Some might even call it a blessing.

  Stress… it might be going too far to call it a blessing, but it can be the disguised kind of blessing if we shift our perspective a titch. Stress can literally kill you. It can also be something that causes us to reassess our lives and be willing to try new approaches to relieving our daily anxieties. Being curious about how my friends creatively address this challenge, I recently posted a question on Facebook: “What are your favorite destressing techniques?” Here are a few of the brilliant responses. Just reading them makes me feel more relaxed! (My favorite destressing activities are at the…

Looking for the up-side

With so much happening, and at such a rapid-fire pace, it’s nearly impossible for the average person to keep up. Even members of the media are struggling with this endless torrent of weird, outrageous, and often insane behavior generated by this current administration. Every day is a new shock to the system. I do not exaggerate. Updates are out of date nearly as soon as they’re covered and posted, with readers scrambling to keep up with each new eruption. Gaslighting — a conscious attempt to confuse and distract — is a daily occurrence. “Look here, not there” is a ploy…

Hope, kindness, and a touch of snark

Confession: I’m weary to the bone of negativity and name-calling on social media — from both sides of the political chasm. So I’m working out how to navigate social media in a constructive way in this new year. How do we interrupt — and stand up to — the gross ignorance and intolerance of racism without falling into the trap of name-calling, snark, shaming, and tit-for-tat exchanges that too often dominate social media? Shaming doesn’t work, and we can’t just wish it away — and snark is so tempting, especially when you’re good at it. In response to me reflecting on how to…

Flat Rock, Rippled Pond

One of the joys of my childhood was having unlimited access to the Willamina River that bordered our small farm in Western Oregon. With nearly one-half mile that was mine to explore, I was never happier than when I escaped to its edge to indulge in minute explorations of this moist, boggy, ferny paradise. Robinson Crusoe fantasies dominated my play. By the age of eight, a part of me longed to escape the tensions that were a daily part of life in my family. The river bank is where I learned to skip rocks, catch crawdads, check the boggy areas for minnows, and observe the development…

Are you “sensitive?”

If so, you know too well how rough it can be to get through a week of challenging, and sometimes horrifying, news.  Reasons for being a high-stress personality are myriad, starting in the womb. Was Mom stressed? Then she passed those nasty stress hormones on to you. Generations of trauma* flow through our collective DNA. It manifests in a variety of personality traits, from irritability, abusive behavior, and paranoia, to addiction and depression. My departed mom is a good example. I believe that she did the best she could, but she had neither a good start nor a good education, and married a…