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!


Seeing Past Stress—A Powerful Incantation

Four words that can conquer stress

Earlier today, I was visiting with a friend and business associate. “I’ve run out of tricks”, she said, “I used to think I always had the answer but I just don’t know what to do”. The economy and wh

at can feel like a chaotic spiral into the abyss is taking its toll on even the leaders of the pack—the strong, the confident and the creative.

We’ve all had those days. You know the ones. You wake up and don’t feel as wise as you thought you were. Or, the times when your once perceived valuable experiences seem trivial and ineffective for transcending from the boom days of yesteryear to the wallet challenged days of tomorrow.

What can you do to shift your position? Start by telling yourself that it will be ok. Sound too simple?

I once had a dear friend who came to me battling overwhelming feelings of doubt and hopelessness. My analytical, take care of it nature had me jumping to find a solution. “Here’s what I’d do…” was rolling off my tongue faster than honey on hot pancakes. The look of distress on his face told me this wasn’t the right tactic. “Well, what if…” quickly followed yet still, there was no response. It was clear—I was compounding the problem.

Feeling powerless, I asked if there was anything I could do. “Just tell me it’ll be ok,” he said. And so, I said, “It’ll be ok”. His face relaxed. I could feel the power of this simple affirmation. I said it again, “It’ll be ok—really”.

Try the magic of positive self-talk the next time your day heads in the wrong direction, you’re plagued with anxiety or it feels like fear is winning the game. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and exhale. Say to your self, “It will be ok”. It works.

When I was barely twenty, I read The Power of Positive Thinking, which was first published in 1952. The message is timeless—positive thoughts create a positive reality. I still have the tattered copy on my bookshelves.

I’d also like to recommend The Law of Attraction in Action: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Transforming Your Life. Deanna Davis, a friend and the book’s author, will help you take the steps to transform your intentions into positive reality. The book will feel like a visit with a friend—a friend with action oriented chat and a sense of humor.

Once you’ve experienced the power of positive self-talk, use it everyday. “I can do it!” and “I am so smart!” are two of my favorite conversation starters. And, yes, you were here when I made the public announcement—I talk to myself.