As much as I practice gratitude on a daily basis, even the best of us can slip into ungrateful mode… as I did last week while driving to teach a yoga class.
As always, I call myself out on my crap and shared the following story with my students. They appreciated my honesty and laughed at how they can all recall a similar situation.
I’m grateful to have gotten a new car last week, and as I’m still getting used to the functions, I wasn’t quite sure how to use the hands-free phone feature. I pressed the button on my steering wheel, and a voice more annoying than Siri popped on to ask what I wanted to do:
- synch contacts
- find a contact
- add a contact
- make a call
- order a pizza
Okay, she didn’t ask me the last one, but I was getting huffy because I couldn’t just say “Call Jake”, I had to wait for her to go through all the questions before I could state my request- and OH MY GOD, it took all of about 30 seconds for her to get to my choice.
I began a conversation in my head that questioned why they didn’t put “make a call” first, why I couldn’t just shout “make a call” and it would happen and why they couldn’t find someone with a more appealing voice to roll through these questions.
Then I caught myself, did a mental handstand and started laughing-I mean hysterically laughing at myself.
“Do you hear yourself?” I asked out loud.
“You’re driving in a car and talking to it- asking it to make a phone call for you…. get a grip you dope!”
Suddenly I started making a mental note of all the things I was grateful for at that moment, a car that gets me where i need to go, a warm house to drive home to, a job I love, two awesome kids, and an equally fantastic husband. Oh yeah, and for the fact that I could eventually (once I passed through the annoying options) actually ask my car to make a phone call for me.
It’s what I like to call a “mental handstand.” It turns the situation immediately upside down, just as doing a physical handstand changes your perspective on the mat, this changes it for all the times you catch yourself being negative, judgmental, or whining about something ridiculous.
I start each day doing an actual physical handstand, then I sit on my mat to meditate and perform a “mental handstand” to begin with a positive attitude. The mind-body connection, no matter how you access it, has the power to not only change your physical constitution, but also they way in which you see the world.
I know that for me, I’d rather flip my body and attitude upside down on those days when I’m feeling unmotivated, uninspired, ungrateful, and unbalanced, than walk around feeling crappy.
The next time you’re feeling ungrateful, do a “mental handstand” and see if you can flip the script in your head to have a happy ending; especially when the person in front of you is texting in your car and takes a few extra seconds to respond to the green light- can you NOT honk that horn?
Yes, you can!
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