Honoring greatness with the Nurtured Heart Approach
Tammy Small, M.Ed. and certified Nurtured Heart Trainer
My daughter wanted to give up chocolate for Lent.  It certainly is a noble decision as she loves chocolate, sort of.  What she really loves is gum, but she couldn’t give that up, so under the guise of sacrifice, she picks chocolate.  I used to give up Diet Coke – a minor addiction – not as major as coffee.   But two years ago, I decided I was missing the point of connection with Christ’s sacrifice.  Now as I continue to share my training in Howard Glasser’s Nurtured Heart Approach, it makes even greater sense to make a daily effort to be fully present with everyone I am with each time I am with them,  To honor their greatness – and my own in shining my full, positive attention on them.  And so I give up my cell phone in the presence of others.  Especially in the car with my daughters, especially in public places, especially because the most important person is the person you are with, the most important thing is what you are doing, and the most important moment is now (this an ancient lesson made more powerful during Lenten season).   Ellen Degeneres jokes about call waiting being the “mini-people’s choice award”, a reminder to pay attention to the one you are with (and why we have voice mail!).  So as you honor your Lenten commitments, make sure you honor those you love.  Nurture their inner wealth by feeding their starving spirits with everything great about them.  Give up put downs and criticism in favor of praise and encouragement.  “The more inner wealth a person has, the greater their resiliency”, Glasser reminds us.  Energize success by giving all your energy to the positive you see and experience.  
In Tom Grove and Howard Glasser’s new book, The Inner Wealth Initiative:  The Nurtured Heart Approach for Educators,  (p.68-69)  here is how they identify what Inner Wealth is:
The ability to endure and persevere; Character marked by self-control, optimism, and kindness; Patience; Hope; Trust in ourselves; The ability to make and keep agreements; The ability to solve problems; The ability to forgive; The ability to listen well and value what others have to say; Being able to fully feel without fear of feelings; Being able to be in the moment; Being able to plan ahead; Feeling healthy power and equality; Having love, grace and compassion for others – and for ourselves; Being organized enough to finish things; Having courage to change; Being able to choose long-term spiritual joy over short-term, sensation-based excitement; Being creative, reflective, expressive; Knowing you are lovable; Being truthful; Taking responsibility for what we do or do not do; Being able to see the intentions of others; Being responsive and connected to what a situation calls for; Thinking that people have a good reason for what they do; Knowing the most precious and enduring things are invisible; Being willing to befriend others; Having the skills to express yourself; Sensing the hopes and dreams of others; Being able to experience wonder and awe; having the ability to find divine love in mundane and unfortunate events; Making the world a softer place; Giving support and kindness to others; Choosing to see beauty in the world; Being grateful and thankful; Showing integrity and making honorable choices; Making intelligent decisions; Using excellent judgement…WHAT WOULD YOU ADD?
Read it aloud – again and again.  Each day pick one to honor for Lent – for life – for your inner wealth and the nurturing of your heart and the hearts of those you touch: especially your children – and the one you are with right now!
May this season transform your heart – and the hearts of those you nurture.
Reflecting on the sacrifice – or gift of Lent.  And the enduring power of Inner Wealth.
Friday, March 28, 2008