When to Stop, Drop and Take a Deep Breath


Hi. I’m in Norway! Heading home next week. We are in Svalbard today. Land of polar bears, midnight sun, a Global Seed Vault, and the kind of magic that can only be found at the end of the world.

I will have been traveling with my parents and two teenage sons for a week now. I’m certain we are having an amazing time, and I will be traveling with a few helpful tools. Cause you know, no matter how much you love your family, nobody can make you crazier, faster.

A faithful acronym that has come to my rescue many a time, HALT helps you tune in when you find yourself with a serious case of grumpy pants.

Could it be that you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?

Meeting these basic needs can keep you from going off the deep end. If you’ve already tumbled into the deep end and are floundering about, they can bring you back to shore, where you may be better equipped to be with whatever the heck is going on.

There’s nothing wrong with being a grumpy pants—mind you. It happens sometimes. And sometimes we go off the deep end and do or say crazy shit that we later wish we hadn’t done or said. That’s ok too. It’s never too late to go back and do repair work. To say I’m sorry. Deep, beautiful relationships are built this way.

And let’s be honest: equanimity is just more fun. And I’m on vacation. Fun is my guide.

HALT is like taking good care of a two-year-old. There’s one living in each of us. As tempting as it may be to walk away from the screaming child, stuck in a puddle of tears, you’ll move on much faster if you stop and find out what they (you) need. It could be as simple as a snack, a nap, listening or a hug.


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