This past weekend, my husband, son, and I drove to Scottsdale, Arizona for the Christening of my husband’s cousin’s new baby boy. In the weeks before the trip, I was not feeling particularly excited about it. I didn’t want to drive that far. It was going to be very hot. I didn’t know anything about the hotel where all the family was staying. I didn’t know if there would be many family members our age there. And I didn’t want to drive that far. Did I mention that already?
In addition, I have trouble with these extended family events. In the past, I have been shy, stiff, uncomfortable, and awkward. I never know what to say or how to greet people (one kiss or two, a hug or just the kiss). I never know if I’m going to go introverted or if I can balance and be more of an extrovert. Needless to say, I was troubled about the outcome of the event.
So, you know where my mind was in relation to this trip. I stopped myself right then and there. I did NOT want the trip to go the way my mind was envisioning this trip so far. I was seeing me bored and annoyed with having to take this trip and showing up being shy and uncomfortable. NO NO NO!
Instead, I asked myself what I wanted to have happen. How did I want to feel? How did I want the car drive to go? How did I want to see myself while there? How did I want the hotel to be? How did I want our family to get along? How did I want to show up when visiting with my husband’s family?
Without getting into too much detail in my mind, I decided I wanted to find myself at the end of the weekend saying “Wow. That was actually fun. I had a good time.” I wanted to feel surprise in having had such a great weekend. I felt into that and saw myself saying that in my mind as well as saying that to my husband. I chose to see myself having a happy time (without specifics). I chose to see myself really liking the hotel and getting good sleep and good food.
Then about a week before the trip, I let go of that vision and when the trip came into mind, I thought positively about it. I did what was in front of me to get ready for the trip. I also did one more thing that I haven’t done for past family get togethers. For the Christening and family dinner afterwards, I made sure that what I would be wearing was COMFORTABLE including shoes. I know that for me, being comfortable is really important to my general happiness.
We took off on Friday afternoon after school and we had a GREAT weekend. The hotel was fabulous and luxuriously catered to my needs with a great bed, great air-conditioning, great service, and great food. My husband, son, and I had fun in the pool Saturday morning and then explored Scottsdale finding a Grimaldi’s pizza place for lunch.
Then the Christening was a pleasant affair. I liked seeing the baby and all the family gathered around for the event. And the dinner was at a gorgeous upscale hotel with all of our family on the outside patio looking out over the desert enjoying a fabulous dinner. I actually exhilarated in being a bit extroverted and talking to people in between courses. We also kept track of the Giants/Nationals post season baseball game that went into 18 innings which was fun. I stayed heart-centered and connected to the beauty of the desert, moon, bats, and sunset which continually relaxed and re-energized me. Being outside always helps me stay more even keeled.
Sunday morning, we slept a little later and after breakfast, went to the pool. My husband, son, and I created a ruckus as we had so much fun splashing and playing like little kids. It was the highlight of our trip--just going to the pool. You know it doesn’t take much-- just the intention to have fun and be happy. That was my guiding principle. I let go of my fears of being seen in my swimsuit and just decided to be a kid for awhile. I let go and had a great time.
The ride home was long but the memories and happiness of being together all weekend were enough to keep me smiling. My son was even sad when the weekend was over. He enjoyed our family time together so much.
When I encounter this type of event in the future, I hope I will remember this lesson and take my own advice to insure a good time. Because when I am having a good time, it spreads to the rest of my family.
I encourage you to stop yourself if you are having negative thoughts about an upcoming event. Change your mind. Create a new vision for that event of how you want it to go. Set an intention and see if you can be open to creating a wonderful experience. What have you go to lose? Let me know if you try this out. I’d love to hear in the comments below.