In A Pickle

Getting to know your dog’s likes and dislikes is the same process as learning the likes and dislikes of your partner or your children. It’s a process, and it can take trial and error to get there. For example, Lizzie loves carrots and apples and hates blueberries. Minnie loves ice cubes, will tolerate carrots, and hates apples. Today, I discovered that Marin loves tuna and mayonnaise on white bread, but not pickles.

When you know better, you do better.

I have been playing around with the work of Byron Katie lately. If you are not familiar, check her out here. Basically, after suffering from a deep depression, she discovered that if you can understand that your thoughts are just thoughts and can separate yourself from your mental ramblings, you can end your suffering.

I had an opportunity to play around with this concept this morning when I drove one of my children to work. This child is not a sunshiny, greet-the-day with a grin sort of child. Their mood is more one of glass isn’t just half-empty, it’s broken, and the shards are sticking through their skin…and by association mine. You know…pre-caffeinated bliss.

This morning for some reason, it irritated me. Here I am driving them to work with a smile on my face at 5:30 a.m., and I get nothing…zip, zilch, nada. Then it struck me as a good opportunity to employ Byron Katie’s four questions.

Isolate one thought: My child should be bright, cheerful, chatty company in the car.

Is it true? Yes, manners dictate.

Can I absolutely know that it is true? No. I can’t know it’s true. I am not the manners police.

How do you react when you believe the thought? Grumpy, unsettled, and annoyed.

Who would I be without that thought? Calm, present, happy to just plug in my podcast, and let them start their day how it works for them.

Turn it around: My child should not have to be bright, cheerful, chatty company.

Pow! Negative feelings dissolve. I turn on my earpiece and listen to an uplifting podcast. When we arrived at our destination, I bid them a good day with a smile and received a smile in return...I'll take it! It’s quite amazing how effective this technique is when you want to change your energy.

Addendum: You really have to work with it. I tried it later, and it didn't work at all, but I am pretty sure at the time I was invested in being grumpy.

I was so taken this how quickly I was able to shift this negative energy that I shared it with my husband over our coffee. “I don’t think that would work for me,” he replied seriously. Quickly, I reassured him that I was not thinking of him using it. I was just sharing an interesting turn of energy for myself. Amused. I finished my coffee and prepared for a walk with a friend.

My favorite walking spot!

Walking along the river snapping periodic photos of flowers, I chatted with my friend and then later in the conversation shared my little moment. Her face and tone changed as she replied, “I don’t think those tools would fit everyone.” This took me aback…someone else thinks I am offering up a way for them to “feel better.” This led to the question…Can I not have a self-centered epiphany about an energy tool and share it without everyone thinking I have an ulterior motive?

Pondering the situation further, I feel this can only happen for two reasons:

1. I dole out unrequested advice often (possible).

2. People think the world revolves around them (the direction I am leaning).

This may require some more Byron Katie technique, but I need three things to be understood:

1. I am not subtle and will tell you directly if I think something might be useful for you. You can then smile and completely ignore me.

2. My world revolves around me.

3. I like pickles in my tuna salad, and Marin will have to deal.

Pickles are cucumbers that believed in miracles.

- Unknown

I love spring flowers.

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