Giving Our Power to Loved Ones with Diane Dreher

Sometimes in a relationship – whether family, business, personal, or intimate – we give away our personal power and control of or life. We may not even realize that we are doing it, but we let other people control our life. Sometimes we do it intentionally and other times we don’t. That is one of the main topics of the show tonight. First realizing that you are doing it and then, how to take back your power and take back control of your own life in a healthy way. We will also discuss conflict resolution which can definitely arise when you start to take back control of your life. These are both important topics that I’m very happy to bring to you and Diane Dreher is a great guest. We’ll also discuss her great collection of books. I included a list of her books below. Full details are included below.

Thursday 6 pm PT/9 pm ET

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If you missed the show, the archive is posted below.

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Questions and thoughts we discuss –

  • Why do we give away our power to the ones we love? Keys to cooperative conflict resolution
  • What do you mean by saying people give away their power to the ones they love?
  •  What are cognitive schemas and where do they come from?
  • So that’s why we often give away our power but can you say more about what this looks like?
  • Is this power as in they can do whatever they want physically and mentally or power of submission Biblically speaking?
  • Why do we allow people have so much power over us that it only takes a single word or deed to devastate us?
  • How do we protect ourselves from that, but still be a loving person?
  • Also self-worth such as I’m not enough, so I’ll shrink to make you better and bigger than me.
  • How can we free ourselves from this negative pattern?
  • After awareness, then what?
  • What happens when you’re in a relationship and your needs conflict?
  • What do you mean by “conflicts are not the problem”?
  • How can we get out of this trap?

Diane Dreher is an author, consultant, positive psychology coach, and professor at Santa Clara University. She has a Ph.D. in English from UCLA, an M.A. in Counseling, and an Associate Certified Coach credential with the International Coach Federation.

Her research on literature, positive psychology, personal development, and spiritual growth has appeared in professional and popular publications. She writes a regular blog for Psychology Today and her books include the best-selling Tao of Inner Peace, as well as The Tao of Personal Leadership, The Tao of Womanhood, Inner Gardening, and Your Personal Renaissance: 12 Steps to Finding Your Life’s True Calling.

You can visit her web sites at and

Books by Diane Dreher

Your Personal Renaissance: Twelve Steps to Finding Your Life’s True Calling – We’ve all asked ourselves, “What should I do with my life?” “Where am I going?” “Is this what I really want?” Whether you’re graduating, changing careers, getting divorced, retiring, or just confused about what’s next, Your Personal Renaissance will help you find your calling. Combining the lost wisdom of the Renaissance with groundbreaking research in positive psychology, this book approaches a calling in its original definition-not just a job, but a joyous, meaningful life. The book features an innovative program of contemplative steps (Discovery, Detachment, Discernment, and Direction) and practices that help readers combat overscheduling, stress, and depression-and change their lives.

The Tao of Womanhood is for every woman who is searching for both external power and internal peace. It’s for the woman who wants to be tough but nice, who wants to take care of things and everyone else but needs to be reminded to look after herself, who feels pulled in too many directions and yearns to live a full, balanced life. It’s for the woman who wants to be a strong, proactive leader at work and at home, and lead a life of harmony and inner peace.

A spiritual resource that combines the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching with straightforward advice and illuminating anecdotes, The Tao of Womanhood is a prescriptive, practical road map. Using Taoist principles, teacher and spiritualist Dreher explains how any woman can learn to incorporate calm into her busy modern life by learning how to

  • Say “no” without feeling guilty
  • Respond without being frantic or reactive
  • Seize opportunities
  • Summon the strength to change
  • Clear the space necessary for continual growth transformation

Calm and reassuring, The Tao of Womanhood imparts the invigorating message to all women — whether stay-at-home moms or corporate executives — that leading a balanced and fulfilling life does not mean surrendering peace of mind.

The Tao of Inner Peace – Translated more often than any other book except the Bible, the Tao Te Ching has been a spiritual guide for centuries, helping millions find peace within themselves, with each other, and with the natural world around them. Written in workbook style, complete with exercises, questionnaires, journal-keeping techniques, and affirmations, The Tao of Inner Peace translates the ancient Eastern philosophy into a plan for contemporary Western living. Diane Dreher, Ph.D., shows the way to:

* Bring greater joy, fulfillment, and creativity to daily life
* Heal the body and spirit
* Build self-acceptance and self-esteem
* Resolve conflict
* Reverse negative cycles of emotion
* Understand life as a process of changes and challenges

With its lively, demystifying approach, The Tao of Inner Peace shows how the Tao can be a powerful source of growth, inspiration, and peace.

Tao of Personal Leadership – Say good-bye to the adversarial samurai managerial principles of the last decade. A new philosophy is sweeping the business world, one that’s more in tune with a global marketplace, where cooperation, not competition, is the key to success.

The Tao Te Ching is often hailed as the wisest book ever written; for more than 2,000 years it has inspired and guided people with its precepts of harmony, communication, vision, and renewal. In The Tao of Personal Leadership, Diane Dreher combines its ancient wisdom with lessons from successful leaders to provide a practical road map to becoming not just good managers but great leaders. Illustrating her points with examples taken from real life, she explains the basic Taoist principles readers can use to make the most of their resources, transcend conflict, transform problems, adapt to change, and enrich their business, community, and personal lives.

Inner Gardening: Four Seasons of Cultivating the Soil and the Spirit – Cultivation of the soil meets cultivation of the soul in this refreshing approach to personal growth by the author of The Tao of Inner Peace. By combining practical gardening advice, personal narrative, and lessons in spiritual practice, Diane Dreher offers anyone who wants a more serene, balanced life a nurturing volume of the gentle, perceptive self-help that has endeared her books to thousands.

Inner Gardening was written for the gardener in all of us and unites inspiration with gardening advice and wisdom, insights from medieval and Renaissance poets and philosophers, as well as the author’s own gardening experiences.

Divided into four seasons, the book takes readers on a journey of renewal throughout the year. New gardeners will find a monthly set of gardening tasks, including useful information about soil, mulching, composting, planning, pest control, and plant care. More experienced gardeners will gain new knowledge of garden history and learn how seasonal cycles and garden tasks echo centuries of tradition. Each chapter then segues into “Gardening as Spiritual Practice,” offering personal exercises for self-cultivation: planting seeds of ideas and dreams, weeding out bad habits and unfulfilling tasks, designing new challenges one step at a time, and more.

Brimming with life-enhancing strategies for garden and gardener alike, Inner Gardening affirms what everyone who has ever planted a seed and watched it grow knows: what we cultivate around us, we also cultivate within.

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