I read this quote today – “The past is gone, the future is not here, now I am free of both. Right now, I choose joy.” Deepak Chopra
Later in the day I was running behind, frustrated that I might not get the time to work out I’d hoped for. I threw my hands up (to myself, mind you) and muttered, “I’m having a terrible day.” Having read the quote above only hours before, it flashed in my mind.
I suppose I could have a terrible day if I wanted to. But having this one moment, or hour, or period of frustration doesn’t a terrible day make, now does it?
I’ve always had a flair for the dramatic and I’m finding that the more joy, more authenticity I live in my life, the sillier my unconscious drama seems. Now, the conscious drama, the stuff I do specifically to make someone laugh or to make a loud, obnoxious point, is all still there. But it’s conscious. I know I’m doing it and it’s how I know I’m still me. I really can’t ever give up the big laugh or the a-hole remarks. But as long as I’m being conscious about it, the rest of the drama doesn’t get to take over and “run things” (as if it ever did).
I decided during that throw-my-hands-up moment that Deepak was right (yes, we’re on a first name basis): the future is not here and right now, I choose joy. Unless I force that moment to define the rest of my day in its entirety, it only gets to be a moment. I’m having a terrible moment, not a terrible day. So I practiced that the rest of my afternoon. Anytime I got frustrated and wanted to massively generalize the entire emotion so that it ate up my whole day, I just said, “I’m having a terrible moment.” And sometimes, when I remembered, I added, “Now I choose joy.” It did not work every time, especially the times I said it in a low, dumb-sounding voice because I didn’t believe what I was saying. But it gave me permission to have a good day despite the terribleness.