Change your thinking. Change your actions. Change your life. It’s a good tagline. It’s the Flip Yours Fitness & Wellness tagline. Probably a little long for some marketing folks’ tastes, but it says something. More importantly, it MEANS something.
Attitude is everything. Look, I’m no hero. I’m as infallible as you. I have bad days. Dark. Yucky. Days. But, mostly, I have bad moments. Just dark, yucky moments. And that’s progress! I’ll take moments or an hour or two here and there versus giving up whole days to shitty thinking, embroiled in my victimization. Today, I work hard to remind myself that suffering is a choice. It is. You can look that up in the dictionary. Well, OK. No. You can’t. But ask any Buddhist priest and they’ll tell you what my Buddhist priest friend says: suffering IS a CHOICE.
So back it up: attitude is everything. This year, I’m giving all of my coaching clients the Gary John Bishop book, “Unfu*k Yourself.” (What? Your trainer or gym don’t give you a Christmas gift? Maybe it’s time to come Flip Yours!)
It’s a good read. Super easy. Simple ideas. No heavy psychobabble. It’s one of my favorite reads of 2017 because of its simple, overarching message. A message that reiterates what I communicate to clients all.the.time…OWN YOUR SHIT. Poetic, isn’t it? Piggybacking that, I might say to the client, “you’re in charge.” Reminding ourselves that we are responsible for our feelings is a tremendous, grounding ohhh-yeah kind of thing. YOU cannot MAKE me feel anything. I choose how I feel. And I base my feelings on my thoughts. So, yes, you can influence my thoughts a bit; however, I am still my own master. I choose. I feel. I think. And I can turn any of those on a dime.
It’s cool, though. That simplicity. It means that if I’m feeling crappy, I can change that. Woah! Full stop. Is that crazy talk? No. If I don’t want to feel crappy, knock it off. Make another choice. If I’m in a crappy situation, while I may not be able to completely alter my environment to improve its craptastic level, still, I can choose to feel differently in it.
There’s this thing called stacking. It’s when we dog pile negativity on ourselves, putting our victim self at the bottom of the pile. Let me give you an example.
This morning on my way to work, still dark at 5:10 AM, a not-so-smart raccoon hauled ass under the tires of my car. It happened in an instant. No time to react. He, unfortunately, is now a not-so-alive raccoon. I feel horrible. For the next several minutes, while I continued my drive into work, parked and opened up the studio, I experienced a stacking episode. My thoughts went something like this…
“I feel so bad that happened. I feel sick. If I just didn’t take that extra minute this morning to take out the kitchen trash, I wouldn’t have hit the raccoon. Why didn’t I just leave the trash? That was stupid of me. Why did I have to hit the raccoon? I’m unlucky. I’ve also hit my fair share of deer in my life (three, I wish I didn’t have to say). I’m really unlucky on the road. I’m stupid for not trying to avoid the raccoon. I could have tried harder maybe. Shit. Now I’ve spilled coffee on myself. This is not my day. I’m stupid and unlucky. Why didn’t I get the green light? This day sucks. Ugh. Great. The “healthcare benefits” guy in my business complex left his pile of cigarette butts near my studio door again. Seriously? Ughhh. I hate today. Why is the universe conspiring to get me. It’s only 5:25 and today officially sucks. UGHHH.”
That, folks, is stacking. It’s a big shitty pity party of one that starts with one struggle we cloak ourselves in and then it’s like we walk into the room at grandma’s Christmas party where all the coats are piled on the bed and we start putting them on aimlessly, one on top of the other, before trying to walk out the front door with everyone’s coats on for no good reason. Its too many layers. Too much burden. We can’t function. There’s that funny mothball smell. We’re stuck. It’s useless. And there’s no good reason we’re standing on Grannie’s front porch unable to move.
But it happens sometimes. So, what? So I had 5 minutes to get myself in a different head space before greeting my first client at 5:30 AM. I sat a moment at my desk. I closed my eyes and centered myself with 5 beautiful breaths. I reminded myself that accidents happen. The raccoon hit was ultimately just that, an accident. Spilling my coffee was no big deal. A momentary annoyance. I chuckled that today, of all days, I wore my loud-ass zebra print leggings and you can’t see where the coffee marked me. As for the cigarette butts, I sent a thought of positive energy into the universe for “smoking healthcare man” that he someday find his power to be free of that crippling vice.
By 5:28 I was ready for Sharron.
During this holiday season, remember “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” But, if it’s not. If it’s not feeling that way for you. If everyone is annoying. Everything is frustrating. Everywhere reminds you that you’d rather be somewhere else. Try this: Change YOUR thinking. Change YOUR attitude. You might suddenly realize that today ain’t so bad. Unfu*k your attitude and you just might change your life. MERRY Christmas!