Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath oh Fresh Air

Long Promised Road

on February 6, 2017

This month at the gym where I coach (Elements Fitness), we started keeping track of our monthly goals. This is something we used to do when I was a client at the RUSH in Arlington Heights, and this helped me turn goals into daily habits. The new habit I remember best is working to drink more water – starting with 1 liter a day, then 2… and now, for the past year or so, I have been at a gallon a day (but admittedly still a work in progress to turn this into a habit on weekends too).

The goal I wrote down last Saturday was to “respond, not react.” This is something I have practiced for a long time, and it is more a habit than when I started, but it is something that at least for me demands a constant, vigilant awareness. This means when my attention is drawn to other areas of my being better, I become vulnerable to slip ups.

So my story starts here. So far 2017 for me has been off and running with changes – I started my yoga teacher training, a huge time commitment and information overload, AND (yay!) I am starting a new job a week from Monday (more info to come!). So you can only image how my A.D.D. mind is handling all this spin-out – positive or not I am anything but grounded right now…. So sure enough, yesterday I found myself in a slow-motion spin out with someone near and dear to me. I lost control, and I reacted to something instead of responding.

This is emotional intelligence (at its best and at its worst). Emotional intelligence is being aware of what our triggers are to prevent reactions and instead, inspire responses. I know that not being in control can trigger me; and at the same time, I know not being in control is good for me. I am a true Gemini with a dual personality; I am a free-spirit / control freak, but I am working hard to find my harmony; my middle.

Because I was triggered, I didn’t even realize how my words sounded outside of my own head. When we are set off, we descend into fight or flight mode, and we go into a version of a defensive back on auto-pilot in an effort to protect ourselves. Our brain thinks we have been “threatened”, and we start self-preservation. We can be in this mode without realizing it. It takes a MINIMUM of 20 minutes to come out of this state (and can take much, much longer). But when we “wake up”, we are still responsible for our actions, and often what we thought was SO right turns out to be SO… not.

This is exactly why I set this “respond, not react” goal for myself; because I know I (we!) are more susceptible to slip ups when our foundation is slippery like mine is these days (a good slippery! But slippery nonetheless).

I am sharing this today because I committed to a goal and less than a week in I already FAILED. Yep. FAILED.

BUT, failure is only a real fail if you forget that failure is TEMPORARY; because what you did is NEVER as important as what you do NEXT.

trySo reflect. Then take responsibility; say you are sorry to yourself and (then) your somebody else(s). Last, use your new strength to get to your NEXT – your RECOVERY and your REBOUND.

As long as you always head forward, you will learn to learn from the curves on your road.

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