Power with Heart News - April 2016
Right Use of Power Institute

Right Use of Power

power with heart news

June 2016

Dear <<First Name>>!

Wishing you a peaceful and restful summer.

Also we have discovered an easy way for Right Use of Power fans to help support our organization in an easy and effective way. Please take a look! The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the value of your Amazon purchases to the Right Use of Power Institute. A very easy and painless way to support the good work of the institute. 

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In this issue you will find:


We are very happy to invite you to take the NEW continuing education courses.
We were officially approved by the National Board for Certified Counselors to offer CE credits on February 18th, 2016!  This is the completion of a long process.
These new courses are based on the 10th Anniversary Edition of the Right Use of Power: The Heart of Ethics.  They are now completely on-line.  You can down-load all the material from the book or you can read the assigned pages in your own paper copy of the book.  The assessment questions are also on-line and your certificate can be printed out as well!  

There are six 3 CE hour courses: Overview Course (1 CE hour)--Power with Heart; Dimension 1--Be Informed and Present, the Guided use of power; Dimension 2--Be compassionate and Aware, the Conscious use of power; Dimension 3--Be Connected and Accountable, the Responsible use of power; Dimension 4--Be Skillful and Proactive, the wise use of power; Course 5:  The More Dimension-- Refining your Personal Impact and Becoming Ethically Proactive. There is enough new material that you can take the courses again!  Try it out!.

Find out more about the E-courses here.

Workshops & Trainings

Boulder, Colorado

Right Use of Power Workshop & Teacher Training
July 16 - 19, 2016

Presented by Cedar Barstow
Register Here

Featured RUP Teacher: Kippi Clausen

Finding better questions is how I would describe my life and journey to who I am today. My path has blessed me with the opportunity to learn, grow and be in service through many different experiences. I am a proud mother of five amazing children, each in their own way have taught me about love, compassion and the capacity of the human spirit to stay open and vulnerable in each moment. I have had the pleasure of working with some of the most disenfranchised populations in our country - seeing first hand the worst of our world and resiliency to orient towards healthy connection and power relationships. I led a national youth development program which engaged over 500,000 youth across the United States; provided the leadership for the development and design of the one of the largest foster youth savings program in the United States; and consulted with and coached business leaders, non profits, agencies from various systems and state organizations. Much of my professional work has involve bringing together diverse groups including youth, families, corporations, non-profits, state systems and policy leaders to create new strategies and systems to build a more humane way to support children and families dealing with poverty, legal status (immigration/refugee), homelessness child welfare, behavioral health and criminal justice system.

I have also had a chance to reflect on how easy it is to become numb to what is uncomfortable and toxic in groups. This experience reinforced my inner knowing about how critical it is for systems to evolve to meet the current needs and remain agile enough to re-configure and grow towards what is next. This includes how important it is for collectives to understand power dynamics. I have witnessed first hand that groups truly have “everything they need” when they orient towards hopefulness and are given opportunity to build trust and nourishment to transform. In my role as a consultant I focus on helping collectives find the time to slow down, build meaningful connections, understand power and then giving all a chance to gain a perspective as neutral observers. The Right Use of Power curriculum has been a critical resource in this work.

I have been blessed to be part of many difference groups and experiences that have brought me to a place where I am working to create a life that is more integrated – filled with magic, mystery and curiosity. I am committed to staying open to the simple miracles that help me to learn more about how to be in service to a more humane world.

Quotes of the Month

We need an ethic of compassion more desperately than ever before.
- Gary Zukov 
We are not here to save the world, we are here to love and serve the world and in that love and in that service, the world may or may not be saved. 
- Gurumai
Pain and Suffering, they are a mystery.  Kindness and love, they are a mystery.  But I have learned that kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering.
- Barbara Kingsolver
All three quotations are in Right Use of Power, The Heart of Ethics, in the section on Soul Work & World Service (pg 311).

Cognitive Distortions
by Cedar Barstow, M.Ed., C.H.T.

How many times have you heard kids at play saying things like "I didn't do it"?  "He started it"?  "My dog ate my homework"?  "Why do you always blame ME"?  Even as adults when we feel threatened or angry or blamed, we easily use cognitive distortions to protect ourselves or shift the blame.  We often really believe the validity of the distortion. 

When we behave unethically, the same cognitive process happens.  We consciously or unconsciously use cognitive distortions to justify our behavior.  Pope and Vasquez have identified 21 of these "Ethical Fallacies."  They are essentially the strategies we use to fool ourselves into thinking that our behavior is actually not unethical.  We find ways to think about a situation to justify it to ourselves and to others.  As Pope and Vasquez put it, "All of us face the human temptation to duck important ethical responsibilities.  Temptation grows stronger when we're tired, afraid, under pressure, or in conflict. . . .  We believe that the overwhelming majority of psychologists are conscientious, caring individuals, committed to ethical behavior.  We also believe that none of us is infallible and that perhaps all of us, at one time or another, have been vulnerable to at least a few of these ethical justifications. . . .  Sometime down the road at a moment of terrible need, temptation, exhaustion, carelessness, narcissism, anger, lack of perspective, or confusion, an ethical fallacy that once struck us as ridiculous may suddenly emerge as wise, profound, and practical."  (Pope and Vasquez)

Here are a few of Pope and Vasquez’s 21:  
1) It's not unethical as long as a manage-care administrator or insurance case reviewer required or suggested it.
3) It's not unethical if an ethics code never mentions the concept, term, or act.
4) It's not unethical as long as no law was broken.
6) It's not unethical as long as we can name others who do the same thing.
7) It's not unethical as long as we didn't mean to hurt anyone.
8) It's not unethical even if our acts have caused harm since the person we harmed had it coming, provoked us, deserved it, was really asking for it, or has not behaved perfectly.
10) It's not unethical if we could not (or did not) anticipate the unintended consequences of our acts.
12) It's not unethical if we can say any of the following about it [feel free to extend the list]:
"What else could I do?"
"Anyone else would've done the same thing."
"It came from the heart."
"I listened to my soul."
"I went with my gut."
"I just knew that's what my client/student needed."
"I'd do the same thing again if I had it to do over."
"It worked before."
"I'm only human, you know!"
"What's the big deal?
17) It's not unethical as long as it results in a higher income or more prestige.
19) It's not unethical as long as it would be almost impossible to do things another way.
21) It's not unethical as long as we can find a consultant who says its OK.  (above: all from Pope and Vasquez)
22)  It's not unethical since no one says that they were hurt.
23)  It's not unethical since we never had actual sex.
24)  It's not unethical because it was mutual and we both felt such a strong connection.
25)  It's not unethical because I am the one who is being treated badly here.
26)  It's not unethical because my client never told me s/he was upset.
These may seem silly when we read them, but we are all vulnerable when we get stressed, tempted, or tired or are not at our best.  Being aware of these cognitive fallacies can help us be pro-active in catching ourselves in flawed-thinking.  It’s never too late to admit a cognitive distortion and rectify it.  In the process we may save ourselves—and others—much unnecessary time and suffering.
Compassion for the harm we cause others, no matter what the reasons, is a challenging endeavor.  When asked for the definition of compassion, the Dalai Lama described a man beating a dog. Compassion, he said, is when you feel as much for the man as for the dog. “Unresolved emotional pain is the great contagion of our time—of all time.  This does not deny the struggle for justice: There IS a world out there, and it cries out for rectification.  But those who cannot sense the pain of the one who wounds them will dispense, under the banner of righteousness, a misshapen justice, and create yet more enduring wrongs.”  Barasch (2005)
Kenneth Pope & Melba Vasquez,
21 Ethical Fallacies: Cognitive Strategies to Justify Unethical Behavior

Marc Ian Barasch, Field Notes on the Compassionate Life: A Search for the Soul of Kindness, Rodale, 2005

How American Politics Went Insane

This non-partisan article has given me quite a lot of food for thought about American Politics as a whole.  It contains ideas and issues I had not known or considered before.  Here's one example.  Many of the multiple checks and balances that were part of the constitution have eroded. Some of these changes were made with good intentions.  Congress had an informal process for forging bi-partisan agreements.  This included being able to negotiate behind closed doors and to give concessions (or rewards) for supporting a bill by way of giving the congressperson something they wanted for their state.  We can see the good intentions behind passing laws that guarantee more transparency and laws that cut out "pork" spending as rewards.  However, the unintended impact has been a reduction in the ability to negotiate privately and make deals.
From the lens of Right Use of Power, several things come forward. 
• Intention and impact.  Like the idea of thinking seven generations ahead, impact is often different from intention.
• The importance of staying in the "power zone" and not getting into the extremes where one becomes disconnected from working relationships is also good guidance.  
• Right uses of power are guided by being informed, compassionate, connected, and skillful.  They respond to the question, "What is best for the good of all?" 
• Leaders need to understand the complexity of power dynamics such as the ones described in this article, work for the good of all, and be wise and skillful in dealing with people who have smaller, selfish, or shortsighted strategies and vision.

I recommend the following chapters in Right Use of Power book:  
  • Power Differential
  • Personal Power
  • Impact and Intention
  • Leadership and Power Dynamics
  • Challenges
  • Soul Work & World Service
How American Politics Went Insane - The Atlantic (July/August 2016)
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