When I was in elementary school my mom (the lovely and talented Mrs. Meeder) was in her puppeteering stage. She did these great productions that were usually two person shows with various wigs, costume changes, puppets of all shapes and sizes. Many shows were musical acts with talking toilets and goofy kings performed to packed audiences of children. I remember these shows as colorful worlds of delight, where my mom would often pop out from backstage while her counterpart Rob, would stay behind the scenes acting in 4 different voices simultaneously with 4 different puppets.
Mom and Rob were a great act. I have such clear memories of mom in these times, usually caked in sweat and exhausted after the show, I would wait while they packed up. I got to observe a lot, go behind the scenes, and of course hear Rob’s one-liners… in all his charm, he has the best lines.
“Ahh Annie, Don’t get your Undies in a Bundie.” That was my favorite… when my mom was all stressed about something, Rob’s voice in all its expressive theatrical charm would shout these type of colorful expressions from the dressing room. And his expresseions have had a lasting impression on me.
I refered to the Urban Dictionary to look up the roots of this word. The original saying, “Undies in a Bundle” refers to being: agitated, annoyed, PISSY or uptight.
For us ladies, this is something that we deal with daily, to varying levels and degrees. We have our days where we go…SNAP! Im not talking about PMS. Im talking about something else.
OUR reaction…to Stress. When a stressor gets the best of us, and our emotions lead to our misery and our unhappiness. AND if we are powerful, influential women (which of course we are) it leads to the unhappiness of oh, so many people around us. Like dad says: “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy.”
ITS NOT THAT THE STRESS isn’t real. Usually its totally legit. But here is what I think:
I think its a habit. That we have learned.
To react “in stress” to a stressor or difficulty.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and I’m trying something new.
I just try to stop and observe it. The Stressor or Difficulty. Like as an outsider.
And not react for a moment.
I’ve had major stressors about getting visa’s for my fiancés family member for our upcoming wedding. Its a very stressful process. Sometimes it seems very overwhelming and I feel very alone and angry in all of it. But I realize that its my own stress and tension.
The process is going to be EXACTLY the same whether or not I am content and happy during the process or sad, angry and stressed. Nothing is going to change the physical process. Its only me that can change. That I can choose to be miserable during it, pissy or agitated…or just choose to be…(maybe not happy) but at least neutral. From there I can choose.
From neutrality we have a choice.
The word RELAX has been working for me. Not to relax myself or my stress… but to relax the tension I feel around a particular thought or process or problem.
Ive been using the image of a rubber ball. A rubber ball is dense, hard and solid. When I put tension around a problem or an idea like “the visa process is impossible.” The thought or the problem hardens. It be comes like a rubber ball. My brain and my energy puts all this tension around it. Worse yet when there are several “rubber ball thoughts” – my brain starts to feel like there are all these blocks in its way. Bouncing hard, dense, problems inside my head. There is no creativity, no freedom, and no choice.
But if I can just breath in to it. Breath into that rubber ball of a problem, it might start to look a little fuzzier, the denseness starts to break open. The particles of tense energy start to relax. Maybe it starts to change shape or color, it can become a fuzzy tennis ball, into a loose ball of yarn, and things start to unravel or shift. Inside the center of it, the seed, there is usually an emotion. If I can just sit with it. That sense of powerlessness, or loneliness. and start to breath into that little seed. So it starts to get softer.
What is really wierd and quite miraculous is that when I do this, when I relax the tension around a problem, it begins magically to almost take care of itself. I had all this tension around the visa issues and felt so alone. I started to breath around it. I sent an email to my fiance’s mom asking for help. In 1 day she had a list of all the things we needed, had read all the websites I sent her and had already begun to get her own papers in order.
A little miracle.
I came back from the holiday break so convinced that in Mexico I could never find the quality and quanity of friends I have in the states. “My rubber ball thought was: “I have no friends here in Mexico.” Which isn’t true. But my rubber ball thought wouldn’t let me see any other possibility. So…I started to get fuzzy about that statement, because a statement like that has no room for anything else. My statements about not having friends was more based on the feeling of loneliness (Ill save that for another blog post) But as Ive gotten more space, less density around the “problem”. Its like God in her infinite creative wisdom and energy has created a little project to put people in front of me recently that I can share with and create friendship.
So if I feel something STRESSY coming on. Ive been using quiet moments during the day, almost like a meditation to observe how i feel, and ask for spiritual guidance. Pausing that habit to react right away and just give it a few moments. This develops trust and faith. And it starts to get easier each time.
So next time your UNDIES ARE IN A BUNDIE.
Get fuzzy about your dense problem. Like a chemist or physicist, imagine you can change those dense, hard and solid rubber ball atoms into a fuzzy puffy cloud of possibility.
And, ask for help if you need it.
” Angels fly, because they take themselves lightly.” – Tony Robbins
love with my heart,