by Andrea Chilcote
The following post appeared originally on The Spirited Woman where Andrea is a weekly blogger. This summer, followers of this blog will enjoy bi-weekly archived posts that have appeared on The Spirited Woman but never before on this site.
I’m collecting experiences – positive ones. And I am going to continue to write about them until they no longer amaze me, until living in a peaceful and harmonious state is just the norm.
Last week, as I set out on what was to be a very busy schedule that involved multiple cities, I created an intention to remain unaffected by the flotsam and jetsam around me. I decided that I would shield myself from the “junk” energy that floats around anywhere people are trying to get from here to there with inevitable delays – airports and freeways – and the contagious frustrations that issue from mobile technology, to name just a few.
The examples I share are quite trivial in some ways, but the impact on my overall state of being and thus the work I accomplished was profound. I transformed a long airplane delay into time for a delicious and healthy dinner. Energized, I still accomplished everything planned at my destination, just with slightly less sleep (which I didn’t need because I wasn’t exhausted from the stress of it all). Once on the plane, I proactively engaged a flight attendant in a conversation and ended up hearing some very funny stories. As I was leaving the plane, she said “No matter what happens out there, remember to just laugh.” Great advice that served my goal. I didn’t laugh when my laptop battery failed (permanently) mid-document, but I did manage to switch my attention to productive, creative work that didn’t require a pc.
What I noticed was this: managing my state of being – my energy, my mood – required laser-sharp present moment awareness and attention. It is so very easy to become affected by the energy and circumstances that surround us, and remaining unaffected is a moment-by-moment choice.
Right after my trip, I ran across an article on Oprah.com in which life coach extraordinaire Martha Beck advised to “achieve bigger goals take smaller steps.” And suddenly it dawned on me. My goal to be peaceful at all times (a big goal as far as I’m concerned!) doesn’t have to be a goal at all. It doesn’t have to be something “out there” to be achieved. It comes to fruition every moment I am willing to take a small step in alignment with my intention. A moment-by-moment choice.
This principle applies to most goals you set. If you have an intention to “be healthy,” your body is literally healthier, (perhaps momentarily), every time you choose an apple over a donut. If you have an intention to “build a relationship,” the relationship is stronger (albeit slightly) with every positive action you take. You – and I – have the ability to control the direction of our lives in some small way every moment. For me, knowing that brings peace.