Listen to Anger! It is Your Best Friend.

It was a rare moment as a parent. I was in awe as the sun shone on the table. I had the full and undivided attention of my teenager. It is such a rarity in this highly engaging world that I cherished the moment as long as I could. What I thought would be a fleeting event lasted for a full 2 hours. I was in heaven.

It started with a question.

This simple question lead us through a half-century of life experiences. Mostly focusing on all the ways I had failed. In the end, we both saw how all the failures, when tallied together was the secret to my success.

What was the question? “Mom, how do you deal with anger?”

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3 Simple Steps to Relieving Stress

It was the third time in a single day that I had seen a blue heron fly over my head. To many of the Native Americans I work with, the blue heron represents a time to go inward. A time for a vision quest or a time to get near water and contemplate your life path. As I pulled my van into the school’s “pick-up-your-student-here” line, I realized why the Universe had given me “the bird” not once, but thrice. It was time for me to pull out of the day-to-day activities and do more thinking then doing.

This takes a bit of creativity when you’re a single-parent and working with multiple schools, scout troops, writing books, running a business and making sure that food is served with each meal. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to calm myself down and put more effort into thinking rather than staying on the stress machine of doing, doing, doing without thought.

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When All Hades Breaks Loose

The morning started like most mornings for me. I stumbled up the stairs to the kitchen to prepare my first cup of coffee. I could already feel the day’s activities weighing on my mind. The next hour would require some fast typing due to a looming deadline and I had overslept. Great. While mulling over the madness that can be a writer’s life, I didn’t realize I had already prepared the coffeepot machine and was absentmindedly pouring a second pot of water into the tank and had water pouring over the sides, down the counter and splashing onto my slippers.

I quickly grabbed multiple towels to mop up the mess and realized I needed a fresh mug from the dishwasher. As I pulled the lower rack of the dishwasher out to retrieve a cup, it didn’t move. Still foggy in the brain from details of deadlines and lack of coffee, I jerked hard on the rack not noticing the rubber spatula that had cemented itself to the drying element that was keeping everything locked into place. I pulled on the rack with greater force, the spatula broke loose and I was left with the whole rack sliding out of the dishwasher, running along the lowered door and off onto the floor releasing its contents of plates, cups and silverware en route. After spending 20minutes retrieving scattered flatware, broken plates and chipped coffee mugs, I took a deep breath to start over and make some bacon for the family breakfast. As the griddle heated to 400 degrees I placed a pound of bacon onto the electric device. The sound of sizzling soon greeted my ears as the bacon popped and snapped a reassuring song. I reached across the kitchen for tongs to flip the bacon as my foot hit a puddle of grease that I didn’t notice was dripping from the griddle. I found myself hurtling toward the floor as my youngest son came around the corner to see me curled up on the floor, wet, gooey and clutching a pair of tongs. After gathering myself off the floor, putting my son to work flipping bacon and donning fresh clothing, I realized it was time to stop and collect myself.

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