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Shake It Off

“It’s not really what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us. Of course, things can hurt physically or economically and can cause sorrow. But our character, our basic identity, does not have to be hurt at all. In fact, our most difficult experiences become the crucibles that forge our character and develop the internal powers, the freedom to handle difficult circumstances in the future and to inspire others to do so as well.” -Stephen Covey

Thank goodness for some rain today! Rain or shine, I carry my own weather with me.

What does that mean? Well, most people let the weather affect their moods. And they let everything else affect their moods, and then they share that, because, as we know, misery loves company. The trick is to not get sucked into that. But how?

I believe that you can choose to react positively to the negative things in your life, to the negative people in your life. That’s carrying your own weather. In other words, you don’t let someone or something cause your day to be negative.

For example, when someone cuts me off in traffic, which is epidemic these days, and they may even flash me a mean look or "lay on the horn", I don’t let them make my weather. I can choose to continue to be patient. Now I have to acknowledge that I have the thought to unleash on them for a minute. I can say to myself, “I hear you, self-righteous, full-of-justice angry thought. But... no thanks. I will pass on that."

Simple, but not easy. It takes practice.

There are folks who will press our buttons because they are hurting inside, they are self-absorbed. What can we do? Carry your own weather right through the moods and decisions of others. Listen with a loving heart, when you need to, but only for a bit (not until you have been entrapped by their stormy weather). Then check in with your own feelings and your needs. Play some music. Go for a walk. Listen to an audio meditation. Get your hands in the dirt. It not only keeps you , but it shows those around us that we have set a healthy boundary against the stress of life, and they can too!

Stress has such an impact because of the way it affects, and ultimately, rewires the brain. When the brain is stuck in stress, it leads to physical changes and a complicated ripple of life-altering symptoms.

In the animal world, animals “shake off” the freeze response caused by a threat. When animals suffer trauma, it has been documented that they will literally shake it off, which helps the animal discharge the energy of the event. Some animals will die if not able to do this.

The therapy term for this is Somatic Experiencing.

I would like you to try to shake off the stress, whenever it happens, when you feel triggered, just for 30 seconds. I'm not a Taylor Swift fan, but she has a point. Haters gonna hate, after all.


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