Keep Your Cool 100% Better with These 6 Steps

We have all been in a situation where we feel as though we will have a massive volcanic meltdown. Unfortunately, there are times that we actually do explode and may not behave or say these things we should. These times are tricky and it is always best to take the higher road when dealing with opposition. Try these 6 steps the next time you feel like you are about to blow your top.

1.  Breathe
When was the last time you took a nice long slow inhale and a nice slow exhale? Not only will breathing relax your last nerves giving yourself some time to breathe will improve your health overall. An exercise I practice is to breathe in through the nose nice and slow for 4 seconds and out for seven seconds through the mouth. I can feel my body calm down and it gives me time to think about what just happened.

inspire

 

2. Time Out isn’t Just for Kids
Timeouts are awesome when you find your self in a confrontation. Sometimes you just need a break from the situation to think through what just happened and the best way to deal with the problem. Taking timeouts will save you in many situations and yes there will be times that this might not be an option but if you can do your best to step away and let yourself cool down.

3. Go to a Happy Place
Along with a timeout make sure to go to a place that brings you happiness. This can be any place like a park or maybe even your favorite little shop. Just give yourself time to reevaluate the situation. Happy environments bring happy energy.

4. If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say Don’t Say it at All
This is a hard one especially for me. I have had to really try and practice this very valuable lesson. Words hurt and can cause so much more turmoil than if you were never to speak, to begin with. Make sure to think about what you say and choose your words wisely.

5. People Are Human And so Are You
We are all humans and we all make mistakes. If you find yourself dealing with a situation that makes you react in a way that is not most pleasing make sure to apologize for your part. Own it and move forward knowing that this is a valuable lesson for the future. If someone has wronged you and did not handle their situation like they should make sure to forgive them. This helps you by not holding toxic resentment and it helps them by knowing that they can learn from their mistake and move on making better choices in the future.

make a move

6. Go For a Walk
Walks are wonderful things. They give you fresh air and exercise which is fantastic for the body. Walks can give you the time to think about what is important to you and help you make good judgments. The next time you find yourself going out of control walk out the door and soak in some fresh air and burn off some of that steam.

Life and interactions are not always easy. There are many times in our lives we find ourselves dealing with unpleasant situations. Instead of doing or saying something we will have to apologize for or regret later take some time and know that by doing this you are saving yourself and others from unnecessary distress.

How to be Tolerant in an Intolerant World

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #20

Tolerance is a virtue few have.

I will be honest when I picked up this one I had to chuckle a little. Like I said when I started this project that these fortune cookie papers had significant meaning to them and I knew I would be learning valuable lessons from these little phrases. How can we be more tolerant around others and in situations that we may not agree with and be able to keep things healthy? Tolerance is something that we all have to work on at some point in our lives and the more we can grasp understanding the better we can be as human beings. Here are six ways we can work on being a more tolerant world.

1. Empathy Please

Empathy is the way that we can understand feelings and share them with each other. If we are empathetic with those around us, we have the awareness to care. One way to be more empathetic is to look at the perspective of the other person. A good example is siblings. Unfortunately, my siblings and I are not very close. I remember as a child having the hardest time getting along with my siblings. We would fight regularly, and usually, there was a consequence for our fighting behavior. I often wonder if our parents would have sat us down as children and had talked about what we thought was right and take time to listen to the other, I think we could have put a stop to the constant fighting and would have been able to build better relationships with one another. We each would have been taught to empathize with the other and learn to communicate with one another in a manner that would have built our relationships rather than each one of us continually attacking the other. Empathy causes us to be compassionate, and it takes away the “I am always right, and you are still in the wrong mentality.

2. Ask the Opposition For an Explanation

Let the other party explain their point of view. It is okay to have your viewpoint but taking time to listen to the one you don’t agree with gives a sense of respect and can make a tense situation and lighten it up a bit. I think as a whole many of us are taught to be right, and we need to understand this is a big world with tons of different perspectives and even though we don’t agree doesn’t mean that everyone else is wrong. When giving the other person a chance to answer don’t be aggressive when you hear something that you may not like and don’t dismiss their side of the story. Take this opportunity to learn from them and gain some understanding of why they believe the way they do and embrace the difference that you both have with one another.

3. Ignore the Differences

I think that if you can ignore the differences that you may have with one another and embrace the relationship you share that is a fantastic experience. Many individuals are in my life that share different opinions and views, and that’s okay with me because we are different. I value my relationships more than I appreciate the differences I have with them. Many of these things that we have differences on will come and go, and as long as we can get through the conflicting opinions, we get to keep the people that we love and appreciate.

4. Don’t Accuse or Assume

Anyone ever heard the phrase “Assuming makes an ass out of you and me.” In my life, I have found this out many times, and every word of it is valid. Accusing people is something that should not be done especially if you are valuing that relationship. No one likes to be accused of being something that they are not. The same thing goes for assuming. Assuming someone is just going to jump on board with whatever you expect is not only dangerous but pretty unrealistic. We are independent people with independent thoughts, and we can’t force people to think and act the same way we do it is just not going to happen. When dealing with different opinions, it is better to keep the accusations and assumptions out of the conversation.

5. Address the Problem and Try to Solve

Compromise is excellent when it comes to addressing a problem. By making sure to understand all points of view and showing acknowledgment of someone else’s viewpoints will get you further than if you just shut them down. Use negotiation to your advantage and keep calm so that the environment doesn’t get uncomfortable. Something to do when addressing an issue is using the “I” statements. Instead of saying you think this or you believe that state them as your viewpoint. Using comments that start with you can lead to people feeling like they are being accused of something especially if the conversation you are having has anything to do with disagreements.

6. Remember the Value of Difference

The difference is what makes our world great. It gives us an opportunity to grow and learn. We can still have our beliefs and opinions but understand that there is more than one belief or idea out there in this world. Even though you may not agree you can always agree to disagree and keep the clam before it becomes a storm. Take time to learn about the other points of view.

tolernace

We may not all think alike, and that’s okay. If we can try to remember to be empathetic with those we don’t see eye to eye with it will get us a lot further along in this world. When in a conversation that is getting heated take time to ask the other party for their explanation and gain understanding into why they think the way they do. Sometimes we can get past the differences by just ignoring them and focusing only on our relationships. Make sure not to accuse or assume something of someone else. Doing this never ends well and will leave you both unhappy. You can always address a problem and try to come up with an adequate solution by learning to make compromises. Remeber that difference is great and that we can learn something we may not have known about that other person before. Next time you come across someone or something that needs tolerance take a look at the situation and ask yourself is this argument worth this relationship?

6 Secrets to Bonding with Your Rabbit

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #15

A true friend is someone who is there for you when he’d rather be anywhere else.

With Easter right around the corner, I decided to write about my daughter Emma and her adorable Lionhead Dwarf Bunny Elsa. Why on earth would I pick such an unlikely pair to talk about friendship? Elsa helped my daughter bring back the sunshine in her life around the age of 9. My daughter struggled in her 3rd grade year due to an enormous amount of bullying. As you know, my children are both homeschooled, and this was the reason for my choice. Emma was tormented non stop by a group of 4 girls, and I could not do anything about it. No one helped, and therefore we decided it was best we cut ties with our public school.

After Emma was bullied, she was more withdrawn and had a tough time socializing with other kids. My husband and I decided that we should get her a pet. We thought that the responsibility would give her purpose and the unconditional love would heal her heart. We could not have a cat or dog at the time because we did not own our home, so we had to think about a small caged animal. We had some friends with an adorable bunny and decided to inquire about how to get one.

That was one of the best decisions we ever made not only for our daughter but also for our whole family. Elsa arrived at our home at 16 weeks old, and immediately Emma fell in love. Every day after school she would hold Elsa and play with her. Even on her lunch break she would take Elsa outside and read her stories. Elsa needed Emma to give her a loving home and Emma needed Elsa to love her unconditionally with no judgments. These to unlikely friends built one of the most active friendships I have ever seen. Elsa is now four years old and is a big part of our family. Elsa and Emma could not be any closer than they are today and for that, I am incredibly grateful.

One of the biggest things that I came to realize is that our furry friends no matter what they are can bring many joys to our lives. Emma bonded with Elsa instantly and she never strayed. She helped Elsa grow into a loving and trusting rabbit because of the bonding that Emma provided for Elsa. If you have a rabbit or are thinking about getting one here are six things to consider to help build that fuzzy bond.

1. Rabbits Communicate Through Sound

Rabbits can tell you a lot about themselves through the sounds they make. They will listen to the sounds around them to make sure that they are safe and don’t have to take action. A rabbit will click its teeth together to show that it is comfortable and happy. They also make purring sounds like a cat to show it feels safe and trust the environment around them.

If a rabbit starts to snort it is letting you know it would like attention. Snorting can also mean the rabbit could be suffering from a respiratory infection. If there is more snorting than average have a veterinarian take a look to make sure they are not sick.

When a rabbit whimpers or screams that indicates there is fear or pain, and this should be evaluated. Most of the time if you are not holding the rabbit securely or they do not feel that they are safe in their environment this will happen. They may also grunt and if that is the case they more than likely do not want you to handle them.

Rabbits will also grind teeth, that is a sign of pain, illness, or anxiety. Holding a rabbit incorrectly can cause discomfort for the rabbit. Also if there is sudden grinding that occurs, you should have your rabbit looked at by a veterinarian.

2. Rabbits also Communicate Through Body Language

A rabbits body language is essential in properly communicating with your rabbit. A rabbit’s ears are an indispensable way to let you know how they are feeling. If the rabbit’s ears lie back, they are feeling the safest. Elsa loves to go outside, and we have quite a bunny sanctuary for her. She loves to lay out in the fresh air with her ears entirely down. By looking at her, I can tell this rabbit is the most relaxed in this state. When her ears are straightforward, and she is staring at something that is when she is alarmed and that there is something that could be harmful to her. It helps us understand her and we are then aware and can help her if she thinks there is a danger. Most of the time she is outside relaxing laid flat and enjoying her outside play time. That’s when we know she is happiest.

3. Bunny Behaviors

Rabbits love to be close. I would have never guessed this as this was the first time we ever owned one, but Elsa is the most content when she is glued to her bunny mama. They love human touch, and they will be more gentle with the human interaction. When a rabbit nudges someone that is a sign of attention. If Emma is outside and not hanging out with Elsa, this rabbit will immediately run over and nudge her for some love. Rabbits lick, and that is a sign of great admiration. That is the best respect from a rabbit and shows that they love and trust you. They also will flop down beside you when they feel the safest and most content. If a rabbit exposes their inner eyelid that is a sign of anxiety and you may need just to keep building trust in your relationship.

4. A Bunny Home is a Happy Home

Rabbits need to have a safe space to live. Their living should be quiet and comfortable to build the best friendship. Make sure that the rabbit will receive daily interaction and that any chaos that might upset them is limited. Temperature is key to having a happy, healthy bunny. A comfortable temperature for a rabbit is 60-70 degrees. Too hot or too cold can lead to severe problems and death. Make sure that they have adequate shade on those warmer days so that they do not overheat.

5. Playtime is the Best

Rabbits love to play. Elsa has lots of toys, and she loves to frolick. Her favorite toy is a big purple bounce ball that she pushes around with her nose. She gets excellent exercise, and we like to watch her play. Rabbits love to play with balls, cardboard, and toilet paper rolls filled with hay. Rabbits need their activity the more room, the better. Make sure that no electrical chords are lying around. Rabbits seem to attract to these, and that could be bad for you as well as bad for the bunny. If the rabbit is outdoors make sure they have a fenced enclosed area so they will not be able to escape. They can be inquisitive creatures, and that can lead to problems. Make sure to supervise the rabbit and keep them safe.

6. Healthy Diet Healthy Bunny

Make sure that your rabbit gets a healthy diet. The diet should consist of Timothy grass or hay, pellet food, fresh leafy greens, and clean water. Rabbits also like apples and carrots. The amount you feed them will depend on how big the rabbit is. Rabbits six months and over need 1/8 and 1/4 cup of pellets per five pounds of body weight. They also need 2 cups leafy greens per six pounds.

Rabbits are fun furry friends that bring joy to all that come along their way. They require lots of care and lots of love so the dedication to building that relationship should be a priority. If you are considering getting a rabbit make sure to research and learn about the care and the needs of the rabbit so that you are prepared. Many times people don’t understand what these pets need and the necessary amount of love and attention that goes into caring for a rabbit. Also, if you are wondering where to get a rabbit take a look at your local animal rescue, there will be many rabbits that need a loving home. Some of these rescues are dedicated to rabbits. Many people realize later on they are unable to care for a rabbit and will end up giving the rabbit away. Many rabbits need loving homes and adoption is a great way to become bunny parents.

Beauty Inspiration

What does beautiful mean to you?

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #8
There is no reference for beauty.

What does it mean to be beautiful? When I first picked this piece of paper out of my jar, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to write about this. My first thought was when I read this was the phrase “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” because many things can be beautiful. It is not just about physical appearance, and many things around us can be considered attractive. There is also more to beauty than just what you see on the outside sometimes inner beauty can outshine what we see on the surface.
Growing up I always considered beauty to be nothing but a physical attribute. I did not find myself a beauty growing up. I was a small red-haired freckle-faced awkward child who shied away from most of the world. Many kids gave me tons of havoc for those physical attributes, so I considered those things a negative trait that I was cursed with. Thinking this, of course, was far from the truth. No one around me ever said I was beautiful so I grew up thinking there wasn’t much to me. With this thought process came lots of uphill battles and it took me a very long time to know and understood what real beauty meant. As I have come along in my life, I have genuinely found a meaning to what I feel beauty is, and I embrace these things every day.
1. Beauty is where I live.
I love where I live. I live in Fort Collins Colorado and this by far is one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived. I love being close to the mountains and being able to take in what is around me. I like to be able to hike a trail to the top and take in the fresh mountain air and the freedom of the wide open spaces. To be able to get to the top and sit and experience a quiet that gives me the most peace and calm.
Take a look around you and recognize the beauty that surrounds you. Everyone’s vision of beauty is different and to be able to stop for a moment and look at the place in which you live and recognize all the things that are around you that make you who you are and take a moment to appreciate these places.
2. Relationships with special people are beautiful.
I adore my relationship with my husband. He is my rock, my support, and best friend. If it were not for him to show me real beauty, I would not be where I am today. Being able to share life with those that are close to you is a beautiful thing. With those we love we get to experience some of the best parts of being.
I feel one of the ways to find beauty in a relationship is to look past the faults of our relationships. Nothing is perfect, and it takes lots of work to make it happen, but once we get past the thinking that everything should be perfect and finding fault we then get to appreciate the ones around us.
When a seed is planted, it needs care and time to grow. Once the seed has sprouted, it then turns into a beautiful flower. We can’t expect our relationships to be beautiful overnight. Just like flowers our relationships need nurturing to grow and become what we have always wanted.
3. My kids are beautiful.
I don’t want to brag, but I do believe I have some beautiful kids. Not just because they are cute but because they are beautiful human beings. I love to watch them grow and learn. Being able to teach them and help them along their path I feel has been my most significant purpose in life.
I want my kids to have a good life. I want them to be able to learn the things that I did not have the chance to learn right away. I want them to know that they are beautiful outside as well as inside and to take those traits with them in their lives. I want them to appreciate the world around them and find beauty in all things. For them to help make this world a more beautiful place would be something I would always hold in my heart.

4. I am beautiful.
A few years ago these words would never venture out of my mouth, and this was something that was hard for me to say, but I didn’t fully understand what that statement meant. One thing that I have learned through all my trials and tribulations is that you can not love others unless you like yourself. Learning to love myself was one of the biggest lessons that I have ever had to learn. I realized a few years ago that I was not doing what I needed to do as a wife, mother, and individual all because I lacked love for myself. I decided to dig deep and reevaluate my life, my upbringing and teach myself that I am worth it. I have worked very hard to get to this point, but I can honestly say that I do love who I have become. I love myself enough to be happy even with my flaws and be able to be the mom and wife that I need to be.
I love myself enough to take care of myself and work hard every day to let that freckled- face red- haired girl know she is beautiful and worth every minute of the day.
There is no reference to beauty. Beauty is not something that can be labeled. We are all different, and all of us have different qualities that add to the beauty of the world. Go out today and find the beauty that surrounds you. Not only is beauty around you but take a look at yourself and know that you are beautiful. There will be days when you will struggle but understand that the days that bring you down the most are the days that bring you strength. Make your beauty your inspiration.

5 Ways to Stop a Negative Conversation Before it Begins

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #2

Keep your goals away from the trolls.

Do you ever find yourself dealing with people who aren’t happy unless they or you are miserable?  You may have an idea that you may want to try and the person you are talking to shuts it down.  Maybe you received a promotion or accomplished a personal goal and you share it and they act like it’s no big deal. Everyone has had these conversations in their life and we may or may have not dealt with these circumstances the best way. If we are lucky we can put an end to these situations before they even begin with these 5 steps.

Know what your hot buttons are so that you don’t end up falling into the trap. 

Many times these situations are placed before us to get a reaction.  If you are dealing with someone who says or does something the best way to handle the conversation is to not react negatively.  if someone is trying to hit your hot button keep in mind that you have control of what you say and do and even though you don’t like what is being said you not letting the other person win.

 

Change the subject to neutral.

Changing the subject in a not so positive conversation takes the light off the resentment and puts it in a different light.  You could even ask how the other person is doing and what they have been up to.  More than likely they will love the idea of filling you in on themselves.

 

“Thanks for your input I will consider it.”

Rather than getting into an argument over what is being said and done end the conversation by thanking them for their input and that you will consider all the options.  Being polite when things aren’t always the most friendly makes it hard for the other person to continue the toxic conversation.  You are ahead if you keep it under control.

 

There may be times you can avoid it altogether.

If you’re at a party or a social situation simply avoiding the one who wants to start trouble will be a way to keep things under control.  You don’t have to talk or visit with someone who wants to send shade your way.  A simple hello or wave is just fine and keeping yourself busy will keep the contact to a minimum.

 

Be confident.

You know who you are and the more confidence you have around those that might think less of you the better your outcome will be.  You don’t have to think you are holier than thou but have confidence in your decisions and actions.  Many times this intimidates the person who wants to shut you down.

There are times in life where we have to deal with those people who don’t have our best interest at heart.  It is easier to handle these situations when we are able to keep control of what is being said and done during the interaction.  When you know how to deal with the trolls these social situations get a whole lot easier.