I remember it like it was yesterday…
April 25th, 2020 was a beautiful Saturday morning.
One of my cats woke me up at 5:15 am.
As I rolled over, I caught the beginning of a sunrise — the beginning of what WeatherChannel.com promised to be a beautiful day.
I excitedly got out of bed to jumpstart the day and followed my usual morning routine, which consists of getting dressed, making coffee, and grabbing my laptop to check email and read some blogs.
However, the morning immediately took a turn down a different, life-changing road…
Within the first 10 minutes of the day, I had a very sick cat, a pissed off client, and my “womanly visitor” arrived. For me, this meant a fun-filled day of worry, stress, and physical pain.
Validate and Manage Emotions and Choose to Be Solutions-Focused
To deal with my emotions the best way possible, I spent the morning sitting with my heating pad, coffee, and writing down my thoughts, feelings, and solutions.
My Cat – I knew he was at risk for hyperthyroidism. I had taken him to the vet earlier that week for blood work. I was waiting for his vet to call me with the results. In the meantime, seeing him sick was breaking my heart.
My Pissed Off Client – The short story is that I helped a client with a project earlier that week which had a hard Friday deadline (the day before). My responsibilities for the project were clear, and I had delivered what was required of me by the Friday deadline.
However, the rest of her team failed to see the project through to completion. No, this wasn’t my fault personally, but I had to take some of the rap for it.
My “Womanly Visitor” – Of course, all women are different. For me, my “monthly visitor” involves serious abdominal, thigh, lower back pain, headaches, nausea—the works. It also often means spending the day in bed with Advil and a heating pad.
Regardless of my less-than-ideal physical and emotional state, I had obligations that day—specifically my little nephew’s birthday party, and my best friends counting on me.
So, the day got better from there, right?
Another Un-“ex”-pected Visit – That afternoon, I received a visit from my ex-boyfriend. We had been together for almost five years, broke up more than a year ago, and had barely spoken since. Needless to say, the last interaction I had with him was far from positive. And then suddenly, after more than a year, there was in my driveway…
I was immediately overcome with fear, anxiety, and utter confusion. Why was he here? What did he want?
Stones of Steel – Once the day started to die down, and I was beginning to feel better, I went for a run to clear my head. For those of you who read my blogs on the regular (thank you!), you know that I am a firm believer in the power of exercise. I use exercise as a way to clear my head, process my thoughts and emotions, and just feel good.
After I returned from my run, and before jumping into the shower, I passed a kidney stone. I was immediately worried, scared, and in awful pain.
You might be reading this thinking, “Okay, you had a sucky day. But your house didn’t burn down, and no one died.”
Yes, I could have spent the day in bed, told my client and ex-boyfriend to “F” off, called my best friends to tell them I wouldn’t be able to make it to their son’s party, and sat alone in my bedroom in physical and emotional pain and feeling sorry for myself.
But what would that solve? Would I have felt any better about ANY of it?
My Cat – I did what I could to comfort him. I reminded myself that his discomfort and illness that day was only temporary, and that I would soon have answers from his vet as well as a treatment plan for him going forward.
My Pissed Off Client – I wrote down the best possible response I could think of to respond to the situation. Even though she was unhappy with the outcome, I reminded her of what I DID do, and that what she had needed by the deadline was functional, even if it didn’t look the way she wanted it to.
In the end, she ended up thanking me for my efforts and we scheduled a retrospective meeting for Monday morning to address where the project went wrong, discuss what we learned from them, and then develop a mitigation plan for going forward.
My “Womanly Visitor” – Regardless of my physical and emotional state that morning, my nephew and my best friends were counting on me. So, I downed a few Advil, sat with my heating pad for as long as I could, and then sat outside in the beautiful early Springtime sunshine until it was time to leave. Once I saw the smile on my nephew’s face, and his parents—my best friends—it was all worth it.
The Un-“ex”-pected Visitor – And my ex-boyfriend? He actually stopped by to return something of mine—something I forgot all about and didn’t even realize he had. He was friendly and communicative, so I returned the behavior.
Sure, I could have yelled and screamed at him for all the things that went wrong, and all the horrible things he said and did to me, but what would that solve? What would anger solve in that moment?
In fact, experiencing that one moment of friendliness cured a lot of the hurt and pain I was probably holding deep down inside.
Rather than letting my hurt and angry emotions get the best of me, I chose the forgiving, compassionate route. Since then, we have reconciled our differences, apologized for our mistakes, and today we are good friends.
Stones of Steel – I wish I could say that passing that kidney stone was a one-time occurrence, but it wasn’t. After visiting a urologist, and weeks upon weeks of tests, it turned out that I had a full-blown case of Kidney Disease (not chronic Kidney Disease that often results in kidney failure and routine dialysis treatments, but specifically Kidney Stone Disease).
For the next four months, I had visited the emergency room three times; a seemingly endless array of blood tests, CT scans, and ultrasounds; and I even had to have surgery on right kidney to physically remove the stones because they were too large to pass without doing substantial damage to my kidney—and, yup, all during COVID…
Today, I have just about recovered from surgery, I’m about 85 percent disease free, and slowly adjusting to a new diet, lifestyle, and routine.
It’s All About Mindset
After such a wild, emotional day, I needed time to reflect. After a series of unfortunate and weird events, I still felt accomplished, relieved, and happy. I also thought for a minute or two about what the day would have looked like had I let myself just have a bad day and react emotionally to all of it.
Although there were moments that were incredibly difficult, I made the CHOICE to not look at any of the things that happened that way. Had I given up on the day and went with my first impulses, I would have likely disappointed and emotionally hurt my friends and nephew; I would have permanently damaged a relationship with a highly valuable client; and I would have wasted a beautiful, sunny, and warm spring day…
And the worst part? I wouldn’t have felt any better about any of it…
The point I’m trying to make here with all this is the difference I made by CHOOSING to be positive; owning, managing, and validating my emotions; choosing solutions over stubbornness or sadness.
Now, I get it. Some days just… suck, no matter how much you try to be positive. When these days happen, the best thing to do is just let them happen, accept and appreciate the day for what it is and what has happened, and focus on a better tomorrow.
Tomorrow is a new day, and it helps us to learn from the mistakes we made or accept the issues that have happened the day before, and provides us with the opportunity to move forward.
Emotional Intelligence, Positive Energy, and the Law of Attraction At Work
Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” – Albert Einstein
Some of you might read this and think, “you’re just avoiding or downplaying the issues”, “this is unrealistic for most people”—or my personal favorite—”you live in a bubble.”
But the explanations above are also clear examples of emotional intelligence at work.
This is also an example of positive energy at work, which derives from a positive mindset. Focused intention is the key to the Law of Attraction, which means that we attract in our lives whatever we focus on. So, if you wake up every morning with the intention, “I refuse to have anything but a good day today,” you are going to succeed every time.
However, regardless of your mindset, life still happens. Your car might break down. You might forget your keys or phone. You might spill your coffee. You might displease your significant other or spouse. It simply means that when those things happen, you will remember your intention and you will align your thoughts and actions with the goal of having a good day.
And here’s another thing: The more positive energy you exude, the more positive events will come your way.
Choosing different thoughts and changing your mindset requires focus and practice. If you continue to focus as you have been, to think as you have been, and to believe as you have been, then nothing in your experience will change.
Adopting a positive mindset begins with you.