Posts tagged #practical tools

Don’t Try to Make Lemonade (out of lemons) Without Doing This First

Sometimes life really sucks. Maybe you’re going through a divorce or your child is sick or you’re sick. Basically, you’re on your hands and knees either praying or searching the floor for answers. How on earth do you deal with this pile of lemons that life handed you? You certainly don’t run out and get all the equipment to make lemonade. Hold on! First and foremost, you need to process the situation and get to a strong enough place to be able to make the gosh-darn lemonade. Here is the process that I use to recover from lemon sh*t storms (eg. ugly breakups, health challenges and/or financial crises):

1.       Don’t sugar coat it. Yes, of course, a positive attitude is necessary in life and your attitude and choices do make a difference. However, when you’re lying face down in the dirt, you certainly don’t want some Pollyanna to come along and say, “Just look at the bright side.” Clear the room of all annoyingly positive people who want you to quickly get over your “negative” feelings. Find a listener who is willing to be there while you talk about how horrible everything is. (Put a time limit on this).

2.       Take care of yourself. If you’re not able to muster the strength to cook, eat or drink fluids then call someone to take care of you. Just because you’re suffering emotionally doesn’t mean you have to drive your body to the brink of dehydration and malnourishment. Don’t forget this part: the proper nutrition will feed your brain and allow you to process your emotions. Essentially, food and water will help you heal your trauma faster. If you don’t have an appetite, drink fluids and eat soup broth. Note: feeling selfish for doing this is so 1985.

3.       Enlist a helper. When you need to get day to day things done, but you’re in the midst of an emotional upheaval, you need to ask for help. Get someone to take care of the mail, make phone calls, feed the pets, etc. Don’t let daily tasks worry or burden you—you have bigger things to deal with. Note: see note under #2.

4.       Make decisions to the best of your ability. There are times when we have to make some really hard decisions—maybe we need to figure out where to live or what to do after a job loss or what treatment would be the best for a family member. Once you have the bases covered (#1-3) you can free up some energy to make decisions. Ask yourself the hard questions, let them come up. Voice your worst case scenario or biggest fear (fears lose their power if they are brought into the light). Then close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and ask for guidance. What follows may be an insight, a gut feeling or an urge to take the next step. Follow it.

5.       Find the feel better button. Find one thing that makes you feel better—whether it’s watching silly cat videos on YouTube or reading Archie comics— and do that. It lifts your spirits without denying the gravity of the situation. Doing simple things that make you feel better opens you up to more of the feel good hormones and allows you to think more clearly. Think of it as fine tuning your inner world.

Situations that take us down are painful, horrible and traumatic. When we make it to the others side, we learn how strong we are, how loving we can be and how compassionate we are for others. I’m not saying that it’s such a wonderful thing to go through bleak times, but there is definitely an upswing. When you start to feel like making lemonade, you know that you’re through the worst of it.

Discussion: What do you do when life throws you lemons? Comment below and share with your friends!

How to Get Past Fear to Get Sh*t Done (even if you feel paralyzed)

Do you really, really want to get something done, but you're terrified out of your mind to do it? In this Truly Powerful Quick Tip video (video #7 of 7), I talk about things you may be unaware of that greatly effect your confidence and ability to go for it in life. I also mentions a way to look at your situation that can also lift you above your own fears. Don't miss this one if you have a lot of big stuff to do and you're tired of letting fear get in the way.

How to Remind Yourself How Awesome You Are (even if you wish you could be Beyonce instead)

Do you love the Beyonces of the world, but feel crappy about yourself? There is a way to admire others and love yourself too!
In this video, I'll teach you how to have more confidence and reconnect with your own awesomeness. Learn about the super simple mirror trick and how to make sure you never live by the teeter totter metaphor again!

How to Make the Right Decision (even if you feel totally confused and overwhelmed)

In this video I'll give you a Truly Powerful quick tip on how to know right away what is the right decision for you. Learn how to bypass what is in the way of clarity by using this 100% accurate decision-making tool.
If you feel like you couldn't find your way out of a wet paper bag right now, stop everything and watch this video!

People Pleaser Tips: How to Stand Up for Yourself PP Style

Are you a People Pleaser?

I sure am...er...I mean...was. At this point in my life I definitely wouldn't call myself one of the The Bold and The Beautiful, but I can hold my own in most daily interactions. Except if you put me on Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen. I'd be the first one sobbing in a post elimination interview: "Where did I go wrong?! Where?!"

Here are the ins and outs of the People Pleaser lifestyle and some pointers on how to steer yourself in the direction of your inner female warrior instead.
 

Behaviour

  • You swallow that lump in your throat called anger/annoyance/hurt because you don’t want to upset anyone by being upset.

Welcome to my teens and most of my twenties. On my deathbed I'll probably gasp out a final message: "It's rush hour. Tell them I'll hang on."
 

Scenario

  • I’m standing in a really long line-up and someone boldly steps in front of me.

People Pleaser response: Rolling of the eyes. And of course you don't let the unscrupulous person see this—that would be rude!

Non-People Pleaser response: “I was in front of you. The line is back there."
 

Scenario number two

  • A friend says they’ll call me back and then doesn’t. Then they do it again. And again. And again.

People Pleaser response: A programmed parrot: "No problem. No problem. No problem."

Non-People Pleaser response: "WTF is wrong with you?"

Non-People Pleaser response--less hostile: "Why aren't you calling me back?"
 

People Pleaser Life Consequences

What are the consequences of this type of parroting and swallowing behaviour? Inappropriate emotional outbursts.

The resentment starts a slow burn in the abdomen, like a cat growl working its way up from the low belly and climbing into the throat--but you don’t let it out. You swallow it. You continue to do this—until one day, out of the blue, you're ranting and raving to a friend like someone who stopped taking their very strong medication. You let them have it with both barrels in a voice like a frustrated Fran Drescher.

After a couple of decades I began to realize that these outbursts are not optimal for my life or my blood pressure. I set out to try and release the pressure little by little, in the moment. This is like opening the nozzle of an air mattress instead of violently stabbing it with a butcher knife.
 

People Pleaser tips

I use these strategies to stand up for myself instead of exploding like a hand grenade all over my unsuspecting friends and family. When something happens that doesn't sit right with you--stop and acknowledge the feeling. This is the do or die moment, the speak or swallow opportunity.

  1. Take a deep breath
  2. Imagine that you are the other person-would you want to know when a friend is upset about something?
  3. Use the format: I feel______ when you_________. Example: I feel frustrated when you tell me that you’re going to call and then you don’t. I wait for your call when I could be doing something else and I feel like my time is not being respected.
  4. Say nothing else—don’t start babbling nonsense like an excited baby in order to soften the blow or muffle your message. Let them speak. Give them a chance to respond.
     

Insider tip

  • They may not say: “Wow I’m so sorry! I didn’t realize I was doing that! I’ll make sure I do what I say I’m going to do from now on.” They might say: “Screw you. You always make a big deal of everything! What a drama queen.” Granted, if they say that to you I’d want to check your friend-choosing skills because that is a much bigger mess. Future blog post?

Life is not a Growing Pains episode and people don’t really sit around having heart to heart talks that resolve in twenty-two minutes. When a friend or family member responds in a hurtful or reactionary manner that is about them, not you. The best thing to do is pull back and check yourself. Don’t jump in and get defensive. This may lead to a Maury Povich episode with lots of hair pulling.

The best advice I’ve heard on how to deal with conflict or upset is to get curious. Get curious about what someone is thinking/feeling or experiencing. This takes the personal twinge out of it.
 

Another insider tip

Try saying this in response to a doozy of a statement from someone (even if it’s the most insulting thing you’ve ever heard): “Oh, interesting."

It will diffuse the situation and cause an uncomfortable silence. Stay with it. You're coming from a place of—“that’s interesting that you said that. That’s interesting that you think that. Hmm….interesting."

I find these simple strategies to be as non-threatening as possible with pleasing results—for you. So, remember to acknowledge what you're feeling and then try telling someone else about it. You may give them the courage to speak their own truth and then you’ll have the makings of an honest and mutually pleasing relationship.

How to Deal with Anxiety: Avoid Living like you’re on The Mindy Project

Anxiety is no joke. Just take a look at what the characters on The Mindy Project go through on a daily basis: hidden skeletons (think Danny’s stripper thong), mammoth misunderstandings (Peter didn’t go to Dartmouth) and high pressure shenanigans (Mindy goes to California).

Thankfully, we don’t have to down bottles of wine or bribe people or hide under desks to cope with life’s ups and downs (although I do admire Mindy’s way with words).

We can handle our mangled nerves in a much more effective way. Here is a technique that I put into practice to soothe my anxiety. Try it and see—you’ll be amazed at how much it will change your experiences!

Mantras

Mantras: phrases or words that help you reach a desired state of being. For example, the mantra “OM”. Look up some Sanskrit words or phrases to find the ones that suit you best. These mantras allow you to focus and return to a calmer state of being.

Repeat them out loud, in your mind or write them out. The more you use them, the better they work. Once I got past the arguments that my mind tries to make (this is stupid, these words won’t work, this is a waste of time), I find that the mantras help me immensely. The trick is not to give in to the literal meaning behind the words and phrases. I used this one:

Everything is always working out perfectly for me. (Abraham Hicks)

Listen to my podcast for an in-depth explanation of why I used this phrase.

I repeated this phrase several times a day and looked at it on a piece of paper when I needed to return to a state of peace and calm. Over time, I found that something clicked into place and the phrase immediately brought me there. I had connected on a deeply spiritual level to the vibration of the phrase. This is what you can do too. Find your phrase and use it when you need it.

Put it on the fridge, in your wallet or on your desk. Look at it often.
Repeat the phrase as needed.

Remember to let go of the outcomes that you think are the best things for you and to realize when things show up for you (possibly in different packaging).

As adorable as Mindy is, you don’t have to worry about hurting peoples’ feelings, avoid intimidating situations or try to convince others of your worth. You can go back to the mantras and let things unfold instead. Ahhh…much better.

Posted on December 1, 2015 and filed under emotional growth.

What’s So Funny? How to Heal With Humor

What’s the fastest path to joy and peace? Laughter. From the very first time I had a giggle fit at the age of six and subsequently split my head open on the baseboard from laughing so hard, I was hooked. Laughter did something for my soul that nothing else could and it still guides me through all my challenges in life. This is why I firmly subscribe to this tenet: laughter is the best medicine.

And that ain’t no joke.

If laughter and humor is so great, then how can we use this transformational elixir to heal our wounds?

1.       Go back to your childhood. Don’t worry this is not about uncovering any hidden psychological hangups—we are looking for the funny. What made you laugh back then? If your uncle slipped down the stairs one winter and you found that hysterical—that’s one example. Did your brother pee on your babysitter? What made you laugh until it hurt? Bring up these memories and join in on the fun again. Think about those times and conjure them up when you’re feeling low. Your brain does not know the difference between now and then. If you are laughing at a memory, your body will experience it in the now. Your chemistry will change and bob’s your uncle—you’re on the funny train back to joy and peace.

2.       Raise your vibration. As mentioned above, laughing will change your brain chemistry. In the same way, your energy frequency will also change. The art of humor relies on surprise and shock in some cases. You are jolted out of your state of being into another one. Joy and laughter is a higher energy frequency than sadness, fear and anger. You can uplevel yourself with one outburst of laughter. How cool is that?! Use humor to shake yourself out of one state and into a more expanded one. When we are more relaxed, joyful and peaceful, the healing can take place in our body—we can release emotions and soothe the pain. We are not laughing our way OUT of an emotional experiences, we are laughing our way to resolution. Here is a chart that exemplifies the levels of vibrational frequency—not to be judge the levels as bad or good, but to see where you are on the scale of contraction or expansion. If you are more expansive, you can live life with more ease.

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3.       Pass it on. I know people who are naturally funny. You look at them and start to laugh hysterically. They don’t even have to blink, they are just FUNNY. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. If you are such a person, please pass this gift on to others. Spread the joy. This is healing and cathartic for you as well. Making people laugh is the greatest joy in life for some. Most stand-up comedians have had a really rough life. They use the comedy to transcend their pain. To joke about their tragedies is incredibly healing—for the performer and the audience. The next time you feel low, try making someone laugh. The results will be transformative.

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What do you find funny? Who makes you laugh more than anyone? Share below and spread the joy!

Posted on September 13, 2015 and filed under emotional growth.