These three things go hand in hand.

Some days I find myself immediately focusing on things that drain all of the positive energy from me. Worrying about little things, getting stuck on a comment or a facial expression that someone made, worrying about things on the news that are out of my control, or even worrying about the possibilities of things that can go wrong. Every moment that I get caught up on this is time wasted from things I could be enjoying. I don’t want to waste my time – I would rather be working on being mindful of the value of the moment I am in.

Reminding myself of this, and actually shifting gears to get to a better state of mind takes work and discipline. With every challenge of difficulty, drama or negativity comes the opportunity to practice the discipline of being mindful about the present, and about things that are truly important. I am still learning how to do this, and when I can pull it off – I am better off for it.

This past weekend, while at the Symphony in North Carolina, we had a very unfortunate encounter with a mean-spirited person who complained about our group and had us removed from a ‘special section’ of seating. It was really unecessary, but this woman felt it necessary to exercise her negativty and felt really good about it. I got SO angry and was ready to leave the show early and go home mad. At that moment, I made a decision. We were there to enjoy the weekend with friends and family, and no matter what other folks did to put a damper on our time, I refused to let them ruin our precious time together. We sat back down and I closed my eyes and focused on the music, the atmoshphere of friends and family, and was able to regain a sense of calm. Immediately I noticed that my friends and family began to relax, and we ended up having a great evening in spite of everything.

My lesson here is that I am able to choose how I will act and react, and I am in control of my own happiness – regardless of what others do. I refuse to be a victim in any way, and I will let no one else take away precious moments and the enjoyment of life from me. The other lesson is that I need to be aware of the part that I play in every situation. With every interaction, both negative and positive, we all must take responsibility for what we have contributed. I know this is a long rant and ramble – but it is part of my daily improvement process, and I needed to write this down…more to come on this soon