What will your day be like?
I don’t know…
I hope it’s a good one.
It’s going to be amazing.
Probably really busy.
I’m going to have an adventure…
What’s your answer to a question like this? Do you feel like it simply depends on who you see, who says what, or whether or not it goes as smoothly as you’d hoped?
If you dive into the day and let its quality be determined by external factors, then you’re playing roulette. It could go either way. What if you see old Cecil who always manages to annoy with his snarky comments, and you spend hours feeling disgruntled and wishing he hadn’t ‘wrecked’ your day?
When you wake up in the morning you actually have the power to choose what your day is going to be like. You get to answer that question before the day has even happened! Because you always have a choice. If you’ve made the conscious decision as you wake up, that you’re not going to let a person or a situation change the quality of your day, things will be different if you see old Cecil.
Instead of reacting to his comments, you will choose to be aware of the fact that his words are his, and a reflection of his state of mind. You’ll realise you don’t want to waste more than five minutes of your precious energy feeling pissed about what he said, or about what you read in the news this morning.
Which option feels more empowering?
Kinder on your nervous system?
I know which one I choose every day. I choose the perspective that my day is going to be interesting, or adventurous, or something along those lines. And then when things happen that could/do throw me, I realise they’re an opportunity for me to make a shift, or come back to centre and reclaim where I spend my life-force.
And no, it’s not always easy. Some mornings I swear the moment I’m dressed I start feeling a bit grumpy and when I see the mess in the kitchen I want to have a melt down. Or I don’t eat soon enough and feel hangry, and Harlan says something that annoys me. But the difference between now and a few years ago is that I am aware I don’t have to feel like that.
I’ve come to know what helps to shift me out of that space so that I can move back into the driver’s seat, instead of being driven by what’s happening.
I might take two minutes outside, simply being with nature and breathing. Or I’ll put on one of my favourite dance songs and move my body. If I’ve got the time and space I might even meditate again. A bite to eat or a drink of water could do the trick. And sometimes it’s as simple as letting myself laugh at the silly joke Harlan’s made instead of choosing to stay grumpy.
Some days it feels more challenging to come into that space of feeling like the driver.
Then the only loving option is self-compassion. To accept that you might react to things and carry around frustration or anger for longer than you’d like. But that you can be gentle with yourself through the process, and instead of judging your frustration or anger, realising that it will pass.
So, when you wake up tomorrow morning, what is your day going to be like? Decide. And then make a conscious effort to be aware every time that you let an event pull you into a dis-empowered place. Play with how you can shift yourself, so that you’re back behind the steering wheel of your day.
What tools do you use to shift your headspace?