“I’m at the gym now. I’ll call you back.”
Seems legit. But in that moment I desired a comforting recap of my day with my man. To him it made sense to recap at home when he could give me his full attention. To me, it was – what the f**k? Miffed. Frown face. Toddler-mind take over: “PAY ATTENTION TO ME!”
It was 8.30 pm. I was causing traffic by being traffic. I was cranky, hungry and an hour away from cozying up to the couch and chewing on deliciousness with my man. Frustrated. Exhausted. Atomic emotional bombs – I dropped one. My reaction. Now I’m more frustrated than I was before my tantrum because my reaction wasn’t PG-34 (rated: grown-up love). Whether you are dealing with the worst person, on the worst day in the world, navigating complex responses is vital in volleying drama-free reactions. Bombs can burst, but instead of atomic bombs – launch love bombs. During moments of frustration, love bombs are more like reacting without drama. Ah, grown-up love. So Alby Einstein – genius. It’s gargantuanly hard. Like drinking room temperature fresh pressed green juice.
Here’s my magic pill remedy: the vital hocus-pocus element is to do nothing. LITERALLY – do nothing.
Recalibrate. Buy yourself some time. Inject a fierce pause.
Disconnect to reconnect – consider it like being in a long distance relationship with yourself until you can gather yourself and proceed with grown-up love. Instead of tantrum atomic reactions, reacting with a heart-centered response is practically miraculous: “I haven’t spoken to you all day babe! I miss you. Being in traffic totally sucks and all I want to do right now is bite into some lentil salad and give you a big smooch.” Ah, grown-up love.
When you don’t cop to how you are feeling in an honest way, you become unpredictable and unapproachable. When you respond because of external matters (traffic jams, long days, hunger pains, things not going your way) you don’t operate from your heart center.
To help you literally do nothing and inject a pause between your impulse and your reaction think about challenging your regular behavior. This can be anything from your reacting, eating, spending and thinking habits. The only way to truly change a behavior is to challenge it. This is also gargantuanly hard. Like not Instagraming your most recent nail art or shoe-acide.
1. Pause and become aware of your challenge.
2. Ask yourself, “Where do I really want to go with my thoughts and actions?”
3. If your answer doesn’t fit like a hookah up in smoke, try another again.
4. Choose an intention with the (un-manipulated) outcome you want.
5. Notice if your experiences change or remain the same.
Pausing and challenging your bad habit is the new ‘breaking bad’. Next time you get miffed, pause. Do nothing, then challenge your reaction if it is scorching. It’s the best way to turn a tantrum into atomic grown-up love.
Featured image by CocteauBoy on Flickr