they are communicating when they are simply taking turns talking. 4. If a different angle feels like a threat, don’t put up your fists. Take a deep breath. You are safer if you don’t appear threatening to the other person. 5. If you must, speak your own side of the issue. If he takes offense and wants to quarrel, explain that you’re only trying to understand. Notice how fearful he seems. Help him feel safe. 6. Remember that the things we are most afraid of are those that we don’t understand. Once we understand that air moving faster over the plane’s wing than under it, causing the lift, we won’t be afraid of flying. 7. Fear is triggered by the amygdala, a tiny organ on the top of the brain stem. Without a brain, it has no capacity to think. It doesn’t ask questions or make informed decisions. It only reacts. It needs time to consult the cerebral cortex before we can make an informed decision. 7. I dare you to do this: Find someone whose opinions you totally disagree with. With completely neighborly intentions, try your best to understand his opinion without getting into a brawl. Relax and listen. 8. Stop the name-calling. Stop vandalizing cars featuring bumper stickers with which you disagree. Forgo the hand signals. Behave yourself. Grow up. 9. Ask yourself, “What’s the cost of being right? What am I missing?” 10. Give up the need to be right, dog-gone-it. 11. Watch out. You may change, stretch and grow a little. Your blood pressure may normalize Your world will enlarge. You’ll have more people to talk to. You will be less fearful. Your can get more done with less energy. From our example, our children will learn more mature behavior, problem-solving skills, how to think for themselves. And your world will be a happier place.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Blessed Encounter as a Military Family Life Consultant

It was just after noon on Sunday and we were packing up at the end of an “On-Demand” weekend for service members and their families. I decided to speak to some vendors across from our table and, as I stepped over, I noticed an attractive, “fiftyish” woman standing there, as if waiting for someone. I greeted her with my usual opening, “Hello, how’s it going?” She responded, “Well, not so good. I have had a radical mastectomy.” I waited for a moment before asking, “Shall we talk?” She nodded, and then we found a vacant office.

During the visit, she told me that her surgery took place while her husband was deployed, about how hard it was without him, and of her chances of surviving—20%. Her husband has returned from action, thank goodness, and is supremely supportive. We had talked for a good forty five minutes, when I asked “Do you get weary of people telling you how brave you are? Maybe you’re tired of being brave,” She answered, “No it helps to hear it.”

As she wept quietly I took her hands in mine and waited. As we left the room, she said, “I almost approached you the last time we were at one of these weekends, but backed out.”

How was it that we met? Why did I notice her standing there?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Meaning Encounter with an army wife

A Blessed Encounter as a Military Family Life Consultant

It was just after noon on Sunday and we were packing up at the end of an “On-Demand” weekend for service members and their families.I decided to speak to some vendors across from our table and, as I stepped over, I noticed an attractive, “fiftyish” woman standing there. I greeted her with my usual opening, “Hello, how’s it going?” She responded, “Well, not so good. I have had a radical mastectomy.” I waited for a moment before asking, “Shall we talk?” She nodded; then we found a vacant office.During the visit, she told me that her surgery had taken place while her husband was deployed, about how hard it was without him, and of her chances of surviving—20%. Her husband has returned from action, thank goodness, and is supremely supportive. We had talked for a good forty five minutes when I asked, “Do you get weary of people telling you how brave you are? Maybe you’re tired of being brave.” She answered, “No it helps to hear it.”As she wept quietly I took her hands in mine and waited. As we left the room, she said, “I almost approached you the last time we were at one of these weekends, but backed out."How was it that we met? Why did I notice her standing there?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Out with Political

Out with Political Correctness
By Peggy S. Grose

I grew up in the Deep South and was taught to speak respectfully of all people. I was not allowed to use pejorative language to or about those of a different color, country or creed. I also learned correct grammar, spelling punctuation and pronunciation.
Now it seems that we have replaced these with political correctness. A young man explained to me, “My teacher says that spelling and grammar don’t matter as long as you make yourself understood.” But isn’t that its purpose--to make ourselves understood, for heaven’s sake?
How did we get from speaking and writing respectfully and correctly to this silly, stifling, stilted, stultifying and suffocating thing we call “political correctness” that keeps us from telling the truth? Is political correctness keeping us from telling the truth, like the child in the story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes?”
Does “vertically challenged" sound better than “short”? Does this imply that to be short is bad? If there is no shame in being short, why do we avoid saying it?
To say that one is “mathematically challenged” is also to infer some sort of shame, is it not? It’s avoiding a simple truth, which is that she is simply weak in math and needs some extra help. Why sanitize something that is not dirty?
Schools pass kids when they haven’t earned the promotion, denying the fact that the students haven’t done the work. Some even allow seniors to walk across the stage and pretend that they are graduating. By pretending he is successful, the student fails to learn from his failures and fails to learn to strive for success. Do we think these youngsters don’t know the truth that we’re trying to hide?
As a drug rehabilitation counselor, I work with individuals and their families. We have an expression that goes like this: “There’s an elephant in the living room, but no one talks about it. Mom’s drinking is out of control. She’s passed out on the sofa when the kids get home from school. They don’t bring friends home anymore, and Dad stays late at the office.” The family doesn’t mention it because talking about it makes it so. As long as they keep quiet, in their minds, the problem doesn’t exist.

Does an “insurgent” not kill innocent people, or is he not quite as bad as a “terrorist?” Calling him an “insurgent” is a form of denial of what he is doing but doesn’t make it go away.
Did calling riots in Los Angeles an “uprising” hide what they really were? Did giving them by a more palatable name justify their actions and make them more acceptable?
People in England and Europe have had a “pink elephant” in their living rooms for years because people are afraid to speak up and tell the truth. They care more about not offending some sectors than about protecting the precious traditions of Democracy and Western Civilization. They pretended that one culture is as good as another and kept quiet as they watched their own culture being destroyed. Now they are overrun by lawless outsiders who have no regard for culture, rule of law or respect for others.
Why do our representatives say nothing when people like Khalid Sheil Mohammed, the leading captured Al Qaeda terrorist, confess to such atrocities as cutting off a reporter’s head, holding it up in his hand and having his picture taken? Why don’t we express horror and disgust when the terrorists hide children in a car with explosives? Why don’t we all scream at the tops of our voices? Out of fear of offending someone, we are afraid to call evil what it is--evil.
What “political correctness” have you been hiding behind? How long will it be before it comes back, like a boomerang, and strike us all in the derriere?
When will we gather some courage and declare that the emperor has no clothes?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Prayerful Thoughts

A friend shared this meaningful reminder with me last week: "Every good thought is a prayer," and ever since, I have been monotoring my own negative, resentful thoughts. It's made a difference in my attitude and physical energy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What is your "core belief" about yourself?

A core belief is the basic view of ourselves that we formed in early childhood--positive or negative--about our worth, our rights and the importance of our existence . We also learned certain behavors in order to fit in and to meet others' expectations or approval. But, because we know of no other way to be, we carry those core beliefs and behaviors into adulthood. It's all we ever knew. Consequently we attract the same kind of people as in the past and, by the same behaviors, create the same qualityof relatonships.

What was your early core belief and how has it impacted your behaviors and relationships in adulthood?

Write a story in which you change your core belief and tell how the new core belief has changed your life.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Making Connections

Making Connections

Everyday, as we go about our routine activities, there are opportunities to connect with people, if only we are aware, pay attention, and make the time. Following are reports of some of my occasional, happenstance, but meaningful encounters with strangers.

Every day, in every way, bless everyone you meet.


A group of us were in Houston for a conference and I was driving. We pulled into a parking lot, attended by an elderly African-American man. As he handed me the ticket, he asked about what time we would be back to get the car.

I answered, “Oh, about quittin’ time.”

He looked up quickly, responding to an expression reminiscent of a southern, rural past, the same as mine. Our eyes met. Wordlessly, we connected.

Reaching Out

My husband and I stood in a long line at the cafeteria on Sunday, a little after noon. Two women entered, one older, one younger and were obviously mother and daughter. The older woman took a seat on the padded bench between the rows, while the daughter got in line behind us. I observed the older women as she sat, her shoulders sagging, her head tilted a little to the side. Looking down, she seemed to take no notice of her surroundings. I imagined that she was recalling times and places long past. Making a guess, I commented to the daughter, "Your mother is grieving." Yes," she replied. "My father died not too long ago and she misses him terribly." I went over and sat next to the woman on the bench, gently touching her hand. I said, softly, "I hear you've lost your husband. I'm so sorry." She put her other hand over mine and held it there as we sat together quietly. It was a precious moment between strangers.


A group of us were in Houston for a conference and I was driving. We pulled into a parking lot, attended by an elderly African-American man. As he handed me the ticket, he asked about what time we would be back to get the car.

I answered, “Oh, about quittin’ time.”

He looked up quickly, responding to an expression reminiscent of a southern past, the same as mine. Our eyes met. Wordlessly, we connected.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Problem with Giving Advice

There are three problems and risks that go with giving advice, especially that which is not solcited.

1.We may not have all the facts; in fact, we probably don’t have the whole story. For that reason, we don’t know what’s best for the other person because we don’t know her or his wishes, values and goals in life, unless you have asked.

2.The argument for not giving unsolicited advice is that it puts us in a superior position, which the receiver may resent, feel “talked down to." He or she may seem to agree, just to please us, but not follow through. If we make a habit of giving unsolicited advice, that person may soon avoid us because he or she feels uncomfortable.
The risk of giving any kind of advice is that it makes us responsible for the outcome. If he follows our advice and it falls flat, we are to blame because it was our idea.
But what if someone comes to us for advice? Beware of the same trap! The blame will be ours. “After all, it was your idea in the first place,” he may say. Here’s a suggestion: Ask questions.

What's happened? Tell me, "What is the problem?"
What kind of outcome are you looking for?
What can you afford? What bothers you most about this?
What have you tried? How did it turn out?
What are your alternatives?
How strongly do you feel about it?

Then listen thoughtfully, without interrupting.
Listen to feelings. Now is the time to sum it up, “What I’ve heard is that you…”
Would you like a suggestion?

Now is the time to ask if she would like some information that may help her make a wise decision. It may be a phone number, people to contact.
It it’s a situation that can’t be changed, just offer concern and try not to place blame.

3.Let’s let others make their own choices. What works best is to give people information that may be helpful, allowing them make their own choices. They are more motivated if they act on their own ideas. We can help motivate others by asking about what’s happened, what is the problem and what’s important to them, not by telling them what to do.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Never Say ,"I told you so!"

Are you wondering why your sister, your child, your spouse or a co-worker reacts negatively to you?
Are you one of those people who love to see someone else mess up? Are you the first to say, in a triumphant tone, “I told you so!" One of the cruelest things you can do is to kick someone who is down, who has made a mistake, or otherwise made a mess of things. Perhaps, deep down, this is the good feeling we get when we discover we were right. But the good feeling only precedes the sorrow that comes with broken trust and damaged relationships.

Last summer, when I was upset over a mistake I had made, a cousin said, "Well, Peggy, if you had done like we told you, you wouldn't be having this problem!" In other words, she used the old, invalidating, blaming words we have all heard to many times, "I told you so!" It was often the favorite of our parents.
I seemed to me that my cousin was gloating over my misery and her opportunity to feel superior. How we love to be right! The truth is, sooner or later, we will make a mistake and be on the receiving end of such heartlessness.

How much more loving it would have been for her to say, “I’m sorry you are having this problem; I know you must be disappointed, or better, yet, “How can I help?”

Love and blessings,
Peggy G.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Be Like an Empty Cup

Did you ever notice that, when a cup is full, nothing can be added? One who has all the answers, who knows everything, who has it all figured out, can't learn anything new. He is like the cup that is full and needs to be emptied. What ideas, notions, and prejudices would you have to give up in order to be like an empty cup?

Love and blessings,
Peggy G.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Problem of Being Owed

The Problem with Being Owed

Feeling “owed” exacts a high price.

It’s easy to feel that someone or “the system” owes us something. We’ve had such a hard life. We’ve worked hard, sacrificed and, perhaps, have been mistreated or neglected. “After all I’ve done for you,” or, “After all I’ve been through,” are our favorite plaints. Surely “they” owe us.

What’s wrong with that?

It leads to resentment. Hanging on to resentments is called “gunnysacking.” If you don’t know what a gunnysack is, ask an “old-timer” who used to pick cotton. Ask him about the burden he pulled along behind him, between the rows, and how exhausting it was.

Maybe we feel so special that the fog of resentment blocks our appreciation for our good fortune and gratitude for what has been given us.

Sometimes, feeling “owed” gives us license to take back what we believe “they” owe us. We begin to infringe of others’ property or rights in order to even the score.

Perhaps we wait for what’s owed us. We’re stuck in the muck of inaction and not getting anywhere. We’re waiting to get on with our lives until we get what we’re owed—an apology, an admission that they were wrong, a thank-you for what we’ve done, or an acknowledgement of how hard it’s been for us.

Perhaps we’ve given so very much that there is no amount of appreciation that can repay our sacrifices or heal our wounds. Perhaps the hurt and sacrifice happened so long ago, that the offenders no longer exist. Who is left to make amends on behalf of those who harmed or used us? Can it ever be enough? Or is this hurt so much a part of us, so precious, that we can’t let it go? What does it take for us to “get off it,” get over it, let it go, finally?

We wait and wait. We wait until we decide that what we’re waiting for is not worth our very lives. We make a choice between existing and living. We get tired of "feeding on straw when a banquet awaits us on the other side of the fog."

We begin to experience energy and peace we haven't known.

Love and blessings,
Peggy Grose

How to Communicate

How to  Not Be Opinionated
Tom was known as being opinionated, often expressing his views in a rather overbearing manner. Others who may have agreed with him may have wanted to respond but he didn’t give them a chance. Tom made his statement in a way that precluded any further discussion. “I’ve had my say and that about covers it,” appeared to be his attitude, “Nothing more needs to be said.”

Sam, who disagreed with him, took the bait, expressing an apposite view in an equally aggressive way. Neither heard the other and neither learned a thing. They both became hostile and agitated and, possibly, experienced a rise in blood pressure. The hostility was nothing more than fear, the great barrier to effective communication.

How do you know when you are being opinionated? When you confuse what is simply your opinion or belief with what is fact. Opinions and beliefs change; facts do not. Why not try to present your opinions and beliefs as what they are, not as facts? They go down easier.

Opinion: That’s a boring class.
Fact or belief: I’m bored with that class.

Opinion: MacArthur was a bloodthirsty general.
Fact or belief: My college professor said that MacArthur was blood thirsty general.

Opinion: God doesn’t care about us as individuals and doesn’t get involved in our daily lives.
Fact or belief: I don’t believe that God cares about me individually or follows me in my daily life.

Here are some examples of ways to express your opinion without being offensive:
“It is my opinion that…”
“I’ve been thinking…”
“I was reading the other day about…”

If you tend to throw your opinion around, try to be more of a listener. Instead of stating an opinion right off the bat, try asking about the other person’s views first.
Here are some examples:
“What to you think about…”
“I’ve been wondering about…What do you think?”
“Have you heard about…?”

When you discuss issues, what is your goal, to gain an understanding, or to win an argument?

Be careful; by listening, you may learn something, or even change your mind!

Telling equals talking.
Asking equals listening.
If you are doing more telling than asking,
you are doing more talking than listening.

love and blessings,
Peggy Grose

Monday, June 9, 2008

How to Handle Rejection

Being rejected is hard. It's one thing we all dread and we take it personally.

I recently was turned down for a job I had applied for. Because it was the first time I had ever been turned down for a job, it was a blow to my ego but good for my character.

I once did consulting for a small company that installed metal doors, with the hardware, in commercial buildings. I helped them with communication and general management problems.

Todd was a dear young man whose job was to contact contractors and ask permission to place bids on jobs. Todd's problem was that he just couldn't handle the rejection and used any excuse to avoid making the calls.

I remembered, from one of Dale Carnegie's books, how he handled rejection. If he was turned down in trying to enroll someone in the Dale Carnegie Course, he would say to the prospect, "Thank you so much. You have helped me in making one more step toward the person who will agree to register for this course."

I gave Todd this assignment: He had to turn in a quota of at least ten "no's" for each day, with names and phone numbers. Now, each "no" was a success, rather than a rejection. It worked.

When you hear a "no," just realize that you're one more step toward a "yes."

Love and blessings,
Peggy Grose

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

'How Not to Irritate People"

"How Not to Irritate People"

Mary’s husband handed her the newspaper and said, “You really ought to read this article.”

John said to his brother-in-law, “You should try my barber. He does a great job.”

“You ought to listen to this radio talk show,” Richard told his next-door neighbor. “The host is great.”

If I were Mary, John’s brother-in law, or Richard’s next-door neighbor, I would not have welcomed that unsolicited advice. How can another person know what I need?

All of this advice would have gone down more easily if made in the form of a suggestion:
Mary’s husband: “Dear, here’s an interesting article that you may want to read.”
John to his brother-in-law: “I get the impression you’re not happy with your barber. I’d be happy to give you the name of my guy. He gives a really good haircut.
Richard: “I’ve enjoyed listening to Henry Livingston on talk radio. You might want to try him out.”

Love and blessings,

"How to Talk so They'll Listen"

How to Talk So They’ll Listen

When we need to confront someone about something they do or have done that hurts, it’s best to front it in with a “cushion” that softens what you want to say and that acts as a buffer for you.

Susan complained about how her mother constantly criticized her in subtle ways and, sometimes, in not so subtle ways. The mom would say, “I don’t see why you need so many pairs of shoes,” or, “Why don’t you do something with your hair?” Susan, feeling resentful toward her mother, usually reacted in a hostile way that made matters worse.

I coached her to do it this way: “Mom, I love you more than I can say and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you do for me. And, there’s something else I need to say. When you criticize me and run me down, I can’t tell you how it hurts.”

I haven’t heard from Susan how it turned out.

I had a supervisor once that reacted negatively when I brought up an issue between us, or requested something from him. One day, I said, “Sam, I am a self-starter, as you know. I work hard and am dedicated. But, once in a while, I’d like a word of thanks or a nod of appreciation.”

He lunged forward in his chair and, glaring at me. said, “Peggy, just what is it that you want from me?”

The next time I needed to confront him or ask for something, I began with this remark: “Sam, I need to bring up something, but I’m not sure that I won’t be sorry.”
It worked. He listened and we got the problem solved.

Love and blessing,

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Making Excuses

I have learned that, as long as I make excuses for my behavior, I'll continue that behavior.

Years ago, I showed up for the second day of the EST training five minutes late. The monitor at the door stopped me and asked, "Peggy, are you late?"
"Well, yes,I said,"but I was with my friend, Anne, and she..."
The monitor interrupted, "Peggy, are you late?"
"Well, yes, and that's what I'm working on..."
She stopped me again: "Peggy, are you late?"
Finally, I got the point. "Yes," I said, "I am late."
"Go right in."

Understand, that rather than facing the truth, I was dodging it. And, once I acknowledged the truth, stopped leaning on the reason I was late, I could finally take responsibility.

Love and blessings,

Friday, April 25, 2008

Say the Right Thing

For several years after my divorce, I bothered a lot of people by complaining about my ex-husband, telling tales of my difficulties and unhappiness. They were more patient than I deserved, but I’m sure they dreaded hearing it and wished I would get off it.

It was not until my therapist responded to my pain that I began to heal. He simply said, “I’m so sorry.”

I’ve noticed that, when some people think they need to say something and don’t know what to say, they open their mouths and say the wrong thing. This is especially true when someone has died. It doesn’t help to say, “Well, he’s in a better place,” “Look, you had your Daddy a long time,” or worse, yet, “It’s God will.” It’s better to say, simply, “I’m so sorry” or “What can I do to help?” Even better, go to the kitchen and wash dishes, bring food and sweep the porch.

Very often, when we don’t know what to say, it’s better to keep quiet than to say the wrong thing.

Love and blessings,
Peggy Grose

Goodness Is its Own Reward"


I have been thinking about goodness. Why should we be good? Perhaps goodness is its own reward. It feels wonderful to receive praise and appreciation for good deeds and we all need encouragement in our work and relationships. But praise coming from others can be conditional and unpredictable. Perhaps the very best reward results from the satisfaction of simply knowing we have done the right thing. If we do something kind or thoughful for someone-- anonymously--we will see just how pure our motives are and will receive the greater reward.

Someone has said that character is how we act when no one is looking.Just for fun,you may want to do something thoughtful for someone-anonymously.

Love and Blessings

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The One-Legged Veteran

I was waiting for my son Daniel at the VA clinic when an older man rolled by in a wheelchair. He had but one leg. I asked him where he served and he answered, simply, 'Iwo Jima."

I was overcome with sympathy and gratitude. "Thank you for what you did." I said.

It was the least I could do.


I was in a seminar with a young man who became argumenttive and hostile with the facilitator about some theological point. On the way to lunch, I put my arm across his shoulder and commented, "You know, I used to get ruffled when someone made a point about religion or politics that I disagreed with. It was as if that person was criticizing my very own children. As time passed and I became a little wiser, I realized that others' opinions are just that--opinions."

Opinions are not who we are. They are like things we possess and, in time we may get tired of them, see a different way, or find they are not useful and toss them out.

Try not to talk politics or religion unless it is for the purpose of understanding the other person's point of view. Otherwise, it's just an exchange of opinions and often leads to hostilities.

I am reminded of a comment I heard from the author of a book about Hospice. He said, "People in Hospice don't talk politics."

Love and blessings,
Peggy Grose

Everyone Has a Story to Tell

As many of you know, I often have a table at the SAMI show and occasionallyt at the Gun and Knife show, too. I usually set up my table like a little office, with three folding chairs in front of my matching 5' x 2 1/2' table. Shoppers come by, sit and begin looking at my books, Love and Lemon Pie, Recipes for the Body7 and the Soul and Celebration! A Woman's Story of Courage, Endurance and Transcendence.I show them the recipes for the body, emphasizing those for the soul. More often than not, my visitor tells me a touching story about her life.

At the last show, a young woman, in her late 30's, perhaps, stopped by. We were talking about the "recipes for the soul" when she paused, looked at me and said. "I have been rethinking my prorities this past year." I waited, knowing what was coming.

"I have cancer," she continued, "and everything that can be done has been done." She had a peace about her that I, myself, long for.

Friday, March 28, 2008

New Blog


Hello. This is a new blog which I will be adding to regularly. I'm sure that it was God that gave me the concept of Love and Lemon Pie, Recipes for the Body and the Soul. (I'm not that smart to think of it myself.) Likewise, He/She gives me a new recipe for the soul at least once a day, which I'll pass on to you. This is an interactive blog, so please let me hear from you with your respsonses.