It's 5:30 PM in the mid August Texas heat. She said, "I'm proud of you," as I walked up the driveway to the road. Yah, yah I said to myself and waived as I started to jog. I was finally getting around to running.
A half a mile in, it started. The stories reared their ugly head.
I am an idiot for running in this heat. It is so hot. Why does the humidity have to be so high? It feels like I'm trying to breath under water. Maybe my shorts are too short. Everyone can see my thighs jiggle as I run down the road. You are going so slow. The last two times you went out, cc had to come and pick you up. And you want to run four miles today? You aren't going to make it…
Because of all these thoughts, I was running slow. I had become my worst enemy. Just when it couldn't get any worse, I remembered the three types of business: My business, their business, and God's business. I can only control one of those; my own. There I was, on a perfectly fine day, complaining about God's business (the weather), thinking about their business (the way I look to them), and not minding my own by allowing the stories in my head to rob me of my joy.
Then came the shift. To my business. To controlling what I thought and how I reacted.
I started with gratitude. To begin, I reminded myself that I made the choice to go for a run in the hottest part of the day. I had a choice. To run or not to run, and I chose to run, and it was important to remember that. I started to list all the things I was grateful for.
- I have a body that is healthy enough to handle a four mile run in the heat.
- I have a supportive spouse that will occupy our son while I choose to run and who is proud of me for doing it.
- I have lungs that can take in the humid air and pull out all the oxygen that I need.
- I love the light that time of day. There wasn't a better way to see it.
- My thighs are the result of having a son. A healthy son that nursed for over a year, and all those fat deposits fed him.
- The song line up on my Pandora station was exceptionally good today, and the music was inspiring me.
- I was breathing through my belly which always brings me to a place of mindfulness.
- When I got out of my head and into my body, the cramping dissipated.
- I live in a beautiful place. Being in nature made it worth running outdoors.
- By continuing to run now, I will still be able to run with my son when he is old enough, and that makes me proud.
There are many more I thought of, but you get the gist. So here is the point of the story. After I started minding my own business, the running started getting easier and my last two miles ended up being faster than the first two, even though God's business and their business didn't change.
What would become easier and more joyful for you
if you minded your own business?
When you are worrying or judging someone else, you are giving the other person control over you. How? By allowing the situation or circumstance to take over your thoughts exactly as it did on my run. None of the script that was going on in my head had any truth, but by allowing it to happen, I was suffering. I’m proud of me too for getting out of my head! It made a dramatic difference.
This week, I challenge you to stay in your own business. Find something to remind yourself to check in and ask yourself if you are doing so. Wear a string on your wrist, or set a timer. When you see or hear your reminder, ask, "Am I in control of what I'm thinking in this moment or am I trying to control someone else's business?" By doing this, you will literally change your mind. Come back and let me know how it goes in the comments below.
**On another note, this photo of me can be viewed one of two ways. You can see me as exhausted and beat after a long, hot run. Or you can choose to see me controlling my business by taking in the gratitude of the moment. Your perception of me in this photo is very telling of where you are right now. If you choose to see me as defeated, you are most likely sitting in my business and not yours. If you choose to see me in my beauty, then you are sitting in your business. What you perceive will tell you the truth. Think about it.