Choosing a Good-Time Filter

hike.jpgEvery week the dogs and I go hiking with my dear dad. His favorite trail (Mueller Park – shown here) has crazy bushes along the way that create nasty stickers for dogs. My ex won’t even walk it. He says it’s not worth the trouble of pulling out stickers from coats for several days.
Plus there’s an abundance of deer and rabbits the dogs love to chase. And (I imagine) it’d be easy for them to get lost on this mountain.
So when Sadie or Joe launch an off-trail adventure, I’m not super encouraging of it. (That’s my indirect way of saying I yell at them to get their butts back here.)
Last week Joe went off trail for quite a while. So long that I thought I lost him. There was a lot of hollering that day. I was unusually hot. He jeopardized our good time by risking getting lost?! What a Stinker with a capital S! (Indeed it was an s-word I used, but it might not have been “stinker.”)
Anyway, as we’re wrapping up this morning’s hike, dad says, “I noticed Joe didn’t get in any trouble today.”
I realized he was right. There was no yelling, no hollering, no waiting. Joe was a very good boy today.
As I start to acknowledge agreement, dad says, “And it didn’t seem like he did anything different.”
Wait, what does he mean by THAT?
Of course Joe was different, because there wasn’t any trouble or hollering or MIA dogs.
I think about it, and realize Joe did go on an off trail adventure today. He was gone for a while – twice even! But I didn’t worry about him this time. I trusted he’d find his way back to us and all would be well. No yelling today.
Dad is not a master of subtlety. However, I realize today he is making a gentle point that we went on the same hike we always go on, this time there was no trouble. The difference was me.
Same Joe, same off trail adventures. No trouble.
Different Jeannette.
So the trick for a more enjoyable walk with the dogs doesn’t have to do with dogs listening better. It has to do with ME and my CHOICES of how to be on this walk.
I can worry, or I can trust and enjoy. It’s so much nicer for everyone when I trust and enjoy. I know this stuff – why aren’t I practicing it more?!
Tonight I wonder where else I might spoil my potential good time by worrying instead of trusting and enjoying.
Well, I see it a lot more of it than I would have guessed. I thought I was the Good Time Queen! And now I see how I spoil my Friday night with Russ by fretting that he’s not off the golf course till 8, which is too late for dinner, too late for a movie, too late for fun.
Uh huh.
I see that instead of being able to laugh at watching my ex and his dad try to re-trap nine feral bunnies (seriously, two Elmer Fudds lurking behind bushes with fishing nets and traps with carrots set on the trigger – classic humor!), I worry what fate might befall the bunnies if they’re not relocated.
I see that I could have more purposefully enjoyed four kitties growing up in my house if I wasn’t carrying the tendency to notice the absence of the two who didn’t make it.
No change in situation. Just a change in my perception, my response, my vibration. Makes all the difference in the world.
Wow!! What ELSE can I change??
Okay, I’m liking this … instead of being regretful about all the work that didn’t get done this week, I could relax and know the important stuff got done and enjoy my accomplishments. Maybe even look forward to the next week, instead of feeling behind for it.
Instead of being annoyed with dad for pointing out that I’m the only good time spoiler on the hike, I could be grateful for seeing it myself now.
My perception. That’s the difference.
The good time is always there. The only question is which filter am I using? Am I filtering for a good time, or filtering for a bad time? I’ll find either one I look for. Universe is very accommodating that way.
Here’s to a good time filter for all of us who desire it this (stateside Labor Day) weekend! Namaste.

  • August 31, 2007
  • Good Vibe Coach says:

    Yeah, Patricia, I was pretty impressed with how well he pulled that off. If he’d been more obvious about it, I’m sure my ego would have overlooked or dismissed any wisdom he offered.

    He hasn’t always been so adept at imparting his helpful perspective, but I was a grateful recipient that day. 🙂

    Thanks for posting, Patricia! Always a joy to hear from you!

  • Patricia Singleton says:

    Jeannette, it truly is the little things that can teach us some of the best lessons. I loved the kind way that your dad pointed out the difference without pointing any fingers. Wise man. Just a slight shift in our attitudes can make such a big difference.

  • Good Vibe Coach says:

    Yeah, that’s the fun work, isn’t it, Matthew? Learning to see it in ourselves as well as we see it in others.

    But truthfully, maybe that is a decent start – just being able to see it AROUND us means we have the ability to recognize when something’s afoot. Then turning the spotlight within is not as big a challenge.

    I don’t know – just trying to feel better about our gifts in being able to see when others are self-sabotaging. lol

    Thanks for reading, Matthew, and for the nice post! Looking forward to hearing from you again!

    (I was interested in checking out your site, but didn’t find it with that address.)

  • Matthe Roberts says:

    I just arrived at this blog today and loved reading through your posts Jennette. I specially liked this one.

    I notice so many times people blowing up over little things… or situations that are mde worse because someone reacted negatively.

    Unfortunately, it’s a little harder to determine when we ourselves react in the wrong ways.


  • Good Vibe Coach says:

    Ooh, yes, Marquina – key words here: “how I CHOOSE to react.” Many people don’t realize their reactions ARE a choice, and even those who do don’t often practice deliberate choosing.

    Thanks for highlighting the power of choice!

  • Good Vibe Coach says:

    Thanks Dean and Zoe! Yes, I agree simple things can move mountains! It doesn’t have to be complex at all! What a relief, huh?!

    And Ellie – I love that: choosing “higher ground filters” is becoming “second nature!” That’s well said, and well worth aspiring to.

    I also agree that we don’t “graduate” LOA – but rather each day brings us a new opportunity to embrace deliberate creation more fully. It’s a nice reminder that we never “get it done” and can’t “get it wrong.”

    Thanks for the posts, friends!

  • Ellie says:

    Great Post Jeannette… Yes that filter – that shift in my perception makes all the difference.

    And… Yes – I already know this stuff — but still…. I can find myself in those old filter lenses!

    I can then choose to shift my perception and even see that as an opportunity to KNOW this stuff at an even deeper level.

    We don’t graduate LOA – instead everyday we get to choose – what filters will I use today? And – I have found that picking those higher ground filters are starting to become second nature to me now.


  • Dean Lacono says:

    Hi Jeanette,

    Great post.

    I like finding ideas for myself to use while reading other’s blogs.

    The blogosphere is such a great resource for finding information and new friends.

    Thank You.

    Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend.

  • Zoe Routh says:

    Hi Jeannette

    Great post! Those pesky filters! Sometimes we forget to clean them, remove them, or change them. Like taking photos, a filter can make a good memory or a bad memory.

    Simple things move mountains, don’t they?!

    All the best


  • Marquina Rawlings says:

    Wow! Makes you think! I mean, I could do the same things on several days yet have different experiences, depending on how I choose to react.

    I made a comment to my ex the other day about the connection between his short temper and his trips to the hospital with chest pains after he told me that cussing people out who regularly do things that anger him makes him feel better. He has already watched “The Secret”, but maybe when he’s in a better frame of mind, I’ll let him borrow mine.

    Better yet, maybe I’ll buy him a copy. There’s no need for me to create a situation where I’m mad at him because he takes too long to return my stuff. LOL!!!


  • Good Vibe Coach says:

    Thanks for the good words, Aaron! Much appreciated!

    And good job, Leslie, in purposely finding your way to better feeling thoughts with your son. Your story reminded me of my first two days at college – I called mom, choking back tears and incredible fear, to say “Mom, I don’t think I can do this.” Within 24 hours I’d met my new roommate and made a few other friends and was having the TIME OF MY LIFE!! Best thing that ever happened to me. (It was Utah State’s first year of having a co-ed “honors” dorm. lol Oh, what fun!)

    So often those scary things are the ones that turn out the best, aren’t they? Funny how that works!

    Your son will fit right in and have a great time in no time – especially with the good energy you’re sending.

    Thanks for posting, Leslie and Aaron!

  • Anonymous says:

    I like that good time filter Jeannette. I noticed I was reaching for it this weekend as well.
    I was horrified to realize how scared and sad my son was feeling, leaving home and going to university. As we drove down to take him there I was feeling like a heel, I should have realized sooner he was scared, he wasn’t ready, and maybe we should have waited another year.
    I tried all my tricks to comfort him to tell him nothing is carved in concrete, that he could call anytime – we upgraded his phone and his plan and I even gave him my angel coin that says I am always with you. I told him I was his Mom angel…
    And then I decided to watch my thoughts to script happier thoughts to see him getting around the campus with ease, realizing how exciting and fun it was going to be. And loving using his brains. Knowing we are always with him just a heartbeat away.
    And I started scripting how I was going to feel good about the changes and the growth of my two sons. My husband and I felt relief as we drove away. As I watched my tall gentle handsome son walking away I thought You belong here. This is your life sweetheart, have the time of your life.

    Love Leslie

  • Aaron says:

    Awesome post, Jeannette, and right on the money with the lessons that it teaches.

    One of the reasons why I blog and why I read other people’s blogs is because – like you – I already know this stuff, but the reminders help to keep me on track.

    It’s amazing how easy it is to start applying a filter that is not in our own best interests!

  • >