Do you look good in orange

Do you look good in orange

Ask yourself this question next time you’re about to lose it

I had a client exclaim in her clinic session the other day that she was ready to kill someone. Namely one of her family members.

Don’t worry. She’s not a serial killer. And I took the opportunity to remind her that losing your shit causes you to wear orange and heavy duty bracelets!

It’s just that her frustration had escalated so significantly and tipped over into a space of unregulated emotion — namely anger and rage.

She had become a volcano head – ready to explode at any moment, fuming and seething with barely contained disdain. She was exactly like a volcano before it erupted, just smoking away frightening the local townsfolk -namely her family. Her emotional state was exceptionally volatile and she felt completely out of control.

There are numerous things that lead us to feel frustrated. Here are some examples:

  • Feeling not heard within a conversation or space
  • expectations not met despite your best planning efforts
  • juggling too many balls in the air at any given time

Frustration is likely to be the top layer of a feeling. There will be more emotion beneath that has not been spoken, expressed, or given air. It’s highly likely that you may not even be consciously aware of all that is festering beneath the surface.

Frustration can have a voice of its own. A voice that rants, raves and yells uncontrollably. A voice that speaks often from a sense of stagnation or helplessness, an inability to make things happen in the way that someone wants.

The vibrational frequency of frustration means that those feelings of unmet expectation can rapidly escalate to anger or rage in the blink of an eye.

Need some tips to release frustration?

Frustration is often a kinetic energy. This means frustration is a moving emotion, and you’re unlikely to be able to sit still with it. Additionally, you are likely to require some movement to shift the sensation of the unwelcome negative-based emotion. Moving your mouth will commence activation of the release, but you are likely to continue to feel frustration deeply within your body.

1. Stay present

When we feel uncertain about something, this can be likened to triggering an unconscious fear. Therefore our human reaction is that we tend to want to control the process or outcome. This is driven by fear of the unknown, uncertainty, or loss of control. It’s an emotion that is based on the future tense.

When you can remain present, you’re not activating the neurological survival program that drives you to start planning all of those contingencies in your head to counteract the undoubted and misperceived doom you’re stressing about.

2. Accept you are human

Our human existence mandates that we are always gathering data from our experiences. Our brain gathers sensory data of what we see, hear and feel. What also happens is that our brain attaches an emotional response to the sensory data, and creates a program.

This allows your brain to simply respond when an experience is repeated without having to recreate the same program. When we re-experience an emotional response, our brain simply reactivates the survival reaction that was originally created.

Why?? Because change is a constant in our lives. Our brain has a wonderful compensation program to reduce the need for reprograming everything, and therefore screen out what it perceives as useless detail.

Change is a gift. A gift to learn more. A gift to evolve. A gift to flow and receive/give more through our life. I am referring to the gift of shifting or relearning the subconscious survival reactions to create positive change in your life.

However, if your expectation is unrealistic — that you want the outcome to be perfect the first time — you’re setting yourself up for heartache. We weren’t born and then ran within hours of birth.

You’re not a horse. You are human.

You must first engage your neural pathways to create patterns and habits, rather than stumble, trip or fall. In turn, this trains the brain muscles to move you into new experiences of attempting to walk in new ways without falling. You learn to step out of your survival reaction, refine your resilience and then move forward metaphorically.

3. Manage Expectations

When you place an unrealistic expectation in relation to that experience you attempt something the first time and there is failure, two things happen. You doubt yourself.

Doubt makes you feel big emotions associated with failure when you don’t meet the expected outcome. You shame yourself subconsciously in relation to not achieving. This can lead to diminished self-worth and a misperception of insecurity. This doubt expands your fear of trying again and failing, rather than simply feeling safe or confident enough to make another attempt to achieve the experience.

4. Acknowledge your beliefs

Think back to when you were younger. Were you raised a winner?

I’m being serious now.

Set the snoopy snigger aside, and reflect on whether you were raised with ‘tough love’ or ‘all participants receive a reward’?

Your response links to the previous point and the potential expectations you developed from childhood about how things should be. Your beliefs and values influence your bias, what you know to be true. These aspects of your psyche also influence your behavioural patterning.

When your perceived expectations are not met, this will generate a negative emotional response. This reaction is often subconscious and not something we can initially control. This reaction reaffirms the fear to be true.

Continually failing to meet expectations can generate bad behaviour within ourselves, and worse, trigger misperceptions in others about who we are. In other words, it can quickly lead to a misperception of feeling, or worse feeling judged.

In this circumstance, before you lose it ask yourself the Byron Katie question in relation to the unrealistic expectation — “Is this real?”

This singular and powerful question allows you to acknowledge that the old reactive belief (based on the survival reaction) may now be outdated or no longer serve you. This acknowledgement allows you to step out of the old non-serving program, and release the negativity of frustration, anger and rage. It allows you to choose a different emotional outlook.

Our old programmed survival reactions drive the negativity of frustration and anger. Ignoring the signals this emotion generates, allows the energy of it to build.

As the frustration escalates, your capacity to remain calm diminishes, because your survival reaction is heightened. This is the mental and emotional tipping point of whether you change the colour of your outfits — can you walk away or do you find yourself reacting and later regretting?


Consider implementing one of the suggested actions should you experience those moments of intense frustration, anger, or rage and don’t want to wear an orange jumpsuit!!

First published with Illumination, a Medium Publication. Click here this piece.

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Self Reflection – A little Look Withinclick here

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Can You Risk Not Stepping Up To Mother yourself?Click here

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About Karen

Change Facilitator

Karen Humphries is a Kinesiology Practitioner, Wellbeing Coach, Intuitive Meditation Facilitator, Clinical Hypnotherapist, and training Resource Therapist. She’s also a published author. 

She is a self-confessed laughaholic.  She loves being of service to the world with her humorous and positive approach to life, encouraging people to ‘choose to change and bloom from within.’ 

Karen Humphries, Change Chick, Change Facilitator, Kinesiology, Wellness Coach, Australian Bush Flower Essences, LEAP Facilitator, Trauma, Public Speaker, Cancer Ambassador, Blooming From Within, Traralgon, Victoria, Gippsland

Why Asking “WHAT” Will Give You The Answers You Seek

Why Asking “WHAT” Will Give You The Answers You Seek

How to move forward in your life!

I’ve not met a single person on the planet yet who enjoys the thought of “sucking it up” or relishing the taste of a dog turd served up on a platter. That’s what a cancer diagnosis gifts you at the start of the experience.

I recognise that’s a little confrontational and button pushing, but it’s my truth. My breast cancer experience is also my reformed resilience, motivation, exposed fears, revitalised purpose and pursuit of my dreams. It’s been a gift on many levels. 

My raw has transformed into my ROAR!

A cancer diagnosis and recovery from surgery and/or treatment are significant. You find yourself asking a hell of a lot of questions, some of which are reasonable and some are fear-based. It’s very easy to quickly fall down a rabbit hole into a pity party.

After listening to Tasha Eurich’s Ted Talk “Increase your Self Awareness” I was left with two profound key points.

Why” questions trap us into continuing to look in the rearview mirror of our life.

A why question often denotes an emotional component to answer or highlight a reason or cause. In the case of cancer, why would one person be diagnosed over another? In some cases, like smoking or drinking, the why is simple and easy to identify. There is an inference that the person’s actions were the cause. 

A why question also denotes blame shame and guilt immediately to the inquisitor. It infers the action of the question asker to reflect on the reason of cause. In the case of cancer, as my oncologist states, it’s the luck of the draw.

In my experience and research, cancer is a little more than luck but still, no-fault should be drawn. Yet we self criticise, self punish and talk shit to ourselves when the going gets tough at the time of diagnosis! Other than making you feel worse and completely stuck, what is this serving you? You gain absolutely nothing.

I could talk about the involvement of epigenetics, diet and the management of chronic stress in one’s life — all of which contribute to cancer. There are likely to be the questions surrounding why me, but what if you were to consider what can I learn from this experience?

Does that one question stop you in your why tracks immediately? Did you find yourself pausing and taking a slow deep breath and calming a little?

Here’s the thing, if you’re a newly diagnosed patient none of those reasons you procured inside your head matter right now. Do they? Looking for a cause is continuing to look in the rearview mirror of your life. The diagnosis is done. It’s not in your control to go back and make changes. 

You can’t relive your life or get a do-over.

But YOU can make changes moving forward.

You’re not doing yourself any favours by mentally beating yourself up with all the analysis of the why. Excessive or ongoing thinking literally will drain your physical energy to maintain the mental stamina to power the brain and continue assessing what did or did not go right or wrong.

The answer to overcoming the stress of a cancer diagnosis (and it’s easier to implement than you think) is to ask yourself this one question. 

What is in my control right now?

Sit with that question and check in with your body. Is it still in a state of flight or fight? Or perhaps are you suddenly eager to explore new horizons? Is there a shift?

Asking the what question shifts your vision, motivation and drive for life forward. It changes the mindset into a solution-orientated field.

What to ask your medical team?

Understand your diagnosis

Understanding medical language at the best of times can get a person flummoxed. Learning about the intricacies of your cancer diagnosis takes time to digest all the various nuances associated with your personal case.

Understand what your pathology report is informing your specialist. Be sure to continue asking questions of your medical team until you are clear on what the diagnosis means, and their suggested treatment options based on your specific results. 

Understand your treatment options

Once you’ve got your head around your diagnosis, your medical team is a well-oiled machine which will likely guide you to some form of medical intervention. It’s vital to understand what various treatment options are available to you.

There will naturally be emotions associated with whatever treatment option you choose. A good practitioner provides you with advice for treatment, based on the statistical success of short and longer-term cure rates, and allow you to decide. It’s your body after all.

I was fortunate enough to have a world-class surgical team who participated in robust discussion about surgical and oncology treatment options. We discussed the pros and cons of everything in relation to my case history.

I also asked what the success rates of various procedures, tests and scans in general. I asked specifically each specialist what their individual performance statistics in relation to undertaking suggested treatment options. 

I discussed with my team the what were the potential failure rates, side effects and complications of what they suggested for my specific case. Let me very clear, I’m not a doomsayer with a negative outlook. I wanted to be proactive and understand what I could do to minimise negative outcomes that were in my control.

Understand the statistics of metastatic return

Upon my diagnosis, I learnt many things about my hormone-related cancer. I also had to think about two strategies before making any treatment decisions. These included what I needed to do to deal with cancer in the now and present, and in the medium term in order to minimise risks of metastatic return.

I found it vital that I understood what the statistical research evidence of possible recurrence of my exact cancer. I had numerous in-depth conversations with members of my medical team in relation to the little things that I could implement to manage pain, side effects, recovery, and ability to cope with everything in between.

Final Words

One of the most empowering things you can gift yourself is to ask yourself what questions? Asking yourself what can I learn from this experience?” literally reprogram your conscious brain into solution-seeking actions, rather than hosting a pity party.

Migrating through a cancer experience is tough. You get thrown so many lessons to learn about yourself. Asking what questions enables you to have some little bit of control of the many small things you can implement looking forward in your life.

About Karen

Change Facilitator

Karen Humphries is a Kinesiology Practitioner, Health & Business Coach, self-confessed laughaholic, and now Breast Cancer Advocate residing in Gippsland Victoria Australia. She loves being of service to the world with her humorous and positive approach to life, encouraging people to ‘choose to change and bloom from within.’