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Green Sneezes & Staying Calm In Stressful Times

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

I thought I'd turned my "bad" morning around, until this totally random thing literally hit me!

Yellow, green & red abstract painting

It had been a tough morning: My neck was touchy from sleeping funny, I was in the super-sensitive part of my monthly cycle, and I'd just spent the better half of my free morning going to an occasion I'd said yes to when I was feeling a lot more chipper than I was now.

Adding to my overall blah-ness, I'd been "triggered" by a person who I thought I was beyond being triggered by. Argh!

But, after returning home, I sat with my discomfort and I turned a corner. I acknowledged what was coming up, I looked at my part in it and I was moving on rather than getting stuck in a past moment.

Ahh yes, I thought, this is more like it, as I stretched my legs and wiggled my shoulders, feeling more in my body and energy again.

So, with my jaunty spaniel in tow, I made my way to my car for a rewarding fresh-air walk to rescue my so-far lacklustre morning.

I may have even started to feel a smidgen over-confident, as I reminded myself we all have crappy days, but it's how we respond to those challenges that really counts. Yep, I was verbally patting myself on the back with some perky positive inner dialogue that verges on annoying if verbalized to others.

I should've known that a whiff of life cockiness often sends a message to the Universe to send another tension test, which swiftly came in the strangest spontaneous occurrence...

White horse's face standing at fence

As my dog and I were about to get into the car, the next-door neighbour's horse trotted over to the fence and whinnied for some love and attention. (Who am I kidding? He wanted to know if I had any of those carrots that mysteriously emerge whenever I'm near.)

I paused.

Go over to this majestic animal or get in the car and get going?

I can't resist an enthusiastic animal at the best of times, especially a doe-eyed creature cooing for some hands-on affection, so I headed over and rubbed his diamond-marked forehead.

Then, as swiftly as a hormone-induced mood swing, the big horse SNEEZED, releasing a shocking spray of semi-digested green grass and weeds onto my jeans, new top and uncovered upper chest!

Seriously, it looked as though I'd been on the losing side of a paintball gun.

I had one of those moments: You know the kind where you've just spilt a carton of milk on the floor, broken some precious priceless vase or shut your hand in the door when no one else is around. You want to cry, scream and beat your IT'S-NOT-FAIR fists on the floor like a three-year-old!

Instead, no sound comes out, all that fierce rapid indignation just slips away as you realize it's just you and, well, in this instance, an indifferent horse waiting for a carrot, and a curious spaniel waiting for a walk.

And that's what life can be like - when you least expect it, want it or need it - BOOM, a big spray of grassy green slime! (Or the equivalent.)

Here's just a few things that have happened to myself or people around me in the last few weeks: Emergency room dashes, spontaneous vomiting, stressful skin break-outs, strange what-is-that!? body symptoms and rashes, teenage tears and tantrums, urgent vet visits, unrelenting family fiascos, draining work dramas, or, encounters with large sneezing four-legged animals.

The list above is capped off by my own personal anecdote from this month... My partner stumbling into my workplace, clammy, shaky and clutching his side, announcing: "I think I've broken a rib!"

If I was better versed in astrology, I'd be blaming those playful pernicious planets. Surely, we're in some sort of retrograde or fiery Mercury is doing something destructive to Uranus.

Discombobulating. This word keeps coming up for me and I find myself spontaneously saying it aloud. We are in dis-com-bob-u-la-ting times.

Do I have any profound wisdom, otherworldly insights or never-fail tools to combat these changing and challenging times?

No, not really.

Young frustrated woman screaming with eyes closed

But I am doing A LOT of sighing. Not those defeated by life, rounded-shoulder sighs. No siree, I'm talking about EMPOWERED and expressive sighs, where you take a deep breath and then open your mouth and let whatever sound or noise to come out, however strange, loud or downright unusual.

(If you're anything like me, my sighs often sound like a cross between a wounded animal, a shamanic healer and a struggling singing contestant on Eurovision.)

C'mon let's have some fun with all this "discombobulation" and let it OUT! It's the perfect antidote for when that cheeky Life Jester pokes his tongue out at you.

When it comes to releasing stress build-up, I'm all for receiving a healing therapeutic massage or booking an appointment with a holistic health professional. But sometimes we need a quick and immediate go-to tool for staying calm during stressful times. This breathwork tool allows you to easily release internalised emotional stress and tension before it turns into a physical health problem, such as a nervous tummy or tight shoulders.

Join me and take a moment right now (not later on like your mind's probably telling you) to sigh it out. And if you really can't right now, then this expressive exercise is perfect for the car, the shower or even surprising a suppressed co-worker!

I do have to say, on the flip side, there's been some amazingly joyful things happening in my life too - but hey, where's the fun in talking all about rainbows and light. ;-)

So what's your green slime story? Email and let me know.

Keep listening to your body and trusting your wise self,

Lauren x

P.S. As I'm writing this my horse "friend" is meandering around the paddock, contentedly eating and *gently* snorting. Call me a glutton for punishment, but when I finish this blog I'm heading down to say hello - armed with a carrot and a heavy-duty apron! :-))

The unusual moral of this bizarre horse story: There really is no end to the versatility of the humble wet wipe.

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