By the Light of the Moon

She was tired and stressed and apparently mad. She was out of control and unable to collect herself. My eight year old girl, Ferne was beside herself simply because it was already 8:55 p.m. and she still had so much to do: study for her French spelling test, read, and write in her journal. Yes, of course she has a journal; she's my daughter after all! With a note of anxiety, she blamed me for having the time slip by, and claimed that she hated herself because of not being ready for the spelling test. Nothing I could do would calm her down. I tried everything. I tried extending her bed time by an extra twenty minutes, I tried getting her to focus on the time we still had to study for her test, and, considering that she was way too drained to study anyway, I tried advising that she relax and get up fresh the following morning and study then. No matter what I said, her anxiety grew. She actually started to thrash around in her bed, unable to contain herself. She lost it.

Then her brother, Louis stepped inside the room. He had just finished taking his shower and stood in front of us covered with a towel. Observing the dynamics of the situation, he decided to include his own spice into the mix. Just as he turned around to exit the room, he purposely let his towel fall, mooning us both. Ferne began to laugh and the stress evaporated instantly. She let go of beating herself up (and everybody around her) and swapped it for a little levity.

What an idea! Trading in the stress and self-defeating thoughts for a little levity is certainly a simple, yet powerful concept.

She ended up reading a little, writing in her diary, and going to sleep. The following morning she woke up and studied for her spelling test to at last master every word listed.

Here is how it works. Not much gets completed when you're desperate and feel bad about yourself. But at times it happens, and we simply feel terrible about ourselves and frustrated about our results, or lack thereof. The more often we think about the goals we have not achieved, the larger the hole gets and the more difficult it is to fill.

So here’s the secret. Use a little levity to lighten yourself up. Shift your focus. Do something else, and when you're feeling low, concentrate on feeling better. Get an ice cream. Go for a run. Listen to a wonderful song. Call a friend. Reconfigure your mind to recall the last time you felt aligned and really good. The moment that you're moving toward a better frame of mind, your likelihood of achieving your goals dramatically improves.


Kim Ades, MBA, President of Frame of Mind Coaching and JournalEngine™ Software, is one of North America’s foremost experts on performance through thought management. By using her unique process of coaching through journaling, she works with clients to unveil and switch their thought patterns to ignite significant change and life transformation. Share your story at or assess your frame of mind at


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