Spiritual Baby Steps

"Doing" spirituality in the real world

Trick of the day…

So… as some of you may have noticed… it’s Tuesday night. Usually I post on Monday sometime during the day. Yesterday, however, I did not get a chance as I was busy with a sick kid and had no spare moment between holding hair back and rinsing the bowl!

I was planning to blog about “acting as if” – a little trick I like to use when things aren’t going my way.  What’s funny about that, if you can call it funny, is that I completely neglected to use this little trick at all yesterday. Hello! I got caught up in the story of “poor me, having to deal with a sick kid all day” and puttered about the house. It made me wonder what keeps us from slipping into autopilot and acting in a more conscious way? I’ll have to think about that one and get back to ya… as obviously I don’t have that mastered just yet!

Anyway, when I do manage to catch myself in a situation that I don’t like and can become consciously aware of it, I sometimes use this “what if” trick I was mentioning above.  Yes… I’m still going to talk about it even though I neglected to use it yesterday! After I catch myself, the next step is to imagine how I would like the situation to be. I ask myself, “If I was feeling great right now and everything was fabulous, what would I be doing? What would I notice around me? What would I hear? see? smell?”  I can’t always make the whole scenario happen, but usually I can influence one or two things that end up making a difference.

I’ll give you an example from last week (when, apparently I was more conscious!). I was having a little battle with my daughter, who was having herself a tantrum and not being very nice. I, in turn, was feeling less than nice and not very happy to be in the situation. Instead of getting mad at her for her bad attitude, a scenario that has played out many times previously with less than stellar results, I decided to try the ‘act as if” trick. I thought about what I would be doing as I made dinner if things were very happy and wonderful at that moment. I realized that I would put on some music, pour myself a glass of wine and fully enjoy the cooking process. So… that’s what I did. I ignored the behavior I didn’t like, implemented a few key changes that supported my new affirmation that all was well, and enjoyed the task at hand. I’m happy to report, as you probably guessed or I wouldn’t be encouraging you to try it, it worked quite well.  My daughter calmed down on her own… who knows, maybe she just needed a little down time herself? I didn’t get caught up in the drama or irritated at my life.

In reality, it was a small disagreement. The thing is… it could have gone either way. It could have easily escalated into a full-blown battle if my reaction to her reaction had been different. If we had continued to give each other things to push against, we would have continued to push. By shifting away from the pushing, and focusing on what I wanted to see moving forward, I was able to positively influence that future state. The good news is… I know this works for others, too.  I mentioned this scenario to a friend of mine, and she brought it up the other day at lunch. She had used this trick with her own daughter and had similar results.

Want to try?  Pick a scenario that you’d like to improve… getting up in the morning, meeting with your boss… whatever. Imagine what you would want, or wish, that scenario to look like.  Then act as if you already have your wish. Let me know if you have any success with this technique… I can’t wait to hear!

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