Some years back I experienced epic premenstrual syndrome. Not only was I frequently sad, I was angry as hell. Some days it was all I could do to be even marginally civil. Shoot, many days I couldn’t even manage that. By the time I got my period, I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. I feared for my relationships and my job.
I remember the day that I realized that I could choose not to make significant decisions or evaluate the health of my marriage or the character of The Charming Prince while in the grip of PMS. I realized that my low moods were not the product of my circumstances, but the product of my thinking. Yes, biochemistry came into it. Still, I saw that my experience was the result of my thinking while in that particular physical state.
That insight changed everything. I saw that while I was temporarily powerless over my low moods, I could exercise my free will to keep it from running my life. I told The Charming Prince that, although I might behave as if he was a problem, I knew that he was not. I said that I might not be able to change my low mood for a week or so, and I might not be kinder and more understanding during that time, but that I knew better than to think he was the cause of my unhappiness.
Peace reigned in our home in spite of my hormones and state of mind.
The same thing applies to our businesses
Every business has its ups and downs. Clients come and go. Sometimes our marketing strategies work; sometimes they bomb. Our bank balances go up, and they go down. Sometimes we roll with the punches. Aware on some level that our wellbeing and happiness are not the product of outside circumstances, our thinking remains clear and our moods generally positive.
But sometimes we get confused. We think that our happiness and wellbeing are dependent on outside circumstances, and when things don’t go the way we want them to, we get frustrated and fearful. At those times our thinking becomes tangled and negative, and our moods take a dive. But, because we have the power to exercise our free will regardless of our states of mind and emotion, being discouraged or fearful or stressed doesn’t have to mess up our relationships with our businesses.
Events in our businesses are not the problem
Just as the The Charming Prince was not the cause of my sadness and anger all those years ago, events in our businesses can not be the cause of our insecurity, stress, or fear now. Only our thinking can do that.
Recognizing this, we can exercise our free wills to disengage from lower quality thoughts. We don’t try to get rid of them (good luck!), we simply recognize that it’s not a good idea to evaluate our options, draw conclusions, or make decisions while in a low mood. We can choose not to explore, amplify, explain, or interpret our thoughts, but simply to let them be, while declining to act on them.
Being down about our businesses is a no fault situation
Because thought flows irrespective of our intentions, there’s no fault to be found when our thinking takes a dive. Instead of blaming ourselves for being subject to the human condition, we can recognize that our lower quality of thinking is simply part of a constant flow of thought. If we leave our thoughts alone, they will inevitably change.
Meanwhile, we can live our lives and take care of business to the best of our ability. Peace can reign in our businesses and our hearts in spite of our moods.
Photo credit: mahmoudhashemi via Flickr