Don’t you just love those big lessons? Or the fact that you THINK you’ve triumphed over a bad habit…until, of course, something comes up and you realize the threads you thought you had all pulled suddenly lead to a tangle?
A recent incident at work had me spinning my wheels and pulling at threads that I thought had already been pulled and recycled.
I returned from a meeting with steam coming from my ears. How could they have put this on me? Why was I blamed for someone else’s mistake? Did they all just throw me under the bus?
There was a moment where I could have just brushed off the feelings of shame and being wronged–and done one of those sly shoulder shrugs that signal, “pfff, no big D.” Yea, I could have…but I didn’t. Instead, I spiralled. Oh yea girl, I sure did. You ready for the story? Bring on the #realtalk.
Despite confidently knowing the hilarity of what had just happened at the meeting—and knowing I had truly done nothing wrong–I consciously decided to make the thing that wasn’t a thing, a THING…when it never had to be. How this happened (despite having on my power heels!) can be traced quite easily and demonstrates that we ALL spiral into negativity at times.
So, I clip-clopped down the hall after the meeting’s adjournment, hailed down a colleague, and told her the story of how I had been wronged (canyoubelievetheysaidthat?!). Complete with harsh whispers and “I know I should be kind, but THEN he said…”, I went full out with my description; even the crab hands came out (if you don’t know, don’t ask). If that one conversation wasn’t enough, I decided to call my partner to receive empathy for justhowbadmydayisgoing. And then I texted my friend, furiously pounding the phone screen to get my points across. Finally, I sat in my office with my pretentious face on–eyebrows raised, pursed lips—and bathed in the drama.
I wasted an hour in the spiral. (And man did I have a lot of work that could have been done in that hour) before listening to the voice inside that was saying, “you don’t have to do this. You know you don’t have to do this…”
I realized the choice I was making. I was choosing drama—to fuel my own self-righteousness and my own need to be right—instead of sticking to my dreams. I was wasting time paralyzed in drama instead of taking aim at my dreams of building a selfcare empire.
Sighhh, these life lessons come and go, and that’s the beauty of learning. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on your shadows, they have a way of appearing. My crutch: the excuse for attention. I’ll get a reaction by dragging this out a little longer? Perfect! (cue palm to face and dramatic eye roll).
But really, how many of us go externally in these moments of being wronged or slighted? Just to get the validation? To hear others build us up?
To rewind, the playback should have looked like this:
Go back to office.
Journal my feelings.
Take a wee stretch.
Self talk the shit out of my awesomeness and CHOOSE dreams not drama.
Listen to a good tune.
Check back over to-do list.
Get shit done.
While I didn’t immediately kick myself out of the spiral, thankfully I was able to recognize the negativity within an hour of the incident. This is where the practice of self love and self care come in to play. It’s not kind to beat ourselves up with what we SHOULD or COULD have done. Instead, to reflect and understand the WHY of it all, helps to bring more presence and positivity into our lives.
So, I wasted an hour. Big deal. Not the end of the world. The experience is significant though. Five years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to kick out of the negativity spiral in just an hour. This shows that I’ve learned a thing or two about how to connect with myself and my own patterns.
I’d love to share some tips.
Take a breath
Before reacting (before even opening your mouth!), take one of those big inhales that last about four seconds, suspend the breath at the top of the inhale, and then slowly let it out for four seconds. These centering breaths really help to refocus where our energy goes. Reaction happens when we aren’t present and anchored.
2. Ask yourself “what is the lesson here?”
Instead of jumping to the drama, have a moment to just ask what you need to learn. Often, we can heal reactivity by just looking at a situation in a general way. Abraham Hicks’ teachings are BOMB at this. If you’ve never heard of their “general” approach, go check it out! More specifically, examine what is happening in the situation, name it, and then consider the ins and outs of it—without getting caught up in the story or personalizing it. When you ask this question objectively, you allow yourself the opportunity to view it in a positive way and align with your desire to be optimistic.
3. Choose the path that relates to your WHY
We all have a bigger purpose in life. Mine is to change the world by learning, teaching, and growing selfcare. In moments where drama comes up, I can choose to remain close to my WHY. If engaging in the situation takes me farther away from the dream of being the most present, positive, and potential-achieving lovely human, then I’m going to choose to leave the drama and arise to my dreams. Simon Sinek talks a lot about the WHY and why (hehe good one!) we should all have one.
At the end of the day, it’s silly to over-focus on what we do wrong. We know full well we did the best we could, that we had positive intentions, and that it’s not the end of the world. So, why do we feel the need to make such small insignificant moments A THING (and one that we hold on to for hours, days, or weeks)? Because we’re human and perfectly imperfect.
Learning how to stay close to yourself and to release yourself from blame is a powerful tool that can be used to keep you in MOMENTUM and out of STUCK.
Aka, move from drama to dreams!
Reflect on what you could do to kick yourself out of the negativity spiral when you feel it coming on. Feel free to share on any of our social media platforms—it’s nice knowing we’re all in it together. And, as always, I’m always here to help.