Today we were granted the blessing of a 2-hour delayed start to the school day due to weather conditions. Anyone who frequently awakes for the day at 5 am knows just how much of a blessing 2 additional hours in the morning can be! However, rather than focusing my energy and thoughts around this glorious gift of time, I instead found myself feeling agitated and irritated.
It started out simple enough by choosing to sleep in an additional hour. But when I awoke from this extra hour of sleep, I found myself irritated that I didn’t choose to use this time to go to the gym or to practice on my mat. This agitation then continued as I rushed to get out the door because I had big plans to try to accomplish a bunch of errands before the start of the school day. Let’s keep in mind that the night before brought a bunch of snow, yet as I set out for the day to accomplish my well-set plans, this wasn’t even a consideration on my part.
Immediately after I started driving around, my irritation and agitation grew. People were driving too slowly, snow removal vehicles were taking up large portions of the already condensed roads, and people were dredging through snow-covered crosswalks requiring vehicles to stop (the nerve!). Don’t these people know I have errands to run and only have a little bit of time to do so! I could feel my thoughts manifesting in my body as my shoulders became more tense, my brow furrowed, and my words and thoughts became less kind.
And then it hit me! Why am I allowing these negative thoughts to dictate how I approach this moment, this morning, or this day? I literally am the cause of this stress and I took something positive, 2-hours of additional time, and allowed my mind to turn it into something negative.
At that point in time, I ditched my ambitious morning plans and instead made a detour to my favorite bakery and picked myself up a coffee and a delicious blueberry muffin. I then leisurely made my drive to school with the radio up and a fresh coffee in my cup holder. My thoughts were happy and my mind and body were relaxed.
During my drive, I happened to notice other drivers rushing to their destinations. It was apparent that they too were feeling frustrated with the snow and slow driving of others. Many of them appeared extremely tense and seemed to be yelling at others in nearby vehicles, some even were honking their horns to express their need for things outside of their control to speed up.
This whole experience reminded me that our thoughts hold so much power. They have the ability to make any experience either positive or negative. We each have the capacity to recognize when our thoughts are causing us distress, whether mentally or physically, and change them into something that can better serve us. Every moment can be seen as good or bad, it simply comes down to how we allow our minds to view them.
"Change your thoughts and you change your world."
Norman Vincent Peale