One morning, I was getting ready to go to a training day in the next town over. I was feeling really pleased with myself because I was going to be on time, maybe even a little early for the start of the training.
Then it happened.
A reminder flashed up on my phone, telling me that the training was starting in 10 minutes! Aaaaarrrggggh! Instead of starting at 9.30am as I’d thought, the training was actually due to start at 9. Why oh why didn’t I double check my calendar this morning????
I started rushing out the door saying “I’m late! I’ll never make it in time for the start now. There will be no parking spaces by the time I get there AND it’ll have started without me. Aw I hate being late!”
I dumped all my stuff in the passenger seat of my car and ran round to the driver’s side. As I jumped in and slammed the door, setting off towards the dual carriageway, I was feeling more and more stressed. Suddenly I remembered what I’d read recently in a book by Byron Katie called Loving What Is.
Arguing With Reality!
In the book Bryon Katie explains that our suffering comes from arguing with reality. When something happens and we say “It shouldn’t be that way” that’s what causes us to feel angry, sad or any other ‘negative’ emotion you’d care to name. Katie encourages her readers to challenge their thinking using a set of questions she devised.
Now, I was in too much of a flurry to think about a bunch of questions, but I could easily remember the first one: Is it true?
Am I Really Late?
I asked myself, is it true that I’m late? When I thought about it, I wasn’t late for the start time I’d thought I was aiming for. And who knew what might have happened if I’d left at 8.30am instead? I might have met a lorry coming the other way or who knows what! Maybe I was exactly on time in the scheme of things.
OK I was starting to feel a little calmer.
“There will be no parking spaces” – was that true? Well I had no way of knowing that for sure, so no, that wasn’t true either.
Was it true that the training would have started without me? Well, no, I couldn’t know that either.
By now I was feeling a lot calmer (and probably driving a lot more safely too!) and I continued on to the training venue.
I expect you’re waiting to hear what happened next, right?
When I arrived at the venue, wouldn’t you know it – there were more free parking spaces than I’d ever known before! I’d made good time too, so it was only about ten past nine. I rushed into the training room, only to find that the trainer had been running a bit late too and hadn’t finished setting up yet. Lucky eh?
If I hadn’t had the presence of mind to stop my thoughts and actually question their truth, I could have had a much more stressful journey. But by challenging my thoughts I was able to have a calm, safe journey and everything turned out perfectly.
Now, as usual, it’s over to you. Will you give this a try and question some of those thoughts that are running amok in your head? If you do, please let me know how you get on and as always, if you need any help, give me a shout at email@example.com
With love and gratitude
PS I’ll share more about Loving What Is by Byron Katie in a future post, but in the meantime I highly recommend you read the book. You can get it here: Loving What Is
Note: I use Amazon affiliate links when I recommend books. This simply means that you’ll still pay the same great price and I’ll get a small reward in return for recommending them. I only recommend books I’ve read, enjoyed and benefited from.