The other week it took me 36 hours to get from Washington, D.C. to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a trip that originally was supposed to take 6. I didn't hear my alarm and woke up at 6:30 for a 6:45 am flight, missed my original flight and was put on standby, and additional missed connections, flight delays, and mechanical difficulties all conspired to create a maelstrom of uncertainty, powerlessness, and frustration.
There is nothing like air travel to show you how little you actually control in life.
That is, until I remembered the one thing we can ALWAYS control - our thoughts. We always have a choice of how we perceive a situation, no matter how bad it “seems” from a conventional standpoint.
By the second day of my travel saga, I was texting with a friend about how I was losing my positivity, I was getting too frustrated. She asked me how I could create the experience I desired right then, no matter what. I decided that I wanted the situation to feel easy and stress-free. To do that, I had to let go of attachment of whether I would make it off standby to be on the next flight.
My attachment was creating stress, anxiety, and frustration but when I could let it not matter, I instantly felt better. I had done everything I could to put myself in the position to make it on the flight, but at that point it was out of my hands, so why worry about it? I got busy working on some new projects, projects that made me feel excited, joyful, and grateful for the work I get to do in the world. I was the last person called off standby to make it on the flight.
Once I finally got there, I was treated to views like this:
We believe that to get what we want, we have to struggle and fight. This is false.
You can get what you want in any given moment if you’re willing to shift your perspective about it.
This applies to any situation where you are feeling stressed, frustrated, or powerless. We can’t control what happens to us in life but we can control how we feel about it, and the good feelings instantly create the experience we are after anyway - happiness. Good feelings create more good feelings. So here are five steps to end the struggle for good, and still get what you want:
Step 1. Decide how you want to feel.
Is it happy? Abundant? Peaceful? Danielle LaPorte has some great resources for this but you don’t actually have to spend a ton of time on it. Imagine your happiest self, and ask yourself, how does she feel? Go with that.
Step 2. Release attachment to the outcome (HOW you’re going to feel that)
This is where most of us get tripped up with thoughts like, once I have 10 clients I’ll be happy, once I meet my soulmate I’ll feel loved, once I quit my job I’ll be fulfilled. Choose to be happy, loved, and fulfilled now, without those things and no matter what.
Step 3. Get busy doing what you can, where you are, with what you have to generate those feelings
Of course, that’s not to say we don’t want to generate those things in our life so start taking action (with the feelings of happiness, love, and fulfillment in your heart) to make it happen.
Step 4. Stay open to surprises - it may not look how you expect
This is where staying detached becomes so critical. If we’re so single minded on a goal we may miss the magic that’s actually trying to come in in a different way. So stay flexible and open-minded, and watch the magic happen!
Step 5. Get grateful for what you have and what’s on it’s way to you
Since you’re in my tribe (and reading this email!), I can bet you have a lot in your life to be grateful for. Spend some time appreciating what you have and get grateful for what’s on it’s way. When you can do that, you may notice that you already have it!
These steps can help you not only feel better in the present, but manifest your desires even more quickly than if you were to stay in anxious-tight-planning-control mode. Like attracts like, so the more you feel how you want to feel NOW, the more quickly what you want comes to you.
And if all else fails, just don’t sleep through your alarm ;)