We can wake up everyday and choose our mood for the day. We can declare that we will live in joy, peace, ease presence… It seemed like a strange thought when Bob Duggan and Dianne Connely taught it to me. Choose your mood? Isn’t mood just a result of an environment. Turns out it doesn’t have to be. You can decide what state to be in regardless of outer influence.
This can all be well and good until an event happens. A trigger. A stressor. That moment when your heart sinks. When you receive the news you didn’t want to hear or get a dreaded phone call. This is the moment when your heart stops, or races. Maybe your stomach turns. You feel the color leave your face.
How do we maintain our mood in the presence of these events? How do we stay in a place of presence and not jump into reactivity. It is important to recognize where we go in these times. Do we burst out or curl in? It is possible to remain fully present in these moments. To recognize and honor the emotions we are experiencing as well as the physical phenomena. It takes practice. The more practiced we are during the everyday moments, the more we can stay out of reactivity in times of stress.
An Exercise: Wake up each morning and declare your mood for the day. Write is on a post-it and place it in your lunch box or bless a piece of jewelry with your mood to remind you throughout the day. Maintaining it through the day will build a muscle memory allowing for a deeper presence and will guide you through when challenges arise.