As I prepared to jet westward to my publishing conference I was reminded, yet again, that my attitude matters and that whatever emotional reaction I put into the world either creates a smooth, calm experience or the drama that I so love to avoid.
Perhaps you can relate…
Getting ready to be away for this trip was a painful reminder of my responsibility for my life.
Being away creates ripples in my normally calm existence. Not only do I have the responsibility for my business and personal life before I leave, but I also need to spend time figuring out details about where I’m going to stay, rental cars, etc. Add all that onto packing my bags, packing the car, and getting to the airport – and it’s a lot!
In this process, I became aware of the increasing stress I was feeling along with greater levels of fatigue and the tendency to feel more emotionally out of sorts. People naively assume (and I used to, as well) that this is ‘natural’ and it’s no big deal. People are starting to pay attention to their emotional reactions more but, in most cases, we are completely blind to what we are feeling and its influence on our world.
Because it seems ‘logical’ that we feel more tired and out of sorts when we are stressed, we often don’t take responsibility for managing these reactions. Many people don’t think their reactions matter at all.
They would be WRONG! Your reality is a reflection of what you’re thinking and feeling at all times. Think of reality like play dough and your mind as the artist who is continuously shaping and reshaping your play dough to become a perfect reflection of what we are thinking and feeling.
But back to my story…. I became painfully aware this week of my ‘reactivity’ as the stress mounted, as time to prepare ran short, and as client demand filled my every waking moment with pre-trip obligations.
And I needed to remind myself to continuously breathe, re-centre myself, and find that calm place within me that executes things in a more relaxed fashion.
When I noticed myself stressed, I would stop and ask a question: ‘If I were calm right now, how would I be responding?’ And then I did whatever came into my mind.
Learning to take responsibility this way was hard because most people don’t think it’s important, and as a child, I was not given the tools to know how to do this. So by the time I was an adult, I had all sorts of bad habits that I executed without thinking. Why is this important? I’ve observed in my life and my clients’ lives that reacting negatively or fearfully creates drama and hardship.
Life really does FLOW perfectly unless I become afraid, angry, tired, reactive, pissed off, etc. At that moment, I start sending off negative or discordant vibrations, and that begins to alter my world to reflect way more drama and hardship than is necessary.
Here’s an example from my week that will help illuminate this point. I decided to rent a car while I was out west. So I looked online and found a website for cars at airports – perfect. I looked up a car, filled out the form, and gave them my Visa # to secure the booking.
Then I started to have 2nd thoughts. I read online that Fox Car Rental wasn’t so great. So I tried to connect with the car agency to talk to them about my choice. I had also decided I wanted to return the car 1 night sooner. I couldn’t get them on the phone. The instructions for changing the car rental online were wrong – there was absolutely no way to do it, despite their assurances to the contrary.
At this point fear kicked in – who are these people? Why can’t I talk to someone? You know how your head plays with you when things don’t go right… Well mine played with me big time – especially given that I was stressed, over-committed, and tired.
So I hurriedly cancelled the whole thing – left a voice mail for someone and sent an email. And here is where my drama began, because by this point I’m putting out a whole lot of fear and it came back to bite me in the butt.
I cancelled it but could not get confirmation that it was cancelled. I never could get anyone on the phone. If I had let it, my fear would have really taken over – but, fortunately for me, I got a grip. Some part of me said “RELAX – it will be fine.”
Today, I arrived in Denver and I wasn’t sure that my car rental had been cancelled. So I went to the car rental place anyway to check to see if I had a car – no point in securing other transportation if my rental was still active.
The people there couldn’t have been nicer (I had no reason to doubt my choice of car rental); my rental agreement had been cancelled and I ended up renting from them anyway – but at a higher price!! That was the drama I created for myself – extra expenses that were unnecessary. That’s what fear does – it clouds our judgment, causes us to make snap decisions, and fires a bunch of discordant energy into our world resulting in ‘drama’ in our life that could have been avoided.
It was a solid reminder about the need to keep a grip on my mind and not let it run away with itself.
My other lesson is around expectation. If I had just expected this rental to turn out PERFECTLY – it would have. I simply needed to remember that I have the power to decide HOW something will turn out. Reality happens based on our expectations.
I always had control over whether my rental car experience would be a good one… I was just acting like a victim. Duh! Reality 101 – I know better.
I know that I shared a similar experience last week. Last week, I went against my initial instincts… I knew that the company I had ordered from wasn’t going to work out well. This week, I allowed external forces to make me nervous… even though I didn’t start doubting my decision until well after making it. Trust yourself, and you will eliminate a LOT of drama.
What about you? What drama have you noticed in your life when you stop being calm? We all have it!