Countering Negativity by Going With the Flow

While waking up on the wrong side of the bed can have its advantages, like finally realizing how…

While waking up on the wrong side of the bed can have its advantages, like finally realizing how insomnia turns you into a Grumpy Gus, there isn’t much else of a redeeming factor to negativity. Forcing your low vibrations and general unpleasantness on the people you love is wrong. Frustration, anger and helplessness all get in the way of us going with the flow, and force us to turn against it. But what happens if we change our thinking? Sweet surrender? Maybe so.

As much as it sounds like a great idea, going and flowing and moving along, I am notorious for not doing it. I kick and scream and dig in my heels, convinced that it’s my way or the high way. Sometimes it pays off, but most times, it doesn’t. This week was no different, until it was. Brighter and better than I expected, something happened that made me realize how much I could miss by fighting the flow and propagating negativity.

It was 4:00 and I was tired. Feet sore from a day of walking, ready for snacks and tea and perhaps a nap. Six hours of morning yoga had put me on my butt and being the worst I could be, my Man’s gentle suggestion of hiking was met with a sharp comment and harsh negative. But he persisted. So I sulked, and pouted and pulled on my boots, complaining that “I wouldn’t have a good time,” and “this isn’t what I want right now,” oblivious to how hateful I was acting, and the strange looks he kept giving me.

In the car I sighed, looked down and stewed over my trail mix; picking out and eating all the chocolate — because chocolate – and thought about poor little me. I reveled in my own misery, sour mood upon sour mood building on itself. When lightning stuck in the distance I used it to my advantage “see,” I said “even nature doesn’t want us hiking right now.” But up the hill we went, my mood lifting a bit when I saw the first curve of the trail. It didn’t look too strenuous. Getting out, pack heaved and Go-Pro mounted, we walked along the ridge of the mountain, dry, thin air in my lungs and a weight in my chest, “why was I so against this” I thought. Really, it wasn’t too bad.

We paused at a break, the valley stretching below us and storm billowing behind. “Picture time?” he suggested. I caved, ok. But after finding the video was dead, and my camera uncooperative, frustration set it. Fiddling with the buttons as a light rain began to fall, I jammed the camera roughly into its bag, “screw this, let’s go,” I said, and turned to face him – then stopped. Down on one knee, where I should have been, asking for forgiveness from my terrible mood was he, with ring in hand.

marriageI broke.

Moods and emotions and all the horrible thoughts I had were gone. In one brilliant spark of ignited electricity, I didn’t have anything to say. Is this real? How can this be? Me? Now? Here? After all the horrible things I’d said?


Always and forever — we did. Placing the ring on my finger we sat, and looked and watched the lightning strike the sky and realized that this is who we are, and that’s good enough. So when you can, if you can, when you feel the time is right, go with the flow and craft your mantra as you see fit: I am grateful, I am humble, I am human, and in the end we all do the best that we can.

gurney_photo_headshotNicole Gurney is a freelance writer living and working in San Diego. She focuses on healthy living, recipe development and exploring the role mindfulness plays in leading a balanced life. Sea salt and chocolate are her weaknesses, as is the promise of a good time. Eclectic and creative, she seeks new opportunities to grow her talents as a young professional, while remaining calm and level in an ever more demanding world.