Put this into perspective:
You’re at the grocery store, ready to cash out. You walk to the register with just three people in line.
The first man at the register looks to be in his early sixties. Behind him, there is another man who is a bit younger, and behind him, an older woman, maybe in her mid-30’s.
You’re in a bit of a rush, and they’ve all only got a few items, so you assume the wait wont be long. A few minutes go by, and you begin to notice how slowly the first man is moving. Each muscle movement like molasses. It seems… unnecessarily slow… and then you look directly in front of you and notice the other man, who is very visibly angry.
You can hear him grumbling with impatience and irritation. Might as well check for irritation in the woman, too, but this time when you glance, you see a calm smile instead, which seems to calm you too. “How does she do it? How is she so patient, cool, and collected?”
We have all encountered individuals like the woman at the grocery store. They’re the ones who are, more often than not, in absolute control of their feelings, reactions, and body language. They’re the ones we look to first to resolve moral issues, or even just some unbiased insight. We call them “wise” and we call them “laid-back,” but we always wonder how they manage to keep their cool…
After reading one of my favorite books, The Law of Attraction by Jerry & Esther Hicks, I started to connect the dots. Whether the woman at the grocery store was aware of this or not, she was practicing what is called “The Art of Allowing,” which can be applied to life in infinite ways.
What is The Art of Allowing?
This is a universal law which few are aware of, but many individuals practice unknowingly or subconsciously. The Art of Allowing simply states that when you let go of the need to control, you will notice desired opportunities, healthy friendships, and your own internal balance manifest in ways they couldn’t before.
This practice can be so simple and easy, or it can be excruciatingly tough- this only depends on your own perspective and feelings toward unwanted circumstances.
It can be simple once you begin to notice your weaknesses and the ways which you normally react.
As you notice these habitual and unwanted reactions, try to steer your thoughts in another direction, and if that seems tough, take a few deep breaths. Breathing induces inspiration, and inspiration brings new thoughts and behaviors, or in this case, reactions!
(check out this quick breathing technique, which I have found to be insanely helpful in high-stress situations.)
After all, our thoughts are what create our atmosphere and realities. Nothing will receive the same emotional reaction and energy that you previously would have given it, and it is easier to not do something than it is to do something. (It is easier to allow the slow, old man than it would be to shout at him.)
In order to put this in practice, we need to know what makes us feel ‘out of control.’ I curated a little technique that I personally practivce, which I think may teach you a lot you don’t know about yourself.
1) Make a list of what makes you feel out of control, stressed, or even just out of balance. Write it all down and have a “why.”
Here’s an example:
• Slow Drivers: because I cannot stand traffic parties. Go AT LEAST 5 over the speed limit or get the f#$% out of my way! (joking!! ha)
• Impatience in the completion of my goals: I want to reap and sow at once, I do not want to wait for what I reap to be sowed!
• Rude encounters in public: I do not like to see others being treated poorly, and I do not like to be treated poorly either.
You have to write down the conscious reason for the frustration, too. Once you write some of these down, you may realize how much of your power you are giving away. You may also notice a trend. For me, it would be my lack of patience.
2) Observe each item on that list as it occurs, as well as before & after.
Is there a deeper meaning to those silly frustrations? There may be, especially if it is something that is seemingly impossible for you to get over. Have you observed family members reacting similarly in certain instances? Is this a learned behavior, or is it a reaction to something more internal?
For me, I know that my impatience on the road was a learned behavior. I always watched my dad cuss at and flip people off while driving me anywhere. Mom didn’t like dad driving us anywhere for this reason!
3) When these frustrations occur, withdraw yourself for a brief moment and objectively observe your perspective.
Whenever I am getting super frustrated on the road, I have to remind myself that it is a very, very small and insignificant moment of my day AND my life. It will end soon, and there is no need for me to get so upset that it could possibly put others on the road in danger. Thats what road rage is- letting your emotions take the wheel.
In order to objectively observe yourself, you need to detach from your emotions. Whatever emotion was invoked, drop it for a brief moment and look at the whole picture. I can guarantee that you will be 10x more capable of bringing yourself to a stabile emotional state if you can objectively observe yourself. This will allow you to come back with a different emotional state and better yet– a new way of thinking.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
There’s no doubt that you will experience unwanted feelings throughout your life, but it’s important and necessary to experience pain. Pain is what induces growth. Pain is discomfort, and discomfort teaches us quite a bit. But constantly living in pain is not necessary nor fun. This is why we use the Art of Allowing.
The Art of Allowing doesn’t preach that we must always be extremely joyful at all times of the day, nor does it state to let people walk all over you. It is simply a stepping stone to clearing yourself of unnecessary baggage that no longer serves you. It is a mental tool designed to assist with learning how to let others live.
When any one thing or individual causes you frustration, step away from the thought for a moment. Analyze the importance and validity of your frustration, is it a reasonable response, or were you conditioned to believe it is? More often than not, it is not necessary nor productive. It is usually a taught emotional response, something we have learned from our parents and each other, but any mental paradigm can be destroyed and rebuilt.
Go make your list, and then after that, share this post with your road-raging father! LOL.