We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.- Albert Einstein

Here we are the month before elections, and everyone is pointing fingers, Left and Right. Emails are flying about the failings of the opposition—righteous indignation rules the day. Most of us are downright wallowing in our fears. What a mess…even the weather is echoing the chaos. We have had a fairly steady diet of indignation and moral outrage this past year. We pretty much all have our knickers in a twist, wouldn’t you say?

Why don’t we take a bit of a break? Why don’t we step back, take a breath, and and take a few steps to get our own houses in order? I have a few suggestions. Maybe I’ll call it JULIE’S TOP TEN WAYS TO INTERRUPT YOUR PATTERNS. You might try them for a week…see what happens.

1. Go on a news fast. Ask a friend to let you know if there are any weather-related precautions you should know about, but otherwise stay away from all news media for a week. (Or be really bold and stay away from all TV for a week!)

2. Avoid all phrases like “it’s just my luck” or “wouldn’t you know…”. Let go (for just a week) of all beliefs that you are limited by nature.

3. Let someone else be the Drama Queen this week: you go for the Comedy. For one week, look for the humor in everything you encounter. Take yourself lightly.

4. Make the best of everything. Whatever stands in your path, whatever seems to be lacking, make the best of what you are dealt for one week. You can always bitch about it next week.

5. Pass on passing on this week’s emails of outrage. Just delete them, or store them in an “outrage” folder and pass them on to your list next week if you must. For this week, refuse to be outraged.

6. A favorite Teacher of mine speaks of us “beating the drum” of what is working, or is not working in our lives. Try beating the drum (for just a week now) of what is working.

8. Take all of your pet peeves to the pound for a week.
“I really hate it when…”; “You know what really annoys me?”; “I can’t stand when…”. Let’em go. For one week, how about “I really love it when…”; “My favorite time of day is…”; “You know what I’ve found is fun to do when you are stuck in traffic?” etc. It’s just a week—you can do it.

9. Try taking a really open look at the opposite of one of your staunch beliefs.
If you are Pro-choice, for example, really consider what is going on in the minds of those who are not pro-choice. If you are vehemently opposed to abortion, open your heart to those who support abortion. Forget for the moment who is right and who is wrong, but really seek unbiased understanding of the other side of some issue. Look, you don’t even have to tell anyone, you don’t have to admit anything. You don’t have to give up your “side” or change your mind about anything. Just try to step into the mind/heart of someone who very much disagrees with you for a bit. Then go back to your own camp.

10. Come up with one of your own.

The following week, watch the news, go through your email outrage file and shake your fists; rant and rave, bitch and moan, nurse your grudges, let your pet peeves out of the pound. Beat the drum of all the crap that is going on in the world. Focus on your fears. See everything going to hell in that old handcart.

Then let us know which week you prefer.

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