Are you stressed: Make another choice

Are you stressed?
Do little, ordinary things that go wrong in your daily life just...

They do me sometimes. In fact, let's be honest... A LOT of times. It could be the person who doesn't speak when you answer the ringing telephone (because it's a machine calling most likely) or the person in the car in front of you who is going f-i-f-t-e-e-n m-i-l-e-s a-n h-o-u-r and you are the biggest rush to get to work, to an appointment... wherever it is you probably should've been there 10 minutes ago because your schedule is thistight every day, all the time. I could go on and on with the things that stress me out but I'm sure you are picturing your own scenarios.

Let's switch gears for a minute.
Have you ever seen a gerbil in their cage? watched them run on their little "wheel"?
Have you ever noticed how they get off the wheel?
Think about it... Let me tell you what happens. They run on their little wheel until, because of exhaustion, the FALL off! They fall off and knock themselves out!

And... when they come to.... they immediately get back on the wheel.

Now my next question to you is... "How many of you are gerbils?"

(My hand sheepishly goes up.) I teach this stuff! I know this stuff! But, time and time again, I rush, rush, hurry, hurry, stress, stress until... I get knocked out. Happened just this week (again) when I ended up at the ER, complications of chronic ulcers... caused by ... stress. And after about four days of doing absolutely nothing (my equivalent of being knocked out), I come to (can actually function again) and here I go, jumping on the darned wheel again. I'll take a shower in a minute and run to give a presentation at a local church. I'll run by work (haven't been there in four days) and catch up a bit. Come home, do dishes, laundry, probably vacuum and go to bed at a decent time (one point for me there for actually planning to go to bed at a decent time. I do know sleep is important.) Tomorrow I'll get up early, get to work, work till noon then take off on a 2 1/2 hour trip, visit and home by about 11pm. I hear the hum of the "wheel" already.

You may be nodding your head saying "Yes, that's the way I've always done it, too." But I have news for you! Today... today you can "choose to do it different!"

I choose NOT to get on the wheel today.
I have committed to the speaking engagement, but afterwards I choose to visit and spend time with my 98 year old grandma. I choose to come home and make the most beautiful piece of peanut butter toast (about all I can keep down right now) and serve it to myself on a beautiful plate and make the presentation exquisite! None of this standing at the sink and inhaling it today. I choose to spend some time with that book I've been wanting to ready for six months and can never "justify" spending my valuable time on. I choose to just lay on the couch and listen to my newest "Wicked" CD and get lost in the music. I choose to journal about my feelings. I choose to NOT get back on that wheel. At least for today. To honor my self, my spirit, my emotions and my body and take care of it and treat it with love today.

I know this stuff. I teach it.
A wise Ralph told me... "The longest journey is the one from the head to the heart."
Making what you KNOW part of who you ARE.

I'm working on it.
Now, next time you fall off that wheel when you come to just lay there for a minute and think before you act. Before you get back on that wheel, reflect and discover how YOU can honor yourself today.

Because loving yourself is the best thing you can do for those you love.

In abundance,
Anita Lewandowski Brown