Change your words – Cheer up your life!

Dearest Royal Friends,  

What a glorious time of year it is! Full of glad tidings and good cheer…except when it isn’t. The holiday season arrives and life continues, as do our worries and cares.  The nanny’s at war with her assistant for smuggling in commercial baby food. The chauffeur defected to Uber.  Tiffany’s discontinued your great-great grand mummy’s silver pattern. And “Tommy” the rescue guinea pig you let your little Princess bring home turns out to be Tonya, and she’s pregnant! 

Problems, problems, problems!

What good is it to be bombarded with salutations of good cheer, glad tidings and all that other stuff if it makes us feel like crap when we’re not in a matching mood?  But….why are we not in a matching mood? Half the time it’s because of our own stinkin’ thinkin’.  

Here’s a quick tip to put CHEER back into your life. Become a word chiropractor and make an attitude adjustment.   

Here’s how: The next time you call something a “problem,” call it a “challenge” instead!

I discovered this trick when, as a corporate lawyer, my boss’s boss’s boss asked me to work on a knotty legal issue about which I was absolutely clueless. I started to panic.  I tried and tried to figure it out but nothing was sparking. I knew I couldn’t  give the project back and say, “Sorry dude, this one’s over my head.  And by the way, could I have a raise?” 

Then I had an epiphany! I think I pulled it right out of my ass, because I tell you, I have no idea how this mental game-changer came to me.  I told myself not to use the word “problem” but instead, recast the situation as a “challenge.” That seemingly itty bitty word adjustment practically blew the tiara right off my head. I actually felt a physical change. I felt lighter, as if I had just eaten a bag of feathers. Ptooey! Shortly thereafter,  I figured out a solution to the assignment. Whew!  About that raise, please!

What happened? In my studies and training as a positive psychology life coach, I learned that I had instinctively found a way to put myself in a  positive mindset by what is called “reframing” the situation, which made my mind more resilient and more productive. Who knew!

I encourage you to become a word chiropractor and make an attitude adjustment with your words. Train yourself to use the word “challenge” instead of “problem.”   So, when Tommy turns out to be Tonya, it’s just another day in the funhouse!  Cheers!!!!

XOXOXOX,

PRINCESS DIANE VON BRAINISFRIED

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One princess’s pudding is another’s poison

Dear Royal Friends~

You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression,  “one man’s poison is another man’s pudding.”  

"You don't like puddin'? Then more for me!"

“You don’t like puddin’? Then more for me!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For example, staying on a “roll” with the food theme, I am not a big fan of pig roasts.  It pains me to see these sad-eyed  little critters crammed all whole and real on a serving platter, their last Wil(bur) and testament being a parsley-plattered  laurel, a sad irony considering it’s certainly not the pig’s victory.  And, good lord, what they do to that poor apple!

Pig roasts, as you might have guessed, are my poison. But some princesses love pig roasts. To them,  it’s their pudding.

And so I was reminded of this pudding/poison axiom as I was strolling through New York City’s Central Park just the other day, when  grey, threatening skies loomed sooner than predicted.  The clouds were not supposed to open up into wetness until evening. But you know what they say, “Man plans, G-d laughs”  and the skies had another idea.  Almost without warning, we in the park got dumped on by a torrent that soon soaked our clothes and packages, and made our sneakers and jellies squeak.  

Many scurried and many scowled, and most did both, harassed by this lapse in weatherman judgement.   I ran under the nearest broad-limbed tree, but the droplets were like heat seeking missiles that found their way through the feathery leaves.   I spied  a table umbrella at a vacant table by a little park cafe and made a bee-line for better cover.

As I stood waiting out the downpour,  feeling slightly grumbly,  I saw a sight that shifted my perception of the unexpected storm.  

You see, running down the hill outside the little park cafe was a young man pushing a baby carriage  in the pouring rain.  He was shouting  “wheeeeeee” “wheeeeee” at the top of his lungs,  and his rain-streaked face sported a smile so brilliant, it was a near match for the absent sun.   Inside the carriage was a golden-haired angel, maybe two or three years old, soaked curls matted against her head,  head tilted up to the sky to receive this gift, giggling and laughing in wild abandon.  Both of her chubby little  arms were outstretched high into the air in order to grasp the raindrops as they whizzed by her in the carriage.

  I will never forget the expression on that little girl’s face. If joy had a face, she was IT.

In that moment I realized that this downpour, this “poison” that was responsible for so many scowls on so many faces, was quintessential pudding to this little girl!  Forget pudding; this was an Eiffel tower-sized  ice cream sundae with rainbow shhhprinkels!  This was  a giant stuffed teddy bear won at a Six Flags roulette wheel.  This was an “I bought you a puppy” even though mommy said “no.”

Suddenly, at the sight of this little cherub’s amazingly happy face, I broke into a Cheshire Cat grin. Her exuberant squeals of delight tickled me princess pink, and what was a moment ago my poison, became instantly my pudding. (Not to be confused with instant pudding.) Right then and there I made a vow  to remember the expression on that little girl’s face forever. To remember the sound of her unfettered and spontaneous glee.  To remember her father’s indulgently playful “wheeeeeee” “wheeeee” all the way home. I shall use these as my shield against the onslaughts of daily little poisons.

And when they assault me, and they will, I will  remember this little girl and her father, and then this little princess will go “wheeee” “wheeee” all the way home to the palace. 

TTFN, P! (Ta Ta For Now, Princess)  

hearts-673345_640 pixabay

 

 

PRINCESS DIANE VON BRAINISFRIED

“Live Your Royally Happy Life!™”

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW SAILING LESSONS TAUGHT ME TO HANDLE BITCHY & BALLSY PEOPLE

Most princesses worth their salt (water) have taken sailing lessons at one point or another. I took them when I was a teenager at our family’s yacht club by the beach.   I learned on a Robin, a Tiffany blue boat about the size and shape of claw-footed bathtub.

weel-245627_640That photo above is not of a Robin.  I don’t know her name, either.

I was a much better sailor on paper than I was in practice. That’s a good thing if you like A’s and gold stars, a bad thing if you just paid for an expensive blowout. 

Many of the sailing rules I learned ended up being transferable as sage and practical life lessons.  I’d like to share one of my favorite sailing lessons cum life lessons with you today: 

“When the waves get choppy, don’t sail into them head on; sail into the waves at an angle.”               

If you sail into waves head on, your sailboat’s probably gonna shake, rattle and roll, bob up and down, and the bow of your boat may get buried under the crested, crashing water. Whether you go under will depend on many variables such as the force of the wave, the size of your boat, the speed of your boat, the speed of wave, the size of the wave, the force of the wind, the skill of the sailor, etc.  

Likewise, when navigating people who are behaving like agitated waves, whether categorically cantankerous, habitually hot-headed, or temporarily touchy, it’s better to avoid heading straight ahead into their stormy behavior. Heading straight into them is not the most effective and safe way to negotiate their “waves.”  Instead, take a tack. Respond at an angle. 

Humor is one of the best methods to respond with an angled approach to a person acting like a choppy wave.   For example, I recently visited an ill relative in the hospital.  She was in a lousy mood, understandably, and not very hungry,  understandably.  The “catch of the day” was  a suspicious platter resembling eggplant parmesan.   The aid was concerned that my relative wasn’t eating enough, and repeatedly asked how the “eggplant parmesan” was.  My relative became angry at feeling badgered, and finally let the aid have it.  “You wanna know how the food is? It’s crap! Total crap! CRAP times two!”  Instead of shooting back a retort such as, “Then I’m just gonna let you starve!,” the aid  burst out laughing.  So did my relative.  She thereupon finished her platter of suspicious Double Crap, without so much as requesting more sauce.  “Red right return.” ***

Here’s another trick. It’s useful for avoiding head on responses to potentially incindary questions.  Let’s say, for example, you’re on a first date, you’re sitting at the bar and you’re already smitten: He’s handsome, he’s rich, he’s royal, and the dude’s just ordered Veuve Cliquot — Yellow label!    You’re committed! Insanely committed!  Your prince turns to you and asks, “Say, do you watch Fox News?” Ohhh nooo!  It’s a trap!!!! 

It’s clear that you’ve got a 50/50 chance of becoming Double Crap Eggplant.  But you don’t know which 50!!!

Here’s the solution. Remember the sailing lesson?  Don’t aim head on into the wave!  Instead, angle in with a statement like, “Ha! Don’t get me started!”  Then drop a fork on the ground and show some cleavage.  You’re too smart a princess to get sunk by that wave, suhkkah! At least not before you get to the lighthouse.  “Red right return!” ***

It takes some mental agility and forbearance to really work these principles, but practice makes prudent.  

I promise to share more sailing lessons from my yacht club days in my forthcoming book and courses.  In the meantime, “red right return!” ***

“LIVE YOUR ROYAL LIFE!™”

 XOXOXOX

PRINCESS DIANE VON BRAINISFRIED

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