Friday, 21 March 2014

Anger a symptom of fear

Cartoon Angry woman

Where does my anger come from?
It goes off at the slightest provocation!

Then more often than not I find myself having to apologize to the target of my anger because I have misunderstood or overreacted. If I had only stopped and reflected before I emotionally responded.

In all of my reading and professional study anger is described as an emotional symptom of fear, part of the flight, fight or freeze response. This is because in a split second I construct an internal narrative about the situation that results in me being so unconsciously afraid that I fightI lash out with anger.

How is this possible?  How can I how do I come to such catastrophic unconscious conclusions that I find myself yelling at my wonderful husband, or uttering cross words at my grandchildren and children?

I am a bright, articulate woman who deals the disastrous outcomes of human emotions on a daily basis as a social worker, yet I am hard pressed to understand the source of my own unconscious anger.
Angry woman
Jeffery Brantley M.D. in the October 2013 edition of Mindfulness provided a key to understanding unconscious fear it is fueled by a fixed belief(p 74).  A fixed beliefis an idea or truth that has been held for so long and acted on so repeatedly that we respond to the it without consciously thinking about it.

Taking control of this belief and understanding when it is false and when it is true pulls us away from the trigger of our anger.  It is also how we bring what is unconscious into consciousness.

Brantley asks us to be mindful of how we feel in the seconds before we are angry.  To ask ourselves as anger begins to flare:
   What am I afraid of?
   Is there any real danger present?

Believe it or not this works!  By focusing on my fear rather than the symptom the anger that threatens to consume me dissipates quickly and I am free to understand what is happening in an open and curious way.

I wish I would have known this as a parent, I might have helped my children avoid developing their own personal fixed belief.  As a grandparent when one of my grandchildren becomes angry I do not:
   Tell them to stop
   Ask what they are angry about or
   "What is wrong?"
I ask them what they are afraid of and, as with me, having their anger identified as a symptom of fear they are free to talk about their fear and to cry rather than punch their sibling.

This is not an easy or quick process so please to not assume it to be. It is a process worth engaging.

I am offering this piece of insight not as an expert.  I offer it as a parent and grandparent in hopes that it will help other parents on their personal journeys.

Grandma Snyder
©2013-2014 twosnydergirls

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Brussels Sprout and Mushroom Marinara Sauce

Yet another taste sensation built on brussel sprouts.  

Brussels sprout & mushroom marinara

One cup of brussel sprouts contains 38 calories, 0.3 grams of fat, zero cholesterol, 22 mgs. of sodium, 342 mgs. of potassium, 8 grams of carbohydrate, 3.3 grams of dietary fiber, 1.9 grams of sugar and 3 grams protein.  Click here to learn more about the brussels sprout

Mushrooms and onions

2 cups brussel sprouts roasted in balsamic vinaigrette and then shredded
2 cups of your favourite mushrooms slices
2 bulbs of garlic roasted
42 oz of dices tomatoes
1 tablespoon oregano
½ teaspoon sugar
2 onions sliced

Brussels sprouts being added to tomatoe sauce


  • Clean and cut in half the brussel sprouts.  Roast the brussel sprouts in coconut oil and balsamic vinaigrette – 375 F for approx. 45 mins.  Once cooled shred or slice thine. 
  • Cut the top off of the garlic bulbs roast in a 375 F oven for approx. 45 mins. covered in tin foil.  Once cooked remove the roasted buds and roughly chop. 
  • In a large sauté pan sauté the sliced mushrooms and sliced onions until the onions are transparent. 
  • Add the diced tomatoes, sugar and oregano to the sauté pan cook on low for 40 minutes reducing the sauce.  10 minutes before you are ready to serve the marinara add the brussel sprouts and garlic buds. 

Brussels sprout & mushroom marinara
We added our favourite gluten free pasta and fresh grated old parmesan cheese and we had a delicious meal and we hope you do as well.

Grandma Snyder

© 2013-2014 twosnydergirls

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Is your life worth the Best Deal?

Playing on the beach
Paul and I started mall walkingon our vacation when the weather was too nasty to walk on the beach.  The mall not only provides a predictably dry & warm environment to power walk in it also is an excellent venue to people watch.

On this occasion we found ourselves watching a young couple go in and out of numerous electronic and department stores they would return to the same table in the food court and consult flyers and an electronic tablet.  I can only assume that they were on a quest for the perfect (?) and best price (euphemism for cheapest price)

Their discussions were animated and as the morning turned to early afternoon it became heated as well.

Now we were tired from power walking but what they were doing seemed exhausting getting the perfect (something) at the best price with all of the reference points of a large supper mall and the internet well it sure seems daunting to us.

Paul and I found ourselves wondering how much value the couple placed on their personal time.  How mindful were they of the cost of perfection?  
There was the time spent going in and out of stores where they must have been negotiating over price and options; then of consulting the internet ensuring what they were being offered was the best at the best price.  Next there was the emotional cost as this process began to create visible stress.  Finally the last and possibly most stressful moment when a decision to purchase has to be made. 

Time is the only commodity that is not renewable and is within our personal control.  As we age we are more mindful of the time we lose or in which we create stress for ourselves in.  For things that are really not that important - getting the perfect item at the best price is just such an activity in our opinion because the personal cost can be too great.

As grandparents we want to model to our children and grandchildren financial responsibility  and to be good stewards of their time to be smart consumers, to understand that perfection may come at too great a price in the end, if it robs you of productive enjoyable time with loved ones or time spent with yourself in life affirming activities.

In giving away your time in search of the Perfect deal 
you are giving away a portion of your life -
Make sure the deal is worth it!

These are the wonderings and thoughts of Grandma Snyder  

Grandma Snyder
©2013-2014 twosnydergirls


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