How Being Knocked Off Balance Can Be Fun After All…
The other day in a rush to get the kids to school, I found myself upset that there was so much stress around getting my daughter to class on time yet a reluctance for her to finish getting ready so we could get out the door. I snapped at the kids to hurry up and the ride to school was not as lighthearted as usual. It certainly wasn’t the way I wanted to start my day.
But it happened.
We all get knocked off balance from time to time. One of the practices that has made the most profound difference in my life is to look for those moments of frustration and times I feel trapped by circumstances. As soon as I realize I am in that place, I try to make a game out of it. I call the game “My bouncing off place.”
The idea is that once I realize that I am off balance, I make it my primary goal to remember that the game is to get back into balance as quickly as possible. So I use the realization of being in the moment as my bouncing off place. It took some practice, but today sometimes just remembering the game is enough to shift me to a better feeling place.
We all have a choice of how we respond to the curve balls life throws at us. We have a choice to respond from an empowered place or not. Making a game out of it helps me remember to lighten up – literally! To allow new energy into my space so that I can shift into a broader perspective.
Of course, there are a number of other ways to respond to the everyday challenges of life. And each of us has our default way of responding to situations, which show up over and over in our lives. Here are a few other options.
I could choose to feel trapped by my circumstances – remaining in that place and complaining about it, feeling helpless to make a difference. I could choose to be angry and to blame the kids for making the morning so stressful, maybe yelling at them. I could be quiet and tolerate the moment as a coping mechanism until I can drop the kids off. I could feel compassion for my daughter’s overwhelm and offer to help. I could offer encouragement to them along the way, knowing that getting out the door in the morning can certainly be stressful, and knowing it will be OK.
Each of these is a viable option in the moment. It’s even possible that I engage in a few of them at once. But when I find myself the place of feeling trapped, frustrated or blameful, I know it’s time to play the game and get back into balance.
What I’ve found is that often I am triggered into that frustrated space because I am tired or hungry. Knowing how those physical influencers impact me gives me an opening for action. Sometimes I may need to stop and eat. Sometimes I may need a time-out for a few minutes to get centered.
As I pay attention to my reactions and practice the game, it becomes easier and easier to remember to practice it. Every time we practice, we are a little closer to automatically going to a better place.
We can choose to have more or less enlightened moments in our lives. What fun it is to string together more of those moments of awareness and to know that catching ourselves and shifting in the moment is enlightened. It’s not always easy. That’s why practice is a practice and why finding my bouncing off place makes practicing more fun.
Did you have any bouncing off places today?