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Day 89: Wanting it my way

January 12, 2024

For almost 3 months I’ve been writing about letting go.

I’ve prided myself on my increasing ability to accept imperfection – in myself, in others and in the situations and experiences I encounter. 

But I still have a long way to go.

Today’s lesson was brought to me by a tiny slug…

Last night I slept really badly. I’m travelling for work and I’ve got a full day of training delivery today with a group of very bright leaders within one of the countries largest organisations. I’d like to do a good job.

So, this morning, after meditating and doing some yoga, I decided I’d go outside and walk barefoot in the woods. I don’t know much about “grounding” but I’ve heard it can work wonders for energy levels and restoring calm. Twenty minutes walking barefoot on natural ground is all it takes. So out I went in the cold, dark of the morning.

On my way back, I bumped into a colleague who was out for his morning cigarette and coffee, and he commented about me being barefoot. It wasn’t until I made my way back inside that I noticed the huge mound of mud on one of my toes – looking suspiciously like animal droppings. 

I felt mortified and made a show of removing it – with the wet brown leaf that had been resting over another of my toes!

Back in my room, I washed my feet before getting ready. Just as I was about to brush my teeth, I noticed a tiny slug on the counter where I had placed my towel. Without thinking, I promptly flicked it into the sink and tried to wash it away before remembering that I’ve decided not to kill things just because I don’t like them. 

Cue slug rescue from the plug hole.

Unsure whether it was possible to drown a slug, I put him (I don’t think slugs have a single gender but in my head he’s a he!) on a piece of cardboard to let him dry out, carried on with brushing my teeth, forgot he was there and then yelped when I accidentally touched the cardboard and felt the slug land on my hand.

What does this have to do with joy?

Aside from being a silly, hopefully slightly amusing story about my morning, it simply showed me that my instincts are still to balk at things I don’t like and then manually override my instinctive reaction with a chosen reaction.

I don’t think this is a big deal and I see it as part of the learning curve but I noticed myself doing the same thing last night when our training team was still working at 9.30pm and people were going off topic. I got gradually more irritable and stressed, rather than relaxing and going with it – and that’s the key reason I couldn’t sleep – because I’d wound myself up so much before I went to bed.

Had I simply gone with the flow, the meeting would have finished at the same time, I’d have been relaxed and, my night might have been different.

As they say, “How you do anything is how you do everything.”

When we can find our patterns in the tiny, insignificant things, we can usually find them in the bigger, more challenging things that change our outcomes. 

That’s why I pay attention to the tiny details. They can help point me in the direction of the changes I need to make for a more joyful existence.

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