Never, in the history of ever, has telling someone to calm down actually helped them to calm down.
As I started writing this my auto-rotating background was a lioness staring the camera down with her intense yellow eyes. I decided to name her Augusta. How fitting a photo to pop up for an article about dealing with overwhelm.
Can you imagine being the photographer? Starring through your hopefully long magnifying camera lens and knowing if Augusta decided to charge you nothing under the sun would save your life. At the same time you’re having a precious, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capture this image and to be in the presence of a truly amazing creature.
All of that in and of itself creates a balance of tension. There is a definitive con, being mauled to death by a lioness, and definite pro, an amazing experience. But what happens when the scales are out of balance?
Valentine’s Day has come and gone and you’re still not in the mood. It’s easy not to feel frisky on Valentine’s Day when there seems to be a ton of pressure to be super sexy and have an expensive, passion filled night. The truth is no one feels sexy on cue, let alone when trying to make an intimate experience that matches up to society’s standards. It’s not only massively defeating, it’s bizarre, and yet we subject ourselves to that on some level.
Sex starts in your head. Stress, depression, anxiety and even a lousy day can kill the mood. If you’re not feeling sexy in your mind, you’re not going to get sexy vibes in your loins. It’s as simple as that. If you’re consumed with worry about the price of the lingerie - which makes you feel self-conscious anyway, not to mention is physically uncomfortable to wear - you’re not going to genuinely enjoy sex. If you can, set aside the things in your world that are stressing you out. That will do more to get you into "the mood" than any piece of lingerie.
There is something about a family meal that can straight up suck any feelings of success and gratitude right out of you. Your start up’s progress becomes “cute” and a short interruption to the details of when you’re getting a real job. Your daily yoga practice reduced to hippy nonsense. Any hope of sharing your new venture our travels get eschewed for the topic of babies, investment properties and corporate promotions. Why on earth did you ever leave the kids table?
You’re trying to maintain your positive psychology learnings in the forefront of your mind, but it seems more like a competition for one-uppings and backhanded compliments. Pairing all that with the scary and polarizing, current world news and there’s a good chance holiday gatherings could take a toll on you. It’s no wonder the jokes and statistics abounding about holiday family feuds, depression, anxiety and increased alcohol consumption and hospitalizations.
When it seems that the world has gone mad and tragedies have given our lives a somber tone, there is still, and always will be, a bright beacon of hope. Hope for you, your family and humanity at large. That beacon is gratitude and it lights the way to better and brighter days for anyone who chooses to practice it.
There is always something to be grateful for and that, in and of itself, is an incredible thing. If you’re reading this give thanks for the incredible gifts of literacy, electricity, internet and time.
10/13/2016 2 Comments
Recently life threw me a curve ball. I’ve been working hard and diligently building momentum towards not one, but ALL of my personal and professional goals in life. I live in a city that truly feels like home, making financial progress and even gains, growing a loyal following for NutritionSheila.com (as well as all things social media related: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter), developing true-meaningful friendships and connections, and even my downward dog was finally on point after nearly 18 years of (inconsistently) practicing yoga. Hell, I’ve even written a complete book by accident and have begun the process of preparing it for submission for publication.
And then… WaPam! Out of nowhere I was dealt a low-blow and what made it sting was that it came from a person I truly valued and looked up to.
But here’s the thing… I know, I know. Good things almost never follow “but here’s the thing.” Also I recognize that I’m hitting the ellipses pretty hard up in here. Check your judgement at the door until you’ve made it through this article. At which point you can choose whether or not you pick them back up. I suggest not picking them back up, but you do you. You’ve got options – happiness is one of them.
I digress. Here’s the thing. The very moment I got hit with this lousy news, news that anyone would be justified to get upset by, my first, honest, instant reaction was gratitude, followed by massive relief.
“There is so much hope. It has to do with your mindset.”
I met Janelle by complete chance, or so we both thought at the time. Little did we know how similar our stories were and that this chance encounter wasn't by chance at all. Everything for a reason.
While we only met in person that one time, we kept up here and there over the next few months via social media. Scrolling through my Facebook feed one day I came across something that stopped me in my tracks and everything made sense all at once. This post by Janelle on November 12th, 2015.
"It's sometimes hard for me to wrap my brain around how blessed I am. I didn't expect to be here beyond my 20's, nor did I expect I could ever be a part of helping so many people make significant life changes.
I spent 10 years of focused effort destroying my body. When people stepped in to try to help, I was viscious and defensive. When my doctors told me I was knocking at deaths door, my response was, "well apparently nobody's f***ing home cuz I'm still sitting here with you" (charming, huh?)
...Scrolling through my pictures, I landed on the one below and I remember this day so vividly. I didn't know it then, but I was 3 days away from rock bottom and 4 days away from my first day of recovery..."
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