I was teaching a class a few months ago and proceeded to pose the following question, “What is one concept, whereby, if it were practiced religiously, would completely alter every relationship in our lives for the better, and create impenetrable peace?” I am fairly certain that had I posed that very same question two years ago, I myself, would not have had the answer.
Two years ago was my first visit with Katherin Galieti at Ivy Institute, Inc. I expected to receive comfort and support through my divorce. What I did not expect, was an education that would change my life. I had visited with other therapists in the past, but this particular visit was unique from the start. I had not come prepared to listen and learn, but to pour out my heart and be heard. Katherin had greater, more Divine plans in mind for me. She did not simply want to console me, but to give me tools that would not only assist in helping me cope with the changes that were occurring in my life, but would also help me build a more positive and eternal future for myself and my children.
As my memory serves, it was in Katherin’s office that I first read Proverbs 4:7, a scripture which lays the groundwork for Katherin’s teachings: “With all thy getting get understanding.” Understanding. Such a simple concept, with such life-changing impact.
Through regular visits and instruction from Katherin, I began to see miraculous changes in my life, through the practice of understanding. Katherin urged me often to follow the counsel of Stephen R. Covey*, to “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” As I put this advice into action, I noticed that what had started out as “practice,” was beautifully becoming part of my very being. In the beginning, I had to make a very conscious effort to pause, reflect and seek understanding before reacting. However, it wasn’t long before pausing was no longer necessary. The natural reaction, when faced with negative and possibly even abusive energy, is to fight back, recoil and/or take offense. Yet, in this new place of understanding, when finding myself face to face with conflict and judgment — my heart instantly, and naturally now, sought to understand where the conflict and judgment was stemming from, instead of internalizing the judgment and acting in a negative manner. Though the harmful words and behavior were aimed in my direction, I felt instant compassion for the aggressor, instead of pain and anger. In a word, I had been transformed.
Two years later, and with much gratitude for the education I received at Ivy Institute, Inc., I now know the answer to the question I posed to my class just months ago. “What is one concept, whereby, if it were practiced religiously, would completely alter every relationship in our lives for the better, and create impenetrable peace?” The answer is, “understanding.” However, the greatest miracle is not simply knowing the answer, but knowing that I have adopted the answer and have truly become, in every way, a woman of understanding.
* “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen R. Covey
Written by Heather D. White, Clinical Assistant, Ivy Institute, Inc.