There Is Always A Brightside

Y’know what I’ve noticed? People have a hard time finding the good in something when it happens to them. We have no problem finding something for someone else to be grateful for, but it’s tougher when something happens to us. This afternoon, just as I was leaving for lunch, I got a parking ticket. It’s a $32 parking ticket and I still had half a day of parking left to pay for when I returned from lunch. I yelled to the guy that I was coming, but he quickly finished writing out the note, and ran. He actually ran away as I was walking towards him. Poor guy. He must’ve thought he was in some danger. It took me quite some time to shake off the “he just ran away from me” thing. I took it very personally. I was 12 minutes late getting back to my car. I figured I’d chance it and it didn’t work out in my favour. Then I texted my friend and told her i was having a hard time finding a brightside.  It’s possible I texted the wrong friend because she wanted to burn his house down for me…which is an awesome characteristic to have in a friend should you ever need someone to do that. So she couldn’t find a bright side either.

But have you ever noticed? If you’re worried about something…say you’re worried about money, or a debt you have to pay. You can spend so much time worrying about that, and forget that there are so many things to be grateful for.

Two weeks ago, I was flying to Portland to attend the World Domination Summit for the 4th time. It’s generally an easy bet that when you fly out on the first flight of the day, you’re going to get to where you’re going pretty drama free. Portland is 1 hour and 15 minutes by plane away from where I am. It took me 12 hours to get there that day. Lots of circumstances happened. The first flight of the day had mechanical issues so they couldn’t fly. They were re-booking people, but forgot to re-book me. By the time they did get to me, after I checked in with them, all the flights were sold out. They had to find me a completely different airline. They lost my bag. I had to pay for my bag twice since I was now on a new airline…I got a food voucher thanks to the kindness of the person working behind the counter, and then the security people in Seattle took my food away from me. Because..of course. It all had to happen so I could have one of the most impacting weekends of my life. While I would have completely enjoyed my breakfast date with friends when I arrived in Portland as planned, and the burrito bowl I was planning on having at Chipotle and the time I was going to spend shopping…I’m not sure that I would have appreciated it as much once I got there.

So much gets taken for granted when things just go the way we plan for them to go. It’s when they don’t go according to plan that we really get to be extraordinary humans.  In the face of all of those things, I got to know the woman who was helping me, she had my back. She was going to make sure I was getting to where I wanted to go. She even hugged me when they found my bag and wished me well on my journey. And then a little while later, because I was still laughing and joking with the person checking me on my other flight with a completely different airline…she waived my baggage fee because there was no way in “hell” she was going to let me pay for it again. Bright side. Bright side. Bright side. I got to be awesome with those people when so many aren’t, especially at airports, and they had a chance to contribute to me which is what all humans want an opportunity to do.

The next time something goes array, or doesn’t go according to plan, or you lock your keys in your car, or the power goes out, or you miss your flight, or you don’t get the job you really wanted, or you run out of gas, or you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep, or your phone dies while you’re waiting at the dentist’s office, or you’re at the dentist’s office…or any other number of things happen…look for a brightside. I bet you’ll be able to find one if you look for it.

Turn it into a game. Find one. Come tell me about it. I love brightside stories. Especially when the odds are stacked against you.

Rita xo

Our Greatest Weakness Could Be Our Biggest Strength

awesome takes practice

“If you’re not scared, you’re not taking a chance. And if you’re not taking a chance, then what the hell are you doing?”

This past weekend, I spent a lot of time thinking about what kinds of things make us cool. What does being cool even really mean?  Is it cool that I had plans on Friday night? Is it less cool that those plans included sweats, a hoodie, a big mug of tea and some girlie chatting with a friend? Does that suddenly make me “lame” in the eyes of all those who did something “cool” on Friday night?

Is it cool that I love movies where lots of things get blown up and there are car chases and such? I saw Olympus as Fallen on Saturday with my man, and I was completely enthralled by it. In the wake of the horrible world events this past week, it may not have been the most appropriate film for me to see, but you know what? I loved it. Does that mean I’m cool? Or does it mean I’m less sensitive to the plight of all those people impacted by the events of the past week which then makes me a horrible person? Or, does it just mean I went to a movie on Saturday and I really liked it?

Being cool can also mean being “macho”…keeping your cool, not letting others see you sweat. If you’re nervous, don’t let anyone know. Try to stop sweating, if you’re one of those people who sweats when you get nervous. If you’re scared, oh Lord..make sure no one can see your bottom lip trembling, or your hands shaking. Does it mean I’m not cool if I’m trembling and shaking? Or does it simply mean I’m scared?

Being cool, also means being stingy with our feelings.  Expressing how we feel can sometimes be an uncomfortable thing. What if we’re rejected?  What if the object of our expression laughs in our faces? That is so not cool.  It’s far cooler to let the people in your life express to YOU how they feel about you. That’s gotta feel good right? That’s gotta make you feel awesome. Yes? Well…imagine you’re that person. The one who is constantly sharing with you, how they experience you, through their eyes and heart. How amazing you are, and how grateful they are to have met you, and that they love you.

Only to have you not acknowledge their expression. Or their words. Is it cool to simply ignore what they are saying and say something totally random instead? Or better still, to complain about something that might be wrong? It’s much cooler, isn’t it, to talk about how tired you are, or how much pain you’re in from one thing or another. Than to genuinely and generously accept what your loved one’s are sharing with you, what they want you to know. The heartfelt words they choose to share, because sharing makes a difference in the relationships in your life, and because the words, come straight from their hearts. While you sit, perhaps uncomfortably, not knowing what to say…so you say nothing.

That my friends, is one of those things that anyone can do. Anyone can be cool, and aloof and stand -offish in regards to their feelings and/or expressing them. If you were to ask, you might even find that the majority of the population live their lives like that every day.

So. Now. Let me ask you this. Do you think that if you were to actually hear what the other person was saying, and respond appropriately…that it might make all the difference to your relationship with them? Do you think it’s possible that it might even make your relationship better? Or bring you closer? What if it were the very thing to make the world a better place? What if the kinder you were to the people in your life, the more you shared how important they were to you, or the more you were willing to be vulnerable with the people in your life, by sharing your love, the love that’s in your heart anyway, can you see that it would have a huge impact on how the world works?

Imagine the butterfly effect that would have on other people in the world?

You may think I’m talkin’ smack, but you have no way of knowing if what I say isn’t true. Maybe being cool isn’t what’s cool anymore. Maybe being willing to be vulnerable, being willing to share and express your feelings towards your fellow human beings, is just the thing this world needs to work a little bit better.

And do you know what that is?

That right there…is what I’d call…Awesome.

So go. Share. Tell someone you love them. See how their face lights up.

“The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how they love them while they’re alive.” ~ Optimus Prime