The ember of anger…and how to put it out.

Ember of Anger and how to put it out!

I am going to admit that there are times I run really hot.  There are things that other people speak about and they just don’t know the real deal.  They live in a bubble and seem to enjoy it there, and that’s fine for them, except when things don’t go their way.  They then emerge with their new mantle of indignation they have been knitting in said bubble, and proudly display it.

They point their fingers, and place blame.  Never having been the one to witness a thing.  But many think it feels good to blame so place blame they do.

I get asked all the time, how do I control my anger during times like this?

This is no easy task my friends, especially if you FEEL the anger radiating through your soul.  So let’s take 3 deep breaths and walk through a process you can use when this happens.

How to put out the ember of anger:

  1. Relax.  I know it’s hard.  You know that burning in your gut like you are about to explode?  Maybe it’s that shaky feeling that makes you almost sick?  How about clenching of the teeth?  Here is what you do. Stop.  Just say stop in your head.  Now focus on a stop sign visualization.  Everything is coming to a stop in your head.  Your body.  Your reaction.  You can control it right now and you are saying stop.  Visualize the stopping of thoughts.
  2. Breathe deeply.  Place both feet flat on the floor.  Even if you are in front of someone and you are about to go off.  Take your shoes off in front of them.  They want your anger, remember?  Breathe deeply for a round of three.
  3. Verbally tell them that you need a minute.  If they cross that boundary, that is on them, but you told them to give you a minute.  Be extra nice.  Think of a disarming comment you can make right this minute.
  4. Identify a miscommunication if there was one, because 90 percent is tone.  How did they just say something to you?  Did you take it as a personal affront?  Was it really a back-handed compliment?  Or can you pretend to misunderstand and turn it into a compliment?  When you start to use the situation, the anger is then reflected back on them.
  5. As difficult as it is, stick with “I” statements.  I recently had to do this about a situation involving someone who was particularly nasty and thought the world owed him something.  He felt entitled to something that was not his in the least and was actually breaking a clear law.  No trespassing signs all over the place.  Private property.  Some people though….feel the world owes them things and that is not on you.

What if you have done all this and the anger lingers?

  1. Hot bath at home with Himalayan Pink Salt.  <<Similar to mine.
  2. Put on your essential oils in your diffuser or roller ball.  Might I suggest this Stress Relief blend?  Keep it at work even.
  3. Keep a Yoga Mat at your desk.  Get. On. It.  Practice breathing on it and then stretch out for a minute, then pull yourself back together.
  4. When being Zen fails you, smush the crap out of this Squishy Stress Relief ball, close the door and do whatever you want with it.  Ha:)

Last resort, cue the music and go for a dance.  Or better yet, dare them to a dance off.  Humor always wins.

5 Tips for Developing Healthy Relationships Today!

I took a quick poll last week about the topics that my readers wanted to hear more about and this was one of the top three!  So to clarify for everyone out there, relationships don’t have to be romantic; however, I have been married for 18 years and this year marks year 20 with my college sweetheart.  My best-friend from elementary school and I have been friends for almost as old as I am…which is to say a long time.  Additionally, I have the greatest group of girlfriends who meet on a regular basis and are not afraid to let vulnerability be discussed.  Has it always been this way?  Heck no!!  All of the above relationships have been through some twists and turns, but I did pick up a few tips along the way.

5 Tips for Developing Healthy Relationships Today:

  1. Open lines of communication are the number one tip that I have for you today, and that includes the “trust factor”.  If you don’t trust your partner, your friends, or your family, how are you going to be open?  You aren’t.  You will always hold part of yourself back and that could even border on holding back the truth which will further work to damage the trust.  I had a friend for a number of years who I genuinely cared about; however, that being said, each and every time we talked she would hide things or craft some sort of story that never seemed to be quite the truth.  Time after time things were missing in our conversations.  I ignored these signs, until one day I simply could not.  The trust factor has to be there or the relationship will not be able to move forward.
  2. You have to be able to accept criticism that is honest and meant to help you grow.  That being said, if this criticism comes from a harsh argument, it will not be effective at all.  Moreover, you should develop active or reflective listening.  In active listening, we are genuinely interested in understanding what the other person is thinking, feeling, wanting, or what the message means, and we are able to process this as a type of feedback.  This is hard.  It is.  But I have seen it done with my group of girlfriends.  One of them recently went through a divorce and has developed this skill through that process.  She brings questions to the table about things and genuinely wants to know what we all think or how we feel.  It has strengthened our friendship whereas before, she did not want to listen to advice before as it was painful to her.  She is really trying hard to separate fact from feeling as she actively listens to our advice about whatever she is asking.  It also helps that we are not giving her unsolicited advice.  We are all there to lift her up.
  3. Develop and hone in on your compassion and empathy.  Remember how I dislike the word judge?  Icky.  It makes us feel like we are on trial; however, there is a thing called discernment and that is different.  We become aware of the emotional response and might know what triggers our friends, partners and family members.  We then try to come at it from a place of compassion.  We are more open and connected to what is going on this way and can tap into our inner intuition about what is really at the root of a problem.  This saves us.  It reminds us to speak from love.
  4. Remember to have boundaries.  It is important to remember how to separate your feelings from that of your friends and partners.  Likewise, it is important to know you can’t heal them emotionally.  That is their job and not yours.  One of my favorite memes recently has the little guy holding the jar of happiness and his friend comes over and says “Where did you get that?”  And little guy says “I made it myself.” BOOM!  Microphone drops.  Have boundaries on your emotions before they get drained.
  5. Make time for the relationship…that isn’t on technology.  The phones.  The phones.  They are everywhere.  When trying to communicate they are a distraction.  Make time by shutting off the technology and creating a sacred space for you to unwind and be real.  This can be weekly, or monthly depending on your schedule, but try to get outside as well and enjoy some much-needed fresh air with your friend or loved one.  It’s not only a lifesaver…but a relationship saver as well.

FriendshipWant to know more about how to journal yourself to a better you?  Read more under 4 Weeks to Wellness.

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Help yourself…

I was going to call this Motivational Monday…but I want you to know exactly what I am writing about.  I don’t want to mislead you as I might sound a bit harsh for a minute.  You need this.  I need this.  We need this.  So ahem, put on your big girl or boy pants for a minute and take a seat.

Sometimes people ask me for advice…and likewise, I ask others for advice occasionally.  The problem is, we aren’t really asking them for help.  We are merely wanting to let them know how crappy our lives are at the moment.  How horrible X, Y, and that Z is.  We let whatever their situation is get into our heads sometimes.  We should definitely NOT do that, but as good friends, maybe even best friends, we do.  It sinks into our souls like an anchor and there it lies.  It has extra weight that we carry around for who knows how long.  It might even take up space in our very valuable brain…space we scarce have left for our own issues let alone others.

So this is what I propose we all do before we ask for advice.  We think long and hard about our situation and if the situation can be improved and/or fixed by actually doing something instead of talking about it.  If the answer is yes, then write out a plan.  If you don’t think you can fix it yourself, and you really do require advice or help, then by all means, ask away.  But be prepared to actually use the advice others dispense.  Now before anyone reads into this, this is always purely written for me.  I am giving myself advice today.  Right now.

My good friend Dr. Marion gave me three questions to ponder over when I get asked for health advice from others.  The first is “What do you expect from me?”…maybe to clear up goals the other person wants for themselves.  The next is “What is your ideal lifestyle?”  She used this one on me a while back when working on my mobility at her office.  I thought about that for a while.  It sounds easy, but I really want you to think about it as it relates to your health.  Lastly was “How do you expect to get there?”  Of course I said magic wand…then I added that’s where she comes in.  She gets my humor.  But it’s hard working with her sometimes so I avoid it occasionally as that’s what we all do if we don’t like pain.  Likewise, we avoid listening to or taking the advice of others because it might cause us pain or difficulty.  We want the easy way out.  We do.

The difference is I know this and I still have a block.  I told her that today.  The hard things are just HARD to do.  I’m so damn tired of hard.  I don’t see myself as some of my friends do because I know what’s in my head.  I know how close I have come to not trying anymore.  Not giving up…just not trying.  But my friend told me I was so motivated it’s scary today.  And Marion told me to just stop “leading” and let her help me.  Because that’s what I do.  I look for answers, I don’t stop and rest too long or I’ll stay there, and I keep leading.  I will succeed in my goal of coming back into my body at full capacity.  I will not let these labels, these ridiculous, stupid labels, stop me from living.  If you are tired of living with a label and you are asking for advice, please do yourself a favor and HELP YOURSELF.  You are the lead in your life.  You are.  But when you ask for advice, if you truly need help, then take it.  And that my friends is my lesson for today.

Help yourself

Author’s note:  This was written when I was still in immense pain, 2014.  I clawed my way out of that place, and went to yoga.  Became a certified yoga teacher after 200 hours of Vinyasa training and then was certified in sport nutrition.  I took that knowledge of pain, autoimmune and the body and developed a healthy program for you to start.  It is called 4 Weeks to Wellness because it truly gives you everything you need to continue a healthy lifestyle in just 4 Weeks!

On being friends…

I saw some photos pop up in my news feed which reminded me I needed to message my friend again.  I had been trying to get together with her since February.  I saw the last date of my message was May 1st saying I wanted to catch up.  There were several messages before that as well.  Me asking her if she had time to get together for her birthday, and other things.  The last date night had been in December or January and we had a really good time.  We went to a local restaurant and stayed longer than we planned.  We laughed until tears came out of the corner of our eyes.  Every time we get together as couples, we have an amazing time.  I even mentioned it would be great to do a couples weekend trip.

Let me back up a few years though…eleven and a half to be precise.  When I had my two girls 18 months apart I thought my social life was pretty much over because I was not sure how to manage a toddler and breastfeeding a new baby.  I thought I would probably be stuck in the house until I weaned my baby.  After 6 months of that, I could no longer take that my favorite thing in the world was a trip to Target, because it meant seeing people.  I didn’t care if I had to figure out how to get the horrendous double stroller out and the little carrier to fit in there by myself.  I had recovered from the c-section by that point even though I still had pain where I had been cut (another story).  I had this brilliant idea to set up a playgroup and advertise it for free in our neighborhood letter.

MOMS poured in.  I got about 25 e-mails or so at first.  I couldn’t believe it.  I had the first meeting at our “clubhouse” and that’s when I met ladies who would be life savers for me at that point in my life.  After a few weeks of this clubhouse madness, a few dropped off.  That was great.  We were left with a core group at this point and then there were about 9 of us.  I decided to do a rotation of houses schedule.  Every single Tuesday at 10 a.m. we met at someone’s house.  We got close.  We laughed.  We cried.  We survived.  We were the most eclectic group ever and the stories I could tell…well, I loved every single minute of it.  When we started falling apart for one reason or another, I was extremely sad.  Some moved due to the military.  One left her husband and then didn’t talk to us.  A few of us remained. 

When my closest two friends from the group moved away, I was sad.  Very sad, but I knew it was going to happen.  This was before the “rise” of Facebook, so I know I sound old, but we had e-mail.  I was happy to have that.  Years later one of those friends magically moved back to the same area.  I was ecstatic!  We could get together again like old days.  Time melted away when I saw them.  Then yesterday, I got a message (I took out names):

Hi, I am working my way through letting everyone know (that doesn’t know already) we are leaving tomorrow. We have Sold our house, fingers crossed it all goes through. It all happened much quicker than we thought.  Husband is working more and more in Europe so it made sense to move back. I think it is now or never with the girls…. I am really sorry I didn’t get to catch up with you before we left but we just had so many things to do. The dog left today she was sent on the plane this morning. I have your details and when I get my new email address I will send it too you. So if you ever make that trip over then maybe you could pop over and see us.

So if for some reason you are reading this friend, the reason the only word I typed back was “wow” is because this hurts.  I got a Facebook message.  A message.  I want that to really sink in.  I got a Facebook message telling me you sold your house and the only reason you sent it is because I sent you a message asking for another date night soon.  I feel like an awesome friend right about now.  So girlfriends reading this, if you have a friend who values your time together, please make time for them.  I know that your children’s lives are busy.  I know that there is soccer, swimming, field hockey, ballet, gymnastics, cheering and whatever else you have your kids in.  But if you have become so busy with “life” that you no longer have time for friends, one day you will regret it.

So when I go to my kitchen window, I will look at the little pot you gave me when you left the first time and think of our time together with a smile…

Friendship

 

 

Contentment…

A state of happiness and satisfaction.  Do you have that in your life?  I mean it.  Right now, take stock of what’s important to you, and see if you can find contentment.  If the answer is no, what’s holding you back?  I know what’s missing from my life, and it’s not really missing.  I can change it.  So I can be content.  I will be content.  Most people have problems living in the “now”.  I will give you an example.  I went to dinner with my family last night…it really was like the Olive Garden commercial as we were one big happy family.  My brother, his daughter, my parents, my husband and my girls.  I had everything I needed right there.  I was content.  Wine was flowing, the meal was great, and I love seeing my family.

The spell was broken later when my husband decided he needed to make a comment using what I call his “ass-hat voice”.  I am not ashamed to tell you this, because maybe you too suffer from a case of “ass-hat voice”.  You see, he was worried about something that might happen.  And he made him all angry and ridiculous sounding.  I told him that tomorrow would take care of itself and I wish he would have handled it differently.  What we fail to listen to time and time again is the thought of what we have the power to change and what is out of our control.  This might be a newsflash, but as of yet, we do NOT have the ability to control the weather.  That I know of.  Sometimes it is best to just wait, and that was my point.

So, the next time you are feeling content, and some random thought comes into your mind that you have no control of, push it away.  Think instead of what you have the power to control and what is trying to control you.  You will be able to grasp the feeling of contentment much better this way.

“Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.”  ~Grenville Kleiser

The ostrich philosophy…

Some time ago, there was a situation with a certain family I know.  People were being obtuse, and things were happening all around them that they did not see.  It gradually escalated, and the person who was caught up in it kindly wrote an e-mail saying they were out of that situation until things changed.  Now, a similar situation is happening to someone I know and they need to step away for their sanity (wait, that’s me).

When you can’t change someone or a situation because people around you are sticking their heads in the sand and ignoring all the bad parts of life, but praising the one good thing they managed to catch, it is frustrating.  They claim they are defending the situation when in reality, they are enabling it.  They are approving of it by their very silence.  In order to prevent it from happening again, they would have to actually acknowledge the situation, which for some reason, they are not ready to do.  The situation has all the power and controls them.  They do not control the situation and it becoming more and more obvious.

It is necessary that you get your bearings when you are dealing with something like this and here are a few ways you can get control back over your life.

  1. Establish boundaries with the people responsible.  “You can’t paddle another man’s canoe for him.”  Isn’t it time they learned something for themselves?
  2. You can’t fix the problem, but you sure can fix how you react to it.  Do not let it control you.  Ignoring it DOES NOT make it go away.  Thanks for trying.  How’s that working out for you so far?
  3. Be consistent.  Don’t let lies cover up the situation.   Mean what you say and say what you mean.  Someone taught me that once.
  4. Ask yourself if you are making FACT based decisions or excuses?  Be real with yourself.
  5. Above all else, uphold your morals.  If sticking your head in the sand makes you feel great and upholds your values, by all means continue.

I found this link about talking to people here.  The people in my life don’t believe in talking.  I suppose they are waiting for the situation to magically fix itself.  Ha.  Fat chance that will ever happen without your HELP.

 

‎"Sometimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth and value, but because we finally realize our own." -Robert Tew

“It’s not the load that breaks you down – its the way you carry it”  ~Lou Holtz