November 6th, 2015
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Hey there my Resilient Friends!

Any project that the multi-talented Amy Poehler gets involved in always catches my interest.

Besides being hysterically funny, she is an authentically original entertainer who isn’t afraid to go against popular trends; especially the trend of superficiality that young girls can sometimes fall into.  I love her dedication to helping and healing young people by encouraging them to “change the world by being yourself.”

Getting involved in your community is one way of giving back, and Poehler says, volunteering for that kind of activism also helps young people get comfortable with their true selves instead of just aiming to be part of the fickle yet popular group.

I had read about her amazing website Smart Girls but had not actually spent much time on it until recently.  While clicking around the other day, I discovered an interesting short video called Just Breathe .  In the four minute video, you hear children describing how it feels to be angry or stressed out; acknowledging their emotions and telling the camera how they start to sweat when they are angry or how their faces turn red.

I especially like the little girl who compares her brain to a jar of swirling glitter, with her thoughts flying around and “no time to think.”

Just Breathe is also about how, in the midst of their agitation, these children have learned how to stop and breathe and calm themselves; how it feels to take control of themselves and then go on.  At a very young age, these children are learning how to self heal, practicing breathing and resting their minds and giving it enough time to recover and relax.

It’s a powerful message that I think all of us can relate to, especially now that we are entering the holiday season.

Holidays are great fun but can also be emotional minefields as family members, all handling different work and personal issues in their busy lives, gather to celebrate.  The day is loaded with unspoken expectations to be cheerful, to be organized and to be full of flexibility but that’s not always how we feel.

In the midst of trying to be polite and not reacting to something being said or something being done, you may feel as though your brain is swirling, like a jar of glitter in water.  I know I have felt that feeling more than I would like to remember.  Almost like an out of body experience.  Outwardly, you are calm and maybe you have even managed to put a smile on your face, but inwardly your brain is spinning around, trying to process it all.

When I was the age of the children in the featured video, I just reacted off a situation, without thinking about what I was doing or saying.  You may say that that’s normal for that age and maybe it was but the point is that I never felt very good afterward and I could have saved myself a lot of turmoil if I had learned to put the brakes on myself and just breathe instead of reacting right off the mark.

It takes some practice because you are unlearning a behavior that’s familiar.  I’m still in the unlearning phase but getting a little better each time I catch myself.  The key is that you have to want to change, to change the way you react and to feel different.  If you’re okay with the way things work for you now then that’s great.

But I got tired of the same family situations playing themselves out the same way over and over and then coming away with a headache or simply feeling frustrated and not knowing where to put all that anger.

Now I feel like I have been let in on a delicious secret, and breathing, and on some holidays it’s a lot of breathing, helps me settle my glitter.

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