The other day the hubby and I were all set to take a 3.5 hour drive down south for some paddle-boarding, wine, relaxation and… er… other stuff.
Our excitement was ridiculous; we were like kids on Christmas morning looking at our presents and knowing in a few short hours we could open them and drink champagne. Um… maybe we were just adults on Christmas morning. We were even excited about the actual drive down – time to decompress, chat and chill. That there picture above? Yeah, that.
With bliss balls and books packed, we excitedly set off.
I pulled out my book. Our tradition for long-drives is that I choose a book that I adore and read it aloud to him. We chat, flesh out, workshop and critique the theories within. It is glorious. It is also the reason the husband is now obsessed with Danielle LaPorte.
Before I could launch into my spoken word piece, it started…
BA- BA- BA-BA-BANG.
The wind was buffeting the SUP board bag and it was making a hell of a racket. It was literally as if we were wearing helmets and some obnoxious bully was slapping us either side of the head at perfectly timed 1-second intervals. I’m pretty sure there are torture techniques modeled on this damn noise.
At first it was hilarious however 20 minutes later the laughter had tapered off to a murmur. Then the murmur had dissipated into a very tense silence (aside from that damn banging of course!). Then the silence became words that started with F and the odd C. Sadly I am not talking Flowers and Candles.
“Oh my FREAKING GOD. Seriously. Seriously?!”
“I cannot handle two and a half hours of this!”
et cetera, et cetera….
So we pulled over and tightened the straps hoping desperately that this would buy us some silence.
Back on the road the banging was gone… for about a minute and a half and then it reared its ugly head again.
Further on we stopped again and tried stuffing towels into the board bag. Tried readjusting it. Mark tried using his belt to tighten this and that. I was getting so desperate that I was considering turfing my beloved board altogether.
As we set off the banging continued.
Mark was angry. I was getting angry at Mark being angry.
He was getting angry that I was angry at him being angry.
In case you aren’t getting the picture… tensions were high in that little ol’ car of mine. This was not the road-trip I was visualising.
The “pull over – adjust – false hope – more banging” ritual went on for another hour or so until it became painfully obvious that this buffeting symphony was going to accompany us the entire way. Not to mention the extra time we had just tacked onto our journey for our constant pulling over.
We simmered as we drove, only breaking the silence to snipe at each other occasionally or swear at the board.
Then – resolutely – I grabbed out my book and I just started reading out loud. Mark was resistant at first but soon enough I saw those little lines on his forehead smooth out. We chatted about the book, had the odd giggle and then every time that bloody wind gave me lip I just got louder. I showed the wind who was boss. Felt like bloody Captain Planet, in fact.
About 30 minutes later I had to stop myself from exclaiming ”HALLELUJAH! The banging has finally stopped!” only to realise that – no, it was still very much present.
Well that was weird.
Simply by shifting my focus onto some beautiful words and bonding with my husband I had managed to completely drown out the worlds most annoying noise.
Before I could marvel too hard I rolled my eyes and thought to myself, Of course I did.
As it often does it took something so totally trivial to remind me of one of my longest held lessons and philosophies.
What we focus on grows.
What we focus on becomes our reality.
What we focus on e x p a n d s.
I am sure we have all heard a similar version of that oh so potent life lesson.
Since the (now) infamous car trip I have been taking this magic mindset with me every step of my day-to-day life. For example;
- I almost grumbled at my husband for leaving his hair gel out. Instead I chose to hug him for doing the dishes and kiss him for getting out of bed for me when our daughter cried at 2am. And 3am. And 4am. Since that choice he has – as if by magic – started remembering to put his hair gel away and our relationship is nag-free and happy.
- The other day instead of pinching and prodding my muffin top I gave my shapely ass a slap and a squeeze. I decided to celebrate the good rather than tear myself down before leaving the house and as such I walked with a little extra wiggle.
- I got stuck in traffic and instead of manically checking my watched I turned the moment of uninvited stillness into a spiritual practice. Instead of rising to anger I was thankful for that small moment to focus on my breath and reconnect with myself.
- I was sick this week and fir a second there was beating myself up about my lack of ability to work. Then I traded the frustration for some serious gratitude: I was rugged up in a doona with my dogs watching Sleepless in Seattle (and seriously… 20 years on that movie is still legitimately funny). After relinquishing the guilt I felt happier and – therefore – less sick.
See what I mean?
What you focus on expands.
The things that tend to chip away at us day-to-day are so small. So innocuous. But giving them too much power (or any at all) can have a devastating effects on the big important threads that weave your life: your relationships, your self-esteem, your motivation.
So I would love to extend the invitation to you today to really examine what you are focusing on today?
What are you giving the power to grow?
What are you willing into your reality?
Now… what could you focus on instead?
Because believe me… whatever you are looking for, you will find.