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88 | The Kink Vs. The Smile

I woke up today with my alarm at 4:44 am. I thought to myself … “it’s morning already?” and then I moved my head and realized I had slept ON the hair band portion of my braid … RIGHT on the left side of my neck. There was a painful knot or “kink” in my neck … I sighed, thought, “I need to get up” and then apparently fell back to sleep. I woke up again at 5:30 when my husband was getting out of bed to get ready for work.


I was bummed when I realized I had MISSED the early morning quiet house time. And so then I proceeded to lie there until it was time to get my high school daughter up at 6:00. You know, cause that made WAY more sense that getting up at 5:30.

When I was up and getting things going for the morning I realized a battle was being waged at that very moment … You know that familiar “2 shoulders” thing … one side “good-positive-optimistic” and one side “bad-negative-pessimistic” … it was SO happening.

My left shoulder … the kinked one … was loudly saying: “Dwell on the neck kink! It HURTS! Stupid braid. Why?! You better be deflated that you didn’t get up and meditate and do all the things you love to do in the morning. No meditating?! Lame! You are SO terrible at getting up early. This day is going to be a bust, I can feel it already. The kids are up 45 minutes early too … hear them? Now you get to go STRAIGHT into your day with NO time to think or sit or anything. Might as well prepare for the worst and do your best to just get through it because you got up on the WRONG side of the bed baby and there’s no coming back from THAT.”

Oh this one is smooth and LOUD. I really felt ALL of that … like deep in the “ego” portion of my being. (sigh)optimism-quotes-In-optimism-there-is-magic.-In-pessimism-there-is-nothingFor a while after getting up, I could only hear “kinked neck shoulder voice.” It was overshadowing every other possibility at that point. I sort of scowled, walked upstairs to get my daughter up, and thought to myself “AND … my LEGS hurt from running yesterday! Figures” as I, shaking my head, walk back downstairs.

So I deal with all the morning things:

  • kids – one has allergies and feels terrible, one didn’t sleep well, one thinks it’s an hour later than it is and is stressed, the littlest one is loudly crying and just wants to be held and wants “chotit milt,”
  • breakfast – one wants toast with Nutella and peanut butter, one wants fruit and chocolate milk, one wants cereal, several are undecided
  • clothes – one needs me to find her socks, one needs the whole outfit, the little one needs a diaper
  • etc..

When I finish filling all of their immediate needs, I run to the bathroom to pull my hair out of the now falling out and messy braid (the culprit of my neck kink) and run my fingers through it so I can drive my daughter to school without looking too much like a crazy person. (I might feel a little like a crazy person though.)

The entire time I’m doing all of this, “kinked left shoulder” is talking to me. She is very persistent. And loud. And sort of whiny.choose-to-be-optimistic-dalai-lama-quotes-sayings-picturesAs I walk outside after all of that the sun is brightly shining. The birds are singing. The grass is glistening with the morning dew and I stop for a moment before I open the door of the van (yes, 7 kids = big van. I frequently sigh about that too). I take a deep breath and FINALLY (finally!!) hear “smiling wholeness and joy shoulder voice.”

My smiling right shoulder says: “Look at the SUN! It’s so warm and inviting. Isn’t it pretty out here? Take a deep breath … feel that? That’s FRESH air! This day is SO beautiful! Don’t you think? Hear those birds? Don’t they sound HAPPY?! Yes, I think this day is wonderful. Feel it. Soak it in. This is JUST what you need for an instant reset. Ready to reset? Reset NOW. Come on, you can DO this!!”let a series of happy thoughts run through your mind they will show on your face copyI still have “kinked left shoulder” talking, but that one is quieter now. I like “smiling right shoulder” better, so I’m currently only listening to her. She’s pulling me out of the funk that the other one started, what was her name? I don’t even remember now …

I feel good! I can SEE that this day is actually a really beautiful day. That reset totally worked! As I drive my daughter the 7 minutes to her school I feel my mood lightening, I feel the negativity lifting, and as I focus on the goodness that “smiling shoulder” is feeding me I feel better and better with each moment.

Pretty soon I’m driving home from the high school alone in the car and “smiling right shoulder” says: “you know what would REALLY be a mood lifter right now? Think of all the things you’re grateful for … There are SO many!! You have so much in your life that is good and lovely … let’s do it together.”

And as I proceed to speak my “gratitude list” out loud I DO feel better. I feel optimistic for the day. I feel happy and light and good.the-real-gift-of-gratitude-robert-holden-quotes-sayings-picturesAs I’m pulling into my neighborhood I say to myself “This is a beautiful day. I KNOW this day is going to be awesome. Today I will expand my joy. Today I will look for ways to give joy to others! Today I will grow. Today I will see beauty in the world and focus on it. EVERYTHING is open to me … my potential is ONLY joyful expansion. This is a good day.”

I pull into my driveway, turn off the van, step out into the sunny morning, take a DEEP breath and watch “kinked left shoulder” disappear completely and smile to myself KNOWING that the “reset” is complete and I just “woke up” on the RIGHT side of the van, and I realize I was actually “smiling right shoulder voice” the whole time … that is me … fully alive and READY for the beautiful day that is ahead.

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