There are times when we all get frustrated and act out, not always exhibiting our best selves to the world. Maybe we are having a rough day, are cranky, tired, and in my case potentially hungry. Chris has a joke for when I am cranky and he knows I am probably hungry. He says: “Do you need a Snickers bar?” It is his nicer way of telling me that maybe my grumpy mood is connected to my hunger. Often we also have too high expectations (I know I do) and those lead to disappointment.
“There are too many people today who instead of feeling hurt are acting out their hurt; instead of acknowledging pain, they’re inflicting pain on others. Rather than risking feeling disappointed, they’re choosing to live disappointed. Emotional stoicism is not badassery. Blustery posturing is not badassery. Swagger is not badassery. Perfection is about the furthest thing in the world from badassery.” Page xxvii
So how do we go about focusing more on how we are “feeling” rather than transferring our pain and disappointment to others. First, you might read “Rising Strong.” Another simple way is to talk about it. Chris and I have been talking a lot recently about how we want to raise the son we will meet in just a few months. One of the things that comes to me so strongly is encouraging and creating an environment where he feels comfortable to share his words, emotions, and feelings. I did not grow up in such an environment, and Chris keeps a lot to himself. I want to make sure that we are not doing anything as parents that closes any doors for our son to freely be himself.
A more open and free person feels their hurt and disappointment and acts out less to others. Remember that when you watch someone live their pain, they might just need a bit of help to see what they are doing and how to change gears.
I am someone who spews a crazy number of analogies out of my mouth each day. Sometimes they are just all wrong, other times they are spot on, and then others just somewhere in between. In a meeting yesterday I somehow paralleled a situation with a project with the world without bees. How the heck do those compare?
Recently I read an article that shared if we let the bee population die off what it would do to the produce department in our grocery stores. See these images in this Huffington Post article. It reminds me of scenes from Flint, Michigan. Empty, non-existent. It is actually quite scary. I never knew how much we could be impacted by the lost number of bees.
Sure, bees can be annoying. In the summer, the patio at work where we often have meetings and eat outside is often swarming with bees. They literally land on your lunch and take a seat for a while. I think I even have a video on my iPhone of a bee eating bits of a piece of turkey on my salad. Maybe it was starving? I am glad my salad last summer potentially helped keep one more bee alive.
In all seriousness, bees are something we should dedicate more time to saving. Due to all the pesticides, chemicals, and crap we pour into the environment, they are disappearing faster than we can save them. While I do not know too much about the topic, it is one I want to continue to research. How naive I have been. Study up, otherwise your produce department might turn into a ghost town.
I have written often over the past year about energy. What energy do you bring into a room, a group of people, a home, your place of work? I constantly go back to the idea of energy and how we always have control over our own and how we allow it to ooze, and cover whatever we touch. Some days the sun is shining brightly and it brings a smile to your face and that energy is spread to everyone else. Those are the good days and that is the energy that is contagious. Other days we step in gum, cannot find a parking spot, and feel our energy is just off, and sometimes that bummer day is spread to everyone else.
I love this quote about energy from a Daily Om “A Question of Balance.” While it talks about intimate relationships, it actually really applies to any relationship:
“One of the most beautiful qualities of an intimate relationship is the give and take of energy that occurs between two people.”
Whether the relationship is with a co-worker, a close friend, a sibling, or significant other, the energy you share with them matters. Think about how it feels when you walk into a room and you feel completely welcome. There is a warm and happy glow. Do you ever think about the energy you give, or what you bring to each interaction? How does your energy level, your positive (or negative) emotions bring others up or down? Do you come into situations with the intent to help elevate others, or do you intend to bring them down?
At times I feel like a sponge, absorbing the energy around me. What takes the most energy and effort is to walk into a room of negativity, and gloom and keep yourself above it while also attempting to elevate or raise the energy and emotion of others. It tends to be easier to join a negative environment then it is to raise the bar from negative to positive. A happy and positive environment is always easy to join, as I said before, it is contagious.
Bring on a positive, slap happy, environment full of laughter. I will be there with you any day.