Holly MosierI don’t think we appreciate how much stress robs us of joy, and causes everything from illness to weight gain to depression.  I know I didn’t, until I turned 40 eleven years ago and crashed and burned.  I was a medical malpractice trial lawyer, newly remarried, trying to blend a family, and failing miserably.  I was gaining weight, losing energy, and sick all the time.  The stress was literally sucking my life away.

I spent the next five years researching stress and its debilitating effects on our bodies and minds.  I developed stress reduction tools that I could easily incorporate into my typically busy Western life.  It was like magic.  My body and my life reformed in every aspect.  I lost weight, I gained vitality, and the happiness I had as a kid returned.  It has never left.

One of the most helpful things that reduced my stress was when I realized that I could choose the way I viewed things.  There is always a happy perspective or a stressful perspective we can take on anything.  A happy perspective makes life fun; the other brings more stress, strain and unhappiness.

Yoga Teacher BarbieHere is a great example of this dynamic at work.  As reported a few days ago in DietsInReview.com in an article entitled “Yoga Teacher Barbie Bends Children’s Advocates Out of Shape,” apparently a controversy is brewing over Mattel’s latest Barbie – Yoga Teacher Barbie.  The reporter called to ask my opinion on this doll (I am a yoga teacher, and I have a yoga DVD out).  I read a description and saw the photo of the doll.  I thought it was cute, and pretty cool that very young girls would be exposed to yoga and fitness.

However, there were others who were disgusted by the doll.   One reviewer stated there was “… something about seeing that sickly-proportioned doll’s foot behind her head just makes me cringe. As if the stereotypes of yoga weren’t bad enough already, now kids are implicitly being taught that yoga teachers look like a big-headed Pam Anderson.”   Another reviewer “…blasts Mattel for Barbie’s long-argued position as a role model given that ‘she’s still sporting a bust-waist-hip proportion that’s Yoga Barbiephysically impossible for real-life women to attain, let alone maintain an active lifestyle with.’”

A doll can cause this much stress and strain?  Why?  Why not focus on the positive aspects, and feel good?  What’s the harm in that?  As I told the reporter, “…anything that exposes kids to knowledge about yoga can be positive … Why not focus on the positive aspects? Barbie is going to be around anyway.”