Monday, March 25, 2013

Car Karma

I find parking lots to be infuriating, especially at the grocery store in the late afternoon or early evening.  People are tired and single-minded...get me in, get me out and get me home.  As a result, the general driving being done is usually not all that intelligent and all of the decent spots are full.

After work, with the kids in tow, I am often tired from a day of working, overstimulated from the back seat chatter, and frustrated at the jaywalkers, dawdlers and unaware drivers that I am forced to contend with.

A few weeks ago, while in a particularly irritating snarl comprising of an old woman with no idea, someone backing out, two people blocking all exits while waiting for the same spot, and a screaming child in the back...I did another of my little social experiments.  I decided to take a breath. Smile. Sing a song.  Stop caring so much.

It was so crazy, but as soon as I decided to chill down a bit and release the feelings that really weren't serving me, room opened up for me to escape the snarl.  I squeezed out and left the mess behind, and suddenly an even better spot by the door opened up and I slipped right in.  By the time I got the kids out of the car and onto the sidewalk, the mess was still where I left it but the three of us were happily on our way into the store.

I decided to make this my new approach to grocery store parking.  Interestingly enough it always works.  Every. Single. Time. I completely relax, and suddenly a spot right by the door opens up, or the traffic snarl suddenly disappears.  Ultimately, I feel better.  When I pull into the parking lot, I start singing or breathing deeply.  If the kids are with me, I start joking with them or teasing.  For some reason, my deliberate and often forced attempts at levity work for me.  My husband has dubbed it my Car Karma.

I know that telling a joke isn't going to magically make traffic jams go away or parking spaces open up.  But when all of the others in the same parking lot are tied up in knots over the stresses they are facing, my personal release of it increases my flow. I am not sure if it just allows me to see a bigger picture, spaces that were already there, or if it actually changes the energy of the situation. I don't really care which, because it works.

It works in so many other places as well.  The other day my husband came home and told me that he gave my Car Karma a shot when he went to the store.  I worked for him, too!  I have used it at the airport and I have used it while on hold with customer service.  Perhaps keeping calm and joyful, while staying clear about the big picture is just making life easier to cope with.  Perhaps smoothing out my own energy is affecting the energy of those around me.  Perhaps things really do physically change for the better simply by untangling my thoughts and nerves. works.

I deserve BEAUTY in my life!

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