I was trying to change out my windshield wiper the other day and was struggling to put it on the arm the correct way. I was getting frustrated because it looked easy from the other wiper but every time I tried to put it on it didn’t look right! I really wanted to just force it, but I knew from costly experience not to do that. I finally thought I had it and drove off. A couple minutes later the thing was flapping around so I jumped out, suppressed an urge to scream and methodically figured out how to put the thing on correctly – without force.
Have you had a similar experience? That incident got me observing where else in my life I use force. I noticed I brush my teeth with too much force, I grab a towel from the shower with too much force, I even walk with too much force. Whew, I am one pushy babe!
In addition to feeling how much force I do in everything I also noticed how it affects my attitude. If I clench my jaw I feel uptight and a bit angry. If I shake a strangers hand I tighten my grip if theirs is tight and it feels like a challenge. If someone slaps me on the back I brace and want to slap them back even harder. If a person gets in my space I stiffen, jut my jaw out and push back without actually touching them.
I purposely, consciously stopped doing all the reactions that didn’t feel good. If the handshake is super firm I yield my hand, different than going limp. If someone is in my space I just stay where I am without stiffening but yielding my body. The funny thing is when I yield my body they immediately step back. If I get the backslap I put my hand on their shoulder or back in a connected way, firm but without force. I seldom clench my jaw, even when doing something physically hard or concentrating intensely. I walk feeling like I am on a carpet two inches off the ground yielding my body to the changing contours.
My attitude and disposition are much sunnier and light these days. I don’t have mood swings like I used to and my mouth that used to be in a permanent downturn is mostly upturned. Oh, and the released jaw seems to have an effect on my lips, they are getting positively plump!