I woke up this morning to a cloudy, gloomy day and pulled the covers back over my head. I’d much rather stay here, I thought to myself as I searched my mind for remnants of dreams that visited during the night.
There’s nothing like a warm bed on a crisp autumn morning.
When I eventually got up, I shrugged off the gloom by thinking about the following question:
What’s good about today?
Immediately several answers came to mind:
My cozy bed and soft sheets.
The two adorable kittens I get to feed in a few minutes.
The autumn colors still alive outside my bedroom window.
A smoothie already made and waiting in the fridge.
The sound of geese flying overhead.
A free day without any plans except writing this blog.
Life can be fairly simple when we stop making it complicated. It’s all a matter of running the right program on your internal computer.
The other day, I drove downtown to pick up a few groceries. On the way, a woman pulled out in front of me and proceeded to drive 10-15 mph, at best, forcing me to follow behind well below the speed limit. At first I was frustrated and nearly hit my horn. But then I realized that my reaction to this event was just another example of how I cause my own suffering by resisting what is.
I had launched the wrong program on my drive.
I was pretty sure that honking my horn wouldn’t inspire her to graciously pull over and let me by. And that riding her bumper might just set me up for a possible fender bender should she stop short. And as of now, I still don’t have a giant spatula installed in my car that could lift her up and out of the way (I think I’ve seen that in a movie).
So, as I puttered along, I told my mind to stop complaining, and instead, I started looking for all the reasons why it was actually good to go slow. I can take in the beautiful fall foliage, I told myself, and I can use this time to fill my body with oxygen by taking plenty of slow, deep breaths. I can also practice being patient and present so I enjoy the ride.
Now there’s a concept!
It’s really so simple, isn’t it? When we switch on the program called, “Like What’s Before You,” we make ourselves happy. And when we decide to dislike something, anything, we do the opposite. We make ourselves miserable.
It’s mind before mood and while there are certainly hard things that happen in life that rightfully cause us pain, we don’t have to add to the misery by running the wrong program when we have a choice.
Keep it simple. Look for what’s good. Enjoy your life.