Day 2 #BKGratitudeChallenge :: Give/Receive
Give a gift. Smile and make eye contact with someone. Drop off that bag or two of donations. (I’m doing this.) Invite an orphan to your Thanksgiving feast. Applaud extra loud for everyone in pole dance class. Ask the new or shy classmate to have lunch or tea afterwards. Be extra courteous in traffic! (I’m practicing this!)
Be open to receiving gifts that are offered. Say, “Yes, thank you!” rather than “No, thanks.” If you have a need or desire, ask someone or the universe for help as a gift, not an entitlement. Grateful people see all the good and wonder in life as a gift rather than a right.
How I Discovered A Potential Cure for Road Rage
I’m a work-in-progress with this reciprocity of giving/receiving. I just wrote a piece for the next Voices of S Factor blog about the growth I’ve recently experienced.
After completing it, I went to class. My tender dance left me glowing and made two friends cry.
But then on the way home a rude driver stole by bliss. He forced me to let him merge into my lane or be sideswiped. I blew my horn, perhaps a bit too long. He stopped short. Thankfully, my antilock breaks kept me from re-ending him. And no one hit me from behind.
I vented to my husband and calmed down while he hugged me. I vowed to find a way to avoid being so triggered in traffic. He suggested I alter my route slightly to avoid this particular section of road. I might try that option.
On Sunday, before Beach Bliss Dancing with a friend, we commiserated about recent traffic battles. Then settled into the sand to a borrowed playlist. (Thank you Mandy, what a treat to not need to create my own playlist.)
The big gift was the fourth song in Mandy’s playlist: F**k You by Cee Lo Green. As I moved through the sand, I realized it would make a wonderful song in horrid traffic. Ooh, and so would Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood and Bust Your Windows by Jazmine Sullivan. Because I’d never actually do any of the things they sing about, they feel like playful fantasies. I’ve already started a Triggered by Traffic playlist.
What other playfully angry songs do you suggest I add?
While driving home, on the same stretch of road where my antilock breaks prevented a collision, a car zoomed up the hill in the lane to my left; I did not slow to make room for him since he could easily get in behind me. I wondered, Why do I get so assertive and refuse to be taken advantage of?
It dawns on me that rude and discourteous drivers trigger me because they take away my right-of-way while violating the rules of the road.
I finally understand that I need to let go of my sense of entitlement while driving if I want to embrace gratitude and feel free while driving. This essay by Robert Emmons convinced me that entitlement is what’s stopping gratitude from flowing in our culture.
And what a beautiful metaphor our maze of roads and freeways are for the web of connection we share with each other and nature.
“Seeing with grateful eyes requires that we see the web of interconnection in which we alternate between being givers and receivers.” ~ Robert Emmons
*This is Day 2 of the #BKGratitudeChallenge, a free 6 day and/or 6 week (on Sundays thru 12/27). We’re cultivating the six habits of highly grateful people/pole dancers. Join in on your own or share your experience with words and/or a photo. Use the hashtag #BKGratitudeChallenge so we can find each other.