How to Recover Quickly When Something Upsets You

upset upsets you

We have a lot of potential upsets in our lives, big and small. Some we can move through gracefully and others that keep us stuck. Like walking through glue.

There is a quick and easy solution to getting over these upsets. All you have to do is choose to use it. 

It goes like this…

  1. Notice when you get stuck in upset-ness.
  2. When it happens, decide if it is worth staying in that feeling or not.
  3. If not, BAM it!
  4. Turn your thoughts to something else.

What is BAM? 

It’s short for BLESS IT AND MOVE ON. This doesn’t necessarily mean physically leaving a situation. You can BAM a disagreement with your husband and not get a divorce.

It’s a mental process of giving yourself permission to let it go, leave it in God’s hands, and spend your precious life energy on things that matter more.

You can BAM situations, memories, people, habits, thought patterns, and anything that upsets you.

Maybe everything is BAM-able. 

  • If someone cuts you off on the road – BAM!
  • When your mind is spinning with negative thoughts – BAM!
  • You can’t seem to resolve a disagreement – BAM!
  • When your past seems to control your present – BAM!

You get the idea. BLESS IT AND MOVE ON!

So, I’m curious. What other ways can you use BAM in your life? I bet you have some creative ideas and I would love to hear them. Please share your ideas by commenting below.

If you are interested in hiring a professional coach to help you resolve what is not working in your life, improve your relationship with yourself, or create something new, I would love to support you. Let’s schedule a phone call.  Contact Linda 

Related Posts:

How to Get Back on Track After Falling Into Inertia

A Quick and Easy Way to Stop Out of Control Snacking

25 Ways to Stay Positive in Trying Times

When Someone Upsets You – Remember This

crying little girl, upset upsets

There are some people…

You know what I mean. They don’t do or say what you think they should and sometimes people get hurt. Maybe even you. It could be a spouse, relative, politician, or someone you work with who upsets you. Just thinking about them makes your stomach clench, your body tighten, and your heart rate go up.

They make your life miserable.

Or, do they?

When someone upsets you, it is important to remember three things: 

Who is Responsible for What: Everyone is responsible for their own behavior. It’s between them and God. You do not have to be in the middle.What you are responsible for is your reaction. You get to choose how you respond and feel in any situation. This is good news, because the point of power for healing and shifting is within you.

There is a Reason They Do What They Do: Behavior patterns often come from our histories. Someone who talks a lot may not have felt heard as a child. A person who puts others down, likely feels unworthy. And, people with more passive characteristics may have felt a need to hide.  Being aware that people are the way they are for a reason can help you feel more compassionate and diminish your reactions to them.

Everyone Deserves a Blessing: We all have different journeys in this adventure called life. Some are not as pretty as others. My clients who live in the South joke that you can say anything about someone as long as you follow it with – “God bless her soul”.  My radical idea is to think those very words about the people who upset you the most.  Just bless them. And if you need to, move on.

Related Posts:

How to Have Great Relationships

Let Your Soul Guide Your Healing

Friday Favorites: Healing Depression, Feeling Unstoppable, and More

 

Fear, Love & Scaredy-Cat Joey

my cat Joey

This is Joey, my little scaredy cat.  He is on constant high alert and can disappear at the speed of light, running to his safety zone under my bed. His latest scary thing is the air coming from the vents when the air conditioner comes on.

Recently, I noticed that his anxiety was getting worse. He was spending entire days under the bed and had a constant look of panic when he was downstairs. It was breaking my heart.

So, I decided to immerse him in love therapy. Every chance I had, I would pet and love on him. He took to it well and soon he was following me around everywhere I went and I was totally covered in cat fur 24 hours a day. His confidence grew. His anxiety dissipated.  And, he became an active member of the family again.

I have heard that fear is the opposite of love. So, is it also possible that love is the antidote to being fearful? 

What would happen if we learned to focus on loving ourselves through our scary experiences? Love the experiences? And, even love fear itself?

It wouldn’t hurt to try.  Shall we?

Related Posts:

The Simple Truth about Fear, Worry, and Anxiety

Shift Out of Fear in 3 Quick and Easy Steps

How to Stay Calm When Stretching Your Comfort Zone

Should You Be Seeking Your Life Purpose?

woman living life purpose

As a coach, I hear a lot of people talking about trying to figure out what their life purpose is. For many, not feeling they know it is a source of great angst and leaves them feeling like they are living their lives all wrong.  They feel guilty and ashamed that they are not doing this one great thing because they can’t figure it out. And, that makes them feel like a failure

My clients are often surprised when I share my thoughts on life purpose with them.

I believe it’s okay to play with purpose, but not let seeking it rule you. You can take quizzes and read books that help you connect with your values, natural gifts and what you enjoy, but that doesn’t always lead to knowing your purpose in this world.

You may also hear that if you just do what you love, you will be living on purpose. Supposedly, money will follow, but I am not so sure it always works out that way. Sometimes we need to do things we don’t love to take care of ourselves and loved ones.

I’m not usually a naysayer, but I’ve seen people get obsessed with this idea of purpose and shame themselves if they think they are not in alignment with it.

There is a more peaceful way.

Realize that your life purpose is not always a big, grand thing. It could be a series of little tiny moments where you start a butterfly effect without even knowing. It could be within arms reach within your family or the work you are already doing. Or, it could be a simple smile you give someone that lifts them up to do what they are meant to do in the world.

Don’t let this idea of purpose keep you stuck or control you. If you don’t have a sense of it, just live your life consciously. Follow your heart and intuition with each small decision you make and eventually you will end up in the right place.

Actually, I believe you are already there.

Seeking purpose takes you out of your life and present moments. It can distract you from the things that are most meaningful and cause you to overlook the very thing you are looking for.

It’s not big, its simple. Purpose is about living a life of alignment and making choices based on your inner knowing. It’s not something you seek. It is always there guiding you from within. And, you don’t need to know it’s name, shape, or form.

It’s time to take the pressure off and just live in a way that feels meaningful. You are always on purpose whether you know it or not.

Related Posts:

How to Re-Energize Your Life

How Do You Compare?

Get Real – How to Live an Authentic Life

 

Simple Abundance

Simple Abundance book

I was going through some books this morning that I have gathered over the years and came across one by Sarah Ban Breathnach called, Simple Abundance.  I let the pages fall open where they would and saw this:

“When we cherish our dream and invest love, creative energy, perseverance, and passion for ourselves, we will achieve authentic success.”

Well said, Sarah.

This lovely book is based on her 6 principles of simple abundance:

  • Gratitude
  • Simplicity
  • Order
  • Harmony
  • Beauty
  • Joy

Just saying them brings peace to my heart.

I think I am going to spend some time with this book again. Apparently, it still has more to teach me.

The Blame Game: Are You Disempowering Yourself?

blame woman pointing finger and blaming someone else

It is true that people do yucky things. And, there are probably times in your life when you were truly a victim, but it is what you do afterward that matters most.

When you let yourself fall into the trap of blaming others and believing that people or your environment have conspired against you, you are disempowering yourself and embracing the role of a victim.

Living as a victim can be very seductive because it is a great excuse. People won’t expect a lot from you.  You can play small, avoid risks, and sometimes not even have to work as hard as everyone else.  It may even feel good because you get sympathy or attract attention.

I know, because I spent years rehashing the many ways I was a victim as a child and young adult. I was an expert at playing the victim role. I took it on as my identity as if that was all I was and all I could ever be.

The truth is though, that when you play the blame game you limit yourself, play small, and give your power away.  You will attract the wrong people and the wrong things into your life.  And, you will know somewhere deep in your heart that you are not being your best self or living to your full potential.

Even when you are sure that someone took action against you, blaming is not the answer.  Your true power is in forgiveness, accepting responsibility for your life, and moving forward into the life you were meant to live.

Don’t let blame become the center of your life. Delete blaming words from your vocabulary and focus instead on all you have to be grateful for. There are people loving and supporting you at this very moment. Why do you want to give your life over to those who don’t? Leave it behind. Move forward. And, know that you are so much more than whatever someone once did to you.

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say.

Related posts:

3 Ways to Feel More Empowered When Facing a Challenge

Clear Your Mind and Heart with Freeform Writing

The Four Agreements: Simple and Powerful Tools

A Cat, A Lizard and a Life Lesson

answers are closer than you think  life lesson lifecoachlinda

The other day I let my cat Chloe (pictured above) out on the patio for a bit of fresh air. I pictured her rolling in the sun or maybe taking a cat nap, but she had something else in mind. Her real mission became obvious when she came running back into the house with a baby lizard in her mouth.

Oh drat!

And, because I am a softie for all living things (well, almost all) I wanted to rescue the little creature.

I convinced Chloe to let go of it and saw the lizard run for cover under my TV stand. After locking my naughty kitty in the bedroom I came back armed with a flashlight, but couldn’t find my new reptile friend anywhere. My next step was to take everything off the TV stand and even move it out of it’s nook, but alas, there was no lizard in site.

I was about to give up and was having visions of the cats finding it while I slept and leaving a bloody, dead creature on the floor where I would step on it in the morning.

Double drat!

But as I stood up, I noticed a feeling like a dryer sheet had been left in my pants. When I pulled my pants down to get it, what did I see? A baby lizard clinging for dear life to my thigh.

Yikes!

Fortunately, I am not afraid of lizards. My friend Michelle might have died on the spot, but I put Baby Lizzy back in the yard where she will be safe. Unless Chloe finds her again.

Later that day I was talking to a client who was looking for answers. She took classes, went to psychics, and asked everyone what she should do. I knew then that my close encounter with the little lizard was the perfect story to offer a life lesson and remind her that her answers were closer than she thought. The solutions weren’t out there. They were already within her. In her gut. In her heart. Or, maybe on her leg.

Perhaps, Baby Lizzie was a spiritual teacher in disguise.

She (he) certainly had a life lesson to share.

Related posts:

A Quick Solution to Being Stuck in Dilemma

A Not So Graceful Moment in Kitten Rescue

Fear and Anxiety: How to Make Friends with Your Lizard Brain

And, for those who don’t get freaked out by reptiles, here is a site about Western Fence Lizards

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you think.

Get Real! How to Live an Authentic Life

authentic living

When life isn’t working for you and just about everything feels off, it is a good sign that you may be living out of alignment with your authentic self. All of us are to some degree, but when you choose to embrace authenticity your life can be transformed.

Here is how:

Be Yourself
Life can shape and mold you and sometimes in order to cope or feel like you belong, you develop an external personality to share with the world. It may be bolder, quieter, nicer, naughtier, or one of the most common I see, a people pleaser. Ultimately, you just want to be accepted, and if you are lucky, loved. But, after a while you will start to doubt whether people would care about you if they could see who you truly are and your outward persona becomes your inner downfall.

The only way that you can attract the people in your life who will love you for who you really are is to share that authentic self with the world. To be vulnerable, open, strong, weak, angry, sad, and fully your own self. Just you. The real you. That takes more courage than just about anything in this world, but when you walk through life authentically you will know the love you experience is true and the right people are by your side.

Live and Speak the Truth
When you are grounded in the truth and it is expressed in the words you use and the way you live your life, you feel solid, strong, and connected to your soul. There is a sense of clarity and peacefulness because living the truth is simple. Not complicated. There is only one thing to say and one thing to be. The truth. This is one of the most powerful, empowering, and calming things you can do for yourself.

Be Fully Present in Each and Every Moment
Most of us just skim the surface of life, being distracted and missing the magic of our individual moments. When you choose to be fully present your life becomes richer and more beautiful. Your focus improves and your mind lets go of the challenges of the past and the worries of the future. Life becomes more peaceful as your mind stops spinning and you focus on what you are doing now. Right now.

Listen to Your Heart and Soul
Living Uthentically clears the way for your inner voice to be heard. It’s been there all along, but sometimes lost in the clutter of an inauthentic life.  From that voice comes your inner knowing, the part of you that is wise beyond all measure and can guide you through the ups and downs of life. Sometimes it speaks through your body and other times you hear a strong, calm voice in your head and you just know what it says is true. It has all the answers. They are right there waiting for you when you allow space for them to come through. 

Keep Your Agreements – Especially the Ones You Make to Yourself
Being in integrity feels good. For many of us, we have no problem keeping commitments we make to our jobs or other people, but when it comes to agreements with ourselves we act as if they don’t matter. How many diets, goals, and New Year resolutions have been left in the dust with barely a second thought?

When you break your agreements to yourself you undermine your self-trust, confidence, and self-esteem. So, don’t make big grand agreements. Be careful to only make commitments to yourself that you truly intend to keep. Your relationship with yourself is the most important one you have. When you know you can trust yourself, anything is possible.

Thank God for All of Your Magical Moments and Blessings in Disguise
Living authentically includes remembering that your life in this human world is a gift and even the hardest times are in some way blessings because they expand your soul and teach you what you need to learn. Thank God for your days, your successes, the people in your life, and the beauty around you. And, while you are at it, express appreciation to others for what they do well or qualities they embody. Focusing on gratitude will fill your heart and let you know that living authentically is the best gift that you can give yourself.

Related Posts:

How to Reconnect with Your Playful Inner Child

Integrating Gratitude More Deeply Into Your Life

4 Ways to Attract and Keep a Great Relationship (being authentic is one of them)

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say.

Two Little Words that Can Make or Break You

word I am ceramic princess with star

There are times when I hear myself or my clients or my friends say things like: I am confused. I am tired. I am sick. I am sad. I am overwhelmed. I bet you hear those words come out of your own mouth too.

Well, they simply aren’t true!

You may FEEL tired or sick or sad or whatever is going on at the time, but it is not who you are.

When you continuously reinforce those self-limiting labels by saying them over and over again, you program yourself into believing they are true.

So, use the words “I am” very carefully. They may be small, but carry incredible power.

And, if you want to know who you really are:

Sit in a quiet place with pen and paper and start writing, “I am …”  Fill in the blank with whatever pops into your head. Keep writing until there is nothing left and you have reached the deepest truth. What most people find is that the first answers tend to be negative or superficial and the last connect with the more powerful spiritual truth of who they really are.

This exercise can be extremely grounding and also works well as a meditation where you simply say the words instead of writing them down. You may want to keep what you have written available for those times when you feel low and need to be reminded who you really are.

I am. You are.

You are not tired or overwhelmed.

You are wise. You are beautiful. You are powerful. You are love.

And, that is the truth!

Related Posts:

Get Real! How to Live an Authentic Life

Let Your Best Self Guide You

Let Your Soul Guide Your Healing

How to Keep Your Goals and Resolutions Alive

girl with goals resolutions dreams

We are a few weeks into the New Year which for many is when the excitement about goals starts to wear off and motivation falters.

How can you keep your goals and resolutions alive?

Stay connected to your emotional “why”:
Write about why your goal is important to you.

  • What blessings will it bring to your life?
  • What will it feel like when that happens?
  • Who will you have become in the process?
  • Why is it worth what it will take to get there?

Create a clear picture of why your goal is meaningful and keep what you have written at hand for those moments when you need to be reminded of how powerful your goal really is.

Keep your motivation high by taking a couple minutes each morning to visualize yourself in that moment when your goal becomes reality. See yourself smiling, laughing, and glowing with success.  Fell the feelings of wonder, pride, and gratitude coming up inside of you. Staying connected to this visual and emotional vision will dramatically increase your possibility of success.

Prepare ahead for moments when you feel tempted to go rogue or get too stuck to move forward:

  • Make a list of your goals, intentions, or resolutions
  • For each one, list the things that could throw you off track
  • Come up with one or two solutions for each of the challenges that might come up.

Now you have a plan ready to be implemented when needed.

Motivation can falter, but you can keep your goals alive with a strong commitment and tools like these. If you would like more tools, support, or accountability through coaching, please feel free to contact me. I can help.

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say.

You might also enjoy this related article by Leo Babauta at Zen Habits: Instead of Goals or Resolutions, Try Creating Rules

6 Proven Ways to Reduce Anxiety

nervousness social anxiety girl

 

For some reason, anxiety has been a big subject with my coaching clients this week.  Maybe it is the time of year or something in the air, but it seems like a lot of people are feeling anxious.

That makes it the perfect time to share some of my strategies for stopping anxiety in it’s tracks.

4 Count Breathing – With the exception of real emergencies, anxiety is usually about something that may happen in the future or a reaction to something you already experienced. Focusing on your breathing brings you back to the peaceful present moment.  And, since your mind can only focus on one thing at a time, counting blocks out the thoughts that feed your anxious moments. It goes like this:

Take a deep breath in as you slowly count to 4

Hold your breath for a count of 4

Breathe out slowly to the count of 4

Pause before your next breath to the count of 4 

Challenge Your Anxiety – Most of what worries you never really happens.  It is probably not even true.  Your mind just takes you on a wild ride of creative bad scenarios.  I know mine sure does.  When this happens, ask yourself the following questions to bring your focus back into reality:

  • Can I be absolutely sure what I am anxious about will really happen?
  • Could I be blowing this out of proportion?
  • Am I really in danger right now?
  • Is what you are feeling temporary?
  • Do I really need to put my body into a fight or flight response now?
  • What are the facts?  What is the truth?
  • How would it feel to let this go and remember that I will be okay?

Give It To God – Many of the things that cause anxiety are not in your control.  So, what would happen if you just let the Big Guy handle them?  Let him know you are going to put the issue in his hands and will check in with him after a certain period of time.  And then, set the issue out of your mind until it is time to check in.  It is amazing how well this can work.

I give my concerns over to God every night before I go to sleep.  This not only allows for a good night of rest, but can be an excellent preventive measure in the battle with anxiety.  I often wake up with the worrisome situation being resolved or the solutions given to me. Sometimes, I just no longer care as it has lost it’s power over me.

Make Friends with It – Anxiety can feel like a big, powerful thing that has control over you, but that is just not true.  Many things that trigger anxious thoughts were installed in us when we were little and vulnerable and everything felt more powerful than it was.

When you see anxiety for what it really is you can relate to it in a different way.  Even make friends with it.  Some of my clients give their anxiety names like Minnie Mouse, Cookie Monster, or Jumpy George. Doing this facilitates seeing it in a different, less controlling way.

When it shows up, talk to it.  Thank it for offering to help and let it know that you are all grown up now and have things under control.  Have a nice little chat with your new friend and then give him a new assignment, like Protector of Peace or Facilitator of Fun.

Audit Your Input – What you put into your mind and body can contribute to either peace or anxiety.  I am often surprised when clients who drink a lot of caffeine or energy drinks don’t realize that this can contribute to their feeling anxious. You can cultivate more peace within by drinking calming teas and allowing your body and mind to work at their normal capacity.

Another way you can set yourself up for feeling tense and worried is by reading or watching movies and shows that are full of violence or tense energy, especially before bed.  If these are your preferred forms of entertainment give yourself a cushion between them and your bed time to let your body and mind calm down. Even better than that, switch to more peaceful, fun, or meaningful entertainment.  I once read that our bodies react to violence we watch or read as if it is really happening. Do you really want to put yourself through that?

Practice Peaceful Habits – Creating habits and practices that support your calm and well-being can lead to an anxiety free life.  Let go of what no longer serves you and bring in people and things that feed your soul.  Many of my clients find that simplifying their lives by de-cluttering and learning to say no make a big difference.  Others, will swear that exercise, art, meditation, prayer, yoga, or music have minimized the anxiety in their lives. Find what works for you and make a commitment to doing it regularly.

These tool have proven successful for my clients and myself.  I am confident that they can help you too.  Go ahead, give them a try.  You will find more peace when you do.

If you would like coaching support to deal with the anxiety in your life, I would love to help.  Contact Me

Related posts:

How to Cultivate Inner Peace

3 Steps for Successfully Navigating Life Challenges

Rewire Your Brain to Feel More Positive

30 Ideas for Random Acts of Holiday Kindness

teddy bear santa random acts of kindness max pexel

Even as we are out spending money on gifts for our loved ones, we are surrounded by people for whom the holidays are challenging.  They may feel stressed, alone, depressed, or be having financial difficulties.  So, I encourage you to take the spirit of the season to a new level by giving in little random ways that can make all the difference for someone in need.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Smile at strangers
  2. Leave a large tip
  3. Pay for the person behind you in line
  4. Visit a nursing home
  5. Invite someone without local family to your holiday gathering
  6. Buy extra pet food and donate it to a shelter or rescue group
  7. Give blood
  8. Put change in an empty parking meter
  9. Send flowers to brighten someone’s day
  10. Bring treats for your office mates
  11. Adopt a homeless animal
  12. Leave hidden love notes for your family
  13. Donate money, clothing, or anything that will support charity
  14. Let someone go ahead of you in line
  15. Volunteer your time to help others
  16. Hold the door open for others
  17. Be a Secret Santa for someone in need
  18. Support local charities and businesses
  19. Thank your local police and/or fire departments
  20. Send a heartfelt letter of appreciation to someone
  21. Pick up trash
  22. Adopt a family, senior, child, or soldier for the holidays
  23. Contribute to a toy or food drive
  24. Go Christmas caroling
  25. Hug someone
  26. Listen to someone who needs to talk
  27. Compliment people around you
  28. Give away your parking spot
  29. Shovel someone’s walkway or clean their yard
  30. Leave a nice comment on a blog or Facebook post

 

How to Integrate Gratitude More Deeply Into Your Life

gratitude

Gratitude. It feels warm and fuzzy, but is powerful enough to rewire your brain. It is my go to strategy when feeling a lack of abundance and can literally change how you feel about life.

The trick is to stay tapped into it and let it integrate through your body, mind, and soul.

I used to have my clients write 5 things they are grateful for every day in order to connect with this thankful energy, but over time the practice began to feel stale.  It became just another thing to do and the feeling connection to gratitude was lost.

Mixing things up helps.

  • Looking for hearts, signs, or synchronicities
  • Taking pictures of things we find beautiful
  • Spending time in nature
  • Fostering awareness of magical moments in daily life

All of these are great tools to spark a practice of thankfulness, but they only work when you take the time to really feel and fully integrate them.

In order to ground yourself in the warm, fuzzy, life is amazing, miracles happen, anything is possible energy of gratitude you must sit with it, give it your full attention, and let it fill your heart.

A gratitude practice is not something you do, it is something you feel.

When you let the awareness of blessings touch every moment of your life, you open the door to a life full of miracles.

My personal gratitude practice may look different from day to day. Yesterday, I was mesmerized by clouds and took a lot of pictures. The day before it was a meditation on all the special people in my life. And, as I write these words today, my heart is full of love and gratitude for all of you.

The one thing I do consistently as I lay my head on the pillow each night is to review my day with an open heart.  I savor the day’s blessings, let go of what does not serve me, and thank God for all I have received.

No matter what is happening in your life, you have much to be grateful for, too. I invite you to focus on the gifts in your days and let them lift you up and fill your heart. It can be life changing.

How to Reconnect with Your Happy, Playful Inner Child

happy playful little girl inner child

I have a friend who everyone seems to love. She is of a mature age (trying to be polite here) and lives life in a responsible way. What makes her stand out, though is her penchant for wearing pink, sparkly high top sneakers. Everywhere. Even business meetings and church. She says they make her happy and remind her to sparkle. I’ve noticed that they also make the people around her smile.

My friend has tapped into her playful inner child.

I want what she has. She seems to feel lighter and happier than the rest of us. More care free. And, her sparkliness invites adventure, fun, and friendships into her life.

It’s easy to forget what it feels like to play. As an adult you have responsibilities and expectations to live up to. You are probably so busy doing what you think you have to do that you don’t even remember you have all that joy within. But, don’t worry. You inner child will never give up on you.

You can reconnect with her again through: Continue reading

How Wayne Dyer Saved My Life

Wayne Dyer

Yesterday, I watched Wayne Dyer with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday and as usual felt inspired by what he had to say. Later in the day I learned he had passed on, or as he would say – left his human body behind.

Since then memories have been coming forward of how his words have touched my life over the years. He is the one I credit with starting my journey toward healing and becoming who I am today.  Continue reading

How a Little Yellow Lamborghini Taught Me to Stop Comparing Myself to Others

yellow lamborghini

Someone in my neighborhood is driving a snazzy yellow Lamborghini. You can’t help but notice it, especially when they keep revving the engine when stopped at lights.

I may not be a big car person, but the sleek lines and deep rumble of that engine were calling out to me.  Continue reading

Suffering is Optional

suffering angel statue

Things happen in life that cause pain and are hard to understand.  This is true.

When they happen it is important to allow yourself to feel your feelings, which often include sadness, anger, or loss.  When you allow your feelings to process, you will be able to heal and eventually move forward.  Continue reading

A Walk, A Worm, and a Lesson In Perspective

worm life lesson

I was out for a lovely morning walk with a friend when I saw a worm writhing on the sidewalk. Without thinking, I picked the worm up and put him in the damp grass.

My friend started laughing. He thought it was ridiculous that I would save a worm.  Continue reading

The Art of Waiting In Line – How I Survived My Visit to the Post Office

people waiting in line

There I was at the post office waiting in line.  I had just walked a few miles up and down hills in my neighborhood and I was covered with a sheen of sweat.  According to my reflection in the window, my hair was standing up on end.  It was one of those lay low times when I was hoping not to be seen and instead I ended up stuck in a long, very slow line, with a lot of angry people.

There were conversations up and down the line full of complaints against the post office, government, and the world in general.  The worst offender was in front of me.  He had a big voice and used it quite effectively.  I knew I didn’t want to listen to negativity while I waited, so I engaged him in a conversation.  When I mentioned that it sounded like he didn’t like being there and I was wondering if he was going to choose to leave, I think I might have upset him.  It was probably my calm and gentle nature that saved me.

I shared with him that when I walked in and saw the line I knew I had a choice and mailing my granddaughter’s birthday gift felt worth staying.  And then, I asked him about his family and shifted the conversation to something more positive.  I did throw in a few coachy moments, though, hoping something might stick and help him feel more positive in the future.

Waiting in line is a choice.  What you do while waiting is also a choice.  It’s really quite simple, but also an art.

Here is how you can up level your waiting experiences.

Evaluate the situation impartially.  What are the facts here?  How long are you likely to wait? How important is the end result to you?  Can you change the situation for the better?

Make a choice.  Either you choose to get in the line or you don’t.  Once the decision is made, stop thinking about it unless you get new information to re-evaluate.

Find ways to make the best of the situation.  Avoid joining in with the complainers.  It will only make you feel bad and lower your energy.

Choose something to do while in line.  The ideas I came up with at the post office included:

  • People watch
  • Sing the national anthem
  • Give my mind an assignment to work on
  • Let it roam
  • Make farting noises
  • Practice mindful meditation
  • Do stretching exercises
  • Engage others in conversation

(It seems I chose the higher road.)

It is easy to resist these moments of inconvenience, yet that very resistance that entices you is the real source of your discomfort. You can actually have fun in line.  Meet great people.  Get things done.  Fantasize.

The next time you find yourself one of many in a long line, don’t forget that it is a choice you felt had value.  Instead of dwelling on the negative, see it as an adventure and find a way to use the time to your advantage.  Who knows?  Maybe there is someone in that line you are meant to meet or being there is preventing a car accident you might have been in.

What I do know for sure is that developing the art of waiting in line and recognizing it as a choice, feels more peaceful and empowering than any of the other alternatives.

I’m curious.  What are your favorite things to do when while you wait?  You can share in the comments below …