That Awkward Moment

image

Here’s some humor for your Friday. This picture always makes me laugh, her face; the explanation for her face, it’s too good!

I don’t how many times I’ve been the victim of this awkward moment. Waving at someone zealously only to realize that they wern’t even waving at me… one of lifes cruelest jokes. I still haven’t quite figured out how to smoothly cover up the awkwardness. Sometimes I attempt to run my hands thru my hair like “yeaaaa I wasn’t waving I was lifting my hand in a side to side  motion so that I could comb thru my hair easier….” Perhaps not the most believable story and I’m gonna guess the look on my face that mirrors this little girls is a dead give away.

Happy Friday Everyone! Hopefully you had a good laugh & hopefully you are spared of this awkwardness today!

– Steph

Find A Little Freedom

image

Read this quote… alright, read it again… and now read it one more time for good measure.

Now relax, sit back and allow yourself to savor every single word. I really want you to think about what you’ve just read; what this quote actually means. To me it means freedom and it means liberation!

I think and over think to a point where I can literally make myself sick. And more often than not I’m worrying about things I have absolutely no control over (can I get an AMEN! if you know what I’m talking about) So what has been my antidote to fight these turmetulous thoughts? Learning. Learning has seriously been my saving grace in life, and undoubtedly it can be one in yours as well.

Applying ourselves to different scenarios, exposing ourselves to different situations; this is living. This is what life’s about. This is exercise that our minds yearn for, not worrying incessantly.

Yesterday I was determined to be productive; challenging both my mental  and dexterous skill set. So what did I end up doing? I went to a pick n’ pull car yard! I am by no means a mechanic however, I did some research and I knew which parts I wanted to fix up my little beast of a car. (Beast in the sense that it’s a little car that keeps running even though it shouldn’t be.. it’s a 2003 Toyota Echo)

Generally speaking the parts were mostly cosmetic… visors and knobs however there was a side mirror I wanted to change and a hefty piece which involved me taking apart my passage door… the door stopped opening from the inside… due to some hardware mechanical problems involving latches and jazz…. sorry for that poor description.

Anywho, I was up for the challange, and wanted to feel good about passangers being able to escape from my car incase we ever got stuck on a railroad track with a train accelerating towards us… yes a wee bit dramatic BUT you never know!

So I went to the car junk yard, I hunted down old echo and I jumped in getting my hands dirty AND I loved every single minute of it! I honestly felt like I had stepped onto the set of “I ROBOT” or a random “end of the world” type movie where there are scavengers digging around haha… it was so awesome!

After I collected my treasures I went home and got to work. The cosmetic pieces and side mirror were a walk in the park to install (a man at the junk yard helped me get off the mirror, so I knew how to put it on) the side door took some time, patience and detective work.

The self satisfaction I felt from trying something new and learning something new – was priceless. There was no fear, worry or regret as a result of this learning experience. And the focus I had on the task at hand helped keep my useless worrisome thoughts at bay.

I love learning and I never really thought about why. But when I read this quote it really hit home. In a world plagued with worry, fear, and regret… learning remains untouched & untainted. It acts as a refuge that offers our minds rest and growth.

To live a life of learning, is truly living life. Happy adventures everyone. Try something new, remind yourself how truly capable you really are. And embrace the freedom learning truly offers.

** side note: the impressed look on my family’s faces and exclamation “you did this on your own??!” when I showed them my car all fixed up (door locking and opening)… was a pretty sweet bonus!

– Steph

– Steph

Stand Up Straight.

image

Alrighty! So my post yesterday kind of hinted at the fact I was running around with my emotions like a chicken with it’s  head cut off. Not very fun or attractive, nor was it a necessary.

I’ve honestly always danced to my own tune. We’re talking wearing sweater vests when my peers were wearing brand names or wearing matching neon pants to a button up shirt that was covered in daisies. Or perhaps me buying loafers in the senior’s shoes section years before that trend hit mainstream  (seniors loafers are way more comfy just for the record) or perhaps as I read the dictionary on my way home from elementary school.

I didn’t worry about if people liked me because I liked myself. I was never much for “hanging out”, instead I liked flying solo working on different skill sets, striving to be well rounded (this was a goal since I was little… don’t ask me why)

I practiced and I studied so that I could become the best version of me, being confident in my pursuits and crafts. I like the notion of being dynamic. With that being said I never really dwelt or consumed myself with the worrisome thought “will they like me”

Perhaps moving around so much contributed to the desensitized approach of wanting to be liked so bad… who knows. NOW getting into the juicer segment of this topic. Why in the world was I in such a panic and disarray about this Mr.Mr liking me?!?

There was/is really no need for me to make myself sick over someone of interest. If I want to be in a relationship I WANT them to like me for me NOT someone I’m pretending to be. What in the world would be the point of that? Why should we feel insecure about ourselves and what we offer when it’s literally ourselves and what we offer. I wouldn’t want someone to like me if they wanted to change everything about me. That would be a whole lotta-lotta lame.

Additionally, we need to give ourselves some credit. We bring plenty to the table and if it’s not the right fit between the person of interest THEN we move on because there will be another person that does fit and wants us to be a part of their life in all of our glory!

I had to do a lot of talking with my family trying to sort thru and calm down my racing thoughts and emotions. But when it came down to it, I had a wake up call that it doesn’t matter at the end of the day if he seriously is not interested. What matters is that I’m okay with myself if he doesn’t. What matters is that I don’t let a single human being determine my value. My worth. Or dictate whether I’m happy with myself or not. (been there, done that!)

I am so happy with myself, I’ve been a work in progress especially since the last few years of my life have been incredibly rocky and volatile. Where I am now, compared to where I was & where I’m going in life. I am so proud of myself and happy with myself. And no one has the right to take that away. Nor do I have the right to give someone the power to take it away.

Sometimes we need a little reminder SO on that note; I implore you to recognize what you uniquely offer. You are a one of a kind, and it doesn’t matter if “they like you” it matters if you like yourself. Stand up straight, stay strong & stay confident.

image

– Steph

Your Happiness. Your Center.

image

I am a very passionate person. When I feel, I feel intensely whatever that particular feeling may be. It is to my greatest advantage and also my demise. My psychiatrist made the polite and funny comment that putting aside my bipolar I am very intense compared to most people. Another anology was that I’m like a Ferrari, I can go from 1 to 100… incredibly fast. So my psychologist and I have been customizing my “personal  handbook” so that I can navigate my speed better.(emphasis on I)

My mind is simple, yet it’s more complicated then you could ever imagine. When I approach a situation there is a straight forward solution in my mind, and therefore things should go a certain way. Simple right? No, it’s not. As much as I may see a simple route to obtain optimal results I am only in charge of myself. I can only act for myself and other people have their agency to act on their own. They bring in variables that I cannot control. This can be so frustrating! But it’s life. I can choose to accept it or let it dictate my happiness.

By all means, not knowing how everything will turn out brings excitement into our lives. Yet, it can also brings an unrealistic amount of anxiety. It brings a vulnerability that I detest. BUT I am working on accepting, because vulnerability means we are actually living.

Variables can never fully be accounted for. No matter how much you plan. No matter how straight forward the solution may seem to you. Things will go wrong or have hiccups. This leads me into the topic of what is your center?

Going back to the book I read “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. The author Stephen Covey, made a brilliant point about our center. Often we fluctuate when things don’t go our way, we react, we break down, we devalue ourselves, we are filled with sorrow, regret … and so forth. Often these emotions can be prevented or at least the severity of these emotions can be prevented. How? By having the proper center.

How often does our centers revolve around a relationship? We want to make the other person happy so that it makes us happy; they are our world. Or perhaps with our career; we are on top of the world and we are successful we receive promotions, acknowledgment and awards, or maybe we got laid off and now we feel like the biggest loser ever. Perhaps our family is our center, we don’t act without thinking about how our family may judge us, or we don’t try new things because it’s too far from our family. Or maybe it’s friends, we live to be with our friends to have happiness by association, acceptance.

Yes, all of these centers have their notable appeal BUT they are all flawed. They are flawed because they are not grounded they can fluctuate and change. People come, people go, people die, and circumstances are never set in stone. Therefore those centers always cause a discourse within ourselves. The change and dependence causes an uproar of emotion good or bad. We lower our value or we question our capabilities.

So what should we have as our core center? What should we revolve around? Principles. Principles and Values. Honesty, integrity, hard work, empathy, love, kindness and so forth. Principles never change. They are steadfast and are exactly what we need to brace ourselves for the unknowing circumstances of life.

When we react based on emotions that revolve around people, it can be catastrophic BUT if we react to situations based on the values we have a chance to breathe and acknowledge that even though the situation whether it’s a pass or fail we still have value.

I fell victim last week on basing my happiness around the acceptance of a certain individual. I really wanted him to like and accept me, and my happiness was swept away by this outcome. And honestly I haven’t so unhappy with so much anxiety in a long time over another human. The confidence I have about myself and what I offer seemed to be annulled AND for what??! So that another person could dictate my value! I don’t think so! I have value that’s immeasurable, and so do you. And no single human or group of people have the right OR should be given the power (by you) to determine your worth.

I’ve been going over my core. The principles it has and I’ve been feeling more at peace. If this particular individual doesn’t want to be apart of my life, so be it. At least I can tell myself I was true to myself and therefore it’s for the best.

Don’t let your emotions consume you. Do a self check and remind yourself of the principles you are centered on AND don’t allow yourself to be blown all over the place by an thing or anyone. Live fully, love fully BUT recognize that by doing so we step into the unknown BUT we have our moral compass that will never abandon us when we need a change of direction.

– Steph

Going Up!

image

This made me laugh, clearly I’ve been awake for the past 48 hours because people are dreaming of me. Yah, no. Thr reality is I miscalculated how many pills I still had so instead of having one more days worth… I was out completely. So guess who was up all last night???! Me!!! You guessed right, unless your answer was yourself … then you also guessed right if that was the case.

Oh the joys of not sleeping … sometimes it’s scary how awesome it can be. I cleaned my room, studied my spanish, worked on my interior design course, painted my nails, watched entertaining YouTube videos  (I highly recommend searching “Soul Mystique”… your mind will literally be blown!!!) I also picked an outfit for a special event taking place Friday …. that took me like 2 hrs all in its own… and then I drove my dad to the airport at 5 am so that my mom didn’t have to (she thought she was… little did she know I was lurking haha)

And as soon as I got home … I got the shakes haha I needed to sit, my stutter started to manifest itself whilst I tried to talk to my mom. My brain was going at 100miles/minute and yet my body started saying slow down… so I laid on my mom’s bed and we talked of life. I love those type of conversations. After we had our fill we went to go so some errands including grabbing my medication so I can sleep tonight. BUT more importantly we grabbed fresh blueberries & strawberries, I sincerely find joy in such silly things BUT fresh blueberries is definitely on the top of my list! Eventually we made our way home and my sister joined us with her two youngest boys.

So my afternoon was filled with giggles as my 2 year old nephew ran with nutmeg and I chasing the soccer ball & then we blew bubbles till I thought I’d pass out. It was just beautiful.

My youngest sister joined the party and she and I talked. She has one of the purest souls I’ve ever met. She has cared for me in my darkest times and her love has never wavered.

And then work, oh goodness! It was wonderful! The seniors I tend to and serve were as precious as they ever are and made me feel more loved and filled me with more laughter than I could have imagined on such a long day for me. I felt more energized than ever. I also carried a wonderful conversation with one of the women I work with about fitness and healthy body image… I love conversations pertaining to that as well. And to top it off when I went to finish the last of my work one of the gals had already finished it for me just to be sweet!

This post is long BUT I couldn’t help but share the happiness I felt today, on what could have seemed a long tiresome day I felt amazing and alive and filled with love! I hope your day was as wonderful or that it finds you tomorrow!

Go figure I also found another dog on my way home and was able to return him to his owner .

Have a good night by 42hrs is up and meds/sleep is calling me so I can own another jam packed day tomorrow!

– Steph

Don’t Lose With Love

image

Love is incredible. Whether your being loved or you love someone. It’s one of the truest purest emotions I’ve ever felt in my life… and I’ve felt a lot of emotions. I love my family, I love my little Nutmeg, I love my friends. And in all honesty I love everyone that may sound like a cliche BUT it’s true, when you look at someone and think of their value, their individual worth and their story…. how could you not love them? (Does this love match the love offered to those closest to me? No, that’s on another level BUT it is possible to still care and sincerely want the best for all people because of love)

I don’t commit to people easily when it comes to friendships or relationships but when I do, I do. I don’t mess around or play mind games, plot or talk behind peoples back. Those are ugly traits and I’ve been exposed to them enough to know THAT I never want to subject someone else to that behavior. THAT is not love. When I love, I love fully because time’s precious and anything can change in a heart beat.

Yesterday I had a panic attack, I am getting better at not having them so frequently… I’m probably down to 1 or 2 per month. And even so they are not always severe BUT yesterday’s was a doozi. I was with my sister at an appointment, it was literally an all day event and at one point I received an unexpected call. Nutmeg was gone. My heart felt like it had been stabbed and I couldn’t breathe. Nutmeg is A. 4lbs B. Adorable C. Not wearing her city dog tag (it’s too big and she always gets her paw stuck in it) and it was just starting to storm, which gave me even more reason to panic (and yes in my head I was like why the heck did she get out outside just as thunder was coming she is terrified of thunder??!). She was out their all alone, anyone could find and take her forever and she hates storms… (Yes, I recognize that was me being pessimistic about people being honest and kind hearted.. which in situations like these I need to work harder at not doing)

One minute I was laughing the next minute I felt like I was dying. Love is so powerful which is why I will reiterate  love fully because you never know what could happen. Gratefully I was called within the hour that Nutmeg had been found… she was hiding and curled up behind my car tire (I honestly had been crying and hyperventilating the whole time… talk about getting a headache) I honestly had been praying in my heart and I do acknowledge Nutmeg being found was a blessing NOT luck. As well I couldn’t believe the kindess that was shown towards me – neighbour’s I didn’t even know were out looking for her, this acted as a reminder that I need to have more faith in the goodness of people.

Unfortunately the reality of life is that we are not always so fortunate as find what is lost. And because of this I imlpore you not take the ones you love for granted or rather don’t take sharing your love with then for granted. I have tried to live in a way that no matter what happens my family and friends know I love them. When I was 15 a hard reality hit me and since that moment I’ve tried to never leave without saying “I love you”, because quite frankly it could be the last time I get to. I’m human I get angry and I storm out because get I need to get air… but in those moments I always try to breathe and put real life into perspective (it’s fragile) this usually results in a grumpy “I love you”… but an “I love you” none the less.

Although I would have died on the inside had Nutmeg not been found, I did have the slightest piece of peace knowing I gave her a kiss on the head before I left, and she knows that she’s loved.

Life is so unpredictable and things happen beyond our control in the blink of an eye. But even so, we have a choice, we can choose to live in a way that the ones we love know without a doubt they are loved at all times, they don’t have to wonder. Make sure you let the people (or pets) in your life know that you love them. Don’t let simple opportunities pass you, only later to be filled with regret or remorse.

Time is not a certainty BUT love is and it’s yours to give, give it wisely, give it fully and give it honestly.

– Steph

Become Stronger, It’s as Easy as 123

image

The other day I was having a conversation about compliments. I am a huge fan of offering sincere compliments, I think that they bring out the best in both the person who receives and the person who offers.

Magnifying people strengths, and building them up as opposed to tearing them down…. now that takes true strength and confidence. It’s so easy to get caught up on imperfections… society has made it a mission to point out the most minuet flaws a person could possibly have. It’s condemned aging, and tries to continually sell the concept that “we can’t possibly be happy in the skin we are in… you need to do this or that, buy this or that AND then you can maybe be happy living with yourself.”

Compliment. Defy society’s cruel unyielding attempt to make us weak, feeling less than beautiful because we are flawed. Compliment, and break the concept of us being in a competition with the unknowing person beside us. It’s not a competition, and when you compliment and see the beauty in another person, you yourself become that much more beautiful.

Beauty starts from the inside and manifest itself outwardly. When we see beauty instead of everything that’s “wrong” we start to approach people and life so differently. Be confident enough that you can magnify others, AND be confident enough that you can receive compliments. Before we even hit 3 seconds we generally brush deny a compliment. It’s a fact. So next time someone offers a compliment don’t reply right away… breathe count to 3 and then say thank you. Don’t put  yourself down when someone just lifted you up. There is nothing wrong with saying thank you. It’s not being full of your self. It’s taking pride in your self.

Everyone has weaknesses, and we can all work to improve them without being put down.

Sometimes it’s a challange finding the good in people but the more often you do it, the easier it will become. I guarantee you will find more love in your heart then you ever thought possible.

Take the challange to look for the good, and literally express the good to people.

Happy Monday!
– Steph

What is Beautiful?

image

It’s a beautiful Saturday, I woke up this morning and finished watching the BBC film Jane Eyre. I was in the mood for a tragic love story last night BUT my meds kicked in before I could finish it… go figure. So this morning as I ate my cereal, I had tears in my eyes and my heart full of love. The character Jane Eyre… holy guacamole! Words do not adequately express the strength of that young woman.  (I’ve yet to read the actual book… I really should. It’s fictional which I’ve generally strayed from BUT ohhh the substanace of Jane Eyre is completely applicable to how we can choose to rise above our unfortunate  circumstances, I imagine I could take a few notes)

I was supposed to meet a dear friend of mine for lunch today. (in a city 1.5 hrs away, she also drives 1.5 hrs and we meet in the middle) However, I was not feeling up for the drive… I’ve had headaches nearly every day this week and I never get headaches so the drive seemed quite daunting. Gratefully my friend understood and we made plans to see each other at a later date. So all is well, no one died. And I got to breathe a little easier. (I’m pretty sure my headaches are a consequence of my anxiety being a little higher this week… so fun. No…not really)

So, my Saturday has been spent in isolation by my own doing. (My parents are also away visiting my eldest sister H) And I’m happy with the choice to be on my own today… the inner nerd broke completely free and I have unexpectedly spent over 5 hrs (& still counting) studying my spanish. Who knew it could be so captivating??!

I remember when I was taking spanish in school… it was so bothersome, and yet here I am years later trying again… and I can’t seem to to get enough. I think mindset is critical when it comes to learning anything. If you look at the potential impact, application, or relavence I guarantee your interest will go up a few notches. (this is a goal I have in action with a plan!)

I love school, I’m not the best student… BUT I’m not too shabby (that was me self conciously trying not putting myself down… because as humans we do that a lot when it comes to our talents or skills. Own it, if you’ve got it. That’s not being conceited, it’s being proud of what you’ve worked for)

Anywho, when I’m not in school I still like to study and learn on a variety of topics. If someone mentions something I do not know, I look it up. I LOVE Google! I have a firm belief that continuous learning is imperative to living a full life as you discover passions and talents you otherwise would have missed out on. Does that mean I need to memorize the periodic table? … no … I could watch tutorials on making fondant cakes and give it a whirl (which i’ve done and adore doing now) or  read about our emotional EQ, study interior design, practice instruments or singing, try my hand at art… anything that engages your mind and asks you to think in a different way.. or perhaps offers a new perspective.

I am not the best student, but I am a good student AND I attribute that to being hungry. Hungry for knowledge; knowledge that I can apply and turn into wisdom.

Some people are primarily attracted to physical features… yes I fall into that category but only for a brief moment. As soon as someone opens their mouth… thats what seals the deal for my interwst. Intellect that’s what gets me every time regardless to him being a 10/10 or not. And in all honesty, YES I want to be considered beautiful by my partner BUT beyond that I want them to think my mind is beautiful. My thoughts and ideas, everything I have been learning about and bettering myself with. I want them to think that is a timeless beauty that I have.

Beauty starts from the inside. Loving ourself and building ourselves. Knowing we have no limits aside from the ones we place on ourselves. Be strong and learn. Love learning and you will set a a fire within you that will go on forever whether in isolation or in the companionship of others. Learning is timeless. And it’s fun. It doesn’t have to be boring, it can be exciting and engaging.

A beautiful women or a beautiful man, with a brain and a compassionate heart… that’s a lethal combination.

Happy Learning.

– Steph

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

I’m a big time goal lover… as I’m sure you noticed if you’ve read any of my previous posts.

What makes a goal brilliant? Well obviously if it’s a super-duper-out-of-this-world-big goal!! …. Yah…. No, that doesn’t make a “brilliant goal”. Not that I’m hating on goals of that caliber because by all means they are impressive BUT for most people who want to set and achieve goals, I have a little piece of advice… have tiny goals that over time equal a nice big juicy goal.

I have a horrible habit of setting exponentially huge goals for myself… I’m getting better at NOT doing this but sometimes the old habit comes out to play. And what happens when I set HUMUNGO goals? I shall tell you, I unintentionally build a system that beats myself up, questioning my ability to do anything right let alone anything at all.. come again? Why would pursing a positive goal something exciting and amazing, bring out such negative thoughts?

Simple, because we failed to achieve our goal in one go, if at all.. remember it’s huge! Huge and overwhelming…

When I set or find myself setting huge goals a lot of self doubt swiftly follows. I’ll tell myself that by such & such a date my goal would be completed to perfection. No, IF, AND,  or BUTS. But… that didn’t always happen, and when dooms day rolled around (which was also usually unrealistic set) I usually failed to complete the goal having stopped my endeavors all together, because I was so overwhelmed. Making me feel like the biggest loser-let down and the most incapable human everrrrrr.

Am I actually incapable though? No, I’m not and neither are you, anything is achievable with time and effort and a realistic plan. Fail to plan, Plan to fail. But wait, we set the goal that was our plan duhhh we begin and we had the end goal… this my dear friends is where mini goals come into play.

Each mini goal has as much value as if you were completing the big mother ship of goals. And that’s the mind set that will help you succeed. Without planning mini goals… achieving the huge goal is daunting… and has a lower probability of success and higher a probability of you putting yourself down.

Having flexibility is key to any goal, the objective is clear BUT just like Thomas Edison, there may be a few set backs prior to the light bulb coming on. BUT he still had his goal set,  just like we do.

I used to do 5 pushups a night, why? Because that’s all I could do in one go. My goal was to be able to do more than 5… I wanted 40. Did I tell myself I’d do 40 pushups by next week? No. In the past I would have, instead this time I gave myself two weeks. In two weeks I’d be doing no less than 10.

Ooooo so vague BUT at the same time it was crystal clear. I had a goal that I was working towards. I started to increase how many pushups I did per day with baby steps … 5 in the morning 5 at night… this method gradually allowed me to do 10 in a row AND with that under my belt I felt even more motivated and confident I’d reach my goal of 40.

So did I automatically set my goal to 40 after I reached 10? Nope, I set my next mini goal to no less than 20 in two weeks. Same rountine 20 in the morning and 20 at night. By the end of the two weeks I was feeling stronger and challanged myself to try 40. If I made it, awesome if not I would give myself another goal to meet. BUT regardless to if i made 40 in a row I was able to do a lot more than when I started.

I have met my goal, and I am so proud of myself for sticking with it. I DIDN’T get there in one go BUT I got there.

The execution is critical to the success of our goals. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, it is allowed to be flexible so long as you keep your eye on the prize.

Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to do HUGE goals in one go. Rome wasn’t built in a day, super star athletes didn’t find success with only one practice, and Lawyers didn’t become lawyers by only reading one book… persistence and focus, incremental growth so that you build confidence rather than tear it down.

Dream Big! Plan Smart! And Achieve Your Goals! Remember that just because you have to go back to the drawing board doesn’t mean your goal is unattainable.

– Steph 

Hot Hot Hot

image

As you read this quote and then as you read this post …. pun intended 🙂

Have you ever lost your temper, I’m  talking fire-breathing-destroying-a-small-village-leaving-no-survivors-to-tell-the-tale type temper…. alright I may have exaggerated slightly… there are survivors, that’s the only reason the madness can be traced back to you.

If you have experienced the above… you are not alone. And yes! Perhaps that’s an extreme presentation… but I’ve dipicted it as such for good reason.

I’ve often found that when I have these explosive moments or perhaps when a member of my family does… it has absolutely NOTHING to do with what we are getting upset about! (I’m not referring to an average argument or upset…. I’m talking an extreme reaction)

Say for instance you gave me a …… red skittle. HOLY MOLEY you are the most inconsiderate, hurtful, malicious person! Ever! How could you just give me a red skittle like that! And the way you offered it to me! I totally heard attitude!

Clearly giving me a red skittle was not done to upset or offend me, BUT  because something is already brewing deep inside of me…. that simple fact you gave me my least favourite coloured skittle sent me off my rocker and the fire came out to play. 

Again … a bit of an extreme analogy, but hopefully you get what I’m saying. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly is making us upset…. or is causing our reactive and defensive mood. And when we don’t have a clear input BREATHING is essential for having a manageable output.

Taking frustrations and anger out on an unbeknownst victim is not the answer. And can strain relations  (speaking from experience) BUT what if it does happen, and we do lose it over nothing??? Aplogize. Simple as that… although it may cause you to bite your tongue and swallow your pride…. a sincere apology for taking nothing and turning it into contention purely because you are in that particular mood… yup that deserves some serious breathing exercises and an apology.

And what happens if you are the one on the receiving end of such a blast? Don’t take it personal! That doesn’t mean you accept it, it means you look at the bigger picture… and see if all the ducks are adding up… and usually they are not.

The past few days, an individual I am very close with has been in a very defensive & reactive mood. Anything and everything I said seemed to somehow turn into venom. I honestly was at a loss for words (hard to believe I know) I felt like I was only adding fuel to their fire! So, what did I do? I stopped and allowed myself to breathe. And then I reminded myself that they weren’t actually upset about the simple question or comment I made, and it was most likely something completely different that they were mad about. So with that mindset I approached the situation. Attempting to apply empathetic listening … just listening not replying…. and what happened? The fire ceased to burn me, and they explained what was really making their blood boil… which had nothing to do with me!

A piece of advice that has lessened my reactivity over the years is “don’t assume the worst from someone.” Generally our society does this. It assumes that the guy who cut us off is a jerk… rather than a guy whose panicking because his wife is at the hospital about to have their baby. Or that the grumpy cashier is miserable when in reality she’s a single mom working 3 jobs and just had a customer yell at her….

When we are in a reactive mode …this is when it’s crucial that we do not assume the worst behind peoples simple sentences and actions… and when someone does explode try to look at the bigger picture and not assume the worst of them … it’s a challange by all means BUT most likely that fire breathing dragon needs a good laugh and a giant hug… in order to let off some steam. Oh how punny.

– Steph