Updated: Oct 6, 2018
"Change your thoughts, change your life." - Dr. Wayne Dyer
Do you know that happy people live longer? They suffer lower cases of disease and generally have a positive outlook on life. You can make yourself and others a bit happier just by doing #littlethings. Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why” suggests that “if you practice doing the #littlethings a lot, you get good at it.”
Light in Darkness
So, think about it, it doesn’t take anything away from you to share some light in the world. Someone is either headed into or lost in darkness - even the tiniest glimmer of hope that illuminates from you could bless their life. Let’s reflect, think about your day today. Did you see someone rushing for the elevator just as the door was about to close and hold I, so they could get on? Was there some pesky person being rude in traffic cutting their way through as folks like you waited patiently to proceed with the flow of traffic?
Consider these and other instances where you just thought to yourself, how rude, how inconsiderate! Or you recited to yourself “lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.” We come up with all sorts of things to say to ourselves to justify our response to people in darkness. Let’s look at situations like this with a different set of lenses. If you think about enough, you likely, at some point in your life, have been the person rushing for the elevator because you were running late. Maybe you inadvertently cut someone off in traffic because you were trying to get to your child’s soccer game or some other family matter. I am not justifying rude behavior, I’m just saying be a bit kinder because you never know what another person may be going through. Some folks are just by nature arrogant, elitist and uncaring. We just pray for them and keep it moving.
In this Moment
Where are you in this very moment? Are you facing a challenge? Is there an obstacle in the way of you getting to the next level in your life? Is your mind wandering because you are so consumed by the myriad of things that life is throwing at you? Wherever you are, metaphorically in this moment, just stop, breathe and listen to your heartbeat. Where is it leading you?
“Say to yourself, I am here. I am present, right here, right now. I am all that God created me to be in this very moment…”
Here in Atlanta, the traffic can be terrible! I don’t live in area that lends itself to alternative modes of transportation, i.e. bus, train, vanpool, etc. so like most I am forced to be heavily dependent on my car. I hate being in traffic. Whenever I am in my car longer than 30 – 45 minutes I feel as though I am losing precious time off my life! It’s so annoying! Rather than complain, I choose to use my car time wisely. I figure if I must be stuck there I am going to use the time to my advantage like improving my knowledge in something. Over this past summer my daughter and I took a full intro to Spanish course with an Audiobook during our ride to and from Girl Scouts Camp.
Bangin My Head Against the Window
One morning while sitting in traffic, feeling like bangin my head against the window, I was so tense that I forgot all about reflections and gratitude. I didn’t care about any audiobooks and all my favorite radio stations just sounded like garbage rustling in my ears. On this day traffic was very heavy, I later found out it was due to a bad accident that had occurred miles away on the interstate. Cars had spilled in all directions to get around the accident.
As I always say, know thyself! I admit that I do not do well with traffic. I know that traffic is not my friend, if I don’t occupy my mind sitting and inching along I will literally go stir crazy. I usually take a calmer surface street route during rush hour. On this day, I was offended, hot and bothered that these cars had come out nowhere invading my route to work! The more I inched along, the more frustrated I got. I felt the frustration when it first started to creep in, hot and heavy. Admittedly the morning had already started a bit of a rough start for me. First of all I woke up late, so I missed my morning workout. The jolt of positive endorphins I get with an early morning run really helps to get my day going. My hair was a mess, my shoes weren’t quite right, and my clothes felt too tight! No, I wasn’t PMSing…
Stop, Breathe, Pray, Repeat….
Suddenly I couldn’t breathe. I began to sweat, and my palms got all clammy. Was it a panic attack? Was it car claustrophobia? Whatever it was, I had to get that heaviness off me. Rolling down all my car’s windows I sucked in the morning air. The whole time praying out loud the only thing, the only word, the only name I could say, JESUS!
After a few minutes of hyperventilating, a familiar small voice inside – you know the friend inside your head that keeps you from going over the edge - gently whispered, remember who you are. My little voice was reminding me that in my haste to start the day, in my becoming unnecessarily annoyed with traffic, I’d forgotten to tell myself “girl you are brilliant, you are amazing, you are fabulous; you have everything you need to be successful, there is no need for you to worry about anything today! You see, these are my daily affirmations, #littlethings, little nuggets of encouragement that I freely give to myself every day. The more I reminded myself of who I am, the calmer I became.
Like fresh morning kisses, the wind continued to gently stroke against my face making me feel alive again. The traffic picked up its pace and I got to work, still a few minutes late, but earlier than I had anticipated. There were a ton of others who rushed into the building along with me, all of whom had just experienced one of the worst traffic jams of the summer … ok, I’m exaggerating but hey, it sounded good!
The moral of this story? Don’t allow everyday distractions to get you off track and make you lose focus of your big picture. Life is too short to give too much of your energy to negativity. Instead allow your light of love shine and exercise compassion instead of anger towards others. Give yourself time and space to start your day on the right track so you can calmly face whatever comes your especially if it’s a traffic jam that steals a few minutes of your morning from you.