Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What's Polluting You?

It’s not noon yet and I feel like a land fill already.  I started out fresh and my morning meditation cleared the slate for a brand new day.  What happened between then and now?

Life happened I guess.  The regular wears and tears of living just got to me.  Actually, they didn’t really get to me, I just happened to notice them today.

Here is a list of my pollutants du jour (so far):
1. News of yet another sex scandal on TV
2. Bottle caps and plastic bottles on my walking trail
3. The garbage truck’s noise
4. My daughter’s emotional meltdown about something ridiculous
5. Beating myself up over not working out this morning
6. Thoughts about the appointment I have later on that I don’t want to keep
7. E-mails that I can’t keep up with
8. Feeling like there is something important I’ve forgotten to do (and it’s not the work out)
9. Annoyed at the over whelming fragrance of the bug spray I sprayed on myself before going out for my walk
10. Thoughts of what to make for dinner tonight

Once you stop and become mindful of all the pollutants in your life, it can get scary.  If it does not scare you, it can certainly stress you or cause a certain degree of anxiety, so that by 5 PM after a good day’s work, you are ready to unleash at the first guy who cuts you off in rush hour traffic.  And it hasn’t even been a really bad day.

A client once asked me, “So what do I do with all of the pollutants?”  Some of them may need to be taken care of, but most are just a byproduct of life.  In fact, sometimes when we over-analyze something, it becomes more of a problem.  Usually, it is just about noticing and letting go.  The noticing is important, because it makes you conscious and aware, so you can then take care of yourself.  When you know you are annoyed, It is your responsibility to take care of your condition.  The taking care of might just be about taking a few deep breaths, lightening up, and letting go.

The reason why we get so uptight is because we either want to take responsibility for what is not ours, we have already taken responsibility for what is not ours, or we want someone else to take responsibility for what is not theirs.  The pollutants in our life are here to remind us that we are not the handyman of the universe, armed with our tool belts ready to go into fix it mode at the drop of a hat.  We are certainly not the high school principal or prison guard watching and waiting for someone to go out of line, so we can correct them or put them in place either.

In fact, situations always somehow resolve themselves without our interference.  So, the next time you feel inclined to react to a pollutant, remember that it is just a pollutant, something that does not require much thought or emotional distress.  Living is about bumping into things and sometimes even falling down and breaking a few bones.

Don’t lose sight of what really matters when you are agitated or hurt by your bump.  It’s just a pesky bump.  It’s a reminder that you are alive and a human.

Questions to Ponder:
1) What are some of your pollutants?
2) How do you decide what is just a pollutant and what really needs your attention?
3) How do you recharge and clean your slate?

If you would like to learn how to manage your pollutants, you might want to work with a spiritual life coach.  Spiritual life coaching can teach you how to recharge, gain clarity, and stay peaceful when life is throwing all kinds of things at you.  If you are interested in a complimentary 30 minute life coaching consultation, please contact me.