This Could Have Been REALLY Bad…

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Okay, I’ve got a story for you…

Today I was meandering through the muddy, marsh trails near my home, brainstorming with my partner about what I could share with you that would be helpful, inspiring and valuable. 

Topics we discussed included:

Identifying our dreams not yet fulfilled…

and the way we hope to feel once they are.

* The beliefs that keep us from going for those dreams

and how we can shift our stories to get unstuck.

* How fear gets in the way of moving forward

and what we can do to overcome it.

Those sound helpful and inspiring, right? I was really excited to get home to start writing to you.

And then…

Standing at the front door, I discovered that somewhere along the way, possibly in the muddy, marshy, spiny brambles off-trail, I had dropped my house keys! Oy.

It would have been easy to panic – those keys could have fallen ANYWHERE, someone could pick them up and start looking for the house they opened, how could I have been so inattentive, the neighbors with a spare key weren’t home, HOW was I going to get in…

Can you relate?

Yet, that moment was a powerful reminder that WE GET TO CHOOSE how we want to respond in any situation. No matter what the outcome might be, our RESPONSE dictates our experience. 

Period.

So…rather than freak out and berate myself for making such an avoidable mistake (turning a lovely, productive day into a stressful, extremely unpleasant one) I consciously chose to stay calm, be amused by my distractibility, and reflect on the path we took to see if I could pinpoint where the keys might have fallen.

I got to stay in my happy place and practice awareness and compassion for myself, asking:

When did I last see the keys?

What was I doing that allowed them to drop?

Where might that have happened?

And more importantly:

What is the best possible outcome I can foresee?

How can I turn this situation into a learning opportunity? 🙂

Calmly retracing our route, joyfully discussing how the lessons in THIS situation might be helpful, inspiring and valuable to you, we discovered the keys right where we figured they would be based on the details I remembered. Relief!

SOooo much better than getting upset and being miserable!

So here’s why I’m sharing this with you.

IN EVERY SITUATION WE GET TO CHOOSE OUR RESPONSE! 

Yet we often forget we have that choice and blindly react by default into anger, panic, frustration, annoyance, self-criticism…

No matter how big or small the issue, we actually are in complete control of how that experience affects our lives. Hard to believe sometimes, I know.

What is YOUR default when unexpected things happen? 

Do you pause, take a deep breath and carefully consider your next step?

Or do you get triggered, freak out and get overwhelmed?

I’d love to hear about your latest “challenging situation” and how you chose – or didn’t choose! – to deal with it. Email me at natalie@ajoyfullife.net and share your favorite – or most distressing! – stories. 

Love & Lightness,

Natalie