Let's Bully On Purpose In Schools!

I realise that's a very confrontational heading but I mean it 100%!

I've just had an article published in Living Now on this topic. Publication agreements and Google worms mean that I can't also publish it here, so I'm providing the first bit and a link to the rest HERE but would love your comments below.

'There’s a great deal of fear and judgement in relation to bullying, but as with most challenging issues what’s being missed are the blessings and opportunities. No-one wants to get to the point of significant abuse (either as giver or receiver) or to the ultimate crisis of fatal aggression or suicide, so let’s call this what it is and get on with it.

'According to the Law of Conservation, we’ll never eradicate bullying or aggression – it’s part of our nature and how we evolve, and to think otherwise is delusion. Far more important that we recognise the dynamics at work and find useful ways of empowering ourselves and others in managing these traits. 

'We each play each role. The bully at school is quite possibly bullied at home. The ‘bullied’ at school possibly becomes the bully at home. If you look honestly at your own life, you’ll find you’ve played both roles, and that both roles serve you.

'We learn important lessons, whichever side of the equation we are on. Rather than banging our heads against the dynamic and making it wrong, let’s work with it.'

If you'd like to read the rest, click here.

If you'd like a quick overview of the rest of the article now, here are my main points in brief:

Opposites are magnetised together by universal law: 'Bully' = big on self/confidence = positive charge; 'Bullied' = small self/unconfident = negative charge. 

The purpose of this mutual attraction is to balance the charges out: that the bully might experience a prick of conscience or regret, and the bullied might experience a flash of anger/self-worth ('I don't deserve to be treated like this!') 

The outcome is that those who are careless (value others less) and careful (value others more) become caring (value self and others in equal balance).

• It can take a long time for us to learn this lesson! Hence my proposal to 'Bully On Purpose In Schools'. Why? To drill the skill of appropriate communication and the mindsets of worth and respect just as we drill multiplication tables! Why else? Because if we don't, we carry the tendency to abuse or attract abuse into our adult lives.

How would this work? Imagine a room with students in threes: Each group is given a script of a typical childhood bullying scenario. Each student is given a role: Bully, Bullied, and Observer. They read out the script then are given another script and they change roles. By the end of the session, each child has played each role, so that the child who is typically a bully gets to stand in the shoes of the nervous bullied, and the child who is usually bullied gets to stand in the shoes of the brash bully, and both get to observe the dynamic, and the one who usually observes gets to engage. Teachers are monitoring these little role plays and after they are played out, there is a 'debrief' discussion about it and what it brings up for the students.

Eventually, when they are confident of the basic principles, they are given scenarios without a script so that they can practise responding spontaneously, on their feet, in real time. (Ideally this activity is coupled with active listening and appropriate assertiveness skills training.) The observer position is crucial, because it is the third point of view that delivers wisdom. (I didn't address this suffiicently in the article.)

These scenarios would be drilled so regularly and consistently that students come to recognise the patterns of abusive behaviour, respect and value self and other, learn the patterns of good communication, and develop resilience and creative problem-solving skills.

These skills and mindsets are essential for a healthy life in which we are effectively pursuing our goals and dreams. So many of us run aground either at school, in adult relationshps or in business because we didn't master these communication skills. (I'm a point in case – stand by for a new book I'm writing about this...)

I'd love your feedback to this idea, and I'd love the opportunity to deliver a talk about it in greater detail to your group, or to facilitate a session. Comment below or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Electric Shocks for Writing Class! Come along for yours on 12th April...

Do yourself a shocking favour and join me in one of my writing classes. As you can see, it's an electrifying experience!

writing class shock 450

This pic is of three of my Coonara Community House writing students playing with an old (c. 1892) therapeutic 'Magneto electric machine for nervous diseases'... It really does deliver a shock – if you wind it up properly.

These lovely ladies are Bernadette Dimitrov (aka Mrs Claus), Christine Basil (professional comedian, whose device it is) and Toula Bourmas (who is close to finishing a first novel in a vampire trilogy). Christine has taken it upon herself to bring something 'unexpected' to class each week. She keeps us on our toes and in stitches...

Meanwhile, if you'd like the writing without the shock, come along to the talk I'm giving at Diskin Life's WIN (Women in Business) event on Tuesday 12th April

WHAT: The topic is 'Bust the Talent Myth and Overcome Writer's Block!'
$$: This is a complimentary event – just bring a delicious plate of nibblies to share. 

WHEN: It goes from 7 to 9 pm. 
WHY: You will be gathering with a group of like-minded, empowered, inspiring women in a warm and fun environment to learn and connect.
WHERE: Diskin Life, 181 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy.

* It's free, but please book in: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/win-women-of-influence-network-with-liliane-grace-tickets-22994844198. (More info below in the article.)

If you're not in the area or available on that night, I'll be offering a Writing Mastery webinar in the near future.

In the meantime, if you're itching to start or finish your book and think you might want some support (or a gentle electric shock to get you going!), fill in my short survey to help me design the writing course that will best serve YOU – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5DKQMBN

Women of Influence Gather to Bust Writer's Block!

Dr Ari Diskin is a well-known chiropractor in Melbourne. He launched The Champion Series for me several years ago and is very active in creating a community for his clients. Some of those women requested a Women's group, which Ari promptly set up. (I gather he's the only male... ;) Ari's wife Roselyn, Organiser Par Excellence, has invited me to speak to the women about writing on Tuesday April 12th, and we'd love you to come along also.

  • Liliane VivaDo you wonder if you’re ‘good enough’, whether it’s writing or some other form of expression?
  • Do you sit down to write and find yourself staring at a blank screen/page?
  • Do you love to write but haven’t taken that interest seriously?

It seems that there is more writing to do than ever, and ever more forms to master!

Whether you’re faced with writing fiction or non-fiction – emails, texts, blogs, journals, letters, reports, presentations, articles, marketing or web content – come and learn the tips and tools that will banish stuckness forever and enrich your life in completely unexpected ways.

To book in, visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/win-women-of-influence-network-with-liliane-grace-tickets-22994844198.

This is a free event! The location is Fitzroy and the time is 7-9 pm. Please bring...

No Peace for Earth – And Why That's A Good Thing

No Peace articleThis is my latest article, now published in Living Now – both online and offline. You can read the whole thing here.

If you’re anything like me, you have at some point been seduced by the idea that we are heading in the direction of a Golden Age, Peace on Earth, an era of co-operative bliss where everyone cares for spaceship earth and eats wholefoods and wears natural fibers and meditates and there are no borders between countries.

Lovely idea, huh? Especially if you’re averse to war and conflict. And why can’t those people out there get that terrorism and fighting are absurd ways of solving problems? Why can’t they talk things out like adults, and listen to each other, and value win-win? Huh?

Huh?

If you’re anything like me, you’re also probably familiar with the principle that the world is our mirror, so anything ‘out there’ is a reflection of what’s ‘in here’. And if ‘in here’ contains even just a skerrick of conflict there’s a very good chance that we’re going to find it in the outer also.

Like my place last night when I clashed with partner and kids because they hadn't bothered to check in with me about a movie we were half-way through watching and just... You can read the rest here.

Community Service Announcement: Film Screening - Future Dreaming

The film, 'Future Dreaming', is a profound call to awaken and work with nature rather than against it. The film calls us to recognise our individual magnificence and our connection with the universe. Striking images of nature are woven throughout a conversation with renowned thinker, futurist and economist, Dr David Martin

The event is Wednesday 13th April and will begin with a meditation and a short introduction from the Director of the film, Kaya Finlayson, who will also feature on the Q&A panel. You can watch the trailer here and book in for the event at www.suburbansandcastles.com. More info about the film and Dr Martin here

These Suburban Sandcastle events are always thought-provoking and worthwhile. The opportunity to interact with panel and audience makes for a much richer experience than watching the film (alone) at home. See you there!