Caught a Baditude?

Monday, October 14, 2013 , , , , 0

Alex:  I just had a run in with Cruella De Vil’s sister. The Palisades is busy this morning. I start work at 8am and it just so happens to be the same time school starts. The streets are flooded with cars, kids, and parents. As I approach my building, someone is blocking the entrance of my parking structure. Now the cars behind me have to wait too and let me tell you the one directly behind me was not happy. She laid on her horn until I turned in the parking lot, which was about a 20 second wait. What did she want me to do? As I turn into the lot she speeds by flipping me the bird. Really? Unless someone in your car is dying, no one should beep like that. Can you imagine someone being this crazy in Wisconsin? I can’t. I tried to let it go but her meanness must have rubbed off on me because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. She needed an attitude adjustment, big time. It reminded me of a lesson I learned about a year ago when a close friend of mine sat me down. It was a life-changing conversation, a realization I’ll never forget. For 18 years I went to school. I had a routine. I knew where I was going to be, for how long, and what I was going to be doing. But then…school was over. No more papers, no more classes, no more routine. Everything was now in my hands. So much responsibility. So many decisions. I was scared. I was second guessing myself. I was lost in a field of negative energy and wasn’t aware of the damage my negative attitude was causing. It started to rub off on my best friend, until finally she told me how she felt. While my friend had the courage to tell me my bad attitude was affecting her, it was her positivity that spoke the loudest to me. I loved being around her. Who doesn’t like to be around a positive person who is self-aware and happy? I was allowing myself to emit a negative energy because I was always thinking negatively. I’m lucky to have a friend that lead by example and showed me how much better life is when you love yourself. It’s important to be conscious of your way of thinking and remember that attitudes are contagious. Is your attitude worth spreading?
Nik:  This is very mature and evolved of you. The sooner people make this realization in life the better off they are. And attitudes are definitely contagious. My Dad (he haaaaaates computers, blogs, facebook, etc. and so I’m hoping he’ll never see this, but if he does, “Hey Dad! Get happy! Love you!”) has the most negative outlook. The man is like Scrooge before he’s visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future and buys a goose for Tiny Tim. I recently visited that side of my family for my Grandma’s 90th birthday. I drove to Idaho and although I was dreading the impending black cloud of my Dad’s negative attitude, the landscape of America is truly breathtaking and had me full of excitement. I had adventure-induced butterflies. Well. Within fifteen minutes of arrival, my shoulders started to fill with tension, my jaw was clenched and the roadtrip butterflies turned into acidic knots in my stomach. I’d give you the details, but rather than spread a negative experience, I’ll share how I made it positive. I think anyone dealing with someone who has a bad attitude can benefit from the breath. It’s that simple. Anytime I started to feel like I was holding onto his negative energy (tight shoulders, a clenched jaw and stomach were indicators), I’d slowly exhale until my body felt relaxed. Rather than holding onto the stress, I just breathed through it so I didn’t take on his attitude and make it my own, or worse yet, lash out and turn an F1 situation into an F5. It worked. And it works in traffic, in a never ending line at the grocery store, or with a grumpy friend. Take slow and deliberate breaths and make a conscious choice not to attach to their experience or negative emotions. I also think in the right circumstance, you can approach the person and tell them how you feel, like your friend did with you. But if you can’t, focusing on the breath will balance your perspective in any situation and hopefully help you maintain a positive outlook. Or find one.

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