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How Thoughts Can Transform Relationships
by Joyce and Barry Vissell
It is important to have kind thoughts towards our loved ones, whether it be our partner, child, parent, sibling or friend. These thoughts are the prerequisite for a loving, fulfilling and dynamic relationship.

A mother came to see me in counseling because of her relationship with her twenty year old son. According to her, he was distant and cold towards her and was making so many mistakes with his life that she couldn't even count. "He never does anything right and I feel ashamed at how he is turning out. He is in college studying art, but I doubt that he'll amount to anything," the distraught mother wailed on and on. "I'm always very loving towards him when I see him, so I don't know why he doesn't want to be around me."

I asked this mother how many times a day she thought about her problems with her son. She replied that she could hardly stop thinking about them. Then I asked her how many times she thought about his strengths and beauty. She became very quiet and said, "I don't do that, but I always tell him that I love him when I see him and wonder why he doesn't visit me more often." I suggested to this woman that her thoughts were actually keeping her son from her. On some level her son was sensing all of his mother's negative thoughts about him, even though she was trying to be loving when she actually saw him.

I gave the mother a homework assignment of writing down in a journal all the positive things she could think about her son and add to this every day. When the negative thoughts started, she was to reach for this journal and read it over. I also asked her to write to her son and tell him these positive thoughts. Over time the son must have sensed a change in his mother for he started visiting her again. Her positive thoughts toward him had opened the door for a different kind of relationship in which the son felt valued. He in turn was able to value his mother and they could begin to heal the hurts between them.

This may sound too simple to some of you. And yet our thoughts are very powerful. They set up an energy that goes before us in each relationship. Kind, positive thoughts toward one another open the door for a kind, positive relationship. Negative, fearful thoughts draw negative, fearful behaviors into our relationships.

� Shared Heart

For a powerful guided meditation on forgiveness as well as three other healing themes, "Help in Time of Need," "Knowing Your Beauty," & "Living Your Purpose," Joyce has just finished a new tape (or CD) called, Four Paths to the Heart. Call TOLL-FREE 1-800-766-0629 (locally 831-684-2299).

Joyce and Barry Vissell have been a couple since 1964. A nurse and medical doctor, their main interest since 1972 has been counseling and teaching. As a result of the world-wide interest in their previous books, The Shared Heart, Models of Love, and Risk To Be Healed, they travel internationally conducting talks and workshops on relationship, parenting and healing. They are the founders and directors of the Shared Heart Foundation, a non-profit corporation dedicated to the healing and integrity of individuals, couples and families.

Call TOLL-FREE 1-800-766-0629 (locally 831-684-2299) or write to:
The Shared Heart Foundation
P.O. Box 2140
Aptos CA 95001

� Copyright The Shared Heart Foundation
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