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Warning, B*tch on Board: 4 Steps to Get off The Cranky Train

I just spent the most delicious week in Salt Lake City with my Team Northrup family at our annual USANA Convention.   This year’s convention theme “Celebrating You”  was true to it’s name.  I was inspired by Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Mehmet Oz,  Dr. Myron Wentz, Dr. Denis Waitley, Matt Lowe (2012 Olympic medalist), John Maxwell, Darren Hardy, Jen Groover, and Jason Ryan Dorsey.  I was treated to an amazing 80’s themed concert with Eddie Money, Belinda Carlisle (my fave), Collin Raye, Tommy Shaw (can you say yum?), and Kenny Loggins.

I hugged, connected, and laughed with my adopted Team Northrup family.  And I was cracked wide open by the generosity (8,000 participant there all received a free IPad), the commitment and the heart-centered nature of this turn key company I chose to get involved with 5 years ago as another vehicle to help women with their life “health.”

But, as I sat in the Denver aiport yesterday I was cranky.  No, cranky doesn’t even come close.

Über B*tchy would be more like it.

It was sudden, unexpected and in sharp contrast to everything I had felt with such intensity the previous 5 days.  It didn’t seem to make any sense.

I know that when I reach this level of pleasure – I am done.  Overcooked, really.

And it happens to us all the time.

You know the feeling.  It’s the way a 3-year old feels when she’s enjoyed a fun-filled day at the Disneyland after riding the Teacup for the umpteenth time.  She walks away from the ride smiling and, out of nowhere, throws a tantrum.  You wonder why.   She’s disoriented, overwhelmed, queasy and tired.   To a 3-year old all that fun can, by a quick flip of a switch, turn into a full blown explosion.

Sometimes our pleasure-meter can only handle so much before your b*tchy-meter kicks in to set her straight.  Gay Hendricks, author of The Big Leap calls this an Upper Limit Problem – an inability to sustain pleasure for extended periods of time.

There is hope.

We can develop our ability to enjoy and sustain the good that comes into our lives.  These tools take awareness, dedicated practice, and are the ones I use when I find myself riding roughshod on the Cranky Train:

1)  To release the pressure valve, run yourself under cold water

If you use a pressure cooker (one of my favorite kitchen tools), you’ll know what I’m talking about.  It reduces the amount of cooking time by increasing the amount of pressure within the pot.  At the top there is a valve that releases steam as your dish cooks.  There is no way of removing the top when you’re done without causing serious damage.  So, to reduce the pressure, the pot is placed under running cold water.  It works quickly and efficiently.

Same is true for us.  Our cold water can be a friend, who has been entrusted with NOT fanning our flames by reacting to what we tell them, but whose SOLE role is to listen with little to no response.  We can then vent freely until the built up pressure is thoroughly released.  This takes no more than 10 minutes and works wonders.  Of course, you need to set this agreement up with your friend ahead of time.

Once I recognized the origin of my crankiness, I was on my cell.  Within minutes I felt relief and was then able to move to the next step…

2) Share the good

Once you’ve released the pressure, you’ve created some space and new perspective.  You can see the good now.  So share it.  Mama Gena, of the School of Womanly Arts, calls this the Art of Bragging.   This is the part where you tell your friend all the wonderful things you have done, attracted, experienced…  All is fair game.  Do it and allow your friend celebrate you and your wins.  You’ll find yourself uplifted, supported and loved.

3) A little appreciation

The next step is gratitude.  Such a simple act.  Sharing what you appreciate changes your perspective.  The more good you can find, the more good you’ll receive.  It’s akin to deciding to buy a Red Volvo c70 convertible, and suddently noticing all of them on the road.  Out loud, list each and every thing you are appreciating.  From the delicious doppio you enjoyed with your girlfriend to the clothes that made you feel fabulous.

ASIDE: As a practice, I acknowledge 13 things in the morning and 13 at night (although that number isn’t necessary to experience a shift according to happiness expert Shawn Achor.)  Writing down three a day for 21 days is enough to create a change in perspective.

4. Ask for more

This is the final step.  You’ve released the pressure, bragged, and appreciated.  Now it’s time to dream up more.  It’s easy to be content with what we’ve received and think that it’s plenty, or that we don’t really deserve to have more.  But this is where you are mistaken.  In order to build our pleasure endurance, we need to consciously set the intention for more pleasurable experiences.  This allows us to dial up our ability to both experience and sustain higher levels of pleasure.

So, what do you want?  What’s your deepest desire?  What would make your life complete?  Share these longings.  You’ll be amazed how more and more pleasurable experiences show up.

Once I committed and acted upon these 4 steps, I was able to enjoy my trip home .  Even with 6 hours total layover time when I could have been pissy,  I could stay in my pleasure: I people watched, read, meditated, and felt happy basking in the afterglow of my five days in Utah.

By putting yourself and your pleasure first,  you have the ability to take in more. Use these four steps to dial up your ability to ride the pleasure wave.  Your life will be forever changed.

As always, I’d love to hear from you.

What tool do you use to get yourself off the Cranky Train?  

Leave a comment below to let us know.  Be as specific as possible in your comment as your wisdom and experience helps us all.

Thank you for tuning in.  You are SO appreciated!

2 Responses to “Warning, B*tch on Board: 4 Steps to Get off The Cranky Train”

  1. Juli says:

    I totally understand this! I am on the Cranky Train more than I’d like to admit. When it happens, I do my best to question myself with the 4 W’s – what, why, when and where.”What set me off just now?” “What stressor is the *real* underlying issue here?” Those sorts of questions. Most times, they get me to the unhealthy root of the problem so that I can move on to something more productive. If all else fails, I remind myself of my blessings, and the good things the person currently pissing me off does for me on a regular basis.

  2. edmee says:

    It’s so simple to let you go in the bichy mood – sometimes is what we need! The important thing is to get out fast.

    Thanks edmee

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