The Mysterious Case Of The Twisted Knickers

The Mysterious Case Of The Twisted Knickers

The Mysterious Case of the Twister Knickers Ponderings Australia by Kirsten Macdonald

So what gets your knickers in a twist? What cooks your wig?

Are you about to have kittens? Are you all horns and rattles? Madder than a cut snake? Are you going to lose the proverbial? Get your dander up? Perhaps you are up in arms about to blow a fuse, a gasket and bite someone’s head off? You might be tempted to get someone’s goat and fly off the handle while giving someone a tongue lashing- but we urge you to ponder. Why?

Humans can be at times- how shall we put it? Complex. Some of the time they are in a state of ascerbic reaction. Or as this wordsmith puts it: arseholicism. Yup, it’s my word. Coming in a close second is anger. All the heavy stuff.

Underneath the surface of almost all humans is the need to be significant in some way.

The good old “default modes” we have learned, the sum of all our experiences and perceptions drives our behavior.

We are born as a fresh new being, shiny and new without any learned behaviors. Then the learning begins, and the filter kicks in. The filter through which we view the world is different for everyone. So what happens when one filter bangs up against another in opposition? Chances are it can lead to anger.

How does one deal with anger in an emotionally intelligent way?

Do you act in accordance with what makes other people comfortable around you? Do you behave inappropriately, blaming others for triggering you?

Anger can be traumatizing for the empath.

The air will crackle with it in tiny waves, you can almost taste it in the air. If you are not the passive-aggressive type, what comes next? An outburst or a big internal swallow where it can be like a bad seed ready to grow a vine?

So we did like all good ponderers do, we sought an international expert on positive psychology.

Aussie author and applied psychology coach Catherine Bell explained to us what  anger is and how it impact our lives.

 

1. Anger can actually be beneficial for a few reasons:

a) It lets us know when boundaries have been violated. That is, we feel angry when someone has done something that violates our personal boundaries like physically hurting us, or emotional / values / ethical boundaries – like when they do something that we think is wrong, and it makes us angry.

In that way, anger can be very useful in showing us what’s important to us, and telling us where corrective action needs to be taken. When we strike back in anger without thinking, we often hurt the other person, which can be negative, but really all we’re trying to do is re-establish our boundaries and make things “right” again.

Anger, expressed appropriately, is assertive but not aggressive – it makes clear what is, and is NOT acceptable, and re-establishes firm boundaries.

b) It is useful also in fight-or-flight scenarios, where survival is at stake because it helps us focus our energy and power towards defending ourselves and our loved ones and re-establishing the “right” world order.

Unfortunately, we can tend to suppress anger, which just builds up over time, and instead of positively and assertively dealing with small boundary violations, we wait until that LAST time where we can’t take it anymore…and then completely overplay our hand!

Better to recognize anger for what it is, and use it as an indicator that it’s time to establish boundaries EARLY, respectfully and assertively, rather than waiting to go crazy and then regretting it!

c) It is a great motivator, and has a lot of energy about it – so can be harnessed for positive results. For example, the person who gets angry at themselves for putting on 5kg then uses the energy of that anger to motivate action, like exercise. But again, it’s all about balance – a little anger is great to motivate, but it’s not sustainable if it becomes your ONLY way to motivate yourself. Then, it becomes an unresourceful pattern.

I like it when I am (temporarily) angry about things because it shows me how much I care about this thing and that I’d better get on with doing something about it! I have learned to harness my anger to help me achieve great things with energy.

 2. Unexpressed and unresolved anger can be very detrimental to our physical, emotional and mental health. Unexpressed or suppressed anger has been linked to a number of health risks including increased risk of anxiety, high blood pressure, headaches, digestion problems, insomnia, depression, heart attack, and stroke.

This is due to the chemical and metabolic changes that occur in our body when we feel anger and don’t find a way to healthily release it. From a social side, your relationships can be damaged too, as unexpressed anger can change our communication patterns and quality of relationships.”

 

So what comes next?

Well for this little Vegemite, time for more growth and a whole lot of grace, contemplation, and letting go of certainties. Some of the most challenging and stressful moments in our path can lead to the most magnificent vistas and mountain tops. Trust me on that one.

If you are a joy junky like myself, reveling in life and experience and love- the heavier emotions like anger can be harder to handle. I am enjoying the learning that strong emotions present an opportunity to identify and access positively for growth. Not suppressing. As always taking a pause to ponder and seek answers about our humanity should always win in the end. We are a complex design after all.

For more information about the divine Catherine Bell go to: https://www.belltraininggroup.com.au

A Transformative Life

There is a photograph of Jillie A. Carter as a young school teacher and beauty queen...   Her...
The Survivors Guide to Most Excellent News

The Survivors Guide to Most Excellent News

Ponderings Online Magazine The Survivor's Guide to Most Excellent News by Kirsten Macdonald

So you have excellent news? Exciting news? The kind of news where you won tattlotto of the life kind. You found out a life threatening condition just healed, you are going to live! Well, you might have some ideas on how that one is going to roll, so here’s a little help.

 

1) Not everyone will respond like you. Ok, I am serious, you might think you can fart gold stars, but not everyone will see it that way.

 

2) Spontaneous dance is completely fine.

 

3) Going into a flight center and telling a poor young random man that you aren’t going to die anymore is not okay. He cried. Not cool. And you didn’t book the trip to Paris with him, again, not cool.

 

4) Buying a ballet barre for shits and giggles when it doesn’t have anywhere to go- rethink that one.

 

5) Take deep breaths. Be prepared for a shock. Hot water bottles will be needed, blankets and a good dose of sister love. A sedative may help.

 

6) Be prepared for the dreams. Your little red car might turn into an airplane, and you might fly to some REALLY cool places. It might have been the sedative and pizza combo, but that’s ok.

 

7) Don’t downplay God to anyone. Not one time. You asked for this miracle, and you got it. You don’t ask the chef for the best parmigiana in the world and then double check it’s what you asked for. Also, don’t take claim responsibility for cooking the parmigiana. You are sitting at the table. You might have walked into the restaurant and known which table to sit at, you might understand what goes in it my dear, but you did not cook it. Note: in giving thanks for the miracle you are also giving thanks for self-understanding, for a surgeon who spent 25 years learning about brains and dared to give it a crack. You are giving thanks for listening to your body, and it’s requests.

 

You are not leaving out modern medicine, but you do however also know that science has not yet caught up to the stunning underpinning cosmos reasons for existence and rapid physical healing. They are 30 years off. It’s a quantum thing. It’s not always rational. The earth isn’t flat people.

 

8) When you tell your child you are not going to die from an aneurysm rupture, he might say to you we need Weetbix, and the dog crapped in the outdoor area. Its ok, don’t take it personally he loves you. He just loves Weetbix as well.

 

9) You might be allowed to run now but don’t do it until your lung fills with blood. It feels good to run, but your sciatica needs TLC, and your Foofa valve does too.

 

10) Don’t grin at strangers when you are in your convertible. You might be telepathically telling them you are so happy you are alive, and your aneurysm just, and they said they couldn’t do anything, and then it just healed…and last night your car was a plane. Basically, you are just going to look like an arsehole driving a red sports car who is very pleased with themselves. Road rage is real. Just don’t.

 

11) Do not dilute your happiness. You will be tempted too. Not everyone else likes joy. Some people even break out in rashes and may start twitching. There is an epi pen for that- it is called the front door and a foot.

 

12) People will be joyful with you, they will cry for you and with you, they will send you flowers, messages and may even spontaneously dance with you. Keep those ones, in fact, chain those humans to your foot before they get away. Or pop them in your pocket. You just identified your tribe.

 

13) Be ready for the rollercoaster. You might have thought a joyful cry, and a high five would be the best, and you would just get on with your life. This doesn’t happen. You will meltdown. It’s what happens when you try and keep your shit together for more than 3 years with an impending rupture of the artery that supplies your entire brain with blood and was hanging on by a thread in a big mess threatening your life and a stroke on a daily basis, causing PTSD for family and seizures, migraines, TIA’s, brain bleeds, blackouts, chronic sleep apnea and the fear of being left in a vegetative state getting Sunday visits from your children while you suck liquified lamb cutlets through a straw- is now a reformed wonder.

 

There will be tears of happiness, tears of sorrow, tears of grief, tears of relief, anger and gratitude. A whole lot of liquid will spill from your deep internal soul and kleenex might not cut it. Try the super roll of toilet paper and an even a maxi pad?

 

14) Don’t go into your teenage son’s bedroom each morning ripping open the curtains with gusto and announce you are ALIVE, you might think you are a Disney princess with a bird singing on your shoulder. But you are in fact a very disheveled middle-aged woman with a tracksuit wedgie and yesterday’s eyeliner smudged. There will be consequences. He will tell you to get out.

 

15) As much as you think every song that comes on the radio is an anthem just for you, it isn’t. It really isn’t. But that’s okay. This does activate that spontaneous smiling and dancing response, this is good for your soul.

 

Most importantly wake up tomorrow and kiss the ground and give praise to God, because my dear, your life is yours and it will never be the same again.

A Transformative Life

There is a photograph of Jillie A. Carter as a young school teacher and beauty queen...   Her...
The Secret Language of Tiffany

The Secret Language of Tiffany

The Ferris Bueller soundtrack is playing on Spotify, Twist and Shout sounds so good on a Saturday.  

The sun has finally decided to show up, and I am sitting here, fingers to the ready- heart on a wire and full to the very edge of the teacup with feeling. Is it a safe time to write? The new discovery for me is- yes. These are the times when the writing comes easily, flowing from brain to page like an overzealous child- all vulnerability has sidestepped when this takes place. She has taken off, shaking her head in disgust. I ignore her. We need to give her a name. She is the hider of the Freak Flag, she doesn’t like it when I fly it. We shall name her Sargeant Tiffany. She’s no fun.

Tiffany the fun police

It is a big week for us. For me.

It either has the potential to go either way- a crazy game of Sliding Doors and what’s behind door 27? Shall we peek? Let’s not think about it. Let us think about it non-stop. Distraction, distraction…Hello, Monday you wonderous creature.

There are several options on offer Monday at the Hospital. Are you ready Madame?

Option 1: This revolting thing in my brain has actually completely stabilized, which means is still sitting there like the terminator with its finger on the trigger, but the finger stopped getting itchy.

Option 2: The bugger has gone. I repeat the A-hole has left the building. See you later alligator, astalavista. Like a magical butterfly and the power of all healing, it is completely gonesky, which means I can just die like mostly everyone else- unexpectedly.

Option 3: It has sprouted some new leaks which means more brain surgery. This means getting really fat again because of steroids. This is not an option. I love a good rolly polly belly like anyone else, but enough already.

Option 4: Some wonder human somewhere on this planet has come up with a way to fix it. Let’s call him Bob.

Option 5: I don’t go, and I pretend everything is perfectly peachy. This is a very tempting albeit stupid. I have done this multiple times. It stops me thinking about the D word. No one likes that word. No matter how enlightened we believe we are. No one likes a D word dropper.

Option 6: I’m still pondering on this one…I will keep you posted. At the moment it resembles smoking a joint with Willie Nelson and playing with a basket of baby Sloths. I can’t technically smoke a joint so I might be on rolling duties for Willie. That’s ok. I can roll a mean paper (don’t judge me, I had to roll my dad’s cigarettes ok?)

Sloth Ponderings Kirsten Macdonald

This resilience thing is mad.

Yesterday I stood at my sink, elbow deep in this beautiful new grandma sink, fired in France, beautiful fireclay, deep and shiny. I hated washing dishes, now it’s like a lovely bath. Blue eyes stood next to me drying the dishes.

“You ok?”

“I don’t want to die.”

“I don’t want you to die either.”

“Well, that’s good. Because if you did, that would kind of suck. Lucky you still like me.”

“How can I not? You make me laugh.”

“It’s not very fair any of this is it?”

“Nope.”

“I am feeling sorry for myself.”

“Me too.”

“I just want it to be fixed and never think about it anymore. It’s taking up too much space in my brain.” I am good at puns.

Then Hilltop Hoods Cosby sweater starts playing, and he does the dance that makes me laugh too hard. There is some pelvic thrusting that is slightly off rhythm and this thing he does with his butt.

How did we become this resilient?

We talk about it a bit. As we get older, the conflicts between humanity become more obvious. The bigger things mean more to us. The need for emotional intelligence suddenly becomes the focus and not the mortgage. It occurs to me that the friction of humanity is the cause of joy and pain.

Echoes of the inflictions of childhood build walls of muscle and grit- a toolbox of tricks that can protect us and then trip us up. All in one- a double doozy. The perseverance and seeking of peace propel us forward if we are brave enough to break open the armor and bare our skin. Telling old Sargent Tiffany of vulnerability police that it is ok to show vulnerability and truth.

Leaderboard Ponderings 2

It is vulnerability and truth and being aware of the silent witness within that breaks us into freedom. Deep huh? Hey don’t analyse mine, check out your own muscles, those suckers are there, along with a peacepipe and a marching band. So many situations rely on those muscles, and then we need to break free of them. All sorts of circumstances, in all walks of life. 

The opposite of this is building a romance with defense.

Gathering evidence to keep ourselves safe. The internal bodyguard becomes a jailer. Whispering platitudes, distractions, and conflicts on replay. Playing back all the old vinyl with their scratches and grooves. Maybe it’s time to sharpen the needle, to play the real music and stop whistling everyone else’s tune.

I have realized I don’t like significance. Weird huh? I love it when other people wear it like a beautiful cape or jacket- but it’s never looked delicious on me. It makes my skin feel ick.

I do not want to be significant. The feeling creates anger within. Why? 

If I am sick- it is significant. If I suddenly become miraculously well- this is also significant.

Both matter. Both have weight. I don’t like the weight. I learned very young that importance of not being too significant- to go under the radar. I don’t do it very well, but it is a primal part of my core belief system. These feelings of deep anger are being triggered by the romance of defense. So I write these words fiercely as if I am paddling as fast as I can in rapids, something pushes me forward. The anger is not good. It makes me angry. The irony is deafening.

Leaderboard Ponderings 3

The cognitive pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together. Stealth mode can kick in at any time, so watch it. I cannot control it. 

Tiffany just sat down in front of me looking very dazed and confused, she just dropped her badge on the table and asked me why I was writing this piece of communication? Who is it for? 

Tiffany the Vulnerable Police

The introvert-extrovert pendulum is swinging like a crazy monkey on a swing with a banana.

I am not an angry human as a rule. It doesn’t sit very well in my body. But I am a writer. So what does one do in this situation? She writes, prints and rolls it up, placing into a very groovy hipster bottle, it is some kind of pharmacy bottle from the 1940’s, pop a cork in the end and throws it out into the sea, watching the waves take it to whoever feels they may like to read it. I just wrote about myself in the third person. It’s a Ferris Bueller thing to do.

Then I get off the car in the middle of the street, the marching band and street parade has gone home.

So I go to my candle, and I pray. The anger has gone. Just like that. With a request and a chord of silver shooting to the architect. I am grateful for life. A big fat full life. The little version of blue eyes comes out and asks if I would like a cup of tea. The middle blessing is smiling getting ready for a party, very handsome. The eldest, the strong and vibrant young woman is finishing an essay. We did ok. We did more than ok. We are here and that sun is shining.

I stop typing, and then there’s that Ferris soundtrack. Hey ustj-ay no-ay het-ay- uietqay- does anyone have Willie Nelson’s phone number?

To read the latest from StevieAnne Minner Click Here.

Beyond Blue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au

LIFELINE: https://www.lifeline.org.au

BRAIN FOUNDATION: http://brainfoundation.org.au

Friendship- How To Do It Better

Friendship- How To Do It Better

Navigating the waters of friendship can come easily for many who have had a stable upbringing and a great example of closeness among their parents’ friends.

For most of us, sustaining a healthy and long-term friendship can be exhausting and bring on the arousal of fear, insecurity or some of our deeper heart issues. Even those who have had incredible experiences and examples around them can turn sharply towards isolation after one destructive encounter with someone deeply cared about. The desire to be a part of a community and family larger than those living inside our shared four walls has been there in every human since creation.

Leaderboard Ponderings 3

We all long for a connection to others that allows us to not only gain insight and wisdom from them but also pour out of our own accomplishments the ability to help and give. Most relationships require five basic things to be healthy and sustainable.

Listen-

It’s clear when sharing something either intimate or important if there are attentive ears or not. We all want to be heard and understood. Being a listener is vital to a friendship. Body language, pause and reflection, and eye contact convince another that you are listening. It’s important to even recap what your friend is telling you, so they know you heard them clearly and thought about what they said.

Sustainable friendships (2)

Accept-

In most cases, no two people will ever share the exact same opinion on everything, and I am sure the odds decrease drastically as you add more people to the mix. Creating a healthy long-term friendship will require you to accept others as they are with no expectation of being able to change their view or opinion. Recognizing we are ALL flawed in our own way and caring for another in spite of those flaws is genuineness in friendship.

Ponderings Friendships

Respect-

Plans, conversations, and interactions won’t always go exactly how we picture them with our friends. Learning to not use manipulative or offensive language is a must to cultivate better relationships. Respect their decisions, choices, and needs. A mom who cancels on an engagement may have something deeper going on than trying to ruin your plans. Respecting their boundaries and loving them where their needs can be met will be a foundational exercise.

Friendships Ponderings

Care-

A wise man once said that if you desire to be great, you must be a servant of all. Caring for ourselves is not a bad thing, but when we unhealthily prioritize our needs above others, we are left feeling empty and unfulfilled. This idea goes against everything culture would teach us. In a world that centers around ‘me,’ finding a friend that cares deeply about you and your family can be rare. This does not mean that we don’t take care of ourselves, but when crisis strikes or the needs of our friend are pounding at the heart, we stop and care for them. Making a meal to help them after the death of a parent, showing up with a shoulder to cry on when they just discovered an unfaithful spouse, or even offering to help drive their child to school to relieve morning stress can all be simple and practical ways to show you care.

Leaderboard Ponderings 2

Trust-

In any relationship, especially in friendship, honesty is crucial. If you have ever felt betrayed because of lying and manipulation, you understand the strain it causes on your friendship. It becomes a solid brick wall separating you from their emotions, actions, and behaviors. It is the one thing that is harder to regain in a relationship than anything else. Be trustworthy and loving in your honesty to have deeper friendships.

 

There is no surefire way to create deep, long-lasting friendships. There will always be conflicting personalities, abusive relationships and those to avoid. By using these simple tips along with exercising forgiveness, commitment, and humility, you can better the friendships you do maintain and have them be life-long trustees of your heart.

 

 

 

Our Author

StevieAnne Minner is a Christian comedian who has always been a bit of a goofball.  “Quick-witted and punny” is what those closest to her would say. A published writer, stand-up comedian, mother and talented columnist is a loveable gem of the Ponderings Team.

Midsummer Hiccups and the FOMO Effect

Midsummer Hiccups and the FOMO Effect

by Kirsten Macdonald

The Finnish sure do know how to spend midsummer.

What is this magic? A cabin by a lake, squirrels and tall trees, moss and berries growing wild. I feel like I am getting a glimpse again of home- the other home. I am here creating memories with 2 of my children, a sibling, and Lothario. A Scandinavian dreaming.

Sidestepping again. Why is it when we step aside from our everyday life things bubble up to the surface like stirring mud from the bottom of a bucket?

The sediment settled so long ago on the bottom, and everything above it is bright and sparkly. Then the stir happens and all the crap you forgot about and didn’t want to acknowledge existed rises and creates a murky soup. What on earth does one do with that soup? You can’t drink it, or pour it on the plants- it would surely poison them, or maybe it will go into the soil and help fertilize making the soil resilient and grow into 200-year-old oak trees?

You do not know THEY are there, this is the irritation.

Things that lurk and murk and you didn’t know it. It undoes all of humanity, doesn’t it? The detachment from not knowing, when we find things out, we didn’t know if other people know and we don’t. If a doctor knew you would die and didn’t tell you. When you still had fear buried down so deep, and you didn’t know. A brain tumor, a brain aneurysm. Cancer. Affairs. Lies. A missing body. A lost love. The lost bracelet. It’s what we don’t know that injures our sense of us. I wonder what it is. Are we allergic to mystery or is it desperate FOMO?

We are information junkies aren’t we? We seek truth as the real enlightenment and Google is the makeshift heroin.

It is the fixtures and habits that anchor us to normality and keep the fear at bay. Unless you bathe in frequent faith- that stuff is Vanilla to the ice cream. But it is difficult to be soaking in that all the time. Humanity has that effect.

When the fixtures in life are not in focus, what becomes the focus?

What parameters, what thoughts and observations come into the picture? Each time I sidestep it never feels long enough. A moment longer, a little longer to linger. To hold my own hand and a pen to paper. To achieve something changing and significant. What is this feeling? Discovery and to come back revitalized and with a new perspective. There is such quietness to this place, an occasional bird or child chatting, brothers giving each other wedgies and screaming at each other to stop the headlock. The occasional fart, a passing motorboat and the sound of the lake water lapping against the bank. Quiet + nature = feels.

I promise myself as I munch on a croissant and sip my strong coffee (my eyebrows may have just fallen off, and I may have instantly grown a beard, – this shit is strong) that I will no longer wait to leave home or travel to sidestep. I will spend some time sidestepping each day- to savor something beautiful, to hold my pen to paper but most importantly to use a little strainer each day to empty the dirty water gently from the cup, so no bucket stirring is required in a year’s time.

I am thinking ahead, I am thinking of next year.

I am thinking 5 years, I started putting more money into my superannuation. This means my future is real. Perhaps it may be a fixture that lasts longer. Maybe not. Either way, the Finnish need to learn how to make a good coffee.

I just looked up across this lake and if you have ever read/ watched The Shack- I am seriously having visions of Jesus walking over the water to pop into the old cabin here for a pancake and a coffee, but I had better find better coffee. I don’t think my Gallelian friend would like Finnish coffee anyway. He’d love the croissants. I reckon he’d laugh at the bum hiccups too.

Read The Case of The Exploding Brain 

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