I am in Starbucks today. I really like coming here to write. I like being around people and hearing the sounds and seeing all those who come in and out. Even though the table is up super high and I have to sit on my leg to reach my keyboard correctly, I still like coming. I love the smell of the coffee and the hustle and bustle of the atmosphere. 

One thing I like about coming is that it reminds me why I want to write. I see people come in and realize they each have a story, each one has something on their heart. The mom that comes in with their toddler, who just wants a little “normal adult activity” in her day while still being a mom to her kiddos. Women that come in together and chat and share life together, people doing business on their laptops, kids stopping by for something good to drink after classes, and so forth. Each person has a name, a story, a need, a thought, maybe even a burden. People have so much and carry so much on their heart throughout their day. Some handle it with a smile or positive attitude and others wear it all over their face and actions. People need love, they need to be accepted and cared for, they need friendship and companionship, and they need to know they are seen and heard.

My purpose in writing is to help others see their potential in who God made them. I don’t know their stories and I may not actually have a chance to meet those I am near, but it reminds me that there are people everywhere who need encouragement. So, I do my best in my own corner of the world to share joy, love, peace and meet others where they are at.

As a woman I have dealt with all kinds of thoughts throughout the day. I will wake up with determination to conquer the day and set good intentions to soar and be the best I can be, then I get out of bed. Lol. Not saying all days don’t go well, but don’t you love those super productive days? You know, the ones you wake up and are in full swing, checking off your to do list, making those calls and appointments, dinner is prepped, the house is cleaned, the errands are done and you even had a chance to greet your family with a smile. Those days are very few, far and between as they say.

So many days I wake up with a plan and things don’t go the way I want. My intentions are the same and my attitude could be as well, but I still just don’t make the grade. Today was that kind of day for me.  Well, sort of, there is still day left so there is still hope. I am currently writing while in Starbucks, so it can’t be too bad, right?

My errands today did not go as planned. I stopped at a Kirkland’s looking for a lamp, I did not find the lamp I wanted, but I got to walk in a store that looks like Pinterest threw a party in there. Lol. I then went to Target with a mission to find a pair of shorts my daughter needed.  I didn’t find what I need and I left without buying anything. (There should be a ribbon or a medal for that feat!) I next went to Walmart. The entrance to the parking lot was blocked off, but there was NO sign. I along with countless others did a u-turn and then waited in an unusually long line to turn left so we could enter into the other entrance. I do not care for Walmart. I would have avoided going there, but I heard another mom say that they carried the pants version of the shorts I needed, so I gave it a shot. I did not see the pants nor the shorts. Sigh.

While in Walmart I had the bright idea to check Amazon for the shorts I needed and wondered why didn’t I do that earlier? I ordered them…they will be here tomorrow!! Yay! Next I went to the dollar store. I went to a different dollar store the other day searching for some containers I saw on an organization summit I was part of last week. They didn’t have what they showed on the summit, but I did find something I thought would work. They were perfect, but I didn’t buy enough. This dollar store did not have them. No money spent at the stores. I almost texted my husband to tell him I was saving him money at every store I went to by not finding what I wanted. Lol

So, why did I share all of this? I noticed my attitude was not the best throughout my errands. I was energized at first because I stuck to my plan and was making sure to make the time to get here to write. I was going to come here first, but decided to remove the distraction of the errands before coming. I am glad I did because  I wouldn’t have had all of this to write about. I started out okay with my attitude. I was sad about the lamp, but didn’t let it ruin my day. I was proud of myself for not buying anything at Target. The driving from Target to Walmart is where my attitude shifted. I was due for my fueling so I was starting to get hungry and I was dealing with unusual traffic. (For anyone that reads this that lives in a bigger city, you would laugh at the “traffic” I dealt with. Ha ha.) I found myself getting frustrated and getting impatient with the whole Walmart turn around and the parking lot was chaotic with people driving through the lanes instead of up and down them. That drives me nuts!  Then, when I was walking into Walmart a woman started a conversation with me. I immediately realized I needed to change my attitude.  She asked if there was not a sign about the entrance being closed. I was still a bit heated but kindly told her there was not. We discussed the unusual traffic and I mentioned the inconvenience of it all. She said she recognized me from my sunglasses and I immediately thought, “Oh no, did I look angry or mean?“  She gave me a compliment about the sunglasses and was so kind. It was right then and there I knew my attitude could have been better. I told her thank you and let her know I may have looked frustrated and I hope my negative attitude didn’t show through. She didn’t say whether or not she noticed, but I was glad she said hello. It is all in perspective. I don’t know which way she was coming from and if she knew the parking lot was blocked, but she handled it with calm and ease. I was in such a hurry, I didn’t even take time to get her name and thank her properly. I did not have a positive attitude and really wish I would have handled the whole thing differently. I have learned a lesson and am thanking her wherever she is. “Whoever you are kind woman in the Walmart parking lot, thank you. Thank you for being kind and patient and friendly today. “

I know it can be super frustrating when things don’t go our way. Our schedule gets altered, plans change, interruptions come, time goes by faster than you expected, and so on. How we handle those hiccups is where it is at. I know I have lots to learn about taking things as they come and learning to be present in the moment. I need to learn not to react, but choose to act with calm and clarity. Choosing to be above the line in the situation is key. I didn’t choose to look at the traffic with an above the line mindset, I was definitely looking at it incorrectly with a below the line mindset. What is able the line mindset you ask? Above the line verses below the line is simply this:

“The model is a simple black line. At any moment a leader is either above the line or below the line. When we are above the line, we are open, curious and committed to learning. When we’re below the line, we’re closed, defensive and committed to being right. What we suggest is that the first fundamental building block of conscious leadership is the ability to accurately locate yourself at any moment, asking, ‘Am I above or below the line?’” – Skip Prichard 

To find out more about this, you can check out the book 15 Commitments to Conscious Leadership by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman and Kaley Warner Klemp. Even if you are not a “leader” in the formal sense, it is a great book to learn. We all are leaders in some form, it is not just in business, but that is a topic for another day. 

So, today as you go about your day, take time to stop and take a moment to reflect on what is happening to you. How can you respond to the situation at hand? What can you do to face it with an open mind and calm heart? Let’s learn to live out our lives with a mindset that aims for responding with the above the line approach. Are you in this with me?

Stephanie

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