This morning I was waiting in line at Starbucks to get a cup of tea. The woman in front of me was in a hurry and I could feel the tension and frustration standing behind her. She back up and unconsciously pushed me out of the way. As she was waiting for her drink, she was getting more and more frustrated. Again, I was amazed at how much her frustration permeated the space around her. By the time she got her drink, she was ready to complain. She yelled at the gentleman behind the counter and, when he did not respond the way SHE wanted, she became more and more upset until she stormed out and threatened to complain about the service.
The reason I bring up this story is because I was able to gain some great insight watching this drama unfold. It was very clear to me that this woman was creating her own drama – right before our very eyes. The larger space around her was peaceful. It was early morning and patrons were going about their day – living their lives. She was living her life – which, at that moment, was one of anger. She was choosing to feel this way. No one else was feeling this way. As I started to feel her energy and feel her frustration, I could feel my shoulders tense up. I saw how easily it is for me to “take on” the frustration of another person. I found that I had to consciously breathe and separate myself from her so that my day did not start out the way hers did. It is a choice.
Now I am not perfect and I do recognize that there are times we have every right to feel frustrated. Things happen in our lives and every day is not perfect. However, I also see very clearly how we are constantly have a choice as to how we look at our world. How many times do we let the layers of anger and frustration build until they turn into an illness, tension, insomnia or some other physical condition? How many times do we build our layers of anger and lash out at our kids or strangers when we are driving? And who is getting hurt?
As an observer of this incident at Starbucks, I saw so clearly how this was a one person show. She was upset and we were all observing.
Take some time each day to observe others. Notice those who have good energy. Notice those whose energy may be challenged. Notice how you are the observer. You are not part of anothers energy. You are only responsible for your own. This is a very important lesson.