I have been deeply pondering this idea of Living Stress Free as a Choice…
Have you noticed that when your attention is on something specific the opportunities show up everywhere to challenge you? “So, you think you can just choose to be stress free, ok, let’s see how you deal with this situation!”
My first challenge was at the post office, I had received a yellow slip that required me to go to the window. I planned when I would go since I am completely aware that this is the holiday season and our already busy post office will be packed. I allotted enough time to ensure a stress free experience. The atmosphere was exactly as I expected, a long line had already formed many people with numerous packages to mail. I scanned the windows and was pleasantly surprised to see all 4 windows open, which is rare, now I was encouraged that the line had potential to move quickly, yes I was remaining stress free and even had a slight smile. It was not long until I noticed 4 windows were open and yet only 2 had people actually working in them, I was determined not to let it bother me.
Standing at the first window was a mother and her 6-year old, very animated, and energetic daughter who was attempting to use the strings of her knit hat to create a jump rope; the results were poor at best. With each failed attempt, she let her frustration show very loudly. I was looking for every way to be inspired by the youthful exuberance that I was witnessing. Ok, I did have a thought that the mother could acknowledge her daughter’s presence as she was tugging on her sweater screaming, “Mom I want to see what the man is doing!” at least 10 times. Not going to give my well being away, I was determined to stay out of judgment and stress free, so I put the smile back on my face. Now I glanced at the clock and as 20 minutes had passed with only 1 additional person being served, I decided to pay more attention to what was going on; the mother and daughter were both getting passports. It was obvious with the number of questions being asked that this window would be tied up for a lot longer.
I was aware of the grumblings from those in line, “Only two windows open this is ridiculous!” “The post office wants us to do more business with them – well, they better start providing better service!” “What the heck is going on here anyway?”… You get the idea. I took a deep breath and returned to choosing to be stress free. I was feeling pretty darn good with how I was doing, when the man behind decided to engage me directly with his complaints and how this was making him late for his next stop, that he was a working man after all: he was angry. I just nodded my head showing a compassionate smile and kept breathing making sure I did not match his irritation.
Once again I looked at the clock; 35 minutes have passed without any movement. I noticed that a little annoyance began to creep in, as I started paying attention to what was going on at the one other open window. A woman had numerous packages that showed no addresses! Now, that is very unusual. She was asking the clerk, “If I mail this to Canada, first class, how much will it be?” “If I add insurance what will that price be?” “If I send it regular post what will that price be?” “Oh, I forgot to ask when will the package arrive if it is sent by first class or regular post?” Now, I don’t know why it makes any difference if you are only asking for information or actually sending the packages, yet for some reason this is where I lost my stress free choice and went into judgment; I decided that this woman was taking too much time and needed to move on so that paying customers could complete their transactions. I caught myself immediately and started to chuckle, right at that moment, I re-chose my stress free experience.
At the same time the passports were completed, the other woman had all the information she needed and the little girl merrily skipped out with her mom. All was well I thought, the line would move quickly now. At that moment a collective groan was heard from those in line and I saw that the first window had put up a closed sign; he had run out of register tape, I could not contain my laughter. Within a few moments the window opened again and the line did move quickly and I was out the door; it took 45 minutes to receive my package and I had a great lesson in the process! I congratulated myself on staying stress free for the majority of the time, and left the post office with a smile.
Many of us hurry through life going from one place to the next, focused on running the next errand, and believing we will never have enough time to do all the things we need to get done. We allow the circumstances of the day to dictate how we feel. Being anxious and stressed out does not make anything better or make the line move faster. Yet, you can be calm through it all if you just realize that you are the creator of this life you chose to live and continue to choose to live. Life is lived through a series of choices and being free from stress is one of those choices.
It is my hope that you choose to be stress free so that you may happily live the life that you desire from this day forward.
Love and Blessings,