I was driving to the animal shelter last night for a volunteer appreciation cook-out. It was late afternoon and the traffic was a little heavier than I usually have when I go for my normal volunteer time earlier in the day. I found myself getting irritated at other drivers, which is nothing new.
Only now I'm thinking of it differently. Thanks to Samantha Sutton and her recent post on The Daily Love.
You can read her entire blog post here, along with the comments:
Basically her point is that our minds are powerful tools. So what we spent time thinking about is important. When driving, for instance, we have the choice to think about how other drivers aren't driving the way we'd like, or if we should turn right at a "No Turn on Red" sign anyway, because after all, no one is coming. OR we can think about positive things for ourselves. Manifestations. Affirmations.
Everything is a choice. A trade-off, as Samantha reminded me in her comment back to me.
Sure, sometimes it's satisfying to think about what someone else should be doing, in your opinion (which, of course, is the right opinion). But is thinking about someone else's action or inaction worth the trade-off of not thinking about the wonderfulness you'd like to manifest in your own life?
To put it another way, every moment is an opportunity to center yourself.
Things in life pop up that may irritate, annoy, or anger us. We can choose to be irritated, annoyed, and/or angry, OR we can choose to center ourselves. Go within. Find the peace that is always there.
This reminds me of something I learned from Wayne Dyer. He suggested to imagine a candle within you. This is your Spirit. Your Peace. And when you're feeling stressed, in whatever fashion, to focus on the candle within. To not let anything make that candle flame flicker. In other words, don't let anything cause your inner peace to waver. That is the meaning behind one of my tattoos -- I liked that concept so much, I wanted a constant reminder to go within and focus on the peace.
So I thought about this when I was driving last night. I remember being behind a slow driver and feeling the instant irritation. Then I reminded myself to go within and get centered. I did, and my irritation instantly disappeared.
I had to do this a couple of times, which is ok. It's not like you can always get yourself to that peaceful place and stay there, especially in some situations. It's ok if you need recurring reminders. Be gentle with yourself. We all have triggers. And it's an on-going process to learn to not let those triggers trigger you.
But here's the good news. You can center yourself right now. Wherever you are, whatever's happening around you or in your life. Stop, breathe, feel your whole body relax, feel your emotions settle. Notice the peace inside you? The calmness? The acceptance and love? It's there all the time. You can tap into it whenever you want.