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Roller coaster

I had the joy of taking my family to Six Flags last weekend for my seven year old and my husband’s birthday. Practically every week for the last six months, that’s all the seven year old has asked for! Besides the fact that, unbeknownst to us, it was season pass holders “bring a friend for free day” and there were only about 7 bazillion people there, it was a beautiful day to be out and enjoying some fun family time. A trip like that also provides wonderful “life training” opportunities to practice bravery and courage (in a relatively “safe” environment (I mean, as opposed to a battle field for example!) Being scared and doing something anyway was our theme. At one point, while I was riding the Judge Roy Scream with my 4 year old, I thought I might have pushed him a little too far and we were both pretty traumatized! However, he has since talked NON-STOP about that ride and how made it through and loved it!?!? (We’ll see how he reacts next time we go and ask if he wants to ride that big one again, LOL!) In all seriousness, as we spent a great deal of time waiting in lines, I enjoyed observing people (the sociologist in me of course!) And really and truly, I saw such an analogy of life emerging. There were those people who had a blank, expressionless face, limp posture and looked bored out of their minds. Most of those people also had a tendency to be the ones with their phones in hand, mindlessly scrolling the news feeds, distracted from the people around them in the present but not really present in the world of social media either….just sort of hovering on the perimeter of both worlds. They would even ride some of the rides, but with total flat affect….no whooping and hollering, no hands raised, no nothing! Then there were those who were on the opposite end of the spectrum, they were standing with a partner or a group of friends, maybe taking group photos but otherwise not on their phone, talking, laughing and interacting with the employee at the microphone asking “if you’re ready to ride, make some noise!” These folks would make the ride even more exciting just by releasing their sometimes exaggerated “woo hoo’s”! But then, there were those in the middle. They looked a bit nervous, apprehensive maybe, but deep down, they were still excited to be there. They might have started crying before even getting on the ride, or maybe even wet their pants a little in secret, but they still got on the ride. They might have screamed bloody murder the entire time, crying some real tears, and swearing they were done and never doing it again, but got off shouting, “I DID IT!” and beaming from ear to ear with pride. That person really resonated with me…(as much as I used to identify myself in the second category of “woo hoo-ers”!) The older I get, and experience the really scary, painful stuff of “life”, the more I see the value in realistically acknowledging the fear but pressing on anyway. Not only are we talking about rides that we voluntarily sign up for, but this ride of life that you get put on when you are born and don’t have a choice of what roller coaster it is, but it will have it’s ups and downs and some loopty-loos guaranteed. We always have a choice of jumping off mid-ride and splattering on the sidewalk below to end the pain, or hanging on for dear life, maybe even raising a hand or two in the wild wind and then getting off, beating our chest and saying, “I did it!” And maybe when it’s all said and done, we wouldn’t want to ride “that one” again, but we can still give thanks that we got admission to the park and go get some Dippin’ Dots and take a rest on the Lazy River! 🙂

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Resolution Rundown?

Are you still focused on your 2016 goals? Or have you gotten discouraged and given up already? If you have, I might suggest that you take a moment to reevaluate your processes…. one minor shift can create a drastic change in your probability of success…. When you finish reading this paragraph, right away grab a scratch piece of paper and write a list of all the things you are thankful for….. in the morning after you wake up, before you even get out of bed, make a mental list of those things again. Then before you go to sleep at night, WRITE the list again…..that’s all… try it for 3 days and just see if you don’t feel more motivated to be more productive and focused throughout the day. Why does this work? Because you are #1) grateful for what you already have 2) being thankful takes your focus off of what you think you want and creates an energy of abundance, of giving and of grace, instead of lack, need or not enough. When you are grateful for something, there is no room to feel resentment or insufficient! Taking your gratitude practice a step further, share your gratitude daily…..let at least 3 people know something you are thankful for and watch your relationships glow.

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