Be the Dog—3 steps to take control

Don't push the button yet!

I opened my laptop and panic struck. I had 23% power remaining on my battery. Only minutes earlier had I recovered from noticing my iphone battery was at 50%. It dawned on me that, daily; I am plagued with this new stressor—technology.

I had several appointments today with the first scheduled for late morning. It is just past noon now.

My first stop was to pick up a package for a client. It was on the way of my second appointment. You know—do unto others… I was taking a new route and it was raining. I plugged in my phone GPS to make sure I didn’t miss the exit.

The second appointment was for my daughter. Although at a medical center we’ve been to numerous times, it was a new route. Again, I used my GPS to make sure I chose the right path. Her appointment would last a couple hours. Instead of waiting there, as I typically do, I decided to run a couple errands and then visit a little park I had seen, only blocks away. The rain was now only a drizzle and what I saved in parking fees could be invested in a latte.

I could write, enjoy the brisk winter day and savor my latte. And there, my story begins. I parked. Upon discovering that GPS use had drained my battery, I plugged into the car charger. I should’ve brought the auxiliary charger on my desk—should’ve, would’ve, could’ve.

As I open my laptop, I say out loud, “What a great little park”! I glance at the menu bar—23% battery remains. My thoughts start racing. How did I let this happen? I could go back to the coffee shop and plug in. I wonder how much time I’ll really have?  Did I even pack my charger? Wait, maybe I could finish an article before the 23% runs out! What a dunce! Anyway, you can picture the play by play.

After a few deep breathes, I decide to write about the experience instead of the article I had planned to work on. I think they call it…writing therapy.

It dawned on me that these tools that are supposed to make us so much more efficient often times only add to the too busy days we tend to carve out for ourselves. For years, though, I have been a firm believer that things happen for a reason.

The moral of my story is this—minds are easily influenced by the moment. One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is to find balance and train our minds to be part Boy Scout, part Zen master and lastly, the dog. Let me elaborate.

  1. The Boy Scout is always prepared. I have decided to always carry auxiliary chargers. I always have a pen, a credit card, cash and my lip liner (what can I say, this boy scout looks better with defined lips). Bottom line; don’t set yourself up for failure.
  2. The Zen Master demonstrates control in all types of situations. Many years ago, I discovered the irreplaceable value of a breath. Whenever I am feeling stressed and take note, my breathing is shallow. Several long deep breaths can move your mind to a better place.
  3. Lastly, let’s look at the Dog. I did not say, a dog, but the Dog. A friend of mine often tells his employs to ask themselves if they are letting the tail wag the dog. The desired answer, of course, is a resounding no. So be the Dog and take control of your tail. In other words, don’t let outside influences control your mind.

By the way, I finished my writing therapy session with battery power to spare. I also discovered a lovely new sanctuary I will visit again and found the time to converse with you. It’s been far too long. I’ll see you again soon!


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