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Healthy Anger

Anger is one of the most powerful yet misunderstood emotions we experience. On the one hand, it has become a form of entertainment on TV, video games, social media, and Youtube. Housewives from states across the nation screaming at one another and flipping tables are cheered on each week by millions. Amateur cell phone videos of physical altercations posted on Youtube receive tens of millions of hits world-wide. This misunderstood emotion has become a global phenomenon, a form of entertainment. Yet in real life, it continues to carry a social stigma. It is prohibited in the workplace and can cost an employee his or her job. In domestic situations, physically expressed anger can land a person in jail. Out of control, it can kill.
A common misconception about anger is that it is inherently bad. However, anger itself is not an issue. All emotions have purpose and value. I learn much about myself based on how I feel in or about any given situation. Anger enables me to discern what truly matters to me as opposed to what I consider insignificant; or to identify personal issues I still need to address and heal. Emotions even reveal how I feel about myself. It is the expression of those feelings and/or how I use them that determines whether or not they are beneficial or destructive to myself and those around me.

The FILD Test is a simple way to gauge when anger is an issue:
1.Frequent: is your anger chronic? Do you become upset quickly and easily? Do you have a short fuse or quick temper? Do relatively small issues bother you? Are others telling you that you have anger issues?
2. Intense: does your anger run deep? Are you easily enraged rather than mildly annoyed? On a scale of one to ten (ten being off-the-charts angry) where do you typically function?
3. Lasting: do you have difficulty letting go of your anger? Do you allow it to fester long after the incident has occurred? Do you replay it over and over again in your mind? Is forgiveness difficult elusive?
4. Destructive: is your anger hurting yourself or others? Do you lash out at others, punish yourself, or damage personal property when you’re upset? Do the consequences for your actions make your life more difficult and/or cause feelings of remorse? Has your anger alienated others or caused you to get in trouble with the law?
If any or all of the above apply then anger is creating an issue in your life. However, I’m not recommending that you eliminate it from your emotional cache completely. Instead, try the following suggestions to ensure that it is utilized in a healthy and productive manner.

Consider the LEFC Approach: Listen; Express; Forgive: Change
1. Listen to your anger. It is a messenger of great importance. What is it here to reveal to you? Seek to understand it before expressing it. Ask yourself, “Why did I respond so intensely in this situation? Are there deeper issues I’m not aware of that need my attention and healing? Is this issue even worthy of my indignation?”
2. Respectfully Express how you feel to the appropriate party. (The optimum word being respectfully.) Give yourself enough time to calm down and cool off before doing so. Carefully craft your comments before speaking, picking and choosing the precise words and tone to accurately convey how you feel. Always consider how your words will sound to those listening and how they may possibly affect them.
3. Forgive those who have hurt or offended you. Be less judgmental and more compassionate of others. Everyone is struggling with something and our challenges often express themselves in the most unfortunate way. Set boundaries in your relationships whenever necessary.
4. Seek Change. Use your anger to motivate you to make constructive changes in your life or in the lives of others. In doing so, you can channel your time and energy into something beneficial rather than destructive.

Anger is a very necessary and useful emotion. After all, even Jesus experienced anger at the injustices He witnessed. But He never misused it to cause harm to Himself or those around Him. I spent three years in a domestic violence relationship. Only when I became angry enough at my abuser for the pain he was subjecting me to did I channel my energy into ending the relationship. In this way I protected myself from certain death and rebuilt the amazing life I now enjoy. Additionally, I’ve been able to share my awareness of this powerful emotion with people world-wide and provide them with the understanding and tools they need to heal their pain and rediscover the peace God intended for them. All-in-all, my anger, properly channeled, has benefitted not only myself but millions of others. Now that’s a productive use of energy.

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The 15 Minute Conflict Resolution Solution

I abhor arguing. It’s a waste of precious time and energy and robs me of my serenity. Conflict, however, is horse of another color. Conflict occurs daily in each of our lives. It simply means that there is a disagreement, a difference of opinion. My husband and I engage in disputes on a regular basis yet interestingly enough have had fewer than five arguments in our eighteen year marriage. Unlike popular opinion, conflict is not synonymous with fighting. I’m willing to engage in a discussion but will never allow it to escalate into a battle. Let me explain by first clarifying the words I’m referring to: conflict is two opposing forces; to argue is to give reason for or against something, to prove or try to prove (this often entails the need to be right); fighting seeks to gain authority over another by way of struggle, a hostile encounter between two parties.

Let’s take a closer look at each. Two people, each with a different set of beliefs, preferences, needs, or goals enter into a conversation: a wife dreams of traveling around the world while her husband wants to settle down and have a family – conflict. One person is raised Christian, another Jew, and yet another with no beliefs in a higher power form a friendship and share their beliefs – conflict. Conflict even occurs in nature: a sun shower, salmon swimming upstream to lay their eggs, a collision of warm air with a cold front. The difference between human discord and natural divergence is that in nature there is no ego to complicate matters. Humans have an inherent need to be right, to win in order to feel good about themselves, to raise their sense of worth. Nature on the other hand simply allows differences to occur and works within the context of its ever changing circumstances. Yet when two creatures of the human species disagree ego wages war on the so-called offending party, prepared to prove it’s superiority and claim victory over its opponent. What begins as a simple disagreement quickly rivals The War of the Roses.

But there is an alternative. Many disagreements can be readily resolved in a matter of minutes by adhering to the following fifteen minute protocol:

1. Allow each party sixty seconds (that’s right: one measly minute) to state their position. This prevents the dialogue from becoming contaminated with blame and excuses or veering off track. Total time: two minutes.
2. Each party is allotted thirty seconds to state their desired outcome, what they would ideally like to see happen. Total time: one minute.
3. Both parties must contribute a minimum of three possible solutions. This allows for six potentially workable resolutions. Each person is permitted three minutes. Total time: six minutes.
4. Together, extract the best components of each suggestion and determine which elements can successfully be incorporated into the final solution. Tweak if necessary. Total time: six minutes.

Approximately 13% of the total time focuses on the challenging situation leaving a whopping 87% to finding a workable and mutually satisfying remedy.
The advantages of a Fifteen Minute Conflict Resolution Solution is that by moving the process along quickly one dramatically reduces the chances that the situation will escalate into an argument or fight. The mind must remain focused on finding a solution rather than concerning itself with being right. Time is of the essence and one cannot afford to become distracted by ego. Putting this issue to rest allows both sides to move forward to the more enjoyable aspects of living. Short and sweet = complete. Pretty cool, don’t you agree?

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @
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The “Cocktail Whisperer” on The Connected Table LIVE! March 18

He calls himself “The Cocktail Whisperer,” but Warren Bobrow speaks volumes through his books and talks on the craft of the cocktail. Since we met him several years ago at the start of his cocktail writing career, Warren has established himself as the leading authority on the unique genre of cocktail history in the country.Warren Bobrow head Shot

Warren’s third book, Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails, will be released in May. Part modern recipe book and part historical exposé, Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails explores the  and healing benefits of apothecary bitters and the satiating, stimulating aspects of shrubs- how they originated and how to make them at home (not hard), showing an array of different cocktails that can be made with them.


Warren’s first book Apothecary Cocktails, took us into the history of medicinal mixology from curative cocktails and painkilling libations to restorative elixirs. For centuries healers turned to natural ingredients from the garden combined with distilled alcohol to treat myriad conditions.  In Whiskey Cocktails, his second book Warren focuses on the different incarnations of the world’s most respected spirit and the cocktails it made famous.APOTHECARY COCKTAILSWHISKEY COCKTAILS


Warren joins us March 18 on The Connected Table LIVE! 2pm ET. Listen live on and on demand any time on (Under Shows & Personalities)

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Melanie Young and David Ransom are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple. Join them Wednesdays, 2pm ET/11 a.m. PT on The Connected Table LIVE! Each week they bring you the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality. Connect with them here:

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