Power with Heart News - January 2015
Right Use of Power Institute

Right Use of Power

power with heart news

January 2015

Dear <<First Name>>!

Martin Luther King Day, a good day to name and celebrate right uses of power in a world in which the news focuses on wrong uses of power.  I'm reflecting on these words spoken by Dr. King:  "They told us we wouldn't get here....[but] we are [now] standing before the forces of power in the state....However difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long....How long? Not long, because 'no lie can live forever.' ... How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."   In this one statement he says both "not long" and "long."  Opposing ideas, and yet, the very long arc "bends toward justice" because of the weight of thousands and millions of small and large uses of power that are wise and powerful.
And so we at Right Use of Power Institute enter the new year full of our purpose to inspire and teach people to own the power, both personal and professional, that they have, and once owning it, to use this power and influence wisely and skillfully.  This year we are expanding our reach by developing new programs, offering webinars open to all,  marketing our books,  and empowering and encouraging our trained RUP facilitators to network RUP ideas and offer programs of their own.  Some 30 plus facilitators are now actively involved in teaching and dozens involved in networking.
We hope you will enjoy this issue of Power With Heart News.

Note: Try clicking "View it in your browser" link at the top of the email (above the header image). You will be able to translate the newsletter into various languages, share through Facebook, etc.

In this issue you will find:

Earn CEUs at Home

Would you like to go into more depth with any of the Right Use of Power topics?  Taking a mini-course is a way to get more information and self-reflect.  Each mini-course includes reading material, self-study practices, and some questions to respond to.  If you can't get to a workshop, this is a good way to engage more personally.  Try one.

There are many CEU Mini-Courses that you can browse online.

Workshops & Trainings

Providence, Rhode Island

Right Use of Power: Ethics with Heart
March 20, 2015

Presented by Cedar Barstow
Click here for more information

Hailey, Idaho

The Heart of Ethics in Community
April 26, 2015

Presented by Carrie Thomas Scott, M.A., LCPC
Click here for more information


Siler City, North Carolina

Right Use of Power
May 8, 2015

Presented by Julia Corley, LMBT
Click here for more information

Boulder, Colorado

Right Use of Power Workshop:
July 25-26, 2015 (Saturday/Sunday)

Facilitator's Training:
July 27-28, 2015

Presented by Cedar Barstow, M.Ed., C.H.T.

Click here for more information
Reminder to Guild Members that you can re-take the training(s) for 50% discount at any time!  Great way to update your skills and increase your confidence. Just register and make the $100 deposit at


Featured Guild Members

A full Right Use of Power Training in Portland, Oregon, ably organized by Mariel Pastor,   was followed by a RUP Facilitator's Training co-taught by Cedar and Magi Cooper who is now authorized to teach Facilitator's Trainings on her own!  Magi will be the featured Guild Member next month.  The training was strong and engaging and Magi and I are honored and excited about the people, places, and groups that our new facilitators will reach.   Here are the new faces:  (left to right) Mariel Pastor from Portland, Cedar, Dave Medema from Grand Rapids, and Debra Pearce McCall.  They will be reaching out to therapists, therapy students, and corporate groups.

The Problem with Meaning

by David Brooks from the New York Times

A Note from Cedar: Here's a fine article forwarded to me by one of my best resources:  Reynold Feldman.  In this article, David Brooks, describes meaning as the "apogee of human existence."  What gives life enduring meaning is more than material success and deeper than happiness.  It has a moral base.  "Meaning is an uplifting state of consciousness.  It is what you feel when you are serving things beyond Self."  Brooks then gives a short discourse on the now common cultural understanding of meaning that is relativistic and a "paltry substitute" for meaning as apogee.

Not long ago, a friend sent me a speech that the great civic leader John Gardner gave to the Stanford Alumni Association 61 years after he graduated from that college. The speech is chock-full of practical wisdom. I especially liked this passage:

“The things you learn in maturity aren’t simple things such as acquiring information and skills. You learn not to engage in self-destructive behavior. You learn not to burn up energy in anxiety. You discover how to manage your tensions. You learn that self-pity and resentment are among the most toxic of drugs. You find that the world loves talent but pays off on character.

“You come to understand that most people are neither for you nor against you; they are thinking about themselves. You learn that no matter how hard you try to please, some people in this world are not going to love you, a lesson that is at first troubling and then really quite relaxing.”

Gardner goes on in this wise way. And then, at the end, he goes into a peroration about leading a meaningful life. “Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you. ... You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Appreciative and Differentiating Feedback 

by Cedar Barstow, M.Ed.

Appreciative feedback brings more connection, awareness, nourishment and presence to a relationship.  "I like how you acknowledge what I just said before you speak about your own experience."  "I appreciate how clear you are with your boundaries even when you are saying no."  "What you are wearing today absolutely delights me." You are building a healthy relationship by sharing how you are responding. Differentiating feedback is useful for exploring differences with someone. Naturally, exploring differences works best when you have a comfortable relationship based on a foundation of appreciative feedback. 
While the terms appreciative and differentiating feedback come from Amina Knowlan, Michael Moore, a Right Use of Power Facilitator, described how he approaches differentiating feedback.  Sometimes differentiating feedback is simply about naming and acknowledging differences with no need to ask for any change.  Other times, naming a difference provides a good platform for further exploration including a discussion of impact and even a request for change.  In this process, first, name a difference.  "I have a difference with you in that I'm much more reticent about speaking up.  I tend to hold my feelings and opinions back more than you do.  Actually I would like to learn from you about being more emotionally available, but sometimes I feel uncomfortable when I feel pushed to open up.  I wish you would ask me if I need some time before responding or just give me some space.  Could you do that?"  The idea here is to practice having differences and yet staying connected.  So often it seems that differences have the effect of disconnecting individuals from each other whether these differences are named or not.
Michael describes two core skills for the listener and for the speaker.  They are quite simple and yet often hard to manage.  The two listener skills are:  Can I stay present regardless of what you say? and Can I be committed to learning something out of this?  The two speaker skills are:  Am I capable of being clear and succinct? and Can I speak in a way that evokes empathy not resistance?
I recommend giving this approach a try to see how using differentiating feedback can help in navigating differences.

The Top 10 Insights from the “Science of a Meaningful Life” in 2014

Every year UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center puts out a list of "the most surprising, provocative, and inspiring findings published this past year." "We found that this year, the science of a meaningful life yielded many new insights about the relationship between our inner and outer lives.

Cultivating mindfulness can make us more aware of knee-jerk prejudice against people who are different from us; believing that empathy is a skill helps overcome barriers to taking another person’s perspective; concern for others, even for animals, can move people to action for the greater good more quickly than focusing on ourselves.

But this year we also learned more about how to cultivate pro-social skills like gratitude—and we discovered how those skills can yield far-reaching benefits to our mental and physical well-being, and even to our pocketbooks.

With input from our staff, faculty, and some of the leading outside experts in our field, here are the 10 findings from 2014 that we anticipate will have an impact on both scientific research and on public debate for years to come."

Read about the Top 10 here.

RUPI in Waldorf

by Michael Moore
(RUPI Teacher & Guild Member)
In late 2014 I was invited to create a half-day RUPI program for Waldorf students being home-schooled in a small town in Western Colorado. These students were in two age clusters, 7-9 years and 11-12 years. I developed a design using RUPI materials supplemented by experiential exercises modified from Dancing Our Way Home by Alana Shaw. I highly recommend this book, which is full of brilliant dance and theater methods for working with groups.
Our program for the Waldorf students began and ended in one large group. For the middle section we split into two groups by age. We covered a lot of material; nonetheless the pace felt spacious. Students were attentive and engaged throughout. The teaching notes provide a detailed report on how the various pieces were received and what we learned.
I was amazed by the emotional intelligence of these children and the deep soulfulness that they brought to our activities together. The teachers have reported an ongoing positive impact from our time together.

Contact us if you want more information about this program.
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