I have a confession.
My kitchen countertop is chaos right now.
There are 12 different coloring sheets in various stages of scribbles, a thumb piano, water bottles, empty jars of jam, washcloths, bag clips, computers, magazines, notebooks, crayons, and more.
How do you think I feel about it?
Well, when I'm not paying attention to my thinking I feel overwhelmed. Looking under the surface it's because I'm cherishing a very unhelpful thought.
That thought is, "My life is chaos."
That is the root of the feeling of overwhelm.
Think about it: a countertop with things on it doesn't have to cause a feeling of overwhelm or a conclusion that my life is chaos.
I can think whatever the hell I want to about my counter.
In fact, a more helpful thought is that "My life is rich."
And it's true. The countertop reveals all kinds of things that I'm beyond grateful for: my kids are happy and learning, we have plenty to eat and drink, our emotional and intellectual lives are rich, we have music and creativity in abundance.
Same countertop, but now I'm feeling amazing.
How radical is it that a countertop with items on it (or whatever it is that you think makes you feel overwhelmed) doesn't have to result in unhelpful emotions and reactions?
The impact is profound, especially with how often those reactions leak out into your relationships. How present are you with your partner when you're agitated or upset about something? How much would change in your life if you had a more helpful response to the things that used to bother you?
What I hope you can see from all of this is that you are NOT at the mercy of your circumstances. You get to choose how you feel about EVERYTHING in your life.
What that means is you get to create your own universe.
In fact, you already are, with the thoughts you're choosing to think about your life.
Ask yourself, are these thoughts serving you?
If not, you can change them. And if you want help with this, join me and Erin in the upcoming 8-week Revitalize Your Relationship course. This is just one of the many topics we'll be exploring in more depth.