Doldrums or Disneyland?
How much control do we actually have over our moods, energy and ultimately, our lives?I remember as a child my mother asking us to help her with the yard work on weekends. Like most children, that was the last thing we wanted to do.
We wanted to do what we wanted to do --- play, have fun, and be children.
remember the “dread” we would feel, and the drama we’d create with our body language, dragging around like we were lifeless zombies. We weren’t being of much help. Our attitudes were one of discontent and pouting, much to my mother’s disappointment. Then, my mother said a very profound thing. Of course, I did not understand just how profound it was then. She said ---
"If I said we were going to Disneyland today, I bet you’d find all the energy you’d need, and your attitude would change immediately!” (said with motherly sarcasm, of course)
With just the mention of the word “Disneyland,” I could feel joyful energy pulsing through my veins --- just the thought of Disneyland thrilled me. And, the worst of it was --- she was right!
Oddly so, that simple and profound insight has carried me through many of my adult years. I was able to take the understanding of how I felt differently in a moment of doing the “unthinkable” on a Saturday morning, along with a glimpse into how my mind worked, and use it to my benefit.
By learning that how I looked at things made a BIG difference.
learned how to “trick” my mind by telling myself a “new story” about something I wasn’t feeling particularly motivated to do. Oddly enough, it worked! And, I was suddenly moving forward doing exactly what I was resisting moments prior.
For example, I would frequently tell myself the story that unexpected guests were arriving in 15 minutes. I’d use the idea of their visit as motivation. Suddenly, I’m moving around the house, picking up toys, fluffing pillows on the couch, and touching up the restroom.
It was like magic!
Not only did my house feel better after 15 minutes, but so did I, whether or not guests showed up!
Any lackluster doldrums I was feeling were now gone, and replaced with a sense of power, and capability --- resulting in a spurt of happiness, increased energy, and less feelings of exhaustion.
Of course life is always presenting us with things that need to be done; that’s just life. The next time you find yourself faced with an “unthinkable” task, you might want to ask yourself how can I turn this around for my benefit? How will I make this “thing” I’m resisting serve me --- make me feel good - in charge - powerful - capable - energetic?
We always have a choice.
So, which is it --- Doldrums or Disneyland? That “magic” is always ours to tap into.
Have you ever encountered a situation and thought “Oh My!”? We all have, right? Here’s my story about one such experience, and how a shift in my perspective changed my entire outlook.
First, a bit about me (ahem)…I tend to be a tidy-nut. I like a clean house, with everything in its place and a place for everything. It serves me well, but it doesn’t always serve me, if you get my drift.
In the fall of 2013, I meet a man. He’s funny, genuine, and attentive. We seem to hit it off immediately. Eventually, he invites me to his home. I step in, and what do I see?!
A motorcycle in the middle of the living room! --- Oh My! Needless to say, I was a bit taken aback (stunned is a better word for what I really felt!). I winced quietly --- thinking to myself, “Hmmm, how does this fit into the picture I’ve created in my mind of our potential future together?”
I quickly learn it’s just one of many motorcycles, and other “projects” this wonderful man enjoys. He’s crazy about motorcycles, and music (he has a full drum kit in the living room, too, as well as two guitars, huge speakers --- you get the picture). Gosh darn! I really like this guy, but motorcycles everywhere? Oh My!
With a bit more time, I grew more in love with this man… and, then it happened!
Drum Roll Please --- My perspective shifted!
Yep! Miss tidy-nut herself could suddenly, and happily overlook the once perceived “mess.” I even surprised myself! How did this happen you say?
I realized this man really, really loves life. He has hobbies that make his soul sing. These things are his happy places. And now I get to experience those things with him. He plays his drums, guitars, and sings to me--- I even get to ride on cool motorcycles. I’m on the receiving end of his fun, and I like it.
Now, I’m happier, too!
So, the moral of this story is how often do we quickly judge something as “bad” and miss the joy? Of course, seeing things differently takes a willingness to do so. My willingness-and-want-factor was high. I really, really liked this guy.
With a bit of self-introspection, I soon realized it was ME who needed to let in some joy, pick up some new hobbies, lighten up, and have more fun. He was leading me back “home” to myself.
He didn’t need to change a thing (although, he did move the motorcycle out of the living room at his son’s prompting). A change in my perspective brought me peace, and more joy. And guess what?
Life has taken on a new sweetness!
What will you let in? How might you see things differently simply by being willing to shift your perspective? --- and, then maybe...just maybe, your life will get sweeter, too!
Creating Life’s Sweet Spots,
I help others see Magic and Miracles in the Mess of this journey we all life.