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  • dongudeman

Alligators in my Applesauce

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

Just a quick thought: Is anyone else feeling pressured in life? Does your personal and work schedule look more like a TV program listing? On top of all of that, add the current social and political climate. Doesn’t it feel sometimes like one of those dreams where you are running as hard as you can, but you are just running in slow motion while whatever is chasing you is getting closer and the escape is getting farther away? When my life seems to be getting this way, I describe it as being up to my elbows in alligator-infested applesauce without a spoon. Know what I mean?

So, now what? How are we supposed to wade through life safely and reduce our risk of trauma-inducing alligators? I could get philosophical or even spiritual with you on this one, but let’s just take a moment and look at some real-life steps to take.

1. Turn off the news, the social media, and your phone or phones. This might be scary for some people, but it’s liberating! Trust me on this one.

2. Take time to breathe. Seriously! Breathe. My watch occasionally reminds me to breathe because it can somehow tell when I’m not breathing. By breathing, I am referring to slow, deep, deliberate breaths. One cohort told me to inhale comforting thoughts and feelings; then exhale all of whatever is bothering me. I know it may sound kind of woo-woo, but think about it. This activity increases oxygen in the bloodstream and relaxes your muscles. (We will consider this more in a moment.) It also helps you refocus on what is true, honorable, good, pure, lovely, and admirable. That is powerful!

3. Relax your muscles. A mantra of one of my wise trainers, J. Eric Gentry, is “anxiety cannot exist in a relaxed muscle.” He’s right! I bet you can’t be stressed and physically relaxed at the same time. Try it and prove me wrong!

4. Engage in positive, comforting activities. This list is different for everyone. For me, the top activities on my list include loving on my family, laughing, gardening, or playing on my musical instruments. Your list might include a warm cup of tea, a hot bath, a swim or walk, painting, watching a movie, reading, praying, meditating, singing, or taking a day-trip in the mountains. A real bonus suggestion is hugging a trusted person for more than 15 seconds!

5. Get hydrated. By this, I don’t mean grabbing an alcoholic beverage or a caffeinated drink. I mean water, preferably a pH balanced water or flavored beverage to replenish your electrolytes. It’s amazing how much difference this can make!

So, the next time your applesauce is infested with alligators, try these five steps and watch the alligators go away. If you practice these steps regularly, you just might make your applesauce safe once again. Here’s to alligator-free applesauce! Who's with me?

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