My Take on Feelings

The Purpose of Feelings

I’ve been thinking about the purpose of feelings.

Actually, having feelings is a gift, an asset, a blessing. It’s our inner GPS…our personal game of “hot” and “cold.” It delights us and warns us. It’s almost like our Guardian Angel, and it never sleeps. It’s your nocturnal BFF.

It’s what separates us from our furniture. Although I’ll admit, a few times I’ve moved my table and I can almost hear it saying, “I liked my old location better.” 

Animals have feelings. If you’ve ever been adopted by an animal, you know what I mean.

We, as humans, tend to categorize feelings as either good or bad. Actually, it’s what you do with those feelings that makes them good or bad.

Ew…Anger

For example, anger is often considered “bad”. But what if you lost your ability to feel anger? You’d turn into a doormat. People could walk all over you.

Even Jesus got angry. Remember the incident in the temple with the tax guys? And Jesus wept. I think that’s the shortest verse in the Bible, but it illustrates his humanity on top of his divinity.

Feelings are our divine legacy. I was recently reminded how much words affect our  feelings. Now, I’m not blaming my mother. She sang a lot of beautiful songs to me as a baby. But I had a light bulb moment about one of those songs. It’s called “Rock-a-bye-baby”. I emphasize the word “bye”, and here’s why. 

Brace Yourself

Have you ever really listened to the lyrics? They were supposedly written by Effie Crockett, a relative of Davy Crockett, who wrote the lyrics in 1872 while babysitting a restless child.

Ok…here goes.

Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetops,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

Did you catch the last line? “And down will come baby, cradle and all?” I can’t tell you how many times she sang me this lullaby? This isn’t just a lullaby… It’s a doomsday scenario!

I’m not scapegoating the song. My life has turned out pretty well. No damage done.

More Creepy Stuff

I know robots are being used more and more for surgery, and programmers are now trying to develop robots with feelings.

Maybe you’re thinking, “How cool!”

” I’m thinking, “ Creepy.”

I can just imagine you and your robot in therapy for your roommate issues.

It could even have global implications, like another Star Wars, and I doubt we’ll be the stars.

Bottom line, I’m thankful for my feelings…all my feelings. They make me a lot of things, but mainly they make me human.

http://www.stressbustercoach.com

Time Is Money


The Joy of Emails

You’ve heard of the million- mile marker? Well, I’m nearing the million- email marker. 
 
Every morning my routine includes feeding the cats, feeding myself, making coffee, and deleting 80 emails. 
 
This takes time. 
 
Isn’t there an old saying, “time is money.”  It’s almost as if whoever said this had a glimpse into the future of the email world… maybe Nostradamus.
 
They’ve Got To Go

The solution was simple. I decided to delete all my old emails. It seemed efficient. However, it appears the window on this idea has slammed shut.
 
 Gmail was easy (fewer emails), but Yahoo…not so much. I waved the white flag when I realized my deletions had only progressed to 2017. This is 2021. I could see the trend. My finger was tired.
 
I recently joined a service that sends out automated marketing emails. The problem…no one opens my emails. I’m one of the 80 they delete every morning. I feel a little guilty for even sending them out. If time is money, I feel like I’m stealing their time.

A Light Bulb Moment
 
Here’s an idea. Maybe instead of putting people through the drudgery of deleting email messages, emails could be recorded subliminally. You could listen to them in your sleep, or even take a email messages “power nap”.
 
Another time-eater is the batch of computer glitches I sometimes endure. Yesterday the printer wouldn’t print. Today Microsoft Word wouldn’t open. 
 
Where is a seventh grader when you need one?
 
I actually get the most bang for the buck from my To-Do list. Once the items are checked off, it’s siesta time. I have time to spare.
 
Yes, it seems the adage is true. Time is money.
 
How are you “spending” yours?
 

Clutter Is Us


The Problem

I’ve had the same mission for at least a year. I’m trying to de-clutter. I’m not talking about a room. I’m talking about my house.
 
I totally believe physical clutter becomes mental clutter. It’s like a sneaky morphing process that silently takes place as your clutter grows. 
 
At first you don’t notice. Maybe you’re a little more stressed, but by the time you’ve reached the diagnosable “Generalized Anxiety” stage, you may (or may not) have figured out the connection.
 
My entire body is like a lightning rod for clutter. The more clutter, the more teeth grinding and muscle tension arises. It’s like the 2 x 4 that finally gets my attention…definitely a “Surrender Dorothy” moment.
 
Vacuuming has a way of disguising the clutter. My serotonin level is higher on the days I vacuum. It doesn’t last long, however, because my athletic shoes leave noticeable tread marks in their wake.
 
The Kittens

Then there’s the bathroom…oh, not my favorite room to clean. One reason…my kittens consider it their spa. My bathtub is their meditation space. I’m just lucky cats don’t like water. My shower is safe. 
 
 By the way, is there a Feline Mensa Society? I know dogs have Dog Parks, but cats need Mensa Meetings. If you don’t believe me, google the articles on how to pill a cat. When I’m feeling down, I read those articles. If those don’t make me laugh, nothing will.
 
But Don’t Call Me A Hoarder

I’m not a hoarder. A friend recently described me as a minimalist. Although a lot of my stuff is hidden inside drawers and closets, I still claim and cherish that moniker.
 
If I ever want to move…let’s not even go there. I’d have to hire two moving companies…one for my necessities and furniture, and the other for my “stuff”.
 
Stuff, meaning clutter, seems to stick to me like Velcro. Regardless of how many times I clear it, it reproduces like kudzu.
 
Can you relate?

Bad Hair Day?

Your Crowning Glory

Today’s topic is hair. If you live in Florida, the term “good hair day” is an oxymoron.

Actually, good hair days do exist, but since the brain gives more weight to bad hair days, it only feels like they don’t.

Women take their hair very seriously, and I’m no exception. Today, after my morning exercise, I got a quick glance at my hair as I walked past the mirror… the word “electrocution” comes to mind.

Hair is said to be a woman’s “crowning glory.” 

That’s a lot of pressure. 

For some women, “crowning glory” hits the mark, but for many women it’s the slim divide between what separates a good day from a bad day.

My Hair’s History

The truth is…I love my hair. I’m just happy to have hair. Even as an infant I was follicley challenged. My mother had to stick a bow on top of my head to convince the public I was female. 

Then, as a child, there was the “Tonette” experience, where my once straight locks were twisted into tight curls making me resemble the then over- 80’s crowd. 

I had more personal control over my hair as a teen, but it meant undergoing what felt like acupuncture of the head. Those curlers were like miniature needles you were supposed to get a good night’s sleep on. You had to be a little bit masochistic to put yourself through that torture. Every woman I know praised the introduction of the foam rubber curlers… so pink…so feminine.

When I say I love my hair, one of the things I cherish most is the color…gray. I waited a long time for this. For years, I colored my hair. When I told my dad I was going back to my natural color, he replied, in his deadpan fashion, “What color is that?” 

All Is Not Lost

I’ve figured out a way to profit from the bad hair day curse. In “Fried Green Tomatoes” I noticed one of the characters, Sipsey I believe, covered the mirrors when Ruth Jamison died. That was a custom back then.

I believe this custom should be extended to women on bad hair days.

 Maybe I’ll start marketing “ Bad Hair Day Covers” for your mirrors…probably more lucrative than playing the lottery.

Isn’t that what’s called “making lemonade out of lemons”?

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Annoyances

I have to add one more annoyance to my list of stress triggers…credit cards and the identity monitoring services. When I get alerts, instead of feeling grateful for the heads up, it sends me into a frenzy.

This means I have to sign onto my computer, and recall two important facts, my User ID and my password. Given that I have hundreds of these, this is no easy task.

 Yes, I know I can use one of those services, or apps, where you helplessly surrender all your passwords. Doesn’t that sound like trusting that every password floating around in the cloud is secure? Where is the cloud, anyway?

I think it’s located in a building somewhere inside, of course, a computer. That doesn’t sound too secure to me. It means I’m basically letting strangers handle my most private information.

 Didn’t your mother tell you not to talk to strangers?

 As it turns out, because I haven’t used my credit card at a certain store in a few years, they cancelled my card.

The nerve of them.

Really?

Didn’t they practically beg me to sign up for their card in the first place? Isn’t it in my best interest to buy big ticket items on the credit card that gives me cash back?

 Why was I so generous? Was the cashier that convincing? Somehow, I must have felt that opening that account was somehow helping her pay off her cards…another example of the saying, “No good deed goes unpunished.”  

Not the First Time

It’s happened to me so many times, I’m almost afraid to do a good deed. I’ll continue, though, because I was a Girl Scout and went to Catholic school. But I’ll admit, the thought, “this is going to come back to bite me,” does cross my mind.

Case in point: The other day I let another car merge in front of me. Then, I watched as that same car sailed through the yellow light while I was stopped cold at the red.

 I had to laugh. I could almost hear a little voice, probably mine, saying, “I told you so. No good deed goes unpunished.”

Bottom line, I believe in paying it forward, and I’ll continue to be a good- dooby.

 But, like many time -tested adages, there’s a reason for this one.

 

Is Your Brain a Time Machine?

Yes, your brain is a time machine. Your subconscious mind keeps track of every detail of your life. What they call a “life review” could be as simple as a rewind of the tape from the transcript of your life. 

And it’s not limited to just one lifetime.

Just Ask Brian

Many believe it can go back even further than one lifetime. No one was more surprised than Dr. Brian Weiss, author of “Many Lives Many Masters” when, during a routine hypnosis session, his client slipped into a previous lifetime.

 Even if you’re not a fan of this belief, the book is pretty fascinating. You can appreciate the diversity of thought. 

A Question

If your brain truly functions as a time machine, ask yourself where you’re spending most of your time…in the past, the present, or the future? It’s a choice.

Or is it?

How many times are you interrupted by a disturbing trip down memory lane? 

You’re mindlessly brushing your teeth when a memory of an encounter with your ex slips into your consciousness. Now, you’re angry. This machine has taken you to a place you didn’t really want to go. 

The Fix

Start by recognizing where you are at this present moment. This isn’t foreign territory. You aren’t lost. Your time machine is like a self -driving car with a mind of its own, and it’s taken you to a place you don’t want to be. 

Your only hope is to grab the throttle and blast yourself back to your present activity, which is brushing your teeth. You probably missed a spot anyway. Time travel can have periodontal consequences.

However, If, by chance, your time machine takes you back to your first kiss, consider yourself lucky. You’ve just won the time machine lottery. But don’t bet on it. Your brain likes to focus on the negative…it seems to value the enduring qualities of pain…lest you forget. 

My advice…don’t underestimate the workings of your brain. It’s definitely a time machine, but you usually have to steer.

What’s Your Power Animal?

Space Trash

With so many people wanting to explore Mars, I beg the question… what’s to become of earth? Not that I’m worried about our planet’s imminent devastation, but with all that space trash floating around, it could be any day.

 We aren’t the only planetary litterbugs. I recently read an article about other distant aliens dumping their trash into the galaxy. Instead of launching satellites, maybe we should be launching dumpsters. Has Elon thought of that?

The Roaches Win

Which brings me to another thought. They say that roaches will inherit the earth. As hard as they are to exterminate, I have to agree. I award second place to the ants, who make their home in the cracks in my driveway. At least, that’s where I see them. They probably have little ant time- shares all over my yard. Anyway, they’re pretty tough characters, as insects go.

As proof, there’s only one degree of separation between me and my pest control service. Watching the ants is like watching a Timex commercial… they “take a licking and keep on ticking”. As annoying as they are, you have to admire their grit.

That’s the point of this blog. No matter how many times the bait is laid, their countermove is to relocate. There are many other cracks in my driveway to choose from. They seem to be, at heart, nomads. They build, and when they’re attacked, move and re-build. They’re a living example of determination. 

At least that’s what I decided yesterday after noticing at least 10 more anthills on my way to the mailbox. I have to say…I admire their determination. I think they’ll give the roaches a fighting challenge. 

Today I heard an old children’s song, “The Ants Go Marching “. These lyrics were applied to an old Civil War song, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”.

When I was an elementary Guidance Counselor, I invented my own lyrics during Responsibility Month. “I make my bed and clean my room…hurrah, hurrah.” There’s an ant theme running through my life, it seems.

The Real Point

In the end, I’ve become philosophical …maybe ants are my power animals…my totem.

Do you have an insect crawling through the hourglass of your life?

Before you reach for the bug spray, consider this…It’s actually a gift.

For me, they’re a model for determination.

 I’m hope I’m not the only one.

www.trowercoaching.com

Why Your Resolutions Fail

Welcome 2021!

It’s January 2021, and it couldn’t arrive at a better time. 

It’s a fresh start, and this means New Year’s Resolutions. 

The trick is…how long do your resolutions last? 

Buyers Remorse

I think the biggest winners in the Resolution Lotto are the fitness gyms. How many times have you signed up for a gym membership, totally intending to get buff and skinny, but by February, you’ve got buyer’s remorse. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. How do we keep falling for the “same- old same- old” every year?

I’ll tell you how. We know what we want, but not how to get there. This is why most resolutions fail. In fact, I believe there are 5 reasons why your New Year’s Resolutions fail.

Why Your Resolutions Fail

#1. It’s not your resolution. It’s someone else’s resolution for you. In other words, you’re trying to make someone else happy. Only, guess what? It doesn’t work. It’s a sure- fire road to self- sabotage. It’s a “should” instead of a passionate “want”. My advice: Dump this resolution and find your own.

#2. It’s not specific enough. Want to lose weight? Too vague. How much weight do you want to lose? Want to make better grades? Exactly what grade do you want to make? In what subject? You get the idea. Whoever said, “the devil’s in the details” was a genius. Vagueness gets you nowhere. It’s like being stuck in quicksand. Figure out exactly what you want to change…exactly!

#3. It’s a wish without a plan. You want to lose weight, but you lack a plan. What are you going to do differently? What steps are you going to take? When? You want to raise your grade-point, but your lack of a plan has you stuck in the wish position. You need weekly action steps in writing. Grab your pen and paper. Get this in writing! The pen truly is mightier than the sword!

#4. You’re a perfectionist. Your favorite word is “someday”. Perfectionists never feel quite ready for the task at hand. Hence, they’re procrastinators. They have good intentions, but that’s about as far as it goes. They’re stuck in neutral. If this sounds like you, I offer two words…first draft. You have to be willing to do it imperfectly. If not, you’ll never get started. It’s called “priming the pump”. 

#5. You’re the Lone Ranger. You’re not accountable to anyone but yourself. You’re like the Lonely Maytag Repair Man. As humans, we’re social creatures. We need each other. We need both encouragement and accountability to reach the finish line. Even if you’re the ultimate self-starter, it’s simply more fun to let someone know what you’re accomplishing along the way. Whether it’s a friend, a parent, or a Life Coach, don’t go it alone.

If you have a goal you’d like to accomplish, or a resolution you’d like to keep, as a Certified Life Coach, my goal is to help you reach your goal.

Bottom line…no more buyer’s remorse.

Check out my January special

http://www.trowercoaching.com

What Have You Noticed?

I Have Questions!

I surprise myself. After all the years I’ve spent on this planet, I still have a lot of questions.

For example, I’ve recently noticed that the crinkly sound of a cat treat bag is almost identical to the crinkly sound of a potato chip bag, or any other tasty human treat. 

Healthy foods also come in crinkly bags. I just can’t think of any at the moment. 

This wouldn’t be a problem, but the sound of crinkling sends “TREAT ALERT” signals throughout my house, and the cats come running. After all, if I have a treat, then they expect as much.

 This is has made me aware of how often I go to the kitchen for a treat. My cats are like little diet alarms. I’d like to tell the veterinary industry to come up with a different type of packaging.

The Wind

Another thing I’ve noticed recently has to do with the weather. I grew up in Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains.

 In Florida, we’re in the middle of a cold front. Ok… north Florida. When the temperature hits the uncomfortably cold mark, which is higher than you might imagine, guess what comes with it? 

You guessed it…wind…cold wind. I’ve noticed that warm weather doesn’t seem to stir up much wind, which is fine with me… one less bad hair day. 

Now, my question is, and I’m not a meteorologist, why does the wind come only when it’s cold? Isn’t it bad enough that I’m already freezing without any wind? Maybe I just notice it because of the extreme discomfort. If you wear contact lenses, you know what I’m talking about.

Save the Sun

Another question I wonder about is why, when it causes heart attacks, strokes, and insomnia, do we still have to switch back and forth from daylight savings time?

I love daylight! It’s worth saving! I don’t like changes that come with dire warnings about potential health catastrophes.

Yes, I get it that the kids at the bus stops need light in the morning. Wouldn’t it be easier to delay the start of school one hour?  I don’t think those stroke and heart attack warnings are aimed at kids.

Do I sound like a curmudgeon? 

I know I’m not alone.

Here’s where you say, “Me too”.

The Dilemma of Faith

The Redirection

I just read an article by Dr. Monroe Mann, Psych Ph.d, about dealing with rejection. As a former therapist, I’m familiar with the term “reframe,” which means changing the way you think about something when you’re stuck in a negative mindset.

She has an intriguing take on this concept, and calls it a “redirection”. Instead of feeling rejected when things don’t work out, instead, you can look at it as a Plan B, a chance to take a different path. 

You could call it fate, bad luck, or divine providence. Maybe God sees things from a bigger picture. 

What Did I Just Say?

Did I really say, “maybe”? Where’s my faith? 

I think of myself as a person of faith. When I look back, I’ve had plenty of “redirections” in my life. My first reaction to rejection or implosion of my best laid plans is usually negative. I look for someone to blame, and that someone is usually me.

Am I just not good enough, skilled enough, lovable enough, or, in a word, enough?

Time For A Redirect!

This type of thinking is the antithesis of faith. Having faith in something bigger than yourself has a positive effect on not only your state of mind, but your health. This isn’t wishful thinking. There are extensive research articles on Pub Med to back this up. 

What if I decided to interpret rejections and other downturns as a divine redirection from a Higher Power who always has my back?

Maybe my best prayer could be, “this or something better”. 

That way, when the “this” doesn’t manifest, I can look forward to the “something better.”

I like to think of myself as intelligent and rational enough to make my own decisions, and I do. I believe trusting myself, after doing my homework, is the right path. 

But if I’m honest, when it doesn’t work out, my knee jerk reaction is that someone or something has to pay. 

If I allow the scapegoat to be my faith, I’m toast.

The Resolution

Maybe one of my New Year’s Resolution will be honoring the redirections in my life as the “something better”. 

That’s my Resolution.

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