Saturday, September 27, 2014

What Do You Do When Things Don't Go Your Way?

“Everyone things of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Leo Tolstoy

Here we are in the dog days of summer, September. We are thinking and planning ahead to the coming fall and winter. We may prefer warm weather, but we live in a temperate climate. We dream of where we want to live, what we want to happen, etc. 

We dream and life happens. We would love to control our lives and be in control and yet there is a bigger picture. So often what we think we want and what we really want, underneath, aren’t the same things. We live our lives as if we are in control and as if we really know what is best for us, and we complain when things don’t go our way. There are days and times when we get behind every slow going car, we catch every red light, we drop things, we trip and fall and hurt ourselves, we get way laid by things we don’t want to do and we have to do, etc. It is so easy to just get upset when things don’t go the way we would like them to go. We can lash out, get angry, get frustrated, and make things worse. What would happen if instead, on those days, we are able to go with the flow? What would happen if, as we feel we are getting upset or frustrated, instead we look at the bigger picture, and move with it?

It is actually easy to move with the flow than to fight it. Yet, we fight it. We want to be in control. That WE is not who we are; it is an aspect of our ego’s that wants to lead. We are so much more than that. What if on a day where everything goes wrong, we instead look at it as an opportunity? An opportunity to do something we wouldn’t have been able to do because we didn’t have the time. An opportunity to look at something or someone differently. An opportunity to understand something deeper within ourselves?

Today is such a day for me. As things just kept not working out, I decided instead to look at the impatience that was brought up in me. I was feeling so impatient because things were taking longer. I couldn’t get to what I thought I should be doing, and I was beginning to get short with myself and others around me. I felt like a six year old girl, that I once was, whose family moved to a new city she didn’t like and she had no say in the matter. I wanted to dig in my heels and have a good old fashioned temper tantrum. I started to, and then caught myself. Wait a minute, I thought. This is an opportunity to work with my six year old little girl and really talk with her and learn from her and have her learn from me. And as things go on days such as these, I had to push to the side this contemplation to get ready to go to work with a new patient who had scheduled an hour. The new patient ended up not showing or even calling. So, I took a breath. I could have gotten frustrated and angry but then I thought, maybe I can use this time instead to work with myself and maybe even write about my experiences of today. Writing often helps me to integrate my thoughts and feelings. I feel grateful for this marvelous day, and this gorgeous time to do something else, which I wouldn’t have done had things gone according to my little plans.


Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results:

A small change that I am thinking of is one that is very powerful. You might already do this. I am thinking of just being grateful.

As things happen, and they change, and even maybe something tragic or difficult occurs, we actually can feel grateful for whatever this change brought to us. 

This is not to pretend or hope that things didn’t happen. This is taking in what has happened, and working with whatever it brings up for us, and then, being grateful for its blessings in some way. This gratitude comes with great feeling. 

Gratitude! Find a few minutes each day and ask yourself, what are you grateful for today? What did this day or event or person or feeling bring to me and make me aware of? How am I a little bit better today? And for that, I am grateful. If you have to break up the day into very small pieces to find something that made you better as a person, or was there to help you, then please, do that. 

I am grateful to be able to feel and to write, and to express myself. I am grateful for the opportunity to feel again my little six year old and help her along the way with me. 

What are you grateful for?