Today's journaling lesson included an explanation of the mind body connection. Mari McCarthy writes: "You'll notice yourself feeling more relaxed after you journal, because you have just released tension that you may not have even known was there." (here is a link to her site if you'd like to learn more:)
Today's exercise was less of a journal entry and more about writing down things that cause you stress and then reflect on them and when you notice yourself getting stressed out, make a promise to yourself that you will stop what you are doing, close your eyes, and take ten breaths.
As I like to keep this particular blog as upbeat and positive as possible, I am going to share with you a story about how my amazing husband deals with stress...he handles himself with such grace and composure that even the gravest or most stressful situations don't bother him (and don't bother me when he is around).
Mark Otto rises at the crack of dawn (as he always does - being the diligent dairy farmer that he is). He kisses his wife gently on the forehead as he says:
"I love you my beautiful wife - I hope you have a great day."
And boy does he mean it. The look in his eyes, his body language, the tone in his voice. He means every word. His wife smiles and teases him about what they should do when he gets home...and they share another quick kiss before he heads downstairs.
Mark finds the coffee pot empty. Instead of being upset, he quickly assessed the situation, notices that the pot was unplugged which caused the timer problem, etc.... He plugs in the coffee pot, resets the timer/clock, and starts the pot brewing while he runs downstairs to get dressed for work. The dehumidifier needs emptying, so he does that quickly and then notices that the laundry should be tossed from washer to dryer. He knows his wife hasn't been feeling well, so he grabs the clothes. As he goes to throw them in the dryer, he notices there's a load in there needing to be folded. He doesn't have time, but he tosses them in a basket. He checks his watch and knows he better hurry.
The coffee is done just in time - he heads out to his truck. The battery is dead...as he closes the truck door, he notices the neighbors all have the garbage on the curb. Crystal must have forgotten...so he runs in the house and begins to sort through the recycling and bag up the garbage. By this time, Crystal is hopping out of the shower so she helps him finish up and they go outside together to use her truck to jump start his. He's later than he would like, but still takes time to put the jumper cables away and give Crystal another kiss goodbye.
Mark gets to the farm and is bringing the cows into the barn when he notices that one of the dry cows (in a different area of the barnyard) has freshened - aka: had a baby. He gets the cows settled in and between milking and dipping, he keeps looking in the barnyard for that little calf. It's troubling him that he can't see her and he hopes she's okay and that the mother didn't have too tough of a time. After milking all the cows, he lets them back out to pasture and spends nearly an hour looking for the baby. He finds her healthy in the woods (although by the time he finds her, he himself is covered in mosquito bites). He carries her into the barn, gives her some fresh milk and soft bedding for her stall.
He is nearly two hours behind on chores, but happily sweeps the barn, singing along with the radio. He takes a quick break and runs out to his truck to check on the charging battery. His cell reception is pretty good on top of the hill so he sends his wife a text ; how's my soul mate this morning? I hope your day is as wonderful as you are - xoxox
As you can see from the story above, Mark has plenty of things to be upset about. He could have easily let any of the following ruin his day:
Wife unplugged coffee pot
Laundry room is a mess
Wife forgot laundry day
Truck battery is dead
Calf is lost in the woods
Mosquito bites are annoying
Things aren't going smoothly
When things don't go as he has planned, Mark doesn't look for someone or something to blame. He looks for solutions. Instead of thinking "my damn wife unplugged the friggin coffee pot - she knows I don't have time for this" he thinks "If I quick plug this in it will have time to brew before I leave" etc...
I would like to tell you that I look at situations as optimistically as Mark does - I do not...but I am getting better. It's so easy to get your undies in a bundle over things, but there definitely is a correlation between how you think and how you feel....if you want to feel crappy, then think crappy....if you want to feel good, think positive thoughts - think about solutions and not problems and don't pass judgment or look for someone to blame.
Thanks to my husband who is patient and kind and who not only completes me, but makes me better each day!
May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and positive influences!