The gift of no crisis

Fred

Fred on the couch. I loved this image of the empty table before him…like it is saying, “Here is the day.  Empty and ready to be filled. Put lovely things (thoughts) on the table (that is your life) today!”

The other day I placed an order (for a gift) on-line. I checked the “gift wrap” option, but when the confirmation email came it was marked as no gift wrap. I emailed them right back and received a standard response that they would try to get back to me within 24-48 hrs. “Oh no!” I thought, “It will have been shipped unwrapped if they don’t read this email sooner!” I tried calling customer service and found that they were “experiencing an unusual volume of calls” and I was put on hold. I waited for what seemed like ages, hung up and tried again.

After another 10 minutes of being on hold, I checked in with myself and found that I was tense and a little worried. I had imagined the package arriving un-gift wrapped and at that moment, my mind made this little tiny thing into a crisis that had to be immediately solved by me.

I hadn’t cleared my energy before contacting them, and as I sat waiting, I felt the tension building within, so I hung up the phone and said to myself, “This is no big deal. I’ll put it down until I am in a better state.” I then began to make myself a cup of tea and felt much more relaxed. What had seemed like a mini-emergency a few minutes earlier, now just felt like a preference.

The egoic mind tends to escalate things. It makes everything into a problem, a crisis, an issue, and it commands us (and warns us) to pay attention to it, and to be alarmed by thoughts like, “This is awful, This is unacceptable, This is an outrage, This is serious….” (on and on with fear-based reasons why we must take action NOW!)

As I sat and waited for my tea-water to boil, feeling that wonderful inner calm, I had the idea, “Call them back but instead of pushing the “Inquiring about an order already placed” option, hit the option for, “Placing an order”.  Sure enough, I dialed and within 10 seconds a very nice woman answered and even though she couldn’t fix the issue, she put me through to someone who could, and an easy,  pleasant correction was made.

A high-level solution was presented to me when my mind was in a higher energy state.

This is such a silly, small example of a “crisis” but my life used to be made up of these little stories (that became  habitual, stressed out living where anything that didn’t go my way was turned into a problem). So now, when I catch myself engaged in this kind of thinking, I try to nip it in the bud, not criticise myself, but just to notice what I’m doing and change myself before I try to change anything on the outside.

If your mind is clear, you can walk out the door right now, with no friends, no job, no family, no money, no anything, and live absolutely happily. You can’t not have abundance in paradise. In the stillness beyond belief, everything is known: where to go, what to do, when. All of it. The way I live is that I don’t ever have to know anything again, not ever.” Byron Katie from  Question Your Thinking, Change The World

20 thoughts on “The gift of no crisis

  1. Goodness, Mary, you’ve hit the nail on the head with me this morning. I can get flapped up over minor issues that if I sit and think about them I wouldn’t knee-jerk so much. I’ve looked for excuses and blamed it on my half-Italian heritage but even so, my ‘tendencies’ can be curbed. I’m printing this posting off as a reminder. Take a deep breath first. Adjust my thought processes. Now, I wonder how long that will last….(g)
    Sandy P in Canada

  2. Watching a beautiful sunrise surrounded by water this morning, I took a deep breath, smiled, and said a prayer of thanks…..that I am not in control! XXO

  3. Great reminder, Mary. I have also realized, that my ability to evaluate without panic is relative to how much coffee (caffeine)I have in my system. Had one of those fasting blood work-ups yesterday prior to annual physical and it was noon-ish before I had coffee. I was noticeably anxiety-free all morning. Hmmm, there can also be a chemical aspect to my peace of mind. Thank you for giving me perspective and ways to question my “crises”as they appear!

    • first I notice my energy to see what I’m feeling (am I tense, afraid, worried, angry, sad, discouraged, feeling like a victim?….) to get a starting point. After I can feel where I am energetically, I then use the ” tool” that seems most appropriate (for instance, if i am really angry, it wouldn’t be possible at that point to “suspend thought” (one of the tools that I use), so I might go for a run. My intention is always to move from a negative feeling to one that is more expansive and my tools include, taking a nap, using an affirmation, reading something inspirational, suspending all thought, laughing at myself (in a loving way), smiling in the mirror, telling myself; you are doing really well Mary!……,

  4. Dear Mary. Thank you! I really needed to hear this today. I get so wound up sometimes…with even the smallest of details…and forget that inner peace is the only solution to anything. I can take deep breaths today and trust the universe.

  5. Mary – I love this example of handling a “crisis”. Whether an issue is big or small, I am finding this approach really works for me when I let it happen.

  6. Oh so relatable Mary! Yesterday I found myself pacing around the dining room table stewing about my “crisis du jour”. When I became aware of my actions, I was able to let it go and within an hour the right solution popped into my head. You have taught us well, teacher! Thanks too for the suggestions on clearing negative energy.

  7. I have learned to force myself to take a step back and observe myself during a ‘crisis,’ but most of the time, trying to do that is like trying to make myself eat a plate of Lima beans……it’s not going to happen. So when I CAN step back, I congratulate myself on keeping on top of the situation in a calm manner. When I CAN’T step back, I allow myself the luxury of giving in to who I am and getting it out of my system. The solutions may come a little later in the latter scenario, but they still come.
    I think you have to really know who you are and go with what you need to be at at that moment.

    I have learned to force myself to take a step back and observe myself during a ‘crisis,’ but most of the time, trying to do that is like trying to make myself eat a plate of Lima beans……it’s not going to happen. So when I CAN step back, I congratulate myself on keeping on top of the situation in a calm manner. When I CAN’T step back, I allow myself the luxury of giving in to who I am and getting it out of my system. The solutions may come a little later in the latter scenario, but they still come.
    I think you have to really know who you are and go with what you need to be at at that moment.

      • Suzanne, I think human nature being what it is, you’re doing just fine and what I think comes most naturally to me, anyway. I find the best way to get myself out of my own intensity is to try and do as Mary does…get myself into a completely different focus. And it doesn’t always work for me. At least you’re being more mindful.
        SandyP

  8. I love this idea of stepping back and observing ourself as if in a mirror – and maybe laughing at ourselves all in a tizzy. I really am thankful too, to Laura who asked you, Mary, how you clear your energy – these suggestions are wonderful! A little toolbox for the mind.

  9. This is so appropriate for me today, seems it’s been a series of “crises,” starting with a much needed massotherapy appt getting cancelled because she was having her own little “crisis.” This was followed by a phone call saying my much loved vet is abruptly leaving the practice. And then an unexpected whopper of a bill arrived in the mail. Have reread this post several times, and I think I’ll just kick back in the chair with the latest “Oprah” magazine and know this will all be resolved.

  10. It’s that letting go and breathing peace even when it seems difficult. Often hindsight is much clearer, but I try to ask myself, “Do I want this pain/chaos/upset more than PEACE inside? Remember the last time you were upset and it wasn’t worth it?” So many of us are programmed to worry as if it’s the talisman (taliswoman?) for safety. Hard lessons. Doesn’t always work, but keep trying; much better than the alternative. Thanks, all.

  11. Tomorrow morning I am flying by myself to stay in Florida and then go on a cruise with a good friend and her family. I was supposed to go the day before yesterday, but the snowstorm changed my plans. And now the person who said he would take me to the airport has backed out in a fit of anger. I am proud of myself for saying, ” Ok, I’ll drive myself and keep my car there.” More expensive, but I didn’t want to begin my vacation with anger, blaming and craziness which this person often is in the middle of dishing out. Taking deep breaths and removing myself from a difficult situation is becoming easier. I so appreciate the reminders that everything is manageable if you have the right attitude. Whew. Sun and ocean, here I come!

  12. Hi Mary – and flock. I am very good at crisis management. I like to do things that I’m good at. So sometimes I find myself creating a crisis just so I can manage it! Not that I think it through like that, mind you. In fact, it took me some therapy to realize this pattern in myself.

    This past few months my life experience has included enough real drama that I have had no energy left over for making mountains out of molehills. Dec. & Jan. I was managing 4 black Lab puppies born in the breezeway of my house to my yellow Lab, Grace. No sooner had the last pup for sale left my home with its new owner, I discovered I had SHINGLES!!! The same week, on Valentine’s Day, my husband fell on black ice on our driveway, breaking his foot & ankle in three places. (I tell people, “he fell for me on Valentine’s Day)! The next week our 19 year old cat, Sandy, had to be put to sleep…he went downhill very fast. It was his time. However, the timing of these events so one on top of the other, was enough to topple me.

    The balance is, my niece is getting married in May in Hawaii. My son will be my escort. I am so looking forward to dancing with him at the wedding that I have the energy and gratitude to continue to recover from the Shingles. I could start to worry if the pilot of the plane will be sober, or if I’ll have a stroke on the very long flight, or trip when I’m dancing….but I THINK NOT.

    Signing off, sealed with a KISS (keep it simple sisters), and with fondness for the flock, Mary Rita Scott.

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