Step 81 - choosing to be ...........
There is an old joke that says " should I wake up up grumpy or let him/her sleep."
Joking aside we all have that choice each and every day of our lives. Honestly it has taken me quite a few years to get enlightened enough to realize that I can choose to have a happy day or not. The last couple of weeks, since my last post in fact, have been a testament to the ongoing choices that I am able to make to create positive and ongoing peace within myself.
Perhaps it's a part of getting older that I am able to accept situations without
reacting to them and to make a more measured response instead.
The ongoing path to my inner Fiji is certainly enlightening me as I approach day to day problems, relationships and professional duties in a more mindful way. Mindfulness has helped me overcome many internal and external struggles and I am enjoying the life lessons it creates.
Working alongside a colleague who is way more practised in the art of mindfulness has also helped. Although she still has "bad days" her empathic approach to problems and weighing of how her actions or reactions can contribute to a positive or negative outcome has taught me that indeed it is the snail or turtle who wins the race. I have been the hare too many times not to get this - especially in the making of some pretty poor or dare I say tragic decisions based on impulse!
When I attended church regularly I was used to being told that God does not give his people more than they can handle. I used to swallow this belief whole. Now I realize it is not God that controls how much we can handle but rather how we behave and respond to situations. It was convenient to believe that the control was not in my hands but it really did me no service and excused or extended the amount of chaos I brought upon myself.
Working with vulnerable families who may indeed be victims of circumstances the one clear difference between those who remain stuck and the ones who move on and become successful and independent is taking responsibility. The words "are you done" was once asked of me by a counsellor. I thought it was harsh but now I see what she was saying - encouraging me to leave "the story" behind and create a new story, one in which I could be in control and not give up or give in to what had gone before.
Exercise for Step 81
Create a daily note of how and when you feel in control of your responses to what happens and when you react. Notice the difference between a considered response and an immediate reaction. This can be chartered over small and big things. Examples may be how you speak to someone who may be rude or curt with you, how you ask your children or family to do stuff around the house, how you approach your co-worker or boss about a situation or a pay rise. Try to choose response more than react overtime and notice how that benefits not only how you feel but your relationships overall.
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