365 ways to energize – a daily companion to living with health, purpose, and joy

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DAy 145Hormonal mood swings can turn a woman very emotional and, in some cases, into an angry bitch.

I have for the last few days been writing about relationships, intimacy and love, and yesterday’s blog was about being a bitch – which jeopardizes many relationships.

What I did not mention in yesterday’s blog was that many women suffer from PMS or even worse, Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, PMDD. Those with PMDD can experience dreadful mood swings, which can last for as long as up to two weeks per month – puh – as PMS can begin 10 days before a period and last a few days into the period.

Most women do feel that their mood changes with PMS. Many feel that it is not their fault if they turn into a mini bitch or even a super bitch during their PMS. It is true that women truly have to deal with tough challenges with their PMS and period every month, but is this ‘an OK excuse’ to act out and behave badly? Is it possible to be more in control of ones emotions? And is there something that can be done to ease the hormonal roller coaster?

First of all, there are things women can do to alter their life style that can have a major impact on their wellbeing. Exercising can help a lot, as well as finding out which type of food that nurtures them the best. For some, eating small portions of carbohydrates throughout the day can help. Also taking supplements of Vitamin B-6, magnesium and L-tryptophan may help. Some take birth-control pills to regulate their hormones and in more severe cases, prescription drugs might be needed.

I also think that mediation and mindfulness can help to bring an awareness of ones emotions and provide opportunities to make conscious choices in the emotional responses. A committed willingness to be our best self, and consciously think and be positive, instead of giving in to our immediate emotions and acting them out, both strengthens our character and can ease the mood swings.

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Day 144 – Are you a bitch…, or know someone who is…?

Hi! I am Anine and I love to optimize my energy and support you in optimizing yours.

Day 144What is the single most unattractive and demoralizing, anti-kind act we woman can engage in; and which also impacts marriages negatively?

I think most men will say – being bitchy.

Girls can at a young age, even as early as 10 years old become sassy and snazzy, to a degree that can feel very hurtful to others. Some girls can be vicious towards girls and boys that are sensitive and not strong enough to stand up for themselves.

Many girls can be mean, bitchy and competitive towards each other until their forties. By then they may have matured, and feel more secure in themselves and in who they are. And finally by then, they may have made the realization that they gain nothing by being bitchy.

What is it about women that make them seem entitled to be bitchy?

I think that it is partly related to how some women’s mind work when they are not aware of insecure emotions and are unable to articulate feelings and desires. Perhaps women’s innate reaction is to become bitchy when men instead act aggressive.

So how does this bitching come about in little girls? I think it is partly genetic and it begins when girls begin to realize that they are in competition to “win” boys. This is an unconscious realization, as strange as it may sound to realize something and yet be unconscious. Even though they might not even “win” the boys, they still behave in a bitchy way towards the girls that they perceive as prettier, or more cool than them, as they subconsciously believe that they will feel better and maybe even succeed in deflating the pretty girls. How completely wrong they are!

A girl can maintain her bitchiness, even if they win the boy/man, and turn the same energy towards him, perhaps subconsciously saying that he should not take her for granted – because “this queen bitch” might very well find another man. Being bitchy is a an unwritten entitlement women give themselves as a way to control people around them, making sure others are not feeling too strong about themselves and thereby not posing a threat.

Not all girls behave like this of course. Not the ones that have healthy role models and those that receive feedback from their environment that it is unacceptable and that they will lose with this type of behavior.

This character trait of being bitchy is something most men detest and are allergic to in women. In a man’s world, you just don’t sneer at someone and put them down for no good reason. Men do not scan each other’s outfits and look with critical eyes – they do not look up and down at their friends and evaluate how they are dressed, how much makeup they have on or how their hair is done. Men are buddies and they focus on having fun, playing and talking sports, joking, developing themselves and generally supporting one another, rather than being in competition.

Many women complain about their men, and it can go something like this: They are difficult to talk to. They are poor listeners. They are simple and not very deep (and therefore uninteresting). They think too highly of themselves. They are unwilling to do any form of work on themselves and grow emotionally. They are egocentric and think they should be exempt from sharing the work at home with children and all, and they behave like they are entitled to have more free time than their wife/partner.

Men have often one major complaint about women and that is that their woman can be bitchy.

Girls got plenty to learn from men. Imagine what women lose by acting this way, and how many people who have been negatively impacted because of bitching?

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When a man leaves a woman

Day 138Will she really be happier living alone….?

Today I spoke to a woman, let me call her Lisa for the purpose of this story, whose partner had just left her. I asked about how she felt and how it was now living alone. She replied this was not the first time a man had left her, and now she was fed up with men and had decided to be happy being without a man and focus on her work and herself.

Hum… In my mind I felt sorry for her for having had such a bad experience with men. I believe that we are not wired to live alone and that she most likely will not be happy in the long term being on her own.

Lisa and I ended up having a long conversation, where I learned a lot about her personality. She also learned about herself from the realizations that she made while sharing her story with me. At the beginning of our conversation she told me she did not understand why he left. Our meeting opened her up to understand why her partner, as well as her ex-husband, ‘probably’ had left her.

Let me share a little bit about Lisa’s personality and story.

Lisa is a hard working woman. She runs her own business and actively grows it, and loves the work she does. Lisa hardly ever takes brakes. When she comes home after a long day at work, she often does grocery shopping and errands. After this she starts all the necessary work at home – and the list is long….; she makes dinner, cleans up, does the laundry, irons, cleans the apartment – until finally she almost collapses and head for bed. And so it goes, day after day.

IMG_4848I was wondering how much time and energy she has had for her partner? “Well, not much”, she said, “because he did not help me and just watched TV or sat with the computer, which I thought was so unfair and since I did not receive any help from him I became angry with him.” Lisa felt that she was serving her partner and that he was lazy and unhelpful. She had had a similar story with her ex-husband.

How often did you have sex, I asked? I got the same answer, “Not much. I was either too tired, or had no desire.”

Regretfully too many people recognize themselves in Lisa’s story.

It is quite interesting that we actually believe and think we can have a rewarding relationship if we are constantly busy. It is also interesting that one person in the relationship, and often the woman, accepts to do all the household chores with joy at first, and then end up bitter and complaining about it.

What are the solutions, what more is possible in our relationships?

Tomorrow I would like to explore ways to a rewarding relationship with our spouse or partner; where we share positive energy.

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Develop your freedom to be

Day 112Learn to be free

Having the freedom to be ourselves is energizing and empowering. Feeling free is one of my highest values.

Being free, requires that we say yes to that which is important to us, as well as setting healthy boundaries, by saying no to those things that do not go in alignment with our values, believes and wants. This is not always an easy task because we often want to be nice. But nice doesn’t mean that we have to accept that people walk over us. Brene Brown, reminds us that “daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”

Setting boundaries is healthy and a way of caring for ourselves. We have to learn to respect and take care of ourselves and understand that if we try to be everything for everyone else, we lose ourselves.

Take a look at your life; how often do you feel yourself becoming angry, resentful, or exhausted? If you visit any of those emotions regularly, you have most likely not been setting a healthy boundary.

Terri Cole, says that “at first, you will probably feel selfish, guilty, or embarrassed when you set a boundary. Do it anyway and tell yourself you have the right to self-care. Setting boundaries takes practice and determination. Don’t let anxiety or low self-esteem prevent you from taking care of yourself.”

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When we’ve had enough….

Day 111How do you stay strong emotionally facing a demanding person?! Not easy; let me share one recipe that works…

Yesterday I began exploring the characteristics and attractiveness of emotional strength. Today, I will share what we are making more important than being emotionally strong and how we can empower ourselves and stop being a victim when we face demanding people.

Barbara Roux-Levat spoke yesterday for ETC, the network I founded 4 years ago. She held a brilliant presentation and led us in a dynamic interactive workshop on Emotional Strength, where she effectively intertwined her personal story. Her own pain and experiences touched us and made an impact. Her learning’s gave her audience hope. Her tenacity and authority gave us strength to stand up for ourselves and not to continue to accept and allow ourselves to get undermined by anyone.

She brought to our awareness some common reasons – often subconscious – to why we sometimes allow ourselves to live under circumstances that put us down and make us weak. Often, our need for affection, acceptance, appreciation and love lead us to authorize others, unconsciously, to disappoint us, control us, mistreat us and bring us down in other ways. In Barbara’s words, “our need for love and affection can be a potent drug.”

When we are facing a demanding person, a partner, boss, colleague or even a child and we are longing for love and appreciation, we may believe or hope that by being even more loving and kind, we will transform the other person and make him or her give us what we need. We somehow hope that our kindness will brush off. Barbara said no – people who are not naturally loving, respectful and kind towards us need our limits. It is our responsibility to show how we want to be treated. When we are emotionally weak we go between being permissive and going crazy – depressed and mad are two opposite emotions some people live under all the time. When we go crazy we often end up with guilt. Guilt is the emotion that steals most energy and that keeps the wheel going. But there is a solution!

So how do we go about building our emotional strength in these tough situations?

We need to value ourselves. We are precious! We need to see ourselves as important. We should learn to know ourselves so that we can be clear about providing ourselves with what we need, and to put a stop to what is unacceptable to us. We shouldn’t do things with the hope this will be reciprocated; we do it because we want to do it. And we don’t either do things out of fear.

If we recognize that people who have anger inside of them often want to fight and it is easy to become puppets around them, then these situations can be managed. If we limit the ‘perpetrators’ freedom to have access to what they normally are used to; when they no longer get what they want and they truly miss it, their motivation to change will all of a sudden wake them up as they hear us through their own suffering. ‘The language of pain’ is perhaps also the only language some people understand and can therefore be their greatest teacher.

Barbara also touched on the direct link between our thoughts and our emotions and that we can be happy now without attaching our joy to anything outside of ourselves, and develop a mindset where our happiness is unrelated to circumstances.

Being grateful and saying thank you, even if it doesn’t go our way (there is always something we can learn in any circumstance), helps us to build internal happiness.

A few points to remember:

  1. Emotional strength is both healthy and attractive
  2. Our relationships change when we decide to change
  3. Emotional strength works like a muscle, the more we train it, the stronger we become.

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Why you would want to grow your emotional muscles…

Day 110Today I am exploring one of our most attractive attributes

Strength is something most of us aspire to. Muscles make us feel confident and good about ourselves. Perhaps you are thinking that I am referring to physical strength…

I do think that there is a clear link between physical strength and confidence, but what I would like to explore in the upcoming couple of blogs, is emotional strength; muscles that we cannot see and, which therefore perhaps are less inspiring for people to work on and develop – especially for those of us that are very visual. We live in societies where there is so much focus on our appearance. Many of us forget to care about developing our inner strengths and aspects – and we forget to recognize how attractive it is to be emotionally strong.

Today I want to start by defining what I perceive as someone who is emotionally strong; someone who stands up for who they are, speak their truth, do not let other people sit on them, set clear boundaries without shouting, do not loose their temper, are collected and gathered and can speak firmly when necessary, treat people friendly and the way they themselves want to be treated. Emotionally strong people do not allow themselves to put up with demeaning circumstances for a paycheck, or for affection and love. They have self-respect because they have high self-esteem. People who are emotionally strong radiate poise.

Imagine a world where we would spend as much time exercising our emotional strengths as we do our muscles… I think that would be an awesome world to live in!

Tomorrow I will explore ways to develop emotional strength, partly inspired by Barbara Roux Levrat, to whom I listened to on this very subject today.

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Day 99“Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?” Confucius

I assume you have all heard the song R.E.S.P.E.C.T by Aretha Franklin. If I had the voice for it and knew the lyrics well, I would have shouted it out loud today.

I got into a quite heated discussion with a man in the lift line in Verbier that sneaked his way through and split an elderly couple from taking the lift together. He shrugged his shoulders and went ahead, despite me telling him that the ‘single line’ doesn’t work like that. If you are ‘single,’ you wait until there is an empty space, you just don’t go ahead of the crowd without any consideration to the people who have patiently waited to take the lift together.

Behind him came his friend that pushed me aside as well to get ahead, even though I was next in line to get onto the lift. So I ask him what he was doing and he responded obnoxiously that he also was in the single line – as if that justified his outrageous behavior…

I told him to step back – he didn’t – so I decided to hold him back by his jacket and told him off plus pushed myself past him to get on the lift. This might sound shocking to you. Why did I not just let him pass? Well, I asked myself the same question…

I think that it must have been my background from skiing in Norway growing up where I experienced this behavior quite a bit. Perhaps since then it has been ingrained in me to defend myself in ski lift lines. I thought these two young men were just too obnoxious and since the lift attendant did nothing to organize the lift line, I wanted to create some fairness and order. I did not like to see these men get away with this disrespectful behavior.

The incident today reminded me once again about the profound differences in the ski-lift-line culture between Europe and North America. Where I come from, the culture and custom is often to step over each other’s ski’s to get ahead and get in first; pushing, sneaking and moving forward in line can seem to be acceptable behavior. This is the result of a system that completely lacks organization and structure.

It was therefore a revelation when I first saw how they organized the lift lines in the U.S and Canada. Many places in Europe could learn a lot from how they operate the lift lines in there, where respect for one another as well as trust in a well functioning lift-line system where the goal for the lift attendant is to fill every chair lift.

It must be a much more fulfilling job as well for the lift attendant to actually perform a much appreciated function, not only to be slowing down the lift for children or stopping it during emergencies, but to keep the lift-line moving quickly and efficiently.

Even if I will not start to sing the song RESPECT, I will continue to try and encourage respect, and not stay silent in front of the disrespectful…