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Stress takes a holiday (and don't just pencil it in)

April 23, 2006|CHRISTINE N. ZIEMBA

With gridlock on the freeways, unaffordable home prices and tanks of gas costing as much as lunch at the Ivy, life in L.A. isn't always a day at the beach. But the Florida-based Jon Gordon Co. is trying to bring good vibrations back to Southern California -- and the rest of the country -- by creating Positive Energy Day for all us misanthropes to celebrate Thursday.

Developed by "energy coach" Jon Gordon and business partner Daniel Decker, the day is meant to cultivate good thoughts and positive feelings and, according to their press release, "... release us from the 'Energy Vampires' that drain our lives ..."

Unfortunately, the act of de-stressing can itself be taxing. It's like trying to not see a rose-colored pachyderm when instructed not to "think of a pink elephant."

The day of positivity springs from Gordon's Positive Energy Program, a.k.a. PEP (, which includes lesson plans, action kits and materials that can be used year-round at work, school or the office. The program also lists specific suggestions for participants to follow on Positive Energy Day.

Here are a few of their "PEP-py" examples, with our Tinseltown-specific translations:

* No negative office gossip: Avoid defamer.comfor the day.

* No negative comments: If you really need to say something, wrap it in the warm, fuzzy blanket of "constructive criticism."

* No road rage: If someone (obviously not participating in Positive Energy Day) cuts you off on the freeway, try waving your whole hand and not just a finger.

* No yelling: Instead, try sending a text message to your kid to do the dishes -- in ALL CAPS.

* No self-doubt: Musicians and actors should just stay in bed on Thursday (except Kanye West and Jamie Foxx, of course).

We know that it's a cynical, cynical world. But maybe if enough Angelenos make a concerted effort on Positive Energy Day, we can finally live the OC lifestyle -- or at least kick our Xanax prescriptions to the curb.


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