Responding to the Day

 

My life runs along like most peoples: I have good days and I have bad days. That seems to be the nature of life. As a coach however, I know that (like everybody else) I have a choice in how I respond to the circumstances of my day. And the key to that choice is where I focus my attention and my gratitude.

Earlier this spring, I had a stretch of feel-bad days. I fell off my porch step and struggled with back pain for almost six weeks. It seemed like just when Iʼd start to feel better, Iʼd do too much and end up back on the couch in spasms. After too many days of feeling frustrated, angry and helpless, I finally gave in and listened to my husbandʼs advice: why not start paying attention to (and being grateful for) what was good in my life, rather than focusing on my pain.

First, I practiced being grateful for slippers that slid on without having to be tied. Then I  remembered to be grateful that there was someone willing to tie my shoes for me. Next I was grateful for the ability to walk up the stairs. And on and on it went, step by step, paying more and more attention to what was working and less and less to what was not. And the results were both amazing and predictable: with this focused effort, I was less concerned about what I couldnʼt do and more intentional about noticing what was good about my day. By shifting my perspective bit by bit, I was able to reconnect with the joy in my life.

What I remembered during this experience is that I always have the power to choose what I want to focus on. Even when I canʼt control my outer conditions, I can totally control my response to them. Itʼs actually my response-ability to choose what I want to focus on! And good or bad, itʼs up to us to decide how to experience what the day brings.