December 2011
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Attitude

Attitude is everything.   We all face the challenges of embodied living.  We all experience some really good days and  some really bad days.  Yet, the feelings we entertain about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days are internal processes;  it is all about our attitude.

An experience from my childhood illustrates this well.  My Grandparents were taking me for a picnic and a swim at my beloved Putah Creek  (At that time there were no parks, you just found a good spot and we had a favorite).  It was a very hot day.  The anticipation of a good time in the water followed by eating the most awesome fried chicken in the world, had me positively giddy with excitement.  Then the unthinkable…a flat tire.  My Grandfather managed to get the car mostly off the road.  Then he got out to take a look at the situation.  As I watched him from the backseat a cloud of doom descended over me.  We were nowhere near our favorite spot.  My day was ruined!

Then my Grandfather disappeared.  I had not seen him walk toward the Creek which could not be seen from the road.  My Grandmother and I exchanged no words.  We sat in hot, sticky  silence; waiting.

Finally Grandfather was back.  He talked to my Grandmother and the next thing I knew we were loading our arms and backs with our picnic and heading off the side of the road through the weeds and rocks to the river.  There was no trail so it was a bit of effort, and did I mention it was really hot?  Then, there it was…he had scouted out a wonderful site.

We had an awesome day!  Late in the afternoon when it was considerably cooler, my Grandfather changed the tire and we headed back home.   Reflecting on this event many years later,  I realized the flexibility, the wisdom and the attitude that prevailed that hot summer afternoon.  The day wasn’t ruined because we  never made it to our ‘favorite’ spot.  There was no complaining, griping or other displays of frustration or anger.  There was a great lesson in attitude.

We seldom can change what happens outside of  us.  We do  have the power to change the attitude within us.

 

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