January has been a hard month. My state of mind was unsettled and dull. For me, it probably didn’t help that there were a couple of days where the temperature dropped to 20 degrees Fahrenheit with short spells of modest sunshine. Depending on where you live in the world, this can be pleasant or unpleasant weather.

Coming home from work one day, a couple of cars were stopped in front of me for what seemed to be no apparent reason. I wanted to get home and was looking forward to spending time with my husband over a cappuccino. I became irritated.

My eyes caught sight of a family of geese s-l-o-w-l-y crossing the road. My irritation turned to awe. The geese seemed to be moving in slow motion. I thanked them for “creating the p-a-u-s-e for me”. As they were safely on the other side of the road, the line of cars slowly started and continued the process of getting to each driver’s destination. A big smile filled my face. I burst out laughing. It was what I needed – pausing, awe-ing, and being inspired. I shifted from being irritated to being joyful in just seconds.

We can take charge and shift our state of mind. Now that this experience is in my memory bank, I can reach for it when I’m feeling down. A-n-d within a few moments, I can step into a more uplifted, joyful, and a more alive state of mind.

Marina Barnes and Lea Christo will be offering the eight week Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens program.

This evidence based program helps teens reduce stress and anxiety as they learn to meet their struggles with kindness.

Marina is participating in Dr Gabor Mate’s Compassionate Inquiry professional online training. As part of my training, I am offering you an opportunity to experience what this modality is and providing a free one hour session. Email me at [email protected] for more info or schedule your free session here.