We’ve all been there…in a rush…stuck in traffic, what should be a smooth sailing road trip has turned into a parking lot. We get irritated, impatient and wonder who is holding everyone up. Then we see it…a 6 car pile up with multiple injuries, paramedics, ambulance, stretchers; we feel humbled, hoping everyone will be ok and thankful we are healthy and alive.
This is called a paradigm shift. When in our heads for instance we make up a reason to be upset…then realize there is an entirely different reason for what is upsetting us. Usually…it’s never about us…but when we get frustrated we make it about us and we usually at some unnecessary angst and drama in the mix.
The other day I was at a very popular salon and there was one restroom with a line of 4 women…all of us getting impatient. I mean…we had very important hair treatments to attend to! The first gal does what we all wanted to and taps on the door letting the person inside know there’s people waiting. Then she taps a little louder, showing her (and our) impatience. Out comes a young women in a wheelchair, paraplegic. Yes, we were instantly quieted and humbled.
Later in the week I had a similar “wait” at a popular restaurant and out comes another woman with both hands in casts! Yes, humbled once again.
There are many stories in folklore and in reality about these paradigm shifts to help us recognize our kind, patient selves (once we make the shift) along side our frustrated impatient selves. (the one who might never see the “real” story).
I’ve found when I can consciously take a step back and realize that there might be something bigger than what I can see or imagine then I calm down and wait for it to reveal itself. It is usually something different than what I made up and the journey of waiting for the outcome is much more pleasant!
That’s part of the big “ah ha”…is how we respond to any disturbance while we are waiting for the answer. That’s wellness…how we can react before we react!
Here is a cute story written by Steven Covey …
In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey tells the story of a woman who is rushing to catch her airplane. She woke up late, threw herself together, and dashed for the airport. Once she is checked in and headed for the correct gate, she realizes how hungry she is and stops quickly at an airport store and buys a package of cookies. She then gets to her plane “she is the last to board,” and takes the only available seat.
Her mind is racing. She reviews the morning and hopes that she packed everything she needs. She thinks about her destination and all that she will need to do once she gets there. She thinks about her work, her deadlines, her busy life. She then looks down and sees the cookies. She opens the package, takes a cookie out, and sets the package on the seat next to her. No sooner has she put the cookie in her mouth than the man next to her, whom she has barely noticed up until now, reaches down, takes a cookie, smiles at the woman, and pops it in his mouth!
She can’t believe her eyes! Of all the people on the plane, she had to sit next to this guy! But hasn’t that always been her luck? Doesn’t she seem to attract the weird people, like moths to a flame? She moves the package of cookies, being as subtle as she can, as close to her as she can given the tight airline seating. She then takes another cookie out and begins to eat it. Sure enough, the man next to her takes a cookie, pauses again to smile at her, and pops it in his mouth! The woman is livid! She cannot believe the arrogance, disrespect, and rudeness of some people.
The pattern of cookie eating continues. Each time she takes a cookie, the man soon follows. He pauses each time to smile at her before popping it in his mouth. As the plane nears its destination, she looks down at the package and sees there is one cookie left. Obviously the man has noticed this as well, because he reaches down, takes it, breaks it in two, and offers the woman half of the final cookie. He smiles at her as he holds her half out. “Oh, thank you!” She manages to say before taking the half and eating it. She hopes he heard the sarcasm in her voice, and she vows to write a letter to the airline about the type of people they are allowing on their flights.
After the plane lands, she rushes off to find the baggage claim. On the way, she begins to rummage around in her purse to locate her baggage claim slip. She suddenly stops walking. Her eyes widen. She pulls out her package of cookies from the purse – unopened. The woman’s face reddens as she realizes that she had been eating the man’s cookies the whole time, and that he had generously and with a kind heart given them to her, even splitting the last one in half!
Consider taking a pause…and wondering if there might be a different perspective. This in essence is wellness.